Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

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Patzinak
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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Patzinak » 25 May 2008 04:49

bf109 emil wrote:[…] why are you so offensive […]
Being offensive is not the issue.

You wrote earlier:
bf109 emil wrote:[…] Was asked to provide source or proof of this order previously […]
And you posted as "source or proof" an entry in Wikipedia.

Now, one of the many flaws of Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it. I could, for instance, edit an entry in Wikipedia and two minutes later post a message on AHF, quoting the Wikipedia entry I just edited as "source or proof" for my assertions. This is one reason (and by no means the only one) why you shouldn't use Wikipedia as "source or proof" for anything.

Furthermore, the Wikipedia entry, referring to the script of a TV documentary, claimed that a statement by Maj Dextraze "to a certain extent confirmed the accusations by Meyer". If you had checked the script, as Penn44 did, you would have seen that, in fact, Dextraze's statement does nothing of the kind -- there is no confirmation of a "take no prisoner" order.

But, what if the script had said what the Wikipedia entry wrongly claimed it did? Well, it's a TV documentary. TV documentaries, however well made (and some of them are very good indeed) are not scholarly works; they are, by the very nature of the medium, entertainment.
bf109 emil wrote:[…] can you prove this order never existed??? it was all a lie by meyer???
I think there is a misconception here regarding the burden of proof. You are committing the fallacy of presumptive proof, defined by Fischer as "advancing a proposition and shifting the burden of proof or disproof on others" (p48), which is also known as the argument from ignorance or appeal to ignorance.

Nobody has to prove that the order never existed or that Meyer lied. If you believe that Meyer was correct, and such an order did exist, then the onus is on you to demonstrate why we should believe Meyer. IOW, it is up to you to find some kind of confirmation for the existence of such an order.

--Patzinak

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 25 May 2008 06:13

bf109 emil -- You asked:
Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??
I doubt it.

(1) The UN War Crimes Commission report of SS-Brigadefuehrer Meyer's 1945 trial doesn't mention the supposed Canadian order. Even assuming such an order existed, it would have been irrelevant to Meyer's defense, since he didn't claim that he acted in retaliation or reprisal. Instead, Meyer denied that he gave any order to kill Canadian POWs, and the crimes may have been committed by some unit which was not under his command. See:

THE ABBAYE ARDENNE CASE - TRIAL OF S.S. BRIGADEFUHRER KURT MEYER, Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals, The United Nations War Crimes Commission, Volume IV, London, HMSO, 1948
http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/WCC/meyer.htm# ... %20DEFENCE
5. THE EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENCE

The accused, giving evidence on oath, denied ever saying that his unit took or would take no prisoners, and emphasised that during the entire Normandy Campaign he gave no orders to shoot prisoners. Describing the speech which he had delivered to the 15th Company at Le Sap, he said that Jesionek’s statement that he had instructed the soldiers to take reprisals against prisoners of war was untrue. He also denied knowing, on 7th June, that any Canadian prisoners were shot at the Abbaye, and claimed that on the morning of the 10th June, two officers had reported that a number of dead Canadians had been found lying in a garden inside the headquarters. They had the impression that the Canadians had been shot. He went to the garden and when he found that their report was true he had been incensed.

p.104

He gave instructions to his Adjutant to find out who had done the deed, and ordered that the Canadians should be buried.

In surveying the operations of 7th June, he mentioned that, in a village near the Abbaye Ardenne called Cussy, he had found the Commander of the Grenadier Regiment of the 21st Panzer Division, who had his headquarters there. The accused also stated that there had been Feldgendarmerie at his headquarters at the Abbaye Ardenne.

The second witness for the Defence, an officer of the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, said that during training and during the first days of the invasion an instruction had been circulated that all prisoners should be sent " back to Division " as quickly as possible, except those taken by Reconnaissance missions, who had permission to question them. He had heard no reports that the accused had said that his unit took no prisoners. The witness stated that during July 1944, the accused had ordered that 150 prisoners should be sheltered in the buildings of his own headquarters because of the bad weather. He had never heard of prisoners being shot at the Abbaye at any time.

