PDA

View Full Version : Reflecting the Holidays during WW2



Tator_Totts
12-23-2007, 08:48 AM
I am sitting here reflecting about what it was like in WW2 at this time. People sitting in a trench, barracks, in a plane, tank or jeep. What were they thinking? Loved ones at home wondering if they will see them again. The letters they received from the government saying their husband, father, brother or sister is not coming home at all.

Soldiers getting those few loved and well appreciated letters from home. Sitting around their makeshift Christmas tree.

Yes we are blessed.

Anybody knows of a WW2 Christmas story from any country share it. Also would Like to hear any German stories about what it was like for them.

Thanks and Salute

Mike

cawimmer430
12-23-2007, 09:04 AM
Well I have no real stories to tell but a family "holiday" is approaching. Tomorrow on December 24, 1943, 64 years ago, my uncle Anton Hiebl was MIA in Southern Russian. He was in the Waffen SS and a medic at first, then later a "motorcycle soldier" ("Kradmelder" they were called). He was never found. Not even the Russians, years later, had any record of an Anton Hiebl on their POW lists.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/OnkelAnton_SS03.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/OnkelAnton_SS07.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/OnkelAnton_SS01.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/OnkelAnton_SS02.jpg



This was the last photo ever taken of him. He was back in Bavaria for a short vacation before heading off the front.
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/OnkelAntonLetztenBilder_02.jpg

Tator_Totts
12-23-2007, 11:00 AM
Thanks Cawimmer for taking the time and the posting of pictures. It must have been hard on your family at that time to get the news of a loved one MIA.

I know I am an American with 50% German. So this was appreciated very much. I know I sometimes look at things as objects not as people. Like pilots had said is what they see is a plane not a person inside. This helps to bring it in perspective.

Salute,
Mike

cawimmer430
12-24-2007, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Tator_Totts:
Thanks Cawimmer for taking the time and the posting of pictures. It must have been hard on your family at that time to get the news of a loved one MIA.

I know I am an American with 50% German. So this was appreciated very much. I know I sometimes look at things as objects not as people. Like pilots had said is what they see is a plane not a person inside. This helps to bring it in perspective.

Salute,
Mike

Anytime. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The war was hard on the entire family. My grandmother had three brothers. Michael, Anton and Shorsch. Michael lost a leg, Anton was MIA and Shorsch was called into the Wehrmacht at the age of 17 and ended up in French captivity. He was made to clear land mines in Northern France and hated the French (so I am told) until he died sometime in the mid 1980s.

I was to young to ask them about the war. Uncle Michael died pretty recently though but I never asked him about the war. I was afraid it would bring up bad memories, especially since he lost his right leg during the war.

Here are some pictures of Uncle Michael with his then girlfriend and later his wife. I think these were taken in 1943 (he lost his leg in mid 1944).
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/WW2_08.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/WW2_09.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/WW2_05.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/WW2_10.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/WW2_11.jpg

Tator_Totts
12-24-2007, 11:04 PM
Your Uncle Michael looks like he could have been a kid from Kansas. LOL. Thank you again for the wonderful Christmas gift that you gave me.

My neighbor across from me was in the Pacific war. He drove the landing craft. One story he told me was heart breakning. He said when the civillians would commit suicide and jump off cliffs. He would have to go through the bodies and look for people who survived and took them back to ship for medical service.

Thanks Again

Mike Ringler

cawimmer430
12-25-2007, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by Tator_Totts:
Your Uncle Michael looks like he could have been a kid from Kansas. LOL. Thank you again for the wonderful Christmas gift that you gave me.

My neighbor across from me was in the Pacific war. He drove the landing craft. One story he told me was heart breakning. He said when the civillians would commit suicide and jump off cliffs. He would have to go through the bodies and look for people who survived and took them back to ship for medical service.

Thanks Again

Mike Ringler

Anytime. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

My grandmother worked for a Luftwaffe airbase during the war. It was basically a transport airbase and the only airplanes that would ever land and take-off there were Ju-52/3m's and Fieseler Storch's. She also correspond with soldiers during the war. There was some government funded program in which soldiers could have a pen-pal to write home to back in Germany for moral purposes. My grandmother participated in this.

They even sent her a couple of pictures.


I don't know what happened to this guy, but his name was Günther and he served on a U-Boat. Stopped writing one day...
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/U-BootMann.jpg
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/U-Boot.jpg

This guy was a pilot obviously, but I don't know his name or his fate. When my grandmother was still alive, she said he stopped writing one day.
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/Pilot.jpg


She also corresponded with a soldier named "Karl" who served in North Africa. He stopped writing one day. After the war, a friend of Karl wrote my grandmother to tell her that Karl had been killed one day during a low level air attack.


War sucks.

Chris0382
12-25-2007, 07:41 AM
Thanks for sharing those pics. As an Englishman now American and against what Germany did in WW2, I have to say those pictures of Anton Hiebl were very touching. He can never be forgotten and do your best to preserve those pictures for ever.

