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Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






How do!

So I’ve been down an accidental youtube rabbit hole, and ended up watching shows about historical recollections from people that took part in WW2. And given a decent chunk of Dakka is of my own vintage, and so the grandchildren of the entirely appropriately named Greatest Generation, I wonder if folk might like to share the stories of the forebears.

I do get that some stories will be, well, overly personal. So I’m not asking for citation or great detail. Certainly given that by now sadly none of my relatives from that generation are still with us, I can’t really cite my own stuff. Just, use you’re own judgement in what you’d like to share.

For me? So far as I’m aware, only my Great Uncle Valentine (Mum’s side) saw actual combat. He was in the RAF, and I know he was shot down more than once. We’re lucky enough to have a copy of his flight log. I’m pretty sure my Dad has a digital copy in case anyone would be interested in reading it. Being an artefact of its time, it is of course written in copperplate, so not the easiest read. But if I can get a copy I’ll make it available to all those interested.

Bonus picture of the man himself in his later days.



Grandad Allan on my Dad’s side (Allan being my surname) was involved in training aircrews. Apparently (and I really don’t think I can prove this, but if it turns out I can, I’ll share) he wasn’t just a natural at morse code, but had such a knack for it he could tell you from the rhythm of the sender whether they were who they claimed to be. In theory I guess that’s plausible. Given I don’t remember Grandad ever really talking about the War, I don’t think it comes from him blowing his own trumpet. Again I’ve asked my Dad to clarify.

But how about you, rest of Dakka? What tales are you happy to share with us?

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Made in gb
Frenzied Berserker Terminator




Southampton, UK

My grandad on my mum's side worked as a master carpenter and pattern-maker for Hawker Siddeley in Kingston-upon-Thames, and worked on everything from the Hurricane at the start of WW2 through to the Harrier before he retired. He was strafed at on his way to work at least once, as the aircraft factory workers were a prime target.

I never met my other grandad, but I do know he was a gunner in the Navy and served on one of the ships that sunk the Scharnhorst.
   
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!





I wish I knew more about what my grandfather got up to during those days. It's not that he wasn't willing to talk about it, I've just forgotten about what he told me over the years. My dad might have a better memory than me, though he has made a point of telling me that my grandfather didn't really talk about it much until after I was born.

My grandfather was in the Gordon Highlanders (he volunteered as soon as the war started) so certainly saw his fair share of combat. Including landing in Normandy on D Day. I don't believe he was in one of the early waves, but he must have seen a lot during the weeks and months that followed. From what he told me it sounds like the worst of it was when he was in The Netherlands.

He was also stationed in Berlin for some months after the war ended, before coming back to the UK to start a family (a whole new harrowing experience!).



My other grandfather lived in a country that didn't get too involved in WW2.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/29 19:47:41


 
   
Made in gb
Fully-charged Electropriest





Northumberland

Great topic MDG, social history is fantastic and stuff like this is always worthwhile to find out some amazing things. I'd love to see the flight log, I've spent quite a few years of my career going over copperplate in archives of various museums for work so not the biggest worry!

My granda was in the paratroopers, he was in India from '44 to '49. Never really talked much about it, apart from always giving money to the Ghurka charities.

After he died I spent a lot of time going through his diaries and reading his experiences. He was a poet and apparently shared a lot of poetry and literature with Viceroy Wavell. He talked about doing bodyguard duty and meeting Nehru. There were lots of photos of the soldiers on down time sharing a laugh and enjoying the weather.

He saw some action in northern India towards the end but most of his time was taken up with the partition.
A lot of the stuff he wrote about was harrowing and it's no wonder he kept it all to himself. I know from a few Indian and Pakistani friends whose relatives had similar experiences that it was horrible for everyone there.

I wish when I was growing up I had the foresight to ask more questions and just talk to him but unfortunately when I had the wherewithal to appreciate that sort of thing he had dementia and died soon after.

I know there's not many younger Dakka users out there but if you are interested in your family history make sure you take the time to ask. It doesn't have to be crap about the war either, people live extremely interesting lives outside of that too

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Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council






My grandpan never told me much
2 things.
He flew a secret mission before Pearl Harbor to sink german U boats. apparently he couldnt tell anyone what he did. He claims his squadron sunk the first U boat of the war.
HE is also one of the few people to fight in the European front and the Eastern front.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





My mother's father was just barely too young to serve in the war. When his draft came up, he was drafted into the newly-founded Air Force.