When asked whether there were other troops north-west of Caen on the 7th of June, besides the 12th Panzer Division, he replied that Caen itself was in the billeting area of the 21st Panzer Division, that a battle group of the latter Division had been put into action north-west of Caen on the 6th, and that other units in the area had comprised Coastal Defence personnel, Air Force Units and a heavy anti-tank battalion.

In connection with the disposition of troops in the Caen area, the third witness for the Defence, the Regimental Commander of the 21st S.S. Panzer Regiment, said that the headquarters of that Division and of the 716th Coastal Division were situated in a quarry north-west of Caen on the 8th June. In the same area on the same day he could remember parts of the 202 Anti-tank Battalion of the 21st Panzer Division and some Air Force personnel.

A further Defence witness, an Adjutant of the l2th S.S. Panzer Division, said that he had received orders three or four days after the beginning of the invasion that prisoners of war should be evacuated " back to Division " as soon as possible.

As witnesses for the character of the accused, the Defence produced his wife, his Senior Commanding General, an ex-officer of Meyer’s battalion and a Canadian Captain who had gained a favourable impression of Meyer when a prisoner in his hands.

6. THE EVIDENCE FOR THE REBUTTAL .

The Prosecution called several witnesses for the rebuttal. One of these, a youth named Daniel Lachevre, said that in the evening of the 8th June, 1944, he had gone into the garden of the Abbaye with about four friends in order to play games. While he was there he noticed that the Germans had built a shelter, the position of which he indicated. He returned on the 9th and 10th in the evening and apart from the shelter he saw nothing unusual : in particular, he saw no dead bodies. Under cross-examination the witness said that he was very familiar with the garden and that he would have noticed if anyone had been digging there.

p.105

7. THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

Counsel for the Defence chose not to make any opening address before calling witnesses, but delivered a closing address.

He began by asking the Court to place little weight on the evidence of the first Prosecution witness, who had not been present for cross-examination by the Defence and questioning by the Court. He submitted that the witness’s story, according to which an N.C.O. had read secret orders in the street of a town, no doubt with civilians present, in the absence of any officer on parade, was contrary to common sense and from a military point of view ridiculous. He also doubted whether a witness could possibly have memorised accurately a document which he had once heard read.

Counsel pointed out that Jesionek had said that it had only been understood from Meyer’s speech (the exact words of which he could not remember) that reference was actually being made to prisoners. Meyer on the other hand, while his account of his speech was the same as that of Jesionek in so far as it had stressed the need for self-reliance, denied that retaliation against prisoners had been intended. Three Prosecution witnesses, as well as Meyer, had said that there were standing orders that prisoners should be taken ; and exercises on the interrogation of such prisoners had been mentioned.

Counsel’s submission was that Meyer never gave any order that prisoners should not be taken and that if any such statement had been made no weight was placed on it by the men in his command. The first charge therefore remained unproved.

Regarding the second charge, Counsel made three submissions for the consideration of the Court. The first was that there were not only 25th Panzer Regiment troops around Buron and Authie on 7th June, 1944, but troops of the 21st Panzer Division, too. Secondly, the Defence claimed that if Canadian prisoners were killed in the area of Authie and Buron on 7th June, 1944, there was no evidence as to the formation to which those responsible belonged. To rebut the presumption that there was a general plan, sponsored by Meyer, to shoot prisoners was the evidence of Major Learment and Sgt. Dudka, who both told of an N.C.O. or officer who had stopped any intended shooting by the guards of Canadians. Other witnesses had described how they had been accorded the normal treatment of prisoners of war. In the third place, there was evidence that Meyer had given shelter of 150 prisoners in his own headquarters. Furthermore, 200 Canadians had been captured on 7th June, 1944. They had survived, although they could not all be needed for interrogation. There could therefore be no general plan for shooting prisoners.

Counsel concluded his treatment of the second charge by submitting that once a Brigade Commander had sent his men to the attack he had no control over their individual actions.

