Skip to comments.The Forgotten Massacre
Posted on 05/24/2014 6:01:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
Strange, the once obscure villages that war makes unforgettable, forever resonant with the echoes of battle. Gettysburg. Hastings. Lexington and Concord. The fate of nations, and of freedom, was determined by what happened at such places. And their names became indelible. So it is with the names of massacres, too, names soaked in blood and shame. Names like Fort Pillow. That was the Union post in Tennessee just north of Memphis where black troops wearing the uniform of the United States Army were slaughtered. It wouldn't be the first time.
It happened in 1944, too. In the middle of the Battle of the Bulge, the last great German offensive of the war that took the Allies completely by surprise. Having finally broken out of the hedgerows in France, encountered bridges too far and advances suddenly turned into retreats, now the Allied armies were poised on the edge of victory by Christmas. It lay just across the Rhine.
And then ... the panzers were everywhere. The bulge in the Allied lines had erupted, whole divisions were broken and scattered, the outcome of the war itself was in doubt. The front was collapsing.
Then came Malmedy. A lightly armed American convoy trying to escape the rout was captured by the SS near that village, the GIs collected in an open field, and then ... mowed down by machine-gun fire.
When American forces regained the initiative and returned a month later, they would find 84 frozen bodies under the snow. But word of the atrocity had spread within hours of the massacre. And so did the rage. All along Allied lines. And back home, too. The mask of the enemy had been torn away, the evil underneath it revealed. It wasn't necessary to put the order in writing: Take no prisoners. A fever for vengeance took hold, and would have to run its course before it abated.
Who could forget Malmedy?
But who now remembers Wereth? That's the little hamlet where a small detachment of the redoubtable 333rd Field Artillery Battalion had taken refuge. The 333rd, an all-black outfit in those Jim Crow days, had fought its way across northern Europe since D-Day, only to be caught in the Bulge along with the rest of VIII Corps. The detachment had been part of the two batteries left behind to cover the American retreat when the front collapsed.
Mathias and Maria Langer hid the fleeing Americans in their farmhouse, but an informant told the SS about them. The 11 Americans were taken prisoner and marched off. To a small, muddy field where they were shot, but not before being tortured and maimed. Legs were broken, skulls crushed, fingers cut off. Their ordeal must have lasted for the better part of a day; the Americans had become playthings to be torn apart for the amusement of sadists. The 99th Infantry Division would find only their broken remains when it entered the village a month later. Then the Wereth Eleven were pretty much forgotten.
Till half a century later. That's when Hermann Langer, the son of Mathias and Maria, would put up a cross at the site of the Forgotten Massacre. His sister Tina said he was haunted by the memory of the GIs being taken from the farmhouse, and was determined to commemorate the massacre. A decade later, the Belgians would erect a stone monument on the site. They remembered.
Let the country whose uniform these American soldiers remember them, too, on this Memorial Day.
They came from Mississippi and Texas and South Carolina and West Virginia and Texas and Alabama ... and one of them was from Arkansas: PFC Due W. Turner, 38383369, lies buried at Henri-Chapelle, Plot F Row 5 Grave 9. He's officially listed as a native of Columbia County, Arkansas, but last time I looked at the Columbia County Courthouse website, with its picture of the county's monument to its war veterans, there's still an empty space under the list of World War II veterans inscribed there. Let it be filled with the name
Due W. Turner
I, for one, will never forgive the Germans or trust them. As far as I know, the Germans have never asked the world’s forgiveness or apologized. They still owe the civilized world, basically the Allies, bigtime.
Actor Charles Durning, having already been wounded at D-Day, had returned to action and was captured at Malmedy, barely escaping.
A head of government on his knees at a memorial, and billions of dollars paid in reparations.
What would you suggest the German government or people do further?
You are aware this is exactly the same argument used to make white Americans eternally guilty for the past sins of other white Americans against black people, aren’t you?
Also, by this argument, maybe the Jews should be held responsible for the murder of Jesus Christ.
Every nation has a minority quite willing to do government-sponsored, sadistic, SS-like work. The Russians had their Bolsheviks, for example. It is the duty of all good people to prevent a fascist minority from taking power.
What many on the left cannot understand is that their intolerance breeds fascism.
