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View Full Version : What's the worst job in war?



Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 06:14 AM
The worst war jobs aren't necessarily up the sharp end where the fighting is.

Among the jobs I don't fancy compared wiith, say, being a gun number in battle are disinterring, transporting, or re-burying corpses or other remains from battlefield graves for proper burial; forcing displaced persons or POWs to return to their side when they and I know they're going to be punished or killed; and stopping civilians, especially children, from getting on the last plane or chopper out of a collapsing position or country.

Which war jobs do you think are the worst?

32Bravo
12-05-2008, 06:42 AM
Clearing out the Thunderboxes - very much up shit creek!

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 07:00 AM
Clearing out the Thunderboxes - very much up shit creek!

If the shit pit is dug deep enough it doesn't need clearing.

Unless the cooks have suddenly started serving either or both (a) edible food (b)decent portions. :D

flamethrowerguy
12-05-2008, 07:05 AM
I'd say "Grave detail", however the chance of getting killed yourself is kind of small for you "work" mostly in the rear.

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 07:12 AM
I'd say "Grave detail", however the chance of getting killed yourself is kind of small for you "work" mostly in the rear.

That's the case with a lot of the worst jobs, but years later which memories of your work might haunt you most and even drive you into a breakdown?

A couple of brief contacts as a rifleman or months or perhaps years of grave work?

Or, for another worst job, being a medic doing triage and deciding who gets the chance to live and who doesn't, when the workload is overwhelming?

herman2
12-05-2008, 07:35 AM
I would say the worst job (if it were me, anyways) would be the job of going to the spouse's or children's door and telling them their husnabnd or father died. I think the emotional turmoil the job entails would make one so depressed, having to tell a loved one of a death. I am not sure if it was a priest or clergyman who did this but the job must have been hell and require a person with a stong skin.

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 07:40 AM
I would say the worst job (if it were me, anyways) would be the job of going to the spouse's or children's door and telling them their husnabnd or father died. I think the emotional turmoil the job entails would make one so depressed, having to tell a loved one of a death. I am not sure if it was a priest or clergyman who did this but the job must have been hell and require a person with a stong skin.

Good point.

I read somewhere once a memoir by a WWII telegram boy here who had to deliver the telegrams from the service authorities.

He, like most telegram boys then and even in my youth, was about thirteen or fourteen years old and not at all equipped to deal with the reactions his telegrams caused.

He soon got to hate delivering them and it still caused him a lot of distress several decades after the war.

32Bravo
12-05-2008, 08:09 AM
If the shit pit is dug deep enough it doesn't need clearing.

Unless the cooks have suddenly started serving either or both (a) edible food (b)decent portions. :D


Semi-permanent or longish-term camps require semi-permanent latrines, otherwise we all become shit-miners. :) :army:

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 09:06 AM
Semi-permanent or longish-term camps require semi-permanent latrines, otherwise we all become shit-miners. :) :army:

In the UK, perhaps.

Down here, even in the most remote areas, where longish disposal of poo-like substances is required we create a septic tank. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septic_tank

The Wiki entry adequately describes our usage, apart from this statement: The term "septic" refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank and which decomposes or mineralizes the waste discharged into the tank.

Here, 'Septic' refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops when large numbers of Yanks arrive and are discharged into the host community, for which there is no effective antidote. :D

In rhyming slang 'septic' = 'septic tank' stands for 'Yank'. Thus a Yank may be referred to as a Septic. This causes them to rush off to our underfunded and understaffed hospitals in the belief that they need treatment for a septic problem. Which only adds to our mirth at their discomfiture. :D


As for shit miners, what's mine is yours and what's yours is also yours. :D

32Bravo
12-05-2008, 09:19 AM
In the UK, perhaps.




Nah, I was referring to defensive positions.

My own experinces were in the far East And Near East. But there were lots of exmples on the Western Front where latrines consisted of Thunderboxes which were emptied on a regular basis. Sometime they were emptied by enemy shells. :)

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 09:29 AM
Nah, I was referring to defensive positions.

