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Book for BtfB - 11/19/2012 7:45:30 AM   
rfrizz


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OK...

There is no way Battles from the Bulge has enough of a base to justify a book, but there has to be something in the field of professional military educations that is worth reading to help someone learn and play better.

Considering both the professional military wargamer, and the people like us who do it for fun, it doesn't seem like an unrealistic hope that there is a book that addresses computer wargames. I have The Operational Art of War, but I am, yet to dig into it...

Arjuna, anything your soldiers down under use?


Any ideas?
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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/19/2012 8:14:53 AM   
Arjuna


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What did you want such a book to cover specifically?

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/19/2012 8:33:32 AM   
rfrizz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

What did you want such a book to cover specifically?

Hard to say. I guess the real-world military doctrine that applies to BftB.

I just saw a discontinued product from 8 years ago: Highway to the Reich Strategy Guide. Was it a book? Or maybe a PDF or similar file?

If so, that seems like what would be useful, and rather closely oriented with to BftB. But it looks to be gone with the wind.


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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/19/2012 1:06:11 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rfrizz

I just saw a discontinued product from 8 years ago: Highway to the Reich Strategy Guide. Was it a book? Or maybe a PDF or similar file?

If so, that seems like what would be useful, and rather closely oriented with to BftB. But it looks to be gone with the wind.

I believe it is a free download if you purchase the HTTR expansion pack.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/19/2012 1:47:54 PM   
Lieste

 

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I can highly recommend as a historical piece

Condell, Zabecki (eds), 'Truppenfuhrung' On the German Art of War. Stackpole, Mechanicsburg, 2001

This is useful as it covers both pre-war German thinking, and was also the foundation for US military Doctrine (FM5), but it is fairly accessible and inexpensive ~ alternatively many of the US wartime and (particularly) post war manuals are available for download, some freely... but I find them harder to dip into, not least because their information is more detailed with excessive numbers of too-simple examples and because the information is spread over many texts.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 12:23:38 AM   
jimcarravallah

 

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The US Army's method for communicating tactics and strategy from a soldier to strategic level is the Field Manual.

There is a list of PDF Field Manuals from World War II at ibiblio.org-hyperwar-USA-ref-FM-index.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 1:54:03 PM   
rrbill

 

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Great question, but the game itself with its tutorials and on-line manual has some useful ideas about successful tactics. The bibliography does give further references, and these may get one a little more down the road to successful play.

Real problem seems to be how the game responds to commands at each command level in the game. From Div HQ or Kampfgruppen down to platoon, the responses sometimes don't look right. But this may be my problem. I'd be surprised if the game code would recognize the differences between British, German, and USA tactics.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 4:10:35 PM   
wodin


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rrbill.."Real problem seems to be how the game responds to commands at each command level in the game. From Div HQ or Kampfgruppen down to platoon, the responses sometimes don't look right. But this may be my problem. I'd be surprised if the game code would recognize the differences between British, German, and USA tactics."

Combat doctrine will be here in the east front title.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 9:29:02 PM   
rfrizz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

rrbill.."Real problem seems to be how the game responds to commands at each command level in the game. From Div HQ or Kampfgruppen down to platoon, the responses sometimes don't look right. But this may be my problem. I'd be surprised if the game code would recognize the differences between British, German, and USA tactics."

Combat doctrine will be here in the east front title.



That will be very interesting. Will the east front title be able to run the BftB scenarios?

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 9:42:05 PM   
rfrizz


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ALL: Thank you for the responses. Good stuff.


The book that would be best for me is a general treatment of war at the operational level. Not only do I want to play better, I want to learn something. The online sources are good, and I'm going to look at them. I really want a book that I can "curl up with" because extended reading on a computer screen is hard on the eyes.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 9:48:05 PM   
Lieste

 

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Can do worse than Truppenfuhrung. It is the German manual of war that they went to war with, and forms the core of modern doctrines in most Nations.

Softback, 300 pages, 9x6" or thereabouts (eyeballing it)...

I ordered mine direct from Stackpole, as I did with Panzer Tactics a bit earlier.

