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Thread: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

  1. #41

    Default Re: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

    I have a question about the number of ranks you guys used. I am interested in this mod, although to be completely honest I haven't played it yet. I noticed in your youtube videos that you allow for three ranks of infantry. Is there a particular reason for this? Almost all units were using Hardee's Rifle and Infantry Tactics from 1861, or later, which calls exclusively for 2 ranks of infantry only. This change was done because of the introduction of longer barrels which had three bands instead of two.

    In the actual game are there only two ranks of infantry or is this just something that would be impossible to program? I tried looking for a similar thread about this but I had trouble finding anything, so if this question has already been brought up I apologize.

  2. #42
    Trig's Avatar Centenarius
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    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

    You can stretch your unit into a minimum of two ranks and a maximum of a column of three I think.
    The AI generally uses ranks of 2, sometimes 3.

    click banner for ModDB page and all ACW versions download links

  3. #43

    Default Re: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

    Hello friends, I found a interesting blog, concerning international events while Americans were fighting each other. It seemed that war never seems out of style back then like now.

    This particular blog explains and documents a moment that an old weak empire "Spain" is trying to come back into the playground of the Great Empires.

    España vuelve - Spain's return to the Americas in the 1860s. Part 1

    The 1850s saw a remilitarisation of Spain, as Queen Isabella struggled to gain popularity by recapturing past glories. This started well with a victory against Morocco at Tetouan and gains on the Moroccan coast which Spain holds to this day. Encouraged, the Spanish looked further afield, especially to the Americas. The massive loss of their South American colonies still rankled, and it had been clear for a while that the US had eyes on what was left, especially Cuba. As early as 1850, US politicians were making clear their desire for the island, and in 1858 President Buchanan addressed Congress hinting at annexation, or compulsory purchase.

    Queen Isabella II
    "With a Queen like that who really wants to defend her?? BUAK!!"
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The American civil war presented a welcome breathing space for Spain, and an opportunity to either to intervene directly or to expand their presence in the Americas. They shied away from recognising the Confederacy, not least because Southern politicians had been those most vocal in calling for annexation of Cuba, but a 2nd Reconquista, that was possible.

    All this was going to take strength, and allies. The Spanish fleet was built up and modernised until it was judged the 4th most powerful in the world, with modern ships, including the Numancia, an ironclad frigate and not only one of the most powerful ships afloat but also blessed with a huge range. She would go on to be the first ironclad to circumnavigate the globe. There were also several modern steam powered frigates, making a relatively small but potent fleet. Significantly, these were long range, blue water, forces, not designed just for coastal defence. Spain at this time also still held Cuba, the Philippines and Puetro Rico, despite numerous revolts, providing island bases.

    The first opportunity to assert herself was Mexico. Following victory in a civil war, largely with United States aid, the new government of Benito Juarez suspended debt interest payments to Britain, France and Spain, the major creditors. Intense negations took place between the French, Spanish, British and the United States, who were also invited to take part. The US declined, but nonetheless, the other three powers, for their own very different reasons, signed the Treaty of London agreeing to impose a solution by blockading the Mexican coast and occupying the main port of Vera Cruz.

    The Spanish government had been angry at Mexico for some time, not just for debt default, but also for attacks on Spanish citizens in Mexico, and for ideological reasons, the Spanish Court identifying much more with the opponents of Juarez. There had even been suggestions of a declaration of war but these were defused, in part by General Prim, one of the victors in Morocco who was actually married to a niece of Juarez's treasurer!

    General Prim at the battle of Tetuan
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The British basically wanted their money back and had some sympathy for the Juarez cause, whilst the Americans were firmly in the Mexican camp, partly as an application of the Monroe doctrine, and the American Secretary of State, Seward, even offered to pay interest on the debt. The French, as was to become clear, had other motives.

    The Spanish were first on the scene. Early in November, the Mexican authorities received word of preparations in Havana to send 6,000 troops and 15-16 ships to Vera Cruz, including 6 frigates and 6 "war steamers". Unfortunately for the Mexicans the fortress at San Juan de Ulua was clearly not up to the task of repelling them, so the Mexicans decided to withdrew it's artillery to use elsewhere, though only 50 guns out of about 200 were actually removed.

    On the 14th December 1861 the Spanish fleet arrived at Vera Cruz and took possession without resistance, the commander General Gasset, declaring martial law and that he would hold the city in the name of Queen Isabella until the commissioners of the other powers arrived. Spanish flags were hoisted on public buildings, and the fortress. Gasset did stress however that there were no territorial intentions. Nonetheless, the New York Times of 28th December 1861 was already reporting guellia activity in the countryside and the dispatch of Spanish cavalry to deal with it.

