Saturday, May 18, 2013

Some interesting links to WWII documents for the serious researcher

I thought that these three links might be of interest to some.

The first two are about my grandfather's division from WWII, the US 90th Infantry.
The 90th Infantry Divison's monument at Utah Beach, Normandy
The first link is has PDF's for the reprints of various sub-units' and attached units histories rewritten at the end of the war:

The next link is many PDF's and some scans of actual General Orders, AAR's, and Corps documents mostly from June 6th to the end of the war. Also it appears that alot of the 1942-pre-D-Day General Orders are available too.

The last link is to a site that has some interesting articles about WWII written after the war, including a copy of the US War Department's "Handbook on the German Military Forces" and an article of examples of tanks used in night combat in Europe, as well as one about artillery practices of the major combatants.

Hopes this is useful for some.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kickstarter campaign - The World Beneath the Clouds: Steampunk RPG Venus Sourcebook


There is a new Kickerstarter campaign that I would like to draw your attention to, called The World Beneath the Clouds: Steampunk RPG Venus Sourcebook.  It is part of Terry Sofian's "Hive, Queen and Country" steampunk universe gaming system.


I was asked by Terry Sofian, whom I have known for probably over 25 years has asked for some assistance in spreading the word.  His gaming system covers pretty much covers both miniature gaming and role-playing playing.  While I personally have not been involved in either, I also can't deny a request of a follow gamer to help spread the word for assistance.  Even if you are not interested in the RPG side of things, at least look up his miniature side of this gaming system at his company's web site:



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh, My Cod! I have a new gaming project!

OK, I found this gaming project by sheer accident.  A bit of background about how I found it.  My good friend, Steve H. (CombatColours), is working on a 1/200 scale 1930’s China air war project using Wings of Glory.  Most of the planes that he is getting are available through Shapeways.  Last night, I had some free time that I jumped on Shapeways to look up some of the drawings of his most recent purchase and day dreaming of flying my lonely Peashooter against a horde of Japanese naval air force fighters when, lo and behold, one of the 1/200 scale airplanes had a “also by this designer” icon of another design that I immediately recognized!  Yes, five sets of 1/1250 scale ships for the Cod Wars! 

The Cod Wars, for those that are not familiar with it, were a series of three “wars” between the United Kingdom and Iceland over fishing rights in starting in 1958 and ending in 1976 when Iceland threaten to close NATO bases and the UK conceded to Iceland’s claim.  A more detail account can be read on the following wiki link.  I have to do a little searching, but it appears that all of the ships from Shapeways are for the Second & Third Cod Wars in 1972-73 and 1975-76, respectfully.  Oddly, being an American, I have been familiar with the Cod Wars for many, many years; maybe since the early ‘80s.  I never thought about gaming it before, but not only does this designer have the ship models available, but in the description of a few of his sets is a link to a downloadable PDF (Link) of the rules for playing the Cod Wars.  Excellent!

 A generic description of a typical “battle” would be a British fishing trawler(s) trying to catch as much cod in its nets before an Icelandic Coast Guard Vessel (ICGV) can cut it, all a while a Royal Navy warship tries to place itself between the trawler and the ICGV to prevent the nets from being cut.  The Cod Wars were a fairly bloodless event, as the only report of a death was when one man accidentally died while performing repair work!  So the bulk of the actions were ramming and firing warning shots.   This means that the rules must address ship crew’s morale and more “non-violent” types of attacks. 

I am excited about of this for a couple of reasons.  Mainly, this fits perfectly in with my whole “Anarchy in the UK” project in spirit and time frame.  Secondly, with this type of rules I now have a keystone to expand this into smugglers vs. police boats or Greenpeace vs. whalers.  Oh, and there is a Rainbow Warrior in 1/1200 available from Shapeways too!  Now I need to be on the lookout for French frogmen. 8)

I ordered three of the Cod Wars sets last night: 1 (Link) , 2+ (Link) , & 3 (Link)   Two sets, 2 and 2+ are the same sets, but 2+ also has the RN vessel, HMS Exmouth.  Even though 3rd set has a HMS Exmouth as well, the RN did deploy more than one Type 14 Blackwood class frigates to the area for the Cod Wars.  So I will paint up the second one as the HMS Malcolm.  The remaining fifth set is six more fishing trawlers, but since I will have 6 between the three sets I ordered, I don’t think I will need more trawlers.

So all together, I will have the British forces: two RN Type 14 Blackwood class frigates, three side fishing trawlers, three stern fishing trawlers, ocean going tug Lloydsman, support vessel Star Aquarius, and support vessel Star Polaris.  Then the Icelandic Coast Guard, I will have the Tyr, Baldur, Ver, and the Aegir. 

Now, it is off to read, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, by Mark Kurlansky.  It had been on my Amazon wish list for many years and now I have a reason to read it!