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Perspectives on WWII and the game
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bones37

 

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Post subject: Perspectives on WWII and the game  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
This is a general question to all,

   One thing I love about this site is hearing from people all over the world. I think it's amazing that this "game" centers around a piece of world history. WWII has always fascinated me, which is why I started playing the game. There was so much going on during this time and so many great stories. Everything from Churchill telling the world to look out, to the valkyrie plot. Which I'm so happy that story came out, weather you liked the movie or not, it did show the average person that a german solder and a Nazi are two very different things.

   I just was wondering if anyone would like to comment or share a story about their countries or family members envolment
in the war. Also if they belive they have been properly represented in the game (either AAM or WAS). As an American it was a time of great pride in our nation's history. A sort of coming out party. In which we said yes, we can hang with the big boys.  Which is another reason I love learning about it. My grandfather served in the Army Air Corp. as a medic. He and his brother were actually illegal aliens untill they returned home from the war and entered the US legally for the first time. He snuck over from Canada when he was 8 years old with my great grandparents, on a potato truck.

  This is not intended to put anyone down or cause controversy. As a WWII enthusiast I just wanted to hear what other people thought about it no matter what side the country was on at the time. That time is long gone,it's well......History.

I did post this on both AAM and WAS Gereral Discussion forums
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 2:59 am
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angryhydralisk

 

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Alright I got a story for you my great Grandfather was in charge of an arms factory that produced bullets before the war in the USofA so when the draft came out he was exempt because of his expertice unfortunatly his workers were not so lucky and as the years wore on after the war started soon all the workers were gone and replaced by women workers (Before all the workers were men) well this situation angered my great grandmother because it was just him alone with all the women workers... So she forced him into enlisting and he spent the rest of the war building aircraft hangars in the Pacific.
(this story is true)


Last edited by angryhydralisk on Sun May 08, 2011 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:15 am
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ECUMedievalist

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My great-grandfather served with the Big Red 1 (the 1st Infantry Division) in WWII. I don't know much because he never talked much about the war as he got older, but I know he was there at Normandy on D-Day, and was also there at the Battle of the Bulge. The one story/anecdote that I ever remember hearing was that, while he and the rest of his unit were hunkered down in the cold during the latter battle, a huge boar or pig wandered by. They shot it, started a fire, and got it cooking, but before they could eat any the Germans arrived and they had to abandon their meal.

The saddest part of the whole situation is that his records were ALL lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. At some point in the middle of the last century he lost his medals and other stuff, and since he passed away my dad (a master sergeant in the NC National Guard) has been trying to get anything he can. Unfortunately, it's looking like a lost cause.

(As for my other family members, my other great-grandfather served in the Pacific in the Navy, but that's about all I know. My dad has his records somewhere, and I haven't thought to take a look recently.)


Last edited by ECUMedievalist on Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:17 am
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bones37

 

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Women pushing men to war, LOL, Thanks for sharing!
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:18 am
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Joe

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My grandfather was on the Destroyer tender USS Prairie ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Prairie_28AD-1529 ) in the later part of the war. Sadly he did not tell a lot of stories (I think the rest of my family might have some). My other grandfather was on a LST but he did not tell many stories ether. I do however still have my grandfathers hat from the Prairie.

Last edited by Joe on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:35 am
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fredmiracle

 

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My great uncle was a TBD pilot off USS Yorktown, and was shot down in one of the very early raids on the Marshals. He was captured and spent virtually the entire war in a POW camp in Japan.

Sadly our families lived far apart, and I didn't really understand this history until too late, so I was never able to talk with him about it personally. But I know that although he nearly starved to death in the camps and had many friends die there, he didn't feel animosity towards the Japanese people in general--since, by the end of the war, the Japanese themselves were starving...
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 am
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swarbs

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bones37 wrote:
Women pushing men to war, LOL, Thanks for sharing!


Not at all a rare occurrence.  The western tradition goes back at least as far as the women of Sparta encouraging their husbands to come back with their shield or on it.

My grandfather, by the way, joined the infantry and went as a replacement to France soon after Normandy.  Before even settling in he took a piece of artillery shrapnel, and after limited recovery got to drive trucks on the Red Ball express instead of being sent back to the front lines.  Doesn't talk much about combat, but I know he loved driving those trucks.  His favorite story is that the mark of experience of a Red Ball driver was having your left foot out the window.  I don't know what kind of modifications/technique it took to drive a manual transmission vehicle with one foot, but apparently the guys were proud of it.
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 3:51 am
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Thodafett

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One of my Grandfathers served on the USS Dashiell, and the other landed at Utah beach during D-Day and was a tank gunner/mechanic. I have a diary and some other stuff that the family is planning on sending to the WWII museum by the end of the year.
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 5:10 am
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danaussie

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My Grandfather served with the British 8th Army's Notts & Derby Sherwood Forresters in North Africa from the very time war was declared. He was a a career soldier.

