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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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76. Board Game: Boer War [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Chris Severs
England
Birmingham
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My Great grandfather fought in this war, my dad showed me a picture of him in his uniform - the most splendid moustaches youve ever seen!
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77. Board Game: The Lost Battalion: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 1918 [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:6340]
Chris R.
United States
Unspecified
Missouri
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My grandfather fought in World War I with a Minnesota unit.

My grandmother wrote an article about it a few years ago, but I'll have search for it. She briefly mentions this in a small book that she wrote.

"Uneasy fear settled in our world when the Second World War broke out in 1939. My husband's concerns related to his experiences in World War I, and I think for the first time he told me about the horrors of trench warfare, the barrage, being wounded in the Argonne Battle, and then seeing a crowded Red Cross ambulance he was supposed to board being blow to bits."

There aren't a lot of veterans in my family, but I think I might have some other information somewhere.
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78. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1020]
Art DeFilippo
United States
Herndon
Virginia
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My father fought with the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 82 Airborne in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy. I was fortunate enough to travel with him in 1994 to the commemoration of the D-Day landings. It was only then that I found out he landed behind the church in St. Mère Église while the fire was burning in the town square. The war ended for him when he was wounded on June 9, 1944. He was not discharged until early 1946 due to his wounds. Good bless him; he will be 86 years old on February 28th.
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79. Board Game: The Longest Day [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:1728]
Mike Maloney
United States
Fort Mohave
Arizona
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I had a great-uncle (on my mother's side) in the 29th ID, and was in the second wave at Omaha. I do not remember which sector he landed in, though if I find his scrapbook somewhere I'm sure it is in there. He spoke very little about his experience in France/Germany. The one day he shared some of his experiences he brought the scrapbook full of pictures and pages from his diary. He had a few souvenirs - a German cartridge belt, a bayonet, and a few other items. As I was interested in military history (especially from one who was there), he entrusted me with the aforementioned scrapbook, the belt, and the bayonet. If I can find it, I'll put up his regiment/company - probably the 115th or 116th since those were the first two regiments of the 29th in the invasion.

Going waaay back - our family on my dad's side had a Captain in the Georgia Cavalry during the American Civil War... and my great-great grandfather (paternal again) sold horses to Gen. Longstreet.

Supposedly there was also an ancestor who fought at Waterloo (I'd guess for the Anglo-Allied army).
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80. Board Game: Khe Sanh, 1968 [Average Rating:5.86 Unranked]
Rob M.
United States
College Park,
Maryland
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Dad was a Captain of a USMC recon company based north of Hue in January 1968. During the Tet offensive he had the duty to help clear that city out. After some rest and refit his unit then participated in Operation Pegasus, the relief of Khe Sanh. He won't say much about it except "Thank God for the [helicopter] gunships".
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81. Board Game: Memoir '44: Eastern Front [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Leonardo Martino
Italy
Milano
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My mother is finnish and my father is italian and I am an italian architect living in Italy.

My great grandfather (mother's one) fought in the Winter War against the russians.I cant say much since my mother didnt know much about it and his grandfather didnt talk much about it. He would say there was a lot of snow coming down from the sky and it was so cold. After the war he suffered a nervous breakdown but in the end he survived the war. He wasnt a skitrooper, pretty much sure a foot private.

My italian grandfather instead was 18 in 1943 when Italy went into chaos after 8 september when United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the Allied armistice with Italy. He decided to hide and avoid military service :he lived (lives) in a little village in Basilicata, a region in the south of Italy).

As far as I am concerned Im proud of both.
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82. Board Game: Storm Over Scandinavia [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:5317]
Trygve E. Rosenvinge
Norway
Trondheim
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I'm Norwegian, and from the town of Arendal, which is visible on this map, near the lower left corner.

Several of my male relatives who lived during the war, were involved in the resistance movement, some of which did not survive. My grandfather lost two brothers in the concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof.

