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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:22 pm
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Location: EK,Scotland
Of course Jan, HOW ever could I have missed you name from my little list of people I met and nmed checked the Alte Garde :oops: :oops:
I do of course have some pics of your lovely game and will post up when I get back to the UK!
Great to see you!

B

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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:41 pm
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Location: netherlands
Barry,
as you can imagine we were very sad not to be mentioned in your first report from Crisis :( but now were are happy :D :D :D

Although short, it was nice to speak to you.
We have some pictues on our blog, www.aldegarde.blogspot.com of Crisis and of our demo

greetings
jan

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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:22 pm
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Location: EK,Scotland
AldeGarde blog is good Jan and nice pics too! I hope our chats in the future start earlier and finish later!
My wife and daughter have finally realised why I have always been saying that Belgium is at the top of my list of European countries to visit..

The world's best beer without a shadow of doubt
Fantastic food
Really friendly people
More interesting history in a small area(for wargamers) than anywhere on the planet....

So that means ALL of the Hiltons will return to CRISIS 2012 with an extended stay in Belgium.

See you then

B

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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:41 pm
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Location: Scotland
barr7430 wrote:
The world's best beer without a shadow of doubt
Fantastic food
Really friendly people
More interesting history in a small area(for wargamers) than anywhere on the planet....


And don't forget their fantastic chocolate and my favourite detective.
It's been many years since I was last over there and needs to be rectified.
Cheers
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:15 pm
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Location: Berg aan de Maas
Hello Guys,

Also had a game with Barry was there with Sjefke123.
Thanks Barry for the nice game :D
We will be posting some pics and other stuff as soon we have mastered the game :wink:


Greetings,

Jeroen.

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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Location: EK,Scotland
Great to meet you Jeroen.

You guys live in the middle of one of the most exciting and busy parts of Europe for battlefields of this era...

remember the Dutch were major players at the time and so there are lots of exciting Dutch and Belgian related regiments, battles, personalities and incidents to uncover.

The uniforms and flags are excellent too!

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:56 am
Posts: 92
Location: The Netherlands
barr7430 wrote:
Nice to see so many forum members and names from over the years.. Alan, Bart, Burkhard, Patrick, Peter, William, Mats and loads more plus many knew gamers interested in the period. Overall, a great experience.... 8)


A tad late, but: a great experience it was indeed Barry. Nice to see yer glorious Dutch regiments up close. As to 'the thing' we discussed: I'll send you more info next week or so, we're still waiting on some input. And for 2012: I'd be more than happy to cooperate on a joint BLB demo. I'll even bring the Vikings :wink:

Cheers,

Mats


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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:57 am
Posts: 95
Location: Houston, Texas
Hello Patrick R,

Can you tell us more about the surviing portions of the Ekeren battlefield? I think that it is one of the more interesting battles of the war; howver, there is very little coverage of it in English. The French surprise and Dutch recovery would make a very good game.


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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:35 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Belgium
I did write a piece about the battle.

Meanwhile the French had noticed this movement and the French commander, Marshal Villeroi, ordered Marshall Boufflers to hasten towards Antwerp with a force of 15 squadrons of cavalry, 15 of dragoons and 30 companies of Grenadiers, joining up with the commander in Antwerp, the Spanish Marquess of Bedmar for a total of 20 battalions of infantry and 49 of cavalry. Against this Obdam could oppose 13 battalions of infantry and 40 squadrons of Cavalry.

The area north of Antwerp was one of polders, reclaimed from low areas subject to tidal floods. Large dykes and many drainage ditches made this otherwise open terrain difficult to cross for cavalry. Four main villages dominated this area. Ekeren, Wilmarsdonk, Oorderen and Hoevenen. French observers could see the Dutch army camped between the four church towers from the top of the Antwerp cathedral.

The French decided to trap the Dutch by sealing off their retreat towards Lillo or Bergen op Zoom. By cover of night they sent squadrons of dragoons to the villages of Kapellen, Hoevenen and Oorderen. The Dutch were in a strong position with dykes to the north and south. A frontal assault would be costly and they were only vulnerable to attack from the east. To the west was the Scheldt river and a marshy floodplain, all but impassable to most troops. The French army set off in the early morning to make a flanking move and would arrive in the afternoon after a long march.

When Dutch commanders generaals Frederik Johan van Baer Slangenburg and Claude-Frédéric t'Serclaes graaf van Tilly made a reconnaissance trip east towards the village of Brasschaat, they stumbled upon a picket of Dragoons firing at them from behind a hedge. They hastened back and sent cavalry to secure their rear at Hoevenen and Oorderen, but found the villages crawling with French dragoons and cavalry. The marshland to the west formed a bulge, the key of which was Oorderen, a village of some 30 families safe behid dykes and controlling the sluice that drained the surrounding polders of water. It is interesting to note that while Claude Frédéric served with the Dutch, another Tilly, Antonio Octavio Tserclaes de Tilly served the French side.

It seems that Marlborough had foreseen the possibility of a counter-attack and had asked Obdam to retire to the nearby fort of Lillo, but Obdam felt safe in his position and ignored the Duke’s warning.

