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Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 6:48:50 PM   
Wild Bill

 

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I'm sitting here today thinking about wargaming and the question came to my mind. Perhaps you may have some thoughts on it.

Why is there such a fascination with the German Army and the German soldier in World War II?

I've noticed in my design of scenarios that the favorites are always scenarios dealing with the Germans, usually set up as the human player. I realize the "armor" aspect of it is most appealing. There is something about those steel monsters that catches all our attention.

But there has to be something else. I know that the most widely played battles are always with the Germans.

Why is that? If you are one of these, what is the appeal?

This should probably be under the general discussion topic, but I'm interested in what SPWAW players think about this. It may affect my future secnario design.

WB

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 7:21:41 PM   
sabreman1966mcs

 

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From: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wild Bill

I'm sitting here today thinking about wargaming and the question came to my mind. Perhaps you may have some thoughts on it.

Why is there such a fascination with the German Army and the German soldier in World War II?

I've noticed in my design of scenarios that the favorites are always scenarios dealing with the Germans, usually set up as the human player. I realize the "armor" aspect of it is most appealing. There is something about those steel monsters that catches all our attention.

But there has to be something else. I know that the most widely played battles are always with the Germans.

Why is that? If you are one of these, what is the appeal?

This should probably be under the general discussion topic, but I'm interested in what SPWAW players think about this. It may affect my future secnario design.

WB


I used to play the Germans a lot, mainly because my father was in 6 FJR in France and Holland in 44. So, it was mainly out of respect for him and what he went through.


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 8:48:27 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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I think there is a certain amount of mystique around the events that led Germany to such incredible success, and eventually to such horrible defeat, that is what attracts me. Within ten years, Germany went from a bankrupt nation of insignificance to master of Europe. In around two hundred days of actual fighting in Poland, Norway, the low countries, France, the Balkans, North Africa and the Soviet Union, Germany was able to defeat the premier military powers of the world in shocking style. Contrary to the musings of some English professor with no military background, there was no myth to the blitzkrieg. Only after several years of continuous attrition warfare, were the three major industrial powers able to redress this and spare themselves further embarassment. Russia may have an excuse, but the generals in England and France (and the U.S.) had been given enormous sums of money between the World Wars to provide their nations with security. We should not under-estimate potential adversaries or over-estimate our own abilities.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 8:52:57 PM   
Sturmpionier


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Fascination w/ the German Army of WWII runs deeper than just here. Go to any software game site & type the word "Panzer" & you will see what I mean. I personally take it further & actually reenact WWII German Army here in the deep South & the fascination exists in that vein as well.

If imitation is the finest form of flattery, just look at what our Army does today. A buddy of mine is an armor officer (unfortunately in Baghdad right now) but I often would ask him about training. He would tell me how they practiced working with armored infantry in mobile battle groups & calling in artillery & air support. Hmmm. That sounds familiar.

The reasons for this fascination fall into several categories. There are technical reasons: German equipment is cool & technologically advanced. I think mainly the fascination stems from a quote that a German reenactor gave to the news media at an event I attended in 1996. The reporterette asked him why we reenacted German, & if we were closet Nazis or something like that. He said no, but that there was a certain fascination w/ a country "that held off the world for 6 years." Germany was outmanned & outclassed in 1940, but overran France & might have pulled off an invasion of England w/ a few tweaks. If Hitler attacks Malta instead of Crete, Rommel rides into Baghdad. 1941 closed w/ German tanks nearly in Moscow in spite of an even greater advantage in men & materiel held by the Russians.

I think style counts for something as well. Let's face it. The Allied strategy in WWII was pretty basic: overwhelm Germany. Many of the bold, deep strikes that Germany gambled on were discounted by Allied planners throughout the war. Don't believe me? Well, why then, did the Allies not just capture Reggio & cut off the entire island of Sicily rather than wage a bloody campaign for the island? Simple, Reggio was outside of Allied air cover & success was not a forgone conclusion. Also remember, Eisenhower was considering abandoning the Normandy assaults if casualties topped 20%. Germany, on the other hand, simply denoted a schwerepunkt & line of advance & then took off. As Rommel said, "a punch has no flanks."