I am not sure whether I would produce more shit on the active defensive or offensive. ;)

I can guarantee that in either case my fearful shit, not to mention anticipatory blurty wettish farts, would be stunningly offensive to the point of blunting an enemy attack if they got anywhere near my lines. :D

32Bravo
12-05-2008, 09:46 AM
Sounds like bullshit to me :lol:

Seriously, though. Some fire bases and the like where based on very rocky terrain and the only way to get the stuff out was to fly t out.

Now there's a thought to play with. :)

106mm Howitzer:

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.rafdaybyday.com/portals/_default/Skins/Raf/images/big/Image1.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.rafdaybyday.com/&usg=__KRAMFo_yYYfPmyPcPTfGZilAeUg=&h=167&w=123&sz=16&hl=en&start=22&um=1&tbnid=QnzgWZZode9AoM:&tbnh=99&tbnw=73&prev=/images%3Fq%3Draf%2Boperations%2Bradfan%26start%3D2 0%26ndsp%3D20%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://koyli.com/stanaden/RadfanBellHeli.jpg&imgrefurl=http://koyli.com/aden.htm&h=369&w=600&sz=30&tbnid=0_3tWlabDhAJ::&tbnh=83&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dimages%2Bof%2Bbritish%2Bforces%2Bradf an&hl=en&usg=__1QXjzTWxWKa046bV9oDLpFi5B08=&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=2&ct=image&cd=1

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00291/hosford2_385x185_291822a.jpg

tankgeezer
12-05-2008, 11:24 AM
The poor guy who has to write the letters, or knock on the door....

herman2
12-05-2008, 02:14 PM
Ya, I said that already...glad to see we think alike on at least one subject:)

Dara
12-05-2008, 02:43 PM
I think being someone who is just an orderly in the medic tent and doesn't have the opportunity to actually help fix wounds, but is there only to console, clean bed pans, dress wounds, etc... Also, a Chaplin during war would be a very difficult job I think.

alephh
12-05-2008, 04:48 PM
Maybe not the worst jobs, but high on my list:

Combat engineers, who had to construct something in heavy fire in front of the frontline, before the "brave" troops emerge from their secure shelters to attack (into the headlines).

Long-range commandos/etc, who in certain conditions have to kill more of their own comrades than enemy soldiers during a mission. If somebody in your group is injured so that he cannot move, you have to shoot him, because it's impossible to carry him along without slowing down too much, while leaving injured man behind jeopardizes the whole mission (he will most likely crack under the interrogation). Standard practise: shoot the injured man and report that he got killed by an enemy shot into the head.

_

kamehouse
12-06-2008, 02:56 AM
kamikaze for me.Do I need to explain why?

Rising Sun*
12-06-2008, 05:18 AM
kamikaze for me.Do I need to explain why?

I wouldn't agree with that.

Kamikaze were committed to their cause and knew what they were doing, and were proud to do it. While it might be incomprehensible to Western minds, it was a fine and noble thing in their culture and military tradition.

Death isn't necessarily the worst thing that can happen to someone. The pain of living and carrying the burdens of the past can be worse. That death isn't always so bad is illustrated by people who can't bear the pain of living stopping it by killing themselves. As have a disproportionately large number of veterans of wars since WWI, and perhaps earlier.

32Bravo
12-06-2008, 06:51 AM
To offer a more serious answer to the question than my previous responses: it really depends on the individual.

Some people will remain unaffected by what might seem to others as being vile or outrageous.

In the same way as people have certain phobias which others are completely at ease with I would suggest that the same applies to which is the worse job in war - It's a matter of individual perspective.

What the question serves to do, here, is to demonstrate that war is neither glorious nor glamorous.

kamehouse
12-06-2008, 07:02 AM
I wouldn't agree with that.

Kamikaze were committed to their cause and knew what they were doing, and were proud to do it. While it might be incomprehensible to Western minds, it was a fine and noble thing in their culture and military tradition.

Death isn't necessarily the worst thing that can happen to someone. The pain of living and carrying the burdens of the past can be worse. That death isn't always so bad is illustrated by people who can't bear the pain of living stopping it by killing themselves. As have a disproportionately large number of veterans of wars since WWI, and perhaps earlier.
Excellent points there.But this is my personal opinion as a European citizen.You always hope to come back,don't you?
Well I would.Wonder if the German pilots onboard the Me 328 would have had the same state of mind than Japanese suicide pilots.
For sure ,Taran Soviet pilots would ram German planes but always hoped they would be able to bale out to fight another day.

