British POWs forced to fight in the Red Army

#41
Domovoy said:
brettarider said:
Yes he didnt survive the war and I've read that his death was a bit suspect but the question id how would have he been treated had he come home in 1945 bearing in mind Stalins treatment of others for the same "offence" of being captured? would have been interesting that's for sure
Actually, reading his daughter's and those close to Stalin memoirs and letters it appears that the age of family favouritism came after Stalin's death. He treated people close to him the strictest.
Correctamundo - like he gae a sh1t about his 2 sons. IIRC one was a drunk (Pilot?) and one was captured and held hostage by the Germanski - Stalin refused to even consider negotiation and the son was eventually topped.

Svetlana didn't speak too highly of Daddy either.
 
#42
IndianaDel said:
My first impression on reading this story the other day was that it is a fiction of some sort.
The Facts are. The Red Army was advancing and liberating POW camps at that time. In the same period, the Red Army was sweeping up men as thoroughly as possible to fill its ranks.

The likelihood of a British national being swept up in to a Soviet combat unit seems highly remote. Being sent to a Gulag, as seems to have happened to many, is light years from conscripted in to the Red Army. Given the political outlook of Soviet authorities.
It has been mentioned that the alleged victim was possibly Polish. This would imply that he was impressed in to a "Lublin" Polish unit.
Perhaps it would be possible for Domovoy to cross check Polish units that took part in the Battle of Berlin, garrisoning the City in July (when the British Garrison arrived)?
Pretty sure he will find zippo

If NO units, of the type mentioned above, can be verified in this area, at the time in question, then the whole idea of a daring escape by plane (implying the Gatow district of Berlin?) falls apart.
Story end of.
After picking people's brains on two Russian military forums I can say that general opinion is same as yours.

In addition: 1. only citizens of the USSR were permitted to serve in the Red Army.
2. Poles could've been "persuaded" to join Polish Army.
3. In total, 180000 Polish soldiers from 1-st and 2-nd Polish Armies took part in Berlin operation.
4. 1-st Kostushko division took part in taking of Berlin.

Not much... :(
 
#43
Domovoy said:
Oh well, read your link: "Efforts were made to establish Mr Tamas's identity, but incomplete records and the patient's own confused state - the former POW is thought to suffer from schizophrenia - meant it took several years for a clearer picture of his origins to emerge." ----- Soviets did not send this POW (Hungary fought on a side of Hitler's Germany) to GULAG, but actually treated him in mental hospital.

The way you presented this story looked as if the man was abused and shoved into a hospital for speaking Hungarian language.
A non-Russian nationalist abused and thrown into a mental hospital on some trumped up pretext? That would never have happened in the Soviet Union...
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#44
rickshaw-major said:
Domovoy said:
brettarider said:
Yes he didnt survive the war and I've read that his death was a bit suspect but the question id how would have he been treated had he come home in 1945 bearing in mind Stalins treatment of others for the same "offence" of being captured? would have been interesting that's for sure
Actually, reading his daughter's and those close to Stalin memoirs and letters it appears that the age of family favouritism came after Stalin's death. He treated people close to him the strictest.
Correctamundo - like he gae a sh1t about his 2 sons. IIRC one was a drunk (Pilot?) and one was captured and held hostage by the Germanski - Stalin refused to even consider negotiation and the son was eventually topped.

Svetlana didn't speak too highly of Daddy either.
..and those were just the legitimate ones.... :wink:
 
#45
Cuddles said:
Domovoy said:
Oh well, read your link: "Efforts were made to establish Mr Tamas's identity, but incomplete records and the patient's own confused state - the former POW is thought to suffer from schizophrenia - meant it took several years for a clearer picture of his origins to emerge." ----- Soviets did not send this POW (Hungary fought on a side of Hitler's Germany) to GULAG, but actually treated him in mental hospital.

The way you presented this story looked as if the man was abused and shoved into a hospital for speaking Hungarian language.
A non-Russian nationalist abused and thrown into a mental hospital on some trumped up pretext? That would never have happened in the Soviet Union...
A non-Russian nationalist? :?
A soldier in Hungarian Army. Captured, -- thus POW. Suffered from schizophrenia, -- thus mental hospital. Of course, in UK nowadays he would be given "care in the community".