My dad's father... we don't KNOW all that much. He was a Hungarian national and got drafted into the Hungarian army before he could emigrate to America. His wife (my grandmother) got out in mid-1939, but he was stuck there for the war. We know he served on the Eastern Front because after the war grandma had to deal with the Russians to get him back. And... that's pretty much all we know.

He just never talked about it with any of us. We've never been sure if it was out of trauma over what happened, or shame at being caught 'on the wrong side'. We DO know he was fiercely, if not ferociously, anti-Soviet, but wasn't all that fond of Germans either. But what happened and what led to those attitudes? He never said, not to his dying day.

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Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain






A Protoss colony world

I had a great uncle on my dad's side who served in both WW2 and Korea as an aerial artillery spotter. Never really heard any specific stories from him before he passed on though.

On my mom's side, I had a great great uncle who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He told some interesting stories, including one involving escaped animals from the destruction of the Frankfurt Zoo. He also told about capturing a couple of German soldiers after hearing that they were hiding inside a barn. He spoke German and ordered them to come out with their hands up. When they didn't respond, he threatened to throw in a grenade. That got them to cooperate. That was like a few days before the end of the war in Europe. I know he told us other things, but I was pretty young and I don't remember any more really.

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My granddad had a box of medals. He was in the resistance in our occupied capital city, every day he smuggled supplies for the partisans onto the outbound trains. Unlike the folks actually having shootouts with Germans in the woods he got to sleep in his home bed, but he was unarmed and one misstep (or a tattletale neighbor) would have been instant execution.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/30 18:38:06


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Frenzied Berserker Terminator




Southampton, UK

My wife's grandad is a bit more mysterious. We know he was at Bletchley Park, but have no idea what he was up to...
   
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Focused Dark Angels Land Raider Pilot



Wrexham, North Wales

I wish I knew more. My father's father was in Northern Europe but despite being a delight to be around when I was younger, WW2 was not a topic for discussion.

My mother's father was in aircraft engineering and spent the war years (and his post war career) making planes.
   
Made in ch
Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





Great granddad did Aktivdienst as a border guard and ended up on the blacklist of people that should've been carted off to certain camps if the innevitable Anschluss 2.0 happened which had a funny revanche when the war was over for those putting him there.

The other granddad did Aktivdienst aswell but in the reduit.

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Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






Interesting that there’s a common thread of our Grandparents not really talking about the war.

Sure, they’d tell us tales of rationing and the blackout etc. But as for their role, my grandparents certainly didn’t go into it much.

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Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Interesting that there’s a common thread of our Grandparents not really talking about the war.

Sure, they’d tell us tales of rationing and the blackout etc. But as for their role, my grandparents certainly didn’t go into it much.


Guilt?
Killing people is wrong, and your opponent in most cases is basically just like you because mass national armies meet. Even worse when you were forced to commit warcrimes or witnessed them.

Trauma?
It's not particulary nice to see wounds of people that got shot in pictures, imagine going to witness that in real live? Worse even to your buddies that you grew close with during training, which happens always.

Boredom?
Most of the military service consists of waiting or doing the same things over and over again?

Drugs and alcohol?
Alot of wounded personell started drinking. Drugs like Panzerschokolade etc, were used commonplace.

At the core of it,war is not something you talk about willy nilly. Its dirty, grimey and morally highly questionable. Your average non fanatical joe will percieve the time in it as devastating.
Most will carry mental scarrs from it irrespective if they had physical ones.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/30 12:57:23


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 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






That’d be my guess to, and in differing amounts from veteran to veteran.

It could also simply be them wanting to leave it in the past, and not overly burden young minds with it.

Great Uncle Val’s flight log shows he was part of a bomber crew, and that he did bomb German cities. I can quite understand that once the necessity has passed, it’s something you probably don’t want to go dredging up.

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Made in ca
Excited Doom Diver






My grandfather was a very charismatic fellow, and spoke a lot of languages, so he was an interpreitor during the war. I never talked to him about it, as he passed away a while ago, but my mother told me a couple of stores.

One about how he was in a convoy going through a German checkpoint, and one of the German officers who he knew told him to get out of the truck, which he did. The truck shortly afterwards down the road hit a mine and exploded.

