How did the war effect your family

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
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Post by ISU-152 » 19 Dec 2002 15:57

My grandfather on the father's line (senior lieutenant) died in Moscow counteroffensive in January 1942 from a critical wound in the hospital.
My grandfather on the mother's line (senior sergeant) died in 1943 in one of the attacks on Mius river. His brother (a tank commander) burned with the tank on Kursk salient. His cousin died in 1944 in Western Ukraine near Lviv.

I am lucky in fact I have located all their graves because there are still many families in Ukraine who cannot find the graves of their fallen relatives.
Death to faschism.

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Post by Xavier » 19 Dec 2002 16:20

will sound strange, but my family was affected by events pre-dating the WWII, but closely related to it....

My paternal grandfather fought on the spanish civil war, and while seeking revenge (he fought on Franco's side he was a nationalist) followed someone that killed a relative of him to mexico, and while here, met a cousin (my paternal grandmother) of the guy he was following herself a civil war refugee.

they did not go back to europe because they felt they had seen enough killing in spain and things were rather bleach looking in europe (1936)

all I know is he fought in central spain , because to date he refuses to speak about it...unless someone starts attacking franco, he blows!!!


Last edited by Xavier on 13 Dec 2003 17:45, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Schwalbe » 19 Dec 2002 17:23

My great grandfather (my grandmothers father) was a Finnish volunteer. All I´ve heard about it was about a bear they called "Mishka" who used to steal food from them.
I´ve asked my grandmother for other details, but she doesn´t know anything else. I guess they just didn´t talk much about the war.

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Tom Niefer
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Post by Tom Niefer » 19 Dec 2002 21:44

Lots of very interesting material posted on this thread. In spite of many cultural differences there is so much in common with all of us.

My maternal Grandfather fought for Germany in WWI. After the was was over he emigrated to Canada because he knew the fighting wasn't over. I don't know about my paternal Grandfather. He died when I was quite young.

My father fought in the liberation of Holland during WWII. I had uncles in RCAF and RCN. My wife's father was in RCN aboard HMCS Kentville. Several other uncles fought in the SS and Wehrmacht. I always heard stories from both perspectives growing up in the '50's. My family was very fortunate as we had no lost loved ones on either side. Some relatives who I never knew died during the expulsion of the Donau-Schwabs from Jugoslavia after the war.

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Post by Brig » 20 Dec 2002 02:54

I'm ashamed to admit that I have little, if any, military history in my family that I am aware of. Have an Uncle who served in the Navy, statrioned in the desert. Had a step-grandfather who enlisted in WWII when he was 16, and was sent to the pacific, but never saw combat. Was given a medal or something for some reason, but I've never seen it. Witnessed something with the A-Bomb, saw a article my grandmother had

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Post by cybercat » 20 Dec 2002 04:13

My great-uncle was a paratrooper during the war and was captured by the Italians after being shot in the legs. He escaped later from captivity and I believe he joined the partisans. I don't know a great deal only what older members of the family have let slip through the years. I'm thinking of contacting the parachute regiment to find out more.

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Post by Matthew » 20 Dec 2002 22:22

My grandfather was in the 2nd Marine Division, he landed on Saipan in the first wave of the invasion. He was also on the USS Hinsdale (a troopship) and heading for Okinawa when the ship was hit by a Kamikaze. He survived the war and he is now 80 years old. :)

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Post by nasdaq7 » 21 Dec 2002 02:10

My grandfather was stationed in Egypt and took part in the battle of

He was assigned to a signal unit.

He said that conditions in the desert is terrible: millions of flies, heat and
a lack of water.

He was wounded in the leg, but after contracting tuberculosis he was sent home.

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The Desert Fox
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Re: family

Post by The Desert Fox » 15 Mar 2003 03:01

Xavier wrote:
all I know is he fought in central spain , because to date he refuses to speak about it...unless someone starts attacking franco, he blows!!!


Any reason why he didnt return to spain in the post war period considering Franco and his goverment who he fought for, remained in office until 1975?.

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Mike K.
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Post by Mike K. » 15 Mar 2003 03:04

My grandfather served in the Army Aircore in the Pacific. He retired in the 70s as a Colonel.

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Post by Gen.Graf » 15 Mar 2003 03:18

My family died in combat, the Nuremberg trials, and after the war like my relative Hermann Graf died in 1988 just after i was born. I had family in the SS, SA, Luftwaffe, and Kerigsmarines. And my Grandfather and Grandmother were Lebensborn.

-Kaiser von Graf

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John W
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Post by John W » 15 Mar 2003 08:40

Well, as can be seen from my intro. in the "Introduce Yourself" thread, here goes :
[Mother's side] ---
Grandma was from Munich, Germany. Grandpa was from Leningrad, USSR. He met her at a difficult time (and fortunately in her hour of need! It almost sounds like a Hollywood movies, with the hero dashing to the rescue of a fair maiden! :D).

Both of them never spoke much about their war years or their ordeals after that. I learnt all this through my mother. I was in awe of my Grandpa. He was this huge guy, would roll his own cigarettes (and one for his dog too!), was rather harsh at times. He amazed me with his strength and vigour at his advanced age (He was 90 when he passed away in 1990).

Grandma was, well, grandma. I miss them both very much.

I don't think they ever let my mother's life be affected by their experiences (or the enemity of their country).

[Father's side] ---

Grandpa was half turkish, half austrian. He came well before war and settled in India, as part of his family business. He married a local girl (Supposed to have been the hottest chick in the village! :D Serious, that was how he used to describe my grandma!).

Nice mixed cocktail, eh?

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Post by dead-cat » 15 Mar 2003 12:52

one grand-grandfather threw himself into a pit just when the firt soviet troops arrived in the village.

another grand-grandfather was fleeing from the advancing soviets (together with the rest of the village). serb partisans captured them all, separated men from women, had the men dig their own graves and shot them (around 20, all civilians). 2 men escaped to tell the story. he was a ww1 veteran (Austro-Hungary), southern army group fighting around Przemysl.

one uncle joined the organisation Todt in '42 and then the 7th SS in '43 Rottenführer). his patrol was ambushed by partisans 3 weeks before the end of the war in Croatia, and he was shot during the ambush.

one grandfather was a cavalery soldier in the romanian army. the entire squad deserted and joined the 7th SS. he survived the war but never returned to Romania. he died in 1974 in Germany.

one grandmother was deported to the soviet union in ian. 1945 to a forced labour camp in Saporoshe. She returned in dec. 1949.

my father was also deported to the soviet union in ian. 45 (aged 18 at that time). he also returned 1949.

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Post by Kokampf » 15 Mar 2003 14:22

Dan wrote:The only moral fault I see with Sweden was not letting volunteers cross their territory to help Finland. I understand about the German and Soviet pressure, but this was still no excuss.
The really black mark against Sweden for me is their part in the forcible blanket return of all Baltic and White Russian refugees into the clutches of the NKVD after the war, in the face, it must be said, of significant public opposition within Sweden to such a horrific, unnecessary and inhumane act. :(

About these Soviet bombings of Sweden - were any Red aircraft shot down?

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Post by Kokampf » 15 Mar 2003 14:37

jacobite1 wrote:My Grand-father was a stretcher-bearer in WW1 at Gallipoli, not as safe/easy as you might think........he never let a doctor touch him from then 'til just before he died, I cannot imagine the things he saw... he never spoke about it.
Being a stretcher-bearer in WW1 was indeed an horrific and intensely dangerous job, in the course of which many, many men lost their lives. Sanitary conditions at Gallipoli were appalling (due to the climate, the cramped and overcrowded nature of the bridgehead and the accumulation of corpses), casualties extremely numerous and medical facilities inevitably overstretched... :(

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