Post by Michael Miller on May 16, 2014 2:14:30 GMT
I actually have not read that many books focused on this campaign. Will have to go through a dusty box to see what I still have. One I know literally fell apart; the other I may still have though I suspect it is in a ruinous condition. If anyone has first hand suggestions, I'd love to hear.
With Rommel in the Desert, H. W. Schmidt – The first book I read on the subject. I've been hooked ever since.
The Battle for North Africa, 1940-43, W. G. F. Jackson – I thought it a good general treatment including the East African and Tunisian campaigns.
The Trail Of The Fox, David Irving – I haven't read this, but it seems to be highly recommended.
I'm also interested in an account of General Wavell, whom I always thought was quite competent, but overshadowed by the more politically connected Auchinleck and Montgomery.
I always like to read in parallel with whatever game is going on. Almost like a player manual in the case of CNA.
I agree that Wavell was pretty competent. This theatre was so different to every other campaign; an incredibly dramatic story. The likes of the Durham Light Infantry were recruited from these parts, so I've had the opportunity to hear accounts at first hand.
I'm only familiar with Irving and his material has always seemed very well researched and authoritatively written. It is disgraceful that lately, I've heard people trying to claim that he is not really a proper historian! Politically motivated unfortunately...
Post by Michael Miller on Oct 11, 2014 3:25:35 GMT
Not a fully fleshed out whole, but the concept boggles the mind: I stumbled across old SPI Moves magazine articles on spigames.net, and found a three part article with rules, counter suggestions and various map and off-map modifications to link War in Europe with War in the Pacific, sounding basically like adding WitP naval and air rules to WiE. Besides needing to dedicate a medium sized supermarket's worth of floor/map/chart space, I cannot even conceive of the overwhelming task of actually playing this. Redmond Simonsen's intro notes are great.
Of mild interest here, the third part of the article provides an aircraft rating chart which might be interesting to compare to CNA's (and no I am not advocating changes here).
Post by Michael Miller on Dec 6, 2014 20:19:42 GMT
I've located another resource online focused on Italy, which information, particularly in English has been historically difficult to obtain. Several interesting essays there challenge widely held views regarding performance of the Italians versus their allies and opponents. While I certainly do not agree with everything I've read there even to this early limited extent, there is some "spunti di riflessione" there.
Great forum - very informative. I purchased CNA when first published, but never did much more than set up the map, punch out the counters, photocopy the forms, and read the rules. I'm enjoying the forum and especially the photographs.
Suggested reading material (from my library): With Rommel in the Desert - Heinz Schmidt (As did Michael Miller on this Board, this was the first book I read on the Campaign for North Africa, and like him I was fascinated by the subject. I was a young GI stationed in Hanau Germany in the mid-70's.) The Trail of the Fox - David Irving The Rommel Papers - B. H. Liddel-Hart The Battle for North Africa 1940-43 - William G. F. Jackson *Rommel's Last Battles - Samuel W. Mitcham (Deals with Normandy, but is part of a trilogy on Rommel) Rommel's Desert War - Samuel W. Mitcham Triumphant Fox - Samuel W. Mitcham The Valentine in North Africa 1942-43 - Perrett (on the Valentine Tank) Rommel: The Desert Fox - Desmond Young Tobruk: The Great Siege Reassessed - Frank Harrison Panzer Army Africa - James Lucas War in the Desert - James Lucas Rommel: A Narrative and Pictorial History - Richard Law and Craig Luther Knight's Cross - David Fraser Rommel's War in North Africa - Wolf Heckmann Rommel: Battles and Campaigns - Kenneth Macksey The North African War - Warren Tute Desert War in North Africa - Stephen Sears
Great material on the New Zealanders at the site above. Some detailed accounts of operations during Crusader are here, along with a nice collection of photos. A short snippet is below.
"At the time of this engagement, it is probable that Rommel thought he had encountered a considerably larger proportion of the New Zealand Division than was actually the case. It was later stated by Colonel Mario Revetria, Chief Intelligence Officer of the Italian forces under Rommel’s command, that the German leader had first been under the impression that the 6th New Zealand Infantry Brigade had been virtually wiped out in company with the 5th South African Brigade on 23 November. Instead, on that same afternoon, the 25th Battalion had driven the Germans from Point 175, and the brigade was to take heavy toll of the enemy from the Sidi Rezegh escarpment before it was finally dislodged on 1 December.
"Throughout this short but severe action the leadership of the anti-tank troop commander, Lieutenant Pepper, was an inspiration to his men, and indeed to all the New Zealanders there. Regardless of the heavy small-arms fire, he moved from gun to gun encouraging the crews, meeting every emergency promptly and with skill. At one stage, when the arrival of some South African vehicles and the distortion of an order gave the impression that there was a general withdrawal, he corrected the error and by personal visits to each gun made sure that the line was maintained. For this outstanding work under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and his complete disregard of personal danger, Lieutenant Pepper was awarded the Military Cross. It was a grave misfortune for the troop and the regiment when, three days later, he was so badly injured by a staff car which backed into the slit-trench in which he was resting, that he had to be invalided back to New Zealand."
Post by Michael Miller on Jan 22, 2015 2:16:21 GMT
A fairly detailed discussion of the U.S. logistics efforts in World War II can be found at The Big L. There is a quite extensive bibliography that may be of further interest to anyone involved with CNA. I followed one and found this.
Post by Michael Miller on Feb 20, 2015 14:06:04 GMT
While not directly relevant, this essay from last Christmas regarding a French author's perspective on the truces and fraternization in Artois was something I had not seen before. When combined with a recent listening to an audiobook on the battle(s) for Verdun and the Meuse/Argonne region throughout the Great War, I was amazed at the successful propaganda efforts by the French government of the time, particularly when compared to their generally modest battlefield achievement during the war. Clearly the newspaper war came of age during that time. That these efforts are not very well understood even today is a shame, and to me reflects rather poorly on the government.
Particularly touching, bringing a bit of a tear to my eyes, was the passage, and the pathos evoked by French corporal Louis Barthas:
"Shared suffering brings hearts together, dissolves hatred and prompts sympathy among indifferent people and even enemies. Those who deny this understand nothing of human psychology. French and German soldiers looked at one another and saw that they were all equal as men."
He went on to make a wish from the depths of his trench near Arras: "Maybe one day in this part of Artois region, they will erect a monument to commemorate this surge of brotherly feeling among men who hated war and who were forced to kill each other against their will."
Rest in peace, sir.
Given the length the author had to go to get the information from French archives, I find it very sad that Mr. Barthas wish and hope still has yet to be realized a century later. The obvious time to do so has been missed, but perhaps such stories may help.