Human Shields at Brest Fortress

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Kim Sung
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Human Shields at Brest Fortress

Postby Kim Sung » 20 Oct 2005 14:42

Is it true that Germans used human hostages(defenders' family members) when they began to attack Brest fortress in June 1941? This is from survivors' accounts. I've read about this in a Japanese military magazine 8 years ago, but I have no more corroborating evidences than that. Any additional information on this would be appreciated.
Last edited by Kim Sung on 22 Oct 2005 06:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kim Sung » 20 Oct 2005 15:24

My Info:

On the afternoon of June 23, 1941, the German 135th infantry regiment crossed the Warsaw Bridge(number seven photo below) placing women and children(defenders' family members) at its head. Almost all these hostages were killed in the course of the battle.


Translation:

中央島-Central Island

西島-West Island

南島-South Island

北島-North Island

ブク川-Buk River

ムハウツ川-Muhavets River

* The Red line: The Borderline between Germany and the Soviet Union

Image Source: バルバロサ作戰 (Operation Barbarossa)
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Postby Kim Sung » 20 Oct 2005 16:47

If this is true, we might guess with what mindset Germans started the war.

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Postby Pieter Kuiper » 20 Oct 2005 17:11

killchola wrote:My Info:

On the afternoon of June 23, 1941, the German 135th infantry regiment crossed the Warsaw Bridge placing women and children (defenders' family members) at its head. Almost all these hostages were killed in the course of the battle.
Is the date correct? It took a long time for the Germans to take the fort:
The fortress of the Soviet border city of Brest (now in Belarus) became the site of the first major fighting between Soviet frontier guards and the invading German forces of Army Group Centre, starting from the very first day of the Axis invasion on 22 June 1941. German artillery heavily shelled the fortress; the subsequent attempt to quickly take it with infantry failed, however, and the Germans started a lengthy siege. The Brest garrison, about 4,000 soldiers in the fortress itself, offered bitter resistance to the German assaults. Although they were initially surprised by the attack and outnumbered by a ratio of 1:10, and although they were cut off from the outside world and ran out of food, water and ammunition, the defenders fought and counter-attacked until the very last minute. The Germans deployed tanks, tear gas and flame throwers but could not break Soviet resistance. After the Germans had taken most of the ruined fortifications, taking heavy casualties, bloody fighting continued underground. The fighting ended only in late July. The actual front had by then already moved hundreds of kilometres further East.
http://hero-city.biography.ms/

Longerich wrote;
The Police Battalion 307 shot several thousand Jewish civilians in Brest-Litovsk around July 12; almost all were men between 16 and 60, it was a supposed "retribution measure" (Vergeltungsmaßnahme). Immediately before the massacre, Daluege, the Chief of the Police Regiment Centre, Montua, Bach-Zelewski and further Higher SS Leaders had assembled in Brest.
http://www.holocaustdenialontrial.com/e ... 2index.asp

If this had really happened on the date given in June, the hero-city-site would have mentioned it, I think. Hoewever, here is a different irregular thing on a bridge in Brest:
Als z.B. Sonderkommmandos der "Brandenburger" am Morgen des 22. Juni 1941 die Bugbrücke bei Brest im Handstreich nahmen, täuschten sie die sowjetische Brückenbesatzung dadurch, dass sie selbst Uniformen der Roten Armee trugen.
(source)
Apparently the Germans donned Red-Army uniforms...

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Postby Kim Sung » 20 Oct 2005 17:25

Is the date correct? It took a long time for the Germans to take the fort:

As you see in the map below, there were some houses to the west of Warsaw bridge. Although this is my supposition, maybe Germans completed the occupation the West Island on the first day of the German-Soviet war and, on the next day, rushed to Central Island across Buk river with hostages taken on the first day.
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Postby Kim Sung » 22 Oct 2005 04:10

Pieter Kuiper wrote:
Als z.B. Sonderkommmandos der "Brandenburger" am Morgen des 22. Juni 1941 die Bugbrücke bei Brest im Handstreich nahmen, täuschten sie die sowjetische Brückenbesatzung dadurch, dass sie selbst Uniformen der Roten Armee trugen.
(source)
Apparently the Germans donned Red-Army uniforms...


