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View Full Version : If you were shot down..who would be the safest country to capture you?



MB_Avro_UK
03-09-2007, 05:36 PM
Hi all,

This thought must have occured to all aircrews in WW2.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

berg417448
03-09-2007, 05:41 PM
Switzerland.

msalama
03-09-2007, 05:46 PM
+10 pages

That said it depended on your nationality a fair bit at least as far as the captors were Axis, and of the nationality of said captors as well...

And oh yeah, IBTL

MEGILE
03-09-2007, 05:47 PM
Japan.

Just think of all that fresh Pacific air

horseback
03-09-2007, 06:00 PM
No question, if we only consider the antagonists: The Commonwealth countries and the United States not only treated their captured enemies within the letter of the Geneva Conventions with great consistancy, they had the resources to treat them well.

Axis PoWs were largely relocated to the US and Canada, where their chances of escape and repatriation were very small, but they were well fed and cared for. Many Allied soldiers were deeply resentful about this; in Bill Mauldin's book Up Front (which I see is still in print 60 years after its intial publication), he has a passage about that subject that comes very close to accusing the enemy PoWs' presence of polluting his homeland. Most GIs would have been happy to keep the Germans they captured in the custody of the French or other formerly captive peoples, and let them eat K-rations until V-E Day at least.

While the German military were generally pretty correct, the general population were not above a lynching party, and certain Nazi officials were quite happy to execute the terrorflieger who fell into their custody.

As for the Japanese, the less said, the fewer hard feelings. Their behavior was considerably less than exemplary.

The Soviets apparently weren't always willing to return Allied personnel who fell into their hands, much less the hundreds of thousands of German, Polish, Romanian and other Axis PoWs they took. An awful lot of people disappeared while in their custody.

No, if I'm going to be shot down and taken captive, it's far better to be as a member of the European branch of the Axis over American or Commonwealth held territory (and certainly it was better not to fall into civilian hands at all).

cheers

horseback

msalama
03-09-2007, 06:02 PM
all that fresh Pacific air

Plus the diet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

jarink
03-09-2007, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

This thought must have occured to all aircrews in WW2.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Axis aircrew: US

By all accounts, German and Italian prisoners held in the US had it made in the shade. Under certain conditions, many of them were allowed to leave camp, go to school and even take jobs!

Allied aircrew: Sweden

Fox_3
03-09-2007, 06:36 PM
Switzerland, Sweden or Portugal.

MB_Avro_UK
03-09-2007, 06:44 PM
Hi all,

In Britain all German PoWs were kept in custody until about 1946 or 1947. They worked on the farms etc.

But many remained in Britain after the war, having married British women.

There was no maltreatment of German fliers as far as I'm aware.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

BillyTheKid_22
03-09-2007, 06:49 PM
http://www.merkki.com/images/stalagluft4map.jpg



WW II POW in Germany

leitmotiv
03-09-2007, 06:57 PM
If Allied, I'd stagger my crate to Sweden for the girls!

XyZspineZyX
03-09-2007, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by berg417448:
Switzerland.

Oooo, maybe not. You were likely turned over to men with a distinct lack of humor and Teutonic accents, for a 'chat'. Switzerland was officially neutral, but evidence exists to support many theories of German sympathy

The safest country to capture you would be the USA I should think

The next best situation might well have been Ireland

GreyFox5
03-09-2007, 07:19 PM
Seems I hit refly or wait in Hyperlobby and wait for the next coop. Never end up anywhere else but my house. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Matz0r
03-09-2007, 07:52 PM
Axis aircrew: US

By all accounts, German and Italian prisoners held in the US had it made in the shade. Under certain conditions, many of them were allowed to leave camp, go to school and even take jobs!


Completely wrong, because of the treaty between USA and Russia to hand over all German POWs that had been fighting Russian troops to their custody - from which, we all know very few returned. Erich Hartmann's unit suffered that exact fate.

M2morris
03-09-2007, 07:55 PM
I think if I got shot down and had to bail out the place of preference for me would be Hugh Hefner's playboy mansion right into the swimming pool in the back yard.

Treetop64
03-09-2007, 08:38 PM
Anywhere over Puerto Rico. The girls there are out-freaking-rageous! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

FritzGryphon
03-09-2007, 09:54 PM
Anywhere that's not near the school I just bombed.

MarkSynthesis
03-09-2007, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by FritzGryphon:
Anywhere that's not near the school I just bombed.

