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When war rages, people usually lose friends. Some of them turn out to be very unusual and are caused by strange, unusual events for the war.
Serenaded by French and German soldiers. In the history of the First World War, there was a rather unusual and well-known truce - the Christmas one. At this wonderful moment, the soldiers laid down their arms and celebrated a great common holiday with the enemy in no man's land, leaving the trenches. But this story had a predecessor, during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, an unusual truce also happened. Not far from Paris on Christmas Day passed the front line, in the trenches were taken by the French on one side and the Germans on the other. All night long the sides dug the ground and exchanged artillery volleys. Suddenly, a young French soldier rose from his trench without weapons and sang the famous Christmas song "O Hole Night" in his own language. The parties ceased fire and began to listen attentively to the eccentric. But as soon as he finished his serenade, a German soldier climbed out of his trench and sang Martin Luther's Christmas carol, "From Heaven Above To Earth I Come." The moment became so emotional that for a whole day the fight stopped in honor of Christmas. And the soldiers probably asked the question: "Why do people kill each other, instead of singing songs?"
Christmas dinner for German and American soldiers. The Ardennes operation became one of the bloodiest campaigns for the American army in World War II. With that in mind, it's hard to tie that battle to a merry Christmas. Nevertheless, even in this meat grinder there was a place for the manifestation of friendship and camaraderie between irreconcilable opponents. Thanks to one German woman, Elizabeth Vinken, it was possible to reconcile the two sides for a while. On the very eve of Christmas, the woman, along with her 12-year-old son Fritz, picked up three American soldiers who had lost their way in a forest on the slope of the Ardennes. Elizabeth took them to her on the condition that they did not carry weapons into the house. After some time, four more German soldiers, also seeking asylum, knocked on the door. Thanks to the endurance of the hostess, it was possible to make these guests leave their weapons outside. The woman became a kind of pledge of the Christmas truce. Surprisingly, both sides not only did not kill each other, but also shared a festive dinner at the same table. The wounded were not ignored either. The next day, the Germans politely said goodbye to their unwitting companions, but they did not give the enemies a compass and instructions on how to get to their units.
Russians and Germans against wolves. While Russian and German soldiers were killing each other on the fields of the First World War, a new force emerged. Large and ferocious wolves became her. Large-scale hostilities have devastated their habitat and reduced natural food. Then predators in search of food became more desperate, approaching human populations and livestock. The famine forced the wolves to even attack soldiers patrolling positions or even just sitting in trenches. At first, the Russians and the Germans fought the wolves on their own. They shot at the animals, poisoned them, threw grenades into the flocks. But all this did not work - after the death of one group of wolves, it was as if the next appeared out of nowhere. Finally, both sides decided to stop fighting each other for a while and focus on a much more real threat. After a long and difficult battle, the wolves were expelled, and the dogs, with their tails between their tails, were pursued by the dogs.
Union and Confederate troops became friends on opposite sides of the river. In 1862, the Battle of Fredericksburg took place. The warring southerners and northerners were separated by the Rappahannok River. On its shores, armies were preparing for the inevitable battle. Only now the cold November wind made the river so stormy that it interfered with the crossing. While the generals were puzzling over how to cross the water barrier, the southerners patrolling its shores met and became friends with the northerners. Even trade relations arose between the soldiers - they exchanged coffee and cigarettes. And the goods were transferred to the other side of the river with the help of paper boats. There was even a place where the soldiers could even cross the river, exchange newspapers and talk with their colleagues. To ward off boredom, the Confederates began to hold sports games. The spectators and fans of baseball and boxing matches were the military of the Union. However, the idyll ended on December 11, when Union forces crossed the river, which gave rise to one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the Civil War.
Joint burial of the deceased by Australians and Turks. A truce between Turks and Australians seems unusual in itself. How can two countries fight, which are separated by thousands of kilometers? Meanwhile, during the First World War, British troops, which included Australian units, conducted the Gallipoli operation. Its goal was to bring Turkey out of the war. On May 19, 1915, Ottoman troops attacked the entrenched Allied landing party, intending to throw it back into the sea. The Turks had to face the ANZAC corps, which consisted of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The British destroyed wave after wave of attackers. When the smoke of the battle cleared, the bodies of thousands of Turks and several hundred Australians were left in the middle of the no-man's land. Worst of all, the hot sun accelerated the decay of the bodies, and soon a stench filled the surroundings. On May 24, a ceasefire agreement came into effect - both sides were given the opportunity to bury their fallen comrades. In no man's land, recent adversaries have met to work together and bury the dead. And after that, as befits good colleagues, they paid tribute to each other's courage and even exchanged souvenirs and other small trinkets. After the main work was completed, both sides wished each other good luck and returned to their positions. Needless to say, both the British and the Turks soon again tried to fill the no-man's land with corpses?
