The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: May 2015

How it all came to be

I managed to finalize the translation of “About the General Staff” today. the original article was in German, and since I dropped the second language from the website, I had to translate it. the article describes the history of this website, intermixed with some personal information, various ramblings and other things probably not very interesting, but if you really need to know how this website started, there you go.
It also adds another item to my todo-list: Writing up a short article about the original Generalstab.

Finally – a new content management system

It might be nothing that gets most of you exited, but behind the scenes I have worked for the better part of two years to finally transfer the Generalstab Archives into a WordPress-driven website. The initial migration was easy, except that every single post still needed to be cleansed of PHP remnants, reformatted and categorized. The work still isn`t done, as a quick look into the archive section will tell, but frankly, I was not willing to wait any longer with going public.  So here is the biggest Generalstab update since 2012:

  • The home-brewn PHP-based, hand-coded pages have been transferred into a WordPress CMS
  • A complete new section containing all Europa-games ever published has been added, with scans and pictures of charts, maps, and boxes where available. (Note to the concerned reader: We have taken great care that the resolution of the images makes them readable, but is low enough to rule out any copyright violation.) Oh, and did I mention that we also added covers of all TEM magazines ever published, and of course the Glory and Great War-Series, too?
  • A nice responsive template that leaves lots of room for the relevant stuff, which in this case is: text.
  • Several new game reports, one of them being Greg Bartels description of his experiences with the Iraq Campaign Scenario from War in the Desert
  • Maps and other images from the public domain added to the essay section

We are looking forward to your feedback.

The Generalstab Archive lives by the contributions of the community, and we take great care to make sure we have permission for every single piece we publish. However, if you find anything you think is yours, or shouldnt be online, please drop us a line and let us know, and we will take the incriminated content offline immediately.

The Official British History of World War One

Note: The earlier volumes of this work are available on archive org, we will ad the links as as time permits, and as the volumes become available online.


Military Operations

The volumes of the British Official History: Military Operations are as follows:

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1914

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1915

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1916

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1917

Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1918

Military Operations: Gallipoli

Military Operations: Italy, 1915-1919, Brigadier-General Sir James E. Edmonds and H.R. Davies, 1949

Military Operations: East Africa, 1914-1916

  • Volume I, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Nordern, 1941
  • Volume II, unpublished

Military Operations: Togoland and the Cameroons, 1914-1916, Brigadier-General F.J. Moberly, 1931

Military Operations: Macedonia

  • Volume I: From the Outbreak of War to the Spring of 1917, Captain Cyril Falls, 1933
  • Volume II: From the Spring of 1917 to the End of the War, Captain Cyril Falls, 1935

Military Operations: Egypt and Palestine

Military Operations: Mesopotamia

Naval Operations

Five volumes by the official Royal Navy historian Sir Julian S. Corbett (1854-1922). Sir Julian died when he was completing Volume III and before he had agree to the corrections to this volume. The remaining works were completed by the writer and poet Sir Henry J Newbolt (1862-1938).

  • Naval Operations Volume I: The events leading up to war, organization of three fleets in Home Waters, coastal Destroyer Flotillas, opening movements on the outbreak of war in Home Waters and the Mediterranean, the passage of the British Expeditionary Force to France, Heligoland Bight action, operations off the Belgian coast October 1914,. Cameroons Expedition, Far East, Battle of Coronel and the Falklands. By Sir Julian S. Corbett, April 1920
  • Naval Operations Volume I: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume II: Dardanelles Campaign, German raid on Yorkshsire coast December 1914, Dogger Bank action, by Sir Julian S.Corbett, November 1921
  • Naval Operations Volume III: Spring 1915 to the Battle of Jutland 31 May/1 June 1916, events in Home Waters, the Dardanelles, Salonika, Mesopotamia (to November 1915), the destruction of the Koenigsberg, the Battle of Jutland. By Sir Julian S. Corbett, 1923
  • Naval Operations Volume III: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume IV: From Jutland to February 1917 – Home Waters, East Africa, Cameroons, Mesopotamia, the Baltic, Salonika campaign (January – June 1916 and January 1917), German introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare. By Henry Newbolt.
  • Naval Operations Volume IV: Maps
  • Naval Operations Volume V: Early 1917 to the end of the war, German submarine campaign in Home Waters, the Mediterranean and off the American coast, the convoy system, blocking Zeebrugge and Ostend. By Henry Newbolt.
  • Naval Operations Volume V Maps

