Disarmed Enemy Forces

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Hurtig
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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Hurtig » 24 Jan 2012 17:36

David -- Thanks for the links and information, I found them very interesting.
David Thompson wrote:You are mistaken in claiming that "they had no rights." You've overlooked or ignored the customs and usages of war regarding the treatment of prisoners, which predate both the Hague and Geneva conventions and were/ are binding on all civilized nations. From the 1940 US manual FM 27-10 Rules of Land Warfare, pp. 1-2:
(1) - The information quoted does not relate directly to the handling of prisoners of war. My concern about rights comes from the following

HISTORY OF PRISONER OF WAR UTILIZATION by the UNITED STATES ARMY 1776-1945 (237)

The capitulation of Germany on 8 May 1945 placed the surrendered German forces at the disposal of the Allies.9 5 SHAEF designated these units as "Disarmed German Forces," according to the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender for Germany which stated: ". . . there is no obligation on any of the three Allied Powers to declare all or any part of the personnel of the German armed forces prisoners of war. . . . Such a decision may or may- not be taken depending on the discretion of the respective commander in chief.
The German troops thus held were organizationally intact and were kept under army group control for labor. They were not transferred to the control of the Communications Zone. Meanwhile, the Allies were absolved of the responsibility of providing rations, accommodations, and medical care which were accorded to enemy prisoners of war. SHAEF left the disarmed enemy units under army group control to provide labor where it was badly needed, and to permit the Germans to sustain themselves from their own resources as far as possible. It also lessened transportation problems since it was easier to move the reduced scale of necessary maintenance forward than to move the surrendered forces to the rear. Also, the presence of these forces in the Allied rear areas was undesirable, as there were no labor needs and the surrendered forces would have had to be supported entirely from Allied resources.

Documents on the US Occupation of Germany 1945
131. The Status of "Disarmed Enemy Forces." (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=69515)

Consequently, the War Department approved treating all members of the German armed forces captured after the declaration of ECLIPSE conditions, or the cessation of hostilities, and all prisoners of war not evacuated from Germany immediately after the conclusion of hostilities, as "disarmed enemy forces," and specified that such captives would be responsible for feeding and maintaining themselves. This ruling did not apply to war criminals, wanted individuals, and security suspects, who were to be imprisoned, fed, and controlled by Allied forces. The War Department further directed that there be no public declaration made on the status of the German armed forces.(307)
David Thompson wrote:The quote from The Quartermaster Corps; Operations in the war against Germany (2004), which appears on p. 532, refers to POWs. There's not a word about disarmed enemy forces in the whole paragraph.
(2) Agreed the report does not mention DEFs. This led me to the follwoing analysis:

1. Number of prisoners (German military personnel) reported in Us Zone by THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY 1944-1946 7.7 Million

2. Number of German prisoners after VE Day Documents on the US Occupation of Germany 1945

6,155,468 (2,657,138 were prisoners of war and 4,098,330 were disarmed enemy forces)

3. Number of German prisoners (Prisoners of War) being fed by Quartermaster Corps; Operations in the war against Germany (2004)

2,884,762 (227,624 more than listed in the US Occupation of Germany 1945)

Therefore from the stats:
There are roughly 1,55 Million missing prisoners between the reports (7.7 Million - 6.15 Million prisoners)

The total number of revised prisoners numbers (DEFs) not recieving US rations, accommodations, and medical care 4,098,330

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY 1944-1946
CHAPTER XVI - Germany in Defeat (Page 291 ref 60)

60 Reports of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone, give a total of 7.7 million German military personnel disposed of by U.S. forces between 8 May 1945 and 15 July 1945, including Volkssturm and other paramilitary groups, camp followers, and prisoners returned from Norway, Italy, and camps in the United States and England. (1) Memo, ACofS G-1 for Staff, sub: Disbandment Directive No. 5, 14 Jun 45, in SHAEF G-1, 383.6. (2) OMGUS, Demilitarization Cumulative Review, in Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone, 20 Aug 46. (http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Occ-
GY/en/en16.60.htm)