Turning to the third and fourth charges, Counsel spent some time in attempting to discredit Jesionek’s evidence by contrasting his statements in court on a number of details not connected or only indirectly connected with the alleged offences with his words spoken during his interrogations

p.106

by a war crimes investigating team, and with the evidence of other witnesses on the same subjects. With more particular reference to the alleged shootings, Counsel claimed that Jesionek’s story conflicted with the evidence of Lachevre. Counsel asked how the garden at the Abbaye could be completely undisturbed and unmarked if graves had recently been dug and if there had been a large pool of blood where the bodies had been ? Finally, as there was no evidence as to who shot the seven Canadians, even as to their regiment, Counsel submitted that the Court could not rightly find anyone guilty of the act.

With regard to the fifth charge, Counsel pointed out that there was considerable evidence that the German military police had had charge of the prisoners in question, and submitted that any suspicion should be directed in their direction. He expressed the opinion that, had any person in authority ordered the shootings, it was unlikely in the first place that the pay books of the victims would have been openly produced later, instead of being destroyed, and in the second place that marks of identification would have been left on the bodies.
(2) The trial took place in Aurich, Austria, not in Canada.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Patzinak » 31 May 2008 03:38

Below are quotes from Brode's above-mentioned Casual slaughters…, regarding allegations of war crimes attributed to Canadians in this campaign.

It seems to me quite clear that, while individual Canadian soldiers did kill POWs, no "Take No Prisoners" order was issued in Normandy. Citing Foster's Meeting of the Generals…, Brode states that such an order was reported to have been given by Gen Vokes in Italy, but it was immediately countermanded by Gen Leese.

--Patzinak
Brode wrote: p63

[…] While the trial was delayed, Macdonald took stock of new difficulties. He had learned that Meyer was likely to refer to an incident in which a German reconnaissance patrol was allegedly killed after capture by Canadian troops near La Villeneuve. A check of reference maps indicated that the area in question had been held by 'D' Company of the Regina Rifles. 'As prosecutor,' Macdonald noted, 'it is my duty to place all information impartially before the court.' Pinning down exactly what had occurred proved most difficult since the only remaining officers from 'D' Company were touring somewhere in Ireland. But there was an even more troubling aspect to the La Villeneuve incident. The Canadians had been part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, commanded by the court's president, Harry Foster. Was he also to be charged with responsibility for troops who had killed prisoners? In something of a panic, Macdonald telephoned Brigadier Orde (who had at last arrived by ship) to get the opinion of Canada's ranking

p64

military lawyer. Macdonald asked if he should call Foster to ask whether his troops had been involved in any way 'so he would not be embarrassed as President of the Court.' Orde did not think it necessary but mentioned in passing that it was likely that an officer would be partial towards the prosecution only if his troops had been the victims of atrocities. A number of the troops murdered in Normandy had belonged to the 7th Infantry Brigade.

Questions concerning the partiality of the court and whether Canadian troops had also killed prisoners would have to be addressed at trial. […]

p82

[…] While he was on his way to the 2nd battalion where the legal officer, Dr Tiray served, Meyer encountered the division commander, Witt, and told him of the situation. Witt was outraged and ordered Meyer, 'Well, we have to stop this swinishness.' Noting that perhaps these were reprisals for the rumoured killing of German prisoners, he said, 'This taking the law into one's own hand must be stopped … This could only have been men who heard about the shooting of our own comrades.' Meyer defended his Hitler Youth and thought it unlikely that they were responsible, but he promised to submit a written report.