Thank God Germany didn't win WWII & spread Nazism over planet Earth. But 'what if' counterfactual historians cannot help but ponder the thought of a country the size of Minnesota plus Wisconsin taking on the world & winning through dash & innovation.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 9:18:11 PM   
Dragoon 45


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Wild Bill, Here is my two cents on your question.

In some ways the German soldier of World War II has become almost mythical. Even though he knew the war was lost by early 44, he continued to fight to the bitter end. In the case of the Eastern Front he suffered horribly from the conditions there, but once again continued to fight. Also some authors have consiciously or unconsiciously established a cult of the German Soldier in their writings. Dupoy immediately comes to mind with his theories on the effectiveness of the German Soldier. Another factor may very well be the fascination that people have for the misguided. Except for the SS, I believe that most people believe the German soldier was misled and misguided through out the war by the Nazi's. Also in the United States there is a strong undercurrent of German culture in the make up of our culture. It is very hard to believe that your distant relatives are evil and it is easier to believe that they are simply being misled.

Another factor could very well be that with some exceptions on both sides the fighting in Western Europe and North Africa was pretty much civilized. For the most part the rules of war were followed. Every atrocity committed on the Western Front to the best of my knowledge has been attributed to either the SS or the Gestapo, not the Heer.

And another factor that could be at work here is this. The farther away from the actual events in time we go, the more embellishment is added to those events. The need by a human being to feel that he/she has accomplished something in their lifetimes is great. So therefore unconsiciously the strengths and abilities of the German soldier has grown over the years. The greater the struggle that you have undertaken the greater the accomplishment. This is just a nature process of the human mind. Also World War II was the last popular war that the vast majority of the people supported, along with the news media. So there is also a nostalga effect here also.


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 10:50:46 PM   
Alby


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For me
Althought I advocate none of what the nazis did....
Its just the simple fact of how good the German army actually was.



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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 11:45:14 PM   
KNomad


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wild Bill

I'm sitting here today thinking about wargaming and the question came to my mind. Perhaps you may have some thoughts on it.

Why is there such a fascination with the German Army and the German soldier in World War II?



Letterman speaks ....

#5 Spiffy uniforms.
#4 Shiny medals.
#3 In German, everything sounds impressive.
#2 Octoberfest.

And the #1 reason there such a fascination with the German Army and the German soldier in World War II?

They had all the cool toys!!



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Incoming firepower has the Right of Way!
Fire at Will (or Wesley)!

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 11:49:11 PM   
Major Destruction


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I like playing the Japanese and Italian armies because of their large selection of units. Lately I have progressed to playing France for much the same reason. Germany has the most units in the game and therefore the most choice. But I like a challenge.

I don't ascribe any mystique to a ruthless and vicious regime or the fanatical army that subjected millions to a level of brutality that I can't even begin to imagine on a personal level. This is just a game. Thankfully.

From the standpoint of a scenario designer, I find it difficult to model the German force and then entrust it to the whims of the AI. Allied tactics are far more predictable and therefore the AI does a good imitation of that. It takes far more skill to get the computer opponent to use the German forces in anything close to a historical manner.

Therefore I like to model scenarios from the Allied side. It is more challenging.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/7/2005 11:51:09 PM   
Goblin


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Variety. Either playing them or against them, you have all kinds of stuff to fight with. I like the occasional Pacific battle, but they seem repetitive as far as the action goes. So I fight mainly Europe, and Europe means fighting as/against the Germans.


Goblin

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/8/2005 4:09:40 PM   
KG Erwin


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Bill, I posted a parallel question at the Wargamer forums a few days ago, and have gotten some interesting responses-- see http://www.wargamer.com/forums/tm.asp?m=121222&go=last

Students of the Germans, which include some historians as well as wargamers, sometimes express what I call a "technological fetish". This is not meant as a derogatory term--it's mostly men, and men do have a fascination with "cool machinery". The Germans had a lot of cool machines, including the tanks and other AFVs, the planes, the U-Boats and the small arms.