Documents on the US Occupation of Germany 1945
132. Statistical Analysis.(http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=69515)

In September 1944, German prisoners of war who had been captured by the Allied expeditionary Force numbered 545,756.(308) Each day thereafter a few more thousand prisoners were apprehended, and when the year ended 811,796 had been recorded.(309) The one-millionth was captured on 8 March 1945(310), the two-millionth on 16 April (331), and the three-millionth on 1 May.(312) Supreme Headquarters authorized army group commanders on 4 May, to consider the great masses of German troops then surrendering, not as prisoners of war entitled to the privileges prescribed in the Geneva Convention, but as disarmed enemy forces. The captured troops were disarmed, retained in their own organizations, and
moved into concentration areas to be disbanded as soon as practicable.(313) When hostilities ceased, 4,005,732 prisoners of war had been captured.(314) Additional. prisoners continued to be reported after V-E E Day, and revised statistics show that the total number captured was 6,155,468.(315) Of this total 2,657,138 were prisoners of war and 4,098,330 were disarmed enemy forces.(316)
David Thompson wrote:See item 2(a) of the transfer agreement between the US and France, from http://home.arcor.de/kriegsgefangene/usa/france/01.html:
(3) From the information provided, we have to assume the prisoners were from the 2 Million officially classed as POWs

David -- I am unable to get access to any of the Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone online. I am sure that these documents could shed further light on this topic.

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by David Thompson » 25 Jan 2012 00:28

Hurtig -- You wrote: (1) (at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3#p1667823)
As an example, they were used to disarm minefields which is against the Geneva convention.
There was a serious disagreement over whether the 1929 Geneva POW convention banned mine clearing operations, which is why there was an express prohibition in the 1949 Geneva III POW convention. The nations voting on the 1949 prohibition only approved it by a narrow margin. See the "POWs and mine removal" thread at
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=162109

(2) (at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4#p1668144)
David Thompson wrote:You are mistaken in claiming that "they had no rights." You've overlooked or ignored the customs and usages of war regarding the treatment of prisoners, which predate both the Hague and Geneva conventions and were/ are binding on all civilized nations. From the 1940 US manual FM 27-10 Rules of Land Warfare, pp. 1-2:
(1) - The information quoted does not relate directly to the handling of prisoners of war.
No, because my point was only to show that this oft-repeated claim is false. If there's some specific POW issue you have in mind, there's a long research bibliography with links on the pre 1929 customs and usages of land warfare at the "Laws of War" thread where you can find out more about it.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=26829

(3)
David -- I am unable to get access to any of the Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone online. I am sure that these documents could shed further light on this topic.
I agree, but I haven't seen them online either.

(4)
The total number of revised prisoners numbers (DEFs) not recieving US rations, accommodations, and medical care 4,098,330
What is the source for your claim that these people didn't receive medical care?

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by David Thompson » 25 Jan 2012 04:16

Hurtig -- Now let's take a look at your "missing prisoner claim. You wrote:
1. Number of prisoners (German military personnel) reported in Us Zone by THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY 1944-1946 7.7 Million

2. Number of German prisoners after VE Day Documents on the US Occupation of Germany 1945

6,155,468 (2,657,138 were prisoners of war and 4,098,330 were disarmed enemy forces)

* * * * *

Therefore from the stats:
There are roughly 1,55 Million missing prisoners between the reports (7.7 Million - 6.15 Million prisoners)

