Unpunished Royal Navy war crimes of WW1 & WW2

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Panzermahn
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Unpunished Royal Navy war crimes of WW1 & WW2

Post by Panzermahn » 04 Apr 2004 02:24

August 19, 1915 Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert of the merchant ship Baralong sank German submarine U-27 and shot 10 survivors in the water. Some of the Germans sought refuge aboard the SS Nicosian, which had been abandoned by its crew. Herbert sent marines aboard the Nicosian who killed the four remaining survivors.

September 24, 1915 HMS Baralong, renamed Wiarda, lured a German submarine U-41 into range and sank the U-boat with gunfire. After the Wiarda left the area two survivors climbed aboard an abandoned lifeboat. About three hours later the Wiarda returned and deliberately ran down the lifeboat.

April 13, 1940 The British navy sank the German ship the Erich Giese. The captain Karl Smidt reported that while the crew of 200 men were in the water, British destroyers opened fire on them.

May 20,1941 A convoy of 21 German ships was attacked by British warships off the coast of Crete during the night. Witnesses said the British ships scanned the sea with searchlights looking for the survivors, and opened fire on them. One survivor, Corporal Walter Segel, said: "I saw at least 20 groups of survivors who were illuminated by the British and then sprayed with bullets."



http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858, ... 90,00.html


The Baralong Incident was an unprosecuted war crime of World War I.

On August 19, 1915, U-27, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wegener, was sunk by the Q-Ship HMS Baralong, commanded by Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert. Herbert ordered that all German survivors, including Wegener, should be executed on the spot. Although the British Admiralty tried to keep this atrocity a secret, news reached Germany and the "Baralong Incident" was used to justify increased cruelty at sea both during World War One and after.



http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedi ... g-Incident


This would have made a good research for our book but to be it happens in WW1... :oops: :oops:

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Post by Penn44 » 04 Apr 2004 02:43

Panzermahn:

I do not get your point. Why do you include these alleged war crimes?

If it is for the sake of historical discussion? If so, then what is the historical question?

I am forced to wonder whether you post these atrocities for the sake of having something to post. And when you post something without including a historical question with it, it unfairly puts a burden on many of us who wonder what you want from us. Also, these apparently pointless threads can and do drift into all kinds of directions, sometimes, inappropriate directions.


Penn44

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Re: Unpunished Royal Navy war crimes of WW1 & WW2

Post by xcalibur » 04 Apr 2004 02:57

Penn44 wrote:
panzermahn wrote:This would have made a good research for our book but to be it happens in WW1... :oops: :oops:


I got the distinct impression that you would include anything in your "book;" why stop now?


Penn44


He ran out of WW2 allegations?

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Post by Panzermahn » 04 Apr 2004 03:03

sorry, i was supposed to mean,

too bad that the Baralong incident happened in WW1, or else it would have made a good addition to our book..

A violation of Hague Convention for shooting german survivors at the water and even sending Royal Marines to kill 6 german sailors of the boarding party at Nicosian..

also, violating the rules of war by misusing the American flag for a parley and then launch a sneak attack at the german submarine who graciously allowed them to rescue the survivors of the Nicosian
Last edited by Panzermahn on 25 Apr 2004 04:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Panzermahn » 04 Apr 2004 03:04

And they even sentenced Kapitanleutnant Eck for doing exactly the same thing what Lt. Rodney did during the Baralong incident

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Post by Panzermahn » 04 Apr 2004 03:06

As fas as i recall, i never knew of any incident that the Reichsmarine or Kriegsmarine sending marines to hunt down and kill survivors from sinking ships either in WW1 or WW2

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Post by David Thompson » 04 Apr 2004 03:31

The war crimes claims in this thread are very unsatisfactory. The source is a newspaper article, which you'd hope would be credible, but it doesn't have any detail. All you get is a conclusion. Neither proof nor a reference to evidence is given. It might be true, and it might not. You sure can't tell from the allegation.

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Post by Panzermahn » 04 Apr 2004 03:57

Hi David,

of course, all the German victims were dead...how do you expect them to make a report of it? regardind the Baralong affair, even some British sailors admitted it

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Post by alf » 04 Apr 2004 04:32

The Baralong incident is correct, Robert Massie's Castles of Steel book (sequel to Dreadnought) mentions it on pages 721-722 of my copy.

Baralong did approach U-27 from behind the stopped freighter Nicosian and attack her and she did have US colours flying prior to attacking.

The Captain of the Baralong claimed that the German survivors were attempting to reach the abandoned Nicosian and then scuttle her, that was his defence and the truth will never be known.

