Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Worst War Crimes of WW2?

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by Not One Step Back, Sep 2, 2010.

?

The worst war crime of World War Two?

  1. The Holocaust (Eizatzgruppen killings, Final Solution)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. The "Asian Holocaust" (Japanese atrocities in China and Asia)

    28 vote(s)
    65.1%
  3. German treatment of POWS (particularly Russians)

    5 vote(s)
    11.6%
  4. Japanese treatment of POWS (Allied POWS, Unit 731 etc.)

    3 vote(s)
    7.0%
  5. German policies in Eastern Europe and USSR (anti-partisan warfare, massacres etc.)

    4 vote(s)
    9.3%
  6. Soviet Rape of Eastern Europe (particularly East Prussia)

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
  7. American Firebombing of Japan (particularly Tokyo)

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
  8. Allied Firebombing of German cities (Dresden, Hamburg etc.)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Other (please state)

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12,560
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    I think your going to have to agree to disagree, this is? at times, going in ever decreasing circles...interesting posts, but keep it moving forward, and polite.....
     
  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Perhaps the worst war crimes of WW2 were committed by the government & military of all combatant countries involved?

    The government & military conscripted and trained soldiers to become killers which ultimately resulted in the deaths of some 60 million solidiers and civilians.

    I have read some passionate debates on this thread about what is the worst war crimes with tallies about the number of deaths and the methods used.

    From a objective point of view, this type of debate will go on for eternity. From a subjective point of view, I think someone who has lost their father, husband, son, brother in the war would feel just as bad, no matter the manner in which they died.

    Be it killed accidently in basic training at the start of the war, sent to gas chambers, treated heinously while being POW.

    So millions died and the government & military did not get blamed for it. Instead, certain events are identified as being a war crime and are punished.

    Basically, I reckon all deaths caused during war are futile and awful. Not only for those involved but for future generations to look back on in dismay, as I do.
     
    Sturmpioniere likes this.
  3. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,360
    Likes Received:
    30
    If Im correct wasn't their gangs of deserted allied soldiers all over Italy and western Europe?
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,066
    Likes Received:
    1,048
    If I recall there were such gangs in England made up of American and English deserters, but very few in number.
     
  5. Sturmpioniere

    Sturmpioniere Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    7
    To be honest, we can't point fingers at one country when another country did just the same. The Germans bombed British cities, yes. But it is justified to go back and do the same to them simply to get revenge? That isn't fighting for freedom, thats fighting to terrorize. I've heard that the Germans started bombing cities rather than factories after the British started bombing German/German occupied cities. As for in the field, all sides committed war crimes. If you know that the Russians are torturing and killing your comrades that were taken prisoner, are you going to want to spare Russian prisoners? Most likely no, although I do have another comment from the book I'm reading. The soldier, as well as his unit, was shocked when they lost their Gefreiter. How did he die? He went to go help a Russian, he bandaged him. When he turned around and started running back, the Russian pulled out his pistol and shot him in the back. The soldier says he hopes he "never becomes like Schwarz." Schwarz was a sergeant when he was fighting in Stalingrad who would take out his pistol and shoot the Russian wounded and dead in the head to make sure they were dead. His reason was "because when we turn our backs they will attack us." It was a horrible war, and it is easy to see the victors write history. American, British, and Russian soldiers never got any war crimes trials, yet the Germans and Japanese did. Reason being is how would it look back at the homefront? "Allied soldier tried for war crimes". It would make all the "were perfect and fighting for freedom" and all the Allied propaganda go down the drain.
     
  6. efestos

    efestos Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    26
    No sir, the Holocaust is unique. Nothing resembles him, for the amount of people that the Nazis killed in just four years and how they did this, as in a factory in a production line. Nothing like the decision to exterminate an ethnic group (actually more than one we always forget the gipsies)

    The treatment of Russian soldiers, whatever it says the pathetic neo-Nazi propaganda, slave labor is perhaps similar to the gulags of Stalin's brutal regime. Only maybe. Poor consolation be compared to Stalin's regimen.

    The allies were figthing for Liberty in the most brutal war in History, this is a matter of fact, not propganda.
     
