16 Sep 2018

Would You Surrender to the Germans?

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Dick the Butcher

That is so unfair . . . to polar bears.



Jim

The stalags we’re no cake walk if you got to one. The genivea conventions were not conformed to and that resulted in the deaths of many allied troopes. Surrender was not a good idea to many soldiers and as a result they died. Many died as a result of their surrender. “The brave die but once, the coward dies many times.



Schill McGuffin

I’ve heard Germany’s POW camps were kind of a mixed bag — that in the early going the camps *did* conform to the Geneva Conventions, at least for western Allied prisoners. In the east the combination of the Soviets themselves not recognizing the Conventions, and the Germans being overwhelmed with prisoners and intending a mass culling of Slavic populations anyway made such prisoners’ lots little better than concentration camp inmates, making many eastern prisoners receptive to recruitment as slave labor or garrison troops.

As the war ground on, standards in the west deteriorated along with the German logistical network. by ’45, not only was there starvation, but increasing SS clout in the Reich hierarchy meant that some western POWs were diverted into concentration camps.

Prisoners of the Japanese, of course, were treated at least as neglectfully and disdainfully as the Germans treated the Soviets, if they weren’t killed outright, or even eaten in some extreme cases.



John

What is that symbol on the French flag in the last panel?



Schill McGuffin

@John: That’s an emblem used on Marshal Pétain’s personal flag as Head of State of Vichy France. It’s a double-blade axe, apparently referencing a throwing axe used by the medieval Franks. The blades effectively sections of the tricolor roundel emblem used on French aircraft, and the handle a Marshal’s baton. I’m not sure about the cluster of stars it sits over — perhaps that signified the provinces governed by the Vichy state.

I believe the Vichy government generally flew the traditional tricolor flag, while the Free French government distinguished itself by displaying the double-barred Cross of Lorraine on the tricolor they used. I’ve seen Pétain’s flag used before, though, in wargames and such, to distinguish the Vichy regime at a glance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_France



John

Thanks, Schill! Who knew?



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