Sunday, May 31, 2020

DBA Special: III/25b Arab Conquest (30mm flat Zinnfiguren)

DBA Book III List 25b: Arab Conquest 639 to 660 AD

This is the army that fought the Byzantines at Yarmuk in 636.  Yes, there is an anomaly with the dates ... list b starts in 639, but Khalid's army at Yarmuk in 636 matches the later list, particularly in respect of the regular cavalry contingent (known to Arab historians as Khalid's Mobile Guard) who went on to win the battle.

The figures are 1960s flats originally painted by Phil Barker to play the Tony Bath ancients game.  They pre-date WRG.  I refurbished and rebased them for the Battle of Yarmuk project (for the DBA3 Great Battles of History compilation).

At the time, the DBA armies page didn't exist and the 2 command/24 element armies for the project vary from standard (to simulate the armies present for the battle).  For this gallery, I have extracted into a single command 12 elements that match the orthodox list.

(Islam's finest commander - the Sword of Allah)

Known as the Sword of Allah (in Arabic سيف الله), Khalid ibn Al-Waleed was arguably the greatest general of his age and, whatever the odds, was never defeated.  He commanded at the Yarmuk.  He was a master in the rapid use of cavalry to outflank and encircle the enemy.

(vintage 30mm flats: quintessential Arab lancers) 

 (Arab archers)

The infantry had to draw in and hold the enemy while the cavalry did their work.  They were stoic fighters, rated by DBA as swordsmen (4Bd) but had camels (at least, to aid mobility in the desert) and at Yarmuk, were partially re-armed with spears to enable them better to protect their archers (hence my improvised mix of swords, spears, camels and bows) ...

(although DBA's notes emphasise straight Arab swords, these vintage figures carry the trademark curved scimitar) 

Yarmuk is another of those battles where the engagement went right up to line of the (Arab) encampments.  This was either an indication of how close Khalid came to losing the battle (the traditional explanation) or (as I believe) shows him using a deliberately weak and vulnerable deployment to draw the enemy forward in order to trap them.

Either way, camps are fought over in this battle and are not just decorative.

(the last line of defence at the battle of Yarmuk) 

This army pairs with Maurikian Byzantine

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