I was born in 1961 in South Africa. I resided mostly in the UK until 1990 and then in Australia to the present day. I graduated in July 1982 from the University of Sussex in the UK, with an honours degree in physics. In the 1980s I worked for the General Electric Corporation, Fisher Controls and Measurex Corporation, as a systems engineer. In 1990, I embarked on a year long expedition across Africa, and then immigrated to Australia. In Australia, my work has mainly been in the area of information technology (computers) with Hitachi Data Systems, Fujitsu and NCR: the US based NCR being the largest supplier of data warehousing hardware and software technology worldwide. Data warehousing is the information technology term commonly applied to organising, storing, cataloguing and querying a very large amount of often disparate data to obtain specific statistical information. This training has proved useful in designing and building the large database of information incorporated into Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis.
Since the early 1980s, I have taken a keen interest in military history and military simulations, with a particular emphasis on WWII and ‘modern’ military campaigns. At the University of Sussex I was a founding member of the ‘war-gaming’ club: at that time sophisticated computer based military simulations were still in their infancy and most of the war games used traditional manual map based systems. Since then I have progressively built up my library of military history, with particular interest on the East Front during WWII.
In 1997 I worked as a consultant for Talansoft Inc, on war games in their Campaign Series. The Campaign Series were tactical-operational military simulations of which the most well known are ‘East Front’, ‘West Front’ and ‘East Front II’. The Campaign Series successfully sold several hundred thousand copies worldwide over a period of about five years, and remains one of the most realistic tactical-operational military simulations ever published. Experience gained in developing the combat attributes for the unit database in the East Front game systems has contributed to the methodologies detailed in Volume I of this work.
In the late 1990s it became possible to consider building a historically accurate and publishable military simulation of Operation Barbarossa, because of three converging factors: the opening of the Russian archives to researchers and authors, rapid advances in PC computing power, and improvements in military simulation applications. In 1999, I started doing research, gathering material, and testing various military simulation applications. Since 2003, I have been working on the various volumes of Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation.
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