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The Oxford Kriegspiel Club

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The Oxford Kriegspiel Club Empty The Oxford Kriegspiel Club

Post  Annaeruo Sun May 09, 2021 5:27 pm

(I’m not sure where to post this, so I’m just going to put it here)
The Oxford Kriegspiel Club, sometimes also known as the Oxford University Kriegspiel Club or the University Kriegspiel Club was a club at Oxford for playing kriegspiels founded in 1876 by Spenser Wilkinson, making it the first civilian wargaming club. Wilkinson discovered Kriegsspiel while visiting Germany in 1874, where his interest in the military was also sparked. Upon return to Oxford, he played Kriegsspiel with a fellow student and joined the volunteers. Disappointed in the level of tactical instruction available in the volunteers, he got together a half dozen friends, two or three of which were volunteers, and translated a book of rules in the Easter vacation of 1876. These people included both those interested in the military as well as just ordinary people who wanted to play Kriegsspiel, such as professors of english and theologians. They were under no great illusion that they were playing for anything other than fun. Indeed, they sometimes played games set in the war of the roses. They would also go and play games with the “Tactical Societies” of various volunteer forces, more about those in a future post. Their games are recorded in the oxford magazine, available on hathitrust. They seem to have used the Konnigratz and 6-inch ordinance survey maps. Members included Sir Charles Oman, who would later author a seven volume history of the peninsular war, as well as pioneer the reconstruction of medieval battles based on fragmentary accounts. Other members would pioneer military geography, and Wilkinson went on to become the first professor of military history at Oxford. There is no clear date of when they ended, although we do know that they were still active in 1914.


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The Oxford Kriegspiel Club Empty Re: The Oxford Kriegspiel Club

Post  MJ1 Sat May 29, 2021 2:49 pm

Here is as good as anywhere, as with all these tid bits of history the people involved rarely think it is important and it is only remembered when written down some where useful.

John Curry at Bath Uni (if he still there) was compiling a history of wargaming so not sure if he knows this tidbit...

Anyway nice to read thanks for posting...


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