Union and Confederate soldiers who faced off against each other at the bloody battle of Gettysburg could have been fishing buddies under different circumstances.
American and German soldiers who shot at each other across the morbid wastelands of eastern France could have been hunting buddies under different circumstances.
Americans who struggled to take out a German pill boxes atop the cliffs at Omaha Beach on D-Day could have been camping buddies with the Wehrmacht soldiers under different circumstances
It is therefore not surprising that long after war’s end, after stinging memories of the savage struggle between life and death have somewhat faded, we see heartfelt expressions of friendship, glimpses of what might have been under different circumstances.
Right: Confederate and Union soldier embrace as friends in 1938 at the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg.
Right: American serviceman smiles as he comforts young, frightened German soldier near the end of the War.
Right: Japanese Dive bomber Zenji Abe and friend US Serviceman Richard Fiske unite for Pearl Harbor service. (Zenji was repentant of his country's surprise attack on the US).
Franz reported back to his unit that the B-17 went down over the Channel rather than face court-martial which may have ended in the loss of his life. If he had shot down Charlie's B-17 that day (his third), he would have earned the Knight's Cross Medal.