Algiers and Algeria at AWC



This was the first time I had ever moderated a film. Unfortunately Lianne’s presentation style hasn’t rubbed off on me.

Had a great time at the US Army War College! Made very welcome by COL Jerry Hall and LCOL Dave Barsness, both long-time wargamers. I arrived very late Saturday and Sunday LCOL Barsness took me on a tour of the Army Heritage and Education Centre. A very well put together museum; one thing they do is give you a small plastic card which is a profile of a typical American soldier, from the time of teh Spanish-American War up to the GWOT and you can read about “your” soldier when you reach the right exhibit. I picked a Specialist from Vietnam and found at the end that he was killed in the 11th month of his tour. They also had some very nice outside exhibits including life size replicas of a redoubt and a blockhouse, and another interesting one showing the various ways IEDs could be concealed.

Monday was the event; we set up five copies of Colonial Twilight ahead of time and got into the movie. Attendance was a little light because the students are very busy and near  the end of their program, and the timing wasnot great. But it was great to meet and talk with those who came, including COL di Crocco with whom I had been corresponding for a while but as a gamer.

The movie went over very well and people enjoyed the games.It was a real privilege to be able to help with the program.  And at the end, the customary group picture!



About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

8 Responses to Algiers and Algeria at AWC

  1. Brian,

    I really enjoyed meeting you and playing the game last week here at the US Army War College. You must come back again next year!

    best regards,

    Jim Di Crocco

  2. defling says:

    The Trinquier-esque briefing of Operation Champagne has got to be one of the best military briefing scenes in all cinema. How did the games go?

    • brtrain says:

      Games went fine, attendance wasn’t what they hoped for but we had two running at the same time, each with onlookers as well as players.
      I stopped the film at two points, the initial briefing COL Mathieu has with his officers on arriving in Algiers (to talk about the film’s overemphasis on torture, and the actual tactics the French used along with torture) and the press conference after capturing Ben M’hidi.
      Also felt constrained to point out at the end of the film the various omissions and alterations Yacef Saadi made to the actual story.
      But this film is not a documentary of course, it was only made to look like one.

  3. Pingback: Back to USAWC | brtrain

  4. Hi Brian:

    Thanks for this report. I have long wanted to visit Carlisle but will have to go as a tourist, as I doubt the CAF would justify sending a lowly chaplain there on business. I was just reading about the War College and a major near-peer wargame they will be running there in June: I would love to be a spectator there for that.
    Pbly won’t see you at Cangames but hoping to get my hands on CT in the near future. Best, Mike

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks Michael!
      We may meet yet.
      I have my doubts about whether there will be a major war with a near-peer in the future (and I’m sure they would not want to fight too near a peer).
      I think there will be more and more of the same grimy drawn-out fearful asymmetry – to me, it’s the default mode.
      But I understand them wanting to get back to planning proper fires, and maintaining the grooming standard….

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