Tag Archives: Nazi Germany

Russia’s War / No Retreat! The Russian Front (Book & Game, #1)

Welcome to a new (irregular) series on Clio’s Board Games! As you know, I love playing history in board games, and as you also know, I also love reading about history. So, we’re pairing the two! (Think of it like a sommelier recommending a wine & cheese pairing.) Here’s a book and a board game that match each other for gaming/reading that is as enjoyable as it is educational. We begin with the Eastern Front of World War II: I recommend Russia’s War (Richard Overy) and No Retreat! The Russian Front (Carl Paradis, GMT Games).

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The Life & Games of Wernher von Braun

Tumultuous times do not only change history-at-large, but also the lives of individuals. A person might have to move to another country and start anew. It’s hard to continue a successful career after such a sharp break in life. It’s particularly hard if the first part of your career was based on the exploitation of slave labor in the service of a totalitarian dictatorship that warred against your prospective new employer. And yet, a German rocket engineer did just that – he developed rockets for the Nazis, transitioned, and then held a crucial position in US rocket development and the space flight program that put the first man on the moon. “How did he do it?”, you wonder? – Gather ’round while I tell you of Wernher von Braun.

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Book Review: Do You Want Total War? (Darren Kilfara)

Book review? The blogger who has steadfastly refused to review any board game over the last three years now does book reviews? Well, yes (kinda, I’m not sure if this post qualifies as a review). But bear with me, not only is Do You Want Total War? (Darren Kilfara, Dunbar Press), as the sub-title of the book says, „A Book About History“, but our young protagonist Sean Lansbury is also an avid boardgamer: Every week, he spends one evening playing Totaler Krieg! (Alan Emrich/Steve Kosakowski, Decision Games), going through permutations of World War II over and over again. Let’s have a look at the characters and the themes the book explores – especially in regard to playing historical (war)games. I’ll also discuss a bit what that means for myself.
Warning: There are spoilers for the plot of „Do You Want Total War?“ ahead.

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Minutes of the Wannsee Conference on the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (USEAAR, #19)


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. Government and SS officials met on January 20, 1942 to coordinate the implementation of the genocide of the Jewish people of Europe. The translation from the German original is mine.

Classified Reich Matter!

Minutes of the Meeting

I. Attendees of the meeting held in Berlin, Am Großen Wannsee no. 56/58 on January 20, 1942, on the final solution to the Jewish question: Continue reading

Note of Susanna Pouvreau (USEAAR, #10)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Note from Susanna Pouvreau to her neighbor Marianne Dutour, Châtillon-en-Diois, October 16, 1940.

in all brevity: I am gone and will not come back to Châtillon anytime soon. I know what they are doing to our kind in Germany and do not doubt that they will want to do the same to us here. I have taken what I need and know where to go. When Pierre comes back, let him know I left on my own terms. When liberty returns, so will I. Please burn this note.
All my love,

Frankreich, französische Kriegsgefangene

French prisoners of war. Is Pierre among them? The picture is based on image 101I-055-1592 of the German Federal Archives, CC-BY-SA.

You can see the current state of affairs in the game in the Twitter thread:


Diary entry of Josephine Lefèvre (USEAAR, #7.2)

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

Brussels, June 07, 1940

We had a bit more than two weeks. I knew the Nazis would come back, and back with a vengeance they are. The parades have been a more emphatic show of force than ever, the boots are clicked on the ground more forceful than ever, and the delivery of punishment from slaps to executions is faster than ever. We shall not see peace nor freedom as long as the swastika flies over the Grand-Place. Continue reading

Letter by Aivars Ozols to his sister Inese Bumbulis (USEAAR, #3)

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

Riga, January 7, 1940

Dear Inese!
I cannot believe just two weeks ago we were celebrating Christmas – attempting to, at least. Not a single person in Latvia can be in a festive spirit when our country is at war against such an overwhelmingly more powerful foe. Of course, our boys are fighting bravely, what good is bravery if the Soviets have five soldiers for every one of ours – without even calling their troops from other parts of the country? For every offensive of theirs that we stifle, another succeeds, and so the frontline has only been moving in one direction – ever closer to Riga, and of course also to you in Ventspils. I do not mean to frighten you, but I cannot see how we would ever be able to hold out much longer.
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A Short History of the Total War

On this day 75 years ago, Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s Minister for Propaganda, gave his most famous speech. In the midst of World War II, he was speaking to a select crowd of supporters. At the climax of the speech, Goebbels asked, “Do you want total war?” The question – and the crowd’s frenetic response in the affirmative – were broadcast many times and remain infamous until this day.
But what is a total war? This article will look at the characteristics of a total war, the use of the term from the 18th to the 20th century, and Goebbels’ speech about it. Finally, there will be a brief section about board and video games that make use of the term.

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