PDA

View Full Version : You sometimes have to wonder



hueywolf123
05-08-2006, 08:38 PM
http://uboat.net/boats/u125.htm

Read what happened here, not terribly nice
LtCmdr Sherwood RNR, if he still lives. Makes you wonder how cold some people can be, but I suppose the U-boats had the same orders. A bit scary though
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

yahoshua
05-08-2006, 10:39 PM
To a degree it was an eye for an eye since U-boat commanders were told not to take prisoners onboard during the war, and standard procedure was usually to gun them down so that survivors wouldn't be able to report the position of the subs.

I'm doing this all from memory so forgive me if I made any mistakes.

StgShultz
05-08-2006, 10:42 PM
Brits did it to their own men also. If a merchant was sunk the convoy would carry on. An aircraft would come later in the day if they were lucky. I'm sure a small boat could have been lauched to pick up survivors and await the arrival of a PBY.

StgShultz
05-08-2006, 10:48 PM
I think you will find that the german sub cmdrs generally played by the rules. They stopped picking up survivors because the Brits would still attack them and they also stopped forwarning the mercants to abandon ship because the crew would either fire upon them or radio for help. The single? instance of survivors being machined gunned was where a nazi was in control (if my memory is correct).
Merchants were not allowed to have guns - this made them warships. The Brits changed that rule like so many others when it suited them. (Thats not to say the Germans were any better).

Peter-E.-Cremer
05-09-2006, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by yahoshua:
To a degree it was an eye for an eye since U-boat commanders were told not to take prisoners onboard during the war, and standard procedure was usually to gun them down so that survivors wouldn't be able to report the position of the subs.

I'm doing this all from memory so forgive me if I made any mistakes.
Hi
In early war the Uboats pick up survivors before sunk the ships with deck gun or bombs it happen until the incident of sinking of the "RMS Laconia". here is a post that I did some time ago http://forums.ubi.com/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=400102&f=857101043&m=5681028603 after that no more survivors pick up because the americans http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Bucketlung
05-09-2006, 06:26 AM
If the Allies do this it is just a part of war, if the Germans had done this it would have been investigated as a war crime.

The_Silent_O
05-09-2006, 06:34 AM
Originally posted by StgShultz:
Brits did it to their own men also. If a merchant was sunk the convoy would carry on. An aircraft would come later in the day if they were lucky. I'm sure a small boat could have been lauched to pick up survivors and await the arrival of a PBY.

Convoys would never leave men in the water. Either an escort would have lifeguard duties or later in the war certain small cargos were designated as lifeboats (These were also the cargos that had High Frequency Directional Finders (HFDF or "Huff Duff") to locate U-boats by their radio transmissions).

One of the posters here had a grandfather who was on one of these lifeguard boats.

Kaleun1961
05-09-2006, 07:00 AM
Machine-gunning survivors was NOT standard operating procedure for U-boats. As said, maybe a fanatical Nazi did this once, but it is almost unheard of for U-boat men to do this; I can't recall ever reading this in any of my U-boat books. It also did not make sense and also flew in the face of the "code of the sea." Both sides faced a common enemy, the sea. Once the combat was over, it was the tradition of the sea to assist survivors as far as possible. Doenitz only issued his order after the Laconia incident, when a U-boat that was clearly assisting survivors was attacked.

U-boat men also hoped to be rescued themselves should they survive a sinking, and many were. Had they gone about routinely shooting survivors of their sinkings, they would not have expected to be rescued. There were occasions when they were not rescued, usually due to operational exigencies and perhaps the odd hard commander, but those were rare occasions; for the most part efforts were made to rescue men from both sides. A surface vessel had the capacity and means to rescue and accomodate survivors, a U-boat did not; it barely had enough room and supplies for its own crew.

