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#1 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:13 AM

Discuss about the WW2 War Crimes.

The other one isn't that like mine.. (Started by Panzerknacker)
Owyes: I wanted to post these all together (the reports, but on a stupid way it didn't work, well you can read them on this way.. READ THEM; you can give comment etcetera.. Pictures will come too)

Since there always is talked about "War Crimes" this is a good place to discuss them and information/Photos/stories about these War Crimes.

I saw never a real thread about War Crimes so I wanted one, so we could talk about those War Crimes.
German/Americans/Soviet.... they all did War Crimes

Some War Crimes:
source: unknown


THE NORMANDY MASSACRES (June, 1944) by HJ
A sensation was caused in Allied Headquarters when reports came through that a considerable number of Canadian soldiers were shot after being taken prisoner by the 12th. SS Panzer Division ‘Hitler Jugend’. On the morning of June 8th. thirty seven Canadians were taken prisoner by the 2nd. Battalion of the 26th. Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The prisoners were marched across country to the H/Q of the 2nd. Battalion. In the village of Le Mesnil-Patty they were then ordered to sit down in a field with their wounded in the center. In a short while a half track arrived with eight or nine SS soldiers brandishing their machine pistols. Advancing in line towards the prisoners they opened fire killing thirty five men. Two of the Canadians ran for their lives and escaped the slaughter but were rounded up by a different German unit to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp. First to make contact with the Canadians was a combat group led by Obersturmbannfuhrer Karl-Heinz Milius and supported by the Prinz Battalion. Near the villages of Authie and Buron , a number of Canadians of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, were taken prisoner. Numbering around forty, they were individually killed on the march back to the rear. Eight were ordered to remove their helmets and then shot with automatic rifles. Their bodies were dragged out on to the road and left to be run over by trucks and tanks. French civilians pulled the bodies back on to the pavement but were ordered to stop and to drag the bodies back onto the road again.
On the 7th and 8th of June, in the grounds of the Abbaye Ardenne, the headquarters of SS Brigadefuhrer Kurt Meyer’s 25th Panzer Grenadiers, twenty of the Canadians were shot. After being taken prisoner they were locked up in a stable and being called out by name they emerged from the doorway only to be shot in the back of the head. During the afternoon of 8th June, twenty six Canadians were shot at the Chateau d’Audrieu after being taken prisoner by a Reconnaissance Battalion of the SS Hitler Jugend. Other units of the German forces in France called the Hitler Jugend Division the ‘Murder Division’. After the war, investigations established that separate atrocities were committed in 31 different incidents involving 134 Canadians, 3 British and 1 American. Brought to trial before a Canadian military court at Aurich in Germany on 28 December, 1945, Kurt Meyer was sentenced to death but later reprieved and spent six years in Canadian jails before being transferred to Germany where he was released on September 7, 1954. He died of a heart attack on December 23, 1961, at age 51.

LE PARADIS (Pas-de-Calais, May 26,1940) By Totenkopf
A company of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, trapped in a cowshed, surrendered to the 2nd Infantry Regiment, SS 'Totenkopf' (Death's Head) Division under the command of 28 year old SS Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Knoechlein. Marched to a group of farm buildings, they were lined up in the meadow along side the barn wall. When the 99 prisoners were in position, two machine guns opened fire killing 97 of them. The bodies were then buried in a mass grave on the farm property. Two managed to escape, Privates Albert Pooley and William O'Callaghan of the Royal Norfolk Regiment emerged from the slaughter wounded but alive. When the SS troops moved on, the two wounded soldiers were discovered, after having hid in a pig-sty for three days and nights, by Madame Castel of Le Paradis who then cared for them till captured again by another Wehrmacht unit to spend the rest of the war as POWs. In 1942, the bodies of those executed were exhumed by the French authorities and reburied in the local churchyard now part of the Le Paradis War Cemetery. After the war, the massacre was investigated and Knoechlein was traced and arrested. During the war he had been awarded three Knight's Crosses. Tried before a War Crimes Court in Hamburg, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, and on January 28, 1949, the sentence was carried out. Married with four children, his wife attended the trial every day.




The first is a famous one from the famous divison 12TH SS-HITLERJUGEND.

(more coming..)

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#2 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

Some more: Pictures coming

WORMHOUDT (Pas-de-Calais, 27/28 May, 1940) By LSSAH
The day after the Le Paradis massacre, some 80 men of the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment and the Royal Artillery, were taken prisoner by the No7 Company, 2nd Battalion of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. At Esquelbecq, near the town of Wormhoudt, the prisoners were marched into a large barn, and there the massacre began. Stick grenades were lobbed in amongst the defenceless prisoners who died in agony as shrapnel tore into their flesh. When the last grenade had been thrown, the survivors were then ordered outside, there to be mown down under a hail of bullets from automatic weapons. The SS then entered the barn again to finish off the wounded. Fifteen men survived the atrocity, only to give themselves up to other German units to serve out the war as POWs. Unlike the Le Paradis massacre, the victims of Wormhoudt were never avenged, as after the war no survivor could positively identify any of the SS soldiers involved.

ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE (Central France, June 10, 1944) By Das Reich
On their 450 mile drive from the south of France to the Normandy invasion area, the 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' (15,000 men aboard 1,400 vehicles, including 209 tanks) under the command of SS General Lammerding, arrived at Limoges, a town famous for its porcelain. In the small town of St. Junien (30 kilometres from Limoges) the 'Der Führer Regiment' was regrouping. Following many encounters with the local maquis in which two German soldiers were killed, a unit of the regiment arrived at ORADOUR (believed to be a hotbed of maquis activity) in a convoy of trucks and half-tracks. At about 2 PM on this Saturday afternoon the 120 man SS unit surrounded the village ordering all inhabitants to parade in the market square for an identity check. Women and children were separated from the menfolk and herded into the local church. The men were herded in groups into six carefully chosen local garages and barns and shot. Their bodies were then covered with straw and set on fire. The 452 women and children in the church were then suffocated by smoke grenades lobbed in through the windows and sharpnel grenades that were thrown down the nave while machine-guns raked the interior. The church was then set on fire.
Incredibly, one woman, Mme Marguerite Rouffanche, escaped by jumping through a window, she was the only witness to the carnage in the church. (Mme Rouffanche died, aged 91, in March, 1988). Unspeakable atrocities were committed throughout the village, but some men managed to escape. The commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the SS Regiment at ORADOUR was thirty-two year old SS Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann, a survivor of the Russian Front. He was later killed in the Normandy battle area on 30th of June when hit in the head by shrapnel. Many members of the "Das Reich" reacted with surprising venom against the officer who ordered the massacre and a court martial was established but Diekmann died before the trial took place. The world heard of this massacre eight years later when some of those responsible were brought to trial. In 1953, a French Military Court at Bordeaux, established that 642 people (245 women, 207 children and 190 men) had perished. Twenty-one other members of his company (including fourteen Frenchmen from Alsace-Lorraine who had been conscripted into the SS) were sentenced to death but later their sentences were commuted to terms of imprisonment. All were released by 1959. SS General Lammerding died peacefully at his home at Bad Toltz in Germany on the 13th of January 1971, of cancer. A close friend of Diekmann was Major Helmut Kampfe, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion of the Der Führer Regiment. He was kidnapped and executed by the FTP (Communists) the day before the massacre. His kidnapping was not the only reason for the events at Oradour. Gold, looted by the Nazis, and then stolen by the Maquis, was rumoured to be hidden in the village, why else the indiscriminate destruction?.
Today, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane stands in ruins, just as the SS left it.


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#3 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:34 AM

Some more: Pictures coming:

THE TULLE MURDERS (Near Limoges, Central France, June 9, 1944)
By Das Reich
The day before the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane , the SS murdered 99 men in the town of Tulle in central France. This was in response to activities by the local FTP resistance groups who had attacked and taken over the town. When the 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' took over the town they found 40 dead bodies of the German 3rd Battalion/95th Security Regiment garrison troops near the school, their bodies badly mutilated. Other bodies were found around the town, bringing the total German dead in Tulle to sixty-four. Next day, the reprisals began. All males in the town were gathered together and 130 suspects were selected for execution. A number were released because of their youth and the remaining 99 were executed by the Pioneer platoon of SS-Panzer Aufklarungs Abteilung 2. Their bodies were hung up on lamp-posts and from balconies along the main streets of the town in the hope that the hanging bodies would deter future attacks by the Maquis and the FTP. More would have been hanged had not the SS ran out of rope. Instead, they rounded up 149 civilians and deported them to Germany for slave labour. Of these, 101 did not return.

ASCQ (Near Lille, April 2, 1944) BY HJ
At the end of March, 1944, the 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Jugend' set out on 24 rail trucks for Normandy to cover the coast in anticipation of an Allied landing. The convoy, under the command of SS Obersturmführer Walter Hauck, was approaching the small railway station of Ascq when a violent explosion blew the line apart. Stopping the train, it was found that two flat trucks had been derailed, holding up the whole convoy. Hauck, in a foul mood, ordered his men to search and arrest all male members of the houses on both sides of the track. They were assembled together and marched down the track about 300 yards where each man was shot in the back of the head. Altogether 70 men were shot beside the railway line and another 16 killed in the village itself. After an investigation by the Gestapo, six more men were arrested and charged with planting the bomb. They were all executed by firing squad. When the war ended, a search for the perpetrators was set in motion. Most of the SS men were found in Allied POW camps in Europe and in England. In all, nine SS men stood trial in a French Military Court at Lille. All were sentenced to death, including Hauck. The sentences were later commuted to a period of imprisonment and Walter Hauck was released in July, 1957.


