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Were Shermans Called "Ronsons"? No, They Weren't

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Hi Donward,

 

Zippo adverts from WW11 with the catchline "Lights every time". There are loads out there, particularly the adverts that focus on the device being windproof.

 

 

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163325923963584488/

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163325923963252344/

 

Just to reiterate. I do not believe that Shermans were referred to as Ronsons in a derogatory sense, nor Zippos for that matter.

 

cheers

Marsh

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I believe the nickname "Zippo" referred to M4 flame tanks in the Pacific. That is what we commonly refer to them now as, and should have some basis in history.

I like the name for the M3's flame tank, all hail Satan!

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I think we've had this discussion earlier but who would lose in a fight faster? The Iraq Army or the ARVN?

ARVN just had so many failure points...  But. But.. Ugh

I can't decide which rode the failtrain harder.  And that is sad...

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ARVN just had so many failure points...  But. But.. Ugh

I can't decide which rode the failtrain harder.  And that is sad...

 

 

The Korean Army was considered horrible in the 1950s - then turned around and is now one of the tigers of Asia.  The ARVN did very well from 1971 to 1975 - fighting a very hard war without much support - abandoned by its allies.  If S. Vietnam had survived they would have become another tiger.

 

Iraq is weaker because of its origination as an Ottoman kludge state, but has potential.

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Didn't the ROKA really start turning around when Korea itself started going from a hideous despotic hellhole to a functional modern state?

 

 

ROKA demonstrated in Vietnam that it had turned around, at least in some divisions.  15 years was the horizon for that event.  Ability for 1/2 of 1 generation.

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The Field Marshall is an example, more than any other allied leader, of a soldier who went into WW2 spooked.  The experience of Great Britain in the Great War is not enviable, and this caused a considerable amount of alternate history writing in the 1920s and 30s, but Montgomery knew that the British had fought dumb at 3rd Ypres, and although the official British history often refers to this battle as a great offensive victory Montgomery saw that the British strategy of throwing men into an enemy line that would not fail could ruin the war effort.  He was one of the people who called Haig "Butcher Haig" behind his back, and after the war when the British command declared Haig to be a war hero Montgomery never could swallow that.  he also knew that his two comrades, Wavell who had served on GHQ in the Great War, and Auchinleck had been handed raw deals by Churchill for failure to exhibit what some might call "cautious aggression," which meant for Churchill throwing every last crumb you have into whatever pet project Churchill had and never saying you were defeated by a superior enemy,

 

So Montgomery, who had every possibility of being just as good as Wavell, was a lap dog when he landed at Normandy, ready to snarl or curl up as his master commanded, and very concerned lest his master say a harsh word.  American Generals had a significant advantage in having Eisenhower in the chain of command, which assured they could tend things without as much interference, unless they ran foul of Harry Hopkins.  

 

The massive losses of tanks by the British had more to do with keeping Churchill in statistics than any failure of tactics.  Churchill had been taught in WW2 that an advance cost x men per meter taken.  He wanted to see those meters taken, and if you lost x*5 men he expected to see x5 meters taken.  He was also told a tank was worth 100 men, so it was cheaper to keep Churchill handy to get a bunch of tanks blow up, especially since they lacked enough fuel in the first place, than it was to simply use tanks and infantry in their most effected manner.  The failure at Market Garden becomes more understandable once the logic Churchill operated on is understood.

 

The US and Great Britain each lost around 10,000 tanks and SPAT in Europe, total of around 20,000 vehicles.  The Germans lost around 4000 actual tanks, but also lost 75,000 other armored vehicles which included STUG, SPAT 1/2 track, and 1/2 Track weapon carriers.  They also lost 90,000 AT guns.  Be careful when someone tells you the allies lost 5 to 1 tanks, in reality the Germans lost 4 armored vehicles for every armored vehicle lost by the allies and it took 12 or more AT guns in the field to generate a tank kill.

 

Wait, so all those grand tank charges was so that Monty could maintain some kind of imaginary "ground taken versus men lost" statistic?

 

Also I am glad I am not the only one who noticed how Squad Leader has a Wehraboo bias.

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I sold my first games at GenCon South and Suncoast Skirmishes in 1980 - the Battle of Leyte Gulf and Eclipse.  Both were laid out using an Apple II and had four pages of rules.  

