Eritrean Askaris: the platoon

 

Gents,

The platoon is finished. Here are a few more shots showing off these lovely figures. Ideally we’d like to see some Eritrean mounted Askaris at some point but we’ll need to wait around for an intrepid sculptor and manufacturer to make them.

The uniforms are painted using Wargames Foundry Paint color 11C then a dark Army Painter dip, somewhat thinned so as not to produce to darkening an effect.

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Eritrean Askaris: command group

 

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Gents,

Continuing on with a few more finished figures for the Italian Askaris. The command group is made up mostly of Askari Miniatures figures. Though the figure range is a little more limited than the Empress range it has some nice differing poses creating more unique characters in the platoon. They also have some unique figures that Empress do not do and match well in size and heft – recommended.

The Italian flag is by Flags of War – excellent flags! The Eritrean one is hand made…I think it came out OK so was pleased with that one.

 

…some pics

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Eritrean Askaris…East Africa

Suitably inspired by the guest post pitting the Italians against a combined Franco-Ethiopian army I resolved to get my Italian Askaris finished, which for too long have been in the painting queue.

So without further ado, here is a bit of background on the organisation of the askaris along with some pics of the first of the Askari force , the infantry organised for Chain of Command or Bolt Action, as and when the mood takes. For those that want more info on the platoon list for Chain of Command you can grab them here.

 

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Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali

The Italian Royal Corps of Colonial Troops, the Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali, were principally comprised of Eritrean Ascaris in the north and Arabo-Somali Askaris in the south. The RCTC included infantry, machine gun, cavalry and artillery units. Their cavalry, the ‘Penne di Falco’ were the major regular mounted arm the Italians had in the Abyssinian War.

The Royal Corps of Colonial Troops, shared a common structure at platoon level with the Italian Royal Army, but typically used older weapons, or those gained as war-reparations from Austro-Hungary after the Great War. Somali and Eritrean infantry retained traditional unit and rank titles, which themselves had been borrowed from the Turks and Egyptians. Baluc was the Italianised term applied to platoons, although in its original form Baluch it actually meant a ‘half- company’.

The Baluc was led by an Italian junior officer, collectively termed a zabet by his men. Usually he would be assisted by an ascari acting as an assistente (servant-runner) and an Italian-speaking NCO, who also performed the typical tasks of a platoon sergeant.

This balucbasci would typically be an experienced ascari, but not necessarily of platoon leader quality. The three squads which composed the baluc were each led by a basci (sergeant), who had a muntaz (corporal) as his vice-comandante and eleven ascari under his command.

With the exception of the zabet who carried a pistol, all other ranks carried either a 6.5mm Carcano M.91 rifle or war-reparation 8mm Mannlicher M.95 rifles (known as the ‘ta-pum!’) in the pre-existing battalions. One type of rifle across a battalion was usual.

There were apparently few 6.5mm Breda M.30 automatic rifles passed to the RCTC and at best one might be present in a single squad in the baluc. The new units raised for the Abyssinian adventure were even less fortunate and while there were some Mannlichers available, the 6.5mm Vetterli-Vitelli M.70/77/15, or even the black powder 10mm Vetterli-Vitelli M.70/77 rifle were issued.

..now some pics…

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