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Bren Gun Tripods

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brian:

posted 10-13-2001 09:23 PM                  




Originally posted by Michael emrys:

Not too surprising! In the interest of continued amity, I will leave off for the present my opinion for why that is! LOL!


Don't be too frightened to share your thoughts, Michael. We're all, well, nearly all, grown ups here. I'd be interested in reading what you have to say.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Okay. With a couple of provisos then. The first is an understanding that much of what follows involves some speculation on my part. I've never let that stop me; in fact, it tends to be one of the things I am good at. But it's fair to draw a distinction between speculation and fact. The second thing I've forgotten already. ;)

There is a considerable body of historical writing from the British side that examines every action that the British/Commonwealth/Empire forces took part in in the minutest detail. Now there is nothing the slightest bit wrong in that; in fact, those of us interested in the history of the war owe a considerable debt for this service. Most of all, the huge body of unit histories is not matched anywhere else, so far as I am aware. The US Army produced a series of official histories that are invaluable in their own right, but these tend to cover entire campaigns, and so are more condensed. Then there are of course all the individual memoirs and books devoted to specific battles, etc. I think in this area, the coverage for the US is approximately equivalent to that of the B/C/E. But in toto, it is a very large magnifying glass that gets held up those actions in which B/C/E forces took part.

The point is, if one reads only or mostly B/C/E accounts of the war, one can come away with the impression that the battles they were involved in were the crucial ones, the turning points of the war. The rest of the Allies begin to be forced off the margins of the stage. If one has grown accustomed to that picture, has in fact grown quite comfortable with it, one could easily then feel quite unfairly done to when confronted by a different picture of the matter.

But taking a longer view, such feelings are not be justified. The B/C/E contribution to the victory over the Axis, while by no means inconsiderable, was not the major one. To say so is not to belittle the many feats of arms accomplished by His Majesty's forces, but merely to put them in their proper perspective.

Let us take for example, the North African Campaign, specifically that part which took place in Libya and Egypt. Now it happens that I love that campaign. I have read a tall stack of books and articles on it. There is much about it that appeals to me. But looked at seriously in the context of the whole war, it really was a sideshow. There really wasn't much at stake there strategically. If the Axis had won there, it would have harldy have benefitted them at all. Conceivably it might have lengthened the war by three months. Or maybe not. Bit deal either way. If the British had lost, it would have been one more blow to their prestige, but the consequences of that would have played out mostly after the war was over.

And yet, this sideshow gets ballyhooed in the Britishi media, and even to some extent the serious British historical establishment as if the history of the world hinged upon it.

Now when CM3 appears, I truly hope they get everything into it somehow, the LRDG, the SAS, the Sudanese Defense Force, the Czechs, the Poles, the felons that comprised a substantial part of Rgt. 361. Even, for Christ's sake, the bloody Bren tripods! (Yes, they would have a legitimate role here, due to the active presence of the Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica.) I want all these things and more because the story and appeal of the NA campaign is mostly in the color and romance of it, the exotic environment, the somewhat casual nature of the discipline, the very uncasual nature of the discipline imposed by the environment and the enemy. But I don't know what BTS has in mind. They will, I am sure, feel obliged to produce a game that is consistent with the entire opus of Combat Mission, and in doing so, maybe many of the things that I will look forward to, that give the campaign "flavor" for me, will not appear.

Cest la guerre.


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