Cuddles, wrongs happen in every country under any government, USSR was no exception. That doesn't mean you should emulate BBC by repeating bull stories or by putting spin on the real ones.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#46
Domovoy said:
Cuddles said:
Domovoy said:
Oh well, read your link: "Efforts were made to establish Mr Tamas's identity, but incomplete records and the patient's own confused state - the former POW is thought to suffer from schizophrenia - meant it took several years for a clearer picture of his origins to emerge." ----- Soviets did not send this POW (Hungary fought on a side of Hitler's Germany) to GULAG, but actually treated him in mental hospital.

The way you presented this story looked as if the man was abused and shoved into a hospital for speaking Hungarian language.
A non-Russian nationalist abused and thrown into a mental hospital on some trumped up pretext? That would never have happened in the Soviet Union...
A non-Russian nationalist? :?
A soldier in Hungarian Army. Captured, -- thus POW. Suffered from schizophrenia, -- thus mental hospital. Of course, in UK nowadays he would be given "care in the community".

Cuddles, wrongs happen in every country under any government, USSR was no exception. That doesn't mean you should emulate BBC by repeating bull stories or by putting spin on the real ones.
For sure wrongs happen in every country - but Uncle Joe was in a class of his own! He makes Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler et al seem like nice guys.

For sure the treatment of POW's on both sides in the Eastern front campaign was pretty awful, but the wholesale rape and massacre of civilians by the advancing soviets as a matter of policy was something German military discipline would not tolerate. I refer in particular here to the southern advance through Ukraine into Romania, and the northern advance into the baltic states.
 
#47
As the Russians headed West into Berlin POW camps were in the main evacuated by the Germans and POWs were made to march west away from the russian front (up to 500 miles). The very reason the Germans did this was to stop POWs joining the advancing Armies but also it was part of the Geneva convention not to subject POWs to uneccesary conflict. However there were a number of POW camps liberated but American and West European POWs were not immediately released to the Western allies, instead Stalin used them for political purposes despite agreements made by the big 3 at Yalta on the liberation of POWs. Many POWs were held in the same camps they were liberated from by the russians and some even attempted escape under their watch risking getting shot for it. Stalin wanted to hold onto them to bargain for a better stance at the end of the war.
There were few reports of Russians wanting the prisoners to carry on the fight with them however this was one of the areas agreed by the big 3 at Yalta that no liberated POWs would be required to do so. Factors in this were that the chain of command in the Russian Army was poor at this time as it was still feeling the effects of the Stalin purges where he had executed thousands of the key officers in it some time before. Also you have to bear in mind that most of the POWs around this time were in a pretty bad state healthwise. Germanys infrastructure had collapsed as it was pounded day and night making food and medicine almost non existent - The role of red cross parcels were therefore crucial in keeping these POWs alive - that said most of them were still not in a fit state to fight.
 
#48
Alsacien said:
Domovoy said:
Cuddles said:
Domovoy said:
Oh well, read your link: "Efforts were made to establish Mr Tamas's identity, but incomplete records and the patient's own confused state - the former POW is thought to suffer from schizophrenia - meant it took several years for a clearer picture of his origins to emerge." ----- Soviets did not send this POW (Hungary fought on a side of Hitler's Germany) to GULAG, but actually treated him in mental hospital.

The way you presented this story looked as if the man was abused and shoved into a hospital for speaking Hungarian language.
A non-Russian nationalist abused and thrown into a mental hospital on some trumped up pretext? That would never have happened in the Soviet Union...
A non-Russian nationalist? :?
A soldier in Hungarian Army. Captured, -- thus POW. Suffered from schizophrenia, -- thus mental hospital. Of course, in UK nowadays he would be given "care in the community".

Cuddles, wrongs happen in every country under any government, USSR was no exception. That doesn't mean you should emulate BBC by repeating bull stories or by putting spin on the real ones.
For sure wrongs happen in every country - but Uncle Joe was in a class of his own! He makes Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler et al seem like nice guys.

For sure the treatment of POW's on both sides in the Eastern front campaign was pretty awful, but the wholesale rape and massacre of civilians by the advancing soviets as a matter of policy was something German military discipline would not tolerate. I refer in particular here to the southern advance through Ukraine into Romania, and the northern advance into the baltic states.
There is no question that Uncle Joe was in a class of his own and his sins were great, yet unlike Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler he didn't destroy his country but pulled it out of ruins of the 1WW and Civil War to the level of superpower, and his policies (ON BALANCE) had positive effect on the development of numerous nations of the USSR and the level of living standard of ordinary people. I know that doesn't sit well with Western Cold war style propaganda, but what can I do? :D

"...rape and massacre of civilians by the advancing soviets as a matter of policy..." ------------------------- Actually, as a matter of policy, those guilty of rape and murder (not massacre, -- you went a bit over the board here) of civilians were faced with military tribunals and executed or sent to penal battalions. But hey, a good story-book always presents a more enjoyable reading than some dry protocols...
 
