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Thread: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    Maybe, if captured directly by troops that had met the weapon. But I think that, if they were taken away, and interigated later, they might have been treated as regular POW's if the German's found out they were Croc crews.

    Furthermore, only one Croc regiment was in action in NWE, 141 regiment, RAC. Chances of crews being captured are small, as they were only called upon to break trough German lines, in support of other unids, and they were not in the front line for a very long time, and only in an attacking phase of battle, atleast most of the time. Then, if they bailed out and were captured by Jerry, it's only questionable if they knew the crew they captured were croc crew. As far as I know, they wore normal tank crew uniforms.
    And then, if some crews were shot, so got other POW's. I read ones, that 12 Canadian troops were shot by SS after captured. So if you read about a croc crew that got shot, it could be questionable if they were shot for being a croc crew, or for some other reason.

    In the pacific, I think the Jap's would have killed an flame troghing crew if they got some, for the reason of flamming. But then again, Jap's executed POW's on a more regular basis. They considdered POW's as right less, so if they thought a POW comitted some kind of crime in their eyes, the POW would be executed...

    Cheers,
    Joppe

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    sure have dude

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    The stories about Crocodile crews being executed started with Andrew Wilson's book 'Flame Thrower'. Published in 1956.
    Wilson relates an incident where a Crocodile from his Unit broke down and was overun whilst the crew were trying to repair it. The crew were later found dead near the tank. It was concluded they had been lined up and shot.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    If any of you have seen films of Japanese being hit with flamethrowers you will the see why most GIs, on all sides, would hate that weapon (at least from the receiving end.) So I can see some Germans, in the heat of battle, doing such. Just watch a few of your friends buring to a crisp and well, that might color your opinion.

    We do know some snipers were also summarily shot when caught. In fact, Hitler decreed airmen caught with weapons, like a .45 Auto, would be shot to (granted this was later in the war and Hitler really really did hate losing.)

    Deaf

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    If any of you have seen films of Japanese being hit with flamethrowers you will the see why most GIs, on all sides, would hate that weapon (at least from the receiving end.) So I can see some Germans, in the heat of battle, doing such. Just watch a few of your friends buring to a crisp and well, that might color your opinion.

    We do know some snipers were also summarily shot when caught. In fact, Hitler decreed airmen caught with weapons, like a .45 Auto, would be shot to (granted this was later in the war and Hitler really really did hate losing.)

    Deaf
    Not recently seen footage of deaths by flamethrower, but saw a few images of deaths by napalm when I was much younger. As the results are very similar, then I'd say "close-enough".
    I think that seeing a few of your buddies cooked up would tend to make a soldier shoot a Flamethrower team on sight, or as willingly destroy a Flamethrower vehicle.

    Certainly the Australians made great use of Flamethrower tanks against the Japanese in the Pacific. Usually, these were Matildas converted for the task, because their armour was in general sufficient against most Japanese antitank weapons.

    Regards, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
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    ^Uyraell^

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  6. #21
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    Originally posted by mkenny: The stories about Crocodile crews being executed started with Andrew Wilson's book 'Flame Thrower'. Published in 1956.
    Wilson relates an incident where a Crocodile from his Unit broke down and was overun whilst the crew were trying to repair it. The crew were later found dead near the tank. It was concluded they had been lined up and shot.
    I can see the crew being executed on the spot by a retreating or desperate enemy; in late 1944, after the Falaise pocket and the near-destruction of the Wehrmacht in France, I'm sure the Germans would be unable or unwilling to take prisoners with them on the retreat

    The Malmedy Massacre in December 1944 showed how far some German officers (especially die-hard Nazis) were willing to go to stop the Allies

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    While it's mentioned anecdotally in many books (Peter Beale's 'Tank Tracks - 9 RTR At War' being one), I can only recall Andrew Wilson's 'Flamethrower' mentioning a particular incident and even then, there was some supposition involved, as the deed was not actually witnessed. There were also instances of a number of other, non-Croc tank crews being murdered, so it's by no means proof.

    In reply to one of the above comments - while 141 RAC was the only Croc regiment in Normandy, another two were formed immediately afterwards: 31st Tank Brigade (of which 141 RAC was a part, along with 7 RTR and 9 RTR) was temporarily disbanded in August 1944 and reformed in 79th Armoured Division in October 1944, with 7 RTR and 1st Fife & Forfar Yeomanry joining 141 RAC in the flamethrowing game. A couple more Crocodile squadrons were formed in 25th Armoured Engineer Brigade in Italy later that year, while the Canadians also got in on the act by forming Ram Badger flame tank troops in a number of their units (and this doesn't include the many Wasp flame carrier units formed from July 1944 onwards).

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    Reminds me of the riot gunners in WW I. The Germans made no secret there the user of that weapon was seen as an animal.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Execution of Crocodile Tank Crews

    Heck, the Germans used the first flamethrowers in WWI at Verdun--most guys on their side tried to stay away from them because of the tendency for the pressurized tanks to explode

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