Photos that make you think.

In Germany, most beer and soft drink cans and plastic pop bottles have a 25c Pfand (deposit) on them, which is pretty hefty when the beer cost 39c (same beer in uk is 99p thank you EU). Unfortunately the RESY machine won’t read dented or crushed cans so the boot of the van has an ‘empties’ slab and a ‘full’ slab. You rarely see cans or bottles lying around because the kids hoover them up.
Unlike SPTA where you’ll see bottles, cans and Compo wrappers everywhere, though I did pick up a nice pair of Mechanix gloves and a head torch this week...
Years ago about 30 , also had to do a few jobs in Sennbridge , PATA and the old German place in Castlemartin. The old , bold , line layers and range wardens had loads of strange stuff they had found on the ranges.
 
Regarding the Dachau SS, the camp was guarded by SS men who were wounded in action and sent to the camps as guards, the camps being under SS control or they were less fit older men, guarding camps with obsolete weapons. There was a formal SS barracks alongside the main camp, which functioned as a training camp for regular SS. Sometimes, men from that barracks were detailed for duty in the camp, to cover staff shortages. When the camp was liberated, a lot of the full time guards were immediately killed by the inmates, who knew them all by sight. More were killed in a firefight to clear out one of the guard towers, a large concrete structure. Others from the Training School engaged in a firefight with the Yanks, from outside the camp perimeter and were all killed eventually..................... Even the Yanks were sickened by the killing of guards and took the shovel off the guy in the picture, who went on to kill one or two more guards until he was detained by the Yanks. The SS against the wall were initially being covered off by the machine gunner. It was said later that he became enraged by the Germans claiming that they'd not been part of the camp garrison, which was sort of technically true, so he started firing and killed three or four before his colleagues also opened up and killed the rest.
 
If you kill your way all the way from Normandy to Dachau you’re probably going to be reasonably casual about your attitudes to shooting people.

I think they should have been court martialled but I can’t say I find what happened surprising.

Plus it serves them right for skiving off on the rear party.
Well the 45th fought in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and then Southern France, Germany with 511 days of combat

during that time they had 14,441 Wounded, 3,540 killed, and were also involved in the shooting of Italian POW's at Biscari (Which patton also covered up) but also took 124,000 POW's
 
I don’t disagree with what you are saying, but it was an horrendous war, with atrocities committed by all sides. Who knows what sights and experiences those American troops had encountered on their way into Dachau? Not excusing their actions, just trying to understand it, with the benefit of hindsight and from the comfort of my armchair.
War on that scale brutalises everyone sadly.
Edited to add: in terms of the theme of the thread, this photograph certainly does make you think! For example, anyone notice one of the guards in the background is staring back defiantly at his captors, with his arms folded, rather than in the air, in surrender?
Guess he knew the inevitable so why not just stand there with a "**** it" attitude.
 
I've no doubt that there was some summary justice meted out at the liberation of Dachau but that photo has been the subject of debate over the years with the arguments against it representing a SS prisoner massacre being that the prisoners were lined up (as in a previous photo taken by the same photographer) and all except the four standing, dived to the ground.

I have no idea either way, but it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that a legend has grown around this photo and 'eye-witness' narratives may actually have been made by people who weren't actually at the scene.
I've tried to look at the picture from the viewpoint of the doubters and even viewing it enlarged, I must admit that there's little to absolutely convince me that a mass-shooting did indeed take place.
I disagree
 
Regarding the Dachau SS, the camp was guarded by SS men who were wounded in action and sent to the camps as guards, the camps being under SS control or they were less fit older men, guarding camps with obsolete weapons. There was a formal SS barracks alongside the main camp, which functioned as a training camp for regular SS. Sometimes, men from that barracks were detailed for duty in the camp, to cover staff shortages. When the camp was liberated, a lot of the full time guards were immediately killed by the inmates, who knew them all by sight. More were killed in a firefight to clear out one of the guard towers, a large concrete structure. Others from the Training School engaged in a firefight with the Yanks, from outside the camp perimeter and were all killed eventually..................... Even the Yanks were sickened by the killing of guards and took the shovel off the guy in the picture, who went on to kill one or two more guards until he was detained by the Yanks. The SS against the wall were initially being covered off by the machine gunner. It was said later that he became enraged by the Germans claiming that they'd not been part of the camp garrison, which was sort of technically true, so he started firing and killed three or four before his colleagues also opened up and killed the rest.


I am no fanbois however, it seems most of those against the wall were soldiers, hard soldiers, but soldiers. Not guards and also not of any rank therefore they were there because they were there. Just a thought, if the Germans came upon a temporary POW compound with German prisoners who had not been well treated and they rounded up the allied guards and shot them would that have been a war crime? And this incident was an unfortunate episode. The victors decide the crimes and write the history.
 
When the Germans rounded up partisans, alleged or actual, in Russia, the Balkans and Italy, they usually killed them on the spot and kept a few for questioning and they inevitably were killed afterwards. Every single German soldier knew that partisans would be killed and they had no qualms about it. Slotting partisans is morally dubious, if you adopted the German approach that it was open season on anyone who was a Slav or a Russian or a Jew or a combination thereof, regardless of whether they were technically civilians. The profound difference between any German serviceman and an Allied one is that, as I see it, they could expect to be called upon to round up and arrest and possibly shoot civilians, partisans, Russian commissars, Allied Commandos or even downed Allied airmen, escaped prisoners and so on and it didnt matter if one was SS or Wehrmacht or any subtype of the same. In any of the occupied countries, the population was subject to sudden round-ups (razzias), forced labour, forced handover of crops and foodstuffs and war materials and this was all done by the ordinary soldier, as well as local police and German second line formations. Allied soldiers did not operate by the same code and rarely, if ever, had to resort to the gun. Allied war crimes, however odious they were, paled into insignificance compared the institutional killing, theft of strategic foodstuffs and materials, abuse of populations, treatment of PoWs and so on, that were normalised by the Germans.
 
USS West Virgina, battle damaged at Pearl Harbour in 1941.

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The thing that sets me off about this is that 3 young American matelots survived in the wreckage for 16 days, but there wasn't the technology to rescue them.

“It was worse at night,” said Marine Corps bugler Dick Fiske. “You’d hear bang-bang-bang, then stop, then bang-bang-bang from deep in the bow of the ship. It didn’t take long to realize that men were making that noise.” To this day Fiske chokes up when he tells the story. “Pretty soon nobody wanted to do guard duty, especially at night when it was quiet. It didn’t stop until Christmas Eve.”


Pearl Harbor: 16 Days To Die - Three Sailors trapped in the USS West Virginia

3 Trapped Sailors in USS West Virginia | RealClearHistory
 
Local children taunt a British soldier as he stands guard in Londonderry, Northern Ireland on April 13, 1972, after an explosion in the city center.
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Or in other words 'Teaching the kids to hate'.
 

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