Napalm the bocage! - Page 11




 
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December 21st, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
While true not every ones experiences are the same and as such experience of an event only gives you a very small window of fact on a specific incident.

For example I have no doubt that from his end of the spectrum 4 German pilots shot up a school and I am certainly not going to argue that the event happened but it does not tell you the whole story to get that you need to know what the 4 pilots were thinking at the time of the event.

Far too much of history is taken from the perspective of the last man standing and not does provide accuracy as Bertrand Russell once said... War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
And the one who is left writes the history.

Which is why it is good to be able to refer to experiences of such as Le and Der Alte. Cuts out the middle man does it not. I put great store in such info.
December 21st, 2011  
Der Alte
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
My apologies Lieutenant colonel, it was common practice in the British Army to address a Lieutenant colonel as Colonel. Old habits die hard, but I will gladly respect your views.

What rank were you when you were captured, and what camp were you sent to if I may ask Lieutenant colonel? I apologies for the questions, but its not often one gets to ask someone who were there.

I was on a number of exercises in Northern Germany when I was in the Royal Corps of Transport Territorial Army as a section commander. I ended up in the British Military Hospital in Hanover with a broken arm and ribs, after trying to jump a ditch with a 10 ton truck. But that's another story.

I developed a taste for Asbach while I were there, I still have a bottle unopened in my drinks cabinet, one day I will crack it open.
No need for apologies my friend, but please let us not be so formal. Just call me Opa (it is the German word for granddad) just like my friends do.

I was a Second Lieutenant (Leutnant in German) and I was taken to Northumberland in England. If I remember correctly the town’s name was Haltwhistle. The camp was called Featherstone Park.

Please ask all the questions you want, there are not many of us around anymore.
Asbach is one of Germany´s most famous brands, enjoy it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84RFK
A confusing situation (and period of time) that Siegfried Lenz managed to describe in his short story "Ein Kriegsende".
Yes, it was a big dilemma at that time.
December 21st, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
And the one who is left writes the history.

Which it is good to be able to refer to experiences of such as Le and Der Alte. Cuts out the middle man does it not. I put great store in such info.
There are giant flaws in that logic though, there is no doubt having veterans of opposing sides gives two very valuable pieces of the puzzle but unless it is a very small puzzle you still don't get the whole picture.

Both of these people can only provide information relative to their own perspective and situation so if you are asking me whether I would accept Le's or Der Alte's individual views over that of someone that had spoken to 300 Le's and Der Altes in the course of their research then chances are I will take the researched material (this is not to say that either of their information is in anyway wrong but a 300 point set of data is generally more accurate than a single point).
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December 22nd, 2011  
Del Boy
 
I do not disagree with any of that and I certainly do not dismiss research etc.

There is in fact no flaw in 'my logic' as I do not suggest sweeping away the accumulation of information, however received.

That does not make any less important the input from those who have experienced first-hand the events in question. I was not preparing a court of inquiry on the issues, merely appreciating the informed opinions of those on the spot.

I cannot understand why you seem to consider this presents any sort of opposition to your stand.

I am not asking you to accept anything at all ; I cannot understand why you seem to be creating an argument where there is none. Am I missing some underlying agenda; if so, spit it out, you won't offend me.
December 22nd, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
No argument but I am used to seeing these discussions spiral out of control over the smallest of points.
December 22nd, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
I would like to mention the impressive, though often overlooked number of combat fatigue (shell shock in WW I) casualties in the Allied forces in France. While Germany and the USSR often shot troops who could not fight because of shattered nerves, the allies provided thousands of psychologists and several treatment centers exclusively for that purpose, with casualties exceeding 100,000 and with 88% of the those treated returning to combat.
December 22nd, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
I would like to mention the impressive, though often overlooked number of combat fatigue (shell shock in WW I) casualties in the Allied forces in France. While Germany and the USSR often shot troops who could not fight because of shattered nerves, the allies provided thousands of psychologists and several treatment centers exclusively for that purpose, with casualties exceeding 100,000 and with 88% of the those treated returning to combat.
Many RAF aircrew who suffered from what called today Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or indeed "Shell Shock"), were branded cowards and LMF or Lack of Morale Fibre. NCO aircrew lost their rank and aircrew wings then set to work on menial work on the station. I have no idea what happened to officer aircrew.