There's also the ingrained desire of wargamers to play "what-if"-- this is why you have so many games on the Eastern Front and the Battle of the Bulge. This also pertains to American Civil War games--I always play as the Confederates, and yes, I tend to think I could do better than RE Lee and win at Gettysburg. Once again, it's the what-if factor, as well as identifying with the underdog.

The unsavory parts of identifying with the "bad guys" play no part in all this--deep down, no one wishes that the Germans had actually won the war. All we want is a challenge, to have a chance to do better than the historical commanders of the past. This is how the old AH games were marketed, and how all other wargames are still being promoted.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/8/2005 5:09:49 PM   
Sturmpionier


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

The unsavory parts of identifying with the "bad guys" play no part in all this--deep down, no one wishes that the Germans had actually won the war. All we want is a challenge, to have a chance to do better than the historical commanders of the past. This is how the old AH games were marketed, and how all other wargames are still being promoted.


Way to go KG. You said in 1 paragraph what took me 5.

I mean, who wants to play an historic scenario as the winner? If the game properly represents combat, then all you should have to do is repeat the original commander's methods to win. I suppose there is some fun, just to try to "rack up a higher score." The Villers-Bocage scen comes to mind, but the real challenge is to win instead of losing. The Germans offer an historically believable chance to do that.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/8/2005 7:43:11 PM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sturmpionier

I mean, who wants to play an historic scenario as the winner? If the game properly represents combat, then all you should have to do is repeat the original commander's methods to win. I suppose there is some fun, just to try to "rack up a higher score."


That's true, Sturmpionier, but only to a point. Everyone knows who my favorites are, and I play as the USMC for various reasons, which I've explained elsewhere. However, this is about the Germans, so my previous point applies primarily to them.


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/9/2005 6:32:40 PM   
skukko


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Howdy Fellowship of the Spwaw! (FotS ?LOL!)

I wrote this to my pbem friend after we managed to end fighting. We crushed each other heavily, me as german and he as allied. Battle was hard and casualties were not count. In turn 14 of 31, we stopped. Made agreement that its a draw. Why? Because I had my goal and it was conquering one flat hill south of the village, to rule over the village. Why the heck am I feeding my cats to his pittbulls? For one village that has nice looking surrounding and some vineyards? Cut the crap, I told to my rulers and made a handshake with a enemy. We'll fight again, but not now, its spring and sun shines ;) Now he is creating another battle for our plea :) But this topic aroused into my head and I started to think more of my gaming and things around it. So here is for your eyes too what I wrote to CptShoe

quote:


I am finnish male, 40 years old. Have done that and this, but always stayed as a real working man. Military specs and history has been my other "lover" for my entire life, or what can be said when I started wargaming in age of 9? That makes 31 years in "bizz" 8) And I am Heavyuser of wargames and history of our wars. Mainly in past 15 years I have studied WW2 on every aspect of it and from that sometimes gone to Indochina and 'Nam era. War is something that we should know to make it dissappear. IMO. Nobody likes to kill alot people and then go to sleep. Nobody. So I am kind of pasifist and against war? No. I'll stand for war if it helps to avoid alot more deaths of a innocent people, and I am not talking about signle 911-issue like Bush does. I am talking about our history in past century. Finns fought against ruskies to keep Finland Commie-free, not to keep Finland independent. Finns can live where-ever its possible to live, but you can't teach Finns to live with communism. Work and bread from own hard work is something that we approciate, don't come here to say that our work and bread is for government or other people that ain't working at all. This is what Stalin didn't understand before he died. Yet, very few of others have done it, and they still live... :rolleyes:

So, to speak about Finns getting attached to NATO is kinda riddiculous and just whining out of the past. NATO can get us into conflicts that we dont' want to fight, but hey; thats the way wars tastes everywhere and for all. But this is my opinion.