At the end of the war, he brought home a few items he collected. Apparently he called dips on a German plane he found, but had no way to bring it home with him.

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Made in de
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot






I have to say I'm a bit reluctant to post here as a German, but... I guess it's part of history and one shouldn't ignore it.
First of: I was really young when the last from my family that witnessed the war died, too young anyway to ask the real questions. Some things that I heard though:

One great grandfather was a paramedic that went to crete during the airborn landing and was captured by the british who took him with them, so the war was pretty much over for him afterwards. He was then interned somewhere in northern africa. When he returned he was deeply traumatized by what he saw and did as a paramedic in this camp and committed suicide some years later. So far the story that was told in our family. I have to say that I sometimes wonder if that is the truth or just the "family friendly version".

Another great grandfather was somewhere at the eastern front and came back with a glas eye. Naturally he did not talk about his experiences with me at what must have been 5 or 6 years old. But I have a vague memory of something he said (or at least which I associate with him saying, memories from your younger childhood tend to be tricky) that kind of sends chills down my spine now I understand it. Referring to the soviet occupation of eastern Germany he mentioned something along the line "After what we [Germans] did in the east, we can still count ourselfes lucky how they treated us."

The most f***ed up thing I heard was from a girl I knew at school who was half russian half german and basically found out that her german great grandfather most likely was the one responsible for blowing up the train that killed her russian great grandfather.

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Made in gb
Ship's Officer





The Shire(s)

My great-grandfather was a Royal Navy submariner in WWI, and was a naval instructor at Dartmouth in the interwar period. He reached the rank of chief petty officer, although he got demoted for leaving his post when the man who was supposed to be relieving him on watch was late- this was making him late for a date with my great-grandmother!

He retired from active duty in 1939... just in time to be mustered back in with the outbreak of WWII. Most of the war was spent crewing in the merchant navy on convoy duty (I think around South Africa to India in particular), but he was pulled back to Europe for Operation Overload and was apparently piloting a landing craft on D-day.

Quite the varied career!

Had a talent for crocheting too.

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Made in de
Charging Orc Boar Boy





Germany

Both of my grandfathers fought in WW2. They Both were drafted for the Wehrmacht early in the war.

One of my grandfathers was in Russia with the Artillery. He was very, very lucky to be with the artillery, he always said something like, in war and in the cinema, the farer away the better is the place.
He got injured when a gun blew up, but was later orderered back to the front again.
He usually didn't talk about the war.
When he was in his late Eighties and became a bit demented, he kept telling us that once they were under attack by planes and a bullet just whiffed by his head and he was thinking he will never make it home alive.
That was about everything he told us.
Fact was, that after he returned from Russia, he had been sleeping in a separate bedchamber, because he would wake up screaming very often and he didn't want to scare my grandmother.

My other grandfather was drafted very young, he was born in 1924. He told me that we were lucky kids, unlike his generation - the war stole his best years. He celebrated his 18th birthday in the Pyrenees.

He was PW in Britain - there he learnt some English, and he was always very proud of it.
Once he almost got in trouble - he was working on a farm, and he was complaining about the quality of the twine ropes they used. He wrote something like "Mir geht es gut, aber die Garbensseile sind so heillos". (I am well, but the twine ropes are so heillos") Heillos is an expression in Swabian dialect, and there is no direct translation in proper written "Hochdeutsch", so he just used the Swabian phrase as it "would-be-spelled" in hochdeutsch. The German speaking intelligence officer who checked the letters for suspicious things was alarmed by the atypical word he used, as Heil being a very commonly used word at that time in Germany. They suspected some hidden meaning and he was thoroughly questioned, but could explain what was meant by that and it didn't lead to any consequences.
He also told a story about their commander yelling at him during their drills that he was surely going to die very early in the War, because he was confusing left and right sometimes, when they were drilling reactions when under fire. He said that that very commander of his combat group got his legs ripped of by a grenade while he got lucky and stayed relatively unharmed.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/30 14:59:47


 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Lincoln, UK

One grandfather fought in Burma, and was awarded a medal for unloading supplies and ammo from a burning boat. He didn't talk much about the war. The only thing my dad remembers is that he brought a machete and a monkey back from the Far East.

The other was a Ukrainian Pole who ended up in a Siberian labour camp after fighting for the Polish army in 1939.