Celeon999
05-09-2006, 07:11 AM
But it is the standard operating procedure of Socko http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

lecek
05-09-2006, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by Kaleun1961:
Machine-gunning survivors was NOT standard operating procedure for U-boats. As said, maybe a fanatical Nazi did this once, but it is almost unheard of for U-boat men to do this; I can't recall ever reading this in any of my U-boat books. It also did not make sense and also flew in the face of the "code of the sea." Both sides faced a common enemy, the sea. Once the combat was over, it was the tradition of the sea to assist survivors as far as possible. Doenitz only issued his order after the Laconia incident, when a U-boat that was clearly assisting survivors was attacked.

U-boat men also hoped to be rescued themselves should they survive a sinking, and many were. Had they gone about routinely shooting survivors of their sinkings, they would not have expected to be rescued. There were occasions when they were not rescued, usually due to operational exigencies and perhaps the odd hard commander, but those were rare occasions; for the most part efforts were made to rescue men from both sides. A surface vessel had the capacity and means to rescue and accomodate survivors, a U-boat did not; it barely had enough room and supplies for its own crew.

Not only that, but they had orders not to machine gun ppl. It is bad for crew moral because of what is said above.

It makes me wonder where this "standard operating procedure" mentioned above was cited from. Reading some war time propaganda?

VikingGrandad
05-09-2006, 11:21 AM
It makes sense for Allied ASW ships to pick up stricken U-boat survivors, because Allied intelligence then has an opportunity to interrogate the enemy. I've got some weblinks somewhere to transcripts of such interrogations.

Also, when safe to do so, U-boats would sometimes investigate lifeboats from merchants they had sunk, so that they could capture the captain or senior officer(s). This was a humane way of ensuring that these valuable merchant seamen would no longer be able to aid the Allied war effort. I guess German intelligence would have interrogated these officers, but I've not read anything about that yet. There are numerous accounts of U-boat crews helping other survivors in lifeboats by giving them provisions and navigational information, so that they had a chance of reaching land.

The Laconia incident was ridiculous, to say the least. It makes me angry every time I think about it.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif Hey, we gotta be careful we don't start talking politics here...

Celeon999
05-09-2006, 11:42 AM
Well, you had that on both sides.

There was this british u-boat hunter task force commander who had the idea to take only u-boat survivors aboard that tell them what the number of their u-boat was and the name of their Kaleun.

He ordered his men to ask this everybody before pulling them on deck.

When they answer : pull them on deck

when they dont answer : let them fall back into the sea

Only problem was that nobody aboard his destroyer spoke a single word german. So they asked them in english.

Logically most people simply did not understood the questions and could not answer.

Splash !

hueywolf123
05-09-2006, 06:08 PM
As being from a country that was on the side of the Allied forces, reading this disgusted me. Being Ex-Navy, I also know how arrogant and boorish some officers can be.
What really upsets me though, is the hollywood mindset of 'Good guys v Bad Guys'.
During both world conflicts, most on either side were good guys and under normal circumstances would have been great mates. Poiliticians and religious leaders have made sure that never happens, and a small handfull from the officer class from both sides, ordered attrocities for which the lower deck ratings were blamed and as mentioned before - if committed by Germans or Japanese, it was pure evil, if committed by any Allied forces it was purely tactical or a matter of survival.
They were all just young men doing the best they could under terrifying conditions, and all should be treated with the utmost respect and remembered for their heroism

Baldricks_Mate
05-10-2006, 01:34 AM
All I can add is please read my sig...

The_Silent_O
05-10-2006, 07:02 AM
Yes there are acts of atrocities in war...

...A elder friend of mine who was in the 101st ABN division during the Ardennes Offensive said that after they had heard of the Malmedy massarce, there seem to be less German prisoners taken to the rear for processing. Much of it comes from anger and frustration. The key is to have an officer corps with a moral backbone and who understand the law of land warfare.

...But, and I wish I could find them all now, there were acts of mercy and kindness between opposing forces, the Laconia incident is just one. But I also remember reading somewhere where a German Pilot allowed an US pilot to proceed after the US Pilot had his guns jammed...

...There was a professional officer corps on all sides during the war. But many of them got muddied with the dogma of dictatorships.

