Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

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bf109 emil
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Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by bf109 emil » 24 May 2008 00:47

Kurt Meyer reported what happened in the handling of the German prisoners of war by the Canadian troops:

"On the 7th of June I was given a notebook taken from the body of a dead Canadian captain. In addition to handwritten orders, the notes stated that 'no prisoners were to be taken'. Some Canadian prisoners were asked to verify these instructions...they confirmed orders that if prisoners impeded the advance, they were not to be taken"[13]

The Canadian company commander Major Jacques D. Dextraze said and to a certain extent confirmed the accusations by Meyer:

"We crossed the river - the bridge had been blown up...Eighty five prisoners we take. I select an officer, "take them back to the P.W. cage". He goes back, making them run, to the bridge that we had... These guys had been running for a couple of miles. They came to the bridge (bad cut) No no, you don't take the bridge, you swim. Now these guys fell...went into that water you know. Most of them drowned. Imagine having run you know, they had been fighting before, running you know for a couple of miles, and then the water you know. Now, they were picked up by the engineers rebuilding the bridge. I could have been accused of not having protected them. I'm responsible for these prisoners you see. I felt very bad when I saw them all piled up beside the bridge..."[13]
fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Caen

Was asked to provide source or proof of this order previously and happened upon it while watching Chad Clifferton documentaries, and in print at this URL. More can be found in the book trial of Meyer and MacNaughton regarding this...

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 24 May 2008 13:00

bf109 emil wrote:Was asked to provide source or proof of this order previously and happened upon it while watching Chad Clifferton documentaries, and in print at this URL. More can be found in the book trial of Meyer and MacNaughton regarding this...


If you were asked in another thread to provide source or proof why did you not add this to that thread instead of starting a new thread?

You mention the book on the trial of Meyer, what is it's title, and on what page is this allegation contained?

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 24 May 2008 15:33

The author of the Wikipedia article which you quote as evidence selectively quotes from the original source, placing the information out of context, and inaccurately establishes a connection between the two alleged incidents - the alleged Canadian notebook containing order to kill and the alleged neglectful drowning deaths of the German POWs.

The unedited original source states -

Kurt Meyer, commander of the Hitler Youth division at Ardenne, remembers an alarming detail:
"On the 7th of June I was given a notebook taken from the body of a dead Canadian captain. In addition to handwritten orders, the notes stated that 'no prisoners were to be taken'. Some Canadian prisoners were asked to verify these instructions...they confirmed orders that if prisoners impeded the advance, they were not to be taken." ("Valour and Horror" script)

Canadian commander, Jacques Dextraze, recalls:

"I used to tell my men, "Your job is to kill the enemy, that's your principal job. But the minute an enemy comes out with his hands up in the air, you must respect him, and you must protect him, and you must ensure that this man is as protected as your own men."

Yet, he also explains that sometimes it was clear that not all POW's were treated so well:

"We crossed the river - the bridge had been blown up. Take the little city by the rear. Eighty five prisoners we take. I select an officer, "take them back to the P.W. cage". He goes back, making them run, to the bridge that we had...a farmer's bridge that we had come over you know. These guys had been running for a couple of miles. They came to the bridge (bad cut) No no, you don't take the bridge, you swim. Now these guys fell...went into that water you know. Most of them drowned. Imagine having run you know, they had been fighting before, running you know for a couple of miles, and then the water you know. Now, they were picked up by the engineers rebuilding the bridge. I could have been accused of not having protected them. I'm responsible for these prisoners you see. I felt very bad when I saw them all piled up beside the bridge. I didn't like that very much." ("Valour and Horror" script)

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/ISSUE/POWs.php

As you see, the author of the Wikipedia article which you quote as evidence selectively edits the original source, placing the information out of context, and an infers a connection between the two alleged incidents that is not established in reality.

Both the Wikipedia author and Valour and Horror script writer accept Meyer's claim about the Canadian's officer's notebook uncritically. There is no evidence that Meyer, a war criminal attempting to vindicate himself, is telling the truth about the alleged notebook.

