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Most decisive European battle of WWII??

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Zhukov_2005, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    In his book Bomber Command, Max Hsatings mentions that Luftwaffe personnel tended to try to protect downed aircrews and in at least one occasion a captured airman was given breakfast by the mother of one of the AA crews.
     
  2. liang

    liang New Member

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    Lynching of down pilots by civilians is nothing new, it probably happened in England, Russian, Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Baghdad....

    Frankly I agree with the sentiments expressed by this forum that the Eastern front was largely ignored in the Western history books. This "bias" was very evident when I was going thru history books in the local libraries as a youth, it wasn't until later through more serendipidous readings and occasional history channel episodes that I came to learn and appreciate the shear size and brutalities of the conflicts in the east.
     
  3. johann phpbb3

    johann phpbb3 New Member

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    As Korea is the forgotten war, so the western front is the forgotten front.
     
  4. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    :-? Are you sure about that? Just look at the movies, which is more common; the Americans in Europe or the Russians on the Eastern Front? I have to say I know more about the Western Front than the Eastern Front.
     
  5. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Burma is far more a forgotten front than Russia.
    Ask any guy in the street - they are far more likely to have heard of Stalingrad or Kursk than even the fact that we fought in Burma!
     
  6. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    A British General commanding in the Far East did say at one point:
    "Your not the forgotten army, nobodies ever heard of you."
     
  7. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    My grandfather served in Burma and he always said they were the forgotten army. :cry:

    Still at least we've got "It A'int Half Hot Mum" to remember them by! :lol:
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Actually, it's even worse than noted here: Most people, I believe, haven't even *heard* of Burma the nation (or whatever it's called now).
     
  9. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    I bet that most Americans are not even aware that the British(and others like Aussies/NZ/Indians etc) were even fighting against the Japanese huh? :(

    Then again the movie Bridge Over The River Kwai should be well known there.
     
  10. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Most people aren't even aware that New Zealand, Australia, India, Rhodesia, Brazil, Canada, Nepal, Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria and so on and so on even participated in the war... :cry:

    And indeed Fourteenth Army is forgotten, despite the valor and the glory of their actions. It's not how you fight but where and whom, which makes you remembered in history.
     
  11. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    ...or that 50,000 Dutchmen (plus other Scandinavians) willingly volunteered for the Waffen SS and fought with great disctinction on the Eastern Front in SS Wiking and other units. SS Wiking was one of the best units of the entire war. You wouldn't want to mess with those guys! :smok:
     
  12. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    The Netherlands aren't a part of Scandinavia :angry:

    Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and is sometimes expanded to include Finland and Iceland in populistic terms.
     
  13. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    The whole CBI (China-Burma-India) theater is pretty much overlooked. Despite having the best British general of the war (Slim), theBrit 14th Arny is the Unknown Army of WWII.
    MacArthurs treatement of the Australians and New Zealander's goes way beyond chauvinism and borders on the militarily incompetent.
     
  14. trackpin

    trackpin New Member

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    14th Army.

    I, like many others of my generation still living do not forget the 14th.Army.My son in laws fater fought with the Chindits of the Leicestershire Regiment in Burma.
    But surely, you cannot compare men of the 14th. with "Willing Voluntiers" of occupied countries who joined the Waffen SS? These people were traitors to their own countries.What happened to them at the end of WW2?
    How did their own countries look upon them, Hero's or Traitors.
    Perhaps Marcus can fill in more details?
    Please, don't put the 14th.Army, Burma Star Association in the same bracket as SS voluntiers.
     
  15. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    They only both fit in the bracket of those who are remembered only for where they fought and whom, but not for how they fought. And they both fit in the bracket of those who are not remembered. However in the case of Fourteenth Army I would remember them for they deserve it, while I would remember the Dutch volunteers for they are the epitome of what propaganda can do to people.

    The Netherlands, Lyndon, are part of the Low Countries or the Benelux (Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg), so the country likes to associate with the south rather than the north. I know some foreign people think Amsterdam is the capital of Copenhagen ( :grin: ), but that is just ignorance of small countries. Scandinavia is a whole different area in Europe!
     
