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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Every picture tells a story...

Tallest German surrenders to short soldier in Second World War picture

This is an unusual picture to see of a diminutive Englishman. Corporal Bob Roberts was overseeing the surrender of dozens of enemy soldiers during the Battle of Normandy when the 7ft 6ins German loomed into his view. Cpl Roberts, who stood two feet below him at 5ft 6ins, had the daunting job of frisking the German lance corporal for weapons before taking him prisoner.

What this picture doesn't tell you is that only a short time earlier, the same Englishman had just shot dead another German who had pulled out a pistol. For just a few minutes before the picture was taken, Cpl Roberts faced a life-or-death duel with another German soldier who pulled out a pistol as he pretended to surrender. Luckily, he raised his gun in the nick of time and shot the enemy soldier dead.

Cpl Roberts, who was 21 at the time, was a member of the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment of the Canadian army and stormed Juno Beach on D-Day in June 1944. "I didn't take a lot of notice of this guy at the time because I was so focused on what the Germans were doing after what had happened to me.

"I just passed the prisoners on one after the other after searching them. But my mates who were watching the rest of the men saw this giant of a guy approach me and I was aware they and the Germans were having a good laugh. The Germans were saying that he was the tallest man in the German army, he was 7ft 6ins tall."

Sometimes, there is a funny side to war as this photo suggests.

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