Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 16 Oct 2006 06:02

Excerpts from the Valor and the Horror website at
http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/ISSUE/Abbaye/

Nobody expects a war to be bloodless and hundreds died on D-Day; but, there are rules governing how soldiers may act towards prisoners-of-war. Despite the gruesome activities of the day, one is supposed to calmly disarm the enemy and escort him to a place of relative safety. At Authie, 37 Canadians died, 23 of whom were killed after being disarmed. The teenage SS soldiers in control of the town, refused to allow the French civilian population to drag the bodies away for burial and the Canadian dead lay in the street to be mutilated by passing tanks and military vehicles.


(note the Canadians POWs were killed and mutilated the day after D-Day)

More common, the prisoners were searched for weapons and rations. On June 7, the Germans then shot a number of their prisoners and marched the others back to Abbaye d'Ardenne for questioning. Some 200 made it to the German headquarters alive. Ten were separated out on June 7, never to be seen again. Seven more prisoners arrived. By then, Meyer was exhausted and tense over his losses. His soldiers were short of rations and he responded to the news of seven more Canadians with anger: "What should we do with these prisoners? They only eat our rations. In future, no more prisoners are to be taken." (Proceedings 301, quoted in Campbell: 110). The seven Canadian prisoners were taken one by one into a courtyard and shot in the back of the head by an SS corporal.


... The bodies of these 20 men were found in 5 shallow graves between September 1944 and May 1945. None of these graves were marked, as was normal procedure. They were reburied in the cemeteries at Beny-sur-Mer, Bretteville-sur-Laize, and Ryes British Military Cemetery.

The reports of atrocities from escaped prisoners of war and liberated French civilians led Montgomery to order two Courts of Inquiry, while Eisenhower ordered a Standing Court of Inquiry be established under SHAEF. Investigations yielded evidence of the murder of about 100 Americans captured by 1st Panzer Division near Malmedy, and of a total of 134 Canadians murdered within the first 10 days of the invasion by 12th SS Panzer Division. Warrants were issued for Kurt Meyer's arrest.

[/quote]

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 16 Oct 2006 06:22

Roger - I too have to call you to task for your recent post.

12SSPD got the name of 'the murder division' in the German Army in Normandy.


what is your source?

Gottlob Berger, head of Waffen SS recruitment wanted to command it. Himmler, disallowed this as Berger's talents lay in organization.


What is your source? I have never heard that Berger wanted to command the 12th SS. It seems unlikely, as I've never hear of Berger being particuarly close with either Reichjugendführer Arthur Axmann or the LSSAH crowd, which formed the cadre for the 12th SS.

No atrocities ocurred for some weeks.


Wrong. The 12th SS was the first SS unit deployed at Normandy on June 7, 1944, the day after the invasion and the same day the unit began killing Canadian POWs. (Also the same day that Kurt "Panzer" Meyer reportedly said he would throw those little Canadian "fishes into the sea."

Then an order came from ISS Panzerkorps 'You're taking too many prisoners'.


The I SS Panzer Corps wasn't even Normandy yet when the 12th SS was already engaged and killing prisoners.

This is the sort of order that could be issued in any army.


No its not.

Meyer was put on trial for his life by the British post war.


The Canadians put him on trial, not the British.

He made such a good impression that he escaped.


He didn't escape. He was convicted, and his sentence was reduced and eventually commuted. In addition, in 1951, the Canadians transferred him to West German custody.

An additional item: "Panzer" Meyer, upon his release, became a leading spokesman for HIAG, the German W-SS veteran's organization. It is interesting to note that as front man for HIAG, Meyer was a committed former Nazi of long standing and a convicted war criminal. Kind of an interesting choice for a "we were only soldiers" veteran's group spokesman. I wonder of the British and American CIC (counterintelligence corps) and the State Department kept tabs on Meyer to monitor if he advocated some sort of National-Socialist revival.

