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Weapons of WWI

#38: The „Peter Adalbert“ – An improvised railway gun

Make history yourself:
The “Peter Adalbert”, officially named 21xm SK “Peter Adalbert”, was a German railway gun which served on the Western Front and in Gallipoli between 1916 and 1918. Eleven were built and only four of them are known to have survived the war.

After the SMS Blücher was wrecked, its four reserve guns were surplus. Thus, the Ministry of War placed an order for firing platforms (“Bettungsschiessgeschütz”), which could be used anywhere after some preparation. However, the lengthy time to emplace the firing platform forced German authorities to transfer the guns to the “Eisenbahn- und Bettungsschießgeschütz”, successfully used by other railway guns.

Now, the Peter Adalbert could be fired from any suitable section of track after wedges were bolted to the track to absorb the recoil of the gun. Ammunition was moved by means of a shot tray provided with handles, a yoke above so that shells could be moved by hand, rolled or carried by the trolley hoist. The shot tray could be hooked to the breech to hold the powder and shell in place while manually rammed. The gun was capable of firing shells with a weight ranging from 250 to 254lb up to a range of 28.900 yards.

One of the guns was used in Verdun, one at the Battle of the Somme, one in Passchendaele, one during the Second Battle of the Marne and seven guns supported the Spring Offensive in 1918.
August 30, 2014

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Forgotten battlegrounds of WWI

The Battle of Basra – Protecting the Persian oilfields

Make history yourself:
After British forces had conquered Fao in November 1914, the Ottoman authorities planned to converge Basra. In order to secure the Persian oilfields and the connection to the Persian Gulf, British forces were sent to Basra. After an Ottoman thrust on the 11th of November, the defeated soldiers prepared their defensive positions and awaited the British.

The main Ottoman position was at Sahil, mainly a mud wallet fort, where 4.500 soldiers were stationed. On November 19th, two brigades of Indian and British infantry and cavalry attacked, only to be hampered by heavy rain storms. With an intense strike, the British forces decreased the distance to the fort and artillery shelling began. The fort fell and the remaining Ottoman troops backed down.

Ottoman losses at Sahil were around 1.000, while the British and Indian troops lost 350 of their soldiers. Meanwhile, the city of Basra had been abandoned by the Ottomans and the inhabitants asked British soldiers to occupy it.
August 27, 2014


A new round of improvements for the HTML-5 Client

Another week and we like to show you the newest improvements which are coming in the new update for Supremacy 1914. We will release the Pin Mode which was already integrated in the old Java Client as well as a new system to split your armies in your games. Of course there are a lot of smaller changes.

Here is the complete list of changes:

New Features:

The new Pin mode arrived. In the options you can now change the look of your armies by activating the new Pin Mode. Give it a try!

We introduce a new mode to split up your armies. This one should be more intuitive and allows a faster and easier administration of your armies. You find the button next tot he move and attack button in the unitadministration.

The ressourcebar is now also available if your in the stockmarket


We improved the city name readability

We increased the size if the army size font.


The graphics oft he province view are now preloaded in the background so that the initial loading process is faster now.

The scrolling at the edge oft he map is now only active when you are dragging armies


A bug that created an exception when more than one province is selected while clicking the Unit Info Button is fixed

A bug that Buttons are not clickable when players click the leftmost or topmost pixels is fixed

Fixed a bug where in small resolutions diplomacy widget close button is out of the screen

Fixed a bug where in small resolutions Resource, Army and Province Bars overlays with Province List

Fixed a bug where in small resolutions Overflow contents are not scrollable

Fixed a bug where in small resolutions diplomacy widget close button is out of the screen
August 25, 2014


Weapons of WWI:

The Skeleton tank – Ahead of its time?

Make history yourself:
Although the Skeleton tank never proceeded past a single prototype, the tank built by the Pioneer Tractor Company in 1918 was designed with several innovative features. The objective of the engineers was to build a lightweight tank, which featured the same possibilities than conventional British tanks.

The Skeleton Tank featured an open skeleton-like framework between the two tracks. The frame itself was built from iron pipes joined by plumbing connections. Between the tracks, an armored fighting compartment with a machine gun torrent and the main engine, two 50hp engines, were suspended. Thus, the weight of the tank was reduced to 18.000lb. While the structure maintained the trench-passing abilities it also made it nearly impossible to arm the Skeleton Tank with additional weapons.

