The man who spared Hitler and could have changed the course of history

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Henry Tandey was the man that Hitler believed saved his life when he was fighting wounded on the war front. This was to be the one incident he would have never forgotten. He remembers being so close to the British soldier, they even made eye contact.

Hitler felt responsible to show his respect and gratitude to the man who seeing him hurt, would lower his gun and let him go.

When the Nazi commander to become, saw Tandey’s picture in a newspaper, Hitler decided that he would be the kind of person to let him live. So he cut out his picture and kept it for 20 years.

Another souvenir that Hitler put his hands on was a copy of a picture that Italian artist – Fortunino Matania painted.

The picture featured Henry who was walking a hurt comrade away from the battle.

When the British prime minister noticed the picture during a visit to Munich where he met Hitler, he asked about it. “That man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again. Providence saved me,” confessed Hitler.

He also requested Chamberlain to present his gratitude to the honorable man, the PRI reports.

When Tandey became familiar with the events, he agreed on the story, insisting that he “couldn’t shoot a wounded man. So I let him go.”

Only when the Second World War started unfolding did he realize what a mistake he might have made. The women and children hurt or killer during WWII, made him feel sorry for letting him go and for sparing the life of a future criminal.

Although at the time, the stories did connect the dots, modern research has shown evidence that Tandey wasn’t really the man who saved his life.

After closely examining the available information, authorities have decided that it would have been highly unlikely for the two man to get so close to each other.

The only times they were brought together during the First World War, were in 1914, at Ypres in Belgium, respectively at Marcoing, in France, September, 1918.

Henry Tandey was honored with numerous medals and awards, among which – the Victoria Cross – Britain’s equivalent to the US Medal of Honor.

He died aged 86, in 1977 and now rests alongside his war pals at the British military cemetery in Marcoing.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE