The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Author: chef (page 1 of 26)

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.

Like distant rolling thunder

Fire in the East/Scorched Earth truly defined the term “monster game” new when they came out. At more than 3.000 counters and maps large enough to cover a small basement floor, the game dwarved the competition. SE’s complexity and size also severly limited the number of games played, so we are very proud to be able to present our second game report of a FitE/SE game. The report of an ongoing game started in April 2018 is being written by Ken Newall, who again deserves our gratitude for allowing us to publish it here.

Since’ we’re currently experiencing some technical problems witrh the website, the menue isn’t done yet, but should follow in the next few days, along with more content.

Um, who am I kidding, It might be weeks. But we’re working on it.

No more questions

Hi everyone,

apologies, but we had to deactivate the FAQs, since the plugin we used to display them managed to break WordPress’ backend. At least thats what we suspect, we were suffering from the “White Screen of Death” for some weeks now, and deactivating the plugin remedied parts of the trouble. We’re still having occasional whiteouts , though, and are trying to identify the source of the problem. What we can say for sure is that the site hasn’t been compromised or anything, trouble seems to be some outdated plugin code.

As soon as we manage to get the backend back to working order, we’ll try to salvage the FAQs and re-up them in a different format. After all, quite some effort went into putting them together, inclomplete as they were. For now though we’re working on being able to get the site back to properly operational status.

For the Glory of the Fatherland

Today we added a long due work to the library entries: The official history of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945. Research into the historiography of the Second World War in the USSR is still ongoing, so expect additions and corrections.

The official Soviet history of World War Two

The first official history of the Second World War was published in the Soviet Union from 1960-64 and bore the title “История Великой Отечественной войны Советского Союза“ (History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union). The six volumes prepared by the editorial team around G. A. Deborin decribed the German attack on the USSR and the subsequent war until Germanys surrender in 1945. Although the work was translated in several languages, no English translation is available.

Contents:

Vol 1:  Подготовка и развязывание войны империалистическими державами. Events leading up to the war, the annexation of the baltic republics and the initial period of the Second World War (1 September 1939 until the invasion of the Soviet Union.

Vol 2:  Отражение советским народом вероломного нападения фашистской Германии на СССР. Создание условий для коренного перелома в войне (июнь 1941 г. — ноябрь 1942 г.) From the German invasion of the Soviet Union to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad (22 June 1941 to November 1942)

Vol 3: Коренной перелом в ходе Великой Отечественной войны (ноябрь 1942 г.— декабрь 1943 г.) From The Battle of Stalingrad to the Battle of Kursk, (November 43 to August 1943)

Vol 4: Изгнание врага из пределов Советского Союза и начало освобождения народов Европы от фашистского ига (1944 год) From the Battle of Kursk to the liberation of Belorussia (August 1943 to July 1944)

Vol 5: Победоносное окончание войны с фашистской Германией. Поражение империалистической Японии (1945 г.)  From the liberation of Belorussia to the defeat of Germany (July 1944 to May 1945)

Vol 6: Итоги Великой Отечественной войны Cost and consequences of the Second World War.

The historiography of the Second World War in the former USSR is more complex due to censorship and the heavy political influence that went into any official description of events. Additionally, official viewpoints on historical events and persons were bound to occasionally sudden chances, depending on political developments.

A very useful description of the works genesis, its contents and public perception of the war in the USSR during the sixties can be taken from Yan Mann’s dissertation “Contested Memory: Writing the Great Patriotic War’s Official History During Khrushchev’s Thaw“, Dissertation, Arizona State University, 2016.

 

RKKA-WW2

Since 2003 RKKA provides a host of information on the Soviet Forces in World War Two: Formations, Force Structure, uniforms, Losses, Weapons and Maps. The Design hasn’t changed much since then, and the site hasn’t really been updated since 2010, so the website structure belies the sheer amount of information available, which definitly could use a more accessible navigation, and a lot of the maps and individual documents would profit from context.  But the amount of material presented makes RKKA one of the reference points for the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War. Since Alex, the site’s webmaster, is russian, many items are based on original research and russian sources.

Date: April 6th, 2018

URL: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/

 

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