Friday, 31 July 2009

Baltic retail therapy

As you might have noticed from my last blog entry, I did manage a bit of retail therapy during my cruise around the Baltic.

In Copenhagen I bought some very nice pre-painted model houses. They are very typical of the type found in that part of Scandinavia but are also useable in many other European city settings.

The 'Budenny' caps (or budionovka) I bought in Russia were – in my opinion – a bargain as I will be able to use them when fighting Russian Civil War battles. There is nothing like wearing a 'silly' hat to put players into the right mood!

The caps are named after Marshal of the Red Army Semyon Mikhailovich Buddeny (also spelt Budyonny), who commanded the First Cavalry Army during the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Polish War. He later went on to command troops facing the German invasion in 1941, where he proved to be a disaster. He lost 1.5 million men killed, wounded, or taken prisoner during the Battles of Uman and Kiev. Despite this he remained a favourite of Stalin’s, and was not executed. In fact he retired as a ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ and did not die until 1973.


  1. Those houses are great . . . and I like the caps too.

    -- Jeff

  2. Bluebeard Jeff,

    I bought one of each of the different houses that the shop was selling ... and now think that I should have bought a few more.

    The caps are reproductions (probably made out of old army blankets!) but are fully lined and quite well made. My wife does dressmaking, and commented that the amount of work that went into making each cap made the price - 10 Euros each - very cheap by UK standards.


  3. Love the hats! Such a change from peaked caps and furry hats.

    Budyonny is a classic example of the Peter Principal, - a man promoted to his level of incompetence. Thoroughly recommend his "The Path of Valour" if you can get a copy.

  4. Trebian,

    They are rather different, which is why they said 'buy me' when I saw them.

    Budenny was obviously aware of his own cerebral limitations. At the time of the infamous purges, he is recorded as having said to another cavalry general - Gorodnikov - "Don't worry, they won't touch us. They're only taking the smart ones."

    I will look out for his book; it sounds like it could be quite an enlightening read.

    All the best,



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