Bringing us up to this millennium:
Bringing us up to this millennium:
From the articleBringing us up to this millennium:
Heinz-William Eck was commander of U-852 and was executed post war for shooting allied survivors in the water.
The English and US comparators - as a starting point - would be HMS Torbay under command of Miers VC and USS Wahoo, Captain Dudley Morton I imagine.
Look up the Trent Park recordings; initially, the eavesdroppers just wanted to listen in on the most senior officers but soon realised that even the ordinary low ranking aircrew and naval crew had useful intelligence,about radios, weapons, new weapons coming out, public opinion back home, morale among the troops, opinions about Nazi leaders, senior officers and soon enough, chatter about killings in the East. When they listened in on the senior officers, they began to hear about "rocket tests" at Peenemunde and "jet propelled aircraft" at Rechlin. They also soon established who was pro and anti-Nazi and who formed the cliques inside the prison camp itself. They even positioned microphones under garden seats and in trees to eavesdrop outside, especially to listen to one guy who suspected that the Pows were being tapped. The story about the pilot strafing a wedding came from that. The British authorities couldn't do anything about that because it would have revealed that they were listening in.
I told the story below, here:I think I saw this in "The One The Got Away". A big house in North London - was that Trent Park? They worried about bugs so talked leaning out of the window, then found a bug under the window sill. Also a fellow detainee, apparently a German Officer but on our side, got them talking freely.
IIRC a Commando Sgt got the VC on recommendation of a German officer at St NazaireIf recognition of an enemy's bravery is any sort of measure, then there were several examples by the Kriegsmarine.
When F/O Lloyd Trigg (a Kiwi) was awarded the VC in 1943 it was solely on the recommendation and evidence of a German officer, the captain of the U-Boat that Trigg had sunk. There were no Allied survivors of the action.
In an earlier VC action, Unternehmen Cerberus in 1942, the Channel Dash of Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, the German Flag Officer aboard Scharnhorst spoke of, "The mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day".
Scharnhorst's captain said "Poor fellows, they are so very slow, it is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships" and another German officer later wrote, "What an heroic stage for them to meet their end! Behind them their homeland, which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose, still in view".
There were several cases where Germans gave corroborative evidence, but I think I'm right in saying that Lloyd Trigg was unique in being the only case to be awarded solely on evidence given by an enemy.IIRC a Commando Sgt got the VC on recommendation of a German officer at St Nazaire
There were several cases where Germans gave corroborative evidence, but I think I'm right in saying that Lloyd Trigg was unique in being the only case to be awarded solely on evidence given by an enemy.
Yup. See also Gerard Roope, captain of HMS Glowworm, Norway 1940. The Captain of the cruiser Admiral Hipper wrote to the Admiralty via the Swiss Red Cross to recommend award of VC.I think you're right. IIRC, Thomas Durrant's VC came about after he took on a German destroyer with a couple of Lewis guns (he was aboard a motor launch and attempted to kill/suppress the crew on the bridge of the destroyer). The captain of the destroyer met Lt Colonel 'Gus' Newman a few days later and suggested that Newman (himself later awarded the VC, of course) might wish to recommend Durrant for a high gallantry award.
There is always honour in battle, the German armed forces were not all Nazis.
As per my OP I mentioned the famous B17 escort, perhaps it's not that famous?
"To the American pilot's surprise, Stigler did not open fire on the crippled bomber. He recalled the words of one of his commanding officers from Jagdgeschwader 27, Gustav Rödel, during his time fighting in North Africa, "If I ever see or hear of you shooting at a man in a parachute, I will shoot you myself." Stigler later commented, "To me, it was just like they were in a parachute. I saw them and I couldn't shoot them down."
"He then flew near Brown's plane in a formation on the bomber's port side wing, so German antiaircraft units would not target it; he then escorted the damaged B-17 over the coast until they reached open water. Brown, unsure of Stigler's intentions at the time, ordered his dorsal turret gunner to point at Stigler but not open fire to warn him off. Understanding the message and certain that the bomber was out of German airspace, Stigler departed with a salute"
"Brown managed to fly the 250 mi (400 km) across the North Sea and land his plane at RAF Seething, home of the 448th Bomb Group and at the postflight debriefing informed his officers about how a German fighter pilot had let him go. He was told not to repeat this to the rest of the unit so as not to build any positive sentiment about enemy pilots. Brown commented, "Someone decided you can't be human and be flying in a German cockpit." Stigler said nothing of the incident to his commanding officers, knowing that a German pilot who spared the enemy while in combat risked a court-martial. Brown went on to complete a combat tour. Franz Stigler later served as a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet-fighter pilot in Jagdverband 44 until the end of the war.'
Truly touching moments of humanity, ethics and morals are rather rare in warfare. The Christmas Truce of WWI was an excellent example of such humanity, aswww.warhistoryonline.com