The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Author: chef (page 1 of 26)

In Memoriam Panzerkeil

Jason Long is a household name to many Europa players. Jason did a lot of historical research centered on the war in the East and the Balkans and published numerous articles in TEM and various Newsletters. He also created several Europa scenarios (“Clash of Titans”) and designed the unpublished Peace in Our Time game on the invasion that almost occurred, the planned German assault on Czechoslovakia in 1938.

For a long time, Jason ran two websites dedicated to the Axis air forces (Sturmvogel) and Axis armies (Panzerkeil). Both are offline or archived now, but Jason kindly gave permission to us to re-publish some of his materials. Since “Total War” will most likely never see the light of day, we’ve decided to include some of Jasons research on the Hungarian Army during Barbarossa, which you can now read in the Library. In the comming weeks, we’ll add some more material.

Three Turns in May (On Christmas Day)

Our first “Fall of France” game report has arrived, belatedly in two ways, first because the game is now quite old, and second because the game was played in 2012. However, we think it will make for a nice addition to the War Archive, and its author, Mike Willner, has allowed us to publish it here. Mike is from the “Metropolitan Wargamers” from Park Slope. I could share some fond memories of my visits to Park Slope and Brooklyn in summer, but I will offer something much more interesting instead and encourage you to have a look at their website & associated Yahoo Group: www.nycwargames.com.

Oh, and the game report? Here you go: Fall of France – Game Report No 1.

 

 

After Barbarossa – The status of Ken Newalls Scorched Earth game

Those of you following us on Twitter or are members of the Yahoo Europa Group will have recieved the biweekly updates to Ken Newalls ongoing game of Scorched Earth. All others hopefully will have taken a look at the expanding game report in the Archive now and then. For those who missed it, here’s a short summary: The game has reached May 1942, with the Axis having occupied Murmansk, the Baltics, and successfully conquered most of Moscow. The Soviets still hold out in the ruins of the eastern part of the city, and have successfully pushed from Leningrad to Narva and into the gap between lake peipus and the Valdai hills.

Now both sides evaluating their strategies for the upcoming summer, and since so many games of FiTE have ended at this point, Kens writings on the matter make for a facinating read we can only recommend. You can read the Soviet side here, and the Axis deliberations are part of the May I turn report.

 

 

Valencia, dear Valencia mine

Dan Waldstein graciously shared his report of a full game of FWtBT using a variable beginning of the revolution. The biggest upset during the start of the game was that Valencia also declared for the insurgency, and the Spanish Republic never recovered from that. In September 1937, all was over. How it happened, you can read here. We say thank you, and hope you’ll enjoy the read!

 

 

1942 APR I Axis Turn

Snow melts bringing relief to the Axis forces

Prokhor looks out from the crow’s nest on the destroyer moored up in Murmansk harbour. The weather has been warming and there was a definite feeling that the icy snows of winter were receding. He recently heard that they were to prepare to make steam post haste and obtain much needed supplies from Archangelsk, formerly icebound to the east. He had observed the narrow channel to the harbour had widened considerably over the last few days and only small chunks of ice remained littering the calm waters of the channel. Within a day they would no longer pose any threat and they could sail.

Enemy activity had been constant and currently their guns were trained to the city outskirts anticipating an enemy attack. Their large guns would help to break up any assault and cause losses to the enemy but he also knew that hunger and lack of munitions was degrading the defenders morale and ability to resist the invaders and feared an assault may cause the city to fall; all the more important that they set sail soon. He heard a drone in the distance from the west and swung round to take a closer look. Air raids were rare and he feared this presaged the much anticipated assault on the city. 

But the enemy aircraft were already over the front lines and he heard no explosions? Too late he realised the enemy airmen’s intent. His arm reached for the siren and he tuned the handle furiously with all his might. As the wail rose up from the siren the first bombs were falling. A near miss showered him with still icy cold water, the second landing in front of his position blew the forward gun turret in to the air and an explosion ripped through the ship as the ammunition exploded. Prokhor was hurled into the air and down into the icy depths, the momentum of his fall propelling him deep below the harbour surface. He rose a few seconds later already shivering from the icy slivers of cold water piercing his core. He trod water for a couple more minutes not noticing the chaos all around or the vast wall of steel turning toward him. He slipped below the water as the blackness enveloped him dulling his senses as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Above him the bombs fell silent as the vast steel hulk of the once proud ship settled onto the harbour floor.

