Wrong. Showing way more trustworthiness than you'd expect from a Nazi, Major Gangl and his men decided to uphold their commitment to the Americans and fought side by side with them. As the SS troops began pouring out of the woods trying to storm the castle's gates with machine guns and antitank rockets, the Wehrmacht unit quickly took up defensive positions and fired upon their fellow Germans. And when they ran out of bullets, they retreated to the castle keep, ready to fight bayonet to bayonet, hand to hand until the last man fell, simply because they had given their word.
Thankfully, just as the attackers readied for the final push into the castle, an American relief force arrived and eliminated the remaining SS. When the smoke cleared, several Wehrmacht soldiers were dead, including Major Gangl himself. Hey, if doing the right thing didn't come with some risk, we wouldn't make such a big deal out of it. Still, we should finish this up on one with a happier ending ...
Hasan Jusovic Pulls a Reverse Anne Frank on Aco Nenadic
On May 2, 1992, during the early stages of the Yugoslav Wars, which would turn out to be one of the most brutal conflicts of the 20th century, the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) attempted to take over the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. They failed and were eventually brought down by the Bosnian Territorial Defense in what came to be known as the Dobrovoljacka Street attack. When the fighting ceased, dozens of Serbs were dead, and the soldiers who survived were forced to march to a makeshift prison, with the 19-year-old Aco Nenadic among them.
All the non-makeshift prisons were already destroyed. Nice going, war.
But as Nenadic was being escorted, he was approached by a Bosnian soldier who whispered to him, "Don't be afraid; just keep quiet. As long as I'm here, you will stay alive." After overcoming his initial, terrified assumption that he had unwillingly just acquired a new boyfriend, Aco Nenadic suddenly realized that he was talking to his old friend Hasan Jusovic.
Jusovic and Nenadic actually used to serve together in the Yugoslavian army, but when the country's various republics began fighting for sovereignty, Jusovic knew he had to go and fight with his fellow countrymen, so he devised a plan to desert into Bosnia. Risking a court martial, Nenadic helped Jusovic escape, saying goodbye to his friend for the last time, or so he thought.
We no longer see anyone we knew as teenagers, and we weren't even in a war, technically.
When Jusovic saw that his old buddy was among the captured Dobrovoljacka Street soldiers, he knew he had to save him. When they got to the prison, Jusovic convinced his commanding officer to release the Serbian soldier to him, explaining that he owed him a favor. Nenadic then went on to live with Jusovic and his family for the next month pretending to be Muslim, while the JNA continued to bomb the ever-loving crap out of the surrounding area. Taking into account the ethnic cleansing of Muslim Bosnians (like Hasan) that was already on its way back then, this would be like a Jewish family hiding a German soldier in the middle of World War II.
In the end, Aco Nenadic managed to escape into Serbian territory, survived the war, and eventually reunited with his friend 17 years later.
Related Reading: For more of War's lighter side, read about these deadly weapons being used to save the world. Old C-130s are planting trees instead of bombing cities! For more uplifting stories, click here. You'll read about the soldier who braved gunfire and artillery JUST to prank some marines. Last, curl up with some heartwarming stories of combat.