The  fearsome [??] GERMAN ARMED FORCES of WW2, full  well knowing how they failed in WW1 particularly their fledging flying corps and their pathetic SURFACE navy, plus the Axis forces war crimes family-tree!

The myth, perpetuated by Joseph Goebbels, was that the Germans were omnipotent at soldiering, flying and sailoring, indeed everything under the sun, but it turned out to be the case ONLY when they were slaughtering unarmed and hapless civilians, laying waste to their lands, and committing crimes the likes of which we hadn’t seen since Atilla the Hun and his marauding murders roamed central and eastern Europe, scores of centuries before.

All the Nazi commanders failed in some measure early on [1940 Battle of Britain – Goering for example] or before the outcome of the war was well defined – Rommel in Africa, and then Paulus in Russia for example, and Field Marshal Keitel head of the Nazi central command, with many war crimes to his name committed in pursuit of appearing to be getting ahead and winning battles! It is of some interest to note that before WW2 military men were not charged with war crimes because they had orders to prosecute a war from their political masters intended for combative killing combative. WW2 changed all that when these orders deviated somewhat from killing soldiers to killing civilians in cold blood without a care or an ounce of mercy and by the millions. Keitel was hauled in front of international judges and lawyers at Nuremberg in 1946 and there found guilty of horrendous war crimes and duly sentenced to death. Earlier in 1945 many Germans and Austrians in many separate war crimes court’s were either sentenced to death or received long prison sentences. Among this group were the Admirals Raeder and Donitz both accused of war crimes relating to submarine operations and activities. Both were found guilty.  Raeder received life imprisonment but he was released early on ill health grounds and Donitz was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. The only other navy person mentioned in all the court list’s [and they are scores and scores of them] is to us,  the strange title of German General Admiral Otto Schniewind, who took over as the fleet commander in May 1941 when the Bismarck was sunk. He was acquitted of any crime.  In WW1 he had been a torpedo boat squadron commander operating E-Boats.  He also took a leading role in the Orkney’s when at the end of WW1 the surrendered German Imperial Fleet was scuttled at Scapa Flow.  When Bismarck sailed on her maiden surface raider voyage known as Operation Rheinubung, embarked was the fleet commander of the surface navy Admiral Gunther Lutjens flying his flag in the ultimate of flag ships captained by Captain Otto Ernst Lindemann.  They went down with the ship and Otto Schniewind took over the fleet.  When, after the major WW1 defeat, the Weimar Republic ruled or more correctly tried to rule the dysfunctional Germany but the defeated soldiers and sailors mutinied and continuously rioted. Admiral Otto Schniewind played a big part in those days helping Germany and its erstwhile enemies to remember that German armed forces didn’t surrender but the civilians running the country at that time did, and they were the target of what was called the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt [Ehrhardt being the name of a corvette captain], basically a group of 6000 ex navy men, disgruntled at the imposed defeat  wearing a soldiers type of uniform and creating a great nuisance of themselves further destabilising a thoroughly demoralised country.

The most senior of defendants  actually captured was Goering, but he escaped the gallows by committing suicide using cyanide, and of the ten sentenced in one of the Nuremberg trials of 1945 [there were several], Keitel was the first person and  military man to be hanged. He was a tall and powerfully build man. The trap door drop was very restrictive, and once the lever had been pulled Keitel face and head were injured and blooded as he caught his face when falling through the trap door hatch. This picture taken immediately after being cut down  [by the executioner, a US master sergeant] with the severed rope still attached to his neck,  shows the damage to his face and head. 

 

All those hanged were immediately cremated [something the Nazi’s were au fait with] and then scattered into a fast flowing river to stop using any burial site as a Nazi/Neo-Nazi shrine, along with Goering who died with his right eye open, keeping an eye on things probably.

 

There were no junior naval personnel charged with war crimes even though there were plenty of reason for doing so,  bearing in mind the UBoat all out warfare where no holds were barred and kill anything or anybody just in case was the Nazi modus operandi.  The “just in case” was deemed reasonable or could that have been acceptable, for many convoy ships were transporting soldiers, munitions and tools to fight and prolong the war, so technically German surface raiders and submarines were simply protecting themselves and their country, and  saw every civilian merchant seaman and any civilian passengers as fair game having first alerted the international community as to their intentions?

 

With just about every capital, heavy and prized Kriegsmarine vessel crippled or sunk by the elite Royal Navy and Royal Air Force when just three quarters of the way through the war, bringing utter embarrassment  to Raeder, Donitz, and a whole host of less senior naval officers right down eventually to UBoat captains, those forecasting the end of the war and planning for it, were mercilessly hunting down UBoats and putting them to the sword in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean bringing daily prizes to the Royal Navy, the Royal Air and  Royal Canadian Navy. In all  fairness the American’s were neutral but sympathetic to the oppressed nations, until in December 1941 when Japan bombed Ford Island in Hawaii in the middle of Pearl Harbour, known for all posterity as simply ‘Pearl Harbour’.  On our way home from 21 months in the far east RN Submarine flotilla SM7 based on Singapore, we [H.M. S/M “Auriga”] travelled through the Pacific homeward bound simply because at that time in 1968, the Suez Canal was shut, and called in to Hawaii  and other harbours before entering the Panama Canal having first explored and in-depth Ford Island plus implicated areas namely the causeway off Ford into the mainland naval base courtesy of the USN, their navy bus and guides, then on to RR in Acapulco Mexico.  Hawaii, infamous for the Pearl Harbour attack, is just as famous because it is the only part of the USA still connected [as they willing tell British visitors] to Great Britain. How and why is that our Union Flag [Jack for RN personnel] is an integral part of the Hawaiian State flag, the only national or state flag in the USA to have a foreign flag on it.


This brochure, better than most history books, was a freebe for all our crew members who took the Pearl Harbour tour. You will see that it is an unofficial guide, and this is simply because it was published on the Island State and not by the Pentagon USN Department . A true naval collector’s piece.

  After the Pearl Harbour attack which fortunately didn’t involve the sinking or damaging of USN aircraft carriers who were away at sea, the USN, the USAF  and Army  air forces were pre occupied in prosecuting the all out war against Japan and their only real presence in the European theatre being the presence of three loaned operational but elderly USN battleships which even then took a very small part in naval operations. However their presence here freaked Hitler and Admiral Raeder at that time until 1943 the boss of the navy.

In just about every case, German officers were eventually ultimately out-witted, out-gunned, out-manoeuvred and out-smarted  by the Allies who manifestly prosecuted the war in a most competent diligent manner and to their credit humanely.  Moreover, the sheer brilliance of the Allied scientists were ahead of the slouch Germans and Japanese [treating the Italians with contempt as being mere clowns [in radar, asdic, code breaking, wireless telegraphy intercepts, convoys, deceptions and infinitely superior fighter aircraft against which Nazi Germany had no answer save for attacking in unprecedented large number, but that too made them, with the pin point assistance of state-of-the-art radar and gutsy brave air force pilots from several countries attached to the RAF, easier to see and track, and easier to shoot out of the sky. Add to all that our dear British people who were bombed in just about every area of our country, whose tenacity and courage overcame the dreadful pain and suffering of its people, who fought back being fighters, doctors, nurses, provisioners, carers, Ack Ack  gunners, and standard bearers all rolled into one.  When German cities were bombed and shattered, German civilians were hopelessly lost and cowardly into the bargain, [understandably perhaps having for years been told  by Goebbels how the Third Reich was indestructible and would last for a 1000 years] demonstrating to all, as Corporal Jones in the sitcom Dad’s Army would remind us that “they didn’t like it up them”, especially as by day and night the USAF and the RAF intensified their destruction of Germany and its allies. When “Bomber Harris”  ordered their bombing range to be expanded and directed his bombers  to reach and destroy  Dresden in the far east of Germany, a city with 28 known munitions factories as well as aircraft manufacture and assembly plants, less than 100 miles almost due south of Berlin itself, causing an irreversible collapse of civilian morale, the German’s knew that the Luftwaffe had miserably failed it’s purpose allowing the Allied air forces almost a free hand.  It appeared not to hinder or stop Goering the Luftwaffe’s C-in-C, strutting around the place as though he were a supremo, and his arrogance was mind blowing for he continued being so at his post war crimes trial and committed suicide still believing he was in charge and indestructible. “Bomber Harris” came under a great deal of flack for “bombing a non military city, but his critics failed to understand that wherever a German was and in whatever town/city, he or she was our enemy and had we not destroyed them, they would have destroyed us. The city might not have had army barracks and soldiers in uniform but it was full of Nazi sympathisers and civilians in their low thousands employed in the German war effort, so a good and just target. Likewise, the critics of the Japanese atomic bombs.  They saved the lives of countless thousands of Allied forces including British, so all is fair in love and war, especially when those who suffered in this case started the war.

Meanwhile the German navy which changed its name three times from beginning of WW1 to end of WW2,  [1914 and before to 1918/9  the Kaiserliche Marine = Imperial Navy or German Royal Navy – 1919 to 1935 it was the Reichmarine – 1935 to 1945 it was the Kriegsmarine = Nazi Navy,  was not faring well,  it being put to the test on many occasions and failing at every turn. Its chief proponents Donitz and Reader [who resigned in 1943] had the shine on their resplendent uniforms dulled by the persistence of the combative British navy.  First off was that the Kriegsmarine surface fleet had been despatch to the knackers yard or sunk by the illustrious Royal Navy and/or Royal Air force, and secondly, that the enemy menace which kept Churchill awake most of his nights, the UBoats, had been circumvented by the Allies convoy system, coastal command aircraft and naval vessels, with superior application of the sonar [Asdic] apparatus system which eventually destroyed the UBoat and its wolf pack attack system.  The Germans were always quick to present their UBoat hero’s, and such were their infamous bestial acts on the high seas, they became international war personalities as well as hero’s to boot, at a time when we failed to present our hero’s, none more so than Captain Frederick John Walker R.N., [always known as 'Johnnie'] working out of Liverpool with his squadron.  He was awarded no fewer than four Distinguished Service Orders [DSO’s] for his leadership in the killing of countless UBoats: a DSO is the next decoration down from a Victoria Cross [VC] and that gives the measure of this incomparable war hero.   More of that in a minute.

