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Author Topic: Force Publique questions  (Read 1037 times)

Offline FifteensAway

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3865
Force Publique questions
« on: January 30, 2023, 07:09:58 AM »
While waiting - and hoping! - for QRF miniatures to release some Belgians for German East Africa, I am looking for input on the best way to field a Force Publique that is useful from the 1880's time frame through World War I?  Figure recommendations are fine as long as they are for 15 mm figures that match to QRF sizes generally.

One thought is a majority of figures in the earlier blue uniforms with a smaller number of figures in the later khaki uniforms that started during WWI.  I also expect to include a number of figures from QRF's ACW ranges, especially any wearing straw hats such as the Louisiana Tigers.  They might not be a perfect match but properly painted I think I can get away with them in 15 mm - just to add variety and a bit of that rag-tag look. 

So, thoughts on what you would want to field for an army that would be both useful earlier and later in the period?  I don't mind having some specific to each end of the time line and others, hopefully, that can cover the whole spectrum.

Thanks for your input.

Offline italwars

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1071
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2023, 01:14:14 PM »
Hi ..you should consider to include native auxiliaries both as porters (essential component) and fighters .
From what Iíve read, majority of battles saw also the participation, aside the force publique regulars, also semi-naked tribesmen armed with  spear and old ML. Even the porters were sometime armed and participated at some succesful fights.
Against the Dervishes the Force took the field together with  Azande tribesmen that had become their allies. I don t game with 15mm but I suppose that Zulu castings without shield or with a different shaped shield (squared) would be fine.
Donít forget also to provide the columns , in some occasions such as during the Dervish campaign, with a small Krupp mountain artillery piece , dismantled and carried by porters. Small river boats provided with artillery piece or used to land troops were also employed. And finally also in Congo a kind of Rorke Drift battle took place with a Belgian fort attacked by Azande tribesmen. You can use the same small fort again for another historical epic siege that took place in 1914 with Belgian and Rhodesian native police troops besieged by German Askaris from Deutsche Ost Africa Afrika.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 09:10:45 PM by italwars »

Offline marco55

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2023, 06:41:59 PM »
Check this out.
Mark

Offline marco55

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2023, 07:01:37 PM »
A couple more .
Mark

Offline FifteensAway

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3865
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2023, 02:02:10 AM »
Marco, thanks for the recommended books.  Already have Leopold's Ghost - a bit of a slog to read through but lots of information.

Went looking for the first book you recommended today and Half Price Books, a used book chain had it on their lists but not in any nearby stores (in state) so I went to nearby Barnes and Nobles and they had no list for volume one, just volume two (on planes mostly it seems).  I guess the volume one must have sold out.  Still hunting.

Italwars, I appreciate your input.  And I have some useful East African figures from QRF that I'm sure would work alongside Belgians.




Online Diablo Jon

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  • Posts: 1160
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2023, 10:40:23 AM »
I have to wonder why the Fall of the Congo Arabs book has a guy on horseback on the front cover. I've never heard of the Congo Arabs using horsemen and I'm pretty sure the guy on the horse is Tuareg.

Offline marco55

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2023, 12:02:59 PM »
I think the Congo Arabs dressed in all manner of clothing and I'm sure there were horses around. https://www.wargamesfoundry.com/collections/darkest-africa-zanzibari-arab-slavers
Mark

Online Diablo Jon

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1160
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2023, 12:48:40 PM »
Horses in central Africa is pretty much impossible thanks to the tsetse fly. Most of the Congo Arabs weren't even Arabs most were Namywezi or later Tetela tribesmen and mostly likely looked like Africans in a wrap around knee length skirt or possibly Ruga-ruga.

https://jonsotherwargamesblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/arab-and-swahili-army-part-1/

Offline marco55

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Force Publique questions
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2023, 01:06:10 PM »
The Zanzibari were usually a mixture of Arab fathers and African women and spoke Swahili. I agree about the horses but there were a few. The picture is probably just an artist rendition.
Mark

 

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