Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 18 Jan 2014 06:18

Hi Harvs73
I hate to tell you this but MURDER IS MURDER. Why do I keep saying this? Maybe because it is.
Here is some information on different types of homicide:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manslaughter

Similar to civilian codes of law, various bodies of military law also have varying "degrees" of homicide. For example, the US military's Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) recognizes both murder and manslaughter in Articles 118 and 119, respectively.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ucmj2.htm

Now I do want to point out that in 1944 that military law and the rules of war were not as developed as they are today (e.g. the creation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its three subsequent protocols in the subsequent decades, the creation of the UCMJ, etc.) Back in WWII, the military law code of the US and the Commonwealth countries (UK, Canada et. al.) were based on the common source - the ancient English "Articles of War" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_War) though the US system did spin off in its own direction with the addition of the Leiber Code et. al.

Note that military law tends to differ significantly from civilian law in the respect that the former is more concerned about enforcing discipline and the latter more about protecting rights.

My point is that if you're going to make a blanket statement that in June 1944 Normandy a Canadian soldier killing a German soldier possibly attempting to surrender is clear cut murder, then you'd better read up on what Canadian military law existed at the time and what it said, if anything, about the treatment of prisoners and of course how it relates back to the 1899 conventions. I've searched on Google for material on Canadian military law during WWII, but other than a very long PDF scanned 1939 manual on a very slow server, haven't found much info.

Back in WWI, Canadian troops occasionally shot surrendering Germans. In fact, the Canadian War Museum historian Tim Cook even wrote a monograph about it called The Politics of Surrender - see http://web.viu.ca/davies/H355H.Cda.WWI/ ... s.2006.htm - which touches on how, as I mentioned before, surrendering is an inherently dangerous act and can in combat be met with mercy or a bayonet thrust.

It's clear that in the beginning of WWII, the Canadian forces had not fully thought out rights and responsibilities with regards to the taking of prisoners or of being taken prisoner, but that by the summer of 1944 - as a result of the HJ murder spree - these rights and responsibilities began to be clarified. Here's a quote from Jonathan Vance's book Objects of Concern: Canadian Prisoners of War Through the Twentieth Century, p.102:
...“…The hazards inherent in that first stage of captivity eventually forced the Canadian Army to pay particular attention to preparing soldiers for the possibility of capture. Presumably Chief of the General Staff Harry Crerar’s mention in 1940 of a Canadian soldier’s rights and obligations in war included his right to be taken alive as a POW, and his obligation to take prisoners if they presented themselves. Nevertheless, a take-no-prisoners policy was talked of in the Canadian Army in 1940. In May, when Canadian troops were anticipating going into action in France, 1st Division General Officer Commanding (GOC) General A.G.L. McNaughton said that ‘you must be absolutely ruthless…tell the men we are not particularly interested in prisoners. (17) Whether anyone mentioned the obverse of this, that the Germans might be just as uninterested in prisoners, is not recorded.

In 1944, these considerations suddenly became imperative. Whether or not an unofficial take-no-prisoners policy existed in the Canadian Army is a matter of some debate, but there can be no doubt that it was the practice of certain German units in Normandy. (18) On the morning of 7 June 1944, [brief synopsis of 12th SS incidents]…When these murders came to light in July, the government was forced to address the dangers surrounding the moment of capture. CMHQ had to take swift action to make soldiers aware of the new hazards facing them if captured, although Crerar, now GOC of the 1st Canadian Army, was more concerned that atrocity stories might drive Canadian soldiers to reprisals. In fact, the text of a message to the troops provoked some debate. Crerar wanted to say that the prisoners [killed by the 12th SS] had been ‘murdered under circumstances of great brutality’ to convince soldiers of the type of enemy they faced, but the government wanted the phrase omitted to avoid alarming relatives. In the end, Crerar compromised and said only that there must be no retaliation but that anger should be converted into a ‘steel-hard determination; to defeat the enemy. (20) The impact of this incident on the training of soldiers for captivity is difficult to access. One soldier, however, recalled that before going to action in northwest Europe, his unit was briefed on the different German troops they might face and the attitudes such troops could be expected to have. (21)"
So here we have the Commander of the First Canadian Army specifically ordering that no retaliation should be taken.


