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Welcome to Clash of Steel

Featured battle : Koniggratz (or Sadowa)

Part of Austro-Prussian "Seven Week" war

Date : 03 July 1866

von Moltke, commanding the Prussian forces, obtained good intelligence as to the movements of the Austrian and Saxon army and that they were concentrating on the Upper Elbe north of Koniggratz. He desired to finish the war by crushing his opponents so planned a complicated attack, with his First Army attacking directly east, the Army of the Elbe circling south to attack northwards, and the Second Army driving down the Elbe valley to seal the trap from the north. At dawn, in dismal rain, the Prussian Elbe and First Armies attacked, but the telegraph to the Second Army had been damaged, so they failed to get the order to move. Confusion at the point of attack dulled it's effect, and the Austrians with a well-timed counter-attack halted the Prussian advance and the battle turned into a brutal slogging match. Von Benedek, the Austrian commander, could have put the Prussians into retreat if he had committed his cavalry at this point, but they remained in reserve. Finally a rider reached the Prussian Second Army with their orders and by early afternoon they arrived at the battle and tipped the balance. The Austrians were defeated but fell back in good order. A decisive factor in the battle was the Prussian use of the Dreyse bolt-action, breech-loading, 'Needle gun' rifle which gave them a much greater rate of fire over the Austrian's traditional, muzzle-loading musket.

Featured image :

Cavalryman's Back and Brest of the English Civil War period

Cavalryman's Back and Brest of the English Civil War period

This English breastplate and backplate from the mid 17th century illustrates the basic protection considered necessary for a soldier of horse of this period. The breastplate is musket-proof (see the small dent or proof mark just the the right of centre) but is quite heavy. The back is much lighter as it is only expected to protect against sword blows during the melee.

Gallery updated : 2016-02-21 17:33:57

Featured review :

Boeing B52 Stratofortress, Owners Workshop Manual

Davies, Steve
Another excellent Haynes manual of one of those iconic pieces of technology we wish we could own! Detailed sections on it's design and combat history (primarily covering Vietnam and Iraq), it's anatomy, systems, engines and maintenance schedules. Some really detailed and annotated diagrams and the usual crop of photos from all angles. It also has a blow-by-blow account of a training mission from the point of view of the pilot, along with an unusual viewpoint from an air-gunner.
Haynes, Feb 2013

Reviewed : 2013-04-26 15:14:51