When the camps were opened in '42 after the Soviets became our allies, he walked - walked - to British Persia, to join Sikorsky's Polish Legion. He saw service in Egypt and Palestine before being injured by a mortar shell in combat at Monte Cassino in Italy.

He and 100,000 other Poles stayed in Britain after the war, as going back to Ukraine would not have been healthy - the fate of many ex-servicemen who had been captured by the Axis or fought for the Allies was either a return visit to a labour camp or a firing squad.

He spoke about the war even less, although he did talk a little about the hunger and death he saw on the walk from the camp. He would say nothing about the camp itself. He was finally reunited with his brother in 1991, 52 years after they last saw each other, but died a month before he was due to visit Ukraine in 1992.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Not Online!!! wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Interesting that there’s a common thread of our Grandparents not really talking about the war.

Sure, they’d tell us tales of rationing and the blackout etc. But as for their role, my grandparents certainly didn’t go into it much.


Guilt?
Killing people is wrong, and your opponent in most cases is basically just like you because mass national armies meet. Even worse when you were forced to commit warcrimes or witnessed them.

Trauma?
It's not particulary nice to see wounds of people that got shot in pictures, imagine going to witness that in real live? Worse even to your buddies that you grew close with during training, which happens always.

Boredom?
Most of the military service consists of waiting or doing the same things over and over again?

Drugs and alcohol?
Alot of wounded personell started drinking. Drugs like Panzerschokolade etc, were used commonplace.

At the core of it,war is not something you talk about willy nilly. Its dirty, grimey and morally highly questionable. Your average non fanatical joe will percieve the time in it as devastating.
Most will carry mental scarrs from it irrespective if they had physical ones.


All of it.

My dad always said that his post-war generation was raised by men damaged and broken by war. They just didn't realise it at the time. Men telling kids that they weren't war heroes, because all the heroes died.

One of his older friends, who was too young for WWII but fought in Korea, was quite open about how terrified he was - he soiled himself the first time he went into battle and heard bullets go past. He talked about the maggots and fleas and lice, and having to clean up what was left of his friends with a shovel and a bag.

One Polish great uncle fought in Warsaw - he vividly described eating rats, dogs, cats... and the meat they were told to just shut up and eat.

My grandad also talked about the famine in Ukraine in the 30s - everyone was grey and thin, except the families they knew were cannibals because they were healthy and pink.

The Poles in Britain stuck together very closely after the war - some drew Polish army pensions, sime British, others had Wehrmacht pensions. Some would never say what they did in the war, and nobody asked.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/30 16:16:04


 
   
Made in ch
Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





 Moscha wrote:


My other grandfather was drafted very young, he was born in 1924. He told me that we were lucky kids, unlike his generation - the war stole his best years. He celebrated his 18th birthday in the Pyrenees.

He was PW in Britain - there he learnt some English, and he was always very proud of it.
Once he almost got in trouble - he was working on a farm, and he was complaining about the quality of the twine ropes they used. He wrote something like "Mir geht es gut, aber die Garbensseile sind so heillos". (I am well, but the twine ropes are so heillos") Heillos is an expression in Swabian dialect, and there is no direct translation in proper written "Hochdeutsch", so he just used the Swabian phrase as it "would-be-spelled" in hochdeutsch. The German speaking intelligence officer who checked the letters for suspicious things was alarmed by the atypical word he used, as Heil being a very commonly used word at that time in Germany. They suspected some hidden meaning and he was thoroughly questioned, but could explain what was meant by that and it didn't lead to any consequences.
He also told a story about their commander yelling at him during their drills that he was surely going to die very early in the War, because he was confusing left and right sometimes, when they were drilling reactions when under fire. He said that that very commander of his combat group got his legs ripped of by a grenade while he got lucky and stayed relatively unharmed.


heillos? i rekon he left the rest away for the sake of being polite or do you lot really use that without an signifier for the state of something?


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A Mostly Renegades and Heretics blog.

 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
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The Great State of Texas

Grandfather 1: Merchant marine with ships to Europe. On two ships that were torpedoed. The last one ended with him getting an eye blown out and swimming through oil. Tough, tough codger.