I don't think these two sets of figures you gave describe the same thing. Your group 1 consists of:
60 Reports of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone, give a total of 7.7 million German military personnel disposed of by U.S. forces between 8 May 1945 and 15 July 1945, including Volkssturm and other paramilitary groups, camp followers, and prisoners returned from Norway, Italy, and camps in the United States and England. (1) Memo, ACofS G-1 for Staff, sub: Disbandment Directive No. 5, 14 Jun 45, in SHAEF G-1, 383.6. (2) OMGUS, Demilitarization Cumulative Review, in Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone, 20 Aug 46.
If we look at the text that goes with the footnote (from The US Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, at p. 291, online at http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/ ... h16.htm#b5) we see this passage:
In the last week of the war, on orders from' Admiral Dönitz, the main objective of the German troops still fighting had been to surrender to the Western Allies, which they had done by the hundreds of thousands. What was left of the German Army Group Vistula after its retreat from the Oder River and Berlin took refuge behind the 21 Army Group and Ninth Army lines. Third Army, in Czechoslovakia, let in 125,000 German troops before the surrender. Austria was jammed with the remnants of the armies that had been on the southern flank of the Eastern Front. Meanwhile, the US troops were rounding up and herding into makeshift cages what was left of the Wehrmacht in southwestern Germany, and Montgomery's armies were acquiring the entire garrisons of Holland, north Germany, and Denmark. When SHAEF G-1 added up the totals, the figures came close to 5 million prisoners of war and disarmed enemy troops in SHAEF custody, well over 3 million of them being held by US forces.[60]
If we compare the text with the footnote, we can generate four million "missing prisoners" (7.7 million - "well over" 3 million held by US forces = 4+ million) –- unless you examine these statistics more closely.

The text is talking about captured and surrendered troops. But the group described in the footnote is larger than that. It includes "paramilitary groups" and "camp followers." We don't know what they're talking about, but if you include members of the SA, SD, Hitler Youth, BDM, NSKK, NSFK, Organization Todt, Nazi party officials, police, air raid wardens, etc. you're going to have a larger group than captured and surrendered members of the armed forces. Nor is it clear that all of these categories would be entitled to POW status under the 1929 Geneva POW convention.

Furthermore, it's not clear whether all of the people described in the footnote were even prisoners, although you claim that in your label "Number of prisoners (German military personnel) reported in Us Zone by THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY 1944-1946 7.7 Million." They're not described as prisoners, and the expression "disposed of" might mean that they were in custody, or just folks processed or registered by the US military without having ever being held in custody, or both. In other words, you're trying to subtract apples from oranges. Consequently, using the 7.7 million figure as a base for calculating "roughly 1,55 Million missing prisoners" is misleading, to say the least.

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Hurtig » 25 Jan 2012 22:36

David -- Thanks for your responses

(1) I am not sure why, but will research further on quoted links

(2) I will delve into this in more detail. The key point to me was they had no rights on 1929 - Convention Between the United States of America and Other Powers, Relating to Prisoners of War; July 27. This treaty supersedes all others, generally each treaty improved on the last, and the last became defunct.

(3) do ou know of anyone who has access to the libraries ha could possibly copy these for the forum?

(4) The source is
HISTORY OF PRISONER OF WAR UTILIZATION by the UNITED STATES ARMY 1776-1945 (237)

The German troops thus held were organizationally intact and were kept under army group control for labor. They were not transferred to the control of the Communications Zone. Meanwhile, the Allies were absolved of the responsibility of providing rations, accommodations, and medical care which were accorded to enemy prisoners of war. SHAEF left the disarmed enemy units under army group control to provide labor where it was badly needed, and to permit the Germans to sustain themselves from their own resources as far as possible. It also lessened transportation problems since it was easier to move the reduced scale of necessary maintenance forward than to move the surrendered forces to the rear. Also, the presence of these forces in the Allied rear areas was undesirable, as there were no labor needs and the surrendered forces would have had to be supported entirely from Allied resources.

I agree they may not describe the same thing, that's why I ensured I used the gems in the reference., it is possible that it is easy to explain, but would just like to ge the detail behind it.

The reason I pulled this stat, was because it was referred to and did not make sense to me. The numbers do not correlate, I am just not sure how to balance these figures. Please note I used prisoners (not POWs or DEFs) for this reason.

I just think it requires some additional investigation. Generally the numbers add up in the reports I have been reading, this one did not.