Why I play wargames? Answer is out there.
(/quote]

sincerely yours all

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/9/2005 6:33:59 PM   
skukko


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sorry, nick got messed: not to CptShoe, but to SanreJack

sorry

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/9/2005 6:34:33 PM   
skukko


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sabrejack

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/10/2005 4:00:53 PM   
RockinHarry


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Wow! Heydte´s famous 6th FJR! My grandpa was a "Landesschutze" (overaged reservist) in the german 96th Infantry division and seriously wounded near Leningrad late in the war. ...but that´s not the reason I´m so much interested in wargaming and in the german army of the 30/40ies in particular. The truth is that I don´t really know. Maybe cause I´m german, maybe cause the germans had much to offer with regard to modern military doctrine and technology!? I can´t give a final answer, since I´m interested as well in the other WW2 major powers military. Maybe I´m a reborn warrior from the past...who knows!?

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/10/2005 9:20:42 PM   
m10bob


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I grew up in an Army family,dad was comissioned in 1943,and as such,became a "professional soldier" for that and the next war.In that household,dad was very proud of his war trophies,and loved having visits by the occasional war-buddy.
They all had profound respect for the German foe,and never made light of the fact the Germans were courageous and very efficient at making war,against any foe.They did not condone the Nazis,but I never heard dad or any of his friends call them Nazis,just Germans.(To them,the "Nazis" were the boobs at the top and their lackeys).
During the occupation of course,it was confirmed Hitler had been voted in by *popular vote*,but the occupying armies just never could get anybody to admit they had favored,(or been),a Nazi !
Someimes I will play the Germans,just to study them and their OOB's,and how their structures differed from ours,(the American army)..I have also played the Brits,(same reason).
I don't think many people do it to "glorify" the Germans.(I hope not)...
Then too,I have a rabid hatred for the "REDS",and have enjoyed being the Germans against them..Nothing against the Russians,etc,just the Communist regimes that killed as many innocent people as the Nazis.(Did not like Pol Pot nor Idi Amin Dada either).

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my 2cents - 4/10/2005 11:38:53 PM   
skukko


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RockinHarry: Maybe I´m a reborn warrior from the past...who knows!?

Aint' we all in our souls? Or are we just wannabees?
I'll have to say: One of my best friends is russian. He lost his 'grands' to wars for communism, and those poor mens were Kazacs, who nearly got killed in 1917-1921 'cleaning-ups'. Read the book: "Black book of Communism" to get some reference, then "History of Third Reich" to get another view, and after that watch "Apocalypso. Now!"- redux, - IF after this you still want to play WW2 -wargames, you are in right place, in this forum. We do Not glorify any of those -ism's nor doctrines that are political decisions made after bad intelligence and whispers from wrong direction. This is the way all conflicts in 19th century has happened.

I have my view of wargaming: Its Legacy. -To keep in our childrens memory what bad can happen if eyes are kept closed. We learn it and keep legacy alive, and in a way this reflects to our kids. Can you say this same of a kid who s daddy has learned to play first person shooters?

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/11/2005 5:59:22 PM   
RockinHarry


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Major Destruction

From the standpoint of a scenario designer, I find it difficult to model the German force and then entrust it to the whims of the AI. Allied tactics are far more predictable and therefore the AI does a good imitation of that. It takes far more skill to get the computer opponent to use the German forces in anything close to a historical manner.

Therefore I like to model scenarios from the Allied side. It is more challenging.


Stuart, although you´re basically right on the matter, I think you´re doing a lil bit of a generalization! Yes, the AI is dumb as a nail , but to say it models the allied tactics better does only partly apply and roles are even reversed for late war, when german tactics suffered and the allied ones improved! But that´s more scenario design topic...

