- 09-05-2012, 08:04 #21
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
- At the join of 4 map sheets
In about 1986 I was tootling round a pine forest about 20 miles west of Berlin. There were still plenty of hastily dug and shallow trenches as the Red Army had encircled the city in April '45.. There was no sign of any bones but I did pick up a German stahlhelm which I took home to West Berlin. It was very rusty and with a great big hole through it. I foolishly binned it in a clear-out prior to posting.
There's still an old boy at home, Gunner in North Africa, Sicily and the long haul up Italy, who doesn't say much about the whole business, either. There was also in the village a Romanian, who'd been captured and then employed on the land as a POW. He married a local woman and stayed in the UK.It was like that when I got here.
If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined.
- 09-05-2012, 08:38 #22
One grandfather lied about his age and joined up into the signals service part of the RE in 1914.
He spent the entire war in France and the only story he would ever tell was about being sent headlong into the mud after being knocked over by a horse.
He stayed in the territorials afterwards while working for the GPO and was one of the originals on the forming of the RSigs.
He did the whole of WW2, mostly in the UK but went back to France after DDay.
Absolutely no stories about that adventure. He came out as a Major and, as he put it, 'went back to work for the Post Office'.
It was only when I was reading Spycatcher, in which he got a proper name-check, that I realised he was up to his neck in the secret squirrel comms world and even when I'd got him bang to rights with the book he still just span the Post Office line.
Tother GF was WW1 Linconshire Regiment infantry in France. He had a better sense of humour and used to wind me out of my tree when I was trying to get stories out of him as a child.
'I always had my eyes shut, runaway and live to fight another day was our motto'.
Oh no it wasn't, you bloody liar.
I think as time passed men from that era had a better record of opening up to their grandsons rather than their sons, but those two simply stayed schtum for the rest of their lives.
Last edited by Micawber; 09-05-2012 at 08:46.'Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear'?
- 09-05-2012, 08:41 #23
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
- Gods Waiting room
to be honest the state of Germany at the end of the war I'd be surprised too many relatives were left around to claim the remins."I'd rather be a tired old Has been, than a tired old Never Has Been!!"
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Semper in excremento sum, solum profunditas mutat
According to Ispeakcrabandpongo "Typically Island Ape Brits," That suits me!
- 09-05-2012, 08:54 #24
- 09-05-2012, 09:08 #25
I don't know how many of the bones that the Germans are burying are actually theirs, judging by the latest story I've heard in Russia. When organised crime started tearing up the battlefields with JCBs in order to sieve out trinkets to sell in the international militaria markets, they'd simply dump or burn the accompanying bones (German and Russian). The Germans apparently responded by offering a bounty for German bodies (i.e. those that are now being reburied in cemeteries). Latest development is that apparently the crims - with an eye on this limitless bounty money - have obtained lists of missing and the approximate region, and are now manufacturing dog tags to match any old set of bones (German, Russian, civilian, etc), some of which are being looted from existing civilian cemeteries....“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville
- 09-05-2012, 09:35 #26
The only concession the Russians made when policing up the battlefields was that they'd try and ensure Russian and Germanski bodies weren't dumped in the same shell holes.
There seems to have been nothing in the line of formal grave registration units etc, not that it would have made much difference, as Russian soldiers by and large had no formal ID on them… it was just - Comrade Captain of the 1767th Pioneer Unit, dispose of all the bodies by the morning.Warning, this post contains some flash photography.
- 09-05-2012, 09:51 #27
- Join Date
- May 2005
Was reading "The Kindly ones" a while ago and he has some stats for losses on the Eastern Front and I think it came down to something like one death every 4 seconds and that 24/7 for however long it went on for.
That along with the fact that after D-Day it was something like 17 German divisions in the west and 157 odd in the East make you realise that our bit of the war was relatively small in comparison to what went on over in the East. (Some 90% of all German soldiers were based on the East IIRC).
If anyone is interested this is the excerpt from the book.
Now for the math. The conflict with the USSR lasted from June 22, 1941 at 03:00 until, officially, May 8, 1945 at 23:01, which adds up to three years, ten months, sixteen days, twenty hours, and one minute, or, rounding off, to 46.5 months, 202.42 weeks, 1,417 days, 34,004 hours, or 2,040,241 minutes (counting the extra minute). For the program known as the “Final Solution,” we’ll use the same dates; before that, nothing had yet been decided or systematized, so Jewish casualties were for the most part incidental. Now let’s average out one set of figures with the other: for the Germans, this gives us 64,516 dead per month, or 14,821 dead per week, or 2,117 dead per day, or 88 dead per hour, or 1.47 dead per minute, on average for every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year for three years, ten months, sixteen days, twenty hours and one minute. For the Jews, including the Soviet ones, we have about 109,677 dead per month, which is 25,195 dead per week, 3,599 dead per day, 150 dead per hour, or 2.5 dead per minute, over the same period. Finally on the Soviet side, that gives us some 430,108 dead per month, 98,804 dead per week, 14,114 dead per day, 588 dead per hour, or 9.8 dead per minute, for the same period. Thus for the overall total in my field of activities we have an average of 572,043 dead per month, 131,410 dead per week, 18,772 dead per day, 782 dead per hour, and 13.04 dead per minute, every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of the given period, which is, as you will recall, three years, ten months, sixteen days, twenty hours and one minute. Let those who smirked at that admittedly somewhat pedantic extra minute please consider that it is worth an additional 13.04 dead, on average, and imagine, if they can, thirteen people from their circle of friends killed in one minute. You can also calculate the length of time it takes to generate a fresh corpse: this gives us on average a dead German every 40.8 seconds, a dead Jew every 24 seconds, and a dead Bolshevik (Soviet Jews included) every 6.12 seconds, or on the whole a new dead body on average every 4.6 seconds, for the entirety of said period. You are now in a position to carry out, based on these numbers, concrete exercises of imagination. For example, stopwatch in hand, count off one death, two deaths, three deaths, etc., every 4.6 seconds (or every 6.12 seconds, or every 24 seconds, or every 40.8 seconds, if you have a marked preference), while trying to picture them lying there in front of you, those one, two, three dead. You’ll find it’s a good meditation exercise. Or take some more recent catastrophe that affected you strongly, and compare the two. For instance, if you are an American, consider your little Vietnam adventure, which so traumatized your fellow citizens. You lost 50,000 troops there in ten years: that’s the equivalent of a little less than three days and two hours’ worth of dead on the Eastern Front, or of some thirteen days, twenty-one hours, and twenty-five minutes’ worth of dead Jews. I obviously am not including the Vietnamese dead; since you never speak of them, in your books or TV programs, they must not count for much to you. Yet you killed forty of them for every single one of your own dead, a fine effort even compared to our own, and one that certainly speaks for the value of technical progress.
Last edited by Steven; 09-05-2012 at 09:59.-------------------------------------------------------------
Growing old is mandatory, growing wise is optional
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes. Vel vos utor Google
- 09-05-2012, 09:51 #28
- 09-05-2012, 09:58 #29
"I think i am becoming a god."
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
- 09-05-2012, 09:58 #30
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
I'm unable to muster one shred of sympathy for dead Germans given their ghastly record of atrocities when they thought they were going to win and get clean away with it, and the enthusiasm of the entire German population for their wicked war until they belatedly realised they had bitten off more than they could chew.Dr Johnson: 'Any man thinks less of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been to sea.'
Thiomas Babington Macaulay, quoted by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone: 'Moderation in war is imbecility!'
Douglas MacArthur: 'There is no substitute for Victory!'