german soldiers

Discussion in 'General' started by herman browner, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    You are very respectful indeed. For that...Thank you. But Dresden? It was Goebbels that pleaded for TOTAL WAR..... He got it. Just remember this! and cast your minds back to the time of Coventry, when the City was laid bare by an indiscriminate bombing raid. Thus the term "Coventrated" Or the thousands killed by V1s and V2s

    Should we worry about bombing a country that is responsible for the Concentration camps and the Death camps? I went through the blitz when hundreds of our towns and cities suffered terribly. Whole areas just waste land from the Bombing. As in Southampton when we were out night after night. The bombers arrived at dusk on the short Summer nights, and departed just before dawn....

    If your whole Nation of Germany is dedicated to invading other Countries, and Bombing them to destruction.. Then Who has the right to tell us we are wrong in repaying the compliment. Not me matey.

    Ye that sew the wind shall reap the whirlwind.
    For me? The Germans started this fight..... Not us! The revenge should not be a whirlwind, but a Hurricane. One of the most violent and destructive hurricanes to boot.
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Yes that is true, the Germans started it and deserved all they got but I still think bombing dresden was wrong and using the reason that "you started it" is not, in my mind a reasonable argument. If thats the case well the RAF were the first to bomb german cities yet that doesnt mean that the English deserved Coventry. Dresden did nothing to hasten the end of the war. I'm not having a go at the English Sapper, as I have said already they were the most honorable of nations but that doesnt mean everything they did was. and in wartime the gloves may be off but lets call a spade a spade.
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I have read with much interest the talk of "un-authorised Allied executions" and other well worn justifications for excusing the terrible atrocities that were carried out by the Third Reich and their partners.

    I pride myself on trying to be 100% honest when I write of matters long since past.

    I personally saw active service between April 1943 and May 1945 and, with my hand on my heart, can swear that I never came across a single episode of German prisoners being treated in any manner other than that was covered by the Geneva convention.

    Whilst recognising the understandable passion of Brian's anger when he is being collectively accused of acting like the Germans I would rather quote a passage from a book that I am currently reading.

    Extract from The Years of Extermination, Nazi Germany and the Jews 1939-1945
    By Saul Friedlander

    On November 12, 1941, Himmler ordered Friedrich Jeckeln, the HSSPF (Higher SS and Police Leader (Höhere SS und Polizeiführer) Ostland, to murder 30,000 Jews of the Riga ghetto.
    On the eve of the operation, on November 29, the able bodied Jews were separated from the bulk of the Ghetto population.

    On November 30, in the early morning hours, the trek from the ghetto to the nearby Rumbula forest began. Some 17,000 guards were ready, including around 1,000 Latvian auxiliaries. In the meantime several hundred Soviet prisoners had dug six huge pits in the sandy terrain of Rumbula.

    Jews trying to escape the evacuation were killed on the spot-inside houses, on stairways, in the streets. As, group after group, the ghetto inhabitants reached the forest, a tightening gauntlet of guards drove them towards the pits. Shortly before approaching the execution site, the Jews were forced to dispose of their suitcases and bags, take off their coats, and finally remove their clothes. Then the naked victims descended into the pit by means of an earthen ramp, lay facedown on the ground, or over the bodies of the dying and the dead and were shot in the back of the head with a single bullet from a distance of about two meters.

    Jeckeln stood on the edge of the pits surrounded by a throng of SD, police, and civilian guests. Reichskomissar Lohse paid a short visit, and some police commanders were brought from as far away as the Leningrad front. Twelve marksmen working in shifts shot the Jews throughout the entire day. The killing stopped sometime between five p.m. and seven p.m.; by then fifteen thousand Jews had been murdered.

    Do you now say to Brian and I that we were like the Germans ?
  4. BulgarianSoldier

    BulgarianSoldier Senior Member

    I guess germans have high technology thats why they used V1 and V2 rockets over british citys, they won't trow rocks after all.

    On the other point, im not sure the germans get what they deserve, they deserve even more, look at the todays Germany. There kids dont even know what they grandfathers did during 1914-1918 and 1939-1945!
    Most of the germans today don't care about it, the world shouldn't forgive them even nowdays.

    Ron Goldstein, when im speaking about ALLIES i include Russians in it, and when it comes to them you know what they did to prisoners, civilians and etc. but i think you missed the whole point, we were speaking about killing of civilians not POW's
    NKVD eliminations are really popular, dont ask me to start with that. Only one thing i want to mention, Russians killed the half of polish officers at the begining of the war, they were shot unarmed and in the back of the head.