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#4 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:35 AM

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SANT' ANNA MASSACRE (August 12, 1944) BY RFSS
Just north of Pisa, between the towns of Lucca and Currara, lay the small village of S.Anna di Stazzema. On August 4, British troops had freed the city of Florence (Firenze) and the German armies were now retreating northwards through the mountainous region of Tuscany, ideal terrain for partisan activity. Many of the German troops were killed in ambushes and skirmishes with the Italian underground movement. On August 12, the 6th Panzergrenadieren 'Reichsführer-SS' Division reached the outskirts of Sant' Anna, their orders to shoot on sight all partisans found in the area. Believing that the inhabitants of the Sant'Anna were all partisans or partisan sympathizers, the SS started knocking on doors and shouting 'Heraus! Heraus!' ('out of here!'). Gathered together on the village square, the men, women and children, were then shot in cold blood. In all, 560 people were massacred including 110 children. The houses in the village were then burned to the ground, the church organ was riddled with machine-gun bullets and the christening font completely destroyed by a grenade. Many of the corpses were doused with petrol and then set alight before the SS unit departed.

ATROCITY AT BARDINE SAN TERENZO (August 20, 1944) By RFSS
In the area around the village of Bardine San Terenzo, the SS 16 Reichsführer Division was deployed to counteract partisan activity against German troops. Seventeen German soldiers had been ambushed and their truck set on fire. All seventeen were killed. A search of various villages was undertaken where the SS looted and burned a number of houses. Fifty-three villagers were taken to the burned out truck and tied to the chassis of the vehicle and to field posts nearby. Next day a local priest, Padre Lino Piane, discovered the fifty-three bodies. All had been shot. Most of the victims were from the village of Mezzana Castello, those from Bardine were taken to Valla and there, shot. There were 107 persons in all. Only five were men, the rest, women and children. In the four days that the search continued, a total of 369 hostages were brutally massacred and 454 houses destroyed by fire. In overall charge of the SS troops in this incident was Major Walter Reder, the one-armed SS officer responsible for the massacres on the Monte Sole.


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#5 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:35 AM

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THE BOVES ATROCITY (September 17th, 1944) BY LSSAH
A few kilometres north of Cuneo in Italy, lies the town of Boves. After September 8th, 1943, it became an active center of the Italian underground because of the stationing of many stragglers from the now disbanded Regio Esercito (Royal Italian Army). These partisans were led by Bartolomeo Giuliano, Ezio Aceto and Ignazio Vian. After repeated requests to surrender, the partisans refused in spite of leaflets being dropped by the SS. On the 17th of September the German commander, SS Major Joachim Peiper, ordered two gun crews to shell the town. The partisans again refused to surrender. Two German soldiers were then sent forward (as decoys) to be captured by the partisans. Hoping they would be killed, it would give Peiper the pretext for a slaughter. The parish priest, Father Giuseppe Bernardi and the industrialist, Alessandro Vassallo, were ordered to meet with the partisans and to persuade them to release the two soldiers. The priest asked Peiper 'Will you spare the town?'. Peiper gave his word and the two prisoners were released. But the blood-thirsty SS then proceeded to burn all the houses in the town after which Father Bernardi and Vassallo were put into a car to do an inspection of the devastated town. 'They must admire the spectacle' said Peiper. After the inspection, Father Bernardi and his companion, Vassallo, were sprinkled with petrol and set alight. Both were burned to death. Forty-three other inhabitants of Boves were killed that day and 350 houses destroyed. Next day, a column of armoured vehicles went up the road that led to the partisan base. A lucky shot from their only 75 mm gun destroyed the leading armoured car. After an intense fire-fight the SS retreated with heavy losses. One of the partisan leaders, Ignazio Vian, was later captured by the SS and hanged in Turin. On the wall of his cell he had written in his own blood the words "Better Die Rather Than Betray".

THE MALMEDY MASSACRE (December 17, 1944) By LSSAH
During the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) the Combat Group of the 1st SS Panzer Division, led by SS Major Joachim Peiper, was approaching the crossroads at Baugnes near the town of Malmedy . There they encountered a company of US troops (Battery B of the 285th. Field Artillery Observation Battalion) from the US 7th Armoured Division. Realizing that the odds were hopeless, the company's commander, Lt.Virgil Lary, decided to surrender. After being searched by the SS, the prisoners were marched into a field by the crossroads. The SS troops moved on except for two Mark IV tanks Nos.731 and 732, left behind to guard the GIs. An order was given to fire and SS Private Georg Fleps of tank 731 drew his pistol and fired at Lary's driver who fell dead in the snow. The machine guns of both tanks then opened fire on the prisoners. Many of the GIs took to their heels and fled to the nearest woods. Incredibly, 43 GIs survived, but 86 of their comrades lay dead in the field, being slowly covered with a blanket of snow. The US troops in the area were issued with an order that for the next week no SS prisoners were to be taken.
At the end of the war, Peiper, and 73 other suspects (arrested for other atrocities committed during the offensive) were brought to trial. When the trial ended on July 16, 1946, forty three of the defendants were sentenced to death, twenty two to life imprisonment, two to twenty years, one for fifteen years and five to ten years. Peiper and Fleps were among those sentenced to death, but after a series of reviews the sentences were reduced to terms in prison. On December 22, 1956, SS Sturmbannführer Peiper was released. He settled in the small village of Traves in northern France in 1972 and four years later, on the eve of Bastille Day, he was murdered and his house burned down by a French communist group. His charred body was recovered from the ruins and transferred to the family grave in Schondorf , near Landsberg in Bavaria. Most of the remains of the murdered GIs were eventually shipped back to the US for private burial but twenty one still lie buried in the American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chappelle, about forty kilometers north of Malmedy.
Today, the American flag flies over the Memorial built at the Baugnes crossroads, about 50 metres from where the actual killings took place.


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#6 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:36 AM

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MASSACRE AT DISTOMO (June 10, 1944) By Polizei
Four days after the Allied invasion of Normandy a most despicable atrocity took place in the village of Distomo, in the province of Boeotia in Central Greece. A unit of the SS Police Panzergrenadier Regiment No 7, on an antipartisan sweep, massacred 218 Greek civilians in the village. Packed into seven trucks, the unit drove through the village without incident but a short distance beyond the village the convoy was ambushed by a guerrilla band that resulted in the killing of seven SS soldiers. The SS unit doubled back into the village and in a last ditch effort to crush partisan activities, the reprisals, including looting, burning and rape, began. When a Red Cross delegation visited the village some days later they found bodies hanging from trees along the main street. One survivor, Yannes Basdekis, recalled, "I walked into a house and saw a woman, stripped naked and covered in blood. Her breasts had been sliced off. Her baby lay dead nearby, the cut off nipple still in its mouth". The unit commander, SS Hauptstrumführer Lautenbach was later charged with falsifying a military report on the massacre but the charges were dropped as the massacre was judged a 'military necessity'. Today, the skulls and bones of the victims are displayed in the Mausoleum of Distomo. In 1960, Germany paid the Greek government 115 million marks as compensation for the suffering of its citizens during the German occupation but as yet no payment is forthcoming for the victims of Distomo. It was not until 1990 that members of the German embassy first took part in the wreath laying ceremony on the annual anniversary of the massacre. (It is somewhat ironic that other massacres took place on a same date, the 10th of June, Lidice in 1943, Oradour-zur-Glane and Distomo, in 1944.

VILLAGE MASSACRES By Prinz Eugen
On March 27, 1944, troops of the 7th SS Prinz Eugen Division massacred 834 Serbian civilians and set fire to around 500 houses in the villages of Ruda, Cornji, Dorfer Otok and Dalnji in Dalmatia. The troops were engaged in fighting the Yugoslavian communist guerrilla forces and the massacre was a collective punishment for those supporting the partisans. Earlier, in May 1943, the Prinz Eugen Division marched into Monternegro and occupied the Niksic district. In one village, 121 persons, mostly women, were brutally murdered. They included 29 children under 14 and 30 persons between the ages of 60 and 92. In 1943, the Prinz Eugen Division was made up mostly of ethnic Germans from Serbia and Croatia. On July 28, 1944, the Division, supported by the Albanian 21st SS Skanderberg Division, made up mostly of Muslims from Kosovo and engaged in a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing against the Kosovo Serbian and Jewish populations, surrounded the village of Velika and in an orgy of looting and killing massacred 428 Serbs, looted and burned down 300 houses. On October 9, 1941, some 2,000 communists and Jews were shot on the basis of Hitler's 100 to 1 order. This happened in a village near Topola after the killing of 22 men of the 2nd Battalion of the 421st Army Signal Communication Regiment. The shooting was carried out on the orders of General Franz Boehme, Commanding General in Serbia. (Boehme committed suicide while awaiting trial)


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#7 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:40 AM

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ATROCITY AT THE MARIE CURIE INSTITUTE By Kaminski and Dirlewanger men
At 10.30am on August 5, 1944, one hundred armed troops in German uniform barged into the Maria Curie-Sklodowska Radium Institute on Wawelska Street in Warsaw. Shouting in loud voices they began searching and looting the entire building. The majority of the soldiers were drunk and were shooting at anyone who barred their way. In the Institute were 80 staff members and about 90 patients. All were robbed of their jewellery, money and personal items. The staff members were taken to a camp at Zieleniak a few kilometres away and for four days and nights were kept in the open without food or water. During this time many of the nurses were dragged out and raped by the drunken mob. At the end of the four days they were transported to Germany for slave labour. Back at the Institute the hospital patients remained in bed while the plundering and destruction of the hospital buildings proceeded. Stores and cupboards were broken open and everything thrown about while some of the female patients were dragged from their beds, assaulted and raped. Around 15 of the seriously sick patients were shot in their beds and their mattresses set on fire. Petrol was poured over the floors of the wards and set alight. Patients still alive (about 70) were then shot, their bodies piled in a heap and doused with petrol and ignited. This atrocity at the Radium Institute took the lives of all patients being treated there. The perpetrators of this horrible crime were mostly Russian soldiers, members of the Vlassov Army. General Vlassov was taken prisoner by the Germans in 1942 and later commanded an army of Russian prisoners of war who volunteered to fight on the German side rather than starve to death in German prison camps.


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#8 Sturmkreuz

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:51 AM

1st:
Mass grave of 300 Polish POWs of the Polish 74 Infantry Regiment murdered near Ciepielow by the German 15th Motorized Infantry Regiment of German 29th Motorized Division Commanded by General Joachim Lemelsen.

2nd:
Hanging of Partizan by 'Das Reich' in Thulle

3d:
'Prinz Eugen' troops shoot down '(Pow/Partizan) Escapers' in Serbia

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#9 macrusk

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:00 PM

I ran across this list of criminal acts during World War II, he also has some other facts elsewhere in his site that are not so grim.

