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Military mistresses


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#1 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:36 PM

I have only recently found out that Eisenhower had a long-term mistress during WW2 (Kay Summersby) but had long known of the RKKA tradition of front-wives or campaign wives, such as Marshal Zhukovs 'friend' (no name yet). How widespread was this form of relationship in WW2? It was obviously quite common in the RKKA for high and middle-ranking officers to maintain girlfriends (see Catherine Merridale, Ivan's War, the Red Army 1939-1945, London: Faber and Faber, 2005) but did other officers in other armies do the same? I'm not talking about financially based short-term relationships but what appear to be serious relationships conducted in a semi-clandestine way.

Drafting Eisenhower - October 11, 2007 - The New York Sun

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#2 jacobtowne

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:44 PM

Having just finished reading the excellent new biography of Eisenhower, Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda, the conclusion is that there is no proof whatsoever that Ike's relationship with Kay Summersby was anything more than friendship.

Patton, on the other hand, had as a companion a lady he referred to as his "niece." It is assumed that she was his mistress, but whether that is true I don't know.

JT

What's RKKA?
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#3 Gerard

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:50 PM

RKKA refers to the Soviet Army of WWII, Jacob.
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#4 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:23 PM

Having just finished reading the excellent new biography of Eisenhower, Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda, the conclusion is that there is no proof whatsoever that Ike's relationship with Kay Summersby was anything more than friendship.

Patton, on the other hand, had as a companion a lady he referred to as his "niece." It is assumed that she was his mistress, but whether that is true I don't know.

JT

What's RKKA?


Thanks, JT, I stand corrected ref. Kay Summersby. Patton's niece is someone I will try and follow up. Thanks also to Gotthard for clarification!

CS:)
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#5 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:38 PM

Well, Patton's 'niece' may have been a bit closer than she should have been.
'There is also a serious character flaw in Patton regarding his niece. Although he denied it, it was pretty obvious he was having sex with his niece. This is where we, as the reading public, must give all thanks to the Patton family. They trust Blumenson so much that he is the only man they have given full access to the family papers and letters. At no point did they tell Blumenson to hide anything. They recognized that their family member was an historical figure,and insisted on a complete analysis--warts and all. Otherwise, how can you form an opinion on the man?...he wasn't faithful to his wife. There were a couple mentions of how many condoms he used in a short period. Patten had a long affair with his niece. And after he died, the niece killed herself. She left a note that she would be with Uncle Georgia before Beatrice....Blumenson makes excellent use of Patton's personal letters, especially those to Patton's wife, to reveal the human side of his tough-as-nails persona. Patton with nervous indigestion? Patton feeling worthless and inferior? Who would have guessed!'
Soldier Vignettes-2

There appears to be some good evidence that MacArthur had a close friend:
'"Dimples." Isabel Rosario Cooper was an actress of mixed Scottish and Filipino blood who became MacArthur's mistress during a stint in Manila after his divorce. She was 30 years his junior. '
The Last Days Of Patton - World War II Forums

You have to be careful with this material: there is a lot of vitriolic shite on various denial websites like that of D. Irving.

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#6 jacobtowne

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:01 PM

Kay Summersby, unfortunately, muddied the waters concerning her relationship with Ike. Her first book, Eisenhower Was My Boss, was admiring of Ike and omitted any mention of a romantic involvement.

Her second work, published in the 1970s, was Past Forgetting: My Love Affair With Dwight D. Eisenhower. The title leads one to assume she was Ike's mistress, but in fact there is no evidence for this. (I haven't read her book - Korda did, and came away with that opinion.)

She was originally his driver, and came to be more - a friend, secretary, admirer, and sounding board upon whom Ike could rely. He could confide in her in a way he could not with his staff. "That son of a bitch!" he said to her of Montgomery after one of his first meetings with the British general. (This episode concerned smoking, by way.)

She provided Ike with female companionship, and was someone with whom he could relax, and let off steam, a valuable aid considering the huge responsibilities he carried on his shoulders.

