The hunt for Big Bertha

Before I re-post this, it was taken down after a complaint was received that I had infringed copyright. Copy of email:

"Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to \"draft\" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.

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The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can search for the DMCA notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page at, and entering in the URL of the blog post that was removed.

If it is brought to our attention that you have republished the post without removing the content/link in question, then we will delete your post and count it as a violation on your account. Repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account including deleting your blog and/or terminating your account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel."


The Blogger Team

Now I checked the URL against the database and I could not find the notice. I then searched through the lists of notices manually, and could not find the notice.....................

The only thing I can think of was the picture of sauerkraut. I have removed this, and wish to apologise if I infringed anybodies rights.

Everything else is either a photograph taken by me, or a short account of a battle, written by me.


This actually relates to a World War One skirmish game in 28mm fought on Wednesday, and kindly laid on by my good secret wargaming friend, and not an article about one of his old flames...............................

The story starts in 1914...

Sir Hugh Dorien-Grenock was tucking into dinner, the starter was his favourite - ham and pea soup, soon to be followed by numerous snorkers (good oh!).


The sudden, loud crashing sound caused such a stir in Sir Hugh's body that his monocle promptly splashed headlong into the soup.

His servant, who was stood in the dining room, rushed over with a spare napkin to rescue his master.

" What on earth is that racket " Sir Hugh said, obviously startled and still fishing for his monocle amongst the ham and peas in his bowl "

" Big Bertha, Sir " his man servant replied

" The new cook? " enquired Sir Hugh, triumphant in finally finding his monocle

" No Sir, the German ordnance piece that has been causing havoc at various Brigade Headquarters, it seems that it is now our turn " replied the servant.

" Damn poor show Brown, Damn poor show - go and get Colonel Warner, I simply cannot function if my dinner is disturbed, and pour me a large glass of port before you go "

This was the premise of the wargame, I had to find and locate Big Bertha, suspected to be a large mortar that was shelling my Brigade headquarters.

For the task, I had some old friends and some shiny new models - the paint barely dry.

I was the British, my secret wargaming friend, as ever, the Germans.

Now, I need to put the record straight, my secret wargaming friend is a bit concerned that due to my previous post, he has been teased about his penchant for sausages, and he has requested that I put the record straight:

My secret wargaming friend does indeed like sausages, but they are not the only food he enjoys, for example, he likes sauerkraut too. I hope this puts the matter finally to rest.

The wargame:

I had a strong force - four big men, each leading a section of troops:

2 x Infantry Sections
1 x Cavalry troop

2 x Infantry Sections

The Wargames table

I have to admit to being a little suspicious. I was given a strong force with some high value Big men. I had no doubt that my sneaky secret wargaming friend had some tricks up his sleeve. Sneaky git!

The Shiny new lancers

My secret wargaming friend thinks I am a cautious commander. To keep him on his toes, I decided to change my tactics:

I elected to be very aggressive in this battle, the terrain was against me and I had no intelligence on the enemy forces I would encounter. I decided to use the lancers and my French troops to dash toward a farm on the other side of a ridge. The French crossing the land and climbing the hills, the lancers speeding down the road.

I would keep my British sections back to exploit any weakness in the enemy defence line. My plan almost paid off, almost.

Now you may call me stupid, but there was method in my madness at sending the Lancers down the main road, I hoped their speed would keep them out of trouble, and it did, until they ran into a hidden machine gun nest and an even more hidden sniper. The lancers were trapped in a lethal crossfire, and for the first time, I lost a Big Man in battle. RIP Capt Carruthers.

The sneaky machine gun team - just not cricket

The even sneakier sniper

For those readers who note the helmet of the sniper - I remind you this is grass roots wargaming, so please look past the headgear and pretend the soldier was field testing some new kit.

Meanwhile, the French units had crested the hill and were coming down the other side. Causing must consternation to the German forces (although I was unaware of this panic at the time).

They ran smack bang into a German Jaeger section, conveniently hidden behind a wooden fence.

Sneaky Jaegers - can you see a pattern forming?

The redoubtable French, once again the best of the allied troops

There began a long range exchange of fire between the two sections. The second French unit winding its way along the reverse of the ridge, to the cover of some woods, and (unbeknown to me), too close for comfort to the Big Bertha team.

Big Bertha - the mortar

I decided to bring the British sections on and they made quick progress along the road. In the meantime, the surviving lancers dismounted and eventually killed the sniper (revenge!).

The French section in the centre started to close, but were held up by the machine gun team and another German section.

The British infantry were too far away to capture the mortar as the game ended. A German tactical victory.

So close, yet so far. If only I had brought the British Infantry on a couple of turns earlier. Things may have been very different.

Another smashing evening.


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