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World War II in Photos; After the War. Open (non-lecture) Thread

by huckfunn ( 28 Comments › )
Filed under History, Open thread, World War II at February 16th, 2013 - 8:00 am

My VFW Post Commander recently sent a link to some incredible photos of the aftermath of WWII. I’m quite a history buff but I had never seen these photos.  The photo stream begins with the above picture of German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler being tied to a stake before his execution by firing squad. He was found guilty of ordering the execution of 15 captured American G.I.s in Italy. I feel reasonably sure that the murdered Americans didn’t have such a polite and proper execution. The other photos show the war’s devastation from Berlin to London to Hiroshima as well as the post war prosperity in the U.S. Photo #45 shows the surrender of the last warrior of WWII in 1974. The entire photo stream can be seen here. 

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28 Responses to “World War II in Photos; After the War. Open (non-lecture) Thread”
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  1. Speranza
    1 | February 16, 2013 8:14 am

    The war in Italy was particularly brutal. Italians were not “Nordics” in German eyes.


  2. 2 | February 16, 2013 8:41 am

    The war in Asia was worse.


  3. coldwarrior
    3 | February 16, 2013 8:52 am

    interesting that there is a catholic priest there to administer last rites.

    the photos in the link are amazing.


  4. huckfunn
    4 | February 16, 2013 9:10 am

    Here is the YouTube of Dostler’s execution. Graphic.


  5. coldwarrior
    5 | February 16, 2013 9:15 am

    @ huckfunn:

    hold on there! if he had those un-uniformed ‘spies’ shot, he was correct according to the geneva conventions.


  6. RIX
    6 | February 16, 2013 9:38 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ huckfunn:

    hold on there! if he had those un-uniformed ‘spies’ shot, he was correct according to the geneva conventions.

    The Geneva Convention was signed in 1929, so this situation
    should have been covered. i wonder what the reasoning of the
    court was Dostlers execution.


  7. coldwarrior
    7 | February 16, 2013 9:44 am

    @ RIX:

    without more info i cant say that i would have done anything differently than dostler in that situation .


  8. RIX
    8 | February 16, 2013 9:48 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ RIX:

    without more info i cant say that i would have done anything differently.

    Dostler claimed that the execution order came from above him &
    that he just passed it on.
    The Tribunal ruled that in any case it was an illegal order.
    The captors of the Americans actually intervened on their behalf
    to no avail..


  9. huckfunn
    9 | February 16, 2013 9:49 am

    @ coldwarrior:
    @ RIX:
    I agree. Soldiers behind enemy lines, in civilian attire are subject to summary execution. My only explanation is that we won, they lost and Dostler was shot. There’s more on this case on the interwebs. Some of Dostler’s subordinates tried to stop or postpone the execution of the GI’s.


  10. coldwarrior
    10 | February 16, 2013 9:52 am

    @ RIX:
    @ huckfunn:

    yeah. and interesting case none the least.

    might makes right that time, i suppose.


  11. RIX
    11 | February 16, 2013 9:54 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ coldwarrior:
    @ RIX:
    I agree. Soldiers behind enemy lines, in civilian attire are subject to summary execution. My only explanation is that we won, they lost and Dostler was shot. There’s more on this case on the interwebs. Some of Dostler’s subordinates tried to stop or postpone the execution of the GI’s.

    It’s a weird case. The Victors make the rules.
    Can you imgine German & Japanese justice if they
    had won.


  12. Guggi
    12 | February 16, 2013 9:54 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ RIX:
    without more info i cant say that i would have done anything differently than dostler in that situation .

    Here you go


  13. RIX
    13 | February 16, 2013 9:57 am

    @ coldwarrior:
    Their was a direct order fromHitler that saboteurs be executed without
    trial.


  14. RIX
    14 | February 16, 2013 10:08 am

    The argument of the Prosecution was that since the deceased had been soldiers of the United States Army, dressed as such and engaged on a genuine military mission, they were entitled to be treated as prisoners of war. Their execution without trial, therefore, was contrary to the Hague Convention.
    @ Guggi:

    I was under the impression that the 15 Americans were dressed
    as Italian civilians.


  15. coldwarrior
    15 | February 16, 2013 10:14 am

    RIX wrote:

    The argument of the Prosecution was that since the deceased had been soldiers of the United States Army, dressed as such and engaged on a genuine military mission, they were entitled to be treated as prisoners of war. Their execution without trial, therefore, was contrary to the Hague Convention.
    @ Guggi:

    I was under the impression that the 15 Americans were dressed
    as Italian civilians.

    i as well.

    if they were uniformed then geneva applies.


