Sunday 21 April 2013

The Deadliest Strike in U.S. History...

You may recall a couple of years back I posted about The Redneck War that occurred in West Virginia in 1921 and ended with the Federal government using planes to bomb the miners. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre, a pretty shameful incident in in the 14-month (1913-1914) Southern Colorado Coal Strike sparking what became known as the Colorado Coalfield War.

With the Colorado National Guard acting on behalf of the employers alongside the strike breakers of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, the United Mine Workers of America decided to arm its members and following the massacre, when the Guard machine gunned a miners camp killing women and children, the striking miners launched a ten day guerilla war before the Federal government stepped in disarming both sides.

Wargaming the Coalfield War could be quite simple exercise. Miners could be represented with a mix of suitable Old West and Victorian working class types as could the mine guards. The National Guard  seem to have a mix of doughboy and cowboy hats and a number of manufacturers produce Pershing Expedition miniatures which could be used. The addition of homemade armoured vehicles (such as the Guard's 'Death Car' pictured above) would add an interesting element.


  1. !!!!!!!! Never heard of this. How many would have they killed if the Train hadn´t have turned up?

  2. Kind of a "comunist" revolt before the Soviet revolution!!

    Bits of history like this tend to vanish... Thanks for sharing it!

  3. There's a memorial to the massacre in Ludlow. It doesn't get much visitation. It's certainly not a part of their history that the Colorado Guard likes to talk about, but that's pretty easy because almost no one here knows anything about it.

  4. Wow, never heard of this, I will favourite this vid on youtube as well.

  5. Interesting and little known story... more of this please!

  6. An interesting period in US and Colorado History. There were many such miners strikes that ended in similar violence, Cripple Creek, Silverthorne, Leadville etc. So there is a slew of material you can expand on for wargaming purposes.