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My dad fought in that scenario!
Neil Amoore
South Africa
Benoni
Gauteng
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I'm not sure if there's another geeklist covering this topic (knowing me, probably a 1000 or so!) but I couldn't find any....
I recently bought the South Africa's War module for Panzer Grenadier, hoping to simulate some of what my dad experienced during his campaigning in the Western Desert in WW2. It was with cold shock, though, that I came across Scenario 6 and 7 in the booklet. My dad rarely spoke of the bad during his time in combat or as a POW, but he mentioned these two incidents with some feeling.
In scenario 6 elements of the 3rd Transvaal Scottish battalion were pinned down during the heat of the day by scathing German fire, while scenario 7 covers the virtual destruction of my father's unit prior to the capture of Tobruk (where he was captured).
What sticks out for me with these scenarios (having been in the military myself) is just how personal my relationship with these little pieces of cardboard became. I was reluctant to expose them to fire in case my dad was amongst them!
I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience....
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26. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:397]
Preston Fuller
United States
Ashland
New Hampshire
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Lee is my middle name (and many others in my family have it as a middle name as well, including my father)

Lee is a so many times back, great Uncle. He had a sister who later became the black sheep of the family and she is my, so many times back, great grandmother.

All my childhood I thought of Lee everytime I played a Civil War game. It wasn't till adulthood that I was willing to even play the Yankee's side in a game.
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27. Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1332]
David Valenze
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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My father was a twenty year veteran of the USAF and spent one tour in Thailand in 1968 as a Munitions Maintenance Sergeant. He has never talked about anything that he personally experienced but he has made references to a friend who was killed while serving as a crewman on a Puff the Magic Dragon mission.
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28. Board Game: Lock 'N Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1606]
Glen Cote
United States
Central Village
Connecticut
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My dad did his tour from '66-'67 (I was born while he was there) with the 1st Cav. He doesn't really talk about it much, but I've always been proud of him.
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29. Board Game: Chez Grunt [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:6254]
Karl Gallagher
United States
Saginaw
Texas
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My father was a REMF. I was a REMF. Here's one for all the REMFs.
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30. Board Game: Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:788]
Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
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I grew up living in all sorts of different exotic foreign countries (Japan, India, Egypt, Greece, Turkey), believing my father was a diplomat. Turns out he was a CIA field operative during the height of the "Cold War." It may have been "cold" for most folks in uniform, but believe me it wasn't for those of us living on the peripheries. We endured nightly Pakistani air raids in 1965 while living in New Delhi, my father was trapped in the security vault in Alexandria when anti-American mobs stormed the consulate after Egypt blamed their loss in the 1967 war against Israel on the US, lived through two coups in Greece, and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. And all through this, we had my father's KGB counterpart following us from place to place to keep track of what he was up to (they were actually pretty good friends, and have kept in contact and visited one another since retirement).
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31. Board Game: Desert Storm: The Unfinished Victory [Average Rating:6.19 Unranked]
Paul Denhup
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Well, I'm not a father but I served.
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32. Board Game: Okinawa [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7160]
United States
Boise
Idaho
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My soft-spoken, well mannered father was a Marine and waded ashore in the assualt on northern Okinawa. He was injured on the beach but stayed with his unit clearing the assigned area for nearly a month until his injuries required him to be hospitalized back in Hawaii.

Once released from there we was reassigned to China... a ressuruction, if I understand it right, of the old 4th Marines who left Shanghai when the US entered the war. He was an MP in China during Mao's revolt and charged with protecting US interests and assets, knocking fellow Marines over the head and shooting the occasional Commie who ambushed patrols and drunken sailors from time to time.

He's the young man on the left from this picture taken in China near the end of WWII. Yes, he did lie about his age to get into the USMC to begin with.



My namesake and Uncle, good ol' Uncle "D" (RIP) was one of the surviving Marines from the infamous Frozen Chosan during the Korean War.

Much to my father's chagrin, I not only didn't become a VN fighter pilot, I didn't volunteer for the USMC in 1968. Fact is, Uncle Sam had to draft me in order to get me to pee in a cup for them. Once my dad aged a bit he forgave me my lack of desire to go willingly. I can't talk about what I did in the VN war. I forget why, it's either still classified or too embarrassing to bring up.
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33. Board Game: East Front [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Steve Bernhardt
United States
saratoga springs
Utah
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My second cousin Karl served in the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in WWII. He was a 37mm anti-tank gunner in an infantry division and I never met him. My dad asked him about his experiences and he didn't talk much but did relate a few little stories. He related that once 4 lend-lease Shermans got stuck in mud in front of his position and it was "four shells, four tanks dead." He also talked about being overrun and only figuring out which way to run to German lines by noting what direction the defensive German artillery fire was coming from. Dad said his hands shook when he talked about this stuff.

WWII was tough on the family because half of the family was in the USA having emigrated in the 30's, and half was still in the Frankfurt area.

