Monday, 30 April 2018

The Tightrope | French Colonial Collapse

French army recruitment poster, Indochina /Algeria War (1950's to early 1960's).
... and the Shaping of Cold War Europe, a Master's Thesis by Major Donald J. Thompson, U.S. ARNG. From the introduction of this amazingly interesting read... At the end of World War II, France was much weaker than it had been before the start of the war; however, France still had a role within the U.S.-dominated Western alliance standing against Soviet expansion. Nevertheless, the French leadership chose to engage what remained of their national power in the reestablishment of their overseas colonial empire. France's preoccupation with the reestablishment of its colonial empire was strategically important to the structure of the post-World War II security environment because it amounted to a direct competition to its obligations for the defence of Europe.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Paths to Victory | Detailed Insurgency Case Studies

Colonel Marcel Bigeard maintains radio contact with other paratrooper units in March 1956
"Counterinsurgency (COIN) is the blend of comprehensive civilian and military efforts designed to simultaneously contain insurgency and address its root causes. Unlike conventional warfare, non-military means are often the most effective elements, with military forces playing an enabling role." Introduction from a US Government Report about Counterinsurgency.

Friday, 27 April 2018

JTCS West Front | German Localisation and improved graphics

The localised German version of JTCS West Front | OOB Menu
Hell at Hurtegn Forrest Situation Map | JTCS West FrontMore updates for JTCS West Front and great stuff done by Eagle-FZS. Check it out at the Matrix Games Forum post, including the download link. Without passionate and dedicated gamers and enthusiasts... what would our wargaming community be without them?

Revolutionary Warfare | Indochina and Algeria

Paras of the French Foreign Legion showing captured FLN flag and equipment in Algeria.
The full title of this interesting study from the USMA West Point is Revolutionary Warfare | Volume V - French Counterrevolutionary Struggles: Algeria and Indochina. 
The French in Indochina, their control weakened by wartime concessions that strengthened Vietnamese nationalism, were unable either to meet the postwar political threat of a capable, determined Communist leadership that perfectly exploited the indigenous desire for independence, or to defeat the revolutionary forces in the field - Introduction by Bernard B. Fall.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Hélicoptères à Oued Fodda | CS Middle East

A 2D situation map showing French H-21 Helicopters and Colonial Paras over/in Oued Fodda.
As previously mentioned, it wasn't the Americans who first experimented and utilised helicopters for operations. Due to the lack of any reliable reference material, I decided to create a helicopter variant of the Campaign Series Middle East scenario Long Road Home - Oued Fodda, 1958. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

CS Vietnam Preview | The Battle of Nà Sản

A 2D Map of the Battle of Na-San for the CS Vietnam Series o WargamesIn late 1952, in a bid to block the advance of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam’s (DRV) army into northwestern Vietnam and Laos, General Raoul Salan transformed Na San, a small upland village located along the Lao border, into a major entrenched position. Some 20,000 men were transferred to Na San to turn it into a “usine de guerre fabuleuse pour l’époque”. At the height of the work, Dakota planes were landing or taking off every 15 minutes. The French dug trenches, installed heavy artillery, and built an airbase to supply the camp from afar. A defensive fortress, supplied by air, was thus waiting for the Vietnamese when they attacked. General Vo Nguyen Giap was confident that he could take the isolated camp and consolidate his hold over strategically important Tai regions in north-western Vietnam and northern Laos. He had taken Nghia Lo from the French earlier that year; he counted on doing the same at Na San. However, his intelligence services failed to provide him with accurate information on the new type of defensive war Salan was preparing for him in Na San. On 30 November, Vo Nguyen Giap sent waves of his troops from the 308th and 312th divisions against the camp.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Failure, Success and Lessons learned

French soldiers at their post in an Algerian village after a patrol.
The legacy of the Algerian War and its influence on counterinsurgency doctrine, by Zachary Edward Rish. Another interesting thesis for accomplishing a Master of Arts History degree by the author. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The First Helicopter War | Campaign Series Middle East

French troops deployed by helicopter in Algeria
The First Helicopter War | Logistics and Mobility in Algeria, 1954-1962  is yet another interesting read I literally bumped into! Most of us automatically think about the Ia-Drang Valley in Vietnam, 1st Air Cavalry and lots of 'choppas' dropping GIs at LZs there. But... it was the French who first tried to utilise this new way of transport. At the end, despite of this revolutionary concept, it neither helped the French in Algeria nor the US Americans in Vietnam to win... 