Take a look at german army and you´ll notice that it was (as any other army) >95% composed of infantry divisions which numbers go into the hundreds! How many Panzer divisions did exist at any time? 25-30 at best (incl. Waffen SS)? Even those division, while not all existing at the same time (some destroyed, disbanded, refitting...) seldomly were at full strength! So if someone says he likes to play the "cool" german stuff, he/she most likely means those rare AFV´s or weapon systems that the average Landser (and his adversary in the opposing army) never has seen in his life! It sure is much fun and motivation to play as german side with these toys, but when it comes to "challenges" a more realistic force compostion would do the purpose better! Play PzIII/IV and Stugs, not Panthers and Tigers. (Same as playing US with dozens of M26 or Brits with all "Comet" tank forces). German army did all its victories with thousands of Pz-II and Pz-III. The long barreled Pz-IV still was rare in 1942/43 and the Panthers first "show" was....Kursk. A standard german infantry bataillon was usually supported (assuming full TOE) by 6 light (75mm) and 2 heavy (150mm) infantry guns, 12 heavy machine guns, as well as some mortar support and a battery or 2 of light (105mm) artillery batteries. I can´t remember to have seen any such force composition in any user made scenario for a long time (if any). The usual tank/infantry german force compositions I see so oftenly in scenarios have little to do with reality and even when they were correct (Kampfgruppen), most of the ordnance/vehicles used are rather "wishful thinking". (Halftracks instead of trucks, Panthers/Tigers instead of Pz-x, ect.) Off course it´s all a matter of taste at last what toys you use in your scenario/game, as long as it´s all fun and challenging. No play style preference is "better" than the other.

I´m very much intensively researching the german infantry army for a couple of months and the more I do, the less I find the "average" german OOB/TOE portrayed in any ones scenarios. This is not meant to be as critics towards the scenario makers or players, but I have the impression that there still is lots of belief the german army was all "elite" and "Panzers" ect. The german soldier as such was generally well trained (at least at the beginning of the war) and disciplined. The german officer was considered to be equal to his soldiers and expected to "lead" up front! This earned him lots of respect and confidence from his subordinates, ...a not to be understimated peculiarity in any army! Combined with the "Auftrags-Taktik" (translation, order tactics??) the average german force was oftentimes able to achieve its goals with inferior means (too little troops), but not always! I think the "Auftrags Taktik" pulled the maximum potential and creativity out of any soldier to solve any particular military tasks in most efficient and flexible ways! The dumb german automatons you so oftenly see in Hollywood movies surely do not reflect these facts well. Off course it all suffered the longer the war lasted. German soldiers then received less (or no) major training, the officers were more influenced by Nazi indoctrination (than actual combat experience) and tactics on higher levels hampered by "stand fast" orders. I think if the german "doctrine" would have been used by the French in 1940 or Russia in 1941, the course of the war would have changed for the germans in bad ways much earlier!

My (military) view of the Waffen SS: Highly motivated and trained at the beginning of the war, but as combat performance in Poland 39 and France 1940 showed, they were not bullet proof and suffered excessively high losses! Mid war Waffen SS, still good experience and high motivation (morale), but Nazi indoctrination makes itself felt in the known bad ways. Late war Waffen SS, only a small core of highly trained veterans left, the remainder either was draftees from parts of europe that germany still had under occupation at this time, or Nazi indoctrinated youngsters that had little to offer than what you would consider combat morale. The same btw. counts for all other army branches as well, incl. the German Para´s late in the war. I think the major difference between most german unit types (SS, army and Paras) in 1945 was their uniforms only.

Wild Bill, I´d wish for more german played scenarios that would be as challenging and difficult to win than maybe an average russian force (Many BT and T-26!) in 1941 or French in 1940!

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/13/2005 3:30:56 AM   
steelpanther


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I think I agree with Knomad.
The germans had all the cool toys. Although it is hard to beat a T-34 for armor protection and the quantity of M4's the US and Brits brought to a battle. Those were their main weapons, while the germans had PZIII's PZIV's (numerous Marks) the Tigers, Panthers, Nashorns, etc. not to mention elephants, king tigers, mous (singular). They tried to make a better mousetrap, each and every month of the war it seems. Had they stuck with the Pz IV chassis and the L43 or L48 75mm and mass produced them to the tune of the americans (unrealistic of course) we may well be speaking german. But alas I degress, everyone likes the underdog, we all know that the germans lost and hope we can do better.
And like Goblin said "variety" it is after all the spice of life.