Grandfather 2: Tarawa. Marines. Didn't come back.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
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[MOD]
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Cozy cockpit of an Imperial Knight

My one grandfather was conscripted by the Germans to perform forced labour in Germany, my uncle has pictures of him in a Dutch army uniform, looking very, very salty at being in Germany forced to dig ditches and whatnot for the nazis. He was forced to stand at attention with other men as one of their number was randomly selected and beaten to death for the theft of a loaf of bread. He managed to get back to the Netherlands when on leave and hid for the remainder of the war, mostly under a hidden floor in the outhouse. He has told us of that, but also the elation of the Germans surrendering and being disarmed by the Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten, an adhoc army that rose up once word got out. Most Germans surrendered without incident, but he was there when one refused to surrender and going for a grenade in his boot, he got hosed with a stengun for his folly.

My other grandfather was supposed to be drafted into the Dutch army on the day the Germans invaded, so he dodged a bullet there. Sadly, he was later forcefully taken to Germany to perform slave labour like a lot of the male population of my country, returning after the war as a gaunt and worn out man who was supposed to be almost 25, but looked twice his age. He didn't talk much about things.
   
Made in de
Charging Orc Boar Boy





Germany

Not Online!!! wrote:
 Moscha wrote:


My other grandfather was drafted very young, he was born in 1924. He told me that we were lucky kids, unlike his generation - the war stole his best years. He celebrated his 18th birthday in the Pyrenees.

He was PW in Britain - there he learnt some English, and he was always very proud of it.
Once he almost got in trouble - he was working on a farm, and he was complaining about the quality of the twine ropes they used. He wrote something like "Mir geht es gut, aber die Garbensseile sind so heillos". (I am well, but the twine ropes are so heillos") Heillos is an expression in Swabian dialect, and there is no direct translation in proper written "Hochdeutsch", so he just used the Swabian phrase as it "would-be-spelled" in hochdeutsch. The German speaking intelligence officer who checked the letters for suspicious things was alarmed by the atypical word he used, as Heil being a very commonly used word at that time in Germany. They suspected some hidden meaning and he was thoroughly questioned, but could explain what was meant by that and it didn't lead to any consequences.
He also told a story about their commander yelling at him during their drills that he was surely going to die very early in the War, because he was confusing left and right sometimes, when they were drilling reactions when under fire. He said that that very commander of his combat group got his legs ripped of by a grenade while he got lucky and stayed relatively unharmed.


heillos? i rekon he left the rest away for the sake of being polite or do you lot really use that without an signifier for the state of something?




No, it really is just heillos, but not in a meaning of "heilloses Durcheinander" or something similar.


I will try to write it in Swabian, as you should be able to get it being from Switzerland..

Des send hoalause Garbasoile.


   
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[DCM]
Moustache-twirling Princeps





Gone-to-ground in the craters of Coventry

One Grandad was a photographer for the Air Force. The family moved around the country, having to leave Gurnsey, got bombed in the air-raid on Coventry, and ended up based outside Leeds for a bit.

My other Grandad was in the Palestine Police.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/31 15:12:07


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My grandfather on my maternal side was too young for WW2 - he served in Korea loading napalm and bombs onto planes, which eventually caused the cancer that killed him.

My paternal grandfather was one of the first US GIs that saw combat in Europe - he fought at Monte Casino.

I did a research interview project in high school where I interviewed him. Highlights:

What do you remember about your training? "We were in a texas regiment and the officers were so proud to inform us that we were one of the only regiments that would by special request be issued two handguns. First time we saw real fighting with the bullets whizzing over your head every single one of us 'lost' our handguns in the river because no way in hell were we ever getting close enough to those other fellas to ever use them and they were heavy. Big metal revolvers."

Did you ever shoot anybody? "Don't know, maybe. I shot towards the shooting. You were supposed to shoot when it was your turn to shoot until the magazine sprung out and it made a sound like the end of the line of a typewriter, like *ding*. Nothing ever seemed to take longer in my entire life than waiting for that ding."

What happened when the battle was over
"What happened was that once we started to capture equipment and buildings and territory I told my superior officers I was an accountant and they said 'hot damn' and took away my rifle and handed me a typewriter. Thats why you should be an engineer son: the moneys good but when there's a war on theyll want you doing something other than dying."


"Got you, Yugi! Your Rubric Marines can't fall back because I have declared the tertiary kaptaris ka'tah stance two, after the secondary dacatarai ka'tah last turn!"

