SS murdered by the British in 1940

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Andy H
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SS murdered by the British in 1940

Post by Andy H » 26 May 2003 12:53

Apologies if this has been asked before but I couldn't find it using the search.

When the British counter-attacked at Arras in May 1940 the British Infantry Regiment Durham Light Infantry (DLI) were given some 400(?) SS prisoners from the SS Totenkopf to guard.

However the Regimental Diary makes no mention of this incident and officers from other Regiments involved in the counter attack commented on the animosity felt towards the prisoners my the DLI, and from this point these prisoners disappear from British records, and they never returned to there own units thus leaving one to summise that they were murdered by the DLI.

Can anyone shed any light on this matter?

Kind Regards

Andy

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wildboar
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Re: SS murdered by the British in 1940

Post by wildboar » 26 May 2003 17:26

Andy H wrote:Apologies if this has been asked before but I couldn't find it using the search.

When the British counter-attacked at Arras in May 1940 the British Infantry Regiment Durham Light Infantry (DLI) were given some 400(?) SS prisoners from the SS Totenkopf to guard.

However the Regimental Diary makes no mention of this incident and officers from other Regiments involved in the counter attack commented on the animosity felt towards the prisoners my the DLI, and from this point these prisoners disappear from British records, and they never returned to there own units thus leaving one to summise that they were murdered by the DLI.

Can anyone shed any light on this matter?

Kind Regards

Andy
atleast the britishers were more strict follower of geneva convention.

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Re: SS murdered by the British in 1940

Post by POW » 26 May 2003 19:51

wildboar wrote:atleast the britishers were more strict follower of geneva convention.
" ... Some minutes later the Germans surrendered. It had been rather difficult, not to shoot them. If you want to know it exactly, I shoot them too, indeed ! If you see comrads dead before your own eyes, one reaches the point to loose control.

In 1984 we met German veterans at a commemorative meeting at Overloon. One of them wanted to give me shakehands. I tapped on his shoulder and told him to piss off. I didn´t give shakehands ! "

Harry Smithon,
A -Company of 2nd Bataillon,
East York Regiment
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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 26 May 2003 20:26

Many things happen after the immediate end to a fight, andrenalin is still pumping, tempers are fraid but a soldiers discipline normally holds them in line, but did the British (DLI) murder 400 SS Men in 1940?

Andy

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 27 May 2003 20:57

Other story:
A commander of 3rd Infantry Regiment "Totenkopf" SS Standartenfuehrer Friedmann Goetze was killed by a British sniper on May 27th 1940. That day about 100 soldiers of 2nd bat./ Royal Norfolk were captured. A commander of 14th company/ 2nd SS IR Obersturmfuehrer Fritz Knoechlein issued an order to execute all the POWs. The British War Tribunal sentenced him to punishment of death on October 25th 1948.
The punishment has been executed.
Janusz Ledwoch - "Waffen SS", Warszawa 1995

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Musashi
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Re: SS murdered by the British in 1940

Post by Musashi » 27 May 2003 21:03

POW wrote: In 1984 we met German veterans at a commemorative meeting at Overloon. One of them wanted to give me shakehands. I tapped on his shoulder and told him to piss off. I didn´t give shakehands ! "
I am not surprised :| :| :|

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Post by hohenstaufen » 27 May 2003 21:55

IMO I do not believe that the DLI infantry murdered 400 Waffen-SS prisioners.For a start how would they dispose of 400 bodies in such a short space of time whilst all around them a battle was raging?Another reason is I am sure if the Germans could not account for 400 of their own men wouldnt they launch a full scale investigation to determine the fate of their men?Every square metre around Arras would be throughly searched for any trace of freshly dug graves.And knowing the Germans if and I stress the word if they found bodies of their comrades wouldnt they let the world know through their propaganda machine?I have heard of Waffen-SS murdering prisioners-of-war in May 1940 but never heard of Waffen-SS personel being murdered during the same period.

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Post by Peter H » 28 May 2003 03:05

One source for this 'claim' was Dunkirk:The Patriotic Myth by a Nicholas Harmon,1980.

Harmon's research disclosed that the British were responsible for crimes against both German soldiers and Allied civilians. Some British troops were supplied with dumdum bullets-lethal missiles expressly banned by the Geneva Convention on the rules of war. London issued directives to take no prisoners except when they specifically needed captive Germans for interrogation. For this reason British Tommies feared being captured because "they supposed that the enemy's orders would be the same as their own." On 27 May, ninety prisoners of the Norfolk Regiment were killed by members of the SS Totendopf Division and on 28 May over eighty men of the Warwickshire Regiment were executed by troops of the SS Adolf Hitler Regiment. These acts were committed in retaliation for the massacre of large numbers of men of the SS Totenkopf Division who had surrendered to the British.

