Two Canadian Soldiers with a German prisoner, 1944. (1200 X 984)
By - ThinWhiteDuke00
If you told me this was a highschool production I would of believed you...
Man, those boys went though hell!
My exact thought when I saw their faces. They were just kids.
the average age of soldiers in WWII was 26 years old. average age for infantry was 22 years old.
In Viet Nam it was 19. Nnnnnineteen...
My dad spent his 19th birthday at Dragon Mountain with the 4th Infantry outside of Pleiku in the Central Highlands. He'd skipped a grade in high-school because he was smart, joined when he was 17, and by the time he got to Vietnam he was already a sergeant and served as a UH1 door-gunner/crew-chief with the 4th ID.
\[s\] If the Viet Cong knew that then they wouldn't have used guns, they would of demanded book reports and sent those PFCs scattering...
[For the uninitiated](https://youtu.be/lJN850qHklw?t=4)
[The Australian experience](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGDhzVi1bqU)
Late Edit: completely forgot to acknowledge the equal /worse experience of the Vietnamese throughout their prolonged struggle for independence.
Happy for them that they ultimately won, but damn the cost was terrible. Especially the weapons like Napalm.
So many Vietnamese kids dead for freedom.
You just made my day, thank you! :-)
This camouflage should be the one that was only given to the Hitler Jugend SS division. This guy in the picture is probably not older than 18
12th SS Hutlerjugend received this type of 44 Dot camo in Normandy, but it wasn't exclusive to them. 1st and 9th SS had it as well among others
Yep just kids
I've always thought it telling that the word infantry ultimately derives from the Latin root infans, meaning simply "child".
Old English “cniht” where we get our “knight” means young boy/young man.
Exactly what I came to say, I shouldn't have been surprised to see that it was already the top comment.
My lad's just started his first job, these lads probably have too. Fucking hell.
That German child had a particularly rough day.
Sadly, not nearly as rough as he'd have had it had he not put on that uniform.
To paraphrase Hawkeye Pierce, war is worse than hell. At least everyone in hell chose to be there.
For a commedy show MASH was really good at bwing serious, even depressing. And it has some of the besy depictions of PTSD I have ever seen. And it is actually one of the best depictions of Military life in General acvording to my Dad. It really shows the "Hurry up and wait".
Damn that German looks pretty fucked up
But he's alive
Yeah.. whoever captured him maintained a lot of restraint considering what the kid's division was involved in at the time.
Their restraint is to be commended.
Ran into a Canadian doorknob
I'm pretty sure they replicated this photo in this [scene from Fury](https://youtu.be/IS93Tq9W5vM)
I thought I was the only one that noticed
Thats a really good catch!
Oh shit, good eye! Definitely a recreation of OPs photo.
The German is SS. Just a couple days after D-day, an SS attack by the 12th SS Panzer HitlerJugend Division captured some Canadian troops. They were taken back to the chateau which was their H.Q. and briefly interrogated, then shot. The story spread quickly in the Canadian Army, but also to other Allied troops. But the Canadians held the grudge. That SS troop is lucky to be alive. The SS commander, Kurt Meyer, was released after nine years because no one could testify they heard him give the orders.
In camp Borden all the trees there are in rows, doing my army training there was bizarre because you could see hundreds of metres down each row. They were planted by the POWs while there
CFB Borden is very reminiscent of an army base somewhere in west Europe, very similar feel to much of the grounds.
Same in America. There were some in my parents’ home town, but they were sent back, and then returned.
That was my dad's uncle I think. He was a radio guy in the back of the lines that was caught by the british and sent to canada where he apparently got to stay in a hospital for a long time cause the nurses liked him...? Ended up staying and becoming a lumberjack.
Guy got drafted and sent to Stalingrad at the age of 17. Absolutely mind blowing when you think about what any of us were doing at 17.
The Allies give them the Nickname Baby-Division because all of them were children.
It is easiest to indoctrinate the young, naive and uneducated with your hatred and ideology. Many of them would have been between 10 and 12 when Hitler came to power, yet eager to fight when the time came.
