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(NYPost)   WW2 bomber pilot Charlie Brown spared death by German fighter who had him in his crosshairs in 1943. He never knew why, until they met...oh my, subby allergic to dust   (nypost.com) divider line 216
    More: Unlikely, Charlie Brown, Germans  
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35216 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Dec 2012 at 1:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-09 09:08:31 AM  
Yes, it's getting pretty dusty in here. Damn woodstove. Or maybe it's the cat hair. I'm glad they finally did get in touch with each other.
 
2012-12-09 11:13:22 AM  
Cool story, bro. Seriously though.
 
2012-12-09 11:31:35 AM  

kimwim: Yes, it's getting pretty dusty in here. Damn woodstove. Or maybe it's the cat hair. I'm glad they finally did get in touch with each other.


Nah, it's summer here in Australia and it's damn dusty too. So sorry pal, not the woodstove.

Awesome link subby.
 
2012-12-09 11:41:41 AM  
offsite2.seriousshops.com

CURSE YOU, RED BARON!!
 
2012-12-09 11:54:42 AM  
Great story. Glad they both survived to tell.
 
2012-12-09 11:56:37 AM  
That's a *really* good article, subby.

Thank you for finding that and submitting it.
 
2012-12-09 12:41:38 PM  

ArkAngel: [offsite2.seriousshops.com image 400x283]

CURSE YOU, RED BARON!!


www.fletcherarmstrongblog.com
 
2012-12-09 01:12:22 PM  
Did anyone else open TFA, get one look at the German fighter and think, "Holy crap, it's Ben Affleck."

/Here comes the science.
 
2012-12-09 01:13:46 PM  
Excellent story but a B-17 is not a fighter subby
 
2012-12-09 01:14:30 PM  
The news had come out in the First World War
The bloody Red Baron was flying once more
The Allied command ignored all of its men
And called on Snoopy to do it again.

Was the night before Christmas, 40 below
When Snoopy went up in search of his foe
He spied the Red Baron, fiercely they fought
With ice on his wings Snoopy knew he was caught.

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ring out from the land
Asking peace of all the world
And good will to man
 
2012-12-09 01:16:11 PM  
Good grief that's an interesting story.
 
2012-12-09 01:16:49 PM  
Very old Article, but well worth mentioning time and time again. I have this painting on my wall behind my computer, next to the Red Baron's Portrait and on the other side a copy of the V-day Newspaper.
 
2012-12-09 01:17:27 PM  
You ----> cdn.hotstockmarket.com <---- Death (not yours)
 
2012-12-09 01:19:51 PM  
www.neatorama.com

ehh what's up doc
 
2012-12-09 01:20:48 PM  

ArkAngel: [offsite2.seriousshops.com image 400x283]

CURSE YOU, RED BARON!!


Why didn't the headline play on this? It's such an obvious (and funnier) reference.

[reads TFA]

Gee, I can almost smell the smoke from that burning plane. It's getting in my eyes too.
 
2012-12-09 01:20:49 PM  
Bonus: constant references to Red baron in Peanuts and of course the Peanuts song where the Red Baron doesn't shoot down snoopy because it's Christmas. Pilot in real life similar situation named charlie Brown. Coincidence?
 
2012-12-09 01:21:31 PM  

Chak: Excellent story but a B-17 is not a fighter subby


Just gonna assume you're not a troll. The B-17 was the bomber Brown was flying, not the fighter Stigler was flying next to him with when he decided not to shoot.
 
2012-12-09 01:22:18 PM  
Wow.
 
2012-12-09 01:22:34 PM  

Ehcks: Chak: Excellent story but a B-17 is not a fighter subby

Just gonna assume you're not a troll. The B-17 was the bomber Brown was flying, not the fighter Stigler was flying next to him with when he decided not to shoot.


Wait, there's two "fighters" in the headline. I'm blind.
 
2012-12-09 01:24:23 PM  
That is a great story. My guess, the Post is scrambling to shore up its image in the wake of publishing that awful "this man is about to die" photo, realizing they still need to be in that market in between the Daily News and the Times.
 
2012-12-09 01:24:44 PM  
Nope not trolling, and again good story but the headline says "WW2 fighter pilot Charlie Brown..." and the opening paragraph reads, "On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American bomber pilot named Charlie Brown found
 
2012-12-09 01:24:56 PM  
I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?
 
2012-12-09 01:26:15 PM  

Bacontastesgood: That is a great story. My guess, the Post is scrambling to shore up its image in the wake of publishing that awful "this man is about to die" photo, realizing they still need to be in that market in between the Daily News and the Times.


I was going to say, this has been the most worthwhile Post article in probably years.
 
2012-12-09 01:26:37 PM  

Bacontastesgood: That is a great story. My guess, the Post is scrambling to shore up its image in the wake of publishing that awful "this man is about to die" photo, realizing they still need to be in that market in between the Daily News and the Times.


I thought that too. But they got this one right.
 
2012-12-09 01:27:06 PM  
So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.
 
2012-12-09 01:27:48 PM  
Great read.
 
2012-12-09 01:29:09 PM  
Pretty sure I've read about this before, when they died maybe.

I highly recommend the book Unbroken for anyone interested in this stuff. True story about an Olympian and bomber crewman who survived a crash in the ocean and floated for like 60 days or something ridiculous, was captured by the Japanese, etc. Great read.
 
2012-12-09 01:30:44 PM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


Thank God not everyone thinks like you do, you pathetic little worm.
 
2012-12-09 01:30:49 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


0.5/10
 
2012-12-09 01:30:58 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


0 out of 10 on the troll scale
 
2012-12-09 01:31:53 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...
 
2012-12-09 01:32:09 PM  
Simply amazing ...
 
2012-12-09 01:32:34 PM  
blog.maxandmittens.com
 
2012-12-09 01:33:49 PM  

superdude72:

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


Obviously, things would have been much better had the Axis Powers won the War.
 
2012-12-09 01:34:19 PM  
imageshack.us

img194.imageshack.us
 
2012-12-09 01:34:29 PM  
Really excellent read. There was a story like this (probably many more left untold) about a German UBoot captain and another captain he didn't capture against orders.
 
2012-12-09 01:35:04 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


i210.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-09 01:35:19 PM  
wow,
 
2012-12-09 01:36:09 PM  

Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...


Hippies came because the headline mentions Charlie Brown and, well, anything Woodstock is good Woodstock.
 
2012-12-09 01:37:40 PM  
Well, that article just convinced me to gift the book to my dad. And then read it myself.
 
2012-12-09 01:38:52 PM  
Although I'm not entirely against their use, a drone wouldn't make the same decision. Great story.
What I find interesting is how removed people feel from the war. It's as if it's simply a TV show that we all know major plot details to. This isn't ancient history. If you were born in the 50s or 60s, you lived in the consequences and ongoing momentum of WW2 (Hirihito and Hess lived until the late 80s, well Hirihito for sure). The war didn't really end until the 1990s.
 
2012-12-09 01:39:34 PM  
He's a clown, that Charlie Brown
 
2012-12-09 01:41:24 PM  
If I remember correctly, there's a similar story in "Thunderbolt!" by Robert Johnson. His plane was shot to hell, figured the German pilot was about to finish him off but he disengaged and let him go.
 
2012-12-09 01:41:54 PM  
I think the furnace filter needs to be changed again, cat hair must be blowing around into my eyes this morning.

Excellent article. Proud to have been a ground pounder and protected many mighty flying machines and the flyers and their crews.
 
2012-12-09 01:42:35 PM  
I met a German Major one time who had some interesting stories to tell.

He fought with full force when he thought the war could be won, but as soon as he knew it was lost, he turned around and saved as many of his men as he could.

He crossed the lines many times, negotiating surrender of hundreds of German troops, saving not only their lives but also those of many Americans.

He was a genuine hero, and if he had been caught he would have faced a terrible, slow execution.

I also met an American citizen who renounced his country and joined the Wehrmacht, one of three men in all history who did so. I do not agree with his politics, but he had an "interesting" slant on life.
 
2012-12-09 01:43:16 PM  
Hey scavenger, how many civilians did the Germans kill during the occupation of Western Europe?

farking troll.....
 
2012-12-09 01:43:42 PM  
Wow, humanity springs up where you least expect it. Glad that Brown got to finally meet the man who saved him and his crew.
 
2012-12-09 01:46:09 PM  
My dad used to shoot down German fighters during ww2. He made a picture frame out of a ME-109 that he shot down in Africa and put my mom's photo in . Still have it.
 
2012-12-09 01:46:45 PM  

ElLoco: scavenger: Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...

Sorry to interrupt your wank session. Carry on...

Sometimes, trying to be cool and edgy has the opposite effect. Yes?

Maybe you'll learn something today, at least... but I doubt it.


I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.
 
2012-12-09 01:47:26 PM  
Forgoing the possibility of being trolled...

The idea of this code of honor exhibited by the German pilot, that you find hypocritical and needless...

First, in the article, it was discussed by his superior, that to conduct yourself personally with honor and forethought may not "help your side", but it will help your own mental well-being, and preserve your humanity. So consider that he was following orders, albeit esoteric orders, from his commanding officer.

Second, such ridiculous things at the Geneva Convention also offer acts of chivalry and codes of honor/ethics, such as using bullets with full metal jackets, so that more people shot remain casualties and aren't converted to kills.

Perhaps human beings engage in warfare under hypocritical principles, but often those who don't adhere to that chivalry, and place the ends justifying the means as their guiding principle, they are vilified by the rest of us... as per terrorism.
 
2012-12-09 01:48:37 PM  
While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck
 
2012-12-09 01:48:48 PM  

Frantic Freddie: Hey scavenger, how many civilians did the Germans kill during the occupation of Western Europe?

farking troll.....


a bunch. They killed a bunch.
 
2012-12-09 01:50:48 PM  
This was standard behavior in European Naval warfare at least until the end of the age of fighting sail.

Napoleon dealt it a heavy blow.
 
2012-12-09 01:53:26 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


Those would be the civilians who looked the other way while Jews and other "undesirables" were sent off to camps, right?
 
2012-12-09 01:53:54 PM  
Did Snowden make it?
 
2012-12-09 01:58:17 PM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


There were plenty more to replace them, it wouldn't have made a difference as far as that is concerned. Allowing them to live and thereby retaining his own humanity, that made a difference if even only to them.
 
2012-12-09 01:58:46 PM  
So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)
 
2012-12-09 02:00:01 PM  

ha-ha-guy: While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck


Being a conscript is a part of it, but, also, as his superior mentioned, you need to maintain your humanity. You're betting on living through the war, and you need to live with what you did. Codes like bushido and chivalry exist in part to ensure that you can live with yourself. Spielberg turned this around in Saving Private Ryan with the released German soldier, but such is Spielberg's way, given his ethnic background.
 
2012-12-09 02:03:04 PM  
I've read this story a half-dozen times, but it never gets old. Here's the two pilots when they met again a few years ago, before they passed away:

voiceseducation.org

That's the German pilot, Stigler, on the left, American B-17 pilot Charlie Brown on the right, and the artist who painted some pictures of the incident in the middle.
 
2012-12-09 02:03:19 PM  
Great story, thanks Subby
 
2012-12-09 02:05:36 PM  

scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger:
I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


You "Just abhor violence" yet you click on a link about WW2? Guess you don't know the meaning of 'abhor'. Let me define it for you:


abhor [əbˈhɔː]
vb -hors, -horring, -horred
(tr) to detest vehemently; find repugnant; reject
[from Latin abhorrēre to shudder at, shrink from, from ab- away from + horrēre to bristle, shudder]


Given that you abhor violence, your claim that you came to this thread and had to post your miserable thoughts make no sense. You must now be traumatized about reading about two old men who survived a horrible period in their lives and found each other 50 years later?

Go read threads about unicorns and rainbows and only post happy hippy thoughts. You'll feel much better.
 
2012-12-09 02:06:05 PM  

semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)




I suppose that you believe that there was no difference between German and a Nazi. If so, you would be wrong once again. With all of your pontificating, your grasp of the reality of the situation is very poor.

And if you think that some member of the Taliban is going to show mercy, you are even a bigger fool.
 
2012-12-09 02:06:13 PM  

semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)


Wehrmacht soldiers != Waffen-SS soldiers

I don't blame Wehrmacht soldiers, particularly conscripts, for fighting in military battle against military foes. If the Taliban had a uniformed military with professional soldiers or citizen soldiers that fought largely by the rules of war, which they probably had when they were fighting the Northern Alliance, I wouldn't hold them to the same fire that I would the al Qaeda or current Taliban fighters that attack civilians freely.
 
2012-12-09 02:07:54 PM  

scavenger: I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


I also abhor violence, but I'm capable of committing atrocious acts in the name of peace.

semiotix: So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner.


Maybe the thing we should is kill everyone who's in charge. Let the normal folk work it out.
 
2012-12-09 02:09:08 PM  
Amazing stuff indeed.
 
2012-12-09 02:10:08 PM  

Larry Mahnken: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Those would be the civilians who looked the other way while Jews and other "undesirables" were sent off to camps, right?


Looked the other way? Are you looking the other way while your government imprisons people for than a decade without being convicted of anything or is that something you have no capacity to influence?
 
2012-12-09 02:10:22 PM  
Man, that dust is a problem over here in Japan, too. It must be an epidemic.
 
2012-12-09 02:13:36 PM  

bhcompy: ha-ha-guy: While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck

Being a conscript is a part of it, but, also, as his superior mentioned, you need to maintain your humanity. You're betting on living through the war, and you need to live with what you did. Codes like bushido and chivalry exist in part to ensure that you can live with yourself. Spielberg turned this around in Saving Private Ryan with the released German soldier, but such is Spielberg's way, given his ethnic background.


1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

2. Bushido? You mean that philosophy that the Japanese followed in WWII? You remember the Japanese, don't you? They were the guys who tossed babies in the air to see if they could catch them on a bayonet. They were the guys that buried civilians while they were still alive. And let's not forget that they beheaded POWs, they tied POWs to trees and used them for bayonet practice. And then there were the ones who herded a punch of POWs into a trench, poured gasoline on them and then set them on fire, allowing them to burn to death.

The Japanese treated anyone that they captured, including civilians, as if they were animals that they could slaughter at will. All under the banner of Bushido.
 
2012-12-09 02:14:00 PM  
I was bored as fark for the first three pages of that, but then all of a sudden it got awful dusty in here.
 
2012-12-09 02:14:20 PM  
CSB: The B-17 was from the 379th BG at Kimbolton, England. The 379th BGs honors went to the 379 BMW(H) of Strategic Air Command, where I served for 6 years - we even had the Delta K on our tails:

www.aviationillustration.com

There was a huge painting of this incident in wing HQ, but after the base closed it appears to have disappeared. There's a smaller painting and a full exhibit at The Mighty Eighth Museum in Savannah, GA.
 
2012-12-09 02:14:48 PM  

generallyso: Larry Mahnken: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Those would be the civilians who looked the other way while Jews and other "undesirables" were sent off to camps, right?

Looked the other way? Are you looking the other way while your government imprisons people for than a decade without being convicted of anything or is that something you have no capacity to influence?


Nope, I am looking right at it. The acronym you were looking for is POW.
 
2012-12-09 02:14:57 PM  

Discernibly Turgid: and only post happy hippy thoughts


Yes, I'm a hippy, with my long hair and I say "Groovy" all the time, you dig?
 
2012-12-09 02:16:39 PM  

semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.



Actually, no. There was a big difference between the regular German military, and the party military units like the SS and the Gestapo. In fact, the regular German military couldn't stand the SS, because they were like animals. That's not to say the regular German military was completely innocent of any wrong-doing, but here's a case in point:

I made a documentary about a group of Allied airmen who were captured by the Germans after being shot down, and ended up in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The Gestapo had declared them "terrorists" instead of allowing them POW status. After a couple of months of disease and starvation inside Buchenwald, officers from the German air force showed up and got them out, taking them to a regular Luftwaffe POW camp, which was like the Ritz by comparison. Regarding the German air force rescuing them from the SS, a Canadian airman in my film put it, "they were enemies in combat, but comrades in arms" and "everybody detested the SS and the Gestapo." After the war, when American POWs had reunions, they actually invited some of the German POW camp commanding officers -- the ones who had behaved according to international law -- to their reunions, and they showed up.

Another example: My grandfather said that in their POW camp whenever they did daily roll-call, the senior officer of the Allied prisoners would step forward and salute the German camp commander, who was in their case most likely a Luftwaffe officer, i.e. not SS or Gestapo. In the final months of the war, the SS started forcing all of the regular military officers to use the Nazi salute, including their camp's commander. On the first day that he did this, the Allied senior officer saluted back, per usual. The next day, the Allied senior officer came out with no hat on, because if he didn't have a hat on, it meant he wasn't required to salute. Hence, he wouldn't have to return a salute to someone doing the Nazi salute at him. The Germans understood. They didn't want to do it, either. So we can argue all day about who let what happen, but it's not as black-and-white as "oh, they were all criminal Nazis." I mean, you're saying this in a thread about a story where a German pilot put personal honor before his country, risking his own execution in the process.
 
2012-12-09 02:17:07 PM  
Stigler, too, was crying. He explained everything: that he could tell that Brown had no idea how bad the plane was, that he was pointing first to the ground, to Germany, and then pointing away, mouthing "Sweden," that he was trying to escort them to safety...

To me, that was the moment where it stopped being a "what a decent fellow" story and started being a "there should be some kind of a medal for that" story. It seems like it's one thing to spare a helpless enemy and another entirely to actually start thinking about how to help them save their own lives, potentially at the cost of your own life.
 
2012-12-09 02:18:27 PM  

Farty McPooPants:

There were plenty more to replace them, it wouldn't have made a difference as far as that is concerned.


Oh, really? I wasn't aware that the British in 1943 had such a surplus of qualified bomber crews and able-bodied men aged 18-35 to train as replacements. I thought the war was kind of a hard slog for them. I thought that was why they kept increasing the number of sorties the bomber crews had to fly, as Joseph Heller portrayed in Catch-22.

At any rate, if you were a resident of Dresden about to be killed by one of those bombers, you might not feel so strongly about whether one fighter pilot is able to retain his humanity. You might argue that the sacrifice of his humanity is the price that must be paid so that the many people he's protecting can keep theirs (along with their loved ones, their homes, their lives, arms, legs, etc.)
 
2012-12-09 02:18:32 PM  

ha-ha-guy: While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck


You would be wrong. With the hundreds of bombers flying over Germany every day, one bomber crew was not going to make much difference.
 
2012-12-09 02:19:16 PM  
"When co-pilot Charlie brown tried to initiate radio communication with the German fighter pilot, all he could hear was the wa-wa wa-wa-wa of a trombone."
 
2012-12-09 02:21:07 PM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


Which Army or Marine unit did you serve in?
 
2012-12-09 02:22:14 PM  
This article made me remember how one of the most well known classic Christmas songs is actually about a Nazi trying to shoot a dog.
 
2012-12-09 02:24:12 PM  
1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually
 
2012-12-09 02:24:40 PM  
Huh. Cool story, and thanks for greening it. I probably wouldn't have seen it, otherwise.
 
2012-12-09 02:26:53 PM  

bhcompy: semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)

Wehrmacht soldiers != Waffen-SS soldiers

I don't blame Wehrmacht soldiers, particularly conscripts, for fighting in military battle against military foes. If the Taliban had a uniformed military with professional soldiers or citizen soldiers that fought largely by the rules of war, which they probably had when they were fighting the Northern Alliance, I wouldn't hold them to the same fire that I would the al Qaeda or current Taliban fighters that attack civilians freely.


Well said, bhcompy. Thought we all settled this "Not all Germans were Nazis, and Germans are not collectively guilty" thing decades ago. The victors punished the leaders and those most able to stop the crimes against humanity, and forgave the rest. In fact, Germans are harder on themselves over their history than their former enemies are -- there are severe restrictions on what we Americans consider to be inviolable freedoms of expression.

It appears semiotix's lesson is backwards ... he's worried about future generations getting the lessons wrong, when he is the one who has history all wrong.
 
2012-12-09 02:27:18 PM  

semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)


Don't look now, semiotix, but your profound ignorance is showing.
 
2012-12-09 02:27:58 PM  

semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)


No we're not. Being drafted into the military is a lot different than volunteering for a militia. There were a lot of Germans who were forced to serve but hated the Nazis. There were Germans who were forced to kill Jews who cried the entire time. There were a lot of examples of humanity from the German side. From the Russians, not really.
 
2012-12-09 02:28:16 PM  
Also, since we've gotten this far without it:

cache.gawkerassets.com

Does not approve.
 
2012-12-09 02:28:50 PM  

chuckufarlie: bhcompy: ha-ha-guy: While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck

Being a conscript is a part of it, but, also, as his superior mentioned, you need to maintain your humanity. You're betting on living through the war, and you need to live with what you did. Codes like bushido and chivalry exist in part to ensure that you can live with yourself. Spielberg turned this around in Saving Private Ryan with the released German soldier, but such is Spielberg's way, given his ethnic background.

1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

2. Bushido? You mean that philosophy that the Japanese followed in WWII? You remember the Japanese, don't you? They were the guys who tossed babies in the air to see if they could catch them on a bayonet. They were the guys that buried civilians while they were still alive. And let's not forget that they beheaded POWs, they tied POWs to trees and used them for bayonet practice. And then there were the ones who herded a punch of POWs into a trench, poured gasoline on them and then set them on fire, allowing them to burn to death.

The Japanese treated anyone that they captured, including civilians, as if they were animals that they could slaughter at will. All under the banner of Bushido.


Pre-Western exposure bushido is different than post-Western exposure bushido. Their treatment of enemy combatants and civilians were in violation of traditional bushido principles.
 
2012-12-09 02:29:11 PM  

gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually


what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.
 
2012-12-09 02:30:20 PM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


this was great. one stroke, clean kill. points off for word count and lack of run-on sentences. 7.89/10
 
2012-12-09 02:31:00 PM  

RogerClemente: This article made me remember how one of the most well known classic Christmas songs is actually about a Nazi trying to shoot a dog.


Do you people even know who the Nazi's were?

Here's a hint: there were no Nazi's serving in the First World War.
 
2012-12-09 02:31:27 PM  
I've met both of those guys @ the Billy Bishop Legion in Vancouver. There is a painting of both planes and both pilots signed it. They used to meet up on November 11th.
 