Just a neat story to add....

My mother's neighbor in Preston, Lancs was an electrician working on and maintaining the radar towers in the Southern coast. He tells me they used long poles to discharge static buildup in the magnets or whatever they were charge built up. But he goes on to tell that as he was up on the power line one day, a V-1 came directly towards him and went right by him, crashing next to a horse carriage in transit. The horses were startled and the carriage overturned. He tells me they worked feverously rounding up the horses and tending to the women in the carriage.

Tator_Totts
12-25-2007, 10:18 AM
It is refreshing to hear those good things like the pen pals. All the Good humanity stuff still went on no matter what side you fought on. In all the tragic things that go on in war there is still people on both sides trying to bring some sanity in a chaos inviroment. You have a nice family with found memories.

Chris, did your mother go through the bombings as a child? Did she ever talk about it?

Schwarz.13
12-25-2007, 10:36 AM
I don't have any Christmas stories i'm afraid but was touched by your family pictures Christian - thanks for posting.

My maternal Grandfather fought in Italy with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots. He went over after Cassino, fighting towards the Gothic Line. He was awarded the George Medal (as opposed to George Cross as he was a conscript not a professional soldier) for going back 3 times under fire to bring back wounded comrades to their own lines - his medals are in the Royal Scots museum at Edinburgh Castle.

I am fortunate to know what happened to him but unfortunately he died shortly after the war of Deep Vain Thrombosis so i never met him - it's ironic i suppose to survive all those MG bullets/mortar shells and to die of something so mundane shortly after...

Happy Xmas Ubi people http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bewolf
12-25-2007, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
I don't have any Christmas stories i'm afraid but was touched by your family pictures Christian - thanks for posting.

My maternal Grandfather fought in Italy with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots. He went over after Cassino, fighting towards the Gothic Line. He was awarded the George Medal (as opposed to George Cross as he was a conscript not a professional soldier) for going back 3 times under fire to bring back wounded comrades to their own lines - his medals are in the Royal Scots museum at Edinburgh Castle.

I am fortunate to know what happened to him but unfortunately he died shortly after the war of Deep Vain Thrombosis so i never met him - it's ironic i suppose to survive all those MG bullets/mortar shells and to die of something so mundane shortly after...

Happy Xmas Ubi people http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"after" cassiono? So he didn't actually take part in the battle?

I ask because my grandfather was there. He commanded a quad 20mm FlaK unit in support of the Fallschirmjägers stationed on top.

He told some interesting stories about the war.

Schwarz.13
12-25-2007, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
"after" cassiono? So he didn't actually take part in the battle?

I ask because my grandfather was there. He commanded a quad 20mm FlaK unit in support of the Fallschirmjägers stationed on top.

He told some interesting stories about the war.

Yes, after.

The war in Italy didn't end after the battles for Cassino and continued horribly for the rest of the war ( as i'm sure you're aware)!

The Royal Scots were not posted to Italy until after the Cassino episode...

BTW - 'Cassino - The Hollow Victory' by John Ellis and 'Monte Cassino' by Matthew Parker are two outstanding books on the subject (in particular Parker's book is highly readable for those who don't care about the 'big picture' and is packed with anecdotes including a few by the late Spike Milligan)! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Metatron_123
12-25-2007, 01:15 PM
My grand dad was also at Casino.
He was Polish, and during the invasion of his country in 1940, he was captured by the Russians. He remembered how he was forced to work in airfield construction, and kept retreating and starting from scratch as the Russians where on the run during the early stages of operation Barbarossa. He later was liberated and fought with the allies in Italy. I've kept these since his death three years ago.
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x286/metatron_123/Grandadsmedals.jpg

Bewolf
12-25-2007, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
"after" cassiono? So he didn't actually take part in the battle?

I ask because my grandfather was there. He commanded a quad 20mm FlaK unit in support of the Fallschirmjägers stationed on top.

He told some interesting stories about the war.

Yes, after.

The war in Italy didn't end after the battles for Cassino and continued horribly for the rest of the war ( as i'm sure you're aware)!

The Royal Scots were not posted to Italy until after the Cassino episode...

BTW - 'Cassino - The Hollow Victory' by John Ellis and 'Monte Cassino' by Matthew Parker are two outstanding books on the subject (in particular Parker's book is highly readable for those who don't care about the 'big picture' and is packed with anecdotes including a few by the late Spike Milligan)! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh I am aware, be sure. And horrible it was indeed, thouhg not in the least comparable to other fronts. In this regard my grandfather was quite lucky, as he managed to escape the Military Police twice after his furlough on his way back to his unit in Italy. They grabbed soldiers randomly no matter their professions, soldiers, pilots, navy personal, at Munich train station to send them to the eastern front.