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Post by Phil Nix » 16 Oct 2006 11:34

Re Berger he wrote to Himmler in February 1943 asking to be appointed Kdr of the new Hitler Youth Division., he envisioned it as a second Leibstandarte made upas it was by members of the HJ His request was tactically refused by RFSS 16.2.43 omn the gtrounds that he was of greater value to the cause as head of the Waffen SS recruiting campaign.See "Hitlers Children" by Gerhard Rempel which ggoes into Berger and the HJ
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Post by gunslinger » 16 Oct 2006 13:52

T-175/108/2631245 Himmler to Berger, Geheim 16.2.1943

Dear Berger.....

Concerning your wish to be appointed division commander, wel,
i can certainly underrstand that.
But dear Berger, you know that i need you in another capacity.
I believe that a time will come again for all of us in this difficult war.
Please do not become impatient with me

Heinrich Himmler


source "Blood and Honour"

regards
Henk

P.s
I,m still in searce for a copy of Rempel's "The Misguided Generation"
any idee if its still available ??
Last edited by gunslinger on 17 Oct 2006 13:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Reader3000 » 17 Oct 2006 12:43

Craig W. Luther's book "Blood and Honour" is also a good literature about the HJ-Division, although it is hard to find.

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Post by gunslinger » 17 Oct 2006 13:55

Indeed, a very good book, although mainly focused on the Normandy campaign, alot
is written on the organisation, recruitment and training period.
Luther did a great researce, with the help and support of former division's members
After Hubert Meyers work , i think this book is second best.
I did buy it years ago, and i have noticed it has been taken out of print.
It sure deserves a Re-print, i would say.

@Panzerass, sorry forgot to mention the source ;)

regards
Henk

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 07 Jul 2008 23:59

.....addendum to last post.

Hubert Meyer's The 12th SS

Page 172-3 Refers to an item the English would probably prefer to forget.. According to a report by Graf Clary (Panzer Lehr), German prisoners were taken by an English scouting party after a surprise attack behind the German lines. They were staff of the Panzer Lehr Division, Regimental commander Oberst Luxenburger, Abteilung commander Major Zeissler, Hauptmann Graf himself and six NCOs and men. After refusing to travel on the English armoured vehicles as shields against bullets, the one armed Luxenburger (he lost an arm in WW1) was bound by two English officers, beaten up and tied to an ARV, covered in blood. After receiving orders via radio the rest were shot to pieces. Graf was saved from death by a dead comrade falling on top of him. When the British scouting party tried to get back across the lines, they were knocked out by an anti-tank gun. Oberst Luxenburger, tied to the vehicle, was wounded and died shortly after in a German hospital. Garf Clary had regained consciousness and crawled back to Mesnil-Party where he was found by members of II/26.
The next day, in retaliation, three Canadian prisoners were ordered shot near the command post of II/26. Because of this order, Obersturmbanfuhrer Siebken (who would be executed), Untersturmfuhrer Schnabel and two men from the battalion were brought before a 'war crimes' tribunal.

At the end of the day, both sides were guilty of atrocities of various scales. Making sense of them is an impossiblility. One would have to have been a part of it, to have any right to judge....

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 08 Jul 2008 00:19

stukazoo wrote:IMO the worst of these were the bombing raids on medical stations and ambulance convoys (All Allies), many of which contained Allied servicemen being treated by the Germans. There is absolutely no justification for this. 'We we're told that the Germans were transporting ammunition in ambulances' was no only lame, but also untrue. Even if it were, the Red Cross should still be respected in any instance.


Flying at treetop level at high speed is not conducive to accurate identification of target. To slow down to take a better look provides enemy flak crews an equal opportunity to acquire a better sight picture.