However this is courtesy of the Institute for Historical Review so I question
its agenda and validity.Wouldn't Goebbels have a field day if such a massacre occurred?

I have seen elsewhere on another Forum, ages ago, a proper presentation of Totenkopf records from the Arras action.I wish I still had the figures.Many of the 'missing' actually turned up later and contrary to the 'myth' of Arras,SS losses were minimal.Therefore even the basis of the 400 POW figure is in doubt.

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Post by michael mills » 28 May 2003 04:33

I recall reading in the book "Aspects of the Third Reich" (publishd in Britain by Macmillan 1985, edited by H W Koch - so obviously not a revisionist work) about an incident of summary execution of Waffen-SS taken prisoner by British forces in May 1940. This may have been the same incident as that referred to in the first message on this thread.

From memory, the reference in the above book was based on British documents, but the exact number was unknown, since the digit before the two zeros had been obliterated by the staple by which the particular page had been attached to its file.

If I get time, I will look up the book again and see exactly what it says. Or perhaps another contributor may have it close at hand.

As I see it, the bottom line is that during the fighting in May 1940, there was a limited number of summary executions of prisoners by both sides, with Waffen-Ss figuring both as perpetrators and as victims. Presumably many of those incidents were retaliations for preceding actions, resulting in a chain of tit-for-tat killings.

One can say that the Waffen-SS were predisposed to illegal killing of prisoners by their ideological indoctrination. But by the same token, there was a strong anti-Nazi feeling inculcated into the British people in the couple of years leading up to the war and after its outbreak, which might account for why Waffen-SS prisoners in particular, rather than Wehrmacht prisoners, were the victims of alleged illegal executions by British forces.

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Post by michael mills » 28 May 2003 04:42

Moulded wrote:
However this is courtesy of the Institute for Historical Review so I question
its agenda and validity.Wouldn't Goebbels have a field day if such a massacre occurred?
What is meant by "courtesy of the Institute for Historical Review"?

Does Moulded mean that Nicholas Harmon is associated with the IHR and that his book is a piece of biassed and untrustworthy propaganda?

Or is Moulded quoting from an IHR article that has drawn on Harmon's research for material that suits its purpose?

If the latter is the case, and I suspect it probably is, then the fact that Harmon's book was quoted by the IHR in no way derogates from its validity. Moulded's dismissal of it would then be unreasonable.

I do expect a higher standard of care in referring to sources from my compatriots, and less reliance on guilt by association.

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Post by michael mills » 28 May 2003 04:58

Further to my previous message, here is a link to a page giving information on the book by Nicholas Harman (Note spelling!).

http://www.bhil.com/~bhlibrary/RT/HISTORY_WW2/14.html

It was published in New York by Simon & Schuster, hardly a revisionist outfit.

It would appear that my compatriot Moulded has let his bias get the better of him. If he believes that Harman's material is falsified in some way, then it is incumbent upon him to demonstrate that.

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Post by David Thompson » 28 May 2003 05:04

Michael -- It looks to me as though Moulded was quoting, not from Harman's book, but from a review of Harman's book by Charles Lutton for the IHR, entitled "The Miracle of Dunkirk Reconsidered" on-line at:

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v02/v02p375_Lutton.html

(spelling noted, twice. My mistake, but in his review, Lutton also spelled the name "Harmon")
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Post by michael mills » 28 May 2003 05:05

A further comment:

Harman's book was also published in Britain in 1980 as "Dunkirk: The Necessary Myth", by Hodder & Stoughton, a reputable firm.

It is becoming apparent that Harman's book is a reputable work of scholarship, published by reputable houses in Britain and the United States. There is a copy of it in the Australian National University library, where I found the above reference.

As I previously wrote, the fact that this book was reviewed by the IHR in no way derogates from its reliability.

Moulded's attempt to tar it with the IHR brush is revealed as a shoddy tactic. Would that he were American! Such shoddiness would then be excusable.

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Post by michael mills » 28 May 2003 05:14

Michael -- It looks to me as though Moulded was quoting, not from Harmon's book, but from a review of Harmon's book by Charles Lutton for the IHR, entitled "The Miracle of Dunkirk Reconsidered" on-line at:
Well, if Moulded has not actually read Harman's book, but only an IHR review of it, then he has no grounds for questioning its "agenda and validity".

Unless he believes that the IHR reviewer has misrepresented the book. But does not seem to be the case, as the reviewer appears to be reproducing hard data rather than opinions.

As I think back, it occurs to me that Harman's book may have been the source for reference to the incident in the book initially cited by me - "Aspects of the Third Reich". But I would have to go back and check it.

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Post by David Thompson » 28 May 2003 05:14

Michael -- Moulded was no doubt referring to the quote he reproduced from Lutton's IHR book review ("courtesy of the Institute for Historical Review"), and not to Mr. Harman's work.
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