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Showing posts from April, 2013

It's Camerone Day!

So, what are we all doing for Camerone Day?

Two battalions of the Foreign Legion formed part of the French expeditionary force in Mexico. In 1863, their role was one of protecting the French lines of communication, but disease and combat took a heavy toll of the men. On April 30, one company of the 1st Battalion had been reduced to 62 men by attrition, and led by Captain Jean Danjou and two other officers (Sous-Lieutenants Maudet and Vilain) detached from headquarters to replace the company's own officers, who were ill. It was assgned to patrol along a road that was to be used by an important convoy. Not long after 0700, a patrol flushed out a large force of nearly 2,000 Mexican infantry and cavalry intent on ambushing the convoy. Danjou withdrew his command into an old hacienda near the village of Camerón de Tejeda. When the Mexican commander demanded the surrender of Danjou and his legionnaires, Danjou replied: 'We have ammunition. We will not surrender' and swore to figh…

Kings of the Air

I'm very happy to say I have just signed a contract with Pen and Sword Publishing, for a new book project. The proposed title is Kings of the Air: French Aces and Airmen of the Great War, and the book will be in the same style as my previous title for the same publisher, They Shall Not Pass: the French Army on the Western Front, published last year. The new title will make the same extensive use of original contemporary accounts by the aircrew themselves, taken from diaries, letters and interviews, to tell the story of the French Aviation Militaire during the First World War. Most of the accounts will be appearing in English for the first time; the remaining have all been translated from the French afresh. Delivery time for the manuscript is the beginning of December 2013.

In this blog, I hope to publish some material that just won't fit into the text, and other stuff connected with French aviation between 1914 and 1918.

The pictures are portraits by Henri Farré of Georges Gu…

The new West Riding flag - voting commences

Voting has started on choosing a new flag for the West Riding of Yorkshire. Go to and make your choice now! Voting closes on 23rd April, and the winning design will be announced on 24th May.

Edit: And the winner is ... A! Congratulations to the designer, Michael Faul