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Helping Enemy

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Sturmkreuz, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. brianx13

    brianx13 recruit

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    Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group atKimbolton,England. His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.

    After flying over an enemy airfield, a German pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section was severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage. The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere .

    Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling to control his damaged and blood-stained plane.

    Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to and slightly over the North Sea towards England He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe.

    When Franz landed he told the C/O that the plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.

    More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.

    They met in the USA at a 379th. Bomber Group reunion, together with 25 people who are alive now - all because Franz never fired his guns that day.
    Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved toVancouver, BC after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!
     
    green slime, Joe and Za Rodinu like this.
  2. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    Wonderful thread. As has been mentioned it is wonderful to see pictures and read stories of times when the best of humanity was being shown when it was least expected.

    Brianx13, I like the preceding story about Charlie Brown and Franz Steigler. Other good stories on the thread, as well. I shall see what I can find in some of my references.

    Regards,
    Michelle
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Found a nice picture for you Sturmkreuz:

    German Panzer man (I think) showing the way to a (Russian or Balkanic?) bare feet child.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Marines evacuate a Japanese POW for treatment from Iwo Jima
     

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  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    nice one Mike!
     
  6. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    Wow I Need More !! PHOTOS GUYS !!

    I've another one. Sorry My internet is just one hell-of-a #@é&ù
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I will post more later, they are hard to find, but I believe I have one on an external hard disc.
     
  8. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    Indeed. But many have to see them!
     
  9. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    There is a famous incident in WW2 that not many today would know of, and that is of Michael Wittman when he was on the Russian Front he had knocked out a Soviet tank and the crew baled out and several were on fire, so Michael Wittman ordered his tank over to the Soviet crew and got out of his tank and helped by putting the fires out and called for medical aide, he made sure they were well looked after even to the point of having a portion of his pay to cover the ongoing medical treatment of the soldiers.
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    A nice story indeed. These stories are rather rare. They were more common in the airforce when a pilot would sometimes escort a crippled enemy to safety.
     
  11. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    Really? Didn't knew, Thanks!
     
  12. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    There was another incident of North-Western Africa a U-Boat attcked a merchantman and sunk it, all the crew survived and got into lifeboats and so the captain of the U-Boat surfaced and got the crew of the sunken ship to tie ropes to his sub and then breaking all the rules he contacted the closest RN base to tell them where he was and to pick up the crew. But the RN had sent in an RAF coastal command aircraft and fired upon the sub, too damaged to submerged the Captain cut the ropes and tried to escape but the sub was caught and sunk by a RN destroyer with all hand lost, from that moment an order was issued that under no circumstances that U-Boat captains are no to render assistance to allied or neutral crews of sunk ships.

    Sometimes doing the right thing is not an option.
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    true. I believe this order of non assistance is evoked in the film "Das Boot" when the crew want to help sailors but have strict orders not to do so.
     
  14. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I have a picture in a ww1 book I have, during a ,mustard gas attack by the germans, a few allied soldier are hiding in a shellhole and one of the allies is holding his gas mask over his german captive's mouth who is bound up and is sharing it with him, how is that for helping the enemy.
     
  15. Summers

    Summers recruit

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    Wow these are amazing. Just goes to prove that not all German servicemen were brainwashed, fanatical Nazis that alot of people seem to think they were these days.
     
  16. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Soldiers whatever uniform they were are still people. Most just do what they have to do to survive. There were fanatical Nazis, that's true. People think that way because of historical distortions brought about by popular forms of mass media.
     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    True, not all Germans were Nazis and not all Nazis were German. Not everybody was fanatic , even among the Nazis, take the example of Oscar Schindler who was a member of the Nazi party and who saved many people.
     
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  18. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Excellent point Skipper!

    And a fantastic movie.
     
  19. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    I'll add more soon.
     
  20. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    A wounded US soldier being treated by Germans near Maresca, Italy
    [​IMG]
     

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