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Nazis - great bunch of lads

Sometimes in war there is humanity from the enemy, not always encouraged by the higher-ups.

This is a story of a Luftwaffe fighter not shooting down a US bomber, the British and Americans not wanting the encounter made public or known for fear of sympathy towards Germans and the bomber pilot reuniting with the Luftwaffe pilot after the war

When a German fighter escorted a US bomber to safety in World War II
https://medium.com/@nambikarthick?source=post_page-----8ff8124fbab9----------------------

Jan 20 · 4 min read


Illustration on the event. Source: War history online
Itis the peak of World War II. A B-17 bomber is flying over German territory, Alone.

The usual Bomber escorts have deserted the bomber for a reason. The bomber has lost 3 of its four engines and limping back home. A limping plane with no escort fighters is a sitting duck for Luftwaffe.

A Luftwaffe fighter rose above the cloud and came near the B-17 bomber. The pilot of the bomber clutched to his stick expected a hit any time. But the Luftwaffe pilot did not shoot the B-17 bomber.

The Luftwaffe fighter Messerschmidt protected the B-17 bomber until the end of German airspace and bid goodbye. As Europe faced ferocious battles, there were moments of friendship.

Prelude:
The battle for the sky over Germany and Britain was entering a stalemate from 1941.

After the fall of France to German “Blitzkrieg”, all offensive stopped at the North Atlantic coast of France. Luftwaffe chief Herman Goering took the task of frightening Britain to surrender using Luftwaffe. What lasted until the invasion of the USSR was the bombardment of Britain by Luftwaffe termed as “Battle of Britain”.

Until 1941 the Royal Air force took a more defensive stand by warding off Luftwaffe bombers entering British airspace. Winston Churchill made it strict not to attack the German mainland as it might cause civilian casualties. The Luftwaffe bombardment of Rotterdam in 1940 made Churchill lift the ban. Opening a new front with USSR thinned Luftwaffe’s striking ability, RAF utilized this opportunity and started offensive action.

During the initial stages of the RAF offensive, Britain was not fully aware of the German Radar system. It ventured with its bombers on crucial locations across the mainland. On 18 December 1939, 20 Bombers of the RAF left for Germany, and only half of them returned.

The German radar was able to track the bombers precisely and also guide Luftwaffe fighters to the bombers. After this incident, an RAF fighter always escorts an RAF bomber in enemy territory.

The day of attack:
On 20 December 1943, A formation of B-17 bombers of US Air force and RAF Spitfire started from Britain on a raid for the city of Bremen.

The attack was over, and on their way back home, One B-17 bomber lost its power on one engine. The reduced power made it vulnerable for further attacks by German fighters.

The B-17 bomber gets hit for 10 minutes by Luftwaffe. In quick succession, the bomber lost two more engines and was flying with only one engine. Running on only one engine slowed down the bomber, so the escorting Spitfires need to leave the bomber alone.

The bomber limped its way across German airspace. The bomber was picked up by radar, and a German fighter Messerschmidt piloted by Franz Stigler got a call to destroy the bomber. Franz Stigler was a Luftwaffe ace with 27 confirmed hits.

The German fighter came close to the B-17 bomber. The crew has now got reduced to only the pilot Charlie Brown. The remaining team is either injured or dead.

No crew members were handling the bomber guns, so the bomber was under the mercy of German fighter. The German fighter pilot Franz Stigler noticed that the B-17 bomber is understaffed and decided not to attack it. Franz Stigler escorted the B-17 bomber from German radar by flying close to it.

The German fighter pilot tried to persuade the B-17 bomber pilot to land the bomber in Germany. Still, Charlie Brown didn’t heed to it.

The German fighter pilot guarded the bomber to friendly air space.At the end Franz Stigler gave a salute to Charlie Brown as a mark of respect. The B-17 bomber safely reached the British airfield.

The RAF commanders requested the Charlie Brown not to discuss the matter with others as it might cause sympathy for German pilots.

Aftermath:
After the war was over, Charlie Brown told this story at an event. He started to look for Franz Stigler, who had settled in Canada.