My granduncle Wilhelm (who apparently was named after der Kaiser) however, survived, and his story is as follows. Originally trained as a pharmacist but by the outbreak of the war employed as an investigator at the police department, he became involved in an early resistance organization. This early organization was the very first to emerge in Norway, but it was uncovered within a few months and its members arrested. However, the Germans seem to have been taken complete aback by this early organized resistance, as if they hadn't expected any opposition at all, and the entire group were personally pardoned by Adolf Hitler and their punishments reduced. Uncle Willy ended up in a German prison as if he had been a common criminal, though the leaders of the group were not so fortunate and their lives ended in the concentration camps.

Uncle Willy however, left his prison two years or so later, his sentence having been reduced further on "good behaviour" or something similar, and he went home. By now, the climate had hardened considerably and the Gestapo had made several mass arrests of resistance fighters which had almost completely devastated the resistance movement, which by now had become MILORG, an organization sanctioned and legitimized by the king and his cabinet from their exile in London. The local branch of MILORG was left without leaders, some of which had been my other granduncles (who were maternal relatives therefore not related to uncle Willy, who was paternal). After having been approached by the leaders in Oslo, Willy accepted leadership of the organization in my hometown Arendal.

Then, during -'44 and -'45, uncle Willy oversaw the creation of an organization he himself masterminded, organized into cells with knowledge on a need to know basis. Everyone knew uncle Wilhelm though, which put him at great personal risk, considering that he managed to assemble an organization 700 men strong and had previously been involved in organized resistance. Once again, the Nazi occupants show an amazing lack of competence, as uncle Willy, a former political convict who made daily trips around the city on a bicycle, was left unmonitored.

In any case, on the day of surrender, uncle Willy mustered his modest army and the Nazi occupants were forced to surrender to him. A few years later he was made a knight of St. Olav, which is the equivalent of knighthood in the British Commonwealth, and he went into politics as a conservative.
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83. Board Game: PQ-17: Arctic Naval Operations 1941-43 [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:2761]
Angela Sutton
United States
New York
New York
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My uncle Herbert signed up for the Merchant Marine in time to be posted to the Murmansk run. When their British escort got called away about 80 mi. outside of Murmansk, the German U-boats swept in and sunk about half the convoy. Herb spent four days in a lifeboat in the Arctic Ocean before a British minesweeper picked up the boat.
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84. Board Game: Supermarina II: Command at Sea volume IV [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Angela Sutton
United States
New York
New York
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The US military machine, though, in typical fashion, put my uncle back in a boat. This time it was the Navy proper, on a torpedo boat in the Med. He patrolled in the Sicily area during the Italian campaign (after the conclusion of Husky). I don't believe he saw too much combat; at any rate, I never heard any combat stories.

The one story I DID hear, though, was about a live chicken a Sicilian woman gifted the crew, with the idea that it would be their Christmas dinner (this was sometime in the autumn of '43). The bird survived on the boat for a little while, but surrounded as it was by hungry teenagers with time on their hands, it didn't last too long...
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85. Board Game: Island War: Four Pacific Battles [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Randy Wilburn
United States
New Alexandria
Pennsylvania
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My Father was a signalman on LST-450 at Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa. He said that a Kamikaze came right over top of him and just missed the ship. I am glad it missed or I would not be here today. It is strange to play a game knowing my father was actually there during the real battle.
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86. Board Game: The Game of France, 1940: German Blitzkrieg in the West [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:7258]
Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Ruddington, Nottingham
England
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My dad was in the local TA (Territorial Army, volunteer reserves) during the thirties and was shipped off to France in 1939. He spent Christmas there and in May 1940 his battalion moved up across the border to defend Belgium during which he was injured, and after he'd recovered was pensioned out of the army. In his later years he was offered and declined the chance of becoming one of the red-coated 'Chelsea Pensioners', being of the opinion that he'd 'already had enough bullshit in the army to last a lifetime' laugh
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87. Board Game: Vimy Ridge [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Alex Treacher
United Kingdom
Moorlinch
Somerset
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My maternal grandfather, born in 1898, lied about his age and enlisted in the Royal Marines for the First World War. As I kid I listened to a lot of his stories of Eastney Barracks, and his years in France during the war. After the war ended he stayed in France and Belgium for some time working with the War Graves Registration Service.

