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SS War Crimes (they weren't all bad?)
retiredyank
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 08:56 AM UTC
'ATROCITY AT STAVELOT

On December 18, the day after the massacre at Malmédy, the same SS unit of Kampfgruppe Peiper, systematically executed 130 Belgian civilians in the village of Stavelot. Charged with sheltering American soldiers, 67 men, 47 women and 23 children were brutally executed.

THE WERETH KILLINGS (December 17, 1944)

Shortly after the Battle of the Bulge commenced, eleven black American soldiers surrendered to the Nazi SS troops who had overrun the small hamlet of Wereth in Belgium. Some were wounded but this didn't stop the SS from marching them to a field during a severe blizzard and shooting them in cold blood. All were members Battery-C of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and were from Alabama. The bodies were found covered in snow two months later when the villagers directed members of the US 99th Infantry Division to the site. Seven of the murdered soldiers were buried in the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle in Belgium, and four were returned to their families in the USA. In 1994, three local residents of Wereth built a monument to the eleven slain black soldiers at the corner of the field where they were shot and on May 23, 2004, a rejuvenated memorial was dedicated to the victims. In the USA another memorial was built especially to memorialize the eleven victims and also to pay tribute to the 260,000 African-Americans who fought on European soil during WWII.

THE NORMANDY MASSACRES (June, 1944)

A sensation was caused in Allied Headquarters when reports came through that a considerable number of Canadian soldiers were shot after being taken prisoner by the 12th. SS Panzer Division ‘Hitler Jugend’. On the morning of June 8, thirty seven Canadians were taken prisoner by the 2nd Battalion of the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The prisoners were marched across country to the H/Q of the 2nd Battalion. In the village of Le Mesnil-Patty they were then ordered to sit down in a field with their wounded in the center. In a short while a half track arrived with eight or nine SS soldiers brandishing their machine pistols. Advancing in line towards the prisoners they opened fire killing thirty five men. Two of the Canadians ran for their lives and escaped the slaughter but were rounded up by a different German unit to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp. First to make contact with the Canadians was a combat group led by Obersturmbannfuhrer Karl-Heinz Milius and supported by the Prinz Battalion. Near the villages of Authie and Buron, a number of Canadians of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, were taken prisoner. Numbering around forty, they were individually killed on the march back to the rear. Eight were ordered to remove their helmets and then shot with automatic rifles. Their bodies were dragged out on to the road and left to be run over by trucks and tanks. French civilians pulled the bodies back on to the pavement but were ordered to stop and to drag the bodies back onto the road again.

On June 7 and 8, in the grounds of the Abbaye Ardenne, the headquarters of SS Brigadefuhrer Kurt Meyer’s 25th Panzer Grenadiers, twenty of the Canadians were shot. After being taken prisoner they were locked up in a stable and being called out by name they emerged from the doorway only to be shot in the back of the head. During the afternoon of June 8, twenty six Canadians were shot at the Chateau d’Audrie after being taken prisoner by a Reconnaissance Battalion of the SS Hitler Jugend. Other units of the German forces in France called the Hitler Jugend Division the ‘Murder Division’. After the war, investigations established that separate atrocities were committed in 31 different incidents involving 134 Canadians, 3 British and 1 American. Brought to trial before a Canadian military court at Aurich in Germany on December 28, 1945, Kurt Meyer was sentenced to death but later reprieved and spent six years in a Canadian jail at New Brunswick before being transferred to the prison at Werl in Germany where he was released on parole on September 7, 1954.