They both met and started a new friendship. Franz Stigler pointed out that on that day, he was pursuing the Charlie Brown to either surrender or fly to neutral airspace like Sweden. Still, Charlie Brown didn’t understand it.

World War II gets dotted with violence and injustice to people. Still, there are incidents like these that restore faith in humanity.
 
Aye but, the majority of German lads had quite the hatred for the Nazi's. I had the pleasure of meeting the grandfather of my pals wife at one of their barbecues one lovely Hameln summer many years back. He was a cracking old lad. A member of the Wehrmacht during WW2, he spun his tales while us young Sappers sat around him on the sandbags with the lantern swinging wildly. He spoke of losing his toes to the Russian winter, of marching from Germany to Russia and back again.......but as soon as you mentioned the Nazi, he'd spit and curse wildly. No, not popular amongst the normal German Tom.
 
Sometimes in war there is humanity from the enemy, not always encouraged by the higher-ups.

This is a story of a Luftwaffe fighter not shooting down a US bomber, the British and Americans not wanting the encounter made public or known for fear of sympathy towards Germans and the bomber pilot reuniting with the Luftwaffe pilot after the war

When a German fighter escorted a US bomber to safety in World War II
Karthick Nambi – Medium

Jan 20 · 4 min read


Illustration on the event. Source: War history online
Itis the peak of World War II. A B-17 bomber is flying over German territory, Alone.

The usual Bomber escorts have deserted the bomber for a reason. The bomber has lost 3 of its four engines and limping back home. A limping plane with no escort fighters is a sitting duck for Luftwaffe.

A Luftwaffe fighter rose above the cloud and came near the B-17 bomber. The pilot of the bomber clutched to his stick expected a hit any time. But the Luftwaffe pilot did not shoot the B-17 bomber.

The Luftwaffe fighter Messerschmidt protected the B-17 bomber until the end of German airspace and bid goodbye. As Europe faced ferocious battles, there were moments of friendship.

Prelude:
The battle for the sky over Germany and Britain was entering a stalemate from 1941.

After the fall of France to German “Blitzkrieg”, all offensive stopped at the North Atlantic coast of France. Luftwaffe chief Herman Goering took the task of frightening Britain to surrender using Luftwaffe. What lasted until the invasion of the USSR was the bombardment of Britain by Luftwaffe termed as “Battle of Britain”.

Until 1941 the Royal Air force took a more defensive stand by warding off Luftwaffe bombers entering British airspace. Winston Churchill made it strict not to attack the German mainland as it might cause civilian casualties. The Luftwaffe bombardment of Rotterdam in 1940 made Churchill lift the ban. Opening a new front with USSR thinned Luftwaffe’s striking ability, RAF utilized this opportunity and started offensive action.

During the initial stages of the RAF offensive, Britain was not fully aware of the German Radar system. It ventured with its bombers on crucial locations across the mainland. On 18 December 1939, 20 Bombers of the RAF left for Germany, and only half of them returned.

The German radar was able to track the bombers precisely and also guide Luftwaffe fighters to the bombers. After this incident, an RAF fighter always escorts an RAF bomber in enemy territory.

The day of attack:
On 20 December 1943, A formation of B-17 bombers of US Air force and RAF Spitfire started from Britain on a raid for the city of Bremen.

The attack was over, and on their way back home, One B-17 bomber lost its power on one engine. The reduced power made it vulnerable for further attacks by German fighters.

The B-17 bomber gets hit for 10 minutes by Luftwaffe. In quick succession, the bomber lost two more engines and was flying with only one engine. Running on only one engine slowed down the bomber, so the escorting Spitfires need to leave the bomber alone.

The bomber limped its way across German airspace. The bomber was picked up by radar, and a German fighter Messerschmidt piloted by Franz Stigler got a call to destroy the bomber. Franz Stigler was a Luftwaffe ace with 27 confirmed hits.

The German fighter came close to the B-17 bomber. The crew has now got reduced to only the pilot Charlie Brown. The remaining team is either injured or dead.

No crew members were handling the bomber guns, so the bomber was under the mercy of German fighter. The German fighter pilot Franz Stigler noticed that the B-17 bomber is understaffed and decided not to attack it. Franz Stigler escorted the B-17 bomber from German radar by flying close to it.