  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I've never said that anyone was like the Germans Ron, my only point was that Dresden was wrong, and that using the reasoning that "they started it" is not justifiable. i'm in no way comparing the British Army to the wehrmacht. I'm only referring to one incident.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Aaaargh, Dresden! :unsure:
    Thread closed for a day or so, just to chill any potential overheating, and to encourage anyone who fancies chipping in later to read the whole thing.

    If anyone really wants to go over Dresden again there's a thread or two out there.

  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Is it "Lets not be nasty to the Germans"?
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The man himself.

    Brian, the thread's closed for now.
    Of course it's nothing of the kind mate, my feelings on Dresden are largely the same as yours, but I've closed it while it's still civil and will reopen in c.24 hrs.

  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Yesterday there was a thread on this site entitled “German Soldiers”
    which was abruptly curtailed because the Moderators felt it was getting a little overheated.
    I must confess this rather threw me as I was about to make further comment.

    Just in case this particular thread does not reappear I would now like to share two images with all those who are bemused by what appears to be the ranting and ravings of the forum “veterans” and try, at the same time, to demonstrate why we, and I in particular, hated our wartime enemies with such vehemence.

    The images are both taken from my family tree which unrolls to more than 4 mtres in length despite the fact that it only shows five generations, in my case starting at my Grandfather, then my Father, then my wife and I, then my Daughters and then my five Grandchildren.

    One section shows three of my siblings (you will spot me by my black beret) and the other section (the extreme left hand side of the tree) shows my Belgian cousins.

    You will immediately spot the difference between the two images.

    On “my” portion of the tree are my lovely grandchildren, two of whom are at University and all of whom are already making their own contribution to world affairs.

    On my cousins portion, with individual names marked HOLOCAUST, the tree ends with them and the light goes out........ permanently.

    Lest I and we forget

    BBC - WW2 People's War - One family, Five Sons, All Serving in H.M.Forces

    Attached Files:

  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The thread will reopen, as it was spiralling off down a very well trodden path of Dresden etc. and showing all signs of becoming that very familiar argument which rolls on in a dozen other threads I closed it for 24 hours to allow a little cooling off. Nothing more.

    Personally I'm fully aware of, and in agreement with, the contemporary hatreds expressed, I've argued them myself many times when someone goes looking for 'victim status' for Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan & am quite content that if Germany had been turned into a nuclear sheet of glass then very little objection would have been raised at the time from any of those she'd attacked.

    The 24 hour closure would hopefully encourage people to read the thread and be considered in their replies rather than replying in the heat of the moment, which appeared to be building fast.

  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Thanks for that

  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hardly heated Adam!
    It seems to me that the younger generation needs to be told exactly what we were up against, and what shocking crimes the Nazi regime committed.

    That is healthy debate. And thus, should be encouraged, lest the nation goes down the road of lethargic indifference to what takes place around the world, and indeed, the dangers that can arrive unannounced, on the Countries doorstep.

    It also serves to eradicate those here, that need to make the former enemy "Victims" of the brutal British and Americans.

    Ron. (Bless Him) will be aware more than most, of the utterly evil deeds of that regime, Some so ghastly that they defy description in a civilised world.

    For the few remaining Veterans, or just ordinary folk that lived during those times. It is an insult to their memory, to stifle the truth of what these people suffered and endured.

    When all is said and done: a spade is a spade, not a flaming shovel. If one feels so strongly about a subject? Then debate you corner with all the strength and guile that you can muster. Let us not go down the "Namby Pamby" road of political correctness!

    It does seem to me, that my generation came from a completely different World. Freedom of speech was an accepted thing that no one dare remove.
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    It's alright Brian, I've recently opened far more old 'contentious' war-related threads than I've ever closed, or want to close. There's dozens of them now lurking around the site ready to be picked up again. ;)

    (And if anyone notices any that they think should be re-opened, give me or the mods a shout, no guarantees but I lean much more towards opening for those I spot.)

  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    May I also step in and make the point that I fully understand the feelings that our veterans have towards the Germans and that it is fully justified. Given that I was the one responsible for the "D" word being debated (although I didnt intiate it!) I wasnt coming at it from the viewpoint of the "poor germans". Many people who have read my posts in the Eastern Front area know that I have always maintained that the Germans reaped the Whirlwind they sowed and pity for them.