Celeon999
05-10-2006, 07:28 AM
...A elder friend of mine who was in the 101st ABN division during the Ardennes Offensive said that after they had heard of the Malmedy massarce, there seem to be less German prisoners taken to the rear for processing. Much of it comes from anger and frustration. The key is to have an officer corps with a moral backbone and who understand the law of land warfare.


Funny you mention malmedy right now.

There was some action coming back into this topic lately.

Some veteran organisation expressed doubt into the confession of Joachim Piper regarding the malmedy massacre.

The trigger was newly discovered details that seem to proof that PeiperÔ┬┤s confession was made under torture by u.s interrogators.

Peiper denied several times to have ordered the execution or having knowledge of who was the one who might did it.

Ive found this on wikipedia :

Peiper volunteered to take all the blame if the court would set his men free: the court refused. Major Harold D. McCown, Battalion Commander of the 30th Infantry Division 119th Regiment of the US Army testified during the trials that he had conversed half the night with Peiper. McCown had heard of the allegations of Peiper's men shooting American POWs and asked Peiper if his men were safe. Peiper gave his word that McCown's men would not be shot; McCown also testified that he had no knowledge that any POWs were shot.

This in combination with photos showing Peiper with several face wounds during his trail brought things up again.

Surely the massacre happened but its not clear anymore if Peiper was really the one who ordered it.

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/8623/jochen2zm.jpg

Kaleun1961
05-10-2006, 07:40 AM
Good points, Otto. Canada had a recent shameful incident with our Airborne, which I take not as a smear against the unit, but as a failure of leadership. In the aftermath of this, our Liberal gov't took advantage of this incident to disband this unit and save a few bucks, something which they were always fond of, in order to have the money for other programs that bought them votes.

There was a problem with Somalis sneaking into the Canadian area of ops at night time, mainly for purposes of stealing supplies. A verbal order, according to trial witnesses, was given to catch some of these thieves and give them a good pasting to discourage others. The problem was, no officers were around when this was enforced. A non-com took the lead to lead a beating of a Somali teenager who was caught, but it went way beyond what was intended. It degenerated into a sadistic torture and the teen died.

Consequently to this, the NCO attempted suicide while in custody, failing at that and causing himself permanent brain damage to the point that he no longer functions as a normal adult, and he was immune to prosecution. The results of the trial were that the lightest penalties were handed to the higher ranks, and the lowest ranks suffered the severest penalties. The private who actually blew the whistle and provided photographic evidence received the harshest penalty, imprisonment and dishonourable discharge. The officers got off with only a reprimand.

So, the officers give the orders, the ranks carry them out and carry the can when the caca hits the fan. This was a shameful example of what has become of the Canadian officer corps. The upper ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces have become a professional bureaucracy; we have more general officers in peacetime than we ever did in wartime and probably the highest officer to enlisted ratio in the Western world. Shameful.

Kaleun1961
05-10-2006, 07:46 AM
In light of what you wrote, Celeon, I find it suspicious that if he were truly guilty, why was he not executed? A good number of Nazis and Japanese officers were executed for war crimes, why not Peiper? Instead, he was allowed eventually to live in France or Belgium and then was killed in a suspicious incident.

"Panzer" Meyer was tried for ordering the murder of Canadian POW's and was sentenced to death, which was eventually commuted. He was released after a few years and allowed to go home.

I think there were some show trials to assuage public desire for revenge; a few token men are charged and when the fuss dies away, they are quietly released.

blastomatic1759
05-11-2006, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by VikingGrandad:
It makes sense for Allied ASW ships to pick up stricken U-boat survivors, because Allied intelligence then has an opportunity to interrogate the enemy. I've got some weblinks somewhere to transcripts of such interrogations.