Hi dshaday,

My point in citing Pindar ("Dulce bellum inexpertis") is to illustrate how taking or shooting soldiers attempting to surrender in combat occurs in a situation chaotic, carnal and callous, and we need to recognize that. For example, historian Alexander McKee on p. in his book Caen: Anvil of Victory mentions this in his description of combat at Bretteville l'Orgueilleuse, including a commentary by Leo Gariepy of the 6th Canadian Armored Regiment:
"'…We were amazed at the facility with which we were taking them. Their casualties were high, ours were negligible, few prisoners were taken. It is a problem for such groups to give up. First, they have to brave their own troops, then to face the opposing force, not always clear on their intentions. They came forward aligned down the muzzles of enemy guns, and a single shot fired by one man can cause thousands of others to follow suit. This was not yet 'savagery' or 'revenge', it was SNAFU or 'organized confusion'." Nevertheless, men going forward to surrender were shot down, and this could easily be, and most probably was, misinterpreted as deliberate ruthlessness on the part of the Canadians."
Now, I cannot recall posters saying that context in a combat scenario is irrelevant. It is very important and I agree with you there. Rules avoiding needless killing are also very important and I hope you agree with me also.
Since (and probably as a result of) WWII, modern armies have developed and adopted a whole set of rules of engagement and rules of the use of force in order to better train soldier on the appropriate use of force and mitigate the chance of illegal killings. However, both in the perhaps uncodified practices of 1944 and the ROE cards of today, a soldier always has the inherent right to defend himself against dangerous personal attack.


Hi Seaburn,

I just got the book!

I haven't done a deep dive yet but I agree with you that the lack of footnotes or other citations is poor form. Give me a couple of days reading it and I'll post some observations.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 20 Jan 2014 15:42

Let's get back on topic.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Marcus » 20 Jan 2014 17:07

An exchange of personal remarks was removed.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Marcus » 24 Jan 2014 09:13

An additional exchange was removed.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by seaburn » 24 Jan 2014 10:25

I think a recap of what is relevant is necessary because there may be some reading these posts who think this thread is called: Canadians V SS, or indeed 'Canadian orders, 'take no WSS prisoners'...

As you can all see, this is not what it’s called, and as such, any evidence that does not include personnel from the WSS is relevant. The evidence from the five Canadian Personal posted above make no mention of WSS as opposed to Wehrmacht, they talk only about 'Germans'. So this alleged order is not solely about the WSS or indeed solely about Normandy or even post-1944.

Some readers not au fait with this particular battle would be forgiven in thinking that:

(A) The Canadians fought nobody but the WSS

(B) That the WSS were the sole defenders of Normandy.

A cursory glance at any relevant book will tell you different, you will see that the Canadians did not meet the WSS on the beaches, the Panzer Lehr were under Wehrmacht control, and in the fighting down to Falaise, the Canadians would have encountered numerous other non WSS divisions.

What is undoubtedly true is that they did face the 12th WSS HJ who were subsequently found guilty of war crimes against Canadian POWs, the majority executed in the first three days after D Day. This fact has not been challenged by anyone that has posted, nor has anyone posted to justify these executions because they felt there was a 'Canadian take no prisoner order'. But these atrocities while relevant are not what this thread it about. The moderator has posted other relevant threads were crimes by the WSS can be discussed in detail.

What has been posted is evidence that the Canadians did kill captured German POWs, but that there were no post War Crimes trials for any of these incidents. Evidence has also been posted that this led to some high ranking Canadian Officers struggling with their conscience because they admitted that in the heat of battle, they too had done the same thing as the people they were putting on trial. This evidence in itself does not prove a blanket ‘take no prisoners order’ but it has stirred the debate on other issues which are worthy of a thread of their own.

