Wounded on the forehead ? Non…Knee !

To the Normandy front
The mind is a convenient shelter in which to take refuge and keep all confusion at ease.
Paul Nougé.

The anecdote is brief, but don't be sad…

In 1955, on the tenth anniversary of the end of the war, when I had just started my career in journalism, I had the idea to go to a hospital reserved for veterans to ask them to tell me where they were on the precise day of Victory and how they experienced the historic event.

My report was intended to be published in a major weekly of the time and also broadcast on Radio-Canada..

Of doubt evidence, the first question addressed to the former soldiers had to concern their state of health. So I asked the first man who came to my mic :

  • Have you been injured in the forehead ?
    his response could not have been more spontaneous.
  • Non, he told me, me, it is on the knee !
    I liquefied because we were live !
  • I understand, I say to him pretending nothing. So you got injured knee…at the front !
  • Non. Just to the knee. Not at the front ! he corrected, surely wondering if he was not dealing with a journalist not very smart or hard of hearing…
    To chain, I begged him to tell me how, on his return from the war (I avoided saying “return from the front”), he had found his own.
  • I went to see my sister again, more, Alas, I did not find it. His apartment was occupied by people I didn't know and who had never heard of she & rsquo; she. I imagined she was dead and nobody had ever said anything about it. After all, we were at war…

    the beauty of the story, it is that after publishing the report, accompanied by the photo of the veteran, I received a letter from his sister, who was alive and well…She had simply changed her address. At the end of the fighting, without news of his brother, she had thought that this one had probably died in the war or, if you prefer…at the front !

Book's extract, The beautiful stories of a dirty war – Alain Stanké.

Douglas Bader

Douglas Bader
During a meeting with students, RAF ace Douglas Bader talks about the war :

“And so, two of these motherfuckers are behind me, three motherfuckers on the right and one motherfucker on the left.”

The headmistress has turned pale and adds : “Ladies, the Fokker is a German aircraft !”

What Sir Douglas replied to :
“Perhaps, madame, but those motherfuckers were on Messerschmitt !”

This is the area

1945, the victors share Germany and in particular the capital of the Reich, Berlin, in 4 zones d’occupation. To each his own zone, each his influence…

But is this only valid for Germany and Berlin ?

Austria is in the same boat with a division by sector and its capital, Vienna, oh so symbolic since the Anschluss of 1938, do not escape the rule.
It even has an international zone where its administration is shared by the victors who exchange responsibility for the zone each month..

So the winners organize joint patrols… Americans, French, English, Russians riding in the same Jeep…