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Our theme is The Guns of August, 1914 - the Great War Begins.

“SOME DAMNED FOOLISH THING in the Balkans,” Bismarck had predicted, would ignite the next war. The assassination of the Austrian heir apparent, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by Serbian nationalists on June 28, 1914, satisfied his condition.” Thus wrote Barabara Tuchman in her military history masterpiece, The Guns of August.

Bismarck was terribly right.

What followed during the first month of World War I, August and a little beyond, was a lightening campaign in both the East and West. At Tannenberg in East Prussia, German Commanders Hindenburg, Hoffmann and Ludendorf would use radio intelligence, railroads and the Masurian Lakes to their advantage and inflict a humiliating defeat on two Russian armies many times their size. So bad was the loss that one of the Russian commanders, Alexandr Samsonov, shot himself in the head rather than report the loss of his entire army to the Czar.

In the West, powerful German armies roared thru Belgium, crushing everything before them, in a huge swinging door that moved at break neck speed and threatened to surround the French capital of Paris. Even the introduction of the "Old Contemptable" British Expeditionary Force (BEF) seemed incapable of stemming the tide of the Kaiser's vaunted Schlieffen Plan. Given the well known adage that "as goes Paris, so goes France," a repeat of the short, six-week destruction of the French Imperial Army in the Franco-Prussian War loomed with grim certainty.

Then a miracle - on the River Marne - happened. Miscommunication caused a gap to open in the German battleline, and with the support of hundreds of Parisian taxis to move thousands of French Poilus forward, the Germans were stopped. Barely. And as the opposing armies dug in and raced to the sea in a futile attempt to outflank the other, grim reality began to set in. The First Battle of the Marne had seen over two and a half million men pursue victory. In just one week, 5 - 12 September, some 263,000 Allies and 256,000 Germans from this number had become casualties. Fighting ceased simply because the armies had little ammunition left to fire. 10 million lives later, the War to End All Wars would end on 11 November 1918. And at least metaphorically, on the 12th, World War II began.

Tuchman summed up the campaign by noting, “Human beings, like plans, prove fallible in the presence of those ingredients that are missing in maneuvers - danger, death, and live ammunition.” Perhaps you can do better and return your armies "home before the leaves fall." Are you willing to try? Grab some Bratwurst, swish down one final slug of good German beer and sling your rifle for the long march to Lancaster, PA and the HMGS Fall In Convention now scheduled for 7 - 9 November 2014. Some of history's most hard nosed commanders are in the front ranks ready to lead. Do you have the courage to follow?


Welcome to the Interenet's best online miniature gaming support, direct from the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS). Our organization was the founding body of the Society and as such remains its senior, and largest, Chapter.

HMGS, now boasting 2000+ members worldwide, promotes the hobby of historical miniature wargaming as a registered non-profit charitable and educational foundation. The Chapter accordingly has in the past sponsored seminars by distinguished historians such as Dr David G. Chandler of RMA Sandhurst and special events such as the American Civil War in Miniature series. We also award grants to other miniature wargaming clubs or activities, and fund related causes such as battlefield preservation.

Most importantly, HMGS holds three historical miniature gaming conventions each year. These are COLD WARS in March, FALL IN! in November and the one and only HISTORICON (called "the mother of all wargaming conventions" by The Wall Street Journal ) in July.

Membership in HMGS is $25.00 per year and brings discounts at many hobby franchises and HMGS conventions nation wide. Members also receive advance convention mailings and a periodic newsletter.

We hope you find this Website both informative and fun, encouraging you to join us in promoting our exciting hobby. Just click Join HMGS for a convenient form that will allow you to enjoy our growing and exciting Chapter. You may also Email our WebMeister for any questions or concerns you might have.

Thanks, and all of us at HMGS hope to hear from you soon!

911 - never forget.
Special thanks to Bob French of Grandiosity for previously sponsoring the HMGS Website until we could get our feet on the ground. Bob's volunteer spirit is a big reason why HMGS not only works, but works well.

HMGS logo used with permission of HMGS Midwest.

Unless otherwise noted, illustrations by WebMeister, COL (Ret) Bill Gray, HMGS. HMGS is a registered trademark of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, Inc. Painting "The First VC of the European War, 1914", by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr (1914), in the public domain.

Updated 19 September 2014.


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Results are In! Please click here for the official 2014 Board of Directors Election results!

Bob Coggins passes. Hobby pioneer, HMGS elder and co-creater of Napoleon's Battles died on 21 July 2014. Click here to read the TMP entry on Bob's passing.

Post Historicon 2014 Newsletter! Now online and ready to read, just click here! UBER NEW!!!

Historicon 2014! Click here for nearly 150 images from this great convention, bring back great memories or see what you missed!


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