Discussion in 'General' started by canuck, May 14, 2019.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Bed bugs have been around for 100 million years so says the news
    They seem to enjoy their role so no requirement to change.
    Bedbug now is the same as a bed bug 100 million years ago
  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Well, this is a thread that didn't progress quite the way I would have liked. May have been the title!

    To the original question, is the '_ _ _ _ crazy' expression something you have encountered previously?
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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Well mate its fine

    Surveys of WWII infantrymen carried out by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall found that only 15 to 20 percent had fired their weapons in combat, even when ordered to do so. Marshall concluded that most soldiers avoid firing at the enemy because they fear killing as well as being killed. "The average and healthy individual," Marshall contended in his postwar book Men Against Fire, "has such an inner and usually unrealized resistance towards killing a fellow man that he will not of his own volition take life if it is possible to turn away from that responsibility…At the vital point he becomes a conscientious objector.
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  5. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I think S.L.A. Marshall has been discredited since his 1947 Men Against Fire writing but even if he were correct, that leaves the open question of soldiers who were effective warriors facing some kind of recrimination from their comrades for being so.
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  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I am sure that there were many instances of combatants killed following the guise of the enemy indicating surrender by the white flag.

    There are several accounts of this occurring in the Great War.Similar accounts but not related to surrendering exist the Far East T.O of Japanese wounded concealing grenades,then detonating when approached by US forces.I think that the problem got so bad that the front line troops had a fail safe policy of not taking Japanese POWs and being very cautious regarding wounded.The Japanese fought fanatically under the indoctrination of the culture that required mandatory dedication of individual's life to the Emperor....a person that they had never heard speak.To surrender was not seen as an option being contrary to the Japanese culture.

    As regards remorse about killing,the recollections of a SOE organiser come to mind when he had to shoot a figure in an office at night. He had been told of a railway timetable which was retained in a railway office at Le Mans by a resister who was in charge of rail movements. The plan was to steal the document overnight from the railway offices and return it with resister in the morning after photographing checks were only conducted on leaving the railway offices... he used a torch to navigate the office and search for the file.Unfortunately the plan was interrupted by a figure who appeared and immediately switched on the light to reveal a young woman covering him with dithering gun,she fired at him but the shot entered the ceiling. His .45 shot was true and the woman dropped to the floor,hit in the left breast.For a moment he had the crazy thought that his pistol instructor would have been proud of him. In the aftermath of the exchange he cradled the woman's head until she died.... a good looking woman in her early twenties, he wondered if he had been betrayed.It transpired that the woman's boyfriend had overhead the plan being discussed and had told the woman who unknown to him, had been recently recruited into the Milice and had decided to show initiative.

    In his own words....

    I heard within a few hours that the girl,who was named Marthe...I never knew more than that,was a recent recruit to the Milice,the French plain clothes equivalent to the Gestapo.Her boyfriend worked at the movement control and by chance overheard my contact discussing my coming raid on their offices.The boyfriend told Marthe and as an interesting anecdote...he was a loyal Frenchman,not realising that his girl was a member of the Milice.

    Marthe was young and eager,and I presumed,had sought to impress her new chief by catching a thief single handed.It was her misfortune to meet a fully armed and trained British Army officer instead of a frightened,unarmed French thief.I felt a little better when I knew that the girl was an enemy of France.But I shall never forget that I was forced to kill a girl.Until now no one has known I was Marthe's killer....not even SOE,I was too ashamed.

    As it was the plans were not a vital as I had led to believe.They were useful,but only covered a section of the future movement through the Le Mans rail junction.The Germans hunted the murderer,checks were made in Le Mans,but no one outside my contact at the control office,found out the killer.

    The final reaction set in a couple of days after her death,I could not stop trembling,I could not eat.I was very tensed up and preoccupied for many days.At night I lay awake,hearing again the sound of her cries as she lay dying,and smelling again the fresh,exciting perfume she had worn.I was remorseful and wondered why the hell why I had wanted to become a British agent.How,I asked myself had I managed to become an assassin? I thought back to the beginning of the war when I,and many like me,still thought that war was an awfully big adventure.

    (Courtesy "Xavier by Richard Heslop").

    I suspect that this was an account of his first killing against the enemy.He had many engagements against the elements of Vichy and the German occupiers as later he was the organiser of SOE's Marksman reseau in South Eastern France.