Fortunately for him he wasn't a front line trooper but was posted to artillery, rising to the heady height of Bombardier (that's a good old-fashioned rank!) on the colossal 15" howitzer batteries. Likely the reason his hearing was never up to much in his later years...

His batteries saw action at Vimy Ridge and on the Somme. He was... let's just say prone to exaggeration, as a lot of old soldiers can be... but it is within the realms of possibility that his assertion that his gun fired the first shot of the Somme might have a grain of truth within it.

After he de-mobbed he never entirely left the military lift behind - joining a Territorial Royal Horse Artillery company (becoming a Battery Sergeant Major), and enrolling as an Air Raid Warden and Home Guard in the Second World War since he was too old to re-enlist. (Plus his wife would have doubtless given him hell, since they had a six-year old child by 1939!)
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88. Board Game: Robert at Bannockburn [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Alex Treacher
United Kingdom
Moorlinch
Somerset
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If my grandfather is to be believed (as I mentioned earlier his stories often got more embellished with each re-telling!) there had been a Christy reaching the rank of sergeant in the army every generation going back as far as the Battle of Bannockburn. (Personally, I have some doubts!)
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89. Board Game: Bomber Command [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:2754]
Alex Treacher
United Kingdom
Moorlinch
Somerset
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My great-uncle (I think that's the right relationship - it's been a while since I did the research into my family tree...) was a novice pilot in RAF Bomber Command during the early part of WWII.

He died, along with the entirety of his trainee crew, when his Vickers Wellington bomber crashed into Mount Snowdon in Wales one night during extremely heavy fog on a training mission. None of them ever saw action.

Not only was I named after him but I found a photo of him taken not long after he'd enlisted and he looked a lot like I did at about the same age.
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90. Board Game: The Battle of Waterloo [Average Rating:5.47 Unranked]
Alex Treacher
United Kingdom
Moorlinch
Somerset
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And finally (as far as I can find any evidence) one of my ancestors (ten generations back) on my maternal branch served as a footsoldier at Waterloo and lived to tell the tale.

I do have his details, but not to hand. It would require an excursion into the attic to find the box with all the research in it!
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91. Board Game: B-29 Superfortress [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2582]
Harley Wentzel
United States
Cleveland
TN
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My Mom's dad and his brother were B-29 gunners always on the same planes through WWII. One of the planes that I can recall from memory was Vsquare54. They flew dozens of bombing runs over major Japanese cities like Kobe and Tokyo. The latter of those I know he returned to multiple times. He's told many unbelievable stories.

He's said that on some missions there were nearly a 1,000 B-29's flying waves over their targets. At least with the incendiary bomb raids he said they could see the glow of the firestorms 700 miles out on the horizon. Once I watched the movie Grave of the Fireflies I understood more fully about what that meant.

He shot down several planes. Being a religious man there was at least one time when he felt the impression not to kill an assailing fighter when he had the power to do so. The fighter that I specifically remember him singling out did neither him nor his squadron any harm that day.

I've always been proud of Grandpa and his courage and patriotism. I know that of their original crew he and his brother were the only survivors having been given a fateful respite from their duties during a mission where their friends crashed during the attempted take-off of an over-burdened bird.
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92. Board Game: Gallipoli [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
eric v
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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According to my Dad, one of his great-uncles (from a small village in the south of France) got drafted in the French expeditionary force for the infamous Dardanelles expedition. Spent a few months on a beach being shelled by the Turks and not being able to move. Survived, came back to his village, never ventured more than 20 km from it for the rest of this life and kept wondering: "Why did we go there?".

