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How honourable were the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe?

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.

Mark Felton has covered this here:
 
Das Walt ?

any chance these Nazi POW's where bigging themselves up ?

& before you know it Fritz is "confessing" to shooting up the village fete & leaving the WI tent a jam stained mess, whilst das Englanders ran for cover...
 
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.
 
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 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.
 

XPara Mugg

War Hero
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.
I told the story below, here:
Pioneer Corps in Europe WW2 1944 - 1945

My "aunt" and godmother, a woman with a very mysterious background, told of the time she spent as an ATS Sgt cook* at a couple of large country houses. The "guests" were high ranking German officer PoWs who deserved, and received high quality food and hospitality. She was a very competent cook and patissier, who just happened to also be a highly competent linguist, fluent in German and French. She had polished her languages while training in Switzerland on the real Cordon Bleu course and in European hotels in the 30s. A coincidence of posting? I think not.

She had been briefed on not letting slip that she was a linguist and to just listen, casually but carefully, during her duties. True to form, the Germans ignored the mere serving woman and, occasionally spoke carelessly. Perhaps nothing important but it all added to the picture.

Now, back to the thread: Many of the staff who carried out menial tasks and small repairs (it was, apparently a game for the Germans to inflict minor damage/sabotage to the fabric of the building, as well as searching for, and finding, "hidden" microphones) were Pioneer Corps. The Germans complained at the house being staffed by technical troops but were mollified that, in the British Army, The Pioneer Corps were just general duties dogsbodies with no particular expertise.

However, these particular "pioneers" were mostly Jewish and all native German speakers whose skills lay in emptying bins, cleaning the house, a bit of painting and plastering etc. and listening. Again, once the Germans had been told they were menial labourers, they disappeared from the Germans' sight. The Germans remained, of course, vigilant in the presence of the British officers and Provost Corps guards.

As for Auntie Jean, after the war she became a ladies' companion and lived in the basement apartment of a Bayswater mansion along with a few similar ladies. Her job seemed to be accompanying wealthy (mostly Jewish) American women on tours of Eastern Europe. I had masses of random Yugoslav, Hungarian etc. trinkets and souvenirs from her. This was in the 50s and 60s. After the wealthy American tourist market changed she was employed in some capacity by the American Rice Council. This seemed to involve travelling round Eastern European farming areas, into the Balkans and even Ukraine and the Caucasus. All at a time when it was pretty much impossible to obtain a visa to these areas.

You can't imagine how much I wish I had asked her what it was all about. But, in hindsight, if it was interesting, I don't suppose she would have told me.

*My real Aunt, who was also an ATS Sgt cook, always maintained that she just couldn't understand how Auntie Jean had managed to get to the position of Sgt without having gone through the usual recruit training and promotion courses. Of course, it had to be because she was 'posh'. Hmmm. Auntie Jean never said. And they shared a flat for nearly the last fifteen years of Jean's life.
 

Kevll@r

Old-Salt
They were alright until they started sinking merchant vessels and liners, and bombing cities. But we did worse.... Honour in that war was on an individual level, not any service as a whole.
 
If they quite happily embraced Nazism then honour is not an option.

Feckin Nazi b'stards.





Their only saving grace - they weren't fFrench.
 
If 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".
 
If 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".
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.

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.
 
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.
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.
 
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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?

community_image_1426511402-1.jpg


"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.[1] Franz Stigler later served as a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet-fighter pilot in Jagdverband 44 until the end of the war.'


 
I’m deeply cynical about the story of the German fighter pilot escorting the crippled B17. It’s a fighter jockey’s job to shoot down enemy aircraft so that they can’t come back and bomb his cities. Any pilot mentioning such behaviour in the mess would have surely been double marched into the CO’s office and given a one way ticket to somewhere deeply unpleasant. It might well be giving aid and succour to the enemy and qualify as treason. There are records stating that this incident did happen but I’m deeply suspicious of his motives.
 
Then Langsdorff of the Graf Spee comes to mind as well. Am I right in thinking that he took aboard the complete crews of all the merchantmen he sank, without a single loss of life ?
 
As per my OP I mentioned the famous B17 escort, perhaps it's not that famous?

community_image_1426511402-1.jpg


"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.[1] Franz Stigler later served as a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet-fighter pilot in Jagdverband 44 until the end of the war.'



Their reunion:

 

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