John Vistuer sent through some photos of his grandfather, Augusto Perez Miranda, a Spaniard who fought for the allies during World War II. He started his military career in the Spanish Guardia Civil in North Africa. Then he fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Being on the losing side, he found himself in the French Foreign Legion at the start of the World War II, but ended up in the No. 1 (Spanish) Company of the Pioneer Corps of the British Army. All words are John’s.
Spain in WW2
Most people don’t realise that although officially neutral Spain had an active part in World War II in the form of the Blue Division, otherwise known as the Spanish Volunteer Division, Division Azul, or by its official German title of the 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht. The Blue Division fought for the Axis on the Eastern Front. Individual Spaniards were also involved on both sides during WWII, often in quite large numbers. In a few cases these individuals were collected into units. I have collected some material on the Spanish in Allied service
Using WW2 National Flags as Objectives in Crossfire
I’ve been using flags as my terrain objective markers for a long time. And recently I made some more for New Zealand, UK/GB, India, USA, Germany (replacement), Japan, China and Australia.
KB4R The Swamp – A Crossfire Battle Report
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “The Swamp” (KB4R), the fourth game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the second line – near the Leningrad-Moscow Railway line – against overwhelming odds.
Summary: I thought it would be over in 1 hour, but in an awesome David and Goliath contest Chris’s reinforced company of Spaniards held Jamie’s three battalions of Soviets for 2.5 hours of game time and 7.5 hours of real time. The Spanish defeated the first Soviet battalion but eventually the Soviets ground their way through the Blue Division lines. The time ratio, 2.5 hours of game time in 7.5 hours of real time, demonstrates how grindy it was – not for the faint hearted.
Official Crossfire Supplements – I want to write a couple
I’ve been talking to Arty Conliffe about potential Official Supplements for Crossfire. Official because they have Arty’s blessing and input. I’m thinking about both a commercial scenario book and some freebie booklets. My megalomaniac aspirations for 2022 mean I want to write one of each. There are lots of possibilities and I thought I’m share my thinking.
Download Crossfire Freebie 1: Mini-Scenarios
Download Crossfire Freebie 1: Mini-Scenarios. Introductory scenarios for Arty Conliffe’s Crossfire by Steven Thomas and Dick Bryant. Assisted by Arty Conliffe.
Crossfire Stocktake – My forces for the Eastern Front
Given the upcoming year long campaign for Stalingrad, I thought I should do a stocktake of Crossfire forces for the Eastern Front. It turns out my collection is insane. Your average gamer doesn’t need this. If you are new to Crossfire then you can get by with a lot less figures; check out How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire? For the first 10 years of my Crossfire gaming, I only had a reinforced battalion for each of Germans and Russians, backed up by a couple of Pz III Gs and three T-34s. That was more than enough. Then I got some more kit and played my Armour Fest with everything I had, but even that wasn’t really a lot. Much more than you need for a normal Crossfire game but not a lot in the grand scheme of things. Then, um, I guess I got greedy. It is kind of embarrassing.
A Case Study in Balagan Thinking – How I justify collecting Japanese
If you didn’t know, Balagan means messy or chaotic. And lately my head has definitely been balagan. I’m trying to justify building up a Japanese force for Crossfire. I’m trying to find ways to fit the Japanese into my Official Focus of Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and Israel. I’ve got to say, it ain’t easy. But with quite a lot of mental gymnastics I might manage it.
KB4F The Embankment – A Crossfire Battle Report
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “The Embankment” (KB4F), the third game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the area of the Leningrad-Moscow Railway line – the Embankment – against overwhelming odds.
Summary: Jamie’s Soviet both infantry and armour – broke through the thin Spanish line. This will make the fourth battle tougher for Chris.
Spaniards in 50 Middle East Commando
Over the years Antonio Fajardo has kindly sent me information on Spaniards in British Service during WW2. As a culmination of over 25 years research, Antonio has managed to find the name of every Spaniard in the 50 Middle East Commando unit. He has kindly let me publish the list. In addition to the list itself, I have paraphrased various of Antonio’s comments to give some context.
KB1R Paper Factory – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Paper Factory” (KB1R), the second game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the Paper Factory, in a loop of the Ishora River, against overwhelming odds. Jamie’s Soviets captured all three objectives and won.
KB1F Advance from Ian Ishora – A Crossfire Battle Report from Krasny Bor
Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “Advance from Ian Ishora” (KB1F), the first game of my Krasny Bor Campaign featuring the Blue Division defending against overwhelming odds in an epic Crossfire campaign.
Playing the Krasny Bor Crossfire Campaign with two players
At the end of last year Jo asked if I had ever revisited my Krasny Bor Campaign for Crossfire and the Blue Division. Sadly the answer was no, but it prompted me to rectify the lapse.
I have persuaded Chris Harrod and Jamie Wish to play the campaign. This was a bit different: two players not eight; two months not two days. Here is some advice for anybody who wants to give it a go.
No. 1 (Spanish) Company of the Pioneer Corps in WW2
A few folk with relatives who served in the No. 1 (Spanish) Company of the Pioneer Corps have got in touch (see Spaniards in British Service during WW2). Brian Coles has even contributed some photos of this unit. So I thought this company deserves a page of its own.
15mm scale Russian Onion Dome Church
I got a brilliant item off ebay. A fantastic “15mm scale Flames of War Russian Onion Dome Church”. Despite the title I’ll be using it for Crossfire, specifically for my Old Chapel scenario.
Crossfire 2 Foot Participation Games at SELWG
Last year Dick Bryant published Six Small 2’x2′ Crossfire Scenarios. I’ve played four of them and really like them. Each offers a good tactical challenge but is fast to play taking no more than one hour. Dick intended them as a way to introduce novices to Crossfire. I think they work well for this and hence they are a good option for taking to a show as a participation game(s). So at SELWG 2013 I’m going to give it a go.