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1999 Closed threads from 1999 (read only)

 
 
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Old 29 December 1999, 03:09 AM   #1
Steve D
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This has little to do with WW1 but may be of interest. My father-in-law, a veteran of aftermath of the Bulge, confided in me several days ago that he had a nightmare the nite before-he was back in WW2 fighting in a forest. Said he had no idea where it was and that he had never actually known where he was or the names of the towns that he "took". He said it had been quite some time since he had one of these flash backs,but thathe used to have them often and that his wife would wake him in a cold sweat. She has since passed on.
At another disscussion he told me that he was a platoon sergeant and had once sent two men forward to observe. They were killed by snipers.
This man is now 79 years old----the horrors of war never release their mean and ugly grip on a person. God bless him and all the others who have suffered and still suffer thru this madness.
Thanks,
Steve
 
Old 29 December 1999, 03:32 AM   #2
Mike
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Steve -

I'm curious - did he see the movie "Saving Provate Ryan"? I've heard of a number of accounts where D-Day survivors (& other WWII vets NOT at D-Day) had flashbacks based on that movie's realistic depiction of the war. Just a thought.
 
Old 29 December 1999, 05:55 AM   #3
mike_baram
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Steve,
This past weekend I watched a TV show in which famous people were asked to name their "Person of the Century". Steven Spielberg's response was, as expected, "The American GI" (specifically meaning your father-in-law's generation). We must not allow ourselves to forget that he, and his fellow "citizen soldiers" took on and defeated the best that the well-trained and experienced Germans and Japanese could throw at them.
And, for those who persist in thinking that war must be avoided at all cost, even in the face of aggression, I offer the following quote from John Stewart Mill:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
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Old 29 December 1999, 07:05 AM   #4
Peter S
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I always note with sadness that Americans never seem to recognise that there were other countries that fought against the Germans and Japanese. Rommel was defeated by the British and Commonwealth at El Alemain and The Japanese in Burma under General Slim. Also Britain stood alone for nine months against Germany. I know for I was alive at the time.
 
Old 29 December 1999, 11:25 AM   #5
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Peter,
Never let it be said that I ignored the efforts of the other allied nations in WWII, but Rommel was also pressed from the West by the Americans who had landed in Tunisia (granted, 3 months after El Alamein, but we lost a lot of blood at Kasserine Pass - twice).
As for Asia, it was a concerted effort by the British and Americans who pushed the Japanese back. (Chennault, Stillwell, et al in addition to the westward push by sea after Midway.)
Britain held out alone for nine months, but how much longer could she have continued without American intervention? Oh, and don't forget the "Eagle Squadron" (as well as the Kosciusko Squadron, Free French, etc). Every non-Brit who risked or gave his life to defend your island should be credited - no - HONORED.
As a final thought, would the ultimate victory have been possible without the sheer idiocy of "Operation Barbarossa"?
VBR,
Mike
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Old 29 December 1999, 02:36 PM   #6
Barrett
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Mike asks an intriguing question: would Nazi Germany have perhaps maintained its grip on Europe without launching Operation Barbarosa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941?
I think not, because inevitably Stalin would have wanted to do unto Hitler what Hitler did unto him first. "Two biggest dogs on the block, they're gonna fight." (Powers Boothe in "Red Dawn").
However, the prospect of invading Nazi-occupied Europe without the scores of German divisions tied down on the Eastern front is a real bone chiller.
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Old 29 December 1999, 03:13 PM   #7
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I don't profess to be an expert on WW2, but I believe the figures indicate pretty clearly that if you HAD to pick a single nation responsible for the destruction of Nazi Germany, it would be the Soviet Union. Obviously, it was a team effort, and all nations in the Allied side contributed to the defeat mightily, but the Soviets I believe accounted for more German losses (and suffered more themselves) than any other Ally. The cold war made the "Rooskies" an enemy almost immediately after the conflict and therefore their contribution was largely unrecognized in the media.
 
Old 29 December 1999, 05:20 PM   #8
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The Russians were fighting on their own soil which gave them a tremendous advantage (in addition to having "General Winter" on their side).
I remember reading and hearing a lot about the Russian effort even while growing up in the fifties. Of course, if you grew up in Russia during the fifties all you heard about was Mother Russia's triumphs in the war, with little or no mention made of the the rest of the Allies.
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Old 30 December 1999, 01:24 AM   #9
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If there is a stereotypic person who enabled the Allied to win both wars, it is not the American GI but the American worker.

Barbarossa was a very close affair, and without the tremendous input of war materials it is unlikely that Stalin would have pulled this off.
 
Old 30 December 1999, 04:14 AM   #10
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No, Mike, he has no desire to see "Private Ryan". I don't believe he even watches tv shows that have any killing in them. He was wounded 3 times, but one of those wounds probably saved his life. He was in the rear at an aid station when the Mountain SS overran and almost completely decimated his company. The powers that be then decided to send him forward to clean up the bodies of his fallen friends and comrads!!!!!

Steve
 
 

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