At this point it should be remembered the terrible losses the Royal Navy and Royal Air Forces suffered to achieve the victory, nor the immortal sacrifices made by the Mercantile Marine in seeing it through notwithstanding, to continue feeding the British nation and bringing home the raw materials needs for the insatiable appetite of the ‘war manufacturing industry’: shadows of Kipling’s poem: 

Big Steamers

 

"OH, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers,
With England's own coal, up and down the salt seas? "
"We are going to fetch you your bread and your butter,
Your beef, pork, and mutton, eggs, apples, and cheese."

"And where will you fetch it from, all you Big Steamers,
And where shall I write you when you are away? "
"We fetch it from Melbourne, Quebec, and Vancouver.
Address us at Hobart, Hong-kong, and Bombay."

"But if anything happened to all you Big Steamers,
And suppose you were wrecked up and down the salt sea?"
"Why, you'd have no coffee or bacon for breakfast,
And you'd have no muffins or toast for your tea."

"Then I'll pray for fine weather for all you Big Steamers
For little blue billows and breezes so soft."
"Oh, billows and breezes don't bother Big Steamers:
We're iron below and steel-rigging aloft."

"Then I'll build a new lighthouse for all you Big Steamers,
With plenty wise pilots to pilot you through."
"Oh, the Channel's as bright as a ball-room already,
And pilots are thicker than pilchards at Looe."

"Then what can I do for you, all you Big Steamers,
Oh, what can I do for your comfort and good?"
"Send out your big warships to watch your big waters,
That no one may stop us from bringing you food."

For the bread that you eat and the biscuits you nibble,
The sweets that you suck and the joints that you carve,
They are brought to you daily by All Us Big Steamers
And if any one hinders our coming you'll starve!"

Again, many readers know of the Ruhr and Krupps and of his Nazi war machine, but fail to remember  the brilliance of Clarence Howe who swung the whole of the Canadian economy and manufacturing output from agricultural to war and went hell for leather to keep Britain and our war effort fed, encouraged and supported like no other on earth.  He had equals in the USA [but less well known] because there were several and not just one as in Canada. Coupled with that was Viscount Chandos [who won a DSO and a MC in WW1] who was Minister of Production in Churchill’s government and his team who kept the bullets and shells coming no matter what, and was a close colleague of Clarence Howe who regularly swapped notes and kept the war machine on the rails, and who can possibly not remember our women folk, munitions work force, the heart of the operation, who through thick and thin and personal difficulties not to mention their pre occupation for the safety of their men folk fighting the war in foreign parts. All in all, the Allied effort outshone Krupps almost to the point of belittling his organisations efforts. Then the women’s foresters and Land Army girls keeping us fed and fuelled from our own lands, plus a huge phalanx of ladies doing men’s jobs keeping the home land functioning as ever, and great credit to them, as normal.  Everything included by everything British, Commonwealth and Allied efforts were always set to be the conquering force and were destined almost from day one, albeit via a huge and much feared struggle not to mention a sacrifice of unprecedented proportions, to destroy fascism wherever it raised its ugly head.  

I now turn to my own service simply because I know more of its history than I do of a multifaceted war effort of an humongous size and effort, involving millions of people world wide.

The Kriegsmarine surface fleet was appreciably smaller than the Royal Navy and much smaller than their WW1 navy, designed and built almost as though a couple of big ships here and there would see off the British navy, and both navies lost capital ships [and a heavy cruiser]  at the beginning of the war, the Germans two of them, one, what the British called a pocket battleship because of its fire power [11” guns] and light weight and the Germans called an armoured cruiser. It was the ‘Graf Spee’ in the mouth of the River Plate which separates  Uruguay from Argentina, scuttled by her captain Langsdorff and crew for fear of being overhauled by a so-called superior British fleet waiting at sea at the extreme range from the river estuary ready to pounce as soon as the ship set sail for the Atlantic:  Langsdorff later shot himself but the crew casualties were very few.  Secondly and most miraculously,  a bloody big and powerful heavy cruiser, the German ship Blucher, was in early 1940, sailing up the Norwegian coast looking for trouble. Unbelievably a Norwegian coastal shore battery out gunned it and sent it to the bottom. The British lost a battleship, the ‘Royal Oak’ at anchor in the northern fleet port at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Isles, torpedoed by a daring and successful UBoat attack when least expected.  There was a heavy loss of life, and a great update followed on the security of the base.

The German surface fleet crucially lacked aircraft carriers. It put all its eggs in one basket having two ships in it, followed by smaller baskets also with just two or a few more ships in them. First the Bismarck heralded as the finest fastest and most powerful battleship to date [taking no account of the Japanese battleship builds with massive 18” guns]. She was lost on her very first patrol in the Atlantic,  attacked by every available British surface warship under Churchill’s orders to “Sink the Bismarck” as early as May 1941. Previously, she had met Britain’s oldest capital ship, built at the end of WW1 and never tested in action until that meet.  It was the largest battlecruiser in the navy and much loved by the British people. It was affectionately known as the “Mighty Hood”. Back then at the beginning of the 1920’s deck armour was not considered a priority and by not having it there was a major potential defect, but on the other hand it resulted in a lighter ship which could travel through the water at a greater speed: a truly quintessential battlecruiser. The Bismarck was armoured top, bottom, deck and both sides. On opening fire, the Bismarck struck Hood a fatal blow with shells penetrating a weakened un-armoured deck, and she rapidly sank with terrible losses of 1414 men. A major part of the British fleet was gathered in the Atlantic with instructions to find and destroy the Bismarck. It had a mixture of virile vessel including battleships, aircraft carriers ergo the ability for an aerial attack, and cruisers. They found her, helpless, damaged by aircraft from the carriers and going round and round in circles her rudder jammed, trying to make port and docking in Brest whilst also coping with the loss of fuel caused by an earlier attack on her by the battleship Prince of Wales. Now came a new test for the hapless German brand new battleship, when up against her came two of our big boys, the Rodney [not old but also not young] and the new battleship King George V, both bristling with big guns especially the Rodney [16”] and KG5 with 14” guns.  The Bismarck was very soon a burning wreck which soon sank again with a terrible loss of life.

The second new giant battleship in the basket was the Tirpitz which had the minimal time at sea and most of that spent travelling north to gain the protection of a Norwegian Fjord from which she could pounce on British convoys taking arms to Russia into the Barents Sea, at least in theory. There, more or less with some movement to afford her a better hiding position, she stayed, trapped in by the British, attacked on more than one occasion by midget submarines and RAF with conventional bombs but basically still intact, sea worthy and a constant menace. Then almost at the end of the war, April 1945, our brilliant RAF, now with noteworthy bombs called TALLBOYS which were earthquake bombs designed to knock down high dams and even to move mountains, and lots of Lancaster bombers to carry them to the scene, arrived above Tirpitz’s position and literally blasted the battleship to kingdom come, again with a terrible loss of life. Hitler’s glee at having these ships which could [and should have] been able to destroy anything that sailed the oceans of the world was thwarted again by luck, but also, by the truly omnipotent Royal Navy and RAF. Bismarck was lost early on in the war and Tirpitz at the end and neither of them earned their keep as ultimate surface raiders!  Jointly, their horrendous build costs were for nought except for the loss of Hood’s men totalling 1414 and with only three survivors, which for Portsmouth, its home base and where most of the married men had set up home, with hundreds upon hundreds of other homes scattered throughout the land, was a terrible price to pay for the lives of so many men serving in an elderly ship with inferior protection, and for thousands of next of kin, friends and acquaintances measuring outwards well in excess of 10,000 people and more. All lives are precious to somebody, but to mourn those who start a war is of no great importance to those who suffer because of their actions. Let’s just say that add the losses of those in Bismarck to those of Tirpitz and her surrounding Fjord base camp/area,  and we are looking at getting on for another 4000 sailors.  As for the loss of both ships to the Third Reich, the massive big unfillable hole in their surface fleet and the loss of face for political staff vis-à-vis military staff, would have been unquantifiable and unqualifiable!

As the war progressed the German’s had mixed fortunes, with more disasters and losses than it could sustain. Bismarck and Tirpitz were the only two battleships the Kriegsmarine surface fleet possessed, but they did have what the British called pocket battleships as defined previously by me when mentioning the destruction of the Graf Spee: Admiral Graf Spee himself and his two sons were destroyed in the first battle of the Falklands in WW1 by our Admiral Sturdee when a British squadron completely destroyed a German squadron in late 1914. The proper name for these ships as called and notified by the Germans themselves was an ‘armoured cruiser’ and they were much feared convoy hunter/killers but preferred to stay well clear of big gunned heavy battleship if a shoot out was forced upon them.  However, a common mistake is made when assessing the potency of the  Kriegsmarine surface fleet, especially by civilians, and the mistake is caused for some by the British interpretations of certain of their ships. Now most naval followers would put ships in the following order – battleships, battlecruisers, heavy then light cruisers and downwards to fleet destroyers etc etc and they would be right. But if somehow a class is called an armoured cruiser, where does it fit in?  Well, in the German navy as defined by the British, the result was battleship, battlecruiser, pocket battleship, cruiser etc etc. Thus, after the loss of the Bismarck and much much later the Tirpitz, the big boy league became [or would have become] the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau – most would opt for the pocket battleships but would be wrong!