I have always wondered what that must have felt like being actually in the Army at the time of the declaration of war, I would assume there would have been a sinking feeling involved I'm sure, and an inward "oh crap" utterance.

He was a supply NCO with Battalion HQ, part of his job was to map out roads and what not to supply and ammo depots. One story he told me was about the day of his capture, it was during the first battle fo Tobruk. Their convoy was under heavy mortar, 88mm and Stuka fire from the Germans.

He and the survivors of the now blasted to smitherines convoy ran for the cover of some caves nearby. There they waited for an hour or so cut off from all communications, and not aware that the Germans were in the process of overuning the British units and capturing Tobruk.

At this point in the story I remember him starting to weep, in their fashion not crying, but a shudder in his voice, enough to let you know that the memory upsets him.

He told me all of a sudden three German soldiers sprang into the cave and sprayed the cave with machine gun fire, and as quickly as they came the were gone again. After hitting the deck my Grandfather slowly got to his feet to find that out of the 6 mates that were in the cave with him, he was the only survivor. He said he lost 5 very good friends that day.

Thats one story I remember, there are many others, but I wont bore you all with any more.

Cheers mate.

Dan
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 6:29 am
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Texas Grognard

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My paternal grandfather was a rice farmer and spoke only native french in Kaplan, Louisiana so named for the Jewish businessman Abrom Kaplan who owned the local rice mill. It was also the location of a Prisoner of War camp and therefore often grandpa worked with German POW's at both planting and harvest time. Some of the Germans spoke french as well and he developed a rapport with some of them. He would often ask some of them what they thought of living near a town named after a jew. Some found it amusing and ironic while others would be downright angered. He learned not to bring up the subject with certain individuals especially SS prisoners.

My maternal grandfather worked as a master carpenter and welder for Higgin's Industries building landing craft first at the City Park facility and then the Industrial Canal Facility in New Orleans. I learned of this from my Mother and grandmother when I did a High School paper on World War II. He had a life long loathing of labor unions even though he was a union member himself He especially despised the AFL. I learned that he had lost his job along with thousands of others at Higgins because of a turf war between the the AFL and the CIO.

My Maternal Granduncle joined the US Marines in 1940 and was sent to Iceland when it was occupied by the US to prevent the germans form taking possession of it. He was then picked to fly gliders for the experimental Marine glider sqaudron in 1942. Following the disbandment of the Marine Glider Program in 1943, Uncle Junior was transferred to the Pacific and participated in the Tarawa invasion. He was then given a choice assignment of being a gunner on first a Dauntless and then a Helldiver. He often told stories of his experiences of Iceland, his time as a glider pilot and as a rear gunner, but of his experiences on Tarawa he was understandably silent. Tarawa was a god-awful nightmare and was doubtless extremely traumatic for him.

My Dad does remember V-J Day vaguely as Mr Arceneau the owner of the Kaplan drugstore/soda fountain let every kid in town have free ice cream in celebration. He still says it was the best ice cream he's ever had!

Anyhow that's my family's involvement in the War. Salut y'all!


Last edited by Texas Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:33 am; edited 2 times in total
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 7:00 am
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Commissar_JPH

 

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One grandfather (the one I knew) was on a Clemson class DD during the "Neutrality Patrols" prior to World War Two.  I was never able to get the name of it (he never spoke of that part of his service for some reason).

He later served on the USS Charles J. Badger (DD-657) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Charles_J._Badger as a radioman.

This destroyer was to be in the van that was to head off the Yamato should the airstrikes fail.

While his ship was in the Aleutians, he managed to pick up the end-part of the wing of a Rufe float-plane that had part of the meatball on it.  Still have it today.

While off Okinawa she was damaged by a Japanese suicide boat that severely damaged the engines.  Her crews were able to quickly counter the flooding.



My other grandfather (who died before I was born) flew B-24s in N. Africa.

One great uncle was in the infantry in Europe, got shot by a sniper less than a week before Germany's surrender, ended up in a field hospital less than 5 miles from where German forces surrendered to the Western Allies.

Another great uncle trained pilots for the Marine Corps.


And here's the real doozy...

One great Aunt (who is still alive and I've interviewed her about the following)...

Worked on the atomic bomb project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee as a chemist.
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 7:03 am
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Tych

 

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I had the honor to meet a friend of my father who served on on a KM minesweeper and he showed me pictures of his actions in the arctic. That was scary stuff, the amount of ice accumulating on these small vessels was incredible. They were removing ice 24/7  and still the boat would nearly go under the weight.

He lost his boat to mines twice later in the English channel but luckily he survived. He did not survive the loss of his wife and died a couple of years back, only 2 month after her.