One of my uncles who managed to survive the evacuation at Dunkirk suffered from shell shock, when my dad went to visit him in hospital my dad didn't recognise him. It took a long time for his mental health to improve.
December 22nd, 2011  
Der Alte
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
I would like to mention the impressive, though often overlooked number of combat fatigue (shell shock in WW I) casualties in the Allied forces in France. While Germany and the USSR often shot troops who could not fight because of shattered nerves, the allies provided thousands of psychologists and several treatment centers exclusively for that purpose, with casualties exceeding 100,000 and with 88% of the those treated returning to combat.
One in four WW2 casualties was caused by “combat fatigue” For those in lengthy, intense fighting; the ratio was one in two. No more stressful situation exists than combat. Before you are strangers you must kill. Beside you are friends being killed, friends you could join instantly. You are usually exhausted, filthy, and hungry. And those back home will never really understand what you have endured, because of battle’s unique, indescribable horror.

The Germans had recognized by the end of the First World War that combat fatigue was not simply cowardice or a lack of "moral fiber." However, most of the lessons of the First World War were forgotten by the time of the Second World War, and it took some time to relearn them. However, as the war wore on the German brass no longer thought combat fatigue was evidence of cowardice or a pre-war neurosis. It was a wound, albeit an emotional wound and psychiatrists relearned the lesson that combat fatigue was best treated as close to the front line as possible: The further back the patient was transferred for treatment, the less likely he was to fully recover. In many cases, the breakdown was transient, and the victim was able to pull himself through, sometimes with the help of his comrades, without leaving his unit. Such men were described as ”burned out” and even the best soldier will eventually succumb to some form of mental breakdown if he remains in continuous heavy combat long enough.

I do not know where you have the information from, that the Germans just shot them. I do not deny that it did not happen, but not to the extent you suggest. Try to use your common sense when evaluating information. How much efekt on morale would not have if it was the norm.
December 22nd, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
No need for apologies my friend, but please let us not be so formal. Just call me Opa (it is the German word for granddad) just like my friends do.
Same as Afrikans, I will gladly call you Opa. I am called "Uncle" by many Afrikaners who are somewhat younger then I, but not by the English South Africans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
I was a Second Lieutenant (Leutnant in German) and I was taken to Northumberland in England. If I remember correctly the town’s name was Haltwhistle. The camp was called Featherstone Park.
I have met a few ex German officers here in South Africa, one of which was a Leutnant in the Bundeswehr, we had quite a chat.

Out of interest I did a search and found this:-
http://home.arcor.de/kriegsgefangene...tone_park.html The site may also be of interest to you as well.

There were a few POW camps in the county of Essex in the UK, the father of a friend of mine was a gunner in the German artillery, stayed in UK after the war and married a local girl.

While on holiday in Austria many years ago, I met an ex German gunner, we sat and spoke for hours. Sadly over the years I have forgotten what little I knew of the German language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
Please ask all the questions you want, there are not many of us around anymore.
Thank you, so many experiences and stories are being lost for ever as the years go by.

You mentioned that you helped build the West German Army, the one thing I cannot understand is, if I remember correctly Germans have to carry out 18 months national service. With the cost of training a man, would it be cost effective, especially today with modern equipment.

There has been talk in the UK for years about bringing back National Service, one of the reasons it hasn't been brought back is the short term a man serves and the cost to train him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
Asbach is one of Germany´s most famous brands, enjoy it.
Thank you, I will. I also developed a taste for German beer, I did enjoy a few Becks Biers.
December 22nd, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte

I do not know where you have the information from, that the Germans just shot them. I do not deny that it did not happen, but not to the extent you suggest. Try to use your common sense when evaluating information. How much efekt on morale would not have if it was the norm.
I think you will find that the idea came from watching one too many war movies and we all know that the universal WW2 German/Russian cure for everything in a war movie is to shoot it.

 


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