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> Grandpa's stories about his fights ...
Der Maresal
Posted: November 05, 2003 01:08 am
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My Grandmother who is still alive and in good health (God bless her) tells me some fascinating stories of her youth.

At first she tells me how the war begun on the 22nd and how she saw aerial battles in the sky. She is from moldavia, from Iasi and she told me that the Germans were singing "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles"..as they marched through the town and going to the front.. (She learn to sing that too a bit..she still remebers the words) Also she remebers "Lili Marelene" the most Popular song of World War II which was playing on the radio all the time in those days ..(It was translated into something like 42 Languages and I think Romanian as well!!_) :shock: :P

Anyways, for her 22 June 1941 was a big day, but the most important year for her was 1944 when the front was nearing and they had to evacuate. I think in March 1944 they left Moldavia as refugees, ...by train.
A beautyfull Dog they had, a Sheapher very obedient and very intelligent was left behind. When the Russians came they shot him.
She had three brothers, all of them died. One died in 1944 of tuberculosis,
the others I'm not sure about. One was member of the Iron Guard, a Legionaire named Mihai Balanici, he was more of a student admirer who put on the green shirt, he was not a very high official. She too sympathized alot with this movement at the beginning. (Iasi was the birthplace of this movement).
Anyway - about the end of the war she can tell me that she saw with her own eyes how Our own Police and Geandarms as well as the Soviets chased German Sodiers that were trapped in Romania after August 23, and pursued them (and the Germans were running for their lives, terrified and hiding wherever people would offer them shelter) One such german with last name Weissmann remained in hiding because a generous familly helped him. He married the woman that gave him refuge and eventually learned the language and changed his name.

Grandmother tells me that she got into trouble after the war for wearing a green uniform that looked it was from the Iron Guard. She almost got arrested!
*One thing she can't stand and you cannot convince her in any way are: Russians. She dissilikes everything about them, language, customs,alcohol, behaviour, looks...everything.. :lol: :P
(When we watch Figure Skating on TV, she "prays" that the Russian team will fall" :D :D !!! .."fall you damn russians, fall"! :idea: :lol:
* she is the wife of the man on the right in my Avatar :wink: - who unfortunately, did not have a chance to meet and hear his war stories. :cry:
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johnny_bi
Posted: November 05, 2003 03:42 am
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I have already told something about my grandfather :

http://worldwar2.ro/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3796#3796

As a resume : he was a tanker within the 1st Armored Division. During the events of the '42-'43 winter at Don River's Bend he got deaf (almost). He doesn't want to talk about what happened during the war... My grandmother told me once one of his stories:

Once, my grandfather (she didn't remember the location) the troop took its lunch... near a forest... The soldiers sat on the table (they were near a barrack)... While eating, suddenly, the soldier from my grandfather's right side got a bullet between his eyes. A sniper aimed the guy using the forest as cover... It was just a matter of choice for the sniper... he could chose my grandfather as well.
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PanzerKing
Posted: November 05, 2003 04:33 am
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My Great Uncle Henry fought in North Africa against Rommel's Afrika Korps. I'm not sure what he did, but he managed to aquire a German 9mm pistol!

My other Uncle was in the US Navy and served aboard a minesweeper...he saw a lot of action from what he has told me. I remember him saying that the Pacific Islanders loved trading their necklaces for Hersey's chocolate. He also said the big Battleship guns were so loud that even from far away your ears could sometimes bleed. He is the most willing to talk, but I haven't seem him for a while.

My grandfather was in the Korean War as a US Sniper. The only thing he has ever said is that he used to snipe N. Koreans trying to sneek into base with bombs & such. He hates to talk about it. I don't blame him.

The only other family member I know of that fought was my Great Grandfather that fought in WWI! He got a Purple Heart for an injury and came home, that's all I know.

Oh yeah sorry this isn't about the Eastern Front. :lol:
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Victor
Posted: November 05, 2003 01:06 pm
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Yeah, unfortunately, not many veterans are eager to talk about their experiences. From my first English teacher I had to simply "pull" them out by force. :D
He was the officer commanding the 20 mm AA guns on the Dacia minelayer. He remembered with much regret how he personally fired once into a Soviet torpedo bomber, which eventually fell down. He was sorry for the poor bastards onboard (this was during the famous raid on Constanta harbor carried out by five Soviet DB-3Fs in late 1943, which attempted to surprise the defense and sink the ships in port; all five were shot down by the AAA)
Another short story was about the evacuation at Cape Kherson in 1944, which he described as a living hell.

PS: my grandmother also has a bad opinion on Russians, being influenced bythe fact that she and her sister barely excaped rape in1940 in Bessarabia.
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Chandernagore
Posted: November 05, 2003 07:57 pm
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Yeah, unfortunately, not many veterans are eager to talk about their experiences... He remembered with much regret how he personally fired once into a Soviet torpedo bomber, which eventually fell down. He was sorry for the poor bastards onboard


I had to stop here and think for a while. My father told me the same thing. Once he downed 5 Russians with a single hand grenade. Was he proud ?? God, no... He felt sorry for the mothers of those poor 5 guys who didn't ask to be there. When he told me that he had tears in his eyes I will never forget that moment. I think that he never swallowed it, but he had no choice. War is a real piece of shit. The human dimension rarely makes it into history books as a factor in day by day operations.

It's strange how we can express deep interest in military history and hate the whole shebang at the same time :roll:
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mabadesc
Posted: November 05, 2003 09:07 pm
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I heard this story from a friend of mine. One of his uncles was quite young when he was recruited for WWII, and he was a sensitive guy, an intellectual (he was a French teacher).