Well put. How about, "somewhere where nobody knows who I am or what kind of damage I might have caused"?

Phil_K
03-10-2007, 06:38 AM
Tahiti, the Seychelles, somewhere like that...

VaporBlast
03-10-2007, 06:54 AM
Originally posted by msalama:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">all that fresh Pacific air

Plus the diet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and the all day workout...

boxmike
03-10-2007, 07:12 AM
In da B17:Mighty Eight, one can see that southern Sweden. The problem being interned is though you might wind up back home while war's going on.

Rgds,
- box

jarink
03-10-2007, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by F16_Matz_:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Axis aircrew: US

By all accounts, German and Italian prisoners held in the US had it made in the shade. Under certain conditions, many of them were allowed to leave camp, go to school and even take jobs!

Completely wrong, because of the treaty between USA and Russia to hand over all German POWs that had been fighting Russian troops to their custody - from which, we all know very few returned. Erich Hartmann's unit suffered that exact fate. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While that certainly did happen, I think that those circumstances would have applied to a very small percentage of German fliers that were captured by the Western Allies, at least until the final weeks of the war. Most of those latecomers probably didn't get to the US or Canada, though.

I forgot to mention earlier that my grandfather was a prisoner in Stalag Luft I from approx. November '43 - May '45. He told us grandkids numerous stories about life in the camp, not much of it pretty. It certainly ain't like the movies and nowhere near "Hogan's Heroes" (Which we were forbidden to watch when he was around.) He would say that the treatment he received wasn't good but better than what some got (Luftwaffe camps had a reputation for overall better treatment of prisoners than Heer camps. He was also an officer, which certainly helps where the Geneva Convention rules are concerned.)

He also said that aircrew would do anything to avoid getting shot down over Germany. To bail out over Germany during the course of an air raid was to invite almost certain retribution from civilians. There are numerous stories of German military personnel literally saving the lives of downed fliers. Bailing out over the Low Countries or France at least gave you the chance of being smuggled to safety by the resistance or friendly civilians. (By they way, he was shot down over Holland, but alomost immediately captured by Wehrmacht troops.)

For an excellent source of life in Stalag Luft I, check out http://www.merkki.com/

fordfan25
03-10-2007, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by msalama:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">all that fresh Pacific air

Plus the diet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>and great work out clubs

general_kalle
03-10-2007, 04:21 PM
id prefer sweden. but yes the only problem is that you might get returned while the war is still on. so maybe Turkey is better..wait. wasnt turkey axis sympatik??? okay maybe not turkey if you are allied and axis is probably returned aswell. okay then. switzerland and portugal might be the best guess

james_ander
03-10-2007, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by fordfan25:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by msalama:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">all that fresh Pacific air

Plus the diet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>and great work out clubs </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't forget the nice long nature walks.

Oh, and the gasoline baths.

heywooood
03-10-2007, 06:55 PM
Canada.

GIAP.Shura
03-11-2007, 04:41 AM
Germany of course. You could have a wizard time trying to escape. All those opportunities for self improvement, like perfecting your horse box vaulting, learning how to make clothes out of blankets or how to jump barbed wire fences on a motorcycle. Who knows, if you are really lucky you might even get to play soccer with Pele against the German national team.

What a shame IL-2 doesn't model prisoner confinement. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

major_setback
03-11-2007, 04:47 AM
Namibia can be a tough place to crash land. I had an uncle who was dragged off by the Dinka!

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

mazexx
03-11-2007, 04:59 AM
Well, as many of you know... At the end of "Catch 22", the "hero" Yossarian (bombardier in a B-25) goes to sea in a rubber boat from Italy to make his way to Sweden to sit out the war there... It's some rowing to be done to get to Sweden from Italy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Sweden was a very popular place to get captured in for allied crews. I Malmö where I live (the largest city in southern Sweden) the airport was filled with B-17:s and B-24:s after raids over Berlin. The trafic controllers had to stack them in queue for landing... Many of them where badly damaged and barely managed to get to Sweden - others just had a few bullet holes in the wing http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif The pilots got nice accomodations and where free to go out dancing in the evenings... Some of them stayed here when the war was over after realizing the quality of swedish girls http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

/Mazex

Kocur_
03-11-2007, 05:22 AM
much less the hundreds of thousands of German, Polish, Romanian and other Axis PoWs they took.

