Booty, Looting etc.

Discussion in 'General' started by Ron Goldstein, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Sapper
    My father said he took photos because he was curious about the Germans he was fighting.

    As for Lugers, the Yanks bought them off him for £10 (old money).

    He once patched up an injured Sherwood Forester who had 3 Walthers and a Luger on his person. When it was pointed out that they'd be taken off him on his way to hospital, the guy said, "you can have the Walthers, but I'm KEEPING the Luger!"
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  2. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    The mods once told us that you could edit the title if you did it early enough in your posting, hopefully you'll get an answer so that we can all know :)

    Hi Ron, (if you are still following this thread)
    The secret is, after you select 'Edit', select 'Go advanced' then you can edit the title - it took me nearly two years of frustration to stumble on that!!
    Tom.
     
  3. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    Sapper
    My father said he took photos because he was curious about the Germans he was fighting.

    As for Lugers, the Yanks bought them off him for £10 (old money).

    He once patched up an injured Sherwood Forester who had 3 Walthers and a Luger on his person. When it was pointed out that they'd be taken off him on his way to hospital, the guy said, "you can have the Walthers, but I'm KEEPING the Luger!"


    My dad 'was robbed!' - he told me, after Alamein he had 3 Lugers which he 'sold to the Yanks' for £5 a throw - a king's ransom at the time - but he obviously sold himself short!:D
    Tom.
     
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    My dad 'was robbed!' - he told me, after Alamein he had 3 Lugers which he 'sold to the Yanks' for £5 a throw - a king's ransom at the time - but he obviously sold himself short!:D
    Tom.

    Goes to show you inflation was at work even then Tom - Dad was in NWE.;)
     
  5. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    Goes to show you inflation was at work even then Tom - Dad was in NWE.;)

    Hi Diane,

    Market forces!! - More Yanks = more bucks!!

    :D:D
    Tom.
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ron Goldstein [​IMG]
    The mods once told us that you could edit the title if you did it early enough in your posting, hopefully you'll get an answer so that we can all know :smile:

    Hi Ron, (if you are still following this thread)
    The secret is, after you select 'Edit', select 'Go advanced' then you can edit the title - it took me nearly two years of frustration to stumble on that!!
    Tom.


    Tom (AKA MyOldDad)

    Go to the top of the class young man !!!!!!!!

    Many thanks for pointing this out to me and yes............ I try to read virtually every posting and certainly every follow up to a thread in which I have become involved.

    Thanks again :)

    Ron
     
  7. Fireman

    Fireman Discharged

    DBF;
    As Za says, the thread has become unpleasant. As usual because a view is disagreed with, as was mine, I am to absorb the caustic remarks without argument? Not so! I believe that thieving personal items from the dead body of a soldier is repugnant and an effront to decent people. That there are those who disagree and think it acceptable is their choice.

    Often, and it happened here, was that the original point being made was distorted in an attempt to support argument. References to herds of cows, shooting deserters and even someone lecturing me about the definition of theft, all of which has very little to do with the morality of stealing personal items from a dead soldier. There is a huge difference and every one is or should be aware of it. I have yet to meet an ex-serviceman who has stolen items of a personal nature from a dead soldier. Not personal issue such as boots or other equipment but rings, watches etc. Rings and watches have little to do with survival and the reference to someone in a concentration camp stealing to survive I think is most offensive given that the circumstances are so different, that the poster finds it difficult to make the distinction is quite perplexing.

    I'm not green in any shape or form. Of course it went on and it still does, in every walk of life, that doesn't make it acceptable.

    If I am at times abrasive it is in response to such comments that I consider to be in themselves unpleasant and insulting. Many of the posts on this thread include personal effronts that were unecessary and unfortunately I responded, you and others are not unique in having a combatative nature.

    And there I rest my case m'lud! I am now off to pack my bags for a long awaited trip around Vietnam and Laos. My abrasive nature will be gone for about six weeks. What's that? I have very good hearing.
     
  8. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    I think you should read posts (much) more carefully - you'd see that what you think are personal attacks on you or comments just to dispute your view for the lolz usually aren't. Usually people really just try to discuss things on a reasonable basis. If you still claim your English skills are not so good you might want to check first whether what you think is an attack isn't more of a language problem - doing so is safer than shooting back and apologising for lack of (linguistic) understanding later.

    Same goes for my comment about camps/ghettos. You might realise I wasn't talking about concentration camps, fully aware that those people didn't even have rings anymore, since everything was taken from them when they arrived.
    It was formed as a question to your good self: I was asking if your problem is with stealing something you don't necessarily need, or if it is with stealing in general, saying that theft is always theft. I assume your answer above implies that you're going for the first.

    Have fun on your trip, and come back safe!

    PS: The above post is 100% free of irony or sarcasm.

    *edit* Oh, just saw that Fireman isn't among us anymore, that's a shame :(
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No. none of my company ever looted anything....... Anywhere. We certaily never disturnbed the dead. far from it. As to weapons that were coveted? They were strewn around all over the place. I can also say with stone wall certainty, that no one in the Company ever took advantage of anything left about. Nor did we rob prisoners...Never, and I object the very idea...We were a discilplined and proud unit.

    The photos that I collected were found strewn about the battle field. None were ever taken friom anyone. We were there to takle on the enemy not rob anyone.
    That is why we thought we were the best THE VERY BEST !
    Sapper
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've just had a message from a WW2 Veteran friend of mine who was in the Infantry.
    He & his mates looted the enemy dead.
    I won't name him but they were looking for money, razor blades [as they'd run out] & Lugers.
     
