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

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stukazoo
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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 22:14

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
.[/quote]

Big Red Cross on top of the building is normally a good indicator...[/quote]

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

.[/quote]

Hubert Meyer's 'History of the 12SS' vol 1 pg 223 (attack on medical station), pg 303 (Canadian wounded stating that ground and air forces had orders to fire on vehicles marked with the red cross).

My apologies for not putting the source

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 10 Jul 2008 22:20

Penn44 -- You asked --
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?
If you are asking for a source, please do it directly, without resorting to premature and insulting insinuations.

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

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 22:34

stukazoo wrote:
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
It was indeed the former. U,O & H volume 3, page 104, line 4
'Berger was so carried away by the idea that he immediately suggested that he should become the division's new commander. He wrote to Himmler on February 9 (Berger to Reichsfuhrer-SS, Aktenvermerk, Geheim, v. 9.2.1943) but received a tactful refusal (Reichsfuhrer to Berger, Geheim, v. 16.2.1943) a week later on the grounds that he was of more value to the cause in his capacity as Chief of the SS Main Office, and more particularly as Waffen-SS recruiting chief. This was certainly true but Berger was naturally disappointed at his heroic offer being turned down and at losing a chance of becoming the commander of such an elite organisation.' 'Berger's interest in the division returned from dreaming of his leading it into battle to the routine procedure of his office. On March 21, he wrote a memorandum to the SS-FHA about it.' Berger to SS-FHA, Aufstellung der SS-Division "Hitler-Jugend", g.Kdos., v. 21.3.1943

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

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 22:46

gunslinger wrote:
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?
I don't believe justice was high on the list of priorities unfortunately. Siebken (excellent soldier, respected by his men), Moehnke (murderer), not rocket science really...

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

Post by David Thompson » 11 Jul 2008 00:44

stukaroo -- You wrote:
I don't believe justice was high on the list of priorities unfortunately. Siebken (excellent soldier, respected by his men), Moehnke (murderer), not rocket science really...
Unfortunately for the murdered Canadian POWs, the western allies didn't have custody of Moehnke. Once he was returned to West Germany from his captivity in the USSR, the West German government wouldn't let him be tried by other nations and wouldn't put him on trial themselves. Justice in this particular case was a priority for some, but not for others.

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

Post by Penn44 » 11 Jul 2008 01:27

stukazoo wrote:Hubert Meyer's 'History of the 12SS' vol 1 pg 223 (attack on medical station), pg 303 (Canadian wounded stating that ground and air forces had orders to fire on vehicles marked with the red cross).

My apologies for not putting the source
Stukazoo, have you considered the typical size of medical stations in the field, and with it, the size of their accompanying Red Cross markings? The closer you get to the front the smaller the medical units are. You do not find a large field hospital within the sector of a forward regiment. The forward medical units are very small.

Have you considered the size of Red Cross markings on a vehicle?

Red Cross markings typically go on the hood, side and rear of a vehicle. Were any of these markings obscured in any way or faded? I occasionally drove a field ambulance on one tour in Iraq, and its Red Cross panels were rather faded by sun or the elements or covered by dust in the hot months or mud in the winter.

Have you considered the other factors that impact on target recognition such as the terrain and vegetation present as well as visibility factors such as limited light, smoke, ground haze, dust, etc.?

What about the aircraft's angle of attack? If the aircraft came at the vehicle obliquely, the pilot won't see the Red Cross markings fully. If the aircraft came at the front, from low attitude, the Red Cross marking on the hood wouldn't be fully visible.

Have you considered the possibility that there were other legitimate targets in the area or in the convoy such combat or logistical vehicles near in medical station or medical vehicle? The closer you get to the front the smaller the medical units are. You do not find a large field hospital within a front line regiment's sector. These small medical units don't set up alone. They do not have enough personnel for adequate security, and have limited food, fuel, and other supplies on hand. They set up near other service support units for security and supply reasons, and these others units are legitimate targets as well as targets that attract attention from the air because of their frequent, easily detectable activity (like ground movement which is quickly picked by the eye) as well as the fact their support activity produces other easily detectable battlefield indicators (e.g., extensive tire tracks across fields or heavy use of dirt roads which turn over soil) which draws attention from the air.

The claim that the Canadian ground troops were told that the air crews were directed to engage enemy medical vehicles because they were reportedly carrying ammunition does not pass the common sense test. How would the Canadian ground troops learn of such an order? They never had direct contact with pilots. And what would be the purposed of telling them? They had no need to know.

Canadian troops, like other Allied troops, no doubt observed the effectiveness of Allied air force interdiction attacks whenever they encountered the burnt-out hulks of destroyed German vehicles along the roads. Any Allied ground POW with any battlefield experience and some reason about him would have been wary of getting into any German vehicle in northwestern Europe during the summer of 1944.