JT
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#7 4th wilts

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:20 PM

i seen kay sumersby on the world at war,if i was ike,on my lofty perch, i would have definately given her a glance.yours,lee.
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#8 The Aviator

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 06:48 AM

Good new topic Capt.
Did anyone ever see the TV mini series Ike? Great series. Stared Robert Duval as Ike and Lee Remick as Kay Sumersby.

"Ike" (1979) (mini) - IMDb user comments
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#9 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:12 AM

As you say JT, it must have been good to be able to at least talk to someone outside of the chain of command and let off a bit of steam, regardless of whether thier relationship was physical and emotional. Given the awful fate of Patton's niece, it is good to see that Kay enjoyed a happy later life. Do you know if thier relationship continued when Ike took up the Presidency?
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#10 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:15 AM

Good new topic Capt.
Did anyone ever see the TV mini series Ike? Great series. Stared Robert Duval as Ike and Lee Remick as Kay Sumersby.

"Ike" (1979) (mini) - IMDb user comments


Nope, missed that one. I expect it is probably available on a dvd somewhere...so many films, so little time!

Just read last night that Col.General Jodl had a mistress in the winter of 1944-5. I will do a bit of snurgling on the interweb later today and see what turns up.
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#11 Christos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 12:54 PM

I think Kay Sommersby was very nice to listen to when I saw interviews with her.....she told of eisenhower, in the hours before the 82nd and 1001st airborne divisions dropped, Ike paid a surprise visit to an airfield full of camoflaged and pumped up "Screaming Eagles"....He talked to them, and when he got back into the car, Kay says that Ike looked at Kay and told her right there and then that the visit was the "hardest thing he had to do." Kay went on to say that Eisenhower knew very well what their chances were, dropping in to occupied Europe....They had already turned everybody back once already......
Nice to have a mistress like her...

Look at an example from the German side...General for Belorussian Occupation KUBE, had a liking for Ukranian 'blondies'....one of them put a bomb in his bed! ( he deserved it!)

AND Marshal Buddenny, given a party in a Bessarbian distillery in a room with a large vat of wine and several girls inside...Buddenny strips off, but one of his entourage cant climb in, so he sprays the room, injuring 3 occupants of the vat....no stopping the orgy though, they moved to another room!....

I'm sure if our Generals carried on in this fashion they would not have jobs for long...people like buddenny were first class TOADIES!
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#12 Christos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 12:56 PM

Great name too, captain sensible.....Vote Sensible Party.....
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#13 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:30 PM

God's Turbulent Tutu! What is it with these Russians and thier drink? Where did you hear about Buddenny and his 'parties'?

Colonel-General Jodl was, by contrast, remarkably restrained in this area of his life, at least.

Alfred Jodl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'Jodl's wife Irma died on April 18, 1944. During their last years together Alfred and Irma had been very distant and cold to each other. While Wilhelm Keitel called his wife almost every day, Alfred Jodl didn't seem to seek contact with Irma. On April 7, 1945 he married former secretary and mistress Luise Katharina von Benda (born 1905). She had been a close friend of his first wife.
His wife Luise Jodl managed to attach herself to her husband's defence team. Subsequently interviewed by Gitta Sereny, researching her biography of Albert Speer, Luise Jodl revealed that in many instances the Allied prosecution made charges against Jodl based on documents that they refused to share with the defense.'

At least Jodl did the decent thing and married his mistress, probably about the only decent thing he ever did though!

Now to start sniffing about for hints of scandal at SHAPE, I think....

PS. Capt. Sensible is the nom-de-plume as I can be a bit of a pedant at times...

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#14 jacobtowne

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:49 PM

As you say JT, it must have been good to be able to at least talk to someone outside of the chain of command and let off a bit of steam, regardless of whether thier relationship was physical and emotional. Given the awful fate of Patton's niece, it is good to see that Kay enjoyed a happy later life. Do you know if thier relationship continued when Ike took up the Presidency?