    Pity the thread and debate went sour.
  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Several veterans have said that the first enemy they killed was the most traumatic and the one they remembered most clearly. That obviously was unlikely to be a woman as in your account.

    This quote below comes from WW1 but I believe a similar code existed in WW2. Stolpi has written about the act of surrender being a very dangerous moment. It is not always accepted, for a myriad of reasons. Pure anger and rage as described below, some act of treachery (feigning surrender), occupation (snipers) , previous transgressions (prisoners shot), carrying souvenir cigarettes, wristwatches, sidearms or simply being SS vs Wehrmacht. To tie that into the original theme for this thread, it is entirely plausible that a soldier who repeatedly shot prisoners could well acquire the 'kill crazy' label. That would likely be more visible and easier to single out vs a combat scenario.

    "We were held up by machine-gunfire from a ridge. ... I don't know how I escaped because I was lying right out in the front. After losing half of my company there, we rushed them and they had the nerve to throw up their hands and cry, "Kamerad." All the "Kamerad" they got was a foot of cold steel through them from my remaining men while I blew their brains out with my revolver without any hesitation. You may think this rather rough but if you had seen my boys go down you would have done the same and my only regret is that too many prisoners are taken"
    Lieutenant R. C. Germain, 20th Canadian Infantry Battalion
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    I saw a young woman die in a boating accident and it was the only thing I could think about for weeks and I was just an uninvolved bystander and didn't know anything about her. I still pray about it 20 years later. Just awful.
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  9. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    From Poland to the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Japan, (excluding Austria 1938 where not a shot was fired) we and our Allies had no choice but to take up arms and start killing in order to stop the killing and end the war bringing about peace,freedom, and stability to the world.
    The end result was, as we all know was many millions were killed.
    Even as I write this post,sadly killing is still going on around the world.

  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    From yesterday's Daily Express. ttps://
    Veteran John Clarke: ‘When you charge with a bayonet, it's kill or be killed yourself…’
    BLACKWATCH veteran John Clarke fought his way across North Africa and through Italy in the Second World War.
    "When you had a bayonet charge, which we did at Cassino, our sergeant said: 'We are all born to die.' "Then the pipers started up and it was walk, trot, charge, and somehow you felt like a million dollars doing that.
    "It was something unbelievable, the pipes seem to fill you with courage. Strangely you were enjoying it in a way.
    "I think I made four or five charges in my time, and if you are charging the enemy who is dug in on a machine gun, and you are above him normally, and he gets frightened when he sees you coming.
    "He doesn't know whether he's going to kill all of you or you are going to get him. It's the heat of battle after all and in the end it's you or him."

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  11. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    In Finland, at least in my youth and many still think so, soldiers who had been effective killers were valued. Maybe because to us the Winter War had been a simple thing, the enemy began the war bombing our cities and coming across our borders. Maybe also because we were then a rather poor mostly agrarian society, men had used to slaughter pigs for christmas dinners etc. The Continuation War was seen as a revenge/payback time and an opportunity to take back the lost lands in the Winter War.
    Viljam Pylkäs, born in 1912 in Karelian Isthmus was a reservist. He had participated the Winter War as a machine gunner in very heavy battles at the end of December 1939 in the district of Kelja on the northern shore of Vuoksi. At that time Pylkäs fought almost in the lands of his own farm. The battalion lost one-third of the men in Kelja's fight when it pushed a Soviet regiment which had had time to dig in and had plentiful automatic weapons back to the southern side of the river.
    During the Continuation War Pylkäs with a submachine gun killed 83 enemy soldiers in Pertjärvi in April 1942, Pylkäs fired and his buddy loaded the magazines. Pylkäs emptied 17 magazines during the fight and ruined the barrel of his smg.
    Recalling the case in an interview in 1955, Pylkäs admitted that the battle had shocked him deeply: "I was absolutely horrified and thought that war was really terrible."

    On bayonet attack, during bayonet training we were told that the bayonet might get stuck in the opponent's body and then the best way to detach it is to fire the gun. Afterwards, everyone was of the opinion that if we have ammunition in the magazine, then we will prefer to shoot the opponent rather than start bayoneting. For silent killing we had our own puukkos/knives.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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