Comments

  1. Mike says

    Funny but when I graduated from H.S.in 1961 I don’t remember studying much history about WW11. Years later I learned a lot. Mostly by reading and a few friends and relatives that were actually involved.Two if my uncles where in WW11 but didn’t see any action as the war was almost over when they where old enough to join the Army. My father however was a commissioned officer in the US Merchant Marines although we never talked about it much. He passed away in 1978 so we missed a lot.

    One of my best friends was also in the Army and was involved in the invasion of Sicily.Sadly he is also gone. At one time he showed me some pictures of the actually hanging of Mussolini.

    I’m sure that my Mother would remember a lot more.Thankfully she is still with us and will be 89 in January,2009. I’ll put some pictures on the vox blog.
    http://mike630.vox.com/

  2. Charles Martel says

    My father, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, fought in the North African and Italian campaigns. He rarely told war stories, which was a common reluctance among WWII vets, but there was one he relished.

    In Italy, in the rugged Apennine Mountains, my father and his buddies captured a squad of five German soldiers and were walking them back to American lines to intern them. The German leader was a sergeant, about 30 years old (my father was 28). The four other German soldiers included a loud-mouthed 18 year old whom it was obvious had been severely Nazified. My father says that from their body language, he could tell that the punk’s fighting companions couldn’t stand him, but may have been afraid that he was an informer.

    They were bivouacing in a farmhouse at the end of the day when the kid launched into a real froth-at-the-mouth attack on Jews, mongrel Americans, Bolsheviks and all the other Nazi bogeymen.

    My father says he caught the German sarge’s eye, then looked over at the kid, then back at the sergeant, then raised his eyebrows in a question. The German gave an ever-so-slight nod, at which my dad got up, crossed the room and pulled the kid to his feet. He pointed to the door and barked, “Aus! Aus!”

    Dad took the kid outside, shed his weapons, then proceeded to beat the shit out of the junior Nazi. Not a single one of the kid’s fellows protested or attempted to come to his aid. Remember, little Herr Ubermensch was 10 years younger than my father, so he should have had something.

    My father recalls that their troupe of soldiers traveled to the U.S. lines in peace thereafter. Little Adolf was uncharacteristically silent. On the other hand, the German sergeant was in a strangely ebullient mood, whistling and singing to himself all the rest of the way.

  3. says

    Your father and mine probably crossed paths during the war, Charles. My dad was in the RAF, and spent the years from 1939 through 1944 in North Africa and the Southern Mediterranean (Italy and Greece). He too told only the “funny” stories, shying away from the horrors, but I know that he was engaged in hand-to-hand bayonet combat with the Germans at, I think, El Alamein. He would have liked your Dad’s story.

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