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"Child soldiers - do you have any and have seen action?" Topic

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553 hits since 19 Sep 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Col Durnford19 Sep 2022 5:03 p.m. PST

I have a few units of child soldiers in my collection that have seen limited action.

1) ACW VMI regiment never deployed (Musket Miniatures did them in 20mm)

2) Hitler Youth squad saw action once. The rules I was using required the leader to make an activation roll and he failed almost every time.

3) ZANLA a few figures that are smaller that the balance of the collection. Never made it to the table.

4) Zulu herd boys one action where the NNH and Colonial horse raid a Zulu village. The kids lost the herd as expected.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2022 5:10 p.m. PST

I do have a couple of African native children as part of the Foundry Zulu line and have used them as herders in a game or two, but that's all. I have no child soldiers!


smithsco19 Sep 2022 6:40 p.m. PST

I have child soldiers from Caesar's 1/72 middle East and African militia. They fought in a Black Hawk Down scenario we did.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2022 7:21 p.m. PST

Just HJ, about a battalion + a few small other units of them. A tiny fraction of my WWII Germans. Many but not all have seen action.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2022 7:28 p.m. PST

I also have the VMI from the ACW and they also have not seen any action yet! I have a few Hitler Jugend that have battled my Brits (and came out on the short end)

Grelber19 Sep 2022 7:37 p.m. PST

I've a beardless lad amongst my Vikings. In his one outing (a Pig Wars game), he would cooperate with an older warrior, who would attack the enemy and get a draw, then our lad would whack the foe from behind with his ax.


DisasterWargamer19 Sep 2022 8:06 p.m. PST

VMI and I use them to teach Fire and Fury with the Battle of New Market

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2022 9:14 p.m. PST

Good idea for a poll.

I don't have any.

I have seen some child soldier action on the tabletop, when I had a unit with Hitlerjugend and Volkssturm as a reserve in convention game set in eastern Germany in early 1945.

Striker19 Sep 2022 9:31 p.m. PST

I don't have any for my modern games but I would if they made them, don't know if anyone does.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Sep 2022 11:32 p.m. PST

"Young Javelinmen" as PS(I) in my DBMM celtic army. While the rules could be any inferior skirmisher unit, the minis (Plastic Soldiers Ultracast of Corvus Belli) do show them as young beardless teenagers at best.


advocate19 Sep 2022 11:48 p.m. PST


Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 1:40 a.m. PST

I have some Celt skirmishers that would be early teens.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 2:57 a.m. PST

I met one at university, he fought in an african civil war at age 13. Not a pleasant memory for him. I don't do much skirmish or 'modern' actions so unlikely to field any myself.

mildbill20 Sep 2022 6:27 a.m. PST

The ages of ACW soldiers makes almost any ACW game child soldiers. Particularly if you fight guerilla actions in the west. The soldiers in the ACW were very young.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 9:03 a.m. PST

Not proper soldiers. I have a few armed kids in my F&I War collection, and I've got a Foundry Germanic child from their ancient line throwing a rock. I might have a couple of armed kids in one of my zombie collections.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 9:07 a.m. PST

The odd drummer boy. No units. The temptation for me is an assortment of Volksturm and Jugend, some European civilians in 40's costume and some late war winners--US, British or Russian-- for the sort of guerilla war/terrorism scenarios usually fought out with French resistance figures, or as Irish uprising. But not a whole unit of kids--unless, as is mentioned, VMI or some equivalent. The Alcazar in the SCW? And I think there were Mexican cadets in the MAW.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 11:13 a.m. PST

I do have Celtic women, children and old men. They fight whenever the Romans attack a village. They are 60mm figures from Expeditionary force.

rmaker20 Sep 2022 12:16 p.m. PST

I have the Naoleonic Bavarian Cadet Battalion, used once for a "Defence of Munich" campaign battle. They were sort of an accident – a (non-wargaming) friend gave me a pack of 15mm Bavarians, not realizing that our group uses 20/25mm figures.

Blaubaer20 Sep 2022 12:59 p.m. PST

If you see pitures of the german soldiers in WW1, many seems to be very young, their faces look like 15 or 16 years old. Espescialy 1917 / 1918.
In the WW2 kids fight nearly at any side, many died. The plastic soldier sets have some armed kids included, so I will use them.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2022 6:11 p.m. PST

Not just them, Blaubaer. Kipling actually knew some ACW vets, and quoted a Confederate as saying that by the last year of the war, all the men were dead and they had an army of boys. Something about campaigning all winter and spring with 50,000 boys and never heard them laugh. I figure generally figure you pick up kids two years younger than the official draft/enlistment age. By late in a losing war it's usually not a lot worse than that, but they're a bigger percentage.

Lilian21 Sep 2022 10:06 a.m. PST

a lot in Latin American
Rio de la Plata 1806 against British invaders
Chapultepec 1847 Mexican Cadets against US invaders
Paraguay 1870 against Brasilian Argentinian Armies
1000 Days War in Columbia 1899-1903

Regiment of Pupils of the Imperial Guard and Ecole Polytechnique defending Paris 1814 against the Coalised, more teenagers and minors than children
but can be found many examples of child-soldiers throughout History among the ranks of the Armies

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 10:33 p.m. PST

PFC Dan Bullock, grew up dreaming of becoming a Marine!
Youngest USMC causality in Vietnam.
Enlisted at age 14, KIA at age 15.
I was two weeks past my 17th birthday when I enlisted in the Corp -- 6 months shy of 18 when I heard the first "zing" of actual enemy fire go past my head.

Russ Dunaway

arthur181523 Sep 2022 1:12 a.m. PST

I remember the Education Officer at the National Army Museum making a valid point about under age boys who tried – and sometimes succeeded – in the British Army in WWI.

When the school leaving age was fourteen, and boys that age could work underground in mines, ship on deep sea trawlers, labour in iron foundries &c., they would not have thought themselves too young to serve alongside older men, when they risked their lives doing a man's work in their peacetime jobs.

Although modern children may be more 'worldly wise' about matters such as sex because of the internet, many of them are actually less mature because of their lack of experience of everyday life and work.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2022 9:53 p.m. PST

I have used a troop of Boy's Brigade in Very British Civil War games.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2022 2:03 a.m. PST

When I was at school we were forced to participate in a thing called the CCF. It supposedly stood for Combined Cadet Force but it was backronymed to things like Child Cannon Fodder, Clearly Completely F*cked and so on. You polished your toecaps, you put on a uniform and marched around pointlessly for three years of your Friday afternoons. We did actually have about 8 or 10 SMLEs plus a similar number rebored for 0.22. As a special treat you were allowed to shoot a few rounds. So in theory we were quite tooled up.

One of the guys in the wargaming society had a unit of CCF "troops". It was IIRC a mix of plastic WW2 and WW1 figures who looked suitably weedy next to 20mm metals. He used to use them in 1940 scenarios basically to watch them get annihilated. I think he was proving some sort of point to himself. He did not enjoy the CCF, either.

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