Even if the Canadian notebook existed and if it contained the comment as described, it still does not absolve Meyer for his responsibility as a commander to exercise control over the actions of his troops.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Patzinak » 24 May 2008 16:47

Penn44 wrote:The author of the Wikipedia article which you quote as evidence selectively quotes from the original source, placing the information out of context, and inaccurately establishes a connection between the two alleged incidents […]

I agree entirely with Pen44 -- the Wikipedia entry is misleading (surprise, surprise!) and does not accurately reflect The Valour and the Horror script.

Furthermore -- sufferin' succotash! -- The Valour and the Horror is a TV documentary! Is that the kind of reference AHF's well-informed subscribers expect?

For further info (including a few comments on the TV doco) see Lackenbauer (2001), which, IIRC, has already been mentioned earlier.

Cited:
    Lackenbauer, PW (2001) Kurt Meyer, 12th SS Panzer Division, and the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy: An Historical and Historiographical Appraisal [electronic version]. Gateway 3. Retrieved 2007-04-02 from http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html.

--Patzinak

[Edited to correct the URL for Lackenbauer's paper.]
Last edited by Patzinak on 24 May 2008 17:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 24 May 2008 17:02

Patzinak wrote:Furthermore -- sufferin' succotash! -- The Valour and the Horror is a TV documentary! Is that the kind of reference AHF's well-informed subscribers expect?--Patzinak


Actually, it can get worse. I've seen one of our "well-informed subscribers" cite a comic book as a source here. The sight of it traumatized me. 8O :roll:

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 24 May 2008 17:49

Let's get back on topic -- the alleged Canadian "take no prisoners" order, whether there is any evidence to support the claimed existence of the order, and if so, its scope and actual use by Canadian troops to execute German POWs.

For interested readers:

(1) During WWII, the refusal to give quarter (shooting soldiers trying to surrender or immediately after capture) had been a war crime since at least 1899:

Hague Convention II of 1899, Article 23
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague02.htm

(2) Article 2 of the 1929 Geneva Convention on POWs prohibited the use of reprisals against captured soldiers:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/geneva02.htm

(3) Prior to 1929, the custom on reprisals against POWs (based on US practice during the civil war) was:

(a) There must be actual proof of a war crime committed by an opposing unit;

(b) The commander-in-chief of the offended unit (not the unit commander) would, under flag of truce, notify his opposite number of the crime, present the proof, and give his opposite number time to correct the situation and notify the offended commander of the result;

(c) If the result was considered satisfactory, the offended commander sent his thanks and his compliments to his opposite number. If the result was considered unsatisfactory, the offended commander gave notice of that fact and announced his intention to his opposite number to take the right of reprisal; and

(d) The reprisal had to be proportional to the original criminal act, or the reprisal was itself a crime.

(4) For the customs and usages of land warfare on reprisals against civilians prior to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, see the judgment in the "Hostage case" at viewtopic.php?t=54441

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 24 May 2008 19:59

he Valour and the Horror is a TV documentary!


That's correct. I would suggest that anyone intersted in researching the 12th SS killings of Canadian POWs and alleged Canadian reprisials against German troops read Howard Margolian's excellent work Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy.

Margolian includes a footnote on The Valor and the Horror, which I will transcribe here: (notes to Pages xi-4, pg.191)

8. The debates over various aspects of Canada's participation in the Second World War, long the preserve of academic historians, became very public in 1992 when the Senate conducted hearings into the CBS's three-part documentary entitled The Valor and the Horror, which had aired at the beginning of the year. One-sided and error-filled, particuarly in its treatment of the Allied bombing campaign against Germany and the Normandy invasion, the program was roundly criticized by veteran's groups and was described by the Senate subcommittee that looked into it as 'not really a documentary at all but (rather) a personal interpretation.' See The Valor and the Horror, Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, (January 1993), 41. Regarding the issue that is of obvious reference to this book, the show's producers were taken to task for seeming to equate the rare incidence of the killing of German POWs by Canadian troops in Normandy with the systematic slaughter of Canadian prisoners by the Hitler Youth Division. See ibid., 33-34.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by David Thompson » 24 May 2008 20:22

