Friday, April 16, 2021



The three officers were standing together near the fence which separated the officers' camp from that of the enlisted. They had been talking with the two surviving senior sergeants from their old battalion, it seemed that a number of the men had fallen sick. No doubt because of the conditions in the camp.

A lot of the men were still sleeping in the open with nothing between them and the heavens but a Zeltbahn, sometimes they didn't even have that. On sunny days it wasn't too bad but sanitation was becoming an issue as well. There were no proper latrines and some of the men were so demoralized that they were just doing their business anywhere.

"Do you regret surrendering, Jürgen?" Leutnant Manfred Sauer watched his major's face as he waited for an answer.

"Do I regret not sending my men to their deaths? Do I regret not having to follow insane orders from those criminals in Berlin? Yes, I think of them as criminals now, they have betrayed the German people and have led us into Hell. Do I regret wondering where our next meal is coming from? Whether or not we'll have enough fuel and ammunition to fight?" von Lüttwitz paused, he looked across the wire and saw his sergeant major instructing some of the younger men in how to attach their Zeltbahnen together to make a tent.

"Not at all Manfred." Turning to Leutnant Heinrich, the former Panzer commander, he asked, "How about you Ralf, do you miss your Panther?"

Heinrich nodded, "Of course, Herr Major. I miss the sound of the engine, I miss the feeling of commanding such a fine fighting machine. But do I miss hearing my men scream as fire consumes them? Do I miss freezing inside the tank in the winter, or sweating like a pig in the summer?"

"No Sir, I do not."

Hauptfeldwebel Georg Eichmann watched as the four young men managed to put their shelter together. "You can sleep in relative comfort under there. It will be a little tight, but it's better than being rained on."

Grenadier Kurt Schröder laughed and shoved his comrade, Grenadier Uwe von Weber. "It will be fine as long as Uwe can contain his farts!" The two young soldiers had been on the battalion staff, essentially as extra hands for doing the heavy lifting, pitching tents, packing and unpacking equipment. They were overjoyed at the prospect of actually surviving the war.

Eichmann chuckled as he walked over to Hauptfeldwebel Klaus-Peter Keller, Sauer's company sergeant major. Eichmann was junior to Keller in seniority but higher on the "food chain" as the company clerk, Obergefreiter Adolph Storch, liked to say.

"Klaus-Peter, any word on those extra rations you've been trying to organize?"

Keller turned around and said, "Is that all you can think of Georg? Eating?"

"What else is there to do in this Godforsaken camp?"

"True, and the extra rations should be here after dark. The men still have some of their medals and badges which they're willing to trade for more food. The Amis are entranced by the stuff." Keller explained.

"They could just take those things!" Eichmann exclaimed.

"Funny thing about the Amis, Georg, most of them are decent sorts, they like to 'play fair' as one of them told me."

"All that f**king artillery they hit us with in the Ardennes didn't seem very fair. Getting strafed and bombed from Normandy to the Rhineland didn't seem very fair." Eichmann always thought that the Americans wouldn't fight man to man, they used steel instead of blood.

"Oh, they don't believe in fighting fair, that's certain. But want to make a deal with them, they're willing to talk. You can't eat medals, or rank epaulettes, can you?"

"Well, sure, that's true. I just wish those bastards in Berlin would quit so that we could go home." Eichmann shook his head, he couldn't believe the war still dragged on.

"It will end, and soon I'm sure, but no doubt the Russians will have to kill every Nazi in Berlin first." Keller said.

"The Russians? Won't the Amis and the Tommies strike for the capital?" Eichmann seemed amazed that the Russians would be allowed to take Berlin, had the Western Allies no political sense?

"One of the guards, a German speaker, told me that Roosevelt agreed to letting the Russians take Berlin before he died."

"What? Roosevelt is dead?"

"You didn't know?"

"No, I didn't. The Russians in Berlin, that's bad. Did you ever serve in the East, Klaus-Peter? Do you know what we did there?"

"Yes and yes. The peace may turn out to be worse than the war, especially in the eastern parts of the Reich."

"We sowed the wind, Klaus-Peter."

"Yes Georg, we truly did..."

Link to all of the Chant's fiction.


  1. The new battle field our soldaten find themselves on has it's own pitfalls: sanitation, boredom, hunger, time to think....

    It appears we sowed some wind ourselves... If current events are any clue...

    1. Uninformed/low information voters are the bane of any republic.

  2. Those powerful people who willfully misled the low information voters are truly the bane - as much as the criminals who funded and conducted the fraud.
    T'is they who have sowed, t'is they who shall reap.
    Boat Guy

  3. That's a damned sobering article at the source for the picture... While I knew a lot of German POWs died at th hands of the Soviets, I hadn't realized just how many, nor haw many died under custody of the western allies...

