WWII shirkers and defectors




 
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May 21st, 2013  
muscogeemike
 

Topic: WWII shirkers and defectors


Joseph Heller (CATCH 22) couldn’t have been the only guy in WWII to think about it. Does anyone have any idea of how many Allied Airmen interned in neutral countries went there to avoid further risk? Were any of them held to account for their actions?

Along the same lines does anybody know how many Allied soldiers/Sailors/Airmen went over to the Axis - and were any of them held accountable (Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw Haw were not in the military)?

I know that most nationalities were represented in the Axis (there were US citizens in the SS!) but how many defectors from the Allied Military were there?

I think India should be excluded from this count, their reasons might be too complicated for this thread.
May 21st, 2013  
senojekips
 
 
I may be wrong, but I don't really think many sane servicemen had themselves deliberately captured to avoid further war service.

Merely putting oneself in a position where they could be captured would be an extremely dangerous situation. I know for a fact the first thing to go through my father-in-law's mind when he was captured in the Western Desert was, "well I guess this is how it is all going to end", and that was not the last time this occured, there were several other times between being captured and finally being liberated that he thought he had done his dash and was about to be shot. Escaping from Laterina POW Camp whilst in Italy and attempting to get to the front line didn't help, especially when he was recaptured nine weeks later by the Germans who realised that he was most probably one of the "Inglesi" who had been reported as fighting with local Partisans.

It's all very nice what we see in war comic books were all you have to do is wave a white flag (wherever you going to get that from) or throw up your hands and stand up, and immediately you are given a cigarette and a drink of water and driven away away in a truck to live with Col. Hogan and his mates.
May 21st, 2013  
BritinAfrica
 
 
William Joyce otherwise known as Lord Haw Haw was hanged for treason. William Joyce was American but applied for a British Passport before the war claiming he was British. It was this that the Crown Prosecution nailed him on. He was hanged on 3 January 1946 at Wandsworth Prison.

At about the same time as the hangman pulled his deadly lever a group of smartly dressed men in winter coats stepped away from the main crowd outside the gates of the prison and behind some nearby bushes, almost surreptitiously, were seen to raise their right arms in the ‘Heil Hitler!’ salute.

His last public statement read "In death, as in this life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union. May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the west may the Swastika be raised from the dust, crowned with the historic words ‘You have conquered nevertheless’. I am proud to die for my ideals; and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why."

Iva Toguri D'Aquino known as Tokyo Rose was an American citizen who visited Japan just before the start of WW2. After Pearl Harbour she wasn't allowed to leave and was put to work in various positions even though she couldn't speak Japanese. To cut a very long story short Forced to renounce her U.S. citizenship, Toguri found work in radio and was asked to host “Zero Hour,” a propaganda and entertainment program aimed at U.S. soldiers. After the war, she was returned to the U.S. and convicted of treason, serving 6 years in prison. Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose in 1976. She died in 2006.
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May 21st, 2013  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muscogeemike
Joseph Heller (CATCH 22) couldn’t have been the only guy in WWII to think about it. Does anyone have any idea of how many Allied Airmen interned in neutral countries went there to avoid further risk? Were any of them held to account for their actions?

Along the same lines does anybody know how many Allied soldiers/Sailors/Airmen went over to the Axis - and were any of them held accountable (Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw Haw were not in the military)?

I know that most nationalities were represented in the Axis (there were US citizens in the SS!) but how many defectors from the Allied Military were there?

I think India should be excluded from this count, their reasons might be too complicated for this thread.
in the spring of 1942 there were at least 200,000 Soviet deserters, prisoners, and volunteers from among the local population employed as sentries, drivers, store- keepers, workers in depots, etc. in the German rear areas it is claimed that this number exceeded 1,000,000 during the war.
July 2nd, 2013  
Hutchie
 
