On the source thread Philip Burke wrote:
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.
Dave Thompson replied
For interested readers: 'Rueckmarsche ! The German Retreat From Normandy - Then & Now' by Jean-Paul Pallud ( ATB, ISBN 9 781870 067577 ).
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?
Phillip Burke responded
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
I found something pertaining to this incident in p. 303 of Vol II of Hubert Meyers divisional history of the 12th SS:
“…One day, when wounded Canadians were to be transported to the Korps hospital, they refused to travel by day. Through an interpreter they were asked for their reasons and they stated that ground and air forces had orders to also fire one vehicles marked with the Red Cross since these were transporting weapons, ammunition and supplies to the fighting forces. There is no question, ambulances of the Division were never used to transport ammunition or other supplies, except medical supplies and, of course, wounded. The same is true, without doubt, for all other units. The result of this interrogation and reports on the attack of medical installations by fighter bombers, contrary to international law, were submitted to the International Red Cross through regular channels. The situation did not change. For instance, during the first weeks of the fighting – the date cannot be determined with certainty – a column of fifteen ambulances was attacked by Allied aircraft. The vehicles were transporting critically wounded, among them Canadian pilots, from the area Louvigny-Mondrainville-Missy to the evacuation hospital at Argentan. The fighter-bombers initially flew a fake attack. The medics and the drivers unloaded the wounded quickly to bring them to safety. This was only partially achieved when the aircraft started a low-level attack. There were several dead, and some of the wounded were hit again, among them Canadians. Killed, among others, were three ambulance drivers. Two vehicles burned out, the others received hits but were still mobile. (footnote 10, citing TAC 21st Army Group No. M502 of 18.6.44)