Jump to content

Fliegermorde - German Atrocities against Allied Airmen


Recommended Posts

Can you imagine the relief from terror you would have when your landed after having your bomber or fighter blasted out of the air over Nazi Germany by an fighteer, anti-aircraft fire, or mid-air collision with one of your own? Then imagine how you would feel when you realised that the group of men carrying shovels coming towards you were not labourers returning home from work, but a frenzied mob whose aim was to cut you to pieces with those shovels? All because their government told them that you were a  “terror flyer” (Terrorflieger), “murder flyer” (Mordfliegern), “air gangster” (Luftgangstern), and even “air barbarian” (Lufthunnen). And that the Government considered  Fliegermorde “flyer murder” not to be an offence.

 

“You, the people, have beaten them [the airmen] to death or cut their throats—and similar things,” Goebbels announced to a cheering crowd on Nuremberg’s old town square. “We won’t shed any crocodile tears over it, and whoever [among you] who has done this will not be led to the scaffold. We are not so insane [as to punish you]. We can understand this rage of the German people very well.”  An order from Heinrich Himmler on Aug. 10, 1943, to SS and police forces forbade them from intervening in any local confrontations with Allied airmen who survived parachute landings.

 

“We would … eventually make it a legal process to condemn shot-down Anglo-American ‘murder pilots’ to death and also enforce the death penalty against them,” Goebbels wrote in his diary on Dec. 22, 1943. The first thing Goebbels did was change the definition of an Allied airman. He began this process in 1943. Per his orders, radio and print publications eliminated the words “pilot,” “air crew” and “plane” from official vocabulary. Instead, Allied air personnel were referred to by derogatory epithets such as “terror flyer” (Terrorflieger), “murder flyers” (Mordfliegern), “air gangsters” (Luftgangstern), and even “air barbarians” (Lufthunnen). The purpose of this was to demonize the airmen and change civilian feelings about them.

 

Since German culture respects soldiers, Goebbels also took steps to discredit the military status of the airmen. He claimed they were “criminals” and not soldiers. “While the uniform is a garment of honor for German soldiers, for the ‘Air Gangsters’ it’s a work suit of a criminal,” a June 1943 propaganda article engineered by Goebbels claimed in the Marburger Zeitung newspaper.

 

Countless men from Allied nations including the U.S, Britain and Australia died as a result of Goebbels’ propaganda campaign and the malice of individual civilians who felt empowered by a “license to kill.”

 

More reading: 

https://www.historynet.com/goebbels-airmen.htm

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26454290?seq=1

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As the old USAAF advice to airmen goes - "It's never a good idea to bale out over enemy territory you just bombed". War is war, and you can never rely on any gentlemanly reaction from people whose relatives and friends have suffered from your attacks.

The Nazis were the most ruthless people on the planet and Goebbels and the Gestapo were evil personified. We will never know what the Nazis did to many Allied agents that they tortured, and then murdered.

 

I well remember the story of the Aussie WW2 soldiers who were captured in Europe, and sent via a Nazi train to a German POW camp.

In line with all the resourcefulness and larrikinism of the Diggers, they soon found a fire axe in one of the carriages and set to, chopping a hole in the (wooden) floor of the carriage, and jumping out to freedom. 

 

But the Nazis soon found the escapees, and they were handed over to the Gestapo, who promptly shot about a dozen of them on the spot. Then the rest were returned to the train, so they could tell the others what happens to escapees.

The exceptionally poor treatment of Allied POW's in WW2 is the defining feature of that war. And nothing defines cruelty like the Gestapo.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, spacesailor said:

German pilots were told the same would happen to them, when surviving their forced landing.

spacesailor

 

 

 

My dad who who passed  away last year at the grand old age of 92 told me a story (many times) about a German pilot landing by parachute in his village in England.  Some of the locals surrounded him and many said that they should kill him.  Luckily someone shoued  'no, he is somebody's son"  In the end they took to the local pub and gave him a stiff drink whilst they waited for the authorities to arrive.  I have always remembered this story and would like to think that I would be on the side of kindness rather than on the side of the bloodthirsty mob. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Those bombers were carpet bombing cities to kill the population. Bomber Harris was the architect.

