I was musing today and I figure, let's have a war story.
Charles Coward, probably a lesser known hero during the second great war. He testified at the Nuremburg trials as this was the man who had broken into auschwitz during the war and reported his findings back to England on what occured to the prisoners there. Pure badassitude.
Charles Coward was captured in May 1940 while serving with the the 8th Reserve Regimental Royal Artillery ; he was sent to Monowitz in December 1943. During those times, he had tried to escape, one time possing as a wounded German soldier in a hospital, he even was pinned with the German Iron Cross for his service and faux wounds. Eventually though he did make it Monowitz, a section of Auschwitz where he was liason for the 1200 British POWs kept there. The Brits were treated okay as they had signed the Genva Convention and Germany held to some of hte standards of that. One night, he traded clothes with British Jewish military doctor and fellow POW and smuggled himself into Aushwitz proper where he saw the 10,000 jewish prisoners, the gas chambers, and their squallid living conditions. He decided to do something about it. He frequently sent coded messages in letters back to England reporting his findings and the state of the British POWs.
Then, he bribed German SS guards with chocolate and recieved non-jewish French and Belgain bodies where he then set up a series of ditches in Aushwitz and put the bodies in them. Smuggling back into Auschwitz, Charles was able to free around 400 Jewish prioners by having them fall out into the body lined ditches during the death marches to the gas chambers, switch the document papers and IDs from the dead non jew bodies with hte live prisoners to have them assume those identities, where he then smuggled them out all together.
There you have it, the heroic exploits of POW Charles Coward, that despite his namesake, proved great valor in the blackest hell.