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Your Relatives in WW2

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by DesertWolf, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Split from "If you were a WW2 soldier", wow, this is the 3rd split from that topic! :D

    reminds me to ak u guys. Any of ur relatives seen some fighting in WW2?? Any exciting stories?
     
  2. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    My both grandfathers fought during WW2. Not much stories to tell, they both died when I was teenager. They refused to tell me much about their wartime activities.
    I've later learned that my mothers father wounded (not seriously) during largest battle ever fought in scandinavia (Tali-Ihantala).
    My fathers father was a truckdriver, delivering supplies etc.
     
  3. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    One of my grandfathers was sent to Stettin as a forced labourer. He returned rather traumatized and died when I was 3. About the other grandfather, I do not know.
     
  4. David.W

    David.W Active Member

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    Dad was a Major in the British Army & served in Burma.
    Sadly he died when I was 12 years old, so no stories to tell.
     
  5. dave phpbb3

    dave phpbb3 New Member

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    none of my direct relatives thought but some of my nans brothers and cousins did

    1. served as a commando in norway and had his jaw shot off
    2. was a rear gunner in a lanchaster and survived but died in a motorcycle crash
    3. tank driver or gunner ( i dont know) killed at el alemein
    4. some other relatives died in normandy but i dont know who
     
  6. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Wow! lots of exciting relatives in actions. Too bad there are few details :(
     
  7. busdriver

    busdriver New Member

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    My father fought in Polish underground "Home Army". He was a young boy then (born in 1925) but managed to take part in some ambushes in last months of war. He told me about several of them. He said that once they abushed a small German unit (around 15 men) that was marching through the forest near Kielce. Since he had a light machine gun he killed several of Germans. He said that after the shooting there was a carpet of feldgrau bodies on the road. None of the Germans survived.

    Other time they attacked German post and were repelled. My father said that he jumped over some wall and came under the fire from German machine gun. He jumped back, but the bullets managed to rip his trousers turning them into shorts :D . He wasn't even scratched!!

    I remember a couple stories more, but I don't want to be a bore :wink:

    My uncle served in polish army in september 1939 and later was captured by Russians. Then in 1942 joined Polish forces formed in Kazachstan and through Iran and Palestine came to Britain, where he was trained as a paratrooper and dropped at Driel on 21th of september 1944. He took part in fighting and said his company suffered heavy casualities. His lieutenant, who was an American volunteer, was killed while lying next to him (my uncle). During the battle he was captured again, this time by Germans, and liberated by Americans in may 1945. From 1945-47 he was serving in Polish forces occupying Germany (I don't remember the town that he was stationed). He said that Germans were obliged to greet every allied soldier and take their hats off but the greetings were never returned, at least by Poles.
     
  8. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Well,

    My Dad's Dad drove lorries for the RAF from Egypt to Palestine & back for most of the war.
    My Dad's Mum drove bomber crews to their aircraft (Halifaxes - she was in the same squadron as the celebrated 'Friday 13th')

    My Mum's Dad was in the Black Watch
    My Mum's Mum was an office worker / secretary for some high-ranking officer somewhere.

    The main story comes from my maternal grandfather. his unit included an American, known as 'Mad Ike' for reasons that will become apparent.
    One evening my Grandad's unit were sitting round a big bonfire in the middle of some French village (this is post D-Day), when up walks 'Mad Ike', gently places a (closed) jerry-can of petrol on top of the fire, and walks off. Everyone dove for cover. Eventually they shot the jerry-can to release the petrol & stop it exploding.
    This was apparently fairly standard behaviour for this particular chap! :eek:
     
  9. Moonchild

    Moonchild New Member

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    Though none of my grandfathers fought in the war, they both had some exciting experiences. Both were living in south Slovakia, which was occupied by Hungary since October 1938. One of them decided to escape to non-occupied Slovakia, running across the corn-field under the fire of Hungarian policemen. Then he found a job at the railways headquarters in Bratislava. He told me he had been one of the last men who saw general Malar (one of the uprising in 1944 preparators) alive after his speech in the radio. Shortly after that the general was captured by Germans and executed.
    My other grandfather remained on the occupied territory, but as a converted Jew he didn't have an easy life. He was taken to a work-camp in Poland and released shortly after the war. On the way back home he used a train full of German soldiers, returning home and also Red army soldiers in another carriage. The Germans somehow realised he was originally a Jew so they wanted to drop him out of the running train. Then my grandfather started to scream for help in Russian, so the Soviet soldiers came and drop the Germans out.
     
