The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: CARL

The CARL digital library

A recurring theme of pages listed under these bookmarks seems to be that their design somehow harks back to the late nineties, but their content is much richer than a first look would surmise. CARL contines this trend: benhind an awkard and slow interface lingers a host of historical documents. CARL is short for “Combined Arms Research Library” and describes the library on Fort Leavenworth, which is in turn not only one of the oldest forts in the US still operational, but also counts the United States Army Combined Arms Center amongst its tenants. Fort Leavenworth prides itself to be the “intellectual center” of the US Army, and the sheer volume of documents available online certainly dwarf the Army’s Historical Center (history.army.mil).

Amongst the documents hosted are essays and thesises prepared by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), but also a lot of operational reports, old field manuals and all kinds of other documents related to the military history of the US. In these the second world war features prominently, as is to be expected. Especially the After Action Reports from the divisional and corps level make an interesting reading for EUROPA afficinados.

The cumbersome interface of the website has been mentioned already, although the collections are searchible, the structure is unintuitive and purly organisatorical, the website responds slow and makes it close to impossible to get an overview about the hosted documents. An overhaul has been announced for some time now, but even now the uniqueness and historical wealth of the documents found place CARL amongst the first websites relevant for modern military history.

Date: October 19th, 2012

URL: http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/cace/carl

The Nafziger Collection

Before the advent of the Web, the name of George F. Nafziger was already a staple in wargaming circles. His work on the wars of the French Revolution and his collection of well-researched Orders so Battle, especially for the Napoleonic area, made him the first adress for anyone wargaming that time. Nafziger started to make singe OOBs available via the Internet in the Mid-Nineties, and his now rather weird looking website enabled visitors to order print-outs of selected battles and campaigns.

In 2010 Nafziger retired from publishing those OOBs and donated his whole collection to the public domain. It is currently hosted at the US Army’s CARL website. Additionally Alternatewars.com culled the complete archive and made it available as a collection of zipped archives for quicker access.

The Nafziger Collection itself contains orders of battle from 1600 to 1945 with over 7000 individual pdf files. What makes those files special is that the majority of them is based on archival sources, which are not easily accessible for mortal souls like us. Its depth and scope are unparalleled anywhere, and I can only highly reccomend taking a look, even if the access is a bit cumbersome.

Date: April, 23th 2012

URL: http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/nafziger.htm