Douglas Bader mystery - Page 8




 
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December 7th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
In all honesty, there's a hell of a lot went on during WW2 that will never be fully explained nor revealed
December 7th, 2011  
James Christie
 
interesting, do tell more! I have written to the international red cross,waiting to see if anything comes of it! baders escape from st omer hospital is quite well documented but I think its also well established that he was rounded up and packed off to germany in short order so as far as I know there's no window for the williams story thrre.
December 7th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
In all honesty, there's a hell of a lot went on during WW2 that will never be fully explained nor revealed
Absolutely - fog of war, mists of time etc. Although even goings on as hard to explain or prove/disprove as this 'Bader Mystery' can be analysed and dissected as we've done here. We've not disproved or proved it, but we have found a number of facts that do seem to give some clarity and enable a rational view to be taken.
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December 7th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
interesting, do tell more! I have written to the international red cross,waiting to see if anything comes of it! baders escape from st omer hospital is quite well documented but I think its also well established that he was rounded up and packed off to germany in short order so as far as I know there's no window for the williams story thrre.
No but the connection to Rudel interested me as for a man that hated the Nazi's in more than just a passing manner he seems to have befriended several including Rudel (if this information is accurate) who was very much the Luftwaffe's poster boy for Nazi-ism qnd who was also an amputee.
December 8th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
No but the connection to Rudel interested me as for a man that hated the Nazi's in more than just a passing manner he seems to have befriended several including Rudel (if this information is accurate) who was very much the Luftwaffe's poster boy for Nazi-ism qnd who was also an amputee.
Interesting. Bader certainly hated the Germans as an enemy, but he may actually have had some things in common with an ex-Nazi as he was fairly right wing in some of his views. Which is not to suggest that he was an apologist or supporter of Nazi-ism but I could understand how he might become friendly with such a man as Rudel after the war.

I knew that Bader got on well with Galland, who was something of a rebel like Bader. Ex combatents often do become friendly - I recently read an account of how an Argentinian soldier who had pushed the fire button on an Exocet had later become friends with some of the crew of the ship that his missile hit.
December 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
Interesting. Bader certainly hated the Germans as an enemy, but he may actually have had some things in common with an ex-Nazi as he was fairly right wing in some of his views.
Quite a few of his fellow POW's hated Bader for his "goon" baiting, they were certain that his antics was going to get someone killed.

Although I admire his courage, I didn't like the man at all, he was extremely arrogant and obnoxious. To be honest, I thought he was a nasty piece of work.

Compare him with a lesser-known RAF pilot, Sergeant Dixie Deans, known simply as 'Sarge', who assumed command of thousands of RAF PoWs in Stalag Luft VI. Deans saw it as his job to get them home.

With his quiet authority and wisdom, he kept his men from harm in the dark days towards the end of the war when there were genuine fears of Nazi reprisals against unarmed prisoners.

He stood jaw to jutting jaw with German commandants without ruffling feathers. And he got his men home, after a 500-mile march across Germany in the bitterest winter of the century.

To stop his men being mistaken for German soldiers and being strafed by RAF fighters, he rode through a battlefield on a bicycle to British lines. Then he rode back through the fighting to be with his men again and endure several more weeks as a prisoner.

Bader and Deans left the RAF at the end of the war — Bader to become a legend through a biography and a film, Deans to obscurity.
Hundreds of grateful men packed the RAF church in the Strand for Deans' funeral in 1989. He was described in an address as 'a much-loved man of rare quality. His heroism, his wisdom and his compassion will never be forgotten.'
December 8th, 2011  
James Christie
 
For sure, it's a matter of record that Bader's character was quite different from the way Kenneth Moore depicted him, but as Deere said 'if he wasn't like that he wouldn't be here now'.

Whether or not I'd have liked him is irrelevant really, but what his resolute character, utter clarity of purpose and constant antipathy to the enemy do mean, to my mind, is that there's little chance of the 'Bader Mystery' being anything other than some form of mistake.

There were many unsung heroes in that time, one can only be grateful for all such men.
December 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
Whether or not I'd have liked him is irrelevant really, but what his resolute character, utter clarity of purpose and constant antipathy to the enemy do mean, to my mind, is that there's little chance of the 'Bader Mystery' being anything other than some form of mistake.
Our station was graced with the presence of a few Battle of Britain pilots during a Battle of Britain open day, Bader was one, as was Stanford Tuck. Stanford Tuck was a Gentleman, Bader was his usual arrogant and obnoxious self.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
There were many unsung heroes in that time, one can only be grateful for all such men.
At the risk of going off topic for a moment, one of the greatest British unsung hero's was Sergeant Major Charles Coward. He is personally responsible for saving many Jewish concentration camp inmates lives. But that's another story.
December 8th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
Interesting. Bader certainly hated the Germans as an enemy, but he may actually have had some things in common with an ex-Nazi as he was fairly right wing in some of his views. Which is not to suggest that he was an apologist or supporter of Nazi-ism but I could understand how he might become friendly with such a man as Rudel after the war.

I knew that Bader got on well with Galland, who was something of a rebel like Bader. Ex combatents often do become friendly - I recently read an account of how an Argentinian soldier who had pushed the fire button on an Exocet had later become friends with some of the crew of the ship that his missile hit.
Yeah one of the problems faced this long after the event though is sorting fact from urban myth, many of these guys have become famous off biographies that they almost wrote themselves so many of the bad bits have been written out and the good bits embellished to almost heroic levels (I would put both Rommel and Guderians current reputation in this category). Then there is also the urban legends that over the years have become internet truths.

I think this is a case that will be almost impossible to get to the bottom of.
February 1st, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
Interesting. Bader certainly hated the Germans as an enemy, but he may actually have had some things in common with an ex-Nazi as he was fairly right wing in some of his views. Which is not to suggest that he was an apologist or supporter of Nazi-ism but I could understand how he might become friendly with such a man as Rudel after the war.

I knew that Bader got on well with Galland, who was something of a rebel like Bader. Ex combatents often do become friendly - I recently read an account of how an Argentinian soldier who had pushed the fire button on an Exocet had later become friends with some of the crew of the ship that his missile hit.
Apparently in 1945 according to Gunther Rall, Bader arranged for Rudel to have an artificial leg fitted and the bit I found interesting is that apparently he had met Rudel in August 1942.
 


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