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Stories from our great/granparents

Soviet cogitations: 100
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 19:23
Post 01 Dec 2005, 01:11
Both of my grandfathers served during WWII in the US Army.

My grandfather on my mom's side of the family was drafted in 1943, stationed in Wales, and fought as a cannoneer in an 8 inch howitzer battery in France from August 31, 1944 to October 27, 1944 when shrapnel ripped open his ankle while jumping head first into a foxhole. He went on to serve in the US Army until 1969 (retired because he didn't want to be sent to Vietnam).

The grandfather on my dad's side of the family was drafted in June 1945 and served in the occupation of Italy until 1947. He was sent to Pisa, Italy where he served in maintence, as a guard at a Axis POW/ Allied criminals camp, and had a head role at an officer's club (hired the girls!).

I've made a website for interviews I have conducted of Allied veterans of WWII including a Soviet veteran who fought at Stalingrad and 3 International Brigade veterans of the Spanish Civil War. Its at
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Soviet cogitations: 793
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Post 01 Dec 2005, 02:24
My great grand father served in the Red Army, was captured, escaped and was awarded Order of the Red Star.
He being a jew, it raises the question about people arrested after being released from German POW camps.....He wasn't arrested or anything, and no questions were raised about his...
Soviet cogitations: 4394
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jun 2004, 17:30
Post 01 Dec 2005, 18:02
Father's Father:

Old by the time of the war even, in his forties. He was born in shitty ass copper mines that closed down in Cork, Ireland and sent over to work the opening ones in Butte, Montana. He worked them virtually as a slave. Long story short, he got out, and went to school to stop that from ever happening again. After FDR was in office he was trusted enough by the Union movement to be put in charge of Labor relations. They took him out of this for a while, however, as they were low on men for the last push of the war in Japan. He always forbid talking about the war, so I don't know anything aside from two things:
1. When he was on a boat they were ovecome by a terrible smell. As they rounded a corner along the coast the came upon piles and piles and piles of bodies, dead and decomposing. They were Asian, and that's about all they were told.
2. They would occasionally be shot at by Japanese snipers. Everyone would hit the ground and wait, where they couldn't be shot. The COs would stay on the ground and yell for everyone to stand up and return fire, but nobody ever would because the sniper would have picked him off.
3. My dad told me people he knew in the war would come by and say, 'You're Dad's a hero!' but he would shut them up and remind him of the house rule of never talking about the war.

Despite being in WWII, organising Unions when it was illegal, taking on huge corporations on behalf of labor later on, it was the copper that attatched itself to the insides of his lungs when he was a kid that eventually killed him.

Mother's Father:
Farmer in the war. No matter what happens, you still need food. Though he also put farmer unions together when it was illegal to do so. Unfortunatly, having not gone to war, it's a rather pointless story to go in to.

Alis Volat Propriis; Tiocfaidh Ar La; Proletarier Aller Länder, Vereinigt Euch!
Soviet cogitations: 100
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 19:23
Post 02 Dec 2005, 03:18
I'm really enjoying this thread! If any of your grandparents (women fought too) are still alive and willing to be interviewed - I'm all ears: got a website called "Remembering Our Allied Veterans of WWII" at - I'm currently updating it and making it easier to read
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Soviet cogitations: 925
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Mar 2004, 17:55
Post 14 Dec 2005, 19:35
I agree, this is a good topic. I bet more people here have stories...
-"One of the lasses I know is a 32D...yes, I'm a horny, unsuccessful virgin." - LPC reveals all on MSN
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Soviet cogitations: 33
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Dec 2005, 05:13
Post 21 Dec 2005, 18:39
My grandfather from my dad side was drafted by the Japanese, who controlled Indonesia (Dutch East Indies then) during WWII, into their Local Defense Forces called PETA. When the japanese forces got pushed in West Papua and Phillipines, also knowing that the allies are near, they turned against the Japanese and fought them until the end of WWII.

He rose to the rank of captain after the surrender of the Japanese and then fought the Dutch army when they returned to reclaim the territory.

He was also part of the Siliwangi Division of the National Army that fought against the Communist troops in 1948
The revolution is unfinished Comrade! Raise the banner of our revolution!
Soviet cogitations: 814
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Dec 2005, 16:51
Post 21 Dec 2005, 20:11
My Dad's dad was from Boston, and fought in WWII. He was a Major, and lived in England as part of SHAEF during the blitz. He then was sent to Iceland, where he ran a POW camp for German troops. He came back to America to help build nuclear weapons for the Air Force. Sadly, he died before I was born (probably due to a tumor caused by the radiation).
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Soviet cogitations: 23
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Mar 2006, 16:55
Post 09 Apr 2006, 22:17
My Uncle served in the Atlantic Convoys during WWII.

