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Author Topic: Anyone know any more about this?
MovinTarget
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posted 07-26-2000 06:41 PM     Profile for MovinTarget   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Everyone, I know this is slightly off topic but the history section seems very quiet. I read this and was wondering if anyone has further information or has heard of this incident (the section below isn't my words)

***************************************


In the Summer of 1943, the German and Russian Armies had faced each
other for two years. While the most famous battles raged in places like
Moscow and Stalingrad, the Wehrrmacht had also invaded from Finland,
then a German ally. Their objective was at first Leningrad, then later
to interfere with the flow of supplies from Murmansk. In the end they
ultimately failed, but the entire Eastern Front was legendary for its
harshness and lethality, and this sector was no exception. The war was
closely fought.

It was at this time and place that one of the most remarkable and
under-reported events in the modern history of warfare took place, an
event so ugly that the images of it remain burned in my brain years
after reading about it. My source material is long gone, and I am
working strictly from memory. Yet I am sure that I am correct, at least
in the broad strokes.

By some evil coincidence, German and Russian forces of roughly equal
combat strength were simultaneously sent to occupy the same objective, a
fairly low and anonymous piece of ground. There were as best I recall
about 1500 Russians, and about 900 Germans, who were better trained and
equipped thus compensating for their lack of numbers. All the men
involved were from ordinary infantry units- these were not elite or
specially indoctrinated men. They arrived at the same moment, and a
sharp battle erupted.

Then something truly hideous happened. To this day, no one knows
exactly what. But the battle, though really purposeless strategically,
became incredibly fierce. Both sides seemed to go utterly mad and lose
all sense of humanity. Screaming Germans shot Russian medics trying to
treat them, while Russians pulled pistols on Germans and killed them in
the act of binding their wounds. Men trying to surrender were burned
down where they stood by flame throwers. A terrible bloody rage arose,
and the battle, though small, became arguably the most intense in modern
history. No one seemingly cared if they survived, as long as the enemy
was utterly wiped out to the last man. It was the most pure display of
aggression I have ever read of. The men literally screamed in rage as
they fought, ignoring cover and everything else but their raw hatred and
the most animal of instincts. The soldiers of both nations were utterly
reckless of their lives, and utterly merciless. I question wether they
were really human for that time, but I fear they were.

Both sides pretty much got their wish. There were a total of three
shocked and shaken survivors (all German) out of 2400 men. (Russian
records confirmed their unit was wiped out.) Other battles have seen one
side or the other wiped out with considerable frequency, but only in
this one case that I (or the author of the article) know of have two
units ever came so close to annhilating each other in modern times.
Thank God, the human race has known nothing like it since. That we are
capable of such anger is terrifying to me.
******************************


Posts: 35 | From: N.Ireland | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Paul Morrison
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posted 07-27-2000 07:07 AM     Profile for Paul Morrison   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Think anti-German, anti-Russian... Think post-war propaganda. This guy keeps switching from first person to third person and back.. It doesn't smell very genuine to me.
Posts: 1143 | From: Ontario | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
_ALEX_
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posted 07-27-2000 07:58 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This article is nonsense.

There were no pistols in soviet infantry in 1943. Not at all. Not even high ranking officers used them. Useless on a battlefield.

Occasions where losing side refused to surender were not infrequent, on the other hand.


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U-96
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posted 07-27-2000 08:16 AM     Profile for U-96   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
No place, no time, no names, no unit numbers, no reports, no sources, no cross references.

Did it come with Fw: at the beginning?


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bob671
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posted 07-27-2000 08:20 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Alex:

Apparently they were only in relatively small numbers, but the Tokarev TT-33 was adopted into the Russian army in 1933, and were first seen in action in Finland. Essentially a M1911 (sort of...) firing a very powerful Mauser round, it was meant to be "rather violent" to shoot with... Some old Nagant 1895s were still in use as well.

MovinTarget:

There were many times on the Eastern Front where one side was killed to the man, (either during or after) but the article does seem a little "narrative-like." Where does it come from?


Posts: 263 | From: Canberra, Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
_ALEX_
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posted 07-27-2000 08:31 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In theory, yes. Behind frontlines, officers wore them - as a status symbol and on city patrols perhaps. But never in combat - why take extra 2 kg that is of no use? A couple of "limonkas" are a lot better for the same weight.

In practice, guys who search battlefields for unburied soldiers remnants say that they have NEVER found a handgun there.