Massacres and Atrocities of WWII in the Pacific Region
Regards, Michelle

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#10 tixodioktis

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:13 PM

The Dachau Massacre

In the camp of detainees in dachau no one does not dispute that were committed terrible crimes,
I would want we receive however that in the release dachau if committed also the allies crimes of war

http://www.zundelsite.org/english/antiprop/war_crimes_ww2/dauchau_massacre/index.html

This photograph me reminds a film that you report in some list
Only that in the film in the armchair it sate German and no American
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#11 Keystone Two-Eight

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:22 PM

The Dachau Massacre

In the camp of detainees in dachau no one does not dispute that were committed terrible crimes,
I would want we receive however that in the release dachau if committed also the allies crimes of war



What? Your English is very broken, and I want to make sure I understand what you are saying/insinuating before I respond. Are you saying the Allies committed war crimes as well? If so, please produce a list of said crimes for the rest of us to peruse.
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#12 tixodioktis

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:23 PM

kreta

Kondomari 31.Mai 1941

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Kondomari - Kreta-Wiki

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#13 Hufflepuff

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:14 PM

There's a polish film out called Katyn (pronounced 'Katsinskya') about the Katyn massacre oif Polish POWs by the NKVD in 1940. Has anyone seen it? It got nominated at the oscars for best forgienfilm.

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#14 Za Rodinu

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:00 PM

And the Fallschirmjäger is smiling !!!

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#15 macrusk

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:16 PM

What? Your English is very broken, and I want to make sure I understand what you are saying/insinuating before I respond. Are you saying the Allies committed war crimes as well? If so, please produce a list of said crimes for the rest of us to peruse.

I am agreeing with this quote... it is the posting by Tixodioktis to which I am responding....

I'm sorry, but I don't find the website convincing. No one questions that in warfare sometimes the worst is brought out in a few people, and that sometimes people take retribution upon themselves when they discover someone who has committed a heinous crime.

A website which may post photos out of context is not proof of the accusation. As there were survivors at Dachau that day, I would find their testimony more convincing.

Do you have proof from alternate sources?
Regards, Michelle

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#16 macrusk

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 06:19 AM

To get in all the information will take multiple posts.

Part 1

I actually started to go through the book Canadians Behind Enemy Lines: 1939-1945 by Roy MacLaren for the thread Spies Like Us to add some information that probably wasn’t widely known. While I will still add information there later, I was saddened to read what happened to some of the first Canadians with the S.O.E. who went to France in early 1944 and were captured by the Germans. Their treatment following capture and the manner of their deaths were war crimes.

“The first two months of 1944 were disastrous for Canadians with S.O.E. in France. Bieler was captured in St. Quentin; Byerly, Deniset, and Sabourin were parachuted to awaiting Germans; and another Canadian, Alcide Beauregard of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, was also destined never to return.

Beauregard originally enlisted in the Regiment de Masonneuve (he had arrived in Britain with Bieler and Chartrand) and later transferred to the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Dark, Slight, and by prewar training an electrical and radio mechanic, the twenty-six-year-old Beauregard volunteered for S.O.E. in mid-1943, when there was an acute shortage of French-speaking wireless operators. The enemy had long realized that wireless operators were the most vulnerable link in the S.O.E. chain. If an operator could be eliminated, a whole circuit could be paralysed. The premium on operators was exceptionally high. As a result, many operators, including Beauregard, were given accelerated training. On his Ringway parachute course in late November, Beauregard sprained an ankle. Accordingly, on 8 February 29454, he was landed by Lysander east of Tours (on almost the same field where Chartrand had been deposited a year before) to journey across France to his assignment in Lyon. Beauregard was to be radio operator to a Frenchman in his fifties, J.E. Lesage, who had already worked with a circuit in Lyon and was returning from training in Britain to establish a new sub-circuit of the larger “Ditcher” circuit based on Lyon. Lesage, however, soon proved to be of no further uses as an organizer. During his first tour, he had so alienated other resistance workers that he could find few still willing to cooperate with him. When Lesage retreated into bucolic inactivity, Beauregard was left without a circuit chief. What he did thereafter is no clear from the scant records in London and Ottawa, although it appears that he joined “Ditcher” in Lyon. A Canadian army record suggests that he operated his wireless set continually from the house of a schoolmaster. London apparently warned Beauregard of the growing danger from wireless detection equipment as he continued to transmit from the same place. With the Allied invasion rapidly approaching, Beauregard accepted the risks in view of the heavy volume of messages – which, by their numbers, also increased the chances of his detection. He was caught on 15 July, but only after he had destroyed his wireless set and codes with the help of the schoolmaster’s son.

After being interrogated at the Gestapo headquarters in the Place Bellecoeur, Beauregard was imprisoned in Fort Monluc, a dark, gloomy fort in Lyon. A postwar Canadian intelligence report noted tersely: “His reason is believed to have been unhinged by the tortures to which he was subjected. Lieut. Beauregard gave way no information.” With the approach of the Allied armies up the Rhone, the Gestapo in Lyon carried out Hitler’s order to execute all resistance and “commando” prisoners. On 20 August, Beauregard and one hundred and twenty of the resistance were machine-gunned to death at St. Genie Laval. Hand grenades were thrown among their bodies to ensure that no one was still alive. Himmler had always intended that all such “terrorists” should be murdered, “but not before torture, indignity and interrogation had drained from them that last shred and scintilla of evidence which should lead to the arrest of others. Then, and only then, should the blessed release of death be granted them.” Having disclosed nothing, the time had come for Beauregard to be cast aside.

And so it was for all the captured Canadian agents. None survived the autumn of 1944; they were of no further use to the Germans. And neither the Gestapo nor the S.S. wanted surviving Allied agents to report to their liberators what had been done to them in captivity. In any case, many agents succumbed to the appalling day-to-day conditions of their camps. Of the remainder, most were murdered during the last quarter of 1944 or the first months of 1945. Hitler himself approved an order for some agents to be garrotted with nooses of piano wire; death would then come more slowly and more agonizingly. Beauregard escaped that final degradation by being machine-gunned. Gustave Bieler was also shot, but in a different way – if that is a distinction of any moment.”
Regards, Michelle

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#17 macrusk

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 06:21 AM

Part 2 The Executions of Canadians in the S.O.E. in France

By Christmas 1943, time was running out for Bieler and Yolande Beekman. At an overnight meeting in Lille on 25 November, Trotobas had confided to Bieler his concern about the carelessness and incompetence of one of his workers. Two nights later, the agent, under torture, disclosed to the Germans his chief’s hiding place. Trotobas fought it out with the Germans. He and several of his workers who were later captured were soon executed. Bieler, after reporting the disaster to London, did what he could from St. Quentin to help the crippled circuit in Lille to regroup.

Bieler was left too long in France. He should have been brought out after about six months – long enough for any agent, however dexterous, brave, and security-conscious. But Bieler stayed, since “F” Section, greatly pleased by his success, wanted to expand his circuit to help meet the increased needs for sabotage, both preceding and following the anticipated Allied invasion. In a sense, Bieler became a victim of the omnipresent tension arising from the long-term need to husband resources for the impending invasion
and the immediate need to harass the enemy wherever and whenever possible.

Bieler’s success was, in a sense, his own undoing. It attracted the intensified attention of the Germans. Having his own wireless operator contributed to his greater efficiency, but it also enabled German counter-intelligence to use its detection equipment to pinpoint the St. Quentin transmission – an advantage they did not have earlier when Bieler was passing messages through other circuits. From October, Beekman had been transmitting from a secluded house. In December, a German automobile equipped with wireless-detection equipment was seen nearby. Beekman hurriedly moved her set to the house of Camille Boury, a pharmacist in the resistance. It was with the Bourys that Bieler and Beekman spent Christmas Eve of 1943, a Christmas that Mme. Boury never forgot:

Guy arrived in his familiar garb (he was almost always dressed as a workman) carrying two Santa Clauses stuffed with candy for our children and under each arm a few good bottles. We listened to the [BBC] messages from London and then the wonderful Christmas music. We had arranged a good Christmas atmosphere with the traditional pine-tree and candles. Guy recited to us (as he could do so well) the beautiful poetry of Victor Hugo. We also sang Canadian and French choruses.

At midnight guy held his head in both hands for a long time. When this…silence…was over, he was very serious and seemed completely overcome. He asked us for a pencil and wrote on the back of one of our photographs an address: “Chief, French Dept., Sun Life Assurance Company, Dominion Square, Montreal.”

He then said to us…”If misfortune overtakes me some day, write to this address. You will find my wife there. Tell her how I spent Christmas of 1943, describe this evening to her. Tell her of how I thought of them.”

He also used to speak to us often of his children…His greatest pleasure was to go and look at my little boy and girl sleeping. They never saw him for he did not want them to be able to chatter. We had to take so many precautions against this accursed Gestapo but each time that he could, he went to see them asleep.”

Within three weeks, as stranger was seen in the Boury’s street, his collar turned up apparently to conceal earphones. Three days later, on 15 January 1944, Bieler and Beekman were at the drab, red-brick Café du Moulin Brule on a lonely road near the St. Quentin Canal where they had spent many evenings. Suddenly, a dozen armed Germans rushed in. The café owner and his wife, along with Bieler and Beekman, were included in the total of forty members of the network arrested that day and the days following. Among the few to escape arrest was a veteran Franco-Swiss agent who had parachuted to Bieler four days before to assist in the demolition of the gates of the canal locks.

The Germans had done their homework well. They had removed the copestone of Bieler’s carefully constructed network. During the following days, they arrested more than a dozen agents in the area, but they were unable to destroy the network completely. Six months later, when the Allied invasion began, several of Bieler’s sabotage and ambush teams were still intact, hindering the arrival of German reinforcements on the Normandy front.