Penn44

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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by David Thompson » 08 Jul 2008 05:39

From a post by John McGillivray in the MLU (Maple Leaf Up) Forum back in 2005 at:

http://www.mapleleafup.org/forums/showt ... 428&page=3

citing to Howard Margolian’s book “Conduct Unbecoming” (pp. 90-94):

“In contrast with the murder and mayhem perpetrated at the headquarters of Gerhard Bremer's 12th Reconnaissance Battalion, the treatment accorded to Canadian POWs at the HQ of Bernhard Siebken's 2nd Battalion on 8 June was downright civilized. A large group of Canadians, in excess of a hundred, was transferred without incident from the 2nd Battalion to the command post of the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, which was located a few miles to the south, in the tiny hamlet of Le Haut du Bosq. Meanwhile, a smaller group, totalling forty prisoners - Lieutenant William Ferguson, Sergeant James Reid, Corporals George Brown, Roger Firman, Clare Kines, James Kyle, Hector McLean, and Robert Scott, Lance Corporals Stewart Culleton and John Hill, and Privates Walter Booth, Ernest Bradley, Walter Daniels, Arthur Desjarlais, Gordon Ferris, Robert Findlay, Lant Freeman, Lawrence Guiboche, Charles Horton, Henry Jones, Elmer Lefort, Gordon Lewis, John MacDougall, Angus MacLeod, Frederick Marych, Wesley Morrison, Percy Parisian, Alfred Peterson, Frank Ryck-man, Kjartan Sigurdson, Edward Smith, and John Thompson, all of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Private Richard Smith of the Queen's Own Rifles, Lieutenant Reginald Barker, Sergeant William Beresford, and Gunners Hilliard Birston, Weldon Clark, Thomas Grant, and Alvin Harkness of the 3rd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment, and Private Donald Burnett of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa - was held at 2nd Battalion headquarters pending the return of the Feldgendarmerie escort. During the interval, Siebken's men gave the Canadians water and dispensed first aid to their wounded. In view of the solicitude shown the prisoners, one might have expected their conveyance to the rear to have proceeded uneventfully, in much the same fashion as had that of the earlier group. Unfortunately, although through no fault of Siebken's, this did not prove to be the case. For the forty Canadians being held at the Moulin farm, the change in their circumstances would be sudden, terrifying, and devastating.

The first hint at the turn for the worse in the prisoners' fortunes came a few hours after their capture. Late in the afternoon on 8 June, Siebken received a call from his regimental commander, SS Lieutenant Colonel Wilhelm Mohnke. Reporting that he had taken custody of the large batch of POWs dispatched by Siebken earlier in the day, Mohnke, who was obviously annoyed, told him not to send back so many prisoners. The battalion commander took this to mean that prisoners should not be taken in the first place, and, if they were, that they should be shot immediately after capture. Surprised and repulsed by Mohnke's barbarous and patently illegal order, Siebken quickly regained his composure and replied that he was going to send prisoners to the rear all the same. Later in the evening, he did just that. Upon learning of the return of the Feldgendarmerie escort, Siebken ordered the forty Canadians brought from the barn in which they had been held to the front of the Moulin farmhouse. After looking over the prisoners, whose ranks included at least two stretcher cases, Siebken had them form up in a column under the guard of seven or eight men. The escort consisted both of Feldgendarmerie and regular SS troops. Sometime after 8:00 PM, Dietrich Schnabel, Siebken's special missions officer, sent the prisoners on their way.

The column proceeded southward along a path that led out of 2nd Battalion headquarters, past fields in which crops were already standing. Had the prisoners continued on the footpath, they eventually would have reached the Caen-Fontenay-le-Pesnel road. By crossing this artery and continuing for another quarter mile or so, they then would have come to a secondary road that ran directly into Le Haut du Bosq. A mere one and a half miles more and they would have arrived at Mohnke's headquarters. Despite its proximity, the Canadians never reached their intended destination.