I remember seeing a photograph of him and his shipmates with a German Navy flag riddled with bullets. I guess it was their trophy after sinking a U-boat or something.

My Mum tells me he ws torpedoed three times during the war.

His Dad, my grandad, served in the Royal Navy in WWI and was stationed at Scapa Flow. He was there when the German Navy scuttled itself in 1918.
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Soviet cogitations: 60
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jan 2006, 20:36
Post 11 Apr 2006, 21:43
My grandpas (both sides) were Tito's partisans. One was volunteer and decorated many times. True believer. Saw some fightin'!

Other was drafted in 1944., and was not so happy about it.
Za Domovinu s Titom, napred!
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Soviet cogitations: 793
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Post 12 Apr 2006, 07:11
Yeah, my grandfather on my mothers side was a partisan.

BTW, I noticed that one of my posts has been edited in this thread:
I wrote:
and no questions were raised about his...


"Art belongs to the people!" - V.I. Lenin
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Soviet cogitations: 9
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2005, 19:45
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 16 Apr 2006, 18:24

My first grandfather (my mother father) was the T-34 commander in the Red Army and started the WW2 in Ukraine in June 1941. He took part in tank combats at Brody. Then his tank corps retreated from the western frontier through Ukraine to Rostov. He took part in the Stalingrad battle. His T-34 was destroyed but my grand father managed to survive. He was promoted from sergeant to Lt. and later to senior Lt. In 1943 during combats at Kharkov burnt again in his T-34. He was severely wounded and spent almost half a year at the hospital and later was sent to the rear where he was an instructor at the tank school for young T-34 crews. He survived the war and died in 1979.

My second grand father (my father dad) was the mayor of the Red Army. He started the war as a company commander and later was promoted to the Battalion Commander. He took part in the Bagration operation and combats in Poland. During combats in Poland his Battalion was encircled and fought for few days in the pocket. During these combats he ordered to execute some captured German POWs including some officers since his battalion did not have enough forces for guard duties and he was afraid that these POW could escape. Afterwards after his battalion managed to escape from the pocket somebody reported to the division commander about this incident and my grandfather was downgraded to the private and sent to the officer penal battalion. He took part in the Oder River storming and was promoted for his performance to the penal battalion commander and was returned the rank of the mayor. During Vistula-Oder operation his battalion was on the main axis of the Soviet offensive and his penal battalion lost almost 2/3 of men and my grandfather was wounded himself. He was severely wounded in the leg and evacuated to the hospital. After more than a year in the hospital he was released with amputated leg. After the war my grandfather was the school director. He died in 1977.

Best Regards from Russia,
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Soviet cogitations: 2693
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2006, 08:59
Party Bureaucrat
Post 24 Apr 2006, 03:50
My paternal grandfather was in Normandy on D-Day and ended up being captured and put in a German POW camp.
Last edited by Greg A. Young on 14 Jun 2006, 05:34, edited 1 time in total.

"To know a thing you must study it." --Dagoth Ur
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Soviet cogitations: 72
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Dec 2005, 23:54
Post 13 May 2006, 05:57
very interesting to read the stories about your grandfathers

Iam from austria , my grandfather had to fight for Germans.

I want to tell you about one situation that makes me proud of my grandfather , no in fact 2 situations.

the first is an evil story... My grandfather served in upper austria were i live.. once he was near "mauthausen" concentration camp , he was a usual soldier nothing special.
A superior (from the SS) started to talk to him and pointed with his finger to the sky where dark smoke was rising from the concentration camp.

the SS officer said to him (translated of course): Do you see the dark smoke rising? (he was laughing) mauthausen (the concentraton camp there) FUMES AGAIN! (corps of human beeings got burned) and my grandfather knew it.

he told me father who told me this that he wanted to beat him in the face with his fists when the officer said that.

the second , that he met a russian solider during war , he was alone like the russian , they didnt even harm each other. Both were that damn afraid from the other person but they didnt harm each other , in fact they smoked a cigarette together! after that they left each other in peace..

Well... my grandfather was in the war.. he served on the eastern front , was a war prisoner , even made it back home , he was like a skeleton when he got home.. but he recovered slowly.. even built a house (where iam living in today)
too bad that he could only spend one single night in the house he built , after that he came to hospital because of liver cancer... and he died then there.. it was a painful death my parents told me.

He was a pretty silent person , didnt talk too much but a guy with the heart on the right place
iam proud of him.
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Soviet cogitations: 138
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 17:22
Post 13 May 2006, 07:03
My both grandparents were on the war and later in resistance....

The first in greco-albanian borders fighting with the Italians the other moved in macedonia fighting the Germans...