Among those arrested with Bieler was Eugene Cordelette, the land surveyor who had housed him when he had first arrived in St. Quentin fourteen months before. On the night of their arrest, Cordelette saw Bieler in a corridor of the St. Quentin prison, being taken to a small cell after the first of many brutal Gestapo interrogations. “He was chained hand and foot. His face was horribly swollen, but I could read in his eyes this order: ‘Whatever happens, don’t talk!’…In spite of all torments, he showed no weakness.” The horror of Bieler’s treatment seeps through even the usually arid prose of his citation for a posthumous D.S.O.: “Despite the most barbarous forms of torture by the enemy over a period extending over at least eight days, he refused absolutely to divulge the names of any of his associates, or the location of any arms dumps. Despite the intense pain that he was suffering from the injury to his back [broken when he first parachuted into France], he faced the Gestapo with the utmost determination and courage.”

Following almost three months of interrogation during which his back injury was exacerbated and his kneecap broken, the now-emaciated Bieler was sent with fourteen British officers to narrow, windowless cells in the concentration camp which took its name from the nearby Bavarian town of Flossenburg.

In the their tiny concrete cells, Bieler and the British agents were cut off from each other as well as the outside world, aware of the passage from night to day only by the appearance of a watery soup and a dark, spongy substance that passed for bread. There was no exercise, no reading or writing, no news of the war – only solitary confinement, increasing debilitation from malnutrition and the endless struggled to retain one’s sanity. His anxious wife in Montreal knew only from a terse War Office message that he was missing following an operation “somewhere in Europe.” Captain Lunding, a Danish army officer and one of the few survivors of Flossenburg, was in an adjoining cell and later supplied a few details about Bieler’s fate. By September 1944, Bieler had become a physical wreck as a result of his back and leg injuries, torture, and malnutrition. But his courage remained. According to a statement made to Lunding by a camp official the day after the execution, Bieler conducted himself with such courage and dignity that even the camp guards themselves paid a peculiar tribute to him: he had “made so powerful an impression on his captors that when the order for his execution came from Berlin…the S.S. at Flossenburg mounted a guard of honour to escort him as he limped to his death.” For an Allied agent to be executed by firing squad was in itself rare, if dubious, honour. Most agents were hanged as terrorists. Buckmaster recorded, “This is the only instance known to us of an officer being executed in such circumstances by a firing squad with a Guard of Honour.”

Several of Bieler’s French accomplices were also in prison. His radio operator, Yolande Beekman, was in Karlsruhe jail. Three days after Bieler was executed on 9 September 1944, Beekman with three other female S.O.E. agents, was killed at Dachau concentration camp near Munich, shot through the back of the neck.
Regards, Michelle

Oliver Goldsmith, "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." :flag_canada_ww2: :flag_canada: :flag_uk:
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#18 macrusk

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 06:22 AM

Part 3 The Executions of Canadians in the S.O.E. in France

There is abundant material about Frank Pickersgill’s short life. There is also much detail about his death, and that of Macalister and Sabourin. F.F.E. Yeo-Thomas, one of the most intrepid S.O.E. agents, provides in The White Rabbit a graphic account of his own experiences and the end of the three Canadians at Buchenwald.

On 8 August 1944, with the Allied vanguard twelve days from Paris, the Gestapo had hurriedly rounded up a total of thirty-seven male and female agents from several prisons in and near Paris and sent them by rail to Germany, most destined for the notorious Buchenwald. With Yeo-Thomas aboard that crowded train of death were Sabourin and Defendini, the Corsican to whom he had been assigned as a radio operator; Pickersgill, Macalister, and Culioli who had been arrested with them; Garel whom Chartrand had joined; and Garry to whom Deniset had been sent as wireless operator. The fortitude of Pickersgill shone through again; he attempted to tell jokes. Yeo-Thomas later recalled, “They weren’t particularly funny jokes…At first they weren’t appreciated. Then suddenly everyone realized that Pickersgill was only trying to keep them from all going crazy. They cheered up a bit and took a grip on themselves.”

On the second day, near the German border, the agents almost died an unexpected death. They were left locked in their over-crowded box car while their guards took cover from a roof-top strafing by the R.A.F. After a total of eight days of the foetid confinement, brutality, starvation, and agonizing thirst, all of the prisoners were delivered on the night of 18 August to the gates of Buchenwald. Upon entering they had good reason to abandon hope.* During the following three weeks, the prisoners existed in a world which must have been close to Hieronymus Bosch’s visions of souls writhing in the torments of hell.

As they were marched across the camp the prisoners had their first glimpse of their fellow inmates, and it was anything but reassuring. The compound was filled with emaciated, hairless wretches shuffling wearily round and round in heavy wooden clogs. The eyes of those listless sub-human creatures were mean with terror. On the faces of many of them a sticky stream of yellow rot oozed from purulent sores set in the middle of purple weals. Others were so weak that they staggered as they walked. Even when their clothes were too short for them, they were too wide because of the thinness of the frail bodies which they covered. The same grim question occurred simultaneously to all the thirty-seven as they beheld this gruesome spectacle: “How long is it going to be before we look like them?”

They were…in the worst camp in Germany. Their chances of survival were practically nil: if they did not starve to death they would be worked to death; and if they were not worked to death they would be executed. Every single day more than three hundred prisoners died from starvation or from being beaten by their guards… Each [working party] consisted of hundreds of prisoners quarrying stone, dragging logs or cleaning out latrines…The S.S. guards were also there and so were their Alsatian hounds, and when enough amusement couldn’t be derived from bludgeoning a man’s brains out there was always the alternative of setting the dogs upon him to tear out his throat…

A squat black chimney just beyond the Block was pointed out to them. “That’s the crematorium,” they were told. “It’s the surest of all escape routes; most of us will only get out of this camp by coming through that chimney as smoke.”

On 6 September, three weeks after their night arrival, the camp loudspeaker called for fifteen of the thirty-seven S.O.E. agents to report to the headquarters tower. They did not return to their hut. The following day a Polish prisoner with contacts in the crematorium squad told the remaining agents of their comrades’ deaths. Now the surviving twenty-two could have no more doubt about what awaited them. Three days later, on 9 September – by coincidence the same day Bieler was shot in Flossenburg – another sixteen prisoners were summoned, including the Canadians. According to one postwar account:
Some knew what it meant. Others suspected. All hoped for the best. Without a work they fell in, in threes, with Pickersgill at the head of one of the files. At Pickersgill’s command they marched off…., a threadbare, forlorn little band, trying to march like guardsmen. Up front they could see Pickersgill, limping and occasionally staggering as his unhealed wounds, malnutrition and slight deafness combined to unsteady him, a cracked husk of a man, but unbroken.

Pickersgill began flailing the air with his hands, just as he had done on campus years before. But not he was no longer celebrating Andre Gide, passing judgement on Neville Chamberlain or analyzing St. Augustine. He was beating time….

That night the marchers were thrashed and flung into a bunker. An emaciated French priest, Father Georges Stenger from Lorraine, stumbled a mile across the camp and pleaded for permission to administer the last sacrament to the Roman Catholics. He was refused. Stenger stayed all night outside the bunker praying and managed to slip into the captives, via a guard who began to show a sense of shame, wafers of the Sacred Host.

The following night the sixteen were taken to the crematorium and the doors were slammed. Once more Father Stenger knelt outside and prayed. Later he recalled that he’d heard scuffling noises and faint cries of “Vive la France!” “Vive l”Angleterre!” and “Vive le Canada!”

Macalister, Sabourin, and Pickersgill died the cruellest death with Gestapo sadists could devise: they were hanged from meat hooks cemented in a wall, nooses of piano wire slowly strangling them. Theirs was not the quick death of hanging by breaking the neck; it was slow strangulation, garrotting. Hitler had a number of such executions filmed so he might have the pleasure of seeing prisoners perish in agony.

*Sabourin, Pickersgill, and Macalister would not have known it, but at least one other Canadian was in Buchenwald when they arrived. Signalman George Rodrigues of Montreal, an M.I.9 agent, was sent to Buchenwald in late 1943 or early 1944. He survived more than a year of its bestiality, but he died shortly after liberation from the maltreatment which he had received.


The end of Francois Deniset and Robert Byerly is not so well documented. All that is known is that after a period of interrogation and torture at the Gestapo prison in Paris – they were seen there by other agents on 27 June 1944 – they were taken by train to the Gross Rosen concentration camp in Poland where they were executed in September. While varying perhaps in detail, their end cannot have differed so very much from that of their fellow Canadians at Lyon, Flossenburg, and Buchenwald.

And so they died: Byerly, the American serving in the Canadian Army, and six Canadians who had volunteered to serve with the S.O.E. in France – Beauregard, Bieler, Deniset, Macalister, Pickersgill, and Sabourin.
Regards, Michelle

Oliver Goldsmith, "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." :flag_canada_ww2: :flag_canada: :flag_uk:
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#19 mac_bolan00

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:40 PM

i still cannot for the life of me understand why spies at time of war should be executed. otto skorzeny's commandos were executed simply because they were wearing US army uniforms in the battle of the bulge.

#20 Stefan

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:50 PM

To discourage the use of spying as a means of making war. Actually as I understand the situation it isn't that they SHOULD be shot but that they aren't protected as POW's and therefore CAN be shot. Many spies were shot for treason, betraying their home nations in time of war and so on. Skorzeny's men were shot because they were using US uniforms which meant that they were breaking various conventions and so were not entitled to protection as prisoners, had the US troops who captured them been having a really good day they might have taken them prisoner and looked after them. Unfortunately they were not and so were hardly disposed to treating them well.
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#21 mac_bolan00

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:57 PM

right on, so they weren't turncoats but were in violation of international conventions. but execution seems like a pretty steep penalty for that. in fairness, they did kill a number of american troops while posing as GIs and that is unpalatable.

#22 Stefan

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:05 PM

A turncoat is someone who defects from one army to another, the phrase coming from the habit of turning your coat inside out when you neared the enemy army so that they would see that you were defecting and so not shoot you.

As for Skortzeny's boys, well, they engaged in combat wearing the uniforms of US forces, now I'm fairly sure that is illegal and they got what was coming to them ;)
There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.
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#23 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:27 PM

A JAPANESE ATROCITY ON THE HIGH SEAS

The horrible ordeal of the Merchant crew, U.S. Naval Armed Guard,
and passengers, on board the SS JEAN NICOLET after being torpedoed
July 2, 1944.