  7. Sturmpioniere

    Sturmpioniere Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'm not talking about the Holocaust, and not every German soldier was involved in it. And the Allies themselves brutalized the enemy, take a look at what Allied propaganda shows the Japanese as. Look at what happened in the Pacific. This is what I'm talking about with pointing fingers, making the winners look good and the losers look bad. That is what we truly mean when we say the victors write history. Even if the Allies did do some bad things, people ignore it because something like the Holocaust is worse, and that is why today the Allies looks good and the Germans look bad. There is a big difference between a soldier on the front and a soldier killing in a concentration camp.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    459
    Sturmpioneire,

    I am afraid you have this backwards. The Germans were the first to take prisoners of war when they invaded. It was the Russian soldier which escaped German captivity only to tell his comrades of the not so pleasant experience...

    Even still, had the German POW's received the same chivalrous treatment which they dealt to the Russians in 42' none would have made it back to Germany in 55'


    Not all countries did the same, the Governments of Germany and Japan set the bar pretty high for the rest to follow.
     
  9. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    114
    Russia is a huge place, if any Russian POW's did escape I doubt their stories would have bee coordinated enough for everyone to know about. Only those within a relative area may truly know. In reality, it's probably a little something like this.

    Soldier A is captured, becomes prisoner A.

    Prisoner A escapes, joins unit that captures enemy prisoners

    Prisoner A finds Prisoner B, exacts revenge.

    Prisoner C sees this, escapes.

    Prisoner C joins unit that captures prisoners, finds Prisoner D.

    Going back further, what about wounds from World War I, or the interwar year dealings of the two countries with each other?

    None of them may have been realated in any way yet they all experinced the predecessors revenge. I also don't buy the excuse that it's somehow ok for a soldier to be cruel to POW's simply because they experinced similar treatment. Do they deserve blame? Maybe some, but it's not the type of decision I would like to make. Victims are victims, I don't think their stories should be silenced simply because they were on the wrong side of the fence, maybe not for certain people like war criminals and such but that's a different story.
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    449
    There are stories of mutilations of captured Gernan soldiers even in the first days of Barbarossa, don't vouch for their authenticity, but I don't have big reasons to doubt them either, someting like that happened with Cretan "irregulars" too and that battle was pretty short.
    It seems to point that on the Eastern brutality was pretty high from the start on both sides, it was not a "they did it first" phenomenon, more that the commanders didn't put much, if any, restraints on atrocities so it was really up to the troops. Possibly the biggest killers of POWs were hunger and exposure, not direct action, troops that are half starved/frozen themselves are not going to care much about POWs. Neither side had very good logistics and caring for the POWs was not a priority.
     
  11. Chef des Todes

    Chef des Todes Flight Medic

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    40
    Have you ever actually been to an American WW2 German POW camp?
    I've been to quite a few, my family lived in one, during the time the Germans were their. Grandpa s the Pastor. So were you got the thought that we Brutalized them? I'm fairly certain from meeting some myself, and seeing photos, and visiting the place. That they weren't Brutalized. All they had to say is how they wanted to surrender to the Allies to go to a camp, cause it was better than theirs. Yes history is written by the Victor. Though I'm fairly certain what happened in the Pacific was real. I had 2 great granddads who fought, both in Peral Harbor. Also still to this day the Japense government hasn't gaven any remorse about it's actions in world war 2. I think if you were in world war 2 and you got captured by the Japense. Youd start thinking otherwise real quick, an if you were a german captured by the Americans. Youd start receieving help real quick.
     
    LJAd likes this.
  12. Hop

    Hop Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    42
    But it wasn't simply to get revenge. The British found that German area bombing did much more damage to industrial production than German attempts at attacks on individual factories. In Coventry, for example, most of the industrial plants were not badly damaged, but production was badly hampered by damage to housing and infrastructure in the city.

    The British restricted attacks to military and industrial targets until mid September 1940, a week or so after the start of the Blitz on London. At that point if the specified target couldn't be found, the RAF were allowed to attack a German city as a target of opportunity.

    The RAF didn't order their first area bombing attack on a German city until mid December 1940, after Coventry, by which time about 20,000 British civilians had been killed by German bombing.
     
  13. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    114
    Interesting, do you have any links for further reading? Were they by the Red Army or possible Partisians?

    Does anyone know how the Soviet Polish prisoners were treated? Perhaps seeing how the Soviets had treated them after the invasion of Poland could give some better insight into those stories?

    I think he is talking about propaganda portraying the Japanese has beastly figures. It's interesting really, during World War I the Allied governments would use propaganda that made the average enemy soldier look like a brute who had to be stopped. They would take features, single events, etc and multiply them. When the war ended there were people who pretty much became indoctrinated and refused to work with the "brute" after the war ended. This is only the short story of course, a lot of complications had arisen.

