The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: November 2017

The official Russian History of the First World War

The young Soviet Union, like any other major power, undertook great efforts to learn from “Great War”. A military comission started publishing a military history of the First World War aimed at the training of Red Army officers. The resulting seven-volume work called Стратегический очерк войны 1914-1918 гг. (Strategic Outline of the War 1914-1918) focuses on strategy and operations and contains a lot of documents, orders and reports. the obvious disadvantage for English speakers is that the work is available in Russian only so far.

The links here lead to HTML versions of the books, including the maps, available at http://www.grwar.ru/library/index.html. Additionally, DJVU versions of all volumes are available at http://www.runivers.ru/lib/book3171/.

Part 1. From the declaration of war to the beginning of September 1914: The first invasion of the Russian armies into East Prussia and the Battle of Galicia. Edited by Tsikhovich Ya. 1922

Part 2. From September 15th to November 25th 1914: The August battle. Warsaw-Ivangorod, Cracow and Łódź operations, operations in Galicia and the Carpathians. Hyrovskoe battle. Edited by G. Korolkov. 1922

Part 3. From November 25th, 1914 to March 28th, 1915. Edited by A. Neznamov. 1922

Part 4. From October 1915 to September 1916: Mackensen’s breakthrough at Gorlice, the struggle for Przemysl and Lviv. The long retreat of the russian Army. Edited by A. Neznamov. 1922

Part 5. October 1915 – September 1916. Trench warfare and attempts to break the Austrian South-Western Front. Edited by VN. Klembowski. M. 1920

Part 6 May 1916 to the end of 1916: Breakthrough of the South-Western Front in May 1916 and operations until the  end of the year. Edited by AM. Zayonchkovsky. M. 1923

Part 7. The Campaign of 1917. Edited by AM. Zayonchkovsky. M. 1923

The Official History of India in the First World War

The large Indian participation in the First World War was covered in a single volume entitled India’s Contribution to the Great War published by the Government of India in 1923. The book is available to read on the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts collection, albeit there is no PDF download so far.

The Official History of the US Military in World War II

The number of studies and books published by the US military on the Second World War alone fills a small library. Official histories do not only exist for the Army and the Navy, then the two arms of the US military, but also for the nascent forces of the Air Force and the Marines, and of course for countless other organisations like the Corps of Engineers or the Coast Guard. For brevitys sake, we will limit this bibliography to the classic trio of Army, Navy and Air Force. For further research have a look at hyperwar, the not always up-to-date, but always useful collection of links about military history.

The US Army in World War II

Better known as “The Green Books,” The U.S. Army in World War II consists of 79 volumes plus a reader’s guide. Unlike the official histories of some countries, these volumes were often written by professional historians, such as Robert R. Palmer, Forrest Pogue, or Bell I. Wiley, rather than staff officers.

As with official histories, every campaign is covered in great detail, often starting with descriptions from the front lines rather than with strategic plannings and the big picture. But the really valuable volumes are the ones dealing with what usually only gets experts exited.  That is to say, the volumes on to/e, logistics, medical service, and more.  The detail in these is often extraordinary, as  they delve into matters that, although largely invisible in most histories, were essential to shaping an army that could fight and win.

The US Army in WW 2 – Reader’s Guide

The War Department

Chief of Staff- Prewar Plans and Preparations, Mark Skinner Watson
Washington Command Post – The Operations Division. Ray S. Cline
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1941-1942, Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1943-1944. Maurice Matloff
Global Logistics and Strategy 1940 – 1943, Richard M. Leighton
Global Logistics and Strategy 1943 – 1945, Robert W. Coakley and Richard M. Leighton
The Army and Economic Mobilization
, R. Elberton Smith
The Army and Industrial Manpower, Byron Fairchild and Jonathan Grossman

The Army Ground Forces

The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, Ken Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer and Bell I. Wiley
The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley and William R. Keast

The Army Service Forces

The Organization and Role of the Army Service Forces, John D. Millett

The Western Hemisphere

The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild
Guarding the United States and Its Outposts. Stetson Conn. Rose C. Engelman and Byron Fairchild