Weather: Warm winds melt the ice in A, B and C. turning the ground to Mud. Clear elsewhere.

Army Norway and Finland: Henkel’s out of Norway bases sink the destroyer support at Murmansk and ground troops follow up with a desperate low odds assault. The attack is a success and a HX eliminates the defenders and grants the Germans access to the city.

Apr I 42 Turn: The Axis take Murmansk

Apr I 42 Turn: The Axis take Murmansk

The Fins eliminate a Soviet stack but suffer a divisional to cadre loss in the exchange of fire.

AGN: An attempt to nip off the Soviet advanced guard fails (NE) so armour redeploys to a defensive posture along this sector.
The success at Kalinin continues to widen the breach as four more out of supply stacks of Soviet troops are eliminated.
Panzers on the right flank fearful of the Soviet build up NE of Moscow pull back and consolidate.

Apr I 42 Axis Turn: The Kalinin Breach widens

Apr I 42 Axis Turn: The Kalinin Breach widens

AGC: The isolated Soviets outside Moscow West are eliminated.

AGS; The front is defensive except at Kursk where two exposed Soviet stacks are eliminated.

11th Army & the Crimea; The Rumanians finally stage an assault on Odessa but are repulsed and retreat leaving a small rear-guard.

Air War. The Luftwaffe mainly occupies itself with rail bombing and DAS but the usual harassment raids around Kalinin stifle Soviet reaction to the widening hole in their front lines.
In the south large raids are mounted against bases that reconnaissance has determined host the transport fleet but with little success.
As reported above the Soviet destroyer squadron at Murmansk is eliminated in an air raid.

Battle Report:
Attacks: Auto = 4, Diced = 9
Losses: Soviet Isolated = 7. Un-isolated = 67
German = 9    Fins = 3

World War II Armed Forces – niehorster.org

Dr. Niehorster’s website on the Armed Forces of World War II needs little introduction I presume, being around even longer than the Generalstab and having itself established as one of the most important sites on TO/Es on the web. His thorough research has been the base for countless wargames, and his books are an established reference for scholars interested in the organisational details of armed forces in the Second World War. His Website provides extensive information about all participants at various stagtes of the war, while his books provide the background to the snapshots shown online.

As additional goodies, since Sept 12th the complete German WWII Organizational Book Series are now available for free as pdfs from its site. I can only strongly reccomend stopping by and grabbing a copy.

Date: Oct 15th, 2018
URL.: niehorster.org

The Year of the Gold Dragon

We’re grateful for being able to provide you with yet another War in the Desert game report. This one was played and written up in the summer of 2018 by Bill Jenman. Since the game was mainly played to test some modifications of the Malta status number, the second half of the game report, from March 1942 onward, is summarized, nevertheless it makes for a good read. You can find it as WitD AAR No 3 in the archive, as always.

A small gem and a big conundrum

David Tinny was so kind as to provide a short game report of a WitD/GE test game he played this spring. Since the turn reports were sparse, I made a page for each year instead of each turn or month. Sadly enough, the website refused to show me the pages, throwing a 404 like a six-year-old looking for the third pair of gloves he was sent to school in. After neither my first strategy (googling the problem and implementing various fixes I have no idea how they are supposed to work) nor my second (ignoring and hoping it fixes itself by the way of a stray update) worked, I had to sit down and rattle a couple of loose things under the hood around. Y’know, like slapping a remote. And lo behold:

If you give a post a slug only made up from numbers, WordPress throws a hissy fit.

Of course, that applies to my wordpress, with my unique combination of various third-party plugins and my customized permalink settings. Apply at your own risk.