So, first off the battlecruisers, far bigger and more powerful than any pocket battleship/armoured cruiser. Once again, the German’s were short sighted and had only two of this powerful class. Their statistics were – a total crew of 1700 31 knots speed a small limited range of just 7100 nautical miles displacement 32100 tons length 234.9 metres, beam 30 metres, draught 9.9 metres main gunnery 9 x 11”, 14 x 4.1”, 12 x 5.9” whereas a so called pocket battleship of crew 1030, 28.5 knots speed,  a vast range of 16,300 nautical miles, displacement 14650 tons, length 186 metres, beam 21.65 metres, draught 7.34 metres, main gunnery 6 x 11”, 8 x 5.9”. From these colour codings you can readily see how powerful the battle cruisers were when compared to the demonstrably smaller pocket battleships, suggesting that the British definition is way misleading, and it would be much better to forget the British definition and stick with the German “armoured cruiser”

The battlecruisers were all telling, feared by all and true destroyers of anything afloat. Let’s therefore see how and when they met their match. First the Scharnhorst.  This ship was a bruiser and destroyed many merchant ships.  However it too was many times damaged in action and was withdrawn from service for lengthy periods.  She with her sister Gneisenau and the cruiser Prince Eugen who had been with the Bismarck just before she was sunk,  were  famous for their dash along the English Channel from  Brest in the west of France to Germany in broad daylight, regularly attacked by minor forces but unharmed, arriving safely in German waters protected by the Luftwaffe. It was a black day for the Royal Navy who failed to really note the event leaving it to a few aviators in old fashioned flying machines to stop. They were duly shot down and perished. But once back safely home, the RAF made sure that their reception was not assured, bombing and damaging naval ports [Kiel, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven Cuxhaven and others] and damaging the Kriegsmarine’s longcast of planning convoy raider duties. Their navy was permanently in disarray, with crew shortages and almost total  defects frustrated by docks which had been laid waste. They were “safe” when back home {?}, but far from it once they poked their bows out into the southern North Sea or as they called it,  the German Sea.  It was a hit and miss, piecemeal bits and pieces navy, despite the German propaganda machine.

Now for one of my favourite stories from my boy telegraphist days in HMS Ganges. Our AC [bright boys] class Schoolie [Instructor Lieutenant] whose father, a temporary acting lieutenant mechanical engineer RNVR was killed in June 1940 before I joined the navy in 1953 on the carrier HMS GLORIOUS enroute to the UK, by the Scharnhorst,  Gneisenau and others. He remembered Christmas 1943 specifically Boxing Day when the news was received of the sinking of the Scharnhorst. It is difficult to associate death with Christmas and he didn’t, but he did associate murder and  death of the crew of HMS Glorious by the heartless Huns, one of the victims being his dad. I always remember that little talk and I understood what his intended message to us 15 year old boys was meant to convey.  We boys were in our last formal school lesson before we departed for home on Christmas 1953  long leave. Probably because I saw her demise as fair justice for the many deaths she had caused on the high seas, remember, big hitter capital warship against innocent and unarmed merchant mariners was the norm – in short an execution. Latter I was to learn that Glorious was not executed for she was escorted but her escorts were also sunk in the melee trying to protect Glorious. 

The first of these mighty battlecruisers to go, was the Gneisenau, by this time almost routinely attacked and damaged by the RAF.  Two weeks after the Prince Eugen [Bismarck’s escort until dispatched to act independently before Bismarck was attacked and sunk]  was irreparably damaged by RAF bombs and never again used, the Gneisenau came under her final bombing attack and was severely damaged and in March 1943 abandoned never again to go to sea.

As the story of how Christmas 1943 developed,  I began to understand war as it applied to the Battle of North Cape  a headland off the top of Norway shown on the top of this map in red in English and Norwegian.

There, shown above in Norway’s most distant county of Finnmark, and on boxing day 1943 after the normal RN Christmas festivities with the most junior member wearing the captains cap and sometime his tunic uniform coat acting as the captain,  doing the rounds to make sure the crew were properly fed and that the Christian spirit was in evidence. The very next day, Boxing Day,  the early bugle call sounded action stations and that signalled the start of HMS Duke of York’s, flag ship of Admiral Fraser, stalk with other powerful British ships [one you can see and tour to this very day in London namely HMS Belfast]  of the Scharnhorst and her destroyer escorts, lurking nearby there ready to attack British shipping [naval and mercantile] convoying armaments to Murmansk [Russia] 230 miles as the crow flies further east into the Barents Sea, and spoil their Christmas.  Admiral Fraser’s staff planned every detail of the attack and bit by bit throughout until dusk, positioned the British task force into an unassailable attacking position.  As night fell in a pitch-black environment, the Duke of York opened fire under starshell lighting provided by the Belfast and others,  along with his heavy cruisers and destroyers, and blasted the unsuspecting German battlecruiser to kingdom come without mercy usurping the German admirals plans and his want of a successful mission.  Under great and incessant gunfire,  the British shells [from the British battleship itself with ten 14” guns and many smaller guns] rained down, and soon thereafter there was no sign whatsoever  of the Scharnhorst [nine 11” guns which could not be brought to bear].  She had sunk without trace taking all but 36 of her crew of  1968 souls to a watery freezing grave: the rescued being put ashore in Iceland where a couple of years previously, the three survivors of the Hood were landed. It really did spoil Germany’s day heralding the proverbial writing on their wall.  To this day, and I am now nearly 82, that Christmas story has affected me greatly, and custom-wise it has ever since been an integral part of my Christmas wherever I find myself.   

With Scharnhorst destroyed and Germany's other capital ships out of service, the Allies were now for the first time in the war free from the threat of German battleships raiding their convoys in the Arctic and Atlantic. This would allow the Allies to reallocate their naval resources that had been previously tied up to counter the threat of the Germans.  This would prove to be the final battle of battleships in European waters and was one of few major surface ship-on-ship battles in the Second World War without air support. Admiral Bruce Fraser was lauded everywhere and elevated to the Peerage as 1st  Baron Fraser of North Cape, one of our many able and ultra professional British admirals with Nelson’s spirit deep in his soul and belly. The German Admiral Erich Bey flying his flag in Scharnhorst died with the ship and a fitting grave for one of the many Nazi monsters of WW2. It is said that Bey didn’t even see it coming!

After the loss of Germany’s battleships and her battlecruisers, we next turn to the fate of the pocket battleships, though remember, despite that British name for  them, they were in fact very large heavy  cruisers officially called ‘armoured cruisers’, and appreciably smaller that her ‘big hitters’, nearly half the displacement of the two battlecruisers.

Here again there were few of them, three in fact, but remember that Graf Spee had long since been lost off South America as early as December 1939.

The three ships of this class, with Graf Spee already doomed, leaving just the Admiral Scheer, and the Deutschland renamed the Lutzow. Scheer was bombed by the RAF in Kiel harbour in the last weeks of the war and capsized and was no more operationally. Lutzow survived the war and sunk in July 1947 as a target-ship. Their service was not as expected as big ships and were in many ways lack lustre !

Her three large cruisers not known as pocket battleships but simple as heavy cruisers, were the Hipper and the Blucher with  the Prince Eugen already mentioned earlier in the text.  The Hipper was scuttled at the end of the war, and the Blucher was miraculously sunk by Norwegian coastal defence batteries at the beginning of the war.  This very famous picture below shows the WW1 Blucher sinking with her crew on the upturned side of the ship prior to sinking at the Battle of Dogger Bank January 1915 by Admiral Beatty’s battle cruisers.

Germany also had light cruisers in the classes Leipzig, Emden and Konigsberg totaling in all six ships only.

I won’t mention her units below the light cruisers.

Her lack of an aircraft carrier during the war [she had one finally] but not operational at the end of the war – which many other combative country’s had and found invaluable, for example the RN sinking the Italian battleships inside Taranto harbour southern Italy from HMS Illustrious, the RN again crippling the Bismarck with its ‘stringbacks’ [proper name Swordfish] aircraft from HMS Ark Royal which lamed her by striking  her stern quarter with an air launched torpedo and jammed its rudder over to 12°of port wheel so that it couldn’t properly steer and thus navigate, dramatically slowing its attempt to make Brest safely, and  best of all the USN whose several famous carriers helped to destroy the Japanese navy and then went on to bomb the capital Tokyo by incendiary bombs as well as high explosive bombs, negating the need to drop an Atom bomb on it, saving the bombs for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

With a much reduced surface fleet and an inept showing [those not sunk were domiciled to various harbours crippled, some destroyed at the near end of the war or after the war], the Nazi party upped their use of submarines and submarine wolf packs warfare, causing consternation to Churchill and the Admiralty as more and more merchant ships carrying critical supplies to Britain were sunk, and had it been maintained, Britain could easily have lost the war. Fortunately, the combined effort of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy eventually got the measure of UBoat operations, and soon thereafter, destroyed more as each week went by, plus the fact the Americans and Canadians kept well abreast of replacing sunken vessels so the capacity started to be maintained and ended up better in the last crucial moments/months of the war.

 

That in a nutshell is a quick run around the German naval forces, which, as in WW1 and I suspect in any more wars to come, we ran circles around and would do so again were Germany to chance its arm for the third time!   If I have over simplified the demise of the Germans, I unreservedly apologise and perhaps I should have asked you to read between the lines and not just on the lines. With my family service in two world wars in all the services, I am forever conscious of the sacrifices we in Britain in particular made and suffered the consequences.

