Douglas Bader mystery - Page 4




 
--
 
November 26th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
pilot officer chisholm there in june 42 according to that link.....

I'm sure raf were a minority group but it scotches the theory that bader shouldn't have been there and so it was part of some cover up.
Not necessarily Bader should not have been there because he was a senior officer (Wing Commander equivalent of a Lieutenant colonel?) not because he was RAF, Lamsdorf was an "other ranks" camp as shown by there being no RAF officers listed as far as I am aware he should have been at STALAG Luft III and one thing I have learnt about Germans is that they follow the rules pretty well.

Also the fact that there was 1 man listed as being under arrest which I take as meaning in solitary (I may be wrong of course) at a time when he was listed as being in solitary.
November 26th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Not necessarily Bader should not have been there because he was an Officer not because he was RAF, Lamsdorf was an "other ranks" camp as shown by there being no RAF officers listed as far as I am aware he should have been at STALAG Luft III and one thing I have learnt about Germans is that they follow the rules pretty well.

Also the fact that there was 1 man listed as being under arrest which I take as meaning in solitary (I may be wrong of course) at a time when he was listed as being in solitary.
I think we have to allow for the fog of time. lamsdorf as a stalag luft (post 1943) was mainly an non officer camp though online sources talk about "mainly" nco being transferred from sagan. before that however and at the time of bader being there we don't have any classification of the raf part of the camp, that I've found. there is a record of at least three raf officers there at that time so it doesn't appear to be unusual. could it be something to do with the hospital? possible though unproven.

the man in solitary could be bader - its very tantalising. there is a reference on ats to bader at lamsdorf at this time speaking out in public about cooperation with the enemy. that could have been a blind of course but I suspect not as it is in character. allegedly this got him sent to colditz probably via the lamsdorf cooler.
November 26th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
So once again we come back to why?

We have a case of him being in the right place to match the story, we have the right time to match his story and we have some circumstantial support in the form of the Red Cross document, to me the only thing that is missing is the why part.

With out it the story goes nowhere but it cant be disproven either.
--
November 26th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
So once again we come back to why?

We have a case of him being in the right place to match the story, we have the right time to match his story and we have some circumstantial support in the form of the Red Cross document, to me the only thing that is missing is the why part.

With out it the story goes nowhere but it cant be disproven either.
well, we've got him in a place where allegedly he's out of public circulation for a few days but ken williams does appear to have moved his dates around according to ats so its hard to say exactly that the timelines match as its all guesswork. there also appear to be problems with ken williams identification. he says, again on ats, that the man in liverpool walked with a stick. bader never did and the german wartime wanted poster for him from this time frame specifically mentions,'walks well without a stick'. that also seems to suggest a return for urgent leg work is unlikely given the availability of medical facilities at his loxation. I can't believe german engineers were not cabale of repairing or replacing the artificial legs either

as you say it really does come down to why and I can't see how that adds up.

it is a fascinating bit of detective work thoug
November 26th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
If we can put variations in Baders time at Lamsdorf down to fog of time cant we do the same to minor changes in Williams story, recollection after 60 years is not always picture perfect.

One thing I would say about the stick argument is that while normally he didnt need a stick if his artificial legs were not fitted properly then he may well have needed a stick at that time.

But yes it is interesting how much information you can piece together from fragments the problem of course is that any one of those fragments can be wrong and there is just no way to verify it.
November 26th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
If we can put variations in Baders time at Lamsdorf down to fog of time cant we do the same to minor changes in Williams story, recollection after 60 years is not always picture perfect.

One thing I would say about the stick argument is that while normally he didnt need a stick if his artificial legs were not fitted properly then he may well have needed a stick at that time.

But yes it is interesting how much information you can piece together from fragments the problem of course is that any one of those fragments can be wrong and there is just no way to verify it.
absolutely. recollection is rarely perfect. I'm just a bit suspicuous of making facts from convenient coincidences. its a fair point that bader might have had temporary use of sticks though the wanted poster is strong evidence.

verification is almost impossible and stories often contradict one another. there is a story of one bader escape thwarted by a luftwaffe fighter pilot visiting him out of the blue and finding him absent but in just the last hour I've found two locations for the episode.

