Tag Archives: Germany

The Treaty of Versailles (Century of German History, #10)

Friends of history, board games, and history in board games! Last year, I started a series called „Century of German History“ covering Germany’s turbulent 20th century. For every decade, I picked one crucial event (that happened in the year ending in a 9), placed it into the wider context, and illuminated it with exactly one board game. Now those of you who counted might have noticed that I didn’t finish this series in 2019. One event was missing – that of 1919. You might blame that on my laziness, but I swear, this time, that’s not true. The defining event of 1919 is the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I – and I wanted to cover that with the upcoming Versailles 1919 (Geoff Engelstein/Mark Herman, GMT Games). However, while I was ready for Versailles 1919, Versailles 1919 was not ready for me yet. Now, the game is about to go to the printers, and I can write about this intriguing design which made it to my list of most anticipated historical board games to be released this year. We’ll talk about the powers involved in the peacemaking at Versailles, the process of negotiations, and what became of it. Continue reading

Commissar Order (USEAAR, #17)

This post is part of a mostly fictitious after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . The document in question, however, is authentic. The Commissar Order detailing the execution of Soviet prisoners of war was given to the Wehrmacht in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The translation from the German original is mine. The emphases in the original (underlined) have been preserved.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars

In the struggle against Bolshevism, it is not to be expected that the enemy conforms to the principles of humanity or international law. Especially the political commissars of all kinds as the real agents of resistance are to be expected to treat our prisoners hatefully, cruelly, and inhumanely. Continue reading

Letter from Rebeka Kwitecka to her sister Chana Rosen (USEAAR, #16)

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

Warsaw, August 13, 1941

My dear Chana!
I will be very brief: I hope you, Meir, and the children are well. Myself, I am unharmed. There was not so much fighting in the Old Town, and things have calmed down over the last few days. However, I have a request, if it is not too much to be asked: Continue reading

Diary entry of Erzsébet Trócsanyi (USEAAR, #14)

 

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

Budapest, April 10, 1941

The minister has met with the ambassador of Germany again. Once more, the ambassador has encouraged the minister to make the full claims to regain the parts of Greater Hungary which are under Romanian administration since the end of the Great War. The ambassador assures us that Germany will back Hungary against the Soviets and the likely Romanian puppet regime they will install once they have taken Constanţa. Of course, the minister has noted that Germany has supported the Romanians and Latvians with some old tanks and the Estonians and Lithuanians with nothing but empty words. „None of those“, said the ambassador, „had a direct connection to mainland Germany“. He does have a point. If Germany wants to fight, they certainly can, especially as France is defeated and Italy on the ropes. Continue reading

Excerpts from the logbook of Mermaid (USEAAR, #13)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Written by her captain, John O. Bray, of Halifax, Nova Scotia

February 3
[…]Loading completed before time. The entire ship is filled with Canadian grain bound for Liverpool, England. Waiting for convoy departure date in two days.[…]

[…]

February 5
[…]Convoy has left in time. Clear seas in the Western Atlantic. […]

[…]

February 11
[…]Spotted a plane in some distance in the southeast.
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Report on the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (USEAAR, #12)

 

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Written by Salvatore Graniti, Secretary of Legation in the Italian diplomatic service, recently posted to the Italian embassy in London

To his Excellence the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Italy
Sir,
the following report on the recent developments in the political leadership of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is most humbly submitted to you.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain, has resigned from his post during a meeting of the War Cabinet in the evening of December 18, after the last German soldiers had been expelled from the south-east of England. He argued that the failed invasion had irrevocably damaged the confidence Parliament and the British people could have in his leadership. He is succeeded by the previous Foreign Secretary Edward Wood, Viscount Halifax. Continue reading

The Wall Must Go (Century of German History, #9)

I’m doing a series on German history in the 20th century on my blog this year. In intervals of 10 years, I pick a crucial event and explore it – with the help of precisely one board game. You can find the previous posts here:

Today, we go into very recent history: Only 30 years ago, the world was still divided into the power blocs led by the United States and the Soviet Union. The frontline of this confrontation known as the Cold War ran right through the heart of Europe – Germany, and even its major city, Berlin, divided by the Berlin Wall. We’ll look at what this wall meant, how influences from outside Berlin gave an impulse for change, how the Berlin Wall finally came down, and which way the divided country took afterward. The game to accompany all of this could be no other than 1989 (Ted Torgerson/Jason Matthews, GMT Games).

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Diary entry of Edelgard Traun (USEAAR, #9)

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

Dresden, August 31, 1940

Tomorrow we complete one year of this war. I, like most Germans, did not want it. I am old enough to remember the World War of 1914—18, and this war looked just the same. Yet I confess that I was carried away when our armies swept through France and took Paris in just six weeks. It seemed like it could be a short war, just enough to restore our glory lost in 1918. But since then, nothing has gone right again. The front in France is bogged down just like in 1914. The Italians have joined the fight in the hope of plunder just like in 1915.
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Into the Abyss: The Global Economic Crisis and the Fall of the Weimar Republic (Century of German History, #8)

I’m doing a series on German history in the 20th century on my blog this year. In intervals of 10 years, I pick a crucial event and explore it – with the help of precisely one board game. You can find the previous posts here:

Today, we’re going all the way back to Germany’s interwar Weimar Republic and the global economic crisis beginning in 1929. We’ll look at the vulnerable foundations of this new democracy, the immediate effects of the economic crisis, and the part the crisis played in the fall of the Weimar Republic. Also, we’ll discuss the perpetual questions if the Weimar Republic failed and if its fall was inevitable. The game to accompany all of this is Weimar: The Fight for Democracy (Matthias Cramer, Compass Games). The game is to be published next year, so all the components you see here still have the playtest art which will of course be polished. Designer Matthias Cramer provided me with the pictures and answered some questions of mine about the game and its portrayal of the crisis – very kind of him! Continue reading

Leaflet by the Italian Propaganda Department (USEAAR, #8)

 

These leaflets were dropped over Bavaria by planes of the Italian air force. The Regia Aeronautica dropped similar leaflets over other regions in the German south, mostly over towns and villages predominantly inhabited by Catholics.

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