Perhaps by way of justification, Meyer elaborated on the rumours of German prisoners being shot by Canadians. Near La Villeneuve, Meyer had come across a line of dead Germans, each one shot through the head. The insinuation was that the killings at the Abbaye might have been reprisals for an earlier atrocity against Germans. Meyer continued that, despite Witt's insistence, he had never gotten around to issuing a written report on the incident because he had 'found no clues as to the guilty.' […]

p88

[…] Before Macdonald began his reply evidence, he asked the court's permission to rebut the charges of murder against the Canadian army in connection with the La Villeneuve incident. It was a strange reversal of position: the prosecution wished to assume the defensive. Two witnesses were standing by to refute Meyer's story. One of them, Major H.S. Roberts of the Regina Rifles, entered the court and saluted the bench, only to be told that his presence was unnecessary. Foster refused to permit Macdonald to address the issue or to call evidence. This refusal only kindled further interest in the incident, or, as the newspapers called it, the 'obdurate secret' of Canadian war crimes. It took almost a further week before Macdonald convinced the generals at least to release the information on the incident to the press. Through affidavits, Roberts stated that three German vehicles

p89

had attempted to penetrate Canadian positions at this juncture. The vehicles were knocked out by anti-tank guns and the troops killed in the subsequent fighting. Publicly at least, Meyer's charges were answered. […]

p104

[…] Some [of the Canadian occupation troops] felt it appropriate to shoot this 'dangerous mad dog.' Yet other soldiers felt that even life imprisonment was too harsh. One writer [to the magazine Maple Leaf] reminded D-Day survivors that 'they won't forget the secret huddles "off the record" where German prisoners were killed on the beaches. 'You've got to have been through it to understand a soldier's feelings, there ain't no give and take when the going's rough.' […]

p219

[…] As for violations of the law of war, Bruce Macdonald had always intended that war crimes investigations would be extended to Canadians. The Canadian regulations applied to 'any accused' and were of equal application to Canadians and their enemies. Macdonald sincerely believed that all rumours of Canadian atrocities were followed up. Significantly, one of the questions Macdonald posed at Meyer's initial interrogation was whether he was aware of any Canadian infractions. No such reports were made in his sector, he assured Macdonald, and anyway 'there were many cases in which prisoners came back and the fact that they came back alive was the best proof that there was no fooling of this sort.' Certainly during the Italian campaign both sides seemed to fight by the rules and most Canadians recalled being under strict orders to bring in prisoners unharmed. Many battle memoirs are filled with situations where humanity was shown to the enemy. Strome Galloway recalled an incident in Italy where Germans and Canadians traded wounded and during the process both sides stopped for a drink. When a German paratrooper mistakenly wandered into Canadian lines he was allowed to return since any more prisoners would only create an 'administrative nuisance.' When told of the 12th SS's conduct in Normandy, one Canadian commented, 'They must have been different Germans.' He could not recall any atrocity committed against captives during the Italian campaign. Exceptions seemed to arise near the end of the fighting when the stubborn and costly German defence resulted in Canadians denying quarter when they at last overran German positions.

British writer Alexander McKee exposed a livid scar in his 1964 book Caen: Anvil of Victory. In his account of the battle for Caen (based largely on anecdotes) McKee expressed his conviction that on many occasions Canadians had killed prisoners. He cited instances of Canadians slitting the throats of wounded Germans and reported the comment of one private of the South Saskatchewan Regiment that 'the Germans weren't too eager to surrender. We Canadians never took any SS prisoners now, and sometimes dealt with Wehrmacht formations in the same way.' Controversy followed McKee's claims, as did a disclaimer from one of his sources, who stated that he did not witness Canadian atrocities as McKee had alleged These claims were not new, for, even at the time of Meyer's trial, some veterans freely discussed instances of German prisoners being killed at Normandy. As we have seen, writers to the Maple Leaf wrote of the 'secret

p220

huddles "off the record' where prisoners were murdered. 'Are we such innocent little angels with regard to the same charges? three officers asked.'

Unlike the well-researched German cases, the accusations against Canadian servicemen remain strictly anecdotal. Yet it seems certain that on many occasions Canadian troops did murder prisoners of war. Furthermore, these violations of the laws of war were largely ignored. Many were ignored because (unlike the large-scale executions conducted by the 12th SS) they were mostly spontaneous acts of revenge committed near the fighting. In one instance, a Canadian shot down two Germans who had approached his position with hands raised. His officer was outraged at this cold-blooded killing; however, the culprit, 'a lousy human being, but a good soldier,' was merely given a dressing down and told that if it ever happened again he would be shot. Veterans recalled instances where prisoners were sent to the rear but disappeared en route. On other occasions, Germans trying to surrender would be cut apart by an artillery barrage deliberately aimed at them.