I agree there is a difference between dropping bombs from 10,000 ft and chopping bale-out survivors with shovels though, but it is not a very logical difference.

And, WW2 was really just a continuation of WW1 which was caused by the english. Well, the english were the worst protagonists of ww1. the germans were not blameless. Historians give 60% of the blame to britain and 30% to germany and the other 10% to those who could have done better preventing the war.

A smart Australia would have stayed right out. Failing this, they should have sided with germany in ww1 and this would have saved millions of lives.  It would have prevented hitler and stalin I reckon.

  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

And, WW2 was really just a continuation of WW1 which was caused by the english.

How can you make such an outrageous statement? How well do you understand European political history of the early 20th Century?

 

Tensions had been brewing throughout Europe—especially in the troubled Balkan region of southeast Europe—for years before World War I actually broke out. A number of alliances involving European powers, the Ottoman Empire, Russia and other parties had existed for years, but political instability in the Balkans (particularly Bosnia, Serbia and Herzegovina) threatened to destroy these agreements.The assassination of Franz Ferdinand set off a rapidly escalating chain of events: Austria-Hungary, like many countries around the world, blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Serbian nationalism once and for all. Convinced that Austria-Hungary was readying for war, the Serbian government ordered the Serbian army to mobilize and appealed to Russia for assistance. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers quickly collapsed.

 

So it was the Austro-Hungarians who started the war, not Britain, which was sucked into the whirlpool because of prior alliances. Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire, and World War I had begun. Germany invaded Belgium. Russia invaded Germany.

 

According to an aggressive military strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan (named for its mastermind, German Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen), Germany began fighting World War I on two fronts, invading France through neutral Belgium in the west and confronting Russia in the east.  The Schlieffen Plan, devised a decade before the start of World War I, outlined a strategy for Germany to avoid fighting at its eastern and western fronts simultaneously. It had been meticulously designed to deal a swift “right hook” attack on France and then advance on Russia. Schlieffen’s strategy assumed that Russia, having recently lost the Russo-Japanese War, would take at least six weeks to mobilize its troops and attack Germany from the East. In that time, Germany would stage an attack on France by marching west through neutral territory of the Netherlands and Belgium. Once France was defeated, according to the plan, Germany could transport its soldiers east using its railroad network and deploy them against the Russian troops, which Schlieffen believed would require six weeks to mobilize and attack Germany’s eastern border.

 

The violation of Belgium’s neutral territory drew England into the war since they had promised to defend Belgium under the Treaty of London of 1839. Although Australia was a self-governing entity, it was still politically and culturally tied to England, so it could hardly have joined the German side. Besides, Australia didn't have the means of its own to move an army against British territories, nor did it have the tools of war to fight.

 

  • Like 2
  • Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We tend to concentrate mainly on the main offenders, Germany, Japan and Italy. Meanwhile, the other Axis powers of Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania were just as complicit in the destruction and loss of civilian life. Even in Ukraine, whole battalions of Ukrainians fought with the Nazis in German uniforms and that country to this day is the largest centre of Neo Nazism in Europe. As of recently, they even have a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of their main WW2 Nazi collaborator. It's a pity Hitler couldn't just die once and for all. He keeps popping his head up.

Edited by willedoo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Spacey seems to have forgotten that the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, two of the greatest powers in Europe in the mid-to-late 1800's, were the major armaments manufacturers of the world in that era.

 

From Wikipedia: "The (Austro-Hungarian) Empire (from the 1860's to 1914) built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the world, after the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom".

 

That "machine building" capability was at its peak, with Austro-Hungarian armaments, and German Empire armaments. These Empires were simply intent on becoming world Empires. The Germans had taken possession of many overseas territories and islands - all part of a scheme to rule the world, economically and politically.

