1. pinkcowgirl

    pinkcowgirl New Member

    May 29, 2014
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    Questions about WWII

    Discussion in 'Research' started by pinkcowgirl, May 29, 2014.

    So first off, this is my first post here. I just found this forum and I'm super excited to be a part of it!

    Anyways, I'm working on a novel set in Germany during WWII and I have a couple of questions.

    1. How old would a Luftwaffe General be?

    2. What sort of non military occupations would there be for a man during the war? And what would be a good reason why he's not enlisted?

    3. Were there many enlisted women in Germany?

    4. Did Generals or any other military men have secretaries? If so, would they be civilians?

    Also if anyone knows of any good books about WWII, particularly any writers guides, I would love to know what they are!

  2. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Aug 29, 2013
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    Music Room #3
    No, women did not serve in combat 99% of the time back then. She could be a nurse, cook, clerical worker, or spy, however.
  3. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Alabama, USA
    Ah, interesting questions! Let me do the best I can with the painfully limited knowledge of World War II I possess.

    (1) Well, in the early days of the war, the Luftwaffe generals would probably have already been seasoned aviators of the German air force, some (if not all) having served Germany during the First World War. When the Luftwaffe surfaced, I imagined they resumed their original positions, only this time they were fighting under a new banner.

    (2) You mean helping out with the war efforts, but not actually fighting? Well, he could likely work in the factories producing the weapons needed for the German troops. He could be a doctor or a spy. As to why he wouldn't be fighting? Well, he might be too old to fight, have a wound that prevents him from fighting, his services are needed outside the warzones.

    (3) No, though here's some food for thought: When the Soviets were blasting their way through Berlin in 1945, anyone who could hold a rifle to fight fought. So if your story is set at that moment, I don't suppose it'd be too much of a stretch to see a German woman grabbing a rifle to kill as many Soviets as she could.

    (4) This I am not sure of. It wouldn't surprise me if Rommel had a secretary, though I'm not sure if he would have allowed his secretary to be a civilian.

    Hope that helps! :D
  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    Adolf Galland rose to command of the entire German fighter force by the end of the war. He was born in 1912. He spent most of the war as an active pilot, and he wrote an excellent history of the Luftwaffe entitled The First and the Last. It is still in print, available from Amazon.com. Keep in mind that the Luftwaffe was the youngest branch of the German military, and its generals tended to be younger. The commander of the Luftwaffe was, of course, Herman Goering.

    It depends on what stage of the war. By the end of 1942, with the Russian front coming apart, any able-bodied man would have enlisted. Doctors, government officials and defense industry workers would have been the most common reason someone wasn't in the military. I don't think the Nazis held much with conscientious objectors.

    No. As for @Link the Writer's idea of desperate defense, from what I have read most women tried to flee as the Soviets approached. Old men and young boys, they went out to fight. Women did not.

    They would have had secretaries, but they would have been more junior officers and would have been referred to as adjutants or aides. Functions like filing and typing would have been handled by enlisted men.

    Books on WWII? Hmmm...yes, I think I may have heard of one or two. :D

    I think you are going to have to be a little more specific as to what you are looking for. First, you are looking for works from the German perspective. I strongly suggest you take a look at Amazon and do some searches. Be specific as to what you are looking for. To get you started, the definitive historical work is William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

    ETA: Some of your questions suggest that what you are looking for is a kind of social history of the war from the German perspective. There have been numerous such books about the US. There may be some regarding Germany but I don't know of any off the top of my head. Unlike the US, Germany is not nostalgic about the war years. It may also be that whatever is written is in German.

    Writing about a different place can be extremely challenging, especially if you've never been there and if you don't read the language. My current project is a historical novel about just such a place, and I read more than 30 books and dozens of internet entries to make up the gap in knowledge. I would suggest that you not only search Amazon aggressively, but also the internet (see @mammamaia's post on "Aggressive Googling"). Best of luck.
    Last edited: May 31, 2014

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