Around 9:00 PM, at a spot just north of the Caen-Fontenay road, the column of prisoners was intercepted by a staff car. As the column halted, an officer resplendent in SS uniform and overcoat got out and strode over to the sergeant in charge of the escort. It was difficult to make out the officer's face in the enveloping darkness, but those who survived the encounter with him will never forget his demeanour. From the outset, the officer was very agitated, and he seemed to become increasingly incensed as the conversation with the NCO went on. Two of the prisoners later recalled that the officer had yelled at the escort leader, while another was of the view that he had actually threatened him. Whatever the case, after a few minutes the martinet abruptly terminated the conversation, angrily pointed in the direction of the Caen-Fontenay road, and issued a torrent of orders to the hapless NCO.

The sudden appearance of the officer and his subsequent violent outburst must have been profoundly disconcerting to the Canadian prisoners. At least a few of them guessed his real intentions. Though he did not understand German, Private Gordon Ferris of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles remembered thinking that the guards were going to kill all of the prisoners after the way that the officer had carried on.1 This opinion was shared by Corporal Hector McLean, also of the Winnipegs. According to McLean, his worst fears were confirmed by Lieutenant Reg Barker of the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, who was one of two officers among the forty Canadian POWs (the other was Lieutenant William Ferguson of the Winnipegs). The American-born Barker, who spoke some German, told McLean that the escorts had in fact been ordered to kill the prisoners, but he promised that he would try to talk them out of it."

Following the officer's orders, the SS guards escorted the Canadians to within sight of the Caen-Fontenay road. As the column approached the road, a large number of vehicles, including tanks and half-tracks, could be seen heading in an easterly direction. Heartened by the sight of all this firepower, a couple of the escorts waved and yelled out 'Panzer! Panzer!' Continuing on its way, the column was marched southward until it got to within a hundred yards of the convoy. Halted at a road junction less than a mile northeast of the village of Fontenay-le-Pesnel, the prisoners were diverted in a westerly direction into a grassy area adjacent to a grainfield. After going another fifty yards or so, they were ordered to sit down, facing east. Ominously, the prisoners were bunched together in several rows, with the stretcher cases placed in the middle. While the Canadians sat and waited in anxious silence, the Germans deployed menacingly around them.

The prisoners' stay in the field must have seemed like an eternity. In fact, only three or four minutes had passed before the last half-track in the convoy peeled off the highway and headed for the spot where the prisoners were sitting. Dressed in khaki camouflage uniforms and armed with machine pistols, several SS troopers jumped out of the vehicle and approached the sergeant in charge. A brief conversation ensued, after which the NCO ordered all but two of his men over to the vehicle. There one of the new arrivals exchanged the escorts' rifles for machine pistols, while another man pulled clips from a haversack and passed them around. Armed to the teeth, the men from the half-track and the original escorts advanced together towards the prisoners. The impromptu execution squad was joined by the two remaining escorts, who had retained their rifles.

As the SS men closed in on them, even the most optimistic of the Canadians now realized what was about to happen. Any lingering hopes were dashed when Lieutenant Barker, who was in the front row and who would surely face the first salvo, calmly advised, 'Whoever is left after they fire the first round, go to the left [i.e., north].' At a distance of about thirty yards, the Germans stopped. One of them taunted his intended victims, saying in heavily accented English, 'Now you die.' At that moment, the executioners opened fire.

Hit by the initial burst, the men in front were mowed down where they sat. Many were killed instantly. Others were only wounded and lay writhing in agony on the ground. In the middle rows, pandemonium erupted. As bullets thudded into flesh and soil around them, those who had not yet been hit scrambled in desperation. Shouts, curses, and heart-rending screams filled the night air.

Only those prisoners who had been sitting in the back row had any chance of survival. By advancing in a straight line and neglecting to cordon the area, the Germans had left an escape route open. Acting on instinct, several men made a break for it. Gunners Weldon Clark and Thomas Grant of the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment ran off together. Clark made his getaway into the adjacent grainfield, but Grant was cut down after having run only a few yards. Corporal McLean and Private Ferris of the Winnipegs also ran in tandem. McLean was hit, but both men reached the adjacent field, where they took cover amid the standing crops. Corporals George Brown and Robert Scott and Privates Gordon Lewis and John MacDougall, also of the Winnipegs, followed McLean's and Ferris's example, but all were struck down by the Germans' second salvo. Of these men, only Private MacDougall, who was wounded in the leg, was able to make good his getaway.