  10. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Since all my relatives come from Southern Ireland I'm a bit short on war stories but I do have one.

    My Grandfather was in the Irish Home Guard. On one occasion they were doing an exercise to ambush another Home Guard section. To this end they were sneaking behind a field hedgerow to get into position. Unfortunately there was a bull in the field who took exception to their presence. When the section that was to be ambushed turned up they found the 'enemy' all stuck up a tree with an angry bull waiting for them below.
     
  11. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    One of my grandfathers served in the 1940 campaign, as a member of 121 motorised infantry regiment.
    He was badly injured on 23 may near the village of Bantigny in north west France, and later taken prisoner.
    He was in a prisoners camp in eastern Germany, and returned home in 1945 with the very last contingent of french prisoners.
    Unfortunately he died when I was 11 years old, so I could not talk much about the war with him.

    My other grand father was too young to be mobilized in 1939, but he was forced to work in Germany from 1943 till 1945.

    A brother of my grand father who was member of the Gendarmerie(police force) was deported to a concentration camp when he and some comrades refused to obey to orders they were given by the german authorities.

    Fortunately all thses relatives of mine survived the war.
     
  12. rbagen

    rbagen New Member

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    my granfather joined national service in 1946 and had a clever doge to get out of long hikes, marches ect he had a very short sargent who when driving a truck had to sit on something and so could'nt see out of the back window so my gradfather a corparal hit behind the indow of the truck and got a free lift home but the sargent made him wrote a descripson of the route home lukly he could read maps well
     
  13. busdriver

    busdriver New Member

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    to anonymous user who sent me a private message:

    Since I can't pm somebody who is an anonymous, I decided to write here:

    Thank you for your message
    My uncle also stayed in Britain after the ar. During his training in Manchester he got to know an Englishwoman, who worked at the canteen. Later they got married and settled in Leigh. My uncle worked in a coal mine and in 1970-ties was injured when tunnel collapsed. He retired and decided to come to Poland for the first time since 1939. He came to visit us in 1972. It was the first time he and my father saw each other since the war had started. Unfortunatelly my uncle died two years ago and was buried in Englad.

    PS: I'm aware that war stories are exaggerated ("Fear has big eyes" as polish saying goes) therefore I wrote 15 Germans, although my Dad says there was 50 of them :wink:
     
  14. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Wow!

    Thanks so much for these great posts guys, its nice to hear these kind of stories, takes u to a personal light and u could see the wa from different perspectives.
     
  15. busdriver

    busdriver New Member

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    It seems that you asked the right question :) I also like to hear/or reas stories that give personal perspective to historical events.
     
  16. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    My uncle James Harold Sexton was in the US Navy during WW2; he served on an ammunition ship.
     
  17. Heiik

    Heiik New Member

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    Hello to everyone!

    My grandfather and his brother were in the winter war (russia-finland war 1939-1940).
    He was also in the continuation war (1941-1944) with his 3 brothers
    2 of them were also in the war of Lappland against germans (1944 if I remember right)

