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

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

Post by phillip burke » 03 Sep 2008 23:01

hello , new to this forum , in regards to allied aircrew bombing german red cross medical convoys check the ruckmarsche published by after the battle. the researcher is john paul pallud. in it is a serious of photos from normandy of a ambulance convoy clearly marked shot up. in total about twenty vehicles , also no ammo appears.

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

Post by David Thompson » 04 Sep 2008 00:12

For interested readers: 'Rueckmarsche ! The German Retreat From Normandy - Then & Now' by Jean-Paul Pallud ( ATB, ISBN 9 781870 067577 ).
http://www.afterthebattle.com/ruckmarsch.htm

Apparently this is an excellent book -- it's certainly highly recommended by posters in several WWII forums. However, I haven't seen it. Apparently its coverage starts about 7 Aug 1944 with the withdrawal of the Hitlerjugend Division from Normandy through the Falaise Gap, which took place a month or two after the atrocity exchange with the Canadian and British troops immediately after D-Day. Does anyone have access to this book, who can give the rough date of the ambulance-strafing it describes?

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

Post by phillip burke » 08 Sep 2008 18:52

hello the date according to the ruckmarsche is august 17 the scene was witnessed by ss sturmann rudi cihotzki of ss panzer pioner bataillion 9 . on this hill, a column of german ambulances has been shot to pieces by fighter bombers .this is the most gruesome sight i ve seen through out this war.the ambulances are burned out,and in the melted hulks you can make out the remains of men-shrivelled to such an that they look like dolls.other bodies lie strewn around beside the wrecked lorries. the bundersarchive photo ref is 497/3515 and 497/3515A . some of the pictures are on this forum on the falaise photo thread, sorry cant help more

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

Post by David Thompson » 08 Sep 2008 20:11

Thanks, phillip burke.

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Post by Bart V. » 21 Feb 2010 18:44

Panzerass wrote:Indeed, Timo, that's what I forgot in my first posting here. Meyer was imprisoned because he was responsible as the military leader. There were these murders of POWs, no doubt.
In addition, there is the argument that the Canadians made the trial be a political issue, too. They also wanted to have a war criminal to convict.

In his book "Grenadiere", Meyer presents his view on the trial and does not mention that there was this investigation to find the murderers from his unit.

But there's no doubt at all that Meyer was the responsible man in militarty point of view for the murders, because he was the commanding officer and the shootings took place in his sector and were comitted by men who were subordinated to him.

Further on I suggest to read:
1. Craig Luther's "Blood and Honour", Bender publishing from the late 80s
2. Tony Foster's "Meeting of Generals".
3. if you read German - Kurt Meyer "Geweint wird, wenn der Kopf ab ist. Annäherungen an meinen Vater "Panzermeyer", Generalmajor der Waffen-SS". Written by "Panzermeyer"'s son - very critical, but it helps to understand how Meyer acted as a character.
He was held responsible as commander of the unit. Therefor they decided that the death sentence should not be executed and replace it with a life sentence. He was charged with (for his whole trial go to : http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/wcc/meyer.htm) :

FIRST CHARGE:

in that he in the Kingdom of Belgium and Republic of France during the year 1943 and prior to the 7th day of June, 1944, when Commander of 25 S.S. Panzer Grenadier Regiment, in violation of the laws and usages of war, incited and counselled troops under his command deny quarter to Allied troops.

SECOND CHARGE:

in that he in the Province of Normandy and Republic of France on or about the 7th day of June, 1944, as Commander of 25 S.S. Panzer Grenadier Regiment, was responsible for the killing of prisoners of war, in violation of the laws and usages of war, when troops under his command killed twenty-three Canadian prisoners of war at or near the Villages of BURON and AUTHIE..

THIRD CHARGE:

in that he at his Headquarters at L’Ancienne Abbaye, Ardenne in the Province of Normandy and Republic of France on or about the 8th day of June, 1944, when Commander of 25 S.S. Panzer Grenadier Regiment, in violation of the laws and usages of war gave orders to troops under his command to kill seven Canadian prisoners of war, and as a result of such orders the said prisoners of war were thereupon shot and killed.

FOURTH CHARGE:

in that he in the Province of Normandy and Republic of France on or about the 8th day of June, 1944, as Commander of 25 S.S. Panzer Grenadier Regiment, was responsible for the killing of prisoners of war in violation of the laws and usages of war, when troops under his command shot and killed seven Canadian prisoners of war at his Headquarters at L’Ancienne Abbaye Ardenne.

FIFTH CHARGE:

in that he in the Province of Normandy and Republic of France on or about the 7th day of June, 1944, as Commander of 25 S.S. Panzer Grenadier Regiment, was responsible for the killing of prisoners of war in violation of the laws and usages of war, when troops under his command killed eleven Canadian prisoners of war (other than those referred to in the Third and Fourth Charges) at his Headquarters at L’Ancienne Abbaye Ardenne.

SIXTH CHARGE:

in that he in the Province of Normandy and Republic of France on or about the 17th day of June, 1944, as Commander of 12 S.S. Panzer Division (Hitler-Jugend), was responsible for the killing of prisoners of war in violation of the laws and usages of war, when troops under his command killed seven Canadian prisoners of war at or near the Village of MOUEN.

