SOE operations in France.

Makes no difference in terms of "sending a message", though, does it?

Such atrocities on both sides often had tenuous or no connection to a particular "provocation".


Exactly so and the French (and others) habit of either picking on "collaborateurs" or killing them out of hand without judicial sanction may be understandable but it hardly bespeaks a regard for the law. In fact in some areas the Soviets were as "understandably" culpable for their policy of exterminating those who had survived for collaboration. Then claiming them as victims of the enemy. It is small wonder that even getting on for a century later certain areas remain shrouded. But it remains one of the reasons that I will not forget the actions of the IRA because to me they are no different. They try to legitimise their actions politically and I didn't serve there.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Indeed, there may well be an actual physiological response in humans that switches off the emotional response to mass casualties. E.g. two or three killed in a road accident create an enormous mental trauma in an individual, whereas 50k dead in a natural disaster becomes more of a public health and logistic problem.
You definitely have something there!
 

Poppy

LE
wasn't it one of the Kray twins who said that war was the best time for Criminals

From what I've heard crime was rife during the period, because despite being a reserved occupation, many police types volunteered. Normally the ones who volunteered were the sort who didn't want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you know exactly the sort of policeman you want. That left the bad coppers and the draft dodgers, which is likely the sort whom you don't want as your police force running things.

I've never actually looked into it, so count the above as hearsay and speculation.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
From what I've heard crime was rife during the period, because despite being a reserved occupation, many police types volunteered. Normally the ones who volunteered were the sort who didn't want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you know exactly the sort of policeman you want. That left the bad coppers and the draft dodgers, which is likely the sort whom you don't want as your police force running things.

I've never actually looked into it, so count the above as hearsay and speculation.

Makes perfect sense. Unfortunately.
 
From what I've heard crime was rife during the period, because despite being a reserved occupation, many police types volunteered. Normally the ones who volunteered were the sort who didn't want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you know exactly the sort of policeman you want. That left the bad coppers and the draft dodgers, which is likely the sort whom you don't want as your police force running things.

I've never actually looked into it, so count the above as hearsay and speculation.
Do you ever watch Foyles war?
 
From what I've heard crime was rife during the period, because despite being a reserved occupation, many police types volunteered. Normally the ones who volunteered were the sort who didn't want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you know exactly the sort of policeman you want. That left the bad coppers and the draft dodgers, which is likely the sort whom you don't want as your police force running things.

I've never actually looked into it, so count the above as hearsay and speculation.
That sounds right. It's a very interesting subject about which there are a few good books; there was a thriving black market and criminal underground, escalating crime and opportunism. Essentially, general chaos in Britain.

War Reserve Constables (WRC) in Brodie helmets were instituted in 1939; "in 1944 there were 17,000 War Reserve Constables". Manpower shortages caused police recruiters to overlook criminal records, and the less-than-ideal police during WW2 sometimes served past retirement age. They were overworked with all the extra duties and crimes. Police at War: Second World War.

It all gives a whole new meaning to war crimes, and Chief Executioner Pierrepoint was kept extremely busy.

Bobbies who were reservists and young enough, returned to the forces as essential trained men, and numbers were made up by recruiting reserve policemen, special constables and more women officers. "In 1944 there were 43,000 regular police officers, 17,000 War Reserve Police and Special Constables, and 385 women police".

In 1939 181,300 days were lost to the Metropolitan Police because of sickness; in 1945 this had risen to 345,600 days. Police at War: Second World War.

Besides helping the pervs, looters, and delinquents the war was a godsend to murderers; Christie the serial killer who already had form for theft and assault, or Haigh the ‘acid bath murderer'. Scrotes took advantage of the war and tried to blame enemy bombing for their murders. Christie became a special constable (resigned in 1943) which gave him a cloak of respectability, and Haigh claimed his first victim had scarpered to dodge conscription.

There's more from the BBC: Breaking the law during World War Two .
 

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