The most hair-raising escape of all was that contrived by Private Arthur Desjarlais of the Winnipegs' 15 Platoon. Sitting in the back row, Desjarlais actually froze when the Germans fired their first burst. Failure to hit the dirt when bullets are flying around is usually a prescription for disaster. Yet somehow the upright rifleman was not touched. Suddenly realizing the extent of his predicament, Desjarlais got onto his belly and slowly crawled towards the grainfield. Their attention diverted by the chaotic scene in front of them, the SS thugs never noticed him, and Desjarlais was able to slip away.

Of the forty prisoners who found themselves in the Germans' gun sights on the fateful night of 8 June, only five - Corporal McLean and Privates Ferris, MacDougall, and Desjarlais of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, along with Gunner Clark of the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment - lived to tell about it. Unfortunately, all five men were recaptured by other German units almost immediately after their brush with death. Thus, it would be months before they were repatriated from POW captivity and were able to tell their stories. By that time, potential German witnesses had either been killed in battle or were missing, and the evidentiary trail had largely gone cold. Hampered by false leads, Canadian war crimes investigators never were able to establish with certainty even the units involved, much less the individuals. This was a failure of tragic proportions, for if any of the crimes committed by the 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Youth' cries out for justice, it is surely the cold-blooded murder of thirty-five Canadian POWs on a moonlit back road in the countryside of northern France. Indeed, the machine gunning of the thirty-five prisoners near the village of Fontenay-le-Pesnel on the night of 8 June ranks as the single worst battlefield atrocity perpetrated against Canadians in the country's military history. So dastardly was this crime that some have since labelled it the 'Canadian Malmedy,' after the strikingly similar and much more famous (or infamous) massacre of American troops during the Nazis' last-ditch Ardennes offensive.”

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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by gunslinger » 08 Jul 2008 08:56

During the interval, Siebken's men gave the Canadians water and dispensed first aid to their wounded. In view of the solicitude shown the prisoners, one might have expected their conveyance to the rear to have proceeded uneventfully, in much the same fashion as had that of the earlier group. Unfortunately, although through no fault of Siebken's, this did not prove to be the case


Surprised and repulsed by Mohnke's barbarous and patently illegal order, Siebken quickly regained his composure and replied that he was going to send prisoners to the rear all the same. Later in the evening, he did just that.



So , Bernhard Siebken and Dietrich Schnabel were hanged in 1949 in Hameln, justice done?

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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by David Thompson » 08 Jul 2008 11:50

gunslinger -- You wrote:
So , Bernhard Siebken and Dietrich Schnabel were hanged in 1949 in Hameln, justice done?

As I understand it, the two men were convicted of murdering POWs on a different occasion from the one described at viewtopic.php?p=1228079#p1228079 . According to Mr. Margolian, specific responsibility for the crime at viewtopic.php?p=1228079#p1228079 was never fixed:

Hampered by false leads, Canadian war crimes investigators never were able to establish with certainty even the units involved, much less the individuals.


The incident of which Siebken and Schnabel were convicted took place on the evening of 8/9 June, and was described by Mr. Margolian this way (via another John McGillivray post on the MLU Forum):

The following is from “Conduct Unbecoming” (p96-99)

“We now know that the wounded soldiers found on the grounds of Siebken's headquarters on the night of 8-9 June were Canadians. The man discovered by Wimplinger was Private Harold Angel of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. The other two were Privates Frederick Holness (with the concussion) and Ernest Baskerville (with the knee injury), both of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. All three had been involved in the fighting at Putot-en-Bessin earlier in the day, and all three, despite their injuries, had somehow evaded capture for several hours after the battle. Tired, hungry, and in need of medical attention, they must have finally given up trying to get back to their own lines. Spotting the Moulin farmhouse, the three men probably decided to risk capture. It was a decision they would come to regret.