    During World War 2 propaganda had changed, instead of focusing on the soldiers or regular civilians they would focus on the leaders or other high ranking officials. The only time soldiers would be used was to portray an emotional experience, "you fight and die on the front, but the Nazi sleeps with your wife!". American propaganda relating to the Japanese was really a mix.

    North American POW camps were actually pretty good to the prisoners, there may have been a few isolated incidents in them but largely they were pretty good. After the war ended many former prisoners simply came back to Canada or the States since they saw a better life here than they did back in Germany, Italy, etc. There is perhaps an issue with internment camps used to house Japanese, German, etc sympathizers or people of such heritage but that's a different story.

    I wouldn't say all soldiers were guaranteed saftey or brutallity if they were captured. Perhaps their wasn't a way to safely transport the prisoners to a camp or maybe an enraged soldier was present. Generally though the European Axis and the Allies were pretty good to each other.
     
  14. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    58
    War Crimes were committed by all Sides in The Unnecessary War and that's A fact.

    The Fire Bombing of German Cities is one of them, any poster that disagrees needs to get his head examined, Or your just a typical Billy O'Rially.

    Where forgetting that the Bombings on Nagasaki & Hiroshima are US War Crimes committed on Civilian population when many US high ranking Generals Argued against the Bombings. Not counting the Despicable Crimes against the Japanese people after the War.

    Not counting the so many others committed by the US and Allies during WWII.

    I can fill up pages of War Crimes committed by the US alone, one example

     
  15. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,625
    Likes Received:
    996
    If you can fill pages with US attrocities you should no problem filling volumes with the actions of the Axis powers.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  16. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    58

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa You missed me:D


    I can fill out Volumes for Allied and Axis Powers War Crimes committed in WWII, Hollywood.

    Both Sides committed despicable Acts against Humanity, as two wrongs never make a Right.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    What "Unnecessary War)? Also a bit of a strawman as no one has claimed that any of the major combatants didn't commit war crimes.
    Sorry you are wrong. If you really think so you shouldn't have any trouble showing us just what conventions were vioulated and why the acompanying exclusions don't apple.
    As above. The burden on you is to prove it. Until you can do so it's only your opinion and based on what I've read in the conventions a faulty one at that.
    Interesting accusation. Not a single detail though. Care to tell us just what you are talking about?
    ditto.
    That also is at this point just your opinion. Based on what's above it also is faulty.
     
  18. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    The fact that the Japanese and the Amerians never signed nor ratified some of these "agreements and conventions" can and was used as the justification argument. I don't buy that "side-step" completely, but in the case of the allied forces in the PTO, the actions were NOT government nor military policy. Individual person's crimes committed during time of war do not constitute "war crimes' per se.

    Just as fire-bombing wasn't a "crime", nor was "atomic" bombing. There weren't laws against either of them, hence; not crimes.
     
    LJAd and Sloniksp like this.
  19. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    58

    If you don't Know why It's called "The Unnecessary War" Just goes to show how poorly your Informed.

    As for the rest get a reality check or Stop reading all that 20 Yr outdated cluttered info from the "US Propaganda Machine."

    I have No time just passing by, See you all in a longtime.

    Just adding these

    United States:
    American soldiers in the Pacific often deliberately killed Japanese soldiers who had surrendered. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war.[54] Dower states that in "many instances ... Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds."[45] According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners.[55] This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson,[56] who also says that, in 1943, "a secret [U. S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would ... induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese."[57]

    Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress "take no prisoners" attitudes,[57] among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among U. S. troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.[58]

    Ulrich Straus, a U.S. Japanologist, suggests that frontline troops intensely hated Japanese military personnel and were "not easily persuaded" to take or protect prisoners, as they believed that Allied personnel who surrendered, got "no mercy" from the Japanese.[59] Allied soldiers believed that Japanese soldiers were inclined to feign surrender, in order to make surprise attacks.[59] Therefore, according to Straus, "enior officers opposed the taking of prisoners[,] on the grounds that it needlessly exposed American troops to risks..."[59] When prisoners nevertheless were taken at Gualdacanal, interrogator Army Captain Burden noted that many times these were shot during transport because "it was too much bother to take him in".[60]

