Thursday, February 25, 2010

Company patrol part I I

Sergeant Felson equipped the squads for the patrol with Hauptman Fuchs occasionally glancing their way as he instructed the squads Unterleutenants. Sergeant Felson let the Jaegers and their Gefreiters know in no uncertain terms that his orders came from Hauptman Fuchs and they would obey without hesitation.

Having sorted out the squad leaders Hauptman Fuchs spoke to the platoon leaders and sent them on their way. Upon his return he nodded to Sergeant Felson and he rousted the Jaegers and the march began. Sergeant Felson set a steady pace just as the Hauptman likes and the patrol covered the 7 miles to the smugglers ford easily under 2 hours.
Nearing the ford Hauptman Fuchs brought the patrol to a halt and directed Sergeant Felson and the Unterleutenants to join him for a quick reconnoiter.

Jaeger Khol noticed that when the officers mover foreword to check out the position the Gefreiter were directing each Jaeger to now carefully load their weapons and stressing that no excuse would be accepted for an accidental discharge. Furthermore each of the newer Jaegers were cautioned to remain silent so as not to give warning to any potential opponent.

Upon Unterleutenant Reinhardts return he ordered the Jaeger teams to form up. Jaeger Khol moved to the right and behind Gefreiter Gruber and stood at attention awaiting orders. Reinhardt told the Jaegers that their squad would move foreword and keep over watch on the ford till the other groups closed on their position. They would be relieved at dusk by one of the other squads and pull back to their present position and await the rest of the company.

Quietly and deliberately Khol followed Gefreiter Gruber into the woods. He could see the rest of the squad divided into their pairs advance in a skirmish line into the woods. Just before they exited the woods Unterleutenant Reinhardt signaled for the squad to halt and settle into hidden positions. Heinrich soon found the hardest part of an over watch was the keeping silent as the hours slowly ticked by.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fixing wheels

Wheels are the hardest item to get a perfect casting from. I have found that if you can get most of the spokes to come out they will provide the strength for the wheel. These 40mm wheels are easier as they are larger.

Step 1 find a likely candidate for repair.

Step 2 file the wheel flat on the rim and file a notch on the inside of the rim.

Step 3 cut a flat toothpick to size and cover with white glue and place one end against the inner spoke or hub and the other end in the notch on the outside rim.

Step 4 Repeat until all the wheel is fixed.

Use white glue as it gives time to get the spokes in and if a mistake is made it is easy to remove and correct. Super Glue is not I repeat Not advised as this is a hands on procedure and white glue does not try to permanently join your fingers.
Flat toothpicks are advisable as you can hunt for a section that matches the spokes to be replaced.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Company patrol part I

Hauptman Fuchs called all his officers and non-commissioned officers to his quarters for a morning conference. He laid out plans for a search of the river for signs of incursions by Harzburg agents.

Oberleutenant Bogenschutze was directed to search the river six miles north and head south. Oberleutenant Schwartz was directed to search the river six miles south and head north. Hauptman Fuchs stated that he and Sergeant Felson would take command of 2 squads from each platoon and check out the main smugglers ford in the middle and wait for the rest of the company to join before heading back to camp.

Each man would be expected to march light and fast with 3 days rations and 60 rounds. No tents would be carried and each Jaeger and officer would sleep on the ground with their bedroll should the operation take more than a day.

Unterleutenant Reinhardt returned form the conference and had Gefreiter Gruber line up the men for roll call inspection. Following the inspection each man was ordered to empty their canteen and refill it with fresh water. Then they were ordered to empty their shoulder packs of all personal items and report back for an operation.

Jaeger Khol was quickly empting his pouch when Gefreiter Gruber looked in and calmly told him his belongings would be secure as 12 Jaegers on sick company sick call would be the camp guard till they returned. Heinrich’s relief showed when he smiled and hurried to rejoin the line.
Heinrich saw other squads from his platoons forming into line and getting their marching orders.

Sergeant Felson marched over to Platoon B and surveyed the scene. He could see the squads in varying stages of getting sorted out for the operation. He saw 2 squads ready for marching and went to Sergeant Kraft to inform Oberleutenant Schwartz that Unterleutenant Hahn and Unterleutenant Reinhardt would be accompanying Hauptman Fuchs. The squads should assemble at supply at once. Sergeant Felson then turned and headed to supply at a fast pace to complete arrangements before Hauptman Fuchs arrival.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jaeger Khol learns

Day by day the training gets easier as Heinrich and his fellow recruits learn their craft. Quickly their number decrease as those unable to hit the target are encouraged to transfer to a line regiment while the choice is theirs. The 100 recruits have now become 40 potential Jaegers with the target now at 270 paces. The 40, as they call themselves, are able to hit the target 3 out of 6 times at this range and their Sergeant states that only with an expensive rifled hunting rifle could they do better.

The 40 are now joined by the 80 members of Jaeger Company B with Sergeant Felson his company sergeant. Heinrich and his mates are divided among the 2 platoons and paired with seasoned Jaegers to speed up their training. Schwabian Jaegers operate in pairs so that that while one is shooting the other is loading to keep the rate of fire constant.

