Tag Archives: United States

Roosevelt’s Address to Congress after the Attack on Pearl Harbor (USEAAR, #15)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . However, the text is not fictitious – Franklin D. Roosevelt gave this speech after the historical Japanese attack. All I changed is the date.

June 8, 1941

Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:
Yesterday, June 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. Continue reading

Roosevelt Wins Third Term (USEAAR, #11)

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

November 6, 1940

ROOSEVELT DEFEATS DEWEY, WINS THIRD TERM
Incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt will remain in the White House for another four years. He is sure to have carried at least 311 electoral votes in yesterday’s presidential election. While his challenger Thomas E. Dewey has won more states (likely 29), President Roosevelt’s strength in the populous mid-Atlantic and southern states had him come out on top. Mr. Roosevelt will be the first president of the United States to be sworn in for a third term. Continue reading

Willy Brandt and Détente (Century of German History, #7)

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 back to 1969, when Willy Brandt took office as chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the policy of détente across the Iron Curtain he implemented then. Here, the „German question“ of reunification merged with superpower détente into détente between West Germany and the Soviet Union as well as her allies in Eastern Europe. And when it comes to matters of détente and confrontation, our accompanying game can be no other than the famed Twilight Struggle (Ananda Gupta/Jason Matthews, GMT Games). If you are interested in Brandt’s life beyond détente, check out one of my very first blog posts on exactly that matter. Continue reading

A New Start – and Two New Germanies (Century of German History, #4)

Welcome to the fourth installment in my series Century of German History! Every post in the series sheds light on a focal event of German history in the 20th century and illustrates this event with precisely one board game. You can find the three previous posts here, here and here.
Today, we look at the foundation of two German states in 1949. After the end of World War II, Germany was in ruins – materially and ideologically. While the Allies attempted some cooperation initially, they soon found themselves at odds and the three Western occupation zones and the Soviet occupation zone developed differently. The board game through whose lens we’re looking at these crucial times is Wir sind das Volk! (Richard Sivél/Peer Sylvester, Histogame).

Continue reading

The Berlin Crisis (Century of German History, #1)

Welcome, readers! You have just come upon my first post in the new series A Century of German History. This year, I will post ten articles, one for each decade of the 20th century. The century was the most dramatic in our history.[1] And it was possibly nowhere more so than in Germany, a country that found itself sometimes on the wrong side of history, sometimes on the right, and sometimes even on both at the same time. The series does therefore not only attempt to show you some German history, but also shed light on the wider processes of those times in which Germany was both a subject and an object. Each article will feature one focal event (all of them in the year ending in a 9) and use one – and only one! – board game to illustrate it. Today, we begin with the superpower bickering over Berlin during the Berlin Crisis (after looking at West Berlin’s special situation). The board game to come with that, however, focuses on Cuba: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis (Asger Harding Granerud/Daniel Skjold Pedersen, Jolly Roger Games). Why did I choose this game then? Read and find out. Continue reading

The 1973 Oil Price Shock and its Consequences

We are used to the ever-changing price of oil as one of the central indicators of the economy. Sometimes, the price is high, like in 2008, when a barrel cost over $120. Sometimes it is low (like in 2016 at $33/barrel). And sometimes somewhere in the middle (as it is now around $80/barrel). However, for almost three decades after World War II, permanently cheap energy fueled the post-war economic boom that has not seen its like again. Oil became the lifeblood of the global economy then and accounted for almost half of the global energy consumption in 1972. Initially, much of it came from American oil exports, but as American consumption grew, the country became an oil importer and the Middle Eastern countries picked up the baton as the leading oil exporters. But what would happen if that essential resource suddenly became expensive? The world found out during the oil price shocks of 1973. We’ll have a look at how the crisis came to happen and to be resolved, which short-term impacts it had, and how things turned out differently in the longer run. As always, expect board games!

Continue reading

Fall 1983

The Cold War had its fair share of tense moments – think of the Berlin Blockade in 1948 or the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962… and then there was the fall of 1983. None of the events of fall 1983 were as iconic by themselves, but together they formed an impressive string which made the world anxious if the Cold War was going to turn hot more than once. We’ll have a look at the new American policy after the fall of détente and then go right into the grim fall of 1983 – all of which through the lens of Twilight Struggle (Ananda Gupta/Jason Matthews, GMT Games).
Continue reading