Friday, 16 January 2015

Stalingrad ideas

Trying to maintain the aim!

Like many wargamers I am prone to changes of directions on a whim. Today's whim is Stalingrad, one of my perennial interests.

The direct cause of this wobble in direction is a small book: Stalingrad: Battle Atlas Volume I by Anton Joly (ISBN 9791093222035).

  
I found this by accident on Amazon. It is a POD, produced by Amazon itself. It is in faux typewriter style but, on closer inspection, is quite nicely produced and very well set out.

My main interest in Stalingrad is the fighting for the city between early September and the launch of the Soviet counterattack in November. The dynamics of this urban battle are simply stupendous.

I have invested in David Glantz's Armageddon in Stalingrad Volume 2 covering the September to November 1942 period. This is a great book but the maps are simply not that good. Some are simple reproductions of wartime sketches, and none the worse for that, but it is difficult to get a true sense of the war on the ground.

This little book provides the following:
  • weekly OB
  • weekly estimate of force strengths
  • weekly global situation map at sunrise
  • daily partial situation map at sunset
  • daily summary of key actions supported by some photos and quotations from key players
From a quick review I am beginning to think this book will be very useful. Volume I covers 13 September to 13 October. Volumes II and III are also available.

Pros:  I like the style and the very logical structure is good. Subject to some cross checking, the data will be very useful.

Cons: Small maps and some of the detail is blurry (or is it me). Maps would be better with greater definition (and full colour A3 on shiny photo style paper in my own happy universe!) but are usable. No detail below major formation or supporting assets (army artillery etc).

Overall. very handy and well worth the investment.

Tom Smith's Stalingrad Central map
Coincidentally, Panzer Blitz showed up in the BGG Hotness. I played Panzer Blitz to death in the 1970s and remember it fondly (and the panje carts). On taking a closer look I find that Tom Smith has produced three Panzer Blitz maps covering Stalingrad City. Hmmmmh, stroking long white beard, what could a chap do with a Panzer Blitz map of Stalingrad? 

Time for a steady hand on the tiller, and seeing what I fancy doing when I get up tomorrow!

1 comment:

StalData said...

Hi,

For your information, Staldata Publications have released a revised edition of the first two volumes, with many improvements and additions including aerial photos in place of standard maps. The result is much more precise and genuine.
Staldata will gladly send you a copy of the new edition, just email your coords to info@staldata.com

Thank you for your interest in the series!