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Link Posted: 9/11/2022 9:58:54 AM EDT
[#1]
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Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
I had a neighbor who was a B-24 bombardier.

Two airmen from his group were captured and lynched by townspeople in some tiny rural burg in Germany. He said whenever possible they would save a bomb for that town on their return trip.
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Schweinfurt.  Many years ago, I heard the saying: "Save one for Schweinfurt" from a couple older gents who were crewmen on bombers during WW2 in Europe.
Link Posted: 9/11/2022 10:55:54 AM EDT
[#2]
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Originally Posted By garr:

[...]
, he said there were "Unofficial orders" to kill every Jap.
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Supposedly there were signs printed up of Halsey's words and posted throughout the PTO...  I suppose it makes it semi-unofficial orders?


Link Posted: 9/13/2022 9:05:52 AM EDT
[#3]
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Originally Posted By Riter:
Thomas Taylor's The Simple Sounds of Freedom about 506 PIR Joe Beyrle who was captured in Normandy, escaped a PoW camp and fought with the Russians tells of his return home with other former PoWs.  They went to a stateside camp where German PoWs were serving food.  It was steak, potatoes and all the trimmings.   When the Germans refused some Americans seconds, one American noted some SS tattoos. A fight broke out and some Germans were killed with steak knives and food trays.

Not quite combat condition killing of PoWs, but something never reported in the local papers and quietly hushed up.

See p309.
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Gives a whole new definition to the term 'food fight'.
Link Posted: 9/13/2022 9:40:15 AM EDT
[#4]
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Originally Posted By QCMGR:


Who knows, People make up all sorts of stuff.
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It was probably "real In is mind" lol
Link Posted: 9/13/2022 10:07:06 AM EDT
[#5]
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Originally Posted By Desert_AIP:
I saw a story a few years ago about toward the end of the war.  
The Germans would wait on the side of the road, blow away a tank with a panzerfaust, then surrender.
After that happened a couple of times, we started shooting them as they surrendered.
We were willing to do what was needed to fight the war back then.
Now we're so..."human".
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The war in the ETO had a giant mood swing in the aftermath of the Battle of Bulge.  The SS massacres of captured Americans, the ever growing discoveries of German atrocities, and a grinding war of attrition that left the average front line American not wanting to be the last one to die and wondering why the Germans wouldn't just quit.

In short, "fuck 'em" often became they attitude.
Link Posted: 12/3/2022 9:58:58 PM EDT
[#6]
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Originally Posted By Riter:

Made hot:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKXEHh1OG7c

Capt. Charles MacDonald discussed the slaying of PoWs in his classic account of infantry combat, Company Commander.  Anybody got the page #?
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@Riter
Page 173
Link Posted: 12/3/2022 10:38:25 PM EDT
[#7]
Thanks B5Sluggo.  I tried finding my copy of Company Commander but couldn't find it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2022 7:52:05 AM EDT
[#8]
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Originally Posted By Riter:
Here is the tank battalion commander Maj. Aleksandra Samusenko who allowed 101 paratrooper Beyrle to join her battalion.  Her command to attack was, "Follow my ass as if you can have it!"  Her tankers and desantis (tank riding infantrymen) would respond with an enthusiastic, "Urrah!"

https://girlswithguns.org/wp-content/gallery/soviet-snipers/Aleksandra-Samusenko.jpg

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What a pretty girl!
Link Posted: 12/4/2022 8:42:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: axl] [#9]
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Originally Posted By madbubba:
I was told by a vet that survived Iwo Jima that they didn't take prisoners. They couldn't as conditions were so bad they couldn't spare people to escort them back to the beach. He survived but was shot under his eye and the bullet exited behind his ear.He had serious health problems after returning. Rip Roy H.
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This - my uncle was with the 7th Marines. Said that if you did it right you didn't have to deal with them.

Second row from the top, fourth man from the right.
Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 12/4/2022 8:52:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: piccolo] [#10]
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Originally Posted By axl:


This - my uncle was with the 7th Marines. Said that if you did it right you didn't have to deal with them.
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Early on, at Guadalcanal, the Japanese started it.

From then on the entire Pacific campaign was one of exceptional cruelty on both sides.

Long before Iwo there was pretty much an unspoken no prisoners policy.

