The StG 44: The First Modern Assault Rifle

•December 8, 2014 • 1 Comment

StG 44 Photo Album

A real StG 44 assault rifle.

A real Sturmgewehr 44.

Widely considered the first modern assault rifle, the StG 44 was developed by Germany during World War II to fill the need for a weapon to serve in an intermediate role between rifles and submachine guns

According to David Westwood’s book “Rifles: An Illustrated History of their Impact,” the Germans had found that most infantry engagements took place within 400 meters, close enough that a high-powered rifle cartridge was excessive (though still desirable for snipers and machine guns), but too far for the small-caliber rounds fired by submachine guns to be effective.

Continue reading ‘The StG 44: The First Modern Assault Rifle’

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The 20 mm FlaK and the Flakvierling

•December 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

20 mm FlaK Photo Album

A German soldier fires a 20 mm FlaK 38 during World War II. Photo from the German Federal Archive.

A German soldier fires a FlaK 38 during World War II. Photo from the German Federal Archive.

The most common German artillery piece of World War II was not the well-known FlaK 88, but its much smaller sibling, the 20 mm FlaK.

Continue reading ‘The 20 mm FlaK and the Flakvierling’

Blog Updates: Nov. 28, 2014

•November 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Good evening!

If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you’re making good progress through all those leftovers. If you didn’t, well, it’s just a normal Friday, unless you also had a celebration yesterday. If you did, great! Party on.

I’m closing in on the end of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and I quickly remembered how hard the last mission can be. If you haven’t read it yet, check out this week’s post on the Siegfried Line and the Western Air Defense Zone. It’s not a tough mission to play, but it was slow moving. The real action starts now that Lt. Mike Powell is out of the woods, though figuratively, he’s still deep in the woods.

Here’s what’s new on the blog this week:

I also added some new photos to the Facebook photo albums:

That’s it for this week, and I hope to see you back here Monday for a post about the target of Powell’s sabotage in this week’s mission: the 20 mm FlaK anti-aircraft gun.

The Siegfried Line and the Western Air Defense Zone

•November 24, 2014 • 1 Comment

Mission Photo Album

A camouflaged pillbox in the Ardennes forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

A camouflaged pillbox in the Ardennes forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

By January 1945, World War II was nearing its end, but some of the toughest fighting had not yet finished. The Battle of the Bulge raged on the Western Front, the Wehrmacht retreated from the Soviet Red Army on the Eastern Front, and the U.S. continued to bomb Tokyo in the Pacific Theater.

Meanwhile, Lt. Mike Powell has been dispatched to a heavily forested area near Fort Schmerzen along the Siegfried Line. Although Medal of Honor lore calls the fort the largest on the line, it’s entirely fictional. The fort, located near the Moselle River and close to the French city of Metz, was sabotaged in the original Medal of Honor game by Lt. Jimmy Patterson in November 1944, but it was rebuilt by its commander, Col. Hermann Müller, by Jan. 18, 1945.

In the words of Col. Stanley Hargrove, Powell and a special team of Rangers have been sent to “permanently wipe it off the map.”

Continue reading ‘The Siegfried Line and the Western Air Defense Zone’

My Apologies…

•November 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no post today. Hopefully, there will be one tomorrow.

I had a friend visiting at the end of last week, and when she went home, she took my laptop charger with her, thinking it was hers. Normally, I research and play the next mission over the weekend, but the game is installed on the laptop that’s now out of battery…

The power cord is coming back to me through the mail, so it should arrive sometime today or tomorrow, but I’m not sure.

What I can tell you is that the next post will have something to do with the Siegfried Line.

Sorry about the lack of a post, but I hope you come back Tuesday or Wednesday to see the new one!

The Tiger I: A Fearsome Opponent

•November 10, 2014 • 1 Comment

Tiger I Photo Album

A Tiger I heavy tank. Photo from the German Federal Archive.

A Tiger I heavy tank. Photo from the German Federal Archive.

When Germany invaded Russia in June 1941, German tanks encountered, albeit in small numbers, T-34 and KV-1 tanks, which proved tough to beat.

The T-34 was immune to head-on fire from every German gun except the 88mm FlaK, but its side armor could be penetrated by German guns at close range. The KV-1, however, was immune to nearly all German guns from all angles, with the exception of the FlaK 88.

The Germans needed a solution, and they needed it fast, before the Soviets produced more medium and heavy tanks.

The Panzer VI, later designated the Tiger I, was that solution.

Continue reading ‘The Tiger I: A Fearsome Opponent’

HTG Updates: Nov. 7, 2014

•November 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Good afternoon fellow gamers and history-lovers!

Each time I play a new mission, I get new photos and new information about things I’ve written about already, so I’ve got to make sure old posts are up to date. Because I can’t expect everyone to read every post every day (though if you do that, I certainly won’t complain!), I post a list of changes and updates every Friday.

If you haven’t read this week’s main post about Allied Assault’s bridge defense mission and how it relates to the August/September 1944 siege of Brest, France, read it here: The Road to Brest: City Under Siege.

You can also check out the mission’s photo album on the HTG Facebook page.

Here’s a list of posts with new information:

If you’re interested in a specific vehicle or weapon, I’ve added new photos to those albums as well:

Finally, I’m hoping to launch some sort of “Weapons & Equipment Wednesday” series soon (perhaps next Wednesday if I get the logistics figured out), where I’ll feature a weapon or vehicle that I’ve already discussed, but was featured prominently in whatever mission I’ve just played.

As always, if you like what I’m doing, please follow the blog, share it with your friends, like the Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. I try to share interesting stories on social media each day, so you’ll be getting extra-cool stuff if you join me there!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you back here Monday when I post about the Tiger I heavy tank!