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War is a horrible thing. Especially since war can be avoided if humans could just get our act together. Some incredible movies have been produced documenting the spoils and times of battle, particularly for WWII. But no piece of art can compare to hearing tales from survivors themselves. The men and women of WWII have a lot to tell us, if they feel capable of sharing.

Redditor u/liamnotleum wanted to hear some real life stories about our heroes of the past by asking.... Who had grandparents fight in WW2 and what stories did they share?

In the theatre....

jungle book snake GIF Giphy

Grandfather was in an amphibious division in the Pacific Theatre. He left us with little snippets of his time.

A camp was pitch black because they didn't want to be visible from above. A guy in his cabin went to the outhouse and sat down to do his business when he heard something. He pulled his lighter out and lit it. A python was dangling down staring him in the face.

He and another man were walking on a beach and the other guy just got shot through the head from a sniper. That sniper's decision led to my existence.

General MacArthur showed up and gave him a promotion along with a few others. They took a video of MacArthur shaking the hands of a line of soldiers and used it for a pro-American propaganda film to be played before movies in the US. My grandma saw it and freaked tf out and the theatre owners gave her a copy of the photo.

lazyandfickle

Passing the butt....

My grandpa was in the army. He never spoke about his service but he was shot in the ankle and captured. He spent years in a VA hospital once he returned to the states. I heard second hand stories about the pow camp. Specifically how the guards would smoke cigarettes and then intentionally flick the butts just out of reach of the prisoners inside the fence.

He and his buddies devised a tool to reach out through the fence and grab the butts when the guard turned their back. They'd then pass the butt between them to get a tiny puff. He was a very kind very quiet very intelligent man who had a very bad drinking problem.

askew88

Sober Up

My grandfather was a train medic (not front line but where they took immediate survivors). The Germans were known so sabotage train bridges and it was standard protocol to stop and inspect them before crossing. Well, his conductor was drunk and not only didn't stop but was speeding into the bridge when it exploded. My aunt has the pictures but let's just say the rubble he was found under (wooden trains don't just derail - they shatter, especially off a bridge) was crazy! He described it to me and I wanted to cry, he lost many friends.

commentstalker84

Nightmares....

My grandfather was in the resistance in Holland. He never spoke about the war to his wife, children or grandchildren. If asked to relate stories he'd reply, "I will not be responsible for the nightmares of another", would turn his hearing aid off, and nap in his chair.

Igloomum

Confessions....

war dark GIF by absurdnoise Giphy

I think Grandpa saw some craziness because he never talked about it, and we later found out that he was lying when he said he never saw action.

CheckOutUserNamesLad

B-17

Both my grandfathers served in the US Army Air Force. One was a waist gunner on a B-17. He caught some shrapnel from a German AA gun one mission and almost bled out on the return trip. While he was in the hospital his plane was shot down.

The other was an MP who would tell us about busting heads in bars.

NamelessAnus

Battle of the Bulge....

I think my grandad landed 2 or 3 days after D-day and he never talked to me about it until a few months before his death. He recalled arriving on the beach and having to cross over the bodies of the fallen soldiers. It deeply affected him.

Having him share just a few stories with me before he died this year felt like such an honor, as he never shared much with anyone about this time.

Edit: for those curious, my grandad was a sergeant in the 554th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. He also participated in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a bronze star for his service.

Thestigsgirlfriend

The Big Mess

My grandad was in WW2 in a tank destroyer unit, he NEVER talked about it but when I got back from a trip to Paris in high school he asked if it "was still all blowed up over there?" And said the last time he was there it was a "big old mess."

p3achbunny

That's funny your grandad asked if it's still a mess. My grandpa used to give my dad crap because my dad got sent to Germany in 69. When my grandpa was there everything was bombed to hell. He would say my pops had it made because the base had roofs by the time my dad got there.

bigredtruck97

In Canada....

Grandfather trained in Canada with British officers before flying to Britain. Went to Italy, was almost killed when his jeep drove off a cliff to avoid capture by Nazis. Was taken back to Britain to heal, looked up the family of an officer he knew. Officer's sister became my grandmother. 🇨🇦🇨🇦

Purpledoors3

Upon Return...

war hbo GIF by Game of Thrones Giphy

None at all. My grandpa went to Europe as a teenager and it must have been messed up because he never talked about his experience all the way up to his death. He came back with three medals and nobody in the family knows what he did to get them.

phlural

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