One incident is perhaps typical. Near the end of the war, a Canadian patrol suddenly came under German fire and one man was killed. Without any further resistance, the three ambushing Germans surrendered. The patrol's sergeant had been a close friend of the dead man, and with no hesitation he took the three Germans down the road and shot each one through the head. Even though a junior officer was present, nothing was said. Later, the men in the patrol speculated that the Germans had intended to surrender and had been surprised by the one man and fired at him. They knew that their sergeant was not inclined to mistreat prisoners and the killings were dismissed as just part of the give and take of battle.

Were there some atrocities committed under orders? In January 1945 Robert Sanderson of the Essex Scottish brought back a German prisoner for interrogation. When this was completed, an officer turned to Sanderson and another soldier and ordered them to kill the prisoner. Unable to kill in cold blood, Sanderson and his comrade simply let the man go free. Soldiers take their cue from their commanders, and when Major-Genera1 Chris Vokes decorated a soldier who killed three prisoners he could not bring back to his own lines all his comrades understood the official value of prisoners' lives.

Despite our inclination to feel that war crimes could only have been committed by the enemy, the facts are clearly otherwise. Yet, since alleged violations of the laws of war by Canadians were never investigated, the number of crimes will never be known. While none of them rivalled the

p221

extent or the premeditation of the 12th SS's crimes, nothing excused Canada's failure to investigate those crimes that should have come to the attention of officers and to see that the accused were put before courts martial. […]

p222

[…] As Bruce Macdonald admitted, reports came in of Canadians killing prisoners shortly after battle. While these acts were violations of the laws of war, they were not taken seriously for 'in action there is bound to be zeal and passion involved and it is very likely that prisoners surrendering at the last minute wouldn't be given any quarter at all. After all, if they have just killed a number of your buddies, and they just at the last minute think they are going to escape by holding up their arms, that somebody is going to say "to helI with you." […]

p223

[…] Canadian generals as well seemed to invite their men to commit atrocities. When Canadians first landed in France in 1940, General A.G.L. McNaughton told his officers that 'you must be absolutely ruthless … tell the men we are not particularly interested in prisoners.' In Italy, General Chris Vokes was reported to have given a 'no prisoners' order to his men, an order that was quickly revoked by the 8th army commander, General Sir Oliver Leese. This was the same Chris Vokes who was prepared to equate Meyer's conviction of exhorting his men to commit murder to 'a

p224

motorist who kills a pedestrian with his car through negligence.' […]
--Patzinak

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 31 May 2008 04:52

Maj. Gen Chris Vokes, commander of the Canadian Army Occupation Force in Germany, commuted the death sentence passed against SS-Brigadefuehrer Kurt Meyer on 13 Jan 1946 to life imprisonment. Craig W.H. Luther, Blood and Honor: The History of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitler Youth" 1943-1945, R. James Bender Publishing Co., San Jose [CA]: 1987, p. 192n.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Patzinak » 31 May 2008 13:02

Regarding Vokes, Brode wrote,
Brode, pp104–106, wrote:Tough, determined, pugnacious, Chris Vokes was every inch a regular soldier. One of the ironies of the Meyer case was that the man who ultimately determined his fate was like him in so many ways. […] [In Sicily] three of Vokes's men were killed by civilian snipers. After capturing them, Vokes hurriedly ordered the snipers' execution. Only the division commander's intervention prevented him from carrying through with the killings. Vokes had to content himself with having the men beaten up before being sent to the rear. […] Through the bloody fighting in Italy, Vokes led his division to success at Ortona and the Gothic line. While occasionally criticized fro limited imagination in his plan of attack, ultimately it was hard, persistent men such as Vokes who made victory a reality.