 

In 1973-75 I served on the staff of Admiral James Eberle, a giant of a man at Portland Dorset, who was the officer in charge of operational sea training [preparing for war] for British warships newly commissioned or returning ships requiring refresher training. We had a very large staff and it was a very demanding two years, putting crews and their ships through their paces in a defined war area having as near as possible a full-on war environment. In addition to training British warships we used to sell available slots for allied navies and occasionally to other navies outside NATO.  Regularly we had Dutch and German ships under a six week hands-on training course dubed “not for the weak”. I spent many hours in German vessels [upwards of 500] putting them through their paces, which took some time because most of the crew were short term temporary sailors serving out a mandatory National Service period of 18 to 24 months before returning back to their civilian lives and jobs. They weren’t always willing to enter the spirit of the training which regularly, for instance, flooded their quarters, clothes, bedding etc as well as having poor food and sleep deprivation. These sailors must have read books on the two WW’s and must have known of the ignominious defeat of their navy laid low by our navy. I remember the looks in the faces of many, wondering about us still playing war games and in great earnest, at a time when Germany was only allowed to have a very small navy and were still under punishment over their involvement in WW2. Back then of course we were training the Federal Republic of Germany [West German navy] and the unification with East Germany wasn’t until 1990.  I feel sure that they thought of Britain still with its guard up, and didn’t take account of the NATO umbrella we were training for which ultimately would defend their country as well as ours.  One cannot expect too much from civilians doing enforced military work? Their ships were modern and well equipped and bore names of ships which fought in both world wars, like Karlsruhe [in both WW1and 2] and the Schleswig-Holstein WW1 battleship etc. For my part I couldn’t help wondering about the elderly relatives of these 1973-1975 men, especially of the officers some of whom were in their late 30’s, and what they did in the wars fighting for either the Kaiser or for Hitler?

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

Now for a new but inextricably linked story. I have reprocessed hitherto well published data on WW2 Axis War Crimes shown as a NUMBER-game rather than a NAMES-game, BUT for the infamous and chief culprits by NAME and NUMBERS.   

The many war crimes trials started in 1945 and continued in various forms into the late years of the 20th century. Even now in the 21st  century they pop up now and again!

They involved  hundreds of court staff, executioners, cremation staff, journalists, historians and story followers from every corner of the world. Interest in them is still topical.

Nuremberg was at the centre of operations but there were several courts there and not all international allied courts, especially to the many trials conducted under US Military rules. There was one British Military trial series of seven in number. In the tables below the court venue and composition of court are stated along with the sentences and numbers of them. Some original sentences were mitigated at a later period with some commuted!

Nuremberg was the only truly international Court for the European Theatre of War Axis Powers. It was convened to try the chief offenders of war crimes but failed on a quite a few accounts due to suicides, premature natural deaths before trials, or the inability to find the defendants.

Great Britain’s chief prosecutor was the famous barrister and Labour politician  Sir Hartley Shawcross, later Baron Shawcross. The British official executioner Albert Pierrepoint, executed some of those sentenced to death in European prisons.

Below is a list of some of the war’s most prominent protagonists who escaped the courts.

 

In no specific order time wise, country or notoriety were:-

 

 

Mussolini. In 1943 the Italian patriots had executed Mussolini and his executive team. Mussolini 3rd from left with lover next to him.

 

Hitler had been disposed of by his faithful aid’s along with his girlfriend Eva Braun. Shot then burned

Goering had committed suicide with cyanide

Himmler attempted to open peace talks with the western Allies without Hitler's knowledge, shortly before the end of the war. Hearing of this, Hitler dismissed him from all his posts in April 1945 and ordered his arrest. Himmler attempted to go into hiding, but was detained and then arrested by British forces once his identity became known. While in British custody, he committed suicide with cyanide

Goebbels first had all his children murdered, then shot his wife and then himself.

Bormann escaped and was never found  though there was a DNA claim on remains found but never proven and the argument still persists.

Field Marshal Gunther von Kluge committed suicide after being called to Berlin for a meeting with Hitler after the failed assassination of the Fuhrer in July 1944.  He wasn’t implicated with the plot but had told the would-be assassins that he would join their cause if Hitler was killed. Had he lived he may have been  added to a war crimes list from his time as a commander of the 4th army on the eastern front.

Field Marshal Rundstedt was captured by the Americans in May 1945 but released because of his ill and failing health.

General Hasso von Manteuffel could have been held responsible for war crimes when the Russians were hot on his heels pushing the Germans out of Russia and back home. Instead, in the last weeks of the war he surrendered  his troops to the British at Hagenow in Germany now a part of the Hamburg metropolis. He went on to become an adviser on the reformation of a West German army.

Field Marshal Kesselring of the Luftwaffe was exonerated of war crimes part of his command had committed against civilians against his orders. His No2 was found guilty and executed in December 1945.

There were literally hundreds of holocaust protagonists and thousands of spear  carriers.  Some are on other lists below, but the VAST MAJORITY WERE NEVER  CAUGHT AND PUNISHED. There will be countless photographs of ‘dear old grandpa’  in family albums unashamedly held with pride throughout unified Germany today, and how sickening is that? The photographs should be ordered to be burned to rid civilisation  [if it is that in a mega guilty land like Germany] of their hideous and perverted memories!

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

Now for the Tables starting off with the major war trial in which every allied country was invited, each with it legal advisers and prosecutors with appointed defence lawyers by the International Law Commission [ILC],  designed to give a fair trials to each of the accused.

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1945

Nuremberg

THE TRIAL most are familiar with.

International Law. All Allies.

Chief Offenders

12

3

1 Unfit

1 Suicide

3 Acquitted

2 20 years

1 15 years

1 10 years

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1946-49

Nuremberg

Doctors trial

US Military

7

5

7 Acquitted

2 20 years

2 15 years

Erhard Milch Trial

US Military

-

1

-

Named after the man accused

Judges Trial

US Military

-

4

4 10 years

1 7 years

1 5 years

4 Acquitted

1 Suicide

1 Unfit to stand

Oswald Pohl Trial

US Military

4

3

3 Acquitted

1 25 Years

1 20 Years

6 10 Years

Named Pohl after Oswald Pohl on of the 18 accused who was hanged

Flick Trial of Leading industrialists.

US Military

-

-

3 Acquitted

1 7 years

1 5 years

1 2.5 years

Named Flick after Friedrich Flick

I  G Farben  Trial

US Military

-

-

1 Unfit

10 Acquitted

2 8 years

2 6 years

1 7 years

1 4 years

1 3 years

3 2 years

1 2.5 years

2 1.5 years

I G Farben was a  private German chemicals company

1947-49

Hostages Trial

US Military

-

2

2 Acquitted

1 Suicide

1 Unfit to stand

2 20 years

1 17 years

1 15 years

1 12 years

1 10 years

 

RuSHA Trial

US Military

German SS RACIAL Policies

1

1

2 25 years

1 20 years

3 15 years

1 10 years

1 Acquitted

5 Released

All those released had been waiting a long time for trial

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

 "

 

Einsatzgruppen

Trial

US Military

Crimes against humanity

14

5

3 20 years

1 Guilty but insane

2 10 years

1 Suicide

1 released after waiting a long time for trial.

The Krupp Trial US Military.

-       

-

1 Acquittal

2 10 years

2 9 years

1 7 years

1 6 years

1 9 years

1 2 years

12 Acquittals.

The Ministries Trials

US Military

-

-

1 25 Years

2 20 Years

3 15 Years

2 10 Years

6 7 Years

1 6 Years

2 5 Years

2 Acquitted

2 Released

This was a mixed bag of 21 people who had served in the NAZI party and were accused of crimes against humanity. One for example was a man called Ernst von Weizsäcker who was a naval officer stationed in Rome at the Holy See receiving a seven year sentence. His crimes were carried out after Italy surrender in 1943. It included, jurist, diplomats, administrators, lawyers  etc.

The High Command Trial

The last of the  twelve US Military courts at Nuremberg

-

2

1 Suicide

2 Acquitted

1 Released

3 20 Years

2 15 Years

1 8 Years

1 7 Years

1 5 Years

Next began trials against personnel serving in concentration camps the first being in Kracow under Polish Authority Court. It started on the 24th November 1947 and completed December 1947.

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1947

KRACOW Poland

Polish Authority Auschwitz trial of Camp Guards and others. The Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust. Birkenau Camp was the largest of these 40 camps.

22

5

1 25 Years

7 15 Years

1 10 Years

1 5 Years

1 3 years

1 Acquited

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1963-1965

Frankfurt Germany

Auschwitz Trial under German Criminal Law  for Holocaust crimes committed by mid to lower level officials in the  Auschwitz-Birkenau death and concentration camp complex.

-

3

1 Life + 8 Years

1 Life + 5 Years

1 Life + 15 Years

3 Acquitted

1 Charges dropped

1 14 Years

1 10 Years

1 9 Years

2 7 Years

1 6 Years

1 5 Years

2 4.5 Years

1 4 Years

1 3.5 Years

1 3.25 Years

Exactly what a LIFE sentence + Extra Years is all about – pass?

Overall, only 789 individuals of the approximately 8,200 surviving SS personnel who served at Auschwitz and its sub-camps were ever tried, of whom 750 received sentences.

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1945-1947

DACHAU, Upper Bavaria Southern Germany 12 miles north of Munich.

I will return to these headed columns shortly but in the meantime this text snippet.

The trials started in November 1945 and were adjourned in December. They were held by the American Military Tribunal, without a jury, but instead by a panel of seven men, one of whom was versed in international military law. The prosecution was different from most trials, in that the burden of proof was on the defense. The charges to be carried out by the United States Military were against Germans such as camp guards, some SS units and medical personnel, who had taken part in war crimes against allied nationals. The Dachau Trials consisted of 465 trials from not only the Dachau concentration camp, but also Flossenbürg concentration camp, Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp complex, Nordhausen concentration camp, Buchenwald concentration camp, and Mühldorf concentration camp complex and consisted of four main categories of charges: main camp offense, subsidiary camp offenses, atrocities against downed fliers, and then a catchall category mainly consisting of details about the Malmedy Massacre. On December 13, 1947.  When the trials adjourned, roughly 1200 defendants had been tried with roughly a 73% conviction rate.

Unlike the International Military Trials in Nuremberg that prosecuted the major Nazi war criminals under the jurisdiction of the four Allied Occupying Powers, the Dachau tribunals were held exclusively by the United States military between November 1945 and August 1948. The proceedings were similar to the 12 post-1946 Nuremberg trials that were also conducted solely by the United States.

All the hearings were held within Dachau because it was, at the time, the best known of the Nazi concentration camps and it would act as a backdrop for the trials by underlining the moral corruption of the Nazi regime.