Bewolf
12-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
My grand dad was also at Casino.
He was Polish, and during the invasion of his country in 1940, he was captured by the Russians. He remembered how he was forced to work in airfield construction, and kept retreating and starting from scratch as the Russians where on the run during the early stages of operation Barbarossa. He later was liberated and fought with the allies in Italy. I've kept these since his death three years ago.
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x286/metatron_123/Grandadsmedals.jpg

The polish especially distiguished themselves at Monte Cassio. S! to this man.

Chris0382
12-25-2007, 02:41 PM
Chris, did your mother go through the bombings as a child? Did she ever talk about it?

Yes she did Tator. She has stories of having to carry gas masks, huddling in shelters (not so bad up north), occasional V-1 fly bys, and the authorities taking thier railings away for the metal industries, and a bombngs - air fights in the distance.


My mother's Boyfreind Bill (Merchant Marine) was on the convoys between NY and England ( Liberty ships etc) and tells an occasional story of ships exploding around him and the night he was on watch and the runner dropped his food and hot tea and he suffered without his hot tea.

They couldnt stop to pick up survivors and his number just never came up.

Later on Bill went to the docks for work and they said they will have him home for X-Mas. Once out to sea, it became apparent they meant next X-mas and he ended up going around the Horn of South America or Africa- I forget which one (the one with giant waves).

Tator_Totts
12-26-2007, 11:32 AM
Must have been horrible for the civillians on all side to go through the bombings of their town.

My Dad served in Korea. He was in the airforce. He worked on the planes eletrical parts and radios to keep them running. He past away when he was 42 with cancer. I wished I had spent time with him talking about it.

cawimmer430
12-27-2007, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by Chris0382:
Thanks for sharing those pics. As an Englishman now American and against what Germany did in WW2, I have to say those pictures of Anton Hiebl were very touching. He can never be forgotten and do your best to preserve those pictures for ever.

Just a neat story to add....

My mother's neighbor in Preston, Lancs was an electrician working on and maintaining the radar towers in the Southern coast. He tells me they used long poles to discharge static buildup in the magnets or whatever they were charge built up. But he goes on to tell that as he was up on the power line one day, a V-1 came directly towards him and went right by him, crashing next to a horse carriage in transit. The horses were startled and the carriage overturned. He tells me they worked feverously rounding up the horses and tending to the women in the carriage.

Thanks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

All the pictures and letters from that era are in boxes which we have stored in our home.

That was a close call, in your story. I can only imagine the terror he must have felt when a V1 rocket shoots pretty much past him at high speed. Yikes can't even begin to describe what he must have felt! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

cawimmer430
12-27-2007, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Tator_Totts:
It is refreshing to hear those good things like the pen pals. All the Good humanity stuff still went on no matter what side you fought on. In all the tragic things that go on in war there is still people on both sides trying to bring some sanity in a chaos inviroment. You have a nice family with found memories.

At the end of the day, you get the impression that most soldiers on whatever sides were just "normal people" trying to survive in a mess that their government put them in. That's the impression I got when my father read to me the letters of some of the soldiers my grandmother corresponded with. She also corresponded with a soldier who fought and vanished inside Stalingrad! I sadly can't read the letters since they're written in very old Germanic /Gothic script.

cawimmer430
12-27-2007, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
I don't have any Christmas stories i'm afraid but was touched by your family pictures Christian - thanks for posting.

My maternal Grandfather fought in Italy with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots. He went over after Cassino, fighting towards the Gothic Line. He was awarded the George Medal (as opposed to George Cross as he was a conscript not a professional soldier) for going back 3 times under fire to bring back wounded comrades to their own lines - his medals are in the Royal Scots museum at Edinburgh Castle.

I am fortunate to know what happened to him but unfortunately he died shortly after the war of Deep Vain Thrombosis so i never met him - it's ironic i suppose to survive all those MG bullets/mortar shells and to die of something so mundane shortly after...

Happy Xmas Ubi people http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thank You. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I got more pictures I scanned but the thread I created about them dissapeared sometime after this forum got hacked or something.

Here's my grandmother. She was a secretary for the Luftwaffe during the war. She died in 1997 but she always told me the airport she worked at had Ju-52's fly in from the Eastern Front, sometimes riddled with bullets! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/UrsulaWimmer_01.jpg


And this is her with my father (born in 1941). A French prisoner of war named Gastogne (spelling???), who helped out on their farm, took this picture. He was well treated and a few years after the war visited my grandmother and her family with his family and brought along French cheeses and wine!

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/BabyEAW_01.jpg


Here's my father's father. Alois Goebl. My father was born in May of 1941, but by that time Alois was already stationed near the Russian border so he never saw his son. He died in the first few days of Operation Barbarossa.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/AloisGoebl.jpg

And this is my father showing off during the 1960s. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif If you look at his face, you can see the resemblance to Alois Goebl.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/cawimmer430/WW2/ErichWimmer_02.jpg