No, it did not. She was given a commission in the WACs, a very unusual business as she was not a U.S. citizen, and moved to America. She was posted to California, as far from Ike as possible. Mamie, in any case, would not have tolerated competition from Kay.

Seeing the writing on the wall, she resigned her commission, moved to N.Y., and was paid to write a memoir.

Here's a great quote, Ike to Kay, June 5th, 1944: "I hope to God I know what I'm doing."

To no one else in Britain could he have made such a statement.

JT
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#15 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:15 PM

Here's a great quote, Ike to Kay, June 5th, 1944: "I hope to God I know what I'm doing."

To no one else in Britain could he have made such a statement.

JT


Thankfully he did know what he was doing! It just goes to underline how important the relationship was to him if he could say something like that to Kay. I have to make do with the cat....
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#16 Christos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:34 PM

I've always loved the story from the Weather man, the met forecaster that went into the room with the big map to make sweeping gestures, rather in the manner of Monty , he was a Brit; HE said that IKE used to use HIS FACE as a "barometer' for the decision to "GO"...which is exactly how Monty put it when asked ("I would say...............GO! twiddling moustache)....


ANYHOW....as soon as IKE mutterewd the words, he became ABSOLUTELY POWERLESS for the next 48 -72 hour period, thefamous 'gap' in the frontal low pressure systems that were sweeping northwest to southeast.....

From the most powerful General on earth, to powerless, in 20 seconds.

Oh yes...the Budenny (Buddeny?, Boodeeny?, Yoobeeny?) story from Alan Clark "Barbarossa"
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#17 Christos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:45 PM

AND speaking of Nazi wedding scandles...look at poor General Werner von BLOMBERG, war Minister who remarried a much younger girl...forced to resign....wanted to recant but rejected by Hitler, saying he had been "Conned by a nobleman", he died in prison from a heart attack 1946 Nuremburg, before any trial...his two sons both fell on the field....
Mistresses, weddings, Generals and the Third Reich all rolled into one!
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#18 jacobtowne

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:52 PM

I remember reading somewhere that Pres. Roosevelt had a mistress somewhere - Rutherford, N.J.?

JT
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#19 Slipdigit

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:55 PM

look at poor General Werner von BLOMBERG, war Minister who remarried a much younger girl...forced to resign


She had a "shady" past. Hilter was in attendance, I think the best man, at the wedding.

Hitler used the turmoil thusly created to extend his direct control over the Wermacht.
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Warmest Regards,
Jeff


#20 Christos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:25 PM

Thamkz slip...good add on...I'll have to go back and read a little more about good ol' werner!
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#21 Owen

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:31 PM

Russians had a name for them, "Field Service Wives" or Pokhodno-Polevye Zheny or PPZh.
I expect Alex to correct me now.

Zhukov had a mistress , his personal Doctor, Lt Lidia Zakharova, they were together until after the war but relationship ended in early 1950s.
Having his own mistress didn't stop him berating General Katukov for having one. He ordered the affair to end or he'd get the NKVD to remove the woman.
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#22 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:23 AM

Russians had a name for them, "Field Service Wives" or Pokhodno-Polevye Zheny or PPZh.
I expect Alex to correct me now.

Zhukov had a mistress , his personal Doctor, Lt Lidia Zakharova, they were together until after the war but relationship ended in early 1950s.
Having his own mistress didn't stop him berating General Katukov for having one. He ordered the affair to end or he'd get the NKVD to remove the woman.


It seems to have been a pretty common practise for middle and senior ranking Soviet officers to have maintained mistresses. Catherine Merridale covers this in some detail in Ivan's War. Makes you wonder if the same applied to Allied forces on the west front. Not just for the very senior officers like Ike or Patton but down to Colonels or Brigadiers etc. I am sure there must have been more than a few liason that lasted. Difficult to trace if both parties were in uniform as the relationship would not be recorded on paper as anything other than work-related, as it were. Diaries and biographies are the next obvious source, certainly you would not expect to find anything in the newspapers of the time, even if it were public knowledge.
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#23 Harry Ree

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:00 PM

I was an aquantance of a Newfoundler who served in the Canadian Army during the war and he told me of Patton's relationship with his niece long before it it appeared in Patton articles. I must say at the time I had some doubt about its authenticity.