Initially, the prisoners were treated in an entirely correct manner. Once inside the Moulin kitchen, they were attended by Dr Schiitt, the 2nd Battalion's medical officer. Schiitt, who spoke English, conversed freely with the prisoners, learning, for example, that Private Angel lived in Ottawa, was married, and had four children. After bandaging their wounds, the good and decent doctor ordered that beds of straw be prepared for the Canadians. He also saw to it that blankets were provided. Grateful for the humane way in which they were being treated, Privates Angel, Holness, and Baskerville fell into a deep, unbroken sleep.

Schiitt's kindness was typical of the treatment accorded to the Canadian prisoners who passed through 2nd Battalion headquarters on 8 June. It did not sit well with Mohnke, however. While Siebken was immersed in preparations for the following day's operations, the regimental commander paid him a return visit, apparently to drive home his point regarding enemy POWs. As it happened, Mohnke's arrival at the battalion command post coincided with the appearance there of Dr Schiitt, who had come to Siebken to report the presence of the three wounded Canadians. When Mohnke learned that the 2nd Battalion had taken more prisoners, he ordered that they be shot without delay. Siebken refused. A terrible argument ensued. If Siebken's postwar testimony is to be believed, Mohnke was beside himself with anger. He purportedly berated Siebken for his insubordination, after which he called in Schnabel and ordered him to carry out the execution of the prisoners. When Schnabel took the same position as that of his immediate superior, Mohnke stormed out.

Following Mohnke's departure, the mood at 2nd Battalion headquarters was grim. Resolved to prevent the killing of his prisoners, Siebken realized that he could not protect them on his own. Accordingly, at the first opportunity he put through a call to 12th SS headquarters. The purpose was to find out whether the shooting of prisoners had been authorized by division. Insofar as it circumvented the normal chain of command, this call was an extraordinary breach of military protocol. However, Siebken had been deeply shaken by Mohnke's violent outburst. Besides, if he was going to disobey the direct order of a superior officer, he wanted to be sure that he would have the backing of the upper echelons.

Divisional commander Witt was unavailable when Siebken's call came through, so the battalion commander was instead put on to SS Major Hubert Meyer (no relation to Kurt Meyer), the Hitler Youth Division's chief of staff. Siebken asked Meyer point blank: Had division issued an order to shoot all prisoners? Meyer assured him that it had not. On the contrary, he told Siebken, POWs were the best and often the only source of information as to enemy dispositions. Thus, he advised the taking of as many prisoners as possible.

Before putting down the phone, Meyer asked Siebken why he had posed such an odd question. Siebken replied by recounting the confrontation that had just taken place at his battalion headquarters. Troubled by Mohnke's rather erratic deportment, in particular his issuance of orders directly to Schnabel, which violated the sanctity of the military hierarchy, Meyer immediately rang up the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. With Mohnke still absent, the chief of staff spoke to his adjutant, SS Captain Kaiser. According to Meyer's postwar testimony, he asked what action was being taken with regard to the shooting of POWs in the regiment's sector. When Kaiser responded that he knew nothing about it, Meyer told him the same thing that he had told Siebken: as many prisoners as possible should be taken, and they should be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

With divisional command fully apprised of the situation, one might have expected Mohnke to at last let the issue of POWs rest. Yet he was unable to do so. In his twisted state of mind, the killing of the three Canadian prisoners had become a matter of honour. Immediately upon his return to his headquarters, a seething Mohnke telephoned the 2nd Battalion and tried to find out whether his order had been obeyed. Siebken was unavailable, having since gone to the front to check on the deployment of his forward units. Mohnke spoke to his adjutant instead. When the officer informed him that the execution of the three prisoners had not yet been carried out, Mohnke flew into another rage, then abruptly hung up.

