Cretans atrocities against German Fallschirmjaegers 1941

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Post by Charon » 03 Aug 2005 21:28

Long time lurker with perhaps something useful to add. The Crete combat link (posted by PeterH and referenced by Panzermahn - ) showing a variety of images including some captioned to be mutilated German soldiers, has a glaring inaccuracy. To what extent this taints the veracity of the other images I can’t say, since some are clearly as captioned.

The caption in question:

Dead allied soldier found by german soldiers. Corpses could often be found even months
and years after the invasion of Crete. In 2002 a cretan farmer found a corpse of a german
paratrooper on his property while digging in the earth. The corpse were later reburied at the
german warcemetary in Maleme.

… is inaccurate. The weapon next to the “allied” soldier in the photo is clearly a Russian Mosin Nagant 91/30. British troops used two variants of the Lee Enfield rifle during the war. The differences between the weapons are clear, and I have variants of each sitting in my gun safe.

The Greek army itself used Austrian Mannlichers, French Lebels, and F.N. Model 1930s. During the occupation/early civil war period any resistance fighter would have had access to these weapons and additionally British Enfields, captured German Mausers and Italian Carcanos.

Mosin Nagants were used by the Russians/Soviets in World War I and II, during the Spanish Civil War and by the Finns in WWII. They saw partisan use, along with other locally available weapons, in German-occupied Soviet territories. They were also distributed to communist supporters in the various post war conflicts. Perhaps this is a later Greek Civil War photo? However, what is odd is that the Greek communist forces are not noted to have used a significant quantity of Soviet weapons, and, as the following source indicates, even the Soviet states supporting the Greek communists supplied them primarily with captured German weapons and ammunition no doubt for logistical (common ammo) reasons.


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Re: Cretans atrocities against German Fallschirmjaegers 1941

Post by Falk » 02 Feb 2010 19:28


A shot in the dark, perhaps, but does anyone know who posted these rarely seen images originally?

I remember seeing them some years ago, but of course the link is broken now.

The webaddress would seem to indicate a Norwegian owner.

Best regards,


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Post by Consul001 » 19 Jul 2019 23:33

KalaVelka wrote:
26 Jul 2005 08:49
spiro wrote:The British were allies (at that time).
As for the Hague Convention and Geneva Convention, i think they are reffering to each country's armed forces -not civilian defenders.
So those conventions dont include civilians? Then the germans didnt break any of those two conventions when they massacred civilians as the civilians didnt include in the conventions?
Also consider the fact that the atrocities on Greece's mainland were well known in the island.
So that allows cretans to cut of testicles of the paras? Hey doesnt that mean that Bräuer and Müller had full rights to do what ever they wished against the Cretan population as they had heard what cretans did to german pows?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it was the New Zealanders who cut off the testicles of the Germans and put them in their mouths after death, not the Cretans.

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Re: Cretans atrocities against German Fallschirmjaegers 1941

Post by David Thompson » 20 Jul 2019 15:07

Consul001 -- :welcome: You wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it was the New Zealanders who cut off the testicles of the Germans and put them in their mouths after death, not the Cretans.
What is the source (or sources) for that information?

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Re: Cretans atrocities against German Fallschirmjaegers 1941

Post by Sarge3525 » 10 Aug 2019 21:02

These events are just the typical guerrilla warfare events by bands of illegal combattants, which then led to (legal but heavy handed) German punishment on the overall population of Crete. These events illustrate the conundrum about partisan warfare: on one hand it should be illegal since it endangers the civilian population, on the other one can say that partisan warfare (especially in the East) really made it possible to win the war.

Personally I am quite puzzled as to why some Cretans even fought the Germans as partisans. The Germans were not in the process of annexing Greece, this was simply a battle for tactical control of an Island, just like the British were doing. The Cretans would have been better served staying at home and let the two factions fight. I imagine they were fed some kind of propaganda by the British that the Germans were coming to eat them and rape their children, or something. If there is one thing to be shown in WW2, is that the German heavy handed reprisal actions only happened in places with heavy partisan activity. Places without much resistance (Denmark and the nordic countries come to mind) led to almost no killing by the German occupiers, which seems like a smarter policy to be honest.

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