Link Posted: 12/4/2022 9:28:19 AM EDT
[#11]
They killed civilians during the occupation of Germany, after the war. Per my grandfather.
To stop the nazi loyalists and snipers.
If a soldier was shot by a sniper, they would go into homes in the area and just drag them to the street and shoot them. Men and women. My grandfather drove a tank under Patton during WWII and a truck with mounted machineguns during Korea. He only volunteered some information, usually had to directly ask him or show him something that would bring back a memory. He did and saw some crazy stuff. He passed years ago. I went and saw the movie Fury. It was so close to the stories he told me back then.
Link Posted: 12/4/2022 11:17:40 AM EDT
[#12]
My dad was a B-17 navigator and shot down over Berlin. German civilians with a rope were about to hang him when a German police officer showed up.
At the police station a cop took a towel from his personal pack, handed it to my dad and pointed to a sink where he could wash up. His face was completely blackened from the fire in the plane  and he was bloody from a shrapnel wound to the head.
A couple months later while in a POW camp,  they could hear US ground forces getting closer.  Some SS troops came to the camp wanting to remove or kill (not sure which) some prisoners. The German camp guards protected the prisoners by shooting it out with the SS.
Cruelty and kindness.
Link Posted: 12/4/2022 11:29:18 AM EDT
[#13]
Link Posted: 12/6/2022 4:50:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: AlaskanTides] [#14]
I think it's important to note that in times like those amidst all the confusion and emotional turmoil, most folks don't carry around an encyclopedia full of operating procedures. A few officers do I'm sure., but not the average Joe..
I have no doubt that these type of killings happened quite a lot  and other then a few high profile cases were simply never reported or simply no attention was paid to it.
I suspect the truth lies in a grey area somewhere in between war crimes and operational necessity. And with anything there was several instances where these killings were extreme enough that they could be classified on either side of that grey area.
I don't wouldn't think many machine gunners were taken prisoner on D-Day for example..
I Also doubt that many smaller units or special operations took many either.
You can also bet the normal Joe was seeing alot of escape attempts when an officer was not looking….. I would also go as far as saying there was most likely an unspoken administrative expectation of this in many circumstances. Said officer realized there was something important that needed to be attended to in that moment… Handle this will you Joe?

When you're worried about supply lines, medical resources,  and speed of troop movement ,  well sometimes you have to drop the dead weight. It's not a pretty thought.. but reality isn't always pretty.
I don't judge them, I'm grateful for the sacrifices that were made.I'm grateful that that burden was shouldered by my fathers so that I didn't have to.


Link Posted: 12/6/2022 5:38:49 AM EDT
[#15]
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Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
I had a neighbor who was a B-24 bombardier.

Two airmen from his group were captured and lynched by townspeople in some tiny rural burg in Germany. He said whenever possible they would save a bomb for that town on their return trip.
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That is sweet sweet vengeance
Link Posted: 12/6/2022 7:35:25 AM EDT
[#16]
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Originally Posted By 18B30:
War....
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What is it good for?
Link Posted: 1/5/2024 5:40:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: GaryT1776] [#17]
On the Allies side ... during the Normandy invasion what was an Airborne unit suppose to do with surrendering Germans?  There wasn't an established route to conduct a prisoner to a designated area.  If you released them there was a chance you'd meet them again under different circumstances.  Pragmatism prevails.

On the Axis side ... as the Germans smashed through the vast expanses of western Russia ... did they want to be slowed down by herding / feeding POWs?

The Old Testament is full of this treatment of POWs.  

Why fight them twice?

OP ... to single out the SS while every nation likely did this isn't a fair treatment of history.  Condemn murder regardless of who did it or Condone murder regardless of who did it.  To show bias renders your opinions less palatable to some.  My grandfather fought in the Pacific. His father fought the Germans in the first Great War and so forth.  I am not, in any form or fashion, pro-German or Nazi but having lived in Germany during the 1970s and seeing residual evidence of the Allies' carpet bombing campaigns leads one to be impartial when it comes to doling out judgements about wartime behaviors.

Again, I love America. This is the greatest nation to ever exist.  Liberty is God given, and I thank Him often for it.  As a man of faith I value human life immensely as I'm commanded to "love" people.  I hate fascism (which ALWAYS results in mass deaths) regardless of the origin, but lets be far to history and acknowledge it is written by the victors.   Untold numbers of innocent people died in World War 2 INTENTIONALLY as a result of acts from both the Axis and Allies.  This makes killing surrendering combatants seem smaller by comparison.

25,000 civilians died in the Dresden bombing campaign.  Dresden has virtually ZERO strategic or tactical value.

Link Posted: 1/6/2024 10:03:06 AM EDT
[#18]
GaryT776 - I never denied that prisoners were killed by all sides and discuss it briefly in my book.  The singling out of the SS as an organization is deserved and their reputation for brutality is supported by numerous examples of the SS killing prisoners both soldiers and civilians alike.  Little wonder that American soldiers on the Western Front and the Soviets had no love for the SS.  An exception of honorable treatment by SS victors was at the Vosges Mountains' Battle of Reipertswiller where one battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, was captured after some very tough fighting.  No executions and the SS Gesbirgjagers fed the Americans afterward.

About the only other group more deserving of being wiped out were the Japanese army & navy.  As bad as the German PoW camps were (and they forced our soldiers to work and starved them), the Japanese were more brutal.  Besides beatings, executions there was also "medical" experimentations by Unit 731.  It isn't such a bad thing that most Japanese who fought the Americans were killed (or committed suicide).  Lightning Joe Collins fought both in the Pacific (division commander at Guadalcanal) and in Europe (VII Corps Commander) and was well qualified when he said the Germans were better organized as an army (superior combined arms) but that the Japanese were more fanatical.  Unlike the Germans, few Japanese surrendered.