If Siebken's beleaguered staff thought that they had seen or heard the last of Mohnke, they were wrong. In a terrifying display of obsessive behaviour, he soon returned to the Moulin farm. Ranting once more about insubordination and disloyalty, Mohnke cornered Siebken's adjutant and demanded to know the battalion commander's whereabouts. When the officer replied that Siebken was still at the front, Mohnke then asked for Schnabel. He too was unavailable. Frustrated, but undeterred, Mohnke left yet again.

Unaware of the controversy that their capture had provoked, Privates Angel, Holness, and Baskerville awoke between 8:00 and 9:00 on the morning of 9 June. They asked for and received permission to go outside to wash up. Upon their return, the three prisoners were questioned briefly by an unidentified SS officer, in the presence of Dr Schiitt. After the interrogations, they were allowed to relax. Still weak from their wounds, two of the men elected to return to their straw beds, but the other sat up in an easy chair. Shortly thereafter they were brought a canister of fresh milk, which they gulped down heartily.

While the Canadians were enjoying their unexpected breakfast, Mohnke suddenly reappeared. Siebken was still absent, but Schnabel had returned, and it did not take long for Mohnke to find him. If postwar testimony given on Schnabel's behalf is to be believed, Mohnke drew his pistol, pointed it at the junior officer, and ordered him to carry out the execution of the three prisoners. Clearly, this was the end of the line. There would be no more reprieves for the Canadians.

A shaken Schnabel drove over to the Moulin farmhouse. In the kitchen he found Dr Schiitt and the medical orderlies Heinrich Albers, Fritz Bundschuh, and a third man known only as Ischner. According to Wimplinger, who was in the next room, Schnabel informed Dr Schiitt that an order had been issued to shoot the prisoners, Schiitt muttered his disgust, but his protest went for naught. Not wanting another confrontation with Mohnke, Schnabel motioned for the orderlies to get the Canadians up. Their hands above their heads, Angel, Holness, and Baskerville hobbled out the door.

Schnabel and his underlings escorted the prisoners across the front yard and into an adjacent garden. Owing to their injuries, it was only with considerable difficulty that the three Canadians managed to traverse the yard. Private Baskerville was able to limp unaided, but Private Angel had to be supported by Private Holness. Finally reaching the end of the garden, the procession halted. It was at this point that the Canadians must have realized what was in store for them. In order not to have to look his victims in the eye, Schnabel ordered them to turn around. Next he had Albers, Bundschuh, and Ischner train their machine pistols on their targets. At the order to fire, each shooter let loose with a ten- to twelve-round burst from a distance of less than twenty feet. The three Canadians went down simultaneously. Though none of them betrayed any signs of life, Schnabel drew his pistol, walked over to their bodies, and applied the coup de grace to each. Mohnke's uncontrollable wrath and his pathological obsession with enemy prisoners had claimed three more victims.”

And from p179-180.

“In the aftermath of the closure of the British war crimes investigation unit, only one more 12th SS case was tried. On 21 October 1948, proceedings were opened against Bernhard Siebken, Dietrich Schnabel, Heinrich Albers, and Fritz Bundschuh before a British military court in Hamburg. The four defendants, all former members of the 2nd Battalion of the 12th SS's 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, were charged with the murder of the Canadian prisoners Harold Angel, Frederick Holness, and Ernest Baskerville at the battalion's headquarters on the morning of 9 June 1944. The trial lasted almost three weeks, during which substantial evidence was adduced proving the complicity of each of the defendants in the killings. On 9 November 1948, the court announced its verdict: Albers and Bundschuh, the trigger men, were acquitted on the grounds that they had followed superior orders, while Siebken, the battalion commander, and Schnabel, his special missions officer, were found guilty of having issued and carried out the execution order. It seemed to be a just decision. Yet, owing to the fact that numerous witnesses had come forward to testify that Wilhelm Mohnke had been the real instigator of the murders, many observers harboured doubts as to the fairness of the verdict. Whatever the real truth, the controversy surrounding the Siebken trial marked an ignominious close to the search for justice for the victims of the Normandy massacres.”


