Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 74: Am I Dead?


Date: February 23, 1904 (2015)
Location: Entrenched Camp, Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
Situation: After The Battle
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Chronology
Sept. 25, 1900: Thugee armistice, recall from India and retirement.
April 30, 1903: Learns armistice broken by resurgent Thugee Army.
May 9, 1903: Recalled to duty in India to break the Thugees.
June 1903: Assumes command in Egypt as a ruse.
September 1903: Secretly departs Egypt for India.
Next four months: Assembles the Army.
Feb. 22, 1904 Gen. Pettygree Arrives at Tapi River Camp near Burhanpur.
Feb. 23, 1904: Battle of Burhanpur.
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See Previous Chapter 73 here:
http://generalpettygree.blogspot.com/2015/05/chapter-73-pettygree-wins-but-disaster.html
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Clicking on images enlarges them prodigiously.
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PREVIOUSLY

After the victory of Burhanpur, General Pettygree thanked the men within the entrenched camp.

He next rode outside the camp to thank and review the 9th Bengal Lancers.

As he wheeled Express to return to the enclosure....

Two of the defeated Thugee Host carefully aimed a singularly long jezail and....

Fired at the General.

Nahin, sahib khabadar. (Take care) General! Be still.
General --- GENERAL!

AN INSTANT LATER

"Call for the surgeon. --- General. --- GENERAL! Can you hear me?"

"Yes. --- I can hear you. --- But, I've lost my sight."

"He's unresponsive. We've lost him!"

"Confound it man. I CAN hear you! --- What's wrong with you?"

"Wait. --- I can see better now. --- Thank God. --- What is that light?"


"It's brilliance nearly blinds me. I should look away. But, it beckons."

"William. --- William Augustus Pettygree."

"Here I am. Who are you? --- What do you want and where am I?"

"There are many questions. Come hither and you will know."

"We are here --- at the crossing point."

"I beg your forbearance --- but the crossing to where?"

"Home."

"Preposterous. A moment ago I was reviewing the Lancers in India. However, my uniform is changed. I  must be dreaming and you are a vision in that dream. Or --- am I dead?"

"Walk with me William."

"I am compelled. I will."

"It is remarkably beautiful here. Resplendent. Radiant, loving and peaceful."

"All is as you sense and much more."

"Shall we cross to the other side?"

"Yes when your mission is completed --- or not --- as you choose."

"What do you know of my mission?"

"What you know interiorly."

"A riddle or ruse I dare wonder."

"Quiet your mind and reflect."

"Well. --- Duty, country, and honour."

"There is more, William."

"Christian tenets. Caring for my family. Doing what is right no matter the cost. Protecting those in need. Stopping barbarism. Creating justice. That is what I was doing last at Burhanpur.

"I have something to show you. Let's return to the bridge."

"Here you will decide whether to cross the bridge or...."

"Wait. I see people and animals in the distance coming this way."

"I can't identify them. Yet everyone appears familiar."

"You know them all William. Look more closely. More will come."

"Yes! Father and grandfather are there. My sister Charlotte plus old Trevelyan from the 10th Hussars. There's Roscoe my boyhood dog and..... But, they all died."

"Do they appear so?"

"I must go to them, but you bar my way. Why?"

"You are free to cross. However, if you pass the boundary on the other side of the bridge, you can not return to India, your wife Mary and your mission."

"I have a choice then?"

"Yes. However, before you decide, allow me to reveal images of what will be if you remain."

"A confident foe will arise. He could rival the malevolence of Roman Emperor Nero."

"He will be in his fifth decade. You will know him by a graying beard and turquoise jewel."

"He will travel to the palace of the Thugee Supreme Leader Muljadhi." 

"I have been summoned by Muljadhi. Take me to him."


"Wait here, if you please, Barra Sahib (great lord). Muljadhi will see you momentarily."

"You will be my Bahadur (champion) now that the Pettygree is dead. Attack and subjugate all unbelievers. It is the will of Kali."

"The Razzia will begin with the greatest ferocity today. We will take no prisoners."

"You may commence with our captives here."

"You Jawans (soldiers) of the infidel gora-logs (British) will serve as an example to all who oppose the Goddess Kali and her earthly minister Muljadhi. Kali will be pleased with your sacrifice.You will be the first of many thousands of  traitors and unbelievers upon whom she will feast."

"No Barra Sahib! We beg forgiveness."

"You will find forgiveness in the arms of Kali as you enter eternity. It is your fate."

"Make ready."

"Buzzards will feast upon your flesh scattering your bones across the land. FIRE!"

"I can't allow that malevolent creature to ruin millions of lives in India. I must go back. Will we meet again?"

"Yes, when the time is right. Godspeed William."
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CLOSING REMARKS

1) From Empress Miniature see Mutton Chop miniatures MC004 Lord Cirencester and Jazz Age Imperialism for several of the natives. The elephant is from Foundry. Muljadhi and Pettygree aboard his horse are 30mm Edward Suren castings. The bridge and buildings in the beginning are from Miniature Building Authority.

2) Dismounted lancers are mostly Old Glory. Mounted lancers and Imperial infantry are Connoisseur Miniatures.

3) I can't remember what company manufactures the woman.

4) Thank you Clive G. reminding me Parroom Station offers the nemesis in this story in their Extraordinary Personages as Captain Nemo.

5) Muljadhi's palace is an Ian Weekly creation from the collection of Der Alte Fritz.