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MovinTarget
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posted 07-27-2000 11:45 AM     Profile for MovinTarget   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well it came from a discussion board I used to visit, the guy that posted that was always genuine and reliable (in my opinion of course) he did say that he heard of this incident years ago and was reciting from memory. I was just wondering if anyone else had heard about it?
Posts: 35 | From: N.Ireland | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Envelope
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posted 07-27-2000 03:28 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The closest I have ever heard of a report like this is video footage (PBS here in the states) of veterans recalling that German defenders of the beaches at D-Day seemed drugged in a similar way. I also recall the reports of the Swedish ambassador to Germany (Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich") who recalled that Hitler who was waken once at night seemed dilerious. I have also heard rumors that Hitler was frequently cared for by quack doctors who prescribed, among other things, amphetamines. The SS, and especially Himmler were into herbal remedies, see Albert Speer's "Infiltration" for reports on this (Volk medicine. Get it? "Folk" medicine? I know, same thing in German). I recall hearing once - don't ask me where - that Hitler eschewed Cocaine because "negroes used it" The Soviet Union was probably just as strange. Before the Olympic problems, how long have they been experimenting with steroids? It gets older than WWII too. Anyone ever hear rumors of injured veterans with steel plates in their heads picking up radio transmissions? I'm sure it goes on and on like that.

The unwholesome things that military personel are exposed to is not just urban legend, the latest with the anthrax vaccine being a good example.


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bob671
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posted 07-27-2000 06:31 PM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hitler had one doctor, and he was rebuted to be an extremely competent doctor, as you would expect, considering his position. Later in the war Hitler was on a very heavy course of anti-Parkinson disease medication, maybe this is what you're referring to...? Himmler was a very weird man though... Volk means people, and I would interperet "Volk-medicine" as being medicine for the people. The Volkswagen (People's-car) was created to be a cheap, affordable car that the general public could afford, so Volk-medicine probably meant affordable medical treatment for the general public. I'd say that all of the drugs comments are just left-overs of Wartime propaganda, Hitler banned smoking in public and military buildings because of health standards, so I doubt that he would have sanctioned wide-scale drug-use amongst the troops. Besides, think of how much would be required to keep the entire German army supplied with "stimulants." That's a lot of speed/coke/etc. that would need to be made... Recreation drug use was not very common back then, and I think it would appear in some records if the units were given anything "special."

I think that it is just the US/UK military command making up alegations to explain the SS's "it's a good day to die" attitude.


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MovinTarget
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posted 07-27-2000 08:10 PM     Profile for MovinTarget   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Personally I don't doubt for an instant that such an incident *could* have happened, anyone who's ever experienced real rage would agree and humans are more like pack animals in certain situations than many people realise or would like to know.
Like most people here I was looking for specific details, seems its just a myth after all, maybe thats for the better.
Thanks everyone.

BTW The guy that posted it was in no way anti-russian or anti-german in fact he was more open minded on different viewpoints than most people I've talked to.


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Envelope
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posted 07-27-2000 11:14 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, strictly speaking, drug abuse would not have been the problem. Food and water are strictly controlled in the military as is medicine. It would be easy to dose troops with drugs and not out of character in the Nazi military which could be pretty brutal, especially among the "elite".

I argure plausibility only not actual occurence. How plausible do you think reports of North Korean brain washing were?

By the way the "Volk-medicine" quip was intended to be my own invention as a joke. I have never heard of such a thing outside of the natural foods movement - unless that's what you are talking about.


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bob671
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posted 07-28-2000 01:25 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
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I hadn't heard anything about it either, that was just my interpretation from its name and how it would tie in with the other social works programmes of the late 30s.

Food was issued to the troops, but late in the war they had to do a lot of scrounging, even the troops of the "big-name" SS units. Water was picked up anywhere and everywhere, except in North Africa of course...

The only real recreational drug use in those days was of opium, (although I suppose it's remotely possible that a few Germans were taking LSD during the war, according to a couple of rumors I've heard) but that definitely would not produce that kind of controlled blood-lust. As I said earlier, Hitler banned smoking in Government and military buildings due to health concerns before the war, he would not have issued his elite troops with narcotics. Besides, are you aware of how much six million men would go through in one day? There would be some kind of records if something like that happened, anything from logistics reports to personal letters, not to mention the lack of any factories. The German administration did develop a reputation for brutality, but not against their own troops. The accusation that German troops were all drug addicts is nothing more than an example of some of the more bizzare stories that allied propaganda writers churned out during the war, and, apparently, are still being believed today, without any evidence to back them up.

[This message has been edited by bob671 (edited 07-28-2000).]