This is the true story of one of the most horrible atrocities
committed by the Japanese during World War II. Some people are aware
of it, most are not. You will never read about this in the public
media today.

The SS JEAN NICOLET, a Liberty Ship built in Portland, Oregon, in
October 1943, was operated for the War Shipping Administration by
the Oliver J. Olson Company of San Francisco and under the command
of Captain David Martin Nilsson of Oakland, California. On board was
a complement of 100 men consisting of 41 Merchant crew, 28 Naval
Armed Guard, and 31 passengers. The passenger list was made up of
6 U.S. Army Officers, 12 U.S. Army enlisted men, eight Navy
technicians, four civilians, and one U.S. Army Medical Corpsmen.

On July 2, 1944, the SS JEAN NICOLET was steaming alone in the
Indian Ocean loaded with a cargo of war materials for the
China/Burma/India Theatre of War. Sailing from San Pedro on May
12th, the ship had stopped at Fremantle, Australia, for bunkers,
stores, and to discharge some cargo. Departing from Fremantle on
June 21st, she was bound for Colombo, Ceylon, where she was to stop
for orders prior to proceeding to Calcutta. The cargo consisted of
heavy machinery, trucks, steel plate, landing barges, steel mooring
pontoons, and other general wartime cargo.

At 1907 ship's time, on this date, she was located in position 3-28
South/74-30 West or about 700 miles south of Ceylon. At this time,
she was struck by two torpedoes fired from the Japanese submarine
I-8. The first hit between #2 and #3 holds on the starboard side and
the second at #4 hold on the same side. A few minutes later the
Master ordered abandon ship as he feared the ship would capsize due
to the heavy starboard list. All hands abandoned ship safely in
lifeboats and rafts. Before abandoning his post, Augustus Tilden,
the Radio Operator, sent out a radio message that the ship had been
torpedoed in the above position. The message was acknowledged by
Calcutta and Ceylon. This radio message was responsible for saving
the lives of 23 men.

Soon after the ship was abandoned, the I-8 surfaced. As it was dark
the I-8 used a powerful searchlight to locate the boats and rafts.
The survivors were threatened with machine guns and ordered to come
alongside by a Japanese speaking perfect English. Some on one raft
slipped over the side into the water to hide but were seen and
ordered to get back on the raft. Then they were ordered to swim to
the sub. Five others, who were on the side away from the sub, were
not discovered. These five were the only ones who did not board
the sub. This five consisted of four of the Naval Armed Guard and
one Army enlisted man. They were among the 23 survivors.

One of the men forced to swim to the sub was William M. Musser, a
17-year-old Messman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, making his first
trip to sea. Each man who lived to tell this tale has a different
story about what happened to him but basically it was this way.

After boarding the sub, he was escorted towards the bow and as he
walked forward, one of the Japanese sailors swung him around and
slugged him over the head with a piece of steel pipe. As Musser
staggered from the blow the sailor laughed and took out his pistol
and shot Musser in the head and then kicked his body over the side
as he fell.

Another crew member, Richard L. Kean, a 19- year-old Ordinary Seaman
from Kennewick, Washington was also brutally murdered. As he climbed
out of a lifeboat to the sub's deck, he was searched, had his life
jacket removed, and then his arms were bound behind his back. The
Japanese sailor who was leading him forward suddenly turned with a
bayonet in his hand and plunged it into Kean's stomach. As Kean dou-
bled over with pain, he was struck in the head with a rifle butt and
kicked over the side into the water.

As each of the other survivors boarded the I-8, they were
immediately roughed up, searched, had life jackets removed and all
their valuables, shoes, and I.D. tags were taken from them. Then
they were bound with their arms behind their backs with rope or
wire. They were forced to sit on deck with their heads bowed on
their knees. Anyone who raised his head or made a noise of any kind
was beaten with iron pipes and cut with bayonets. The deck ran red
with blood and vomit.

Captain Nilsson, Gus Tilden (Radio Operator), and Francis J. O'Gara
were taken to the conning tower and shoved below. Mr. O'Gara was a
War Shipping Administration representative en route to the Calcutta
office. They were never seen again by the survivors.

While sitting in this painful position, the survivors were forced
to listen to a harangue by the l-8's Commander. He hurled insults at
them saying, "You are now my prisoners. Let this be a lesson to you
that Americans are weak. You must realize that Japan will rule the
world. You are stupid for letting your leaders take you to war. Do
you know that the entire American fleet is now at the bottom of the
Pacific?"

While all this was going on, the I-8 cruised around looking for any
boats or rafts they might have missed. The sub also commenced
shelling the NICOLET which was still afloat. As the I-8 cruised
around, a wave came over the deck of the submarine washing three of
the men overboard with their hands tied behind them. Two of them,
Carl Rosenbaum (F/WT) and George Kenmore Hess (A.B.), survived but
Lt. Morrison R. Miller, U.S. Army, was never seen again. Lt. Miller
had suffered a broken arm abandoning ship and he had no chance of
surviving.

In the meantime, a gauntlet consisting of 10 to 15 crew members of
the I-8 was formed on the after deck behind the conning tower. Those
held on the fore deck could not see what was happening. They
could, however, hear the horrible screams of the men who were forced
to go through the gauntlet. Those forming the gauntlet were armed
with steel stanchions, bayonets, and rifles. Waiting at the end was
a huge Japanese holding a rifle with a fixed bayonet in both hands.
If any man survived to the end of the gauntlet, he was impaled on
the bayonet of this man and his body heaved overboard like a side of
beef. Three men survived this torture by jumping overboard halfway
through the gauntlet. Even though their hands were still bound, they
decided they would take their chance in the ocean regardless of the
sharks. All three of them suffered wounds from bayonets and steel
pipes. Two of them were from the merchant crew, Charles E. Pyle (1st
Asst. Engr.) and Harold R. Lee (Messman). The third was Robert C.
Butler, a U.S. Navy Technician.

While all this torture was going on, those sitting on the fore deck,
unaware of what was happening on the after deck, were led one by
one to the slaughter until there were about 30 men left alive on
deck. At this time, the diving siren sounded and crew members of the
I-8 were ordered below. An aircraft had been reported on the sub's
radar heading in the direction of the submarine. Those left on deck
with their hands tied behind their backs were left to drown.
Seventeen of these men drowned or were killed by sharks. The
remaining 13 men survived by swimming all night, some with their
hands still tied. Others were able to get free by themselves or were
freed by a Navy Armed Guard Seaman who had concealed a knife in
his blouse. He cut as many free as he could as the sub went under.

The aircraft reported on radar was in all likelihood searching for
the survivors of the NICOLET. This was the result of the radio
message sent by Gus Tilden just before he abandoned ship.

Many of the survivors were in the water for 13 to 14 hours without
any support. About 0800 the next morning (July 3rd) survivors saw a
Liberator approaching the scene. It dropped a small rubber dinghy
made to hold four people. Eventually, seven men ended up in this
dinghy. An hour or so later, three more planes appeared overhead
(PBY's) searching for survivors but flew off without any action.

At daylight on July 4th, another Liberator appeared overhead and a
ship was seen approaching. This was HMIS HOXA on her way to rescue
the survivors. Seven men were found clinging to the small dinghy,
thirteen others were rescued from rafts or dinghies, and three
others were found clinging to wreckage. They were taken to Addu
Atoll of the Maldive Islands group landing there on July 5th where
they were interrogated by the British Intelligence.

They left Addu Atoll on July 12th aboard HMIS SONNETI arriving in
Colombo on July 14th. On July 27th they were flown to Calcutta where
the two Army men and the Navy technician were assigned duties in the
area. The 10 crew members and the 10 Naval Armed Guard were even-
tually taken to Bombay by train. At Bombay they boarded the USAT
GEN. WILLIAM MITCHELL. They finally got back to the U.S., landing in
San Diego on October 6th, more than 3 months after their horrible
ordeal.

Of the 100 men aboard the JEAN NICOLET, only 4 survived. A breakdown
of the lost is as follows: 31 merchant crew, 18 Naval Armed Guard,
and 27 passengers. Francis J. O'Gara was found alive in Ofuna prison
camp near Yokohama after the end of hostilities. He had been
declared dead by the U.S. Navy. He even had a Liberty Ship named for
him, the only living person who was to see his name on a Liberty
Ship. The O'GARA was built June 1945 in Panama City, Florida.

Mr. O'Gara had been a Sports writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer
prior to Dec. 7, 1941 but early in 1942 he joined the Merchant
Marine as a Seaman. After about two years of sea duty he came ashore
to work for the WSA.

After the I-8 submerged, O'Gara spent 44 days aboard the sub
suffering frequent beatings, denial of food and water most of the
time. During this time he got a glimpse of Capt. Nilsson and Gus
Tilden, the Radio Operator. The I-8 reached Penang on August 15th
where he and Capt. Nilsson were taken ashore. He never saw the
Radio Operator again but did get a brief look at Capt. Nilsson
through the window of his cell. O'Gara was returned aboard the I-8
on September 15th and eventually ended up in Yokohama on October
9, 1944.

Capt. Nilsson was left behind when O'Gara was taken from Penang to
Japan. Nothing is known of his fate. O'Gara was of the opinion that
Capt. Nilsson was put aboard a submarine to be transported to
Japan and the sub was sunk en route by the U.S. Navy.

The Commander of the I-8 was a brutal, sadistic creep named
Tetsunosuke Ariizumi. He had been nicknamed "The Butcher" by the
British Royal Navy because of several other atrocities he had
committed against Allied Merchant crews similar to that of the JEAN
NICOLET. One such atrocity was perpetrated against a Dutch Mer-
chant ship, the SS TJISALAK on March 26, 1944. Of 103 men on board
only five survived. The men on board this ship suffered the same
fate as those on the JEAN NICOLET. The five survivors saved
themselves by jumping overboard and swimming underwater despite
the fact they were being machine gunned. They eventually reached
one of the boats previously abandoned and were picked up by the
Liberty Ship SS JAMES A. WALKER on March 30th.