Passed away many years ago still wondering...
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93. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:84]
Jim Jensen
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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One for the home front. My grandfather got out of Denmark early 1940 and came to the US. When the US entered the war, he went to enlist, and was promptly rejected. As he was the next two times. It was then explained to him that he was worth far more to the war effort where he was. As a brakeman on the Salt Lake Division for the Southern Pacific. He spent the war and a goodly chunk of his life on the eastern Nevada wastes.

He died when I was fairly young, but I do remember a little about him. The cool thing is that I ended up with his old brakeman's lantern.
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94. Board Game: Death in the Trenches: The Great War, 1914-1918 [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:5482]
Jim Jensen
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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A not so happy one. My wife's grandmother was 3 when her village and a large part of her family were wiped out in the Armenian Genocide. She then spent over a decade in orphanages in Syria, Lebanon, and France. She later explained that she picked her husband for a simple reason. As far as she knew, there were no Armenian men her age left So when she found one, she snagged him. They came to the US in steerage sometime in the early 30's.

She died a couple of years ago at the age of 94. We had tried for years to try to take down her story so it would not be forgotten. She always refused, saying that it was "too sad" to talk about.

I picked Death in the Trenches, as it's the first game I've found that even mentions the Armenian Genocide in the scope of the First World War.
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95. Board Game: Anzio Beachhead [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:7615]
John Docwra
United States
Spokane
Washington
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Although Anzio is often thought of as primarly a US show, my father (who was an antitank gunner in the British Army) was at this battle. Being at that time attached to US forces. He was previously in the Western Desert campaign although he didn't fight at El Alamein. He won't talk about Anzio much, other than to say that he lost his best friend from a German 88.
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96. Board Game: Over the Top! Mons & The Marne [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:8161]
John Docwra
United States
Spokane
Washington
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My Grandfather (on my Mothers side) received the Mons Star and fought to the end of the war in 1918. He was wounded twice and gassed a number of times. He died in the 1930's from gas related diseases. I never had the privilege of meeting him. What tales he could have told!
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97. Board Game: Bomber Command [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:2754]
John Docwra
United States
Spokane
Washington
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My uncle in law on my mothers side (my mothers, sisters husband) was a Pilot Officer in Bomber Command. He was in the famous "Dam Buster" squadron but didn't take part in the raid in the dams ( he flew in one of the divisionary raids). After bringing home badly damaged aircraft on more than one occasion without a scratch, he had the misfortune to be killed by falling out of a truck taking him to a debriefing after a raid. My Aunt never fully recovered from his death.
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98. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:982]
Rebecca Colbourn
United States
California
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My grandfather was in the medics during World War II. Unfortunately, I don't know where he was stationed as he tends to talk about his brothers more as some of them saw active combat.

My grandfather was in the medics most of the time. However he got reassigned due to being able to type and was transferred to Los Angeles, where he was typing up the condolence letters that were sent out to families that had casualties.

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99. Board Game: Guadalajara [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:4950]
Thierry Gracia
France
Saint-Gaudens
Haute-Garonne (31)
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My granddad fought in this battle. Although spanish, he was in the 14th international brigade "Garibaldi" mostly composed of italian men.
I remember when he told me about this battle. His unit yelled at the fleeing fascists troops "Menos camiones y mas cojones !" which means "Less trucks and more balls !". (Italian CTV had plenty of trucks to carry them to battle).

After this battle he was wounded and lost left arm then was declared unsuitable for military service. In 1939 he escaped to France, like thousands of spanish people, living a calm peasant live until 1988 when he passed away.
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100. Board Game: Samurai Sunset [Average Rating:6.46 Unranked]
Hawkeye
United States
Astoria
New York
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My uncle, John "Jack" Hallenback fought on Okinawa with the 110th Engineers (7th Infantry Division). He was decorated for treating wounded soldiers under fire and was later wounded himself. On VJ day, he was in the Philippines preparing for the Invasion of Japan. He was convinced until the end of his days that the atomic bombs saved him and his buddies from an early grave in Japan.

After the war he became a firefighter in White Plains, NY and retired as a Lieutenant.

The cancer took him about five years back. He was a good guy and I miss him.
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