During almost three years, the American military tribunals tried 1,672 German alleged war criminals in 489 separate proceedings. In total 1,416 former members of the Nazi regime were convicted; of these, 297 received death sentences and 279 were sentenced to life in prison. All convicted prisoners were sent to War Criminals Prison  at Landsberg am Lech to serve their sentences or to be hanged.

Two of the most highly publicised trials concerned the activities of German forces during the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944. In the Malmedy massacre trial, 73 members of the Waffen-SS were found guilty of summarily executing 84 American prisoners of war during the attack. In another trial, former German commando Otto Skorzeny and nine officers from the Panzer Brigade 150, were found not guilty of breaching the rules of war contrary to the Hague Convention of 1907 for wearing American military uniforms in a false flag operation, Operation Greif.

It has become the almost norm when referring to NAZI concentration camps mentioning Auschwitz, Belson-Bergen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbruck, but few others, when in fact there are many others!  Many of these ignominious names had satellite camps which out number the primary camps. Some of these, all concentration camps are Mauthausen, Flossenburg, Muhldorf, Dora-Nordhaussen, Neuengamme, Sobibor, Plaszow, Majdanek, Malchow, Birkenau.  

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1945-1947

BACK TO DACHAU, Upper Bavaria Southern Germany 12 miles north of Munich.

US Military in the former Dachau - trying Dachau concentration camp personnel

36

Not known

116 of various prison sentences many of them lengthy.

1 Death was commuted to Life with HARD LABOUR





Just one of a few only memorials of German total and utter bestiality for concentration camp horrors and atrocities this one in memory of four brave beyond belief young women brutally and savagely murdered by a nation, note not a party, uncivilised  and rotten to the core and may God damn it for all eternity. I hope that the 36 deaths mentioned above included their executioners. R.I.P. Dear and faithful souls.

US Military in Dachau  but trying Mauthausen concentration camp personnel

49

3

9 of the 49 had their punishment amended to Life meaning Life

 

US Military in Dachau  but trying Flossenburg concentration camp personnel

15

9

3 of the 15 death sentences commuted to Life

5 Acquitted

1 30 Years

4 20 Years

4 15 Years

3 10 Years

1 3.5 Years

1 1 Year

US Military in Dachau  but trying Buchenwald

concentration camp personnel

22

Not known

9 Various imprisonments

US Military in Dachau  but trying Muhldorf

concentration camp personnel

5

Not known

7 Various imprisonments

US Military in Dachau  but trying Dora-Nordhaussen

concentration camp personnel

1

7

4 Acquitted

1 25 Years

3 20 Years

1 7 Years

2 5 Years

“ and later in the USA.

US Military in Dachau  but trying Battle of the Bulge murders of US prisoners of war

 

There are many WW2 stories which turns the stomach but few as wicked as this one.

The Malmedy massacre was a series of killings committed by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper, part of the 1st SS Panzer Division, against American prisoners of war and Belgian civilians during the Battle of the Bulge. Although the killing of over 80 American POWs near Baugnez was the primary subject of the eventual trial, it was only one of a series of war crimes committed by Kampfgruppe Peiper between mid-December 1944 and mid-January 1945. In total, over 750 POWs were murdered, mostly executed at close range by gunshots to the head (though the eventual U.S. Senate investigation would tally the official total at 362 POWs and 111 civilians).

Most of the testimony provided by the survivors stated that about 120 Americans from the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion (FAOB), were surprised by the German armored advance on Baugnez, and surrendered. They were then gathered in a field near the Baugnez crossroads, at which time the SS troops fired on their prisoners with machine guns. Several SS prisoners later testified that a few of the prisoners had tried to escape. Others claimed that a few of the prisoners had recovered their previously discarded weapons and fired on the German troops as they continued their progress toward Ligneuville. Of the 84 bodies recovered a month later, most showed wounds to the head, seemingly much more consistent with a deliberate massacre than with self-defense or with injuries inflicted on prisoners who were attempting to escape.

As soon as the SS machine gunners opened fire, the American POWs panicked. Some tried to flee, but most were shot where they stood. A few sought shelter in a café at the crossroads. The SS soldiers set fire to the building, and shot all who tried to escape the flames Some in the field had dropped to the ground and pretended to be dead when the shooting began. However, SS troops walked among the bodies and shot any who appeared to be alive.

On January 13, 1945, American forces secured the areas where the killings occurred. The bodies were recovered on January 14 and January 15, 1945, with the cold weather preserving the evidence and keeping the bodies and their wounds mostly intact. The autopsies revealed that at least twenty of the victims had suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head, inflicted at very close range. These were in addition to wounds made by automatic weapons. Another 20 showed evidence of small-calibre gunshot wounds to the head without powder-burn residue; 10 had fatal crushing or blunt-trauma injuries, most likely from rifle butts. Some bodies showed a single wound, in the temple or behind the ear. Most of the bodies were found in a very small area, suggesting the victims had been gathered just before they were killed.

Trial proceedings

Joachim Peiper and interpreter at Malmedy Trials 1946

The trial – Case Number 6-24 (US vs. Valentin Bersin et al.) – was one of the Dachau Trials, which took place from May 16, 1946 to July 16, 1946. The defendants appeared before a military court of senior American commissioned officers. The defendants were 73 former members of the Waffen-SS, mostly from the SS Division Leibstandarte. Highest in rank were SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, commander of the 6th Panzer Army, his chief of staff, SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Krämer, SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Priess, commander of the I SS Panzer Corps and SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper, commander of the 1st SS Panzer Regiment - the core element of Kampfgruppe Peiper, which conducted the massacre.

The counts of indictment related to the massacre of more than three hundred American prisoners of war "in the vicinity of Malmedy, Honsfeld, Büllingen, Ligneuville, Stoumont, La Gleize, Cheneux, Petit Thier, Trois Ponts, Stavelot, Wanne and Lutrebois", between December 16, 1944 and January 13, 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge, as well as the massacre of about one hundred Belgian civilians in the vicinity of Stavelot. The defense was directed by Colonel Willis M. Everett Jr., a lawyer from Atlanta, assisted by other American and German lawyers. The prosecution was led by Colonel Burton L Ellis.

Six defendants, including Peiper, complained to the court that they had been victims of physical violence or threats of violence meant to force them to provide extra judicial confessions. The defendants were invited to confirm the statements they had made under oath. Of the nine who testified, three had claimed mistreatment they had suffered. For most of the accused, the defense argued that they either had not participated, or had done so by obeying a superior's orders. The court ruled that all but one of the defendants were guilty in some degree. Forty-three were sentenced to death, including Peiper; the rest were sentenced to from ten years to life in prison. Dietrich received a life sentence and Priess 20 years imprisonment.

Verdicts

On July 16, 1946 the verdict was delivered on 73 members of the Kampfgruppe Peiper.

  • 43 sentenced to death by hanging, including Peiper
  • 22 sentenced to life imprisonment
  • 2 sentenced to 20 years imprisonment
  • 1 sentenced to 15 years
  • 5 sentenced to 10 years

Review procedure

Pursuant to procedure, an in-house review was undertaken by the American Occupation Army in Germany; the trial was carefully examined by a deputy judge. Taking into account doubts which surrounded the investigation phase, he issued in several cases recommendations of free pardon or commutation of the death sentences which were often followed by General Lucius Clay the Commander of the American zone in occupied Germany.

Other appeals

Colonel Everett was convinced that a fair trial had not been granted to the defendants: in addition to alleged mock trials, he claimed that "to extort confessions, U.S. prosecution teams 'had kept the German defendants in dark, solitary confinement at near starvation rations up to six months; had applied various forms of torture, including the driving of burning matches under the prisoners' fingernails; had administered beatings which resulted in broken jaws and arms and permanently injured testicles'

Approximately sixteen months after the end of the trial, almost all the defendants presented affidavits repudiating their former confessions and alleging aggravated duress of all types.

NOW BACK IN THE U.S.A.

THE SIMPSON COMMISSION

The case was first heard in Dacau Europe in 1946 and it wasn’t until mid 1949 that it was concluded in the U.S.A.

The USA had millions of German immigrants pass through Ellis Island many of whom kept their loyalty to Germany throughout their USA lives. In the case of both world wars it was never always the case that an American immigrant from Germany  could be relied upon to take the Allies point of view instead remaining loyal to the German Axis forces!  As such they nearly always supported the German story even at atrocities like this being considered by a US Court in the U.S.A.

The turmoil raised by this case caused the Secretary of the Army, Kenneth Royall, to create a commission chaired by Judge Gordon A. Simpson of Texas to investigate. Apparently the Commission was interested not only in the facts of the Malmedy massacre trial, but also had to deal with other cases judged by the International Military Tribunals in Europe.

The commission supported Everett's accusations regarding mock trials and neither disputed nor denied his charges of torture of the defendants The Commission expressed the opinion that the pre-trial investigation had not been properly conducted and that the members felt that no death sentence should be executed where such a doubt existed. NOTE By this time although it is not mentioned or referred to, of the 49 death sentences 43 had been quashed leaving only 6 on record -  see bottom of this page and over. One of the members of the commission, Judge Edward L. Van Roden of Pennsylvania, made several public statements alleging that physical violence had been inflicted on the accused.

All but two of the Germans in the 139 cases we investigated had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators.

Furthermore, under his signature, an article denouncing the conditions under which the assumed guilt of Malmedy defendants and of other questionable cases was going to be published in February 1949 with the assistance of the National Council for Prevention of War. He refused to commute the six remaining death sentences, including Peiper's, but the executions were postponed.

The Senate sub committee.

Eventually, they decided to investigate. Ultimately, the case was entrusted to the committee on armed services over the judiciary committee and the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. The investigation was entrusted to a subcommittee of three senators chaired by Raymond E. Baldwin. The subcommittee was set up on March 29, 1949. Its members went to Germany and during its hearings, the commission heard from no fewer than 108 witnesses.

