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Thread: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

  1. #1
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    Default Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    I can't say for fact this story is true, but here goes:

    During WW1, a wounded German soldier is lying and moaning in no-mans land. An American soldier goes out to rescue him and the Germans start shooting at him until they realize what's happening then stop. The American drags him back to the German trenches. As he is about to leave, a hand grips his shoulder and he thinks he's about to be a prisoner. Instead, it's a German officer, who removes his Iron Cross and pins it on the American soldiers uniform. He then is allowed to return to the American lines. Whether or not it's true, it's still a great story. Does anyone else have any such stories that they can provide? I would like to read some.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    I was also going to start a thread In WWII section, but George Eller already started a thread called Lesser Known Stories from WWII, so maybe post such stories from that war in his thread.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    The Christmas truce of 1914
    A well-known episode from WW1, almost mainstream for a movie was made about it: "Merry Christmas" (Joyeux NoŽl), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424205/

    It was cold and rainy in November and December of 1914. The trenches of both sides were filling with water and conditions were horrible. This led to a "live-and-let live"-attitude with the german and british soldiers in the northern sectors of the frontline. December 24 brough bitter frost, the ground got hard, the stench of decomposing bodies was decreasing. The germans put up christmas trees with candles on the edges of their trenches, Christmas carols were sung with comradely salutes.
    When the fog was clearing the next morning the christmas trees were covered with rime sparkling in the sun. Calls sounded from trench to trench, the weapons hushed and soldiers climbed into the no-mans land .
    They exchanged gifts and used the occasion to bury their dead.
    This all was not meant to be repeated according to the allied commanders. In the forthcoming years orders were given to shoot every enemy trying to fraternize. (somewhat re-translated by me from "First World War" by H.P. Willmott)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    [quote=flamethrowerguy;134819]The Christmas truce of 1914
    A well-known episode from WW1, almost mainstream for a movie was made about it: "Merry Christmas" (Joyeux NoŽl), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424205/
    Cool! I remember hearing about this. You know, I've looked at this movie at the video rental store but never have got it to watch. Anyone seen it?
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Not yet, I think I'll wait until "The Red Baron" is released and have myself a WW1 session then.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    Not yet, I think I'll wait until "The Red Baron" is released and have myself a WW1 session then.
    You've piqued my interest, there's a movie coming out about the Red Baron? I hadn't heard. I liked the movie Flyboys about Lafayette Escadrille? squadron.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Quote Originally Posted by navyson1 View Post
    You've piqued my interest, there's a movie coming out about the Red Baron? I hadn't heard. I liked the movie Flyboys about Lafayette Escadrille? squadron.
    Yup, lookie here:
    http://german.imdb.com/title/tt0365675/

    or here:
    http://www.redbaron-themovie.com/index_en.html

    I heard it's not really going to win some Academy Awards but anyway...
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    Yup, lookie here:
    http://german.imdb.com/title/tt0365675/

    or here:
    http://www.redbaron-themovie.com/index_en.html

    I heard it's not really going to win some Academy Awards but anyway...
    Oooh.........I like! At least the trailer makes the movie look good! I'd definitely go to see it.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    I heard the story of the Angels of Mons which I thought was really interesting, but it turned out to be false. There's actually an article on wikipedia telling about it.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Quote Originally Posted by VC Citation, Captain Noel Chavasse
    During an attack he tended the wounded in the open all day, under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy. During the ensuing night he searched for wounded on the ground in front of the enemy's lines for four hours. Next day he took one stretcher-bearer to the advanced trenches, and, under heavy fire, carried an urgent case for 500 yards into safety, being wounded in the side by a shell splinter during the journey. The same night he took up a party of trusty volunteers, rescued three wounded men from a shell hole twenty five yards from the enemy's trench, buried the bodies of two officers and collected many identity discs, although fired on by bombs and machine guns. Altogether he saved the lives of some twenty badly wounded men, besides the ordinary cases which passed through his hands. His courage and self-sacrifice were beyond praise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bar to VC Citation, Captain Noel Chavasse
    Though severely wounded early in the action whilst carrying a wounded soldier to the dressing station, he refused to leave his post, and for two days, not only continued to perform his duties, but in addition, went out repeatedly under heavy fire to search for and attend to the wounded who were lying out. During these searches, although practically without food during this period, worn with fatigue and faint with his wound, he assisted to carry an number of badly wounded men over heavy and difficult ground. By his extraordinary energy and inspiring example was instrumental in rescuing many wounded who would have otherwise undoubtedly succumbed under the bad weather conditions. This devoted and gallant officer subsequently died of his wounds.
    I figure this qualifies as both an unusal event and uncommon valour - the award of a Bar to the VC has only happened three times (the other recipients were Captain Arthur Martin-Leake, for actions in the Boer War and WW1, and Captain Charles Upham for actions during WW2).
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Thanks pdf27! That's definitely both unusual/uncommon. He was well deserving of the medals, and our respect!
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    I've got a good story, below. But first, "Merry Christmas" was a painfully inaccurate piece of crap. They got just about everything wrong. From the woman singing in No Man's Land (what??? A woman in No MAN'S Land????) to playing soccer there (football anyone?) The trenches they depicted were not 1914 early ditches but well developed 1917 styled trenches...the cease fire was informal and happened spontaniously at night between enlisted men yet the movie shows the officer negotation of truce. The actual fact: The officers started shooting the enemy randomly to break up the truce.

