Rudel's gunner Ernst Gadermann

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Seawitch, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    #1 Seawitch, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    I've been trying to learn about Ernst Gadermann, who was Hans-Ulrich Rudel's gunner in the final year of the war. I was a bit taken aback to be told he was a doctor. I'd have thought such a person was just too valuable to risk as a mere gunner. That he was a cardiologist who managed to die long before his time of a heart attack might suggest he was a better gunner than doctor but even so....your thoughts?
     
  2. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Doctors aren't trained nutritionists and he might have ended up an alcoholic...
     
  3. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    #3 Koopernic, May 1, 2015
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    Having a drink before going up for a mission doesn't seem to have been uncommon for a Luftwaffe 1945 aviator. The stress was unbelievable. (It was of course not uncommon to offer a big spoon of rum in the British Army before being forced to go over the top in WW1)

    Many of the top German flyers seems to have medical related connections: Mutke, the guy that claims to have busted the sound barrier in his Me 262 and recovered with a dinged up aircraft became or was a gynaecologist. Both Erich Hartman's parents were Doctors.

    Successful air combat aviators were obviously very intelligent. They are after all playing 3 dimensional real time chess.

    Others may just have had excellent eye sight. Hartmann had outstanding eyesight.

    A certain percentage of aviators in WW2, Vietnam, report being able to see shells and bullets in flight curving toward them whereas others were completely oblivious.

    One of the big problems with heart disease after WW2 was the synthetic margarines that were made in processes not unlike the processes used to make synthetic oil.

    Indeed I think the my reading of the FT archives suggests that they, the Germans, did use these coal derived fats for human use. Likely to have been deadly for some.

    It would have been better that the 'profession' that call's itself 'nutritionist' were never invented. I am in accord with the Ancient Greek Philosophical School of the "Skeptics" that holds that truth and knowledge is almost impossible to reach due to human tendency to mislead themselves, to group think, to go along to get along.

    Take the case in point of Dwight Eisenhower, who died of cardiac disease. Many of his problems were smoking related but he did quit. He exercised his considerable will power into sticking to the austere diet of low fat, unsaturated vegetable fat. Unfortunately it seems likely that his death may stems from his taking advice from the ideology of low saturated fat, vegetable oil based diet popularised by Ansell Keys (inventor of the awful K ration) that turns out to have no scientific clinical basis and whose epidemiological basis is flawed.

    (Let me acknowledge the suffering of conscientious objectors in the USA who were put on extended food deprivation and suffered damaged health in ethically dubious experiments) conducted for the development of such rations

    Essentially Key's claims they were based on a bogus "Mediterranean Diet" that had been temporarily altered by the austerity of WW2 and were so poorly controlled they took place during the "Lent" period when both Orthodox "Cretan" and Catholics fast around Easter and deprive themselves of certain food groups generally in limited supply during that time anyway. This not only altered the diet during these studies, Indeed it may be the periodic fasting that is healthy. The 'Mediterranean diet' is based on these poor studies. What Italians and Greeks at has nothing to do with that. The Mediterranean diet however fitted with the cholesterol theory which in itself was based on force fed rabbits (who don't eat cholesterol and so got sick) and human subjects fed on 24 dehydrated eggs/day.

    Gary Taube's book says that European Nutrition experts, including German ones, were heading down the path of attribution obesity to hormonal issues or a problem with the food supply. If you over ate it was seen as predominantly an organic problem rather than a moral failing. Clearly some people can eat anything but have a natural appetite and sense of satiety. Keys made being fat a moral failing. He used charisma and messianic moral aggression to promote his theories through Government and as is human nature many joined in. The food industry invariably starts promoting health claims and that leads to unsound promotion of health ideas by marketeers. Read some of Nina Teichholz's accounts in "Big Fat Surprise" of nutritionists invited to 'conferences' in Tuscany, the 5 star accommodation, hotels with chocolates in the bed turnover service, fresh flowers every day, wine tasting etc.

    Unfortunately European nutritionists (including the British ones) were sidelined and dispersed by the war.

    Interestingly in the Keys 9 nations study Germany, which had low heart disease rates and high animal fat consumption, was excluded in the aftermath of WW2 from the study. Oddly all those nations which had such a diet seem to have been excluded because of the distortions of WW2, except Japan.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Just because you are a doctor does not mean you live healthy.

    My Grandfather who was also in the Wehrmacht, became a lung specialist doctor and smoked...
     
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  5. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    I hear you. When I was a mess barman we had a Lt.Colonel Surgeon who often drank 2 liters of white wine a day!
    My point is how would a Doctor whose services would be needed more than ever in time of war end up doing a job the average good soldier could do? Was he a 'Schutzen Konig' or something?
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Something else to take into consideration: stress.

    Heart disease does not run in my family, yet both of my mother's older brothers died of heart attacks in their 70's. The oldest of the two lived well, exercised and ate healthy. The other, smoked, drank and ate like a Saxon. Both served in the US navy (both retired as career Chiefs), survived terrible battles (one a Submariner the other assigned to Destroyers). My great Uncle, a USAAF pilot in the PTO, suffered several heart attacks although he lived a fairly good lifestyle. My stepdad was USMC, survived several terrible battles in Korea and suffered a massive heart attack even though Mom has kept him on a healthy diet.

    I can list quite a few others, like close friends of the family who were all combat veterans, who have either died or nearly died, from heart conditions even though they have a diversity of health habits.

    The one thing they had in common were long periods of adrenalin, excessive stress and poor sleep.
     
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