http://tortuga.dnsrouter.com/~mlu/forum ... 75&page=12

As for Mohnke, he was able to live until 2001:

Mohnke, Wilhelm (15.3.1911-8.2001) [SS-Brigadefűhrer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS] -- NSDAP: 649684; SS: 15541; service, "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" 1933-1943; service, 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjungend" 1943-1944; commander, 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" Aug 1944-Feb 1945 [Knights Cross 1944] {captured by Soviet forces at Berlin May 1945; held in solitary confinement at Budkia and Ljubljanka prisons in Moscow until 1949; held after May 1950 as war criminal (NYT 7 May 1950:35:3); impending release pursuant to "Adenauer amnesty" announced by Nikita S. Krushchev 9 Sept 1955 (Gulag Archipelago vol. 3, pps. 441-2); held at Woikowo (Voikovo) POW camp until release from Soviet captivity Oct 1955; accused of the murder of British POWs on 28 May 1940 and of Canadian POWs in Jun 1944; never brought to trial by West Germany on POW murder charges, notwithstanding British demands into the 1980s; died Aug 2001 (SS: Roll of Infamy p. 119-20; Waffen-SS Commanders II, pps. 115-7; Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP [9 Nov 1944]).}

stukazoo
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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 10:30

Penn44 wrote:
stukazoo wrote:IMO the worst of these were the bombing raids on medical stations and ambulance convoys (All Allies), many of which contained Allied servicemen being treated by the Germans. There is absolutely no justification for this. 'We we're told that the Germans were transporting ammunition in ambulances' was no only lame, but also untrue. Even if it were, the Red Cross should still be respected in any instance.


Flying at treetop level at high speed is not conducive to accurate identification of target. To slow down to take a better look provides enemy flak crews an equal opportunity to acquire a better sight picture.

Penn44

.


Big Red Cross on top of the building is normally a good indicator...

stukazoo
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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 14:15

What is your source? I have never heard that Berger wanted to command the 12th SS. It seems unlikely, as I've never hear of Berger being particuarly close with either Reichjugendführer Arthur Axmann or the LSSAH crowd, which formed the cadre for the 12th SS.

I have read this recently.. probably Uniform, Organisation and History of the WSS 3/ Bender or H Meyer's History of 12SS.. I'll check later

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Jul 2008 16:52

Hi LV,

Can you give some examples where "the Internet is full of wild stories of "sadistic and fanatical young nazis" of the division cold bloodedly murdering allied prisoners in the most gruesome methods."?

My general impression is that W-SS units created near the end of the war, such as 12 W-SS Division, had little opportunity to commit many atrocities. 12th SS was on the defensive most of the time with limited opportunity to take prisoners, and spent most of its time defending home territory or other Axis territory amongst non-hostile civilian populations. At a rough guess, 12th SS spent at most three out of the ten months it was in the field on enemy soil, most of that under intense defensive pressure. Even if the inclination to act like savages had existed, the opportunities were few.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Penn44
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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 10 Jul 2008 22:02

[The following posts were taken by the moderator from the "Canadian Orders: 'Take No Prisoners'" thread at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=139551&p=1230248#p1230248 and merged with this discussion -- DT.

stukazoo wrote:
Penn44 wrote:
stukazoo wrote:IMO the worst of these were the bombing raids on medical stations and ambulance convoys (All Allies), many of which contained Allied servicemen being treated by the Germans. There is absolutely no justification for this. 'We we're told that the Germans were transporting ammunition in ambulances' was no only lame, but also untrue. Even if it were, the Red Cross should still be respected in any instance.


Flying at treetop level at high speed is not conducive to accurate identification of target. To slow down to take a better look provides enemy flak crews an equal opportunity to acquire a better sight picture.

Penn44
.


Big Red Cross on top of the building is normally a good indicator...


Do you have a specific incident when this happened coupled with a source, or are you attempting to smear the Allied air forces by strawman atrocities?

Penn44

.

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