The War in the Pacific

Strategy and Command- The First Two Years, Louis Morton
The Fall of the Philippines, Louis Morton
Guadalcanal- The First Offensive, John Miller, jr.
Cartwheel – The Reduction of Rabaul, John Miller, jr.
Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, Philip A. Crowl and Edmund G. Love
Campaign in the Marianas, Philip A. Crowl
The Approach to the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Leyte: The Return to the Phillippines, M. Hamlin Cannon
Triumph in the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Okinawa: The Last Battle, Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, John Stevens

The Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Sicily and the Surrender of Italy, LTC Albert N. Garland and Howard McGaw Smyth. Assisted by Martin Blumenson
Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, George F. Howe
Salerno to Cassino, Martin Blumenson
Cassino to the Alps, Ernest F. Fisher, Jr.

The European Theater of Operations

The Supreme Command, Forest C. Pogue
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol I, May 1941 – September 1941, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol. 2, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Cross Channel Attack, Gordon A. Harrison
Breakout and Pursuit, Martin Blumenson
The Lorraine Campaign, Hugh M. Cole
The Siegfried Line Campaign, Charles B. MacDonald
The Ardennes – Battle of the Bulge, Hugh M. Cole
The Last Offensive, Charles B. MacDonald
Riviera to the Rhine, Jeffrey J. Clarke, Robert Ross Smith

The Middle East Theater

The China-Burma-India Theater

Special Studies

Pictorial Record

The US Navy in World War II

Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Morison, already convinced of the value of personal involvement as a result of sailing experience while writing his biography of Christopher Columbus, wrote to President Roosevelt suggesting the preparation of an official history of the Navy in the war, and volunteering for the task. Both President Roosevelt and the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox agreed, and in May 1942 Morison was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, and assigned a staff of assistants, with permission to go anywhere and to see all official records. Morison’s reputation as a knowledgeable sailor (based on his analysis in the biography of Christopher Columbus) preceded him, and he was welcomed on a number of ships, eleven of them in all by the end of the war.

The result was a normal historical work, not a prescribed official history. Limitations of the History of U.S. Naval Operations are mostly due to its shortened period of publication. Some material, especially related to codebreaking, was still classified, and later in-depth research into particular occurrences in the war did clarify points that had been passed over rather lightly. Some rewriting was incorporated in the later printings of this series. This History of U.S. Naval Operations also intentionally avoided a certain amount of analysis, for instance deferring to other works for the causes of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. The intended audience for the work, to quote from the preface, was “the general reader rather than the professional sailor.”

The books can be downloaded free of charge for 14 days at archive.org.

Vol. I: The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939–May 1943
Vol. II: Operations in North African Waters, October 1942–June 1943
Vol. III: The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931–April 1942
Vol. IV: Coral Sea, Midway and Submarine Actions, May–August, 1942
Vol. V: The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942–February 1943
Vol. VI: Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942–1 May 1944
Vol. VII: Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942–April 1944
Vol. VIII: New Guinea and the Marianas, 1944
Vol. IX: Sicily, Salerno and Anzio, 1943–1944
Vol. X: The Battle of the Atlantic Won, May 1943–May 1945
Vol. XI: The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–1945
Vol. XII: Leyte, June 1944–January 1945
Vol. XIII: The Liberation of the Philippines, 1944–1945
Vol. XIV: Victory in the Pacific
Vol. XV: Supplement and General Index

The US Airforce in World War II

The US Airforce became an independent combat arm in 1947. Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was divided between the Army (for land-based operations) and the Navy, and Marine Corps, for sea-based operations from aircraft carrier and amphibious aircraft.

In March 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget ordering each war agency to prepare “an accurate and objective account”of that agency’s war experience. Soon after, the Army Air Forces began hiring professional historians so that its history could be recorded. An Historical Division was established in Headquarters Army Air Forces under Air Intelligence, in September 1942, and the modern Air Force historical program began. With the end of the war, Headquarters approved a plan for writing and publishing a seven-volume history. In December 1945, Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Deputy Commander of Army Air Forces, asked the Chancellor of the University of Chicago to assume the responsibility for the publication of the history. Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Frank Craven of New York University and Major James Lea Cate of the University of Chicago, both of whom had been assigned to the historical program, were selected to be editors of the volumes. Between 1948 and 1958 seven were published.