Merchant Navy

  • The Merchant Navy, Volume I, by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1921
  • The Merchant Navy, Volume II, by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1924
  • The Merchant Navy, Volume III,by Sir Archibald Hurd, London 1927
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume I – The Cruiser Period, by C. Ernest Fayle
    The Cruiser Period covers from the outbreak of the War in 1914 through to about February 1915. It chronicles the operations of German surface raiders and submarines in European waters, the North and South Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. There is a heavy emphasis on naval operations and how they affected merchant ships.
  • Seaborne Trade, Maps
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume II – Submarine Campaign (from the Opening of the Campaign to the Appointment of a Shipping Controller) by C. Ernest Fayle.
    Covers the early period of the German submarine campaign from Feb. 1915 to Dec. 1916. It covers the impact of increased German submarine operations, the higher demands made for food and material, not only in the United Kingdom, but for France and the Allies and in support of overseas operations.
  • Seaborne Trade, Volume III, – The Period of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare by C. Ernest Fayle.
    This final volume covers the period from January 1917 to the end of the war in November 1918, a period which saw the onslaught of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Imperial German Navy.

Air Operations

Six volumes of The War in the Air. Volume I was written by Walter Raleigh, who died after its completion. H A Jones wrote the next six volumes.

  • Volume I: Air operations of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign; the Western Front in 1915/1916; naval air operations. By Walter Raleigh.
  • Volume II: Gallipoli Campaign in 1915; the Western Front from the winter of 1914-15 to the end of the Battle of the Somme in November 1916; naval operations in Home Waters to the end of 1916; naval air operations from Dunkirk in 1915 and 1916 and bombing operations from Luxeuil in the latter part of 1916. By H A Jones, 1928.
  • Volume III by H A Jones
  • Volume III Maps
  • Volume IV: Naval air operations in 1917 and early 1918, Western Front from June 1917 (Battle of Messines) to German Spring offensives in March 1918. By H A Jones
  • Volume V: German air attacks on Britain in 1917-1918. By H A Jones.
  • Volume V Maps
  • Volume VI: Events leading to the creation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 1st April, supply and manpower, the RAF in Palestine 1918, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Persia, Mesopotamia, russian Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Italy. Actions in India throughout the war, naval aircraft co-operation in 1918 in Home Waters and the Mediterranean, Allied offensives on the Western Front in 1918. By H A Jones
  • Volume VII: Appendices

Medical History of the War

The medical history of the First World War was written by the Colonel-Commandant of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Major General Sir William Grant Macpherson KCMG, CB (1858 – October 1927).

The US Official History of World War One

The official history of the US Army in World War One is available as PDF as well as HTML. We´ve linked to the HTML versions, but you can easily access the PDF versions from the Center of Military History´s Website.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War

Volume 1: General Headquarters, Armies, Army Corps, Services of Supply, and Separate Forces,

Volume 2; Divisions

Volume 3, part 1: Organization and Activities of the War Department

Volume 3, part 2: Territorial Departments, Tactical Divisions Organized in 1918, and Posts, Camps, and Stations

Volume 3, part 3: Directory of Troops

United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919

Volume 1: Organization of the American Expeditionary Forces
Narrative account of the AEF’s participation in major operations

Volume 2: Policy-forming Documents of the American Expeditionary Forces

Volume 3: Training and Use of American Units With the British and French

Volume 4: Early Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Cambrai Nov 20 – Dec 4 1917, Somme Defensive Mar 21 – Apr 6 1918, Lys Apr 9 – Apr 27 1918, Aisne Defensive May 27 – Jun 5 1918, Cantigny Apr 12 – Jun 2 1918, Château-Thierry Jun 6 – Jul 5 1918 (Belleau Wood Jun 6 – 25 1918, Vaux Jun 26 – Jul 3 1918), Montdidier-Noyon June 9-13 1918

Volume 5: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Champagne-Marne July 15 – 18 1918, Aisne-Marne July 18 – Aug 6 1918

Volume 6: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Oise-Aisne Aug 7 – Nov 11 1918, Ypres-Lys Aug 19 – Nov 11 1918, Vittorio-Veneto Oct 24 – Nov 4 1918

Volume 7: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Somme Offensive Aug 8 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 8: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
St-Mihiel Sept 12 – 16 1918, Meuse-Argonne Sept 26 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 9: Military Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces
Meuse-Argonne Sept 26 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 10-1: The Armistice Agreement and Related Documents

Volume 10-2: The Armistice Agreement and Related Documents

Volume 11:  American Occupation of Germany
Nov 1918 – July 1919;  German Campaign Plans Oct 29 – Nov 11 1918

