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An Unlucky Bastard

Discussion in 'War44 General Forums' started by ww2thebigone, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. ww2thebigone

    ww2thebigone Member

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  2. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

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    A good find and interesting read. So near yet so far and terrible treatment but compared with some not so unlucky. He made it back.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    We had a family friend whose plane was hit by flak and the crew bailed out over Holland. A Dutch citizen turned them in and they became POWs. He also experienced a forced march of 2-3 weeks, back and forth, trying to stay away from the Allies. I think this was because Hitler thought he could use them as pawns in any peace negotiations. Food was practically non-existent and as noted above, the weather was brutal that spring. Our friend Gene finally broke down one cold snowy night when he thought that the small rotten potato he was about to eat would be his last meal. He knew he hadn't the strength for another day's marching. Fortunately, they were rescued the next day-I think by the British Army.
     
  4. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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  5. ww2thebigone

    ww2thebigone Member

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    I've always suspected that the prison guards desperately didn't want to be captured by the Soviet Army, and if they had abandoned the POWs they would have been pressed into duty on the front lines, which was another unappealing prospect. So, they marched them west in hopes of being taken by the Americans or British, which they were. It was horrible for the POWs, but the motive makes sense to me for the guards.
     
  6. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Gene's accounts of the whole matter (for which he suffered many years with PTSD) give the impression that the marching was ordered from above. As far as the guards went, they were the dregs of the German army and by this time they were mostly inmates of insane asylums and prisons. He said they were very, very scared of these people. However, just after he'd eaten his last rotten potato a guard came up, looked at them and said, "Hitler kaput! Germany kaput! Ich kaput! He then threw away his rifle, sat down in the snow and cried. A little later they were rescued.
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Lucky or unlucky? Flying in a heavy bomber crew was one of the more dangerous activities of WW2. Becoming a PW wasn't the worst way to end a tour.
     

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