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  • Time for Tea

    The Editors for Military History compiled a special issue about Rommel recently which I purchased. It was very good, and R.N. Armstrong did an outstanding job with the Interactive course of action section. What I really found intriguing was in the middle of the magazine, they had a first hand account from Hans Von Luck, who served with Rommel. He describes when the British and the Germans were fighting in the desert. Here is a quote from page 39 by Hans Von Luck "We made a gentleman's agreement with the British: At 5 P.M., all hostilities were suspended for teatime and at 5:05 P.M. we exchanged information on prisoners." He describes some instances where prisoners were exchanged and one British officer was captured and the Germans were going to exchange him for cigarettes.
    I was wondering if anyone knew of any other instances where they had read or heard about instances of fighting ceasing between fighting forces for certain reasons, as I found this rather strange that they would try to kill each other all day, and then agree to stop at 5 for tea.

    "Get three coffins ready" The Man With No Name

  • #2
    This isn't strictly a 'stop for tea' example but on Wednesday 20th September, during the battle for the Arnhem bridge, there was a two-hour truce during which some 280 wounded, which included some German prisoners, and some civilians were evacuated from the burning building, which had been used by 1st Parachute Brigade as its HQ. Most of the wounded ended up at the St Elisabeth Hospital.
    'What manner of men are those who wear the maroon beret? They are, in fact, men apart. Every man an emperor.' Montgomery

    Glider Pilot Regiment 1942 - 1945
    The Last Drop: Operation Varsity 24-25 March 1945
    The Assault Glider Trust

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    • #3
      Operation Manna, a truce called starting 29 April 1945 through to the end of the war to allow allied heavey bombers to drop food to the Dutch. Note that ground fighting continued throughout the time in the same region.

      The flights actually started before there was an agreement. So the first flight, "Bad Penny", was a single Lancaster bomber (5 of 7 crewmen from Canada BTW) which went in alone. Finding they hadn't been fired on and were successful in their drop, the operation began in ernest.

      http://www.lancastermuseum.ca/manna.html

      And although not WWII, there is the famous Christmas Truce of 1914: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce
      Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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      • #4
        Reference: Gallipoli by Alan Moorehead

        During Gallipoli, the fighting was so horrific and the bodies starting piling up between the two sides from senseless charges. The generals called for ceasefires to pick up only your sides dead. There was a gentleman's agreement not to peek in on the other side for recon. I believe there was also some trading between the sides for certain items, but am not sure.

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        • #5
          Western Front, Christmas 1914. Both German and British troops sang Christmas carols and met in No-Mans Land to exchange pleasantries and even play a game of football. Of course the next year the British made sure this didn't happen again since it was not with the 'offensive spirit'.
          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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          • #6
            Very interesting about the WW1 Christmas story. My dad was in the Army, and I recall for 3 straight Christmas Eve Services, the chaplain told a story from WW2 when 3 American soldiers showed up at a German house. The story was told by a young boy named Fritz. Soon after the American soldiers arrived and were taken in, there was a knock on the door and there were German soldiers. The mom took over the situation and made sure there would be no violence and then both American and German soldiers shared a Christmas Eve meal with Fritz and his mom. Below is a link to the story.

            http://www.ba-ez.org/educatn/LC/OralHist/vincken.htm

            "Get three coffins ready" The Man With No Name

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
              Very interesting about the WW1 Christmas story. My dad was in the Army, and I recall for 3 straight Christmas Eve Services, the chaplain told a story from WW2 when 3 American soldiers showed up at a German house. The story was told by a young boy named Fritz. Soon after the American soldiers arrived and were taken in, there was a knock on the door and there were German soldiers. The mom took over the situation and made sure there would be no violence and then both American and German soldiers shared a Christmas Eve meal with Fritz and his mom. Below is a link to the story.

              http://www.ba-ez.org/educatn/LC/OralHist/vincken.htm
              Now that is a great story. Very uplifting. Thanks for sharing that.
              Last edited by Salinator; 18 Aug 07, 21:51.
              Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

              Prayers.

              BoRG

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              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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              • #8
                During the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest in 1944, control of the bridge over the Kall river and the medical aid station nearby changed hands so often that surgeons from both sides stayed and treated soldiers regardless of nationality. The dugout that the aid station was in still stands today.

                One of my favorite pieces of WW2 art: A Time To Heal

                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by freightshaker View Post

                  One of my favorite pieces of WW2 art: A Time To Heal

                  Awesome.

                  Tim
                  "I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. I just kiss. I don't even wait. You can do anything... Grab them by the [redacted]. You can do anything."
                  -The President of the United States of America.

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                  • #10
                    In the battle of Arnhem , the main hospital for the 1st Airborne was the Shoonhurst Public house, in Oosterbeek, the hospital was fought over and recaptured by the Airborne and German forces. The Airborne medics and the German medics stayed put and treated the wounded and Dutch civilians.
                    The Airborne medics even commondered Tiger tanks and other armour to ferry the wounded for treatment.

                    Chivalry isn`t dead.

                    Matt
                    http://www.soldierblue.homestead.com

                    When Death Smiles at us, all we can do is smile back and say " Does your Mum know you're Gay"?

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