Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Tonkin Wars - Resources - Help I don't speak French

Greetings Colonial Wargamers!

Part of the challenge of doing a colonial war is finding good resources, especially in English, when the combatants are not English!!

I have listed nearly all the resources I can think of for the Tonkin Wars below. This includes histories, wikipedia, uniform information, etc.

Osprey's new French Naval & Colonial Troops 1872 - 1914: Great for uniforms and some history. 

Foundry Books, which may no longer be in print. This is the Indo-China and Burma one:

War and Peace in Hanoi and TonkinBy: Hocquard, Edouard from White Lotus Press

Wikipedia French version translated. This has more information than the English version when I last checked. Online translation is available. This is great for French Orders of battle. 

The Tonkin Campaign of 1884 by James G. Scott (Nafzinger collection)

Nafzinger also has unit histories you can download for all the French Colonial troops. 

Sino-French Naval War 1884-1885


There are plenty of ebooks in English and French in archive.org. You may also have to weed out the US Gulf of Tonkin titles.


Photos, Drawings, and Sketches

Searching the web can yield some tremendous finds, but you should use both French and English spellings of the locations and units to get the images. Here are a couple I found.

Well, I hope you find this useful for your new Colonial Wargame project!!


Monday, July 18, 2022

Tonkin Wars 1883 - 1885

 Long time no posts!

I've moved from my long-time home of Charlotte, NC to my future retirement location of Southport, NC. Life is great but losing your wargame buddies of 30+ years is hard!!!!

I have found a couple wargamers here, but they are scattered and hard to coordinate a time to play. Sigh.

Good news is that I have found many gamers for Euro Style games that my family loves to play, so I'm gaming once a week in that area.

Here is a couple photos of the new place and views. All photos are clickable for larger resolution.

Being on a wargaming hiatus has given me time to focus on painting miniatures, which I have done in months if not years! I do have a new "war room" above the garage, but roughly half the storage of my old massive house. I may have to start selling off collections\games.

Tonkin Wars

I have a lot of Boxer Rebellion miniatures and some can be used as double-duty in the jungles\rice fields of Tonkin during the late 1800s. 

French Army

Most, if not all, of the miniatures are rare 15mm Frontier figures. I have put together this small force, which can represent about 6000 to 8000 troops. This was the size of most French columns in the war. I have plenty of Chinese from my Boxer Rebellion collection, but I do have to paint some Black Flag units (I have the figures, just need the time). My French army is comprised of the following units:

2 x Line Infantry battalions

2 x French Foreign Legion

2 x Fusilier Marin

2 x Turcos

1 x Zouaves

1 x Annamite Riflemen (Tirailleur) - Could be used as Tonkinese.

1 x Tonkinese Riflemen - Could be used as Annamites

1 x Chinese Riflemen

2 x Sailors

1 x Gun (Sailors)

I have to make a couple more command stands and artillery units. Gunboats would be used from my Boxer range. French used the Hotchkiss gun\cannon from their gunboats to great effect.

Some photos of the army (only about half showing):

Missing Legion, Line, and another Turco battalion. 

Link to some gunboat photos from my Boxer collection.

Some sketches of the combat in the war:

NOTE: I have PDF on the conflict that I have cobbled together, so if you would like a copy just email at my new email: ericbu2025 AT gmail DOT com.

NOTE 2: if you happen to have extra Frontier miniatures from the Boxer rebellion range let me know and I may purchase them from you. I'm mainly looking from French Marines, which I can paint as line or legion.

Game on!