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American executions for desertion in WW2

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by bosworth gannaway, May 31, 2007.

  1. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    I am clearly having a "senior moment", since I cannot recall where in this forum I recently posted a message on the above subject. I thought that I may have done so in the context of a recent post I submitted on General MacArthur since he was the Supreme Commander of the infantry Colonel alleged to have personally shot several officers and men for cowardice and desertion in the Buna, New Guinea campaign of late 1942, but I must have posted it elsewhere, I guess !

    The purpose of this message is to say that this morning I received an email saying that I was talking a load of old bollocks ( the email was a from a friend ! ), when I stated that numerous US officers and men were shot for cowardice during WW2. My chum pointed out to me that he thought only ONE man ( Private Eddie Slovik ? ) was ever executed for those offences.
    He may well be right, but I am talking, not about formal Court Martial sentences of execution as in Slovik's case, but where serving soldiers had been shot whilst running away from the enemy. From what appears to be the case, there may well have been dozens or maybe hundreds of shootings like this, if the alleged executions made by Colonel Grose are any guide. These "summary executions" are also unlikely to have been formally recorded as I suspect many would have been attributed to enemy action.
    BG
     
  2. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I always thought that US Solciders were either shot or convicted of cowadice during the battle of the bulge?

    FNG
     
  3. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    I would guess that "combat executions" happened but were covered up to look like the incident was from enemy fire or accidental friendly fire.
     
  4. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    US Military executions

    I' m not sure, but I think that the only ( allegedly) US soldier officially executed for cowardice in WW2 was the Private Eddie Slovik (?) I have referred to previously. I also believe ( but if it is important to you, please by all means double check it) that he was shot for desertion at around the time of the Battle of the Bulge. Given that elite Nazi forces attacked what was effectively an R&R area for US troops who were less than the best, it wouldn't be surprising if poor old Slovik did do a runner !

    Insofar as using the excuse of "killed by enemy action" to disguise incidents of US soldiers shot for desertion or cowardice by their own officers, I am sure that this happened in all armies many times.
    What makes the executions carried out in the front line of the Buna, New Guinea campaign so interesting, is the fact that they were carried out by a senior US officer, who, immediately prior to that posting, was the Inspector-General serving under General MacArthur, and that the troops he is alleged to have shot included officers.
    BG
     
  5. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Re: US Military executions


    I responded to this allegation in your previous post but since it was repeated here I will respond here also.

    This was alleged by whom? There was one reported incident that I know of where Colonel Grose wielded a pistol and attempted to stop a Lieutenant from withdrawing after he had ordered him to attack. The Lieutenant demurred and was arrested (properly). This occured during the attack of 31 December on the Buna Mission.
    BTW Grose commanded the 127th Regiment. At times he had elements of the 126th and 128th under his command (the Urbana force).

    Do you have some specific allegations and the names of those who made them so they can be properly evaluated?
     
  6. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    American executions for cowardice.

    Hello Grieg,

    Having found where in this forum I first submitted my original post on this matter, I have now replied to your query in that thread. I hope this is sufficient for you.
    Regards,BG
     

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