Records do show he was in fact in an anti-aircraft battery, deserted and was captured by advancing American troops.
What can't be substantiated is his ascertain "I never fired a gun".
Joseph Ratzinger was born in Bavaria in 1927. The son of a policeman he was inducted into The Hitler Youth.
Ratzinger, contends it was an "unwillingly induction".
Let's take Pope Benedict at his word on this point, that he didn't harbor Nazi sympathies, and in fact was doing merely his nationalistic duty defending the 'fatherland'. It’s reasonable given the circumstances of the day, to think individual resistance to the regime would have been a perilless position to take. Belonging to The Hitler Youth was the norm.
Rudimentary history shows us millions of Germans fought for their home land in World War Two and weren't in fact Nazi's. Overall this sector of the German armed forces played little to no part in the in the Reich's excess's.
The flip side to this, is history also show’s us killing & injuring Allied soldiers wasn't the sole preserve of card carrying National Socialists. Wehrmacht soldiers, Luftwaffe pilots, Anti-Aircraft gunners were all part of the Nazi war machine.
So let's picture Ratzinger at his anti-aircraft battery outside the BWM plant, Munich, in the last months of World War Two.
By then the Germany cities were reduced to rubble, Goebbells was exalting the populous to 'total war'.
The occupants manning those guns, regardless of their political leanings or religious up-bringing, are privy to the mass destruction bought on their fellow Germans by Allied bombing. They’ve seen the gruesome corpses of deserters, hung from telephone poles to act as a deterrent. To them the war is not lost, there is still fight in their belly.
The air-raid siren goes off to notify the batteries surrounding the factory of an incoming raid, the first guns target the American Bombers and begin firing.
Ratzinger's and his fellow Hitler Youth squad, prepare to defend the plant, the city, fellow Germans, at the very least save their own lives.
In the surrounding Munich streets the basements and air-raid shelters are filled with cowering women & children.
But if one believes Bendict's recollections - no shots were fired by him and his team.
Their battery lay idle whilst those around them spewed forth rounds, illuminating the sky above.
Amongst this chaos and destruction Ratzinger then tells his comrades in arms “Sorry guy’s I’ve got a sore finger and I’ll have to give this raid thing a miss tonight”.
Any neutral can see, this excerpt from Pope Benedict's war time record is clearly not credible.
It’s inconceivable an entire troop of Hitler Youth would abandon their post without 'firing a shot' and simply slip away.
There are thousands of accounts of Hitler Youth fighting to the death for a lost cause.
Perhaps The Pope wasn't involved with the mechanics of firing the weapon, but you can bet your boots, he and his fellow ideologically driven Hitler Youth, would have been doing their dandiest to bring down Allied bombers.
Of that there is little doubt given the circumstances, and I’m eagerly awaiting a Panorama Documentary on Pope Benedicts true wartime record.
Before that comes along there’s still time to confess ones sins to the world Herr Pope.