2012-12-09 02:32:19 PM  

bhcompy: chuckufarlie: bhcompy: ha-ha-guy: While it is a nice story, from a purely practical standpoint Stigler went too far. I'm all for giving them a chance to land (or go to Sweden and be detained for the duration of the war). Letting them cross the Channel though just means at least some of them will be back (on other B-17s) to bomb again. You give the enemy a chance to surrender, but you don't let them just walk off.

There is honor on the battlefield, but above that comes the honor of protecting the populace of your country. Letting a bomber crew head on home doesn't satisfy the latter.

/although that said I can see why a conscripted soldier wasn't in that much of a hurry to finish off a wounded duck

Being a conscript is a part of it, but, also, as his superior mentioned, you need to maintain your humanity. You're betting on living through the war, and you need to live with what you did. Codes like bushido and chivalry exist in part to ensure that you can live with yourself. Spielberg turned this around in Saving Private Ryan with the released German soldier, but such is Spielberg's way, given his ethnic background.

1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

2. Bushido? You mean that philosophy that the Japanese followed in WWII? You remember the Japanese, don't you? They were the guys who tossed babies in the air to see if they could catch them on a bayonet. They were the guys that buried civilians while they were still alive. And let's not forget that they beheaded POWs, they tied POWs to trees and used them for bayonet practice. And then there were the ones who herded a punch of POWs into a trench, poured gasoline on them and then set them on fire, allowing them to burn to death.

The Japanese treated anyone that they captured, including civilians, as if they were animals that they could slaughter at will. All under the banner of Bushido.
...


The fact that it went against the code has nothing to do with this. You made the statement that Bushido allowed the Japanese soldier to live with himself when in fact, NONE of them were actually following the code. That was the stupidity in your argument. It still is, you then compounded it.
 
2012-12-09 02:34:39 PM  

chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.


Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.
 
2012-12-09 02:35:12 PM  

DaintySavage: semiotix: So, don't take it the wrong way when I point out that this Franz Stigler guy was a Nazi. Maybe not technically in the sense of being an inner Party member, but he's flying a Nazi plane, he's an officer in the Nazis' air force, he's shooting Nazi bullets at our guys. In every Brad-Pitt-as-Aldo-Raine-in-Inglorious-Basterds sense of the word, he's a Nazi.

And yeah, he did a brave and beautiful thing, end of story, no caveats or hesitations or "but he was a Nazi!" about it. Nor is it the first such story we've heard.

The thing is, in sixty years (or sooner) we're going to start hearing these exact same stories about the occasional Talibani commander or al-Qaeda henchman. And immediately you want to say, "no, that's different, this guy had a personal moral code, he wasn't an insane jihadist zombie trying to get himself killed for his 72 virgins, he was just born on the wrong side of the war." But come on--what are the odds that this is the first war in history where the bad guys all turn out to be exactly like the bad guys at the very top of the bad guy food chain?

So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner. (And by "we" I mean, for the most part, the people who aren't going Over There and learning first hand that real-life people are complicated.)

No we're not. Being drafted into the military is a lot different than volunteering for a militia. There were a lot of Germans who were forced to serve but hated the Nazis. There were Germans who were forced to kill Jews who cried the entire time. There were a lot of examples of humanity from the German side. From the Russians, not really.


After the Russian soldiers saw what the Germans were doing to Russian civilians, it is hard to blame them for reacting thee way that they did..
 
2012-12-09 02:35:21 PM  

olddeegee: This isn't ancient history. If you were born in the 50s or 60s, you lived in the consequences and ongoing momentum of WW2 (Hirihito and Hess lived until the late 80s, well Hirihito for sure).


I was in Japan when Hirohito died in January of 1989. We wondered if there would be riots, but there were none. I actually have a recording I made that night of the nightly "All is well, be safe in your homes" speech that was broadcast over a Tokyo PA system every night. I wondered if it would be different that night, but it wasn't.

You're right. It is not ancient history. But it might as well be for anyone under 35 or so. We'll forget, and we'll do it again. And again.
 
2012-12-09 02:35:27 PM  

RogerClemente: This article made me remember how one of the most well known classic Christmas songs is actually about a Nazi trying to shoot a dog.


No, it didn't make you remember that at all.
 
2012-12-09 02:35:28 PM  

scavenger: I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


I hate the glorification of war, too. That's why I happen to enjoy stories like these. Since Thursday, I have seen the film Joyeux Noel (about the WWI Christmas Truce), and the musical War Horse (which also takes place in WWI), so the theme is already on my mind. Both stories portray all of the soldiers involved as human, including the Germans. The WWII story linked here does the same thing. Because these stories don't dehumanize one side, they better communicate the horrors and moral failings of war in general. They do not glorify war. They glorify acts of peace in spite of, well, everything.
 
2012-12-09 02:39:10 PM  

chuckufarlie: what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.


It's also apparently a common misunderstanding of the film. They were two different characters with similar haircuts, but the guy who killed Mellish was SS, while the prisoner was regular infantry.

/ CSB: Rather than returning to the Third Reich, my grandmother's oncologist, a brilliant physician who a small midwestern town was very lucky to have, was captured in combat by the Soviets and "allowed to escape" from a gulag for being such an absurdly nice guy. He made his way to the United States and never really spoke of Germany again. The first the community heard of it was when he had it published in his obituary, an anecdote casually wedged between a mention of his time playing the flute on German national radio as a teenager and having his body flown back to be buried on his family estate in Germany.)
 
2012-12-09 02:39:16 PM  
Wow. What a touching story.

Pollen count is heavy today.
 
2012-12-09 02:40:03 PM  

Canton: scavenger: I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.

I hate the glorification of war, too. That's why I happen to enjoy stories like these. Since Thursday, I have seen the film Joyeux Noel (about the WWI Christmas Truce), and the musical War Horse (which also takes place in WWI), so the theme is already on my mind. Both stories portray all of the soldiers involved as human, including the Germans. The WWII story linked here does the same thing. Because these stories don't dehumanize one side, they better communicate the horrors and moral failings of war in general. They do not glorify war. They glorify acts of peace in spite of, well, everything.


That's a good point.
 
2012-12-09 02:40:15 PM  

gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.

Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.


You perceived that Spielberg was sending that message. I did not get that message when I watched it. Maybe you saw it that way because you wanted to see it that way.

You are aware, I hope, that Spielberg was the DIRECTOR of the movie. It was written by Robert Rodat.
 
2012-12-09 02:40:42 PM  

superdude72: Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


Approves:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-12-09 02:42:57 PM  

freewill: chuckufarlie: what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

It's also apparently a common misunderstanding of the film. They were two different characters with similar haircuts, but the guy who killed Mellish was SS, while the prisoner was regular infantry.

/ CSB: Rather than returning to the Third Reich, my grandmother's oncologist, a brilliant physician who a small midwestern town was very lucky to have, was captured in combat by the Soviets and "allowed to escape" from a gulag for being such an absurdly nice guy. He made his way to the United States and never really spoke of Germany again. The first the community heard of it was when he had it published in his obituary, an anecdote casually wedged between a mention of his time playing the flute on German national radio as a teenager and having his body flown back to be buried on his family estate in Germany.)


I have to admit that I did not pay enough attention to notice that. I had lost interest much earlier. I guess that I ask too much of war movies. I do not like it when they ignore the real history and that movie was full of it.
 
2012-12-09 02:45:00 PM  

scavenger: Frantic Freddie: Hey scavenger, how many civilians did the Germans kill during the occupation of Western Europe?

farking troll.....

a bunch. They killed a bunch.


I suspect our scavenger pieced history together from Code Pink pamphlets and rants by angry sociology profs, and thinks ideological zeal is a substitute for knowledge.
 
2012-12-09 02:45:43 PM  

chuckufarlie: The fact that it went against the code has nothing to do with this. You made the statement that Bushido allowed the Japanese soldier to live with himself when in fact, NONE of them were actually following the code. That was the stupidity in your argument. It still is, you then compounded it.


Actually, I said those codes allow for it. I never mentioned Japanese WW2 soldiers, because they didn't practice classic bushido. Just like Western WW2 soldiers didn't practice classic chivalry.
 
2012-12-09 02:45:47 PM  

chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.

Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.

You perceived that Spielberg was sending that message. I did not get that message when I watched it. Maybe you saw it that way because you wanted to see it that way.

You are aware, I hope, that Spielberg was the DIRECTOR of the movie. It was written by Robert Rodat.


I am not sure what other message is being sent in a scripted fictional movie where a released prisoner returns to kill his savior. And yes I know Spielberg is the Director, not the writer. I'm not going to engage in a silly debate about the creative authority Spielberg has over every aspect of his films, regardless of who receives which credit.
 
2012-12-09 02:46:46 PM  
My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."
 
2012-12-09 02:47:41 PM  

Mambo Bananapatch: scavenger: Frantic Freddie: Hey scavenger, how many civilians did the Germans kill during the occupation of Western Europe?

farking troll.....

a bunch. They killed a bunch.

I suspect our scavenger pieced history together from Code Pink pamphlets and rants by angry sociology profs, and thinks ideological zeal is a substitute for knowledge.


Yep, that's 100% accurate. Good job Sherlock Holmes.
 
2012-12-09 02:53:54 PM  
My high school driver's ed teacher was a former German fighter pilot. 14 years old, and he was conscripted, trained to fly, and put into tankbuster duty. The war ended before he had to fly any combat missions, but he immediately fled with his family out of Germany and eventually into the US.
 
2012-12-09 02:54:08 PM  

chuckufarlie: I suppose that you believe that there was no difference between German and a Nazi. If so, you would be wrong once again. With all of your pontificating, your grasp of the reality of the situation is very poor.

And if you think that some member of the Taliban is going to show mercy, you are even a bigger fool.


I think the odds of me being shown mercy by any given Nazi or Talibani fighter are extremely slim, just as I think the odds of them being given a break by any given Allied or U.S. soldier are extremely slim. It's war; the point isn't to show how merciful you are. For that matter, if it had been good ol' Charlie Brown showing that mercy to a guy fighting for the guys who were running Auschwitz, I don't think we'd all be feeling so warm and fuzzy about his act of tender humanity.

What I am saying is that in fifty years, if we're lucky, you're going to have the same nuanced approach to Nazis vs. Germans that you do towards the people we tend to lump under the general heading of "Middle Eastern/Central Asian evildoers" today. And, miraculously, you will always have been able to make that distinction. In fact, you'll be on HyperFark.com lecturing some ignorant kid about how a lot of those "insurgents" were effectively conscripts themselves with no way of knowing that the horror stories they were told about American atrocities or plans for world domination weren't true. Etc. etc.

bhcompy: If the Taliban had a uniformed military with professional soldiers or citizen soldiers that fought largely by the rules of war, which they probably had when they were fighting the Northern Alliance, I wouldn't hold them to the same fire that I would the al Qaeda or current Taliban fighters that attack civilians freely.


Yeah, I know, they're not fighting by the "rules of war" with uniforms and such. Of course they're not--if they lined up in formations and all tied identical ribbons to their arms, they'd all be dead in the first round of drone strikes. They're engaging in asymmetrical warfare (or whatever synonym you prefer) which is functionally impossible to do by the "rules." The fact that they're not scrupulously calling war-fouls on themselves is NOT why we're mad at them, though, you know. We'd be every inch as much up Afghanistan's ass if their marked bombers, commanded by Gen. bin Laden, had tried to blow up a bunch of military installations on 9/11. We just would have won a lot faster.

