Patton .................

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Mori
Member
Posts: 1003
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 04 Feb 2019 21:37

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Feb 2019 21:16
Wouldn't it be true by the same token that if "no more than 10% of the 300,000 PoW officially taken in the Ruhr pocket were serving in army formations" then Mac mentioning Wehrmacht troops in the pocket was also a mistake? :D
I have wondered why there was such a huge number of PoW compared to the actual fighting troops. The report quoted above (which lists what type or organisation the PoWs belonged to) as well as the analysis at the end of TUSA AAR give a clue. It looks like the Allies considered a PoW anyone with a uniform, whatever the uniform. Most probably the Americans also took literally the Germans orders stating that all men aged 16-60 were soldiers.

But back to the topic, still waiting for some positive evidence showing SS troops inside the Ruhr pocket :)

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 3045
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Feb 2019 22:16

Mori wrote:
04 Feb 2019 21:37
I have wondered why there was such a huge number of PoW compared to the actual fighting troops.
Because enemy troops don't have to be "fighting troops" in order to become PW? :D
The report quoted above (which lists what type or organisation the PoWs belonged to) as well as the analysis at the end of TUSA AAR give a clue. It looks like the Allies considered a PoW anyone with a uniform, whatever the uniform.
Yep, which is what makes consolidated PW returns interesting. Quite a bit of what the opposition was can be gleaned from them. Which report are you quoting from BTW?
Most probably the Americans also took literally the Germans orders stating that all men aged 16-60 were soldiers.
Well, yes, especially if they were armed and in uniform, which later could include civilian clothing with a Volksturm brassard.
But back to the topic, still waiting for some positive evidence showing SS troops inside the Ruhr pocket :)
Don't you have it? I thought you already said there were Allgemeine SS captured in the pocket? Do SS show up in the consolidated PW returns or IPW reports? I still am astonished if they don't.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

paulrward
Member
Posts: 375
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: Patton .................

Post by paulrward » 05 Feb 2019 05:28

Hello All :

Mr. Anderson Stated :
Exactly. Perhaps you should let Mr. Ward know that. :lol:
All right, Mr. Anderson, since you have such a supercilious attitude about this matter, I will give you some additional information.


I am a baby boomer, born in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, growing up in California, I had a close friend. We built plastic models,
went hiking together, were both in Cub Scouts, in short, we hung out. He was Jewish, I was not, but, in California, this didn't matter.
We were friends. Then, when it came time to move from grade school to middle school, because we lived about two miles apart,
we ended up going to two different middle schools, and thus we drifted apart for a few years. Arriving in High School, one of the
first people I met in the hallways was my old friend, and we immediately renewed our friendship.

Now, I should provide some further background: This was the late 1960s, and the early 1970s. Anti war feeling, especially in
California, and especially in my generation, was extremely high. At that time, the men of the WW2 generation were NOT seen as
being of the ' Greatest Generation ', instead, they were the men who had atom bombed Japan, and all that this implied. It was NOT
a time that WW2 veterans tended to sit around talking about their war experiences with my generation. It just did not happen. The
tenor of the times was against it.

But, on one occasion, I visited my friend at his home, and his mother told me that he and his father were out on their back patio
working. I went into the back yard, and found them cleaning a number of auto parts using coffee cans filled with mineral spirits
and rags. I offered to lend a hand, and they cheerfully accepted my help. While we were wiping the parts, which were new, and
covered with a heavy, grease-like protective coating, my friend's father made the comment, " Goddam Cosmoline ! I thought after
I got out of the Army I would never see this shit again ! "

My friend and I laughed, and I asked what this ' cosmoline ' was used for in the Army. He responded that it was used " to protect
everything from M1 Rifles to Sherman Tanks ! " He then went on to describe how he and his fellow soldiers were constantly cleaning
it off of new equipment, and in doing so, always ended up smelling like gasoline, with dirty hands and greasy uniforms.