Those Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone Would be of a great help if none could find them. I now they are available at certain us libraries

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by David Thompson » 26 Jan 2012 00:40

Hurtig -- You wrote, (1) in reference to the designation "Disarmed Enemy Forces":
The key point to me was they had no rights on 1929 - Convention Between the United States of America and Other Powers, Relating to Prisoners of War; July 27. This treaty supersedes all others, generally each treaty improved on the last, and the last became defunct.
If no treaty applies to a situation, the pre-existing customs and usages of war apply. I don't think there's any wiggle room here:
5. Force of rules. - a. The unwritten rules are binding upon all civilized nations. They will be strictly observed by our forces, subject only to such exceptions as shall have been directed by competent authority by way of legitimate reprisals for illegal conduct of the enemy.
FM 27-10 Rules of Land Warfare (1940)
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/ ... nuals.html

(2)
Those Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone Would be of a great help if none could find them. I now they are available at certain us libraries
They are available at the largest ones in major cities, and they are probably available through inter-library loan in your country from the national library. The problem, as Earl Ziemke described it in The US Army Occupation of Germany 1944-1948, is:
The published Monthly Reports of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone, for instance, by themselves make a set the size of a major encyclopedia.
http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Occ-GY/notes.htm

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by David Thompson » 26 Jan 2012 18:25

Hurtig – Now let's look at the issue of medical treatment. You wrote:
The total number of revised prisoners numbers (DEFs) not recieving US rations, accommodations, and medical care 4,098,330
I asked:
What is the source for your claim that these people didn't receive medical care?
Your reply was to quote from History of Prisoner of War Utilization by the United States Army 1776-1945:
The German troops thus held were organizationally intact and were kept under army group control for labor. They were not transferred to the control of the Communications Zone. Meanwhile, the Allies were absolved of the responsibility of providing rations, accommodations, and medical care which were accorded to enemy prisoners of war.
There are a couple of lessons here. The first is not to jump to conclusions. Even if the highlighted statement was accurate, it doesn't necessarily follow that the allies didn't provide any medical care, whether it was their responsibility or not. Another lesson is, when you see an inflammatory statement, check to see whether or not it's true. Start by looking for footnotes or references. That particular statement doesn't have any. It's not a good sign.

As it happens, DEFs did receive medical care from the US. See US Army in WWII - The medical department; medical service in the European theater of operations (1992), pp. 561-69, available online at http://www.archive.org/details/medicaldepartmen00cosm, which describes the medical care in the Rheinwiesenlagers and elsewhere. This medical care was admittedly inadequate – the text is very frank – but there were many calls in Germany on an overburdened medical service system when the war ended, and the needs of POWs were only part of a much larger picture. For context, it is helpful to read the whole chapter "Victims of War" at pp. 544-78.

For another statement on medical care for DEFs, see the quote from US Army in WWII - The Quartermaster Corps; operations in the war against Germany, pp. 535-36 in my post at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4#p1667004:
Deaths in the Rheinwiesenlagers

Reports from field observers confirmed that 2,000 calories were sufficient to maintain the condition of a healthy prisoner whose routine was limited to self-care, but the surveys showed that a majority of prisoners were suffering from various dietary deficiencies when captured. In the months before the final surrender the German army ration was very low in riboflavin and nicotinic acid, and in the last weeks all food supplies had dwindled. It had proved impossible to make good these deficiencies in the temporary enclosures where ADSEC units attempted to feed hundreds of thousands of prisoners, mainly on captured supplies and using rudimentary kitchen equipment. The same surveys showed that in the processes of distribution, breakdown, and food preparation, losses reduced a 2,000 calorie menu to an actual diet of about 1,750 calories. All these factors had led to serious undernourishment, and the official ration was immediately raised to 2,250 calories for nonworking prisoners and 2,900 for those who were working. Serious cases of malnutrition were hospitalized and placed on the menu for nonworking prisoners plus a 1,100 calorie hospital supplement. Less serious cases received the ration for workers for twenty days before actually being assigned to work details. (US Army in WWII - The Quartermaster Corps; operations in the war against Germany, pp. 535-36).

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so cry me a revisionist river!

Post by waldzee » 26 Mar 2012 22:37

[quote="Hurtig"]David -- Thanks for your responses

(1) I am not sure why, but will research further on quoted links

(2) I will delve into this in more detail. The key point to me was they had no rights on 1929 - Convention Between the United States of America and Other Powers, Relating to Prisoners of War; July 27. This treaty supersedes all others, generally each treaty improved on the last, and the last became defunct.