    Ferguson suggests that "it was not only the fear of disciplinary action or of dishonor that deterred German and Japanese soldiers from surrendering. More important for most soldiers was the perception that prisoners would be killed by the enemy anyway, and so one might as well fight on."[61]

    U. S. historian James J. Weingartner attributes the very low number of Japanese in U.S. POW compounds to two important factors, a Japanese reluctance to surrender and a widespread American "conviction that the Japanese were "animals" or "subhuman'" and unworthy of the normal treatment accorded to POWs.[62] The latter reason is supported by Ferguson, who says that "Allied troops often saw the Japanese in the same way that Germans regarded Russians—as Untermenschen."[63]

    Mutilation of Japanese war dead:
    Main article: American mutilation of Japanese war dead
    Some Allied soldiers collected Japanese body parts. The incidence of this by American personnel occurred on "a scale large enough to concern the Allied military authorities throughout the conflict and was widely reported and commented on in the American and Japanese wartime press."[64]
    The collection of Japanese body parts began quite early in the war, prompting a September 1942 order for disciplinary action against such souvenir taking.[65] Harrison concludes that, since this was the first real opportunity to take such items (the Battle of Guadalcanal), "[c]learly, the collection of body parts on a scale large enough to concern the military authorities had started as soon as the first living or dead Japanese bodies were encountered."[66]

    When Japanese remains were repatriated from the Mariana Islands after the war, roughly 60 percent were missing their skulls.[67]
    In a memorandum dated June 13, 1944, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) asserted that "such atrocious and brutal policies," in addition to being repugnant, were violations of the laws of war, and recommended the distribution to all commanders of a directive pointing out that "the maltreatment of enemy war dead was a blatant violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on the sick and wounded, which provided that: After every engagement, the belligerent who remains in possession of the field shall take measures to search for wounded and the dead and to protect them from robbery and ill treatment."
    These practises were in addition also in violation of the unwritten customary rules of land warfare and could lead to the death penalty.[68] The U.S. Navy JAG mirrored that opinion one week later, and also added that "the atrocious conduct of which some US personnel were guilty could lead to retaliation by the Japanese which would be justified under international law".[68]

    Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
    Main article: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    In 1963, the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the subject of a judicial review in Ryuichi Shimoda et al. v. The State.[69] The District Court of Tokyo declined to rule on the legality of nuclear weapons in general, but found that "the attacks upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused such severe and indiscriminate suffering that they did violate the most basic legal principles governing the conduct of war."[70] Francisco Gómez points out in an article published in the International Review of the Red Cross that, with respect to the "anti-city" or "blitz" strategy, that "in examining these events in the light of international humanitarian law, it should be borne in mind that during the Second World War there was no agreement, treaty, convention or any other instrument governing the protection of the civilian population or civilian property." [71] The possibility that attacks like the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings could be considered war crimes is one of the reasons given by John R. Bolton (Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2001–2005) and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2005)) for the United States not agreeing to be bound by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[72] although they would not be prosecutable due to their having occurred prior to the ratification the treaty.


    Rape By US Soldiers:

    Main articles: Rape during the occupation of Japan and War rape
    It has been claimed that some U.S. soldiers raped Okinawan women during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.[73]
    Okinawan historian Oshiro Masayasu (former director of the Okinawa Prefectural Historical Archives) writes based on several years of research:
    Soon after the U.S. Marines landed, all the women of a village on Motobu Peninsula fell into the hands of American soldiers. At the time, there were only women, children and old people in the village, as all the young men had been mobilized for the war. Soon after landing, the Marines "mopped up" the entire village, but found no signs of Japanese forces. Taking advantage of the situation, they started "hunting for women" in broad daylight and those who were hiding in the village or nearby air raid shelters were dragged out one after another.[74]However, Japanese civilians "were often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy."[75][76] According to Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Selden, the Americans "did not pursue a policy of torture, rape, and murder of civilians as Japanese military officials had warned."[77]
    There were also 1,336 reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa prefecture after the Japanese surrender.[73]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_war_crimes_during_World_War_II
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    ???
    What exactly are you calling an "act against humanity"? It's a new term to me and certainly not a well defined one in this contxt. As for "two wrongs never make a right" in some senses that's another strawman in others it's incorrect. For instance according to the covnentions in place in WWII if side A makes first use of gas warfare it's commiting a war crime. If side B retaliates it's not.
     
    LJAd and brndirt1 like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page