    The expeditionary force, again as reported by the New York Times, was

    Two battalions of Chasseurs.

    First battalion of the Infantry Regiment "Napoles."

    First Battalion of the Infantry Regiment of Cuba.

    Four companies of the Second battalion "del Rey."

    6,000 men with another 5,000 sailors and marines and 300 horses.

    Spanish ironclad Numancia

    General Prim inspecting the Spanish forces in Vera Cruz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Mexican government responded by dispatching 3,000 men under General Zaragoza, and a further 52,000 were called in from the provinces. They fortified mountain passes leaving Vera Cruz, but made no move to invade the town, whilst Gasset steered clear of regular Mexican troops. Atrocities against Spanish, French and British nationals, one of the complaints of the allies,increased and many were driven from the country. In Vera Cruz, an American correspondent described the Spanish troops as " .... a very fine body of men, and are kept under strict discipline, so that no complaints have been made against them by the inhabitants of the town."

    Although there was no clash of regular forces, the guerrilla situation was different. Spanish troops made incursions towards La Antigua, Anton Lizardo and on the Mediillin road in search of supplies and guerrillas. Men lost dead and as prisoners to the jarochos, which amounted to the same thing. By next May only 4,000 of the 6,000 troops were available for active service.

    Soldier from the Cuban garrison 1862
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Gasset was soon replaced by Prim, the same who ws married into the Mexican government. He had his work cut out dealing with the locals, and his allies. On 27th December the French force arrived, consisting of 1,300 marines, 500 Zouaves, 500 marine fusiliers, 200 marine artillery, 60 marine gunners, 50 engineers to a total of 2,610.

    By the next May French intentions were becoming evident, to the dismay of their erstwhile allies. The British marine contingent withdrew, and then the Spanish, now under general prim. Apparently Prim accosted the French general De Lorencez what were his intentions and was astounded to get the answer that the French were going to march on Mexico city. This was not all what they had signed up for and Prim hastily assembled his surprised staff and started to organise a withdraw. The Spanish army was conveyed to Havana on Royal Navy ships, having refused an offer from the french navy, and Prim continued to Madrid. Although not keen on his sympathies for the Juaristas, the Spanish government supported his actions, only too glad not to be dragged into the France's Mexican adventure.
    Last edited by Steveholmes; August 18, 2015 at 12:44 PM.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

    Santo Domingo - Spain in the Americas Part 2

    Spain had been expelled from nearly all Latin America in the early 1820s, but had designs on a return. This might have seemed a pipe dream, but they were about to have an incredible piece of luck - part of the old empire was about to ask to return.

    Hispaniola had been Spanish since the days of Christopher Columbus, but the Western third was later taken over by the French, resulting in two culturally different regions that we now know as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Haitians, remarkably, threw off french rule, the Dominicans declared independence in 1821, and were almost immediately invaded by Haiti. Haitians were expelled in 1844 and there followed years of chaos, dictatorships and repeated Haitian invasions. Thus by the late 1850s people were looking around for an alternative.

    Santana harbour 1870

    The US had had designs on Santo Domingo for years, primarily the harbour at Santana, which would give the US a naval base in the centre of the Caribbean. The Spanish, British and French were opposed to any American takeover for exactly the same reason. In the 1850s though interest intensified as the American Secretary of State, Seward attempted to drag the US into a confrontation with Spain to distract the southern States from talk of Independence. Lincoln though refused to be deflected from internal politics.

    A better alternative, from the viewpoint of the Spanish elite, was a return to Spain itself - strong enough to withstand Haiti, but not so strong as to absorb them completely. Consequently in 1859 a representative of the current dictator, Santana, approached the Spanish court to establish a protectorate over the island, fortifying it against any American incursions. Increasing American official and unofficial pressure caused Sanatan to ask for direct Spanish rule, under certain conditions, especially a guarantee Spain would never reestablish slavery, one of the worries about the United States. Annexation as the Spanish Maritime Province of Santo Domingo was announced in cathedral square on March 18 1861,

    Pedro Santana, dictator of the Dominican Republic and 1st Governor of the Spanish colony
    It should have gone so well, the easiest conquest in history. If Santo Domingo was not actually enthusiastic for Spanish rule, it was on the whole prepared to accept it. Two small rebellions were crushed and yet another invasion from Haiti ambushed and destroyed by government forces with out the Spanish needing to do anything. Unfortunately the Spanish played their hand badly, very badly.

