Tag Archives: Unconditional Surrender!

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

Letter from Gianni Rossatti to Salvatore Graniti (USEAAR, #23.2)

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

Letter from Gianni Rossatti, Counsellor of Embassy, posted at the Italian embassy in London, to Salvatore Graniti, Counsellor of Legation, currently in Milan

London, August 23, 1942

My dear Salvatore!
I am so relieved to hear that you have evaded Nazi capture. Since the first news of the German counter-attack have reached me, I have been praying for your delivery. It is uplifting to hear, especially as the good news have been so rare lately. Continue reading

Letter from Salvatore Graniti to Gianni Rossatti (USEAAR, #23.1)

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

Letter from Salvatore Graniti, Counsellor of Legation in the Italian diplomatic service, formerly posted as a liaison with the British Army in Germany, to Gianni Rossatti, Counsellor of Embassy, posted at the Italian embassy in London

Milan, August 13, 1942

Most esteemed Gianni!
You will have heard what has befallen the forces under the command of General Montgomery – and by extension, to our Italian division, and to me as liaison with the British Army in Germany. I am happy to tell you that I am alive, unwounded, and, unlike most others who served with that unit, not in captivity.
When General Montgomery’s headquarters came under attack by German forces, I happened to be on an errand to the 1st Italian division in Alsace. A stray artillery shell hit my jeep, and we crashed into the ditch. My driver was dead immediately. Poor Paolo! He’d been with my all this time since Sicily. Frankly, I write this letter to you so I can postpone writing the one to his parents. What am I to tell them that will not just give them grief? Continue reading

Declaration of the Stavanger chapter of the (Norwegian) Labor Party (USEAAR, #21)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Norwegians!
We have not come to war, and yet war has come to us. For the forthcoming fight, the Stavanger chapter of the Labor Party declares:
Continue reading

Letter of Congratulation on the Italian Campaign (USEAAR, #20)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.
Written by Gianni Rossatti, Counsellor of Embassy in the Italian diplomatic service, posted at the Italian embassy in London

London, February 24, 1942

To Salvatore Graniti, currently posted as a liaison with the British Army in Italy
My dear Salvatore,
I have no idea where this letter will reach you. In November, you had just crossed into Calabria, in December, you were in Apulia already, just to embark again, and land in Trieste in January. Having just taken Venice, as I hear, I assume you will be half the way to the Reich Chancellery by now. Continue reading

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

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

Farewell 2019 – On the Blog

Welcome to the last end-of-year post for 2019 on my blog! So far, I’ve done Top Threes in the following categories:

Today, we come to the blog itself. It’s been a very good year for the blog – I posted 48 times (up by 9 in comparison to 2018) and doubled the number of hits and visitors.
The blog had visitors from 122 different countries and dependencies this year. Unsurprisingly, most (around 40%) of them come from the United States as the biggest English-speaking country, with the UK, Canada, and Australia accounting for another 20%. I’m always a bit surprised to see the blog doing well in countries where I don’t know a single subscriber (but of course, I cannot know everyone personally who stumbles over this blog) – so whoever you are who reads this blog in Sweden, Portugal, South Africa, Hong Kong (among many others) – thanks for stepping by! Leave me a comment. I’d like to get to know you!
Dear readers, thank you for your interest! I hope you had a delightful and possibly even educational time. I certainly had fun writing these posts. And here are the three projects which I regard as my finest achievements this year:

Continue reading

Farewell 2019 – Historical Board Games

I do Top Threes in various categories as my end-of-year posts. So far, I have done this year:

And here, finally, is the pinnacle of Top Three posts for the end of the year – historical board games! That’s what you’ve come for. So, without further ado, here are the three history-themed board games with which I had the most fun I this year:
Continue reading