A new book has been released examining the gruesome fate that awaited hundreds of British and allied Prisoners of War at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Graphic images included in the title show smirking Nazi paratroops opening fire on resistance fighters in Crete, the bodies of executed US servicemen, a firing squad of 20 Germans preparing to shoot six unarmed Ukrainian men, and a crowd of anxious looking British soldiers being marched past a German tank destroyer as they awaited their fate.
Another brutal photo shows the SAS men who were beaten with cudgels and shot in cold blood after they refused to give their captors critical intel and distorted bodies of American soldiers frozen in the snow.
The harrowing photos are including in Phillip Chinnery’s book ‘Hitler’s Atrocities against Allied PoWs’, a chilling description of the ordeals that captured men and women were put through by the Third Reich regime and their Italian allies.
American investigators begin the long process of identifying the men murdered by Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge, 1944. The bodies were taken to the nearby railway station where they were thawed out and identified. The fierce battle took place during a bitterly cold winter in western Europe
A photo of the bodies of the murdered soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, still lying next to the barn where they had been shot, taken by a passing German photographer. They were murdered in an incident which became known as the ‘Le Paradis Massacre’ as they fought a delaying action for troops evacuating at nearby Dunkirk
The exhumed remains of six American airmen murdered in Rüsselsheim by angry civilians. The incident happened on August 26, 1944, two days after a US bomber was shot down by heavy anti-aircraft fire over Hanover. Nine crew members of the aircraft parachuted to the ground, where they were captured and held by German Luftwaffe personnel. Unable to transfer the downed aircrewmen to a prisoner-of-war camp due to the train tracks being heavily damaged by bombing the night before, the Americans were forced to march through the devastated town
1 Troop, 2nd SAS Regiment prior to their paradrop into France. They were beaten with cudgels and shot in cold blood after they refused to give their captors critical intel after being captured. Any SAS member caught behind enemy lines was executed without mercy
One act of cruelty portrayed in the book involved the Royal Norfolk Regiment, which was sent to France in September 1939.
On 27 May 1940 they were in position near Le Paradis where they had been in action since the previous day.
After hours of constant fighting and loss of life on both sides, the British soldiers became isolated from their comrades, fell back to a farmhouse and fought until they ran out of ammo.
Fatigued and out of options, they surrendered to the Nazis.
Rather than treating them humanely as PoWs under the Geneva Convention, the cold-hearted Germans led the shattered men across the road to a wall where they were murdered by machine gun fire.
Ninety-seven British troops were killed. Two survived, with injuries, and hid until they were captured by German forces several days later.
Prisoners captured at Tobruk, Libya were passed over to the Italians who kept them in barbed-wire concentration camps until they could be shipped over to permanent prison camps in Italy. The treatment received in Italian hands was very poor: inadequate food, water and accommodation and guards who would shoot to kill without warning
A German paratroop patrol passes by dead Allied soldiers in Greece 1942. It is difficult to assess whether they havebeen killed in combat or not. There are no weapons or equipment lying near the bodies
British prisoners are marched past a German tank destroyer in Arnhem, Netherlands. A group of prisoners captured following this assault were mown down with machine gun fire whilst being transported in the back of a lorry. The British troops were part of the famous Operation Market Garden in which they recaptured the low countries from the Nazis
The execution of men suspected of being resisitance fighters in the Ukraine in September 1941. More than 1.3 million prisoners of war died in approximately 160 concentration camps throughout Ukraine. Some escaped death by recruitment as concentration camp guards and, after the defeat at Stalingrad, in military and other formations
Another brutal assault of prisoners’ human rights took place in Ardennes at the Battle of the Bulge.
Amidst the coldest winter of the war in December 1944, and just days before what many thought would be the last Christmas of the war, a ferocious onslaught against Belgian civilians and American troops was held, with orders from high-ranking Nazi officials that American prisoners in particular were an ‘unnecessary burden on the German economic system’ and advocated the harshest treatment of all US soldier
Fritz Knoechlein was hanged in Hamburg on 28 January 1949. He gave the order for the Royal Norfolk prisoners of war to be machine-gunned at Le Paradis
A group of cold, weary soldiers were cut off from their group and, under heavy fire from tanks, placed their hands in the air and surrendered.