(3) do ou know of anyone who has access to the libraries ha could possibly copy these for the forum?

(4) The source is
HISTORY OF PRISONER OF WAR UTILIZATION by the UNITED STATES ARMY 1776-1945 (237)

The German troops thus held were organizationally intact and were kept under army group control for labor. They were not transferred to the control of the Communications Zone. Meanwhile, the Allies were absolved of the responsibility of providing rations, accommodations, and medical care which were accorded to enemy prisoners of war. SHAEF left the disarmed enemy units under army group control to provide labor where it was badly needed, and to permit the Germans to sustain themselves from their own resources as far as possible. It also lessened transportation problems since it was easier to move the reduced scale of necessary maintenance forward than to move the surrendered forces to the rear. Also, the presence of these forces in the Allied rear areas was undesirable, as there were no labor needs and the surrendered forces would have had to be supported entirely from Allied resources.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The occupying forces inherited a charnel house not of their making- & Active submarine warfare in the Atlantic slowed the delivery of supplies!
:roll: Living next to the USA,I know they are not perfect - suspending submarine activity at the end of JAnuary 1945 in exchange for POW supplies would have been win win!
David Thompson- I am "putting on my hat & going home".

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Re: Status of German POWs

Post by waldzee » 27 Mar 2012 20:36

LWD wrote:
Hurtig wrote:I thought I would add some insight into this discussion as it is important to understand the differences between German prisoners of war before the end of the war and how they were treated after Germany's surrender. It seems that people believe that German prisoners were treated well after the surrender of Germany. The interesting thing is that they were all reclassified to Diarmed Enemy Forces, to ensure that they had no protection from the Geneva convention. It is one of the great tragedies of post war europe.
Actually I think you will find that most people here are familiar with the situation in the camps in germany. Your statment of the situation by the way is misleading if not incorrect. Only Germans who surrendered after the German surrender or who were still in Germany at the time of the surrender were classified as disarmed enemy forces. The reason that they were so classified by the way was to prevent the allies from being forced to choose which of the Conventions to break. There simply wasn't the food to supply POW's the amount the conventions required and to prevent the civilian populace from starving.


Thank you,LWD
Hopefully, by this smmer I can assemble & present on why Dönitz's continued U - boat warfare after January 15, 1945 was the primal cause of the GERMAN famine - & the Anti - American /Canadian lobby in here then presents their counter point.
Looking forward to your participation, Mr Hurtig.

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Pingpongtweet » 28 Oct 2012 00:56

David Thompson wrote: I agree, but I haven't seen them online either.
I think the closest you will get online to the Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. Zone are the 125 weekly information bulletins, starting in July 1945.
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bi ... y.GerRecon

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Pingpongtweet » 28 Oct 2012 00:57

David Thompson wrote:Hurtig -- You wrote:
I agree that certian catagories of US held German prisoners were released, but sadly 1,600,000 US prisoners were transferred "discharged?" to French and Belgian Governments. (The Quartermaster Corps; Operations in the war against Germany (2004), pp. 485-544)
I believe they were handed over to the French and Beligian governments for forced labour (slave labour?). I believe that ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, war deemed a war crime at Nurenburg?
Military prisoners aren't the same as civilians, so pleased don't get them confused. Military prisoners can be used for involuntary labor and the 1929 Geneva POW convention expressly provided for it. See Section III (Articles 27-34) of the convention at http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/full/305?opendocument. The practice is still legal -- see the 1949 Geneva III POW convention, Section III (Articles 49-57) at http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/375?OpenDocument.

For interested readers -- for WWII-era offenses against civilian populations, see "Crimes of the Occupier" at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=177373
There are two issues that can be taken with this.
1. Prisoners should have been released at the end of hostilities instead of being used for hazardous forced labor after the war.
2. Using prisoners for mine clearance was recognized to be a violation of the 1929 Geneva convention.