"So you think, Kaiba! I declared my Thousand Sons the cult of Duplicity, which means all my psykers have access to the Sorcerous Facade power! Furthermore I will spend 8 Cabal Points to invoke Cabbalistic Focus, causing the rubrics to appear behind your custodes! The Vengeance for the Wronged and Sorcerous Fullisade stratagems along with the Malefic Maelstrom infernal pact evoked earlier in the command phase allows me to double their firepower, letting me wound on 2s and 3s!"

"you think it is you who has gotten me, yugi, but it is I who have gotten you! I declare the ever-vigilant stratagem to attack your rubrics with my custodes' ranged weapons, which with the new codex are now DAMAGE 2!!"

"...which leads you straight into my trap, Kaiba, you see I now declare the stratagem Implacable Automata, reducing all damage from your attacks by 1 and triggering my All is Dust special rule!"  
   
Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






On the last bit, I’m reading the “hot damn” in the voice of Tommy Lee Jones!

Guess that’s the joy of the draft method, they end up with unexpected skills.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

Pfizer vaccine administered 13:40pm 18 Feb 21. Still no second head. Second jab 13:35pm 6 May 2021. At the Masonic Hall. 
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

All my grandparents saw the war. Maternal grandparents lived in Sicily, never saw actual combat but their city (Messina) was constantly bombed by the US/UK. In fact that city is considered to be the most bombed city in the entired WW2.

Paternal grandparents lived elsewhere, Naples, and my grandfather told me the fascists before, and the nazis after them were really nasty. One day he managed to escape from the nazis (I don't remember for what reason, he passed 25 years ago), they shot towards him and his groups but no one was actually hit. It was near the end of the war and lived in a rural village until Italy was liberated.

Of all my grandparents he was the only adult during WW2, although still a teen.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/31 16:32:22


 
   
Made in ch
Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





 Moscha wrote:



No, it really is just heillos, but not in a meaning of "heilloses Durcheinander" or something similar.


I will try to write it in Swabian, as you should be able to get it being from Switzerland..

Des send hoalause Garbasoile.



Yeah i get that but wouldn't there need to be a hoalause schlächte* Garbasoile?

*alternative bschis.. , verchrüppelti etc?


______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyways, for those wondering btw why swiss hiking trails are marked Red and white, that has incidentally to do with the polish.
The french recruited 2 rifle divisions of polish inhabitants. during the fall of france they were forced over the border. some 12'000 men
Of course unlike the french we couldn't hand them back to vichy fance because well polish (also sympathies for the polish for varying reasons historically).
However since a lot of manpower was gone for borderguard and reduit purposes and supply was low there was kinda a need to have them work, however people also didn't want them to work in the regular industries since jobs... so they came to the idea to make them build hiking trails for the tourism industry which the poles working on promplty marked red and white. They also helped building the Reduit, infrastructure and damns..

Quite a few decided to stick arround and near where i live in Rapperswil theres now a polish museum .


https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/766717.page
A Mostly Renegades and Heretics blog.

 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut



London

All I knew of my Grandfathers service was he was a radiographer and organised a band, saw a picture of him with some kind of guitar.

He never spoke about it and deflected questions from grandchildren.

At his funeral we learnt part of his will went to the royal British Legion, which he had paid into all his life, and that at wars end he was the sole survivor of the original unit after action in Africa and Asia. The single biggest lose of life was the original nursing contingent, all lost on approach to Chittagong when that ship was torpedoed, with his half of the unit only able to helplessly watch from their ship. The rest through skirmishes, bombs and disease.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




My great-aunt was a waaf, she technically flew spitfires during the war.

My grandmother was a 17 year old girl in the Netherlands when the germans occupied it. Her story was one of the occupied population- germans were billeted in her house and she had to look after them. She had some interesting tales. One blond haired blue eyes 'proper' nazi was an arrogant condescending [bleep] she fought back and stole all his socks. Another time an older guy was staying and broke down in her company bawling his eyes out as he'd just been informed his wife and daughter had been blown up in an allied bombing raid.

My uncles dad was polish. He technically fought on both sides. Got conscripted into the German army - labour battalion. He was in Italy digging trenches when he was captured by the 2nd free polish (british). They figured him as polish and asked if he wanted to join the good guys. He did and thus, joined the British army. Served at monte casino. Retired to England after the war - he wouldn't return 'home' for nearly 50 years.

greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
 
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