Childhood Flashback

I had a terrific set of army guys.

I would move the coffee table over, and cover the whole living room floor with three defensive belts, a defense in depth, manned by grey German army guys. They had defenses made of lincoln logs, wooden blocks and those brown sandbag machine gun nests. The Americans had to get ashore. Where the wood floor in the kitchen met the rug was the surf line. The Americans started out with 12 M-60 tanks. I knew they weren’t WWII tanks, but I used what I had. I used log palisade sections from the Ft. Apache set as rafts to get the tanks ashore. American casualties were heavy, with most of the tanks knocked out, especially getting through the second defensive line which had bunkers and an 88 mm antitank gun concealed behind green plastic trees. I had stretcher teams to take out the wounded. I’d get on the floor, with my head on the rug, so I could see the same line of sight the plastic guys could see. I only had two pale grey panzers, which I kept back to counterattack when the green guys finally started to break the second fortress belt. But I knew to send a swarm of bazooka guys in once the line was breached and we made short work of the panzers. The surviving Germans made a fighting retreat to a plastic, three story, Navarone style bunker on the stone floor in front of the fireplace. I had a reserve of goose stepping Germans back there. Before the made the final assault, I would go get dead kneeling and standing shooting rifle guys, and replace them where they fell with goose stepping guys. I would commit these last reserves to the defense. The Americans took out the guns on the fort with counterbattery fire, but then they had to clear out the dead enders with a final tank-infantry assault. Sometimes one tank, sometimes two, would have made it all the way across the grey living room rug. The Germans would not give up. It was room to room in that fort thing at the end, like Stalingrad.

The set up and battle took several hours.

I think I was nine, maybe ten.

9 thoughts on “Childhood Flashback”

  1. Any mortars in your set?

    Of course I used to do the same thing with friends, rubber bands were our weapon of choice and we had reserves, counter attacks, enveloping maneuvers and the whole shebang like you describe above. I am still drawn to the army guys (longingly) when I shop for toys for gifts for other kids.

  2. My own Fort Apache became the resistance headquarters, manned by the natives and blue cavalry when the dinosaurs and cavemen attacked. Sometimes this was by stealth, a pterasaur born infantry night attack that would force the gates and lead to redoubts in the gate house and the corner within where the single cannon was being stored.

    I blame it on the movies “The Land that Time Forgot” and “The People that Time Forgot”.

    Good memories!

  3. Nice memories for me too.

    I kept the armor out of it tho. Same with any dino’s.

    But, there was no constraint for or on the poor bloody infantry.

    WW2, American Civil War (Blue or Gray plastic…), Injuns, frontier scouts. I think I had a few colonial grunts mixed in too. Got those from a neighbor who was throwing out all her kids toys “now that he was TOO old for them…”
    (I can still hear his agonized shrieks).

    BTW, I kept all my old sets of wooden blocks. They make very effective bunkers and redoubts that can me pushed out from the fort or the MLR (in this case the main line of resistance was my older sisters bedroom).

  4. I never had enough German soldiers. I would obliterate them with firecrackers and the most devastating weapon of all, a can of Raid fired by a Bic lighter. I would have to buy a new set, which always had more Americans than Germans, only adding to the imbalance when I would destroy yet another German force. The Guns of Navarone click fortress survived intact, but its brigades were always left disfigured, dismembered, or just plain melted.

  5. Walt: Score! That is the same Navarone fort. I never let anyone touch my German guys. They were ways heavily outnumbered but had the advantage of fighting from prepared positions, with no open flanks. The Americans could not maneuver under the couch or the coffee table. They had to smash right through the fixed defenses. Massive armor superiority helped.

  6. I always used the soldiers from the game Axis & Allies for this sort of thing. Those old Risk pieces that looked like stars and triangles served as barricades and “mines.”

  7. “I knew they weren’t WWII tanks, but I used what I had.”
    So what you’re saying is you had to go to war with the army you had and not the one you wished you had? Where have I heard that before?

Comments are closed.