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

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Sgt. Charles D. Kipp's memoir, Because We Are Canadians, is an unusually frank and graphic description of his service with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment in WW2.

    Unlike most Canadian veteran accounts, he does not shy away from the subject of killing and he matter of factly describes those occurrences in fine detail. Several veterans I have spoken with have said that discussions on the killing aspect only ever happened with other veterans.
    In chapter 9, Kipp relates an August 1944 battle near the River Dives, at Trun. In that encounter he alone engaged a dozen German soldiers who were moving to attack two neighbouring platoons. He fired a short Sten gun burst which hit 3 and the remainder surrendered to him. A 22- year old German soldier slowly died from chest wounds afterwards while Kipp sat with him. A death he claims that haunted him daily for the rest of his life.

    Kipp suggests that this and other incidents had earned him the label of being “kill crazy”. That being a description of someone who enjoyed the act of killing too much. That is a phrase I have not seen before in print before and I am curious if that is uniquely Canadian or the variation of a term used by other Allied soldiers as well? It seems to be an ironic accusation from a group of infantrymen for whom the primary occupation was killing the enemy.

    Kipp acknowledged the fact that by that point in the war he had personally killed more Germans than any single platoon in the regiment, but he denied being ‘kill crazy’. That suggests that both he and the men were keeping score. In any event, Kipp says it was simply due to his proficiency with his weapon and his aggressiveness. He had learned that survival depended on being hard, assertive and never hesitating when in combat. He embraced the kill or be killed philosophy and was determined to survive.

    I am intrigued by the implication that these infantrymen had an unwritten code of conduct and would apply that judgment to anyone who operated outside of that accepted behaviour. I have not seen a reference to it in any other book.

    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    Deacs, Orwell1984, stolpi and 3 others like this.
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Tim, Sorry about the thread title change.
    The original 'Kill Crazy' triggered that irritating bug where the forum doesn't like certain words & stops replies & even admin edits.. (I think it has trouble differentiating between certain commands & text. Tested on the XF2 setup & it's fixed there - sooner we move the better.)

    So I'm afraid it's now called 'Killing'.
    bamboo43 and canuck like this.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I wondered why my posting was not allowed earlier on this afternoon.
  4. CL1

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

    I think this sums it up

    "He had learned that survival depended on being hard, assertive and never hesitating when in combat. He embraced the kill or be killed philosophy and was determined to survive."
  5. jimbop

    jimbop Banned

    kill crazy?? surely all soldiers are paid assassins?
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Just for the record, I deeply resent your use of the phrase "kill crazy" and the definition attached.

    On behalf of the dwindling band of WW2 veterans
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Your statement therefore would include those 'soldiers' in RAMC, REME, RAOC, etc etc

    vitellino and Marcus H like this.
  8. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    He just became my first 'ignore' member. An ignorant and uncalled for post.
    timuk likes this.
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Then there was the ACC...
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Off the cuff......The term "Killing" reminds me of a lecture on Allied assistance to resistance groups in Europe by the dropping of arms given to an audience,I think it was by the RAF Historical Society.

    A key fact was given that the Yugoslavia partisans received the highest tonnage of arms etc dropped into Europe at about 16000 tons while France. if I recollect received about 15500 tons.Asked why this was so by a member of the audience that Yugoslavia received the largest tonnage of arms,the lecturer retorted "because they were killing more Germans"

    At the other end of the scale for comparison,Denmark received 800 tons.

    As regards any psychological intent illustrated for the act of inflicting death on the enemy can lead to counter propaganda such as that exploited by Geobbels when he pointed out that some USAAF airmen were wearing flying jackets with "Murder Incorporated" on the back of the jacket...hence the propaganda weapon of the "terror flyer"against Allied Air Forces.However I would not accept that this could be used as a reason for the murder of aircrew who were acting legally as belligerents.

    Overall,killing has to be legal between belligerents as laid down by the various Geneva Conventions.
  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    For those at 'the sharp end' there always was the matter of: "When do I stop shooting at the enemy and start taking prisoners".

    It depended much on the situation on the battlefield …

    None of the veterans I met ever spoke with proud about the killing aspect, most were hesitant to speak about it at all.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Harry Ree and canuck like this.
  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Actually, the majority were young 19-20 year olds who were mostly terrified.
    Tolbooth, bofors and stolpi like this.
  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    One phrase I often remember using when discussing my Army days is "we were too busy to be frightened !" and I elaborated it on it when discussing the subject of Fear

    Best regards

  14. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    There are some interesting references in accounts. One that sticks in my mind - I can't recall the details right now - is of a tank commander who became aware a Company of Scottish Infantry had people killed responding to a building showing a white flag. He offered his services however the unit was adamant that this was their concern. They removed their helmets and put on their regimental Tams. They clearly had a notion of what was routine war and what was different. The use of an adopted symbolism to represent the new state is fascinating.
    von Poop and canuck like this.
  15. jimbop

    jimbop Banned

    my comment seems to have been COMPLETELY taken the wrong way.
    kipp was labeled 'kill crazy' my comment meant surely he was just doing his job?
    he was a soldier! and soldiers kill!
  16. jimbop

    jimbop Banned

    ' jimbop

    Just for the record, I deeply resent your use of the phrase "kill crazy" and the definition attached.'

    you care to elaborate on that ron ol chap?
  17. jimbop

    jimbop Banned

    ' Your statement therefore would include those 'soldiers' in RAMC, REME, RAOC, etc etc '
    every soldier is a paid assassin. your ordered to shoot at someone you have never met or have a grievance shoot!
    isnt that what all soldiers have done for centuries??
  18. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I really think you should look up the definition of "assassin".
    Meanwhile I'm joining Blutto #8.

  19. jimbop

    jimbop Banned

    ' Meanwhile I'm joining Blutto #8.'
    hahaha..piss off n good riddance!
    anyone else for the witchhunt?
    let me finish off.....
    1. soldiers are paid to kill...thats fine by me.
    2.i have utmost respect for ALL soldiers.
    3.kipp was an exceptional soldier, branded 'kill crazy' for doing his job TOO well. i have untold respect for kipp.
    4. if my opinions upset some.....go fuck yourselves, i coudnt care less.
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Stay classy.
    And cheerio.
    Tom OBrien, Tolbooth, Dave55 and 5 others like this.

Share This Page