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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Killing of POWs in WWII
Created by John Eipper on 06/15/19 3:20 PM

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Killing of POWs in WWII (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 06/15/19 3:20 pm)

I read and re-read the post of Cameron Sawyer (14 June), and found it the best essay on WWII that I know about, very well-detailed and without bias. I would like, for what it is worth, to offer Cameron all my gratitude and admiration, as this nasty Bastian Contrario completely concurs.

Returning to our topic on casualties, does this include the criminal killing of prisoners? The Soviets had a particular fondness for this, and not even Eisenhower with his ill-famed DEF could reach their high figures.  The historian Heinz Nawratil reports on a shameful episode of the US Army, which refused to accept the surrender of German troops in Saxony and Bohemia. Rather, they handed them to the Soviet forces (killing them outright would have been more humane).  Of course the British were worse, handing Vlasov's ROA men to the Soviets and Pavelic's men to Tito.

As I said before, the Yugoslavian coup delayed the German attack on the USSR and absorbed a lot of troops precluding the sharp knock-out blow (so well said by Cameron) by the deadline of 7 December 1941.

JE comments:  Were the Germans any less inhumane to POWs than the Soviets?  We commonly believe that the Japanese were the cruelest of all to their captives, but this may be Hollywood's doing. 

On Vlasov's collaborationist ROA (Russian Liberation) Army, see this 2013 post from Luciano Dondero.  Vlasov was hanged in 1946.  Luciano wrote that the Anglo-Americans handed him over to the Soviets, while Wikipedia says he was captured by the Soviets prior to reaching the Western Allies.  What really happened?

http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=79529&objectTypeId=69128&topicId=165


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  • What Happened to General Vlasov? (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/17/19 3:51 AM)
    Wikipedia, Wikipedia! John E noted the different accounts of the fate of General Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov of the Russian Liberation Army.

    The Italian version states that Vlasov surrendered to the Western forces and was then handed over to the Soviets.


    The Spanish version states that Vlasov was captured by USA and immediately sent to Moscow.


    The French version states that Vlasov and his officers looked for asylum with the Western Allies, but were refused and then delivered to or captured by the Soviets.


    The Portuguese version states that Vlasov was captured by the Soviets.


    However the best version is from The Secret Betrayal 1944-1947 by Nikolai Tolstoy, where the betrayal and tragedy of Vlasov and his men near Pilsen on 11 May 1945 are clearly related.


    JE comments:  Vlasov's ultimate fate is not in doubt:  the Soviets executed him.  But how he got there is a surprising historical mystery.  Shouldn't the record be able to tell us if he willingly surrendered to the Anglo-Americans, tried to but was refused, or was captured outright by them...or by the Soviets?


    Vlasov switched sides at least twice:  first as a POW by allying with the Germans, and later by attempting (unsuccessfully) to support a Czech uprising against the Germans.  That's not a way to make friends or find sympathy with historians.  Could this have something to do with the way his capture/surrender is (mis)remembered?

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