A bunch of agreed-upon ground rules codified in Switzerland a hundred years ago and then kinda-sorta followed, tongue-in-cheek, by certain parties to certain parts of one war fought immediately afterward, is not what defines personal honor or humanity. No one set of one-size-fits-all rules does that. Hell, think of your favorite Nazi-prison-break movie. Now count the Geneva Convention violations committed by the good guys. Using the Red Cross to smuggle in contraband?! A flagrant violation of the rules of war! I'm sure the Axis powers had to retire to their fainting couches when they realized that was going on. But I'm not exactly about to say we were fighting dirty in WWII on that account. 

For both of you, and for anybody else who freaked out in the meantime because TERRORISTS, here's the tl;dr: relax. Just prepare yourself for the inevitable day when you have to acknowledge that there are a few of the current bad guys who actually don't turn out to be as bad as they look in the middle of a war against them.
 
2012-12-09 02:56:23 PM  

gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.

Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.

You perceived that Spielberg was sending that message. I did not get that message when I watched it. Maybe you saw it that way because you wanted to see it that way.

You are aware, I hope, that Spielberg was the DIRECTOR of the movie. It was written by Robert Rodat.

I am not sure what other message is being sent in a scripted fictional movie where a released prisoner returns to kill his savior. And yes I know Spielberg is the Director, not the writer. I'm not going to engage in a silly debate about the creative authority Spielberg has over every aspect of his films, regardless of who receives which credit.


You blamed Spielberg because he is Jewish. The man who wrote the scene is not Jewish. Can you prove that Spielberg rewrote the scene?

He did not return to kill his savior. He returned to kill the man who did not take him prisoner. What does it tell you when a bunch of GIs want to kill a POW? A german who was taken prisoner was being saved, one who is allowed to return to combat was being condemned.
 
2012-12-09 03:01:54 PM  

semiotix: Yeah, I know, they're not fighting by the "rules of war" with uniforms and such. Of course they're not--if they lined up in formations and all tied identical ribbons to their arms, they'd all be dead in the first round of drone strikes. They're engaging in asymmetrical warfare (or whatever synonym you prefer) which is functionally impossible to do by the "rules." The fact that they're not scrupulously calling war-fouls on themselves is NOT why we're mad at them, though, you know. We'd be every inch as much up Afghanistan's ass if their marked bombers, commanded by Gen. bin Laden, had tried to blow up a bunch of military installations on 9/11. We just would have won a lot faster.

A bunch of agreed-upon ground rules codified in Switzerland a hundred years ago and then kinda-sorta followed, tongue-in-cheek, by certain parties to certain parts of one war fought immediately afterward, is not what defines personal honor or humanity. No one set of one-size-fits-all rules does that. Hell, think of your favorite Nazi-prison-break movie. Now count the Geneva Convention violations committed by the good guys. Using the Red Cross to smuggle in contraband?! A flagrant violation of the rules of war! I'm sure the Axis powers had to retire to their fainting couches when they realized that was going on. But I'm not exactly about to say we were fighting dirty in WWII on that account. 

For both of you, and for anybody else who freaked out in the meantime because TERRORISTS, here's the tl;dr: relax. Just prepare yourself for the inevitable day when you have to acknowledge that there are a few of the current bad guys who actually don't turn out to be as bad as they look in the middle of a war against them.


You have poor reading comprehension skills. I hold no disrespect for someone that as a solider fights soldiers. The second you start to target civilians directly(among other things), such as killing and disfiguring the women of your own country for the audacity of getting an education, you cease to become redeemable.
 
2012-12-09 03:03:29 PM  

semiotix: chuckufarlie: I suppose that you believe that there was no difference between German and a Nazi. If so, you would be wrong once again. With all of your pontificating, your grasp of the reality of the situation is very poor.

And if you think that some member of the Taliban is going to show mercy, you are even a bigger fool.

I think the odds of me being shown mercy by any given Nazi or Talibani fighter are extremely slim, just as I think the odds of them being given a break by any given Allied or U.S. soldier are extremely slim. It's war; the point isn't to show how merciful you are. For that matter, if it had been good ol' Charlie Brown showing that mercy to a guy fighting for the guys who were running Auschwitz, I don't think we'd all be feeling so warm and fuzzy about his act of tender humanity.

What I am saying is that in fifty years, if we're lucky, you're going to have the same nuanced approach to Nazis vs. Germans that you do towards the people we tend to lump under the general heading of "Middle Eastern/Central Asian evildoers" today. And, miraculously, you will always have been able to make that distinction. In fact, you'll be on HyperFark.com lecturing some ignorant kid about how a lot of those "insurgents" were effectively conscripts themselves with no way of knowing that the horror stories they were told about American atrocities or plans for world domination weren't true. Etc. etc.


Yes, that pilot was fighting for the people running Auschwitz but he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

If you really believe that there will come a time when the people in the USA look upon the taliban or al qaeda in the same way, I repeat that you are a fool. There is no comparison between a man who fought in an honorable war and the taliban/al qaeda assholes. These clowns are terrorists. They terrorize their own people. They attack civilians.
 
2012-12-09 03:05:04 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


What a clown, that Charlie brown
 
2012-12-09 03:06:43 PM  

chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.

Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.

You perceived that Spielberg was sending that message. I did not get that message when I watched it. Maybe you saw it that way because you wanted to see it that way.

You are aware, I hope, that Spielberg was the DIRECTOR of the movie. It was written by Robert Rodat.

I am not sure what other message is being sent in a scripted fictional movie where a released prisoner returns to kill his savior. And yes I know Spielberg is the Director, not the writer. I'm not going to engage in a silly debate about the creative authority Spielberg has over every aspect of his films, regardless of who receives which credit.

You blamed Spielberg because he is Jewish. The man who wrote the scene is not Jewish. Can you prove that Spielberg rewrote the scene?

He did not return to kill his savior. He returned to kill the man who did not take him prisoner. What does it tell you when a bunch of GIs want to kill a POW? A german who was taken prisoner was being saved, one who is allowed to return to combat was being condem ...


If anything I would FORGIVE Spielberg because he is Jewish. Not blame him. I never once said the word "jewish" I don't think the concept of "dirty germans" in WWII is restricted to Jews. It's a pretty universal sentiment.

And he did kill his savior. Hanks did not simply NOT take him prisoner. He ordered his men NOT to kill him, which they were certainly going to do before Hanks intervened. It was SCRIPTED that way, and it was intentional. What other purpose was there to having him shoot Hanks at the end of the movie? Do you seriously think that was accidental?

Anyway of course I can't prove the Spielberg re wrote the scene, not did I even claim he did. Anyway I can't debate with someone who simply starts making things up and implies arguments I never made. Good day.
 
2012-12-09 03:08:07 PM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: My high school driver's ed teacher was a former German fighter pilot. 14 years old, and he was conscripted, trained to fly, and put into tankbuster duty. The war ended before he had to fly any combat missions, but he immediately fled with his family out of Germany and eventually into the US.


I think that your teacher was pulling your leg. The idea that a 14 year old was trained to fly is not feasible. The Germans had plenty of pilots. What they did not have was the fuel to fly the planes. A 14 year old that was designated as a tank buster would have been given a Panzerfaust.
 
2012-12-09 03:09:02 PM  
Somewhere in a box I have a German book from the 20's or 30's about the Red Baron.
I think it is titled Der Rote Kampfflieger. It was printed in that old stylized font the Germans used, so a bit of a challenge for my brain to grasp; especially as I was just starting to learn the language at that time.
Found it at a flea market in Hamburg. I think I paid about DM5 for it.

I should dig it up and give it a try again. It would be interesting to see the German's perspective, especially from that time period.
 
2012-12-09 03:09:41 PM  
www.lostinthemultiplex.com
 
2012-12-09 03:09:47 PM  

gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: chuckufarlie: gmaki: 1. All Spielberg did was have the guy return to combat. That is probably what ever soldier on both sides would have done under the same circumstances.

Actually he had the soldier return to battle and THEN shoot the guy who freed him. ruined the movie actually

what part of "return to combat" did you not understand? The fact that he ended up killing the guy who freed him is minimal.

That movie was ruined long before that scene.

Maybe we are making different points but it IMHO it had a great impact on the message that Spielberg was trying to send which was "never trust a dirty German". The fact that he ended up killing the very person who freed him was intentional on Speilbergs part. Yes if it were an actual event it would just be a huge coincidence. But since it was contrived into the script and highly implausible, from a perspective of judging the movie and Spielbergs intended message.. it is very important.

You perceived that Spielberg was sending that message. I did not get that message when I watched it. Maybe you saw it that way because you wanted to see it that way.

You are aware, I hope, that Spielberg was the DIRECTOR of the movie. It was written by Robert Rodat.

I am not sure what other message is being sent in a scripted fictional movie where a released prisoner returns to kill his savior. And yes I know Spielberg is the Director, not the writer. I'm not going to engage in a silly debate about the creative authority Spielberg has over every aspect of his films, regardless of who receives which credit.

You blamed Spielberg because he is Jewish. The man who wrote the scene is not Jewish. Can you prove that Spielberg rewrote the scene?

He did not return to kill his savior. He returned to kill the man who did not take him prisoner. What does it tell you when a bunch of GIs want to kill a POW? A german who was taken prisoner was being saved, one who is allowed to return to combat wa ...


sorry, confused you with the guy who started this stupid argument.
 
2012-12-09 03:11:13 PM  

chuckufarlie: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: My high school driver's ed teacher was a former German fighter pilot. 14 years old, and he was conscripted, trained to fly, and put into tankbuster duty. The war ended before he had to fly any combat missions, but he immediately fled with his family out of Germany and eventually into the US.

I think that your teacher was pulling your leg. The idea that a 14 year old was trained to fly is not feasible. The Germans had plenty of pilots. What they did not have was the fuel to fly the planes. A 14 year old that was designated as a tank buster would have been given a Panzerfaust.


No... by the end of the war the Germans were down to using boy scouts and the elderly and infirm in the defense of Berlin. I think it's entirely likely.
 
2012-12-09 03:11:46 PM  

freewill: It's also apparently a common misunderstanding of the film. They were two different characters with similar haircuts, but the guy who killed Mellish was SS, while the prisoner was regular infantry.


Yes Mellish was killed by an SS soldier. The Steamboat Willie guy shoots Miller right at the end.
 
2012-12-09 03:13:08 PM  

D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."


Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.
 
2012-12-09 03:14:33 PM  

A_bomb37: chuckufarlie: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: My high school driver's ed teacher was a former German fighter pilot. 14 years old, and he was conscripted, trained to fly, and put into tankbuster duty. The war ended before he had to fly any combat missions, but he immediately fled with his family out of Germany and eventually into the US.

I think that your teacher was pulling your leg. The idea that a 14 year old was trained to fly is not feasible. The Germans had plenty of pilots. What they did not have was the fuel to fly the planes. A 14 year old that was designated as a tank buster would have been given a Panzerfaust.

No... by the end of the war the Germans were down to using boy scouts and the elderly and infirm in the defense of Berlin. I think it's entirely likely.


yes, they were using Hitler Youth members and the elderly, but not as PILOTS. There was no shortage of PILOTS. There was a shortage of infantry.
 