I'm still very sceptical of this story though. there really seems little more than a convenient coincidence to back it up.
November 26th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Found this indicating Bader was at STALAG Luft III in mid 1942...
Quote:
In August 1941 Frank Hargreaves was moved to Stalag Luft 3 at Sagan in Poland and Bill followed in April 1942.

Bill on the left
Frank describes life at Stalag Luft 3:
The huts had rooms each side of a central corridor, with a small room at each end. The larger rooms held about fourteen or sixteen men. That worked out at about one hundred and twenty officers per hut.
By now our ‘boffins’ had been hard at it trying to build a wireless set, and one very exciting day they succeeded with one officer attending each hut in turn and reading out the ‘One o’clock news’ from London. You can imagine the excitement, obviously suppressed; at least we now had some news from home and the morale of the camp increased still further.
About this time the famous ‘wooden horse’ escape took place. We got quite used to the sight of four or five officers struggling out of the small concert room with the vaulting horse, setting it up and commencing to take turns in jumping over it. In retrospect, I think that if I had been a German, I would have become suspicious of the fact that it was always sited in the same place, but that was typical of the German mind – always ‘correct’ in the right place.
Wing Commander Douglas Bader had now arrived in the camp, complete with tin legs and was a source of constant worry both to the Germans and indeed because of his ‘bloody’ attitude towards our guards, also to the rest of the camp, who naturally stood up for him in all his misdemeanours. He treated all Germans with complete disdain and did his utmost to be uncooperative.

We were delighted to learn one day that the Americans had entered the war and it was obvious that, notwithstanding all their victories, the Germans viewed the news and the future with apprehension.
Another Christmas passed by with no sign of an early release. When newcomers arrived in the camp and I told them that I had been a POW for two years they could not visualise how I had managed to survive and neither could I, although the initial homesickness had by now completely gone and I was in another world.
http://www.sulgrave.org/Bill%20Woott...tton%2001.html


I agree I think this is an unprovable story, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
November 26th, 2011  
James Christie
 
I would add. .....but unlikely. I've had a look at reaxh for the sky and ross attended to bader on solitary in lamsdorf so his absence would have been noted, if hat is true. ross was treated badly by bader post war so I can't see why he'd stay quiet
November 27th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Well having looked around the web it would appear that there is quite an industry sprung up attacking this guy and to be fair he does seem to be a grumpy old bugger that has given as good as he has received but...
I have read an early post of his and can somewhat sympathise with his frustrations, in it he pointed out that all he had were his recollections and was mainly looking for help verifying these recollections all he got in return were a couple of people (who have traveled from site to site with him) telling him he has no proof (something he knew).

So having read as much as I could find I have a feeling the guy is out by about 12 months and are in fact from 1941 not 1942 but that is just my feeling.
November 27th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Well having looked around the web it would appear that there is quite an industry sprung up attacking this guy and to be fair he does seem to be a grumpy old bugger that has given as good as he has received but...
I have read an early post of his and can somewhat sympathise with his frustrations, in it he pointed out that all he had were his recollections and was mainly looking for help verifying these recollections all he got in return were a couple of people (who have traveled from site to site with him) telling him he has no proof (something he knew).

So having read as much as I could find I have a feeling the guy is out by about 12 months and are in fact from 1941 not 1942 but that is just my feeling.
fair points. I've been digging as well and it seems the central point is that he's never been prepared to accept he might have it wrong. he's then started looking to explain why which has led to a lot of conjecture and guesswork which detracts from any credibility. it seems to me he's got a lot of his personal back story invested in thus and he's just too proud to admit he was mistaken or foole.
 


Similar Topics
Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast
McDonnel Douglas Military Aircraft
India-US war games: Mystery fighter found
General Douglas MacArthur's Farewell Speech
mystery sickness strikes many at melbourne airport