 

Leyte Gulf required 8 players (which is why I only sold 100 copies) - 4 American and 4 Japanese, and was based on the theory that command disintegration or integration could affect the outcome of a major battle.  The goal of each player is to accumulate enough points to win the game individually.  Each player draws cards for motivations, and wins points for gaining their motivations which can include sinking enemy heavy units, sinking enemy light units, disrupting the landings / protecting the landings, avoiding having their own units sunk, keeping units from entering certain sea spaces or restricting enemy from those same spaces.  

 

Most game designers achieve balance by modifying the strength of units in a battle, so Jutland by Avalon Hill overestimated the throw weight of German ships, in many games ships like the Bismarck are given armor ratings many times that of the Nelsons, and at Midway American air units are FAR stronger than they were historically.  In my game though I was very careful to play the ships as they were - if the Japanese show themselves to American radar controlled battle line they will loose.  Where I balanced things was in the points awarded for different actions.  Idid this by playing the game and making a statistical record of the results of two players until two random players from 9 play-testers, all experienced war-gamers, would have a rough 50% to win no matter what side they drew.  Took 315 plays before the math stabilized.

 

Testing is expensive, and I spent more time testing my game than my profits ever paid back.  Now days game designers do not even release stable or complete games, the games are released in middle Beta and IF players stick then maybe the game will be completed.  But Internet noodles have ruined any chance to make the game accurate once it is released.  

 

German tanks were susceptible to gang tactics.  Lob enough 75mm at a Tiger tank and eventually you get a vision or mobility kills.  But evertime a Tiger succumbs to an American tank there are 10,000 posts online about how awful a game is. 

 

Your Leyte Gulf game and its command integration/disintegration aspect sounds a bit like how modern lighter games do co-operative games with personal objectives, such as Battlestar Galactica or Dead of Winter.

 

But yes, a very large problem is that very many players have pre-conceived expectations of game results, which actually makes a lot of scenarios "unplayable" unless you handicap one side. An example is Chancellorsville - unless you give the Union some command breakdown handicaps the best that Lee can hope for is to escape with his army.

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Wait, so all those grand tank charges was so that Monty could maintain some kind of imaginary "ground taken versus men lost" statistic?

 

Also I am glad I am not the only one who noticed how Squad Leader has a Wehraboo bias.

 

 

My theory is that Monty was not a complete dolt that he is made out to be.  His letters and diaries show he was VERY worried about being forced into throwing lives away.  Throwing tanks away though he was less worried about.  So he expended tanks to show Churchill he was on the ball.

 

Squad Leader was a brilliant game, but lots of games find they have to put the finger on the German side.

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My theory is that Monty was not a complete dolt that he is made out to be.  His letters and diaries show he was VERY worried about being forced into throwing lives away.  Throwing tanks away though he was less worried about.  So he expended tanks to show Churchill he was on the ball.

 

Squad Leader was a brilliant game, but lots of games find they have to put the finger on the German side.

 

My general sense regarding the British tank losses is that it was a doctrinal and tactical issue at the battalion/brigade level, rather than at Monty's level. The British Army was already suffering heavy tank losses even before Monty took over, particularly at Gazala, and the particular problem seemed to be the tendency of most British armor divisions to engage the enemy without real infantry support.

 

I do have some speculative evidence that Monty didn't really like most of his Armored Division commanders in the first place. Monty was a member of the Royal Tank Regiment - it's the badge on his famous beret - and they had famously feuded with the rest of the army over the future of the Army's tanks. They ultimately lost this fight and the Royal Armored Corps ended up being controlled primarily by cavalry units that had converted to armor... and frankly very many of their ideas were rather questionable. Monty not caring about tank casualties may just be him not wanting to suffer the foolishness of the other non-RTR tank units.

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Luigi is back..

Each of his sources, which are terrible, claim the Ronson moniker was used by 3 different groups. It doesn't look very compelling at all. I don't think he actually understands his own argument. 

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Each of his sources, which are terrible, claim the Ronson moniker was used by 3 different groups. It doesn't look very compelling at all. I don't think he actually understands his own argument. 

I'd be willing to bet there is a whole universe of stuff that dough-headed slapwit does not understand.

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Specifically, the universe we live in.

I think he'd be out of his element in a universe of his own creation.  Cheeps strikes me as the kind of person who'd manage to drown in an inflatable wading pool.

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