Karl emigrated to the USA after the war and settled in California. He made tools to produce special effects and worked on Star Wars.
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34. Board Game: Bomber [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:6732]
Alexander Meyer
Germany
Hamburg
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Do grandmothers count?

Mine was in this campaign, not as a pilot, mind you, more as a target. She survived the bombing raids against Braunschweig (Brunswick) and once made it out of a burning house, her mother and some of her friends did not.

This is a difficult topic for me. Listening to my grandmother's stories always was frightening as was the outrage she felt against the Allied pilots even decades after the war. I told her that we did start the war, that we did start bombing civilian targets, that we committed the holocaust - she just nodded her head. "But still ..." she'd say.

What can I say? She was my grandmother. She voted for Hitler in both of the 1933 elections. That's the terrible history of my country.

P.S.: I'm grateful to all Allied soldiers, pilots and bombardiers included. Without them I would not live in a democracy today. Instead of playing a little wargame from time to time I would be in a real war.
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35. Board Game: Wings of War: Famous Aces [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:552] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Tim Falkenberg
Canada
Whitehorse
Yukon
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My Grandfather, Carl Frederick Falkenberg was a WWI Ace, flying for the RAF. Wings of War is definitely on my "must buy" list!

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36. Board Game: Anvil-Dragoon: The Second D-Day [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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I figured that I should not forget to mention my father-in-law as well. He served in the 100th ID which came ashore after the initial landings for Operation Dragoon, which was the invasion of Southern France in August 1944. He was in France for all of one week. He and his squad was on patrol when it was ambushed by Germans at a range of less than 50 yards. Of the whole squad, only my father-in-law and the squad leader survived, and my father-in-law was critically wounded. The squad leader was able to carry my father-in-law back to Allied lines, but his war was over. He spent the next year in various hospitals recovering from his wounds. A really neat fellow, my father-in-law passed away in 2000, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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37. Board Game: Pacific Victory [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2007]
Dwsparks
United States
Huntsville
Alabama
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My wife's grandfather served aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) during WWII in the Pacific, which is notable as the hardest-hit carrier to survive WWII. The Franklin's list of battles is extensive, including the Marianas and Iwo Jima.

In March of 1945, some 50 miles off the coast of Japan, after launching strikes against Honshu and Kobe Harbor, the Franklin was struck by two bombs, which ripped through the hangar deck and started fires in the fuel and ammunition stores.

The Franklin's casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded that day, and my wife's grandfather was thrown overboard by the first blast and drifted at sea for some three days before being picked up by another ship.

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38. Board Game: Anvil-Dragoon: Southwall 1944 [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:9566]
Social interaction will cease!
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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My maternal grandfather, Corporal Oscar Colby Breaux, served with the 39th Field Artillery Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, and survived the invasion.

On Aug. 30, 1944, he was in a rear area riding in a jeep on a road thought to be cleared. His jeep struck an undetected mine, and he was killed. He is buried in the Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan, France.

He had been scheduled to rotate home, but his tour was extended due to the need for experienced personnel. He never got to hold his only daughter, who was born in 1943.

He came from a huge, poor, Louisiana family and didn't have much of an education. He was a poor writer and speller, but he wrote home frequently and tried his best to describe his experiences. He wrote of how he nearly broke down and lost the will to go on after walking through the blood of friends who had been killed.

I think my grandmother would have been perfectly willing to shuffle out of this world to go be with him. But she had a daughter to raise and did so the best she could as a single mom in the 1940s and 1950s.

She never remarried, because she never found another man who measured up to her first and only love. I wish I could have met the man who inspired such abiding love in the tough, remarkable woman who I was privileged to have as a grandmother.

When I held her hand as she died two years ago, the only thing I could think to say at the end was, "You can go be with Colby now."

If you would like to read more about her, you can read this GeekList that I wrote about her.


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39. Board Game: Korea: The Forgotten War [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:1689]
Ricatoni
United States
Chula Vista
California
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My father Commanded a reinforced Infantry Rifle Company of 211 men as part of the 65th Infantry Regiment. They covered the "advance to the rear" of the Marine Division that was trapped in the Chosun Reservoir when a Quarter Million Chinese swelled the ranks of the North Koreans. The success of the 65th Infantry Regiment, and other US Army troops covering the withdrawal and keeping the Chinese at bay was lost in the media hype spinning the story that this was not a Marine retreat. At one point his company position was overun by Chinese and he was left on the hill with a radio. He called down artillery fire on himself so effectively that the Chinese abadoned the position and retreated giving his company a chance to retake the hill. He also covered the Engineer Batallions that demolished the harbor so the North Korean/Chinese army could not use it after the US Forces boarded the troop ships in that withdrawal. He celebrated Christmas on board those ships. I wasn't even a twinkle in his eye back then. He spent 18 months of a 36 month war in the thick of it...and brought every single one of his men back alive. Given that the US lost 45,000 men in three years in Korea compared to 55,000 in Vietnam in ll years...that was pretty damned remarkable. The details of his service were told to me by the men that served under his command that I would run into as a high school student in Puerto Rico...he never spoke of it. He also served in Vietnam years later...but that is another post and another story.
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40. Board Game: Cold War [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4491]
Dan
United States
Sacramento
California
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My father served in the US Air Force in the 50's. He was stationed in Alaska at a Radar post before Satelites and ICBM's, and watched for bombers.

