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Subject: Good Book on WW2 European Infantry Skirmishes? rss

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Andrew Laws
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Grogs!

I'm after a book that covers interesting/unique/important infantry.. i'm not sure which word to use... skirmishes? firefights? contacts? in the European and N.African theatres of World War 2.

Ideally it won't focus on just one nationality, and will give some numbers for the troops and weapons involved. Basically I'm after an inspiration for scenario design.

I'm not interested at all in strategic considerations, just what happened when two sides met to contest a hill/bridge/town/airfield/whatever, forces involved and what the result was. Interesting twists like an artillery spotter on a skijump are especially welcome.

Thanks.

Ps. Isn't the specificity of these sub-folders neat?
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Michael Dorosh
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Infantry Aces by Gordon Williamson (not the one by Kurowski)


It's hard to find really good snippets for scenario design though; this book is mostly individual stories, and not a lot of in-depth research material.

The best I've found is SMALL UNIT ACTIONS ON THE EASTERN FRONT, the U.S. Army manual, but the trouble is, the Squad Leader guys picked it clean for their own efforts over the years with SL-GI and now ASL.

I can send you a copy of the manual if you can't locate it - send me a geekmail. There are good maps and info.

They based the game Iron Cross on one of the chapters as well.

Oh - I keep banging the drum about the Canadian Army Training Memorandum/British Army Training Memorandum - I think there would be some good ideas in there also, as they reprint tactical lessons learned type articles and battle AARs. Still waiting for my reprint of all the British ones to come by mail but I might have some samples from my collection of Canadian ones I could scan - I'll have to check and see.


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Andrew Laws
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Michael Dorosh wrote:

It's hard to find really good snippets for scenario design though; this book is mostly individual stories, and not a lot of in-depth research material.


Thanks for the tips. Will look these up. I should say I don't want to go too in-depth with the research, but a location, date, forces info will be good to get the cogs spinning. Balanced play rooted in history is better than strict adherence to the facts in my view.

I am also finding a lot of 'ASL done that' moments as I go.
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Steven Lee
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I came across this a while back. Could be useful: http://www.paperlessarchives.com/wwii_infantry_narratives.ht...

Scroll down for some examples.
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Andrew Laws
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Infantry Aces by Gordon Williamson (not the one by Kurowski)


Any reason not to go with Kurowski? It's in the local library is all.
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Michael Dorosh
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
Infantry Aces by Gordon Williamson (not the one by Kurowski)


Any reason not to go with Kurowski? It's in the local library is all.


With that particular book? I don't know. Check it out if it's for free.

I just bought his book on German forces in the Italian campaign, in hard cover, thinking it would do what the cover copy suggests - run down all German forces that fought in Italy. It is true there is not much in English from a German point of view on the campaign.

http://www.landmarkmilitarybooks.com/BATTLEGROUND-ITALY-1943...

As it turns out, as a measure of how good the book is, it mentions Canadian forces twice, and one of the mentions is the 5th Canadian Infantry Division, of which we never had. This for a contribution of an entire army corps, two divisions and an armoured brigade, which played a major role in places like the Moro River and the Hitler Line. There's no real organization to the book, which jumps from pillar to post, and it stops to give long diary entries from brave but outnumbered German soldiers, telling of their valour in the face of the enemy.

I researched a bit on the various Wehrmacht forums, and consensus is that the guy was ok in his early books, particularly when collaborating with others, but a lot of later stuff was dreck.

If all you want is ideas for scenarios though, his book may be perfect - lots of stories of heroic sacrifice in pure J.J. Fedorowicz style seem to be par for the course with that publisher. The maps seem to usually lack certain things, like scale, or unit identifications, but don't let it get in the way of telling a good story.

Worth a looksee from the libary - I'd be interested in your reaction to the book if you do sign it out.
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