2012-12-09 03:18:08 PM  
That was the fastest four pages

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


You know, I'd guess that he probably wondered that too.
 
2012-12-09 03:19:06 PM  

WhippingBoy: superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.

Thank God not everyone thinks like you do, you pathetic little worm.


You're the worm.

*squish*
 
2012-12-09 03:21:17 PM  

superdude72: "Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen... Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it."

Mister Dude72,
Neither side targeted civilians during the early part of the war (Dresden and V2 rockets were much later), and there was a battle code observed by many experienced officers on both sides - non-combatants were to be left alone, Hospitals and medics were untouchable, and there were slack periods when the wounded could be collected to be treated. What you are advocating is butchery of the wounded, those unable to protect themselves, and that is shameful.
 
2012-12-09 03:22:54 PM  

vrax: That was the fastest four pages scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

You know, I'd guess that he probably wondered that too.


Probably not, the USAAF was targeting factories, not people. Of course, people did die as a result of the bombing, but they were not the target.
 
2012-12-09 03:23:20 PM  
You hear that? The German pilot was speaking ENGLISH. That's right, mother farker!

I kid, that was very noble of him. Stupid onions.
 
2012-12-09 03:23:54 PM  

Captain Darling: Yes Mellish was killed by an SS soldier. The Steamboat Willie guy shoots Miller right at the end.


Oh, OK.

Apparently, I wasn't paying much attention either.
 
2012-12-09 03:25:10 PM  

bugcrusher: superdude72: "Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen... Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it."
Mister Dude72,
Neither side targeted civilians during the early part of the war (Dresden and V2 rockets were much later) and there was a battle code observed by many experienced officers on both sides - non-combatants were to be left alone, Hospitals and medics were untouchable, and there were slack periods when the wounded could be collected to be treated. What you are advocating is butchery of the wounded, those unable to protect themselves, and that is shameful.


The ghosts of the people in Warsaw, London, Coventry, Rotterdam and a lot of other towns in the UK would like to have a word with you.
 
2012-12-09 03:25:27 PM  
CSB

My grandfather was a tail gunner in a B-17 that was shot down over occupied France. He was the only surviving member of the crew. He spent 3 months in a POW camp, was badly treated by the Germans, said they were assholes. He was liberated by Patton's troops and never really had anything good to say about Germany his whole life.

I watch Saving Private Ryan every Memorial Day and think about him.
 
2012-12-09 03:26:21 PM  

freewill: It's also apparently a common misunderstanding of the film. They were two different characters with similar haircuts, but the guy who killed Mellish was SS, while the prisoner was regular infantry.



That's correct, but they're also correct - "Steamboat Willie," the infantry guy, appears in that final scene as well, and he shoots Tom Hanks. He then recognizes Upham (and addresses him by name) right before Upham blows him away and lets the rest escape.
 
2012-12-09 03:28:03 PM  

chuckufarlie: vrax: That was the fastest four pages scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

You know, I'd guess that he probably wondered that too.

Probably not, the USAAF was targeting factories, not people. Of course, people did die as a result of the bombing, but they were not the target.


I don't mean that they were the target, but I would be surprised if he didn't reflect on such things.
 
2012-12-09 03:28:10 PM  

retarded: CSB

My grandfather was a tail gunner in a B-17 that was shot down over occupied France. He was the only surviving member of the crew. He spent 3 months in a POW camp, was badly treated by the Germans, said they were assholes. He was liberated by Patton's troops and never really had anything good to say about Germany his whole life.

I watch Saving Private Ryan every Memorial Day and think about him.


A plane shot down over occupied France and then rescued by Patton's troops would have spent a lot more than three months as a POW. Are you sure he did not say six months?
 
2012-12-09 03:29:55 PM  

vrax: chuckufarlie: vrax: That was the fastest four pages scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

You know, I'd guess that he probably wondered that too.

Probably not, the USAAF was targeting factories, not people. Of course, people did die as a result of the bombing, but they were not the target.

I don't mean that they were the target, but I would be surprised if he didn't reflect on such things.


Maybe, but doubtful. Most pilots did not think about the people on the ground. To preserve their sanity, they had to.
 
2012-12-09 03:30:23 PM  

chuckufarlie: retarded: CSB

My grandfather was a tail gunner in a B-17 that was shot down over occupied France. He was the only surviving member of the crew. He spent 3 months in a POW camp, was badly treated by the Germans, said they were assholes. He was liberated by Patton's troops and never really had anything good to say about Germany his whole life.

I watch Saving Private Ryan every Memorial Day and think about him.

A plane shot down over occupied France and then rescued by Patton's troops would have spent a lot more than three months as a POW. Are you sure he did not say six months?


I was always told 3 months. Why would it have been longer? Did they stop shooting planes down the last three months?
 
2012-12-09 03:32:20 PM  

retarded: chuckufarlie: retarded: CSB

My grandfather was a tail gunner in a B-17 that was shot down over occupied France. He was the only surviving member of the crew. He spent 3 months in a POW camp, was badly treated by the Germans, said they were assholes. He was liberated by Patton's troops and never really had anything good to say about Germany his whole life.

I watch Saving Private Ryan every Memorial Day and think about him.

A plane shot down over occupied France and then rescued by Patton's troops would have spent a lot more than three months as a POW. Are you sure he did not say six months?

I was always told 3 months. Why would it have been longer? Did they stop shooting planes down the last three months?


Maybe it was not occupied France. France was liberated before the end of 1944. Patton's troops did not rescue any POWs until April or early May.

So to answer your question, yea they did stop shooting down Allied planes over France in the last three months.
 
2012-12-09 03:32:48 PM  

bugcrusher: superdude72: "Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen... Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it."
Mister Dude72,
Neither side targeted civilians during the early part of the war (Dresden and V2 rockets were much later),


O RLY?

This happened, remember, in 1943.

From Wikipedia:
The Blitz (from German, "lightning") was the sustained strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Germany during the Second World War. Between 7 September 1940 and 21 May 1941 there were major raids (attacks in which more than 100 tonnes of high explosives were dropped) on 16 British cities: the capital, London, was attacked 71 times, Birmingham, Liverpool and Plymouth eight times, Bristol six, Glasgow five, Southampton four, Portsmouth three, and there was also at least one large raid on another eight cities.
 
2012-12-09 03:34:00 PM  

superdude72: bugcrusher: superdude72: "Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen... Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it."
Mister Dude72,
Neither side targeted civilians during the early part of the war (Dresden and V2 rockets were much later),

O RLY?

This happened, remember, in 1943.

From Wikipedia:
The Blitz (from German, "lightning") was the sustained strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Germany during the Second World War. Between 7 September 1940 and 21 May 1941 there were major raids (attacks in which more than 100 tonnes of high explosives were dropped) on 16 British cities: the capital, London, was attacked 71 times, Birmingham, Liverpool and Plymouth eight times, Bristol six, Glasgow five, Southampton four, Portsmouth three, and there was also at least one large raid on another eight cities.


beyond that, the Germans bombed Warsaw in 1939 and Rotterdam in 1940.
 
2012-12-09 03:44:22 PM  

bhcompy: You have poor reading comprehension skills. I hold no disrespect for someone that as a solider fights soldiers. The second you start to target civilians directly(among other things), such as killing and disfiguring the women of your own country for the audacity of getting an education, you cease to become redeemable.


chuckufarlie: Yes, that pilot was fighting for the people running Auschwitz but he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

If you really believe that there will come a time when the people in the USA look upon the taliban or al qaeda in the same way, I repeat that you are a fool. There is no comparison between a man who fought in an honorable war and the taliban/al qaeda assholes.


Look, I know you want me to be the guy who's saying that Osama was just misunderstood, and that killing civilians is hunky-dory. But guess what? Those guys you're talking about are war criminals, or just criminals period. So were the properly-uniformed German military personnel at the concentration camps, for that matter, not all of whom were exactly thrilled to be there or entirely in a position to comfortably refuse. But yeah, on some level, fark 'em. Fark Goebbles and Ayman al-Zawahiri a good deal more than the soldier on guard duty in front of Auschwitz or the Pakistani dirt farmer who lets the local cell store their bottles of face-acid in his shed. But still, fark those guys at least some.

What I'm saying--all I'm saying--is that not every single individual among the present day's bad guys, or rooting them on, is always going to seem automatically completely and cartoonishly evil, any more than Herr Stigler was even though he fought for Nazi farking Germany. And yeah, there will come a day when that sort of thing can be said without people freaking out about it. But Jeeeeeeesus, not today, I guess. Let's check back in fifty years.
 
2012-12-09 03:45:08 PM  
"Every single time you go up, you'll be outnumbered," Roedel said.

Stigler nodded, but said nothing.
 
2012-12-09 03:46:01 PM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


You mean now that we have drones?
 
2012-12-09 03:48:15 PM  

dericwater: superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.

You mean now that we have drones?


Drones have changed only one thing - less of our pilots at risk. There is still a person at the controls of the drone.
 
2012-12-09 03:49:49 PM  
wiki.tarantino.info

R.I.P. Charlie Brown
 
2012-12-09 03:50:53 PM  

scavenger: I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


Care to explain how TFA glorifies war?
 
2012-12-09 03:51:21 PM  

chuckufarlie: dericwater: superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.

You mean now that we have drones?

Drones have changed only one thing - less of our pilots at risk. There is still a person at the controls of the drone.



For now.
 
2012-12-09 03:52:54 PM  
www.blogcdn.com
 
2012-12-09 03:55:05 PM  

BigNumber12: chuckufarlie: dericwater: superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.

You mean now that we have drones?

Drones have changed only one thing - less of our pilots at risk. There is still a person at the controls of the drone.


For now.


I look forward to the day when the USA fights its wars using robots. People would be less inclined to test us.
 
2012-12-09 03:57:03 PM  
I read this story this morning and submitted because it genuinely made my morning. So glad to see it was greenlit and so many enjoyed it, even if it is old and I farked up the headline calling him a "fighter" pilot, instead of a bomber.
 
2012-12-09 03:57:22 PM  

chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.


They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.
 
2012-12-09 03:58:59 PM  
I think Stigler knew something when he gave the advice to go to Sweden instead of England. Brown should have listened to him.
 
2012-12-09 04:02:36 PM  

traylor: I think Stigler knew something when he gave the advice to go to Sweden instead of England. Brown should have listened to him.


Orr did it.
 
2012-12-09 04:07:09 PM  

olddeegee: Although I'm not entirely against their use, a drone wouldn't make the same decision


Currently, drones don't make any decisions. It's a regular aircraft, but with the cockpit in a different place.

That may change, but for now, no.
 
2012-12-09 04:11:17 PM  

D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.


the fact that you say that it was the gun on the outside of the tank makes the story even less likely. The only purpose that would have served would have been to kill the soldier. The fact that he was alive to tell his story is proof that he was making it all up.+

The fight or be shot dictum did happen in some cases, but this one is unlikely. SS troops did kill Heer troops if they thought that they were running away. That was mostly on the eastern front and no German soldier on the eastern front needed to be told to fight. He knew the risks of getting captured. So that puts the soldier on the western front and lots and lots of Germans surrendered on the western front in the closing days of the war.
 
2012-12-09 04:15:59 PM  
Merry Christmas, mine friend?
 
2012-12-09 04:16:00 PM  

traylor: I think Stigler knew something when he gave the advice to go to Sweden instead of England. Brown should have listened to him.