Volume 12: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 13: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 14: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 15: Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, AEF, Staff Sections and Services

Volume 16: General Orders, GHQ, AEF

Volume 17: Bulletins, GHQ, AEF

The Official German History of World War One

Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918

Published as “Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918. Im Auftrage des Oberkommandos des Heeres bearbeitet und herausgegeben von der Kriegsgeschichtlichen Forschungsanstalt des Heeres. Die militärischen Operationen zu Lande. Berlin: E. S. Mittler 1925-1944”. The work consist of 15 volumes, each supplied with maps, and three supplements, two of which have not been scanned yet.

Note: Even though each of the supplements was named “volume 1”, no second volume was ever produced.


Table of Contents

Vol 1: Die Grenzschlachten im Westen (1925)

Vol 2: Die Befreiung Ostpreußens (1925)

Vol 3: Der Marne-Feldzug 1: Von der Sambre zur Marne (1926)

Vol 4: Der Marne-Feldzug  2 : Die Schlacht (1926)

Vol 5: Der Herbst-Feldzug 1914 1: Im Westen bis zum Stellungskrieg, im Osten bis zum Rückzug (1929)

Vol 6: Der Herbst-Feldzug 1914 2: Der Abschluß der Operationen im Westen und Osten (1929)

Vol 7: Die Operationen des Jahres 1915 1: Die Ereignisse im Winter und Frühjahr (1931)

Vol 8: Die Operationen des Jahres 1915 2: Die Ereignisse im Westen im Frühjahr und Sommer, im Osten vom Frühjahr bis zum Jahresschluß (1932)

Vol 9: Die Operationen des Jahres 1915 3: Die Ereignisse im Westen und auf dem Balkan vom Sommer bis zum Jahresschluß (1933)

Vol 10: Die Operationen des Jahres 1916 : bis zum Wechsel in der Obersten Heeresleitung (1936)

Vol 11: Die Kriegsführung im Herbst 1916 und im Winter 1916/17 : vom Wechsel in der Obersten Heeresleitung bis zum Entschluß zum Rückzug in die Siegfried-Stellung (1938)

Vol 12: Die Kriegsführung im Frühjahr 1917 (1939)

Vol 13: Die Kriegführung im Sommer und Herbst 1917. Die Ereignisse außerhalb der Westfront bis November 1918. (1942)

Vol 14: Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918. Die militärischen Operationen zu Lande. 14,1 Die Kriegführung an der Westfront im Jahre 1918. (1944)

Vol 15: Die Kriegführung an der Westfront im Jahre 1918 (1944)

Supplement 1: Das deutsche Feldeisenbahnwesen 1: Die Eisenbahnen zu Kriegsbeginn (1928)

Supplement 2: Kriegsrüstung und Kriegswirtschaft 1 (1930)

Supplement 2: Kriegsrüstung und Kriegswirtschaft 1 Supplements (1930)

Schlachten des Weltkrieges

A second work of more popular character is “Schlachten des Weltkrieges” (“Battles of the World War”) which drops a coherrent narrative in order to focus on key battles of the First World War. The volumes are generally short, their writing style aimed at the general populace. Nevertheless, they were published by the Reichsarchiv and can be considered as official publications.

The Österreichische Landesbibliothek has put these volumes online for viewing and download:


Karpathen- und Dnester-Schlacht 1915

Antwerpen 1914


Herbstschlacht in Macedonien, Cernabogen 1916*Makedonien Mazedonien

Von Nancy bis zum Camp des Romains 1914

Die Eroberung von Nowo Georgiewsk

Die Kämpfe um Baranowitschi

Ypern 1914

Weltkriegsende an der mazedonischen Front

Der Kampf um die Dardanellen 1915




Flandern 1917


Die Tankschlacht bei Cambrai

Deutsche Siege 1918

Wachsende Schwierigkeiten

Der letzte deutsche Angriff


Die Katastrophe des 8. August 1918

Der Krieg zur See 1914-1918

White the Reichsarchiv focussed on the land war, the archive of the Imperial Fleet quickly started producing a History of the Naval War, having published six volumes before the Reichsarchiv even got out their first. The speed was in parted helped by the fact that the Marinearchiv successfully withstood the calls to include a civilian scientific oversight, which delayed, but much improved, the Reichsarchiv’s work. The resulting work “Der Krieg zur See 1914-1918 (The War at Sea, 1914-1918), written by former officers and admirals, is not surprisingly highly uncritical towards officers and admirals. The whole undertaking was done to present a favourable view of the imperial navy with an eye on a future rearmament, and the books discard or simply ignore any strategic or political review of the Imerial Navy. Its historical value lies more in the vast amount of  details regarding ships and naval engagements.

