The Savagery of WAR

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by sapper, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I cannot recall the name of this village....North of the city of Caen, in the killing grounds.........It was a beautiful hot summers day. Brilliant sunshine. But the battle for the village was violent in the extreme. A few of us were embedded with the infantry, and had been in the thick of it...

    It was one of those actions where we were at each others throats, and the killing savage.

    After the village was taken and others had "passed through" our position the aftermath was horrendous. dead and wounded. and a shattered village.

    A Field Dressing station was set up in a bank of earth with a tarpaulin over the top. Men were being brought in and treated, and the dead put aside. During this time ther was still incoming mortar fire.

    Leaning against the earth bank was a young wounded German soldier, looking grey faced, and in obvious great pain. I recall him well; as he had a green check scarf around his neck.

    Nearby were three infantry men. All of a sudden, one of them leaped to his feet screaming and got hold of the Germans scarf and throttled him with it. While his two mate tried to pull him off. I do not know if the German died or not.

    I am not surprised... this was an extremely violent hand to hand fight ...Such is the emotions where violence, wounding and death ..are our familiar daily companions.....
    Sapper
     
    WhiskeyGolf likes this.
  2. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Senior Member

    Waaaaahh...........
    The kind of vision you have to live with...
     
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Seb. I don't live with the visions. But I do remember them....All I do is record it so that others will know what it was like. perhaps long after we have departed this mortal coil it will strike a chord with the younger generation...Perhaps? maybe?
    Cheers
    Sapper
     
  4. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Brian
    Another memory from the mind, was it adrenalin or had he lost a mate or perhaps the intenseity of the battle.

    Mere mortals like me who never faced it can only wonder how you live with such memories
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    A possible war crime by the Allies by the sound of it?
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    A possible war crime by the Allies by the sound of it?

    :sign_question:
     
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Battle exhaustion took a toll after prolonged fighting.... In some men it showed in different ways. Some just sat crying, some raged. Some of them acted in the most outrageous fashion. Even to trying to push wounded off of Jeeps to get a ride.

    While harboured in an orchard, and under a huge stonking of mortar, shell and Machine gun fire...We had one man that ran amok, and took off around the Orchard, trying to stab his mates with his commando knife.... terrible sad, as he was a nice fellow. He was rugby tackled and tied.. That was on the Goodwood Operation when we tried to take Bannerville Sannerville...and on to Troarn of ghastly memory.

    I spoke to an old Colonel that had been on Goodwood, and mentioned Troarn. Don't talk about that place he said .......and meant it...

    I think that what sent this man over the top, was a salvo of moaning Minnie's that straddled the orchard. That was the place where Jock and myself unloaded Boxes of Gelly... from the parked bedford truck and put them in fox holes.... and I am still here..Jocks not...
     
  8. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Bugger...me
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Originally Posted by Drew5233 [​IMG]
    A possible war crime by the Allies by the sound of it?


    :sign_question:

    Why the confusion Canuck ?
    Was it not attempted murder (at least) of a wounded POW in a FDS ??
    Isn't that defined as a war crime ?

    We've discussed killing of POWs on the forum before now here's proof by Brian of an attempted murder if not a actual one.
     
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Why the confusion Canuck ?
    Was it not attempted murder (at least) of a wounded POW in a FDS ??
    Isn't that defined as a war crime ?

    We've discussed killing of POWs on the forum before now here's proof by Brian of an attempted murder if not a actual one.

    Not a cold blooded murder or attempted murder though, more a crime of a stress induced nature. Very different from a lot of the SS type murders previoulsy referred to by canuck and discussed on this forum.

    Off to bed now. Good night!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Why the confusion Canuck ?
    Was it not attempted murder (at least) of a wounded POW in a FDS ??
    Isn't that defined as a war crime ?

    We've discussed killing of POWs on the forum before now here's proof by Brian of an attempted murder if not a actual one.

    I saw it as a hasty conclusion given the sparse details in Brian's account. A conviction for assault is about all you could reasonably conclude from the information provided.
     
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I had a very persistent sniper trying his best to get me.
    Had I the chance I would have murdered the bastard.
    Again. see what a nice old gentleman I am..... The same would apply to the enemy that got me with an S Mine..... and again later, I would have willingly shot the man who fired the shell that made me severely disabled for life.... Preferably in his testicles! or any other place that hurts...
     
  14. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I had a very persistent sniper trying his best to get me.
    Had I the chance I would have murdered the bastard.
    Again. see what a nice old gentleman I am..... The same would apply to the enemy that got me with an S Mine..... and again later, I would have willingly shot the man who fired the shell that made me severely disabled for life.... Preferably in his testicles! or any other place that hurts...

