US War Crimes and "Foot Soldier"

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fknorr
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Re: Peiper in the Ardennes

Post by fknorr » 09 Apr 2004 23:27

WalterS wrote:Shooting prisoners and murdering civilians was common, expected practice in the Waffen SS. Such was not the case in the US Army.
Mr MacDonald must have been in some other war than Roscoe Blunt 84th Infantry Veteran, CIB recipient, Bronze Star, Purpla Heart...author of "Foot Soldier")

page 73 German POW Shot,
75 sniper murdered after giving up...stated that is was the norm not to "capture snipers",
page 130 shooting Belgian civilian's livestock, burning his barn down shooting at the civilian (like the old western movies "dance" while shooting at feet),
page 138 murder of 2 german POWs,
page 145 beating and Murder of SS NCO,
page 169 shooting up of German Red Cross marked ambulance, page 203steeling from, shooting at Belgian (German?) farmer,
page 207 US tank deliberately running over wounded German POW on road...

I have about a dozen other pages dog-eared but am going to the mall to see the Easter Bunny w/my daughter.

The German Army/SS on the Eastern Front was totally different from the German Army/SS on the western front...on the Eastern front it was totally different. Was it the orders from Hitler that turned it into a "no quarter" contest between the Germans and Russians or something on the Russian side (or a combination of both), I do not know.

The German Army vs. The Allies in France/Belgium/Germany was no more brutal than their Allied counterparts. History proves that to all who want to see.

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 10 Apr 2004 03:43

fknorr wrote
page 73 German POW Shot,
75 sniper murdered after giving up...stated that is was the norm not to "capture snipers",
page 130 shooting Belgian civilian's livestock, burning his barn down shooting at the civilian (like the old western movies "dance" while shooting at feet),
page 138 murder of 2 german POWs,
page 145 beating and Murder of SS NCO,
page 169 shooting up of German Red Cross marked ambulance, page 203steeling from, shooting at Belgian (German?) farmer,
page 207 US tank deliberately running over wounded German POW on road...
Assuming for the moment that what you say is correct, you have quoted instances involving 6 German soldiers, an ambulance and a Belgian barn. Somehow that doesn't equate to standard operating procedure within the US Army. I'd also like to know how many of the individuals involved were brought up on charges and disciplined by the US military.
The German Army/SS on the Eastern Front was totally different from the German Army/SS on the western front..
So...you are excusing the SS atrocities, including those of Peiper, on the Eastern front because it was somehow different? Torching Russian villages and murdering Slavs and Russian Jews falls into a different category? There is no moral distinction here. Peiper brought his men and their methods to the west.
The German Army vs. The Allies in France/Belgium/Germany was no more brutal than their Allied counterparts.




I bet the Poles and Ukrainians and Latvians and Russians murdered by the SS would be happy to know that the SS allegedly behaved better on the western front.

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Apr 2004 05:03

Please save countercharges for other threads. It is easier to analyze one or a small number of war crimes on a single thread than it is to deal with all of them.

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Post by fknorr » 10 Apr 2004 17:59

WalterS wrote:Assuming for the moment that what you say is correct, you have quoted instances involving 6 German soldiers, an ambulance and a Belgian barn. Somehow that doesn't equate to standard operating procedure within the US Army.
I will not address the portions David said to "leave for other threads"...

You asked how many of the above mentioned individuals were brought up on charges...none were mentioned in the book. The author seems to be quite honest as to his (and other peoples) roles in the conflict, so I am relatively sure that if any of these "infractions" were punished he would have mentioned it.

I will not address your comment of "Assuming for the moment that what you say is correct" but it is noted.

You are correct, I mentioned 6 individual soldiers murdered...although I did say that the Author mentioned that "generally" snipers did not make it back to the POW pens (so how many did not make it back over the course of the six months of combat the author saw?) It is also 6 soldiers murdered, by one small unit, of one division (out of approx 100 allied divisions on the western front) in less than six months of time. Do you believe that this was the only unit doing this? Do you only believe that it happened during this time frame? If every unit, in every division only did what this unit did...wouldn't 600 + murders, 100 ambulances and 200 farmers be significant?