The German fighter pilot tried to persuade the B-17 bomber pilot to land the bomber in Germany. Still, Charlie Brown didn’t heed to it.

The German fighter pilot guarded the bomber to friendly air space.At the end Franz Stigler gave a salute to Charlie Brown as a mark of respect. The B-17 bomber safely reached the British airfield.

The RAF commanders requested the Charlie Brown not to discuss the matter with others as it might cause sympathy for German pilots.

Aftermath:
After the war was over, Charlie Brown told this story at an event. He started to look for Franz Stigler, who had settled in Canada.

They both met and started a new friendship. Franz Stigler pointed out that on that day, he was pursuing the Charlie Brown to either surrender or fly to neutral airspace like Sweden. Still, Charlie Brown didn’t understand it.

World War II gets dotted with violence and injustice to people. Still, there are incidents like these that restore faith in humanity.
The book is well worth a read. Available on Aazon HERE.
 
Aye but, the majority of German lads had quite the hatred for the Nazi's. I had the pleasure of meeting the grandfather of my pals wife at one of their barbecues one lovely Hameln summer many years back. He was a cracking old lad. A member of the Wehrmacht during WW2, he spun his tales while us young Sappers sat around him on the sandbags with the lantern swinging wildly. He spoke of losing his toes to the Russian winter, of marching from Germany to Russia and back again.......but as soon as you mentioned the Nazi, he'd spit and curse wildly. No, not popular amongst the normal German Tom.
Yeah. Great bunch of lads. That didn't stop the 'normal' German Tom from offing any soviet soldier that fell in to their hands though.
For every jew killed by the SS, so a soviet soldier was killed by the Wehrmacht.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Spitfires escorting a raid on Bremen in 1943?

Maybe for the first part of the way out and for the last leg back. Happy to be proven wrong by anyone more expert but this all sounds a bit odd - the claim that RAF aircraft always had an escort over Germany is bonkers.
 
Spitfires escorting a raid on Bremen in 1943?

Maybe for the first part of the way out and for the last leg back. Happy to be proven wrong by anyone more expert but this all sounds a bit odd.

It could be a photo-reconnaisance Spitfire with extra fuel and oil which is entirely possible.
 
Spitfires escorting a raid on Bremen in 1943?

Maybe for the first part of the way out and for the last leg back. Happy to be proven wrong by anyone more expert but this all sounds a bit odd - the claim that RAF aircraft always had an escort over Germany is bonkers.

Pretty sure the book written about it doesn't mention Spitfires.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
It could be a photo-reconnaisance Spitfire with extra fuel and oil which is entirely possible.

But it's not a fighter escort.
 
Spitfires escorting a raid on Bremen in 1943?

Maybe for the first part of the way out and for the last leg back. Happy to be proven wrong by anyone more expert but this all sounds a bit odd - the claim that RAF aircraft always had an escort over Germany is bonkers.

It’s just imprecision in the telling - as you suppose, raids would start out with Spitfires escorting them, the plan being that any fighters which came up to attack the bombers would have to get through the fighter screen, and the bombers could continue. Once the Spits were at ‘bingo’ fuel, they would turn for home and the bombers would continue to the target alone.

The idea was that if attacked by fighters early in proceedings, the bombers would have to release their ordnance, giving the Germans a mission kill. The fighter screen would prevent that - although there was, of course, no guarantee that this wouldn’t happen on the way in to the target.

The USAAF, of course, at this point was a great believer in the potency of the ‘combat box’ where the firepower of a formation of B-17s would fend the Germans off. Later in 1943 - notably post Schwienfurt - the Americans realised that a long range escort fighter which went all the way there and all the way back would be useful.
But escorts were provided for raids wherever possible, by both the USAAF (who used Spitfire Vs themselves to start with, replaced by P-38 and P-47s in short order) and the RAF (with Spits). When available, the escorts would meet up with the returning bombers to shepherd them home.

Then the drop tank and the P-51 turned up, and the equation changed.

