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Subject: Books On Tactics? rss

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T B
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Hello,

Anyone know of any books that have good descriptions of tactics used in WWII in either specific terms, or more general terms?

Like how best leaders used their combinations of tanks / artillery, etc, that kind of thing?

Or on a bigger scale, how general's approached how they planned battles?

I am looking for something that talks about strategies in kind of a general overview kind of thing...

Thanks
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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What's more, I am interested in how real tactics and strategies could be applied in the game.....someday someone should write a book on the game of Panzerblitz, Panzer Leader and Panzers as to how authentic they are and how to simulate the tactical and strategic reality.
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Pokey 64
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Peter Lloyd
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For something quick, go to US Army Center for Military History and check out Small Unit Actions. While the 2d ranger Battalion's operation probably isn't very pertinent, the other 3 should be quite useful. Later on, checkout the rest of the site.
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Richard Lee
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Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian.

http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Leader-Heinz-Guderian/dp/030681...
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Michael Power
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I submitted a thread on Operational Planning that may partially respond to your questions. Although, there are some aspects of it that would be of benefit to the tactical level. That is mutual support, reserves, maneuvering to the flank or rear of an opponent, etc.
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Michael Dorosh
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I was surprised to find recently the University of Calgary library actually has a copy of an excellent book called (wait for it...) PANZER TACTICS. Subtitled GERMAN SMALL UNIT ARMOR TACTICS IN WORLD WAR II, the author is Wolfgang Schneider, and the book is exactly what you are looking for. Published in 2005 by Stackpole.

http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Tactics-German-Small-Unit-Armor...


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T B
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Thanks everyone for the comments and input, awesome

I had just recently come across some of the Osprey books, and they do seem interesting. I think I saw the Panzer Tactics book at the store, and it was a bit in-depth at this point for me.
I need to read over everyone else's comments more too

thanks everyone...

Tim
 
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T B
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I agree that would be good, Lawrence
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Ned JSP
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Recommended reading for me for the Wargamer would be Tank Men,
by Robert Kershaw (2008).

While I don't necessarily think it is specifically what you are after, it gives a great account not often seen in history books. Like many of us, I have read a truck load of books on the subject over the years and a lot of the information in this book was new to me.

It really deals with the day to day life of men from all sides fighting in tanks, but in doing so covers extensively why some tactics were so successful and why others were not. Many of the concepts will be familiar to you; like the shortcomings of single man turrets of the technically superior French tanks vs the team work of the weaker German, but the personal accounts of men on all sides describing things like duels with hidden anti tank guns are breathtaking!

It also discusses the combined arms warfare of the Germans, the underrated use of mobile PAK guns, tactics used by all sides to knock out enemy tanks with superior armour and armament etc. etc.

Basically, it is not a 'how to', but if you are trying to work out what it was like at Platoon level down to the individual crew members of a tank this is a fantastic book!

For me it is the details that this book provides that shows why armoured warfare played out like it did, rather than just looking at technical data of armour thickness, range of weapons etc.

A great read for mind and one of my favourites!!

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Martin McCleary
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The actual US WWII Field Manuals are available on the US Army Heritage Collection site for free download. It's a bit of a pain to sort thru but is an information goldmine and it's free.

The book on German tactics Mr Dorosh posted is excellent, it is the only source I have seen that actually has some discussion of tank gunnery training.

George Nafzinger offers reprints of Soviet, German and US small unit tactics manuals. Most are about 20 bucks and cover squad, platoon and company. Google the Nafzinger collection. There's a lot of other stuff there also.
 
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Greg Sager
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A geat book. I got it at a used bookstore for $5.
 
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Mike Weaver
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(I originally prepared these for a different forum, but they may also be of interest in this thread, albeit 4+ years after the original post!)

The Panzerblitz Designer's Notes refer to US Army intelligence publications used as sources of information on the German and Russian armies. These have been available in various archives and occasionally offered for sale by collectors. A little online searching has also turned them up for free download (they are US Government documents, and in the public domain).

These make interesting reading, since i) they are "the two basic sources" for Panzerblitz data, according to Dunnigan; and ii) they summarize contemporary understanding by the US Army of German and Russian doctrine in World War II (note Dunnigan's caveat: "keep in mind that these manuals were published in somewhat of a hurry and that mistakes did occur").

For Germany, this is the 1945 version referenced by Dunnigan:

TM-E 30-451 German Forces 1945

Relevant information was condensed earlier into a US Army Company Officer's Handbook:

Company Officer's Handbook of the German Army 1944

Dunnigan also possibly refers to this source (perhaps misattributed, therefore my uncertainty) for German weapons and operational data:

FM-E 101-10 Staff Officers' Enemy Data 1942

For Russia, the online reference is posted as separate chapters. Interestingly, Chapter 8 (Weapons) and Chapter 10 (Uniforms and Insignia) were not published. This is the 1945/46 version referenced by Dunnigan (Chapters 3 and 5 most directly address doctrine, relative to game design):

TM 30-340 USSR Forces 1945

Chapter 1 - National Defense System

Chapter 2 - Personnel Administration

Chapter 3 - Field Organization

Chapter 4 - Semi-Military Organizations

Chapter 5 - Tactics

Chapter 6 - Fortifications

Chapter 7 - Logistics

Chapter 8 - Weapons (unpublished; title interpolated from similar publications)

Chapter 9 - Equipment

Chapter 10 - Uniforms and Insignia (unpublished; title interpolated from similar publications)

Chapter 11 - Air Forces

Chapter 12 - Maps and Symbols

For Panzer Leader purposes, available US Army intelligence publications on Allied and Axis forces are:

TM 30-410 British Army 1942

TM-E 30-420 Italian Forces 1943

TM-E 30-480 Japanese Forces 1944

The analogous contemporary sources for the US Army are available in the form of US War Department Field Manuals. While these are not cited as sources for Panzer Leader design, I include a selection here (not nearly complete) for reference:

FM 100-5 Operations 1944

FM 7-20 Infantry Battalion 1944

FM 17-33 Tank Battalion 1944

FM 17-42 Armored Infantry Battalion 1944

FM 6-20 Field Artillery Tactical Employment 1944

FM 6-120 Field Artillery Observation Battalion 1945

FM 6-135 Forward Observation 1944

Another interesting War Department source of information applicable to game design (particularly Chapter 2, Sections II, III, and IV) is:

FM 105-5 Umpire Manual 1944

Enjoy!
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Lawrence Hung
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Is there a place that they can be downloaded as PDF, ePub or Mobi files for eReader usage?
 
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Mike Weaver
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Is there a place that they can be downloaded as PDF, ePub or Mobi files for eReader usage?

Yes, there is a place. whistle
 
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Jim Stearns
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Chlapec wrote:
Lawrence Hung wrote:
Is there a place that they can be downloaded as PDF, ePub or Mobi files for eReader usage?

Yes, there is a place. whistle


Archive.org has a few of those titles in various forms. whistle
 
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Mike Weaver
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Stearjas wrote:
Chlapec wrote:
Lawrence Hung wrote:
Is there a place that they can be downloaded as PDF, ePub or Mobi files for eReader usage?

Yes, there is a place. whistle


Archive.org has a few of those titles in various forms. whistle


Each item in blue text is a direct link to the indicated document.
 
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Pete Frederick
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archive.org has a plethora of military documents ranging from propaganda posters to military field manuals, to intelligence reports, etc. Lots of cool things to look through. If you have the time and patience for that sort of thing.
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