View Full Version : OT RAF and Luftwaffe honor the fallen together

05-11-2007, 07:47 AM

Yesterday, the RAF and Luftwaffe honored the fallen of the "Air Battle of Britain" in a combined ceremony at the Luftwaffe memorial in Fürstenfeldbrück and the Royal Airforce Memorial in London.

One officer from each others airforce was present at the two simultaneous timed ceremonies.

Group Captain Simpson of the RAF layed a wreath at the Luftwaffe memorial in Fürstenfeldbrück while the Luftwaffe attaché of the german embassy, Brigadegeneral Heer did the same in London at the RAF memorial.

Group Captain Simpson and Oberst Wilcke


Sadly only this pic of the memorial in London available


This combined ceremony has its origin in 1972 as the former Luftwaffe attaché in London Brigadegeneral Rhoderich Cescotti noticed that beside several british ones, a wreath from the polish airforce had been placed at the memorial too.

After the Luftwaffe placed a wreath at the RAF memorial , the former Chief of Staff of the Royal Airforce , Sir Dennis Spotswood suggested to do a combined ceremony in the future.

Since that day the ceremony gets repeated every year.

05-11-2007, 11:13 AM
Well that is an awesome thing when former enemies can do a joint celebration together and keep it going. just a quote that I know cant remember the person who said it. " In peace sons bury their father but in war time fathers bury their sons."

05-11-2007, 12:24 PM
It's a good thing when we can leave the politics to the "Spin Doctors", .... and simply honor the memory of brave men. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif


05-11-2007, 01:20 PM
Heartening and sobering to see. Good post Celeon. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

05-11-2007, 04:07 PM
I remember the fuss when President Reagan wished to lay a wreath, for similar sentiments, at a Waffen SS cemetery in France. Or was it a war cemetery that had some Waffen SS graves; can't remember it exactly. It was not a political gesture as such, just an desire to pay respect to the fallen of a former foe. Politics blew that all out proportion.

05-11-2007, 04:12 PM
"In 1985, Ronald and Nancy Reagan visited a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, where Reagan was to lay a wreath. Some Jewish leaders criticized him for deciding to visit the cemetery, after they discovered that 47 Waffen SS men were buried there.[99] Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel pleaded with Reagan not to go on April 19, 1985, at a ceremony honoring him at the White House.[100] "May I, Mr. President, if it is possible at all, implore you to do something else, to find a way, to find another way, another site," he stated.[101] Reagan argued that it would be wrong to back down on a promise he had made to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and two retired generals laid the wreath with Reagan present.[102]"

Excerpt from the Reagan Wiki. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan)

I kind of admire him all the more for refusing to bow to his detractors in that affair. The fuss eventually blew over. The world is still standing. I'm tempted to say a few more things but I'm going to shut up now before I say anything else.

05-11-2007, 04:49 PM
This remembrance event echoes the anecdotes of adversarial respect between RAF and Luftwaffe combatants in WW2.

It reminds me of a passage I read last night in the book 'Free As A Running Fox' by T.D. Calnan - a Spitfire pilot who was shot down over the French coast, suffering serious burns to his face. The following excerpt describes his initial experiences in German captivity:


05-11-2007, 07:47 PM
Interesting post's there, thanks for sharing. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Regarding the original post, it's a shame events like this don't hit the headlines, but of course the media only like to show mayhem, destruction and death http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

05-12-2007, 01:39 AM
It reminds me of a passage I read last night in the book 'Free As A Running Fox' by T.D. Calnan - a Spitfire pilot who was shot down over the French coast, suffering serious burns to his face. The following excerpt describes his initial experiences in German captivity:

Fascinating VG. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking for holiday reading for the great Jambo <STRIKE>invasion </STRIKE> tour of Menorca in a few weeks. I'm going to look that book up. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

05-12-2007, 12:50 PM
Regarding prisoners taken by the Luftwaffe, I've read in articles, biographies, etc. that most were treated very well. It wasn't uncommon for Russian prisoners to be shocked by how well they were treated. They were often well fed & taken care of & were often allowed to roam freely around the bases. They were so surprised because most of them had been told by their commanders that they would be shot shortly after being taken. Some were so grateful towards their captors that they would share information on how to keep their planes operational in the bitter cold. Stuff like mixing petrol in the crankcases so that the oil wouldn't congeal, making it easier for the engines to turn over & boiling the guns in water to remove the oils so that they wouldn't jam up. The majority of Luftwaffe servicemen really didn't care for politics so much & tried to maintain a sense of honor/chivalry like that of WWI pilots.

05-12-2007, 03:12 PM
Stingray and others;

I think this whole thread highlights a serious point: .....The average guy in the field will usually treat "the other guy" as he would want to be treated himself. It's the only "right and honorable" way to behave.

It's sad to see that only the exceptions to this trend get the press coverage.


05-13-2007, 12:17 PM
Here are some better pics of the two memorials



For some strange reason i cant find any good pics of the Luftwaffe memorial on the entire internet http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

www.Luftwaffe.de (http://www.Luftwaffe.de) has only this b/w one from 1972 and these from 2006 which show only a glimpse of it.

They really need a new webmaster http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif