German farmer demands cash for lost Allied WWII bodies

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Aug 12, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  2. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    My father,being a Lancaster bomber pilot would be turning in his grave at this!
    We should send some low flying Tornado GR4 's from 617 Dambusters over his farm just to remind him who won the f***ing war!!!!!
    If he want's money,then he should apply to the EU! They give plenty to the feckin French!!!
  3. I assume his farm is miles away from any british base? If not he's a brave man! :wink:
  4. time to dust off the tin hat and bring out the enfields me thinks
  5. Don't agree entirely - I don't know how hard up German farmers are, but thinking at it from this side, most of the farmers over here aren't turning over a profit. Someone rocks up and wants to dig a hole three times the size of a lancaster in your feild, with tracks for all the plant, etc etc, and you have lost one whole field of crop. Yes it's a pisser that graves are involved; it makes it a much more sensitive issue. But if its a famous site, and has been trespassed on for ages, it's understandable for him to want recompense though. The family shouldn't have to foot the bill though, and asking them was insensitive in the extreme.
  6. Hang on,

    Before everyone starts screaming "what a b*stard". If anything , he's gone a lot under what he could have asked.

    Have you any idea how big the hole would have to be to properly excavate a Lancaster that's gone in, in that part of the world? If they're lucky, it will be soft loam, if not, clay.

    Then there is access in and out and putting down a roadway for the diggers. How high is the water table, will they be running pumps and hoses? How long will the dig take?

    Before we even start that , we need some ground sensing to get an idea, and do we know if the aircraft was inbound or outbound?

    There may be false readings because bits of aircraft have hit separately from the main mass.

    There will be a lot of people on site, and the disruption to the farmer, depending on the crash site, will be a lot.

    The best people with the most experience of doing this by far , are the Dutch Air Force guys, and even they have to dig bloody great holes.

    The fact is, he's asking £5,000 and I don't see how he is "profiting" from that.

    We're lucky that he's actually said yes, subject to compensation. In the UK in the past, farmers have refused digs full-stop, in spite of the fact there is a body in the aircraft.

    Just to illustrate the point, this is the excavation of P-Popeye , A Lanc from 113 Sqdn , shot down at Papendrecht.

    Attached Files:

  7. Really? I was not aware of that - at the risk of sounding like Sven - links?
  8. Ever the voice of reason PTP, what knowledge have you of the DAF digs, are they mostly WW2 aircraft as well?
  9. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    The German farmer gave permission to a group of GERMAN historians back in 2005 but now,when BRITISH & CANADIAN relatives want to recover the bodies of their family,he has decided he want's money!
    The timescale is'nt in the article but I'm betting that's what happened.
    I took my Dad around various war grave sites when he came to visit me in Germany.Every now & again he'd stop at a grave & stare at it,as if he knew the lad who was buried there.The first night back at the hotel,Dad cried & cried.I & mom felt helpless that we could'nt do anything to comfort him.Dad never talked about the war.
    The Father of the German holtelier in Bruggen village where Dad was staying was a Luftwaffe crewman in the war,he could speak a little English.Him & Dad talked about the war till early morning.
    If that was my Dad lying there in that field,I know how I'd feel!!
  10. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    PTP,they have already recovered three of the Aircrew,If he want's money to cover his cost's,then the EU or British Gov should cover it,not holding the families to ransom,which in effect he is doing.
    I believe the EU paid farmers to let their fields lie unfarmed not so long ago.
  11. Off the top of my head A_J , the case of Sgt. J. Gilders , and a dig finally done by Mark Kirby? For years the farmer wouldn't allow a dig, until the farm was sold and the new owner did.

    Though to be fair to the previous farmer, in my opinion he simply didn't want the Pilot's last resting place disturbed.

    Sparky ,

    I've followed the exploits of the RNethAF recovery team for years, they've done some incredible work recovering aircraft from the Ijsselmeer , and ground recoveries. For an idea how how many Aircraft they've been involved in recovering , this PEF is pretty good

    Though it only goes up to 2003, and I know of several recoveries or attempted since then , including another Lanc from the zuiderzee and A Wellington from a farm.

    I'll try and find photos of the Wellington recovery , as I know it was a difficult one.

    More Papendrecht piccies here, note the size of the hole.......

    Recovery of a Stirling at Berging
  12. Thanks, PTP.
  13. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Plus if he was shot down en route to target, he might have a shed load of he on board...
    A significantly bigger hole might ensue...
  14. Yep it was outgoing so possibly still live ordnance on board
  15. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    The Lancaster in question,PD216 was shot down on the night of 25/26 August 1944 at 0120Hrs whilst attacking the target at Darmstadt according to Harry Holmes book "Avro Lancaster,the definative record" so it was either just on,off or over target.So the chances of munitions on board are possible but in the initial excavation back in 2005,Would'nt the German archiaologists have got the German or even British to make the wreck safe.