Also, when safe to do so, U-boats would sometimes investigate lifeboats from merchants they had sunk, so that they could capture the captain or senior officer(s). This was a humane way of ensuring that these valuable merchant seamen would no longer be able to aid the Allied war effort. I guess German intelligence would have interrogated these officers, but I've not read anything about that yet. There are numerous accounts of U-boat crews helping other survivors in lifeboats by giving them provisions and navigational information, so that they had a chance of reaching land.

The Laconia incident was ridiculous, to say the least. It makes me angry every time I think about it.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif Hey, we gotta be careful we don't start talking politics here...

the sad part about the Laconia incident noone was charged with any sort of war crime. now if that would have been the Germans in the B24 there would have been war crime charges thrown all over the place. i cant recall the boat number or the full story , but i remember reading about a Uboat being sunk in the Med. and the survivors were swimming towards one of the ships and they were machine gunned right there in the water.

Celeon999
05-11-2006, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Kaleun1961:
In light of what you wrote, Celeon, I find it suspicious that if he were truly guilty, why was he not executed? A good number of Nazis and Japanese officers were executed for war crimes, why not Peiper? Instead, he was allowed eventually to live in France or Belgium and then was killed in a suspicious incident.

"Panzer" Meyer was tried for ordering the murder of Canadian POW's and was sentenced to death, which was eventually commuted. He was released after a few years and allowed to go home.

I think there were some show trials to assuage public desire for revenge; a few token men are charged and when the fuss dies away, they are quietly released.



Here are some quotes from Peiper :

"I recognize that after the battles of Normandy my unit was composed mainly of young, fanatical soldiers. A good deal of them had lost their parents, their sisters and brothers during the bombing. They had seen for themselves in K├┬Âln thousands of mangled corpses after a terror raid had passed. Their hatred for the enemy was such; I swear it and I could not always keep it under control."

"Imagine yourself acclaimed, a decorated national hero, an idol to millions of desperate people, then within six months, condemned to death by hanging."

"It's so long ago now. Even I don't know the truth. If I had ever known it, I have long forgotten it. All I know is that I took the blame as a good CO should and was punished accordingly." - Jochen Peiper on the Malmedy Massacre, excerpted from A Traveler's Guide to the Battle for the German Frontier by Charles Whitting

"My men are the products of total war, grown up in the streets of scattered towns without any education. The only thing they knew was to handle weapons for the Reich. They were young people with a hot heart and the desire to win or die: right or wrong- my country. When seeing today the defendants in the dock, don't believe them to be the old Kampfgruppe Peiper. All of my old friends and comrades have gone before. The real outfit is waiting for me in Valhalla."


"History is always written by the victor, and the histories of the losing parties belong to the shrinking circle of those who were there."

StgShultz
05-11-2006, 05:23 PM
As being from a country that was on the side of the Allied forces, reading this disgusted me. Being Ex-Navy, I also know how arrogant and boorish some officers can be.
What really upsets me though, is the hollywood mindset of 'Good guys v Bad Guys'.
During both world conflicts, most on either side were good guys and under normal circumstances would have been great mates. Poiliticians and religious leaders have made sure that never happens, and a small handfull from the officer class from both sides, ordered attrocities for which the lower deck ratings were blamed and as mentioned before - if committed by Germans or Japanese, it was pure evil, if committed by any Allied forces it was purely tactical or a matter of survival.
They were all just young men doing the best they could under terrifying conditions, and all should be treated with the utmost respect and remembered for their heroism
As being from a country that was on the side of the Allied forces, reading this disgusted me. Being Ex-Navy, I also know how arrogant and boorish some officers can be.
What really upsets me though, is the hollywood mindset of 'Good guys v Bad Guys'.
During both world conflicts, most on either side were good guys and under normal circumstances would have been great mates. Poiliticians and religious leaders have made sure that never happens, and a small handfull from the officer class from both sides, ordered attrocities for which the lower deck ratings were blamed and as mentioned before - if committed by Germans or Japanese, it was pure evil, if committed by any Allied forces it was purely tactical or a matter of survival.
They were all just young men doing the best they could under terrifying conditions, and all should be treated with the utmost respect and remembered for their heroism

O so true