With a weight of nine tons and an armor of half an inch the tank was in line with the European tanks of its time. However, it was slightly shorter and manned by only two soldiers. In addition, the Skeleton Tank was only armed with a single .30 caliber machine gun.
August 22, 2014


Weapons of WWI

#36: The Livens Projector: A “one shot only”-mortar

Make history yourself:
The Livens Projector, named after Captain William H. Livens, was a mortar-like weapon that was used to fire large drums filled with flammable or toxic material. It was capable of firing gas canister up to a distance of 1.640 yards while each canister delivered as much gas as several chemical warfare shells. However, the Livens Projector could only be fired once.

After Captain William H. Livens used two oil drums as an improvised Molotov cocktail during the Battle of the Somme, he and his officers wondered if a non-traditional flamethrower would prove more effective. He and the Z Company quickly developed the first prototypes of the Liven Projector which were used to attack Pozières. While the early versions had a limited range of only 200 yards the final version was successfully used with a range of 1.640 yards.

Basically, the Livens Projector was used to fire large cylinders filled with flammable or toxic material into enemy trenches. It consisted of a metal pipe, set in a ground at 45-degree angle. A gas drum was inserted into the pipe and fired by an electrically initiated charge. The projectors were sited slightly behind the front-line and camouflaged. Although each projector could be fired just a single time, the basic advantages outbalanced the disadvantages: The Livens Projector was cheap, simple and an extremely effective method of delivering chemical weapons while being inaccurate and unreliable.
August 20, 2014


Most devastating Battles of WWI

The Battle of Charleroi – Part of the Battle of Frontiers

Make history yourself:
Fought on a single day (21st of August in 1914), the Battle of Charleroi ended was a victory for the German forces under Karl von Bülow and Max von Hausen. While the German Second and Third Army suffered 11.000 casualties, the French Fifth Army suffered heavy casualties caused by the decisions of Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre.

Prior to the battle, the Fifth Army under the command of General Chrles Lanrezac concentrated on a 25-mile front at the Sambre. Left of him, the Cavalry Corps and the British Expeditionary Forces completed the front line. Lanrezac faced the Second and Third Army and was outnumbered. His advice to retreat was overthrown by Joffre, who planned to follow the Plan XVII, regardless of the recent developments in Belgium.

However, the German attack started before Lanrezac mentioned his concerns. The Second Army established two bridgeheads across the Sambre and due to the lack of artillery the Fifth Army was not able to regain control. Meanwhile, the Third Army had started an offensive against the complete front line. Thus, Lanrezac ordered a withdrawal.
August 17, 2014


History on the Eve of WWI:

The Battle of Haelen – A tactical victory for the Belgian cavalry

Make history yourself:
The Battle of Haelen, or the Battle of the Silver Helmets, was an early engagement of World War I. After the Belgium Government refused the ultimatum set by German authorities, the British Government guaranteed their military support to Belgium. Soon after, Germany declared war on France. As a matter of fact, German soldiers invaded Belgium and attacked Liège. The German cavalry advanced towards Hasselt and Diest. Thus, the Belgian General Headquarters saw the need to delay the advance and chose Haelen as the place to do so.

George von Marvitz, commanding six regiments of cavalry and infantry, advanced north with his troops, towards the Belgian cavalry. However, Belgian Headquarters anticipated this movement and the Cavalry Divisions of Lieutenant-General de Witte were sent to block the advance.

Surprisingly, the German cavalry did not move until the 12th of August and had to deal with supply shortages. Several intercepted messages told the Belgian Headquarters that the German Army started their attack. Subsequently, additional infantry soldiers were brought to the scene. The main Belgian defense line was located west of Haelen. Although Belgian engineers had blown bridges, nearly 1.000 German soldiers advanced to the center of Haelen.

General de Witte managed to repulse the German cavalry attacks by ordering dismounted cavalry to meet their attack. Towards the end of the day, von Marvitz decided to break off the engagement: His 2nd Cavalry Division retired towards Hasselt and the 4th Cavalry Division withdrew to Alken.

Although the Battle of Haelen is considered a Belgian victory, it had little tactical effects: The German Army was still able to siege the fortified regions of Namur, Liège and Antwerp. All in all, Germany lost 150 soldiers and nearly 400 horses. On the other side, the Battle of Haelen caused 1.122 casualties, including 160 dead soldiers.
August 15, 2014


Heroes of WWI

#24: Carl Hans Lody – The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

Make history yourself:
Gustav Carl Gottlieb Hans Lody was a German spy operating in London during the First World War. He was the first of eleven German spies to be executed at the Tower of London. Lody’s conduct in the face of his own death defined him and won the admiration of British and German authorities alike.