So to recap, anyone who has evidence of Canadians going to war with a ‘take no prisoner’ order is relevant, it can be against any branch of the Axis forces. On the other side, those who have books from a Canadian perspective at their disposal or who feel strongly that the Canadians are being maligned here would serve their cause better by trawling through their files and posting counterbalancing evidence. This may come in the form of figures of the amount of German POWs captured or processed by the Canadians. Alternatively, copies of any official Canadian orders which may state how prisoners are to be processed after capture is relevant. We have already seen claims that stockades were built for these prisoners, so you could follow on with this evidence instead side stepping of the issue and trying to take every post back to the WSS or forcing the moderators to lock the thread due to going around in circles.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 01 Feb 2014 04:38

I think a recap of what is relevant is necessary because there may be some reading these posts who think this thread is called: Canadians V SS, or indeed 'Canadian orders, 'take no WSS prisoners'…
Hi Seaburn - I applaud your effort to provide a recap.

So this alleged order is not solely about the WSS or indeed solely about Normandy or even post-1944.
So to recap, anyone who has evidence of Canadians going to war with a ‘take no prisoner’ order is relevant, it can be against any branch of the Axis forces.
One recommendation - I would suggest that we have this thread concentrate on the alleged Canadian "no prisoner" orders for the Normandy campaign, and create subsequent threads for similar Canadian orders or war crimes but different campaigns such as Italy, North Africa and Holland. Separating the topics by campaign will help keep the threads more focused.

What is undoubtedly true is that they did face the 12th WSS HJ who were subsequently found guilty of war crimes against Canadian POWs, the majority executed in the first three days after D Day. This fact has not been challenged by anyone that has posted, nor has anyone posted to justify these executions because they felt there was a 'Canadian take no prisoner order'.

However, bf109 emil's citation of a previous version of the Wikipedia article for the Battle of Caen (citing Kurt Meyer's biography and the Valor and the Horror website) on the first page of the thread does seem to imply that the SS shot POWs because the Canadians did it first.

What has been posted is evidence that the Canadians did kill captured German POWs, but that there were no post War Crimes trials for any of these incidents.
You raise a point that Tony Foster also pointed out in his book - why no war crimes trials against Canadian soldiers? I'd argue that

a) In such a case in which a Canadian soldier was accused of killing prisoners, his trial would be conducted by Canadian military authorities under existing Canadian military law

(an example of the US Army conducting courts martial for the murder of POWs by US troops is the "45th (Thunderbird) Division during the invasion of Sicily" thread at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=24614)

b) war crimes trials were used to address violations of military law by enemy combatants when the enemy did not enforce such existing laws

c) We don't have detailed information on the effects of alleged Canadian "take no prisoner" orders such as specific dates, events, names of POWs killed, etc.

Evidence has also been posted that this led to some high ranking Canadian Officers struggling with their conscience because they admitted that in the heat of battle, they too had done the same thing as the people they were putting on trial.
To some extent. I just finished reading P. Whitney Lackenbauer's excellent essay Kurt Meyer, 12th SS Panzer Division, and the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy: An Historical and Historiographical Appraisal at http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html which indicates that Canadian military authorities - including Gen. Foster himself - denied allegations of Canadians murdering German POWs


On the other side, those who have books from a Canadian perspective at their disposal or who feel strongly that the Canadians are being maligned here would serve their cause better by trawling through their files and posting counterbalancing evidence.
This may come in the form of figures of the amount of German POWs captured or processed by the Canadians.
Here's some info from the Regina Rifles' Intelligence Log for June 1944, available in PDF form under the "War Diaries" section of http://www.reginarifles.ca/


(Date, serial number, time: specific log file)
June 6 - #51 - 2115 hours - Approx 150 PW were taken up to this time, over 100 of these being taken in Courseulles.

So even on D-Day, the Regina Rifle unit was taking POWs.

