Booty, Looting etc.

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

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Just remembered a story my Dad told me about a man who was determined to beat the thieves. On a trip to Brussels by jeep he took with him a heavy duty chain and lock. After he parked up, he wrapped the chain around a rather substantial tree and threaded the chain through the steering wheel before locking it tight. He then left to enjoy his day.

    Upon his return he found the chain still around the tree and threaded through the steering wheel. But the jeep was gone.
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  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I somehow doubt that though I guess you wrote that with your tongue in your cheek ^_^

    One thing I remember a Dutch friend saying was that if the Dutch want to annoy or reply sarcastically to a German then they use the phrase "can we have our bicycles back" other Dutch members on here may be able to corroborate that.

    TD...just seen this thread post referred to was as reported by the DT's correspondent,H D Zidman

    After reading the account of the winding up of the Donitz Flensburg government in relation to the research being undertaken of Else Kruger,Bormann's secretary,I can comment on the action of the British Army relieving the Germans........estimated to be 6000 POWs into the bag of all their personal possessions. (ATB Number 128.... Operation Blackout)

    The account goes on the prisoners were told to hand over watches and money...caches of liquor and ham were emptied...cameras,radios and Nazi souvenirs taken.

    When Donitz turned up at British Army Headquarters on 23 May 1945,the usual British guard of honour was missing and he was arrested..Donitz's field marshal baton and his interim baton were taken from his luggage by a British Field Security Officer and put into the safe of Brigadier Churcher the C.O of the 159 Infantry Brigade.Two days later,Donitz wrote a letter of protest on losing his batons but received no reply.

    Churcher was a King's Shropshire Light Infantry officer and Donitz's main baton ended up in the KSLI Regimental Museum in Shrewsbury.

    Unable to accept being a POW,Admiral von Friedeburg had committed suicide and while he was laid out in his room,his Knight's Cross with Swords of the Kreigsverdienstkreuz were taken from round his neck.This brought a complaint from the Germans against this "dishonourable treatment"Despite a thorough investigation,the culprit was not found.

    Apparently the British authorities found the robbing of a dead Admiral after surrender,a different matter for this was the only case that the Germans received an official apology.It was accepted that the looting of corpses was common practice during the war and at Flensburg,soldiers had been appropriating war souvenirs from their prisoners all day but as said the Admiral's case was considered a different matter.

    Will the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Kriegsverdienstkreuz ever surface?....probably in someone's private collection.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Harry

    No, it wasn't written tongue in cheek, I have known Pieter for 20 years and he is as honest as they come.

  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    A variation on looting in wartime Germany...Eastern workers,Soviet POWs and also Germans

    There is a very good insight to the late wartime situation in Cologne from the summer of 1944 to the end of hostilities in Ulrich Herbert's Hitler's Foreign Workers.

    It is recorded that the Gestapo had a difficult time in controlling the phenomenon of foreign workers Soviet POWs and Germans,dubbed terrorists and gangs who went underground and survived by theft.

    A Gestapo report at the beginning of July 1944 gave the first detailed reaction of the Gestapo heads to the gangs......rings of foreign labourers living for the most part in the ruins of bombed out areas of industrial cities.

    It followed on....The enemy propaganda aimed at encouraging the formation of gangs is no longer in this war, a total failure,which is now reaching its zenith.Russian civilian workers in particular are attempting to endanger the German war effort by forming sabotage and terror gangs,in order to create an alibi for themselves vis a vis the anticipated Red Army.The formation of sabotage and terror gangs,especially in heavily wooded and mountainous areas, would appear to be an obvious move,since detection and pursuit in such regions is particularly difficult.

    A table of Resistance Groups of foreign workers and POWs,based on Gestapo reports from Gestapo Head Offices of March -September 1944 indicates the formation of such groups across Germany and Austria composed of "Eastern workers and Soviet POWs"

    The individual incidents recorded make interesting reading....for instance,.Hoffman the Cologne Gestapo chief was killed in a shoot out with Eastern workers in December 1944.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Canadian soldiers in Italy have described how they "acquired" new jeeps from Americans who left them parked without supervision. In order to guard against that possibility, American soldiers began to remove the distributor caps from vehicles left unattended. The inevitable response was Canadian soldiers carrying their own distributor caps and carrying on with the previous activity. From your Dad's story, it would appear that bringing along extra steering wheels was in vogue as well.
    ceolredmonger likes this.
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Back in the 50s I had a ride in a Kubelwagen - in Cheshire. It 'belonged' to the step father of a friend and the former had served as a pilot in the RAF (but originally from Eastern Europe - a Czech I think) ) and 'liberated' it in the Netherlands and wangled its transport back to Britain. AFAIK it later appeared in a great many films.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I believe a wrench was more portable...
  10. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Indeed, as long as you weren't negotiating any tight turns and it was firmly attached to thew steering column.
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    A Mole Wrench then
    dbf likes this.
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    The subject of my book related a story that I included.

    In early December, while the division was on R&R prior to the Bulge, Mr. Sanford had access to a jeep and drove back to Heerlen one afternoon to visit 'his' Dutch family. They had sorta taken him in earlier and he visited them as he could, bringing them food and what not.

    Mr. Sanford and his friend, Wilkerson, arrived in Heerlen one afternoon and found the folks in town having a street party. The pair joined in and soon noticed that there was no meat being served. When they asked about it, he was told that there was none to be had; the Germans had taken it all when they retreated a few months earlier.

    Mr. Sanford remembered a farm a few miles away, over the border and they drove back over there. One of the men held the German owners at gunpoint while the other shot a jeep full of chickens to carry back to their Dutch friends in Heerlen.

    He said it livened the party up.
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