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    To all DAKers out there.

    I have recently started working on a project of putting together an oral history book about the campaign in North Africa, so am looking for veterans of all nations involved to interview about their experiences. The most important factor is that the veterans have a good memory of events, and if possible good story telling abilities.
    All interviews will be conducted over the phone only, and will be recorded and then retranscribed. Rest assured no questions will be asked about militaria, so I will not "short circuit" any collectors.
    If any of you, particularly those in NZ, Australia and South Africa, can put me in touch with a couple of good veterans to interview, I would be greatfull to you. I can also provide you with the complete transcript of the interview once it is done.

    Veterans are really getting far and few between, so now is the time to record the memories of the few who are still alive. The reason I am interested in North Africa is that I have travelled there regularly over the past ten years, made good friends there, explored the battlefields a bit, and have... fallen in love with the area.

    Just to show you I am serious about this project and not messing around, below you can see the last book I have worked on for nine years, and that will finaly be coming out in the next months in both English and French. My goal is to put together something similar about North Africa, and particularly El Alamein.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Jean-Loup; 10-19-2013, 05:02 PM.
    Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

    Comment


      Interesting - will see what I can do, Jean-Loup.
      Regards,
      Mark
      NZ

      Comment


        this ring came back in a Vet. grouping I purchased.
        Attached Files
        To view my museum and shop: https://wehrmacht-militaria.com/

        Comment


          and this cap......
          Attached Files
          To view my museum and shop: https://wehrmacht-militaria.com/

          Comment


            my little contribution to this great thread: some of my Afrika gear.

            Comment


              And a very nice contribution it is Teka ! especially like the all webb mp 38/40 ammo pouch which is high on my wants list. Do you have any tubics/caps as well to go with this great assortment of gear?

              Greg

              Comment


                Hi Greg,

                thank you for the kind words. I will make some pictures of my uniforms, but it won't be before Christmas I'm afraid. It will be a M40 tunic for enlisted men, a M40 to an Unteroffizier, (your!) M42 to a Gebirgsj├Ąger officer, all will relative trousers, and a complete Luftwaffe soldier too. It takes a lot of time to display properly!

                Cheers
                Teka

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Jean-Loup View Post
                  To all DAKers out there.

                  I have recently started working on a project of putting together an oral history book about the campaign in North Africa, so am looking for veterans of all nations involved to interview about their experiences. The most important factor is that the veterans have a good memory of events, and if possible good story telling abilities.
                  All interviews will be conducted over the phone only, and will be recorded and then retranscribed. Rest assured no questions will be asked about militaria, so I will not "short circuit" any collectors.
                  If any of you, particularly those in NZ, Australia and South Africa, can put me in touch with a couple of good veterans to interview, I would be greatfull to you. I can also provide you with the complete transcript of the interview once it is done.

                  Veterans are really getting far and few between, so now is the time to record the memories of the few who are still alive. The reason I am interested in North Africa is that I have travelled there regularly over the past ten years, made good friends there, explored the battlefields a bit, and have... fallen in love with the area.

                  Just to show you I am serious about this project and not messing around, below you can see the last book I have worked on for nine years, and that will finaly be coming out in the next months in both English and French. My goal is to put together something similar about North Africa, and particularly El Alamein.
                  I'm sure you have done the math; if a soldier was 18 in 1943 when the Axis forces capitulated in Tunisia, he would be 88 years old today at the very least. Most living veterans of the war in N. Africa would be in their nineties. You are racing against the clock.

                  Comment


                    Very much so - but some are still around and some are very clear in their memories. I have souvenirs taken in Africa by NZ veterans alive today who remember almost every detail of those days....
                    TEKA - Well displayed field-gear. Several gems amongst that lot. I look forward to seeing your uniforms set-ups!
                    Regards,
                    Mark
                    NZ
                    Last edited by NZMark; 10-20-2013, 05:54 PM.

                    Comment


                      "I'm sure you have done the math; if a soldier was 18 in 1943 when the Axis forces capitulated in Tunisia, he would be 88 years old today at the very least. Most living veterans of the war in N. Africa would be in their nineties. You are racing against the clock. "


                      Yes, you are entirely correct, most are in their nineties, and it is a race against the clock. However I have interviewed or met up with many veterans over 90 these past years who were able to recollect WWII events almost perfectly, and were still friendly and humorous and, above all, happy and proud to be able to tell younger generations about their experiences. In fact one was at my house for two weeks this summer for the 69th anniversaries of the liberation of southern France.