LE PARADIS (Pas-de-Calais, May 26, 1940)

A company of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, trapped in a cowshed, surrendered to the 2nd Infantry Regiment, SS 'Totenkopf' (Death's Head) Division under the command of 28 year old SS Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Knoechlein. Marched to a group of farm buildings, they were lined up in the meadow along side the barn wall. When the 99 prisoners were in position, two machine guns opened fire killing 97 of them. Knoechlein then ordered a group of his mem to fix bayonets and stab or shoot to death any who showed signs of life. The bodies were then buried in a shallow pit in front of the barn. Two managed to escape, Privates Albert Pooley and William O'Callaghan of the Royal Norfolk Regiment emerged from the slaughter wounded but alive. When the SS troops moved on, the two wounded soldiers were discovered, after having hid in a pig-sty for three days and nights, by Madame Duquenne-Creton and her son Victor who had left their farm when the fighting started. She then cared for them till captured again by another, much more friendly, Wehrmacht unit to spend the rest of the war as POWs. In 1942, the bodies of those executed were exhumed by the French authorities and reburied in the local churchyard now part of the Le Paradis War Cemetery. After the war, the massacre was investigated by the War Crimes Investigation Unit and Knoechlein was traced and arrested. During the war he had been awarded three Knight's Crosses. Tried before a War Crimes Court in the No. 5 Court of the Curiohaus, Altona, in Hamburg, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging and on January 28, 1949, the sentence was carried out. Married with four children, his wife attended the trial every day.

WORMHOUDT ATROCITY (Pas-de-Calais, May 27/28 , 1940)

The day after the Le Paradis massacre, around 100 men of the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment and the Royal Artillery, were taken prisoner by the No 7 Company, 2nd Battalion of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. At Esquelbecq, near the town of Wormhoudt, about twelve miles from Dunkirk, the prisoners were marched across fields to a nearby farm and there confined in a barn with not enough room for the wounded to lie down. There the massacre began. About five stick grenades were lobbed in amongst the defenceless prisoners who died in agony as shrapnel tore into their flesh. When the last grenade had been thrown, those still standing were then ordered outside, five at a time, there to be mown down under a hail of bullets from the rifles of the executioners. Fifteen men survived the atrocity in the barn only to give themselves up later to other German units to serve out the war as POWs. Bodies of the murdered victims were buried in a mass grave dug up near the barn. A year later, the SS, in an attempt to cover up the crime, disinterred the bodies and buried them in various cemeteries in Esquelbecq and Wormhoudt. In 1947, the War Graves Commission erected headstones over the graves but as most of the bodies bore no identification, their ID tags and pay books being destroyed by the SS prior to the shootings, the names carved on the headstones bear no relation to the bodies buried underneath. Unlike the Le Paradis massacre, the victims of Wormhoudt were never avenged, as after the war no survivor could positively identify any of the SS soldiers involved.

ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE (Central France, June 10, 1944)

On their 450 mile drive from the south of France to the Normandy invasion area, the 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' (15,000 men aboard 1,400 vehicles, including 209 tanks) under the command of SS General Lammerding, arrived at Limoges, a town famous for its porcelain. In the small town of St. Junien (30 kilometres from Limoges) the 'Der Führer Regiment' was regrouping. Following many encounters with the local maquis in which two German soldiers were killed, a unit of the regiment arrived at ORADOUR (believed to be a hotbed of maquis activity) in a convoy of trucks and half-tracks. At about 2 PM on this Saturday afternoon the 120 man SS unit surrounded the village ordering all inhabitants to parade in the market place for an identity check. Women and children were separated from the menfolk and herded into the local church. The men were herded in groups into six carefully chosen local garages and barns and shot. Their bodies were then covered with straw and set on fire. The 452 women and children in the church were then suffocated by smoke grenades lobbed in through the windows and shrapnel grenades that were thrown down the nave while machine-guns raked the interior. All flammable items in the church then caught fire.

THE TULLE MURDERS (Near Limoges, Central France, June 9, 1944)

The day before the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS murdered 99 men in the town of Tulle in central France. This was in response to activities by the local FTP resistance groups who had attacked and taken over the town. When the 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' took over the town they found 40 dead bodies of the German 3rd Battalion/95th Security Regiment garrison troops near the school, their bodies badly mutilated. Other bodies were found around the town, bringing the total German dead in Tulle to sixty-four. Next day, the reprisals began. All males in the town were gathered together and 130 suspects were selected for execution. A number were released because of their youth and the remaining 99 were executed by the Pioneer Platoon of SS-Panzer Aufklarungs Abteilung 2. Their bodies were hung up on lamp-posts and from balconies along the main streets of the town in the hope that the hanging bodies would deter future attacks by the Maquis and the FTP. More would have been hanged had not the SS ran out of rope. Instead, they rounded up 149 civilians and deported them to Germany for slave labour.

ASCQ (Near Lille, April 2, 1944)

At the end of March, 1944, the 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Jugend' set out on 24 rail trucks for Normandy to cover the coast in anticipation of an Allied landing. The convoy, under the command of SS Obersturmführer Walter Hauck, was approaching the small railway station of Ascq when a violent explosion blew the line apart. Stopping the train, it was found that two flat trucks had been derailed, holding up the whole convoy. Hauck, in a foul mood, ordered his men to search and arrest all male members of the houses on both sides of the track. They were assembled together and marched down the track about 300 yards where each man was shot in the back of the head. Altogether 70 men were shot beside the railway line and another 16 killed in the village itself. After an investigation by the Gestapo, six more men were arrested and charged with planting the bomb. They were all executed by firing squad. When the war ended, a search for the perpetrators was set in motion. Most of the SS men were found in Allied POW camps in Europe and in England. In all, nine SS men stood trial in a French Military Court at Lille. All were sentenced to death, including Hauck. The sentences were later commuted to a period of imprisonment and Walter Hauck was released in July, 1957.

FRAYSSINET(Near Tulle, Central France, May 21, 1944)

In the small village of Frayssinet le Gelat south of Tulle, between Gourdon and Fumel, an SS Rifle company of the 2 Panzer Division 'Das Reich' stopped for a refreshment break. Believing that one of their officers had been shot by members of the French underground, fifteen hostages were taken and executed. These hostages were all young males from one child families. This, in the twisted minds of the SS, was to prevent any further family line of descent. Outside the entrance to the local church in Frayassinet le Gelat stands a small monument mounted with a stone cross, and a plaque bearing the names of all the fifteen young victims.

SAULX VALLEY ATROCITIES (August 29, 1944)

In the Saulx Valley, in the Meuse départment of eastern France, stands the sleepy villages of Robert-Espagne, Couvonges, Mognéville and Beurey-sur-Saulx. Late in August, 1944, as the German armies were retreating eastwards in the face of the Allied advance, units of the British 2nd S.A.S. Regiment were parachuted in behind the enemy lines to harass the retreating Germans. Joining up with units of the local maquis, their first action, on August 28, was the ambush of a German staff car carrying two officers and two NCOs. The deaths of these four men so infuriated an SS officer to such an extent that he ordered several lorry loads of his soldiers into the nearby village of Robert-Espagne. Their first act was to destroy the telephone equipment at the local post office, thus cutting off the village from the outside world. All males were then rounded up (49 in number) and marched off to the station and there, with their backs to the embankment, they stood, three deep along the rails, and awaited their fate. Three machine-guns, firing in unison, sent their deadly stream of bullets into the helpless group while from nearby houses, their pale faces streaming with tears, wives and mothers watched helplessly from their windows. When the foul crime was over, the SS ordered the women out of their homes to look at the carnage, after which their houses were deliberately set on fire. In the village of Couvonges, 26 men were killed and 54 out of the 60 houses were burned to the ground. Two kilometres further on, the village of Beurey-sur-Saulx was also targeted by the SS and seven inhabitants met their deaths, the church and houses put to the torch. In Mogeville, three people died as a result of the SS retaliation. Similar atrocities were also carried out almost simultaneously in the villages of Sermaize-les-Bains (thirteen died), Cheminon and Tremout-sur-Saulx by the SS 3rd Panzer-Grenadier Division.

