Mervyn Reece - Devastation of German cities

Running time
2 min 5 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When the war was finished I was posted from 461 at Pembroke dock to 10 Squadron which was in Plymouth Sound and we were there for a month or so and then I was posted up to Hornchurch to 453 Spitfire Squadron and we were there a few weeks. We went by barge over to France and from there we went by army vehicle, such like, down to Hanover in Germany and Berlin.

Oh yeah it was devastated. Berlin especially was devastated, you know, Hanover. No matter where you went in Germany it was just knocked about. The people were starving and everything. There was no…they were really devastated, that's about all you can say.

They copped a hiding in other words. I mean, it's only natural to be surprised. There was very little left of any parts of the cities, especially Berlin and Hanover, Cologne, those places. Especially, you know, like it was only a couple of months or a month or so after the war finished. They were just like you and I.

The people were, German people, a lot of them were no different than the British people.I think they were caught up by the regime at that time and they were just like you and I, and the soldiers, they were just like us.

The war was there, they were told to go to war and they went to war, so really, that's all you can say about it really. They weren't antagonistic or anything like that. They were frustrated, sorry, bewildered you could say. Bewildered, yeah, they sort of didn't know what was in front of them or anything.

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