Home Forums Air and Sea Naval WATU wargame

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  • #100618
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Since I haven’t seen it mentioned on TWW, I thought I’d best post this now weeks-old link giving a splendid account of what seems to have been a splendid wargame, a re-creation of Cap Gilbert Roberts’ doctrine development and training wargame at Western Approaches Tactical Unit (WATU) in Liverpool:

    WATU wargame report

    Paul Strong gave a paper on the history of the WATU wargame at this year’s Historical Analysis symposium, which should be posted on the ISMOR web site soon, but it’s not up there yet.

    All the best,

    John.

    #100622
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Pretty cool.  I found the history behind the training of the real escort crews quite interesting.  having recently read an account by a German u-boat crewman who survived the sinking of 3 subs he was on, it was quite enlightening.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #100630
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Interesting and kind of weird compared to commercial wargames, reminds me of early naval rules played with scaled models. I was going to look for the rules but after reading the article I don’t think this is a casual play thing.

    Tired is enough.

    #100651
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Watu is pretty impressive. There are a number of anecdotes of cases where new field tactics were developed inside WATU and disseminated to units at sea with effect. Each little win was a few more calories in my mother’s stomach.

    #100658
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Watu is pretty impressive. There are a number of anecdotes of cases where new field tactics were developed inside WATU and disseminated to units at sea with effect. Each little win was a few more calories in my mother’s stomach.

    AIUI all the tactics embodied in Western Approaches Convoy Instructions (WACI) were developed at WATU using the game, with the sole exception of “Raspberry”, the grandaddy of them all, which originated with “Johnny” Walker (the only escort commander in Western Approaches not to have to do the WATU course). I believe the name “Raspberry” was coined by one of the WATU Wrens, and set the theme of fruit-and-veg names for other tactics (Pineapple, Artichoke).

    WACI is a wonderful document. The copy held at the National Archives contains a large number of amendments, making it possible to trace the development of tactics over the course of time, and, incidentally, to make pretty much correct use of the word “palimpsest”. Not least of the wonders of WACI are the splendid cartoon illustrations by Jack Broome.

    All the best,

    John.

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