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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #51

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I have seen, the links don't show the page I wanted to show. so here the pages e.g. 116 and 117

But for allied behaviour there is also
Fenton, Ben, "American troops " murdered Japanese POW"" Daily telegraph, june 8, 2005
Ferguson, Niall, "Prisoner taking and Prisoner Killing in the Age of Total War. War in History 11 (2), p. 148-192 (2004)
Weingartner, J.J, "Trophies of War:US Troops and the Mutilation of Japanese War Dead, 1941-1945, Pacific Historical Review 61 (1): 53–67.
Harrison, Simon, "Skull trophies of the Pacific War: Transgressive objects of remembrance". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 12 (4): 817–36. (2006)
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Old November 10th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #52

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The fighting in the Pacific had some similaries with the Eastern Front. It was an absolutely savage struggle between two enemies that hated each other and viewed the other as something barbaric or less than human. There was also no quarter given by either side.



With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa: E. B. Sledge, Paul Fussell: 9780195067149: Amazon.com: Books
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa: E. B. Sledge, Paul Fussell: 9780195067149: Amazon.com: Books



Eugene Sledge, the author of With the Old Breed, has stated in an interview that after a Japanese position was taken, unless an officer was around to stop them the Marines would frequently form 'possum squads' and go around shooting all the wounded Japanese in the head. In his book he also recounts a particularly brutal episode involving an incapacitated Japanese soldier:

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While I was removing a bayonet and scabbard from a dead Japanese, I noticed a Marine dragging what I assumed to be a corpse. But the Japanese wasn't dead. He had been wounded severely in the back and couldn't move his arms.

The Japanese soldier's mouth glowed with huge gold-crowned teeth and his captor wanted them. He put the point of his kabar knife on the base of a tooth and hit the handle with the palm of his hand. Because the Japanese was kicking his feet and thrashing about, the knife point glanced off the tooth and sank deeply into the victim's mouth. The Marine cursed him and with a slash cut his cheeks open ear to ear. He put his foot on the sufferer's lower jaw and tried again. Blood poured out of the soldier's mouth…

I shouted, "Put the man out of his misery.' All I got for an answer was a cussing out. Another Marine ran up, put a bullet in the enemy soldier's brain, and ended his agony. The scavenger grumbled and continued extracting his prizes undisturbed.
That sort of attitude towards the Japanese in the Pacific was not the exception, it was the rule.

Nevertheless I think we have to be careful when comparing acts of brutality committed by the Western Allies to atrocities committed by the Axis, to not paint both sides as being equal. The Axis far exceeded the Western Allies both scope and scale. It also is important to put the killings of Japanese prisoners into context. The Marines' behavior was largely motivated by revenge over atrocities committed by the Japanese on Allied prisoners, like the Bataan Death March, and a response numerous instances where Japanese soldiers had either pretended to be incapacitated or to surrender, only to attack the Corpsman (medic) trying to treat their wounds or their would be captors. Now that certainly doesn't excuse the behavior quoted above from Sledge's book, but it isn't equivalent to the crimes committed by the Einsatzgruppen or by the Japanese during the sack of Nanjing.

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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #53

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The fighting in the Pacific had some similaries with the Eastern Front. It was an absolutely savage struggle between two enemies that hated each other and viewed the other as something barbaric or less than human. There was also no quarter given by either side..................................



.................................................. ....................

That could equally said about the British-Indian army and the Japanese in Burma. Kohima-Imphal (I would add Admin Box) is often cited as the 'hardest' fighting of the war------ yes a claim that is very much open to debate but the battles would be in there for discussion.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #54

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That could equally said about the British-Indian army and the Japanese in Burma. Kohima-Imphal (I would add Admin Box) is often cited as the 'hardest' fighting of the war------ yes a claim that is very much open to debate but the battles would be in there for discussion.
I think in terms of the ferocity of the fighting and the mutual hatred between antagonists, the fighting in both the Pacific and the China-Burma-India theaters was just as savage as combat on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front only exceeed them in scale.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #55

