Talking to my Grandad... -1 reply

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MaximillianWeisemann

I post in His Glorious Name

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28th December 2004

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#61 15 years ago

Never really talked about 2nd WW with my Grandpas or GrandUncles, it's already not easy with Allied vets, imagine how it is with Axis vets... I only know these facts: My mother's dad served in a Gebirgsjäeger unit in Yougoslavia during the war, involved in a daily hit & run battle against the communist Partisans. One day he got fed up of finding dead comrades in the morning and missing sentinels: he deserted. He managed to travel somehow from there to the Saar where he lived. Hiding during the day, travelling by night to avoid getting caught by the Feldgendarme... 2 of his brother died, one during Barbarossa, the 2nd in Stalingrad. The Last brother of these 4, and also the youngest, was sent to Marseille in France. He surrendered ASAP to the Allies when they landed down there (heh, he's taken the right decision at the age of 17 imo ). Both my Grandpa and his Brother died in 1999-2000, at least could they claim they took the right decisions. Another person in my family (the husband of an aunt), which died a couple of years ago, fought in Kharkov and was an MG42 gunner, he earned the Iron Cross 2nd class whilst defending a bridge against a Soviet attack. He later got wounded and sent back home; before being able to fight again the war was over and he "vanished" within the population. We had a closer look at the units which were involved in the 3rd battle of Kharkov and understood why this guy's always been such a selfish a**, trying to dominate everyone in the area and always up for a fight. Frightening. There's nothing to be proud of at all, but at least did he tell us something about his vision of the war instead of beeing quiet for the rest of his life.




littletones

What's Logic For?

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4th February 2005

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#62 15 years ago

you guys are lucky, ive never met either of my grandfathers. My dad was forced into the army by the north vietnamese, after they took the south. They trained him with garands, and he says there really reliable weapons. the sad thing is is that he was from south viet nam and they made him fight southerners that were fighting a guerilla war with the north.




Nuggetman

My Face is on Fire?

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21st January 2005

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#63 15 years ago

La Digue, can you cut it out? I'm sorry about your grandfather's loss and everything, but trying to make everyone feel guilty isn't going to make his losses or yours less tragic. People do think about the losses of the men and women of WWII, and just because the tragedy has been closer to home for your grandfather doesn't mean that suddenly you have to make people remember something that they already know.




Clousseau

FHer since .5

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26th December 2003

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#64 15 years ago
NuggetmanLa Digue, can you cut it out? I'm sorry about your grandfather's loss and everything, but trying to make everyone feel guilty isn't going to make his losses or yours less tragic. People do think about the losses of the men and women of WWII, and just because the tragedy has been closer to home for your grandfather doesn't mean that suddenly you have to make people remember something that they already know.

Yeah read that^La Digue

All i know about my grandpa and granduncle ,was one served for the RAAF in the pacific and was in a Willy's which hit a landmine he got thrown clean out but didnt suffer serious injuries, the second flew lancasta's to bomb germany he once barely came back cause his plane was shot to pieces,




Ladigue

An island in the Seychelles

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4th February 2004

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#65 15 years ago
Larry loveYeah read that^La Digue All i know about my grandpa and granduncle ,was one served for the RAAF in the pacific and was in a Willy's which hit a landmine he got thrown clean out but didnt suffer serious injuries, the second flew lancasta's to bomb germany he once barely came back cause his plane was shot to pieces,

I'll cut it for sure. The reason why I felt like ranting about it was that he recently passed in away. My loss not yours. I'm not trying to make anyone stop playing the game - I for sure won't - or rather can't. However, irrespective of whatever I said, there's a dilemma in glorifying or hobbifying war in any way. FH included. I think we need to recognize it and somehow manage to make all of this playing a compliment to them. This has already happened on a number of occasions...such as the D-day event. LaDigue




Gauntlet

Dead rather than Red!

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26th April 2004

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#66 15 years ago
general rammel3 relatives.... kinda weird but one was in the German Luftwaffe. My american side was in the 101st airborne A company. The third one was Russian in the defence of Moscow and he was a Sniper.