    Flag of the Santo Domingo Maritime Province

    Many government officials were removed from office and replaced by Spanish officials from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Santana's cronies they might have been, but at least they understood the country. Even worse, many of the Dominican militia officers who had fought off the Haitians were considered not even worthy to wear Spanish uniforms, alienating many of Spain's natural allies. This was mirrored in society as a whole. Many Dominicans at all levels were mixed race to a degree, and many marriages were made outside the catholic church. Spanish officials, especially those from Spain itself, disdained contact with those not of European blood, who they considered inferior, and a new archbishop declared that all non-Catholic marriages invalid and the children therefore bastards. With these and other measures Spain alienated virtually all classes of society with incredible speed. The Dominicans had been fighting Haiti, and each other, for generations, the result was inevitable.
    Last edited by Steveholmes; August 18, 2015 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Historical Info, Research & Discussion thread

    Santo Domingo and out - Spain in 1860s America Part 3

    The first flicker of rebellion came in early February 1863 when 50 men stormed the local HQ in Neiba, but this was quelled almost immediately. Much more serious was a revolt planned by Santiago Rodriguez in Sabaneta in late February. This was tipped off to the Spanish authorities who mobilised and drove Rodriguez to sanctuary in Haiti and his followers to organise a guerrilla war in the countryside. Thus was started the pattern of the war, the Spanish controlled the coast and the main towns in the south, the Dominicans held the countryside, especially in the north west, supplied and sheltered in Haiti. Their heartland was protected by mountain passes and desert.

    The troops were mainly from the Cuban and Puerto Rican garrisons, at least initially, infantry, cavalry and artillery being shipped over to the island. The Spanish navy had complete command of the sea and used a fleet of paddle wheel steamers to transport troops to, and around, the island. Typical was the Isabella la Catolica, built in 1850 and employed for most of her career in American waters - she was part of the fleet that went to Mexico in 1862. She carried 16 8 inch guns, 14 broadside and 2 pivots, had a top speed of 12 knots and a crew of 160. These steamers had quite a capacity, the Pizzaro, for example, conveying a whole battalion of artillery from Puerto Rico.

    The Isabella II, sister ship to Isabella la Catolica

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Spanish had only themselves to blame for Haitian support of the rebels, making territorial claims there had driven the Haitians into the enemy camp, just one of a long stream of misrule that had caused this situation to come to pass. In April 1862 the news was of Spanish troops congregating in Azua on the southern coast, ready to occupy Haitian territories that were formerly Spanish in the old days. And invade they did, thus creating yet another drain on army resources.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Spanish garrison by October 1863 was as follows.

    Primera Brigada
    Coronel Don Julián González Cadet
    Batallón de Cazadores de La Unión.
    Batallón de Tarragona.
    Cuarta Compañía de Montaña del Regimiento de Cuba .

    Segunda Brigada
    Coronel Don Joaquín Suárez
    Batallón de Isabel II .
    Batallón de Nápoles.
    Tercera Compañía de Montaña del Regimiento de Cuba.
    Milicias del País, capitán Máximo Gómez (Militia)

    Tropas del Cuartel General (Headquarters)
    Primera Sección de Cazadores de Africa .
    Primera Sección de Lanceros de la Reina (Lancers)

    Lancer from the Cuban garrison, 1862
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    An idea of the to and through of the campaign can be be got from reports in this month. Pedro Santana claimed a great victory in the interior against the rebels....
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    "This morning at nine o'clock we met the enemy holding the River Guanuma, where they had their headquarters. They were completely beaten and routed by our valiant troops of the army and the reserve force of the country. After having pursued them for about a league we are now encamped this afternoon at 3 P.M. on their late position."

    Santana, the former dictator, was by far the best Spanish general, though his hands were frequently tied by Spanish oversight. At that moment he was soon to be reinforced at Cotuy by General Gandara with a strong division containing the regiments Napoles (veterans of the occupation of Vera Cruz), Tarragona, Isabel II. and Union, six pieces of mountain artillery and a squadron of cavalry. The troops are to operate "with vigor" against the rebels of Cibao, which does suggest his victory is not a complete as Santana claimed.

    In fact the same reports claim that troops are being shipped from Azua to Santo Domingo "to concentrate the divided forces in a single point so as to operate for the future with more unity and efficiency", which sounds suspiciously like an evacuation.