In the past, the Germans have been both arrogant and quite willing to an accept authoritarian leader (the Kaiser, the Fuhrer). That's a bad combination. The Japanese were the same way.
Let's hope things have changed.
Thank you for enlightening me
I had no idea.
lest we forget:
nits make lice.
Ah, the difference is, the Nazis haven’t all died yet. And their children are first generation. I guess it is so fresh.
There is truth to your response, I do acknowledge that.
The Sand Creek Massacre is remembered, out of the many hundreds of battles with the Indians, because US troops indulged in atrocities to a degree roughly comparable to the normal practices of "the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." To quote the Declaration of Independence.
IOW, at Sand Creek the Army did what (most of) the Indians always did. Actually less than, since even Chivington didn't haul away prisoners for later leisurely torture.
OTOH, Jim Crow was live and active and still killing people more recently than WWII.
Exactly. Instead of looking for some ethnic, nationality, or racial commonality to the evil doings of people in history, look at their political bent, always leftist, totalitarian.
Yeah and antisemitism still pervades Europe too
It is, however, NOT the anti-semitism of Tsarist Russia, based on a supposedly Christian POV, or of the Nazis, based on supposed racial criteria.
It is almost exclusively leftist and Muslim in origin.
Lumping it in with earlier versions to say “Europe is still anti-semitic” seems to me to be a categorization error. Posits a line of descent where none exists.
And it really has to be said. Today's leftists are very much like the National Socialists and the Bolsheviks of old. Today's leftists shout down their opposition, and demonize their enemies. Conservatives are not just wrong. They are evil racists. Enemies of the people, in other words.
No shortage at Waco. No shortage when the only alien clinton hated - Elián González - was deported at gunpoint. No shortage at the Bundy ranch. No shortage at the IRS. No shortage at the EPA...
Yeah. I’ve even worked with a former Hitler Youth. Pretty normal guy unless WWII or Jews came up in the conversation...
“Let’s hope things have changed.”
They haven’t. The names change but they’re still attached to humans and humans are infinitely fallible. All these atrocities will happen again... and again... and again, ad infinitum.
you are attempting to split hairs
Oh definitely, there is always an evil and stupid populace willing to turn into monsters if given half a chance
what a depraved creature, Chivington. Why was he not prosecuted?
Muslims and leftists also both hate the USA, western civ and Christianity. As did both the Nazis and the Soviets.
But for completely different reasons. Lumping them all together as “the same thing” is, IMNTBHO, intellectual laziness.
The problem with this is that it encourages us to combat them in the same way, which is generally wildly inappropriate.
well, like I said, West is best. Judeo-Christian is the Way. You cannot “co-exist” when the Mohammedans want to kill you.
Naaahhhh, I didn’t tell you the creepy part...
Because of the general amnesty granted for crimes committed during the Civil War.
However, his actions were investigated and condemned by a congressional committee, and he was generally shunned by society in later life.
They had the poor sense to taunt him from behind the fortress's high walls and when he captured the fort and when the soldiers began to run he shot them all even the ones who jumped into the Mississippi River to try to escape.
These soldiers apparently did not know the meaning of quarter, which means to allow one to surrender peacefully.
Next fort NBF approached with the same terms wisely accepted the terms of surrender.
War, who would think it could ever be violent.
Forrest was a genius who inspired Rommel and Patton. He is the only General in the Civil War who began as a Private. He is discounted because he was on the losing side. Sherman was more brutal but winners don't have to apologize.
Here's something to think about. When Hitler first took power (in 1933), he was too weak to do much damage. It took him years to become a confident, absolute dictator. Same goes for Stalin.
So I wonder. Suppose the UN could enforce a rule. No leader can be in power for more than, say, five years. That would derail many future Hitlers. And I picked five years because Hitler started WW II six years after taking power.
Yeah, I know. The mere thought of the UN doing anything one way or the other is ridiculous. And there are other problems with my idea as well. But I wonder...
Too many dictators for life in the UN. Still, it’s an interesting idea...
In composing the piece Paul Greenberg writing in Townhall could have added that prior to WWI our military was integrated but Woodrow Wilson The “Great Progressive” instituted segregation which was discontinued only until Eisenhower took office.
We must rememeber these black heroes who died at the hands of sadists SS Troops.
watch as todays Germans start to focus their hate on Muslims—they are wearing out their welcome and no amount of propaganda can cover over their outrages. Unlike the Jew, the Mulins really kill people and abuse their rights in the nations of Europe. A day of reconing is coming.