 

These two Empires armed all their Allied nations to the teeth. The Turks, just before WW1 possessed huge amounts of high quality Austrian and German armaments, in the form of small arms, machine guns, and both fixed and highly mobile artillery pieces. The main beneficiaries of the massive re-armament of the Ottoman Empire between 1900 and 1910, were the German companies, Krupp, Mauser and Rheinmetall.

 

Possibly to our great fortune, the Turks lost a great deal of that armament and ammunition in the Balkan Wars they engaged in, in 1912-1913. Then, when WW1 started, the Russian, French and British Navies blockades stopped the Turks from acquiring more weaponry and ammunition from Germany and Austro-Hungary, to make up their weapons losses.

On top of that, the Ottomans made a serious error in allowing their officers to buy their own firearms. This led to a wide range of firearms being purchased and used, and then came the associated logistics problem of supplying 10 or 20 different types of ammunition.

 

WW1 started purely and simply because of constant, and increasing, German and Austro-Hungarian territorial aggression. As they invaded other countries, those countries called on Britain for help - because Britain had Alliance agreements with those countries, that enabled those countries to call on Britain for help. When you're getting bashed by the school bully, it helps greatly to be able to call on a bigger and stronger brother, to come and help you beat off the school bully.

 

Australia joined in with Britain in WW1 simply because Australians were classed as British subjects, Australia was still under a great deal of legislative control from Britain (our courts of last resort were British, and even the Australian Constitution had to be approved by a British court!). And on top of that, a very large percentage of Australians were British by birth, at the start of WW1.

 

I was quite surprised, going through the Vietnam Honour Roll, to find the large number of blokes I fought with in Vietnam, that were born in Britain!

 

A history of the (British) Privy Council, and its extensive impact on Australia - https://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/speeches/former-justices/gleesoncj/cj_18jun08.pdf 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, onetrack said:

A history of the (British) Privy Council, and its extensive impact on Australia - https://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/speeches/former-justices/gleesoncj/cj_18jun08.pdf 

onetrack, you being a sandgroper would know that one well, regarding W.A.'s succession referendum in the 30's. I can't remember which one knocked it back, but either House of Lords, Commons or the Privy Council.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I often think W.A., if managed right, would have done ok on their own. Iron ore, gold, diamonds, oil and gas, agriculture and tourism and possibly manufacturing to go by. It would only need a modest military force if in a tight alliance/sharing agreement with the rest of Australia.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Did't hear to much about  "the Kaisers at school Probably because  : " (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa; 21 November 1840 – 5 August 1901) was German Empress and Queen of Prussia as the wife of German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Albert, Prince Consort, and was created Princess Royal in 1841. "

 

" The Germans had taken possession of many overseas territories and islands - all part of a scheme to rule the world, economically and politically. "

 BUT 

It Has happened, without Germany's help. 

 

And a little  " arms manufacturer,"  Lithgow small arms " .

spacesailor

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

I’m reminded of the wise words of Basil Fawlty:

”Don’t mention the war!”

We had a German friend come over for our wedding.  Before my father met her, we jokingly warned him "Don't mention the war!!"

 

It took him about 3 minutes to mention the war.  :doh:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Marty_d said:

We had a German friend come over for our wedding.  Before my father met her, we jokingly warned him "Don't mention the war!!"

 

It took him about 3 minutes to mention the war.  :doh:

Marty, I once went to a mate's son's 21st. birthday party. It was one of those outdoor, BBQ, stand around the fire, bathtub full of beer cans type of do. There were two lesbians there who were an item; one German and one Australian. A mate of mine who was quite inebriated couldn't help himself. He started talking to the German girl in some sort of drunken pidgeon German gibberish and doing the Basil Fawlty goosestep with the finger moustache. The poor German girl had never heard of Fawlty, so she naturally assumed the drunken goose stepper was having a shot at her about the war and burst out crying.