Although Lody was born into a military family his own illness prevented a military career. After the German espionage ring in the UK was taken off, Lody’s time had come and he volunteered for the now open position. Since he spoke perfect English with a slight American accent he was sent to Edinburgh via Norway. One of his messages to an address in Stockholm indicated that four ships were in dock for repair. This message might have been the reason for the first wrecked battleship by a submarine-launched torpedo. However, Lody was eventually captured in October 1914 and sentenced to death.

Lody admitted to spying, but declined to name his controller stating that he gave his word of honor to those men. After he was sentenced to be shot, he sent two letters. One to his family in Stuttgart and one to his captors, thanking them for the treatment. When he was escorted to his death he was calmest and most composed member of the execution party. Witnesses said that Lody offered one of the military police officers his hand asking him: “I suppose you will not shake hands with a German spy?”. Whereupon the police officers answered: “No, but I will shake hands with a brave man.”
August 13, 2014


Second round of HTML5 client improvements

We are continuing our work to implement the most requested features and improvements for the Supremacy HTML client. This week we focused on the map usability and the diplomacy panel.

Here is the complete list of changes:


Map and army commands

Army size numbers use the Java font now (smaller and crisper).
Improved crispness of province capitals and upgrades on the map.
We fixed a problem that caused the map to move when an army was selected or dragged.

The map scrolls when the mouse is at the edges of the screen.
Morale tooltip of provinces now shows the morale trend and influence of missing resources.

Improved “Add Target” mode for armies.


Diplomacy messages are now have 3 filter tabs as: all/messages/trades
Last Trade is remembered when you open trade widget.

General appearance

Font Contrast is increased to make readability better (newspaper, chat, etc).

Bug Fixes:

The problem with repainting during rally point setting is solved.
All Anti-Cheat warning popups are now shown correctly in the HTML client.

Fixed a bug that allowed moving the last garrison out of a city.

Fixed a bug that allowed building Artillery before Factory Level 1 was finished.

Improved Multi-Account handling: Moderators can blacklist players in all of their games. This will lead to faster automatic bans by the anti-cheat system.
August 12, 2014


Forgotten Battlegrounds of WW1

The Battle of Koprukoy

Make history yourself:
The Battle of Kaprukoy was one of the key battles during the Caucasus Campaign of World War I and occurred as the Russians were advancing to Erzurum, located in eastern Turkey. Erzurum was attacked several times before: In 1829, during the Crimean war and during the Russo-Turkish war.

The Ottoman Third-Army, more than 65.000 soldiers, was well positioned. The Russian General Nikolai Yudenich had a lot of information about the defensive structure: With two lines of defense, wire obstacles and artillery the Ottoman troops were well prepared. However, the lack of reserves made it difficult to deal with a possible Russian break-through. After several days of smaller Russian raids and skirmishes, the Ottoman commander Abdul Kerim Pasha had to move his only reserve, leaving the boundary between the northern and central sectors of the line unprotected.

An Ottoman counterattack on January 13th let the army conquer Sansor Tepe. However, one day later General Yudenich attacked the position at the Cakir-baba ridge. On the verge of breaking through, the cavalry of the Siberian Cossacks was sent to support the advance. However, on the night of the 16th to 17th of January the Ottomans withdrew into the Erzurum fortress. The Third Army had lost 20.000 out of the 65.000 soldiers they sent to the Battle of Korpukoy. Russian casualties are estimated at around 12.000.
August 11, 2014


Urgent dispatch!

German invasion of Belgium – Armed forces attacked Liège!

Make history yourself:
My beloved fellow citizens,

Today German authorities declared war on the state of Belgium. By now, German armed forces have crossed the border and began to attack the city of Liège. Obviously, the military operations are intended to bring the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Army into position in Belgium. Several Belgian fortresses along the Meuse at the city of Namur are laid under siege by German authorities.

As our intelligence service informed us, this might be the first step of an invasion into France!
August 4, 2014


Forgotten Battlegrounds of WWI:

The Battle(s) of Doiran – The Bulgarian Army against the Allies

Make history yourself:
In August 1916, three French and one British divisions attacked the Bulgarian positions at Lake Dojran. The attack began on the 9th of August with heavy artillery shelling. However, all four attacks that followed were repulsed by the Second Thracian Infantry Division. The Allied forces were forced to retreat to their original positions with heavy casualties.

