Yugoslavian Partisans

21Z5M

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
346
Reaction score
148
Location
E Ma
Country
llUnited States
Did anyone ever make a set of Tito’s forces?
 

Houlie

CEO of HoulieDice (TM)
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
3,097
Reaction score
1,190
Location
Minnesota, USA
Country
llUnited States
I believe they have been typically represented by Partisan 337/527s.
 

21Z5M

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
346
Reaction score
148
Location
E Ma
Country
llUnited States
I believe they have been typically represented by Partisan 337/527s.
They generally are but has a TPP created counters that represent those counters with something other than Russian brown?
 

Steve H

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
268
Reaction score
280
Location
Ottawa Ontario
Country
llCanada
They generally are but has a TPP created counters that represent those counters with something other than Russian brown?
Broken Ground Design makes three types of partisans, all are two toned ones. But their "Southern European" ones have all the vehs and sp wpns that Titos Partisans used.
 

Nineteen Kilo

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
787
Reaction score
311
Location
Fair Oaks CA
Country
llUnited States
Pitman's Partisan magnum opus has yet to see the light of day. When it does, we'll have all the partisan counters we could ever use.
 

Old Noob

Elder Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
1,464
Country
llUnited States
If I remember correctly (unsure at my age), there was an article on partisans in one the Annuals {Charles Markuss was the author}.
He did a detailed analysis on their strengths and weaknesses.
 

Alan Hume

Elder Member
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
1,624
Reaction score
515
Location
EDINBURGH
Country
llUnited Kingdom
I wish Broken Ground had done counters for the Italian Partisans as well, that would have been really cool, I could be wrong but I don't think they did
 

Pitman

Forum Guru
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
14,086
Reaction score
2,262
Location
Columbus, OH
Country
llUnited States
Anything old on Yugoslav Partisans would be really outdated, because there was such a paucity of information. We know more now, including the attempt to professionalize the army once it had liberated most of the country and could easily get supplies from both Western Allies and the Soviets. But even now there's a paucity of information. Just this past year, the first overall military history of the partisan movement in English came out since the 1970s, when the communist regime published a broad look in English (with all of the shortcomings those details imply).
 

Cult.44

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
808
Reaction score
420
Location
Minneapolis
First name
Mark
Country
llUnited States
Anything old on Yugoslav Partisans would be really outdated, because there was such a paucity of information. We know more now, including the attempt to professionalize the army once it had liberated most of the country and could easily get supplies from both Western Allies and the Soviets. But even now there's a paucity of information. Just this past year, the first overall military history of the partisan movement in English came out since the 1970s, when the communist regime published a broad look in English (with all of the shortcomings those details imply).
What's the name of the new book that came out on the partisan movement?
 

Wayne

Doing Plenty, Kinda Slow
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
1,135
Reaction score
380
Location
Snowiest place in VA
Country
llUnited States
Did anyone ever make a set of Tito’s forces?
TAHGC/MMP, the latter especially re the Yugoslav partisan vehicle pieces added in later modules. For rather good reason, MMP has yet to augment/adjust Partisan Infantry pieces though (beyond the Nationalities rules/footnote tweaks suggested as applicable via SSR re some Partisans in some situations -- changes which make the basic Partisan Infantry counters play differently). Per others, TPP products noted upthread too, of course, but these are of limited utility, I expect (more on that below).
Anything old on Yugoslav Partisans would be really outdated, because there was such a paucity of information. We know more now... But even now there's a paucity of information...
Agreed.

Presumably, the “old and outdated” would include the 1990 ASL Annual article by Markuss, which was written specifically for the ASL-playing/designing audience, and which is still useful as a one-stop read.

To paraphrase from the An90 article:

One "problem" for ASL designers of Partisan actions is that there were so few actions of significance.

On account of terrain, urbanization, and a more civil German occupation policy, partisans in NWE were far less active than elsewhere.
French partisans grew to significant force only in Massif Central and in upper Italy. They were too remote to do much harm from such havens, but were so concentrated as to be subject to German operations (such as the one depicted in scenario A23).
Greek partisans sometimes fought as conventional forces against German sweeps, but lost badly (exchange rates of 19--22 partisan KIAs per German KIA).

Partisans in Yugoslavia spent more energy on genocidal factional fights than on anything else.

There are also "quality problems" w/"historical" accounts of Partisan deeds:

Partisans exaggerated their successes, to attract foreign aid.
German security forces magnified partisan threats, to bid for military resources.
Russians trumped up the accomplishments of pro-Soviet partisans (and belittled those of anti-Soviet groups).

Upshot: there's not much five-by-five stuff in the "historical" record; maybe not any.

IMO, that would include the “latest and greatest” published histories, as there still remain political motives for coloring histories (some of which are still directly or indirectly State-funded).

