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A Century Ago Canadian Soldiers Supposedly Killed Prisoners

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jollyjacktar

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As our PAFO said on dealing with the press during work-up training in Valcartier "If it bleeds, it leads".  Just like Don Henley sang in the song "Dirty Laundry".
 

mariomike

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jollyjacktar said:
"If it bleeds, it leads". 

I saw a reporter lift a mangled tri-cycle out of his trunk and toss it in front of a car for a photo.
 
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jollyjacktar

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I have met some journalists whom IMHO are professional and bring credit to their trade.  I have also met the slugs too.  Every tr4ade has plenty of both.  Hopefully they balance each other out somewhat.
 

SeanNewman

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Sadly, the reason that bad news is typically shown more is that bad news happens instantly and is more exciting, where as good news takes time.

If you shoot the wrong person or a soldier dies, that is immediate, but there is no good news equivalent of that.

You can't show on TV that 100,000 (ex) more infants are alive now due to a lower infant mortality rate than before.  You can't show a town gradually shifting over years to supporting ISAF/GIRA the way you can show it turning against us when an airstrike hits the wrong thing.

Unfortunately that's just the way it is; I don't think journalists for the most part have bad motives, but they are looking for exciting stories to tell and a road getting slowly built brick by brick isn't as exciting as a burning LAV.
 

SeanNewman

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jollyjacktar said:
And a lot of good that does us....

No matter what you do, your enemy will still try to kill you.

Still, I am not sure the alternative of being guilty of war crimes as a matter of SOPs just because our enemy does is a viable alternative.
 

SevenSixTwo

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Mid Aged Silverback said:
It also seems to be forgotten that the SS murdered Canadians in WW2. In fact, they were Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

This still pisses me off. Mr. Meyer was sentenced to death for this and what happened? We gave him 9 years in jail due to his good behavior.
 

SevenSixTwo

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Petamocto said:
WW2 is a bizarre case though because very few people here know what it is like to realistically have the survival of your culture at stake.

I think we can armchair quarterback cases like killing Jewish people or POWs easy enough, but it gets pretty grey with the bombing of cities, etc.  An objective view will show that the proponent can only take the "We were bombing factories and workers" argument so far, but that's us saying that now when we haven't had our city (London) bombed for the last three years.

Can we all say that we would realistically live by the rules if the US invaded us?  Was Russia justified for what they did at the end of the war?  Of course not, but can we say we know what it's like to supposedly have a non-aggression pact broken and the other Army 1,000km inside your border before you can stop them with 25,000,000 of your people killed?  I think I might go a little loco, too.


I believe the first bomb dropped on civilians if my memory serves me right was by the Germans. They mistook a lit up cinema for their target. Both sides bombed cities to hell (ex Operation Goodwood) hopefully, at least those cities in Europe had people leaving them in droves the second fights started showing up (ex Caen). But it's different in the Middle East they do not leave just because a fire fight occured 100m from their house. This is why we are in a war much more difficult then past wars and we cannot look at soldiers in the past the same way we do now. If anything the "atrocities" stories about Canadians in the Boer war were probably just talk for morale. In world war one it was said Frenchmen and Natives carved the scalps off of Germans. In world war two the japanese thought the marines were all nut jobs who raped and killed everyone. The rumors work both ways so to speak.
 

OldSolduer

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Here's some history:

35 men, most from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, shot on the Caen-Foutenay road on June 7.

-24 men, mainly from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, shot at Chateau d'Audrieu, June 8.

 

SevenSixTwo

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Mid Aged Silverback said:
Here's some history:

35 men, most from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, shot on the Caen-Foutenay road on June 7.

-24 men, mainly from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, shot at Chateau d'Audrieu, June 8.

All in retaliation (or so was the excuse) for 3 dead German officers that were found.
 

Old Sweat

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SevenSixTwo said:
All in retaliation (or so was the excuse) for 3 dead German officers that were found.

Not quite. The recent history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles discusses this in detail in Chapter 18. The Hitler Youth Division had executed Canadian prisoners before they could have known of the death of members of the artillery regiment from the Panzer Lehr Division. After the incident became known, the killing continued. The two instances MAS referred to were done by 26 SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment and 12 SS Reconnaissance Battalion. In my opinion, and I wrote the history, the deaths of the three German officers became a handy excuse for apologists after the event.

In all between 7 and 17 June there were 11 separate incidents involving the murder of Canadian prisoners by members of 12 SS Panzer Division. The atrocities involved troops from both Panzer Grenadier Regiments, 12 SS Panzer Regiment and the Reconnaissance and Engineer Battalions. All but one of the incidents took place between 7 and 11 June.
 

armyvern

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And yet a little more history - (Abbaye d'Ardenne - murder of 20 North Nova Scotia Highlander POWs):

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww2mem/ardenne

 

mariomike

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Six of the 50 Allied airmen murdered in the Great Escape were RCAF:
http://wwii.ca/content-91/world-war-ii/canadians-and-the-great-escape/


" When Allied airmen were’ forced to land in Germany, they were sometimes killed at once by the civilian population. The police were instructed not to interfere with these killings, and the Ministry of Justice was informed that no one should be prosecuted for taking part in them.":
http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs4/6FRD69.html

http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo7/no1/book-livre-04-eng.asp

I only know of this incident by chance, because of family. I met one of the survivors ( North York ) and spoke to the other ( Oshawa ) on the phone.
Two of the three murdered airmen were RCAF:
"the three airmen buried in Holland were executed by Hauptgruppenfuhrer Ferdinand Assman, who was later arrested, charged with murder and committed suicide while in prison awaiting trial." ( Hanged himself, from what I understand. )
http://www.lostbombers.co.uk/bomber.php?id=8118

Russelheim 1945:
http://b-29s-over-korea.com/Russelsheim/Russelsheim02.html

( When they say British, in Bomber Operations, that would also include RCAF, as the crews were mixed. In fact, about 60% of RCAF aircrew were members of RAF heavy bomber squadrons. It seems to have been an unfortunate misunderstanding for the Americans because their accents were thought to be Canadian. )

 

SeanNewman

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It's a bit of a slippery slope to go down the path of "they started it..." (killing POWs, bombing cities, using gas, etc).

I am happy that I now serve in a military that has a fixed set of rules for how we are expected to conduct ourselves, and that line in the sand does not change depending on what our enemy does.
 

OldSolduer

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Petamocto said:
It's a bit of a slippery slope to go down the path of "they started it..." (killing POWs, bombing cities, using gas, etc).

I am happy that I now serve in a military that has a fixed set of rules for how we are expected to conduct ourselves, and that line in the sand does not change depending on what our enemy does.

We never said that "they started it".  We're giving some examples of where our soldiers were murdered in contravention of the Laws of Armed  Conflict. Not one of us has stated that we should be executing combatants.
 

mariomike

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Petamocto said:
It's a bit of a slippery slope to go down the path of "they started it..." (killing POWs, bombing cities, using gas, etc).

Poison gas was considered in July 1944 in response to the V-rockets.:
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p501b_Weber.html
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1985/5/1985_5_40.shtml
Several Bomber Command squadrons were specially trained to carry it out.
 

dangerboy

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mariomike said:
Poison gas was considered in July 1944 in response to the V-rockets.:
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p501b_Weber.html
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1985/5/1985_5_40.shtml
Several Bomber Command squadrons were specially trained to carry it out.

There is a world of difference between thinking of doing something and actually doing it.  If you start condemning people for what they are thinking of doing I should have been in cells several times.
 
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