Joseph McCarthy [the infamous communist-hunter amongst film stars for example]  had obtained from the subcommittee's chairman authorization to attend the hearings. McCarthy's state, Wisconsin, had a large population of German heritage, spurring allegations that McCarthy was politically motivated in his work on behalf of the Malmedy defendants. He used an aggressive questioning style during the proceedings. McCarthy's actions further inflamed a split between the American Legion, which took a hardline position after Malmedy and generally supported upholding the death sentences, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who supported more lenient penalties for the Waffen-SS members under Peiper. The last clash took place in May 1949 when he asked that Lieutenant Perl to be given a lie detection test. Since this had been rejected by Baldwin, McCarthy left the session claiming that Baldwin was trying to whitewash the American military.

While on the one hand McCarthy was far from impartial, two of the members of the three-man subcommittee, the chairman Senator Raymond Baldwin and Senator Lester Hunt have been accused by historian David Oshinsky of being "determined to exonerate the Army at all costs". Oshinsky also alleges that the third member of the committee, Senator Estes Kefauver, displayed a lack of interest in the case, attending only two of the first fifteen hearings. McCarthy sought to denounce Baldwin in front of the whole Senate, but his efforts were repudiated by the Commission on Armed Forces, which clearly showed its support for Baldwin and eventually adopted the report of the subcommittee  

The subcommittee report.

In its report, the subcommittee rejected the most serious charges, including beatings, torture, mock executions and starvation of the defendants.  In addition, the subcommittee determined that commutations of sentences pronounced by General Clay had occurred because of the U.S. Army's recognition that procedural irregularities could have occurred during the trial. The commission did not exonerate the defendants or absolve them of guilt and it endorsed the conclusions General Clay issued in the particular case of Lieutenant Christ. In summary, Clay had written that "he was personally convinced of the culpability of Lieutenant Christ and, that for this reason his death sentence was fully justified. But, to apply this sentence would be equivalent accepting a bad administration of justice, which led [him], not without reserve, to commute the death penalty to life imprisonment". If nothing else the story stinks of that wicked, perverse and disruptive force for evil Joseph McArthy, who clearly sacrificed justice for the murdered Americans and Belgians for the sake of  his political position with many German electors in his State who would keep him in his position if he got these German sub human bastards off the hook. Now that is a DREADFUL WW2 story. As you have seen above the proper and original sentences for the 73 German sub humans was:-

-

-

-

43 Death

22

 Life

2 20 Years

1 15 Years

1 10 Years

The result was that 43 were sentenced to death at the original trial in 1946. Now having moved State Side 37 death sentences had been commuted, leaving six to hang. The penultimate stage was the German ring leader in the massacre, Lieutenant Christ should hang and that the other five should escape the rope. Finally it was concluded that would be cruel to hang one man when many German’s were responsible for many U.S. deaths. The 84 murdered US troops, even in their own country and judged by their own people were effectively abandoned almost as though the incident was an accident.  I hope those guys bad deaths. In the Royal Navy the CO of the ship always takes the blame for what goes wrong, in the same manner that Lieutenant Christ should have been punished for ordering his men to an act of murder, or for not stopping the men if the act had been spontaneous and universally agreed. That he wasn’t is an injustice and a travesty.

During almost three years, the American military tribunals tried 1,672 German alleged war criminals in 489 separate proceedings. In total 1,416 former members of the Nazi regime were convicted; a tiny infinitesimally small number of the active NAZI nation - of these, 297 received death sentences and 279 were sentenced to life in prison. All Dachau tried and convicted prisoners were sent to War Criminals Prison  at Landsberg  to serve their sentences or to be hanged.

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1945

LUNEBURG

Lower Saxony Germany. Gymnasium in Lindenstraße Lüneburg

Allied Occupation Forces Trials -Belson Trial 1 of chiefly Auschwitz & Bergen-Belson of SS troops

11

-

3 15 Years

5 10 Years

1 5 Years

1 3 Years

1 1 Year

10 Acquitted

of civilians

-

1

Later changed to death

1 Unfit

4 Acquitted

2 15 Years

4 10 Years

1 5 Years

 

All executions were done in Hamelin Prison Lower Saxony  Germany by the English executioner Albert Pierrepoint

           

Belson Trial 2 by a British Military Tribune

1

-

Trial of Kazimierz Cegielski, a Polish national a fellow former prisoner of Bergen-Belson  charged with cruelty and murder whilst in Belson. Arrested in Amsterdam after the war by the British, found guilty and hanged.

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1946

Neuengamme Hamburg Germany

The Neuengamme Trials of The Neuengamme concentration camp under British Military

11

-

1 20 Years

1 15 Years

1 10 Years

From December 1938 through May 1945, the concentration camp at Neuengamme had more than 106,000 inmates—including all sub camps—almost half of them died. Apart from the Neuengamme camp there were no fewer than 85 satellite camps in the date range shown.

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1946

Cluj -  a Romanian city

Bucharest Peoples Tribunal under Romanian Government & Allied Control & Soviet High Command

 

 

See text snippet below.

The Cluj Tribunal and it successors,  sentenced 481 people: 370 were Hungarian, 83 were German, 26 were Romanian and 2 were Jewish. The Cluj Tribunal passed a total of 100 death sentences (none carried out), 163 sentences of life imprisonment, and a range of other sentences.

 

 

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1946

Tokyo War Crimes Commission

International War Crimes Tribune.  All allies.

7

16

1 20 Years

1 7 Years

2 Died of Natural causes

1 Unfit

Other trials were held at various locations in the Far East, by the United States, Australia, China, the United Kingdom, and other Allied countries. In all, a total of 920 Japanese military and naval personnel and civilians were executed following World War II.

1949

Khabarovsk -  largest Russian industrial city in the Far East near to Japanese main land

Khabarovsk War Crime Trials

-

-

4 25 Years

2 20 Years

1 18 Years

1 15 Years

1 12 Years

1 10 Years

1 3 Years

1 2 Years

During the trials, the accused, such as Major General Kiyoshi Kawashima, testified that, as early as 1941, some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks

All twelve accused war criminals were found guilty, and sentenced to terms ranging between two and twenty-five years in a labour camp. In 1956, those who were still serving their sentence were released and repatriated to Japan.

YEAR

VENUE

CRIMES

Various

Various and Many

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JAPANESE MASSACRES

Alexandra Hospital massacre
Banka Island massacre[69]
Changjiao massacre
Kalagong massacre
Laha massacre[68]
Manila massacre
Nanking Massacre
Palawan massacre
Pantingan River Massacre
Parit Sulong Massacre
Pontianak Massacre
Sook Ching massacre
Tol Plantation massacre
Wake Island massacre

JAPANESE WAR CRIMES

Bataan Death March

Burma Railway
Chichijima incident
Comfort women
Hell ships
Panjiayu tragedy
Sandakan Death Marches
Three Alls Policy
War crimes in Manchukuo
Changteh chemical weapon attack
Kaimingye germ weapon attack

 

See above to the Tokyo comment underneath The Tokyo War Crimes and note at underneath. A few  of the executions mentioned viz 920 Japanese,  were associated with several of these massacres and war crimes in this section above,  Sadly though they were the tip of the iceberg and thousands upon thousands quite literally got away with murder, gruesome murder at that.  War Crimes Trials  for many were considered as charades, a travesty of justice and a complete sham!  Specifically France and Russia were continuously outspoken about the lack of relevant punishments meted out in trials conducted in Europe.

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1944 - 1981

Germany and Poland

Majdanek Extermination Camp Trials. US Military/All Allies/Germany and Polish authorities.

The Majdanek trials were a series of consecutive war-crime trials held in Poland and in Germany during and after World War II, constituting the overall longest Nazi war crimes trial in history spanning over 30 years. The first judicial trial of Majdanek extermination camp officials took place from November 27, 1944, to December 2, 1944, in Lublin, Poland. The last one, held at the District Court of Düsseldorf began on November 26, 1975, and concluded on June 30, 1981. It was West Germany's longest and most expensive trial, lasting 474 sessions.

A number of former high ranking SS men, camp officials, camp guards, and SS staff were arraigned before the courts on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at Majdanek in the period between October 1, 1941, and July 22, 1944. Notably, only 170 Nazis who served at Majdanek had been prosecuted at all, of the 1,037 camp personnel known by name. Half of the defendants charged by the West German justice system were set free after complaining of aches and pains in detention, acquitted of killing. By contrast, those tried earlier by Poland were usually found guilty. During the 34 months of camp operation, more than 79,000 people were murdered at Majdanek main camp alone (59,000 of them Polish Jews) and between 95,000 and 130,000 people in the entire Majdanek, system including several subcamps.  Some 18,000 Jews were killed at Majdanek on November 3, 1943, during the largest single-day, single-camp massacre of the Holocaust, named Harvest Festival (totalling 43,000 with 2 subcamps).

Notably, two SS Majdanek concentration camp commandants were put on trial by the SS themselves in the course of the camp operation partly because of what Majdanek was initially, merely a storage depot for gold, money and furs stolen from trainloads of Holocaust victims at death factories in Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Both SS men were charged with wholesale stealing from the Third Reich to become rich. Karl-Otto Koch (serving at Majdanek from July 1941 till August 24, 1942) was executed by firing squad on April 5, 1945; Hermann Florstedt, the third chief of Majdanek (from October 1942 on) was executed by the SS on April 15, 1945.

 

Retreating Germans did not have time to destroy the facility. It remained the best preserved example of a Holocaust death camp in history, with intact gas chambers and crematoria. The advancing Soviets were shocked into disbelief after discovering it, and initially overestimated the total number of victims.

 

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1944-1981

Germany and Poland many and various

Majdanek Trials CONTINUED

FIRST TRIAL under Soviet/Polish authority

6

-

A group of six members of Majdanek personnel – who had not managed to escape – were arraigned before the Soviet-Polish Special Criminal Court immediately following the camp's liberation of July 23, 1944. After the trial, and deliberations which lasted from November 27, 1944 to December 2, 1944 all accused were found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and sentenced to death by hanging.