    Here goes the story: My grandfather was in the winter war. He was a lmg soldier with lahti-saloranta lmg (the weapon was quite like bar in US army). He was defending the central part of Finland. In the early days of the war Soviet Union started a massive attack against Finland and the Soviet 9th Army attacked to Soumussalmi to cut Finland in two at the narrow waist.
    Area was covered by dense pineforest, lakes, bogs and swamps. Temperature was about -30 celsius. Finns had 1 division defending which was 1/3 smaller than russian division and didn't have AT weapons/artillery or tanks.
    Soviet 163rd Division started to advance along small road towards Suomussalmi but it was soon encircled and Soviets couldn't fight in the surrounding snowy forest because they had tanks, at guns and artillery. All their breakthroughs were repelled back and Soviet 44th motorized elite division and couple of tank batallions were send to help it and crush any resistance along the way. 44th was mainly Ukrainian well trained and armed troops but they weren't used to cold weather or snow and they didn't have warm enough clothes. It was also encircled just 10km from 163rd and division commander Vinogradov thought finns were planning a massive assault, he panicked and desided to dug in. My grandfather participated in encircling the 44th and has told me about 200 russians tried to follow them through snowy bog without skiis. There were water beneath the snow and russian got their feet wet. The next pitch black night he heard russians moaning in pain because their feet were frozen solid, they were left to die in the wildernes. 163rd division panicked and survivors fled to the forest and most propably died there without food or warm clothes. At this point, the 44th was stretched out along a forest road in a 20-mile long column. My grandfather tells that their main targets were field kitchens(believe it or not), they succesfully destroyed many of them, I don't know how many enemies he killed beacuse he refuses to talk about it. 44th became soon too tired and hungry from 10 day encirclement. Russians tried to suply it with airplanes but they just managed to drop 8 small baggages of biscuits and there was left about 17 000 men along the road. It lasted about 7 days more. Finally 44th division commander Vinogradov issued an "every man for himself" order. It turned to chaos and division was completely destroyed. My grandfather tells that russian tanks drove over living soldiers in frenzy to get out of there. Finns took 1600 POW and captured about 100 tanks, 400 trucks, motorcycles, 2000 horses, 100 field guns, 100 anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, 6000 rifles, 290 machine-guns, and a large quantity of equipment. Finns counted 27 500 Soviet dead, 43 destroyed tanks, and 270 other destroyed vehicles along the road. The real casualties of soviets may be about 35 000 because they fled to the forest. Finn losses were 900 dead and 1770 wounded.The battle seized at the beginning of january in 1940. Vinogradov managed to flee and escaped back to the USSR. There he was shot as a traitor, along with three other surviving officers of the 44th Division. The charge was losing 55 field kitchens to the enemy. Many of the returned POWs were shot also.

    Russians had big troubles using their tanks and other vehicles in such a cold temperature. For example they had to use engines every 2 hours or their batteries would die because they didn't use any antifreezing liquids. It is estimated that 70-80% of all russians in these battles frozed to death and everytime I just keep hearing that germans didn't know how to prepare for winter warfare.
     
  18. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Thanks god for field kitcens!


    Great story Heiik!
     
  19. PanzerMeister

    PanzerMeister New Member

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    Hello!
    My mother's father fought in Winter War 1939-1940, Continuation War 1941-1944 and in Lapland 1944-1945. In Winter War he was a normal soldier in Karelian Isthmus.
    In Continuation War he was a courier in Aunus-Karelia in Syväri (Svir) and in Rukajärvi in north. In Syväri he watched a lot of battles between Finnish and German against Soviet aircraft.
    In Rukajärvi he fought with Germans. A funny story from Rukajärvi : Finns thought Germans that word "perkele" (a Finnish swear word) is a salute word or a greeting or good morning/day (don't remember exactly). The Germans were greeting all ranks even officers "perkele". The "perkele" has a bit legendic status in Finland and that's why the story is funny; at least for Finns!
    He wasn't wounded in the wars.


    My other grandfather didn't fight in the wars but he was trained in 1944 for the German AT Gun PAK40 75mm. He also guarded Russian prisoners with his 7.62mm Pystykorva bolt-action rifle. I found it once from his house under a bed(!!)
     
  20. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    It seems indeed that all Finns (I've seen this with Notmi and on other forums, too) get worked up from having to call their dear Suomi "Finland" for foreigners to understand them, so they all write "Suomi - Finland perkele!" as their location. :grin:
     

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