None of its volumes have been digitalized so far. None of them have been translated as to my knowledge. You can find a more detailed table of contents here.

Partly published by the  Marine-Archiv / edited by Eberhard von Mantey; partly published by the Kriegswissenschaftlichen Abteilung / edited by Kurt Aßmann; partly published by the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv vom Arbeitskreis für Wehrforschung / edited by Walther Hubatsch; partly published by the Militärgeschichtlichen Forschungsamt / edited by Gerhard P. Groß.
Publisher for all volumes: E.S. Mittler, Berlin/Bonn/Hamburg

Teil 1: Der Krieg in der Nordsee

Bd. 1. Von Kriegsbeginn bis Anf. Sept. 1914. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1920. XV, 293 S. : Mit 60 Kt., Tab. + Anlagen.

  • Bd. 2. Von Anf. Sept. bis Nov. 1914. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1922. XIV, 340, 1 S. : Mit 38 Skizzen, Kt., Tab. + Anlagen.
  • Bd. 3. Vom Ende Nov. 1914 bis Anfang Feb. 1915. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1923. XIII, 300 S. : Mit 30 Skizzen, Ktn, Tab. + Anl.
  • Bd. 4. Von Anf. Febr. bis Ende Dez. 1915. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1924. XV, 442 S. : Mit 46 Skizzen, [farb.] Ktn, Tab. + Anl.
  • Bd. 5. Von Jan. bis Juni 1916. Textband. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1925. XX, 568 S. : Mit 81 Skizzen, Ktn, Tab. u. Anlagen.
  • Bd. 5a Von Jan. bis Juni 1916. Kartenband. Bearb. von Otto Groos: 1925. Mit 81 Skizzen, 43 Ktn, Tab. u. Anlagen.
  • Bd. 6. Vom Juni 1916 bis Frühj. 1917. Bearb.: Walter Gladisch: 1937. 352 S. : Mit 18 Ktn. u. 19 Skizzen.
  • Bd. 7. Vom Sommer 1917 bis zum Kriegsende 1918. Bearb. von Walter Gladisch: 1965. XIV, 368 S. : Mit Ktn. u. 9 Tab.
  • Bd. 7. Vom Sommer 1917 bis zum Kriegsende 1918. Kritische Edition; Textband und Kartenschuber. im Auftr. des Militärgeschichtlichen Forschungsamtes bearb. und neu hrsg. von Gerhard P. Groß : 2006. VI, 486 S. ; Mit 4 Kt.-Beil.

Teil 2: Der Krieg in der Ostsee

  • Bd. 1. Von Kriegsbeginn bis Mitte März 1915. Bearb. von Rudolph Firle: 1921. X, 290 S. : Mit 12 Kt. u. Tab.
  • Bd. 2. Das Kriegsjahr 1915. Bearb. von Rudolph Firle: 1929. XVI, 385 S. + Mit 62 Anlagen, Kt., Skizzen u. Tab.
  • Bd. 3. Von Anfang 1916 bis zum Kriegsende. Bearb. von Ernst Freiherr von Gagern: 1964. XV, 462 S. : Mit 5 Ktn. u. 14 Beilagen.

Teil 3: Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten

  • Bd. 1. Vorgeschichte. Bearb. von Arno Spindler: 1932. XII, 269 S. : 6 Textskizzen u. 2 Tab. + Mit 34 Anl.
  • Bd. 2. Februar bis September 1915. Bearb. von Arno Spindler: 1933. XI, 299 S. : Mit 8 mehrfarb. Steindr. Kt. u. 10 Textskizzen.
  • Bd. 3. Oktober 1915 bis Januar 1917. Bearb. von Arno Spindler: 1934. XII, 400 S. : Mit 16 mehrfarb. Steindr. Kt. u. 12 Textskizzen.
  • Bd. 4. Februar bis Dezember 1917. Bearb. von Arno Spindler. Nachdr. [d. Ausg.] 1941: 1964. VI, 559 S. : Mit 15 Kt., 7 Textskizzen u. 44 Minenskizzen.
  • Bd. 5. Januar bis November 1918. Bearb. von Arno Spindler: 1966. VIII, 447 S., 3 Ktn.-Beil. Mit 3 Ktn. u. zahlr. Tab.