SECOND TRIAL

10*

2

Deaths included women.

Many and various prison sentences of ten durations from 15 years to 3.

Nov 75 to June 81

Germany


THIRD TRIAL West German Court at Dusseldorf

-

-

At the Third Majdanek Trial held between November 26, 1975 and June 30, 1981 before a West German Court at Düsseldorf sixteen defendants were arraigned. Five were cleared of all charges, two released due to ill health, one died of old age, and eight were found guilty. They were sentenced to 3 to 12 years imprisonment.

1964-1965

Germany

Also at Dusseldorf the TREBLINKA FIRST trial took Place

-

4

The crimes committed in the General Government territory of occupied Poland were investigated by the Central Agency from July 1959 by the German specialist in the Nazi prosecution Dietrich Zeug, present at the Eichmann trial. His inquiry led to the first arrest of Treblinka deputy commandant on 2 December 1959. Zeug received survivor testimonies from Yad Vashem which allowed him to examine German national archives for more clues. He was the first to establish the chain of command for Operation Reinhard

1 Acquitted

5 Small Jail sentences

TREBLINKA SECOND TRIAL

The second Treblinka trial also known as the Stangl trial, was held from 13 May to 22 December 1970, five years after the first group trial for war crimes. In this trial, camp commandant Franz Stangl, expelled three years earlier from Brazil, finally stood accused. Stangl had previously assisted in killing handicapped people during Operation T4 (the Euthanasia Programme of the National Socialists), and, before moving on to Treblinka, had been the first commandant of Sobibor. Under his supervision, most of the Treblinka killings took place. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and died in prison on 28 June 1971 after only 6 months punishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960-1965

West Germany Part of Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials

Associated with Majdanek war crimes trials  [see above].

 

 

 

In December 1944 Karl-Friedrich Höcker was placed into a British POW Camp and released in 1946 at which time he returned to his home town of Lubbecke to resume his old job as a bank teller, a job he was made redundant from in 1931 and in 1933 he joined the Nazi Party. In early 1960 he was arrested by the West German police on suspicion of being a NAZI war criminal. In 1965 he was sentenced to seven years in prison for aiding and abetting 1000 murders at Auschwitz. Released after five years he was able to return to the bank this time as the chief cashier. I wonder what rank in the SS or Gestapo the bank manager had been? Not satisfied with his credentials or story, in May 1989 he was again arrested in Bielefeld  and sentenced to four years for gassing prisoners primarily Polish Jews at the Majdanek concentration Camp.  He died 30th January 2000 aged 89. Just another example ex NAZI looking after ex NAZI through the length and breadth of Germany and that thousands upon thousands of German war criminals were never punished.

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1946-1947

Hamburg

Where 50,000 out of 130,000 women perished

British Military Court

Ravensbruck Women’s Concentration Camp

11

-

1 Died at trial

2 15 Years

2 10 Years

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

One country in particular seems to have escaped wide spread knowledge of their war crimes many of them unseen and therefore  unrecorded. The WW2 Eastern Front is generally accepted as being folly for the Germans to attack Russia, confident that it would be a relatively easy task. That is far from the truth if only to analyse what one means by German’s in this case. Germany had several armies working side by side with them in this assault which of course included many of their Axis Powers Allies, chiefly central and eastern European countries. The main ally was Italy [part of the tripartite of Germany, Italy and Japan] – other nations supporting those were Yugoslavia, Greece, Hungary, Romanian, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Croatia and all in some way or other and in various numbers alongside the main German Force. Untold atrocities were committed across Russia, against the Red Army and the Russian civilian population, and Italy were one of the chief proponents of the dreadful crimes.  What’s more,  the pages of the C.R.O.W.C.A.S.S. [Central Registry of War Crimes and Security  Suspects]  are filled with national list of countries wanting war crime Italians by name  from the WW2 period. Before they surrendered and left the tripartite leaving it to become a bipartite in 1943 the Italian’s had well and truly disgraced themselves and dishonoured the Geneva code.  They are well known and documented [photographs] for war crimes throughout the Balkans & Baltic areas  and again their pre WW2 attack  [October 1935] on Ethiopia resulted in many wicked crimes against East African populations, where locals with spear faced deranged troops with heavy machine guns. 

Germany General  Von Manstein, General Heinz Guderian  [and other Krauts] used the rabble armies of Eastern Europe including the Italians as willing executioners alongside Germans of course, for the Nazi cause in Russia in 1943.  Manstein gave testimony at the main Nuremberg trials of war criminals in August 1946.  In 1949 he was tried in Hamburg for war crimes and was convicted on nine of seventeen counts, including the poor treatment of prisoners of war and failing to protect civilian lives in his sphere of operations. His sentence of eighteen years in prison was later reduced to twelve, and he served only four years before being released in 1953. It is manifest that his time as a German butcher was not punished harshly enough, if at all, and that post WW2  Germans were fully in sympathy and complicit with pre war and WW2 German savages. 

Most amazingly of all was that in West Germany he became their NATO adviser to their new armed forces and if that’s not a mockery of justice then I don’t know what was. War Crimes were treated as a joke even in the new so-called start again PURE German forces.

He died a peaceful death in Munich in June 1973 aged 85 – BASTARD!

 

Fortunately for posterity, as was the case often experienced except when Germans fought only civilians, that when they met up with proper soldiers they were put to the sword begging mercy which did not come, and on this occasion in Russia  the German generals were utterly defeated by Russian commanders like Vasily Chuikov, Marshal Shaposhnikov [Russian air force]  and my favourite commander Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov. 

The Russian also proved to be clever at propaganda also. When the German General Paulus was taken captive he was dignified in his surrender of himself and what troops he had still alive – not many by this stage. The Russians treated him in a most friendly and dignified manner on an opportune occasion. They had taken many German prisoners all of whom had been invited to join an organisation designed to free Germany of its tyranny. Those that refused were subjected to the treatment meted out at that time to the would-be butchers of Stalingrad and other Russian cities. Those that agreed joined into anti Nazi radio broadcasts directed towards Germany and German troops within Russia, telling German’s that very soon they would lose the war and to overthrow the Third Reich now before all Germans perished.  This was called the Anti-Facist League of German Soldiers. Later a new League was set up for German officers. Paulus at first refused to join in the Russian propaganda coup, but various events eventually changed his mind.

This was his first speech to the German army.

 

On August 8, 1944, a year and a half after having been taken prisoner, Paulus spoke on Free Germany Radio and addressed Wehrmacht soldiers.

 

"For Germany, the war is lost. This is the position in which the country has found itself as a result of Adolf Hitler's leadership. Germany must renounce Hitler".

 

There were other speeches that wrecked the chance of any further advances in the East.

Paulus was a marked man hunted down by any and all Germans for a suitable reward.

 

He survived the war living in Russia in some comfort in his own well appointed dacha near Moscow.  He had done his job and did it well for he had planted the seed of total disillusionment amongst the German nation, civilians and combatants. It was time for him to go home to Germany. Stalin had other ideas and Paulus’s  propaganda and intelligence gathering skills were as important to Russia post war as during it.

 

He was allowed to attend the International All Allies trials in Germany’s Nuremberg in 1946 to give evidence which assured the death penalty for his hitherto fellow German officers.  Russia was one of the prosecutors and judges to the Court. One of the field marshal's most powerful anti-Nazi speeches was his testimony during the Nuremburg Trials.  As someone who participated in devising Operation Barbarossa, he was an important witness in the case against generals Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodi, (both were executed). 

 

After Nuremberg he return to Russia and settled down to a good life and a good living in the pay of the Russians, but made repeated requests to return home.  Each was denied until 1953, at the death of Stalin, his wish was granted. He was allowed home under Russian protection for the rest of his life to Dresden in East Germany where he died in 1957.  By that time Dresden had been flattened by the RAF and the USAF so wouldn’t have been a nice place to live in?

 

Most countries executed by hanging, two notable exceptions being Italy and Russia who both  used firing squads, in Italy, even when foreigners executed their prisoners on Italian territory e.g. the USA.

 

As one reads about the last weeks and very early weeks of April/May 1945, one is reminded that from 1942 onwards when the American forces started to serve in continental Europe in areas dominated by Axis forces, was a regularly heard stated question of “why are WE here fighting a foreign war when our true enemy was clearly Japan. That was repeated time after time by umpteen GI’s, until Dachau and the sub human meet up with the infamous “Death Train” – read this site which is a short story in three sections https://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/DeathTrain.html it will turn your stomach! Incidentally, the same passions were evident when the British first  entered Belson but for different reasons: they knew from 1914 to 1918 the evil-minded Germans and what they were capable of whereas the Americans had a much reduced overlay [less that twelve months in many cases]  of the bestiality of the German nation.  The US forces liberated several concentration camps/extermination camps as they entered German home territory, but in a most perverse way, found the answer to their much asked question of WHY them?............. on liberating Dachau.  The ‘death train’ turned the minds of Americans from the humble GI’s to the field commanders holding high ranks.   It brought home that the Nazi party had, an almost 12th century abject hatred of certain things and groups of people, one of which was to blame a section of society for the downfall of Germany in WW1 which would not be its armed forces, overtly blaming the Jews for the surrender which the WW1 German army was ill prepared to do and were shocked when ordered to do so.

 

Those who have read Mein Kampf [my struggle] can be in no doubt that from the day Hitler was ordered to surrender in 1918, he and many of his brothers-in-arms sought revenge against those German’s [by and large civilians] who forced the surrender on the Kaiser class [who then fled across a border into the arms of a forgiving Dutch nation] and secured sanctuary and a good life for themselves until a natural death years after 1918.  This civilian group  would one day to be punished by a new group, possibly a new army, recruited on the individual promises of an omnipotent German race where all would swear everlasting loyalty to one leader and not as before loyalty to the Fatherland governed by many different people with different agenda’s, where that one leader would swear the ultimate allegiance to the Fatherland taking full responsibility for his oath on behalf of all Arian German’s, but cognisant that in effect that leader WOULD BE the personification of the  Fatherland and as it turned out the personification of evil itself.  Much of what Hitler wrote in those early days had to be considered hyperbole, but all too soon it was to be taken literally, and countless millions of innocent people would perish.  