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

Post by David Thompson » 21 Feb 2010 19:14

For interested readers -- We already have a number of open threads on this subject:

The crimes of Kurt "Panzer" Meyer
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=32709
Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=109598
SS-HJ and shootings of Canadian POWs
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=80967
12th SS and Canadians
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=14799
Story behind this 12th SS photo
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=100413
Incidents involving Canadian and German units in Normandy
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=5674
Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=139551

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

Post by David Thompson » 28 Oct 2014 05:01

The posts on the killings at Fontenay le Pesnel have been split off and given a thread of their own. Members interesting in posting to that topic can find it at:

'Fontenay le Pesnel' 8.8.44/Canadian 'Malmedy'
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=211030

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Oct 2014 13:23

It must be some sort of record.

Has any other regiment had five separate atrocity accusations laid against it within three days of its first entry into action?

Leaving Meyer himself aside, was this part of the wider W-SS ethos - to turn hitherto immaculate youths into immediately compliant executioners at the first exposure to combat?

Or was it an aberration? Why was there only one later such accusation after the first three days in Normandy?

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by rossmcpharter » 28 Oct 2014 18:49

I believe it to be due to most of the senior officers being LAH veterans

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

Post by Harro » 28 Oct 2014 20:07

Yet I am not aware of any accusations against LSSAH units during the Normandy campaign. Not that this absolves this division from its responsibility for crimes during other campaigns, it is just something that springs to mind.

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

Post by rossmcpharter » 29 Oct 2014 09:50

Interesting point Harro.

It may be because LSSAH arrived at the end of June, beginning of July. The bulk of these crimes were committed early in the Normandy campaign.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 29 Oct 2014 11:17

The Waffen-SS organization had been withdrawn from the military justicial system in early 1940 after the Army brought several charges of breaches of military law against the SS for activities in Poland in 1939.

Were the Laws of War part of W-SS military education thereafter?

Sid.

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

Post by cindee » 27 Oct 2016 20:21

citing to Howard Margolian’s book “Conduct Unbecoming” (pp. 90-94): In his post, someone mentions 40 men being shot from this book. I will have to get the book, as one of the men mentioned was my Uncle Jim, written down as Sergeant James Reid. His brother William was also over there at the same time and lived. His recount was that Uncle Jim was questioned along with the other men and then shot in the head behind an Abby or a Chateau. What I am reading it seems mixed-up like he was shot on the road. But Uncle Bill gave quite a graphic description to his family, cousins, sisters, and younger brothers when he first came back home (as did the Canadian government confirm it to an extent) and then never even told his own children or anyone else that I know of, of what happened over there. My mom's brother also served, as did most of the country, as did most of the Reid family. and so many other Canadians There were two elder Reid brothers, who had about 12 children each with their wives and they had both been soldiers in the Canadian Army during WW1 and these Reid boys were their sons. I hope I am allowed to post this, as it is my first time posting here. Jim was the eldest and my grandmother had a breakdown because she kept getting different messages, like MIA and then finally she got confirmation that Jim was dead, which is what she feared most. My aunt said, Grandmother Maggie (her mother) held her hand and was delirious while she was describing different things she was seeing as she was laying in bed searching for her son, Jim. My Aunt said she was young and didn't know how her mother was describing the things she described while shouting out for her son to come to her. They are all dead now and I am glad I found this site as my son is thinking about going into the Armed Forces. I'm sorry I don't have books to quote from, but I am grateful to those who have posted this thread and the books they mention so I can try to find them.

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

Post by seaburn » 27 Oct 2016 22:10

Hi Cindee - Welcome to the Forum. I believe you are referring to the shooting of 40 Canadians near Fontenay Le Pesnel - this was dubbed the 'Canadian Malmedy'. The full story of what happened that night can be found in this thread:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... y&start=90

The Canadians had been captured that day (8 June 1944) and were being transported correctly to the rear - On the way, the party were intercepted by a senior 'Angry Officer' who berated the guards. Soon after the demeanour of the guards changed and the prisoners were led to a field where they were surrounded and shot - 5 men managed to escaped and survive the war. After liberation they told their story and the bodies were uncovered - I attach one section of the names of those who died and the name 'Reid' indeed appears there. The Angry officer was never formally identified, but the man thought to be responsible, Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Mohnke was captured by the Russians after the escape from the Führer Bunker following Hitler's suicide in May 1945 and was only released in the mid 1950's - he was never charged with this or other war crimes he was suspected of. You will find all details on the thread - if you would like copies of any of the documents mentioned or shown, please pm me.
WO_309_1172_0245victimsB.jpg
With regard to your surviving uncle relaying details of deaths at a Chateau - this was the executions of Canadian prisoners at the Chateau Audrieu which also happened on the same day and in the same area - this incident received widespread publicity quite soon after in the Canadian press as it came to light quite quickly - your surviving uncle must have known the details of that incident and presumed his brother had died there. Details of the Chateau Audrieu can be found on this thread:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... it=audrieu

But this is not where your uncle was killed.
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Re: Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"

Post by cindee » 19 Nov 2016 04:35

Thank you.

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