#49
Read Fly for your Life the Biography of Wing Commander RRS Tuck DSO DFC in which he mentions being forced to fight with the Russian unit that found him after he escaped and having to escape from them and get to Odessa by less than legitimate means
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#50
Domovoy said:
Alsacien said:
Domovoy said:
Cuddles said:
Domovoy said:
Oh well, read your link: "Efforts were made to establish Mr Tamas's identity, but incomplete records and the patient's own confused state - the former POW is thought to suffer from schizophrenia - meant it took several years for a clearer picture of his origins to emerge." ----- Soviets did not send this POW (Hungary fought on a side of Hitler's Germany) to GULAG, but actually treated him in mental hospital.

The way you presented this story looked as if the man was abused and shoved into a hospital for speaking Hungarian language.
A non-Russian nationalist abused and thrown into a mental hospital on some trumped up pretext? That would never have happened in the Soviet Union...
A non-Russian nationalist? :?
A soldier in Hungarian Army. Captured, -- thus POW. Suffered from schizophrenia, -- thus mental hospital. Of course, in UK nowadays he would be given "care in the community".

Cuddles, wrongs happen in every country under any government, USSR was no exception. That doesn't mean you should emulate BBC by repeating bull stories or by putting spin on the real ones.
For sure wrongs happen in every country - but Uncle Joe was in a class of his own! He makes Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler et al seem like nice guys.

For sure the treatment of POW's on both sides in the Eastern front campaign was pretty awful, but the wholesale rape and massacre of civilians by the advancing soviets as a matter of policy was something German military discipline would not tolerate. I refer in particular here to the southern advance through Ukraine into Romania, and the northern advance into the baltic states.
There is no question that Uncle Joe was in a class of his own and his sins were great, yet unlike Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler he didn't destroy his country but pulled it out of ruins of the 1WW and Civil War to the level of superpower, and his policies (ON BALANCE) had positive effect on the development of numerous nations of the USSR and the level of living standard of ordinary people. I know that doesn't sit well with Western Cold war style propaganda, but what can I do? :D

"...rape and massacre of civilians by the advancing soviets as a matter of policy..." ------------------------- Actually, as a matter of policy, those guilty of rape and murder (not massacre, -- you went a bit over the board here) of civilians were faced with military tribunals and executed or sent to penal battalions. But hey, a good story-book always presents a more enjoyable reading than some dry protocols...
I guess you could argue the only way to unite such a large landmass full of diverse ethnic groups, was through subjective fear of the system by the general populace. Other than that I would say USSR became a superpower in spite of - not because of, his policies, although some were indeed very productive.

Massacre is the only way to describe the mass murder of russian civilians that "did not actively take up the armed struggle", which I understand was a direct dictat from Stalin himself.
That rape and murder of enemy civilians was so widespread and appears to have been tacitly, if not openly condoned and encouraged as a terror tactic also warrants the same description.

As previously mentioned in another post, only the victors make and keep the records - therefore we will never know the true numbers. But as pretty much every eye witness account alludes to these occurences, it is safe to say it was a widespread occurence.
 
#51
balldrick said:
Read Fly for your Life the Biography of Wing Commander RRS Tuck DSO DFC in which he mentions being forced to fight with the Russian unit that found him after he escaped and having to escape from them and get to Odessa by less than legitimate means
"...In company with a Polish pilot, he finally escaped successfully on 1 February 1945 as his camp was being evacuated westwards from Russian forces advancing into Germany. Tuck's Russian, learned from his childhood nanny, was now crucial as he spent some time fighting alongside the Russian troops until he managed eventually to find his way to the British Embassy in Moscow. He eventually boarded a ship from Russia to Southampton, England..."

Again, Polish connection?
 
#53
Alsacien said:
I guess you could argue the only way to unite such a large landmass full of diverse ethnic groups, was through subjective fear of the system by the general populace. Other than that I would say USSR became a superpower in spite of - not because of, his policies, although some were indeed very productive.
And yes, and no. A stick and a carrot.

Fear came from the fact that NO ONE (apart from Stalin himself), not even members of his own family, was above the law. Boundaries were clearly defined and the punishment was severe. That’s the stick.

The carrot: people from the lowest classes gained the rights they could never dream of. All of a sudden, it became possible for anyone to rise to the highest society positions on merits of their own achievements. That means a lot.