Getting back to the Markuss article:

Secretive French saboteurs are thought to have inflicted greater harms on German resources than did French paramilitary forces.
War in the Shadows - The Partisans in ASL - by Charles Markuss An90p53 said:
Perhaps the greatest contribution made by French partisans was to goad the [Germans, after D-day, into reprisal operations that delayed] the dispatch of the 2nd SS Panzer Division to Normandy for some ten days.
Thus, partisan contributions in the war are hard to gauge, as the records are thought to contain as much inseparable myth as fact.

Some more notes/tidbits from the 1990 Markuss article:
  • British commandos fought with partisans in actions against German-held Aegean islands, and in Yugoslavia.
  • Many partisans in Russia and the Baltic States fought the Soviets; Ukrainian partisans fought both sides.
  • Polish Home Guard units fought Soviets at times; Polish partisans were suppressed by or absorbed into Westward-moving Soviet armies.
  • Tito believed that "if you need something, you go out to the road and get it from the Germans."
  • The Polish Home Army sent unarmed troops into battle during the Warsaw Uprising to scrounge for weapons from the fallen.
  • Poles made grenades from unexploded bombs, shells and Goliaths.
  • Officers in Burma organized hill tribesman into partisans armed with Italian rifles, blow pipes, bows and crossbows.
  • Britain provided captured Italian stocks to European partisans in 1942--43.
  • Britain later airdropped lots of Sten guns because they were very cheap, easy to hide/use/maintain, and could use Axis ammunition.
  • Though vast stocks of ammunition were dropped into Europe, most went unrecovered for want of transport.
  • By D-Day, most French partisans were armed with just two grenades and a Model 1914 French rifle.
  • Poles began the Warsaw Uprising with just three days worth of ammunition, but fought on for 63 days (learning severe fire discipline).
  • The Warsaw Uprising was compromised by some troops firing well before the planned time, and by daylight attacks on German strongpoints.
  • FFI troops in the Paris Uprising had just one magazine each of SMG ammunition.
  • Soviets partisan groups grew increasingly dependent on unwilling draftees; some were executed for unreliability (and their families massacred) [suggesting Commissars may be appropriate in late-war Soviet partisan OBs? WMH].
  • Yugoslavians received generous Allied air, ground and naval support at times and, late in the war, British light armor.
  • Some Yugoslavian and Greek bands acquired Italian tanks, mortars and guns (complete with crews) after Italy sued for peace.
  • Soviet partisans in the early months used armor and guns left in the wake of the German advances.
  • To protect rail lines against partisan attacks, the Germans committed a security battalion per 62 miles of rail:
* Trees and undergrowth were cleared for from 400 yards to nine miles of the rail line.​
* Unnecessary buildings in the cleared zone were leveled.​
* Small fortresses with tall towers gave a view of the line and approaches.​
* Four men patrolled each 1.5 miles. The rest of the battalion acted as a ``fire brigade'' reserve.​
* Cars filled with sand (hostages, in Greece and Yugoslavia) were coupled ahead of engines to detonate mines (partisans countered by use of remote-control charges).​
* Cargo trains dispatched in mutually supporting convoys with armed troops aboard.​
* Special trains (some armored) patrolled the rails carrying cavalry and obsolete AFVs (for pursuits) while infantry patrols swept the ground astride the rails.​

  • Italian partisans, at first disdained, won respect for their work with Allied units as scouts and screening forces.
  • Japanese forces faced partisan opposition from:
* Burmese tribesmen under loose British control,​
* Australian/Dutch stragglers on Timor,​
* cannibal tribesmen on New Guinea, and​
* Philippine partisan groups on Leyte, Luzon and Mindanao.​
[Re the OP, re seeking a "new" ASL Partisan OOB for use in lieu of the generic 337 & 527 set already included, there simply was no standardization of forces, even within a region — IMO, any attempt to “improve” on the ASL generic OB would necessarily be scenario-specific w/little historical applicability to other actions.]

In summary it looks to me that ASL Partisan scenarios are all storied recollection and embellishment/disparagement as opposed to well-recorded battle accounts justly modeled within ASL. Nor do I see that ever changing.

Simply put, re WWII Partisan actions, true historical accounts do not quite exist — just claims and impressions.

But that has been kind of enough for (inspired but mostly a-historical) scenarios of entertainment value within the ASL game system.
 
Last edited:

Hutch

Curator of the ASL Armory
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Messages
1,888
Reaction score
828
Location
FL
First name
Hutch
Country
llUnited States
Mark, looking through Amazon, there are many books about WWII Partisan activities. Any books you specifically recommend?
 