Good hunting with whatever country you prefer to play. And remember it is all in the fun of the game.

Ken


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/14/2005 5:01:02 PM   
robot


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As every one here knows I not only play the Germans but all the powers in my long campaigns. Why do I like the Germans??? It certanly was not for there cruelity by the higher and more fanatical what I call crazy Nazis. They did in my eyes dress better then any of the other powers. Also as others have said there equipment is very cool and so much better then other nations.

Do I wish they had won the war hell no I am very thankful they lost. I am proud of the men we sent over there to defeat them.

But I will continue to play them and try to win even tho I more then likely not. Also I do not use the best equipment I can get. Although some of the better stuff does make its way into some of my upgrades.

My infantry is not mech or even motorized. They are ground pounders so they walk to the sound of the guns. My tanks are PZIII, PZIV, PZII and 238 scout cars. Will replace some of the support tanks with stugs as they are lost.

This is the make up of my force all the way up into late 1941.

2 Companys of infantry with 1 company of tanks
3 platoons Grenadiers on foot sec atr attatched
1 platoon Engineers
1 sec HMG
1 sec 37MM ATG Pak mobile
2 sec 150mm w/trucks upgraded to sig 150 as soon as possible
1 sec 81mm mortors

1 Plattoon 238 Rads
1 platoon PZIIc
1 platoon PZIV
1 platoon PZIIIe

This is my western force. My eastern force change is panzer ss the only difference.

I have been sick and have not played for some time. A little longer with recoop time and ill be back with my dars again. Still hope to get all the powers thru this war to the end before I have the big fight against the grim reaper. Just got to take some time a way from the comp.

Love all you guys here and continue to enjoy your writings and comments on the game.

I still dont know why I like playing the Germans.


< Message edited by robot -- 4/14/2005 5:05:33 PM >


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/15/2005 1:30:11 AM   
Goblin


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Hope you feel better soon, robot!


Goblin

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/15/2005 7:45:33 PM   
Mogami


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Hi, I've always tended to play the Soviets more then the Germans.

(PS. There will always be a hole in our mega campaign collection untill we do one for the Soviets)

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/16/2005 4:23:14 AM   
Zap


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quote:

The germans had all the cool toys


The germans were well disiplined and the army was very efficient. If they did not have to follow the lunacy of Hilter's directives winning or gaining the war advantage a political solution could have occured.

This possibility is what attracts me to the germans. The challenge!

< Message edited by Zap -- 4/16/2005 5:30:50 AM >


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/17/2005 9:31:55 AM   
Grenadier


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What a great topic. I had to chime in here and come in from the cold I tend to agree with my Lost Victories comrades. For me the fascination with the Wehrmacht stems from the underdog factor, the nearness of their victory and the uniforms, decorations and equipment. All the way back to WWI the Germans stood apart. Look at a landser uniform compared to a doughboy uniform and look at a Wehrmacht uniform compared to a GI uniform. The lozenge camo on the Albatross and Fokkers. The ambush camo on the Tigers and Sturmgeschutzes. The helmet with the US Army adopted. The medals compared to ribbon bars. Look at Sgt Steiner next to Sgt Saunders. Would you rather have a Ritterkreuz around your neck and an Infantry Assault badge on your pocket or a Silver Star ribbon on your chest surrounded by a buch of other ribbons that all blend together? Would you want a fat Matilda or a well porportioned Pz IV?

As one of the scenario designers who tried to be accurate witth TOE's & OOB's I preferred a mixed company supported by a battery of StuG III's as the basis of a scenario. My OOB for Lost Victories reflects this, I believe. I tended to stick to the Eastern Front because the Russians were very predictable and the AI models their style of attack well except for flank sensitivity.

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/17/2005 6:57:37 PM   
m10bob


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From: Dismal Seepage Indiana
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quote:

ORIGINAL: robot

As every one here knows I not only play the Germans but all the powers in my long campaigns. Why do I like the Germans??? It certanly was not for there cruelity by the higher and more fanatical what I call crazy Nazis. They did in my eyes dress better then any of the other powers. Also as others have said there equipment is very cool and so much better then other nations.