    I would also like to say that I also call a spade a spade. And if I feel that some action was wrong, I'll state my viewpoint. It does not mean that I subscribe to a sympathetic view of the Germans but I am talking about intentions not consequences. Just as the vanquished are morally required to stand judged before humanity so the victors actions are also entitled to be held up to scrutiny. In this way actions such as Katyn Wood deserve to be highlighted even though it was committed by a victor. In no way am I comparing this to any Western Allied action, merely highlighting that in the study of war both sides are open to scrutiny.
    And just as I respect our veterans views so I also expect that if I am critical of the British RAF (which I'm not generally) actions over Dresden then I will not be told that I am sympathetic towards the Third Reich!!!! Anyway there is no problem on my part and I'm willing to put the kettle on for a cuppa. Now who wants one? :)
  15. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    yes.leading up to the normandy landings,lots of railway,sidings and junctions,in french towns were destroyed by bomber command,killing lots of feb 1945 certain cities and towns in eastern germany with all the above railways etc,were also bombed,to help the soviet forces advancing.what is the difference.yours,4th wilts.
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Lee, I think that we've all said our piece on the matter and if you really want there are threads about Dresden et al littering the forums. Might be better to take it up there.
  17. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    o..k,just have not seen any threads concerning the dresden or leipzig bomber raids for quite some time.yours,4th wilts.
  18. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

  19. PeterG

    PeterG Senior Member

    I read the 'debate', now still closed, with sadness. It seemed to me that Sapper was fighting a lone battle in trying to explain exactly what WW2 was about and how those of us who went through it from beginning to end, either in the forces or as civilians, felt about it.

    In the thread we have the astonishing assertion that "The average German soldier didn't participate in the mass slaughter of Jews during the war. He fought as well and as bravely as any other nations soldiers (sometimes better), in, what he believed was the defence of his family, his home and his way of life".

    Then we are told that, in essence, 'they were only obeying orders'. Moreover, we get the extraordinary assertion, regarding rank and file German soldiers, that I've talked with several ex German WW2 soldiers and the main theme behind their participation in the killing of civilians is that if they refused, they were shot on the spot by their officers and their families sent to oblivion.

    Setting aside the fact that here we have ex-soldiers admitting that they participated in killing civilians, the excuse is simply without foundation and there is no known case of any German soldier's family having been exterminated because the soldier refused to commit murder. From this account, it would appear that all commissioned German soldiers were out of control and that non-commissioned ranks were terrified stooges under fear of instant death unless they killed civilians.

    I have attached three documents which were given in evidence at the trial of Albert Kesselring, which may shed some light on how German soldiers behaved in WW2. The first is his order to all regular German forces in Italy. In the first document Kesselring states that It is the duty of all troops and police in my command to adopt the severest measures ... Whenever there is evidence of considerable numbers of partisan groups a proportion of the male population of the area will be arrested, and in the event of an act of violence these men will be shot. These are not measures against Jews, of course, those poor unfortunates had been swept away for slaughter long before June 1944.

    Incidentally 'Acts of violence', in German eyes, could be anything from letting down the tyres of a German vehicle to killing a German. On a large notice in Italian and German on the main door of the courtyard in which I lived, for example, it stated that Anyone caught defacing this notice will be hanged in public. 'Men', by the way, officially were males between the ages of 14 and 65, but in their exuberance ordinary soldiers interpreted this very loosely and males from about 12 to 70 or over were frequently caught up and shot.

    Germans were never shy about these matters, for hangings (see para III(c) of Order 391, attached) the whole population of the place will be assembled to witness the execution and, what was particularly wantonly cruel in a Catholic country, After the bodies have been left hanging for 12 hours, the public will be ordered to bury them without ceremony and without the assistance of any priest.

    The third document is a report on a massacre of civilians at Bardini San Terenzo on 17-27 August 1944. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this, I simply scanned it as it followed document B. There were a couple of hundred similar atrocities.

    Does it matter that all this happened over sixty years ago? I think it does, and so does anyone who lived through it. Whilst I am certain that no German born in democratic Germany would behave like this, it really is an insult of the worst kind to compare such behaviour with that of the Allied armies and to say that they were just as bad.


    Attached Files:

  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I am always pleased to see a response from Peter as I know that what I am about to read will be based on painstaking academic research plus his own true life experience and, let's face it, what an experience !

    For those of you who are new to Peter's early background may I offer this link:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - A Childhood in Nazi-Occupied Italy

    His adult life, equally remarkable for its amazing diversity, is covered here:
    BBC - WW2 People's War -


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