    And that all happened over one night. The movie shows such farces as the Germans being invited into the British lines so the artillery barrage wouldn't hurt any one. Huh?? Not worth even a free rental from your local library.

    UNUSAL EVENT: THE GUNS OF NERY
    On the retreat from Mons to the Marne, the BEF fought an extrodinary action in the village of Nery. On Sept. 1, 1914, a single battery of 6 guns (13 pounders) from the Royal Horse Artillery held off a surprise attack by 3 German batteries in superior position AND a German 4th Calvalry Division!!!

    The inital surprise shelling wiped out most of the guns and killed or wounded 30 men in the opening of the attack. Under heavy fire, Captain Bradbury, Lieutenant Mundy, Sgt. Nelson and Battery Sergent-Major Dorrell raced for one of the remaining 3 guns. Manning the guns, an 'inferno of shells' rained down from the surrounding hills: a devasting fire put out by German batteries. One of the 3 guns was almost immediately destroyed by a direct hit...the other remaining two guns returned fire upon the enemy.

    With shells exploding everywhere and more than 5000 rifles of a German division in the hills, the 2nd remaining gun managed to fire one round before one of the crew was severly wounded and fired 3 rounds in total before the entire crew was killed or wounded. That left just one gun against 3 batteries and a division. 'Not good odds' is an incredible understatement. They should've lasted about 5 seconds. Maybe 10. Two minutes if they had unbelievable luck.

    But this gun lived a charmed life. No shells hit it and while thousands of rifles fired upon them and splashed the ground like raindrops, none hit the crew. And they fired to great effect and badly mauled one enemy battery.

    The 2 remaining German batteries meanwhile had massed all their guns against the one field piece and set up in a commanding position less than 800 yards away (again, not good.) Dashing back and forth 20 yards to the ammunition wagon, the men braved a torrent of rifle fire to keep their gun firing. And somehow, even though the attack began at 5:05 am, the crew was still firing at 7:15am!! Lieutenant Mundy was severly wounded and out of action, Sgt. Nelson were now seriously wounded but fighting, Dorell was wounded but keeping up the best rate of fire he could and Capt. Bradbury was still untouched.

    Finally, reinforcements arrived and seeing this, Captain Bradbury raced agained to the wagons to fetch more ammo when he was hit by a shell and mortally wounded. With just two bleeding men to man it, the gun of L battery fired it's last shell and fell silent.

    But the gun singlehandedly held back an massive German surprise attack and achieved the objective of delaying the assault until reinforcements could arrive. Having lost 163 men with many more wounded, the Germans retreated into the woods.

    For this miraculous event that completely defied all odds, the men received an unprecedented 3 Victoria Crosses.

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Wow! Great story Beam, Thanks for posting that!
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    Navyson, I cannot believe you liked "Flyboys". Sorry but I have rarely seen a more badly done piece of drivel. Every German plane was a Red Tripe except the bad guy who flew a black one (big shock) and obviously styled himself on **** Dastardly in "catch the pigeon". It made an episode of Hogan's Heroes look like the "World at War".

    I wanted so hard to like it and it could have been so good (CGI was good) but I ended up wanting to sue the makers for the 90 minutes of my life back.

    Rant mode off

    31. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division


    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."

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    Default Re: Unusual Events/Uncommon Valor

    On topic again how about this Victoria Cross winner.

    Rifleman Bhanbhagta without waiting for orders dashed forward alone to attack the first foxhole. With two grenades he killed both occupants and without hesitation rushed on to clear three more foxholes single handed with bayonet and grenade. Realizing that a light machine gun now firing on him would hold up not only his own platoon behind him, but also another approaching from the west, Bhanbhagta for the fifth time advanced alone under heavy enemy fire to knock out this position.
    Doubling forward he leapt on to the roof of the bunker from where, his hand grenades being finished, he flung two smoke grenades into the slit. Two Japanese rushed out partially blinded by the smoke and Bhanbhagta promptly killed them both with his kukri. Another Japanese inside the bunker was still firing the gun, holding up the advance of the platoons, so Bhanbhagta crawled inside, killed this remaining gunner and captured the gun.

    31. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division


    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."

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