The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: Military History

Seasons in the Sun

We continue our publications from the rich trove of articles kindly provided by Carlos Perez from belliludi.com.  An excellent overview on the state of Spains Army at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, we have Alberto Arzaneguis essay on The Spanish Army in 1936 in the department of Order of Battle research.

Additionally, a kind gamer provided us with an Index of Gary Stagliano’s newsletter Nuts & Bolts, which we’ve also published today. The individual game indices are also updated, so you have comprehensive reading lists to every game. Enjoy!

 

Grognard.com

The oldest gamer site on the web

For a long time Grognard.com was the place to look if you wanted to know anything about strategy games. Anything, from MS-DOS based programms to generate hex-maps to long lists of scanned counter sheets for nearly any strategy game available, Grognard.com delivered. During the Nineties and beyond Grognard was the central hub for gamers online.

It was the rise of online communities and the infabous user generated content that broke Grognard’s monopoly. The site failed to update functionality and embrace the hordes of interested geeks that wanted to contribute, and other platforms that included messaging and, most of all, forums and wiki-style contribution possibilities overtook the veteran site in terms of attractivenes and content offered. Of course it did not help that Grognard basically is still online in the design they devised in the mid-Nineties.

However, the wealth of special-interest-links and downloadable material still makes a visit worthwhile. Grognard.com may be more of an archive of developments of the past these days, but still it presents a vast amount of information on even the most obscure games of the past twenty or thirty years. So we wish the old guard the best and hope they will be around for a long time to teach youngsters about the way of cardboard wars.

Date: January 16th, 2013

URL: http://www.grognard.com

Tags: echo $keywords;

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 CARL contines this trend: benhind an awkard and slow interface lingers a host of historical documents.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

Planes, Spaceflight, and Things That Go Boom: Vectorsite

This article should be linking to two articles, too. But unlike our previous reccomendation, in which one site hosted the other, in this case the contents of “Vectorsite” have grown to a point at which the author and owner of the site decided some weeks ago to split his website into two. So http://www.airvectors.net/ contains all articles about planes now, while the vectorsite has everything else.

Before you head over to look at planes, however, I’d like to say a few words to Vectorsite itself and why I reccommend it here. The choice of topics is a big reason, of course. Greg Goebel picks interesting topics of modern military technology and presents them in an concise, entertaining and informative style. Most of the articles are more of an extended reference than a full coverage of the topic, but especially for me as an european the articles (for example about the “Caribou”) provided new insights about US military history during the cold war and its interservice relationships.

Another reason is that I actually like the websites layout, which refrains from any design elements and focuses on delivering content. The vast amount of material produced in such a short time, and the willingness of Mr. Goebel to put all of that under the GPL also deserve special praise. But most of all its the unpretentious and friendly style of writing that drew me to read even about topics I alread knew well enough – or so I thought. The joy and curiousity with which Mr Goebel approaches his topics is one I would like to pass on.

Date: June 20th, 2012

URL: http://vectorsite.net