The facts are that power and money are an aphrodisiac just as equal to food, warmth and shelter, as any occupation troops might have experienced.I would endorse what has been said regarding the Red Army particularly when it overrun Germany.

No occupied nation would be innocent of this behaviour.In occupied France,the phrase, "horizontal collaborators" was coined to describe these ladies who gave their all for the right to access privileged living.Some may have not endangered the being of their fellow citizens but there was always the danger that they could.

A good illustration is the ugly 65 year old London nightclub owner who always commands young females to his side.

Getting back to history, Himmler kept his secretary as a mistress who bore him two children.
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#24 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 02:32 PM

Yup, power and money seem to help!

I was surprised to read that Goebbels was not as 'uptight' as I thought:
'These events were well-timed from the point of view of Goebbels’s relations with Hitler. In 1937, he had begun an intense affair with the Czech actress Lída Baarová, causing the break-up of her marriage. When Magda Goebbels learned of this affair in October 1938, she complained to Hitler. Hitler was a conservative in sexual matters and was fond of Magda and the young Goebbels' children. He ordered Goebbels to break off his affair, whereupon Goebbels offered his resignation, which Hitler refused. On 15 October, Goebbels attempted suicide. A furious Hitler then ordered Himmler to remove Baarová from Germany, and she was deported to Czechoslovakia, from where she later left for Italy. These events damaged Goebbels’ standing with Hitler, and his zeal in furthering Hitler’s anti-Semitic agenda was in part an effort to restore his reputation.[48] The Baarová affair, however, did nothing to dampen Goebbels' enthusiasm for womanising. As late as 1943, the Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann was ingratiating himself with Goebbels by procuring young women for him.'

Joseph Goebbels - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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#25 Harry Ree

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 03:32 PM

While Goebbels was continually womanising, Magna Goebbels was drawn into a relationship with Karl Hanke who until 1941 was Goebbels's adjutant and personal assistant when Goebbels headed the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.Hanke went on to senior posts within the Nazi organisation such as Gauleiter of Lower Silesia.Hitler named Hanke to suceed Himmler when he heard of Himmler's overtures to the West.At the end of the war, Hanke was said to be Hitler's man organising the defence of Breslau but eventually fell into the hands of Czech partisans.During this period, apparently, there was relationship communication between the two but of course in the end Magna could not leave the side of Hitler who she adored possibily more than Joseph
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#26 Za Rodinu

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 11:10 AM

Shouldn't she be Magda instead of Magna? :)
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#27 Owen

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 08:11 AM

Lt Galina Talanova , a Regular Officer of the Medical Corps, was posted to 16th Army HQ in October 1941.
She had been serving at Bialystock earlier in the year and luckily for her was on leave when the Germans attacked.
She became Rokossovski's mistress and stayed with him all through the war.
They had a child , Nadezhda, in January 1945.
After the war Rokossovski went back to his wife but remained in contact with Galina & Nadezhda until he died.
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#28 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:19 AM

Makes you wonder what happened to the child....
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#29 Owen

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:24 AM

Makes you wonder what happened to the child....

Nadezhda Rokossovskaya
She's the one that gave the interview to Rodric Braithwaite in 2004 for his book Moscow 1941.
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#30 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:28 AM

She's the one that gave the interview to Rodric Braithwaite in 2004 for his book Moscow 1941.

Thanks Owen, I had better go out and find a copy of Braithwaite 2004! Casting the net further, if most of the Golden Pheasents were at it (as seems the case), then there might be some unacknowledged children still alive produced by various relationships.
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