Rising Sun*
12-06-2008, 07:33 AM
But this is my personal opinion as a European citizen.You always hope to come back,don't you?

You and I do.

They didn't.

It's the same sort of, to us (well, to me anyway), crazy desire for death that we see in Islamic suicide bombers, which represents a belief system which is so foreign to ours that neither side has any common ground upon which to engage for any useful discussion about whatever it is that provokes the Islamists to wage their curiously random and magnificently ineffective form of 'war'.

It's worth remembering that the earliest kamikaze pilots were probably a few Americans in some desperate early Pacific battles where they flung their machines suicidally against the enemy as their last aggressive action. There is some reseach on it but I can't find it now.

However, the kamikaze spirit pre-dated the pilots, notably in the midget submarines (post #3 at http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8394 ), but it was conveniently re-manufactured at the end of the war for pilots when Japan was on the ropes when it was never a feature of Japanese air tactics or conduct when Japan was winning or even just holding ground.

Dara
12-06-2008, 06:14 PM
Kamikaze were committed to their cause and knew what they were doing, and were proud to do it. While it might be incomprehensible to Western minds, it was a fine and noble thing in their culture and military tradition.
This was not the case with all kamikaze pilots from what I've read and heard. There are some, who survived, who speak of being terrified and not feeling very noble, but feeling very uncertain. They have changed their last name for fear of reprisals, because they did not end their lives. Some, after being captured, ended up committing suicide, but there are a few who did not and are alive to speak about their experiences.

I know there are many who actually succeeded, but we do not know for sure that all were committed to the cause etc...

gumalangi
12-20-2008, 10:40 PM
How about,.. target shooting holder?

Cuts
12-21-2008, 11:12 AM
The worst job must be in the aftermath of war.

Especially reading bone posts.

Rising Sun*
12-22-2008, 05:46 AM
This was not the case with all kamikaze pilots from what I've read and heard. There are some, who survived, who speak of being terrified and not feeling very noble, but feeling very uncertain. They have changed their last name for fear of reprisals, because they did not end their lives. Some, after being captured, ended up committing suicide, but there are a few who did not and are alive to speak about their experiences.

I know there are many who actually succeeded, but we do not know for sure that all were committed to the cause etc...

Fair points.

We have only the survivors as post-war commentators ('a former kamikaze pilot said' lacks some authority as a spokesman for successful kamikaze pilots ;) ), but there are contemporary diaries and letters by those who died which show that they operated from a sense of duty or something other, such as avoiding shaming their family, than overwhelming personal commitment to the cause of dying for the Emperor.

As for feeling uncertain, terrified etc, that is common to most men leading up to and in combat. It does not lessen, but rather increases, the bravery of their acts that they went ahead in such circumstances.

However, the kamikaze spirit in essence if not in the purely suicidal form it took in the air at the end of the war was embodied in the midget submariners early in the war. They embarked upon missions they knew had little chance of success in vessels of considerable unreliability, but the documents they left behind expressed the elements of the later kamikaze airmen's intentions and attitude.

I think that there was a 'kamikaze attitude' in Japanese culture and particularly military and social conditioning under the militarists which, whether they would have chosen to or not given a free choice, resulted in many noble, honourable, patriotic and thoroughly committed young men going to their deaths as the performance of their highest duty to the nation.

gumalangi
12-22-2008, 06:10 AM
This was not the case with all kamikaze pilots from what I've read and heard. There are some, who survived, who speak of being terrified and not feeling very noble, but feeling very uncertain. They have changed their last name for fear of reprisals, because they did not end their lives. Some, after being captured, ended up committing suicide, but there are a few who did not and are alive to speak about their experiences.

I know there are many who actually succeeded, but we do not know for sure that all were committed to the cause etc...

I think,. it is not only those kamikazes pilots who were actually cohersed to fly,. also many of fighters for motherland in Russia,. or young GI in vietnam,.