An American Jewish sniper and a German pilot who became friends for life. The incredibly touching story of the friendship between Max Handelmann and Karl Kirchner took place during the bloody battle in the Ardennes. Before the fateful meeting, Handelman was born in Milwaukee and raised a devout Jew. The American managed to feel all the hardships of defense against the German offensive. Handelman was captured and sent to a POW camp in the city of Lind. But thanks to his knowledge of the German language, the American became a kind of liaison between prisoners and guards. As a result, he met the German Kirchner, who voluntarily left his unit and was hiding on a farm near the camp. A young German pilot taught Handelman how to hide from guards. So the American was able to visit a friend to drink coffee and play chess, after which he returned to the camp unnoticed. Such trips were repeated several times. At one of these meetings, the couple decided to plan an escape from Nazi Germany. As a result, the couple, taking another American prisoner, went on a journey to the front line. Kirchner portrayed an escort who was taking prisoners to another prison. As a result, the friends were able to reach the Americans. Handelman himself never forgot about his friend's help. He later helped Kirchner move to the United States, where the men maintained camaraderie for the rest of their lives.
Romance of a Jewess and an SS officer. Today, for young people, a romantic love story is one that is presented in some "Twilight". Life creates much more dizzying plots. Edith Khan Beer experienced a gripping love story. Born in Vienna, Austria, she studied law when the Nazis came to power. The persecution of the Jews led to her deportation, and Beer was sent to forced slave labor. After a year of hard labor, the woman ran away and took a train that was supposed to return to her native Vienna. But on the way, Edith joined the Christian mission, became a nurse, and in 1942 ended up in Munich. Here in an art gallery she met SS officer Werner Wetter, her future husband. After just two weeks of courtship, the Nazi proposed to her. Beer tried to slow down the development of relations, emphasizing their inappropriateness during the war. Then she broke down and confessed that she was Jewish. Fortunately, Vetter not only did not betray her, but also told his family secret about the divorce of his parents. The lovers got married, and Beer became an exemplary housewife. After the war, Vetter ended up in a labor camp. In the absence of her husband, Beer regained her Jewish status and completed her studies as a lawyer. The returned husband was outraged by the fact that his wife had become an independent person and filed for divorce. Looking back, Beer could not understand whether she truly loved her husband or simply treated him well and married under the influence of circumstances. One way or another, the woman is grateful to her husband, who helped her survive in a very difficult and delicate situation.
British and German pilots who got lost in the desert. The pilots of the British Royal Navy and the Luftwaffe were forced to fight together for survival, finding themselves in the cold and harsh Norwegian ice desert. This unusual scenario took place on April 27, 1940, when three British fighters attacked a German bomber deviating from its course. After some time, the Luftwaffe car fell near the village of Grotley. An English plane was forced to land nearby. British pilots, Captain Richard Partridge and his wingman, Lieutenant Robert Bostock, found a small hut which they used for shelter. Soon they were joined by the three surviving crew members of the German bomber. Piloted by Lieutenant Horst Schois. The tense atmosphere dissipated as the pilots shook hands and the British shared their meager rations. Soon, the involuntary friends decided to make a joint trip to the nearest settlement, in the hope of getting help and food there. But the motley company unfortunately caught the eye of the Norwegian patrol. The soldiers opened fire and killed one German pilot. The rest of the Nazis were taken prisoner, and the British were repatriated to their homeland. In 1977, a significant meeting between Shopis and Bostock took place. The veterans said that they had never disliked each other.
"Quiet fronts" of the Spanish Civil War. Both fascists and republicans had a hard time forcing men to fight their own countrymen during the Civil War in the 1930s. How can you conduct full-fledged hostilities if the soldiers do not want to fight and quickly approach the enemy? Numerous cases of fraternization between enemy soldiers took place on the "quiet fronts" of that war. Most of the rank and file fighters did not want to offend their fellow Spaniards. As a result, the friends met openly and acted as if there was no war. In one incident, several hundred Republicans exchanged fresh newspapers with their fascist counterparts. The soldiers often warned each other about the impending attack and often celebrated the survival of friends after the battle. The Spaniards showed such a strong condescension towards each other that they even hated the die-hard foreign volunteers for their desire to kill their enemies.
Joint defense by Turks and Australians from ANZAC. Quite a lot of strange and unusual things can happen in war. For example, in the last days of World War II, German troops fought side by side with American units against the SS. A similar extraordinary event happened during the First World War. Then the Australian soldiers helped the Turks to defend their positions against the Arab raiders. At that time, the ANZAC units liberated the capital of Jordan, Amman from the Turks. This led to the flight of 5 thousand soldiers and the creation of a camp in Ziza. Local Arabs saw this as a chance to take revenge on their invaders and began to surround them. The raiders gathered about 10 thousand people. Fortunately, a few parts of the Australian army agreed to help their recent enemies to defend their positions. But they were already ready to lay down their arms at the mercy of the winner. It only took one night for the Australians to befriend the Turks. The soldiers chatted around the fires, watching vigilantly that the Arabs did not attack. By morning, reinforcements of Australian soldiers arrived at the camp and helped the Turks to surrender peacefully. The Arabs eventually retreated, cursing the British and Turks for their unexpected cooperation.