Thanks, Rob - wssob2. Our readers -- and I -- always appreciate your contributions here.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Laurence Strong » 24 May 2008 20:55

There was/is a lot of controvery over the "The Valour and the Horror" In fact a rebuttal was filmed by the War Amps

http://www.waramps.ca/news/valour/93-01-11.html



"OTTAWA, January 11, 1993

STATEMENT: "The insistence of Brian McKenna that his film series "The Valour and the Horror" contains no major inaccuracies has made it necessary for us to prepare a 70-minute video which challenges at least 20 errors of fact or interpretation."

This statement was made today by Cliff Chadderton, Chief Executive Officer of The War Amps, who has spent the past eight months in researching issues raised by the series, which was first broadcast on CBC in January, and again in March 1992.

"We believe the issues of the conduct of Canadian airmen in Bomber Command and of our ground forces in Normandy deserves full examination. Accordingly, we raised the funds and prepared a video which will be released to cable stations this week," Chadderton said.

The film, entitled "Bulletproof? - You Be the Judge", is narrated by Chadderton, a Normandy veteran. It offers direct evidence to counter many of the assertions in the McKenna films, which raised serious doubts about the leadership and conduct of Canadian airmen and divisions in Normandy. The film quotes more than a dozen sources that challenge Brian McKenna's claim that his research is "bulletproof".

Chadderton points out that the film presents information in a way that has so far been lacking in the many protests against the series. "There has been a lot of controversy about this film series. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of rhetoric by some very good veterans who took part in Bomber Command and even by veterans like myself who fought in Normandy," he said.

"There is a big void out there, however, in that the actual historical accuracy of the film can be challenged but only by citing the published works of authors who disagree with the McKenna series," he added.

"The Valour and The Horror" has been under fire since its initial airing, and on November 10th of this year, the CBC Ombudsman weighted in with a critical report following a review of it. A press release was issued by the CBC stating that the series would not be rebroadcast until amendments were made to it.

"There is, notwithstanding, a need now for a public information program that would cite not the personal memories of those who took part but the actual rebuttals available in historical writings that have been published since World War II," Chadderton said.

"Our film contains no personal observation. It cites the historical premises put forward by Brian and Terence McKenna, who wrote and narrated the series. At the same time, it zeros in on actual quotations from a number of published works that unfortunately indicate the McKennas did not get it right," Chadderton said."


http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/V/htm ... randth.htm

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by bf109 emil » 25 May 2008 01:08

So this order never existed??? Was a make belief order for Meyer to try and save his neck, but was his neck to be saved when he questioned these on June 7th??? Perhaps this didn't happen, is their any proof or documentation by Canadian Armed Forces Historical documents of different regiments diaries, Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??and does anyone have access to this book, regarding the trial??
Source: Brode, Patrick. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48. Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997 [A very substantial part of this work is concerned with Meyer and the conduct of his trial, sentencing, and subsequent release.]

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 25 May 2008 02:35

bf109 emil wrote:So this order never existed??? Was a make belief order for Meyer to try and save his neck, but was his neck to be saved when he questioned these on June 7th??? Perhaps this didn't happen, is their any proof or documentation by Canadian Armed Forces Historical documents of different regiments diaries, Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??and does anyone have access to this book, regarding the trial??
Source: Brode, Patrick. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48. Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997 [A very substantial part of this work is concerned with Meyer and the conduct of his trial, sentencing, and subsequent release.]


Why don't you find the book yourself and read it before making claims?

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by bf109 emil » 25 May 2008 02:53

bf109 emil wrote:So this order never existed??? Was a make belief order for Meyer to try and save his neck, but was his neck to be saved when he questioned these on June 7th??? Perhaps this didn't happen, is their any proof or documentation by Canadian Armed Forces Historical documents of different regiments diaries, Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??and does anyone have access to this book, regarding the trial??

Source: Brode, Patrick. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48. Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997 [A very substantial part of this work is concerned with Meyer and the conduct of his trial, sentencing, and subsequent release.]



Why don't you find the book yourself and read it before making claims?

