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WWII History?????

earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
Anyone know or ever come across information as to how many American and British soldiers perished in Russian captivity after the war????

No mistake, Russian captivity is not a typo or an error.

Replies

  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,969 Senior Member
    Best guestimate I could find was between 6000-7000. Other references suggest as many as 50,000.

    But I don't think anyone really knows for sure. But it did happen since they were hoping to get money from the west or to trade for their own spies.

    Of course, they didn't call them POWs.
    They were sent into the Gulag force labor system  charged with ridiculous offenses.

    Read the book The Long Walk for an idea what the Gulag system was like. The same book inspired the movie The Way Back with Ed Harris playing an American within the Gulag system during WWII.


    Btw, The Way Back is a good movie. 👍



    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #3

     

    remember seeing something about the end of the Second World War and over 30,000 British & Commonwealth soldiers "liberated" from German POW camps by the Red Army disappeared into the Gulag.

    edit;

    The Iron Cage: Are British Prisoners of War Abandoned in Soviet Hands Still Alive in Siberia?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00USC6VNK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/book-review-old-soldiers-never-die-they-live-on-in-siberia-the-iron-cage-nigel-cawthorne-fourth-1405056.html

     

    read somewhere of up to 20,000 US POWs who went missing after being liberated by the Soviets


     

     and one executed Colonel who protested too much

     

    2008 newspaper article


    soviets did execute a mass of 'liberated' POWs

    Soviet and Polish nationality

     wanted for other crimes i.e. rape, murder and desertion.

     'desertion' also included surrendering to the Germans.

    so they were on a hiding to nothing


    and

    1945. "The request from the Soviet NKVD August 13, 1945 № 00955 "On the release of prisoners from the camps and NKVD hospitals" read: 1. Release from the camps and NKVD spetsgospitaley 708 000 ordinary prisoners of war and non-commissioned officers, among them - 419 000 people. From former front camps network and 289 000 people. From camps and hospitals. 2. The release made in the following order: a) completely release and return to their homeland prisoners of war following nationalities: chehoslovakov (Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians) - 32 600 people. (from the front network of camps - 9298 per.), Poles - 19 800 (17 723), Yugoslavs (Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians) - 9500 people.. "Then followed on the list of 19 640 Italians, Belgians 1800, 1300 Dutch, 720 lux-burzhtsev, 280 Bulgarians, 230 Danes, 24 Swiss, 55 Norwegians, 40 Americans, 31 Swedes, 20 Greeks, 15 Britons, 150 000 Hungarians, Austrians 30 000, 30 000 Romanians.

    Of course, that the largest group in this list were prisoners of war (the sick, disabled, handicapped) Germans - 412 000 people., ..."

    sorry but no web links

    very interesting thread

     

     












  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    Thankyou gentleman. 

     I came across this in a book I'm currently reading and was previously uninformed about it. I'll thoroughly read over you supplied information today.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    While you're at it, read up on the Viet Nam POW's  who ended up in Russia- - - -never to be heard from again.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    This book linked by das68 seems to be indicative of at least claims by Boris Yeltsin to that Teach. 
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/book-review-old-soldiers-never-die-they-live-on-in-siberia-the-iron-cage-nigel-cawthorne-fourth-1405056.html
    I've only read two books about VN. Hue by Mark Bowden, and one about SOG commandos by John Plaster. The second one said if wounded weren't attended immediately, they were prone to vanishing.

    The book Im reading right now is Killing Patton by Bill O' Rielly & Martin Dugard. I know O' Rielly's obnoxious on tv, but the book was gifted to me and has been a very good read. FDR may  been far too cooperative with Stalin. May not have been necessary to win the war. Not the only book Ive read indicative of that. Patton seems to have seen the writing on the wall quite plainly as did Churchill. Ive read extensively about Winston Churchill and respect his perspective. Was surprised to see some similar thinking between him and Patton as past books didn't paint Patton in a flattering light. I was very surprised to find about the soldiers abandoned to Russian captivity.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    There are those who think that Patton's fatal "accident" had more to do with his attitude towards the Russians than the crappy driving of a truck driver...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    I haven't finished the book yet. I think Stalin knew more english than was percieved at the time and would have ascertained Patton's slim to none political prospects. If Patton's accident is suspect, it seems to me to be more personal than political.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,683 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #9
    I'm "reasonably convinced" that Patton was bumped off, based on my reading, including O'Reilly's book. He knew we should have kept marching east until we reached Moscow, something Ike et al wern't willing to countenance.
    As always, we weren't willing to finish the job, and as usual, we paid the price as a result.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    According to one of Patton's tankers who worked as a mechanic in the family auto shop in the 1950's the only thing that kept him from heading into Russia to finish the job was a lack of fuel.  Eisenhower, apparently under orders from above, cut off Patton's fuel supply and turned most of his tanks into fixed-piece artillery.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,267 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    I'm "reasonably convinced" that Patton was bumped off, based on my reading, including O'Reilly's book. He knew we should have kept marching east until we reached Moscow, something Ike et al wern't willing to countenance.
    As always, we weren't willing to finish the job, and as usual, we paid the price as a result.
    Good as it sounds with the 20/20 hindsight that shows us Patton and Churchill were RIGHT, I suspect that would have been. . .complicated.

