Category Archives: Allgemein

Decolonization on the Ground (Decolonization, #2)

In 1900, about half the global population lived under foreign suzerainty. A century later, almost all (formal) colonies had vanished. The climax of this breathtaking process of decolonization was in 1960, exactly 60 years ago, when 17 newly independent states joined the United Nations. We’ve looked at decolonization from a bird’s eye view in the first post of this miniseries. Today, we’re going to zoom way in and look at decolonization processes in individual colonies. First, we’ll get an overview of the agents of decolonization. Then, we’ll look at the ideas that influenced the decolonization struggle as well as the fight for longer colonial rule. Finally, we explore the limits of an explanation which only looks to the colony in question. And, as always, we look at board games.

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Diary entry of Josephine Lefèvre (USEAAR, #26)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Brussels, December 21, 1942

I know I should not be euphoric. We have been liberated before. Continue reading

Two Kingdoms, One King? England, France, and the Hundred Years’ War

For hundreds of years, England and France were the fiercest rivals in Western Europe – from the wars of the Plantagenet kings of England to expand their holdings in France, to those of Napoleon against various British-led coalitions, and then the overseas bickering in the Age of Imperialism as when the two powers clashed at Fashoda. However, at one point it seemed as if this rivalry might come to an end and the two countries might be united: 600 years ago, the king of France recognized the king of England as his heir! We’ll find out how this came to happen and why it did not work out – and what happened instead. It goes without saying that you can expect board games on the way.
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Report on the Three-Power Conference in Tehran (USEAAR, #25)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Written by Salvatore Graniti, Counsellor of Legation in the Italian diplomatic service, posted at the Foreign Ministry in Rome

November 30, 1942

To his excellency the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Italy

Sir,
the following draft for a report on the three-power conference between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America held in Tehran is most humbly submitted to you.
The three powers have made agreements regarding the conduct of the war in Europe and the Pacific as well concerning the future peace order for Europe. Continue reading

The Life & Games of Winston Churchill

Eighty years ago, the fate of the world hung in the balance as Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. It is the legacy of one man that Britain fought on: Winston Churchill. This post will retrace his life from his early days through his deeds in war (World War I and World War II) and peace (the inter-war period and his later years). Unsurprisingly, a man of the historical importance of Churchill has inspired quite a few board games which will be our companions on the way.
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Documents from Dresden and Auschwitz (USEAAR, #24)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Diary entry of Victor Klemperer

Dresden, September 25, 1942

Shells do not discriminate. They fall on Christian and Jewish heads alike, they tear Aryan and non-Aryan limbs off just the same. Fortunately, I have not heard one for two days now. The battle of Dresden – if one can call it such, given how quickly the few Wehrmacht men with assistance of the local SS and Hitler Youth were overwhelmed by our Soviet liberators – is over. To Eva and me, it was deliverance. Continue reading

The Armies Converging (End of World War II, #2)

It’s been 75 years ago since the largest war in human history, World War II, ended. To commemorate this watershed, I’m doing a mini-series here on the blog. The first post has dealt with the conferences in Yalta and Potsdam that decided the post-war order. This one is about the final military campaigns in Europe.
The final act began in the west with the Allied landing in Normandy and the subsequent liberation of France, in the east with the annihilation of the German Army Group Center in Operation Bagration and the following Soviet advance through eastern Europe. In 1945, the Western Allies reached and crossed the Rhine against a disintegrating German army, whereas the Soviets made the final assault on Berlin. Obviously, I’ll discuss some board games along the way. As World War II is the most popular historical subject for board games, I had to pick very selectively. Let me know your favorite games on the end of World War II in Europe in the comments! Continue reading