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"courage ... it couldn't come at a worse time"

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This, I believe, is one of those stories our late Rick L would have enjoyed.

Gentlemen, let me introduce the little (153 cm / 5 foot) Bavarian stoker and farmer Martin Lang.

Lang, born in a small Bavarian town near Ingolstadt in 1896, was recruited in 1916 to a Bavarian engineer battalion.  During 1916 and 1917 he served in the Pionier-Park-Kompanie 14. He was trained as a locomotive/railroad engineer and  in October 1917 transferred to the Feldbahn-Betriebs-Abteilung 11 where he piloted a steam locomotive until the end of the war.

He never earned an award. His military record shows excellent (sehr-gut) behavior throughout his service.
Only once he sustained an injury  - November 11, 1918 - on Armistice Day the train engineer Martin Lang "passed-out" and fell against the train's boiler resulting in blisters to both of his  hands. He was treated at a field hospital and released four days later.

That was the "Great War", according to the surviving documents, for Martin Lang.


Fast forward to 1939 - We find Martin, now 43 years of age and still unmarried, recruited again. Again, as a regular grunt but this time with a Luftwaffe construction battalion. 

He saw a World War upfront and now in October 1939 he is witnessing it all happening again.

The man that never had shown any sign of disobedience before had enough. 


According to witnesses - on October 29, 1939 the drunk Lw-Bau soldier Martin Lang went from table to table in a busy Bavarian pub calling the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler a dumbass, saying that Hitler, Goebbles and the others can kiss his a**. That the Fuehrer is an idiot and Hitler is the biggest dumbass ever.

In January 1940, Lang was sentenced by a Luftwaffe court-martial to 3 weeks incarceration.

 He was subsequently discharged from the Wehrmacht for "health reasons".

It appears Lang did survive the war but here we lose track of him again.

Civil Courage!
Okay, he was drunk ... but if only more would have had the courage to speak up, perhaps ...



Edited by Naxos
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