Toward the final days of the war Ariizumi was a Flotilla Commander
and was on the 1-401, the largest submarine ever built, a boat of
some 5000 tons equipped with three catapult planes. Subs of that
class were called "underseas aircraft carriers." At this time
Ariizumi proposed using the 1-401 and three other subs of that class
to destroy the Panama Canal. When this plan was scrapped in favor of
attacking Ulithi, Ariizumi was infuriated.

Upon receipt of the Emperor's surrender order the 1-401 proceeded
back toward Japan and was surrendered to the U.S. Navy submarine USS
SEGUNDO. Five of the SEGUNDO's crew were put aboard the 1-401 as
guards.

The U.S. Navy reported that while the 1-401 was entering Tokyo Bay
on August 31, 1945, about 0400 hours, Ariizumi committed suicide and
his body was thrown overboard.

Mr. O'Gara disputed this report by the Navy and expressed outrage to
the Criminal Registration Officer. He agreed with O'Gara and
assigned a Nisei investigator to track down Ariizumi. Mr. O'Gara was
convinced that Ariizumi was put ashore before the 1-401 was captured
by the Americans or he slipped through a hatch and swam ashore after
entering Tokyo Bay.

Upon investigation, it had been determined that the 1-401 came
within sight of land en route to Tokyo Bay around Sendai in northern
Honshu where Ariizumi could easily have been put ashore before the
submarine surrendered. None of the Navy men on the 1-401 ever saw
Ariizumi aboard nor did they see a body or a burial at sea.

O'Gara was brought back to Japan in 1948 by the War Crimes Tribunal
as a witness against Japanese war criminals that he had experienced
while he was a prisoner of war. However, the one he wanted most was
Ariizumi. He even took it upon himself to search for him personally.
He wanted him that bad and who could blame him!

Some members of the crew of the I-8 were tried and received light
sentences but even those sentences were commuted. Ariizumi was never
caught. It's very possible that this man and other crew members of
the I-8 are still alive and well in Japan today. This infuriates me
and all others who care.

O'Gara said the one person who was most helpful, as far as the
attack on the JEAN NICOLET, was the one who spoke perfect English
from the deck of the sub giving orders to the Americans. He came
forward, voluntarily, to the authorities and told all he knew of the
sinkings and atrocities and identified all he knew to be
responsible. His name was Harold Jiro Nakahara who was born in
Hawaii and lived there. At the time of the outbreak of the war he
was studying in Japan and unable to return. He had been pressed into
service as a Radio Operator and interpreter.

Francis J. O'Gara died September 18, 1981, at the age of 69.

To my knowledge, William R. Flury of White City, Oregon, may be the
last living survivor of this most heinous of atrocities. Some may
still be alive but Mr. Flury does not know of them. He had been
denied Prisoner of War status by the U.S. Coast Guard but he
appealed that decision and won. Whether he was a Prisoner of War if
he has been captured by the enemy. Remember what the Commander,
Ariizumi, said, "You are now my prisoners!"

On October 25, 1993 William B. Flury was awarded the POW medal by
the U.S. Coast Guard. Although none of the other nine surviving
merchant crew members are still alive, their families are eligible
to receive this medal.

I wish to extend my thanks to Robert Carl Rosenbaum, son of Carl R.
Rosenbaum for much of the material used in this article. Carl Rosen-
baum was one of the 23 survivors of this tragedy.

I am also indebted to William J. Howard, Jr. Capt. USAFR (Ret.) for
the information on Francis J. O'Gara. Capt. Howard's daughter is
married to the son of Mr. O'Gara, Francis J. O'Gara, Jr.

Also many thanks to Bill Flury for sharing some of his experiences
with me regarding his survival of this atrocity.

SURVIVORS OF THE SS JEAN NICOLET

MERCHANT CREW (10)

Charles E. Pyle 1st Engr. Lodi, Cal.
John McDougall A.B. Berkley, Cal.
Paul L. Mitchem Dk. Engr. San Francisco, Cal.
Jack C. Van Ness Carpenter Burlingame, Cal.
Lloyd B. Ruth Wiper Akron, Ohio
George K. Hess A.B. Berkley, Cal.
William B. Flury 2nd Cook Chiloguin, Oregon
Stuart R. Vanderhurst A.B. San Francisco, Cal.
Carl Rosenbaum Fireman Crockett, Cal.
Harold R. Lee Messman Dunbar, West Virginia

NAVAL ARMED GUARD (10)

Gerald V. Deal Lt. j.g. Pomoma, Cal.
Teofils Wyrozumski GM/3 Van Nuys, Cal.
William E. Simons RM/3 Huntington Park, Cal.
Collie C. Stone RM/3 Tulsa, Okla.
Robert Applegate S/1 Jackson, Mich.
Carl L. Bevatori S/1 Springfield, Ill.
Robert L. Nuvill S/1 Grand Haven, Mich.
Raymond M. Wheeler S/1 Orange, N.J.
Ora E. Lamb S/1 Champagne, Ill.
Archie L. Howard S/1 Albany, Cal.

PASSENGERS (4)

John J. Gussak Capt. UU.S. Army Brooklyn, N.Y.
Harvey Matyas Private U.S. Army Milwaukee, Wis.
Robert C. Butler U.S. Navy Technician Camino, Cal.
Francis J. O'Gara WSA Representative Prisoner of War

U.S. NAVAL ARMED GUARD, AND U.S. NAVY, U.S. ARMY, AND CIVILIAN
PASSENGERS LOST ON THE SS "JEAN NICOLET"

U.S. NAVAL ARMED GUARD (18)
ARMONT, Walter D. Slc
ATCHLEY, Ernest E. Slc
BAK, Alec F. Slc
FLOYD, David L. Slc
GAGNIER, Patrick E. Coxswain
HARDWICK, Ralph Slc
HERMAN, A.
HOLMSTROM, Terry W. Slc
KONJA, Farry D. Slc
KOLCZYNKSKI, Raymond R. Slc
KRAJEWSKI, Richard J. Slc
KUHN, Charles E. Slc
LASKY, John E. Slc
LALLATHIN, Frank J. Slc
LISNER, J.
PETTERSEN, A.J.
RATEN, Frank R. GM3c
WILSON, Frank

U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL (Passengers) (17)
FERGUSON, Donald B. Captain CMP
GUTHRIE, Walter R. Captain QMC
MILLER, Morrison R. 2nd LT. AC
COTTEN, James P. WO (JG) AC
COLEMAN, Edward J. T. Sgt. QMC
LITTRELL, Goerge D., Jr. Sgt. AC
THORPE, Robert O. Sgt. AC
CHURCH, Charles B., Jr. S. Sgt QMC
CAIN, William R. Tech 4 MC
McCUTCHEON, Willard L. Pvt. AC
MORRIS, Wilbert O. Pvt. AC
PIERCE, Newton C. Pvt. AC
PIERRARD, Marvin E. Pvt. AC
POE, Robert W. Pvt. AC
SALINAS, Waldemar Pvt. AC
SATTERFIELD, Thomas R., Jr. Pvt. AC
SNODGRASS, Ralph Captain MC

U.S. NAVY PERSONNEL (Passengers) (7)

BOLTON, Robert E.
CHERNDON, Thomas
FRANK, John William
INEDEMAR, George M.
McCAULEY, George G.
SHINMAN, Richard
VIGER, Leon J.

CIVILIAN PASSENGERS (3)

MULLIN, Thomas J.
PARKER, A.T.
WEBB, Thomas T.

http://www.armed-guard.com/ag87.html
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#24 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:32 PM

Massacres of POWs, Dutch East Indies, 1941-1942



The Carnage at Laha, February 1942
... Each Australian was decapitated by a sword blow to the neck severing the head, death was almost instantaneous, and carried out by about ten samurai wielding Japanese having despatched two or three prisoners ...




The Bangka Island Massacre, February 1942
... They just swept up and down the line and the girls fell one after the other. I was towards the end of the line and a bullet got me in the left loin and went straight through and came out towards the front ...




The Balikpapan Massacre, February 1942
... If the Balikpapan garrisson destroyes the oilfields and installations, than we will kill the commanding officer and his soldiers and all other Dutchmen without exception ...


· Tarakan Island, January 1942


The Japanese executed the entire crew of the Karoengan coastal battery, after the sinking of two Japanese Minesweepers W13 and W14. The battery at the south point of the island wasn't informed about the capitulation due the fact that all communications were destroyed. The Japanese naval commander promised amnesty for the guncrews and based on this promise the Dutch Island Commander managed to persuade the guncrews to surrender. The Japanese Army Commander on the other hand was to brutal to have the prisoners turned over to him. So he ordered to tie the men into small groups of three. Some time later they were thrown into the water where all 219 Dutch soldiers drowned.


· Menado, Celebes Island, January 1942


Immediately following the Dutch surrender, the surviving KNIL troops and their commanders were put on trial by the Japanese who were enraged at the heavy losses they had suffered. As a result of this trial the D' Company Commander, KNIL Reserve 1st Lieutenant J. Wielinga and one of his platoon commander Sergeant-Major H.J. Robbemond, Foerier B. Visscher and nine native soldiers were bayonetted or beheaded.


· Makassar, Celebes Island, January 1942


On February 9, Japanese troops landed about 8000 men south of Makassar. A strong detachemnt immediately advanced towards Makassar. The guards of a bridge (numbers not given) south of Makassar were captured along with the bridge, but a KNIL company of native soldiers inflicted casualties upon the Japanese. In retaliation, the Japanese tied the men of the bridge detachment together three by three with their legbands, and threw them in the water. Probably this happen still on February 9th.


· Kertosono, Java Island, March 1942


On March 5, 1942 a Dutch Marine unit received an order to advance towards Kertosono, which has recently been captured by the Japanese troops. The attack by itself eventually turned out to be nothing (bridges blown up, incomplete intelligence, etc). However, one small fighting group of Dutch marines under 1st Lieutenant H.S. den Hartog advanced until near Kertosono. There it suddenly came across with some Japanese troops. This was followed by a confused fight, during which the fighting group of Dutch marines was scattered. A small part (9 marines) was captured. They were bayoneted and beheaded on 6 March 1942 after their capture.


