A long time ago in a discussion far far away someone made a reference to a particularly horrific incident alleged to have occurred during the Second World War. I saved the passage itself but unfortunately have no idea of its author or its provenance, a google search throws up no leads either. The alleged incident stuck in my mind and I always wondered what it was the author was referring to, or if it happened at all. I do recall that the person who wrote it wasn’t anti-military by any means so it wasn’t intended as such.
I apologise in advance for the length and content but its easiest to just post the passage directly. If by some coincendence you are the person who wrote this then no disrespect is intended.
"In the Summer of 1943, the German and Russian Armies had faced each
other for two years. While the most famous battles raged in places like
Moscow and Stalingrad, the Wehrrmacht had also invaded from Finland,
then a German ally. Their objective was at first Leningrad, then later
to interfere with the flow of supplies from Murmansk. In the end they
ultimately failed, but the entire Eastern Front was legendary for its
harshness and lethality, and this sector was no exception. The war was
It was at this time and place that one of the most remarkable and
under-reported events in the modern history of warfare took place, an
event so ugly that the images of it remain burned in my brain years
after reading about it. My source material is long gone, and I am
working strictly from memory. Yet I am sure that I am correct, at least
in the broad strokes.
By some evil coincidence, German and Russian forces of roughly equal
combat strength were simultaneously sent to occupy the same objective, a
fairly low and anonymous piece of ground. There were as best I recall
about 1500 Russians, and about 900 Germans, who were better trained and
equipped thus compensating for their lack of numbers. All the men
involved were from ordinary infantry units- these were not elite or
specially indoctrinated men. They arrived at the same moment, and a
sharp battle erupted.
Then something truly hideous happened. To this day, no one knows
exactly what. But the battle, though really purposeless strategically,
became incredibly fierce. Both sides seemed to go utterly mad and lose
all sense of humanity. Screaming Germans shot Russian medics trying to
treat them, while Russians pulled pistols on Germans and killed them in
the act of binding their wounds. Men trying to surrender were burned
down where they stood by flame throwers. A terrible bloody rage arose,
and the battle, though small, became arguably the most intense in modern
history. No one seemingly cared if they survived, as long as the enemy
was utterly wiped out to the last man. It was the most pure display of
aggression I have ever read of. The men literally screamed in rage as
they fought, ignoring cover and everything else but their raw hatred and
the most animal of instincts. The soldiers of both nations were utterly
reckless of their lives, and utterly merciless. I question wether they
were really human for that time, but I fear they were.
Both sides pretty much got their wish. There were a total of three
shocked and shaken survivors (all German) out of 2400 men. (Russian
records confirmed their unit was wiped out.) Other battles have seen one
side or the other wiped out with considerable frequency, but only in
this one case that I (or the author of the article) know of have two
units ever came so close to annhilating each other in modern times.
Thank God, the human race has known nothing like it since. That we are
capable of such anger is terrifying to me."
Anyone know what incident he was referring to?