Monday, 16 April 2018

CS Vietnam | Operation Starlite

Campaign Series Vietnam - ALPHA graphics.. 2D screenshots of the Operation Starlite area
Another preview of some maps for Campaign Series - Vietnam in the making. There're more sneak previews of maps at The Campaign Series Facebook page an, naturally some information about Operation Starlite when you follow the link.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Tankers Holiday | Situation Turn 4

Tankers Holiday JTCS EF III scenarioituation map at turn 4. Soviet T-34 tanks knocking out German Pz.III-J.
The situation and friendly losses(!!!) at the beginning of turn 3. Not really encouraging, but that was to be expected. My next moves will reorganise my actual tactical positions, trying to draw the superior T-34 a tad closer to the objectives and hit them from the flank and/or rear. Alas, no surprise, I've dug up yet another interesting thesis - Building Guderian's Duck: Germany's Response to the Eastern Front Antitank Crisis.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

CS Vietnam | Battle of Mao Khé

French troops at Mao Khe inspecting fallen enemy troops in front of their positions
In the second attack of his general counter-offensive, Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap targets a French outpost near Haiphong in what becomes known as the Battle of Mao Khé. After days of bloody, sometimes hand-to-hand, fighting Giap withdraws.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Tankers Holiday | Situation Turn 3

Lead elements of a presumably reinforced Soviet Tank Battalion spotted.
Here they are! During the replay phase some Soviet screening units were able to snatch one of the objectives. Our reece already made out at least two T-34 Tank companies of the enemy. If you want to read about the German Defence Doctrine on the Eastern Front prior to 1943, just follow this link.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Tankers Holiday | Situation Turn 2

JTCS East Front II Scenario Tankers Holiday Map with units of the German Panzer Regiment 201.
Counterattack at Honkaniemi, the Finnish attempt at saving their Interim Line just south of Viborg, with a rare participation of Vickers 6 ton tanks in support. Here's the situation at the beginning of turn two. Recon elements ahead, naturally, to prevent any potential surprises I cannot afford to happen. Compare the old 2D map (right) with the new one (left)... Can't actually wait for EF III!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Tankers Holiday AAR | The Plan

4./II/201 and 6./II/201 acting as southern hook in the encounter near Kharkov, Ukraine.
Here's the general plan. For this engagement I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. 5./II/201 will screen the northern approaches through the woods and along the railroad. 4./II/201 and 6./II/201 will act as southern hook. The marching orders for one of the companies in the south I might delay a bit, to make sure I won't be bushwhacked in the process.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Tankers Holiday | JTCS EF II AAR

2nd Battalion/201st Panzer Regiment ready for action NE of Kharkov during Operation Fridericus.
During the last few days of April 1942 both the Germans and the Russians continued to probe the enemy lines in preparation for their planned summer offensives around Kharkov. Soviet Major Grinyov's 1st Battalion/36th Tank Brigade was given the task of securing the railway sidings outside of the small village of Gotha, north east of Liptsy.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Schlieffen War Plan | Logistics

Map of the original Schlieffen Plan 1905 (left) and Moltke's version 1914 (right)
Because of recent discussions on Twitter, concerning 'mobilisation time-tables' and so on... I decided to dig up another interesting Master of Military Studies thesis. The Author of - The Schlieffen War Plan: What Impact did Logistics contribute to the Plan's Failure? - in this case was Major Craig O. Petersen, USMC.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

It Started Not With a Bang, but a Whimper...

A Patrol of the Groupe Mobile Nord-African during a mission near Dong Luong.Is the subtitle of another thesis for a Masters Degree, in this case of Colonel Christopher J. Cardoni, United States Army. The document of course is not classified and can be viewed and downloaded from the Army War College Publications server.

Monday, 2 April 2018

US Order of Battle | CSVN

New 3D bases and terrain tiles for the upcoming Campaign Series - Vietnam.
Just a teaser this time, really. Have a look how much dedicated research went, and still goes, into the upcoming Campaign Series Vietnam project. While we are on the subject... There's an interesting C-Span Video that sheds some light on the U.S. Military Strategy in Vietnam.