Canadians being nicknamed "Red Devils" by Germans...

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Maestro, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Hi.

    I heard a weird rumour lately. I heard that German troops were nicknaming Canadian troops the "Red Devils" during WWII because they had a reputation for not taking any prisoners.

    Is that true ? Anyone can confirm that rumour ?
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I think the PPCLI are that regiment I'm not sure about the prisoners possibly they got the reputation in Ortona. Ortona was a house to house fight that lasted 7 days over Xmas 43 against the 90th Pamzer grenadiers and the and the 1st FSJ paratroopers . They rewrote the Brit manual on house to house clearing.
     
  3. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    I know the Australian Infantry during WW1 had a particular reputation about POWs on the Western Front but also had another reputation given by the Germans in WW2 around Siege of Tobruk. Germans called them the Rats of Tobruk. Kind of back fired on the Germans because the Aussies took it as a badge of honour. Damn some just do not understand us Australians one bit. But I like that Canadians being called Red Devils kind of suits them
     
  4. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    think this rumour started after d-day. there were Canadians that were captured around D-day and 21? were executed by the SS under kurt Meyer. After that for a few months Canadians refused to take any SS surrendering. I believe the red devils refer to the british and Canadian paratroopers especially after Arnhem
     
  5. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I am not sure but my opinion is that 90% of all nicknames were false.
    I can imagine one or another German general referring to the Australians at Tobruk but I'm confident these names were not very common.
    I'm especially thinking of the Fork-Tailed Devil (P-38), the Whispering Death (Il-2), ... I notice that the real German nicknames were rather neutral "Tommies", "Indianen", ...

    But again, I'm not sure about all nicknames, just most of them. So perhaps the Canadians were indeed called the Red Devils.
    Kris
     
  6. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    That nickname for the British Civ comes from the Name Tommy Atkins. Just like Aussies are called Diggers or ANZACs or Bronzed ANZACs. Those are common names and well in use. But individual Units Brigades Battlions Regiments etc earn their nicknames due to either some battle or battle honour they particpated in not all of it is false Civ or legend. 6th Division 2nd AIF was called the Rats of Tobruk by the Germans because the Aussies defending Tobruk buried into caves and rock formations like rats hence the name when defending Tobruk. But it back fired on the Germans they failed to see the Aussies took it as a badge of honour and the Aussies being true blue fair dinkum Diggers said **** them. Let them try and take Tobruk. they never took Tobruk whilst the Aussies were defending it.

    As for our Canadian Allies in WW2 can understand them getting pissed off with the Germans. They did with the Japanese as well. Those Canadians come from same blood line as us Aussies, English Scot Irish and Welsh. Any way what is in a nick name true or false. Hats of to the Canadians, Great soldiers and great Allies
     
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  7. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Of course, hats of to those brave men!!

    I was just saying that many (but not all) nicknames were reversed after the war. The allies nicknamed their own units and equipment and after the war translated it to German as if the Germans came up with it. I have my doubts about the German soldiers calling them the Rats of Tobruk as there would not have been communication between the forces. My personal assumption is that the German newspapers/propaganda nicknamed those Australians "Ratten" as they - like you said - were dug in. And I can very well assume that the Australians took pride in what was originally a degrading comment, and used it to boost moral.

    On a side-note where there any German units which received nicknames by the allies?
    Kris
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    How about JG 26 "Abbeville Boys"?
     
  9. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Why did they got such a nickname ?
     
  10. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Njaco, good one!
    I never really thought about it. The only time I remember reading it was from Galland's own words. I don't know if he used it post-war because he liked it, or that he used it because he got word that the British media were calling his unit the Abbeville boys.

    Do you know if the British forces (RAF I suppose) also refered to his unit as the Abbeville Boys??
    Kris

    edit: Found this on Wikipedia:
    The Abbeville boys
    Although JG 26 was not known by specific name to their opponents, JG 26 built a fearsome reputation among Allied aircrews. The skill and determination of the Luftwaffe fighter units when attacking USAAF bomber formations led the Allied bomber crews to become wary whenever any yellow-nosed Bf 109 or Fw 190 aircraft attacked them. Because some elements of the unit was based in Abbeville-Ducat the Allies dubbed any yellow-nosed Bf 109 or Fw 190 aircraft who aggressively and effectively attacked them the nickname The Abbeville Boys and perceived them as the Luftwaffe's special hand-picked elite group of aces, although from the Luftwaffe's perspective they were just another -albeit highly experienced and effective- fighter Geschwader.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    :)

    Another, although not a unit, I think would be Erwin Rommel, "The Desert Fox" which I believe the Allies gave him that name and it was during the war that it was used.

    Maybe close but no cigar :|
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I'm not sure but I believe it was American aircrew that called them that shortly after arriving in the ETO. The RAF knew of the Yellow-nosed devils (my words) but it may have took the Americans to name them.

    Gonna check the JG 26 website and Caldwells books.
     
  13. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I looked up on it and it seems JG 26 (Galland's unit) was based in Abbeville until February 1941. So it cannot be that the Americans called Galland's unit the Abbeville boys.

    Kris
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    II./JG 26 was stationed at Abbeville from Dec. 41 to Jan. 43 ..

    see
    http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/jg26/iigruppe.htm
    from
    J A G D G E S C H W A D E R 26 "SCHLAGETER"

    You're right about the other Gruppen...left by end of 1941

    Of course since other Gruppen of the JG were stationed nearby somewhat I think the Allies could have been confused as to where they originated.
    At the time of their being named I'll bet the Allies figured any German fighter encountered with yellow noses was from JG 26.
     
  15. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Njaco, you're right. The unit returned in December after they left in February.
    Good call!

    Kris
     
  16. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Hey Wow! I finally got something right!! Sometimes I feel so lost.......
     
  17. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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  18. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    If you are asking if the Aussies nicknamed the German troops in North Africa. It would possibley be one not being abled to mentioned in polite company and with women and children present hahaha
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Possibly found another one.

    the paratroopers of 1.Fallschirmjaeger Division in the ruins of Monte Cassino were known as the "Green Devils". Now I don't know if this was a German nickname or one given by the Allies. Maybe someone can help.
     
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