Say what? "Poland - an Axis country"? WTF BS is this?

waffen-79
03-11-2007, 05:34 AM
Originally posted by FritzGryphon:
Anywhere that's not near the school I just bombed.

the winner so far

Klemm.co
03-11-2007, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Kocur_:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
much less the hundreds of thousands of German, Polish, Romanian and other Axis PoWs they took.

Say what? "Poland - an Axis country"? WTF BS is this? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I dont think that he wanted to say that Poland was part of the axis, but that also Poles were held captive and worked to death by the Russians after the war.

Kocur_
03-11-2007, 09:23 AM
Well the senstence, that puts Poland between Germany and Romania - a German ally indeed, and ends list with "other axis" does not possibly sound like that, now does it.

ForkTailedDevil
03-11-2007, 09:31 AM
Regarding Poland they may be talking about when eastern Poland was taking by the Soviet Union in 1939. Obviously not a member of the Axis but a enemy of the Soviet Union.

Kocur_
03-11-2007, 09:41 AM
The trick is that Soviet Union was Nazis ally at that time and there were Polish POWs in Soviet hands because of of German/Soviet cooperation in conquering Poland. Actually Soviet Union spent 1/3 of WW2 being Hitler's ally. And that does not remove Poland from being one of Allies, the first one actually, since France and England joined the conflict two days after it started with GERMAN INVASION OF POLAND, to the position of a Axis nation, between Germany and Romania, does it.

Warrington_Wolf
03-11-2007, 10:30 AM
It's funny that you should mention POWs, I've not long started reading Under The Wire. The book is about a American called William Ash, who gave up his citizenship to fly in the RCAF and to fight in Britain.
I have not read all of it (or even got half way) but I am enjoying reading it.
Here is a description from Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis
Determined to take on the Nazis, Texan Bill Ash joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 and in so doing sacrificed his citizenship. Before long, he was sent to England where he flew Spitfires. Shot down over France in March 1942, he survived the crash-landing and, thanks to local civilians, evaded capture for months only to be betrayed to the Gestapo in Paris. Tortured and sentenced to death as a spy, he was saved from the firing squad by the Luftwaffe who sent him to the infamous 'Great Escape' POW camp, Stalag Luft III. It was from there that Bill began his 'tour' of Occupied Europe. Breaking out of a succession of camps, he became one of only a handful of serial escape artists to attempt more than a dozen break-outs - over the wire, under it in tunnels, through it with cutters or simply strolling out of the camp gates in disguise! They were years of extraordinary hardship, frustration and brutality - the penalty for escaping was a long spell in solitary - but throughout it all Bill Ash displayed not just remarkable courage but also an anarchic sense of humour, great humanity and an unstoppable desire for freedom. Honest, funny and exciting, "Under the Wire" is both a riveting war memoir and a tribute to the bravery and resolve of an entire generation.

EctoGamma
03-11-2007, 12:31 PM
Ireland! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We where "neutral" during the war. The crew men of both sides where let out to work and go to the pub on stuff.

cawimmer430
03-11-2007, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by Megile:
Japan.

Just think of all that fresh Pacific air


And the SUSHI. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

cawimmer430
03-11-2007, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by GIAP.Shura:
Who knows, if you are really lucky you might even get to play soccer with Pele against the German national team.

What a shame IL-2 doesn't model prisoner confinement. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Stallone makes a terrible impression as a goalkeeper. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ploughman
03-11-2007, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by EctoGamma:
Ireland! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We where "neutral" during the war. The crew men of both sides where let out to work and go to the pub on stuff.

I had heard that prisoners were let out on 'parole' like in the old days, and that Brits who were too keen and 'escaped' to blighty were sent back with a stern telling off.

EctoGamma
03-11-2007, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by EctoGamma:
Ireland! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We where "neutral" during the war. The crew men of both sides where let out to work and go to the pub on stuff.

I had heard that prisoners were let out on 'parole' like in the old days, and that Brits who were too keen and 'escaped' to blighty were sent back with a stern telling off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Yeah, the Brits wanted to keep us sweet so we would join in. Although we were neutral 200,000 Irish men fought in the war.

Also, I have seen a grave of a German pilot dated 1945, did'nt think they where coming over this far in '45!

Pirschjaeger
03-13-2007, 02:39 AM
Imagine being part of the bomber crew and just as you near your target flak takes your plane apart. Your plane is one of the last over the target area. You are now forced to bail over the city you and your country have been bombing.