However, strict adherence to the Geneva Convention was not a high priority. While he was mulling Meyer's plea for clemency, Vokes confided to another officer that 'as far as counselling them [soldiers] not to take prisoners, there isn't a general or a colonel on the allied side that I know of who hasn't said "Well, this time we don't want any prisoners"'. Perhaps because of this, Vokes seemed to display sympathy for Meyer's predicament. As for the prosecutor, Vokes made it clear that he considered officers such as Macdonald to be pathetic strivers, civilians in uniform, unfit to judge a fighting man such as Meyer. In his memoirs, Vokes thought that Macdonald 'had never seen a shot fired in anger as far as I knew [apparently, he was unaware of Macdonald's part in the attack on the Verrières Ridge] and [he] knew nothing of battle.'

[…] In his own review of Meyer's appeal, Vokes had been most influenced 'by the fact that sentence of death in this case would set a precedent, whereby a commander in the field could be held responsible with his life for the acts of his subordinates … It was my opinion that Meyer's responsibility on the Fourth and Fifth charges was vicarious in that it was not proved, except by inference, that he gave a direct order for the killing of the prisoners, nor was it proved in evidence, to my satisfaction, that he knew that the executions recorded in the charges were taking place.' By so concluding, Vokes effectively dismissed all the evidence that the investigators had accumulated over the past eighteen months.
--Patzinak

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 31 May 2008 15:12

Craig Luther's book suggests the same thing (at pp. 192-193n) -- that Vokes' commutation of Meyer's death sentence may have been the result of Vokes' guilty conscience.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 07 Jul 2008 13:35

Annelie wrote:
Lady From Hell on Tue Apr 29, 2003 3:06 pm

Hi :

I had faced off with them So i think they were lousy Fighters. Pheraps if hey had brought there Mothers along it may have ben a bit Better. In Fact when they looked down the Barrel of my weapon they just cried so i just helped them along by taking them out of there misery . And Getting on with my Job. As we took no prisoners at the time . ( Followed Orders )

" Lady From Hell" 8)




sithlord72 wrote:
To stretch the subject a little, how did the Wehrmacht
compare to other militaries in the use of combined arms?
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I think this post of a member was a Canadian Soldier whom fought the Germans in WWII shows that some indeed took no prisoners at least he was given this order.
I don't think this a genuine report.

I've just finished Hubert Meyer's 'History of 12 SS' and there are a number of 'executions' and 'atrocities' mentioned that were supposedly carried out by Canadians, including some that have been mentioned in this post. All of these instances were from eyewitness reports.

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.

I will post back with references when I get home tonight.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Annelie » 07 Jul 2008 14:18

I don't think this a genuine report.
This man wasn't posting an report but telling of his personal experience and he certainly is or was an genuine Veteran,
whom was volunteering by giving speeches in schools on war. He also was having ptsd and was being treated.

Its not the first time I have heard that this was the case, of course it does not mean everyone followed orders
of "Take No Prisoner" or perhaps that it was wide spread?

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 07 Jul 2008 14:55

Annelie -- You wrote:
This man wasn't posting an report but telling of his personal experience and he certainly is or was an genuine Veteran, whom was volunteering by giving speeches in schools on war. He also was having ptsd and was being treated.
For those who have spoken to combat veterans -- even ones who have been drinking -- about their experiences and/or done much reading on the subject, the bloodthirsty, sadistic tone of the post is unusual, and particularly unusual in an account given nearly sixty years later.
Its not the first time I have heard that this was the case, of course it does not mean everyone followed orders
of "Take No Prisoner" or perhaps that it was wide spread?
I think we're still looking for confirmation that such an order or orders actually existed, as opposed to examples of criminal behavior by individuals or small groups of soldiers. SS-Brigadefuehrer Meyer died some thirty years before the documentary "The Valour and The Horror" was made, the documentary didn't reference Meyer's statement, and so far no reader has traced the statement attributed to Meyer back to its original source.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 07 Jul 2008 23:23

Further to my earlier post, here are some references from Hubert Meyer's The 12th SS

Page 187 refers to the discovery, on the 8th June 1944, of valuable documents (radio documentation) found on the battlefield of Authie and Franqueville in a knocked out tank and a fallen captain. There was a coded map giving code names of all the villages together with the precise locations of armaments which had been supplied by a local French farmer. A notebook was also discovered which contained notes on the treatment of civilians and prisoners. According to these notes, no prisoners were to be taken if they might impede the attacking Allied forces.