Not really, England was closer and to get to Sweden would have required flying over more German held territory. Best bet was to get over the Channel as quickly as possible. Once they did that, England was closer.
 
2012-12-09 04:30:51 PM  

scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger: Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...

Sorry to interrupt your wank session. Carry on...

Sometimes, trying to be cool and edgy has the opposite effect. Yes?

Maybe you'll learn something today, at least... but I doubt it.

I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


It occurs to me that this has already been dealt with in part, but I'd like to iterate on my own.

Glorifying war would entail making something special about violence and blindly following orders to the point of martyrdom. That's not what this story is about at all. This is a story about two men who were supposed to be enemies, but despite the odds became friends when one spares the life of the other regardless of the party line. This story downplays acts of violence and glorifies radical acts of goodness and honor in extreme circumstances.
 
2012-12-09 04:31:35 PM  

coffee smells good: publikenemy: I read this story this morning and submitted because it genuinely made my morning. So glad to see it was greenlit and so many enjoyed it, even if it is old and I farked up the headline calling him a "fighter" pilot, instead of a bomber.

Thank you


Yes, thanks.
 
2012-12-09 04:43:03 PM  

chuckufarlie: traylor: I think Stigler knew something when he gave the advice to go to Sweden instead of England. Brown should have listened to him.

Not really, England was closer and to get to Sweden would have required flying over more German held territory. Best bet was to get over the Channel as quickly as possible. Once they did that, England was closer.


I see your point, but in my mind Stigler is shouting "Forget England! The girls are hotter in Sweden!"
 
2012-12-09 04:49:34 PM  

scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger: Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...

Sorry to interrupt your wank session. Carry on...

Sometimes, trying to be cool and edgy has the opposite effect. Yes?

Maybe you'll learn something today, at least... but I doubt it.

I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


That's all well and good. There are still stories that can be uplifting to mankind that we're not a complete waste just yet. Meanwhile, while wayyyyyy left leaning liberals that abhor violence and war, have no problem bringing sticks and stones to a downtown area and protesting violently with obvious consequences, like in Seattle at the Mayday protests.

Get your farking priorities in order Libs, you're all over the map.
 
2012-12-09 04:52:56 PM  

superdude72: Farty McPooPants:

There were plenty more to replace them, it wouldn't have made a difference as far as that is concerned.

Oh, really? I wasn't aware that the British in 1943 had such a surplus of qualified bomber crews and able-bodied men aged 18-35 to train as replacements. I thought the war was kind of a hard slog for them. I thought that was why they kept increasing the number of sorties the bomber crews had to fly, as Joseph Heller portrayed in Catch-22.


1. He didn't think they were even going to survive the trip back across the channel.
2. This was an American crew flying an American bomber from an American airbase in England. The Brits didn't fly B-17s and they avoided daylight bombing runs.

Dumbass.
 
2012-12-09 05:00:25 PM  

traylor: chuckufarlie: traylor: I think Stigler knew something when he gave the advice to go to Sweden instead of England. Brown should have listened to him.

Not really, England was closer and to get to Sweden would have required flying over more German held territory. Best bet was to get over the Channel as quickly as possible. Once they did that, England was closer.

I see your point, but in my mind Stigler is shouting "Forget England! The girls are hotter in Sweden!"


You are correct about the girls being hotter in Sweden but the odds were better in the UK. What with the UK army fighting overseas and the US ground troops not up to full strength, the USAAF guys had their pick of the girls.

Better a 7 that you can score with than an 8 or 9 that you can only watch walk by with her boyfriend. And I think the crews that landed in Sweden were put into internment camps. I have no idea if they were allowed to roam around the country.
 
2012-12-09 05:01:09 PM  

JesseL: superdude72: Farty McPooPants:

There were plenty more to replace them, it wouldn't have made a difference as far as that is concerned.

Oh, really? I wasn't aware that the British in 1943 had such a surplus of qualified bomber crews and able-bodied men aged 18-35 to train as replacements. I thought the war was kind of a hard slog for them. I thought that was why they kept increasing the number of sorties the bomber crews had to fly, as Joseph Heller portrayed in Catch-22.

1. He didn't think they were even going to survive the trip back across the channel.
2. This was an American crew flying an American bomber from an American airbase in England. The Brits didn't fly B-17s and they avoided daylight bombing runs.

Dumbass.


psst. Don't tell anybody but the Brits actually did fly B-17s.
 
2012-12-09 05:02:27 PM  

Fade2black: scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger: Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...

Sorry to interrupt your wank session. Carry on...

Sometimes, trying to be cool and edgy has the opposite effect. Yes?

Maybe you'll learn something today, at least... but I doubt it.

I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.

That's all well and good. There are still stories that can be uplifting to mankind that we're not a complete waste just yet. Meanwhile, while wayyyyyy left leaning liberals that abhor violence and war, have no problem bringing sticks and stones to a downtown area and protesting violently with obvious consequences, like in Seattle at the Mayday protests.

Get your farking priorities in order Libs, you're all over the map.


to be fair, let us consider the case of the conservatives who kill people to protect unborn babies.
 
2012-12-09 05:10:18 PM  

chuckufarlie: JesseL: superdude72: Farty McPooPants:

There were plenty more to replace them, it wouldn't have made a difference as far as that is concerned.

Oh, really? I wasn't aware that the British in 1943 had such a surplus of qualified bomber crews and able-bodied men aged 18-35 to train as replacements. I thought the war was kind of a hard slog for them. I thought that was why they kept increasing the number of sorties the bomber crews had to fly, as Joseph Heller portrayed in Catch-22.

1. He didn't think they were even going to survive the trip back across the channel.
2. This was an American crew flying an American bomber from an American airbase in England. The Brits didn't fly B-17s and they avoided daylight bombing runs.

Dumbass.

psst. Don't tell anybody but the Brits actually did fly B-17s.


Jesus, how easy it is for us internet enabled trolls to debate the judgement of two men engaged in deadly combat decades ago. As if either of these guys did all these calculations in the moment. It was an act of mercy granted from one person to another in a situation virtually none of us have the ability to even comprehend. Neither man was worrying about how many replacement pilots were available or who might return or who flew what model of bomber or didn't.
 
2012-12-09 05:25:03 PM  
Great article, great thread. Like with most things, the hippies ruin everything, but otherwise thanks for the insights, everyone.
 
2012-12-09 05:28:59 PM  
Chak

Nope not trolling, and again good story but the headline says "WW2 fighter pilot Charlie Brown..." and the opening paragraph reads, "On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American bomber pilot named Charlie Brown found

Not enough.
 
2012-12-09 05:32:20 PM  
> In their obituaries, each was listed to the other as "a special brother."

Without this story, I think everyone would now assume they were gay partners.
 
2012-12-09 05:37:28 PM  
May be a good thing I skipped reading pgs 2&3 of comments for all the verbiage that may or may not be justified. Now that both major players in this tale have years since greeted each other, & their comrades, in Valhalla or wherever, it was safe to write the book. Don't make 'em, any of 'em, men or women, like they used to. Could not resist reading the article tho.
Also line about WW2 not ending til the 1990s. Yes indeedy! Not until Berlin ceased to be the Last Remaining Occupied City from that war.
Schluss damit, & no am not of German forbearance, but lived in W Germany & W Berlin for almost 8 yrs in the 1970s.
 
2012-12-09 05:40:53 PM  

laulaja: May be a good thing I skipped reading pgs 2&3 of comments for all the verbiage that may or may not be justified. Now that both major players in this tale have years since greeted each other, & their comrades, in Valhalla or wherever, it was safe to write the book. Don't make 'em, any of 'em, men or women, like they used to. Could not resist reading the article tho.
Also line about WW2 not ending til the 1990s. Yes indeedy! Not until Berlin ceased to be the Last Remaining Occupied City from that war.
Schluss damit, & no am not of German forbearance, but lived in W Germany & W Berlin for almost 8 yrs in the 1970s.


what was it like to live in W Berlin? The 1970s were kinda tense.
 
2012-12-09 05:56:53 PM  

Tsar_Bomba1: [imageshack.us image 748x340]

[img194.imageshack.us image 749x348]


Source?
 
2012-12-09 06:05:57 PM  

AngryDragon: Tsar_Bomba1: [imageshack.us image 748x340]

[img194.imageshack.us image 749x348]

Source?


a movie called THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER. came out in the 1970s.
 
2012-12-09 06:19:11 PM  
The nazis leadership may have been evil but not all of the Germans who served in the war were.
 
2012-12-09 06:19:37 PM  
Like Subby's Mom, those B-17s could really take a pounding.

www.ww2aircraft.net

www.daveswarbirds.com

www.daveswarbirds.com
 
2012-12-09 06:22:59 PM  
He craned his neck and yelled back for his top gunner, screamed at him to get up in his turret and shoot this guy out of the sky. Before Brown's gunner could squeeze off his first round, the German did something even weirder: He looked Brown in the eye and gave him a salute. Then he peeled away.

He saw that the bomber was crippled, and that there were probably man casualties inside, and they were combat ineffective, and he let them go, hoping they would make it. What a gentleman. I salute not only you for sparing the lives of those aboard, but also the brave crew of the B-17.

/tips a glass

//Salute'
 
2012-12-09 06:38:00 PM  

D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.


Maybe it wasn't a tank? Because no German tank had a machinegun mounted on top that your only job was to shoot it.
 
2012-12-09 06:53:04 PM  

bhcompy: chuckufarlie: The fact that it went against the code has nothing to do with this. You made the statement that Bushido allowed the Japanese soldier to live with himself when in fact, NONE of them were actually following the code. That was the stupidity in your argument. It still is, you then compounded it.

Actually, I said those codes allow for it. I never mentioned Japanese WW2 soldiers, because they didn't practice classic bushido. Just like Western WW2 soldiers didn't practice classic chivalry.


Classic chivalry was capturing and treating prisoners with the highest respect who were socially your equal and had the family connections and wealth to either pay a nice chunk of money for their safe return or make your life miserable if you didn't. OTOH, if after a battle you were feeling a bit frisky and didn't get to expend enough energy to get off your adrenaline high, hell, that's what peasants were for. No decent armour and usually lots of helpless women to try out your "lance" in, if you get my drift.
The Walter Scott ideal of chivalry was a 19th century fantasy, much like the Edo-era depiction turned what were basically a bunch of thugs on horseback who could switch sides in battle and often did, if their personal leader decided it was to his advantage, into the flawlessly noble and loyal Samurai of Japanese legend.
 
2012-12-09 07:01:41 PM  
At that range, he could have taken a picture.

genuineindividual.com
 
2012-12-09 07:36:27 PM  

scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?


All of them.
/obvious
 
2012-12-09 07:48:22 PM  

Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.

Maybe it wasn't a tank? Because no German tank had a machinegun mounted on top that your only job was to shoot it.


If I recall correctly, Germany did continue to use open topped self propelled guns until the end of the war. And keep in mind that the word "tank" (especially through the filter of translation) could refer to any number of armored vehicles that aren't in the strictest sense of the word, tanks, that is, tracked and turreted.

It sounds like some details may have been garbled, but I don't think that is enough to discount the story. Germany did use conscripts as they grew more desperate for warm bodies, and the SS were often not particularly kind to them.  It isn't difficult to believe that one would be cuffed to his machine gun.
 