Volume One: Plans and Early Operations January 1939 to August 1942
Volume Two: Europe: Torch to Pointblank August 1942 to December 1943
Volume Three: Europe: Argument to V-E Day January 1944 to May 1945
Volume Four: The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan August 1942 to July 1944
Volume Five: The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki June 1944 to August 1945
Volume Six: Men and Planes
Volume Seven: Services Around the World

Further Reading:

United States Army Air Force (“Craven and Cate”)
http://www.afhso.af.mil/booksandpublications/conflictindex.asp

United States Marine Corps

http://www.usmcu.edu/content/publications-0

(scroll down to bottom of page)

The terribly beauty of wargames

Carlos Pérez was one of the most active spanish Europa-players. His historical interest mainly lay with the Spanish Civil War, and at his website belliludi.com he assembled an impressive collection of essays on the history of the civil war, written by internationally renowned military historians such as Brian R. Sullivan and Klaus Maier, to name but two.

Since Carlos does not have the ressources to keep his website updated, he recently gave permission to the General Staff to reproduce some of the essays and articles here, an offer that we accept with deep gratitude. So in the following weeks we’ll add the Europa-related articles as well as selected essays to generalstab.org. Make sure to thank Carlos if you see him!

First to go online is an essay by Williamson Murray titled The Consequences of Italian Intervention in the Spanish Civil War.

Plus, for Friends of knowledgable Europa variants: An Alternative Rule for the surrender of Italy in Second Front by Rich Velay

Collapse of Fascism: Alternate rules for Italian Surrender in Second Front

In the RAW rules, a crafty Axis player can not only delay any Italian surrender check for an extended length of time, the Axis player can also control when that check is made to a much greater degree than would seem appropriate given the historical situation and record. This Fascist Collapse rule attempts to address both of these concerns.

Basically, the rule assumes that Allied ownership of Sicily is enough to trigger the sequence of events which lead to the overthrow of the Fascist regime in Italy. Once the Allies control Sicily [in game terms, once they own all ports and cities on Sicily and there are no Axis units there in regular supply] the Allied player may check for the collapse of Fascism in Italy at the END of any Allied player turn in which Sicily is controlled by the Allies.

At the end of each Allied player turn in which Sicily is Allied controlled the Allied player rolls a die, modifies it as appropriate and if the die roll is six [6] or greater, then Fascism has collapsed in Italy. The effect of this Fascist collapse is that the Capital of Italy is treated as having been captured by the Allied player – note that this is a Surrender condition and is treated, for the purposes of this rule [only] exactly as if the Allies had captured the Italian capital. Note that since Allied Control of Sicily is also a surrender condition [and must have occurred for this special house rule to have been implemented], if the Allies control Sicily AND have caused the collapse of Fascism in Italy then a surrender check will be made during the next Axis initial phase.

Note that this house rule ONLY affects Rule 38.B.2 and is not considered for purposes of Rules 37.G or 38.B.1. The effects of a capital being captured by the enemy player, such as morale, do not apply due to the collapse of Fascism.

There are two possible modifiers to the die roll for the collapse of Fascism in Italy:

each turn following the first turn that Fascism could collapse in Italy, a cumulative +1 DRM is applied to the die roll. So during Fascist Collapse 1 [i.e. the player first turn in which the Allies control Sicily] will have no DRM. During Fascist Collapse Turn 2, a +1 DRM would be applied, during Fascist Collapse Turn 3; a +2 DRM would be applied, and so on.
during any Allied player turn in which the Allies have more than 3 REs of units in regular supply in Mainland Italy, a +1 DRM is applied to the Collapse of Fascism die roll.

