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Thread: The Battle of Monte Cassino

  1. #11

    Two thoughts, the distillation as it were of the points raised by Anders and Wisniowski at their ten-minute conference, dominated the minds of every Polish soldier as they clambered on to the massif. First was their intense hatred of the Germans, a hatred so passionately expressed that it might have taken the French aback. It certainly seemed rather over the top to many British soldiers. . . . .The soldiers actually relieved by the poles were made equally aware of this lust for revenge. One officer wrote:

    At night we took them around the battle positions. We got along very well together, though they could never wholly conceal their slight impatience with our attitude. They hated the Germans, and their military outlook was dominated by their hate. Their one idea was to find out where the nearest Germans were and go after them . . . They thought we were far too casual because we didn’t breathe blind hate all the time.

    Previous post.

    This obsessive Polish hatred of Germans would explain a lot of Angela Merkel’s behaviour and why she encouraged the mass migrant invasion, especially from 2015 onwards.

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  3. #12

    1) Monte Cassino abandoned, 2) Moroccans / Les Goumiers Marocains

    Monte Cassino abandoned by the Germans

    It will always be a matter of conjecture, in fact, just how the Poles would have fared had they been called upon to mount another assult on the western edge of the massif. Happily this proved unnecessary, for Eighth Army’s progress in the valley below and remarkable advances by the French had already persuaded Kesselring and Vietinghoff that the whole Gustav Line, including Monte Cassino, was no longer tenable. Late on the 17th , therefore, Heidrich was ordered to begin pulling his men back. The latter was less than pleased. According to Kesselring: ‘The 1st Parachute Regiment did not dream of surrendering “its” Monte Cassino . . . I had personally to order these last, recalcitrant as they were, to retire, an example of the drawback of having strong personalities as subordinate commanders.’ Once the order was finally accepted the paratroopers began slipping out of the bunkers and pillboxes and scrambling down the steep reverse slopes of the massif towards Piedimonte and the Hitler Line positions. The majority of the Monastery garrison ran into Polish and British patrols and were killed or captured. But a substantial number of men did manage to escape, still capable, as they were to prove, of manning strong blocking positions on the Hitler Line and down the whole length of the Liri Valley. Many of them continued to feel that they had not been defeated at Cassino but only obliged to withdraw to conform with the rest of the German line. Von Vietinghoff echoed these sentiments after the war when he wrote ‘ . . . the gains made in the Cassino battles (by the Allies) did not repay the heavy expenditure in men and materials. In spite of the deep bulge in its rear, Cassino was not taken by storm during the May offensive, but was reluctantly abandoned by 1st Parachute Division on the direct orders of 10 Army HQ.

    Book CASSINO The Hollow Victory John Ellis, Chpt 14 ‘Sir I am Killed’ P 336.

    Moroccans / Les Goumiers Marocains

    The Moroccan Goumiers (French: Les Goumiers Marocains) were indigenous soldiers who served in auxiliary units attached to the French Army of Africa, between 1908 and 1956.

    There were those who were less than enthusiastic about the potential of the Mountain Corp. They had acquired a very poor reputation for discipline. One British soldier had shared a rest area with some goumiers’ who were living in the town with their wives! They were dirty, pulled down doors as well as fruit trees for their firewood. They are indeed poor propaganda for us . . . . and putting them there seemed as erroneous as putting an Eskimo in a tube train and expecting him to know how to behave.‘ A journalist wrote: ‘The Goums became a legend and a grim joke with the Eight. No story about their rape, their progress or their other deeds was too wild to be believed.’ Their sexual proclivities were the subject of particular gruesome rumour, not least among the Germans for they were reputed to bugger their prisoners. They were equally feared by the Italians on whom they were billeted. According to one civilian:

    We suffered more during the twenty four hours of contact with the Moroccans than in the eight months under the Germans. The Germans took away our goats, sheep and food, but they respected our women and our meagre savings. The Moroccans flung themselves upon us like unchained demons. They violated, threatening with machine guns, children, women, young men, following each other like beasts in rotation; they took our money from us, they followed us into the village and carried off every bundle, our linen, our shoes. Even those of their officers who tried to intervene came under their threat. (Accusations about goumiers buggering, castrating or murdering their prisoners were vigorously denied by one French historian, though his explanation certainly confirms the unorthodoxy of their methods: A prisoner was valuable. During the Italian Campaign the Fritz hunters were not slow to accord themselves a ‘perk’ , that of selling their prisoners . . . . to comrades-in-arms who had been less fortunate or less adept . . . but who were keen to get hold of a few feldgrau to pass themof as their own prisoners . . . From May to July 1944,the average price of an ordinary German soldier was to vary between 500 and 600 francs, that of an oberleutnant to reach almost double that . . . The traffic in prisoners was to become really lucrative when the Americans found out about it . . . These were the boys who were to pay well, with no discussion or haggling . . . (Chambe, Epopee pp 245-6)

    There were also reservations about their military abilities. An officer of the 88 US Division had frequent contact with them around the Corps boundary in the Auruncis and to him ’they seemed to have small appreciation of some of the modern implements of war. It was tragic to see elements of their reconnaissance groups moving forward with mine-sweepers, always looking ahead in search of the enemy instead of observing the ground for possible mines. My surgeons reported amputating many feet of the men who had walked into the enemy minefields with seeming indifference. Even their commander, General Augustin Guillaume, had been cautious about the prospal for a unified Mountain Corps, or at least one without a strong leavening of European soldiers. In a memorandum to Juin he wrote:

    The goums . . . even more than the Tirailleurs . . . have retained intact the qualities and weakness of their race: indisputable valour in war, but unreliability under stress; an offensive spirit exalted by success, but soon dissipated by failure; an innate courage in infantry combat, but a tendency to become unsettled in the face of modern weapons . . . ; a peasant hardiness and an innate sense of ground, but an aversion to hard work and discipline.

    Book CASSINO The Hollow Victory John Ellis, Chpt 15 ‘Ou Sont Les Pistes Jeepables’ P 371-2.
    The Germans were the only army in WWII that treated the civilian population with respect and behaved decently. That's a fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagdmesser View Post
    This obsessive Polish hatred of Germans would explain a lot of Angela Merkel’s behaviour and why she encouraged the mass migrant invasion, especially from 2015 onwards.

    I don't think this is realistic. The average Pole does not hate the average German. Merkel is probably as far from the Polish government as you can be in terms of European migration policy.

    Many Germans and Europeans for that matter have some slight ancestry from a different European ethnic group. To over 90% of people, these are not Mischlings. Merkel does not think of herself as Polish, nor particularly German. Just as a "successful" (in her own mind) career woman. In reality, a faceless traitor that could only be chancellor in the lowest and darkest chapter of German history.

    In terms of personal grudges, she probably resents more beautiful people than Germans, being German looking but unattractive herself.

    She is basically a German version of Fredrik Reinfeldt. With less intelligence but more capacity to do harm as head of a bigger state. You could argue that Reinfeldt has more of a mixed self-identity than Merkel.

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