Regarding Dresden, I know a survivor who was a child at the time.  His apartment by the Elbe was never touched and bombs fell into the Elbe or the next street over and their building remained unscathed.  Lucky them (post-war he came to America and became a California Highway Patrolman).  As to what purpose the bombing served, it was an attempt to prove Douhet's theory of airpower.  Sure the bomber can always get through, but bombing a civilian population into submission doesn't break the civilian spirit like Douhet advocated.  Luftwaffe couldn't break the British by bombing London and the RAF/USAAC couldn't break the Germans.  Besides damaging the war industry (but production under Speer increased in 1944), the air campaign's one achievement was draw an already overstretched Luftwaffe fighting on three fronts to a fourth front: home defense.  Blame Douhet and his adherents in the RAF (notably Bomber Harris) and Army Air Corps.

War by its very nature is evil and cannot be moralized.  It is best that it is avoided.
Link Posted: 5/10/2024 1:45:33 PM EDT
[#19]
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Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
I had a neighbor who was a B-24 bombardier.
Two airmen from his group were captured and lynched by townspeople in some tiny rural burg in Germany. He said whenever possible they would save a bomb for that town on their return trip.
View Quote


I cant imagine how that news would have made it from a wartime small german town back to england during the war.
Link Posted: 5/11/2024 9:03:26 AM EDT
[#20]
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Originally Posted By KitBuilder:
lol Nice.

Any confirmed hits there?
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Originally Posted By KitBuilder:
Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Two airmen from his group were captured and lynched by townspeople in some tiny rural burg in Germany. He said whenever possible they would save a bomb for that town on their return trip.
lol Nice.

Any confirmed hits there?



They probably aimed with more precision than they did on their target.
Link Posted: 5/11/2024 12:52:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: FightingHellfish] [#21]
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Originally Posted By Baq:


I cant imagine how that news would have made it from a wartime small german town back to england during the war.
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When you look at primary sources, like witness statements, you have to use a lot of care to assess what is a fact.

With a story like that, the only established fact is that someone told you that story.

So trying to assess it, you could look at contextual facts like how many links in the chain of story tellers between you and the event?  You can also look at verifiable facts and ask questions like was it even mechanically possible for the crew to “save one bomb,” or is plausible that missions were rerouted to pass over a specific defended city on their return leg to base.

Ultimately veteran stories like that broadly tell you more about cultural feelings about the event after the fact than they do about literal facts that occurred.

Link Posted: 5/25/2024 5:29:24 PM EDT
[#22]
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Originally Posted By GonvilleBromhead:
Supposedly there were signs printed up of Halsey's words and posted throughout the PTO...  I suppose it makes it semi-unofficial orders?

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/images/g250000/g259446a.jpg
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My, how times change. Col. Steele, of BHD fame, got four of his men charged with murder during OIF because of him saying almost exactly the same thing.
Link Posted: 5/25/2024 8:23:14 PM EDT
[#23]
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Originally Posted By Scalped:

My, how times change. Col. Steele, of BHD fame, got four of his men charged with murder during OIF because of him saying almost exactly the same thing.
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It pretty much finished his career, too.
Link Posted: 5/28/2024 9:29:55 AM EDT
[#24]
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Originally Posted By piccolo:



It pretty much finished his career, too.
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Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By Scalped:

My, how times change. Col. Steele, of BHD fame, got four of his men charged with murder during OIF because of him saying almost exactly the same thing.



It pretty much finished his career, too.



What did he say?
Link Posted: 5/28/2024 9:49:15 AM EDT
[#25]
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Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:


Or a tall tale in a vet memoir.
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Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:
Originally Posted By 4v50:
Thomas Taylor's The Simple Sounds of Freedom about 506 PIR Joe Beyrle who was captured in Normandy, escaped a PoW camp and fought with the Russians tells of his return home with other former PoWs.  They went to a stateside camp where German PoWs were serving food.  It was steak, potatoes and all the trimmings.   When the Germans refused some Americans seconds, one American noted some SS tattoos. A fight broke out and some Germans were killed with steak knives and food trays.

Not quite combat condition killing of PoWs, but something never reported in the local papers and quietly hushed up.

See p309.


Or a tall tale in a vet memoir.

Most likely.
Link Posted: 6/16/2024 11:44:36 AM EDT
[#26]
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Originally Posted By NotMrWizard:
I’ve only seen the video once, but it was of a US submarine that sank a German ship. The sub surfaced, then sailors started machine-gunning the survivors in the water, with some using Thompsons. Was pretty brutal to see the bullet impacts around the survivors.

Different times and philosophies.
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1943 USS Wahoo: No Mercy for Shipwrecked Japanese
Link Posted: 6/16/2024 12:07:57 PM EDT
[#27]
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Originally Posted By Ryan_Scott:
I’m certain that sometimes it was pragmatic and other times it was just revenge.
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I remember reading a book on WW2 CMOH winners and one story talked about them killing an Italian prisoner because keeping him with them would have interfered with their mission and turning him loose would have been even worse.
Link Posted: 6/16/2024 12:15:24 PM EDT
[#28]
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Originally Posted By Freakinout:


If some country was bombing us and we caught some of their downed pilots?
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I've thought about that a few times and my opinion is that the captured person is worth more alive than dead. If they don't survive interrogation I wouldn't feel bad, but they gotta be alive to talk about their enemy activities first.
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