French and Canadian troops

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Tom Niefer
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French and Canadian troops

Post by Tom Niefer » 19 Dec 2002 22:13

I was surfing and found a WWII history page where the author claimed that the French and Canadian troops were the most brutal of all Allied soldiers. I didn't think much of it at the time but began to mull it over later and thought it odd. I don't remember the man's name nor could I find the site again. Probably because I found it late at night when I should have been asleep. Do any of you have any views / opinions about what this guy says? Anyplace where I can read more about this?

Thanks,
Tom

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witness
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Post by witness » 19 Dec 2002 22:19

No offence.Just a theory - could it be that you were asleep getting this information to begin with ? :wink: It would explain why you could not recollect the name of the author ..

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Tom Niefer
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Post by Tom Niefer » 19 Dec 2002 22:52

witness wrote:No offence.Just a theory - could it be that you were asleep getting this information to begin with ? :wink: It would explain why you could not recollect the name of the author ..
You could be very well right Witness!!! I'm the worst when it comes to names. I was writing Christmas cards to clients the other day and my secretary got sick of me asking, " What's his name at ... " She finally wrote the cards for me. Great gal isn't she?

Regards,
Tom

BTW, New Zealand's soldiers were also included in his assessment.

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witness
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Post by witness » 19 Dec 2002 23:00

Do you remember if this guy was talking about some particular atrocities commited by Canadians and French ?
Regards

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Tom Niefer
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Post by Tom Niefer » 19 Dec 2002 23:03

witness wrote:Do you remember if this guy was talking about some particular atrocities commited by Canadians and French ?
Regards
He wasn't referring to any particular incident. He was writing about general behaviour of all participants during WWII.

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Post by Xanthro » 20 Dec 2002 00:44

I can't speak as to Canadians, but the French camps at the end of the war were considered the worst by far by every German soldier I've spoken too who serverd time in more than one, excluding the Soviet camps BTW.

Xanthro

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Meech
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Post by Meech » 20 Dec 2002 18:05

Hi Tom,

The Russian troops seem to have had, and kept, the worst record for brutality ( WW2, Chechnya etc) but what underlies your question is important. (IMHO) everyone has the potential to be brutal in a battle environment.

Recently I heard a number of Canadian vets, discussing the liberation of Holland. They spoke of blasting through walls to go from house to house in bitter street fighting. Blast open a hole, race in firing left and right, another wall - bullets flying ....... and shooting German soldiers whose hands were up .... "This was murder ....We were murderers!" exclaimed one.

The same thing occurred with US, British and Canadian troops storming ashore on D-Day. Posts were over-run and German soldiers shot down regardless of where their hands were.

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Roberto
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Re: French and Canadian troops

Post by Roberto » 20 Dec 2002 18:49

Tom Niefer wrote:I was surfing and found a WWII history page where the author claimed that the French and Canadian troops were the most brutal of all Allied soldiers. I didn't think much of it at the time but began to mull it over later and thought it odd. I don't remember the man's name nor could I find the site again. Probably because I found it late at night when I should have been asleep. Do any of you have any views / opinions about what this guy says? Anyplace where I can read more about this?

Thanks,
Tom
Try this site:

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/ISSUE ... m_side.htm

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Post by Peter » 20 Dec 2002 19:26

I believe that it was an unfortunate tit for tat reaction between the Canadians and 12th SS HJ which resulted in a series of deaths in Normandy June/July 1944 , I dont know if it will ever be proven "who started it" but have seen accounts from veterans of 12th SS blaming the "Cannucks" and I'm sure the Canadians would have blamed the 12th.

Perhaps the Canadians remembered Dieppe and were a bit heavy handed and after all the 12th SS were known for bing very highly motivated and had been trained by a cadre of NCO's (mostly ex-LSSAH) very used to a different type of war, the Eastern Front.

Pete

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 22 Dec 2002 18:21

I also heard that. I think it was a German general officer who said that about Canadians soldiers. He said that they were the SS of the Allies!

Nice to see you back Meech.

Regards

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 24 Dec 2002 13:38

two data about French...

25% of italian POWs in french camp died. It's the highest rate after russian one

in May 1944, the French Expedionary Corp in Italy stormed a bulk of italian villages south of Rome, terrorizing civilian with large-scale rape

Dan
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Post by Dan » 24 Dec 2002 16:21

Lupo, were the sodiers Arab and other African auxilleries?

alsaco
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Post by alsaco » 24 Dec 2002 17:13

Dan wrote:Lupo, were the sodiers Arab and other African auxilleries?
These exactions Lupo refers to have existed, and french officers tried to stop and avoid them as soon they could recover control of the men.

These were, so far it was possible, put on trial, but they as maroccans of the 4 DMM, that is berbers of the Atlas tribes, could not be controlled in the same way that european or regulars.

These rapes remained however limited, and done by small groups foraging around after the heavy fight in Monte Arunci. They did not generalize.

All that can be said is that the french army is certainly not proud over these crimes.

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Tom Niefer
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Post by Tom Niefer » 25 Dec 2002 05:24

Meech wrote:Hi Tom,

The Russian troops seem to have had, and kept, the worst record for brutality ( WW2, Chechnya etc) but what underlies your question is important. (IMHO) everyone has the potential to be brutal in a battle environment.

Recently I heard a number of Canadian vets, discussing the liberation of Holland. They spoke of blasting through walls to go from house to house in bitter street fighting. Blast open a hole, race in firing left and right, another wall - bullets flying ....... and shooting German soldiers whose hands were up .... "This was murder ....We were murderers!" exclaimed one.

The same thing occurred with US, British and Canadian troops storming ashore on D-Day. Posts were over-run and German soldiers shot down regardless of where their hands were.
Hi Meech,

I spoke with my Dad cocerning these events the other day. He took part in the liberation of Holland and gave much the same kind of detail you quoted. I also asked about the info that Roberto posted and he said that he remembered hearing something to this effect during the war but could not remember most of the details. As for the action you describe I would dare say our army still trains for the same type of activity. My nephew who is in the Canadian Army took part in training in Belgium about two years ago. The activity he described was almost exactly as what you wrote in your post. You are absolutely right about war potentially bringing out the worst in people. I think every nation that participated probably has events of which they are not proud to-day.

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Post by DarExc » 29 Dec 2002 06:34

It all depends on who you talk to. Some men may have seen members of a certin army do a bad thing and label the intire army. I know we (the Canadians) were given a bad label in WW1 for taking no prisoners after a german ship sunk some of our vessels loaded with people. In WW2 the same thing probobly happend when a certain group would get revenge on people for acts commited somewhere else and all witnesses would label the place they came from as brutal. I bet you another person would tell you they had a great experiance with the French or the Canadians but had a terrible one with the brutal American and/or British forces. Its all just who you talk to and what they have seen.

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