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Nevertheless I think we have to be careful when comparing acts of brutality committed by the Western Allies to atrocities committed by the Axis, to not paint both sides as being equal. The Axis far exceeded the Western Allies both in terms of scope and scale. It also is important to put the killings of Japanese prisoners into context. The Marines' behavior was largely motivated by revenge over atrocities committed by the Japanese on Allied prisoners, like the Bataan Death March, and a response numerous instances where Japanese soldiers had either pretended to be incapacitated or to surrender, only to attack the Corpsman (medic) trying to treat their wounds or their would be captors. Now that certainly doesn't excuse the behavior quoted above from Sledge's book, but it isn't equivalent to the crimes committed by the Einsatzgruppen or by the Japanese during the sack of Nanjing.
Comparing yes, set equal of course not. I brought this theme up, because it shows, how quick human behaviour can be dehumanized. Americans, Australians and Britains were not influenced by years of heavy, biased propaganda, they had no reckless nazi regime that ordered crimes against others. Nevertheless did we have excessively killings of POWs, mutilation of dead bodies (let us hope so) and trophy hunting. The US administartion had problems to stop this. If we look to the Wehrmacht, we have war crimes reported during the Polish and the western campign. The reasons for it were based in inexperience, as well in ideology. The nazi press had pushed up in the last weeks before the was anti-polish feelings. They used anti-german politics in Poland and exaggerated it. In the French campaign especially against so called "Senegalneger" were committed a several crimes. One reason was the nazi propaganda against these "subhumans", but as well the fighting style of the French colonial troops. There are reports, that they humilated german soldiers, too.
Nevertheless the crimes of the Wehrmacht were relatively few and the Wehrmacht sentenced as well soldiers for misbehaviour. They even protested against actions by the SS and EGr. Only a few Wehrmacht units seem to have internalized Nazi propaganda in these early years of the war.

The war in the Soviet Union was different from the beginning. There was in several units still the old spirit. Some units generally refused e.g. to execute the commisar order. But more and more were put in a line. The Wehrmacht became more and more involved in Hitler's war, even participated willingly in his crimes. So those institution who should controll its soldiers failed or brought its soldiers in situations where they had to commit war crimes or which made it at least quite easy. This is a great difference to the pacific theatre.

So if we look at these difference, but have nevertheless excessivly crimes on both theatres, what does this mean for the reasons that some claim to be responsible, an anti-semitic gene or all the nonsense?

But these thread is first of all about the question, what did the german soldiers know. So let me ask what did US soldiers know about the war crimes mainly in the pacific theatre. They soldiers brough the trophies probably back home. what did the Americans knew about the war in the Pacific?
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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #56

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I think in terms of the ferocity of the fighting and the mutual hatred between antagonists, the fighting in both the Pacific and the China-Burma-India theaters was just as savage as combat on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front only exceeed them in scale.

In the battle of 'Admin Box' the main 'Dressing Station' (or medical section) is quickly over run and the 'usual' Japaneses behaviour results-- the MO who stands at the front to surrender is bayonetted as is many patients, as are the surgeons and and even their patients on the operating table, others are dragged out to be used as human 'sand bags'.

The Japanese then offer terms of surrender to the 'Admin troops' (so called because it is the rear area troops the clerks, cooks etc) with assurance of 'good' treatment--- for some strange reason they don't believe it!!!

The 'Area' defence unit are troops of the West Yorkshire Regiment, they move in and the clerks etc tell of the Japanese actions, this veteran unit just smiles, nods and fixes bayonets-- the 'Yorkshremen' then retake the position at the point of the bayonet, no prisoners are taken..
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:48 AM   #57

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Originally Posted by Scaeva View Post
Nevertheless I think we have to be careful when comparing acts of brutality committed by the Western Allies to atrocities committed by the Axis, to not paint both sides as being equal. The Axis far exceeded the Western Allies both scope and scale. It also is important to put the killings of Japanese prisoners into context. The Marines' behavior was largely motivated by revenge over atrocities committed by the Japanese on Allied prisoners, like the Bataan Death March, and a response numerous instances where Japanese soldiers had either pretended to be incapacitated or to surrender, only to attack the Corpsman (medic) trying to treat their wounds or their would be captors. Now that certainly doesn't excuse the behavior quoted above from Sledge's book, but it isn't equivalent to the crimes committed by the Einsatzgruppen or by the Japanese during the sack of Nanjing.
i agree with most of what you say and thank you for those quotes, they made for interesting reading. yet will say that in fact it is similar to events on the eastern front. this now is in comparison to german soldier actions, not those of the Einsatzgruppen which is a totally different case and inexcusable genocide. yet for average german soldiers the circumstances were exactly the same as the marines in the pacific. war crimes were being committed by both sides from day one of the invasion and there is ample evidence of german soldiers in the early days coming across the remains of cut off recon companies or german prisoners in which it was an obvious massacre f prisoners with more often then not the body's being mutilated in a horrible fashion. this so fueled a desire for revenge and a view of the enemy as being barbaric savages, the soviets in turn had the same view when they found scenes of german massacres.

to give one account of which i have quoted on this forum a few times i will tell of a section from the memoirs of Gunter K. Koschorrek, a german machine gunner on the eastern front, in his book 'Blood Red Snow'

he tells in one section how after a failed soviet attack on their position they came out of their trenches and walked across the field. their were soviet dead everywhere yet some were still alive. then Gunter tells how a man they knew as 'the Black Sergeant' (because of how dirt encrusted he always was) went around with his MP40 and held it to each wounded man killing him. such cold bloodiness horrified Gunter making him angrily ask 'why don't we take prisoners' the black sergeant just looked at him as if he had said something disgusting and replied 'go ahead but they think their being coy playing dead like that, the moment you go to pick them up they drop a grenade and kill you with them, i've seen it happen before'. Gunter had to admit there was a sick logic to it yet he still couldn't stand the sight of it.

how is it any different tell me?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:04 AM   #58

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Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
In the battle of 'Admin Box' the main 'Dressing Station' (or medical section) is quickly over run and the 'usual' Japaneses behaviour results-- the MO who stands at the front to surrender is bayonetted as is many patients, as are the surgeons and and even their patients on the operating table, others are dragged out to be used as human 'sand bags'.