It took years, but by 1941 people were not only afraid of the system, they saw themselves as part of it; threatened and protected by it. That’s why when the war started people stood up to defend their way of life.

Alsacien said:
Massacre is the only way to describe the mass murder of russian civilians that "did not actively take up the armed struggle", which I understand was a direct dictat from Stalin himself.
Could you please explain what you mean? I’m not sure what you are talking about.

Alsacien said:
That rape and murder of enemy civilians was so widespread and appears to have been tacitly, if not openly condoned and encouraged as a terror tactic also warrants the same description.

As previously mentioned in another post, only the victors make and keep the records - therefore we will never know the true numbers. But as pretty much every eye witness account alludes to these occurences, it is safe to say it was a widespread occurence.
Rape of civilians by Soviet troops was no more widespread than rape of Soviet civilians by Germans, Italians, Rumanians, etc. But it was NEVER condoned. And I did post a document on the matter on one of the threads…
 
#54
Alsacien said:
All right, didn't want to, but here goes: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/may/10/foreignpolicy.usa

Do I have anything in support of Richard Drayton's claims? Yes. Do I want to submit it here? No.
I don't want to offend people on this forum; you are rightfully proud of your military and your history, same as I am; and before we start exchanging information like that we need to remember that history-wise we are all sitting in the glass houses.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#55
Before you try and defend the undefendable may you should read the links and absorb some of those numbers mentioned....you are in denial IMO.

To suggest an equivalent level of abuse by other forces is also naive in the extreme.

This is not a pi22ing contest - I enjoy visiting Russia and I have a great respect for the achievments of the Red Army and am well aware that they destroyed 95% of the axis fighting forces. However Stalin, the comissars, and ultimately many of the officers and the troops themselves have a lot to answer for. This is not a judgement - some of the reasons are even offered in the Guardian article.
 
#56
The Soviet History is a complex one. May people (well me at least) regard the battle for Moscow as one dsrving of a Battle Honour. It didn't suit Stalin at the time (well he nearly lost it) as it was generally pereceived as a general fcuk up caused by him so best not talk about it. Notwithstanding though - the Soviets won the battle.

Als much sh1t is talked about the barrage units (zagradotryads) who were supposed to shoot retreating soldiers, and the penal companies. They were actually a lot less well organized than people imagine with many people being pardoned after one attack with a penal company and very few soldiers actually seeing a barrage unit. Similarly, after the initial victory parades when the Army returned home, Stalin quietened everything down as he did in occupied Germany - he wanted the Easties as allies.

If you want violence it was there in spades but it was not simple.

And don't forget it was happening everywhere:
http://www.ukom.gov.si/eng/slovenia/publications/slovenia-news/5264/5270/

Domovoy - I don't need to tell you anything about the Ukraine but for the mildly interested:

http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/U/K/UkrainianInsurgentArmy.htm
 
#57
Alsacien said:
Before you try and defend the undefendable may you should read the links and absorb some of those numbers mentioned....you are in denial IMO.

To suggest an equivalent level of abuse by other forces is also naive in the extreme.

This is not a pi22ing contest - I enjoy visiting Russia and I have a great respect for the achievments of the Red Army and am well aware that they destroyed 95% of the axis fighting forces. However Stalin, the comissars, and ultimately many of the officers and the troops themselves have a lot to answer for. This is not a judgement - some of the reasons are even offered in the Guardian article.
1. I'm in no way defending the undefendable. I can compose a formidable list of atrocities committed during Stalin times and beyond.

2. "To suggest an equivalent level of abuse by other forces is also naive in the extreme." -------------------------- What is naive in the extreme is to suggest what you've suggested and to close your eyes on the "level of abuse by other forces". Just because you were not fed unbiased facts on the matter by your propaganda doesn't mean the facts do not exist. Soviets got over the effects of Soviet propaganda by facing the evils of their past, now it's your turn. Unless of course, you think you don't have "propaganda" in the West.

3. Without your acknowledgment of crimes and atrocities committed by "other forces" this kind of dialog will always be nothing more than a pi22ing contest.

As I said, history-wise we are all sitting in the glass houses.
 
#58
rickshaw-major said:
Domovoy - I don't need to tell you anything about the Ukraine but for the mildly interested:

http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/U/K/UkrainianInsurgentArmy.htm
An article you presented is typical of what one can read in English.

