Remembering William R. Trotter aka "The Desktop General"


Oct 31, 2013
Did not realize William R. Trotter passed away in February, he was by far the most talented writer pcgamer magazine has ever had (or any gaming magazine for that matter). PC Gamer basically forced him out back in 2000 and ever since 99% of their articles are written by historically ignorant political activists who most likely can't spell the word "strategy". A few months ago I had ordered a slew of 90's PC Gamer magazines, in large part because nothing akin to Mr. Trotter's articles on wargaming, with his historical knowledge and understanding of the operational art, exists today.

"William R. (Bill) Trotter, noted Greensboro author, died at his home surrounded by his family on February 28 after a valiant battle with cancer. Born in Charlotte in 1943, Bill was a graduate of Davidson. His studies in Finland began a lifelong interest in that country's history and culture, receiving the Finlandia Award in Arts & Letters for "A Frozen Hell," a history of the Russo-Finnish War, which became required reading for the 2nd Marine Division. His expertise in the field of military history led to presentations to the USMC on arctic warfare in 1996. Bill's trilogy of the Civil War in North Carolina is still considered one of the best. His lifelong study of history and abiding love of music are reflected in his many writings which include more than 15 published books (fiction and non-fiction), award-winning short stories, countless essays and reviews, not to mention his extensive collection of classical recordings from all over the world."

Mr. Trotter was also an accomplished historian and author in his own right with the following publications:


Winter Fire (1993)
Sands of Pride (2002)
Fires of Pride (2003)
Warrener's Beastie (2006)


Deadly Kin: A True Story of a Mass Family Murder (1988) I
Silk Flags and Cold Steel (1988)
Bushwhackers!: The Mountains (1991)
Ironclads and Columbiads: The Coast (1991)
Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939/40
Republished in 2002 as The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-1940
Priest of Music: The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos (1995)

Computer guides

Word Processing by Anderson and Trotter (1974)
Ascendancy: The Official Strategy Guide (1995)
Close Combat: Inside Moves (1996)
Close Combat - A Bridge Too Far: Inside Moves (1998)

Novelettes and short stories

"The Running Back from Yuggoth" - Fantasy Book June 1985
"Bagman" - Night Cry Fall 1985
"A Pinch of Snuff" - Deathrealm Fall/Win 1990
"The Boss of the Seventh Level" - Deathrealm Spr 1992
"A Graveside chat with Diedra Cox" - Deathrealm Win 1993
"The Siren of Swanquater" - Deathrealm Win 1993
"Big Game" - Deathrealm Fall 1996
"The Bleeding of Hauptmann Gehlen" - The Darkest Thirst, Anon, Design Image Group 1998


Thanks for posting this. He was just before my time (started PC gaming in 2002-ish).

I remember when PC games were historically accurate and that's what made them great. It's difficult to find good games like the old days.

I'm quite fond of history and will hopefully get time to look some of these up.



Oct 31, 2013

Yup, not many like him out there when it comes to pc gaming reviewing. He had the art of combining historical knowledge with emotional pull into his articles.

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