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IL-2 Sturmovik The famous combat flight simulator.

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  #11  
Old 11-24-2010, 03:25 AM
BadAim BadAim is offline
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Actually, the Luftwaffe was probably the least Nazi organization extant in Germany during WWII, which is quite odd considering their leader, so I suppose if any of us are going to wear the "black hat" it might as well be as a Luftwaffe pilot.

I'm not sure the same can be said of the Japanese, but I'm just not in a position to know what some kid who had been brutalized during his training was thinking 60 years ago.

As for the Italians, you can say what you will about their armed forces, but they had the courage to not give up their Jews to the death camps, and that rates them a bunch of extra points in my book. The same can't be said for the French.

The problem with a discussion like this is (as has already been mentioned) is that we tend to paint with a broad brush, sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly, but always roughly. The truth almost always lies somewhere between our perceptions (and I do believe there is such a thing as truth).

While I believe that the "average Joe" fighting in the mud or the skies or wherever his job put him for the most part fought for his comrades, the pall of brutality hangs over the Axis forces, and any honest evaluation (at least I believe so) of the war will show that much of the brutality committed by the Allies was in reaction to this (though I don't offer it as an excuse).

Here is what I do know; nearly all of Europe was culpable in the Holocaust, (again, the broad brush sweeps up unintended victims [The Dutch for instance paid a high price for their resistance to the 'final solution']) and the US can certainly be accused of pushing the Japanese into the war. The war on the eastern front was perhaps a case of it's own, but even there the grunt on the ground had a grudging respect for 'Ivan' or 'Hans' as the case may be. The simple fact of the matter is that War is a brutal affair, and no amount of armchair Generaling will ever change that.

Maybe we're all odd ducks for our fascination with this war that was fought by our fathers and grandfathers but I think we can all respect the courage with which they fought their own little corner of the war no matter what flag they fought under.

Should it interest anyone I'm a Yank and I generally fly Axis, though I fly almost anything at sometimes or another.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2010, 04:57 AM
csThor csThor is offline
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Actually the Luftwaffe was not much different from the Army or the Navy. In the lower echelons were just as many Nazi-supporters as people who despised the Nazis. And of course there were many soldiers simply had no interest in politics and therefor no opinion beyond the usual crackerbarrel rhetorics (i.e. Hitler saved Germany and removed unemployment ... bla bla bla). The difference was that the higher echelons of the Luftwaffe were a lot more riddled with Nazi supporters than the Navy or the Army.

As for ethics ... Soldiers back then simply had a very limited amount of information available to them. I've read exerpts of Hannes Trautloft's war diary and it soon becomes obvious that even for a Geschwaderkommodore there's little beyond the scope of his role as commanding officer and fighter pilot. He simply has no way of gaining more insights because there are no alternative (and maybe even broader) sources of information available to him. This becomes very obvious in the later stages of the Battle of Britain where he remains extremely confident and expects the launch of the invasion anytime soon.
He also never questions his duty for his country and there's nothing in his diary that is political, although Trautloft was known to be one of those who had no use for the Nazi leadership and despised them for their crudeness and violence. What does that tell you about the ordinary soldier?

Hindsight, which is obviously applied in the question posted by the thread starter, is a marvelous thing, but it's quite clear that most germans remained unaware what kind of criminals they were serving.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:13 AM
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TUSA/TX-Gunslinger TUSA/TX-Gunslinger is offline
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Wow. Most civil and fair-minded discussion of this topic that I've ever seen on a combat flight sim forum.

As a military veteran of many years, I'm left to feel that there is hope for mankind yet.

Thank you all... it's just very uplifting to see people attempting to sincerely find the truth in it all, and not get distracted by politics, propaganda and agendas.

Republican, Democrat, Fascist, Communist, Theocrat, etc.. as you've pointed out - are all political religions, having very little to do with warriors. Conscripts, draftee's, etc.. really don't have control of these issues.

Volunteers are presented with justification from each of the political factions in conflict which will completely convince almost anyone of the 'rightness', 'honor' and necessity of their sacrifice.

Also, no one who flies for any side more than another - should ever be judged in our community for their choice. I've seen that in Il2, and even in other historical sims.

S!

Gunny


Last edited by TUSA/TX-Gunslinger; 11-24-2010 at 05:18 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:55 AM
Aquarius Aquarius is offline
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Yes,prooved that flight sim lovers are generally wise people

I like the possibility to fly in Bf109 and other axis aircraft and really dont like bias of Call of duty 1,2,..; Medal of Honor; etc.
I understand that developers dont wonna be under press of society, but really dont think that the opportunity to play another side means automatically propaganda of some inhuman movements or whatever. Maybe it could be, but only if the developers give this feature to it.

Just dont understand the people who are thinking that killing axis soldiers in game is good but killing the allies is bad...
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2010, 06:25 AM
Splitter Splitter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csThor View Post
Actually the Luftwaffe was not much different from the Army or the Navy. In the lower echelons were just as many Nazi-supporters as people who despised the Nazis. And of course there were many soldiers simply had no interest in politics and therefor no opinion beyond the usual crackerbarrel rhetorics (i.e. Hitler saved Germany and removed unemployment ... bla bla bla). The difference was that the higher echelons of the Luftwaffe were a lot more riddled with Nazi supporters than the Navy or the Army.