Do I wish they had won the war hell no I am very thankful they lost. I am proud of the men we sent over there to defeat them.

But I will continue to play them and try to win even tho I more then likely not. Also I do not use the best equipment I can get. Although some of the better stuff does make its way into some of my upgrades.

My infantry is not mech or even motorized. They are ground pounders so they walk to the sound of the guns. My tanks are PZIII, PZIV, PZII and 238 scout cars. Will replace some of the support tanks with stugs as they are lost.

This is the make up of my force all the way up into late 1941.

2 Companys of infantry with 1 company of tanks
3 platoons Grenadiers on foot sec atr attatched
1 platoon Engineers
1 sec HMG
1 sec 37MM ATG Pak mobile
2 sec 150mm w/trucks upgraded to sig 150 as soon as possible
1 sec 81mm mortors

1 Plattoon 238 Rads
1 platoon PZIIc
1 platoon PZIV
1 platoon PZIIIe

This is my western force. My eastern force change is panzer ss the only difference.

I have been sick and have not played for some time. A little longer with recoop time and ill be back with my dars again. Still hope to get all the powers thru this war to the end before I have the big fight against the grim reaper. Just got to take some time a way from the comp.

Love all you guys here and continue to enjoy your writings and comments on the game.

I still dont know why I like playing the Germans.

ROBOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for letting ALL of us know your force composition...Now you really DO NEED TO RETURN ASAP !!!!!!

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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/18/2005 4:13:19 AM   
Charles_22


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Different reasons for different people I suppose, but my reasons are based on two things: 1)they lost 2)they conquered the greatest amount of territory in the quickest time. The mystery of why little things here and there weren't done, such as the ME262 and Type XXI not being used earlier than they were, and all so many things that happened that if slightly different courses were taken often would likely have meant crushing victory, spells more interest in playing them. It doesn't hurt their interest any that they often had at least a piece or two in every level of their armed forces which were the best in the world for a given time (ME262, Panther, Tiger, King Tiger, Jagdpanther, Stuka (tank buster), FW190, MG42, panzerfaust/shreck, Bismark, Type XXI uboat, 88flak, 88AT, 20mmflakvierling, and V2).

That's to say nothing of the new or refined tactics that they brought.


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/18/2005 6:13:12 AM   
KG Erwin


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We can debate this till the cows come home, but the true superiority of the Germans from 1939-41 comes from several factors, including superior radio communications, air superiority, and the German tactical training method of "mission tactics". Much initiative was placed into the hands of local commanders to accomplish their missions, which led to lower-level initiative being encouraged. THIS is what made "blitzkrieg" possible. Without these, the game becomes a bit more difficult.

Limit yourself to Pz I & IIs vs the Poles, and you'll see what I mean. In real life, the Germans lost many older-model tanks to Polish ATGs and ATR teams.

8.3 removed some of the artificial "fudge factors" to make the Germans as good as they were with the implied benefits listed above. This now makes the game more realistic, thereby frustrating those who automatically assume that the Germans were inherently superior in all facets of warmaking. This is simply not true.

If the weather is clear, and you can call in airpower, then all the better for you. If the planes are socked-in, then the ground-pounders are on their own. The reality now sets in, and you just have to deal with it.

One more thing--the blitzkrieg era lasted as long as the Germans' enemies lagged behind in rapid battlefield communications, the innovative tactical-training methods , and the development of better combat planes. The process of imitation and innovation made the Allied victory inevitable, but the Germans kept pace in technical innovation, giving us the MG42 and Stug44, which were models for later Allied weapons.

The history of weapons development is in of itself a fascinating subject, and maybe a future thread could be dedicated to the evolution of WWII weapons. I've already gotten way off topic, and I apologize.

However, the subject of the fascination with the Germans may partially lie in their post-war influence--the MG42 turning into the M60, for one.

