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Old November 15th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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Any military force in history made up of human beings is capable of committing atrocities. To prevent them, you have cultural stigma and military discipline. For the most part, the typical German Wehrmacht force was unable to perform such duties, which is why specialized (and more politically reliable) forces were necessary to be created. Of course you'll find exceptions to this, but repeatably, German non-SS forces typically stayed out of the atrocity game and units that performed in them often received disciplinary measures for such.

Compare this to the typical Japanese units in China and elsewhere in WWII who lacked any semblance of stigma attached to killing prisoners or civilians, as well as any military authority figures who actively attempted to curtail, let alone condone or encourage, Nanking level atrocities.

Examples of individual units who commit atrocities can be found in every army in history. A few bad apples doesn't actually mean the bunch are spoiled.
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