    First problem was that the Allies been slugging it out in Europe for five years.  Everybody was tired and running short of fresh 20-somethings.

    Second problem would have been changing gears on the propaganda machine.  "Sorry Moms.  While you no longer need to worry about your sons being killed by fascists,  we're going to keep them in uniform so they can be killed by the dastardly, evil communists that we were telling you were our friends three weeks ago.  Remember to buy War Bonds!"  This would probably not have gone over well.

    Third problem - the Red Army, spooled up, organized, and already known to demonstrate a willingness to accept horrific losses, was pretty clearly something we wanted no part of dealing with, nukes or no.

    Fourth problem - nobody outside of a very narrow circle had any inkling that Japan was going to be hit by two nuclear weapons in about four months, and NOBODY knew what the ultimate outcome of those nukes would be.  A whole lot of troops that could have been staged to deal with Stalin were being staged for amphibious landings on the Japanese home islands, and EVERYBODY was expecting that to be a MAJOR mess.  When the nukes were dropped and Japan surrendered, it was the middle of August.  "The leaves are gonna start turning yellow in a couple weeks guys.  Invading Russia in the SUMMER didn't work out so well for Hitler - -  who wants to try it in AUTUMN?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?"

    All of this though is an interesting continuation of World War One.  It's worth remembering that we backed the Czar's army during the revolution.  Stalin no doubt held a grudge.


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,683 Senior Member
    Good points there, BS. Hindsight is usually 20/20 for sure! The Russian armed forces were kaput at that point by all accounts, but you're right: it wouldn't have been easy - and if we'd done it, what would we have done when we got to Moscow? Yet another Marshall plan with its associated costs? *shrug*
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    FDR and Stalin weren't that far apart, ideologically.  Stalin just had a better grip on the levers of government and he didn't have to deal with that pesky document called the Constitution, and elected representatives and courts who were willing to enforce its principles.  Too bad we don't have as many patriots these days as there were back then! 
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    Im guessing that American industrial might was stretched thinner than we'll ever know. The fragmented jigsaw puzzle of Europe was maybe a bigger quagmire of danger than hindsight can illuminate.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,267 Senior Member
    Im guessing that American industrial might was stretched thinner than we'll ever know. The fragmented jigsaw puzzle of Europe was maybe a bigger quagmire of danger than hindsight can illuminate.

    It's also worth noting that many of the various indigenous European resistance groups against the Nazis had communist leanings.  Not long ago, we had a discussion on the two main Polish resistance wings - one socialist; the other not.  The Russians basically let the Germans run them BOTH down out of fear they'd later have to deal with an INDIGENOUS enemy that was a lot harder to spot than the obvious German one.  It was certainly cost-effective for the O.S.S. to drop a crate of STEN guns here and there to such groups to disrupt the mutual enemy, but such groups might have become an internal problem in the rear should Patton have been allowed to press east.

    A LOT more to juggle than just the guys sporting swastikas.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #16
    Don't omit the fact that the Russians had, by this time, mass-produced a tank capable of neutralizing the German Panther tank - something the US Army had only been able to accomplish by outnumbering and surrounding them with the inferior, but faster, Sherman tank. Then, there are the tactics required to win in the vastness of the Russian plains.

    The invader has to contend with long supply lines and brutal winters, while the defender has the luxury of being able to use tactical retreats. Tactical retreats, by the Russians, shortened their own supply lines and lengthened the invaders supply line. In a conventional, mobile battle, the Russians could control the tactics with numbers, time, and plenty of room behind them, from which to select the battlefield that favored them. The invaders, on the other hand, were forced to press on before winter overcame any advantage they gained through training, supply, and mobility (see Stalingrad, or Napolean - same-same).

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