Page 303 refers to the refusal of captured Canadian wounded to be transported by amulance during daylight. When questioned they stated that Allied ground and air forces had orders to also fire on Red Cross vehicles as they were transporting Ammunition and supplies. Hubert Meyer categorically states that this was not true, in the 12 SS as well as all other units.

Page 357 details the battlefield execution of SS Pioneer Pelzmann by an English soldier, as witnessed by Oberscharfuhrer Ernst Behrens.

I highly recommend Meyer's two volumes...

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 08 Jul 2008 01:25

Two posts from Penn44, which exhibited a greater interest in a poster than the subject under discussion, were deleted by the moderator - DT.

stukazoo -- Does Meyer's book give a source for the story of the Canadian order (which I am happy to see falls short of an unqualified "take no prisoners" directive)?

For interested readers -- There is an already-existing, lengthy discussion of the exchange of war crimes between the 12th SS Panzer Division and opposing allied units, which includes the Oberst Luxenberger incident (see the post at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 67#p966467 ), at:

Atrocities of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend"
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=109598

In this thread, I'd like to stick to a discussion of the alleged "take no prisoners" order. I'm also interested in the quote which started this thread:
Kurt Meyer reported what happened in the handling of the German prisoners of war by the Canadian troops:
"On the 7th of June I was given a notebook taken from the body of a dead Canadian captain. In addition to handwritten orders, the notes stated that 'no prisoners were to be taken'. Some Canadian prisoners were asked to verify these instructions...they confirmed orders that if prisoners impeded the advance, they were not to be taken"

and whether this is something that Kurt Meyer said, and if so, where? Could the Canadian documentary scriptwriter have confused Kurt Meyer with Hubert Meyer? And if so, why was the "no prisoners were to be taken if they might impede the attacking Allied forces" part of the quote omitted?

Excerpts (unfortunately, not the pages stukazoo referred to from vol. 1) taken from SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Hubert Meyer's two-volume history of the 12th SS Panzer Division -- a unit in which he served as first general staff officer and later as acting commander (see the "About the Author" section at the end of vol. 1) -- can be seen at:

vol. 1:
http://books.google.com/books?id=CELzdz ... &ct=result

vol. 2:
http://books.google.com/books?id=_Xp-MM ... #PPA464,M1

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 10 Jul 2008 13:50

David Thompson wrote:stukazoo -- Does Meyer's book give a source for the story of the Canadian order (which I am happy to see falls short of an unqualified "take no prisoners" directive)?
I'm sure there isn't David, but I'll check this evening...

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by stukazoo » 11 Jul 2008 22:55

stukazoo wrote:
David Thompson wrote:stukazoo -- Does Meyer's book give a source for the story of the Canadian order (which I am happy to see falls short of an unqualified "take no prisoners" directive)?
I'm sure there isn't David, but I'll check this evening...
Sorry, I was distracted. You're right, no source is mentioned. The notebook was part of a 'find' which included maps and codes for tactical operations which were used in (intercepted) Allied radio messages for some time. This was the main focus of his piece as it was a major intelligence coup. The notebook was just a 'mention'. All other documentation not required by the Division, was passed through the normal channels.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by gunslinger » 12 Jul 2008 10:30

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

Penn44


Ha , thats the sort of comment we are looking for here, isnt it :?

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23261
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 12 Jul 2008 11:58

Penn44 -- You wrote:
Do you believe everything you read from a convicted Nazi war criminal?
Where did you get your information that SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Hubert Meyer was a convicted war criminal?

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