I think that, as Pieter Kuiper said, on the morning of June 22, 1941, Germans in Soviet uniforms swarmed No.8 bridge below, which is located in the westernmost corner of Brest Fortress.
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Postby Kim Sung » 22 Oct 2005 04:18

The Gate of the West Bridge was occupied by the 3rd battalion of the German 135th division on the first day of the German-Soviet War.
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Postby Kurt_Belarus » 26 Oct 2005 00:13

Never heard about it.

And there was no 1:10 german superiority.

Germans took all the bridges across Bug very quickly on 22th of June and went on to encircle Soviet armies in Belostok pocket. Soviet troops in the fortress were blocked, isolated and then methodically destroyed by forces of 1 german inf division (45th), if I'm not mistaken.

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Postby Kim Sung » 29 Oct 2005 02:52

Human shield is one of the most wicked things that can be seen in battles.

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Postby nny » 29 Oct 2005 08:34

killchola wrote:Human shield is one of the most wicked things that can be seen in battles.


Yes they are, I've always thought people who wish to fight should always fight those who fight. Its sad that both sides during WWII used Human Shields and that forced human shields have been used in wars since :(

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Postby Kim Sung » 01 Nov 2005 13:53

nny wrote:Yes they are, I've always thought people who wish to fight should always fight those who fight. Its sad that both sides during WWII used Human Shields and that forced human shields have been used in wars since :(

I haven't heard that allies used human shields during WW2. But it might be possible.

Do you have any evidence on this?

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Postby yabint » 01 Nov 2005 21:07

killchola wrote:
nny wrote:Yes they are, I've always thought people who wish to fight should always fight those who fight. Its sad that both sides during WWII used Human Shields and that forced human shields have been used in wars since :(

I haven't heard that allies used human shields during WW2. But it might be possible.

Do you have any evidence on this?


Killchola I don't believe that in this case it has been established that the Germans used human shields. What has been established is that the dates in your article are incorrect and that the Germans wore Red Army uniforms in a ruse during the assault.

Are there any documented cases of human shields being used during WWII? I have read that in the late stages of the war Hitler would declare a surrounded city a "fortress city" and order the defenders and civilians to fight to the very end, is this the same as a human shield?

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Postby Kim Sung » 02 Nov 2005 10:41

yabint wrote:Killchola I don't believe that in this case it has been established that the Germans used human shields. What has been established is that the dates in your article are incorrect and that the Germans wore Red Army uniforms in a ruse during the assault.

Are there any documented cases of human shields being used during WWII? I have read that in the late stages of the war Hitler would declare a surrounded city a "fortress city" and order the defenders and civilians to fight to the very end, is this the same as a human shield?


Even though this is my reasoning, it was number 8 bridge in the above map that the Germans wore Red Army uniforms in a ruse during the initial assault on June 22, 1941.

And it was number 7 bridge(Warsaw bridge) that the Germans held the human shield there on the next day.

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Postby yabint » 02 Nov 2005 11:58

killchola wrote:And it was number 7 bridge(Warsaw bridge) that the Germans held the human shield there on the next day.


But apart from one article with questionable dates, you have no further evidence to support this? Two other people have said that they have not heard of this incidence.

What are the sources listed in the article you quote?

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Postby Kim Sung » 02 Nov 2005 12:19

yabint wrote:But apart from one article with questionable dates, you have no further evidence to support this? Two other people have said that they have not heard of this incidence.

What are the sources listed in the article you quote?


This is my initial post on Oct 20th.

Is it true that Germans used human hostages(defenders' family members) when they began to attack Brest fortress in June 1941? This is from survivors' accounts. I've read about this in a Japanese military magazine 8 years ago, but I have no more corroborating evidences than that. Any additional information on this would be appreciated.


I asked if anybody has an additional info to corroborate an account shown in a Japanese article. I did not jump to a conclusion that Germans really held human shield.

This Japanese article wrote that, on June 22 1941, the German 135th infantry regiment crossed the Warsaw Bridge placing women and children at its head. Almost all these hostages were killed in the course of the battle. It also wrote it was based on survivors' accounts. No more corroborating evidence. So I asked for an additional evidence.

Just as in all atrocity and war crime cases, we cannot help but to depend on survivors' accounts. The general belief that human shields were held by Germans in Warsaw Uprising is also based on multiple accounts of survivors. If we can't believe them, considerable parts of atrocity claims like Lidice, Adzhimushkay, Khatin and Oradour-sur-Glane massacres might be denied.


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