With dragoons to their rear and troops attacking from the south and east, the Dutch began to pull back from their positions around Ekeren, falling back in echelons and leaving three battalions in Ekeren to cover the retreat. The terrain was ideal for this, with many ditches and hedges offering cover for the defenders while the dykes covered the flanks, preventing outflanking by cavalry.

At first Slangenburg ordered troops to take Hoevenen, but as more troops arrived, the action switched towards the more westerly Oorderen. Meanwhile the French managed to take Ekeren. Several cavalry charges were attempted, but failed to dislodge the Dutch or break their orderly retreat.

Dutch troops attack Oorderen and manage to take the village, forcing the French to withdraw to the nearby sluice and regroup with reinforcements arriving soon. With limited numbers, the Dutch are driven out of Oorderen and the fight turns once again to the advantage of the French who boldly decide to send in the cavalry and drive off the Dutch around Oorderen and Wilmarsdonk. The charge ends up in front of Dutch artillery around Wilmarsdonk and the French cavalry is driven back. During the fighting General Obdam is separated from his troops and tries to rejoin them believing they are still holding Ekeren.

With Obdam missing, it falls to generals Slangenburg and Tilly to take charge. As the main front line falls back behind a strong position behind a small stream called the Wetering as the evening falls. It then becomes clear that the French infantry has arrived to late to fully engage the enemy, their long flanking march took them more than eight hours and has left them exhausted, while Boufflers’ reinforcements have been marching and fighting for more than 36 hours. French cavalry charges have exhausted themselves over difficult terrain though the terrain opens up progressively to the west. The Dutch cavalry had been patiently waiting for the French to move into the open and launch a devasting charge. Driving off several regiments and capturing several flags and standards.

With the pressure off the Dutch a final attack can be launched upon Oorderen. Running out of powder and shot the regiments Friesheim, Slangenburg and Prins van Nassau launch a bayonet charge, wading through a ditch and drive out the exhausted French dragoons. The way to the fort of Lillo is now wide open and the Dutch can now retreat, though they leave behind much of their baggage train and artillery.

Obdam realising the danger disguises himself as a Frenchman and manages to ride back to Breda and sends a message that he has escaped with thirty men and presumes that his army has been destroyed. Meanwhile Slangenburg also sends a message to the Staaten Generaal with the news that most of the army has escaped.

During the fighting around Oorderen, the French did make an unusual prisoner, Tilly’s wife Anne Antoinette d'Aspremont-Lynden countess of Reckheim, who had come down from Lillo to dine with her husband, was caught by dragoons and taken to Marshall Boufflers. The French have captured a large haul of silver, 6 cannon, 2 heavy mortars, 6 flags, two standards and 300 carts and chariots.

The villages north of Antwerp suffered greatly during the fighting and one of the country houses formerly belonging to the painter Rubens was razed to the ground. The defeat at Ekeren was a set back for Marlborough’s Great Design and he shifted the focus of his campaign towards Liege, still fearing to cross the lines of Brabant. He would then take his army into Germany to the small town of Blindheim in 1704 and not return until 1705.

After a court-martial, General Obdam was relieved from his command and was made governor of ’s Hertogenbosch and ambassador to the Palatinate. Slangenburg would replace him as commander, but being one of Marlborough’s most vocal critics, after Blenheim, he believed that the Dutch army was being used as cannon fodder in campaigns deep into Germany, leaving the republic undefended. He was therefore replaced by Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk who shared Marlborough’s ideas and was very cooperative.

As the Dutch left the field, it has been recognized as a French victory, but the majority of the Dutch army did escape to safety calling it the “Miracle of Ekeren”. Through their continued presence, drew away troops from the lines and helps Marlborough’s crossing of the Meuse river in 1705, isolating Antwerp which surrendered to general Cadogan three weeks later.

More in the next post


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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:35 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Belgium
Of the terrain :

http://www.digam.net/tmp/digam_3623_1.jpg.pdf
http://www.digam.net/tmp/digam_3625_1.jpg.pdf

The area North of Antwerp was mostly polders. Some areas were floodlands behind dykes. It is flat terrain, mostly fields with few trees, high points would generally give a wide view.

The Dutch troops were encamped in the area between what is today the Ekerse Steenweg http://g.co/maps/79ns3 and the Kapelsesteenweg. http://g.co/maps/ytzca
In front of castle Veltwijck up to the Caterheide windmill at Mariaburg (parts of which still exist today. http://g.co/maps/sn23n

Sadly much of the battlefield is gone, two of the villages, Oorderen and Wilmarsdonck were cleared by the expansion of the port of Antwerp in the 1960's. Lillo survives as a small tourist attraction.

The area around Hoevenen has remained somewhat open, mostly farmland and gives you a good idea of how it may have looked back in the day. Some of the tracks and small roads survive to this day. It's quite easy to work out the terrain when comparing google earth with the maps at the Marburg Digital Archive.


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 Post subject: Re: Crisis 2011
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:57 am
Posts: 95
Location: Houston, Texas
Patrick R;

Thank you for the battle description and the information regarding the current state of the battlefield. Your concise, ordered description of the action is most helpful.


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