Normaly I am searching for all kinds of Paperwork which I want or could reproduce. Either in stores, car booth sales or the internet. Recently I found the German ‘Schach, Dame und Muhle‘ game for German soldiers on the internet and I thought it would be nice to reproduce that aswell. Nevertheless I found some more interesting German pre-war and wartime board games aswell as wartime German card games, interesting enough to write this article about. Well in this article I want to highlight some of the German board games and the German card games I will highlight in an other article. (Click on images to enlarge)
Eine Reise durch Deutschland (A trip through Germany)
Scarce game released a year after Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor of Germany. Game board has very lengthy inscription on history of Germany and its current state. It begins with mention of Hitler and March 21, 1933, when President von Hindenburg met with Hitler and sealed the military’s acceptance of the Nazi Party. Hitler immediately opened the First Reichstag of the Third Reich. As the players make their way from Berlin to other parts of Germany, inscriptions extol the glorious history of each region and city, mentioning famous Germans and major developments that occurred there. There is a second border that extends outside the German border, and these lands constitute the ‘lost lands’, areas that Germany lost to neighboring countries such as Poland and France in the aftermath of WWI. These areas and cities are proclaimed as being German and to be visited by the players just as easily as Germany proper. This game is an outstanding example of Nazi propaganda seeking to re-kindle and promote the German disdain and anger towards the WWI Allies. Board folds into a 229 x 300 mm envelope, and has instructions on reverse. Board unfolds to a very large 762 x 50 mm. Envelope has wear but in good condition, board in excellent condition. Since virtually all such Nazi material was destroyed after the war, this game is truly scarce.
Very rare 1937 game shows German soldiers and officers in day-to-day activities of romanticized Army life. Depicts Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, marches, attacks, leisure activities, more. Soldiers are depicted as brave and loyal, and as constantly enjoying every aspect of their military lives.
Very colourful and clossy surface graphics. Game was given to both soldiers and youth, a rare surviving example of their Nazi indoctrination. Since virtually all such material was destroyed after the war, this game is truly scarce. Game measures 430 x 300 mm
Oh, welche Lust Soldat zu sein (Oh what fun to be a soldier)
Rare 1937 game highlighting fun of being a soldier in the Wehrmacht. Box cover shows German soldiers marching, along with smiling Wehrmacht officer. Bright colorful graphics on box lid. Game board follows romanticized progression of German soldier’s career: civilian receives order to be drafted, is pronounced medically fit, outfitted in uniform, trained, serves as guard and then as soldier, rises through ranks while seeing military action and eventually becomes a General. He is constantly admired and praised. Game is complete with all playing pieces and instructions and was given to both soldiers and youth. Box in good condition, with some wear lower right corner. Contents look new. Box measures 330 x 216 mm, opened game board measures 300 x 300 mm.
Spiele-Magazin (Swastika Checkers & games set)
Scarce 1938 Swastika Checkers and Games set. Compendium includes various games: Checkers, Chess, Horse Race, Dominoes, Mikado, Mill and several others. Pieces provided for all games. Swastika checkers have extra pieces for use in other games, as well as in case of loss. Also extra Chess pawns. Painted metal horse race pieces are large (50 mm) and have almost no paint loss. Swastika checkers pieces 25 mm across, made of typical composition material of period. Horse pieces are metal, chess and other pieces are wood, and some dice are Bakelite. All pieces have gloss, in good condition. Mikado game housed inside long purple octagonal box that is set in a slot in the main box designed just for it. Games set contains envelope with detailed instructions pamphlets for all games. Box 406 x 280 mm, opened game boards mostly 330 x330 mm, very colorful horse race board 508 x 355 mm. Prime example of Nazi Party’s use of Swastika symbol to continue its propaganda.
Die Reichsautobahnen (Autobahn board game)
Scarce 1938 game depicting Hitler’s program for construction and use of Third Reich’s Autobahns. Essentially job creation program, it lessened German unemployment and contributed to recovery of German economy. Nazi Party strongly promoted construction program. Game highlights various routes of ‘Autobahn’ and ease of travel between German cities. Bright colorful graphics on both box lid and board. Swastika visible on board. Playing pieces metal painted Cars in excellent condition. Game complete with instructions. Box used but good condition, measures 457 x 292 mm. Board looks UNUSED and opens to very large 482 x 432 mm.