They were stripped of their goods in the bitter cold before they were callously murdered. In some cases the victims were shot at point-blank range, either between the eyes, in the temple, or in the back of the head.
It was later estimated that there were 150 American prisoners in the meadow at that time.
These form just two examples of the catalogue of PoW and civilian slaughters that make up Chinnery’s unsettling new book.
Although the Germans and Italians’ abuse paled in comparison to the indignities allied soldiers faced under the Japanese regime, Chinnery still believes the Nazi’s should be held to account and any surviving prisoners of war affected by their crimes be justly compensated.
‘Tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war died at the hands of the Nazis and their Italian allies. This book is for them,’ explained Chinnery.
‘The responsibility for the ill-treatment and murder of prisoners of war rested in Berlin and it was to that city that many complaints were directed by the War Office following reports of prisoners being killed or ill-treated while in German hands.
‘There were literally thousands of incidents and these were so widespread that they had to take place with the approval, if not the instructions, of the Nazi government.’
‘This book has been written to help set the record straight and to try to educate those in government who should know better,’ added the author.
‘To those who still believe that the Germans abided by the Geneva Convention and that acts of ill-treatment were the fault of individual guards rather than Nazi government policy, I invite you to read this book and remember its contents – lest you forget.’
The former leaders of the Nazi regime in the dock at Nuremburg. In the front row (far left) is Hermann Goering wearing dark glasses, who would later commit suicide. Next to him is Hitler’s former deputy Rudolf Hess who would serve life imprisonment in Spandau Jail. Two seats further along sits Wilhelm Keitel who would hang for numerous war crimes
Smiling German paratroops open fire on Cretan civilians on June 2 1941 following allegations that they murdered wounded Nazi soldiers. Cretan civilians picked off paratroopers or attacked them with knives, axes, scythes or even bare hands. As a result, many casualties were inflicted upon the invading German paratroopers during the battle of Crete
War crimes on both sides: German soldiers being executed by American troops outside Dachau, enraged by their discovery of the concentration camp. As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Many of these prisoners had survived forced marches into the interior of Germany from camps in occupied Poland
British prisoners captured during the fall of Tobruk, Libya are escorted away by members of the AfrikaKorps under the beating sun
Fifty of the Allied airmen who tunnelled out of Stalag Luft 3 in the Great Escape were executed in chilling scenes like this. Pictured: In 1946, RAF Special Investigation Branch officers reconstructed the murders of Squadron Leader Thomas Kirby-Green and Flying Officer Gordon Kidder near Zian, Moravia
Women prisoners labour at the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germeny where 92,000 womenwere to die during the war
What were the Nuremberg Trials?
The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces under international law and the laws of war following the Second World War.
They were notable for the prosecution of leading figures from the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Many of these figures were responsible for war crimes including the Holocaust and systematic ethnic cleansing of non-Aryan races.
The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany, and are described as the ‘greatest trial in history’.
Held between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946, the Tribunal was given the task of trying 24 of the most important figures within the Third Reich.
Hermann Goering: Reichsmarschall, Commander of the Luftwaffe 1935–45, Chief of the 4-Year Plan 1936–45, and original head of the Gestapo until 1934.
Originally the second-highest-ranked member of the Nazi Party and Hitler’s designated successor, he fell out of favour with the Nazi leader in April 1945. He was the highest ranking Nazi official to be tried at Nuremberg.
Goering was sentenced to hanging, but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide while waiting to be executed.
Rudolf Hess: Hitler’s Deputy Fuhrer until he flew to Scotland in 1941 in a bid to broker peace with the United Kingdom. Was sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes. At the age of 93, Hess is said to have hanged himself.
Dr Robert Ley: Head of DAF – the German Labour Front. Ley committed suicide on 25 October 1945, before the trial began. He was indicted but neither acquitted nor found guilty as trial did not proceed.
Albert Speer: Was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes against peace and humanity. Hitler’s close friend and favorite architect, he was the Minister of Armaments from 1942 until the end of the war. In this capacity, he was responsible for the use of slave labourers from the occupied territories in armaments production.