What are you saying here? Are you saying that Forrest shot those men because they were trying to escape? If that's the case, then perhaps Forrest can be given a pass.
As you said, it is war. And war is a nasty and brutish business. But then you must also give a pass to the U-boat commanders who machine-gunned lifeboats.
But if Forrest shot those men because they had refused to surrender, then, genius or not, Forrest is a monster and a war criminal.
A warning of "no quarter" is not good enough. In fact, it is a pathetic excuse. Would it have been acceptable for the Germans to murder the Malmedy prisoners if only the Germans had announced no quarter ahead of time?
It is honorable to refuse to surrender, and to fight for your country. It is not honorable to shoot unarmed men.
Among the items found at at this peaceful Indian village at Sand creek were..Scalps of white men and boys so fresh they had not been stretched on hoops or tanned, a blanket fringed with the hair of white women...
Peaceful Indians indeed.
Chivington later returned to Colorado, gave a speech at an Old Timer’s Day and went over what led up to the killings that day.
As he finished he yelled loudly “I STAND BY SAND CREEK!”
The crowd who remembered those bad old days went wild with cheering!
MASSACRES OF THE MOUNTAINS by J P DUNN Jr.
Anyone remember WAKE ISLAND? After the Japanese captured it they took all the US civilian work force there to the beach and shot them down.
you are attempting to split hairs
“I, for one, will never forgive the Germans or trust them. As far as I know, the Germans have never asked the worlds forgiveness or apologized. They still owe the civilized world, basically the Allies, bigtime.”
You cannot forgive them if you weren’t the injured party anyway. Anyone who wants to hold that part of history against the perpetrators is fine by me; holding their grandchildren responsible for it is absurd & immoral. Any conversation about “owing” should take into account the debt the Germans incurred from WWI; it played no small role in bringing about WWII. The Allies felt they were “owed” something by Germany after WWI - how did that work out? A continent divided between fascism and communism...
I've lived in Germany as an adult for 3 years. Their self-abasement has gone so far its unhealthy. Saying that Germany and Germans have contributed to civilization is verboten. Germany is the root of all evil and any sign of patriotism is denounced. This is sick. And it was sick when I first experienced it in 1975.
But in doing so you accept the possibility that you will be killed, which is what happened.
And the repeated offer of surrender is not just nothing. It changes the moral logic. Did the Germans who machine gunned the lifeboats offer the possibility of surrender first? I'll bet not. Therefore Forrest is not like the Germans.
And unlike Malmedy it wasn't a case of slaughtering prisoners.
So I guess I'm not sure you have a point.
A lot of mythology has been printed about Sand Creek.
Many years ago TIME-LIFE published a series of books on the Westward expansion and republished these myths as facts, completely ignoring that those “facts” had been disproven over a hundred years before by government investigation.
The US Army was thrilled with what happened at Sand Creek, but Chivington became a disliked figure by the Army, not because of the massacre but because he did not kill as many Indians there as he reported he did.
The Indian Wars of 1864 by Lt Ware.
You accept the possibility that you will be killed in action, but not that you will be simply murdered.
And unlike Malmedy it wasn't a case of slaughtering prisoners
It actually depends on the motivation. If Forrest shot those men only because they were trying to escape, then Fort Pillow wasn't like Malmedy.
But if Forrest shot them because they had earlier refused to surrender, or because they were Negro troops, then yep, it was a Malmedy.
I suppose it boils down to this: did Forrest order the shooting of the men who had surrendered and weren't trying to escape? To this day, that question is being debated.
Trying to escape to fight another day is an action.
If they weren’t prisoners, then nope, it wasn’t a Malmedy.
If Forrest ordered the shooting the men who had surrendered then of course that changes everything.
the men = of men
They also became fast allies. Learned our form of government. learned our industrial methods. And beat us fair and square in the electronics industry!
Gee. That sound like the US under obama and the MSM...
The military was fully segregated from the Civil War through WWII, with black outfits (almost) entirely led by white officers.
Black Jack Pershing of WWI fame received his name because of his service with 10th Cavalry, one of the Buffalo Soldier black regiments.
Oddly, we had many mixed regiments during our Revolution.