Starting with 1. The relevant legal text.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

SECTION II. RELEASE AND REPATRIATION UPON CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES.
ARTICLE 75.
When belligerents conclude a t convention of armistice, they h must, in principle, have appear therein stipulations regarding the repatriation of prisoners of war. If it has not been possible to insert stipulations in this regard in such convention, belligerents shall nevertheless come to an agreement in this regard as soon as possible. In any case, repatriation of prisoners shall be effected with the least possible delay after the conclusion of peace.

You can argue around this, but the key heading here is ""CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES". It makes sense to keep prisoners until you've screened them for criminals. It's borderline to keep them because you fear they will form the backbone of a resistance movement. It's not right to keep them as a forced labor source.

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bi ... e&page=621

Top Secret November 29, 1946
The President, the Secretary of War and I have decided to begin immediately repatriation of POWs in Am custody or transferred to by US liberated nations.....
(a) A year and a half have elapsed since the end of active hostilities in Europe
(b) The Geneva POW Convention, both in its letter and spirit, contemplates the repatriation of POWs as soon as possible after the cessation of active hostilities.
(c) The concept of forced labor is repugnant to the American people. The growing feeling in this country therefore is that failure to repatriate POWs who are not charged with war crimes or who are not otherwise ineligible for repatriation is indefensible on moral as well as legal grounds.

You can interpret that telegram as a high level US admission that it was both illegal and immoral by the US to keep German prisoners post the cessation of active hostilities, i.e May 1945.

In a wartime document:
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bi ... e&page=719
"War Department has recently asked that propaganda "taper off" on statements promising to release German prisoners as soon as possible after hostilities as provided by article 75 of the Geneva Convention."

You can interpret this as an acknowledgement of the article 75 requirement for release at the cessation of hostilities, and an the hint of an acknowledgement of an intent to violate this requirement.

For the 2nd, the legality of how the prisoner were used, e.g. the legality of forced mine clearance there is this:
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bi ... &page=1384
"(a) France is now using PW's for dangerous task of de-mining, which is perhaps not in accord with Geneva Convention but is provided for in armistice."

I interpret this as an acknowledgement of a violation of the Geneva convention. The question then is, do armistice terms overrule the Geneva conventions? If they do then I suppose you can override all international legislation through armistice terms.

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Pingpongtweet » 28 Oct 2012 00:59

LWD wrote:Not really. There was a shortage of food in Europe in general and in Germany in particular. Note that GB didn't go off rationing for several years after the war ended.
It is true that there was a shortage of food in Europe and Germany, but as I've seen many UK citizens claim that the UK rationing was for the sake of the Germans in the UK occupation zone. This is apparently wishful thinking/self delusion, according to the research made by Zweiniger-Bargielowska, “Bread Rationing in Britain, July 1946 – July 1948”, Twentieth Century British History, (Vol 4 No 1 1993 P57-85) as quoted and interpreted here:

"It seems that bread was rationed in the UK “not primarily for economic reasons – in order to save wheat – but for psychological and political reasons” as part of extensive negotiations between the British government and the United States on the allocation of North American wheat and on the terms of US loans and Marshall Aid necessary to secure the revival of the British economy after the war.
Her conclusion at the end of the article is that bread rationing helped Britain to “retain its privileged position as the only food importing country which did not suffer a significant reduction in calorie consumption.”"

Bread Rationing (Part 4)
http://howitreallywas.typepad.com/how_i ... rationing/

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by Pingpongtweet » 28 Oct 2012 01:07

David Thompson wrote:Here are some statistics on food supplies available to the US Army in Europe ("So, how much food did you bring with you?"):

Sept 1944 – The US Army in Europe was authorized to keep 60 days worth of rations ahead of current consumption. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, pp. 491). Any changes to the shipping schedule required 90 days to deliver, if the supplies were available. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, pp. 491, 497). The actual US Army holdings in Europe were substantially lower than those authorized:

mid-Oct 1944 – Actual food holdings of the AEF were 18.6 days ahead of current consumption. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, p. 492).

mid-Nov 1944 -- Actual food holdings of the AEF were 10.6 days ahead of current consumption, plus a 5-day reserve and 7 days rations held by the armies in the field. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, p. 492).

early Feb 1945 -- Actual food holdings of the AEF were 38 days ahead of current consumption, plus 5-7 days rations held by the armies in the field. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, p. 492).

3 Mar 1945 – The US War Department reduced the AEF food holding allocation to 50 days ahead of current consumption, to include food cargoes in transit being carried on ships in European waters. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, p. 492).

21 Apr 1945 – US First Army held 2.3 days rations ahead of current consumption; US Third Army held 4.3 days; US Seventh Army had 4.1 days; US Ninth Army had 4.4 days. (The US Army in WWII: The Quartermaster Corps: operations in the war against Germany, p. 495).
Statistics are very interesting (even though official publications never can shake the suspicion that they contain doctored information), but so are intent. It is a reasonable conclusion that the intent shown towards the civilian population is mirrored in the intent towards the military population.

According to Ziemkes interpretation of two documents, in footnote 13:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... ench23.htm
"Germany had been closed to relief shipments until December [1945] on the grounds that they might tend to negate the policy of restricting the German standard of living to the average of the surrounding European nations. CARE package shipments to individuals remained prohibited until 5 June [1946]".

Outside help, from for example Sweden and Switzerland and the Vatican, was deliberately cut off until December 1945. You can not reasonably argue that this was inevitable due to general food shortages. This was a deliberate no-food policy.

Another example is the deliberate destruction of food.
http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_ ... _payne.pdf (page 213)

"Troops were specifically ordered not to let American food supplies go to hungry Germans. American households were instructed not to let their German maids have leftovers; excess food was to be destroyed or rendered inedible (Davidson 1959, 85). A German university professor pointed out that U.S. soldiers “create unnecessary ill will to pour twenty litres of left-over cocoa in the gutter when it is badly needed in our clinics. It makes it hard for me to defend American democracy among my countrymen”"

I checked and Davidson does mention this "destroy food" order in "The Death and Life of Germany" published by the University of Missouri. If US policy is to order US citizens in Germany to destroy excess food rather than give it to German women and children and old men, then it begs the question what policy was in place for the German men in the camps?

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by waldzee » 28 Oct 2012 02:28

Pingpongtweet wrote:
LWD wrote:Not really. There was a shortage of food in Europe in general and in Germany in particular. Note that GB didn't go off rationing for several years after the war ended.
It is true that there was a shortage of food in Europe and Germany, but as I've seen many UK citizens claim that the UK rationing was for the sake of the Germans in the UK occupation zone. This is apparently wishful thinking/self delusion, according to the research made by Zweiniger-Bargielowska, “Bread Rationing in Britain, July 1946 – July 1948”, Twentieth Century British History, (Vol 4 No 1 1993 P57-85) as quoted and interpreted here:

"It seems that bread was rationed in the UK “not primarily for economic reasons – in order to save wheat – but for psychological and political reasons” as part of extensive negotiations between the British government and the United States on the allocation of North American wheat and on the terms of US loans and Marshall Aid necessary to secure the revival of the British economy after the war.Her conclusion at the end of the article is that bread rationing helped Britain to “retain its privileged position as the only food importing country which did not suffer a significant reduction in calorie consumption.”"

Bread Rationing (Part 4)
http://howitreallywas.typepad.com/how_i ... rationing/
Regarding the underlined: Canadian agriculture in 1945 was suffering form six years of intense production with minimal inputs: machinery was worn out, the transfer of farms to retunring veterans was beginning, as farmers long overdue for retirement had continued.
Although Großadmiral Dönitz had to have realised by Jan 1945 that the European war was lost, there is no record of any agreemen to withdraw submarines to territorial waters in return for post war stockpiles of supplies.

The convoy system delayed transit of relief supplies compared to individual sailing.

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Re: Disarmed Enemy Forces

Post by David Thompson » 28 Oct 2012 05:39

Pingpongtweet -- We have a "POWs and mine removal" thread at
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=162109 for that particular subject. Note in the excerpt at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2#p1422342 that there was a split of opinion on whether or not using POWs for mine clearing was a war crime, with the US, UK and Commonwealth countries holding that it was and France, the USSR and other European countries holding that it was not.

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