The Japanese then offer terms of surrender to the 'Admin troops' (so called because it is the rear area troops the clerks, cooks etc) with assurance of 'good' treatment--- for some strange reason they don't believe it!!!

The 'Area' defence unit are troops of the West Yorkshire Regiment, they move in and the clerks etc tell of the Japanese actions, this veteran unit just smiles, nods and fixes bayonets-- the 'Yorkshremen' then retake the position at the point of the bayonet, no prisoners are taken..
i seen interviews of british veterans recounting such incidents of hospital patients being bayoneted, nurses as well.

countless incidents took place on the eastern front as well by both sides. a russian tank bulldozing over a german medical tent with patients still inside, german soldiers setting fire to huts containing soviet wounded. in the battle for the Crimea a soviet counter offensive recaptured a coastal town suddenly. when it was recaptured later in the year german soldiers found that the patients of a hospital had been thrown out its 2 story window and then dosed with water which froze them to death. german soldiers used human shields during street fighting and mine clearing as did the soviets latter such as at the siege of Budapest.

moments of compassion and mercy between both sides are so rare in this war that those you do find force you to stop and reflect on them.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #59
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I tried a several times to speak about the expelled germans after WWII and as well about discrimination and murder of ethnic germans before and in the beginning of WWII. I spoke as well about parts of the Polish-German history. About the first two subjects you never liked to speak, you tried to palliate, you denied facts, and about the history you still repeat old post-war propaganda. I even remember to our discussion about Bereza kartuska, where I accused the Polish government of being anti-semitic, too and you declared the jews there only were imprisoned for tax crimes. Yes, like Jews in germany in 1938! But of course everybody should know the true reason! You live in a multimedia world, you can get nearly every information you like and even in minutes. But nevertheless you repeat old stereotypes and propaganda. The germans of the nazi era had mainly only one media, the Nazi media. How can you allow yourself to blame those Germans for it, if you aren't willing to inform yourself?

Germans knew about the discrimination of Jews, but they weren't the only country with anti-semitism or dicrimination of minorities.And they saw as well, that the other countries paid court to Hitler. The Olymic games were in 1936, the race laws of nuremberg were in 1935. How many nations from foreign countries passed the Führer, raising their arms for the "Hitlergruß"? Germans knew about the imprisoning and deportations of jews after 1938, during the "Reichspogrom/Reichskristallnacht" many germans were disgusted, there are a lot Gestapo reports, unfortunately the germans were silent. But it is not easy to oppose in a dictatorship, especially if it is so reckless.
The major crimes, the mass exterminations started during the war in the second half of 1941 and they happened far away from the reich. It lasted some time before the first informations came home. But many people thought it were hostile rumours or invented and even those who thought these reports could be true were hoping they were not. And for those it was easier to ignore the rumours. There are diaries of 1942 which state that Germans in the Reich knew about the exterminations, but there is as well evidence in other diaries, that people couldn't imagine it was true. As it seems did allied countries as well not believe reports by jews. So germans were not the only ones here.
Nobody can say what germans knew in 1944 or 1945. we may suppose, that more and more got knowledge, but that is all we can say.
It is nice to put blame on samebody else, isn’t it Beorna? It help to dilute German crime, at list in your eys.

Comparing Polish antisemitism with German Antisemitism -what a nonsense. Could you answer two question only:Yes, there was an antisemitism in Poland as it was in all European countries. But you sholud have enough decency to restrain yourself in comparising it with German instituonalised extermination and wholesale killing.

Last edited by Edward; November 12th, 2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #60
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My grandfather was a Pole who was conscripted to Wehrmacht. I talked with him once about holocaust and he told me that knowledge about it wasnt common between regular German soldiers. As long as he stationed in Norway he didnt hear anything about it. Later when he was transfered to artillery unit on the eastern front he also didnt know about it. He has told me that in general German soldiers belived that Jews will be moved to the east or somewhere else but no one really had any informations about gas chambers and mass killings. They knew about bad treatment of Jews or Soviet PoWs. But there is a difference between so called "bad treatment" and "mass killings".
As a civilian population is concerned, it was a common knowledge, according to my father who was in the Reich for 3 years as a slave labourer.
He had an unlimited contact with civilian population in Austria and he was in a very friendly terms with his “master”, one Austrian farmer. This relation lasted beyond the war with occasional letters until the death of the farmer.
As a front line soldiers were relatively isolated from this knowledge, they must encounter this basic truth during their occasional trip home.
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