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1947-1949

DACHAU, Upper Bavaria Southern Germany 12 miles north of Munich.

Dachau trials (Slovenia), so called because many of the defendants had been prisoners in Dachau concentration camps.  Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia which was under  Soviet control. The court was under Yugoslavian control.

19

20

7,380 Slovenes and 2,144 foreigners were tried.
37 were sentenced.
of the 19 death sentence [shot to death] 4 were stood down.
20 sentence to forced labour for life.
3 cases were suspended.
3 people died under torture.

The trials marked a departure from previous communist show trials in Slovenia such as the Nagode Trial because until this point the authorities had sought enemies outside the Communist Party, among the non-proletariat and the non-communist intelligentsia. By selecting enemies from the ranks of the Communist Party, a Yugoslav version of the Stalinist show trials was launched.

In the preparations for the trials, a large number of writers, physicians, politicians, and engineers were arrested without knowing whether they would be accused or merely used as witnesses. Those arrested were tortured and deprived of their legal rights. Forged documents were prepared as evidence against them and false testimony was prepared. The defendants in the trials were forced to confess to being Nazi spies while imprisoned at the Dachau concentration camp, collaborating with the Gestapo, and working for Western powers after the Second World War in order to undermine socialism. The proceedings were broadcast to the public via special loudspeakers on the streets. Most of the defendants were shot immediately after being condemned to death, and others were sent to the Goli Otok prison camp.  The total number of people executed, the specific dates when they were killed, and where their bodies were disposed of remains unknown. Some are believed to lie in the forest near Kočevje, and others in Ljubljana's Žale cemetery.

The sentences handed down in the trials were reversed in April 1986 at the Tenth Congress of the League of Communists of Slovenia. Bit too late I would have thought?

 

 

YEAR

VENUE

COURT

DEATH

LIFE

OTHER SENTENCES

1947

Slovenia Ljubljana

Under Yugoslavian authority & Slovenian Communist Party Control

1

 

 

See text below

 

The trial was carried out by the Slovene authorities under the leadership of the Communist Party of Slovenia against non-communist politicians that wished to participate in politics in Slovenia after 1945. In May 1947 the Slovenian secret police (UDBA) arrested 32 highly educated intellectuals. These included some former members of the Communist Party of Slovenia, but the majority were liberal democrats that were inclined toward western-style parliamentary democracy.

They were interrogated and tortured for two months in Ljubljana's prisons. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia used the Slovene media to characterize those arrested as "a handful of spies, class enemies, foreign paid agents, who have no political program and whose work, with no political value at all, is to damage the people's authority." The trial against the accused began on July 29, and the proceedings were broadcast to the public via special loudspeakers on the streets.

The trial became known as the "Nagode trial" after the principal defendant. After 13 days of hearings, on August 12 three of the defendants (Nagode, Boris Furlan, and Ljubo Sirc) were sentenced to be shot, and the remainder were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences with forced labor, deprivation of all civil rights, and confiscation of their property. Nagode was shot on September 12, 1947 and the death sentences against Furlan and Sirc were commuted to 20 years in prison with hard labour. Two of those sentenced committed suicide.

In 1991 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia overturned the conviction against Nagode and his fourteen co-defendants on the grounds that it was based on false testimony and that it had been a corrupt trial against imaginary Western spies.  Again, past masters at being just a tad too late?

 

 

And finally some bits and pieces

 

There are several instances of one-off post war arrests in various countries.  There were trials and convictions but also too many petty punishments for hardened war criminals and many escaped and had long lives. In just about every  case they got clean away with their crimes and a couple only are worth mentioning.

 

1.     Adolf Eichman hanged in Israel  June 1962

2.    Kurt Meyer sentenced to death by a Canadian military court.  Sentence reduced to 14 years, served 10,

3. Fritz Knochlein arrested by the British. As an SS soldier in 1940 he helped to overrun a group of British soldiers on the edge of the French village of Le Paradis, there to defend soldiers on Dunkirk beaches awaiting rescue from advancing German infantry. The Brits ran out of ammunition and surrendered.  They were machine gunned, bayoneted and shot close range by small arms including pistols. He was hanged for taking part in the UK in 1949.

 

People brought to trial when ill or too old and were released. As often than not these were feigned cases or medical notes written by doctors full well knowing that they were false and wickedly inaccurate. Countless thousands escaped to friendly host countries many in distant South America where the scum of their loins still live the high life.  Argentina and Chile were the main hosts to these internationally known vile criminals. Shame upon them and well done us Brit's for the 1982 thrashing and the sinking of the General Belgrano.

 

Anton Dostler a German soldier on the run was executed by a U.S.  firing squad in  December 1945.

 

People sentenced but released on grounds of illness, but actually dying many years later – one case released in 1951 after being jailed in 1948 died in 1972.

 

Rudolph Batz convicted of war crimes, arrested in 1960 hanged himself in prison before his trial started.

 

Richard Baer commander of Auschwitz lived under a pseudonym.  Discovered in 1960 and arrested. Outcome not known but hopefully a dreadful and lingering death.

 

Martin Bormann,  close aid of Hitler escaped and was never found. He was sentenced to death in his absence. Later remains were found and a claim was made that a DNA test have proved that this was Bormann.  It was never accepted formally, except for a few Nazi devotee's.

 

 

 

RUDOLPH HESS Hitler’s second in command in the early years of WW2, but in 1941 he arrived in Scotland in an endeavour to stop the British from continuing the war promising that if we gave Germany a freehand in Europe Hitler would not attack any of our Dominions or Territory outside the British Isles.   As the deputy Fuhrer he was as evil as Hitler himself, as  his doctors and psychiatrists were to find out, although not mad or insane he was pretty close to being such a person. Quite fairly he couldn't be held responsible for what Germany did after he left the country in 1941, but the Russians at Nuremberg were very angry when he was not hanged. He attempted two suicides one by stabbing himself with a bread knife and one jumping over railings falling down the stairwell of a staircase falling onto the stone floor below. For lengthy periods he played the insane role hoping to be released in accordance with the Geneva Convention. When in Scotland he was incarcerated in Buchanan Castle close to the village of Drymen, Stirlingshire. From there he was moved to the Tower of London then to a fortified house near Farnborough Surrey where he spent one year.  After that, he spent three years in a hospital near Abergevenny Monmouthshire.  On hearing in 1945 that the Third Reich was very close to destruction  he started a hunger strike, but when warned that forced feeding would shortly follow he very soon gave that up.

 

When trials were carried out in the region of south west Bavaria, executions and imprisonments were done in Landsberg Prison, forty miles southwest of Munich.  It was here in 1924 when the embryonic NAZI party was first mooted by  Hitler  and just a few others, that Hitler wrote his book Mine Kampf [my struggle]. One of those fellow civilian [but ex Service personnel] prisoners with him was Rudolf Hess, to whom Hitler dedicated his book.   

 

Hess was a non executed NAZI war criminal who actually served his life sentence ordered at the famous International Nuremberg War Crimes Trial as it was held as the ONLY just punishment, judged against any execution which is quickly over and the executed person’s sins and guilt are no more – his/her mortal coil is free as though he or she had been absolved of any and all sins. Hess, on the other hand,  sentenced in 1946 never left his prison in 'Spandau'  in Berlin in the British Sector of the divided city, and always under our jurisdiction.  Hess first was arrested in Scotland in May 1941 and his time as a chief NAZI prisoner starts from the time.

 

In August 1987, 46 years after being arrested in the UK and after other attempts on his own  life, Hess, then 93, found the strength to hang himself in Spandau. At last he was freed from torment that NO OTHER NAZI suffered [regrettably] and this despite Russia’s continuous refusal to allow him to be released.

 

As I have tried to say, that war crimes proved nothing, for only a tiny handful of people responsible for unimaginable horrific deaths were brought to book and that countless thousands escaped and lived [NOT] TO TELL THE TALE, hiding their past to the very end?

 

Hess’s punishment, at one point stated as causing madness to this old man, was investigated by qualified doctors who found to the contrary that Hess was of sound mind, but struggling with his own conscience and the guilt of his foul country.  It was an act performed by evil do-gooders sympathising with  mega evil, forgetting the millions who died in his NAZI damnable name. After his death he was buried in a grave the whereabouts withheld to prohibit Nazi/Neo-Nazis admirers from hero worshipping, but later his body was re-interred in a family plot at Wunsiedel on 17 March 1988; his wife was buried beside him in 1995. Wunsiedel is in northeast Bavaria, Germany. The town  suffered/tolerated the annual 'Rudolf Hess Memorial March' held there by Neo-Nazis until 2005 when it was stopped.

 

AMEN

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

What follows reminds me of  one of my favourite songs of Johnny Mathis, that of

"A CERTAIN SMILE"! - see bottom line

JUST ON MUG SHOTS ALONE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS MIXED GENDER GROUP OF TWENTYONE SOULS  REPRESENTS IN SOCIETY?

 

Any thoughts?

Well, here's the group again, [but for 'souls' as mentioned above, read 'demonic souls'], only this time DOUBLE CLICK on each separate picture to find out!

       
         
 

and finally have a look at this. Don't forget the double click

Obviously a grossly PERVERTED and SUB-HUMAN SMILE!

The Belson-Bergen prison guards were tried for their crimes in the town gymnasium at 30 Lindenstrasse, Luneburg, which had been  converted to a Court of Justice for the purpose of holding the trials. They were imprisoned or executed in the prison in which Hitler wrote his Mein Kampf book.

My thanks to the IWM for the use of these pictures.