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Cold War Photos.

Did you ever meet a German who admitted serving on the western front? I mean one who didn't surrender at the first opportunity, allegedly?
Funny that, the only ones I encountered that had fought on the Western Front was when I gate crashed a Regimental reunion in Paderborn in 79 (Paderborn was an SS Garrison ) in a cellar bar. Partially pissed at the beer festival we encountered a sea of blue eyes, Heidelberg scars and lapel badges. Think of the scene from the Odessa File, this lot had all been black suited tankies.
 
The Maitre d was a creature called ‘Tommy’.

We would sit at the back.

Coach parties of Bavarians would sit gravely to attention, as if they’ve been told they’ve got to experience Berlin cabaret culture.

Tommy would fill the gap between acts with jokes at the expense of the Bavarians.

To quote Dire Straits, Tommy ‘didn’t get one laugh’ from the Bavarians :)

There were two English ‘dancers’ in the cast. One of them really was called Patricia...
Knowing some of the Berliners I've met they would have been irreverent and distinctly pointed in their humour. Unfortunatly the Bavarians have given the Germans Ooompah bands und lederhosen, but it speaks volumes that if there is going to be insurrection against the strictures of life , it'll be Munich. And that goes for the last little contretemps. In the mean time, from the Hamburg area all you'll get is "Na Und" when the two start up. "Bonn sagt" recieved a derisive snort from Oma.. If you read German there's a little book I'd recommend, It's called Levins Muehle, by Johannes Bobrowski. It'll have you in stitches.
 
Funny that, the only ones I encountered that had fought on the Western Front was when I gate crashed a Regimental reunion in Paderborn in 79 (Paderborn was an SS Garrison ) in a cellar bar. Partially pissed at the beer festival we encountered a sea of blue eyes, Heidelberg scars and lapel badges. Think of the scene from the Odessa File, this lot had all been black suited tankies.
Our Company had an LEC driver in Berlin, name of Helmut IIRC. He was sound but claimed to have been Luftwaffe in WW2 and to have been to Coventry in a Stuka so I'm pretty sure he was taking the mickey. He was the go to man for Ostmarks, which he would get from the Zoo Station when out on a task. One day he stitched me up by making a special trip for me. When he got back the CSM asked him where he'd been and he answered "it's Ok, I've just been getting Ostmarks for Sgt retread2". The CSM, despite being on his third tour of Berlin (and who should have known the score, even if it was in contravention of some dull standing order) wanted to charge me which would have been interesting given I needed the Ostmarks to buy concert tickets for my GSO 2. @Whiskybreath might remember the CSM: M**k W*******k. My section boss (RIP Paul) smoothed things over.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Did you ever meet a German who admitted serving on the western front? I mean one who didn't surrender at the first opportunity, allegedly?

Yes, I did. One in Normandy, one in the Kriegsmarine. Both fellow long distance runners in my old German sport club.

The sailor came from Cottbus and ended up in the Ruehrgebiet. Born in 1920. Still getting a mention in the Parish magazine about 3 years ago.

At the end of WW2 the German officers were removed from the ships and the Andrew took over but keeping the German crews. He was very complimentary about the honourable way they were treated by the Royal Navy.

However two thirds of the German military were on the Eastern Front.
 
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However two thirds of the German military were on the Eastern Front.
Including my late Father in Law, who spent several years in captivity as a guest of the Russians at the end of WW2.
A bear of a man with huge hands, the term Gentle Giant fitted him to a tee. Like many veterans, he didn’t talk much about his time in captivity, but I reckon it must have been pretty horrific. One of the first things I noticed about the family home when I started going out with my missus, was the sheer amount of glass jars of preserved and pickled vegetables stored away in the cellar - “just in case” (für alle Fälle). He didn’t kick off very often, but one thing guaranteed to set him off was someone leaving food on their plate. I expect he was on the point of starvation by the time he was released by the Russians and that clearly formed his views for the rest of his life.
He was still preserving vegetables from his allotment, well into his 90s.
 
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This website may be of some interest, showing the German airfields or Autobahn landing strips. I’ve only had a quick glance as work got in the way.

RP.
There were a couple of chunks of the Liepzig autobahn,with no central reservation and no armco. Occasionally the autobahn was "closed for maintenance", during exercises.
 
Yes, I did. One in Normandy, one in the Kriegsmarine. Both fellow long distance runners in my old German sport club.

The sailor came from Cottbus and ended up in the Ruehrgebiet. Born in 1920. Still getting a mention in the Parish magazine about 3 years ago.

At the end of WW2 the German officers were removed from the ships and the Andrew took over but keeping the German crews. He was very complimentary about the honourable way they were treated by the Royal Navy.

However two thirds of the German military were on the Eastern Front.
Our 'tyre man' in Brixmis MT told his story. He was inducted in to the Volks Sturm in the last 6 months of the war (he wore VERY thick glasses). He was given a Rifle, Ammo and, a grid reference S of Magdeburg on the East side of the Elbe. No transport to spare so off he goes. After about 10 days he arrived at a farm SW of Zerbst,the wifey takes pity on him and feeds him and, a bed for the night. In payment he doeas a few jobs around the farm,wifey is a widow (hubby killed in Russia). So, he shacked up with her until the end of the war and, went back to Berlin when the Brits got there. Got his job with the Mission in 1950,was still there in 83 when I left.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Including my late Father in Law, who spent several years in captivity as a guest of the Russians at the end of WW2.
A bear of a man with huge hands, the term Gentle Giant fitted him to a tee. Like many veterans, he didn’t talk much about his time in captivity, but I reckon it must have been pretty horrific. One of the first things I noticed about the family home when I started going out with my missus, was the sheer amount of glass jars of preserved and pickled vegetables stored away in the cellar - “just in case”. He didn’t kick off very often, but one thing guaranteed to set him off was someone leaving food on their plate. I expect he was on the point of starvation by the time he was released by the Russians and that clearly formed his views for the rest of his life.
He was still preserving vegetables from his allotment, well into his 90s.