The Canadian War Diaries website (http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/normandy-war-diaries/) has a bunch of primary source documentation on correspondence and intelligence summaries that mention the capture of German prisoners from the Normandy campaign. For example, take a look at


http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... l-sum3.pdf

http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... l-sum5.pdf

http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... m4-pt2.pdf

http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... tsum36.pdf

http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... tsum37.pdf


List of German units with passed through 2nd Cdn Corps "Cage" from 171800B-181800B. Taken from statements of German prisoner.
http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... tsum37.pdf

List of German units with passed through 2nd Cdn Corps "Cage" from 181800B-191800B. Taken from statements of German prisoner.
http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-co ... tsum38.pdf


Probably one of the most famous accounts is of a Canadian tank crew capturing 300+ German POWs towards the end of the campaign is the Account written by Sergeant GARIEPY, 6 Canadian Armoured Regiment, on capturing Germans NORTH of FALLACIES - see http://www.junobeach.org/e/2/can-eve-rod-nor-gar-e.htm

Note that this account is also covered in the book Caen: Anvil of Victory

In the primary source information above I didn't see any evidence for "no quarter" orders. I did see data on prisoners taken and information gleaned from interrogations (there was some intelligence reports about Oradour, however - I didn't realize the Allies knew about the crime even in the summer of 1944). There is some fascinating info on ordnance and TOE's and after-action reports. But I didn't find any information about mistreating German POWs or even of allegations of German war crimes against Canadian POWs. To be fair, trolling through all this information feels a bit like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, but what does seem abundantly clear is that during Normandy the Canadians were taking POWs in large numbers and were interrogating them for intelligence purposes.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by seaburn » 01 Feb 2014 17:43

Delighted to see the thread back to its best. Will digest the points , but from casting a quick eye over yr post Rob, I have no major rebuttals. Hoping now we can move forward to put this issue 'to bed' one way or the other.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 03 May 2014 03:56

Hi guys - I just recently finished Alexander McKee's Caen: Anvil of Victory and wanted to add some excerpts that I thought were pertinent to this thread:

On p.86 is a quote from a Canadian Sergeant Gariepy on the injustice of blaming Meyer:
“… We were then hacking at their reserves, and their commanders must have been crazy with the impotence of their high command. Can you imagine a young officer asking, “What about the prisoners, sir?” You can imagine the reply, “To hell with the prisoners, do what you like to them.” So it gets handed down to, perhaps a NCO, and he is not too happy, or feels the pangs of revenge, or wants to show his determination for the Fatherland, and decides to erase the problem the easiest way. And that was that. To place the blame on the Div. commander is pathetic. I deplore the deaths of those men, but it was no more monstrous than the destruction of Monte Cassino. War is not pretty and the solider cannot ask for any special privileges. “
On p.87 for June 1, 1944 the text mentions that soldiers from the 5th Black Watch (battalion?) were captured by SS troops and shot against a wall, noting that the behavior of the Germans was markedly different than that of the 90th Light Division in North Africa.

On pp.94-5, Sergeant Gariepy continues:
“…On 14 June, while we were still reforming and absorbing new crews, two more men missing since the hell of Le-Mensil-Patry came back…They had, they said, escaped from the Jerries; they talked of seeing some Hussars who had given themselves up being shot in the back after being taken prisoner. The old grim look of revenge was revived, and we began to look forward to our next engagement. Up to now, there had not been any particular viciousness on either side; sometimes our fire, or that of the Jerries, strayed a little, to allow the crew of an enemy tank to get out. Looking back on it now, I think, rather cynically, that those yards brought back by men who escaped or played dead, were not always the truth; or the truth was twisted in the mind of the teller…