Heinrich is assigned to Gefreiter Hans Gruber, who has 6 years of honorable peacetime service.Following morning inspection each new team sets out into the woods to drill.Heinrich is pleased to learn that before joining the Jaegers Gefreiter Gruber was a forrester and helped his father. Gefreiter Gruber was pleased to learn that Heinrich is literate and competent with computations. Gefreiter Gruber said that with time he could advance since he could help write copies of reports for the companies officers.

Finaly the day arrived when Heinrich was able to obtain pen and paper to write a letter home to tell his family he was doing well. He told of his good performance reports and praise from his instructors. He was proud to tell his father of his company commander Hauptman Fuchs. Oberleutenant Schwartz commands his platoon in company B or Fuchs company as they call it.

Unterleutenant Reinhardt was the new commander in charge of his squad. Unterleutenant Reinhardt is as new to his job as Heinrich is to his, having just graduated for the Schwabian Acadamy. Heinrich is pleased to report that Unterleutenant Reinhardt grew up in the Jagers as his father commanded this company prior to his retirement due to injuries. Heinrich is proud to tell his father that he is well placed to learn from the best that Schwabia has in the Jaegers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Upon arriving at the Jaeger encampment near Zwilling-Eichen, Heinrich’s instruction truly began. His seargent began the introduction shouting, “Just because you recruits think you can load a musket does not mean you are Jaegers. Untill you recruits can hit more than the broad side of a barn do not get to attached to those green coats. I am Seargent Felsen, from this day forewards you will learn your duties and obey your orders. Jaegers do not waste powder and ball. You must earn those coats and misters you will earn those coats or I will send you either to some line batallion or a garrison company. You will not disgrace that coat, for the Jaegers disgrace is dealth. ”

With that introduction Heinrich and the other recruits were marched to the practice field. Each recruit was given 7 rounds and shown a man sized target set up 180 feet away. “You must hit that target 5 out of 7 times to be allowed to keep that coat. Today we will see just how much work will be needed. Keep in mind that in 7 days you must pass this test for real.” with those words in his ears Heinrich took his first shots as a Jaeger.

Sergeant Felsen Pulled Heinrich out and handed him a musket pointing to the target. Sweat formed on his brow as he carefully loaded and took careful aim. The hammer fell and the flash from the pan was followed by the roar and kick from the musket. As the smoke cleared a cheer rang out from his fellows as he had hit the target dead center of the chest. Sergeant Felsen slapped him on the back and said,” that’s enough for now, best not tempt fate today, next recruit step forward.”

Of the 100 recruits only 30 hit the target on the first day. Heinrich and his fellow recruits began intense instruction on care of their muskets, uniform, and rules. Instruction was followed by marching in full field pack and gear. After miles and miles of marching, lunch awaited them at camp. Once lunch was cleared away, Inspections and instructions began again. Arriving at the practice field for live fire practice was viewed as a joyful release. Following target practice a leisurely 10 mile hike got the recruits appetite up for their supper. Sleep was not hard for any recruit to find and Heinrich found sleep on the hard ground is easy when you are exhausted.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heinrich Kohl

Heinrich Kohl listened to the announcement from the Schwabian Minister of defense calling for all young men to enlist for service in the militia or field forces. Those men who were necessary for production of food or goods would be placed together in militia units for local defense.

Heinrich received encouragement from his father and placing his belongings in a cloth bag he set off to do his bit to protect Schwabia from Harzburg. He joined young men from his area for service in the militia. Heinrich learned that only the best potential soldiers would be called to the field forces at this early stage of the conflict.
Daily the recruits are drilled and taught to carry out their orders. A dulling routine became apparent to Henrich. At the break of dawn he is awakened by bugles and drums. After a quick wash he is expected to be dressed and arranged for morning inspection. Then his group would march to the mess and be fed their breakfast. Once breakfast was complete the men would go for firearms training.

At this stage the men would lay their arms on the ground and listen to their training officer, then they would pick up their arms and go through the maneuvers without the use of powder or ball. Over and over the men would go through the drill. Place hand on ammo pouch, open pouch and bring out a cartridge, bring cartridge to mouth and bite off the end, prime the firing pan, pour powder into the barrel, load cartridge into the barrel, remove ramrod, use ramrod to ram the ball in the cartridge down the barrel, tamp the ball in place, replace the ramrod, bring musket up, cock the hammer, take aim and upon order fire musket. Heinrich was able to recite the procedure without mistake bringing words a praise from his instructors.

After weeks of training Heinrich Kohl and his comrades are inducted in to the Schwabian Leagues armed forces. Due to his hard work and display of professionalism he has been selected for service in the Schwabian Jaegers and has won the right to wear the green coat. Heinrich knows that he will be among the first to see action with the enemy. His father is pleased because only those with quick wits and professional bearing get into the Jaegers. A cabbage farmers youngest son will have the opportunity to see more than the farm.