2012-12-09 08:04:49 PM  
I find it odd that there's a wikipedia page for the "Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident" but there's no separate page for the the pilots (most of the aces have their own pages), and although Franz Stigler is credited with 28 kills, he is not listed on the page of List of World War II flying aces. Someone should fix it.
 
2012-12-09 08:05:28 PM  

miniflea: Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.

Maybe it wasn't a tank? Because no German tank had a machinegun mounted on top that your only job was to shoot it.

If I recall correctly, Germany did continue to use open topped self propelled guns until the end of the war. And keep in mind that the word "tank" (especially through the filter of translation) could refer to any number of armored vehicles that ...


It is VERY difficult for me to believe that they handcuffed a man to his machine gun.

1. The SS was fighting on the eastern front at the end of the war and this event would have had to have happened on the western front. A German soldier on the Eastern front knew that it was kill or be killed.

2. The machine gun on the STUG III was operated by one man. An additional gunner would have been exposed to fire so they only used one. A man operating a machinegun by himself would need the use of both hands with full mobility. He could shoot one can of ammo and then he was finished.

3. Self-propelled artillery did not use their machine gun unless the front line had been over run so it seems unlikely that he was on a self-propelled gun.

4. German soldiers recognized the difference between a tank, a STUG and a self propelled gun. If the man said tank, he meant tank.

This was a story invented by an old man who wanted people to look upon him with sympathy because he did not want to kill anybody any more. He did not want people to consider him a nasty German.
 
2012-12-09 08:25:42 PM  

chuckufarlie: miniflea: Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.

Maybe it wasn't a tank? Because no German tank had a machinegun mounted on top that your only job was to shoot it.

If I recall correctly, Germany did continue to use open topped self propelled guns until the end of the war. And keep in mind that the word "tank" (especially through the filter of translation) could refer to any number of armored vehi ...


Yeah, that story has more holes in it than a badminton racket. The only fellow who was half-in, half out of his tank was occasionally the tank commander, who was definitely not handcuffed to anything- they would pop out, get a good 360 look-see, and get back under cover.
 
2012-12-09 08:33:14 PM  
I had the privilege to meet these gentlemen at an event hosted by aviation artist Ernie Boyette back in 1999, down in Jacksonville, FL. The warmth and camaraderie evident between Stigler and Brown was quite evident. I later had the opportunity to speak with Herr Stigler at length about his later war experiences, flying the Bf 109K-4 with JG 27 and the Me 262 with JV 44. He was a genuinely engaging man with great regard for his erstwhile opponents, and to the end of his life, Charlie Brown referred to Franz as "his German brother".

It should be noted that Stigler was involved in a particularly ugly episode in Luftwaffe history during his time with 4./JG 27 in the Western Desert; four pilots in that unit, Stigler included, were found to be flying out to strafe empty ground, then filing false victory claims upon their return to base, all while serving as witnesses' for each others "kills". Faced with an impending court martial, the Staffelkapitän took off on a flight over the Mediterranean and intentionally crashed his aircraft, killing himself in the process; the Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 27, Hptm. Gustav Rödel, let the matter rest at that point and did not pursue further charges against Stigler and the other two pilots; his subsequent record might be called into question, but considering he remained with JG 27 for another two years, it would seem he had regained the trust of his fellow squadron members.

Men like Franz, Horst Petzschler, Oskar Boesch, Günther Rall and Hans-Ekkehard Bob, despite having served the wrong side during WWII, were decent men who went on to befriend many of the same pilots who tried to kill them a few short years before; Rall and famed US ace "Hub" Zemke became fast friends, for instance, despite Zemke having shot down Rall, severing his thumb in the process. Meeting these men is always incredibly humbling, to see how they come together to celebrate what they shared in common, rather than dwelling on that which initially led them to fight. There is much to be learned from their example.
 
2012-12-09 08:38:46 PM  

cynicalbastard: chuckufarlie: miniflea: Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert. He said that if he actually hit anyone, it was by mistake, as he spent most of his time shooting where the enemy wasn't, all while praying he'd be taken prisoner--because fighting he had a chance, but to be caught not fighting he would be executed.

So, yeah. "Nazi" does not equal "German soldier."

Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe. Handcuffing a soldier inside of a tank is a virtual death sentence. If the tank got hit, this guy was screwed.

There are so many things about this story that just do not add up.

They weren't concerned with whether or not they died. They were concerned that they would surrender or retreat. And he, specifically, wasn't inside the tank. It was the machine gun on top. (OK, probably in the tank from the waist down.) And while I don't disagree that third-hand information isn't reliable, I have no reason to doubt my grandmother's version. Whether or not the landlord was telling the truth can be questioned, but the "fight or be shot" dictum from German officers has been a verified actuality, as illustrated in TFA.

Maybe it wasn't a tank? Because no German tank had a machinegun mounted on top that your only job was to shoot it.

If I recall correctly, Germany did continue to use open topped self propelled guns until the end of the war. And keep in mind that the word "tank" (especially through the filter of translation) could refer to any number o ...


true. Anybody who spent their time on the outside of the turret would not have been telling any stories about his war experiences. He'd be in an unmarked grave.
 
2012-12-09 09:18:04 PM  

CruJones: Pretty sure I've read about this before, when they died maybe.

I highly recommend the book Unbroken for anyone interested in this stuff. True story about an Olympian and bomber crewman who survived a crash in the ocean and floated for like 60 days or something ridiculous, was captured by the Japanese, etc. Great read.


I second this. Amazing book - I could not put it down and read it in one very long sitting.
 
2012-12-09 09:18:24 PM  
History is replete with tales of Wehrmacht atrocities. Revisionism sux and is infantile.
 
2012-12-09 09:51:48 PM  
Maybe the guy did make it up, who knows. Did the poster say if the guy was German? The Germans forced plenty of non Germans to fight, and a non German might think that surrendering to Russians wasn't so bad. This may also explain a lack of familiarity with types of armor. I'm not really trying to defend the story as told, just saying that details change in transmission and we are hearing the story fourth hand.
 
2012-12-09 09:58:45 PM  

miniflea: Maybe the guy did make it up, who knows. Did the poster say if the guy was German? The Germans forced plenty of non Germans to fight, and a non German might think that surrendering to Russians wasn't so bad. This may also explain a lack of familiarity with types of armor. I'm not really trying to defend the story as told, just saying that details change in transmission and we are hearing the story fourth hand.


He said the guy was a German. I think the old man was either lying or had suffered a head injury.
 
2012-12-09 10:06:53 PM  
He said the guy was a German conscript. That could be read to mean he was a non-German conscripted by the German army. Or you could be right.
 
2012-12-09 10:19:45 PM  
What more can you ask for from a Fark article?

Great story about two good men, and an opportunity to block a few asshole trolls.
 
2012-12-09 10:23:33 PM  

Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger:
I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.

You "Just abhor violence" yet you click on a link about WW2? Guess you don't know the meaning of 'abhor'. Let me define it for you:


abhor [əbˈhɔː]
vb -hors, -horring, -horred
(tr) to detest vehemently; find repugnant; reject
[from Latin abhorrēre to shudder at, shrink from, from ab- away from + horrēre to bristle, shudder]

Given that you abhor violence, your claim that you came to this thread and had to post your miserable thoughts make no sense. You must now be traumatized about reading about two old men who survived a horrible period in their lives and found each other 50 years later?

Go read threads about unicorns and rainbows and only post happy hippy thoughts. You'll feel much better.


Even worse - he takes a story about war WHERE HUMANITY AND MERCY IS THE STORY and takes a big smelly dump in the thread.
 
2012-12-09 11:25:58 PM  

Don Piano: Somewhere in a box I have a German book from the 20's or 30's about the Red Baron.
I think it is titled Der Rote Kampfflieger. It was printed in that old stylized font the Germans used, so a bit of a challenge for my brain to grasp; especially as I was just starting to learn the language at that time.
Found it at a flea market in Hamburg. I think I paid about DM5 for it.

I should dig it up and give it a try again. It would be interesting to see the German's perspective, especially from that time period.


Well if you want you can just go here and read the english translation.
 
2012-12-09 11:26:45 PM  
Hope chuckufarlie's still up & reading. W Berlin when it still was, was dreadful for some, wonderful for others (like us who Took Every Advantage we could). My spouse was fortunate to have a plum posting, to American Forces Network TV which accompanied AFN Radio, tho not at same address. Rotating units of US, British & French forces served as occupying troops; army, air force & a few marines, about a brigade's worth for each national force. Plus of course the ones with the 12'" thick security clearances who didn't "really exist". We knew some of them; rather a high proportion of folks stationed there were said to be surveillance of some kind. Teufelsberg was built by war widows who shovelled the rubble from Allied bombing into a small mountain (I forget how tall, actual height may have been classified) that then was used to collect Electronic Intelligence & now is freely skiied down in the winter. Berlin was then & remains a city of forests, lakes & art as well as commerce & industry.
Then, there was the sentence in American English, maybe also in Queen's English & French: The Outpost of Freedom 110 Miles Behind The Iron Curtain Surrounded By The Godless Commie Hordes. Some felt hemmed in; others, like us, didn't. We had both a car & a bicycle each; used the bikes more than the car. Someone else said that if The Godless Commie Hordes ever decided to, they could've made a prison camp of W Berlin. Whoever said that, had forgotten the lessons of the Airlift.
Longer tale a trifle shorter, we highly enjoyed W Berlin & are grateful for the years we spent there.
 
2012-12-09 11:33:17 PM  
Yeah that produced a lump in my throat and a lot of blinking.
 
2012-12-09 11:37:16 PM  

AirForceVet: Great story. Glad they both survived to tell.


A surprising percentage of surviving Luftwaffe pilots emigrated to Canada after the war. I met a few growing up as jovial if slightly scary dads of cute little frauleins.

Anyway, a touch of Christmas uplift is OK with me.
 
2012-12-09 11:41:48 PM  

scavenger: ElLoco: scavenger: Discernibly Turgid: scavenger: I wonder how many civilians Mr. Brown killed by dropping bombs on them?

Jesus. Great sentimental story about honor and heroism, yet the peace hippy trolls have already arrived posting this crap in the first 2 dozen posts. Why do you asshats even click on links about war?

Must be a new fark record...

Sorry to interrupt your wank session. Carry on...

Sometimes, trying to be cool and edgy has the opposite effect. Yes?

Maybe you'll learn something today, at least... but I doubt it.

I'm neither cool nor edgy, don't worry. I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.


Actually, this story glorifies peace, admittedly in the midst of war.

It's curious when decency rears its head in the midst of programmic insanity, hatred and prescribed violence. But sometimes it does.
 
2012-12-10 12:03:16 AM  
Dear Subby: a nice find, whether or not it's a "breaking news" story.

Dear Mods: thanks for greenlighting this one.

Dear shower-in-my-socks: you got Favorited today.
 
2012-12-10 12:16:32 AM  

superdude72: So he was too honorable to shoot down a bomber when it was vulnerable. Nice job, Stigler, you've just freed that bomber crew to return to battle and kill god knows how many of your countrymen.

It's such an aristocratic way of thinking. Who cares how many of the little people die as result of your actions (or lack thereof). The important thing is that you keep your "honor."

Thank God such chivalry has gone out of fashion. We're a better world for it.


Assuming you're not trolling...

I don't think you understood the speech Roedel gave. If you have a reputation of showing no mercy, you can't expect any in return, and the Germans' numbers were getting low in a hurry.