ETA - Stigler wasn’t, as far as I know, a Nazi, so the thread title’s a bit unfair on him. Perhaps ‘Luftwaffe -a great bunch of lads (in the main)’ would be more apposite, as there’s a fair amount of evidence to suggest that this applied in quite a lot of cases (Bubi Hartman, Gerd Barkhorn [and his ‘302nd kill], etc, etc) where the pilots gave not a stuff for Hitler and his ideology. Hans Ulrich-Rudel, while a brave man, was an utter **** who proved that not all of the Luftwaffe’s finest were decent blokes.
 
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diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
Yeah. Great bunch of lads. That didn't stop the 'normal' German Tom from offing any soviet soldier that fell in to their hands though.
For every jew killed by the SS, so a soviet soldier was killed by the Wehrmacht.

Or offing the civil population regardless of race religon or ethnicity.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Pretty sure the book written about it doesn't mention Spitfires.
I'm pretty sure too. Unless it was one of those super-spitfires from that Dunkirk film which put the super in Supermarine.
 
I'm pretty sure too. Unless it was one of those super-spitfires from that Dunkirk film which put the super in Supermarine.

Ah, the Spitfire GTI.

I'd have expected a B-17 raid that far in to have something like a Mustang escort if they had one, or maybe Thunderbolts of th later marks.
 
Aye but, the majority of German lads had quite the hatred for the Nazi's. I had the pleasure of meeting the grandfather of my pals wife at one of their barbecues one lovely Hameln summer many years back. He was a cracking old lad. A member of the Wehrmacht during WW2, he spun his tales while us young Sappers sat around him on the sandbags with the lantern swinging wildly. He spoke of losing his toes to the Russian winter, of marching from Germany to Russia and back again.......but as soon as you mentioned the Nazi, he'd spit and curse wildly. No, not popular amongst the normal German Tom.
After the war nearly every German was against Hitler, the Nazis, the war, in the Widerstand, resorted to civil disobedience or even saved one or more jews.
That is mostly utter bullshit. There are examples when Germans did the right thing, all the things above but normally they were at best indifferent against the regime and lets face it a big number supported the war effort.
The Wehrmacht and the "normal German Tom" commited enough crimes and they were "just following orders".

I even wonder today how Hitler could wage his war when he was so universally hated and loathed and all this people actively resisted against his plans.
 
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I'd have expected a B-17 raid that far in to have something like a Mustang escort if they had one, or maybe Thunderbolts of th later marks.

Late 1943 was the point at which VIIII Fighter Command was in transition - there were P-47s and P-38s available, along with the last of the Spitfires which they'd taken on from us (on the basis that the P-39 and P-40 weren't up to the job of air fighting in Western Europe). The first of the Merlin-engined P-51s started to arrive in Autumn 1943, but it wasn't until January 44 that the first group (the 354th FG) was ready for long-range escort ops. At the time of the incident in question, there weren't enough P-38s/P-47s with drop tanks around to do all the way escort. You could also see situations where the first stage of the escort was done by Spitfires, who'd then hand over to P-38s/P-47s to take the bombers further along the route, and fighters would then meet them on the way out.
 
I had a book of some of the unbroadcast interviews from the excellent 'World At War' series. One I remember was from Hamish Mahaddie of Bomber Command. On being asked if He had any regrets at the end of the war. He replied..Yes. That there were 60 million of the square headed bastards still alive. Needless to say it wasn't broadcast.. :)
 
After the war nearly every German was against Hitler, the Nazis, the war, in the Widerstand, resorted to civil disobedience or even save oner or more jews.
That is mostly utter bullshit. There are examples when Germans did the right thing, all the things above but normally they were at best indifferent against the regime and lets face it a big number supported the war effort.
The Wehrmacht and the "normal German Tom" commited enough crimes and they were "just following orders".

I even wonder today how Hitler could wage his war when he was so universally hated and loathed and all this people actively resisted against his plans.
Interesting use of third person.
 
Interesting use of third person.
As far as I know grammatically correct or should I have used them or thee? Or do you want to imply something in your typical mentally challenged way?
 
Its well known that there were only 3 Nazis in Germany, Adolf, Eva and Blondie the dog, everyone else was forced into it or was busy and didn't notice the rise of the 3rd Reich.
 

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