Axis History Forum

This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations and related topics hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research, Christoph Awender's WW2 day by dayand Christian Ankerstjerne’s Panzerworld.

Skip to content

If you found the forum useful please consider supporting us. You can also support us by buying books through the AHF Bookstore.

Boves Massacre

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed.
Hosted by David Thompson.

Boves Massacre

Postby Kim Sung on 13 Jan 2006 11:43

On September 17, 1943, two NCOs of Jochen Peiper's unit were arrested by Italian partisans in Boves, northern Italy. He quickly sent Lt. Dinse's platoon to rescue them. But, the platoon got heavy enemy fire and stucked in the village. So, Peiper sent all his troops to rescue his men.

This comic shows that partisans fired at a halftrack first and Peiper's unit counterattacked them. Is this true? Which side fired first? Wasn't Lt. Dinse's platoon a decoy to induce partisans to start a battle? I'd like to know the truth.


* Image Source: Kobayashi Motofumi(小林源文)'s Warrior in Flames(炎の戰士)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Korea, Republic of
 
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby Kim Sung on 13 Jan 2006 12:07

ninoo wrote:THE BOVES ATROCITY (September 17th, 1944) BY LSSAH

A few kilometres north of Cuneo in Italy, lies the town of Boves. After September 8th, 1943, it became an active center of the Italian underground because of the stationing of many stragglers from the now disbanded Regio Esercito (Royal Italian Army). These partisans were led by Bartolomeo Giuliano, Ezio Aceto and Ignazio Vian. After repeated requests to surrender, the partisans refused in spite of leaflets being dropped by the SS. On the 17th of September the German commander, SS Major Joachim Peiper, ordered two gun crews to shell the town. The partisans again refused to surrender. Two German soldiers were then sent forward (as decoys) to be captured by the partisans. Hoping they would be killed, it would give Peiper the pretext for a slaughter. The parish priest, Father Giuseppe Bernardi and the industrialist, Alessandro Vassallo, were ordered to meet with the partisans and to persuade them to release the two soldiers. The priest asked Peiper 'Will you spare the town?'. Peiper gave his word and the two prisoners were released. But the blood-thirsty SS then proceeded to burn all the houses in the town after which Father Bernardi and Vassallo were put into a car to do an inspection of the devastated town. 'They must admire the spectacle' said Peiper. After the inspection, Father Bernardi and his companion, Vassallo, were sprinkled with petrol and set alight. Both were burned to death. Forty-three other inhabitants of Boves were killed that day and 350 houses destroyed. Next day, a column of armoured vehicles went up the road that led to the partisan base. A lucky shot from their only 75 mm gun destroyed the leading armoured car. After an intense fire-fight the SS retreated with heavy losses. One of the partisan leaders, Ignazio Vian, was later captured by the SS and hanged in Turin. On the wall of his cell he had written in his own blood the words "Better Die Rather Than Betray".

viewtopic.php?p=465010

Is this true?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Korea, Republic of
 
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby mars on 13 Jan 2006 17:22

Kim: Kobayashi Motofumi is very famous in Asia for his comic books related to WWII, and he is indeed deserved to his reputation in that area, but he is not a historian and the accuracy of his books are often far from good
mars
Member
United States
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: 03 Oct 2002 19:50
Location: Shanghai

Postby tonyh on 13 Jan 2006 18:02

>>Is this true?<<

I doubt it.

The article seems like a load of the usual bunkum..........

"bloodthirsty SS............." Blah Blah blah..........

I've heard that Peiper ordered the town shelled before advancing, as would any commanding officer worth his salt. But the rest of the story looks like the typical embellishment.

Tony
tonyh
Member
Ireland
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: 19 Mar 2002 12:59
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby David Thompson on 13 Jan 2006 18:06

Peiper in Italy
viewtopic.php?t=10754
Massacre of Sant'Anna di Stazzema ,Toscana -August 12th 1944
viewtopic.php?t=77225
Waffen-SS Units Implicated in War Crimes (p. 2)
viewtopic.php?t=23394
David Thompson
Forum Staff
United States
 
Posts: 22139
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Postby Kim Sung on 14 Jan 2006 01:22

mars wrote:Kim: Kobayashi Motofumi is very famous in Asia for his comic books related to WWII, and he is indeed deserved to his reputation in that area, but he is not a historian and the accuracy of his books are often far from good

Yes, that's why I asked whether this is true or not. And I prefer to be called Sung, my first name.
User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Korea, Republic of
 
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby Rob - wssob2 on 14 Jan 2006 04:44

I've heard that Peiper ordered the town shelled before advancing, as would any commanding officer worth his salt.



Hmmm...if an American commander shelled a town before advancing in 2005 Iraq, I suspect there would be no limit to the accusations of "war crimes" flying through the air, or at least on this forum

However, when an SS officer shells a town in 1944 Italy, he's just "worth his salt" as a commander.

Funny how perceptions change for some people, depending on who is doing the shelling. :roll:
Rob - wssob2
Member
United States
 
Posts: 2149
Joined: 15 Apr 2002 20:29
Location: MA, USA

Postby Kim Sung on 15 Jan 2006 00:51

According to the above post by ninoo, it was Peiper who broke the promise that he would spare the town if the partisans free two German NCOs. And his unit killed the two negotiators, Giuseppe Bernardi and Alessandro Vassallo.

If this account is true, how could Peiper be acquitted of this accusation of having destroyed Boves in the Nürnberg tribunal? I don't understand this point.
User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Korea, Republic of
 
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby Rob - wssob2 on 15 Jan 2006 02:28

Peiper be acquitted of this accusation of having destroyed Boves


Hi Sung - Peiper was never acquitted because he was never tried.