It's okay, the world needs garbage collectors, too.
 
2012-12-10 12:25:32 AM  

cynicalbastard: bhcompy: chuckufarlie: The fact that it went against the code has nothing to do with this. You made the statement that Bushido allowed the Japanese soldier to live with himself when in fact, NONE of them were actually following the code. That was the stupidity in your argument. It still is, you then compounded it.

Actually, I said those codes allow for it. I never mentioned Japanese WW2 soldiers, because they didn't practice classic bushido. Just like Western WW2 soldiers didn't practice classic chivalry.

Classic chivalry was capturing and treating prisoners with the highest respect who were socially your equal and had the family connections and wealth to either pay a nice chunk of money for their safe return or make your life miserable if you didn't. OTOH, if after a battle you were feeling a bit frisky and didn't get to expend enough energy to get off your adrenaline high, hell, that's what peasants were for. No decent armour and usually lots of helpless women to try out your "lance" in, if you get my drift.
The Walter Scott ideal of chivalry was a 19th century fantasy, much like the Edo-era depiction turned what were basically a bunch of thugs on horseback who could switch sides in battle and often did, if their personal leader decided it was to his advantage, into the flawlessly noble and loyal Samurai of Japanese legend.


Post and username match perfectly. And you are correct.
 
2012-12-10 12:45:25 AM  
Much more often it went like this. P-51 shoots down an ME-109 at low altitude. You can hear the emotion in the pilots voice as he recalls watching the pilot bail out of his burning plane a few feet from the ground. War is a terrible thing.

Quentin Aanenson was a P-47 pilot who made a documentary of his experiences called A Fighter Pilot's Story, where he related his experiences of the war. One of his stories was of catching a German soldiers out in the open, and making pass after pass with his eight fifty caliber machine guns.

On one occasion, his wing man had expended his ammunition, and on the way back to their base, they saw a column of Germans on a road. His wing man stayed as top cover to warn Aanenson if German fighters approached. In the mean time, Aanenson strafed the column of German soldiers.

He said that as he made pass after pass, he saw their fear, and he saw the dead piling up. In some cases, they merely stood in the open watching him. They had no place to hide. They just waited for him to come back and kill them.

He didn't have the comfort of thinking that some other fighter had done all that killing and that he had just contributed a small amount to the carnage. He knew that the killing was by his own hand -- his hand alone.

He felt so bad, he broke off the attack and on the way back to his base he was sick, and then he discovered that he couldn't move his right arm. He had to remove it from the stick with his left hand and land with the left hand -- his right arm was limp in his lap.

For decades afterward, he would have the same dream and see those dead and dying men, and when he awoke, he could not move his right arm. When he sat down for breakfast, his wife would see that he was holding his coffee in his left hand and the right was in his lap -- and she knew he had had "that" dream again.
 

He did his duty, and lived to tell his story. PBS showed it back in 1995, but I think you'd have to buy a copy from his website to see it now.
 
2012-12-10 12:50:05 AM  
Wikipedia has the letter he wrote, but never sent, to his wife. He read this in his documentary.

Dear Jackie,

For the past two hours, I've been sitting here alone in my tent, trying to figure out just what I should do and what I should say in this letter in response to your letters and some questions you have asked. I have purposely not told you much about my world over here, because I thought it might upset you. Perhaps that has been a mistake, so let me correct that right now. I still doubt if you will be able to comprehend it. I don't think anyone can who has not been through it.

I live in a world of death. I have watched my friends die in a variety of violent ways...

Sometimes it's just an engine failure on takeoff resulting in a violent explosion. There's not enough left to bury. Other times, it's the deadly flak that tears into a plane. If the pilot is lucky, the flak kills him. But usually he isn't, and he burns to death as his plane spins in. Fire is the worst. In early September one of my good friends crashed on the edge of our field. As he was pulled from the burning plane, the skin came off his arms. His face was almost burned away. He was still conscious and trying to talk. You can't imagine the horror.

So far, I have done my duty in this war. I have never aborted a mission or failed to dive on a target no matter how intense the flak. I have lived for my dreams for the future. But like everything else around me, my dreams are dying, too. In spite of everything, I may live through this war and return to Baton Rouge. But I am not the same person you said goodbye to on May 3. No one can go through this and not change. We are all casualties. In the meantime, we just go on. Some way, somehow, this will all have an ending. Whatever it is, I am ready for it.

Quentin
 
2012-12-10 01:15:55 AM  
War elicits bestial brutality and occasional empathy.

Death of the Ball Turret Gunner:

"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."

Jarrell [the author], who served in the Army Air Force, provided the following explanatory note:

"A ball turret was a plexiglass sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upsidedown in his little sphere. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_the_Ball_Turret_Gunner   

upload.wikimedia.org 


They're gonna send you back to mother
In a cardboard box
 
2012-12-10 02:34:06 AM  
The most important part of the whole story is the beginning where Franz was told about honor. Were it not for that, the story might have had a much different ending. Words matter people. Use them wisely. And teach, don't scream or put down or be sarcastic. Just teach.
 
2012-12-10 02:39:56 AM  
 
2012-12-10 04:59:51 AM  
My FIL was a navigator in a Lancaster at the ripe old age of 18 years. One mission, he poked his head up into the navigator's plexi-bubble and then ducked down shortly before it was shattered by shrapnel. Scared the crap out of him. He kept that piece of plexi for the rest of his life, and my husband has it now. I don't think my FIL ever got over the horrors of the war. It profoundly affected him. :(
 
2012-12-10 06:44:05 AM  
"You follow the rules of war for you - not for your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity."

A timely message for America...from a Nazi.
 
2012-12-10 08:32:58 AM  

Fano: cynicalbastard: bhcompy: chuckufarlie: The fact that it went against the code has nothing to do with this. You made the statement that Bushido allowed the Japanese soldier to live with himself when in fact, NONE of them were actually following the code. That was the stupidity in your argument. It still is, you then compounded it.

Actually, I said those codes allow for it. I never mentioned Japanese WW2 soldiers, because they didn't practice classic bushido. Just like Western WW2 soldiers didn't practice classic chivalry.

Classic chivalry was capturing and treating prisoners with the highest respect who were socially your equal and had the family connections and wealth to either pay a nice chunk of money for their safe return or make your life miserable if you didn't. OTOH, if after a battle you were feeling a bit frisky and didn't get to expend enough energy to get off your adrenaline high, hell, that's what peasants were for. No decent armour and usually lots of helpless women to try out your "lance" in, if you get my drift.
The Walter Scott ideal of chivalry was a 19th century fantasy, much like the Edo-era depiction turned what were basically a bunch of thugs on horseback who could switch sides in battle and often did, if their personal leader decided it was to his advantage, into the flawlessly noble and loyal Samurai of Japanese legend.

Post and username match perfectly. And you are correct.


Actually, the modern Geneva convention regarding care and treatment of prisoners of war comes far closer to the Scott's ideals than the steel-plated schizophrenics of the Crusades and the Hundred Years War ever did.
 
2012-12-10 08:47:55 AM  
ok, I'm just as awe-inspired about this fantastic display of humanity in the midst of war as the next person...
but...
Did anyone else click on that "Splash" ad featuring Russell Simmon's girlfriend in a bikini frolicking on the beach?
hot. DAMN!

/and yes, cool story. that is all.
 
2012-12-10 10:48:44 AM  
miniflea


>>> Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was
>>> a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the
>>> machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's
>>> were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his
>>> eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert.


...Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe...
Agreed the desperation of the german population to distance themselves from the evils they were doing is shown in the lies they told post war.

"we didn't know" and the aforementioned handcuffed to gear bullshiat are just 2 examples.
 
2012-12-10 11:33:26 AM  
scavenger: I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.

Me too, actually... That said, WWII was a war that needed to be fought by the United States. Without U.S. involvement, the outcome would have been very different and much worse. The wars after WWII did not require U.S. participation, but our government enjoys spending huge amounts of money and blowing shiat up, so...

It was a good story with a good ending.
 
2012-12-10 11:46:18 AM  

Yakivegas: If I remember correctly, there's a similar story in "Thunderbolt!" by Robert Johnson. His plane was shot to hell, figured the German pilot was about to finish him off but he disengaged and let him go.


I don't remember that one. I do remember him talking about escorting a P-51 home after the Mustang shot down a German plane and it's pilot bailed out right into the P-51's nose cone.
 
2012-12-10 12:27:30 PM  

Molavian: scavenger: I just abhor violence and anything that glorifies war.

I also abhor violence, but I'm capable of committing atrocious acts in the name of peace.

semiotix: So the sappy, schmaltzy moral I take away from this is that we'd probably have fewer wars--and for that matter, fewer Talibans and Nazi reichs--if we'd start figuring that out sooner.

Maybe the thing we should is kill everyone who's in charge. Let the normal folk work it out.


The problem is that without leaders, you have mobs, which are worse.
 
2012-12-10 12:33:39 PM  
Wow.... just... Wow....

Another amazing story from WW2 is Unbroken.
 
2012-12-10 02:59:48 PM  
Okay... you got me. I cried.
 
2012-12-10 04:00:57 PM  

OnlyM3: miniflea


>>> Medic Zero: D2theMcV: chuckufarlie: D2theMcV: My grandmother had a landlord who was
>>> a German conscript late in the war as a teen. He was in a tank unit. He manned the
>>> machine gun on the tank. He told her that they knew they had lost, but, because the Nazi's
>>> were fools and wouldn't surrender, they had to keep fighting. He told her with tears in his
>>> eyes that he (among others) were handcuffed to their gun so they couldn't surrender or desert.


...Anytime I hear a story that was told to the person by a person who heard it from a third person, I have trouble accepting it. In this case it seems very hard to believe... Agreed the desperation of the german population to distance themselves from the evils they were doing is shown in the lies they told post war.

"we didn't know" and the aforementioned handcuffed to gear bullshiat are just 2 examples.


Yes, some Germans had trouble owning up to the atrocities. But it's VERY common knowledge that the Nazi party continued to draft and impress citizens into the war, at ever decreasing ages. No training, just given guns and pointed where to shoot. Late in the war, you can find stories of how German commanders were trying to move both citizens and soldiers out of the action to try and save as many as they could before surrender. The SS would have none of that. So was this story embellished or made from whole cloth? Maybe. But knowing the circumstances of the end of the war, it is not at all improbable.

Even some members of the Nazi party became disillusioned with the actions of their own party, and either ignored or ran counter to orders given that they found unethical or immoral. There were good guys and bad guys on every side. As a whole, the Nazis were close to the epitome of evil, that's a given. Maybe it's time to stop castigating Germans and people who fought in the war, though. As is mentioned, anywhere where mercy and humanity blooms, it should be celebrated. History has many lessons that offer, and we should understand and listen to it! Not poo poo the stories and bury our collective heads in the ideological sand.

/I hear Kelly's Heroes was based on a true story.
 
2012-12-11 11:21:35 PM  

Xenomech: A timely message for America...from a Nazi.


It was explained like 5x in this thread already, many of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who fought for Nazi Germany were not really "Nazis". The person you are referring to not only was involved in a protest against the regime, defending the unfairly blamed fighter pilots for losing the battle of britain, which was considered treason, but survived the war, was not prosecuted for war crimes, and eventually joined the West German air force.
 
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