                      Here is one of "my" veterans who has been paralysed for over 20 years, has been living in a VA hospital for about 8 years, got his leg amputated about 3 years ago, etc... and who corresponds by email, remembers every details of 1944 as if it was yesterday, and is vividly intelligent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRvVT-udQGI

                      If only 1% of the veterans are still able to be good interviewees, then that makes thousands of men for the North African campaign! Helmets and badges are nice; but the real history is what these men remember; a resource that is quickly disapearing!
                      In any case, anybody interested in helping me (thanks Mark for your interest) can send me a PM.

                      JL
                      Last edited by Jean-Loup; 10-20-2013, 06:12 PM.
                      Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

                      Comment


                        JL

                        I commend you in your efforts. While the 7 DAK veterans i used to talk to have all passed, i still stay in touch with a couple of their sons. But just last month ran into a US vet from Omaha at the local flea market and listened to a few stories he shared. So the vets are still out there.....goodluck !

                        Here is a thread with a short story from one of those DAK vets, Helmuth Orschiedt, a member of the DAK 33rd Art Regt, 15th Pz Div.

                        http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=340303

                        Heia Safari Helmuth !

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by teka View Post
                          my little contribution to this great thread: some of my Afrika gear.

                          A very fine looking pile of tropical field gear; one can see from this photo why this stuff is so addicting.

                          Comment


                            Hey Teka,
                            Great collection of DAK stuff looks terrific , thanks for sharing, look forward to the uniform pics.
                            cheers
                            nco

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by OSS View Post
                              I'm sure you have done the math; if a soldier was 18 in 1943 when the Axis forces capitulated in Tunisia, he would be 88 years old today at the very least. Most living veterans of the war in N. Africa would be in their nineties. You are racing against the clock.
                              You are not wrong OSS,

                              my friend got University funding in 1988 to interview NZ veterans from WW2 This was to create an extensive oral history. We soon found out even back then, how hard it was to find the guys from 1941. Many were already gone.

                              However, for the best part of the next 10 years 1989 to 1999, he did just that. He interviewed every veteran he could find who would talk to him. This has created a huge archive of interviews.

                              The focus became the Italian campaign because these were the guys who were there and willing to talk. When we did strike some from North Africa 41 to 43 but not as many as we hoped for. They carried out an additonal special round of questions and interview. Sadly not many Long Range Desert Group

                              Some of the hardest to find were those guys who served in Greece and on Crete 1941 but we found some.

                              The most amazing were the pacific veterans from the "Special Boat Force", "Z Special Unit" and the "Fiji Commandos" Some of the toughest and most horrendous.

                              Mind you, the recollections from Crete where the ears had been cut off German prisoners by a certain unit were right up there.

                              Then there were the Germans shot in cold blood in Italy or the New Zealanders who use to blow all the bank vaults in every Italian town or city that they entered. The New Zealanders who were at the "sPzAbt.504, Tiger number 200 & Tiger number 211 incident April 12 1944.

                              Anyway it is all properly documented and available for restricted research at university discretion.

                              I wish Jean-Loup good luck today trying to find such a cross-section of veterans. To achieve the balance of experiences and recollections necessary for a complete work on the subject will not be easy,

                              Chris
                              Last edited by 90th Light; 10-21-2013, 04:32 AM.

                              Comment


                                Tim OK, that is exactly the type of stories I put together with my interviews. For a book you need a large number (I am hoping at least 50), and have to find a logical way of putting them together, illustrating them, etc. For now the emergency is to get the interviews done, other work can wait.

                                Chris, it sounds very interesting. I have spent the past 9 years doing something similar for anybody who was in the Nice area in August 1944. Starting in 1989 would have been the golden age. I started in 2004 and even then was a golden age compared to now.

                                The American veteran who came to visit me this august is now in end stage kidney faillure in the US I just found out. They are going very fast sadly.
                                Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

                                Comment

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