    1. Bear in mind there have been a number of false articles concerning the deaths of German POWs in the "Rhine Meadow Camps" (established after the fall of the Ruhr Pocket, 300,000+ POWs and inadequate facilities to house them) most of them based on shitty research by a Canadian author who completely effed up in his research. Of course the objective is to discredit the Western Allies by the usual left-wing suspects.

      The source for the picture states : An estimated 790,000 German soldiers would die in the West (the exact figure is unknown and highly debated). That "exact figure is unknown and highly debated" stems from shitty research by that aforementioned Canadian. That number of 790,000 is probably bullshit.

      Always beware of sources comparing our treatment of POWs to that of the Soviets, the idea is to discredit western values. That is endemic these days. Project 1619 springs to mind. Shitty research by sketchy historians always needs to be double-checked.

      Word to the wise.

    2. Ran across that issue sometime last week in following your sources and, yes, many Germans did die in detainment or prison camps. But when you're housing millions, you do expect to lose a few due to issues, like malnutrition (mostly from before being a POW) or wounds recieved in the field.

      The number dying of bad sanitation, poor shelter, or just carelessness? Probably very small. Allied doctors and health officials knew that the camps were potential breeding grounds for just about every known disease or issue, and fought a valiant and mostly successful 'war' against plagues and other transmittable diseases.

      The miracle isn't that some died. The miracle is that so very few died from camp conditions.

      Like with the food. Suddenly all the civilians who were 'enemies' are back to being civilians and the US, in their sectors of control, now had to feed their own troops and civilians, the new non-enemy civilians (until the NEC could get back on their feet) and the POWs/Detainees. On an already stretched supply chain. During a period when people back in the US were working hard to feed themselves. While we were also feeding Britain, France, Russia, a portion of China, helping Australia... The Breadbasket of the World was running on some awefully empty shelves at times.

      And this was at the same time the US was having problems putting tents or roofs over the heads of their own men. What to do? Cover your own troops, or the hospital wards, or the orphanage that's now full, or the huge number of civilians who've been basically living in basements and shacks constructed out of debris, or the POW/Detainees?

      Really, considering how bad the situation was, it was remarkable that massive die-offs didn't occur. That so many people, military, civilian, prisoners, had what shelter and food and clothing that they had.

      Imagine if the surrender had happened in the middle of the winter, or even worse, at the tail-end of fall and the beginning of winter.

      Once again, the US pulled a miracle, several miracles, out of Uncle Sam's rather thread-bare hat.

      As to that piece of dog-squeeze 'researcher', if deaths were that high, we would have learned about it long ago. They weren't, he lied in typical progressive leftist fashion, and studies by the French, the Brits, Germany and the US, about every 10 years or so, continue to find about the same much lower number of deaths. But, of course, WIKI being run by prog bastiges, reports the Canuck's lies...

    3. They do indeed.

      Many good points here Beans, well done!

  4. I have wondered at times (because I tend to think of such things) if a German from 1945 was able to travel back in time to 1933 and see anyone - even himself - could he have convinced them that the future they were choosing would end so badly? I have never really come up with a good answer - I suspect not, because (even one countenanced the concept of time travel) the message would fall on deaf ears. 1933 Germany could not imagine anything like 1945 Germany, even if they thought they would be able to. we have a tendency to believe that things only work out for the better in the end, even when presented with clear evidence that in fact, they do not.

    (To be fair, this is essentially one of the functions of history, which we sadly seem to have forgotten in modern times to our detriment.)

    I would think the greatest struggle in prison camp - just beyond the basics of survival and health - would be the long hours of essentially nothing to do and the inability to gather information.

    For those that have not read it, One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) is a fascinating (and sadly, autobiographical) account of a single day in the life of a prisoner in Soviet Prison Camp. If you are further interested, I might also recommend The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky, which portrays a prison camp in a 19th century Russian Siberia (again, based on an autobiographical experience).

    1. Consider that Germany was blamed for WWI by vindictive politicians in Britain and France. Saddled with huge reparations and with the French Army occupying parts of Germany, then BAM, along comes the Depression. Add in a weak Weimar Republic in a country which is hardly fifty years old (German didn't exist before 1871) and the people having zero experience with democracy and you've set the stage for someone like Hitler.

      The Gulag has long been a "thing" in Russian history, the Communists didn't invent it, it probably didn't go away when the Soviet Union collapsed.

