Rambler Captures German Airman

Although no actual date is given for when this ‘capture’ happened, it is likely to have been shortly after the 15th September 1940 as it mentions ‘Sequel to Air Battle.’  The 15th September 1940 (now known as Battle of Britain Day) was a key date in the Battle of Britain, as the RAF saw off waves of attacking Luftwaffe bombers and fighters.

The Germans suffered a heavy loss during this attack, in which the Luftwaffe lost 75 aircraft.  On the 18th September (known at The Hardest Day),  a second large attack by the Germans saw them lose another 79 aircraft.

Rambler Catches German Airman

Sequel to Air Battle

“He Put Up His Hands and Said: ‘Me German – No Gun.'”

The following account of a thrilling sequel to an air battle over a South-East district is sent to us by Mr J. Harris, of 26 Homefield Rise, Orpington :-

I left home for a ramble, and when I had gone several miles into the country a terrific battle broke out above.  No fewer than 40 planes seemed to be in action and they were like hornets darting about.

A heavy German bomber came down on fire, and shortly afterwards the Home Guard came and asked if I had seen anyone come down by parachute.  I had not, and so the Home Guard and the rest of the spectators (about 20 in all) went to watch the blazing plane.

I decided to continue my ramble, and when I had walked about a quarter of a mile through the woods with apparently not a soul about, a voice on my right suddenly said, “Hey.” I turned and found a German airman with 25 yard. I advanced, and so did he, and at about ten paces he put up his hands and said “Me German.”

I told him to keep his hands up, and asked if he understood what I meant. He said he did, I searched him, but he kept repeating “No gun.”

I marched him back to the Home Guard, and during our walk he kept repeating, “Big fight, you win.” I handed him over and then completed my ramble.

Published in the Bromley & District Times, 27th September 1940, page 5


This story seems very similar to another I found whilst searching the internet where a couple outing rambling saw a large battle in the sky and a German bomber come down (read here >).  Perhaps they were one of the 20 or so spectators mentioned above!


THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN (HU 50153) Locals watch as troops and police inspect Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 (W.Nr. 3367) ‘Red 14’ of 2./JG52, which crash-landed in a wheatfield at Mays Farm, Selmeston, near Lewes in Sussex, 12 August 1940. Its pilot, Unteroffizier Leo Zaunbrecher, was captured. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205070106

Please note: This image of a crashed German aircraft is used for illustrative purposes only and is not an image of the aircraft mentioned in the story above.

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