If thats true, I am so impressed! Have you gotten the chance to talk to any of them? confusedx.gif




Blue Man

Is Falling Down the Stairs

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8th February 2005

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#67 15 years ago

My grandpa was in the Battle of the Bulge. He is proud of his service and he also seems to like FH. He brought back a German helmet, a pair of boots from a German soldier, and some lugers! He gave me one of them and says I can have the rest when he dies. My grandpa's cousin died on Okinawa. From what I remember of my grandpa talking about him he died saving some men. So he died a real hero.




Fake Shemp

Dynamite w/ a laserbeam

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18th August 2004

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#68 15 years ago
NuggetmanLa Digue, can you cut it out? I'm sorry about your grandfather's loss and everything, but trying to make everyone feel guilty isn't going to make his losses or yours less tragic. People do think about the losses of the men and women of WWII, and just because the tragedy has been closer to home for your grandfather doesn't mean that suddenly you have to make people remember something that they already know.

Hostile, aren't we? He's just illustrating a point. A good one, in fact.... My grandfather (or, rather, my dad's step-dad) was a Navy flight engineer in Vietnam up until 1970, right before he married my grandma, and he NEVER talked about the war. The only thing he ever told my dad was that it was nearly impossible to know who to trust, as the local barber could just as well slit his throat as give him a shave. Clearly there were some painful memories in there. War always causes pain. This may seem obvious to many of you, but I am worried that if we get caught up in these courageous stories of valor and honor (such as the one where my Great-uncle surprised a Tiger crew and captured them in North Africa, than refused a Bronze Star because he's been scared), we will lose sight of the grim reality of it all not emphasized on the home front (such as my great uncle later being blasted out of a jeep by a tank round and losing much of his hearing and the use of his leg, as well as all his friends in the Jeep). Just because a point may be common knowledge doesn't make it any less notable.




knipple

I'm too cool to Post

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30th September 2003

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#69 15 years ago

good contribution OP




Nephros

Amateur cruffler

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26th January 2005

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#70 15 years ago

Like many of you I have a fascination with WW2 since it is something I will never have to experience, but in a different time would have been thrust into. I spend some time in a veterans hospital, and always enjoy hearing stories from the vets. It's interesting the different ways people react to their experiences in war. Vietnam vets that I see as a whole seem more beaten down by the experience than WW2 vets. I have heard some interesting stories though.

The most dramatic for me was a man who was admitted with jaundice, and seemed very detached from the start. It turned out he had an untreatable tye of cancer that he ultimately died from during that hospitalization, but when I told him the diagnosis he seemed that he didn't care. His wife later told me that he had been a tank commander in WW2 in the battle of the bulge, and that one of his crew had thrown him off his tank when he saw a German tanks turret aimed at them. He survived but the rest of the crew was killed. She said he carried survivors guilt from this experience his whole life and was severely depressed. I figured that explained his apathy when facing his own death.

A couple of weeks ago I saw an old man in the ER who had a blood infection and was delerious. He was able to talk to me fairly normally, but would occaisionally start crying and saying "I was only 19 and his face was blown away". His wife said that he was reliving a time when he showed up to relieve his post but found that he had been shot. She said he normally didn't obsess over this but that when he was delirious he would perseverate on that memory.

Another old man in the ER had an immobile left shoulder and partial lung resection during the war, and it turned out that he was in west germany eating some food when he got shot in the left chest by a 15 yr old German soldier. He said that his buddies found the kid but didn't shoot him. They made him a POW and sent him to the back lines.

All of my relatives who fought in the war survived, but none of them talk about it. One grandfather worked at a medical center in San Diego, another worked on transport planes flying in China. One great uncle was a fighter pilot in China, and another was infantry in the mountains in Italy. I've been told that last uncle had been in hand to hand combat and would get very angry if you tried to talk to him about the war. I've never brought it up with him.

I never get tired of hearing these stories. "citizen soldiers" by Ambrose is full of them, and one of the most riveting books I've read.