After the Second conference of the Military Counsel of the Entente, it was decided to continue attempts at a breakthrough. The task was to inflict major defeats on the Bulgarian Army and a assault in the direction of Doiran was planned. Meanwhile, the successful 2nd Thracian Infantry Division was replaced in Doiran by the 9th Pleven Infantry division and the defensive positions were further improved.
The second Batlle of Doiran began on the 22nd of April and continued until May 1917. During the first days, more than 100.000 shells were fired by the Allied forces. On the 25th of April, Bulgarian forces had to abandon several positions before a counter-attack forced the hostile soldiers to retreat. On the 27th of April, the British forces had to retreat to their initial positions. Another attack in early May was pushed back and the British were defeated with severe casualties. However, the artillery duel continued for several days but was abandoned by British authorities on the 9th of May.

In September 1918, the third Battle of Doiran was fought. Once again, the defensive positions were shelled heavily with an attack afterwards. And once again a counter-attack of the 9th Pleven Division forced the Allied forces to retreat. The 67th British Brigade lost 65% of its soldiers on this day alone, while the 77th Division suffered about 50% casualties. The participating Greek Cretan Division faced the 1st Macedonian Brigade cleared the Bulgarian outpost line. While advancing, they faced heavy artillery, rifle and machine gun fire and were thrown back.

However, several days after the third battle the Bulgarian fortifications were abandoned: The Serbian and French armies had defeated part of the Bulgarian army during other battles and were advancing toward Doiran. Thus, Bulgarian authorities ordered the army to retreat.
August 4, 2014


Announcement: Be part of the medieval world of „Thirty Kingdoms“

Play now

We are stoked to make a special announcement today: The closed-beta-phase of Bytro Labs’ newest browsergame is over and the open beta version of “Thirty Kingdoms” is now available for everyone!
Take part in the intrigue in the fantastic world of “Thirty Kingdoms” and add authority to your claimant of the throne. Born and raised as the future monarch of the Midlands, it is your birthright to wear the crown and accede to the throne as the one true King or Queen. But beware! Up to 29 other players will try to dispute your right on the unique new map, which will feature several terrain bonuses.
Build your imperium and subject the uncivilized barbarian tribes under your banner. But be careful, your opponents will do the same. So try to forge diplomatic relationships and capture one Royal House after the other. Try to use the geographical benefits of the terrain in order to become the one true King or Queen of the Midlands.
Choose your strategy wisely and ask for the support of dark mages, strong trolls or dragons filled with fierceness. In the end, you have to defeat the other houses in order to seize the reign over the Midlands!

• An appealing and detailed map for up to 30 players
• Special abilities on different terrain: Use the geographical characteristics of the map to give your troops certain bonuses
• Units: Use archers, scouts, knights or heavy siege towers – All means are justified in order to become the true king!
• 25 different buildings
• Three special units: Once per round you have the opportunity to choose a special unit to support your loyal troops.
• Siege mode: Lay siege on hostile provinces and force the owner to undertake a desperate excursion.
August 1, 2014


Weapons of WWI:

#35: Observation posts – The unusual spots of observers

Make history yourself:
Due to the static nature of the trench warfare during World War I, observers were an important part of every division. The lookouts were often manned with two soldiers to allow rotation and were directly connected to the own division. However, this connection was sometimes not more than a single dove.

From temporary or fixed spots soldiers had to watch the movement of hostile forces or the accuracy of artillery fire. But the sparse battlefield offered nearly no adequate spot for observations. Thus, the elevation of only a few feet could prove crucial.

As a solution the armies came up with unusual ideas to camouflage their own observation posts. Temporary lookouts made of sheet iron and steel were built and masked to resemble a real tree (“O.P. trees”). To develop the observation tree an original tree was measures and photographed. The sketches were brought to the workshop, where artists “camufleurs”) constructed the lookout and finished it so it looked exactly like the original. The wooden stumps were not much larger in diameter than the body of a man and had to be erected at night in order to shield the soldiers from their enemies.

French soldiers actually built horse dummies near hostile trenches after witnessing a horse dashing across no-man’s-land and collapsing near the edge of a German trench. During the night, the carcass was replaced with a papier-mâché replica and used for three days as a lookout, before being discovered.
August 1, 2014

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