Volk ans Gewehr (Call to arms)
A scarce German board game from 1938 titled ‘CALL TO ARMS.’ Subtitled ‘Das moderne Spiel der Kriegskunst’ (The modern game of the Art of War). Box cover shows beautiful painted graphics of German Wehrmacht soldiers on the battlefield. Game was made just before Hitler’s invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia, and game title is an exhortation to the people (and soldiers) to take to arms and be ready for battle. It represents the extent to which the reality of wartime was used by the Nazi regime for propaganda and nationalist feeling. Contents include instructions, game board and large number of playing pieces in outstanding condition. Large game box measures 406 x 280 mm, has some repairs. A rare surviving example of the Nazi indoctrination of youths and soldiers.
Das Große Belagerungsspiel (Panzers laying Siege)
Scarce 1939 board game, ‘The Great Siege Game.’ Playing Pieces include 50 Panzer tanks molded from glass in refined detail and painted. Panzers used on colorful playing board to lay siege. Colorful German military graphics on cover, which claims ‘With 50 realistic tanks.’ Game manufactured by Spear game company after it had been ‘Aryanized,’ its Jewish owners forcibly removed and the company name changed to Porst (for its new ‘Aryan’ owner). Instructions, pieces complete. Game with all 50 glass Panzers surviving intact. Box, 381 x 280 mm, has repairs, mostly near corners and edges. Board opens to 355 x 355 mm.
Mit ‘Prien’ gegen England (Anti England game U-boat Commander Prien)
Rare German game from 1940, ‘With Prien Against England,’ follows exploits of renowned German U-Boat Captain Gunther Prien, who gained instant fame October 14, 1939, by sinking British battleship ‘Royal Oak’ while it was anchored in British Naval Headquarters in Scapa Flow, Scotland. Prien received Wehrmacht’s highest honor from Hitler. Later, his U-Boat U-47 sank 30 Allied ships until its own end at the hands of the British on March 7, 1941. Game was published in early 1940 while Prien was at the height of his fame. Box cover shows ‘Royal Oak’ sinking in background, with U-47 in foreground, and has Prien inset. Very colorful graphics. Playing pieces are four metal painted U-Boats in excellent condition. Box has instructions, and is in good condition. Swastikas are clearly visible on board. Since virtually all such material was destroyed after the war, game is truly scarce. Board opens to 533 x 355 mm, box measures 381 x 280 mm.
Grossdeutschlands Städte Spiel (Greater Germany’s Cities)
Scarce 1940 game depicting Hitler’s Nazi concept of ‘Greater Germany’ (as first described in his ‘Mein Kampf’). By 1940, ‘Greater Germany’ (enlarging the German state) had been achieved to a point, and box cover shows new borders of new Germany in outline. Inside, board shows not just the border but all details, in outstanding color graphics. Cities are labeled and an integral part of this game. Cities are not only from prewar Germany but also, more importantly, from newly annexed regions of Poland, Austria and Czechoslovakia (Warsaw, Vienna and Prague, for example). Swastika clearly visible on the board, as is a Zeppelin. Game complete with instructions. Box 16″x10½”, has repairs with few missing side pieces, in fair condition. Contents good condition, including board, which opens to a large 23″x18″.
Radio Sende Spiel (Wartime Radio Transmissions)
Scarce game from late 1939/early 1940 based on sending radio transmissions between various stations of German Armed Forces within its conquered territory. Map of Germany reflects boundaries of ‘Germany’ at that point in the war (1940), with annexations of Poland, Austria and Czechoslovakia shown ‘within’ Germany. Radio transmissions must be carefully monitored to stay within this ‘Greater Germany.’ Any unintended contact with Paris, London, Moscow or Bucharest is strictly ‘Forbidden,’ with dire consequences. Another copy of this game is on exhibit in the permanent collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Game is complete with instructions and 4 pieces. Box is especially rare (in any condition), is 254 x 330 mm, board opens to 470 x 330 mm.
