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The Austro-Prussian War of 1866


Special Feature.
This last weekend I went over to Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic, to see the marking of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Koniggratz (3 July 1866). It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, which involved a lot of walking round battlefields, drinking Czech beer and generally having a good time.

The town was buzzing, and on the Saturday – the day before the big re-enactment – there was a big parade of military bands and re-enactors in the town’s main square. Imagine muy surprise when I walked into it, only to stumble on two of my wargaming friends, Andrew Brentnall and John Drewienkiewics, sitting in pole position, drinking beer. It turns out “DZ” was leading abattlefield tour, and this was their treat – a grandstand view of the parade. I was asked to join them and spent a pleasant hour or so drinking beer and watching the festivities.

The two of them also wrote the Wargaming in History book on the opening battle of the 1866 war, and a second one on Koniggratz is coming out soon – possible before the end of the year.  Anyway, here are a few pictures of the re-enactors, doing their thing… some at a small event on the Saturday, where you could get up close to the action, and the rest from the big Sunday re-enactment of the main battle, which was notable for its pyrotechnics, and where you really needed good binoculars to see anything.

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