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Old 02-10-2020, 04:35 PM
 
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I just learned that during the Great Northern War, when Sweden's Charles XII died his archenemy Peter the Great of Russia ordered a week of mourning. Are there other, more recent instances of leaders making similar gestures to honor their enemy?
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:48 PM
 
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Well, that was not really honoring an enemy. That was a gesture of a royal blood honoring another royal blood. Back in olden times, blood was everything.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:00 PM
 
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Baron von Richthofen's (The Red Barron of WWI) death and funeral comes to mind. He was mortally wounded and downed behind enemy lines. In those days, as naive as it seems, these pilots dog-fighting in these flimsy bi- and tri-planes considered themselves gallant knights, fighting a worthy opponent in a test of skills.

Anyways his funeral was given with full military honors by his foe, in this case the Australian Flying Corps. The funeral included allied pallbearers and a guard of honor firing a salute. Later, allied airmen layed down wreathes, many of which said stuff like "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe".

It should be noted however, I think at least one allied ace said something like "I hope he burned all the way down" when learning of his death. So it wasn't universal.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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The surrender of Lee's army was treated honorably by Grant at Appomattox Court House.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
The surrender of Lee's army was treated honorably by Grant at Appomattox Court House.
COL Joshua Chamberlain was commander of troops at the surrender at Appomattox and ensured the Confederate troops were treated respectfully. He even had the band play Dixie. (Killer Angels)

GEN U.S. Grant for offering generous terms to the Confederate troops allowing them to keep their weapons for food and their horses if they had them for transport. And for the personal respect he showed GEN R.E. Lee.

President A. Lincoln for his mission orders to GEN Grant to begin the nation's healing with generous terms.



WWI Christmas truce is famous. Silent Night and O Holy Night. and 'football'


Sec of State Marshall for the terms of WWII being far less retribution than WWI had been and far more looking toward building future allies. Also dropping food in the Berlin Airlift.

Edited to add that GEN G Patton was highly regarded for his command of the Bavarian Sector post WWII.


Basically when you have won and beat em up there is no need to beat them more risking building future enemies/resentments/etc. Give a good opponent an opportunity to save face.

Last edited by theoldnorthstate; 02-10-2020 at 06:35 PM..
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:25 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Douglas Bader was a WWII RAF fighter pilot who flew combat missions with two artificial legs. He lost his legs in a pre war crash. He was shot down by the Germans and lost one of his artificial legs. Through back channels his captors let it be known that they would allow delivery of a new leg. A British aircraft flew over Bader's prison camp and dropped the leg special delivery without any interference from the Germans.

Last edited by msgsing; 02-10-2020 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
COL Joshua Chamberlain was commander of troops at the surrender at Appomattox and ensured the Confederate troops were treated respectfully. He even had the band play Dixie. (Killer Angels)
Killer Angels was:

1) About Chamberlain's conduct at Gettysburg, not Appomattox
and
2) Was a novel and thus of course not suitable as a citation

Chamberlain was in charge of the official surrender ceremony when they rebels laid down their arms and regimental colors. He ordered the union troops to attention and carry arms as a salute to the defeated enemy. The below link will take you to Chamberlain's own account of the day and you may note that nowhere does he mention anything about having Dixie played.
https://www.battlefields.org/learn/p...thern-virginia
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:31 PM
 
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Thank you for correcting my error.

Copied below written by Chamberlin himself:


American Battlefield TrustHome


OFFICIAL RECORD
The Last Salute of the Army of Northern Virginia



The following is an article which provides General Joshua Chamberlain's comments and memories concerning the Army of Northern Virginia's Surrender at Appomattox.
The Last Salute Of The Army Of Northern Virginia.
From the Boston Journal, May, 1901
Details of the Surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9th, 1865.

LENIENT TERMS OF GENERAL GRANT.
By General J. L. Chamberlain.

<edited for brevity>

"Ah, but it was a most impressive sight, a most striking picture, to see that whole army in motion to lay down the symbols of war and strife, that army which had fought for four terrible years after a fashion but infrequently known in war.

"At such a time and under such conditions I thought it eminently fitting to show some token of our feeling, and I therefore instructed my subordinate officers to come to the position of 'salute' in the manual of arms as each body of the Confederates passed before us.

"It was not a 'present arms,' however, not a 'present,' which then as now was the highest possible honor to be paid even to a president. It was the 'carry arms,' as it was then known, with musket held by the right hand and perpendicular to the shoulder. I may best describe it as a marching salute in review.

"When General Gordon came opposite me I had the bugle blown and the entire line came to 'attention,' preparatory to executing this movement of the manual successively and by regiments as Gordon's columns should pass before our front, each in turn.

"The General was riding in advance of his troops, his chin drooped to his breast, downhearted and dejected in appearance almost beyond description. At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse's head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his swordpoint to his toe in salutation.

"By word of mouth General Gordon sent back orders to the rear that his own troops take the same position of the manual in the march past as did our line. That was done, and a truly imposing sight was the mutual salutation and farewell.

"At a distance of possibly twelve feet from our line, the Confederates halted and turned face towards us. Their lines were formed with the greatest care, with every officer in his appointed position, and thereupon began the formality of surrender.


<edited for brevity>

American Battlefield Trust

Last edited by mensaguy; 02-11-2020 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: Edited to comply with the copy/paste rules.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:17 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 629,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Baron von Richthofen's (The Red Barron of WWI) death and funeral comes to mind. He was mortally wounded and downed behind enemy lines. In those days, as naive as it seems, these pilots dog-fighting in these flimsy bi- and tri-planes considered themselves gallant knights, fighting a worthy opponent in a test of skills.

Anyways his funeral was given with full military honors by his foe, in this case the Australian Flying Corps. The funeral included allied pallbearers and a guard of honor firing a salute. Later, allied airmen layed down wreathes, many of which said stuff like "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe".

It should be noted however, I think at least one allied ace said something like "I hope he burned all the way down" when learning of his death. So it wasn't universal.
I heard of this, but I understand it was partly due to a feeling of camaraderie that developed between the aviators themselves due to being part of an exclusive club. What about similar displays between leaders in the 19th Century or later?
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
44,825 posts, read 19,449,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
I heard of this, but I understand it was partly due to a feeling of camaraderie that developed between the aviators themselves due to being part of an exclusive club. What about similar displays between leaders in the 19th Century or later?
Ground war in the trenches had a tendency to be viewed in masse with few individuals rising to the status of heroes. The air war was different. These were individual warriors and the mightiest could be known by their confirmed air victory totals. Further, they radiated the aura of the old single warrior champion who steps forward to do one on one combat with the enemy. Finally, the airmen returned to bases behind the lines and could hit the local towns at night, further advancing their reputations. That is why the air war took on a romantic aspect.

It actually wasn't all flying and drinking good times. It was terribly cold at altitude in the open cockpit aircraft of the day. The engines were lubricated with castor oil, a pilot spent his fight inhaling these fumes and his first urge upon landing wouldn't be heading for the local pub, it would be heading for the toilet.

Plus the mortality rates were twice as high for fliers than for those on the ground. Of the 14,000 allied pilots who were killed during the war, slightly more than half lost their lives in training mishaps. Upon reaching the front, you had a life expectancy of three weeks.
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