Photos that make you think.

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Because we had a tin bath, dragged into the living room for use, we only bathed once a week until I was 11. A soap and flannel session day and (most) nights kept me smelling "bandbox fresh" as Mr Harmon of AYBS would have it.

We got a bathroom when I was eleven (posh!)
Same here, although our "bathing" was done by the light of paraffin lamps, for there was no leccy in our village until 1970 (long after I'd left to join the British Army).

You then had a proper bathroom? How posh! The very first time I ever encountered a pukka shower was in Keogh Barracks at the beginning of 1966. I'd heard of them, of course (showers), but phugginell! As naive as I was, I almost drowned at my first attempt - falling out of the shower, desperately coughing and choking to draw a breath.

It might be second nature to me now, but at that time, temporarily holding my breath while stepping under a dense stream of warm water coming from above was a radically new experience and a completely alien concept for me. I'm sure others (also Brits) had a similar experience in that day and age (we're talking around the beginning of 1966, remember?), so I'd appreciate it if ARRSErs could leave the inevitable old and tired jokes about "Irish/Mick/Paddy culchies" in the cast-off drawer, where they belong. T'anksabunchfellas.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

MsG
 
Watching the footage, you can see the raw hatred on the escorts' faces. I bet they were just praying for an excuse.
I don't doubt it.
What I do find odd though, is how the myth of 'Reluctance to Execute' is created;
It surfaces from time to time- one of them being the German Rammler in the case of the execution of Nurse Cavell and in WW2 the cases of German soldiers Otto Schimek and Josef Schulz.

But the one relevant to concentration camps is this one;
Months earlier, the official British Army hangman in Hameln Prison, Lance Corporal Ronald Cook, RASC, had refused to hang Irma Grese and any other female Concentration Camp supervisors at the prison after being sentenced to death, shot himself and died. Albert Pierrpoint* agreed to do this dirty work for a fee. Two CMP NCO's. Sergeant.O'Hare and Corporal Rick Smith, both guarding Grese, had overheard Major Jerome Burdik give Cook the order and they themselves refused to escort her to the gallows. Both were Courts* Martialled.
Pierrepoint had expressed some sympathy for the female prisoners. What is rarely mentioned that the original hangman, Ronald Cook, refused to hang Irma Grese
*(sic)
I call complete bullshit but that's how legends are made. I suspect it's a mixture of propaganda and to desire of folk who really want to believe it.
Links;
Dachau KZ: STUTTHOF CONCENTRATION CAMP PART 9/10
http://www.redcap70.net/A%20Confused%20Military%20Police%20NCO.html
 
But the one relevant to concentration camps is this one;
Months earlier, the official British Army hangman in Hameln Prison, Lance Corporal Ronald Cook, RASC, had refused to hang Irma Grese and any other female Concentration Camp supervisors at the prison after being sentenced to death, shot himself and died. Albert Pierrpoint* agreed to do this dirty work for a fee. Two CMP NCO's. Sergeant.O'Hare and Corporal Rick Smith, both guarding Grese, had overheard Major Jerome Burdik give Cook the order and they themselves refused to escort her to the gallows. Both were Courts* Martialled.
Pierrepoint had expressed some sympathy for the female prisoners. What is rarely mentioned that the original hangman, Ronald Cook, refused to hang Irma Grese

I have not long finished reading A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the end of World War 2 by A.T. Williams. The book looks at the British war crimes trials held at the end of WW2 and as Grese was arrested at Bergen-Belsen, she was prosecuted by a British tribunal. The author makes no mention of any reluctance on the part of some to hang the woman although her defence lawyer, Major Cranfield, certainly stressed her age and could she be responsible for her actions in his plea in mitigation. The book does not even mention Pierrepoint as the hangman or that he had some sympathy for female prisoners although he did in relation to Ruth Ellis but that is something entirely different.

As an aside the book is well indexed and footnoted but I am sure there must be better ones on the subject. The author is far too prone to inserting himself into the storyline along the lines of, "...as I stood there looking at the memorial I wondered what the survivors would think if they could see it today..." sort of stuff. Very annoying.
 