The biggest influence is as yet unmentioned--perhaps subconsciously, we acknowledge the greatest contributions our defeated foe gave us --the V2 rocket, and Werner von Braun. Without him, the landing on the moon in 1969 would not have been possible.

With this, I'll shut up for now.

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 4/18/2005 7:00:40 AM >


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/18/2005 6:41:11 PM   
Gallo Rojo


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I think that another four reasons (many good ones had already been posted so I don't want to repeat them) are:

a) Playing the Germans is usually very easy... especially if you buy Tigers, Panthers, SS and like. So it's a logical choice for newbie. I begun playing the Germans myself in SP I... but I had swapped to Soviets by the time SPWaW get to my hands)

b) Germans have been outnumbered by their enemies almost during the entire war (that's evident in the late years but it's also true at the beginning of the war); so their success was mainly due to better training, tactics, and sometimes equipment. I think that many players like to be in that position because it seems to be very challenging. It seems much more challenging and heroic to fight with only a section of Tigers, three Stugs and two platoons of PzGranedires against a Company of T-34/76 and a Soviet Motor Infantry Battalion than vice-versa... although actually playing the soviets under such conditions may in fact be more challenging.

c) this is a mix of a + b + the fact that SPWaW is a tactical level game. Germans, although strategically outnumbered, managed to win tactical battles many times. So a newbie can play SPWaW with the Germans, feel that he's a great general, easily winning battles against the odds (and against the AI)... but I would love to see such a player playing the Germans in a strategic game about the Battle of Normandy, of the Soviet summer offensive of 1944. (disclaimer: this point is only for newbie and like... if you're a gognard, you'll probably pick the Germans in the strategic game).

d) Ok... let's admit it: there're a good number of freaking Nazi sympathizers out there playing war-games. he he he ... I'm neither saying that any of you nor that all the players who like playing Germans are Nazi sympathizers... but we all know that there's a good bunch of war-gamers with an secret love for the Dark Side. I don't know if that's because Nazi militarism seduces them, or because of those stories about the SS having sexual slaves in the occupied territories... you know what I'm talking about


< Message edited by Gallo Rojo -- 4/18/2005 6:57:30 PM >


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RE: Why the Fascination? - 4/18/2005 6:42:57 PM   
cadmus

 

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The responses to Wild Bill's original question have tended to fall into two categories ... (1) "Stuff, and (2) intangibles, mystique, the underdog, etc. I can understand the allure of the "stuff", but I wonder if perhaps, even for those that think that stuff is the attraction, the real, underlying reason is the second category, the intangibles having to do with the underdog, the ability to do so much by virtue of imagination, esprit, etc. rather than sheer overwhelming material might. And I think there may be some connection between the allure of the Germans in WWII and that held by the Confedrates in the Civil War. Again, the matter of the underdog, the romance of the lost cause, doing so much against overwhelming odds and so on. (I visited Antietam some years back and I think I recall seeing a photograph of Rommel and some other officers touring the battlefield, studying the tactics and strategy of Bobby Lee. Does that tie it together?)

Now, of course, we're generalizing here. Not everyone is enamoured of the German side, or the Confederate side, but there does seem to be, as Wild Bill pointed out, an unusually high percentage of wargamers who are. And we always have explain to others that by being so we are not endorsing the politics and policies of the Nazi regime or sayng that slavery was good idea. (And, of course, those to whom we have to explain such things never quite seem to understand ... the eternal curse of the wargamer.) No, it's something quite different, something we can't quite explain and maybe something that many of us aren't quite clear about ourselves. So we explain it away in terms of "stuff", or even uniforms and so on.

And, many of us drawn to the German side, are not monmaniacs about it. I myself frequently take the Soviet side in East Front scenarios. But even then, I suspect it's all tied together... looking at the German situation from another point of view ... examining again, the ability to do so much against such great odds, etc.

Has anybody counted the number of East Front memoirs published compared to West Front memoirs? Of those East Front memoirs, how many are by German authors? The market is there for those German East Front memoirs more than there is for any others. So, it's not just wargamers.

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