Das U-Boot Spiel (U-Boat game)
German game from 1940 follows the exploits of renowned German U-Boat Captain Gunther Prien, who gained instant fame Oct 14, 1939, by sinking British battleship ‘Royal Oak’ in Scapa Flow, Scotland. He was the first U-Boat Captain to receive the German Wehrmacht’s highest honor, presented to him personally by Hitler. His U-47 sank 30 Allied ships until being sunk by the British March 7, 1941. Game was published in early 1940, when Prien was at the height of his fame, and invites players to follow Prien’s example by attacking Scapa Flow (shown on game board). Game especially designed in small lightweight form so it could be taken onto U-Boats and played by sailors. Game is complete, box measures 127 x 127 mm, board opens to 230 x 230 mm.
Das Bunkerspiel (Bunker game)
Board game called the ‘Bunker game’. Simulates strategy of armed conflict amidst bunkers that was occurring at the time. Game designed to be played by soldiers and youth, outstanding example of militaristic indoctrination conducted by Nazi regime. Lightweight nature of the game enabled it to be readily carried by Wehrmacht soldiers to the front. Box 127 x 127 mm, and board opens to 230 x230 mm, both in good condition. Complete with playing pieces and instructions.
Wehrschach Tik-Tak (Military Chess’ for Soldiers, Hitler Youth, SS)
Rare propaganda board game put out by Wehrmacht based on chess. Lengthy detailed instruction book. Box cover shows German soldiers in the midst of battle. Playing pieces intricate and represent Infantry, Panzers, Artillery, Fighter Planes, Bombers and the main playing piece in the shape of a Nazi Eagle. Instead of 16 pieces per side in standard chess, each side in this game has 18 pieces. Instead of a standard 8 by 8 squares chess board, this game’s board is 11 by 11 squares and some squares contain hazards and terrain. Instruction book proclaims: ‘The leading military combat and instructive game; For spiritual training, military training, and public education; Recognized and introduced by: the Wehrmacht, Police, SS, Hitler Youth, Border Protection, all manner of Nazi Party Organizations, religious affiliates of the Nazi Party, and all schools.’ Game complete and box in good condition, measuring 200 x 200 mm. Board opens to 400 x 400 mm. Large and highly stylized playing pieces nearly 50 mm tall, shaped like bombs, rockets, tanks, soldiers, winged soldiers and eagles. Pieces & board in UNPLAYED condition. Pieces housed in specially designed box bottom with fitted slots.
Kampf und Sieg (Battle and Victory)
Large Nazi game from 1941, ‘Battle and Victory,’ based on various military components of the German Wehrmacht army. Panzers, Luftwaffe fighter planes, artillery, and weapons such as machine guns and rifles used to attack enemy lines and positions. Box has colorful painted graphics and very large, 470 x 355 mm, in good condition. Board (460 x 460 mm) and playing pieces in excellent condition. Game with detailed instruction booklet, and possibly complete. Box in good condition. Game given to both soldiers and youth, a rare surviving example of their Nazi indoctrination.
German board game from 1941 based on various military components of German Wehrmacht army. Panzers, Luftwaffe planes and paratroopers shown attacking enemy lines and positions. Includes infamous Stuka (Junkers Ju-87) dive-bomber used in the Battle of Britain in 1940. Board opens out to large 510 x 300 mm. Very colorful painted graphics on the board, which is in good condition. The 300 x 178 mm box is sturdy, and especially rare to find (in any condition). Game complete with instructions and playing pieces.
Wir fahren gegen England (We go against England)
German Board game from 1941 titled ‘WE GO AGAINST ENGLAND.’ Subtitle is ‘A new War game about our U-Boat Forces.’ Box cover shows photograph of an actual German U-Boat (flying the Nazis SWASTIKA flag) on its way to battle. Colorful game board depicts a full-scale naval attack by the German Wehrmacht on Britain. The German Navy begins the attack from Germany (depicted by a Swastika flag on the game board) and then encircles & attacks Britain & its warships from all sides. The game cards look UNPLAYED, and names all the (real) British destroyers, cruisers & warships to be attacked. Complete with instructions & all playing pieces (3 U-boats & 3 Luftwaffe planes). Game box measures 380 x 280 mm, opened game board is 530 x 380 mm. Game in excellent condition, a rare surviving example of Nazi indoctrination of youths and soldiers.