I believe anyone adhering to the "rules of war" would not shoot up an ambulance, hospital, etc with a red cross painted on it.

"A Belgian barn"...let's see...the burning of an "Allied" civilians barn, shooting and requisitioning of his livestock (livlihood?) and terrorizing him w/30 caliber weapons seems to be quite a serious thing to me...funny how you didn't mention the German farmer that was terrorized...

I also said that there were another dozen instances I did not mention for lack of time.

This little exercise only went to show that Allied soldier (combat) is not better or worse than his Axis counterpart. I would almost bet Walter that I can match your shooting of Allied Soldiers by Germans (Western Front), with reference material showing that Germans were murdered at allied hands.

This is not intended to show that it was Allied SOP to murder, nor was it I believe that of German troops to do the same. It is just a case of individuals doing terrible things in difficult times...it has been this way forever and will always be that way as long as nations send their sons and daughters to kill one another.

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Post by Dan W. » 10 Apr 2004 21:58

fknorr wrote: This is not intended to show that it was Allied SOP to murder, nor was it I believe that of German troops to do the same. It is just a case of individuals doing terrible things in difficult times...it has been this way forever and will always be that way as long as nations send their sons and daughters to kill one another.
I've read the book.
page 73 German POW Shot,
75 sniper murdered after giving up...stated that is was the norm not to "capture snipers",
All bets are off if you are a sniper. War is hell.
page 130 shooting Belgian civilian's livestock, burning his barn down shooting at the civilian (like the old western movies "dance" while shooting at feet),
So, what is the rest of the story? I cannot remember (I no longer have the book, wish I did) but I would like to know what brought about such actions.
page 138 murder of 2 german POWs,
I believe those were the two on the front bumper of the Jeep, where the passenger in the Jeep looked over at the driver, casually pulled out his .45 and shot them both. A war crime, and the author (Blunt) was shocked and disgusted at what he witnessed.
page 145 beating and Murder of SS NCO
If I remember this NCO was being questioned and deliberately gave false information leading to an ambush that killed some number of Allied soldiers, and his refusal to answer any further questions after the incident, and his arrogant devotion to a lost cause infuriated Blunt and led to his being beaten..

page 169 shooting up of German Red Cross marked ambulance, page 203steeling from, shooting at Belgian (German?) farmer,
page 207 US tank deliberately running over wounded German POW on road...
The German ambulance is not excusable, unless they had reason to believe it was being used for something other than the transport of wounded. The U.S. tank deliberately running over wounded could be just that, or it could be accidental. I'm not sure how he determined this.

For another view of U.S. soldiers not taking any prisoners, read any of the books by Donald Burgett of the 101st Airborne ( Seven Roads to Hell, Currahee! ) and he discusses being lightly armed and moving behind enemy lines and shooting prisoners as well.

Also, you should point out what Blunt witnessed when he first entered Belgium. Remember the "gruesome sign post" that was left by the retreating Germans? Perhaps you could enlighten us with that passage as well.

Regards,
Dan

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Post by fknorr » 11 Apr 2004 00:08

This thread was not a critique of the book and I am not sure how to take your post. This thread was not spun off by me and it loses its "context" because I posted it in response to an alegation re:Peiper @ The Bulge.
(Where Blunt was serving)

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Post by David Thompson » 11 Apr 2004 00:41

My apologies. My purpose in splitting this thread was not to put anyone on the spot. This section of the forum has a large number of readers. From PMs I've received, many of the readers use the H&WC section for research purposes. The reason is this section of the forum is particularly rich in primary source material and, to a lesser extent, high-grade secondary source quotations.

Much earlier in the history of this section, there was little or no effort to keep a subject matter focus in individual threads. As a result, some threads covered scores of different subjects and were as long as 15-30 pages. Some individual threads covered subjects as diverse as anti-partisan warfare, the treatment of women in the East, and the Nazi atomic bomb program.