One of my Grandfathers was captured by the Russians in the Battle of Kursk in 1943 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kursk. He came back only in 1949 and never ever talked about the war or his time in Siberia.

My other Grandfather was old enough to be thrown into the Eastern Meat Grinder in the last months of the war. He only started to talk about his experiences the past two or three years.

He was on mine laying duty when his group was surprised by a Russian patrol. In the following firefight he was wounded and sent to a hospital in Dresden. One day a doc came to his bed bed telling him he has a bad feeling and that he had recovered enough to leave as soon as possible. Two days later the firebombing of Dresden took place. Actually, this weekend will be the 65th anniversary of this horrible event http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II.

In the last days of the war my Grandfather was supposed to defend a small village from the American advance. His Feldwebel told the guys (15-19 years) they were nuts and asked them to go home. So my Grandfather dumped his uniform and walked 60 miles to his home town. He was lucky that no one caught him, he would have been hanged.

PS:

This is the same post I posted in a similiar discussion here:

http://aaminis.myfastforum.org/ftopic11891-0-0-asc-.php
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 2:44 pm
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Anrack Fett

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One of my great grand fathers was an officer in the Dutch under ground.  Don't know much of the details, but I do know that once during the occupation he snuck back to see his family dressed as the dutch version of Santa Clause!  My grand father on the other side was a radio man at Dday but he was taken out of the war for being shot up in the leg by an MG42.
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 2:56 pm
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bones37

 

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As I posted in the AAM forum;

It's good to remember these stoires. To us at times this is just a game, winners and losers always live to fight another day. I try when I play, and I admit it's not often, to try and remember that alot people went through the most unspeakable things in order for us to have this "game" in front of us.

  I didn't know what kind of response this would get but there are some great stories here. Thank you all for sharing!

To add more of my family, like I said my Grandfather was in the Army Air Corp (Now the Air Force) He was a Medic stationed in the UK. He would pick guys up from the planes and transport them to the Hospital. At which point he would stay and assist the Doctors with surgeries.

His Bother was an MP and was in Berlin guarding prisoners at the end of the war.

I had another great uncle who was a supply officer. Ironicly my families hunting cabin just got rid of our last WWII mattress. I can only guess how we got them.  :lol:
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 4:45 pm
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navigator37

 

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My uncle, Cornelius McGrath, died when his transport was sunk on November 26, 1943 in the Mediteranean.  The sinking of the HMT Rohna caused the worst loss of life at sea for the US in WWII - over 1,000 troops perished - but is relatively unknown.  I'd wager most of you never heard of it.

The circumstances of the sinking remained secret for decades, and my grandparents went to their graves with many unanswered questions.  Through research, I was unable to uncover the truth: the Rohna was sunk by a German "wonder weapon" (thus the secrecy), an HS239 Guided Bomb, launched from an HE 177 Grief bomber.

My uncle was an 18 year old kid who never got to fire a shot.  When the Korean War broke out, my dad was not drafted as an "only surviving son".  Many of his buddies died in that war, and I like to think that my uncle's death saved my dad's life.

As a Pacific War enthusiast, I may never play on the Atlantic/Med side of the globe.  But if I ever do, I don't know how I'll feel using Kondor's 'antiship missile' SA.  W@S is a great game that we all enjoy; let's not forget that it is based on real, and very tragic, events
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 8:14 pm
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navigator37 wrote:


W@S is a great game that we all enjoy; let's not forget that it is based on real, and very tragic, events