Adler Luftverteidigungsspiel (Adler Air Defence game)
Scarce 1941 game titled ‘Adler Air Defense Game,’ published by ‘Der Adler,’ official magazine of the Luftwaffe. Game cover shows a British RAF Bristol Blenheim Bomber being shot down by German Artillery. Colorful playing board simulates battle situations involving successful German defenses against airplane raids and bombing by the enemy (in this case Britain’s Royal Air Force, or RAF). Detailed instruction book states that ‘The game was invented by a Luftwaffe officer, to promote thorough understanding of the Wehrmacht’s aerial attack and defense. Its deeper meaning lies, in the ever-alert mind, the protection of the homeland.’ Thus game was meant to be instructive as well as for propaganda purposes by Nazi regime. Game shows the extent to which the Nazi regime used the reality of war against England to boost nationalism and morale. Swastikas visible on box cover and inside. Box in excellent condition, contents look complete and slightly used. Game box 305 x 230 mm, board opens to 600 x 430 mm.
Schach, Dame und Mühle
Scarce 1942 lightweight box of board games, meant to be sent to soldiers on the front during WWII. Box cover states ‘Greetings from the Homeland’ and ‘Chess, Checkers and Mill games.’ Box depicts two Wehrmacht soldiers playing chess and one proclaiming ‘Checkmate!!.’ Box and contents in almost mint condition. Contains all playing pieces. Flat pieces could be reversed to play checkers instead of chess, as well as the Mill Game, which is on reverse side of the board. All 3 games were familiar to most Germans. Box measures 127 x 240 mm. Since virtually all such Wehrmacht material was destroyed after the war, this set is truly scarce.
Flieger Alarm! (Air Raid Siren!)
Rare 1942 board game titled ‘Air Raid Siren!’ which shows response of German city dwellers to air raid. Citizenry awakens to siren warning of night time air raid. Game depicts what emergency provisions and tools must be on hand, how to put out fires, how to find an air raid shelter, how to conduct oneself inside a shelter, and eventual return after air raid ends. Citizens shown to be stoic, brave, helpful and orderly. German soldiers shown shooting down Allied aircraft. In 1942, the German public was getting used to Allied air raids and was beginning to get wary of stalled war effort of Nazi regime. Game was meant to boost morale as well as provide pragmatic instruction. Good condition, board only with minor wear mostly near fold and at corners. Game measures 430 x 355 mm.
Spiele (Soldier’s board games collection for Eastern front)
Collection of board games from around 1942, distributed to soldiers by the Wehrmacht Armed Forces. Cover of the games folder depicts Third Reich soldiers playing board games on table. Contains large number of different colorful wood playing pieces, and 8 games on 4 double-sided game boards. With detailed instructions, which state: ‘Published by the Wehrmacht High Command and commissioned by the Army Commander of the Eastern Lands (Front).’ Thus, meant for soldiers on the Eastern Front, the advance of which by 1942 had stalled in the Soviet Union. One of the 8 games is very colorful game depicting a Nazi soldier on ‘furlough’ and having a great time, which must surely have resonated with the soldiers in the harsh and bleak environment of the Eastern (Russian) Front. Game boards open to 300 x 300 mm, box 330 x 178 mm. In used but very good condition.
Spiel Mit… (Soldier’s board games collection mailed to front)
Lightweight box of board games, meant to be sent to soldiers on the front during WWII. Box cover has ‘Feldpost’ (army mail) address label. Five games included inside box. Three of them are Chess, Checkers and Mill, which were known to most Germans. The two other board games (on the two sides of one board) are military tactical in nature and have detailed instructions: ‘Raiding Party Attack’ and ‘Advance Detection.’ Box and contents in used but good condition. Contains all playing pieces. Flat chess pieces could be overturned to play other 4 games. Box measures 127 x 240 mm.
Schach/Dame und Mühle Feldpost (Soldier’s Chess/Checkers game)
Scarce lightweight set of 3 board games, housed inside envelope meant to be mailed to soldiers on the front during WWII. Envelope has ‘Feldpost’ (army mail) address label and has graphic of a German soldier. It measures 127 x 178 mm and states ‘For our Soldiers, the 3 Popular Games: Chess, Checkers and Mill.’ Contents complete with instructions. Board unfolds to 240 x 127 mm, with the 2 game boards on one side and instructions on the other. Playing pieces for Checkers and Mill inside two small packets and look unused. Chess pieces on a piece of cardboard, still UNPUNCHED and unused.