…But I must admit that these alleged atrocities served as good propaganda at the time, for the news got around fast that the panzers were taking no prisoners. “Act with that in mind,” we were told, and there actually was an order of the day published saying that we must not take prisoners. This created quite a furor, and the officer concerned was called to the carpet, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was stated that tanks should not take prisoners but leave them to the infantry. This got him off the hook, but I still smile. I don’t think he was fooling. It made the Canadians all fighting mad, a very good point in battle, almost a necessity to a green man. We often saw cases of men actually hesitating to shoot an enemy; a natural resistance of pulling the trigger point blank on a human being. This is a normal reaction for the first time; after that, it’s easy.”
p.197 July 4: Chaudiere historians re: advance on Carpiquet:
”…In a dug out, Lieutenant Miller found two disguised Germans, one in the uniform of an English captain, the other in the uniform of a British soldier. Realizing the consequences of such an offense against the laws of war, the two SS men resist to the death. No prisoners are taken this day on either side.”
p.199 Excerpt from text:
“…For the first few weeks after the landings, there had been only a few sporadic, isolated incidents; regrettable but not typical Looking back on it afterwards, it is clear that the change took place at the Odon to be precise, at Fontenay on 25 June, where the reputation of the Butcher Bears was born (they may have been influenced by Canadian stories) However, from then on, variations of the phrase, ‘No quarter given on either side this day,’ told through the individual narratives, the Regimental histories and even the divisional histories. Spoiling the pattern is the fact that witnesses from other units were equally emphatic in declaring the opposite: they had never witnessed the deliberate execution of prisoners – deliberate, as opposed to accidental shootings or misunderstandings, but even here there were sometime borderline cases, open to misinterpretation by any enemy who had witnessed them.
There is also an account from a Major H. Wake – about how you had to make sure the POWs took their helmets off and kept their hands up, otherwise, other units might accidentally shoot them.

p.200 quote from text:
“…Arthur Knight, also of 2KRRC (the “panzergrenadiers” of the 4 Independent Armored Brigade) was emphatic, ‘There was no shooting of prisoners by our unit, except one probably not necessary case. We were on an embankment when we saw two Germans walking up. A Sergeant calls on them to surrender; they seemed surprised, one put his hands up, but the other didn’t obey quick enough. So the Sergeant fired a mortar bomb which landed between them and killed one.
Another example from Arthur Knight:
“…We’d gone out to get some snipers, I think from the 12th SS Panzers, mostly 16-17 year old boys. Some of them surrendered, then, as we were herding them along, another Nazi stepped out of the trench and let go with an automatic rifle. One of our lads had half his head blown away, and his pal went crazy with the payment among the prisoners.” This was the more usual pattern: snipers would pick off two, three four men of an advancing platoon, then as they came to close quarters, stand up and surrender. The men whose friends had just been shot by him did not always feel inclined to let the killing stop at that point.”
p.201 quote from text:
…By August, said a private of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, “The Germans weren’t too eager to surrender. We Canadians never took any SS prisoners now, and sometimes dealt with Wehrmacht formations the same way. One German came in covered all over in Red Crosses, to make sure we wouldn’t shoot him. And other Canadians told me, ‘When the Jerries came in with their hands up, shouting ‘Kamerad,’ we just bowl them over with bursts of Sten gun fire.” A witness from the 15th Scottish recalled how, in the beginning, they had taken prisoners, and while their Sergeant Major was removing their valuables from a fresh batch, a Canadian with a Sten gun came wandering along the road. Apparently his unit had suffered lately, for he muttered, ‘bloody bastard Germans,’ and emptied the magazine into the row of prisoners, hitting the Scottish Sergeant Major in the stomach. But any German who tries to surrender nowadays is a brave man; we just shoot them there and then, with their hands up. There’s nothing to choose between the British and the Germans as regards to atrocities…” Evidence of this trend, from the German side, is almost impossible to obtain, because any such admission could still lead to a war crimes trial, a hazard not faced by Allied soldiers.
p. 204 quote from text:
“…But it’s clear also that the tales told about the 12th SS by the Canadians, from the time of Le Mensil-Paltry onwards, had had their effect. ‘We knew before the Odon battle of the 12th SS Panzer Div. reputation for shooting prisoners,’ wrote Sergeant Green, ‘and this did not encourage us in our first attack to surrender – rather the reverse, I am afraid. However, I have discussed the shooting of prisoners with my brother, who was in the artillery supporting the Canadians from D-Day onwards, and he is unable to vouch for the truth of any of the rumors; he heard plenty, but actually did not see anything of that sort happen.”

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by seaburn » 03 May 2014 17:54

Very interesting and indeed very pertinent, I applaud the honesty of the author as he lifts the veil of 'chivalry and honour' and shows us non combatants the brutal reality of war. It appears that the psychology of telling your men that 'the other side takes no prisoners' was a useful tool used by both sides to get their men to fight more ferociously, if it wasn't true in the beginning, it certainly was after actions had been taken by both sides in retaliation.

