Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This post came to mind a couple of days ago when I hit my 333rd post, childhood heroes. Not being into sport or pop music my heroes as a child and young teen came from the books I read. Not for me the likes of Batman and Spiderman, my heroes were from real life, men from the war stories I read, normal people in extraordinary circumstances. Even now as I sit here my book shelf is littered with their books and as my main interest is the Second World War you will be surprised how many of the names are German. I think that it’s a very English thing to do to support the under dog and when you look at the war as a whole, even though they were winning for a large chunk of it, the German fighting man did have the deck stacked against him, with a madman in charge of the country and the world largest and most powerful economies against them, they had little chance.
My first hero had a very chequered war time career, starting in France in 1940 and ending in Bavaria in 1945 after having fought in most of the countries in Europe. For those of you familiar with the TV program Band of Brothers, think of that but 4 times longer and for the most part fighting under harsher conditions. By 28 he was the assistant commander of the best division in the country, idolised by his men, honoured by his leaders, tried and convicted of war crimes by the allies and murdered 31 years after the war in a gun battle at his remote farm house in France, his body left to burn in the ruins. Jochen Piper, not the first role model you would pick for your child, but to a young lad his story read like a boys own novel, even now with years of learning behind me, the length of time he spent in the front line still amazes me.
Why did the 333rd post bring all this to mind, well it’s the number of the u-boat commanded by another of my heroes Peter Cremer. ¾ of all u-boat men died in action, the highest amount of any group during the war, of every 4 boats to leave port only one would come home, given that some crews’ made 10 or 20 voyages it stuns me that they ever had the guts to leave port once.
My latest hero is a very English one, Chris Hunter, a bomb disposal man who until recently was working in Iraq, he was so good at his job that the bombers started to try just to kill him. Even then he went out day after day, risking his life to save others.
With so many of our lads (and now lasses) out in harms way, regardless of the politics, if you get the chance, think of them, or pray for them, or even if you meet one thank them, they do it so we don’t have to.

Now playing: M People - Search for the Hero (US Remix by David 'Jam' Hall)
via FoxyTunes

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Sunny said...

hm, several heroes of the World War II set an example for me. They taught to fight for the cause, to follow high moral standarts,to never underestimate an opponent and to be devoted and faithful. And most of them died for those they never knew but cared for (e.g. me)

Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking and superb picture.

Robyn :) said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I learned about some people I would never otherwise heard of.

Also, thank you for commenting on my blog yesterday :)

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