I asked him where he served in the Army, and he responded that " I was with Patton's Third Army in France, and then in Germany.
My division fought in the Bulge, and then we went across the Rhine, and were fighting up to the last day. " I asked him a few more
questions, and he seemed a little surprised, but not unhappy, that someone was interested. He stated that he was in the Infantry,
and that he had enlisted right out of high school in 1944, and his unit had arrived in England in September of 1944, and a month
later had gotten to France. He talked about the Battle of the Bulge, which I knew something about, and he stated that his division
was to the north of the Bulge, and had a part in halting the Germans and preventing the breakout, and then had been re-assigned
later to the Third Army, which he described as ' Patton's Army '.

He described how, after the crossing of the Rhine, the fighing was " pretty rough in places. A lot of Germans didn't want to give
up. Wouldn't surrender. Especially if they were SS. " He looked at the two of us, and asked, " You guys ever hear about Malmedy ? "

My friend said " No ", and his father said, " During the fighting in the Bulge, the Krauts, SS Stormtroopers, took a bunch of our guys prisoners. Then they executed 'em all. Machine gunned 'em. When we found out, we pretty much stopped taking prisoners who didn't
give up right away. And when we captured any SS troops, we split 'em off from the rest, took them to some place quiet, and let 'em
have it...."

I whispered, " Wow ! " And he nodded, and said, " Yeah. It was a tough war. Lot's of stuff happened that you didn't talk about
when you got home..... One time, we found a bunch of them who had taken the SS markings off their uniforms. See, the SS
troops had special all-black insignia on their uniforms. These guys had cut it off. But we made them roll up their sleeves, and they
all had SS Tatoos on their arms.... So we gave them the business too.... Some of 'em were down on their knees, beggin' us not
to shoot 'em - a couple even pissed in their pants they were so scared.... We didn't give a shit.... They were SS, and we killed 'em ."

At that point, his wife opened up the screen door that faced the patio we were on, and asked us if we wanted some Iced Tea ? My
friend's father just shook his head, and told her that we were almost done, and that when we were finished, we would wash up and
then come in. She closed the door and went away, and my friend's father leaned over to us, and said, " I never talked about that
stuff with anybody before. " He turned to my friend, and said, " Don't tell any of this to your Mom or your sister. "

My friend nodded, and it became a secret we kept until yesterday. My friend's father did in the 90s, and my friend passed away
from complications with diabetes about five years ago. So, I am the last living person who heard his confession of killing
SS prisoners.


Now, Mr. Anderson, you can take this story for what it is worth. I looked into the face of a man while he was telling us that he
and his fellow soldiers had committed cold blooded murder during wartime. If you choose not to believe his story, that's not
my problem. Mr. Anderson, you, like many people who study WW2 rely on official records and documents. What a lot of people
like you never truly grasp is that, in wartime, a hell of a lot of shit goes on that NEVER gets into the official records.

It's better that way. It allows people like you to sleep well at night.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

Hanny
Banned
Posts: 855
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 05 Feb 2019 10:16

paulrward wrote:
05 Feb 2019 05:28
Hello All :

Mr. Anderson Stated :
Exactly. Perhaps you should let Mr. Ward know that. :lol:
All right, Mr. Anderson, since you have such a supercilious attitude about this matter, I will give you some additional information.

Thank you for that oral acount. Sadly it adds little to nothing not already known.

You are aware of the 0s of thousands oral histories we have right?. Many of which contain what you refer too. https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bit ... lltext.pdf
Last edited by Hanny on 05 Feb 2019 11:09, edited 2 times in total.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Hanny
Banned
Posts: 855
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 05 Feb 2019 10:24

Mori wrote:
04 Feb 2019 18:19
Hanny wrote:
04 Feb 2019 17:57
He uses SS references on page 349, 358, before the reference you refer to, last refernce to SS pows is on page 369.

