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OT - last chance to meet war-heroes. Kuni targets Harry Järv


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Ok this is off-topic but relevant to ww2 in europe and thus also sc.

As some may know I never got any response from Sven Hassel to talk to him about his war memories. So now I've got a new target in sight; finnish war hero Harry Järv.

Järv is a 83-year old swedish speaking finn who became legendary for his scout patrol into russian territory in 1942-43 south of river Svir on the karelian isthmus. His life and photographies taken is told in the 2004 movie "Beyound enemy lines" - a celebration to the heroes who saved Finland from defeat 60 years ago back in 1944 at Tienhaara and Ihantala-Tali.

If I get his approval I will post the interview here.

Furthermore I'm still planning to go to Russia next year. I will visit St Petersburg, Volgograd and be on the Red square on may 9th, 60 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Be sure I will post some pics about it.

[ December 16, 2004, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Kuniworth ]

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I'll be seeing my Uncle at Christmas, he helped wax Wolfgang in the Battle of the Atlantic. To this day he dislikes the Germans & what they did, he lost many friends. Far as interviews about WW-2....Dude, my Uncle hasn't talked about it for years.

There's this older dude who attends church where I go once in awhile, he got to fight Gerry @Bastogne, he showed everybody his wounds (scars). He didn't mind the fighting, just didn't like the cold. He'll give you an interview.

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Far as my Uncle, he will never talk about it, I was told never to ask him either, this is a big issue with the family. I was only told stories from my Dad about it. See, my Uncle is second oldest in a big family (Dad being the youngest). Uncle K., was 19 years old, spent 4+ years in the U.S. Navy, their Destroyer was sunk in the Atlantic, only a handful survived. Horrifying experience, later he was put right back on a new ship. His life after the war is more interesting, worked for N.A.S.A. smile.gif I haven't seen him for 5+ years, I will in 2-weeks for Christmas, just glad he is alive, he's old, 80-something. I'm sure he'll have his Bible, he'll be preaching from it, not the horror of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The other guy who fought @Bastogne, I sure wasn't going to ask him it about it at church. He told a few little things to a group of us. Nothing but cold, cold, cold. He just wanted to come home smile.gif

When I first got out of college, & lived in an apartment, a very friendly elderly couple lived downstairs. This older guy (named Al), fought the Japs. The dude was completely out of it (it was sad), he'd be walking around pretending to be shooting, ducking, & fighting against "the air". It wasn't proper to ever bring up the war.

Conclusion: I've have many relatives in different wars (Granpa WW-1, Uncles WW-2, Uncle Korea, 2-Uncles Vietnam, & cousins/friends in all this later stuff). None of them want to talk about it, & I'm sure not going to bring it up. They don't want to relive it. All the ones from Vietnam & back, were drafted, they fought because they had no choice.

To those who served, we salute you & respect your silence.

To those wanting to know, what really is there to know? Why bring up bad times? WW-2 veterens are really old now, their minds aren't sharp, no reason to ask any of them in my opinion.

"The war is over Jonny. Time to go home." --- Col. Troutman to Jon J.

[ December 17, 2004, 07:38 AM: Message edited by: jon_j_rambo ]

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I had a lot of uncles who fought in WWII, nearly all of them gone now.

One came home and a basket case and I heard he didn't start talking regularly again till 1950. He wasn't a coward, the opposite in fact, he was a many times decorated battle veteran of most of the major campaigns from North Africa through Central Europe.

What drove him over the edge was a few days before the German surrender he tossed a couple of hand grenades through a pair of windows in a country cottage and a moment later a young boy dressed in a Waffen SS uniform, baggy and ill-fitting, staggered out and died in his arms. He went inside and saw more of the same, several lingering while he tried to make their last moments less miserable.

I didn't find out about this till after his death and at that it was only by accident when I was with my aunt while she was packing his clothes away and I saw a uniform in a closet with a huge rack of campaign ribbons.

I've had other uncles who did discuss these things. It wasn't that were boastful, they weren't, some people will and some people won't discuss what they see in wartime.

One of my uncles was on the crew of a torpedoed destroyer in the Pacific. He awoke floating in the water, wearing a Mae West lifejacket. He never knew who put it on him, saving his life.

Hope you get that interview, Kuniworth, no country has a monopoly on heroism. smile.gif

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To add to the heroes of WW2, although my ole Grandpa Jack is now passed I will tell some of the stories I heard second hand. I didn't go to see him before his death due to the fact I didn't want to see him like that. Didn't feel it right.

He was diving off a ship banged the back of his head up, busted it open was floating around the ocean for hours and hours. Lucky to come out alive, a guy pulled him out of the sea unconscious became his friend. Later he saw that same guy shredded up like in a cheesegreddar in by a Japanese Fighter on a AA gun. From what I know my Granpa spent the entire length of the war fighting<no tours like some nations got> Served in Burma and with Nepalese and Indian troops. He brought back an Indian Knife used for boomeranging Japenese Heads off. Life was tough in the Royal Navy, I know he served on a MineTrauler I'm sure that was suicide job! I bet the entry of America saved him so I'm around today or most of the UK troops over that region would've been toast after Australia-New Zealand and India was conquored.

I have a large group of Family that Served in WW1 Trenches most of them didn't come home or died of Cancer very young. All Brit.. A Great Uncle at Dunkqurkue...

Father served in the Gulf, talks about his stories avidly. He sat in front a Artillery Implacement<15-25 miles pointed directly at him> that was acknowledged despite what foreign and American press will tell you to have had Chem weapons. I'm not sure I remeber 100% for certian but I recall he told me they had a greenlight to fire them also. Something you Civilians don't know! smile.gif He was a medic and a NCO but served doing higher junk all the time due to the fact he was competent. Mostly treated guys torn up by accidents and friendly fire. They really expected a **** storm. Never came... US Army is like Alexander's Greeks at this time and Age

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