Example of play: The Allies control Sicily by the end of their Aug II player turn but have no units in regular supply in mainland Italy. This allows the Allies to check for the Collapse of Fascism at the end of their Aug II player turn. This is Fascist Collapse Turn 1. Since there are no Allied units in regular supply in mainland Italy, no DRM’s apply to this die roll and Fascism in Italy would collapse on a die roll of six [6]. The Allied player rolls a 3 and Fascism in Italy does not collapse. Assuming that the Allies still control Sicily and still have 3 or fewer REs of units in regular supply in mainland Italy, Sep I will be Fascist Collapse Turn 2, and a +1 DRM will be applied to the Allied player’s die roll at the end of their Sep I player turn. Thus Fascism in Italy will collapse on a die roll of five [5] or six [6] due to this turn’s automatic DRM of +1. The Allies roll a one [1] and Fascist Collapse in Italy does not occur. Still assuming Allied control of Sicily and insufficient Allied units in supply in mainland Italy, Oct I will be Fascist Collapse 3 [and there will be a +2 DRM to the Fascist Collapse die roll, Oct II would be Fascist Collapse 4 [with a +3 DRM] and so on.

In this example note that Fascism in Italy would collapse automatically during the Axis Nov II initial phase, since there would be a +5 DRM – even a die roll of one [1], in this case, would be modified to a six [6] due to the automatic +5 DRM. The historical situation would be that the Allies control Sicily by the end of their Aug II player turn. Thus Aug II is Fascist Collapse Turn 1 and the Allies are lucky enough to roll a six [6] and Fascism Collapses in Italy. The Axis would be forced to check for Italian surrender during their Sep I initial phase, since the Allies have fulfilled two surrender conditions, namely control of Sicily and having forced the collapse of Fascism in Italy. The Allied player rolls the die to check for Italian Surrender [as per Rule 38.B.2], rolls a three [3] and Italy surrenders.

The intent of the rule is to add another random factor into the procedure for modeling Italian Surrender. The Axis player should not be allowed to control when Italian surrender occurs [as he can now, to a large degree] and further, he should not know precisely when a surrender check will have to be made. The Allied player is rewarded for attempting to capture Sicily [as was historical] but he is also not overly penalized for not taking Sardinia and Corsica. As the RAW stands now, the Axis player can easily protect the Italian Army enough such that they will not suffer 50 REs of losses [a surrender condition] until after the Allies take Sardinia and Corsica – this pretty much insures that the first surrender check will be triggered not by Allied control of Sicily and 50 REs of Italian losses [as was historic] but rather will be delayed until the Allies control Sicily AND Sardinia & Corsica.

This sequence of events serves to severely distort the game as it stands now – the Allied player, knowing that he will not be able to inflict 50 REs of losses on the Italians in any sort of reasonable amount of time, is forced to invade and control both Sardinia and Corsica before any surrender check can be made. Corsica, in particular, can be a very hard nut to crack due to the broken terrain there, but the Allies have no real alternative other than conducting a campaign there. Historically, neither Corsica or Sardinia were taken before Italian surrender so it seems to me that we have to provide some mechanism for a possible Italian surrender that does not depend so completely upon the capture by the Allies of Corsica/Sardinia.

The house rule also makes a wholesale Sicilian Runaway defense less attractive to the Axis, since the loss of Sicily will not only be a surrender condition [as it is under RAW] but will also lead, ultimately, to the collapse of Fascism in Italy and thus another surrender condition. Thus abandoning Sicily without a fight is not quite the “no brainier” tactic that it is now.

The overall effect of the rule will be, I hope; that Corsica and Sardinia will no longer be the main focus once Sicily is Allied Control, abandoning Sicily will be less attractive as an Axis option, Italian Surrender will be somewhat more randomized and that the current situation where the Axis player can, in effect, control when Italian surrender occurs will be altered in the Allied player’s favor. Italy had historically suffered huge manpower and territorial losses by the time frame of the game and were certainly well on the road to collapse, if not teetering on the edge of surrender by Summer ’43. Mussolini was, after all, overthrown before the end of July and Fascism was on its last legs at this time. The rule assumes that Mussolini is deposed pretty much as happened historically[which happened due to the Allies successfully LANDING on Sicily, not controlling it…] and that Fascism does not long survive his fall.

From the Archives

Thanks to the kind help of Europa veteran Jim Broshot, I was able to add an article index for the original Europa Newsletter published by GDW in 1976-78 to the library. The references also have been added to the pages of DNO and Narvik, respectively. For you, that means another little glimpse at Europa history, for me, it means finally learning who exactly the first fifty buyers of Drang nach Osten really were.