Also because they (Germans) were running out of fighting age men, and the western front was less critical.
The Younger Germans (age 10-15) were used as civil defense, after the Bombraids the must search for wounded people
The Australians and Canadians have a brutal reputation in both world wars for stuff like that.
How can you tell this soldier was Nazi SS? Is it the uniform? Genuinely curious, and hoping you can help to shed some light.
The Pea Dot camo is a major giveaway given that was issued to Waffen SS divisions in 1944..
And honestly the individuals youth as well.. British/Canadian forces were bogged down and faced fanatical resistance in Caen and the surrounding area by 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend.. the bulk of which was made up by recruits from the Hitler Youth, only in their late teens.
Interesting info, thanks Duke!
There's a little bit more to simply murdering prisoners: rumour had spread that surrendering Germans and pows had been killed out of hand by Canadian troops during the Sicily invasion in 1943. The HJ, and other German units, gave little quarter to Canadians in particular. Similar mistreatment would be shown to French North African troops, with their behavior in Italy added to racist vitriol among the Germans.
Another issue which dogged the Germans was the fact western Allied troops wore either US or British army gear, but could be Poles or French (who had no love for Germans - prisoner or otherwise). This made surrendering a dodgy affair.
How do you know he's SS? Not trying to argue, just genuinely curious
This looks like “Erbsentarn” or “Pea-Camo” which was used by the Waffen-SS
Strictly Waffen-SS, or could other units/branches/etc. also have been issued it?
As far as I know it was an Waffen-SS exclusive (developed for this branch) which was in some cases used by regular Wehrmacht later in the war.
Later in the war as in by the summer of 1944? Or later in the war as in April of 1945?
Late as in just before germany surrendered as they were running out of clothing and equipment to issue troops they just used what they could find so there was a huge mix and match of gear
others were issued smocks late war maybe about it
Also the SS sleeve eagle on his left bicep which was only worn by the SS. Glad to see his eye got closed for him as he is very lucky to be alive.
What does that mean?
Only SS units used that camo pattern. Normal Werhmacht units used field grey uniforms.
That means he was a member of the Waffen-SS.
aka the ones doing the war crimes behind their lines until they was needed on the front cause the nazis couldnt manage common sense decisions.
While the Wehrmacht did war crimes on the lines and fronts
Ngl this ALMOST underminds what the SS did considering the differences in war crimes but definitely yes, Wehrmacht were still fucked in the head type of bad guys
Basically, the type of camouflage pattern determined what type of unit you were in. This is, iirc, the flecktarn pattern, unsure of the color. I assume it was the grey/green/brown colorway due to it being early June in France. I believe the colorway is the [*Erbsenmuster*](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erbsenmuster) colorway.
They look like kids. Like they all three look like they'd rather be playing soccer or something.
That’s because they are kids
What is wrong with his hand? Is that a birth defect?
Behind his leg I think?
The German guys hand still looks tiny though
"Take my strong hand!"
And my axe
"Take my wife... please!"
Good spot. His haircut needs attention too before he goes on parade. The RSM will rip him a new asshole if he shows up like that to work.
It's behind his leg, partially. You can only see three fingers. That's why it seems small.
I thoroughly doubt they would've let a guy with an obvious birth defect into the SS
Recruitment standards severely loosened towards the end.
Just the camera angle, he wouldn’t be SS with a disfigurement. One hands behind the other is closer to the camera, stretched a little outward.
Last time this was posted someone had mentioned he has a broken arm, see his weird elbow, and that had possibly caused some circulation loss to his hand.
More likely withered from an injury to the nerve, or a trick of perspective.
Surely had he a birth defect he wouldn't be in the army, let alone the SS
Probably fucked up in battle with the rest of him
That’s his STRONGGGG HANNND.
Looks like they gave that nazi the business when they captured him.
As one should
Looks like a few nazi lovers downvoted me.
Crazy ain’t it
Yeah I was at -3 there
C’mon now, it’s okay to be against violence for bad people if it means being against violence for all people.