For a person who wants to do research here, the first (and usually only) option is to try to use the forum search engine. This will sometimes produce a massive number of "hits," and frequently the subject matter of interest is only to be found in the middle of a multi-page thread. If you use the search term "Dachau" or "Malmedy" you'll see what I mean.

I tried to make it easier for the researchers, and prevent distractions for the participants, by trying to confine the threads to a discussion of one war crime at a time. That way, most of the discussions on that particular subject are concentrated into one or just a few threads, instead of having fragments appear in 20, 30 or 40 threads. I also try to help the readers by providing mini-indices, but even this is a distinct challenge on some subjects.

Anyway, that's the reason I made this a separate thread. I'm glad I did, too, since I wasn't familiar with the allegations contained in "Foot Soldier." This thread gets those allegations out into the public eye, and provides the opportunity to discuss them thoroughly -- if not now, then perhaps later.

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Post by gewehrdork » 04 Dec 2005 15:23

If anyone is going to quote Mr. Blunt's book you had better note that when h e was CAPTURED by SS troops the SS troops shot one of their own for feeding the GI's secretly and then the SS officers organized the SHOOTING of the GI pow's. Had it not been for Blunt's basic german he could speak and understand he and the other dozen or so GI's would have been murdered. He convinced the SS officers they were surrounded and that to murder GI's at this point would seal their fate, and he promised a good word for them upon surrender.
Shoe fits the other foot now does it not.

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Post by nny » 05 Dec 2005 07:04

page 73 German POW Shot,
75 sniper murdered after giving up...stated that is was the norm not to "capture snipers",


All bets are off if you are a sniper. War is hell.
It is still a warcrime. Sorry if you are a soldier and hate snipers, if you are a civilian playing soldier and hate snipers then Please.

page 130 shooting Belgian civilian's livestock, burning his barn down shooting at the civilian (like the old western movies "dance" while shooting at feet),

So, what is the rest of the story? I cannot remember (I no longer have the book, wish I did) but I would like to know what brought about such actions.
Curious that you wish to investigate the murder of Belgian farmers when you have read the book, but the out right murder of German snipers invokes "War is hell". Sounds much like what the Germans would have said if they had won IMO. Perhaps you are able to envision a "Dance partner" justified situation LOL.
page 145 beating and Murder of SS NCO
If I remember this NCO was being questioned and deliberately gave false information leading to an ambush that killed some number of Allied soldiers, and his refusal to answer any further questions after the incident, and his arrogant devotion to a lost cause infuriated Blunt and led to his being beaten..
Doesn't the Hague conventions describe a soldiers right to not disclose information that would be damning to their side during a war?
page 169 shooting up of German Red Cross marked ambulance, page 203steeling from, shooting at Belgian (German?) farmer, page 207 US tank deliberately running over wounded German POW on road...
The German ambulance is not excusable, unless they had reason to believe it was being used for something other than the transport of wounded. The U.S. tank deliberately running over wounded could be just that, or it could be accidental. I'm not sure how he determined this.
Lol accidental running over of POW, nice. I would be more skepitcal that they actually took a POW and laid them in the road to be run over. Maybe a deliberate running over of a wounded German?

For another view of U.S. soldiers not taking any prisoners, read any of the books by Donald Burgett of the 101st Airborne ( Seven Roads to Hell, Currahee! ) and he discusses being lightly armed and moving behind enemy lines and shooting prisoners as well.
I've read at least "The Road to Arnhem" and he does not describe shooting enemy prisoners at all. There was, AFAIK, ONE time that a prisoner was shot by a US service man, and he (Donald) had to be restrained from attacking the murderer. Other than that what I have read shows that for the most part US service men did not engage it outright murder.
Also, you should point out what Blunt witnessed when he first entered Belgium. Remember the "gruesome sign post" that was left by the retreating Germans? Perhaps you could enlighten us with that passage as well.
That would be great to 'enlighten us'. But as for a justification, I would like to remind people that US soldiers in the Pacific used enemy Skulls (sometimes civilian) as ornaments for Christmas trees and trophies for their families.

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