MASSACRE AT DISTOMO (June 10, 1944)

Four days after the Allied invasion of Normandy, a most despicable atrocity took place in the village of Distomo in the province of Boeotia in Central Greece. A unit of the SS Police Panzergrenadier Regiment No 7, on an anti-partisan sweep, massacred 218 Greek civilians in the village. Packed into seven trucks, the unit drove through the village without incident but a short distance beyond the village the convoy was ambushed by a guerrilla band that resulted in the killing of seven SS soldiers. The SS unit doubled back into the village and in a last ditch effort to crush partisan activities, the reprisals, including looting, burning and rape, began. When a Red Cross delegation visited the village some days later they found bodies hanging from trees along the main street. One survivor, Yannes Basdekis, recalled, 'I walked into a house and saw a woman, stripped naked and covered in blood. Her breasts had been sliced off. Her baby lay dead nearby, the cut off nipple still in its mouth'. The body of the village priest was found headless.

The unit commander, SS Hauptstrumführer Lautenbach, was later charged with falsifying a military report on the massacre but the charges were dropped as the massacre was judged a 'military necessity'. Today, the skulls and bones of the victims are displayed in the Mausoleum of Distomo. In 1960, Germany paid the Greek government 115 million marks as compensation for the suffering of its citizens during the German occupation but as yet no payment is forthcoming for the victims of Distomo. It was not until 1990 that members of the German embassy first took part in the wreath laying ceremony on the annual anniversary of the massacre.

DE WOESTE HOEVE (March 6, 1945)

On the night of March 6, a BMW car, carrying the SS General Hans Albin Rauter, the most feared man in Holland, was ambushed, his driver and orderly being killed. Rauter was seriously wounded. Some hours later the damaged car was found by German troops and Rauter was taken to the St. Joseph-Stichting hospital on the outskirts of Apeldoorn where he recovered after a series of blood transfusions. Soon after the ambush, the SD arrived and what followed was one of the most notorious war crimes ever committed in Holland. In charge of the investigation was SS Brigadefuhrer Dr Eberhardt Schongarth, who immediately ordered reprisals. One hundred and seventeen men were rounded up and transported to the scene of the ambush where they were all shot dead, their bodies being buried in a mass grave in Heidehof Cemetery in the village of Ugchelen. The 117th man was a German soldier, Helmut Seijffards, a member of the firing squad who refused to take part in the shootings. In Gestapo prisons all over Holland, prisoners were taken out and shot in reprisal for the ambush. In all, a total of 263 people had been shot. The irony was, that the Dutch underground fighters had intended to ambush and steal a German lorry, and had no idea that the car they shot up contained a German General. Rauter himself survived the war. He was arrested by British Military Police in a hospital at Eutin and turned over to the Dutch. Before a Special Court of Justice in the Hague, he was sentenced to death and on March 25, 1949, he was executed by firing squad in the dunes near Scheveningen Prison. Schongarth was tried by a British Military Court, found guilty on another war crime charge and sentenced to death. He was hanged in 1946.'

Source: http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres.html
Removed by original poster on 02/14/12 - 22:14:31 (GMT).
Magpie
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 02:53 PM UTC
During the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, approximately eight unarmed Italian civilians were killed by U.S. troops. The town of Canicattì had already surrendered when U.S. troops entered, following heavy German bombardment during their withdrawal.

Following the capture of the Biscari airfield on 14 July 1943, troops of the 180th Infantry killed 71 Italian and two German POWs in two separate incidents. In the first incident, 36 Italians died, while the second killing involved 35 Italians and two Germans.

The No Gun Ri Massacre was an incident that referred to the mass killing of large undetermined numbers of South Korean refugees conducted by U.S. Army forces of the 7th Cavalry Regiment between July 26 and July 29, 1950 near the village of No Gun Ri.

The My Lai Massacre was the mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, almost entirely civilians, most of them women and children, conducted by U.S. Army forces on March 16, 1968. Some of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, or maimed, and some of the bodies were found mutilated. The massacre took place in the hamlets of Mỹ Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ village. Of the 26 US soldiers initially charged with criminal offences or war-crimes for the actions at My Lai, only William Calley was convicted. He served four and half months of his two-year sentence.

