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Jaste07
06-05-2007, 12:31 PM
I remembered this story I read awhile ago, and thought some might find it interesting. Anyone who's read "Pegasus Bridge" by Stephen Ambrose (I highly recommend anything written by him) should recognize it. It recounts the experiences of German Commander Hans Von Luck, in a rather peculiar situation in North Africa:


In North Africa, Hans von Luck was fighting in the only war he ever enjoyed. He commanded the armed reconaissance battalion on Rommel's extreme right (southern) flank. He thus enjoyed a certain independence, as did his British opposite number. The two commanding officers agreed to fight a civilised war. Every day at five p.m. the war shut down, the British to brew up their tea, the Germans their coffee. At about quarter past five, von Luck and the British commander would communicate over the radio. "Well," von Luck might say, "we captured so-and-so today and he's fine and he sends his love to his mother, tell her not to worry." Once von Luck learned that the British had received a month's supply of cigarettes. He offered to trade a captured officer who happened to be the heir to the Players cigarette fortune for one million cigarettes. The British countered with an offer of 600,000. Done, said von Luck. But the Players heir was outraged. He said the ransom was insufficient. He insisted he was worth the million and refused to be exchanged.

One evening, an excited corporal reported that he had just stolen a British truck jammed with tinned meat and other delicacies. Von Luck looked at his watch it was past six p.m. and told the corporal he would have to take it back, as he had captured it after five p.m. The corporal protested that this was war and anyway the troops were already gathering in the goods from the truck. Von Luck called Rommel, his mentor in military academy. He said he was suspicious of British moves further south and thought he ought to go out on a two-day reconaissance. Could another battalion take his place for that time? Rommel agreed. The new battalion arrived in the morning. That night at five thirty p.m., just as von Luck had anticipated, the British stole two supply trucks.

Jaste07
06-05-2007, 12:31 PM
I remembered this story I read awhile ago, and thought some might find it interesting. Anyone who's read "Pegasus Bridge" by Stephen Ambrose (I highly recommend anything written by him) should recognize it. It recounts the experiences of German Commander Hans Von Luck, in a rather peculiar situation in North Africa:


In North Africa, Hans von Luck was fighting in the only war he ever enjoyed. He commanded the armed reconaissance battalion on Rommel's extreme right (southern) flank. He thus enjoyed a certain independence, as did his British opposite number. The two commanding officers agreed to fight a civilised war. Every day at five p.m. the war shut down, the British to brew up their tea, the Germans their coffee. At about quarter past five, von Luck and the British commander would communicate over the radio. "Well," von Luck might say, "we captured so-and-so today and he's fine and he sends his love to his mother, tell her not to worry." Once von Luck learned that the British had received a month's supply of cigarettes. He offered to trade a captured officer who happened to be the heir to the Players cigarette fortune for one million cigarettes. The British countered with an offer of 600,000. Done, said von Luck. But the Players heir was outraged. He said the ransom was insufficient. He insisted he was worth the million and refused to be exchanged.

One evening, an excited corporal reported that he had just stolen a British truck jammed with tinned meat and other delicacies. Von Luck looked at his watch it was past six p.m. and told the corporal he would have to take it back, as he had captured it after five p.m. The corporal protested that this was war and anyway the troops were already gathering in the goods from the truck. Von Luck called Rommel, his mentor in military academy. He said he was suspicious of British moves further south and thought he ought to go out on a two-day reconaissance. Could another battalion take his place for that time? Rommel agreed. The new battalion arrived in the morning. That night at five thirty p.m., just as von Luck had anticipated, the British stole two supply trucks.

Foehammer-1
06-05-2007, 02:00 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif Good one! So, was that for real or the author has a really good sense of humor?

Jaste07
06-05-2007, 02:05 PM
It is indeed true. I wish the author would have gone into more detail with it, as it is pretty intersting. That is the only description of the situation in the book, and I have been unable to find out more information about it.

Although I'm willing to bet that there were other instances of similar nature going on, however they were probably rare.

AbleMaster
06-06-2007, 08:39 AM
Good stuff, i may have a read myself, cheers.

Stingray-65
06-06-2007, 10:04 AM
This just goes to show that the common soldier is (usually) merely doing his duty for his country and harbors no real malice towards his fellow man although he be "the enemy".

You know similar things happened during WWI. In some areas, fighting would cease @ a certain time after dark. (I think these usually occurred around the outter fringes of battle.) At which time, soldiers would sneak into each others' camps (opposing forces) & they would share meals, trade items, & enjoy each others' company until having to sneak back across the lines to their own camps.

In fact, there were even times when one side would inform the other about an attack planned for the next day. In one case, it was something like the following:
"Tomorrow at 1PM, we will blast a whistle 3 times. Following that, your position will be heavily bombarded by artillery. You should fall back to a position of safety of no less than 500 yards from your front line."
And true to their word, the next day all happened as had been told.

It was common then for patrols to be sent out under the cover of darkness to get intelligence about enemy positions. In the areas mentioned above this didn't prove very fruitful. So what the HQs started doing was requiring their patrols to come back with a piece of barbed wire from the enemy's lines to prove that they had indeed gone there. (Each side's barbed wire was characteristicly different.) But the soldiers devised a plan for this. They swapped rolls of barbed wire with one another so they could snip off pieces to take to HQs! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/metal.gif

After this had gone on for a while, HQs eventually started stationing their own officers in these areas to police them with orders to shoot those whom refused to follow orders and fight.