349" During the course of their peregrinations, the SS troops captured an American field hospital, where they obtained critically needed gasoline and transportation. Although they treated the hospital personnel correctly, a rumor that they had murdered the staff and raped the nurses accounted, General Patton reported later, for the fervor with which American troops hunted them down. Some 500 were killed before a last 800 surrendered"

I believe thats the 6th SS Mountain Div being refereed to.
Yes. But that's not the Ruhr pocket.
No one wrote it was, if you look at the map phase lines, and compare the authors comment in the timeline, you can see when 6th Mtn SS was and when the comment applies. Ditto gfor other SS refernces


SS Brigade Westfalen fought in the Ruhr, in the pocket and you can read about the seperate SS formations it contained here.
https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/view ... sertations

Another line is to look at who was carring out the Gauleiter orders for execution of forgien labour in the Ruhr regions. SS Obergruppenführer at warstein for instance, whose role was in V weapon production, but undertook, with other SS men, to kill labourers in large numbers.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Mori
Member
Posts: 1003
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 05 Feb 2019 16:54

Hanny wrote:
05 Feb 2019 10:16
Thank you for that oral acount. Sadly it adds little to nothing not already known.

You are aware of the 0s of thousands oral histories we have right?. Many of which contain what you refer too. https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bit ... lltext.pdf
I was about to point to the same document :)

Among other things, you will notice that "cold killings", ie murder of prisonners already on the rear (instead of on the spur of the moment on the front line) are exceptional. Besides the 2 cases motivated by Patton's speeches after the Sicily landing, Harris spots less than 5 examples, and (AFAIR) they are mostly in the second half of April 1945. Thats both when the soldiers see the concentration camps and when retaliation from the enemy is not possible anymore.

Mori
Member
Posts: 1003
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 05 Feb 2019 17:11

Hanny wrote:
05 Feb 2019 10:24
SS Brigade Westfalen fought in the Ruhr, in the pocket and you can read about the seperate SS formations it contained here.
https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/view ... sertations
I know Zumbro's book, but I admit I did not know he got a PhD for it.

I have a big issue with this author. His book is mostly a "local history" of the Ruhr area which describes the place as void of any PoW / forced labourer / displaced persons. The text details in great length examples of US soldiers' misbehavior but carefully avoids investigating conduct of local nazi leadership or of regular German soldiers.

Zumbro discloses the idology he abides for in his final chapter. He pretty much says that displaced persons are primarily bandits. And he writes an incredible antisemitic section, leveraging the dirtiest rumors and using the worst excepts from Patton's diary as a "proof" against the few survivors.

Fortunately, this guy did not commit another book.

Hanny
Banned
Posts: 855
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 05 Feb 2019 17:59

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 3045
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Feb 2019 19:22

Hanny wrote:
05 Feb 2019 10:16
You are aware of the 0s of thousands oral histories we have right?. Many of which contain what you refer too. https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bit ... lltext.pdf
An interesting paper, although I hesitate to give it much credence after he described James Bacque's work as a "comprehensive examination of American post-war POW killing". His description of the postwar American historiography also depends heavily on Keegan's hopelessly flawed opinion...apparently neither Keegan nor Harris were aware of the "Combat Interviews" program during the war, which yielded 375 "interviews" of both individuals and groups, in just the ETOUSA alone, or of the various oral history programs preserving such records held by USAMHI (beginning in 1970 with the "Senior Officer Oral History Program" and expanding to many others since) and other public and private institutions, such as the Witness to War Foundation. Even more problematic, he repeatedly relies on Ambrose to validate his various assumptions about postwar American hisstoriography. Frankly, I'm surprised such a faulty historiography made it past the graduate committee.

Aside from that he also fails to define or even provide proof of his contention "that American soldiers killed large numbers of Axis POWs during the war in Europe." It might have helped if he had established what "large numbers" were or even some methodology for determining it. Instead, he establishes the clear absence of evidence, which, of course, is not evidence of absence.

All in all, a pretty disappointing work.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Mori
Member
Posts: 1003
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 05 Feb 2019 21:00

I respectfully disagree.

Your points are correct, but the work is just a Master's degree, not a PhD. For a Master's degree, it's far better what you typically get.

Your could also see the half-full glass: the guy did review a lot of secondary litterature, including many hard to find books. It's pretty convenient to have an off-the-shelf synthesis of these sources.

(As a side remark: Combat Interviews performed during the war don't deal with misconduct against enemy PoWs. As you must know if you read them).
Last edited by Mori on 05 Feb 2019 21:02, edited 1 time in total.

Mori
Member
Posts: 1003
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 05 Feb 2019 21:01

Yes. So what? Time to send what Zumbro wrote to the Dean of this faculty?

paulrward
Member
Posts: 375
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: Patton .................

Post by paulrward » 05 Feb 2019 22:36

Hello All :

Mr. Anderson wrote :
......apparently neither Keegan nor Harris were aware of the "Combat Interviews" program during the war,
which yielded 375 "interviews" of both individuals and groups, in just the ETOUSA alone, or of the various oral
history programs preserving such records held by USAMHI (beginning in 1970 with the "Senior Officer Oral History
Program".........


To Mr. Hanny and Mr. Anderson :

Sirs, do you actually believe that ANY member of the U.S. Military, on being interviewed by an official representative of the
Armed Forces, would willingly admit to committing atrocities , and expose himself to Court Martial, imprisonment, or even
execution ?

Here's a little factoid for you: There is NO statute of limitations on murder, even in the Armed Forces. So, if today, a
98 year old retired WW2 veteran admitted to killing some SS prisoners to an investigator from the U.S.Army, he could be
arrested, court martialed, and die in Leavenworth for his offence.

What the type of historian who is what I call a ' Paperwork Commando ' never seems to grasp that what is written down is
often only a small, officially approved of fraction of what really happened. And, I should note, Gentlemen, if a German
was taken prisoner by a combat unit, there was NO PAPERWORK on him until he reached a rear echelon holding area. At
that point, his name, rank, serial number were taken , and he became an official POW . Up until that moment,
he had no official existence as far as the U.S. Army was concerned. In other words, if he was killed after being taken
prisoner, but before he was delivered to the rear, THERE ARE NO RECORDS .

In other words, for the Paperwork Commandos like yourselves, he would have no existence. He was just another German
casualty. And the only evidence of what happened to him is the memories, the ' oral histories ' of those G.I.s who, years
later, might or might not be willing to talk, as long as it is ' off the record '.


Gentlemen, ALL wars have attrocities. For example, have you ever heard of a " Helicopter Interrogation ? " I worked
with a Viet Nam Vet who freely confessed to conducting them - IN PRIVATE. In public, he NEVER heard of such a thing.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 3045
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Feb 2019 02:38

Mori wrote:
05 Feb 2019 21:00
I respectfully disagree.

Your points are correct, but the work is just a Master's degree, not a PhD. For a Master's degree, it's far better what you typically get.
They must be putting the bar pretty low now then.
Your could also see the half-full glass: the guy did review a lot of secondary litterature, including many hard to find books. It's pretty convenient to have an off-the-shelf synthesis of these sources.
Again, reviewing a lot of secondary literature, even if it is harder to find secondary literature, is a pretty low bar to cross.
(As a side remark: Combat Interviews performed during the war don't deal with misconduct against enemy PoWs. As you must know if you read them).
Sorry, but not my point at all. His introduction keyed off of Keegan's woefully misplaced opinion about how military history was written and the supposed lack of oral sources in them. There are tons of them, from the original combat interviews to the more wide-ranging collections now accessible at USAMHI and other repositories, government and private. Another very good source, often unexpurgated of things like "misconduct" are the correspondence files accompanying the draft files of the OCMH projects, now at at NARA II. Starting with American Forces in Action drafts were frequently circulated to participants, officers and men, who then often circulated them to others, generating a wide variety of fascinating responses.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Hanny
Banned
Posts: 855
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 06 Feb 2019 11:39

Mori wrote:
05 Feb 2019 21:01
Yes. So what? Time to send what Zumbro wrote to the Dean of this faculty?
I posted, as when i have a query in a book, i contact the author for clarification, my experience is that most are willing to disuse their work. You have an issue, only he can help you with.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Hanny
Banned
Posts: 855
Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40

Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 06 Feb 2019 11:49

paulrward wrote:
05 Feb 2019 22:36


To Mr. Hanny and Mr. Anderson :
Sadly your post content adds little to nothing not already known.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”