    Soldier of the Cuban garrison 1862
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It is hard to reconstruct the war in detail, depending as it does on reports in Spanish and American newspapers which were often diametrically opposed. For example, in the New York Times article quoted above the Spanish report that the Santa Lucia (a new screw corvette) went to the support of Spanish troops holed up in the fort at Puerto Plata and drove of the rebels by firing grapeshot. However the reporter claims it is "well known" that "a Spanish war steamer was terribly crippled at that place by the firing of the insurrectionists, and was obliged to be towed off by another Spanish steamer".
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Gradually the Spanish were forced from even the northern coast. In November 1863 the 2,000 garrison of Santiago abandoned the city and marched to Puerto Plata, the main northern port, attacked by Dominicans all the way. There they joined the garrison in the fort, leaving the city to be pillaged by the rebels. Eventually 600 Spanish sallied out and drove off the rebels, with help from the cannon of the fort, but by the then the city had been plundered and burnt almost out of existence. The damage to Santiago and Puerto Plate was estimated at $5,000,000.

    By mid November virtually the whole garrisons of Cuba and Puerto Rico were deployed on Santo Domingo and 8,000 troops had been sent from Europe, diverted from deployment in Morocco. At the same time a powerful fleet was assembled to convey the troops to Cuba, and probably to prevent outside interference - two screw frigates, the Concepcion (37 guns) and Villa de Madrid, one screw corvette, the Africa; four steamers, the Colon, Leon, Alava and San Antonio, two store-ships, the Pinta and Marigalante.

    Spanish Marines, 1862
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    By March 1864 General Gandara was Captain General of Santo Domingo, in the place of General Vurgas, who had sent his 2nd in command to Spain to try to persuade them to abandon the island. There were rumours circulating the Spanish troops did not even have tents to sleep in. Huge numbers of Spanish troops were lost to dysentery and malaria, especially the native Spanish. One report claimed up to 1,500 per month lost to disease.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Spanish had rigged up a telegraph line from Cuba to Santo Domingo by June, only for almost the first news to be the death of Pedro Santana, their best general. Nonetheless the tide had turned yet again, with the Spanish pushing along the Northern coast supplied by steamer and capturing Monte Cristi, close by the Haitian border. This seems to have caused a loss of heart amongst many of the rebels and many deserted.

    An example of the warfare at this time can be found from the account from the troops at Monte Crisiti in July.

    " In consequence of such a long drought, the ponds which afforded us water were dried up, and we were limited to a ration which was brought in ships from the river Tapion.

    In consequence of this scarcity, Gen. Gandara ordered that all the horses and mules should be taken to drink at a small lake about two leagues from the camp, a force of two hundred soldiers going as a guard, and the horses and mules on their return being loaded with barrels, &c., of water. This was done for two days without molestation, but on the third day a small detachment of the enemy harassed their march, a sergeant being killed and several of the animals wounded. The next day a large force was sent to protect the watering party. The detachment was commanded by Count Balmaseda, who sent forward a vanguard under Col. Argenti , and composed of eight hundred infantry of the Cazadores of Isabella the Second, and the First and Fifth of the Marine Artillery, with two pieces. The vanguard, when near the watering-place and about to take up a position so as to protect the watering party, received a discharge from the insurgent force. It was returned, and with a bayonet charge the Spanish troops gained the position they desired. On hearing the firing, Count Balmaseda pressed forward with the Battalion of Spain and two more pieces of artillery, and after a heavy and prolonged fire of musketry, several bayonet charges, twenty-two rounds of artillery and eight charges by the King's Lancers, the insurgents were repulsed. On returning after watering the horses and mules, the Spanish troops attempted to molest the enemy, but were vigorously repulsed. This was, indeed, and in all respects a battle, both on account of the heavy firing on both sides, as well as from the large forces engaged".

    During this time the Dominican leadership had changed frequently, only to be deposed in coups for corruption, politics or in the case of Polanco (who lasted 3 months) leading a disastrous direct attack on the Spanish at Monte cristi in December 1864.

    Spanish troops routing Dominican rebels at Monte Cristi

    Thus by the end of 1864, it could be said the Spanish were winning. But not for the first or last time in history, military victory was trumped by political defeat. The price of war in terms of money and lives had been huge, disease and the hardy, experienced fighters of the island causing many casualties that Spain could ill afford. With the prospect of a revived United States at the very least supplying rebels as they were doing to the Mexicans fighting France, it was no longer worth the candle. On March 1865, Queen Isabella signed a decree annulling the annexation, and by August all Spanish troops had left for Cuba and Puerto Rico.
    Last edited by Steveholmes; August 18, 2015 at 12:56 PM.

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