Interesting passage on Lawrence of Arabia, desert codes, telegraph wires and railways on page 249 in Codebreakers, the highly readable book on Room 40 and WW1 Codebreaking by James Willie and Michael McKinley (published by Ebury, 2015).
Pulling down telegraph poles? This of course makes sense as often the telegraph poles followed railways, so it was easy to cut these wires or pull these poles down (by camel!) under the guise of Lawrence attacking the railway again. All part of the annoyance and disruption value of guerrilla warfare but with a higher aim, reading the enemy’s codes.
A clever way to force the Turks to rely on wireless, much easier to intercept at a safe distance and then decrypt or decode than tapping telegraph wires.
Overall Codebreakers is a very interesting book on WW1, picked up in my local branch library (childhood habits die hard!) but certainly worth buying in paperback. It covers naval and submarine warfare, Zeppelin raids, the Western Front, Ireland, German espionage and sabotage in America and its legacy, the seeds of WW2 codebreaking and breaking the Enigma codes at Bletchley Park.
Interesting blog post and possible games scenario for blowing up more desert trains here on the History in 1/72 website, by German games blogger Uwe, showing some excellent photos of an unusual museum diorama (in the Airforce Museum, near Munich)
This would prove an interesting variation on our previous Lawrence of Arabia style games scenarios on blowing up desert trains.
These German planes and squadrons provided vital combat, photography and aerial reconnaissance services to the Turks, fighting the Allies in the Middle East. These would need to have been stopped if possible …
Found whilst ploughing through endless old railway modelling magazines that I have been given to pass on to railway modelling family members. Have found a few novel ideas to share over the next few months.
A good 1970 photo by N. V. Salt of one of the locomotives on this famously ambushed railway – see previous blogposts such as
I ran out of Heroscape desert hexes, and the rest of my household judged the board not quite deserty enough and a little too much green showing.
The sand pit source of sand was flooded – too long to dry, a trial Woodland Scenics bag of desert grit was nowhere to be found. Instead a quick trial repaint of some green and grey hexes with a desert colour sort of worked.
I had no desert sand Revell Aquacolor Acyrlic to hand, so mixed their Matt Flesh with a little Matt Mud Brown and Gloss White to produce a pinky desert hue. Lots of deserts have a rusty orange to pink palette, as do desert animals like lizards and even the famous “Pinkies” or SAS “Pink Panther” desert camouflaged armed Land Rovers. http://www.eliteukforces.info/special-air-service/mobility-troop/sas-land-rover/
A quick PVA glue sand mix on a trial desert pinkie hex did not work well, so I quickly wiped this off.
some Astroturf marshy grass strips, brown railway moss and white shell gravel (salvaged from a failed Triops Sea Monkeys set) all added more desertness.
The heliograph message prompted a rescue party of reinforcements, 2d6 dice rolls determining when they would be arriving – Turn 11.
After the first few volleys of ineffective rifle fire on both sides, British and Indian troops crossed the bridge to pitch in with bayonets in melee around the log blocked track.
The presence of the German horsemen, along the few supplies and barrels scattered around the hut and amongst their hidden tent created the possibility (overlooked during the rapid set up of this scenario) that they could be engineers, ready to blow the bridge and derail the train. They were probably responsible for the blocking of the line with any available logs or rubble in order to halt and capture the train.
Very rapidly, Allied rifle fire and repeated melee across the railroad tracks cleared the remaining German and Turkish troops.
The last two Askaris rolled d6 for their next action and wisely retreated along the stream bank off the board to safety.
I also discovered during the game a novel use for the 2cm gap along the board edge. This little Valhalla strip is good for neatly storing casualties off the board, out of sight and out of the way.