6) Thank you for looking in. Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chapter 73: Pettygree Wins But Disaster Strikes

Date: February 23, 1904 (2015)
Location: Entrenched Camp, Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
Situation: Crescendo of Battle
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Chronology
Sept. 25, 1900: Thugee armistice, recall from India and retirement.
April 30, 1903: Learns armistice broken by resurgent Thugee Army.
May 9, 1903: Recalled to duty in India to break the Thugees.
June 1903: Assumes command in Egypt as a ruse.
September 1903: Secretly departs Egypt for India.
Next four months: Assembles the Army.
Feb. 22, 1904 Gen. Pettygree Arrives at Tapi River Camp near Burhanpur.
Feb. 23, 1904: Battle of Burhanpur.
----------
See Previous Chapter 72 here:
http://generalpettygree.blogspot.com/2015/04/chapter-72-to-entrenched-camp.html
----------
Clicking images enlarges them prodigiously.
----------
PREVIOUSLY

As the Brigade marched toward the entrenched camp's breached walls, Colonel Sinclair (2/72 Seaforth Highlanders) turned to his left noticing....

A large body of enemy horsemen dangerously maneuvering to turn the brigade's left flank. If countermeasures were not taken soon, the battle would be lost.

Turning Bonnie a mite so he could look to the rear, Sinclair said, 
"Well now. That's a fine thing.
Where the deuce is Pettygree and the Cavalry Reserve?
Ah dinnae ken! (I don't know)
Should we form square? --- Wait a moment!"

ACT II
THE CONCLUSION

The First Mountain Battery has deployed to face the Thugee cavalry and....

Here comes the General after swanning about I'm think'n.

The General and the 9th Bengal Lancers swung left to counter the enemy.

After this Sinclair entered the entrenched camp. A remnant of the Lincolns manned a sandbag wall whilst Seaforths clambered up ladders to defend the fort walls. 

More Highlanders arrived.

Soon the Thuggees came forward.

 They were too few and their charge would fail but....

Their purpose was to keep the Imperialists busy here --- so....

Their brothers could engage the 2/66th Foot outside the walls and....

Launch a surprise charge from a concealed position.

Green Sash swordsmen crashed into the 66th. though withering fire from above and front.

It worked. They were unstoppable. One company fell back under pressure.

The Imperial Company routed and the Tugs pursued at the top of the image. It also caused a bend in the line.

The Green Sash Swordsmen cut down the fleeing Imperials finding themselves disordered and marooned behind Imperial lines.

At the same time Grey Sash Riflemen came forward and then suddenly shifted....


To the right to more fully engage the 2/66th. Foot and so....

The Guru's Artillery could commence fire. Only a few ineffectual rounds were fired before long range rifle fire from the Seaforths manning the walls began picking off the gunners. Then....


The guns were suddenly abandoned - no doubt encouraged by the dissolution of  the Thugee Army.

And the Thuggees evanescently disappeared.
The battle was over.

LATER THAT DAY

The Brigade assembled on parade.

Upper Left to Right: Seaforths and 29th Bombay Miners and Sappers.
Bottom: 2/66th Foot (Berkshires)
Soldiers! Congratulations! --- Well done!

Your conduct in the defence was in the best traditions of the service.

Colonel Sinclair! The King is indebted to the Seaforths today as am I.
Colonel Blakeney. If not for cool service by  the Berkshires, we would have lost.

Lincolns! You held the camp against all odds before we arrived.

In spite of the atrophied condition....

Of these old walls.

Most amazing!

First Mountain Battery! How do you like your new acquisitions, eh?

Come on Frye.

9th. Bengal Lancers! You prevented disaster on our flank.

I am honoured to serve again with you General and it was....

A great day! Prodigiously good. I congratulate your success too.

Meanwhile, in a distant copse of pines....

Two Thuggees watch the celebration and aim a singularly long gun.

Then fire!

Nahin, sahib khabadar. (Take care) General! Be still.
General --- GENERAL!

CLOSING REMARKS

1) ------!!!!!!

2) The Battle of Burhanpur was played in two parts. Not shown in Chapters 72 or 73 was the initial coup de main launched by the Guru's Advance Guard. This was played in one of our fun Wednesday evening sessions. On the following Saturday we gathered for the Relief of the Entrenched Camp; the subject of this and the last chapter.

3) Our Saturday cast of players seated left to right: Keith L., Dan E. and Nick K. Standing left to right are John B., Chuck L., Morgan E. and yours truly Bill P. 

4) The pair of Tugs at the end are new castings from Empress Miniatures. The tower was custom-built by H.G. Walls. City Walls are from Kobblestone Miniature's Mediterranean range on loan from the collection of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz of Fife & Drujm Miniatures). See: http://www.kobblestone.ca/catalogue/mediterranean/index.htm

5) Imperial Losses: 2/66th Berkshires (29), 2/72nd. Seaforths (5), Lincolns (40) 29th Bombay Miners and Sappers (5), First Mountain battery (1), 9th Bengal lancers (0). Total = 80. The Lincolns took the brunt of the Gruru's wrath on Wednesday evening.

6) After the game D6s were thrown for all Imperial losses. A six was needed for recovery. Afterwards fourteen were deemed lightly wounded and returned to their regiments. I'll do this a couple more times to rebuild Imperial units some.

7) Thugee Losses: Unavailable. They were carried away.

8) The Guru had nearly 650 men available, about two and a half times Imperial numbers. Scenario dice throws disabled the Thuggees ability to mass. Imperial rapid fire bonuses also hindered them. It was true in those days that it was easy for an Imperial force to invade and initially succeed. To ultimately win, they needed to crush the opponent severely and secure native allies with goods, weapons and bribes. Did Pettygree finish it?

8) What say you?
Kindly place your remarks below at the word Comments.

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