“BuT ThEy WeRE NaZi’s”. Yup. And you would’ve been one too if you were in their situation. Humans are human. Bring on the downvotes.
The kid was in 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) so no, I don't think most people would be in the SS in his situation.
[Yeah it's not that simple.](https://www.history.com/news/how-the-hitler-youth-turned-a-generation-of-kids-into-nazis)
Membership in the hitler youth was compulsory.
If you were in Germany at that time period, you would most likely have been a nazi. You would likely not have been the .0001% resisting them within Germany. It's ok to admit that, and accept it.
The kid was in a Hitler Youth SS brigade. Not quite the same as the mandatory membership in Hitler Youth.
He was a member of an SS brigade that comes from a group that had compulsory membership...
...You really think you had a choice if you were told to join it? Maybe the kid volunteered, unless you have proof of that it's worthless to insinuate.
not to mention the conscription that the hitler youth faced...
But membership in the group that indoctrinated kids was, it’s easy to see how a teen who had been fed propaganda most of their life would volunteer
Not even the same thing.
The HJ and the 12SS HJ Div were totally different organizations with no direct link into each other. To join the SS, even in early 1944 when this division was still forming, applicants were required to meet certain standards, ethnic requirements and be volunteers. These 'kids' were all over 18 when they saw battle in 1944 and weren't press ganged into it like many apologists like to believe. Yes, I agree the German youth was brainwashed and coerced into following Nazi ideology but at the end of the day, they were still oppressing Europe and killing innocent people. They deserved what they got.
Stop trying to normalize this shit. I don't care what made them the way they were, what matters is what they did. Shut, the fuck, up. Go tell this to a random village in Russia or Ukraine, tell them that the people who came to their homes and shot everyone on sight were just humans being goofy.
The "peaceful german army" myth has been pushed by the allies after the end of WWII so they could form a strong ally connection with germany in case the USSR advanced. No, the common foot soldier wasn't a saint, the SS wasn't the only division to commit atrocities.
People like you are the reason history repeats itself, the reason why Nazi is becoming a neutral thing to say and not an insult.
Go to the streets of any ex-Soviet country and look for the statues, the tanks and the plaques. Go to their remote villages and look for their graveyards. They have not forgotten, but you have
So first let me start by saying I actually have a degree in Russian studies. If anyone knows about the war from the Russian lense, I feel comfortable saying it’s me.
Second, I think you have things mixed up. I believe that people like *you* are the reason history repeats itself. You see, instead of acknowledging that these people were human that were driven to do bad things, you’ve convinced yourself that there was something innately wrong with the average German soldier. This makes it easy for you to differentiate it as an evil “them” versus the just and righteous “us”. This is a grossly simplified interpretation and it is exactly the same logic that the nazis used to justify their awful actions. It could just be a matter of time before there is another “them” that are innately evil and deserve destruction. And as soon as you look at it through that perspective, a perspective that offers no compromise whatsoever, these tragedies are doomed to repeat themselves.
I understand you’re upset. I understand the average Russian has more of a reason to be upset than I do. But it is through events like these that it is most crucial you observe things logically with your brain rather than succumbing to your emotions and simplifying the complexities of the event. You’ve already removed all context and grossly oversimplified my statement. I never said these men were “just being goofy”, I never said they were a “peaceful German army”, frankly i have no idea where most of your talking points came from and it’s obvious you’re very emotional on this subject and desperate to remove context to justify your anger. Stop succumbing to your emotions. Look at the event logically and take lessons from it. You’re continuing an anger that doesn’t need to live anymore. And by doing so, the nazis of the world today feel like there’s a reason they’re allowed to be angry too. Learn and move on, stop holding all of us in the past with you. I’m sure what I’ve said upsets you but friend, you really need to hear it.
Pretty sure nazi is becoming neutral because it gets slung against any political thing someone doesn’t like with zero consideration for accuracy
You're at +102 now for fuck's sake
The downvotes made sense, I dont care if the person is a hardcore nazi or a hardcore commie, beating POWs is not a good thing to do
Edit: Also saying that a person 'loves Nazis' if they dont agree with torturing POWs is incredibly silly
Ironically, this mindset would have likely made you a stellar Nazi war criminal yourself. You're missing your calling
Except that it's strictly forbidden and illegal as per the [Hague Convention](https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hague04.asp#art4).