In the US National Archives at College Park there are several thousand war crimes reports as well as war crimes investigations of alleged and confirmed German war crimes. If you go through these reports or cases you frequently encounter reports of German(s) firing at properly Red Cross marked US medics, medical vehicles, medical aid stations, clearing stations, and even field hospitals. Yet, I know of not a single case where the US investigators even questioned a German soldier regarding any of these crimes. For one significant reason, it would impossible to locate the vast majority of the accused as no American ever knew who the culprit was, and even if they did, how could they have ever assembled sufficient evidence to convict him. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, in my judgment there are simply too many factors on the battlefield that hinder adequate target recognition, degrade human senses and disrupt judgment, unintended or accidental engagements, etc., etc. for anyone to drag anyone before a war crimes court unless the accused confessed or a fellow soldier testified against him. Even in an alleged war crime case involving an an incident in which an identified German armored unit fired upon and overran a clearly Red Cross marked US Army field hospital during the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944, the US Army never tried a German for the alleged crime. There was simply no adequate evidence discovered by US investigators that could prove the Germans firing upon the marked US field hospital was an intentional violation of the laws of land warfare.

In studying war crimes, you must take into consideration the motive or intent of the alleged perpetrator, the impact of battlefield factors like the ones previously described, as well as you must fairly consider and weigh alternative explanations.

Penn44

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

Post by David Thompson » 11 Jul 2008 01:56

Canadian wounded stating that ground and air forces had orders to fire on vehicles marked with the red cross
There's also the possibility that this was just rumor or "scuttlebutt" -- ever present in armies of any nationality.

There is another possibility as well -- both sides might have disregarded Red Cross markings as a form of supposed (and informal) reprisal, each side feeling self-righteous about breaches by the opposing side. See:

Bombing of hospital ships
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=77953

Whatever the story may be on this, it isn't uplifting.

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

Post by stukazoo » 11 Jul 2008 11:14

David Thompson wrote:
Canadian wounded stating that ground and air forces had orders to fire on vehicles marked with the red cross
There's also the possibility that this was just rumor or "scuttlebutt" -- ever present in armies of any nationality.

There is another possibility as well -- both sides might have disregarded Red Cross markings as a form of supposed (and informal) reprisal, each side feeling self-righteous about breaches by the opposing side. See:

Bombing of hospital ships
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=77953

Whatever the story may be on this, it isn't uplifting.
Agreed. Hubert Meyer was an old school military man and there are countless recollections of agreed 'ceasefires' after harsh encounters to enable medics to retrieve the dead and wounded. Even instances of medics from both sides aiding each other and treating soldiers from opposite sides. In the great sweep of events in those few months of Normandy, I believe that, for the most part, the great majority of men acted with integrity and courage, though we know from bitter experience that actions of the 'rogue' element appear to taint the overall picture.
From Meyer's text I believe that there was tremendous strain on the "HJ" from day one. Breaking their teeth in the hottest action experienced on any front during WW2 (Many personal accounts are recorded from LAH EF vets). The sad news of blanket bombings from home, the deaths of loved ones and the destruction of their homeland coupled with first hand experience of the outrageuos bombing of Caen which took place while civilians were sat down to lunch on 6th June, for the loss of 1,500 buried alive. I'm not making excuses for the execution of prisoners but there are many things to take into account when assessing these actions.
That aside, the bombing of medical installations either mobile or static is inexcusable and if there is hard evidence to support this, then those responsible should have been called to account!

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

Post by David Thompson » 11 Jul 2008 14:18

stukazoo -- You wrote:
That aside, the bombing of medical installations either mobile or static is inexcusable and if there is hard evidence to support this, then those responsible should have been called to account!
I agree. When that sort of thing goes unpunished, war crimes become more widespread.

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

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 11 Jul 2008 16:52

Hi Stukazoo,
Agreed. Hubert Meyer was an old school military man and there are countless recollections of agreed 'ceasefires' after harsh encounters to enable medics to retrieve the dead and wounded.
Just curious - do you have a source? I just read Margolian's Conduct Unbecoming which does not list any sort of temporary cease fire between Canadians and SS troops.

Even instances of medics from both sides aiding each other and treating soldiers from opposite sides.
Again - a specific source ?
In the great sweep of events in those few months of Normandy, I believe that, for the most part, the great majority of men acted with integrity and courage, though we know from bitter experience that actions of the 'rogue' element appear to taint the overall picture.
I dunno...


From Meyer's text I believe that there was tremendous strain on the "HJ" from day one.

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

Post by stukazoo » 11 Jul 2008 17:19

Rob - wssob2 wrote:Hi Stukazoo,
Agreed. Hubert Meyer was an old school military man and there are countless recollections of agreed 'ceasefires' after harsh encounters to enable medics to retrieve the dead and wounded.
Just curious - do you have a source? I just read Margolian's Conduct Unbecoming which does not list any sort of temporary cease fire between Canadians and SS troops.

