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Ferdinand of the Artillery (Frog Stomp Diaries)

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  • Paddy
    replied
    wow - keep it coming old chap

    the battle for Valence...

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    January 2nd, 1803

    It¡¯s the new year but not a very happy one. Our troops had a glass of wine on New Year¡¯s Day and started marching the last few kilometers to Bordeaux. The 2nd army did not wait for us to begin the attack but no doubt they wish they did. Three complete units of cavalry were killed and several other severely weakened in the attack. When the Cavalry were all used up they sent in foot soldiers. Four units of foot soldiers were wiped out but they finally took the city. I heard that the cannon fire before the battle was extremely ineffective. I wonder if we could have done better?

    February 12th, 1803

    Messengers have told us of events at Valence. A real bloodbath. Austria retook Valence but it was almost immediately retaken by the French. Many civilian casualties and both the Austrian and the French armies are weakened. The British have taken no action though I do not know why. Our 1st Army is now outside Valence and ready to take the city. If they can.
    Things are still a mess here in Bordeaux but getting better. We are organising our army and trying to keep the people from revolting. Our unit is stationed in the north part of town ready to fire at French cavalry that might come down from the north. It¡¯s cold at night but at least we¡¯re in the city where there is lots of food and a few luxuries like wine. Our generals were wise to not let the army ravage the countryside on the way here. I hear Napolean takes everything he needs from the peasants and towns he conquers. Not a good way to win the hearts of peoples.

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    September 10th, 1802
    The weather is still warm but getting cooler as we go up the Pyrenees. I hope we can be over them by the time the rains and snow come; the cannons will be impossible to move over winter terrain on these mountain roads.

    September 14th, 1802
    We have arrived at the top of the mountains and below us lays France. The autumn landscape is beautiful and I can almost smell the vinyards from here. In the far distance I can see columns of smoke that we are told come from Bordeaux. The 2nd Army has been shelling the town a little to soften it up for the main attack.

    September 17th, 1802

    On our way to Bordeauz we met the 2nd Army¡¯s 1st Cavalry heading back to Spain. They had many casualities and many soldiers were without horses. Apparently they made a premature attack on Bordeaux but were defeated by infantry hidden about the town. The 2nd army is now waiting for the recently arrived reinforcements to get organised before launching an all out attack on the city. I wonder if we¡¯ll get there in time to see action.

    September 23rd
    More news from the top. The French have retaken Valence (which was held by the Austrians) and so the 1st Army has had their cups taken away and are now marching in that direction. That is somewhat to our advantage as they are no longer hording the wine and some of it has come to us.
    Apparently the British are also near Valence so it looks like retaking the city will be something of an international effort. Or an international mess once the generals start arguing about who should control the city.

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    Thanks for the compliment. The game is loads of fun and writing about it makes it even more fun.

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  • Paddy
    replied
    interesting

    bloody good to read

    hope you enjoy the game and continue with this story

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    July 2nd, 1802
    Travelling is dreadful. A number of our horses became ill with something near Medina and we were delayed again. The war will be over by the time we get to France.

    July 29th, 1802
    More rumours. The 1st Army is sitting in Montauban and is not eager to leave. Apparently there have been a few executions because of drunkeness and insubordination. I also hear the locals are revolting and reinforcements are arriving slowly. Like ourselves. The 2nd Army is doing somewhat better and has moved into a forested area near Bordeaux to defend against Napolean¡¯s Royal cavalry.. They are waiting for reinforcements and will then try to take the town.

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    May 1802

    May 5th, 1802

    We crawl slowly across Spain. I don¡¯t know why we don¡¯t have a cartwright of our own instead of having to look for one in the villages every time a wheel breaks. On the one hand it¡¯s irritating but on the other hand it means we will be slower getting into action . . . .

    May 15th, 1802

    Good news today! The 2nd Army sucessfully crossed into France and is heading for Bordeaux. And even better news! The 1st Army took Montauban with only a few casualities and no units were completely destroyed. Our corporal tells us we may be joining the 1st Army but he¡¯s not sure.

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    February 1802

    Training is over and we are leaving for France today. My unit received a large amount of gunpowder which we put in cases on the artillery carts. Our local commanders say that the roads to Pamplona are safe so we are not travelling with any infantry or cavalry and we have just our own small arms to fight with should the French make their way into the country. It is craziness but we cannot say so to our superiors. I heard rumours that many of our cavalry and infantry have been killed crossing the mountains.

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    During the Spanish campaign against the French, Ferdinand kept a diary in which he occassionally wrote. Some of his entries have been selected for the

    Frog Stomp Diaries

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  • marcuspeddle
    replied
    It was February of 1802 when Ferdinand¡¯s father put his paper on the table one morning and said patriotically, ¡°All the sons of Europe are leaving their farms and boats to fight the tyrant that rose in France. Ferdinand, my boy, I believe you should also volunteer for the army like your two older brothers.¡±

    "But father, I have no skills. I cannot ride a horse well and I have never been good with a rifle.¡±

    ¡°Then join the artillery. If a man can¡¯t aim he can at least load a cannon or tie it to a team of horses.¡±

    And so Ferdinand left his home the next week and learned the science of artillery. Training was rigorous but somewhat disappointing as most gunpowder was sent to the front and hardly any was available for training. Still, now and then Ferdinand¡¯s group received a box of powder and for a day or so they pounded targets on a hill with cannon shot.

    After three months of training, Ferdinand and his company attached their artillery pieces to a team of horses and set off for France. Although gunpowder was in short supply during training, the army was not stingy with it once training was finished. The army also supplied strong, hardy horses to pull their weapons across the Pyrenees.

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  • marcuspeddle
    started a topic Ferdinand of the Artillery (Frog Stomp Diaries)

    Ferdinand of the Artillery (Frog Stomp Diaries)

    This story is based on the Frog Stomp PBEM being played by myself, Paddythescot, Aqualung, and Ricketyclik. Nothing fancy here; just the story of a poor sap sent to war by his dad.
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