    Brian,

    An interesting post that explains much. War gets personal!
    Is there the possibility that an elderly man, now residing in Germany, might harbour some resentment towards you for events from 1944?
     
  15. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Apart from one thing...We did not go round killing folk for nothing. Nor did we have extermination camps. Belsen, Buchenwald and many hundreds of other death and Concentration camps. Nor did we burn women and children alive in a church while, stood outside to cut down any that escaped.

    In fact we never wanted to kill or fight anyone. All we young men wanted was what all young men want .......a life!

    Having fought against these evil people and seen what they do? Do you ever stop to wonder why? We lost so many fine young men for all that we hold dear; our freedom our way of life; and to remove the bleak evil medieval cloud that hung over the continent of Europe under the Nazi Jackboot......And we did.....many of us paid with our lives, many others suffered severe injuries for what you and others in the free world.... enjoy today......

    That is fair..Is it not.. The Enemy of yesterday brought about the death of some 60 million innocent folk .Not My estimate but those that say they know.....

    No. I have nothing but loathing for people that burn innocent women and children alive..Did they enjoy their screams?? Perhaps? who knows.....

    I read this again, and thought "Am I over the top"? Then I also thought... am I hell! every word of that is true, and it applies to all the Veterans that inhabit thise site.... Too bloody right its true...
     
  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    When the postings on subjects that arouse a but of passion. Argument. Discussion It is closed. I have no particular thread in mind, other than it has happened before.... Nothing wrong with a bit of heat in a discussion.. At Least the posters have a genuine feel for what the subject is about.

    PS... Canuck I am the proud owner of a Canadian Jockey cap, with the Canadian legion badge on the front. Great for keeping the rain off me glasses... Looks posh as well...:)
     
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    When the postings on subjects that arouse a but of passion. Argument. Discussion It is closed. I have no particular thread in mind, other than it has happened before.... Nothing wrong with a bit of heat in a discussion.. At Least the posters have a genuine feel for what the subject is about.

    See also
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/veteran-accounts/41444-postings.html
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Brian,

    If you are refering to the 1940 thread about the alledged massacre of 400 Germans I closed it because most of the posts towards the end were nothing to do with that specific incident - the 1940 section of the forum is for 1940 related subjects. I have stated if anyone has any new information related to that specific incident (if it happened) I'm happy to open it to allow them to post and I've even offered to copy any files (should there be any) at the National Archives and post them on that thread.

    There are plenty of general discussion threads on this forum about the treatment of German PoW's and vice versa etc. and it appears Diane has kindly posted a few of them for you and other members to post on should you or they wish to continue discussing that area of the war. I may even move some of the later posts from the 1940 section to one of them.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  19. ranville

    ranville Senior Member

    Apart from one thing...We did not go round killing folk for nothing. Nor did we have extermination camps. Belsen, Buchenwald and many hundreds of other death and Concentration camps. Nor did we burn women and children alive in a church while, stood outside to cut down any that escaped.

    In fact we never wanted to kill or fight anyone. All we young men wanted was what all young men want .......a life!

    Having fought against these evil people and seen what they do? Do you ever stop to wonder why? We lost so many fine young men for all that we hold dear; our freedom our way of life; and to remove the bleak evil medieval cloud that hung over the continent of Europe under the Nazi Jackboot......And we did.....many of us paid with our lives, many others suffered severe injuries for what you and others in the free world.... enjoy today......

    That is fair..Is it not.. The Enemy of yesterday brought about the death of some 60 million innocent folk .Not My estimate but those that say they know.....

    No. I have nothing but loathing for people that burn innocent women and children alive..Did they enjoy their screams?? Perhaps? who knows.....

    I read this again, and thought "Am I over the top"? Then I also thought... am I hell! every word of that is true, and it applies to all the Veterans that inhabit thise site.... Too bloody right its true...

    I agree with your post Sapper and you are not 'over the top' in my eyes mate.
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I saw it as a hasty conclusion given the sparse details in Brian's account. A conviction for assault is about all you could reasonably conclude from the information provided.

    Nothing hasty about my reply unless you was refering to your own?

    I did say possible war crime as Brian said he never knew if he was killed or not.

    That said there are plenty of Allied War Crime investigations about the mistreatment of Allied PoW's at Kew where the PoW isn't killed but roughed up for want of a better description. Surely a case of whats good for the Goose is good for the Gander ;)
     

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