Major General Paul Cullen indicated that the killing of Japanese prisoners by Australian soldiers in the Kokoda Track Campaign was not uncommon. In one instance he recalled during the battle at Gorari that "the leading platoon captured five or seven Japanese and moved on to the next battle. The next platoon came along and bayoneted these Japanese."

LET HE WHO STANDS AMONG YOU WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.
retiredyank
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 03:16 PM UTC
Where do you get your information?
Magpie
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 03:30 PM UTC
The Italian ones are from Wiki. The summary of My Lai war crimes are from my OCS notes from 1985. The last is from the bible.
Littorio
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 04:08 PM UTC
The Fosse Ardeatine massacre was a mass execution carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome.
The attack was carried out by 16 Partisans of the Gruppo d'Azione Patriotica ("Patriotic Action Group"). An improvised explosive device was prepared consisting of 12 kilograms of TNT packed in a steel case. This was inserted into a bag containing an additional six kilograms of TNT and TNT filled iron tubing. Although reported as having been thrown from a building, the bomb had actually been hidden in a rubbish cart, pushed into position by a Partisan disguised as a street cleaner, while others acted as lookouts. The fuse was lit when the police were forty seconds from the bomb. The blast caused the immediate deaths of 28 policemen and at least two civilian bystanders, one of whom, Piero Zuccheretti, was an eleven-year old boy. More would die over the next few days.
The massacre was perpetrated without prior public notice in what was then a little-frequented rural suburb of the city, inside the tunnels of the disused quarries of pozzolana, near the Via Ardeatina. By mistake, a total of 335 Italian the prisoners were taken, five in excess of the 330 called for. On March 24, led by SS officers Erich Priebke and Karl Hass, they were transported to the Ardeatine caves in truckloads and then, in groups of five, put to death inside the caves.
Since the killing squad mostly consisted of officers who had never killed before, Kappler had ordered several cases of cognac delivered to the caves to calm their nerves. The officers were ordered to lead the doomed prisoners into the caves with their hands tied behind their backs and then have them kneel down so that the soldiers could place a bullet directly into the cerebellum, ensuring that no more than one bullet would be needed per prisoner.
Many were forced to kneel down over the bodies of those who had been killed before them because the cave had become filled with dead bodies. During the killings, the existence of the five extra prisoners was discovered, and it was decided to kill them anyway, in order to prevent news of the location of the place of execution from becoming known. Some of the Germans officers involved in the massacre were horrified by the slaughter. One, who refused to shoot, was personally dragged to the execution site by Erich Priebke, who put his arm around the officer's waist and forced him to kill his victim.
The bodies of the victims were placed in piles, typically about a meter in height, and then buried under tons of rock debris when German military engineers set explosives to seal the caves and hide the atrocity. They remained summarily buried and abandoned for over a year inside the caves. Families of the victims were notified with excruciating slowness by individual letter, if at all, a strategy of coverup and concealment – "Night and Fog" – designed to confuse, grieve, and intimidate surviving relatives. Only after the Italian capital was liberated by the Allies on June 4, 1944, were the bodies were finally found, exhumed, and at last given proper burial. The scale and even the occurrence of this retaliation was unprecedented on Italian soil.

There was a film made based on this massacre although some details are wrong or have been missed out.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070592/
ppawlak1
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 05:01 PM UTC
SS War Crimes were systematic.

I think the systematic murder of tens of thousands of Polish non combatants (ie: women an children) in Warsaw during August & September 1944 says it all.

Anyone that thinks otherwise is deluded ......

Here
Magpie
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 05:42 PM UTC
So are you suggesting that war crimes are ok just not too many of them? or that there are degrees of guilt with war crimes?

Of course not. War Crimes are War Crimes, as I said let he who is without sin cast the first stone, or maybe you might prefer Judge not others lest thine be judged as well.