Anyway, so they send him to the front line as a soldier. First, he gets lightly wounded and he wakes up in the infirmery - the screams of others woke him up. They were amputating someone else's leg. The anesthesia was simple: they rolled a piece of wire around the patient's leg, then with a pair of pliers they kept twisting the wire, tighter and tighter until it cut off your circulation and your leg went numb. Then they just cut it off, while you were awake... :(

Regardless, this guy gets well (it was a light wound) and gets sent back to the front. There, during an assault, his platoon commander was leading the charge, when a piece from a mortar decapitates him. The odd thing was that the headless guy kept running for a few more steps (inertia, I suppose). The whole platoon just stopped and stared at him.

So after this incident, my friend's uncle just couldn't handle it mentally anymore. They sent him home, and for the next 40 years, until he died, he couldn't sleep, he didn't want to speak to anyone, he didn't teach again......he just sat in his room all day and chain-smoked by himself.
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Victor
Posted: November 06, 2003 12:01 pm
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It's strange how we can express deep interest in military history and hate the whole shebang at the same time


Some things in this world are beyond explanation and probably this is one of them.

Another interesting story is the one of my best friend's maternal grandfather, who was a painter. He was also drafted (infantry I think) and was taken POW by the Soviets. He spent 7 years in Siberia at hard labor and came home when everybody thought he was dead. He used to keep a very high temperature in his workroom, even during the summer. The extreme cold marked him for life.
My friend's paternal grandfather was a friend of my English teacher and also served in the Navy (I think on NMS Marasesti). He used to tell a story of a submarine attack, when the torpedo passed underneath them.
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C-2
Posted: November 08, 2003 07:00 pm
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My grandfather fought bouth in ww1 and ww2,unfortunatly he died age 92 when I was only 7 and I have very few info.
I had a English teacher named Oswald Stadler who was from Bucovina.
He served in the Rom army between the wars,and after the ocupation of Bassarabia he was recruted to the Soviet army.There they found that he was in the Rom .army and sent with a one way tichet to Siberia .There after a while he was sent to fight at Kiev,and was one of the few survivers of his batalion. The Russians stormed the city where the Germans were very well fortified. The Russians suffered heavy losses and almost took no prisoners.He was a very educated man(spoked 8 lang. and had a degree in Economy)He didn't liked the war at all...
He was never wonded but suffered till he died in 93 of frost bites at his legs.
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Der Maresal
Posted: November 09, 2003 12:37 am
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Regardless, this guy gets well (it was a light wound) and gets sent back to the front.  There, during an assault, his platoon commander was leading the charge, when a piece from a mortar decapitates him.  The odd thing was that the headless guy kept running for a few more steps (inertia, I suppose).  The whole platoon just stopped and stared at him.


I heard a similar story from an old man who was just a kid during world war 2.
"When the Russian Bombers were bombing Constanta, peoples were running for shelter, - there were two young women probably sisters, - one of them stopped and a large shrapnel piece from a bomb that exploded nearby ripped her head from her body- it was instantaneous. - she fell :?

The old guy was probably triyng to frighten me, but it did not work brecause I have read much more horrific events that took place on the battlefield or at home..

He said he will not tell me more - from what he saw or experienced - "So as not to 'frighten me' - ...right.. :roll:
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Indrid
Posted: November 15, 2003 06:26 pm
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My grandfather ( who is still alive and kicking at 82) was very much involved on the eastern front and i have a million stories to tell. one, when he was stationed in Odessa , he went to the Odessa theater and watched the show along with other officers from the romanian and german army. of course, the romanians got the seats in the back ! i remember he told me it was some sort of an amusement show because at one time a clown appearer and squirted water on one of the german officers from a toy pistol as a prank. the german officer took out his gun and shot him in the head directly on the stage, then left the theater with no emotion. and nobody said a word.
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Indrid
Posted: November 15, 2003 06:36 pm
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oh, i just remembered another one. my grandpa told me a story about a mass burial site he along with his company found near Banca Bistrica . running in line with a forest, there was this enormous trench, 4 metres wide and 3 metres deep, about 300 metres long, filled with bodies of prisoners, villagers, gypsies, etc... the germans were retreating in a hurry...the most gruesome part was when he himself discovered the bodies of a family: husband and wife. she was eviscerated (later he found that she was actually pregnant and the featus was nearby) and he was decapitated. the most hannibal lecter part was that whoever did it stuck the man`s head inside the woman`s abdomen. ...he told me that after 3 years of war he could still not forget that single event. gruesome.
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Alexandru H.
Posted: November 16, 2003 12:07 am
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Yes, I have heard these stories myself...Got to belive you, Indrid:)
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Geto-Dacul
Posted: November 16, 2003 02:33 am
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Why did the Germans lost their time and bullets slaughtering people...? Looks more like a propaganda story...

Sorry not believe it...

Getu'
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Alexandru H.
Posted: November 16, 2003 02:56 am
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My grandfather took care of the army deposits and made sure he stole from them as much as he could, without being forced to leave for the frontline...Back home, after the war, he became administrator of a factory and used to also steal, but also to denounce fellow workers to the Securitate. He even got the "Hero of Socialist Labour" title....
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Indrid
Posted: November 16, 2003 09:01 am
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Well, all i can say it`s that this is the exact version of the story my grandfather told me. i do not think that a lived experience can be counted as a propaganda story. propaganda for what? to what purpose would my grandfather try to make me believe something about the germans that other stories could have easily done, like the Holocaust?
of course there is always the possibility that he lied to me, but yet again , to what purpose?

P.S. and Alexandru H. you heard the story because i have told it to you personally, if you do not remember. :wink:
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