Teil 4: Der Kreuzerkrieg in den ausländischen Gewässern

  • Bd. 1. Das Kreuzergeschwader. Bearb. von Erich Raeder: 1922. Mit zahlr. Kt., Tab. u. Anl.
  • Bd. 1. Das Kreuzergeschwader. Bearb. von Erich Raeder: 2. verb. Aufl. 1927. XVII, 459 S. : Mit Kt., Tab., Anl., Abb.
  • Bd. 2. Die Tätigkeit des Kleinen Kreuzers Emden. Königsberg u. Karlsruhe, Geyer. Bearb. von Erich Raeder: 1923. XVI, 374 S.
  • Bd. 3. Die deutschen Hilfskreuzer. Bearb. von Eberhard von Mantey: 1937. VI, 374 S. : Mit 51 Skizzen.

Teil 5: Der Krieg in den türkischen Gewässern

  • Bd. 1. Die Mittelmeer-Division. Bearb. von Hermann Lorey: 1928 [Ausg. 1927]. XVI, 430 S. : Mit Skizzen, Kt. u. Anlagen.
  • Bd. 2. Der Kampf um die Meerengen. Bearb. von Hermann Lorey: 1938. XI, 221 S. : Mit 16 Kt. u. 8 Skizzen.

Teil 6: Die Kämpfe der Kaiserlichen Marine in den deutschen Kolonien.

  • Bd 1. Tsingtau; Deutsch-Ostafrika. Bearb. von Kurt Aßmann: 1935. XVI, 330 S., Kt. + Register.

Teil 7: Die Überwasserstreitkräfte und ihre Technik.

  • Bd 1. Bearb. von Paul Köppen: 1930. XII, 314 S. + Anlagen.

The Official History of France in the First World War

Named “Les Armées Françaises dans la Grande Guerre” (The French Armies in the Great War”), the official French history of World War One has a total of 106 volumes, of which 26 are text volumes describing the course of events (“Précis”). A further 56 volumes (“Annexes”) contain documents, orders and battle reports that are crossindexed with the text. 26 more volumes contain extensive map material covering all fronts.

As of May 2015, not all volumes have been made available online. Unfortunately, none of the map volumes have yet been scanned. We will update this list if more volumes become available in the Gallica.


1° volume: Les préliminaires. La bataille des frontières. Opérations antérieures au 24 août 1914

2° volume: La manœuvre en retraite (24 août-5 septembre 1914). Les préliminaires de la bataille de la Marne

3° volume: La bataille de la Marne (6-14 septembre 1914 )

4° volume: La bataille de l’Aisne. La course à la mer (14 septembre-13 novembre  1914)




1° volume: Projets de la coalition pour 1916, Offensive allemande contre Verdun (21 février-1er mai 1916)

2° volume: Verdun (1er mai-3 septembre 1916). Préparation de la bataille de la Somme. Bataille de la Somme (1er juillet-3 septembre 1916)

3° volume: Fin de la bataille de la Somme et première bataille offensive de Verdun (3 septembre-31 décembre 1916).


1° volume: L’offensive d’avril (1er novembre 1916-15 mai 1917)

2° volume: Les offensives à objectifs limités (15 mai – 1er novembre 1917)


1° volume: La préparation de la campagne de 1918. L’offensive allemande de l’Oise à la mer du Nord (1er novembre 1917-30 avril 1918)

2° volume: L’offensive allemande contre l’armée française (30 avril-17 juillet 1918)


1° volume: Les offensives de dégagement et la préparation des offensives générales (18 juillet-25 septembre 1918)

2° volume: La campagne offensive de 1918 et la marche au Rhin (26 septembre 1918-28 juin 1919)


1° volume: La campagne d’Orient, jusqu’à l’intervention de la Roumanie (février 1915-août 1916)

2° volume: La campagne d’Orient, de l’intervention de la Roumanie aux préparatifs d’offensive de 1918 (août 1916-avril 1918 )

3° volume: La campagne d’Orient, du printemps de 1918 à la fin de la même année (avril 1918-décembre 1918). 


1° volume: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Hedjaz. La propagande allemande au Maroc

2° volume: Campagnes coloniales: Cameroun. Togo. Opérations contre les Senoussis.

3° volume: Les opérations au Maroc



  • Précis (1937 ), 1209 p.
  • Cartes, vol. 1.

Iraq Campaign Scenario: Final Thoughts

There is still a little more that might be said of Europa wargame use and value in reference to the special WW ME/“Iraq Campaign” Scenario demonstration done earlier in 2015 at the EA.