Why are you getting down votes? Killing and injuring nazis should be rewarded.
You don't repay war crimes with your own war crimes. We're supposed to be better than the enemy, not savages.
Beating prisoners, even if they are equivalent or are Nazi, is a bad thing. If you do it you become a Nazi equivalent. Only Israel has the eye for an eye principle as common moral standard.
Beating/mistreating prisoners of war is a disgusting act.
The SS had a policy of giving no quarter to captured troops and even civilians.
Fuck the SS.
Guess we should torture all terrorists to death since they don't have standards either.
yeah the SS did some sick shit multiple SS units killed civilians and captured allie soldiers with bayonets to save their scarce ammo.
How about beating up the SS (which this kid was)?
And Israel common moral standard is a piece of shit system that will contribute to the never ending war in the Middle East.
The liberal and democratic Western World can definitely do better than a modern jewish apartheid state.
Only problem is, that the liberal democratic West is based on Christian unconditional forgivness principle. But, nobody acts like that. US also runs on eye for an eye principle. If even goes into, we feel that you consider poking me in my eye, so I will kill you rigth now. Then the crusades. It is based on lies. Far worse than Israel.
At least the west doesn't have a militarized apartheid system.
West certainly does not. Parts of it used to trend in that direction. Then, when it became obvious that low rank military profession is no longer that attractive for the middle class white man, all the minorities, coloured people and imigrants without citizenship were allowed to serve. This contributes significantly to integration of society. In Israel they still have a good pool of men and women ready to serve. And Israel is honest about it, they do not hide it really.
Killing and injuring unarmed POWs is beyond cowardly, no matter what they did before. It makes you literally no better than the nazis.
Have you checked your avatar recently?
Forcibly starving 10 million plus is totally cool though
dont forget that it was his own civilians. it was shown he was alerted of it in a report imo and he just didnt do anything about it like it was nothing..
yeah with that profile pic yikes stalin was just like hitler. imo
Stalin sent his own returning Soviet POWs to the gulag for 10 year mandatory sentences under charges of spying for the Germans. All of them.
Let's play a game. Please link this statement to a proper source. And I will quote the actual documents with actual numbers that will prove you are talking from your ass
I'll accept that if you accept that killing and injuring communists and socialists should be rewarded.
If he’s SS and not Wehrmacht Damn right they should of clobbered him.
Wehrmacht is a criminal organization and participated in numerous atrocities
>level 2DangerousDavies2020 · 53mIf he’s SS and not Wehrmacht Damn right they should of clobbered him.
Not to even remotely defend the Wehrmacht and what they did, but to say that the Wehrmacht is a criminal organization is ridiculous. It's putting on equal footing the concept of a country's armed forces with that of a drug cartel.
It would be far more accurate to state that the Wehrmacht was a branch of the armed forces that participated in numerous criminal activities.
Looks like they politely beat his ass
He should be lucky to be alive, Waffen SS wasn't really taking prisoners in general and allied units knew that.
Canadian are some of the most dangerous people during a war.
Damn well true my good man, Aussie here, you blokes, well we respect Canadians big time.
Glad to hear we do alright in your Australia’s book, yalls kinda scare us a little but you guys are pretty cool, good luck with the spiders though mate
All good my brother - but don't worry about the spiders we know how to handle them. Now you put me in some Canadian wilderness (I'm from the Northern Territory so think desert and sub tropics and crocs) and I'll be booking it the fuck outta there with your huge bears and snow. I guess tough terrain breeds us Commonwealth folks a certain way :)
Honestly. Fuck bears. Those things terrify me. Crocs you can fight if you know how. But bears? Damn.