I believe the last POWs in Russia were released back to Germany in 1955. In the meantime they were employed, largely in construction. In my time in St Petersburg in 1998 my hosts were rather proud to say their apartment block was built by Germans and therefore of better quality. The rather friendly hostess thought nothing of sharing the bathroom with me just in her underwear. I like people like that.

Mind you, the Parade Square in front of Old College at RMAS is artificial and built by hand by Napoleonic POWs., so there is precedence. That's why the Lower Lake is bigger than it used to be.
 
I believe the last POWs in Russia were released back to Germany in 1955. In the meantime they were employed, largely in construction. In my time in St Petersburg in 1998 my hosts were rather proud to say their apartment block was built by Germans and therefore of better quality. The rather friendly hostess thought nothing of sharing the bathroom with me just in her underwear. I like people like that.

Mind you, the Parade Square in front of Old College at RMAS is artificial and built by hand by Napoleonic POWs., so there is precedence. That's why the Lower Lake is bigger than it used to be.
Weren't SS PWs held by the Sovs employed down some very unhealthy mine? Uranium or similar? That might just be from Bernie Gunther's account . . . sounds fair enough to me.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Weren't SS PWs held by the Sovs employed down some very unhealthy mine? Uranium or similar? That might just be from Bernie Gunther's account . . . sounds fair enough to me.

I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
With 100% fatalities, not one uranium POW miner survived the war. conversely only 3% of all Russian POW's went home at wars end.

You may find it interesting to read up on AcSM Lord. He turned round a POW camp's morale to the degree that German military would salute him.. He has a room named after him at Sandbags and appeared on the 'This is Your Life' BBC programme, donkeys years ago. One of his former Cadets also took part, King Hussain of Jordan.

Many of the Brit POWs had taken part in the 'Todesmarsch' (Death March) as the Germans moved their POWs from east to west before the Soviet Army caught up with them. About -20 degrees and next to no food. Many died. The Soviets commemorated the Todesmarsch and I'll dig out a photo again, bottom right:

1611396523041.png
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Here you go:

 
Including my late Father in Law, who spent several years in captivity as a guest of the Russians at the end of WW2.
A bear of a man with huge hands, the term Gentle Giant fitted him to a tee. Like many veterans, he didn’t talk much about his time in captivity, but I reckon it must have been pretty horrific. One of the first things I noticed about the family home when I started going out with my missus, was the sheer amount of glass jars of preserved and pickled vegetables stored away in the cellar - “just in case”. He didn’t kick off very often, but one thing guaranteed to set him off was someone leaving food on their plate. I expect he was on the point of starvation by the time he was released by the Russians and that clearly formed his views for the rest of his life.
He was still preserving vegetables from his allotment, well into his 90s.
The value of food is only appreciated when you've not had it, for many of the War time survivors it became hard wired in their psych. Very similar mind set to a number of Jews who survived the camps. One case I came across was a mother who bought surplus bread daily, kept the fresh bread she set aside in a draw and then used the bread from the day before to eat. And that was just in case they came again for them again!
 
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Here you go:

There is a thread on here somewhere dedicated to him. He was my Dads RSM at Sandhurst in 1947.

This is a humorous story and yet shows his ability to get his way and the best for those in his care ,from his days in the Camp, such is the nature of the man!

SIR - Regarding correspondence on the term "bollocks" (letter, Aug 9.), there is a little known example of its use to beneficial effect in 1945. Jackie Lord was the RSM of 3rd Parachute Battalion and was taken prisoner at the battle of Arnhem in September 1944.
In his prison camp, he was the senior representative of the prisoners, and challenged the German commandant over his failure to distribute Red Cross parcels. The commandant pointed out that, under the Geneva conventions, officers were entitled to be saluted by prisoners and, once the saluting commenced, the parcels would be given out.
RSM Lord returned to the committee through which he ran the camp and advised them that he had agreed that German officers would now be saluted. The committee was disinclined to agree to this, but the RSM invited them to watch, whereupon he left the hut and sought out a German officer. Approaching the officer, the RSM whacked up an immaculate Household Division salute, looked him straight in the eye and said, clearly and with conviction: "Bollocks."
Believing this to be an ancient greeting, the German saluted formally and, with a heavy accent, responded: "Bollocks." It was not long before salutes were being offered by soldiers of many nationalities to any German officer they could find.
The Red Cross parcels were distributed the next day.

Brigadier F. R. Steer MBE (rtd), Paddock Wood, Kent10 August 2002 • 00:01 am
 
I believe the last POWs in Russia were released back to Germany in 1955. In the meantime they were employed, largely in construction. In my time in St Petersburg in 1998 my hosts were rather proud to say their apartment block was built by Germans and therefore of better quality. The rather friendly hostess thought nothing of sharing the bathroom with me just in her underwear. I like people like that.

I had no idea you were into cross-dressing!
 

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