The 100 Year Link – WW I

Since I read Herfried Münkler’s book The Great War three summers ago I got more and more interested in understanding the root cause of this world encompassing conflict. I wanted to better understand the strategic and operational thinking of the political and military leadership of the countries involved. Also I was and am fascinated about the effects that the war’s outcome and its unresolved problems still have on world politics today. Only since the end of the Iron Curtain have we become aware of the underlaying dynamics when we have seen several of these unresolved problems turning into regional conflicts.

To me wargaming is a multi-dimensional approach towards learning about such subjects. It involves reading, gaming, visiting museums, travelling to battle fields, viewing films and listening to lectures. All this is quite possible, if you live in Western Europe as I do. The green fields of Flanders and eastern France are only a 200 km drive away.

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Making Your Own Game Counters I

When I looked around for WW 1 CoSims I came around several downloadable wargames titles. As I have access to a high quality laser colour printer this is an interesting option to try some games at low budget. My  first try was In The Trenches: Devil Dogs that I obtained from Wargames Vault.

Maps and counter sheets I printed on 100 gramms paper. First I had a go witth cut out counters only, next I glued them on thin cardboard and cut out the counters. below you see my first result.

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Somme 1918 II

With my first positve experience with Somme 1918: Bloody Spring I wanted to go for the next scenario. This covers Unternehmen Michael from March 21st to April 1st 1918 (Turn 1 to 4) using the full starting forces with the basic game.  With some spare time at hand I set up the game in a quiet corner of the house. Its an awesome sight to see all those German counters cramped on the eastern edge of the playing area. 

Scenario 2 Operation Michael

In the southern sector this scenario is identical to Scenario 1 – v. Hutier Strikes. In the northern sector it adds – from north to south – the 17th and 2nd German Armies, both mainly  opposing the British 3rd Army. The main German effort I choose to direkt at the border of the two British armies. Here Michael Süd in combination with Bruchmüller will force a breaking open of the British front line.

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Somme 1918

With Russia out of the war, Germany’s Oberste Heeresleitung  OHL saw the chance for a last destruction blow on the crumbling Western Allies before the new American divisions  could make a numerical impact. Operation Michael was the code name of this last major German offensive. It was aimed at the joint of the British Expeditionary Forces and the French in order to seperate them from each other. The preliminary objectives were Arras and Amiens to be taken as a requirement to push the BEF into the sea.

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Galicia: The Forgotten Couldron

Entering the twenties of our 21st century the Great War is long ago and nearly forgotten. But our contemporary conflicts are more often then not a consequence of the results of this war. Many issues between nations remain unsolved. In the wake of the downfall of old empires national borders prove to having been drawn arbitrarily and thus get contested, especially in eastern Europe, the western Mediterranian,  and in the middle East.  Therefore to deal with the campaigns of the Great War in reading and wargaming to me means also learning about the basics of todays international relations.

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Illusions of Glory

Having played Paths of Glory I got addicted to the game play that these Card Driven Strategic War point-to-point Games alow for. Also with the 100 years anniversary this period of our history becomes more prominent in my mind. Illusions of Glory is interesting as it focusses on the eastern front of World War I. I must admitt that I know little about this side of the conflict and thus I am keen to learn more.

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Vittorio Veneto

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Most wargamers will not be all to familiar with Vittorio Veneto. Its a small town located some 70 kilometers north of Venice between the rivers Piave to the west and Livenza to the east. It was created from two old towns, Ceneda and Serravalle, that historically reach far back at least into early Christian times. This happened shortly after the annexion of Veneto into the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

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The Battle for Serbia 1914

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After having played a few moves in the introductory scenario I found out that I made an error with the result of unsuccessful post combat effectiveness checks for asset units. This was quite significant and  chose to restart the campaign. Thus here you can read about the course of the main 1914 campaign for Serbia. Each post will comprise between 3 and 4 moves and the corresponding interim turn. I have dedicated a page to this 1914 campaign that you can reach by clicking on this ww1-b-128-bulgarians. The campaign starts with the Austro-Hungarian invasion of north-western Serbia and Montenegro on 12 August 1914 and will end 23 December 1914.

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1914: Sms Intro

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Once you start getting interested in a specific period of military history you discover a plethora of information on the internet. The Austro-Serbian campaign of 1914 is no exception to this. At the very beginning of the Great War aka World War One Serbia fought off the Austro-Hungarian invaders repulsing  them back over the river Drina after 5 month of fighting and some 400.000 casualties counting both sides. This “March to the Drina” has entered Serbian military folklore, a Serbian military march bearing this title.

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