On the outbreak of the world war Iraq, under the rule of the pro-British Regent Amir Abdul Illah, broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. But in June 1940 Iraq did not take this step against Italy, when it declared war on the Western Allies. This may have been due to the influence of then Iraqi Prime Minister Rashid Ali el Gailani, the future pro-Axis Iraqi coup leader. Per Playfair, after June 1940, “the Italian Legation in Baghdad became the center of Arab Nationalist and anti-British agitation. Axis prestige was greatly increased by the German victories in the West and by the arrival of the Italian Armistice commission in Syria, while that of Great Britain sank very low.” P. 177. The modest success the Italians had dealing with the Islamic elements in their Libyan and East African colonies, in particular with native ground unit recruitment in these two colonies, is perhaps overlooked in WWII analysis. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was another anti-Allied Arab leader in Iraq at the time that was successfully used by the Axis in 1941, who was exiled from Palestine and intrigued with the Germans, probably because of their mutual anti-British and anti-Jewish inclinations. On Mar. 31, 1941, on the eve of the Iraqi coup, the pro-Allied Iraqi Regent fled Baghdad, and from the British airfield at Habbaniya flew to Basra, where he settled on the British warship Cockchafer, in the harbor. Thus the Axis intervention into Iraq ought to be understood in its particular anti-British, anti-colonial, Versailles revisionist, and perhaps also anti-Jewish context, all done in a paradigm where since the spring of 1941 German military force seemed able to blow away the British Army. Another source says it was the news of the Rommel’s mobile heavy AA units tearing up the British armor at Mersa Brega that tipped the Iraqi coup clique into action.

A close look at the Allied Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces Conditional Reinforcements found in the WitD Allied OB shows the initial elements of the Ind 10th Inf XX arriving at Basra at anytime between the Jan II 41 and Jul I 41 turns, depending on the timing of the Iraqi coup by the dice roll results done per Rule 38J4-[Iraqi] Coup. The Ind 10th Inf XX had long been a reserve division based in India, and that is why it is so readily available for duty in the Near East in the entire first third of 1941. Playfair says that its first brigade had been originally intended to be shipped to Malaya on Apr. 10, but that the division was suddenly diverted by orders from London (not Wavell) when the news arrived of the pro-Axis coup. Thus it was the desire at London for firm military action aimed at the forced ouster of the anti-British Iraqi coup government (evidently by means of a march on Baghdad) that led to the Ind 10th Inf XXs landing at Basra, which was soon followed up by the landing of the second brigade, also from India. The Iraqi coup government protested the initial Ind inf units landing at Basra to the newly arrived British ambassador at Baghdad, but finally realizing no sincere British offers to negotiate, and upon learning about the landing of the second Ind inf X at Basra at the very end of April, elected for the armed demonstration against the RAF airfield at Habbaniya, precipitating outright the Iraq campaign.

Although per Rule 38J4 the Iraqi coup could occur as early as the Jan I 41 turn, the important 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Habbforce conversion occurs at the earliest on the Apr II 41 turn, in the case of the coup’s occurrence on the Mar II 41 turn, or earlier. In the first three months of 1941 there is a good chance of mud weather in the Iraq region slowing up the ground movement northwards towards Habbaniya and Baghdad of the Indian ground units disembarking at Basra. Also, Allied combat opportunities anywhere in Iraq would be unlikely during the long rainy season. Any Allied air units at the Habbaniya 3-cap permanent airfield would surely have to be supplied by air, probably by the Bombay T type air unit available in Egypt. But during the mud weather turns it would be unable to air transport 1 RE sized ground units from southern Iraq to the Habbaniya airfield hex. Although the problems of campaigning in the mud weather are not critical for the Allies, it does imply a longer campaign for them than one beginning in the spring, after the Apr I 41 turn; and the Hab mot inf X will not be available until the Apr II turn at the earliest.  In any event, the good news for the Allies is that in Scenarios in which the Balkans are not in play, such as the Middle East Campaign Scenario, the Axis cannot intervene into coup Iraq (per Optional Rule 38J6) until the Apr II 41 turn, at the earliest.

