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Prisoner of War

The tank was hit, there were huge flames. I remember jumping out. The gunner who hadn’t wanted to change with me was killed outright. If we'd changed it would have been me. The commander was killed outright, the driver was also injured. As soon as we jumped out the tank went up in flames, & I felt something sort of streaming down here & could see a bit of blood, but you are of course in shock so I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then we sat somewhere for half an hour. The firing had really died down. I said to my comrade in arms–he had not died, but he was either asleep or fainted or something– ‘I will see if I can find our tanks, so that we can rejoin the company’. So I started crawling forward. Suddenly, the little bush in front of me opened & 2 German officers emerged holding their pistol at me. There’s no use being a hero in situations like that. I put my hands up & was taken prisoner. I had had a terrible headache I said to one of the officers, in English of course ‘I’ve got a terrible headache, so I’d like an aspirin’. So he said to his fellow officer ‘Have you got an aspirin?’ He said ‘No, I haven’t got an aspirin, I’ve got a peppermint’, in German ‘Give him that, he won’t know the difference’, but of course I heard every word. Then they put me in the sidecar & started driving away.

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