    2. There were ideological underpinnings of the German slide into fascism, too. They were the seat of "higher criticisms" that basically denied the authority of the Bible. Hence the "God is dead" theology. That got exported into American around the 1880's - 90's when academia decided we needed European professors to educate our elite's kids. With no higher power to be responsible to, they moved to a weird idea of super men, and glorious death, and sacrifice for the fatherland ideas. They were primed for Hitler from about 1900 on, until they got him. They had a convergence of things that put them in the proper frame of mind to accept what they got. YMMV

      And we aren't too far away from that now. The .gov fouls up everything they try to help with. But that doesn't stop the rainbow fart sniffers from believing they'll get it right this time...

      I read somewhere that the WW1 reparations were finally paid in full by Germany around 2000. That's a long time to complete a fine.

    3. See also "The Nazi Seizure of Power" by William S. Allen.
      Boat Guy

    4. We see the same thing... here. How many of us, if able to go back even 4 years, would believe the wild tales of today?

      It's part of the progressive song of destruction. We see it in Argentina in the early 1900's. In Europe and in parts of America in the late Victorian and Gilded Ages. Deny the past, rewrite it, massage it to fit the message of 'today' and go forth to slit one's throat.

      We're still cleaning up all the damage that 'Victorian' 'historians' did to just about everything dealing with pre-industrial history. Like Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who published a book of snowflakes that he saw in the sparkling new microscope, only the nice ones were kept, the ones that fit his 'vision' of what they should look like. Real flakes are sometimes beautiful, but there are also those that look like zombie-frankenstein monster versions. Same with 'facts' in the 1800's...

    5. Yes, those that twist the facts to fit some pet theory.

  5. A few seconds after reading your description of the POW conditions the Germans faced, that little voice in my head piped up and asked, "What plans did the Allies make for mass prisoners when it was obvious the allies would win?"
    I didn't get an answer to that question because I got detoured by finding the article below.

    My vague internet query led to an article called, "The Treatment of Prisoners of War in World War II" by author S. P. MacKenzie, found in The Journal of Modern History
    Vol. 66, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 487-520 (34 pages)
    Published by: The University of Chicago Press

    Link to the article at JSTOR.
    This gives you a preview and you can read the article by logging in with gmail login.

    The article says that the general good treatment of prisoners in Allied hands changed sharpy when the allies had to deal with six million POWs, and the article also goes on to state that those prisoners were then labeled as "Surrendered Enemy Forces", or "Disarmed Enemy Forces." And that was an attempt to circumvent the terms of the Geneva Convention that would have been mandated if the prisoners had been labeled as POWs.

    I pulled back from the rabbit hole just in the nick of time because I was starting to look up a the article's footnotes.

    The article pointed out that the treatment of prisoners in the East and in the Pacific, was very, very different.

    Sarge, you grabbed my imagination and showed me once again the staggering amount of research that you have done.
    You will have to let me know how you avoid the rabbit holes, or climb out of them.

    1. Who said I avoid the rabbit holes?

      I often find myself chasing links through the web, finding all sorts of interesting stuff until I realize I just spent two hours on something not related to what I was looking for. But it can be an awful lot of fun.

    2. The treatment of prisoners in Europe and in the Pacific was very very different because, well, the prisoners were very different. Germans tended to give up and not resist once they've surrendered.

      Japanese prisoners? Well, once you've weeded out the fanatics that will actively try to kill everyone given half a chance, you ended up with prisoners who actively tried to kill themselves because they gave up, given half a chance.

      A very oversimplification of a very complex problem, but that's the gist of the situation. Surrendering en-masse in the way we wanted the Japanese to surrender was just so alien to the Japanese that, well...Alien...

    3. Another note, many Japanese prisoners would actively assist their enemies as, because they had surrendered, they no longer considered themselves Japanese, or even human. The Japanese militarists took a fascinating culture and turned it into something obscene.

  6. Excellent episode today.

    The problem of what to do with the Germans wasn't really worked out very well. It's not like German Prisoners in the US, who could be put into basically work release. Instead you had all those prisoners basically on their home turf. Work release was really not an option. Yet... that's kind of what happened, sort of. Using German prisoners to fix some of Germany. Weird but true.

    Which is what I'm wondering about. When will the German efficiency of doing something take over in combination with the American 'Gotta fix it' attitude and groups of Germans are organized for fixing stuff in the camp with American approval?

    Excellent episode, and excellent discussions in the comments, as usual. Your Muse is excused for shanking you earlier, though she still needed to get kidney punched for some of what she did to you and to us.

    1. I need to do more research on what actually happened. But I don't plan on spending much time on that topic in the book.


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