  16. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    But RACIALLY the Germans considered the Dutch as similar to the Scandinavians. That whole white Aryan thing. That is why the division was named Wiking. In my opinion the Dutch are closer racially to the Scandinavians than the Benlux countries,(you only have to look at Dennis Bergkamp to see that haha) just as the northern Germans, especially Schleswig Holstein, are more similar to the Danes than the Bavarians in the south of Germany. Anybody in northern Germany will tell you that and I agree. I think the RACIAL conotation of the Dutch was more important than geographical location. Hence, the Dutchmen fighting with the Waffen SS made up the Wiking division and all the Scandinavian myths and legends came into play with the propoganda for that unit. As I said, it was never short of volunteers.

    Nevertheless, it was an oversight on my part but I consider the Dutch more akin to the Scandinavians and northern Germans than anything else.
     
  17. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    Re: 14th Army.


    You have to remember that most of the foreign volunteers who joined the Waffen SS did so for the specific fight against COMMUNISIM. They were mostly on the eastern front fighting an evil regime in itself. Stalin's Soviet Union was as evil as Hitler's Germany.

    The Nazis brainwashed many into believing that Communism would be the ruination of Europe as a whole (not just Germany). Actually, that is not too far from the truth. At any rate many volunteers were of the opinion that the Bolsheviks should be stopped. That's why they joined up. Not to murder Jews. Do not forget, the eastern front was the main area of operations for WW2 and this was where most Waffen SS units served.

    Post WW2 the Waffen SS has become the scapegoat. In fact many in the Waffen SS were not fanatical Nazis while many in the Werhmacht WERE. It doesn't follow that all Waffen SS personel were nazis and all Werhmacht were just soldiers. The Waffen SS were first and formost front line troops. Only the Totenkopf Divison interchanged front line troops with concentration camp guards and even this wasn't too often. All the others were SOLDIERS . Many Werhmacht personnel transfred to the Waffen SS simply as a result of the new 'glamour' and 'mystique' sweeping up. It was seen as elite. Michael Wittmann had already been in the army before he joined the Waffen SS. Wittmann was in no way a fanatical evil Nazi. Nor was Ernst Barkmann. They were just bloody good tankmen. :D

    Many civilian personnel such as policemen were 'persuaded' to join the Waffen SS as duty. Others joined for the glamour and for the idea that if you were going to HAVE to be in the forces eventually (conscription) then you might as well join an elite with excellent equipment etc etc.

    My grandfather was in the South Wales Borderers in Burma. I have no hesitation in saying a great many (though obviously not all) Waffen SS soldiers deserve as much respect as anybody. People who say otherwise are ignorant of the true facts.

    The Das Reich division was responsible for an appaling act of revenge against civilians at Oradour sur Glane in France in June 1944 after partisans had murdered and mutilated the bodies of German troops in the area. However, very few actual personnel of Das Reich commited this act. Most Das Reich troopers were sickened, shamed and disgusted by this and in fact many of them were at the edge of the village warning returning villagers to not come back and to go and hide somewhere. Those soldiers can't all be blamed for the orders of a few officers.

    The western allies commited attrocities against German troops in WW2. Obviousy these are kept quiet. How many people are aware that the Americans carried out a similar attrocity as the Malmedy Massacre just a short while and a few miles from Malmedy. Around 60 German soldiers were shot in cold blood after surrendering. This was witnessed by Belgian civilians but not widely mentioned elsewhere for obvious reasons. We'll never know what else occured.
     
  18. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Lyndon, I don't consider peoples to be akin to each other because I don't wish to be part of any racial theory, consequences or not. If you believe that Dutchmen are Scandinavians or family of them, then you may think that, but I'll just believe the fact that you can hardly typify an entire people by a few characteristics and certainly you can't shove peoples on a heap of 'those who are akin'. It's pointless for an average person to do so and you know where it can lead.

    About the SS, of course they are not all criminals. And of course you have to take into account the frame from which you are looking at it; what is wrong now, was it that wrong then and there? So there are many arguments against judging all SS members as beasts. Still, the volunteers went out to fight and to kill, and eventually to die, for a country that had occupied theirs and enslaved their population. Whatever justifies this, I still won't gain respect for them.
     
  19. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    Well, they weren't fighting for the Germans as much as against the Soviets.
    In their minds, at least.
    See also Finland.
     
  20. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    That doesn't change the fact that all those SS volunteers from all over western Europe betrayed their countries by joining the SS.

    As their countries were being occupied, the population mistreated, they joined the ennemy.(Despite all the atrocities this ennemy was doing to their country.

    The only foreign volunteers I can understand are the russian ones, they really could think of liberating their country from Stalin.
     

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