Per Optional Rule 38J6 the Optional Axis Near East Forces Conditional Reinforcements are essentially used only in an Axis intervention into an Iraq campaign precipitated by a pro-Axis Iraqi coup, but definitely with some provisions made for allowing their transit and/or extremely brief stay over in the French Levant, (only) for going to or from Iraq. This means absolutely no active/deliberate participation by the Iraq intervention Axis Conditional Reinforcements in the Levant Campaign after an Allied invasion in the Levant. Provision could be made for the case of a border cross-over of a desperate Ger 2-6 Inf III SV 288 on the run after participating in a shattered and defeated Iraqi intervention saga. Moreover, I’m currently thinking all German intervention in Iraq Conditional Reinforcements should also be allowed to enter Iran, but only in the context of their initial arrival in the Axis Near East Command through the stipulations found in Optional Rule 38J6.

Right now my current notion is that if either the Ju 52 T type or the He 111H4 B type LW air unit Conditional Reinforcements are either eliminated or aborted in an Axis intervention in Iraq campaign, then they should be required to be rebuilt for use in the Russian campaign, using Ger ARPs from the Med/NA Command, as soon as possible after an Axis Iraq intervention withdrawal. I currently do not include either the Axis Conditional Reinforcement Mxd A type or its conversion Me 110C HF type LW air unit in this category of required LW air unit rebuilds. Furthermore, I’m currently thinking that if the Ger 2-6 Inf III SV 288 is eliminated while isolated in the Near East (eg., in Iraq or Iran) then it cannot be rebuilt (off-map) and subsequently brought in as a Med/NA Command reinforcement on the Oct I 41 turn, per the WitD Axis OB. I realize that this is a real party killer for the Axis player in the Western Desert games, as the 2-10 Mot Inf III SV 288 is an important Afrika Korps unit in late ’41 and all of 1942, but this is what I’m thinking, right now. However, some provisions could be made for the rescue/recovery of its residual .5 special Ger inf RP (see Optional Rule 40B4) back to (essentially) the Mainland Europe off-map holding box. I realize that this “rescue of the expendables” may sound a little like silly Hollywood drama to some, but I think this concept of desperation and force risk is part of the hazards of the Axis intervention in Iraq concept in the summer of 1941.

The arrival in Iraq of the Ind 5th Inf XX, in Europa beginning on the Aug I 41 turn, historically comes not from a sea landing at the port of Basra, but rather overland east from Trans-Jordan along the same long desert road route going through Rutbah, Ramadi, and Habbaniya that the Br Motorized Inf X Habbforce used historically in May 1941. The Ind 5th Inf XX had voyaged from East Africa into the Mediterranean and evidently initially went through Palestine on its long overland march to Iraq. Like the proud Ind 4th Inf XX of Operation Compass and Kern fame, it is a fully supported inf XX in Europa. According to David Hughes’ Europa Magazine #69 article “The Indian Army in Europa,” this is because these two Ind inf XXs had been upgraded upon their arrival to the Middle East region. This “upgrading” evidently consisted of receiving modern weapons, including in particular anti-tank guns. On the other hand, other Ind inf XXs like the 10th, 6th, and 8th, all ultimately Near East garrison units, suffered from an “abysmal lack and modern weapons and equipment,” in particular the anti-tank gun; hence “this accounts for the lower rating given to units that appear in Iraq in 1941 and 1942.” Two more of the “abysmally” equipped Ind inf XXs are the 9th and 11th Inf XXs, stationed in Malaya in December 1941; with perhaps predictable results against the seasoned Japanese invaders the next month. The Inf 5th Inf XX is eventually withdrawn from the Near East in April 1943 to fight in Burma, I believe.

There is perhaps one further major Axis military option in both the Med/NA and NE Commands, in their contexts in at least the Middle East Campaign Scenarios, that can now be broached in possible future wargame design modifications of the existing WW rules, and this is the manipulation and application of the reduced Axis Southeast (SE) Command forces available in the context of Rule 38F2c-German Withdrawal from the Balkans. In conventional WW games, German withdrawal from the Balkans “automatically” occurs during the first Axis initial phase that both the Greek and Yugoslav governments have been evacuated or captured. In WW Scenarios where the Balkans are not in play; implicitly this would be on the May I 41 Axis turn (see Advanced Rule 12C1d). A quick reference example of this reduced SE Command [German Balkan Intervention, after withdrawal] force pool can be scrutinized by referring to the WW Assault on Crete Scenario Axis Order of Battle found in the WW OB booklet, on p. 21, although some small changes could be made. I suspect that this OB is in effect where the WW Optional Axis Near East Forces found on p. 27 comes from.