Penn44

why are you so offensive, this was put in wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Caen i am asking a question as to if this existed, not trying to prove a point, if it never did as you claim, so be it you must be right??? why it was put in the battle of Caen, who knows, i don't write for the internet, but i did read this, and i am asking if it existed, not trying to have other on here pull my teeth, makes no difference to me, the war is over, my father flew hurricanes, and my uncle brought me back an ss panzer balck field cap, other then this pffft...but can you prove this order never existed??? it was all a lie by meyer???

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Penn44 » 25 May 2008 03:03

bf109 emil wrote:
bf109 emil wrote:So this order never existed??? Was a make belief order for Meyer to try and save his neck, but was his neck to be saved when he questioned these on June 7th??? Perhaps this didn't happen, is their any proof or documentation by Canadian Armed Forces Historical documents of different regiments diaries, Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??and does anyone have access to this book, regarding the trial??

Source: Brode, Patrick. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48. Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997 [A very substantial part of this work is concerned with Meyer and the conduct of his trial, sentencing, and subsequent release.]

Why don't you find the book yourself and read it before making claims?

Penn44

why are you so offensive, this was put in wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Caen i am asking a question as to if this existed, not trying to prove a point, if it never did as you claim, so be it you must be right??? why it was put in the battle of Caen, who knows, i don't write for the internet, but i did read this, and i am asking if it existed, not trying to have other on here pull my teeth, makes no difference to me, the war is over, my father flew hurricanes, and my uncle brought me back an ss panzer balck field cap, other then this pffft...but can you prove this order never existed??? it was all a lie by meyer???


Why am I so offensive? You started this mess with your lame documentary, and when you got spanked, you ask other people to prove themselves. You prove it.

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by bf109 emil » 25 May 2008 03:14

Penn44 wrote:
bf109 emil wrote:
bf109 emil wrote:So this order never existed??? Was a make belief order for Meyer to try and save his neck, but was his neck to be saved when he questioned these on June 7th??? Perhaps this didn't happen, is their any proof or documentation by Canadian Armed Forces Historical documents of different regiments diaries, Was this not brought up in Meyer's trial in Canada??and does anyone have access to this book, regarding the trial??

Source: Brode, Patrick. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48. Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997 [A very substantial part of this work is concerned with Meyer and the conduct of his trial, sentencing, and subsequent release.]

Why don't you find the book yourself and read it before making claims?

Penn44

why are you so offensive, this was put in wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Caen i am asking a question as to if this existed, not trying to prove a point, if it never did as you claim, so be it you must be right??? why it was put in the battle of Caen, who knows, i don't write for the internet, but i did read this, and i am asking if it existed, not trying to have other on here pull my teeth, makes no difference to me, the war is over, my father flew hurricanes, and my uncle brought me back an ss panzer balck field cap, other then this pffft...but can you prove this order never existed??? it was all a lie by meyer???


Why am I so offensive? You started this mess with your lame documentary, and when you got spanked, you ask other people to prove themselves. You prove it.

Penn44

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it is lame??? did you not read what was listed??? what was printed in the URL or is deciding what is lame and what isn't your specialty...prove Meyer falsified this, i have seen nothing but petty whining as nothing could prove otherwise, it is documented in battle of caen this takes place...your move Mr. no it never happened

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Re: Canadian Orders "Take No Prisoners"

Post by Annelie » 25 May 2008 04:14

Lady From Hell on Tue Apr 29, 2003 3:06 pm

Hi :

I had faced off with them So i think they were lousy Fighters. Pheraps if hey had brought there Mothers along it may have ben a bit Better. In Fact when they looked down the Barrel of my weapon they just cried so i just helped them along by taking them out of there misery . And Getting on with my Job. As we took no prisoners at the time . ( Followed Orders )

" Lady From Hell" 8)




sithlord72 wrote:
To stretch the subject a little, how did the Wehrmacht
compare to other militaries in the use of combined arms?
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I think this post of a member was a Canadian Soldier whom fought the Germans in WWII shows that some indeed took no prisoners at least he was given this order.

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