A slug, by the way, is the part of the URL that references the actual page, i.e. if your web-page named “Testing some stuff” had the URL “www.example.com/mysite/test” the slug for the page would be “test”). Why WordPress refuses to find the page …/ge-43-02/1940/ or …/ge-43-02/1940y/, but is perfectly happy to deliver at blazing speed a page under the adress of …/ge-43-02/y1940/, I do not know. Gremlins maybe. Bitrot most likely. Lazy programming FWIW. But frankly, I spent too much time experimenting around to find this, I am not willing to spend more time to fix it.

But, you, brave souls following me on this quick detour through the intestines of an aging wordpress installation, your prize is said game report, now available for your enjoyment here. Have a nice weekend!

P.S.: Some marketing genius did not only come up with this garbage, but obviously found enough braindamaged product owners to force some programmer to implement code into this content management system that makes sure WordPress is always spelled with a capitalized “P” in the middle, irrespective of however its written by the editor:

wordpress editor

A view from the backend editor: WordPress with a small “p”

People get paid for coming up with these kind of ideas, you know? There is a career in taking desicions away from users and proscribing them what they can write on their own website. Wordfilters next. Wouldn’t want to disturbe the monitarization of content, yo.

Yes, so far I’m happy with WordPress.

 

Iterum ante portas

It is December 1941, (again). An unusually mild winter sees the Germans firmly in possession of Moscows suburbs after a gruelling campaign, while in the North forward detachments have finally reached the Murmansk railway line. Further south the Germans have occupied vast swathes of the Ukraine, though Odessa and Sevastopol still hold out against the fascist invaders…

In other words: we managed to upload Ken Newall’s new game report up to JAN I 1942, and it shows how helpful images are to understand the overall strategic situation – at least for a visual animal like me. Enjoy the read!

After completing the newsletter archive in the Generalstab Library some months ago there was still one issue missing: ETO #57. I have the basic TOC, but no authors, and was unable to find a copy of the newsletter anywhere. Since Arthur Goodwin was the editor at the time, I’ve contacted him directly, and will update if I recieve a reply.

We’re still being plagued by some technical problems, but in the making are two more game reports from War in the Desert, and it might be time for some more link additions soon.

1942 JAN I Axis Turn

Weather; Snow descends across all of the map.

Finland & Army Norway: In the centre the German divisions continue to press forward eliminating another ski battalion and reaching within 16 miles of Kandalaksha with patrols interdicting the Leningrad/Murmansk rail line.

The Finns meanwhile move to a defensive posture to rebuild the army in the south.

SE AAR 1 1942 JAN I Axis Turn

1942 JAN I Axis Turn: German troops block the Murmansk Rail line

AGN. The Axis are completely defensive on this front. The only significant part of the front out of supply is now the line north of the Valdai.

AGC: A large prepared attack is made against a third Moscow hex with engineer and rail gun support now that rail conversion has reached the city but a spirited defence aided by fanatical NKVD political troops allows the two guards divisions to avoid a retreat on a HX result and hold the hex.

AGS: AGS is now completely defensive with a hedgehog defensive line running from the Kursk latitude down to the coast.

Engineers and siege artillery from the Kharkov assault move to the railhead in preparation to move south to support the Rumanians to mount an attack on Odessa and to move north to support planned attacks on Kalinin and Tula both of which are in contact with the Axis front line.

SE AAR 1 1942 JAN I Axis Turn

1942 JAN I Axis Turn: Sevastopol besieged

11th Army: Troops press onto Sevastopol but are not yet in sufficient strength to attack the outer defensive ring. Trucks and rail engineers move south to extend supply.

Air War: DAS is placed along the out of supply defenders in the Valdai.

The Axis mount a massive air operation over Moscow to aid the German assault on the North West hex of the city. 5 JU88s are patrol attacked away but in the ensuing air battle the German Fighter air transfer last month bears fruit as 6 Soviet fighters are brought down in the swirling air battles over the city. Some Soviet fighters survive and penetrate the screen eliminating 2 JU88s and a JU87 falls to soviet AA but the Germans clearly are the overall victors of the battle.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Diced combats = 2
Losses: Soviet Non-Isolated = 26
German Non-isolated = 13.

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