Books on war and stuff

I’m battling with some not too serious stomach problems right now which has a negative effect on my sleep cycle.

Sitting infront of the computer at night when the rest of the family is asleep is a good way of keeping myself occupied, atleast it’s better than using pain killers which seriously f*ck with my head.

Anyway, I was thinking of putting up an AAR from a scenario in Panzer Campaigns Moscow ’41 which I played recently but I am still struggling with getting the hang of MILSketch since I want to provide some nice pictures showing my plans and my progress. I wouldn’t be a try war nerd if I didn’t do that now would I?

The purpose of this blog as you might have guessed from the title was to speak about wargaming but I am going to talk about some books instead.

I just received a new stack of books some of which I should have read long ago. Among them is Heinz Guderians Achtung Panzer and Panzer Leader, I actually have read them a long time ago when I picked them up from the library but they are required reading for the serious world war two nerd. The other books were volume 1 and 2 of History of the 12th SS -Panzer Division ‘Hitlerjugend’ written by their command Hubert Meyer. Unfortunately I have some doubts about Hubert Meyer as a writter. I have read Grenadiers of the mentioned author earlier and I found it had a bit too much of war-glorification and self-glorification but I still feel like I must read them.

I am currently reading Panzer Commander which is the memoirs of Hans Von Luck who was a colonel in the german armored forces during world war two and amongst others he served under Rommel in North Africa. I highly recommend this book if you haven’t already read it, I would say that it is one of the most balanced accounts written from a german officers perspective. It contains none of the self-glorification you for example can find in Hubert Meyers Grenadiers or Otto Carius Tigers in the mud.

If you want to get a good view of the regular german soldiers view I recommend Five years, four fronts by Georg Grossjohann or The forgotten soldier by Guy Sajer although there has been some controversy surrounding the authenticity of the book. Nevertheless it is an briliant example of storytelling and I would guess it gives a fairly accurate account of the life and times in the trenches.

I will try to get the AAR ready for the next post.

Panzer Marsch!

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Not quiet on the eastern front

When it comes to world war two the eastern front has always been my main interest. I guess part of it is because of the scale of the fighting. The vast distances. The encirclements. The two opposites of extreme political systems caught in a life and death struggle. A clash of titans.
Lucky enough for us wargamers the last couple of years has seen a fair amount of games covering the battles on the eastern front from the small unit tactical scale up to the grand operational scale.
Currently I have been spending a lot of time (nights) playing John Tiller’s excellent Panzer Campaigns series. The thing I like the most is that the gaming system although pretty complex “under the hood” is very easy to get into. It is one of the few games of this type where you don’t have to wade through 100+ pages of manual before you get the hang of it. The UI is intuitive and if you want to have cleaner and more appealing graphical presentation there are some talented modders out there, The AI is decent although as in most cases with these games the AI better in defending than attacking but overall it puts up a good fight. The game may lack some features that are present in other games on the same scale but I think it is good compromise between complexity and playability. Gary Grigsby’s ‘War in the East’ may be more detailed for example but also includes a 300+ page manual and a 40(!) page getting started guide which is part of the reason why I haven’t bothered with that game yet…
Right now I am playing Panzer Campaigns Moscow ’41 which deals with the german advance towards Moscow and the subsequent russian counter attacks. The first scenario will be “The frozen offensive” depicting elements of the 7th Panzer Division capturing a bridge over the Volga-Moskava Canal.

My idea is to post an AAR when I’m finished.


Panzer Campaigns Moscow ’41 using Volcano Mod counters and ModMod’s map.

To get in the right mood I gather some useful information on TOE I have read Osprey Publisings “Moscow 1941 – Hitler’s first defeat” in the “Campagin”-series. Ospreys books may lack some depth but they paint a good overall picture and they are a good starting point if you are new to the subject. Al Stewarts “Roads to Moscow” (normally not my cup of tea but ,hey, he sings about the eastern front!) are in the headphones.

Panzer Marsch! (That’s “let’s go” for you other people).

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