I guess you'd have a lot on your mind as you drift toward the ground. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

BGs_Ricky
03-13-2007, 03:39 AM
Originally posted by BBB462cid:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by berg417448:
Switzerland.

Oooo, maybe not. You were likely turned over to men with a distinct lack of humor and Teutonic accents, for a 'chat'. Switzerland was officially neutral, but evidence exists to support many theories of German sympathy

The safest country to capture you would be the USA I should think

The next best situation might well have been Ireland </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you have any reliable source supporting the fact that allied airmen may have been interrogated or handed over to the germans? Not saying you're wrong or that is BS but I've never heard of that.
I know that Switzerland was not maybe the best place, as some internees who tried to escape were severely punished by swiss authorities and the U.S. complained about that:

http://swissinternees.tripod.com/

Fighterduck
03-13-2007, 07:00 AM
well it wasnt german sympathy: they were just forced to make some little works for them. Especially plane weapons (oerlikon cannons )or AAA guns ( that also allied used ). It was officially neutral but they just coulnd say No to germans because they were scared of them. The problem was actually that swiss produced weapons for germans and allied were not happy to know that their b17 were shooted down by swiss AAA guns so they told swiss to stop producing wepons for germans. They also bombed the north of swiss telling it was a mistake, but it was a demostration to intimate swiss producing for germans. swiss were forced to work for germans; not for symapathy but for economics and politics reasons that are really much complicated that what you can think

Capt.LoneRanger
03-13-2007, 08:58 AM
Well, since Japan had the official order to kill all pilots for quite a while during the war, I wouldn't like to bail there.

It did not depend on above what country you bailed, but who was waiting below.

All countries applied more or less to the Geneva convention. Nevertheless, there were crews killed by civillians in Germany, but also in the UK, France and Italy. The US had the quite luxury, that there was no immediate invasion against their land, but considering what happened to thousands of Americans with Japanese origin, in the internation camps, well... And these were not even POWs, just suspects!

BSS_AIJO
03-13-2007, 10:10 AM
hey..

If I was an allied pilot I would really try hard to limp to Sweden to bail.. If I was German I of GB I would have tried really hard to get to Ireland to bail as well.. As for the civillian populations treatment of down pilots. It was pretty much the rule everywhere. Every civ population that was getting bombs dropped on them also committed some lynchings. Germany did it, England did it, Russia did it, Finnland did it. It is not nice, but at the same time the civilians are not bound to the geneva convention. They were the ones taking the most **** from the various terror bombing campaings comitted by pretty much everyone on both sides. So I imagine if I was a civillian during the war and some enemy air crews came parachuting in I would probably not feel too bad about pitchforking them either. Thats not to say it always happened.. But it did happen.

Apparently one of the real goals for bailing air crews was to get captured by the other sides air force. Apparently they got much better treatment then.


BSS_AIJO

Philipscdrw
03-13-2007, 11:53 AM
If I was an Axis pilot in a crippled aircraft over Britain, it would be considerably easier to get to France than to Ireland, surely?

MB_Avro_UK
03-13-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi all,

From what I have read there appears to have been no maltreatmeant of Luftwaffe crews who bailed out or crash landed in England.

The vast majority landed in the countryside and were captured by farmers and were 'forced' to have a meal with the farmer and the local policeman!!

Many were taken to the nearby RAF Base for a beer or two before going into captivity.

After the war, a large number stayed in Britain with their British wives.

There was an incident during the Battle of Britain when a Luftwaffe Dornier bomber over the centre of London was rammed by Hurricane pilot Flight Sergeant Holmes who had run out of ammunition. One of the Luftwaffe crew parachuted and had to be rescued from an angry mob by a Policeman.

Here's a link:It also shows a pic of the falling Dornier.

http://www.bbm.org.uk/as-holmes.htm

In his own words and using a cricket metaphor, he 'hit it for six'.

Thanks Avro for an interesting thread http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Feathered_IV
03-14-2007, 02:05 AM
Originally posted by fordfan25:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by msalama:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">all that fresh Pacific air

Plus the diet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>and great work out clubs </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never looked good in a hat anyway.

Pirschjaeger
03-14-2007, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
no maltreatmeant of Luftwaffe crews who bailed out or crash landed in England.

Really? Then what do you call this:



Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:

....meal with the farmer and the local policeman!!

......in Britain with their British wives.


...... cricket ........

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Can I choose to bail over France? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif