Reunions with the enemy

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Howler, Aug 21, 2011.

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:

  1. My Grandfather had regular reunions in London and Bavaria after the war with his former adversaries (the Afrika Corps).
    by all accounts they were friendly and liquid affairs. This started about half a dozen years after the war.

    I stand to be corrected, but the same thing has happened to many ex servicemen since the war, Falklands veterans for example?

    My only op was Belfast in the early '90s, albeit a residential tour for two and a half years.

    However, I'd rather stick needles in my testicles, put my wife on the game and subject my 3 year old son to a harem for paedophile Arabs, rather than meet former members of the IRA, and their sympathisers for a beer.

    Am I wrong in thinking this? Was my granddad wrong?

    Or should we forgive and forget?
  2. Could be a bit difficult to organise a future reunion with Terry

    "so fancy a beer?"


    "got any pictures of your missus?"


    "so how does it feel to be president of Afghanistan?"
    • Like Like x 7
  3. Despite this being the NAAFI bar I couldn't begin to give even an opinion, My Godfather served in the desert and France, as did my grandfather. They never seemed to regard the Germans as anything other than the enemy at the time. After the war they ignored them, or weren't bothered one way or the other.

    To balance this out my other grandfather disliked the Germans quite a lot;

    'I've spent eleven years of my life fighting them.'

    Fair point.

    I have been lucky. outside of my Godfather's son nobody I've known in green has been WIA/KIA, if they had been I don't know how I would feel. and I've only been on the periphery of war.

    What I have noticed is the reluctance of soldiers who have been in action to comment on their experiences.

    On a side note, we had an old codger who came into our offy wanting Asbach for his 90th birthday party, bit of a character, turns out he is German. I wonder what you did in the war? Thinks I.

    He was on Rommel's staff as a liason type. I would be happy to see him again.

    As far as the Irish component goes, I would suggest, too close, and too dirty, with so many betrayals for political expediency. I can't ever see a reunion dinner.
  4. I can't imagine many POWs captured by the Japanese wanting to have reunions with them after the war ended...

    If any former combatant felt hatred, contempt or distain for the enemy they fought; how on earth could I tell them that they are wrong?

    It really has to be a personal decision, totally up to them.
  5. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    The war in North Africa was by comparison an honourable affair, the PIRA were a bunch of child murdering shit, who I would happily kill without thought.

    Mind you the population of some German cities probable feel the same way about the Crabs, I know my father didn't hate the Germans after WW1 but he did after our house was bombed in 1943, killing his first wife and kids
  6. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    He fought in both wars? Cant be many who did that?

    (I am not trying to be funny, just in case it comes across like that).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. You can't compare a 'soldier' with a terrorist.
    • Like Like x 9
  8. Honourable foe or dishonourable by any means. The ones who would meet you on a field and fight you as a soldier might earn your respect. The one who uses subterfuge and children as his weapons can only earn contempt.
  9. the bastard that blew up one of instructors in Iraq, he stood there laughing with his video team filming it. hope dies a painful and long death.
  10. My Grandfather god rest him probably would have found it awkward in the extreme as he flew all but one mission of a late war tour with bomber command as a tail gunner.

    On the up-side they think they may have dropped bombs on Glen Miller one morning.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    My old man (RUR) told of one orf two of his blokes, when leaving, used to say that the next time they saw each other would be over the sights of opposing weapons. Funny thought that we might have had a hand in training the IRA.

    Those Irish reunions, eh!
  12. went to work in Georgia(country-not state),and 2 of my mates there were in the red group faceing my lot in BAOR around the same time-so kind of done it.

    once they were all going all it was better in the old days on me and I pointed out they were trying to kill me,no we wernt,you were trying to kill us.

    turns out they all thought we were agressive and posturing(doesnt include sennelager on a friday night)

    happy days
  13. Adolf galland organised a reunion for the luftwaffe in Munich some time in the 50's and asked Johnny Johnson and several other RAf types along. Douglas Barder was reluctant to go but was eventually persuaded by JJ. Standing at the top of the beer keller steps looking down on the assembled ex Luftwaffe pilots Douglas barder said to Johnny Johnson "Christ I had no idea we left so many of the bastards alive"!
  14. Well, perhaps the 8th Army and Afrika Korps felt that they could socialise, as have the RAF and Luftwaffe types, as they all thought themselves to have fought in honourable wars, where soldier fought soldier. My father, as a Bomber Command type actively disliked the Germans. Once, memorably and well after the war he, as the Ops Tower duty officer refused a German AF aircraft permission to land as there was no way he was allowing them onto an RAF station. (I think he had a certain antipathy against people who devoted a great deal of time and effort to killing him - he took it very personally.) Equally. one old boy in my village who had lost a leg whilst interned in Malaya by the Japanese would cut you dead if you drove a Japanese car. His loathing was intense - but certainly understandable as his wife had been interned, separately, at the same time. And no, he never said what had happened to her, but one can surmise. Hatred and forgiveness cannot be institutionalised - look at some of the earlier posts with regard to PIRA and the Taliban to see that - it can only be decided by the individual.
  15. We have a guy here who is ex Iraqi Republican Guard, he is very open about fighting the British in 2003. When he says fighting i imagine he means running.
    • Like Like x 2