Is there any actual modelling point to this thread or is it just another bit of jingoistic crap?
melonhead
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 05:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So are you suggesting that war crimes are ok just not too many of them? or that there are degrees of guilt with war crimes?

Of course not. War Crimes are War Crimes, as I said let he who is without sin cast the first stone, or maybe you might prefer Judge not others lest thine be judged as well.

Is there any actual modelling point to this thread or is it just another bit of jingoistic crap?



i would assume that because this is in the "off topic" section of the website, that it does not have a modeling point to it.
i give everyone the benefit of the doubt and i dont know what you have against matt directly, his opinions, or whatever. but, you do seem to troll quite a bit on topics that he replies to/starts.

let the thread be what it is instead of trying to blow it out of proportion.

if you aren't able to, perhaps you should take a break from the internet.

with that said, war crimes have been around and will always be around. not all countries play by the same rules and the ones that do play by a set of rules can be affected by emotion. all countries that have been involved in war, have committed at least one war crime. some countries, more than others. anyone that says that theirs has not is living a pipedream or doesn't want to face the facts because it means that they aren't as innocent as they want to believe.

the SS just happens to be notorious and are more well known for what they have done. it usually overshadows everyone else. but, by no means does it necessarily mean that any of the allies were any better.
Magpie
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 06:06 PM UTC
I agree Jesse, which is why I responded to one list of war crimes with another. That is no more "Trolling" than the OP itself.
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:15 AM UTC
This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack. If you take offense, perhaps you should do some soul searching. I admit, there were some SS members who did not partake in some of the attrocities committed by their fellow SS. The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS. Yet, the Nuremberg Trials could not desiminate on such a large scale. It was as equally dificult to find the exact perpetrators. The amount of war crimes committed by soldiers was much greater, when comparing the SS to the other divisions.
exer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack.



Why the provocative title then -"They weren't all bad?"

What is the point of your post- what is it that you want to discuss?
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack.



Why the provocative title then -"They weren't all bad?"

What is the point of your post- what is it that you want to discuss?


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.
exer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 01:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.



Why do you want people to do that here on Armorama?
Why did you start the thread?

This can only descend into comparisons with other war crimes commited by other armies
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.



Why do you want people to do that here on Armorama?
Why did you start the thread?

This can only descend into comparisons with other war crimes commited by other armies


Only if people can't master their own emotions and stick to the topic of the thread.
youngc
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 03:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.


Defence and prosecution of SS war criminals is best left to the pros, and was indeed justly carried out during the Nuremberg trials.

Feel free to share historical accounts of SS brutality, as you have. However I can't allow any sort of opinionated justification or further (unnecessary) prosecution here on this forum. It wouldn't stay a discussion for long!
pseudorealityx
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 03:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 08:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.


I have heard similar descriptions, but not this particular one. I do know that at the Nuremberg Trials there was a long list of accusations against the SS. I believe the officers known to be in command bore the brunt of the judgement.
retiredyank
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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:50 AM UTC
On June 10, 1944, just four days after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German troops killed 642 people, mainly women and children, in the central French village. That afternoon, the 3rd Company of the 1st Battalion of the "Der Führer" Regiment of the SS "Das Reich" Division rounded up some 450 women and children, forced them into a church and then burnt it to the ground. The remaining men in the village were shot to death in barns and garages.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,802019,00.html
Too many to list on this site:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/crimestoc.html
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 10:10 AM UTC
Interesting that the focus of this thread is on the West... I believe that Sepp Dietrich ordered no prisoners to be taken for a few days after 6 German poliemen were discovered butchered in Taganrog by the retreating Soviets, an order that cost the lives of 4000 russian soldiers. Likewise, after the SS Panzer Corps recovered Kharkov in early 1943, the Russians, estimated that 10000 civilians were killed during the SS occupation.
After the Oradour massacre, the regimental commander of "Der Fuhrer" regiment, Sylvester Stadler, sought to take action against Diekmann, the officer responsible,but was overruled by Lammerding, the division commander. Perversely enough, many of the young SS men who partook in the massacre originalted from Alsace - they were fellow Frenchmen!
Stadler went on to become CO of Hohenstaufen, a division which does not appear to have committed any documented atrocities...At Arnhem, 9 & 10 SS behave honourably to British wounded.
Kurt "Panzer" Meyer's execution was commuted because one of the Canadian general officers concerned had reservations about punishing Meyer, knowing that his own men were not taking SS prisoners. Who started it? No one knows... One of the senior officers involved with HJ in Normandy was Wilhelm Monhke, a less than savoury character the British were anxious to interview after the war about the Wormhoudt incident. Un fortunately, as the last commander of Hitlers Bodyguard in Berlin, he had been captured by the Russians, who held on to him because of his knowledge of Hitler's movements. By the time he was released, many years after the war, the LAH murders in Holland had been forgotten. Monhke died free in Germany.
All of which is very interesting, but as Pat says, pretty irrelevant on a modelling site...
spongya
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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 11:28 PM UTC