I can tell you there is a dislike for the shirkers at home that ducked the draft. My dad is 91 and served in the Pacific, his next door neighbor got a deferment for being a farmer, my dad still has little use for him or any other guys that stayed home. Any body that defected to the Nazis or Japs had to be insane, same with Korea and Vietnam. There are still a couple of Americans living in North Korea that defected back in the war. Bet they are living large.
March 1st, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 
I recently read, 'The Deserters - A Hidden History of WWII" by Charles Glass. In the European theatre of operations there were approx. 50,000 British and 100,000 American deserters. Many were given a second chance and returned to duty. Many chose prison as preferable to combat. One American soldier was executed for desertion: Pvt. Eddie Slovik.
After the war, virtually all Americans were released from prison. No British soldiers were executed for desertion because the death penalty for that offense had been abolished in the inter - war period. Almost all British deserters were granted amnesty after the war.
There were no recorded desertions in the Pacific Theatre because it was not possible. Which is not to say that nobody ran away, they just didn't run far. My former father-in - law,( now deceased) by his own admission, hid out on Guadalcanal for four days and was able to spin a yarn good enough to not only avoid punishment, but to earn the Bronze Star. He was an old regular soldier and knew all the dodges.
One American soldier of Japanese or mixed Japanese descent was captured by the Japanese and forced by them to fight in the Japanese Army. He probably was forced, but his explanations didn't do him any good, he was hanged for treason.
During the Korean War, a few captured Americans, held by the Chinese chose to refuse repatriation, but I think most eventually came home, and removed no or light punishment.
The Germans executed many thousands and the Soviets executed over 100,000 for various offenses.
During the Viet Nam War, many draft-age Americans went to other countries to avoid service and even some active duty personnel deserted as well. The civilians suffered no official sanctions and the military personnel received light punishment.
So, when the bullets are flying, you make up your own mind about how you want to play your hand. It appears that the death penalty isn't a very effective deterrent, if the numbers quoted in the book are correct.
March 5th, 2014  
MikeP
 
 
The guys who ran to Canada and other places specifically to avoid the draft broke the law.
Jimmy Carter pardoned heir sorry asses.
Vietnam was a mess and there were reasons for not being enthused about it.
Pardoning those guys was an insult and slap in the face to those who did obey the law.
Complicated times.
On Slovik, he was a marginal personality and petty criminal who never should have been in the army.
Many others deserted as well, or panicked and fled at the beginning of the Ardennes offensive.
On review, some of the judges who sentenced him stated they never thought he actually would be shot.
Others were shot or hanged for crimes like murder and rape.
There was an incident in VN with some folks I am acquainted with.
Some Australians were working in an area with an A Team. They ran into a very hot situation where a lot of casualties were taken and the CIDG fled.
One Australian was wounded and left behind.
His good friend stated "See you after the war!" and headed back to aid his friend. Next day a larger force went back in and found both, hands tied and a burst of auto fire had been put into their mouths.
Absolute true story.
March 6th, 2014  
muscogeemike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchie
I can tell you there is a dislike for the shirkers at home that ducked the draft. My dad is 91 and served in the Pacific, his next door neighbor got a deferment for being a farmer, my dad still has little use for him or any other guys that stayed home. Any body that defected to the Nazis or Japs had to be insane, same with Korea and Vietnam. There are still a couple of Americans living in North Korea that defected back in the war. Bet they are living large.
Frank Sinatra was criticized for not serving in WWII (he, I believe, was 4F for some reason) and didn’t really get his career back on track until after his performance in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.
March 8th, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 
During WWII there were approximately 1400 American service personnel interned in Sweden where they were well treated and about 1500 in Switzerland. In Switzerland, if an internee was captured after an escape attempt, they were sent to a criminal penitentiary, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Almost all of the above were air crew who landed damaged aircraft.
I have read that internees in Spain were badly treated at first, but after Stalingrad when it was apparent that Germany would lose the war, treatment got better and many were allowed to leave covertly.
There were British and maybe some American aircrew interned in Ireland and possibly some made it to Turkey.
American aircrew who flew into Russia after attacking Japanese targets in China, were held for a while, then smuggled out.
March 8th, 2014  
muscogeemike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington 1858
During WWII there were approximately 1400 American service personnel interned in Sweden where they were well treated and about 1500 in Switzerland. In Switzerland, if an internee was captured after an escape attempt, they were sent to a criminal penitentiary, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Almost all of the above were air crew who landed damaged aircraft.
I have read that internees in Spain were badly treated at first, but after Stalingrad when it was apparent that Germany would lose the war, treatment got better and many were allowed to leave covertly.
There were British and maybe some American aircrew interned in Ireland and possibly some made it to Turkey.
American aircrew who flew into Russia after attacking Japanese targets in China, were held for a while, then smuggled out.
There were also US internees in Portugal, enough US P-39’s landed there that Portugal formed a squadron of them!
I know that US B-24’s from the first raid on Ploesti (June 1942) landed in Turkey and crews were interned.
Besides a B-25 from Doolittle’s Raid that landed in the USSR there were several B-29’s that went there (and kept by the Russians despite US demands for their return) and the crews were kept for some time and interrogated by the Russians. The Russians also used these aircraft to “Reverse Engineer” them and produced their own version of the bomber, the Tu-4. Some of these Tu-4’s were supplied to Communist China in the 1950’s.