See there’s the difference bears don’t need to be fought, they’re generally pretty docile and it’s common trail knowledge to know how to scare one away. Bears aren’t the worries, snow though is deadly the cold can reach -40 and colder regularly frostbite doesn’t take long to set in and it’s very hard to find food and shelter in the middle of winter in the forest
I've seen snow once in my life, I was lucky enough to be passing through Tamworth (of all bloody places ffs) at about 3am and there were patches of it on the ground. I was able to pick up about two handfuls and play with it for a few moments. Was a weird experience.
I actually saw the Golden Guitar sheathed in snow. Was incredible.
The stuff felt a little bit like the stuff you find in your freezer.
What you describe sounds like hell, but maybe a beautiful hell.
-5 to - 30 is actually quite nice, the air gets really dry so it's easy to stay warm. The real awfullness is +5 to - 5. Its always windy and wet and you get instantly cold from the humidity.
I prefer - 10 over +30, you can always put on more clothes and moving keeps you warm.
Around -28 to -30 the moisture starts freezing in your nose every time you take a breath and if you have any facial hair condensation will start to collect and freeze in it. Also if it’s sunny you can get sunburn from the sun reflecting off the snow on a clear day, plus the glare can make it a bit hard to see.
It’s definitely hell but it has its moments, I’m excited for my dogs to see snow for the first time this winter but not so excited to plow it. The wind is what kills it all, feels like sandpaper scraping against your face sometimes with the snow, eating away at your skin. Fun times.
Bears aside from polar bears can be avoided by making a lot of loud noises, they dislike human contact and they’ll avoid you if they hear you coming, plus you can smell them from far away, they really stink in a way like nothing else
And we're proud of it :)
Vimy ridge and all.
Wasn't that sniper who took someone out at something crazy like 2500 meters one of our Canuck Cousins too? Take care brother.
2500 meters is the length of 544.09 1997 Subaru Legacy Outbacks
Yeah. What’s really funny is that Aaron Perry broke a record that had been held since the Vietnam War (34 years), and then his own teammate broke HIS record 3 days later by a hundred meters.
I know that is freaking crazy maybe the old preserves their eyesight from youth? Maybe better math in Canadian schools.
God I hate this shit.
>Picture of soldier of X nationality
>"Soldiers of X nationality are so dangerous and badass"
People are individuals, all peoples' have competent and incompetent soldiers...
In WWI the Canadians had that reputation. The Canadian performance in Northern Europe in 1944-45 was considered average at best.
Yeah! The Canadians only took an entire D-Day beach themselves, penetrating deeper into the Germany lines than either the Americans or British while facing the second strongest resistance after Omaha. Ugh so average.
The Canadian performamce is Normandy was very mixed. June 6 went fairly well. But the Canadians made very slow progress towards Caen afterwords. This isn't necessarily their fault as they faced powerful German armoured divisions, but it certainly wasn't a spectacular success. The Battle of Verrieres Ridge was a humiliation where Canadian soldiers broke and ran. Canadian forces were accused of lacking aggression during Operations Totalize and Tractable closing the Falaise Gap. Allied generals were critical of Montgomery not using veteran British divisions for this instead of the relatively inexperienced Canadians. Overall though, the Canadians and British faced the best German units and successfully tied them down, allowing the US to encircle them in Operation Cobra.I think it's very fair to call their performance average.
1/3rd of the landing force at Juno was British
Do you have any idea how highly respected the JTF-2 is throughout the world?
His expression just reads
"The whole Poland thing was hilarious in 1939 but the joke's getting old"
Kid probably wasn't more than 11 or 12 at that time, not that the Canadians are older
Lol what?? They're obviously at least teenagers. Probably 15-19.
And what is a 15-19 year old in 1944s age in 1939? 11-12 isn't a bad guess
Whoops, misread that comment drastically
Yeah. And the Nazis took over in 1936. So he as probably ~8 when the indoctrination started.
Totally incorrect... the 12th SS was made up of soldiers born in 1926. So they were all 18 at some point in 1944.
Even then he was max 10 when the Nazis took over in 1936. Indoctrinate a 10 year old for 6-8 years and and you can make them believe the earth is flat and whatever else you want.