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The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.



The Heer was just as happy to commit mass murder. The whole legend of the blameless Army against the bestial SS is a whole new level of historical revision. (Ie.: lies.) They not only assisted the SS, they actively took part in the atrocities. (Some Army leaders actually refused to execute these orders from above; but most - Mainstein included- threw themselves on the task with gusto.)

The sad fact is that these people behaved the way they did because they were encouraged, and because they believed themselves to be superior, their enemies to be non-human. This is what neither of the western powers (and Japan) dared to face really to this day: this was the very same attitude that the colonial forces had towards non-whites (or, in the case of Japan, non-Japanese). The Germans essentially copied the behavior -and improved on it using industrial scale murder. Not only the death camps... they managed to murder 17 million civilians on the Eastern Front alone. Read the "Kindly Ones" if you have the stomach. I didn't. (As a side-note, I'd be interested how much we would care if their victims were not white Europeans. The victims from the Eastern Front don't get much publicity to begin with, but if we look at the Japanese body-count -12 million Chinese-, one has to conclude that they got off easy after the war.)

This very same attitude towards others lead to the atrocities committed by British and US forces on separate parts of the world (some of them already mentioned) -only here the victims were "Indians", "N@ggers", "Japs", "Goons" and others. What the British did not ten years after the Holocaust in the Congo has literally made me sick when I read about it the first time.

As for judging... I find it very "interesting" that they are still hunting for 90 year old men who might have shot a couple of Belgian civilians, but I never, ever heard any British or US soldier persecuted and jailed for war crimes. The perpetrators who were at the Congo or at My Lai are still alive. I'm not saying the old Germans are not guilty; in fact nothing can eclipse their accomplishments in mass murder but Stalin and Mao. But it is still a double standard that makes the whole morality question a bit of a farce.

arpikaszabo
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:37 AM UTC
Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing
Tojo72
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:59 AM UTC

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Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes
spongya
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 05:04 AM UTC

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Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes



Yes, they were. So the firebombings of Japanese and German cities. Indiscriminate killing of civilians is (and was) a war crime. Geneva Conventions and whatnot. It's just one crime both sides did, so they kind of forgot about this one at Nuremberg. (Not to mention they sometimes made it more effective by repeating the bombing to target the first-responders -they still do it with drones-, which, according to the US itself is a "terrorist tactic".)
retiredyank
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 06:11 AM UTC

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Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes



Yes, they were. So the firebombings of Japanese and German cities. Indiscriminate killing of civilians is (and was) a war crime. Geneva Conventions and whatnot. It's just one crime both sides did, so they kind of forgot about this one at Nuremberg. (Not to mention they sometimes made it more effective by repeating the bombing to target the first-responders -they still do it with drones-, which, according to the US itself is a "terrorist tactic".)


I'm not going to get in a political debate, here. If you want to dispute this, my email is familymatars@yahoo.com .