· Tjiater, Java Island, March 6th 1942


Pieter Benjamin de Lizer was a soldier in the 5th KNIL Battalion. When the Japanese invaded Java on March 1st 1942, the 5th Battalion was transported to the Bandung area, in an effort to try to stop the Japanese advance.

De Lizer: " We arrived at Tjiater after hours of marching on March 5th. We were supposed to stop the Japanese advance here, but there was no real defensive line. No bunkers nor strongholds, just some small foxholes. The next morning I was ordered to get some food and coffee for my comrades. Suddenly the Japs started shooting at us. I saw the first casualties. I ran to my foxhole and prepared myself for combat. I had about 100 rounds for my rifle and a handgrenade. We started shooting at the direction where the enemy fire came from. In the beginning we were brave enough to jell "Tojo, klojo!" (Tojo, asshole) but that stopped when Japanese aircraft began strafing our position. More dead and wounded comrades. After a few hours I saw the Japanese infantry heading directly towards our position. I managed to hit a couple of them and when they were near enough I threw my grenade. There were simply too many of them and they overwhelmed our position. Fierce man-to-man fighting was going on. When we saw one of our men, after he surrendered, being beaten by the Japs the fighting became even more brutal. But the end was near and at a certain moment, one of the Nips jumped right on top of me and knocked me out with his rifle.

Our hands were tied with our own leather belts. 72 of us were taken prisoner; the rest was dead or managed to escape. The Japs stole our watches and rings and those who protested were beaten. We were given a cigarette as some sort of compensation. Than the Japs took us about 500 meters up the hill. We were ordered to take off our puttees and with these they tied us up three-by-three. I was tied up with Koll and Frederiks. We wondered what was going to happen with us but when the Japs positioned two machineguns in front of us, it all became clear. Some of us started praying, others just jelled. Strangely enough, I was completely calm; no fear at all. It was just like someone was protecting me. When the machineguns started firing, I fell to the ground with Koll and Frederiks landing on top of me. I could feel that I was hit but still alive. When the shooting stopped I could hear the Japanese searching for survivors. When they found one, they killed him with their bajonets. The footsteps were now very close but they must have thought that I was dead. Only after a few hours, when I was completely sure that they had gone, I stood up. Frederiks was dead but Koll was also still alive. He managed to free himself with his teeth and than freed me. I was hit four times; two bullets hit my leg, one my shoulder and one got stuck in my lung. When we looked around us we were shocked by the terrible sight; these bloody human remains once were our comrades. We couldn't stand it much longer and fled ".

Pieter Benjamin de Lizer managed to avoid the Japanese for days, until he finally reached Bandung on March 12th 1942. 72 POW's were excecuted at Tjiater of whom only three survived. The main cause for this massacre could be the fierce resistance offered by the 5th Battalion, which delayed the Japanese advance for several hours. All victims were buried at Bandung cemetery.


· Tragedy at Maos, Java Island, the night of March 6-7 1942


Following the heavy bombing of shipping at Tjiltjap there was now little hope of getting away by sea, so a considerable body mostly of unarmed RAF and RAAF men (about 2.500), who had amassed at Poerwerkerta, about 30 miles inland from the port, were now to be moved westwards by rail. Their destination was Tasikmalaja airfield, 50 miles south-east of Bandoeng.


By the evening of 6th two trains had arrived at Poerwerkerta, each made up of a few carriages and a number of freight vans, the first of which were carrying a load of high octane fuel and aircraft spares. This train, under the command of Wing Commander Ramsay Rae and packed with airmen, departed at about 19:00, heading south to the junction with the main east-west line at Maos, a short distance from the Serajoe river. The second train, with Wing Commander N. Cave in charge, followed about two hours later but soon caught up with the heavily laden, slow moving first train. At least 600 airmen were packed on the two trains. At 22:15 p.m. when seven miles north of the junction, near the trackside kampong at Sampang, the first train was ambushed by advanced units of the 56th Infantry Regiment, part of the Japanese force that had landed at Kragan and had infiltrated the area. Attacking with mortars, machine guns and hand grenades, they blew several of the metal freight vans off the track, in one of which two airmen were killed while a number of others were wounded. S.H. Adcock, formerly of 152 MU, recalled: " We had been travelling for quite a while and started to cross an embankment - the doors of the wagons were open to give some fresh air - then we ran into an ambush. A shell burst in the freight van in front of ours, causing many casualties, and the young airman talking to me in the doorway fell dead at my feet, shot between the eyes. The driver and fireman jumped from the engine and let the train go. The rear wagons were full of oil (sic) and were blazing furiously. In one of the leading wagons was an airman who, prior to the war, was a fireman on the LMS railway, and when he saw the engine crew dive over the side, climbed along the trunks to the engine and kept it going until it ran out of steam, as it had been damaged ".


Meanwhile the second train, forced to stop by the wrecked vans, also came under attack. The engine was hit, and there were further casualties amongst the airmen in the crowded carriages and wagons. Fl./Off. J. Fletcher-Cook was ordered to proceed towards Maos in an endeavour to acquire a rail car in which the wounded could be conveyed. One party of 74 under Flt./Lt. G. Carr, including a dozen wounded, set off towards Sampang but ran into a Japanese patrol just after midnight and were forced to surrender; five of the wounded died. The Japanese did not press home their attack and withdrew into the surrounding jungle indicating, perhaps, that only a small force was involved. Groups of survivors made their way southwards along the tracks towards Maos and after a march of two to three miles arrived at a deserted trackside farmhouse, where the men were assembled and were informed that not far away was a river that had to be crossed. Seven of the more seriously wounded were taken into some huts at the side of the track, were it was intended they should remain, with two medical orderlies, until help arrived. The five-span steel railway bridge which crossed the Serajoe river at Kesogihan had a walkway to one side. The Dutch colonial troops, whose duty it was to defend the bridge, had placed demolition charges and had orders to blow the bridge at midnight, which was by now rapidly approaching. Adcock continued: " When I and my close friends reached the second span from the far end of the bridge, the bridge blew-up, the centre spans going down into the river causing a large number of casualties ".

The tragic sequel was that the wounded airmen, lying in the huts on the other side, could not be evacuated in time. Corporal Bob "Butch" Finning of 84th RAF Squadron was one of the wounded: " There was a lot of blood around and fellows were moaning and some were in a very bad way and dying. We lay there for quite a time, then, as it began to get dark, I heard screams and yells from the shed next door. The Nips burst into our shed and began to bayonet the men on the floor. I knew it was curtains for me. I wriggled close to the poor bastard nearest me and lay on my side to take the thrusts on my arse and thighs. The screams from our blokes were terrible, but the Japs were as bad every time they lunged with their rifles. When they reached me I pretended I'd snuffed it! ".


Finning was bayoneted several times but miraculously sustained no fatal injuries; he continued: " The light was fading inside the godown, thank Christ, and I managed to pull myself among a pile of corpses. I could still hear other Japs next door, so lay on my wounded side so they could have a go at the other. Three or four of them came in and began to thrust at the people on the floor. I took another few jabs. I thought my time was up ". By the time the Japanese patrol departed, Finning had suffered 14 wounds but somehow was still alive. When he thought it was safe, he dragged himself to a window and managed to tumble out and staggered off into the bush. He passed out and when he regained consciousness it was light. Although in great pain from his many wounds and numerous insect bites, he was able to force himself further away from the scene of carnage, until he came to a river. This he managed to swim, although by now very weak from loss of blood, and lay exhausted on the bank; suddenly he became aware of half a dozen natives watching him. They dragged him to their kampong: " They jabbered around me, then decided to finish off what the Nips had started. They tied me up like a trussed chicken and put a rope round my neck to hang me. By that time I didn't care. They slung the end of the rope over the fork in a tree and hoisted me off the ground; I kept falling back down because I was heavy and they hadn't quite got the technique of doing the job. This time I was quite convinced I'd had my chips. They got me off the ground for about the forth time, my tongue was out and I was turning black and everything was spinning. Then I heard a car engine and they dropped me again. There was a loud yell and I heard them scatter and I vaguely made out a strange-looking bloke waving a bloody great sword around him and I made up my mind that I was going to be beheaded instead of hung ".

This Japanese officer was however his saviour. He had already picked up two other wounded airmen and now he cut Finning lose and put him in the car. All three were driven to a local POW camp full of Dutch prisoners. Finning eventually recovered. There was only one other survivor of this massacre, another RAF corporal, who had managed to escape unobserved from the hut before the killing reached him.


· Kalidjati Airfield, Java Island, March 1942


Large number of British RAF ground personnel was slaughtered at the Kalidjati Airfield. British forces at Kalidjati used a hospital at Soebang run by P & T. Landen Plantations and manned by Dutch and British civilian staff. When Soebang was occupied the staff and patients were put to death, in some cases, days later. Australian war crime teams were responsible for investigating the events at Kalidjati after the war. They amassed a file but had little success in collecting direct evidence linking crimes to individuals concerned. This file was later passed onto the Dutch and no further action was taken. No any further details available.


· Samarinda, Borneo Island, March 1942


On March 9th, 1942, near Samarinda (exact place is unknown) the commander of the secret airfield Samarinda II learned of the capitulation of the KNIL Army, and decided to surrender his detachment to the Japanese. For that purpose, he abandoned the airfield and took his men to Samarinda, but about 15 soldiers refused and went upstream the Mahakam River. The Japanese soon discovered them and 13 of them were immediately shot, but 2 Dutch soldiers managed to stay with the natives until April 1943, when they were betrayed and handed over to the Japanese. They survived.


· Longiram, Borneo Island, 1942


The government representative of Longiram followed a sideriver of the Mahakam with several KNIL soldiers. He was forced in mid 1942 to seek refuge with the Dajak natives. These surrendered them to the Japanese. All were executed (exact place is unknown).