Delving deeper into the WW rules, we see that after the “automatic” German withdrawal from the Balkans per Rule 38F2 is done, the necessary second and final step in the total disengagement of the SE Command, historically certainly deliberately done because of Barbarossa requirements, is the “voluntary” cessation of German operations in the Balkans, per Rule 3E5. The Assault on Crete Axis OB is a neat preliminary reference German OB base for an array of possible alternative MTO scenarios devised for this admittedly quite limited and ominous time period. To be sure, and to console those perhaps alarmed EA readers who see what’s coming, in regular WW Scenario play this substantial Axis OB addition (eg., an enhanced Axis force projection based on the WW Assault of Crete Axis OB) is explicitly restricted per Rule 3E4 in its operational limits done in the vicinity of the Med/NA and NE Commands found on maps 18A & 20A, which on the WD and NE map groups are specifically the Dodecanese and the South Aegean Islands, and the Aegean Sea zone. However, assuming both German Balkan intervention and the conquest of Crete as the prerequisites, then with only some minor WW rules tweaking, this substantial enhanced Axis force projection, certainly admittedly deriving from the SE Command, perhaps for a short time could be directed to 1) the Western Desert on Jun I 41, as an “Available in Europe” reinforcement, along with the rest of the Balkan campaign LW returns arriving that turn, or 2) directed to an air assault on Cyprus on map 20A on the Jun I or Jun II turn from Axis bases on Crete and Rodi, and then 3) subsequently directed to some second large operation projected into the Vichy Levant and/or Palestine on 20A, and/or 4) in conjunction with the Afrika Korps in the Western Desert, directed into Egypt, on map 19A. Whew!

In concurrent WW Rules, the only patent restraints, other than the big one at Rule 3E4, are the -5 VP “each Axis initial phase on or after the Jul II 41 that the Axis has not ceased operations in the Balkans” (see the Balkan Victory Chart, p. 26 of the WW Scenarios & Appendices booklet) and the apparently arbitrary “ending” of the WW Balkan Campaign Scenario “upon the completion of the Aug II 41 game turn” (see Rule41C1-Balkan Campaign, in the WW Scenarios & Appendices booklet). Although the WW rules appear vague, presumably by the Aug II 41 Axis turn the Axis player does need to voluntarily cease operations on maps 18A, 19A, and 20A (or beyond to 21A, 22A, and 32) using forces derived from SE Command’s Assault on Crete Axis OB, by implementing the stipulations found in Rule 3E5b-Voluntary Cessation of Operations in the Balkans/[eastern Mediterranean?]. The Aug II 41 Axis game turn might also be a good date for the required withdrawal of at least the Ju 52 T type and the He 111H4 B type LW air units in the Axis intervention in Iraq Conditional Reinforcements, due to Barbarossa considerations.

But of course these extended operations in the Axis Med/NA and NE Commands beyond the Jun II 41 Barbarossa start date, going on up to the Aug II 41 Axis turn, using the reduced SE Command Axis OB derived from the Assault on Crete, surely have their impact on the Russian campaign.  I still haven’t decided, myself; but the potential outline is already visible in the existing WW material, I think.

The Austria-Hungarian official history of World War One

Edmund Glaise-Horstenau (Hrsg)Österreich-Ungarns letz­ter Krieg 1914–1918. Band I–VII.
Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, Wien 1930–39.

Note: Stan Hanna actually translated the whole seven volumes of this work and added some pretty impressive corpus of notes on top of that. I can only imagine the workload having gone into this. You can find the translated version (including illustrations) online here: Thanks to Jim Broshot for pointing me towards this website.


1) 1914, Text
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1B) 1914,  Supplements
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2) 1915 / 1. Teil, Text
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2B) 1915 / 1. Teil,  Supplements
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3) 1915 / 2. Teil, Text
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3B) 1915 / 2. Teil,  Supplements
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4) 1916 / 1. Teil, Text
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4B) 1916 / 1. Teil,  Supplements
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5) 1916 / 2. Teil, Text
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5B) 1916 / 2. Teil,  Supplements
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6) 1917, Text
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6B) 1917,  Supplements
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7) 1918, Text
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7B) 1918,  Supplements
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[8)] Registerband
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The Australian Official History of World War One

The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 is a 12-volume series covering Australia’s involvement in the First World War. The series was edited by the official historian Charles Bean, who also wrote six of the volumes, and was published between 1920 and 1942. The books, with their familiar covers, “the colour of dried blood” in the words of one reviewer, rapidly became highly regarded internationally. Bean’s work established the tradition and set the standard for all subsequent Australian official war histories.

Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918

Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914–1918

Supplementary material