 

Next minute, her Australian girlfriend came flying over and tore strips off the drunken mate. I thought she was going to start bashing him, when the mate who was hosting the party came over to break it up. He knew the Australian girl well and having a bit of a silver tongue, he explained to the girls that the drunken offender was really a good bloke when you get to know him, and that he really didn't mean offence etc. etc.. They must have believed him, because the next time I looked around, there was the drunken goose stepping mate with both the German and Australian girls hugging and kissing him. So it worked out well in the end.

 

I was in Bali in the mid 80's and was surprised to meet a German lady born well after the war, who was convinced other nationalities wouldn't like her because of Germany in the war. She'd never been out of Germany before. It was sad really that she thought like that. I'm sure nobody on the island would give it a second thought. Maybe other nations stopped blaming well before a lot of Germans stopped feeling guilty.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I employed a young German laddie in the late 1980's. He was quite a good young bloke, although he had the typical lack of humour, common to Germans. You could crack a joke, and he just couldn't see the funny side of it.

But he did relate to us, that a lot of his countrymen still felt guilty about the part that Germany played in creating so much misery in WW2. It seemed that his generation felt personally responsible for it.

However, we re-assured him that we didn't view all Germans as bad any more - even if a few WW2 veterans still did.

We explained to him, that the current generation couldn't really expect to bear the brunt of decisions made by their parents and grandparents.

And I'd guess not all Nazis were bad, it was just that felt that Germany had been really badly treated and downtrodden for a long time and they just wanted to see their national pride restored.

The mistake they made was allowing some really bad bastards - well, criminals, actually - to take control of their country by thuggish methods.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, onetrack said:

The mistake they made was allowing some really bad bastards - well, criminals, actually - to take control of their country by thuggish methods.

Remind you of any recent attempts?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Americans actually rounded up a pile of high-level Nazis and paraded them through the concentration camps, showing them exactly what they'd been doing.

I doubt whether it would've had a great deal of effect on them, I would think these people were inured to the suffering of anyone who didn't fit their "pure Aryan" image.

 

No Nazis ever apologised for anything they did in WW2. But the German State has recognised the Nazi wrongdoings and have tried to make amends by installing memorials to the people murdered by the Nazis.

A 2Ha parcel of land that was occupied by the Berlin Wall was turned in a park as a memorial to the murdered Jews under the Nazi regime.

 

The Americans put up posters everywhere in Germany, right after WW2, showing concentration camp victims, and foisting the blame for them onto Germans in general.

I'm not sure this was as successful as the Americans intended, as a lot of Germans had no idea the concentration camps existed, and possibly had no idea that their Nazi leaders had total extinction of the Jews in mind.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_collective_guilt#/media/File:Eure_Schuld.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sights like this must have really grated on the hardliners. Irina Sebrova and Natalya Meklin doing a victory lap around the Brandenburg Gate in their U-2 the day after Berlin fell. After that, they buzzed the Reichstag.

 

 

U2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I sure have read different accounts of the start of ww1. There is a wonderful book " the guns of August" which was given a pulitzer prize even though there was no category for it. The woman author had access to previously hidden data, such as private correspondence and de-classified ( after 100 years) cabinet minutes etc.  I think you guys have been influenced by official records which of course were highly sanitised.

The Germans went into WW1 with 6 weeks of explosives, that's how fast they expected it to be over. They were "saved"  by Fritz Haber, who developed the Haber process for making ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen.  ( Haber was a jew and his family did poorly under Hitler )

As for the poms, they were only allowed into the war because of a treaty with Belgium.  Generally, the poms were looked down upon in Europe because of their atrocities in the Boer war.

In 1915 the Germans wanted out of the war, but the poms were having such fun that they didn't listen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_August

 

Section 2 of the Wikipedia entry - Miscalculations leading to War - describes a lot of the military and political factors that all countries made. Essentially, the "It'll be all over by Christmas" opinion is shown to be a cause of the Christmas being in 1918, not 1914 as the opinion was.

 

This looks like a good book to get hold of.  ISBN: 9780241968222  Barbara Tuchman

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...