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Let us for one brief moment be absolutely serious.

    One of the less pleasant features of being in a war zone (as Italy certainly was between 1943 and 1945) was the presence of the unburied dead.

    There was no joy at all in having the dead in close proximity and I know, without even checking with my peers, that none of us will ever forget the un-mistakeable, over-sweet, smell of mortal decay.

    Because of this and probably for no other reason whatsoever, one would have to be a very an unusual type of soldier to want to get involved with the removal of such items as rings.

    I can put my hand on my heart and say that I never came across anyone in the units in which I served who had behaved in the manner in which some of our posters claim.

    A still very sobering thought is that dead animals such as cows or oxen when exposed to the heat of Italy smelt exactly the same as their human counterparts and if one was on foot in a battle zone you never knew when you were about to turn a corner what horror you could be expected to face.

    I did say let's be serious for a moment so fogive me if I remind those who need reminding how it was.

    Ron
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sorry but I can't let this thread go.
    I have been told by ex-infantrymen from both World Wars that they looted dead German soldiers.
    These men were asked to do the dirty killing work up close with the the enemy.
    Any squeamishness about the dead was gone.
    They'd seen their mates killed & maimed and done a fair bit of killing & maiming themselves.

    I cannot condemn them in the way that has been done on this thread.

    Some of them were Guardsmen, you can't get more disciplined than that.
     
    canuck likes this.
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Well said Ron.... I do resent the idea that we went round robbing or looting.
     
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I've just had a message from a WW2 Veteran friend of mine who was in the Infantry.
    He & his mates looted the enemy dead.
    I won't name him but they were looking for money, razor blades [as they'd run out] & Lugers.

    I don't doubt that it went on, as per my previous posts about photos and Lugers, my father told me a few stories of his own.

    On top of that, a lot of things - as Sapper said - littered the ground. My father mentioned this too.

    Let's not forget that men were also told to carry out the unpleasant task of searching bodies for information - for the purposes of intelligence gathering eg identifying units - and Intelligence officers would go through the belongings of both the dead and POWs.

    As I've mentioned before death was commonplace, so I'd also agree there was de-sensitising to the dead - there would surely have to be.

    I really don't think it is so surprising then that things were taken above and beyond what was "needed".
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Sorry but I can't let this thread go.
    I have been told by ex-infantrymen from both World Wars that they looted dead German soldiers.
    These men were asked to do the dirty killing work up close with the the enemy.
    Any squeamishness about the dead was gone.
    They'd seen their mates killed & maimed and done a fair bit of killing & maiming themselves.

    I cannot condemn them in the way that has been done on this thread.

    Some of them were Guardsmen, you can't get more disciplined than that.

    So because it was done and by disciplined troops to boot, does it make it acceptable? A Good Thing?

    [illustratory scarcasm]
    Hey, I need a good stone for my fireplace, now I even know where to find a few headstones just for the taking, it's just a matter of jumping a lowish wall! Who cares, the dead below don't need them anymore!
    [/illustratory sarcasm]
     
  16. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    So because it was done and by disciplined troops to boot, does it make it acceptable? A Good Thing?


    I can speak only for myself, but I still consider 'understanding something' not the same as 'agreeing with it'.
    I'd rather not give any examples, otherwise I will be probably be considered despicable or attacking again...
     
  17. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Za all of this is being discussed in the context of a wartime situation, not applying the same thing to life today. In the Great War I have several accounts of soldiers tearing up the wooden crosses from battlefield cemeteries to use as firewood in the cold winters of Northern France. Their view was that their need as living human beings was greater than the dead; but of course their actions may well have condemned that soldier to an unknown grave if the site had not been registered.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Paul, I am not at all contesting the fact that reasons having to do with comfort or survival will make it a necessity for troops to relieve friendly or enemy bodies of effects such as usually clothing, food, medical supplies, whatever paperwork for intelligence purposes even if of personal character, etc.

    As for the rest, I am in full agreement with Brian and Ron.
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Very interesting book - not finished it yet, but it appears to avoid being sensationalist or disrespectful to anyone.
    Just an honest, understanding and uncritical look at a citizen army's 'naughtier' side. :

    Sean Longdon - To the Victor The Spoils.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    From the files of HM Customs and Excise (CUST49/3882): "Army Officers and Men on Leave from BAOR Detected Smuggling":


    2/6/45: Driver HBJ, Dover. Caught with 43 watches, 7 pieces jewelry, 2 gold rings, 9 pieces cutlery, 1 clock, 1 camera, 1 electric bed warmer, 7 pairs silk hose, 1 silk cloth, 8 other silk articles, 19 cotton and woolen articles, 8 pairs cotton hose, 12 zip fasteners. Duty owed: 21 pounds 5s. 1d.
    12/7/45: Sergeant RWAN, Dover. 10/100 pf gallons spirits, 40/100 pf gallons liqueurs, 1/6 gallons champagne, 6 pairs silk stockings, 3 cameras, 1 filter, 1 pair binoculars, 1 tripod, 2 watches, 2 sets cutlery. 23 pounds 18s. 8d.
    21/8/45: Private RJGL, Harwich. 19 watches, 14 rings, 5 watch chains, 1 clock, 4 pair silk stockings, 1 pair cotton stockings. 22 pounds 18s. 2d.

    From July – September 1945: total goods worth 458 pounds 13s. 1d. in duty confiscated from BAOR leave men during period.

    A lieutenant-colonel with the DSO was amongst those nicked.

    Best, Alan
     

Share This Page