Seeing the pilot above stimulated the old grey cells in this direction today. This is a picture of Guy Gibson in the door of his aircraft, a Lancaster, for the raid on the Ruhr dams. And as I am sure most of us know his dog died the day before the raid and his name, n***er, was the codeword used to confirm the breach of the Mohne Dam (and what stimulated that particular train (train crash?) of thought too was the self-styled nation's favourite, Stephen Fry, declaring that he had just had a prostate operation, which reminded me of his attempts to name n***er, Digger). Anyway, you can't change history so here we have it.

View attachment 323478

But what has always stuck in my mind was when Gibson was on a tour of Canada and the USA, and his response to this question:

"On 4 October he began the United States leg of his tour in Washington, D.C.. He attended a major Press Conference at the offices of the British Information Service in New York on 7 October. This was at a time when the first American airmen were coming home 'tour expired' after 25 operations. During questions one young lady asked, 'Wing Commander Gibson, how many operations have you been on over Germany?' He replied, 'One hundred and seventy-four.' There was a stunned silence"."

I also discovered that we have something in common: gout (all hail allopurinol though!). Apparently he was having an attack of gout just before and during the mission itself.

But I am not sure that this would be complete without a picture of him and the dog (Guy Gibson on the right with pipe), the dog is the black four legged animal with an Iron Cross around its neck :) :

View attachment 323480
It's a sobering thought that all the members of Gibsons crew in the main photograph were killed shortly after the raid in various other aircraft. Gibson was the last to go, being KIA on September 19th 1944. Of the total of 133 crew taking part on the Dams raid, only 48 survived the war, 36% of the men involved.
 
It's a sobering thought that all the members of Gibsons crew in the main photograph were killed shortly after the raid in various other aircraft. Gibson was the last to go, being KIA on September 19th 1944. Of the total of 133 crew taking part on the Dams raid, only 48 survived the war, 36% of the men involved.
It seems that your percentage is somewhat similar to the whole of Bomber Command casualties: Of the 125.000 members of Bomber Command 58,000 were killed and just over 10,000 were POWs, No doubt there were many injured or wounded too.
 
Major John Howard DSO in 1993 at Pegasus Bridge. Probably should be in the ally thread!
howardj.jpg
 
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Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It seems that your percentage is somewhat similar to the whole of Bomber Command casualties: Of the 125.000 members of Bomber Command 58,000 were killed and just over 10,000 were POWs, No doubt there were many injured or wounded too.

Still better odds than the U boat crews, 30,000 casualties out of a total strength of 40,0000

1519663061854.png
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Arctic convoys.

1519663160969.png


1519663202434.png


1519663225749.png
 
Edit:- this could be Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Italy, anywhere in Europe. Politicians and bankers instigate war, soldiers fight in them, and women and kids die in them.
"Politicians and Bankers", seriously, not content with blaming Bankers for the GFC in 2008 they get WW2? Perhaps industrialists, manufacturers and factory workers should be a little higher on the list.
 
Same here, although our "bathing" was done by the light of paraffin lamps, for there was no leccy in our village until 1970 (long after I'd left to join the British Army).

You then had a proper bathroom? How posh! The very first time I ever encountered a pukka shower was in Keogh Barracks at the beginning of 1966. I'd heard of them, of course (showers), but phugginell! As naive as I was, I almost drowned at my first attempt - falling out of the shower, desperately coughing and choking to draw a breath.
.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

MsG
Now don't overestimate what we had as a bathroom. Shower? No chance. We had one of those crappy hoses that plugged onto the hot and cold taps. Then you stood up and rinsed yourself off.

No fittings on the walls, as it was against co. rules.
 
Courtesy of the BBC ... Rare photographs that changed lives ... this particular photograph from the article just made me wonder how many of those kids working at coal breaking in Pennsylvania in 1912 survived to the age of thirty ...
2018 Coal Breakers WL.jpg


.... poor little b*ggers .
 
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