  16. RIX
    16 | February 16, 2013 10:19 am

    if they were uniformed then geneva applies.

    reply | quote@ coldwarrior:

    Yup, that changes the whole thing. If they wore US uniforms,
    Dostler issued an illegal order as the Tribunal ruled.


  17. huckfunn
    17 | February 16, 2013 10:21 am

    RIX wrote:

    I was under the impression that the 15 Americans were dressed
    as Italian civilians.

    coldwarrior wrote:

    if they were uniformed then geneva applies.

    I did a quick scan of the trial summary provided by Guggi (thanks, Guggi) and I see no mention of the fact that they were dressed as Italian civilians. The only issue raised by the defense as to the dress of the captured GIs was this:

    (i) That the Deceased were not entitled to the Benefits of the Geneva Convention The Defence claimed that for any person to be accorded the rights of a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention, it was necessary, under Article 1 thereof, for that person, inter alia, ” to have a fixed distinctive emblem recognisable at a distance.” The submission of the Defence was that the American soldiers had worn no. such distinctive emblem, and that their mission had been undertaken for the purpose of sabotage, to be accomplished by stealth and without engaging the enemy. They were not therefore entitled to the privileges of lawful belligerents, though it was admitted that they were entitled to a lawful trial even if they were treated as spies.

    It would appear that they were in military uniforms with rank and insignia removed. Rot in hell Dostler.


  18. RIX
    18 | February 16, 2013 10:26 am

    (Washington Free Beacon)

    Nearly one in four males in the U.S. Marine Corps said they would leave the service if women were involuntarily posted in combat positions, according to the executive summary of a little-known survey commissioned by Marine Corps leaders and obtained by the Free Beacon.

    A similar number of Marines of both sexes said they would not have enlisted in the corps if this had been policy at the time.

    Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/marine-corps/2013/02/15/survey-marines-will-leave-if-women-are-combat#ixzz2L4lqrz9k

    Maybe Hillary & Napalitano will enlist to take up the slack./


  19. RIX
    19 | February 16, 2013 10:27 am

    It would appear that they were in military uniforms with rank and insignia removed. Rot in hell Dostler.@ huckfunn:

    Indeed.


  20. 20 | February 16, 2013 10:34 am

    Huck, Great thread!


  21. huckfunn
    21 | February 16, 2013 10:37 am

    @ Rodan:
    Thanks. When you go into The Atlantic website, there are even more photo streams from various WWII fronts.


  22. 22 | February 16, 2013 10:51 am

    @ huckfunn:

    WWII was the last war the US decisively won. That was also the last war, we declared war. Coincidence? I think not.


  23. 23 | February 16, 2013 10:55 am

    To go along with the WW II theme, a notice to those who might be interested. If you ever had any interest in obtaining an M1 Garand from CMP, smart money is on doing it soon. In rack grade rifles, they’ve been down to just H&R manufacture for months. In service grade, they ran out of Springfield Armory manufacture just this month and are down to just H&R manufacture there as well. Everything else they have is 50 % more expensive or more, so if you ever wanted to snag one, you might think about doing it ASAP. You are most certainly not going to lose money on the deal.


  24. lobo91
    24 | February 16, 2013 11:01 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ huckfunn:

    WWII was the last war the US decisively won. That was also the last war, we declared war. Coincidence? I think not.

    Oddly enough, nobody talked about an “exit strategy” in WWII, either.


  25. huckfunn
    25 | February 16, 2013 11:09 am

    Rodan wrote:

    WWII was the last war the US decisively won. That was also the last war, we declared war. Coincidence? I think not.

    lobo91 wrote:

    Oddly enough, nobody talked about an “exit strategy” in WWII, either.

    Yep. The bedwetters decry that whole “disproportionate response” thingy. Aftermath photos of Berlin, Hiroshima and New York are proof positive that disproportionate response wins wars. Of course that only works if the original intent was to win.


  26. 26 | February 16, 2013 11:18 am

    @ lobo91:

    Correct, we were in it to win it.


  27. 27 | February 16, 2013 11:59 am

    @ huckfunn:
    @ Rodan:
    @ lobo91:

    See this comment on a previous thread.


  28. Speranza
    28 | February 16, 2013 9:01 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ huckfunn:
    hold on there! if he had those un-uniformed ‘spies’ shot, he was correct according to the geneva conventions.


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