Nazis took over in 1933 so he would have been 7. Agreed that 10 years of indoctrination would make you do almost anything... but the problem is someone still needs to stop them.
100% I am glad they got stopped. But it is hard for me to hate them as I am aware that they were brainwashed from a young age.
Totally different for their leaders that were adults and volunteered for the SS.
Why is that guys hand so small?
In some ways thats a pretty decent outcome for a german soldier at that time. If it was me, I would be happy that my war is now over, that I survived without losing a limb, that i got captured by the allies. Also... while it sucked on the day, the fact that I was wounded during my last battle before capture...somehow makes it more "honourable".
*Captured by the Allied powers to the west.
But agreed. It was a good outcome all things considered.
Looks like he still might have lost that arm, or eye.
This photo is part of a series
Some others can be found on #9 of [this thread](https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=211842&p=1915351&hilit=Canadian+12th+SS+prisoner#p1915351)
Seems like the Canadian troops treated him very well.
We're still issued that same kit, this could have been taking in gaugetown last week .
The German on the right looks like he’s been through hell
Fuck me man
Dood looks fucked up
That hair is so out of regs...no wonder they lost
He looks fucked
Is the German soldier's hand disfigured/deformed, or does it look that way because he's holding it further away from the camera?
Commonwealth uniforms were always pretty smart looking to me, even better looking with the webbing as well.
Time for a story from a Newfoundlander. Guy was a soldier in WW2, this guy was somewhere in France (I can’t remember the main story I was told but remember the main point, I’m the third one passing it down). They had come across some Germans who pretty much just surrendered, probably four or five by the way he said it. They had no idea how to keep them from running away so they made them dig a hole till they couldn’t reach to get out. They slept the night and when they got up the next morning and had to go, they didn’t want to dig me them out of the hole so after deciding what to do with them (forget to mention this is probably a platoon) they just decide to shoot them, so one of the guys walks up to the hole with his rifle and so does the guy telling the story, when the guy goes to shoot, he (the guy telling the story throws a grenade into the hole. He said they hopped around like (I for got what he exactly said) grasshoppers before they died.
This story was followed by a folk tale about why you don’t use a chainsaw above your head.
And that's a war crime.
And that’s reality
looks like hans tripped on the stairs...oopsie.
Looks like they roughed \`im up a bit, eh? I'm sure they apologized profusely after turning him over the POW guards.
No, when it comes to how the Royal Canadian Army treated the SS, our national politeness came in the form of saying: "we took out the trash; no need to thank us."
It's just "Canadian Army," no royal.
Kids of the 12th really kicked asses. Respect. Look at that massive unit.
“Soorey aboot your face, ey”
Idk not sure prisoner abuse is ok or amusing whoever they happen to be
He probably thought this whole master race and rule the planet thing would go differently.
A lot were taught that they were under attack, that they were the victims.
If this guy is 16 he was 8 when the Nazis took over in 1936. Not sure how you can blame someone in that case - these kids where brainwashed.
He probably didn’t think that at all
Good catch string en up
Aww, looks like he slipped and fell.
I hope they treated him alright. Knowing the Speirs from Band of Brothers I hope Canada was a bit more merciful.
I'm pretty sure they [did](https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=211842&p=1915351&hilit=Canadian+12th+SS+prisoner#p1915351)
Wehrmacht? Yes. Schutzstaffel? Not by a mile.
Somebody has a boo-boo on their eye.
That’s your fellow country man. You think he wanted to be a nazi? You think he had a choice? The only difference between you and him is the day you where born
Can't believe people are still picking sides in a war that ended 7 and a half decades ago. Grow up.
is it me or one of his hands is super tiny?
Whats the story with his left hand? Deformed or combat wound?
Behind his back farther from the camera. It's just on odd angle. It's part of a serious of photographs that show he has a perfectly normal hand, plus the SS would never let anyone with a defect into their ranks.
I’ve got two friends who are half Canadian and we got on the topic of Canadian snipers in ww2. Apparently Canada basically invented modern day sniping.
Wtf is the Germans uniform
That’s called camouflage and IMO it’s some of the best ever made