Mughal weighing ceremony

This scene from Mughal India in the early 17th century depicts Emperor Jahangir weighing his son Prince Khurram against valuable goods, including gold and silver, as part of his 15th birthday celebration. Based on a contemporary painting, Jahangir stands in the centre with the prince, who is seated on a large golden scale; both areContinue reading “Mughal weighing ceremony”

Assault on Fort Eben-Emael, 10th May 1940

On this day in history – 10th May 1940 – German paratroopers launched a glider-borne assault on the fort of Eben-Emael in Belgium, paving the way for the invasion of France and the Low Countries. Ten gliders, carrying less than 80 men, would take the fort by surprise, while another group would capture the nearbyContinue reading “Assault on Fort Eben-Emael, 10th May 1940”

Allied ski troops, Norway, 1940

Following on from my previous post, this picture (partly based on a black-and-white photograph) depicts a group of French and Norwegian troops preparing to march with their skis during the German invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung). French chasseur alpins (mountain infantry) were among the thousands of French, British and Polish troops that landed in mid-AprilContinue reading “Allied ski troops, Norway, 1940”

Nimbus motorcycle troops, 9th April 1940

On this day in history – 9th April 1940 – German forces launch Operation Weserübung, the simultaneous invasions of Denmark and Norway, in order to secure access to iron ore supplies as well as the Baltic Sea and Northern Atlantic. The above picture depicts a detachment of Danish troops operating Nimbus MC motorcycles with sidecar-mountedContinue reading “Nimbus motorcycle troops, 9th April 1940”

Sipahi, mid-17th century

This Ottoman heavy cavalryman wears armour of typical mail-and-plate construction. His decorated cicak helmet features a sliding nasal bar and a mail aventail to protect the throat and neck. The zirh mail shirt is supplemented by a korazin cuirass of torso and shoulder plates, as well as kolluk vambraces and dizcek armour protecting the kneeContinue reading “Sipahi, mid-17th century”

Janissary musketeer, late 16th century

Continuing the Ottoman theme, here is a figure study of a Janissary armed with a matchlock musket. These elite infantrymen were distinguished by a long fabric headdress with brass band and tube-shaped plume-holder. Firearms had seen extensive use in Ottoman campaigns by the late 16th century; typical musketry equipment would include a pouch containing musket-balls,Continue reading “Janissary musketeer, late 16th century”

Ottoman commander, early 16th century

Figure study of a senior Turkish officer, dressed in the finely embroidered and fur-lined clothing typical of many high-ranking officials in the Ottoman Empire. Robes of silk could afford some protection in battle while also keeping the wearer cool in hot climates. The large and thick turban was a mark of rank and could functionContinue reading “Ottoman commander, early 16th century”

Ethiopian call to arms, 1896

On this day in history – 1st March 1896 – the Battle of Adowa was fought, the result of colonial tensions between Italy and Ethiopian emperor Menelik II. Italian forces under Major-General Oreste Baratieri were defeated by Menelik’s sizeable and well-armed army in what would become one of the costliest defeats ever suffered by aContinue reading “Ethiopian call to arms, 1896”

Tank charge at Beda Fomm, 7th February 1941

On this day in history: The Battle of Beda Fomm (5th-7th Feb 1941) draws to a close, with British forces successfully cutting off a retreating Italian column 62 miles south of Benghazi. This would be the last major engagement of Operation Compass, which saw British forces under Lt General Richard O’Connor successfully advance 500 milesContinue reading “Tank charge at Beda Fomm, 7th February 1941”

Battle of Falkirk, 17th January 1746

The second major engagement of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion to restore the Stuart monarchy, Falkirk was yet another swift success for the rebel Highlanders against Hanoverian government forces under Lt Gen Henry Hawley. Depicted above is a scene from the opening phase of the battle. The government forces, having marched uphill in wet and windyContinue reading “Battle of Falkirk, 17th January 1746”