Amen!
PostMon Aug 30, 2010 8:32 pm
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my uncle was in the army when war broke out. i dont even know his unit however i have 1 story. when my uncle was in the war he had the attitude of you cant tell me what to do. he took those things as a challenge. while he was in england he was told not to send information home on where they where going. so he wrote my aunt every day changing her middle enitial f. r. a. n. c. e. he then told her she knew where he was going but to please not repeat it he just wanted to know he could send her coded info in case he was ever captured. years after the war he went to work for the railroad as a conductor. one day in the early 50's he was in the hiring office because his crew needed a fireman. while there a black man came in looking for work. and was told there was none for him. my uncle asked him if he had any experience on trains. the man said he was an engineer on the red ball express. my uncle told the hiring man that he wanted this man as his fireman and was told no. my uncle said the red ball express was the only reason he was alive because several times his unit got into the position of being on the front line and out of supplies ammo food everything. the red ballers brought the supplies to the unit on the line. even passing supply depots when they heard of the need. he said if this man needs a job hes with me. and if they didnt hire him my uncles crew would quit. while they were arguing the rest of the crew came in and said they were with him. the man was hired on the spot.in the late 60's a young black boy was walking down the street past my uncles house and was swearing. my uncle told the young man to watch his language and the boy swore at him. my uncle then called the boy the "N" word and to leave. 5 minutes later the boy came back with a man with a very familiar face saying this is the guy who called me the "N" word. the man then said hi to my uncle and told the boy if my uncle called him that then thats what he was. he the told him that my uncle was the reason he was eating and had a roof over his head, the man was the fireman.he then asked what the boy did my uncle told him and he said his son had fallen in with a bad crowd. my uncle told him to send the boy over every day after school my uncle and the boy would do the boys home work the build things in my uncles basement. they did metal work wood work you name it. the boy had my uncle come to his graduation and eventually went on to be an officer in the army.
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PostMon Aug 30, 2010 9:19 pm
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Both grandfathers worked as shipwelders: Maternal in Mobile Alabama with Kaiser Shipbuilding making Liberty Ships (later Victory Ships) and the Paternal at the Brooklyn Naval Yard repairing damaged ships.
My Maternal Grandfather in addition to doing 'war work' was also a farmer, and exempt from the draft.
My Paternal Grandfather was the oldest of 5 brothers, and was too old to draft plus doing useful war work plus had three children.  My granduncles all served: One drafted before the war into the navy, he was at Pearl Harbor aboard USS Pheonix as a quartermaster.  One was Army Air Corps, served as a flight engineer aboard a B-17 for 4 or 5 missions before getting a uncontrolled nosebleed at 30,000 feet.  He was grounded and put on ground crew until mid 1944 when he was transfered to B-25s.  The others were both 'regular army', one serving in a 90mm AA battery in North Africa and Sicily before being transferred to a tank destroyer battalion to teach them how to maintain 90mm AT guns.  The other spent the war manning a shore battery near New York City from late 1944 to the end of the war.
I never had a chance to talk to them much about thier experiences, as I lived on the west coast while they were all in/around NYC.
PostTue Aug 31, 2010 3:37 am
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Visio

 

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My grandfather served with the dutch airforce in Indonesia (KNIL) where he was a crew member of airplanes. I believe he flew a Mitchell among others. He was captured during the war by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war. He was held prisoner in the camp Harima till the end of the war.

After the war he met an Indonesian woman an got married. Then my father was born. When Indonesia became independent, they returned to the Netherlands.

He did not tell many stories about the war. He did not like to talk about it. But he did wrote several books about his time in Indonesia.

My other grandfather was captured by the Germans early in the war and sent to Germany where he was forced to work in a factory. After the war he returned unharmed to the Netherlands.
PostTue Aug 31, 2010 7:13 am
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Admiral Graf Spee

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Okay, here goes.  My paternal grandfather was a 16-year-old Boy Scout in Poland, leading a group of rifle-armed Scouts when the war hit Poland the very first day of the war...5am his time.  German bombers destroyed the train station he and his kids were guarding.  Some time later, a general came up and asked what they were doing.  My grandpa told him that he was guarding the station, at which point the general said "You are guarding s---!" and told them to go home to their mommies.  A colonel expressed greater sympathy for the teenagers but told them to go home and guard their families.  

Well, my grandfather did more than just go home.  He stayed in the fight and was a member of the Polish Resistance, taking part in the Warsaw Uprising as an "officer," carrying ammunition through the sewers and leading a group of rebels.  At some point in the war, he was captured by the Nazis and taken to a prison camp.  He and a buddy escaped by the classic and time-honored method of tying together bedsheets and climbing out of a window.  What set his escape apart was that he did it during the day, right in front of the German soliders--see, they timed it so that they would run past them at the start of the national anthem.  The soldiers couldn't do anything until AFTER the tune was finished, at which point they shot and killed one of his friends, but he and one buddy escaped.  

He finished out the war as a British tank commander in Italy, in charge of the five-person tank crew.  From what I hear, navigating those narrow old streets without destroying too many flowerboxes was quite a task!!!

After the war, he went to London.  He wanted to move to the USA but it was some time before he was accepted.  In the meantime, he lived in Venezuela.  He and the buddy that escaped from the prison camp were the first people to complete a figure-eight trip around North and South America by automobile, which they did driving an old Chevy station wagon through the jungles, over the mountains, and (on rafts) over rivers and streams.  He now lives peacefully in Southern California and complied books of family history as well as a record of his crazy road trip.  I'm not sure if he has written all of the details of his WWII involvement down or not...perhaps he has and I just haven't seen it.  

What about my mother's side of the family?  Apparently, my maternal grandmother was in Hong Kong, a little girl, during the Japanese attacks and loved to go outside to watch the bombs fall.  One time a building was bombed out around her but she survived in the stairwell.  Her family thought she was dead; and after her return, they tied her to a chair so she wouldn't go out and get killed!  Very Happy

PostThu Sep 02, 2010 8:08 am
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