Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Convoy

Barcelona harbour, 17th August 1713

At the sight of the small fleet he had been hurriedly gathering on the last days, General Prado could not avoid the thought that it was a good thing to be sponsored by the overseas traders' powerful guild. Thanks to these influent businessmen, he had been granted not only three small cargo ships to carry his expedition, but had been assured the convoy protection by the two currently active warships in the still half-born Catalan Navy.

Besides, it had been agreed with the recently arrived Maltese frigate to sail off Barcelona harbour all together, forming a joint convoy for mutual protection until their arrival in Majorca island. It was a good bid for the Catalan ships, for no warship of the Two Crowns was expected to risk incurring in a major diplomatic incident by shooting or being shot by a Maltese ship; but the advantages of such a temporary association were also perceived by the Maltese captain, who had in charge the hard mission of safely carrying Lady Elisenda in Genoa, where an Imperial legacy would be waiting for her.

General Prado had managed to persuade Colonel Corradó giving up in his fruitless trials for the projected IR11 Our Lady of Sorrows Regiment completion, to follow him instead in his own enterprise across the Islands. According to the plan both men agreed, they would sail for Majorca along with the men already enlisted by Corradó. At their arrival to the island, the 3 companies of the unborn Regiment would be splitted into 2 groups, so that Colonel Corradó would stay in Majorca along with two of these companies, which would become the core nucleus of two new Regiments -one of which would be put under direct command of the island’s Viceroy, while the other one would be assigned to the Sea Fusiliers force projected by the tradesmen. In the meanwhile, General Prado would continue his trip towards Sardinia island, along with the third company -with a similar target in mind. Both islands’ authorities were expectantly awaiting their arrival, because their respective lands dramatically lacked a solid defence setup, so that the need of a professional military advisor was eagerly noticed.

It was a clear day that morning, and a favorable slight breeze predicted a quick and easy journey, so that the small fleet set sails to the east without delay, leaving the heavily protected port and entering open sea, amidst a considerable public expectation.

[OK, this scene might be interpreted as some kind of alibi to show you my latest essays on the naval front... Not so really, but anyway this is a nice opportunity to talk about it... I felt a bit lazy about the beautiful albeit complicate models of Langton and similar, so that I've been searching for an easier alternative, and perhaps have finally find it among the number of dollhouse furnitures and complements in market: these actually small ships (none of which is larger than 4 cm) are coming ready sailed and painted, so that I've just had to add some paper ensigns and pennants to some, and little else. True that flags seem a bit disproportionate, but the ships themselves are so small that I had no other chance if wished the flags to be recognized! For similar size & visibility reasons, I've had to glue ensigns on top of mizzenmasts instead of placing them at the ships stern as expected... Anyway, they look actually pretty. I only guess if they'll be resistant enough to carry with a tabletop naval battle...]


Capt Bill said...

As an old navy man, I just love to see a fine squadron at sea. Well done, sir!

abdul666 said...

A subtle combination of bold moves and efficient diplomacy -and a fine looking convoy!

tidders said...

Nice looking convoy. Those dolls house model ships are super, I've used them for my SYW India project - I used HMS Victory and Clipper ship models - piccy :

-- Allan

Jeroen72 said...

Nice fleets! Compliments to both of you gentlemen!

Soldadets said...

They aren't completely finished yet -some minor touches still due. However, don't they look already lovely?