Historical Artrocities From Unexpected countries(alleged)

JOHN THURSTON is back and eager to discuss Western Martial Arts, especially relating to its history.


Historical Artrocities From Unexpected countries(alleged)

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Tue May 15, 2007 3:53 pm

1. I once heard it said that, in comparing the French to the Nazis, that "the French would no more put people in ovens than put their own Moms and Dads in."

This proved astonishingly incorrect when the French "vacation" season came during a very bad Eauropean heat wave three years ago. The French get, by law, a lot more vacation time than you or I ever saw.

Regardless, sons and daughters went off on their planned vacations leaving the oldest members of their extended families at home.

Many thousand elderly folk died.

For shame.

I don't have it in for the French or anyone of French descent, however, this deplorable incident has certainly besmirched French honor in my eyes.

2. Kitchener, the Boers, and Breaker Morant.

Many of you may have seen the movie "Breaker Morant" and read the book.

This issue centers on sub rasa orderss allegedly given by Kitchener to the boys in the field to the effect that Boer Prisoners were to be excuted when taken in hot pursuit.

So, after his unit had been ambushed by the Boers, which killed their Captain, Breaker Morant, successor in command executed those who took part in the ambush.

Two Members of the Commonwealth Unit were arrested for actions in the field, the "Breaker" and his lieutenant.

The lieutenant had allegedly, in a separate incident, personally executed unarmed.Boer sympathizers on his on hook, in cold blood. He was perhaps justifiably found guilty and executed.

The "Breaker" however took no part in that act.

A former Trust and Estates Lawyer from Australia was appointed by Kitchener to defend the pair.

This was roughly equivalent to asking me to try such a case or undertake brain surgery.

Nonetheless, the former Australian "Solicitor" (a lawyer who does not try cases under the British system. Trial cases are handled by specialized attorney called "Barristers") did an annoyingly good job and repeatedly summoned all those in the chain of command who might have known of the order, most would not appear citing their duties in the field, Many witnesses alledgedly were purposely transferred by the High Command 'out of Africa'.

Now Lord Kitchener had placed Boer prisoners on the front and sides of British trains, invented "Concentration Camps' and other niceties to deal with the Guerillas and I have little doubt in my mind that such an order was issued, and then plausibly denied.

The Britsh were anxious to keep the Germans out of the Fray and Breaker was also executed. The book on the matter is entitled "Scapegoat to Empire".

3. I WWII the Germans had developed (starting in North Africa) the of firing hotly at and killing as many Americans as possible, then surrendering so quickly when overun that their sweat was still on their weapons.

This resulted in many atrocius incidents.

In France this practice was perfected, apparently, by rearguard snipers.

"ALLEGEDLY" an order came down from Shaef or POSSIBLY Omar Bradley, I( wish to defame noone) that such tactics were 'not tolerable'.

I saw films of sole Germans being shot, allegedly pursuant to that order.

The last two incidents came before Nuremburg where it was found that "illegal orders" would not protect troops who were guilty of such actions.

Can anyone shed more light on these incidents?

I will do my best to search out the truth here, although, at least, I am relatively sure the second incident took place as outlined. The troopers would have been war criminals (as would Kitchener, the Hero of the War in Sudan) under the Nuremburg Doctrine, for following an illegal order.
Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
Posts: 2448
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am

Postby Hugh » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:45 pm

I should suspect that the killing of Germans was more an act of hot blood in combat than one of cold-blooded vengeance. My father was CLass of 1934 and his classmates began to talk about combat around me when Dad made it clear that I was very determined to try for a career in the Army (my eyes kept me out then and later in VietNam). Some of their stories were of the sort that came up later in the film, "Saving Private Ryan," or even more so. I have never been in combat but the experience of the men who have, Dad's classmates and those Viet vets who have shared with me because I am a sympathetic listener, have led me to the conclusion that war is a Hell of a lot nastier than we are led to believe when reading books or watching films or TV.

Sh*t Happens!
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia


Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:18 am

Hi Hugh"

You should rent "Breaker Morant" and/or read "Scapegoats to Empire".

Although, of course, the death of Most Boers at the hands of commonwealth troops was not in cold blood.

The execution of the perpertrators of the the death in action of Breaker's Captain was, at best, a frenzied and hateful conclusion to the matter.

Yet rumors of Kitchener's unofficial order abound.

Admittedly, all the cases of Germans exectcuted whenthey tried to surrender immediately after being overunoverun by American troops while attempting to surrender were not premditativley in cold blood. The same goes for the contingent of Boers carptured by Braker Moran't men. time was taken to assemble a proper firing squad--so whatever conclusions you might draw from that might not paint a bright portrait of the Mercy extended Boer Commandoes.

The Breaker's lieutenant alleged murder of two German Missionaries was pretty much in cold blood but was not, I think, undertaken with Breaker's knoweldge. The relocation of Boer civlian populations to "concentration camps' is a matter of record. That such camps where examples of "urban renewal" whenst compared with even the most lighthanded of German "work farns' does not really excuse the matter.

I will try and flesh out the details of the 'men in the water' incident at the very least.

It seems Allied behaviour in such cases was understandable, but not justifiable.

But, actually, the worst, or one of the worst, allied atrocities against Japanese took plan after a intercepted attempted reinforcement, I believe, of japanese troops on New Gunea. the convoy carrying the reinforcement in-i beleive -1943 was destroyed by allied aircraft.

The crews of the aircraft were almost undoubtedly under orders to kill all the japanese who were in boats, on float, or in the water so as to not increase Japanese forces on the Island. This took place,despite the fact that the unarmed Japanese survivors would have posed a severe logistical burden for the IJArmy remaining on shore.. At least 6000 japanese troops were machine gunned or bombed while in the water.undera
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
Posts: 2448
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am

Postby Hugh » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:53 pm

In his book,A Glorious Way to Die: The Kamikaze Mission of the Battleship Yamato, April 1945. author Russell Spurr makes the claim that it was not at all uncommon for American pilots to machine gun survivors of Japanese ships that had been sunk as they were swimming in the water or were in lifeboats. I cannot remember his support for this claim, but it sounds reasonable given the depth of anger and racism on both sides of the Pacific War. I do remember hearing from veterans of that war that they had witnessed the Japanese doing the same thing.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia

Postby mikemurphy » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:27 pm

Remember that the victors write the history books. You never read about US attrocities in US Texts, but thanks to more modern writers who are really emphasizing primary source writing, such as Stephen Ambrose and others it has come to light that American troops have not been the "holier than thou" soldiers we have been made to believe. I'm not judging them, and neither are the writers I believe, just relating that as Gen. Sherman states: "War is hell!".

Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891

points Well Taken

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:28 pm

Hi Hugh and Mike:


the most horrific incident i recall on the part of US forces came subsequent to the sinking of a japanese troop convoy near New Guinea.

Thousands of Japanese Soldiers went into the water.

Allied aviators bombed and strafed the survivors without mercy.

the 'best' look on matters such as these is the phrase "Sow the wind and she shall reap the Whirlwind".

Not exactly a justification is it?

Mutual dehumanization is discussed in an adjacent thread as I had not read your comments in a timely fashion.

Many American units prided themselves on 'not taking prisoners'.

In our defence, I can and will only say that the barbarities engendered in the Pacific War lead from the book of Nanking. the mass graves dug by American troops, although excreable, pale before the 250,000 Chinese dead in Nanking alone

Barbarity begets more barbarity.
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
Posts: 2448
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am

Return to Western Martial Arts & History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests