|Waffenbruderschaft - Comrades in Arms|
The Tragedy of the Faithful
During August 1944 SS-Rottenführer Rudi Splinter of 10.SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg was left behind inside a house with a number of other German wounded in the Falaise Pocket: They came into the room, heavily armed with Sten guns, and one asked: Are there any SS troops here? I should explain that a few days earlier I and another comrade had passed a destroyed German column, we discovered a supply of new tunics, unissued with no insignia. As our tunics were very shabby and tattered, we helped ourselves to the new ones. Because my uniform had no insignia, they had not realized I was Waffen-SS. They checked the other room. In there were two wounded Panzer soldiers from the Army (Wehrmacht). Both were seriously wounded. They took one look at their black uniforms with the traditional panzer death´s head collar tabs, assumed they were Waffen-SS and emptied their Sten gun magazines into them, slaughtering them as they lay there helpless. Despite his very junior rank Rudi Splinter was awarded the German Cross in Gold during the fighting in Normandy. Taken prisoner there, he settled in England after the war and turned his hand to farming. Source: Gordon Williamson, Loyalty Is My Honor. Image: Wounded Waffen-SS troopers in Normandy 1944. Fair use.