As for ethics ... Soldiers back then simply had a very limited amount of information available to them. I've read exerpts of Hannes Trautloft's war diary and it soon becomes obvious that even for a Geschwaderkommodore there's little beyond the scope of his role as commanding officer and fighter pilot. He simply has no way of gaining more insights because there are no alternative (and maybe even broader) sources of information available to him. This becomes very obvious in the later stages of the Battle of Britain where he remains extremely confident and expects the launch of the invasion anytime soon.
He also never questions his duty for his country and there's nothing in his diary that is political, although Trautloft was known to be one of those who had no use for the Nazi leadership and despised them for their crudeness and violence. What does that tell you about the ordinary soldier?

Hindsight, which is obviously applied in the question posted by the thread starter, is a marvelous thing, but it's quite clear that most germans remained unaware what kind of criminals they were serving.
I think this is pretty much spot on.

The young men were fighting for their countries and their comrades. Most knew very little about "the big picture". There was no internet, there were few papers, and there were few radio stations. There were was no internet and no 24 hour news networks.

People believed what their government said. The government said it was their duty to go fight and that's what the people did. It was a duty and I respect that very much.

Certainly there were atrocities, I would argue that most were committed by the Axis. Now....when a soldier willingly participates in such atrocities, they have crossed the line from warrior to criminal. In those instances, when a soldier is ordered to do something outside of the scope of warfare or when a soldier takes it upon themselves to commit such atrocities, then that individual needs to be held accountable. At that point, they are no longer soldiers.

Any soldier has the obligation to disobey an "unlawful" order but no soldier can refuse to fight.

It is also important to separate the soldiers from the leadership. Just because the leadership may have been evil does not mean that the society or the soldier was also evil. Therefore it is completely logical to be able to honor the common German soldier while despising the Nazi leadership. (this was just a convenient example, there are others)

Honestly, that's only fair. You cannot hold the common soldier accountable for the evil done by the country's leadership. Conversely, you cannot hold the leadership responsible for an isolated atrocity committed by a soldier or small group of soldiers.

Keep the soldiers and the leadership (the political ideologies and decisions) separate. Critique the leadership all you want, but honor the warriors if they fought honorably.

Splitter
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2010, 06:30 AM
AWL_Spinner AWL_Spinner is offline
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One additional thing I would say on this topic, and it's not pilot related so I apologize for thread drift, is that everyone should read The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer at some point in their lives. Regardless of any minor quibbles over historical details, it is a remarkable and powerful book that serves to humanise the scared face of youth in an adversaries' uniform.

And it's easy to forget how young a lot of the combatants were, both on the ground and in the air (both in the Battle of Britain and later in the war). I'm still amazed at what Geoffrey Wellum was doing at 17, and that Guy Gibson was a Wing Commander by 23. What was I doing between those ages? Not a great deal to write home about!

Cheers, Spinner

Last edited by AWL_Spinner; 11-24-2010 at 06:33 AM.
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  #17  
Old 11-24-2010, 06:49 AM
Ltbear Ltbear is offline
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awsome subject, but why i fly axis mostly is kinda not interesting. Way back in the CFS1 and CFS2 days there where werry few axis pilots, so i flew with the JG 26 in cfs 1 and when cfs 2 came around i jumped to the 6th kokutai, and realy never looked back.

But now after my return i stil love the pacific, but i just feel alot more fun in the P-36 and the P-40 in the PTO....realy dunno why....have been a zeke driver for a looong time. but now the "hawks" kinda interests me instead....

About the topic....in general (remember i said general) i think you can se the aviators as the sub crews. They are a tool of war with not much politics. Even the Japanese pilots had abit more higher standard than most of the rest of the IJN / IJA. Think it comes down to how special you were in general as a pilot.

Millitary pilots even today have a small thing about them. I was on training (leapard two) in Germany, hooked up with a few German personel we whent to town. Had an awsome talk with a "dame" told her i was a "tanker" etc, then doing the talk one of the "jerrys" comes by sits with us mention hes a pilot and that "dame" was lost to me....lol....cool to be a tanker, but wings get you girls.....
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2010, 07:03 AM
leggit leggit is offline
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one of the best threads i've read on this forum....great stuff
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Oktoberfest Oktoberfest is offline
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I've read that book from Guy Sajer. He was a drafted french from annexed Alsace in a logistical regiment of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front.The bbok covers his war experience from december 42 (he was 16...) to his surrender in 1945. It's amazing what this guy went through and survived...

The funny fact is that because of the propaganda he received on the front, he was persuaded that the french army was actually coming to help them fight the soviets nearly till the end of the war... Go figure, as was said, no means of information for the common Joe on the front.

I respect people who fought honorably in this war, on all sides. Not their leaders, as war is usually the massacre of young people that don't know each other for the sake of old people who don't fight and know each other.

I'm french, and my oldest friend is a german. I can't imagine what would've happened if we had met 70 years earlier.
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  #20  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:29 AM
PeterPanPan PeterPanPan is offline
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What a great thread and so uplifting that it is being treated thoughtfully and with respect ... and has somehow stayed on topic and rant free. Well done all.

My own position re IL2 is that I only fly for the Allies. I have flown some German or Japanese a/c out of curiosity, but in actual combat, I'm just not comfortable with flying for the 'enemy'. I have always found it interesting to consider the reasons why some choose to fly Axis a/c and this thread is throwing some light on that.

PPanPan
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