Pitman

Forum Guru
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
14,086
Reaction score
2,262
Location
Columbus, OH
Country
llUnited States
Unfortunately, Wayne, there are some inaccuracies there, starting with:

"One 'problem' for ASL designers of Partisan actions is that there were so few actions of significance."

Having read literally hundreds of books on partisan and guerrilla warfare in World War II, I can assure you that this is not the case.

This recent book--the book on the partisan war in Yugoslavia--is enough to dispel that notion. You will find it incredibly eye-opening, I think.


It's worth pointing out that in certain places, partisan forces were even converted into light infantry and used by the Allies in offensive conventional warfare. The two most noteworthy examples of this are the OSS's use of the Kachin/Karen Rangers (Detachment 101) in Burma (where heavy firepower was provided by airdropping 4.2" chemical mortars to use, which were then destroyed and abandoned as the guerrillas moved on to the next objective) and the Northern Luzon guerrillas of Volckmann, which became a de facto light infantry division fighting in battles like the Battle of Bessang Pass.
 

Vinnie

See Dummies in the index
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
16,918
Reaction score
2,744
Location
Aberdeen , Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
One good arguement for an expanded Partizan OB lies in the arguement for the Finnish "Supermen". Often Partizans were facing very poor secondline troops. In order to reflect this, you need to either downgrade the troops they face (do we need yet another class of German squad?) or upgrade the Partizan unit. A 6-4-8 may not fairly reflect a Yugoslav partizan but might when facing a 4-4-7 who should really be a 2-3-6!
 

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
13,426
Reaction score
8,501
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llUkraine
One good arguement for an expanded Partizan OB lies in the arguement for the Finnish "Supermen". Often Partizans were facing very poor secondline troops. In order to reflect this, you need to either downgrade the troops they face (do we need yet another class of German squad?) or upgrade the Partizan unit. A 6-4-8 may not fairly reflect a Yugoslav partizan but might when facing a 4-4-7 who should really be a 2-3-6!
While I can follow your point with regard to the Finnish "supermen" & partisans, I don't know if we really need another class of German squads.

The German 447 and 436s and their respective half-squads are "bad enough" IMHO.

Partisans would usually strike if they knew they were at a definite advantage (ambushes of supply lines or remote outposts). These kind of encounters are somewhat difficult to depict in ASL, because they were one-sided. You could reflect this by letting the Partisans set up entirely HIP while limiting the movement of the opponent to some road until fired upon. Or the Victory Conditions could specify that the 'opponent wins if, say, 1 squad equivalent survives'. The latter type of scenario in ASL is not really liked by many ASLers, though.

The other way round would be some Partsian hideouts (or surrounded areas) being cleared by the opponent in an anti-Partisan mission. These missions might be more 'balanced' ASL-wise with the Partisans probably being required to escape with sufficient (larger) numbers after having been cornered.

The cases in which Partisans are used in the same manner as 'light' troops could be represented by using normal squad types with a sprinkling of Partisan counters which bestow the special 'Partisan movement' for friendly units stacked with them.

von Marwitz
 
Last edited:

Pitman

Forum Guru
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
14,086
Reaction score
2,262
Location
Columbus, OH
Country
llUnited States
The stereotype of partisan combat is the ambush, but it's somewhat out of place for partisan combat in some locations, such as Yugoslavia, once the partisan movement really got going, because they were so often on the offensive or were defending themselves from enemy anti-partisan offensives.

In fact, broadening from Yugoslavia to partisans and guerrillas across WW2, the most common kind of partisan "combat" that partisans engaged in was defensive combat. The biggest partisan battles in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, and in many other places were defensive battles against operations by Axis & puppet troops trying to destroy partisan "free republics" or "zones," or trying to encircle and destroy partisan forces. Partisans also engaged in offensive operations not only in Yugoslavia and Albania, but in taking or trying to take cities such as Warsaw, Wilno/Vilnius, Paris, Prague, various northern Italian cities, etc.--often those also involved defending against major counterattacks as well. Slovak partisans fought in the front lines in the Slovak Uprising, alongside regular Slovak troops. French maquis were incorporated into battalions and added to French units. In Burma and the Philippines in 1945, partisan units went on the offensive in largely conventional warfare. Chinese communists engaged in some conventional operations in the 100 Regiments Offensive.
 

Tuomo

Keeper of the Funk
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
4,076
Reaction score
4,183
Location
Rock Bottom
Country
llUnited States
I put a link to it in the previous post.
Wow. $59. I'm sure there are other military history books that are more expensive, even. This is just outta my league, as far as desire to pay that much for a military history book. No criticism implied, just commenting on my pecuniary approach to this, as opposed to those who are just on another level, especially when one considers how many books Mark has. Much respect.

Very glad for the Military History Kindle Daily Deal Subscription Thread on Boardgamegeek.
 
Top