The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: TO/E

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

Sturmpanzer.com

The recent news that Richard Hedrick, the owner of Sturmpanzer.com plans to discontinue the site as more than enough reason to point your attention to this trasure of research material. Nearly as old as the General Staff, Sturmpanzer owes its existance to a much nobler cause: scientific research. From its inception, the website has been tool as well as display of historical reasearch, only superficially centered around the German assault tanks based on the Tiger chassis, the “Sturmbär”.

Pretty quickly the content broadened into archival and printed sources. However, Sturmpanzers main treasure trove are the extensive PDF catalogues of all things World War two contained in the National Archives in Washington, and a vast amount of German TO/E-Data, usually in the original form of the KStN. KStN is german and short for Kriegsstärkenachweis, which I would translate to “war/mobilisation strength rooster”. Before and During Second World War they served as the basic inventory and structure information of any german unit, and their continuous updates reflect the German Armys response to the requirements of war.

Last but not least, in the past years the research blog has been another rich source of Data, Insights and thoughts about – mostly – the german Army in World War Two. I highly reccomend a visit before its taken offline.

Date: August 23rd, 2017

URL: http://sturmpanzer.com

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

Battalion Organisation during the Second World War

“Bayonetstrength 150” is the most knowledgeable website on bataillon sized units in second world war that we know of. Its name aptly describes focus and content: its all about organisation, training, equipment, and action of bataillion-sized units on the various battlefields of World War II. Its author, Gary Kennedy, not only manages to describe the theoretical structures of these fundamental buidling blocks of armies, but also captures the reality of their emplyoment and the subsequent changes that attrition and battle wear forced on them.

Based on a prolific bibliography on the subject Kennedy manages to describe the close interaction between organisation, equipment, and training in a way that makes it accessible even for laymen.

The page is spartan and in simple HTML, the only compromise to usability is the color coding of various sections. A host of index-pages and introductions lead to some redundancy, but ensure the reader never feels lost. A must-read for anyone interested in the topic of tactical combat in World War II.

Date: April 18th, 2012

URL: http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/index.htm

Update, Sep 11th, 2017: Bayonettstrength has been offline since this summer. While the Owner of the website has publicly stated that he wants to re-up the site in the future, currently it remains offline. If you need any information previously available at bayonettstrength150, you can find an offline copy in the ubiquous web archive at

https://web.archive.org/web/20160425143250/http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/General/site_map.htm,

or you can contact me, since I do have an offline copy.