The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Category: News (page 1 of 11)

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.

 

Stonebooks

Reading on anything to do with the Second World War is an intimidating task, since the literature is so vast that it seems impossible for any laymen to identify relevant books or simply those well enough written to deserve notice. Military history remains a topic of high interest, and serious studies often drown in the flood of available popular editions, autobiographies or “collections” of pictures, technical data or battle descriptions.

For those of us without access to a well-stacked library, stonebooks.com is an invaluable source, providing a structured catalogue of publications. Fleshed out with book reviews, a message board and and more catalogues of publishers and authors, stonebooks provides a great service for readers and historians alike.

Our hobby seems for most cases to be stuck in the early 00’s when it comes to design and usability, and stonebooks.com is no exception. However,  we would ask our reader again for leniency: The website proves without a doubt one does not require Bootstrap to provide viewing pleasure. Additionally the author of the page, Bill Stone, is one of the oldest Europa veterans and former editor of E.T.O.  Say Hi and grab a good book!

Date: August 22rd, 2018

URL: http://stonebooks.com

 

 

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.

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.

Spit & Polish

In addition to the Combined Arms index mentioned yesterday, we were also able to add ETO #57 and #58 to the ETO index, thanks to information provided by Edmond (Thank you!). We’ve updated a couple of game pages to include the new references, and this should bring the newletter section indeed to completion – unless I have missed an important newsletter, in which case someone please point that out to me.

Also new are the History of the Second World War and Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, the two official histories of the Second World War from Britain and Germany, respectively. Some of the British volumes are available online at hyperwar.com and archive.org, whereas the German work is too new and not available legally.

I remain fascinated by the Turkish official military history. It seems that the work of the Turkish General Staff on the First World War has been updated since its inception in the Twenties and is still an ongoing project, currently spanning 27 volumes. However, no translations have ever been undertaken, and there are no digital versions available, or at least I was not able to identify any with the limited Turkish available to me. Which is a sordid state of affaird from several angles, not only because the Turkish and Muslim experience of World War One remains underrepresented in historiography, but also since access to the sources for Turkish military history remains limited. Even though the Turkish General Staffs work has a reputation for being nationalist and biased, the same can be said for most of other nations official histories, and in the least it could provide a valuable corrective on the western narrative. A first survey of available (i.e. English and German) literature seems to indicate both German and British sources underrate the Osman contribution to the war. See for example Erickson, Edward J, Ottoman Army Effectiveness in World War I: A Comparative Study, 2007)

Obituaries

My staff notified me today that armchairgeneral.com, which for years was the first address to learn about the Soviet Army in World War Two, has been unavailable for a couple of days now. I guess I could start making a hobby from starting to list websites, gamers and designers from the Europa community and those remembering the conflicts of the twentieth century slowly passing away. Alas, I am a bit young for that, and I feel its too depressing a task to basically keep myself busy naming the fallen. So while we will faithfully try to archive all things Europa here, please forgive us if we do not write obituaries. Exceptions are a given.

On a more positive note, thanks to the support of James A. Broshot I was able to add the index of the last missing Europa newsletter, Combined Arms, to the library. While only running for a mere nine issues, the depth and quality of the articles influenced the Europa community for a long time. Maybe I will live to see the day when I can put the full issues online.

 

 

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