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The (Sim)World at War – A Meta

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Bradfords are about to get thrown into the middle of the turmoil that was the Second World War. With that in mind, I thought I’d explain a little bit of what I’m planning on doing in advance.

"Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely."
-General Dwight D. Eisenhower

World War II began formally on September 1, 1939 with Germany’s invasion of Poland and the UK and France declaring war on Germany on September 3, but its roots go back much further than that. Truthfully, World War II was inevitable after the way the Great War (World War I) ended – in a cease-fire instead of a total victory. Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Japan was busy going after more territory for the resources they would provide its expanding empire. When the US was thrust into the war by the attack on Pearl Harbor, everything changed. Boys went off to war, women went to work doing “man’s” work to support them, and the country was catapulted out of the Depression once and for all. After four years and millions of casualties, both military and civilian, the Allied forces emerged victorious, though it’s safe to say the world would never be the same.

I’m not going to go into all of the history of the war here; you’ll see enough of it in the legacy. If you’re looking for a good place to get some basic information, there’s a great timeline here that I’ve found useful.  (Actually, there’s a lot of great information on that website). I can also highly recommend World War II for Dummies by Keith D. Dickson as a good overview and refresher. Most of the history that I’m including will be explained, and I’ll be posting more facts at the end of the chapters than I usually do to explain context and such.

So the history is great to know, but what exactly does it mean for the Bradfords?

Well, despite all the awfulness that the war will bring, it’s actually one of the parts of history I’ve been looking forward to telling. Why? Because the war had a profound impact on both set of my grandparents, and I have a few firsthand stories that I want to incorporate into the legacy.

We’ll start with my paternal grandfather, my Pepe as I called him.

Here he is, in his Army uniform, with my grandmother, my Meme. He served in France during the war, mostly because he grew up speaking French. He was in the medical corps, but I’m inclined to believe that because of the strength he had that he wasn’t an actual medical person but rather an orderly of some sort. He was in Paris not long after it was liberated, and he delayed his homecoming a few days so he could return to the city after the war was over. Some of what Nick will do and see will be based on the letters my Pepe sent home to Meme. Of course, as all letters were censored for security purposes, I don’t know exactly where he was in France, but I can make things up as I go along for Nick. Pepe was the middle of three brothers, all of who served, and his younger brother Armand was killed in Italy.

And then there are my maternal grandparents, Nan and Bamp.

Their wedding picture from 1949. Nan was Nan because she “would never be old enough to be called Grandma.”

Nan and Bamp met in college in 1938. My grandmother, unlike most of her friends, was not there to get her MRS degree. She was pursuing an accounting degree, so that she could become the bookkeeper for my great-grandfather’s dairy, as he hadn’t had much luck finding a good bookkeeper. Not long before Christmas their senior year, Bamp took Nan out for dinner for her birthday. It was December 7, 1941, and they heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the restaurant. They got back in the car and he drove her back to her sorority house. The Selective Service had been instituted a few years beforehand, and my grandfather had a very low draft number, which meant he was going to war. Some of you may recognize parts of this story already, as I did it as a Myshuno! drabble.

My grandfather went into the Marines. For those that don’t know, the Marines went to the Pacific to do some of the most brutal fighting the war saw, and the casualty rates were high. While in boot camp, Bamp fell and broke his back. In many ways, he was doubly lucky. He wasn’t paralyzed from the fall and he got a medical discharge from the service and didn’t have to go overseas at all. But the back injury plagued him all his life, and he was often in pain and unable to do the things he wanted to. Nan and Bamp helped out with the war effort from home, and one of Nan’s two brothers was wounded in action in France somewhere.

So those are pieces of the stories you’ll hear. You’ll see the Bradfords boys in SimEuorpe and the Simcific in the Army, Navy, and the Marines, and one who stays at home and how people react to that. You’ll see the girls take up various home front tasks, from nursing to Rosie the Riveter to selling war bonds and everything in between. And yes, some of the boys won’t make it home, and several of them will sustain injuries. I used a randomizer to determine who would be killed in action and injured, and worked stories out from there.

I’ll be dealing with the horrors of the war as much as the game and my storytelling skills will allow me to. To be quite honest with you, I’m (more than) a little nervous about broaching some of those subjects. I know it’s my story and I should write it how I want, but I also know that some of the events of the war, namely the Holocaust and the dropping of the atomic bombs, are very heavy issues that I’m not sure I can do justice in a Sims story. As of right now I’m playing it by ear as I write the war chapters.

And that brings me to the last part of how the war will affect the legacy. I’m taking a page out of regacylady’s book, and giving individual chapters to a few key characters. Each one will offer their perspective on the events and allow me hone in on a few things that interest me. There will be five chapters, more than likely all shorter than my usual 160 slide average. They will be centered around:

Rosalie (with a heavy dose of her younger brother Gilbert)
Shirley and Walter (also with a heavy dose of her younger brother Howard)
Nick and Alice

If you have any questions in regards to the war, feel free ask. Many of you have already offered up some of your Sims for extras, and a few of them are even getting a few lines. As I said in the Call for Extras, they’re getting memory wipes, but defining aspects of their personalities will stay to influence how they act in my world. I look forward to seeing your reactions to this phase of history.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Nan was Nan because she “would never be old enough to be called Grandma.”

I actually laughed out loud. My mother said the same thing and so she insisted that her grandchildren call her "Nana."

I am really looking forward to these chapters because you're right, it was a very interesting (though horrible of course) time.
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Apparently my grandmother was a wise woman ;).

It's odd how the horrible stories often turn out to be the best in a way, because they show strength of character. I'm looking forward to telling the stories, and will do my best to do them justice.
Aug. 13th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
My great-grandmother was always called Granny by her grandchildren (and the greats who got to know her) for exactly the same reason!

This sounds so intriguing and I can't wait to see it, Heidi!
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Sounds like my grandmother had the right idea. :)

I hope that the chapters come out the way I want them to, and that everyone enjoys them.
Aug. 13th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I am worried about who won't make it back :( but I am intrigued as to how you're going to deal with this! I think you have a great idea, focusing one one character or pair of characters at a time, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. :)
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Aw. It was too hard for me to decide matters of life and death, which is why I used the randomizer. I wanted to do something different with these chapters, as I couldn't deal with the war properly in the format I'm currently using. I hope you like the chapters when they come out.
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
Definitely worried about who won't make it back, but it's interesting to see how you're incorporating all the RL history and such! Can't wait for the chapters!
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Aw, I don't blame you for worrying. It wasn't easy to click the randomizer and find out what I had to work with. I'm doing my best to find a balance between game ability and real history. I hope the chapters live up to expectations.
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
You've approached historical events so brilliantly throughout your legacy and I know this will be no exception. I'm looking forward to the next update and think the character perspectives will work really well!
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's just a bit nerve-wracking to delve into a part of history that evokes such strong emotions. I'm looking forward to telling this part of the story, and all the pieces leading up to it.
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
This makes me REALLY anxious for my uni term to be over so I actually have time to sit down and read everyones' updates. I can't wait to actually be able to read the chapters.

Aug. 14th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I've got a bit of a ways to go before I get to the war, and I plan on staggering individual chapters as well. I hope that you like them.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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