Just one question:
1. By the boldest estimates UPA killed 900 Germans (that includes Germans killed by UPA of Bulba-Borovets which was later betrayed to Germans by Bandera who became the sole leader of UPA) and hundreds of thousands of civilians of non-Ukrainian ethnicity and Ukrainians opposed to OUN/UPA. Judging by that whom UPA was fighting against?
 
#59
Duffy has a couple of interesting examples from the other side of the fence:

Help was forthcoming from some remarkable quarters. Eighteen French prisoners of war were among the fifty-six people murdered by the Russians at Krenau in East Prussia, and for a large number of ex-Allied soldiers the prospect of 'liberation' became distinctly unappealing. Many of the refugee columns were led to safety by French, Poles and Russians, and Lieutenant Hans Schäufler testified to

something which struck me again and again, how nearly all the peasant households from East and West Prussia were accompanied by French prisoners of war, who took sedulous care of 'their' families, and were much concerned not to be separated from them in the turmoil. They were usually the only males in the column, apart from some sick old men. They were attached above all to the welfare of the children, and these in turn were exceedingly fond of their 'Jean.'
(Schaufler, 1979, 120. See also Dieckert and Grossmann, 1960, 102.)

The same Panzer lieutenant tells in circumstantial detail the story of thirty-two British officer prisoners of war who had been abandoned by the Germans in the camp at Schlossberg in easternmost East Prussia. The Russians tried to transport them east to some unspecified destination, but the British broke free and made their way across the width of East Prussia until they reached the 35th Panzer Regiment of the 4th Panzer Division at Heiderode:

In the polite English way, and with all proper courtesy, they emphasised that they wanted to come back and stay with us. Without any prompting they assured us that, if necessary, they would be willing to fight on the German side.

We had been sunk in gloom, and you may imagine how their request gave a mighty boost to our morale. Naturally we took them in, and we willingly shared our rations and cigarettes.
It transpired that four of the party had been captured by the 4th Panzer Division at Bethune in 1940. The last that was seen of the officers was in late March or early April, when they were waiting with thousands of German soldiers and civilians to be shipped from Oxhöft (Schäufler, 1979, 119-20; see also Schäufler, 1973, 245). This episode invites further investigation.

On the far side of Danzig was the Vistula delta. It was one of the enclaves which were held by the Germans until the end of the war, and for the historian Andreas Hillgruber it was significant that even this little patch of ground held a concentration camp, the one at Stutthof, which therefore remained 'a symbol of the essential nature of the National Socialist regime' (Hillgruber, 1986, 39). It is perhaps churlish to add that the 6,000 inmates had been turned loose by their SS guards, but preferred to wait with the Germans on the coast for evacuation to Schleswig-Holstein rather than take their chance with the Russians.
Duffy, Christopher. Red Storm on the Reich. Atheneum, New York, 1991. ISBN 0-689-12092-3, pages 278-9
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#60
Domovoy said:
Alsacien said:
Before you try and defend the undefendable may you should read the links and absorb some of those numbers mentioned....you are in denial IMO.

To suggest an equivalent level of abuse by other forces is also naive in the extreme.

This is not a pi22ing contest - I enjoy visiting Russia and I have a great respect for the achievments of the Red Army and am well aware that they destroyed 95% of the axis fighting forces. However Stalin, the comissars, and ultimately many of the officers and the troops themselves have a lot to answer for. This is not a judgement - some of the reasons are even offered in the Guardian article.
1. I'm in no way defending the undefendable. I can compose a formidable list of atrocities committed during Stalin times and beyond.

2. "To suggest an equivalent level of abuse by other forces is also naive in the extreme." -------------------------- What is naive in the extreme is to suggest what you've suggested and to close your eyes on the "level of abuse by other forces". Just because you were not fed unbiased facts on the matter by your propaganda doesn't mean the facts do not exist. Soviets got over the effects of Soviet propaganda by facing the evils of their past, now it's your turn. Unless of course, you think you don't have "propaganda" in the West.

3. Without your acknowledgment of crimes and atrocities committed by "other forces" this kind of dialog will always be nothing more than a pi22ing contest.

As I said, history-wise we are all sitting in the glass houses.
I am aware of crimes and atrocities committed by French, American (and to a much lesser extent) and British forces - BUT - look at the numbers!! You would be counting the people involved and their victims in the hundreds not the hundreds of thousands or even millions as in the case of the soviets:

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_crimes
and:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_war_crimes

As I said - you and your country are in denial on this issue. I think you would find that the west are a pretty open about their dirty washing now (maybe not the French) - Russia is not exactly the most open and forthcoming country when it comes to opening uncomfortable files to the public....
 

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