Thanks for posting.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 04 May 2014 05:11

Hi Seaburn,
I applaud the honesty of the author as he lifts the veil of 'chivalry and honour' and shows us non combatants the brutal reality of war.
Yes McKee does a good job of illustrating the brutality and often senselessness of combat. It is gripping and yet disturbing reading.
It appears that the psychology of telling your men that 'the other side takes no prisoners' was a useful tool used by both sides to get their men to fight more ferociously
Absolutely.In Tony Foster's book there is a brief reference of Kurt Meyer giving a pep talk at a formal dinner with (I believe) the Fifteenth Company of the 12th SS Recon section in April 1944 in which he make a quip to the effect of that "real soldiers" don't surrender. It's interesting to note since in the same month the unit supposedly received instructions not to take prisoners.

Speaking of Meeting of Generals - did you find upon reading the book that Tony Foster seemed more sympathetic to Kurt Meyer than his own father? Maybe I'm projecting onto his narrative, but that was one of my observations upon completing the book.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by seaburn » 04 May 2014 11:50

Hi Rob, to be honest my analysis of this book and KM in general would be the subject of an all-night talking session! I had hopes when I joined the AHF that I would have been able to rake over many points that both Grenadiers and MOG threw up with other members. But alas and alack I've learnt that the subject of KM and the WSS in general is still so divisive that I feel compelled to do most of my analysis by PM, which is a shame IMO.

So hopefully the following won’t incur rancour, but you do make a valid point about the author. It’s clear that his relationship with his father was somewhat estranged due to their long separation during the war, the subsequent breakdown of his parents’ marriage, his mother’s untimely death and the perceived hasty remarriage of his father to despised wife number 2.

Their conversation on hearing the news of KM’s death seemed to have planted a seed in Foster Jr’s head that KM’s conviction sat uncomfortably with his father. There is a sense that T. Foster felt the verdict had more to do with appeasing a public and media who had been baying for revenge than serving true justice. I do feel as previously stated that this book is an attempt to rehabilitate KM’s reputation, to show his human side and he succeeds in the main by retelling warm personal anecdotes supplied by his family. It also serves to reinforce Meyer’s assertion in ‘Grenadiers’ that he was only ever ‘fighting the good fight’……...... Sadly I think KM pulled the wool over his own families eyes as much as his readers and Foster Jr with this claim. I think they would still find it hard to accept the evidence found against him so far for crimes on the Eastern Front as he was a master at ingratiating himself with his audience, whoever they may be. T. Foster must have been aware of these rumours as they were muted at Meyer’s trial, but he makes no mention of them, which further adds to the impression that he was somewhat blinded by the carefully crafted legend that Meyer had spun around him. I think the difficult personal relationship with his father, coupled with his obvious admiration for Meyer does give one food for thought.

In relation to this thread and the HJ in general ,I do mull over the psychology of putting lethal weapons in the hands of teenagers who had been brain washed from the age of 7 or 8 to blindly serve their Fuhrer. Their childhood idols were the men of the LSAH, whom the propaganda machine lauded as the perfect embodiment of German superiority. Kurt Meyer spoke in his interrogations of visiting schools to give talks to young boys, you can imagine what an impression this charismatic, highly decorated soldier made on them. George Isecke (post 75) spoke of the HJ being told prior to battle that they ‘had sprung from the trunk of the LSAH’. He maintained that this was in relation to treating the Allies with respect in battle but I firmly believe that its intent was to intone the HJ forward, by reminding them that they were the successors to the legacy of the LSAH that had seen glory during the Blitz Krieg and had fought hard won battles on the Eastern front.

It’s a matter of record that the orders to execute the Canadians came in the main from men who had previously served with the LSAH and who made up the majority of the officer core. I do feel the HJ would have been ‘wound up’ to a frenzy by these factors and it was the Canadians misfortune to face this deadly combination of battle hardened ex-LSAH officers and radicalised boy soldiers in Normandy.

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