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"Allied war crimes during World War II" Topic


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726 hits since 21 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Glup!….

I have never read anything like that Mr. "matteo00" described in this thread…

link


But in War… anything is possible…..


Amicalement
Armand

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP21 May 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

It is always the winners who decide what is and isn't a war crime and there is little doubt that many Allied actions would have classed as war crimes by today's standards.

Such moralising in hindsight is rather pointless and, compared to the systematic and purposeful acts of racial violence by the Japanese and Germans, could be considered a re-action as much as an action.

That there were 'incidents' of this nature in the Balkans should surprise nobody – more recent evidence of similar crimes exist.

Vigilant21 May 2018 1:15 p.m. PST

Nothing new if you have read anything about the war in Italy. Revenge attacks were pretty common by resistance groups against collaborators throughout Europe. War brings out the worst in people, always has always will.

gamershs Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

One side will set the standard that all sides will then use those standards. The Germans used poison gas and flame throwers in WW1 and all sides then used them. During WW2 poison gas as a weapon was not used because neither side wanted to start it's use.

Germany and Japan used carpet bombing of cities so the allies, who had an aircraft advantage, also carpet bombed cities. The Germans raped and murdered while advancing through Russia so is it any wonder that the Russians wouldn't do the same in Germany.

foxweasel21 May 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

Not this again.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2018 1:27 a.m. PST

I have a feeling the writer is trying to say something, but the el toro poopoo meter is making so much noise, rattling and hissing steam like it's going to explode violently makes it hard to focus.

Costanzo122 May 2018 4:06 a.m. PST

Those are small accidents. Can we add the millions of Germans prisoniers, military and not, left to die of thirst and cold in the fields (those not of extermination!) in the end and after the war.

Legion 422 May 2018 7:38 a.m. PST

Not this again.

Those are small accidents. Can we add the millions of Germans prisoniers, military and not, left to die of thirst and cold in the fields (those not of extermination!) in the end and after the war.

+1 …


With the millions of Allied troops on the WWII battlefields … you'd expect a few. E.g. As we know the USSR when they hit Berlin raped @ 90,000 women, tragically.

So yes, some Allied troops committed some things that are considered war crimes and should be. But generally the West committed few in the ETO and may be a few more in the PTO, but again small in numbers compared to the Axis and it's followers.

Mark 122 May 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

…the el toro poopoo meter is making so much noise, rattling and hissing steam like it's going to explode violently …

Ya think?

Those are small accidents.

I agree with the "small". At least in relative terms.

However "accidents" may be a bit off track. Although, depending on how it was meant, maybe not (see my further comments below).

…some Allied troops committed some things that are considered war crimes and should be.

I think the key differentiator is the level (in the hierarchy) at which decisions were made relative to any given war crime or atrocity. And also what that decision was.

I think there is a fundamental difference between a system in which power is abused, and a systematic abuse of power.

A guy in a uniform with a gun, who is moving into a region with a LOT of other guys in uniforms with guns, has substantial power. In ANY power system, some individuals will abuse power. And sometimes a number of such individuals will group up for joint abuses.

I don't think there is any historical period or any historical power structure where this is not observed. Some people will abuse power. More people in power, more people will abuse the power.

But that is different than a power structure built on such abuses.

Some power structures actively seek to stamp out abuses of power.

Some power structures present themselves as if they actively seek to stamp out abuses of power, but don't really.

Some power structures never even suggest that they care to stamp out abuses of power (unless of course those abusers start to compete with the power structure itself).

And some power structures actively promote and encourage abuses of power.

The Nazis and Imperial Japanese were in the latter category. I would place the US and Brits somewhere between the first and (in the worst cases) the second categories.

It is, in my view, a fundamentally different ethical / moral transgression when a shifty (or d@mnable) junior officer, NCO or even individual soldier decides to take advantage of his position of power, then it is when there is a national policy of brutalizing or exterminating that is pushed down upon the troops to implement.

So also I view it as different when a power structure is deaf to the cries of the abused, then when a power structure has a deliberate policy of abuse. One may fairly be described as "accidental" -- "We didn't have enough food to feed them, nor enough materials or workmen to build shelters for them, and we could not get the supplies moving fast enough, and bad things happened" can be described as "accidental". "We had orders to exterminate them in the most economical way possible" can not.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2018 4:13 a.m. PST

"You can't arrest me for murder, others were far worse and have killed a lot more people than I did."

While Mark has tried to give the nuanced explanation, it's clear we have a case of trying to whitewash the nazis by trying to find as many Allied misdeeds as possible and then ask the question "How can they be the good guys if they do so many horrible things ?"

It's a common fallacy to try and draw attention to somebody else's flaws in the hope that it somehow completely absolves your own.

Even if you draw up a list of crimes a million times bigger than that of the nazis, it still doesn't change a single iota of what they did. And how many allied "crimes" does it take to make up for one Auschwitz or for people to go "Oh, I guess the nazis really got the shitty deal, they must have been right all along for the others to be so horrible !"

Legion 423 May 2018 3:55 p.m. PST

I think the key differentiator is the level (in the hierarchy) at which decisions were made relative to any given war crime or atrocity. And also what that decision was.
I think there is a fundamental difference between a system in which power is abused, and a systematic abuse of power.
With some it was policy, e.g. Germany, Japan, Russia … not a few "bad" incidents …

Mark 124 May 2018 10:04 a.m. PST

… it's clear we have a case of trying to whitewash the nazis by trying to find as many Allied misdeeds as possible and then ask the question "How can they be the good guys if they do so many horrible things ?"

It is one of the 3 most often used rhetorical techniques of the neo-Nazi revisionist movement.

The calculus of moral equivalency -- show that the other guys did some bad stuff too, and drive the suggestion that Nazis were in fact no worse, no more immoral, than anyone else.

"I robbed a bank and shot a bunch of people? Yeah, but you drove over the speed limit once. No one really follows the laws. I am no worse than you."

With some it was policy, e.g. Germany, Japan, Russia … not a few "bad" incidents …

Exactly so.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

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