I believe the Boves changes were never pursued because by 1968 when the charges were investigation the statue of limitations had run out. So it was a technicality, not absence of evidence, that prevented Peiper's extradition to Italy - however, perhaps other forum members can confirm this.

I belive Peiper, however, did lose his job due to the publicity.
Rob - wssob2
Member
United States
 
Posts: 2149
Joined: 15 Apr 2002 20:29
Location: MA, USA

Postby Kim Sung on 15 Jan 2006 03:40

Rob - wssob2 wrote:I belive Peiper, however, did lose his job due to the publicity.

So, that's why he had to support himself just as a translator. But I don't understand why he eventually went to live in Traves, Haute-Saône, France, the country that he invaded in 1940 and fought in 1944 and where he might have expected something hostile would wait for him.

Then, what did he do for a living before he became just a translator(maybe French to German and German to French)?
User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Korea, Republic of
 
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby tonyh on 16 Jan 2006 11:19

Rob - wssob2 wrote:
I've heard that Peiper ordered the town shelled before advancing, as would any commanding officer worth his salt.



Hmmm...if an American commander shelled a town before advancing in 2005 Iraq, I suspect there would be no limit to the accusations of "war crimes" flying through the air, or at least on this forum

However, when an SS officer shells a town in 1944 Italy, he's just "worth his salt" as a commander.

Funny how perceptions change for some people, depending on who is doing the shelling. :roll:


Hmmmm......yes, it is.

Shelling a town before advancing to or through it, especially when you've been fired upon is standard practice in any Army, (doubly so, when faced with non-uniformed enemy personnel).

The US Army practically levelled Aachen and numerous other towns and villages with arty fire before they had to advance into them.

If people call "war crime", because a US Commander shells a town in Iraq, then its a direct result of bullshit double standards that America has used throughout its military existence, especially in the 60 years since the end of WWII. The US has damned Countries for actions it routinely engages in itself and then wonders why the accusation is levelled at them when they carry out similar actions.

Yes, it is "Funny how perceptions change for some people, depending on who is doing the shelling."

Tony
tonyh
Member
Ireland
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: 19 Mar 2002 12:59
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby David Thompson on 16 Jan 2006 18:57

Here is what Michael Reynolds wrote about the Boves incident in his biography The Devil's Adjutant: Jochen Peiper, Panzer Leader, Sarpendon Publishers, New York: 1995 (at pp. 31-32 and 260):

In September Peiper's 3rd SS Panzer-Grenadier Battalion was stationed in the Province of Cuneo, south of Turin, where an incident occurred which was to have far reaching effects. On the afternoon of the 19th Italian police reported that Italian soldiers had kidnapped two of Peiper's NCOs in the small town of Boves. He immediately ordered their company commander to rescue them but when the officer radioed that he had been attacked by superior forces and needed help, Peiper reacted characteristically by personally leading his Battalion to the rescue. On arrival he shelled the town with 150mm self-propelled infantry guns. This had the required effect. Peiper later reported:

I am of the opinion that our action to free our encircled comrades in Boves nipped in the bud the Italian army's attack, for the army fell apart and no attack ever took place on Cuneo or Turin. However regrettable the consequences of our action was for the affected residents of Boves [author's note: 34 of them died], it should not be overlooked that our one-time intervention prevented further immeasurable casualties which would have resulted from continued Italian attacks.[21]

Twenty-five years later in 1968 Peiper and two of his officers were accused, by the Italian authorities in a Stuttgart court, of murder for their

31

THE DEVIL'S ADJUTANT

actions at Boves. The finding was that 'there is insufficient suspicion of criminal activity on the part of any of the accused to warrant prosecution'. In the same year, however, the Osnabrück Assize Court convicted five ex-members of the Leibstandarte for the murder, or aiding and abetting with the murder, of Jews living in several towns along Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.' This had occurred at the same time as the Boves affair. Although these proceedings were dropped because the prosecution had exceeded the statute of limitations, the reputation of the Bodyguard was again shown to be tarnished.


On 21st June 1958 Peiper was finally released from parole and by 1961 his obvious talents were recognised when Ferry Porsche, the head of the company, appointed him Company Secretary, the first non-member of the Porsche/Piech family to be selected for the appointment. This proposed promotion brought Peiper to the attention of the union, IG Metall. Ferry Porsche was told that, whilst the union could tolerate a war I criminal as a clerk, it could not accept Peiper as part of the management. Porsche had little choice but to cancel Peiper's appointment. Rather surprisingly perhaps, Peiper threatened to sue the company but eventually settled for six months' salary as compensation. IG Metall made it quite plain that Peiper would be similarly hounded in other motor companies, so he moved to Reutlingen where he set up as an independent sales promotor for a Volkswagen dealer, training salesmen. He continued this type of work in Offenburg and later in Freiburg. By April 1967 he was back in Stuttgart at Schnellbachstrasse 32. He explained his feelings at that time in an interview with a French writer:

I was a Nazi and I remain one. . . . The Germany of today is no longer a great nation, it has become a province of Europe. That is why, at the first opportunity, I shall settle elsewhere, in France no doubt. I don't particularly care for Frenchmen, but I love France. Of all things, the materialism of my compatriots causes me pain.

On 11th December 1968 the Italian authorities and nine plaintiffs from Boves in Northern Italy accused Peiper and two of his former officers in the Stuttgart court with murder.' The accusations stemmed from the incident in 1943 described in Chapter I. After receiving depositions from seventeen Italians and 126 former members of Peiper's SS Panzer-Grenadier Battalion of that time, the court ruled, in February 1969, that there was insufficient evidence for formal charges to be laid.

* * *

260

On the basis of the facts stated in the book, I don't think that the shelling of Boves was a war crime at the time it occurred.
David Thompson
Forum Staff
United States
 
Posts: 22139
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA


Return to Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests