Month: October 2014

The Maps of Collapse – Wargaming the End of the Reich

By Paul Comben

 

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Let me begin by telling you about this extension kit I came up with many years ago. I was just a lad, but a lad with ambitions to turn my copy of Stalingrad into something that time-wise, went beyond spring 1943, and territory-wise, extended all the way to Berlin and Vienna. To achieve this, I drew a map on a bit of card, putting in the cities, the rivers, and the mountains – and because I had no way of drawing a hex grid, I did squares (of sorts); and when I had finished, after some time of trying to put everything where it was meant to go, it looked absolutely horrible… I mean, hideous to the point of travesty. But I was thirteen, and I did not care; I wanted my Berlin map, I wanted the drama of experiencing the death throes of the Third Reich; and just because all I had was a bit of card that was only slightly better marked out than a Viking’s idea of what Australia looked like, I saw no reason to deny myself the pleasure.

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The Last Thousand Hours of the Thousand Years Reich

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By Paul Comben

Even as American troops were still fighting to maintain their foothold on the east bank of the Rhine at Remagen, several hundred miles to the east, Josef Goebbels was touring portions of the German front along the Oder/Neisse line. Newsreel cameras followed him, ready to capture moments of steely defiance and resolve for the benefit of those audiences watching Der Deutsche Wochenschau. Goebbels tarried in the town of Lauban, recently recaptured from the Soviets. In the square, he addressed soldiers from the Lauban battle, including a diminutive sixteen year-old Willi Hubner. Hubner would survive the war and find himself being interviewed for various documentaries decades later. As for Goebbels, after greeting the new martial favourite of the Reich, Ferdinand Schörner, he moved on to Gorlitz, where he rallied the faithful in the last sizeable Nazi rally of the war.

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