Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Holy Shit, Henry Tandey!

Henry Tandey
Henry Tandey was an Englishman in his early twenties in 1914. As you may recall, being such an age in such a year was bad news bears in a big way. Tandey didn't mind. In fact, he volunteered for combat. He remained a lowly private for most of the war, because he preferred collecting trinkets to rising in the ranks. Trinkets like the Victoria Cross, the most prestigious award in the British armed forces. He was the most decorated English Private (heh) in the First World War.

Not too exciting yet, right? Don't worry, we're getting there.

In October of 1914, Tandey was stationed in Marcoing, France. After a bout of the nasty sort of fighting The Great War is known for, a young German soldier stumbled directly into Tandey's line of fire. The poor guy was exhausted. He saw an enemy soldier staring down a rifle at him, frowned, and resigned himself to death. He didn't even reach for his weapon because he knew he wouldn't get to it in time. Tandey pitied the guy, and his pity moved him to lower his rifle.
Mr. T
Pictured: Pity
With a nod of thanks, the young German soldier wandered away. Then he took over his country and murdered six million Jews. Because the tired German soldier Henry Tandey had just spared was none other than Lance Corporal Adolf motherfucking Hitler, the Bastard from Baunau.
Adolf Hitler
Yeah, that Adolf Hitler
Since Tandey went on to become a hero and win Britain's highest honor, Hitler was able to recognize his face in a newspaper article.

Later on, when Hitler and Neville Chamberlain were shooting the shit in Berghof after deciding that Czechoslovakia should be annexed by Germany (a decision made without the consent of Czechoslovakia), the F├╝hrer asked the Prime Minister if he could deliver a message of thanks to Henry Tandey, the man who spared his life. Chamberlain, ever the appeaser, agreed.

Imagine, with the benefit of hindsight, getting that call. Imagine the head of your government calling you up and saying, "Hey, you know the greatest threat to international peace in the world? You know, the one who's on the cusp of committing the most infamous case of mass murder the world has ever known? Yeah. He says thanks. For not stopping him earlier."

Holy shit.

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