· Long Nawang, Borneo Island, August 1942


In August 1942 the Japanese soldiers executed a large number of refugees in this Kampong, including all crew-members from a Glenn Martin bomber and three crew-members from Dornier X-34. In early 1942 was a Dutch bomber Glenn Martin shot down by Japanese Zeros near Miri, British North Borneo. The plane commander, Luitenant-Vlieger-Waarnemer Groeneveld (Lieutenant) was able to find the rest of his crew after they bailed out of the plane. They were now in the neighbourhood of Miri (British-Borneo) and decided to try to avoid the Japanese, who had just landed there. Together with a number of British civilians they reached Long Nawang on February 3rd. At about the same date Luitenant-ter-Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers from the Dornier flying-boat X-34, together with two of his crewmembers, reached Long Nawang. The X-34 had made an emergency landing on December 16th, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri. In the next months Long Nawang became some sort of "safe-haven" for all sorts of refugees, military and civilian, trying to escape the Japanese invaders. On February 17 or 18 landed the Japanese troops at Boelongan. Several KNIL soldiers died, but others managed to reach the outpost Long Nawang after a journey of weeks. They found American and British refugees there, and with the soldiers, there were probably about 90 white people and about 35 natives. In April 1942 the Japanese heared from native Dajaks that there still where KNIL soldiers at Long Berang and Long Nawang. The Japanese commander demanded their capitulation. The refugees at Long Berang did so, and they surrendered to the Japanese at Malinau at the end of April, but the ones at Long Nawang stayed there. On August 20th, 1942, was Long Nawang taken by surprise by a Japanese company. On August 27th of that month almost all white military refugees and one Ambonese soldier were executed, and one month later also all women and children. Among executed POWs were also:
- Luitenant-vlieger-waarnemer Groeneveld (pilot)
- Brigadier-leerling-monteur Haacke (gunner)
- Sergeant-bommenrichter Gobus (bombardier)
- Brigadier-luchtvaart-telegrafist Prinssen (wireless-operator)
- Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers.


· Koetaradja, Sumatra Island, March 1942


In early March 1942 occured in Koetaradja a massacre of European inhabitants by natives from Atjeh province. About 20 KNIL and former KNIL soldiers were murdered, along with a number of Europeans. The natives entered Koetaradja on March 12, the date when the Japanese forces landed on the western part of the island. They started looting and destroying ("rampok" in Indonesian). Other KNIL forces had by that time already left the city. Other Europeans survived because suddenly the leader of the Atjeh rebellion, Nja Arif - "Teukoe", appeared and with the help of the Japanese, managed to prevent further atrocities.


· Koetaradja II, Sumatra Island, March 1942


When the KNIL military detachment left Koetaradja on March 12, there were still some Ambonese and Menadonese KNIL soldiers present in the town. They were mainly cooks, hospital units, some patients and the guards of the station (probably a train station). Altogether they numbered about 50 men. They were waiting at the station for a train, when they were surrounded by Atjeh natives who forced them to give up their weapons. The Japanese arrested them and locked them up in the prison. Other soldiers also joined them, among them was some hospital personnel and a KNIL Lieutenant from Sabang. The prisoners, about 60 of them, were given nothing to eat or drink, and all were interrogated seperately. The former KNIL soldiers were released, but the others (56 men) were the victim of the Japanese revenge, which originated in the fact that the airfield of Koetaradja had been damaged before KNIL troops left the city. The men (8 Europeans and 48 Ambonese and Menadonese) were shackled on March 15 and loaded onto a Chinese fishing vessel. They were shot at sea and their bodies thrown in the water.


· Middle Sumatra Island, March 1942


KNIL Lieutenant Van Zanten assembled a group near Takingeun. He had with him a European Sergeant and about 70 native soldiers. In late 1942, the Japanese got wind of the group. They arrested and mistreated 14 ex-KNIL soldiers while they were working in late November on a teafield, and the Japanese tried to capture Van Zanten's camp two days later. His group became smaller. In February 1943, the only European Sergeant with two native MP's were capured, and on March 10, almost a year after he started his journey, Van Zanten himself was captured with five native MP's. They walked into an ambush by native policemen. They were mistreated by the Japanese soldiers. Van Zanten was offered that in order to spare his life, he had to infiltrate the internment camp for POW's in Medan. He refused to do that, and was subsequently sentenced to death by a Japanese court-martial in Fort De Kock. He was executed on October 25, 1943. His Sergeant had been killed some two months earlier.


· Pematang Siantar, Sumatra Island, 1942


Not far from the town of Pematang Siantar (where five women were raped) a group of about 25 Stadswacht soldiers (city guardsmen) were shot by the Japanese, probably because several bridges had been destroyed in the vicinity. Two KNIL officers who were also arrested lost their heads.


· Toba Lake, Sumatra Island, March 1942


On March 14, 1942, not far from the Toba Lake, 25 KNIL soldiers (a MG platoon and members of the Stadswacht and Landwacht) were executed by the Japanese soldiers.


· Bireuen, Sumatra Island, March 1942


On March 24, 1942, 27 native KNIL soldiers were allowed by Major Palmer van den Broek, after his capitulation, to disperse and seek refuge. In Bireuen, they were captured by natives who turned them over to a Japanese officer, who whipped all prisoners in the face with a belt. He released five. The other 22 prisoners were told to be shot because a bridge enroute to Takingeun had been destroyed. They were brought to the bridge, where four of them managed to escape by jumping in the water. The other 18 prisoners were shot.


· Simaloer Island, Sumatra Island, 1942


On the island of Simaloer, off the coast of Sumatra, an unknown number of British and Dutch prisoners were executed and the same happened not far from Sibolga with two Dutchmen and six British prisoners. Their bodies were later found on the island Nias off the Sumatra coast.


· The freighter "Langkoeas" massacre, west of Bawean Island, 1942


The freighter Langkoeas (7395 gross weight), a former German merchant ship "Stassfurt", captured in May 1940, had departed Soerabaja on January 1 for the Middle East, when in the evening of January 2nd, a torpedo struck the ship in the engineroom, immediately killing the 12 on watch. The crew (24 Dutch, 55 Chinese, 12 Java-natives) immediately began abandoning ship, as the Langkoeas started to founder. Some whaleboats had made it safely to sea, but the 4th Engineer J. De Mul (one of the survivors) saw with horror how suddenly the motor boat under Captain J. Kreumer was machine-gunned by an approaching ship. The motor boat was already towing one of the non-engined boats, and De Mul watched as one sailor after the other perished by machine-gun fire. Then the ship started to fire on the boat with De Mul, one of the men near him was hit in the chest and died. De Mul immediately jumped overboard, and grabbed the depthrudder of the submarine (the ship was a submarine as it turned out), after which he was grabbed by Japanese sailors and brought on deck. There, he saw a Chinese and a Javanese standing near the conning tower. He was brought to the captain, which interrogated him, but De Mul told him nothing of value. Then the captain said something like "you go home" and he was thrown overboard, followed by the Javanese and Chinese. The Langkoeas had sunk, and the three survivors tried to stay together. However, the sea was rough, and De Mul lost sight of the other two after a few hours. In the evening, he had the luck to find a heavily damaged raft, which he clinged to. He managed to climb onto it after catching his breath. Later, he saw the unconscious Chinese drifting by and managed to bring him aboard. An hour later, he also found the Javanese. The men spent some four or five days under the intense sun, without drinkingwater and food. Finally, the raft washed ashore on Bawean, an island in the Java Sea. There, they were found by a fisherman. They were later picked up by a Dutch flying boat Catalina and brought to Soerabaja, where they told their story. A crew of 88 men had perished, and post war analysis showed the Japanese submarine I-58 under the command of Commander Kitamura.


· The tanker "Augustina" massacre, Western Java Sea, 1942


The tanker Augustina (3110 tons) of the Nederlandsch Indische Tankstoomboot Mij. left Batavia (Tandjong Priok) on February 27, trying to break out through Sunda Strait enroute to Australia. The ship was under command of Captain A.J. Moerman, who had received orders to scuttle the ship when it was in danger of being captured. In the afternoon of March 1, the tanker was forced to stop after a Japanese destroyer fired a few rounds, after which the captain immediately ordered to prepare for scuttling. The seavalves were opened and large amounts of water began to enter the engine room and tanks. The crew then abandoned ship and went into the 2 lifeboats, which were then ordered to come alongside the destroyer. The captain and first engineer were ordered aboard and before they were questioned, they were sprayed with a desinfectionvapor! They returned soon afer, telling the others they were to be brought back to the tanker to prevent its loss. The whaleboats were taken under tow by the destroyer. The captain and first engineer soon returned from the stricken tanker, but they had been unable to close all the vents. The destroyer then signalled the lifeboats could row away, but soon after, fire was opened on them by a machine-gun and tommyguns. The boat with the captain and first engineer was driven back to the destroyer, where a Japanese sailor jumped aboard and started killing its passengers. Many of the crew had jumped over-board, and one of them, the 3rd Engineer L. Meyer dove under and swam away. When he returned to the surface, he was immediately fired upon. Meyer later saw the destroyer sail away, but no whaleboats or other survivors. As the tanker was still afloat, he decided to returned to the ship and find some clothes (he was completely naked). He found an undamged boat and entered it, drifting away from the tanker. Then, in the night of March 3 and 4, he was picked up by another destroyer. He told the captain that he had remained aboard after the tanker was abandoned, and that he had been ill in bed. He heard water pooring in, and then also abandoned ship. His story was believed, and he was brought to Makassar on March 7, where he remained until October 15. He was then brought to Japan, to POW Camp Fukuoka No. 2. He was liberated on September 12, 1945, and he could prepare a statement about the loss of Augustina some three weeks later, in Manila, Philippines. A crew of 9 officers and 30 Chinese had been killed in this disaster, but two other Chinese apparently made it to shore. The name of the destroyer is unknown, and the same goes for the captain's name.



http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/massacres.html
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#25 Von Poop

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:42 PM

Can I just put in another credit to George Duncan's massacres and atrocities site which the first half of this thread was lifted from verbatim:
George Duncan's Historical Facts of WWII and to which Macrusk quite correctly posted a link to for the pacific side of things.

Do we really need these massive sections lifted from other people's work that take ages to scroll through when a link would allow us to see exactly the same information in the context the author intended it?

Is cut & paste discussion?

Sorry, getting more and more grumpy about it... It's my special grumpy day today...
I'll crawl back under my rock now.

Cheers,
Adam.
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