When Germans broke trough Yugoslavia to Greece and encircled both fronts, my grandfathers joined the resistance. the one with EDES (National Democratic Hellenic Union, right-wing) and the other with EAM (Hellenic Liberation Front ran by KKE (Communist Paty of Greece)...

I wont go on details... Both fought against vital battles against Germans, and against vital battles between them. With the end of the war the Greek Civil War began.. My commie grandpa retrited in Yugoslavia and under the DSE (Democratic Army of Hellas) came back fighting from Macedonia against the National Army, were my other grandpa fought...

The village of my one grandpa was burned down twice, of the other three times,(along with the grandpa and the grandma of a friend, traped into their house)

The onl thing that I can tell for now, is that really !%$#%$!# things happened from both sides...

Fortunately both of them survived so I can write here...
Unfortunately or fortunately , both's visions destroyed...
"Either Socialism will be democratic or it won't be at all"
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Soviet cogitations: 282
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Oct 2006, 21:52
Post 14 Oct 2006, 23:05
my great- grandfather fought for the red army as a german who lived in russia. (he survived)
the other one was at that time in a prison camp. (never heard of him the next years, probably died...)
It wasn't easy for us as germans in the USSR at that time.
My stepgrandfather (belarussian) was just 5 years old and he told me one time how it was as the germans dropped bombs on their fields and villages. there where many dead people, burning and destroyed fields and houses everywhere. and after the war he found a schmeisser mp in a forest. he buried it somewhere and no one knows about it

my grandfather is the ony non- german in my family he lived in belarus and was member in one of the first specnaz units
in the 60s during the cuban crisis. it was a really frightening time he said. he slept with his parachute and was going to be one of the first ones to jump on the USA.

but the actual story:
as the axis where in odessa (where my family lived), and many other german- russians lived, they took us to their "reich" because they know about these germans in russia and wanted them back to germany, altough we lived there in odessa for 2 centuries.
But as the russians gained their territory back, they found my family somewhere in poland. stalin also knew about german- russians and after war he put us all to kazakstan. thats the reason why untill the 90s many germans lived in kazakhstan. you can almost say that they build up the infrastructure there. because there was nothing in the early 40s.
Soviet cogitations: 467
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Aug 2006, 01:10
Post 15 Oct 2006, 03:34
My grandmother was a Polish housewife. She was only a young child and at school she was learning to write and read in Polish. Then the school had to completely reform and under the reign of Russia, no Polish was taught and she had to learn Russian at the age of a young child. So now starting all over again, she had to learn to write, read and speak in a new language, Russian. Then during the war my grandfather was pulled into the service of the Russian army. He later was captured by the Germans. So now my grandmother had to learn to write and read and speak in another language, German. My grandfather then fought on the side of the Germans and was later captured by the Russians and was sent to work in a labour camp (in a mine for four years). He was later released and met with my grandmother again.

To this very day my grandmother is unable to accurately write in her native language because she never had the chance to learn properly.

And my other grandfather was a Russian ace (his gear was handed down to me) but I don't know much about him.
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Soviet cogitations: 10808
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 15 Oct 2006, 04:35
My moms uncle (my great uncle?) flew a P-38. He was shot down in Yugoslavia and was a POW, he survived. I don't know the details. I'll ask me faimly.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Soviet cogitations: 793
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Post 16 Oct 2006, 06:16
And my other grandfather was a Russian ace (his gear was handed down to me) but I don't know much about him.

What is his name???

"Art belongs to the people!" - V.I. Lenin
Soviet cogitations: 467
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Aug 2006, 01:10
Post 16 Oct 2006, 07:12
Sadly my grandfather died at a very young age. I don’t remember his first name because we never talked about him much (my father had only known him for twelve years I think) or was always referred to as dehdooshka. I don’t want to even attempt at pronouncing it. The last name however was Goloshapov.

I have pictures and memorabilia of him to remember him by though.
Soviet cogitations: 2848
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 18 Oct 2006, 14:28
My great-grandfather from my mother's side fought in Winter War
and Continuation War. I do not know much about him, but he was somewhat decorated soldier. He died of cancer after the war, in 1950s I belive.

My grandmother from my mother's side was four years old in June 1944, when the Soviets launched their grand offensive agains't Finland. She recalls how hew mother dug a large foxhole on their potato field and how they went hiding there when Soviet aircraft flew over their house. Soon after that, Finnish soldiers came and told them and they have to leave: "Me lähdetään nyt, ryssät on tulossa tänne! (We leave now, the Russkies are coming here!).

I know almost nothing of my other great-grandfather, but he fought in the Finnish Civil War. I have his sabre and his Mosin Nagant (it still works and there are even some old bullets left) is at my grandmother's place.
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