Another war crime happened on the same day and close by and was also used by the Balarang in defence. That was the sinking of the White Star passenger liner Arabic by U-24 ( Schneider) without warning. Balarang had heard the distress calls and was moving to assist when it came across U-27. The Kaiser had issued an order on June 1st prohibiting the attacking without warning of passenger liners ( the aftermath of the Lusitiania and as a deal to President Wilson)

(As a point of interest and off topic Walter Schweiger who sank the Lusitania without warning, defied the Kaiser's June 1st Order and sank the passaenger liner Hesperian on September 4 1915, again without warning)

Another alleged war crime supposedly happened the same day as two German Destroyers allegedly killed 14 British seamen who had surrendered from a British submarine grounded on a sandbar in the Baltic. Massie mentions it in passing, as it was used in Balarang's defence at the time in the British press, but there are no details, hence my use of supposedly. Perhaps someone knows more on it?

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Post by David Thompson » 04 Apr 2004 04:34

Panzermahn -- You said:
of course, all the German victims were dead...how do you expect them to make a report of it? regardind the Baralong affair, even some British sailors admitted it


I don't expect dead men to make a report. I do expect some kind of source for the claim. The story of the L-19 and the SS King Stephen had an explanation (and a very interesting one). The others did not. When someone writes about a war crime, they can write about something they witnessed (a "first-hand" or "eyewitness account"), or they can write about something for which there is other proof. Some British sailors may well have admitted the Baralong incident, but those admissions are not in the sources you gave. That's why I complained:
All you get is a conclusion. Neither proof nor a reference to evidence is given. It might be true, and it might not. You sure can't tell from the allegation.

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Post by Peter H » 04 Apr 2004 04:44

The execution of a British merchant marine Captain in 1916 didn't help the German case for upholding the international law of the sea though:

http://members.fortunecity.com/mikaelxi ... ryatt.html

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Re: Unpunished Royal Navy war crimes of WW1 & WW2

Post by redcoat » 04 Apr 2004 12:27

panzermahn wrote:
April 13, 1940 The British navy sank the German ship the Erich Giese. The captain Karl Smidt reported that while the crew of 200 men were in the water, British destroyers opened fire on them.

You fail to mention the Eric Giese was in fact a German destroyer sunk in the 2nd Battle of Narvik :roll: , and that the military crew were attacked while attemping to reach the shore-line to join up with their forces on the shore, so while the British action might have not been 'nice' it was legitimate.

May 20,1941 A convoy of 21 German ships was attacked by British warships off the coast of Crete during the night. Witnesses said the British ships scanned the sea with searchlights looking for the survivors, and opened fire on them. One survivor, Corporal Walter Segel, said: "I saw at least 20 groups of survivors who were illuminated by the British and then sprayed with bullets."

Again you fail to mention that this convoy was in fact a sea-bourne invasion force heading for Crete :roll: , and as uniformed military the survivors have less rights under international law than civilian merchant seamen.

I'm not a 100% percent sure, but I believe that while the actions of the ship involved also wasn't 'nice', it again wasn't a war crime.

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Post by gewehrdork » 05 Apr 2004 01:03

panzermahn wrote:As fas as i recall, i never knew of any incident that the Reichsmarine or Kriegsmarine sending marines to hunt down and kill survivors from sinking ships either in WW1 or WW2




No..why should they hunt them down , when they machine gunned them in the water and or sank their lifeboats. "YE REAP WHAT YE SOW !!!".

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Post by Panzermahn » 05 Apr 2004 11:10

Also, the sinking of the minesweeper Ulm at the english channel...The British shoot the survivors in the water..

Source, David Irving, Hitler's war

Unlike the Kriegsmarine who rescued down british sailors...

Good example, the sinking of Gloworm by Admiral Hipper..Captain Heye conducted a rescue operations for 2 hours to rescue the british sailors..

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Post by alf » 05 Apr 2004 11:44

Heye did rescue the the 30 odd survivors of the Glowworm and he recommended the Captain (Roope) for the Victoria Cross, the first time in the Royal Navy's history that a VC was recommended by the enemy.

All in all Heye was an extraordinary man, so much so he disobeyed standing German Navy Orders of the time not to stop on the high seas to rescue any survivors, (including German).

Glowworm had fought her way through the Hippers destroyer screen and deliberately rammed the Hipper, Heye respected courage and seamanship.

Strangely panzermahn hasn' made a connection here, with the Erich Griese incident only 4 days later. Yes, the British kept shooting at her during the battle in Narvik fjord (280+ men of her 320 man crew survived btw) , she was still afloat, the British simply expected her (and her sister destroyers) to act like the Glowworm and attack the Warspite. Yet 3 of of the German Destroyers in that battle meekly scuttled themselves, instead of trying to fight their way through a destroyer screen and ram a capital ship.

And yes,panzermahn does need to broaden his readings, Irving' work is riddled with lies, half truth's and his political prejudices had made him fabricate historical evidence to support his own agenda. He has been exposed for what he is. Here is the court case he started and lost http://www.hdot.org/ieindex.html ( but its off topic) .

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