(EDIT: you needn't fear the title ~ it is the English translation, subtitled 'On the German Art of War'... no knowledge of the German language is required)

< Message edited by Lieste -- 11/21/2012 1:24:46 AM >

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/20/2012 11:32:54 PM   
wodin


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rfrizz..I usually find with this game books dealing with coy to battalion level tactics are best..

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/21/2012 12:35:23 AM   
wdkruger

 

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I'm reading Time of Trumpets by MacDonald. Describes the Battle mostly at company level, but you can also see the operational issues. To be honest the game makes the book much more readable because of the high quality maps.

Warren

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/22/2012 12:32:13 AM   
rfrizz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdkruger

I'm reading Time of Trumpets by MacDonald. Describes the Battle mostly at company level, but you can also see the operational issues. To be honest the game makes the book much more readable because of the high quality maps.

Warren



Good choice! Charles MacDonald is a magnificent military author, and you cannot go wrong if you buy one of his books. His most famous book is Company Commander. Published over 60 years ago, it is still required reading for all US Army ROTC cadets.

For those who don't know about it, he wrote about his WWII experiences after the war, and had it published in 1947. He was only 21 when he took command of an rifle company. His company was routed in the first hours of the German attack.

I recently purchased his other book which is titled simply The Battle of the Bulge, butI have not started it yet. I'll post a short review when I do.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/26/2012 9:49:48 PM   
Vyshka


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Eisenhower's The Bitter Woods is a good operational history of the Ardennes fight.

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/27/2012 8:17:40 AM   
DerGrenadier


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I find this very good. I think its written with wargames in mind. I think the author was part of the SSI zteam back in the 90´s

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006009012X/qid=1119920425/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-0339129-7244618

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RE: Book for BtfB - 11/27/2012 9:16:22 AM   
rfrizz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

The US Army's method for communicating tactics and strategy from a soldier to strategic level is the Field Manual.

There is a list of PDF Field Manuals from World War II at ibiblio.org-hyperwar-USA-ref-FM-index.


Shouldn't that be http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/TM/index.html ?

I didn't find much for BftB, but I saw a TON of really cool stuff there. Thanks for the link.

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I Found Something! - 11/27/2012 9:56:49 AM   
rfrizz


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I Found Something!

I scoured the US Army's Field Manuals (FM) and found this one: FM 3-90 TACTICS. I found some other documents that could be useful, but I'm going to look at them in more detail before I mention them to make sure that they are worthwhile.


It has a lot of the concepts that I have read about in the BftB fourm.

You can get a PDF copy from the Army here:
http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/Active_FM.html


If you want a hard-copy, I found one for $14 + $5 shipping on this site:
http://www.myarmypublications.com


Does anyone know where cheaper hard copies are available? I ordered this one because it is waaay too long for reading on a screen.



I'd love to hear comments about this one, and of course other books & documents are worth mentioning.

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RE: I Found Something! - 11/27/2012 10:12:37 AM   
wodin


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rfrizz..not sure how relevant that is as it's all to do with modern training and tactic methods..there was something once posted on here about arty effects in wooded areas and I'm sure it was some official military document that was relevant to WW2.

You really need to look for WW2 tactics to be honest.

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RE: I Found Something! - 11/27/2012 3:49:08 PM   
rfrizz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

rfrizz..not sure how relevant that is as it's all to do with modern training and tactic methods..there was something once posted on here about arty effects in wooded areas and I'm sure it was some official military document that was relevant to WW2.

You really need to look for WW2 tactics to be honest.


You are correct from the standpoint of WW2 doctrine being preferable, but I can't find anything WWII specific. I didn't clarify that this is imperfect, but still useful.

What the document I found gives is a general way of thinking about war operations. I suspect that the concepts are very similar to those in WW2 because there are so many aspects of conducting a battle that have not changed for thousands of years. As an example, what about the consideration of flanking at the Battle of Marathon 2500 years ago. If I am not in error, this and other ancient battles are still studied by professional soldiers today.

I know that concepts such as axis of advance are discussed here on the forum, but it seems that this will bring it all together.

If you have time, I'd like to know what you think of it.

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