Even instances of medics from both sides aiding each other and treating soldiers from opposite sides.
Again - a specific source ?
In the great sweep of events in those few months of Normandy, I believe that, for the most part, the great majority of men acted with integrity and courage, though we know from bitter experience that actions of the 'rogue' element appear to taint the overall picture.
I dunno...


From Meyer's text I believe that there was tremendous strain on the "HJ" from day one.
Hi Rob,

I was going blind last night speed-reading to source previous comments. I'll look tonight. It appeared to be an accepted 'pause' when red cross flags were waived to enable both sides to do a quick sweep. There is more than enough chaos in battle without running amock amongst the wounded and dying. Both sides need a chance to 'do the right thing' by their fallen comrades and there should be that respect on the battlefield as well as anywhere else.

Not sure what you meant by the last part?

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

Post by stukazoo » 11 Jul 2008 21:50

Rob - wssob2 wrote:Hi Stukazoo,
Agreed. Hubert Meyer was an old school military man and there are countless recollections of agreed 'ceasefires' after harsh encounters to enable medics to retrieve the dead and wounded.
Just curious - do you have a source? I just read Margolian's Conduct Unbecoming which does not list any sort of temporary cease fire between Canadians and SS troops.

Depends what you mean by a temporary ceasefire. I don't think you'll find anything official, only eyewitness accounts...
All sources: Hubert Meyer - History of 12th SS
1. page 196 of volume 1 Norrey, 10.06.44 by Sturmann Helmut Schuck, 1.Kompanie Pionierbataillon/26
2. page 215.vol1.Cristot, 11.06.44 by Standarten-Oberjunker Paul Dienemann, Aufklrngabtg 2.Panzerkompanie
3. page 223 vol1. Le Mesnil, 11.06.44 by Obersturmführer Siegel, ?/26,
These are three examples from the first few days! I have not read Conduct Unbecoming but surely you can't mention the rough without the smooth? Another example, mentioned in another post, which took place in Falaise (after the bitter fighting at Ecole Superieure) was a fine example of the chivalry that still existed, despite the carnage. Page 80, vol 2...
Even instances of medics from both sides aiding each other and treating soldiers from opposite sides.
Again - a specific source ?

See above
In the great sweep of events in those few months of Normandy, I believe that, for the most part, the great majority of men acted with integrity and courage, though we know from bitter experience that actions of the 'rogue' element appear to taint the overall picture.
I dunno...

Errr....


From Meyer's text I believe that there was tremendous strain on the "HJ" from day one.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 11 Jul 2008 22:11

stukazoo wrote: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...[/quote]

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

.[/quote]

Hubert Meyer - History of 12.SS Vol 1 section 2 The Second Battle For Caen 11-18 June 1944 - Attack on the positions of SS-Panzeraufklärungsabteilung 12 near Cristot and of III./SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 26 near Brouay on 11 June 1944 (that's 5 days after the Invasion and 4 days after the bombing of Caen in the middle of the day resulting in 1,500 civilian deaths!). I would recommend reading it in full...
Here is an excerpt of the report by Hauptsturmführer Freiherr (baron) von Reitzenstein to Brigadeführer Witt and Sturmbannführer Bremer
'Since the (SS) troops had camouflaged themselves very successfully against being spotted by fighter-bombers, the aircraft looked for other targets. French civilians, among them women with baby carriages, fleeing from the combat area, were chased on the roads and shot. Even cows which were still in the pastures were being 'hunted.'
I don't know about you, but that doesn't make me feel particularly proud....

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 12 Jul 2008 05:59

stukazoo wrote:'Since the (SS) troops had camouflaged themselves very successfully against being spotted by fighter-bombers, the aircraft looked for other targets. French civilians, among them women with baby carriages, fleeing from the combat area, were chased on the roads and shot. Even cows which were still in the pastures were being 'hunted.'
I don't know about you, but that doesn't make me feel particularly proud....
How does a high-speed aircraft chase any person on the road? Wouldn't be much of a race would it?

Do you believe everything you read from a convicted Nazi war criminal?

Penn44



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stukazoo
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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 13 Jul 2008 09:46

Penn44 wrote:
stukazoo wrote:'Since the (SS) troops had camouflaged themselves very successfully against being spotted by fighter-bombers, the aircraft looked for other targets. French civilians, among them women with baby carriages, fleeing from the combat area, were chased on the roads and shot. Even cows which were still in the pastures were being 'hunted.'
I don't know about you, but that doesn't make me feel particularly proud....
How does a high-speed aircraft chase any person on the road? Wouldn't be much of a race would it?

Do you believe everything you read from a convicted Nazi war criminal?

Penn44



.
Perhaps you should read the books for yourself..

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