Direct line has to go back to Civil War for combat war, and my dad has tracked us to at least one officer in the Revolutionary War. Anything more recent are only cousins, great uncles, etc. Which is probably why I am here, since quite a few didn't come home.
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41. Board Game: Pershing: The Hunt for Pancho Villa, 1916 [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
Phil Garland
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
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My grandfather Harleman on my Mom's side followed Black Jack Pershing on his ride into Mexico. Never did get to hear any stories about it, as he died when I was nine, but I've still got the album of photos showing him and his friends in their cav uniforms posing in the desert.
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42. Board Game: Major Battles and Campaigns of General George S. Patton [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:6418]
Greg Moore
United States
KC area
Missouri
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My grandfather was in Patton's 3rd Army with the 80th Infantry Division. He was wounded Sept 1944 in France during the fight for the Moselle River Bridgehead. 40 years later his knee was bothering him, had it X-rayed and they found shrapnel from the war.

Edit:
I just found out that the shrapnel was never removed from the knee.
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43. Board Game: Normandy Operation Overlord [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Mark Slater
United Kingdom
Newport
Newport, South Wales
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My grandfather was a Wellington bomber pilot. He was assigned as a flight instructor, training other pilots.

I have his flight log books. They show all the training missions - dates and targets hit, until you get to June 1944. There is a big block of undated missions, with unamed targets.

He survived the war but didnt talk about it much. He died in 1998 aged 85.

I still have his Wings, Service uniform jacket, flight helmet and his survival maps(printed on parachute silk), one of North Africa, and one of Northern Italy (with a close up of the Swiss boarder).
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44. Board Game: La Bataille du Matz, 9-12 juin 1918 [Average Rating:6.41 Unranked]
guillaume dormoy
France
Besançon
Franche comté
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3 of my Great grandfathers figth during WW1... one of them was wounded and captured by the germans (this fact save his life, because germans can heal some illness that french cannot...) a second return to the "no man's land" to pick up his capitaine (EDIT: he stay a few days here) and the last was wounded at Verdun... His wife came to see him but when she told that she's his wife, the nurse told her she was the 3rd today...



She didn't see him this day...
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45. Board Game: Red Star/White Eagle: The Russo-Polish War, 1920 [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:4290]
Filip W.
Sweden
Linköping
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My great grandfather fought in the Russo (or rather Sovjet)-Polish wars of the early 1920's. He was shot in the head, with the bullet piercing his frontal lobe, but miraculously survived. The surgeon who operated on him sawed out a square piece of his forehead, pulled out the bullet and stitched the skin together without bothering with the removed bone. Great granddad lived until after WW2 and my dad would sometime be allowed to feel the missing piece where great grandad's brain was protected by nothing more than a flap of skin.
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46. Board Game: Battle of Britain [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:3995]
Mike West
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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Ok, so, my Grandma wasn't actually flying in the Battle of Britain, but she lived in Broadstairs on the south coast, almost as close to France as you can get. One morning she was woken by Spitfire bullets strafing across the headboard of her bed as it tried to shoot down a V1 rocket flying low over the town.

My Grandad was a pacifist and a conscientious objector, which at the time was wholeheartedly frowned upon, although considering I am one too, I'm rather proud of him.
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47. Board Game: Second World War at Sea: SOPAC [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:3704]
Grant Sharp
United States
York
Pennsylvania
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My mothers Uncle received a Navy Cross for his actions on USS San Francisco after the ship was hit by a damaged Japanese bomber during the time of the Guadalcanal campaign.
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48. Board Game: 7th Fleet [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1914]
Grant Sharp
United States
York
Pennsylvania
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My daughter wanted me to put up one of my "boat games". This is the only game I know of that has my old command in it, USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the 7th Fleet. It scares me when I see how low it's stats are!
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49. Board Game: Flying Tigers [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
My father was there when a downed American pilot gave a speech at his village school with the English teacher as the interpreter. He didn't hear a word for the whole village must be there.

My father left Nanking, the city he was born, weeks before the Japanese raped it. I am all for forgive and forget but how can that be possible until the government of Japan properly addresses historical issues?
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50. Board Game: Flight Leader [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3277]
My great uncle Chien Yi-chiang (Mike Chien) was the first man to use missiles in the history of air combat. But he isn't proud of it. Chinese should never fight each other, or engage in any war.


They don't have "personal jets" but this is the one he happened to be in.
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