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_ALEX_
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posted 07-28-2000 02:39 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, smoking ban or no, tobacco and spirits were part of standard combat ration in Red Army, and I guess in Wehrmacht as well.
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MovinTarget
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posted 07-28-2000 11:13 AM     Profile for MovinTarget   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
bob, I didn't say I believed it, and I don't know where this debate about drugs (as interesting as it is) came in either.
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Envelope
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posted 07-28-2000 02:36 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Movin Target, you cited an alleged incident in which soldiers on both sides of a field of combat went completely beserk, even for typical combat standards of conduct. I suggested being dosed with drugs as an explanation.

bob671, it is not true that the only recreational drug used in those days was opium. (...of which Goering was an addict - heroine towards the end. He had some heroine smuggled in to Nuremburg to use to poison himself rather than be hanged) Cocaine had already been patented and Coca had long sinced first appeared as a crude extract in the first patent of Coca Cola. Coca wine had also long since appeared in Europe. Again, you emphasize drugs being "issued" to troops and I emphasize that I am talking about drugs being administered clandestinely to troops. While it is true that troops are frequently reduced to foraging, it is more typical to be fed regularly and of course the logistics of feeding troops is part of what typifies the modern warfare of this century. (Napolean and the tinned can being the popular example)

Brutality in training was not just a characteristic of Nazi Germany, but is a problem elsewhere now too. It has been reduced largely to cult outbreaks and "hazing". It is difficult to isolate since training can be necessarily arduous. How do you get people to kill each other as a formal matter? Not an especially wholesome task even if soundly justified.

About LSD, remember when there were troops who were unknowingly given LSD as experiments during the sixties? This is not urban legend, but documented history. The idea was that they needed to know how troops would react if gassed with the drug by the enemy. bob671 correctly notes that the drug incapacitated the troops, mostly. But what if it had made the troops more combative and effective as troops in combat? Would we have heard about it in quite the same way?

bob671, I have never heard, even as a matter of propoganda, that the troops of Nazi Germany were all drug addicts. Can you cite some sources?


Posts: 2057 | From: Davis, CA, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
MovinTarget
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posted 07-28-2000 04:58 PM     Profile for MovinTarget   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I never even considered drugs when I read that, I'd say people could get that berserk without any help! Anyone ever seen Jacobs Ladder? As far as I can remember that was about a similar thing, drugs being used on US soldiers in Vietnam and them going crazy.

Anyway...


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bob671
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posted 07-28-2000 07:44 PM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
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I can't give you a citation, but I have read it before.

You are of course correct when you mention herion and cocaine, I'd forgotten about that. Cocaine was available in Europe in the 20s, I doubt that it was very common though. It was a very, very elite drug then. Cocaine is a very short acting drug though, you would have to issue it to the troops immediately before combat to have any effet. While I'm sure that the effects of cocaine or something similar would be benificial in combat, it would very hard to conceal it's admisitration to the troops. Herion would not be useful at all...

The biggest problems with the theory is that the troops would either need to know about it and be deliberately taking their "special combat pills" before combat, or be being given it regularly and being psycotic constantly. If scientists could develop something that only took effect under the presence of a fair bit of adrenalin in one's system, it would theoritically be possible, but probably very hard from a scientific pointof view. There would still be records of it though, German book-keeping was always meticulous.

In very experienced troops, it may have been possible that they were literally adrenalin junkies, in the same way a lot of, particularly German, WW2 pilots were. After seeing service for months and years straight, they were quite literally addicted to their own adrenaline. (Some Allied pilots actually had to be given regular injections for a while.) The cases of adrenaline addiction first appeared after WW1, and the victims would do virtually anything reckless just to try to get some kind of "hit." Maybe that's the situation the Allied soldiers were describing when they said that they felt German troops were behaving as if they were under the influence of drugs...? Pretty lame explanation, but not much else is even remotely plausible.


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TonyH
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posted 08-04-2000 04:32 AM     Profile for TonyH   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Actually Goering was addicted to Morphine, not opium, after being wounded in the beer hall putch and it was cyanide that he had smuggled into prison, by the guard watching him who he had built up a friendship with, not heroin.
Also, by 1943, the Wehrmacht was constantly experiencing supply problems on the Eastern front. It was hard to supply troops with necessary food rations and ammo, never mind mind altering drugs.


Tony

[This message has been edited by TonyH (edited 08-04-2000).]

[This message has been edited by TonyH (edited 08-08-2000).]


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Envelope
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posted 08-04-2000 12:50 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Morphine, opium and heroine are all extracts from the same plant and used by a junkie like Goering for the same purpose: immediate personal gratification.
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