Kurt Meyer

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Kurt Meyer
Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Ludwig-006-19, Kurt Meyer.jpg
Kurt Meyer
Nickname(s) Panzer Meyer
Born (1910-12-23)23 December 1910
Jerxheim, Lower Saxony
Died 23 December 1961(1961-12-23) (aged 51)
Hagen, Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1930–1945
Rank SS-Brigadeführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
Commands held 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler.svg14th Anti Tank Company LSSAH
15th Motor Cycle Company LSSAH
1st SS Reconnaissance Battalion LSSAH
SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25
12SSHJinsig.svg12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
Battles/wars Anschluss
Occupation of Czechoslovakia
Invasion of Poland
Battle of the Netherlands
Battle of Belgium
Battle of France
Balkans Campaign
Battle of Greece
Operation Barbarossa
Battle of Taganrog
Battle of Uman
Battle of the Sea of Azov
Third Battle of Kharkov
Normandy Landings
Battle for Caen
Falaise Pocket
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak leaves and Swords
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st class
Iron Cross 2nd class

Kurt Meyer, nicknamed "Panzermeyer", (23 December 1910 – 23 December 1961) served as an officer in the Waffen-SS during the Second World War. He saw action in many major battles, including the Invasion of France, Operation Barbarossa, and the Battle of Normandy.

Meyer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Upon promotion on 16 June 1944 at the age of 33 years, 5 months and 25 days Meyer became one of the youngest divisional commanders in the Waffen-SS during the Second World War.[1] After the war he was put on trial for war crimes relating to the shooting of Allied prisoners in Normandy for which he was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He petitioned for clemency and was released in 1954. Meyer lived until 1961.

Early life[edit]

Kurt Adolph Wilhelm Meyer was born in Jerxheim, Duchy of Brunswick (now Lower Saxony) on 23 December 1910.[2] He came from a lower-class family, his father being employed as a factory worker. In 1914, his father joined the Imperial German Army and served as an NCO in the First World War, obtaining the rank of Sergeant Major before being discharged for wounds received in battle.[3]

Meyer attended school in Jerxheim. After completing his education, Meyer found work as an apprentice shopkeeper,[4] followed by a stint of road construction and then as a mailman.[5] He applied to join the Mecklenburg Landespolizei (Police force), seeing it perhaps as an escape from a labourer's life. He was accepted on 1 October 1929.

Meyer's nickname, "Panzermeyer", has nothing to do with armoured warfare. While in training in the Police Academy at Schwerin, Meyer decided to play a prank on a fellow student. His plan was to throw a pail of water on his classmate from the roof of a two story building, but Meyer slipped and fell. He landed on his feet, but suffered over 20 fractures. He was expected to die, but he recovered to full health. After this, Meyer's classmates christened him "Panzer" because he was as tough as a battle tank.[citation needed]

Career in the SS[edit]

Pre-war[edit]

Meyer joined the Nazi Party on 1 September 1930, three years before Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. He then applied to join the Schutzstaffel, commanded by Heinrich Himmler. He was accepted on 15 October 1931, his first posting being to 22. SS-Standarte based in the town of Schwerin. Meyer was commissioned as an SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant) in 1932. In May 1934, he was transferred to the SS's most prestigious unit, the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). By September 1936, Meyer had again been promoted, this time to SS-Obersturmführer (1st Lieutenant), and had also taken command of the LSSAH's Anti-Tank unit, 14. Panzerabwehrkompanie. Meyer and the LSSAH took part in the bloodless annexation of Austria as a part of the XVI. Armeekorps, and later, under General Heinz Guderian, in the occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Campaigns in Poland, France and the Low Countries[edit]

Though the command of a static anti-tank company did not suit Meyer at all, his performance attracted positive attention during Fall Weiß, the invasion of Poland. The LSSAH was attached to Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt's Heeresgruppe Süd during the campaign. He was shot through the shoulder on 7 September 1939. Despite this, Meyer continued to command the anti-tank company and received the Iron Cross, second class, on 25 September 1939. Near Modlin, in October, Meyer was alleged to have ordered the shooting of fifty Polish Jews as reprisals, and to have court-martialled a platoon commander who refused to carry out his instructions.[Note 1]

After the campaign in Poland, Meyer requested a more mobile command. He received it in the form of the LSSAH's Motorcycle Reconnaissance company (15 Kradschützenkompanie). He led the LSSAH motorcyclists through the invasion of France and the Low Countries. Commanding the 1st and 2nd platoons were his future comrades Hugo Kraas and Max Wünsche. The LSSAH was attached to General von Wietersheim's XVI. Armeekorps. During this campaign, Meyer was awarded the Iron Cross, first class.

The Balkans and Greece[edit]

Further information: Balkans Campaign (World War II)

Following the Western Campaign, the 15 Kradschützenkompanie was reorganized into the LSSAH's Aufklärungsabteilung (Reconnaissance Battalion) and Meyer was promoted to SS-Sturmbannführer (Major).

Benito Mussolini's ill-fated invasion of Greece resulted in the Barbarossa campaign being delayed, and German forces brought to bear on the Yugoslav and Greek forces. Meyer's detachment was to cut off the Greek III Corps, currently retreating from Albania. Meyer's battalion had to storm the formidable Kleisoura Pass, drive for Lake Kastoria and cut off the Greek forces based in the town of Kastoria.

Further information: Battle of Kleisoura Pass

The attack began on 13 April, but by the next day, the attack had stalled in the face of stiff resistance at the Kleisoura pass, near the town of Lechovo. The Greek 20th Division was well entrenched in both the town and the heights bordering the pass itself. Meyer organised his battalion into three assault groups, led by himself, Kraas, and Wünsche. The dawn attack resulted in the outer defences being broken by 1100 hours, with Meyer throwing a grenade into a group of his own men to keep the assault moving. By mid afternoon, the town and heights had been cleared and the road to Kastoria was open. The battle for the heights yielded 600 prisoners - all for the loss of only one officer and six men killed, one officer and 17 men wounded. On the 16th, Meyer's battalion penetrated behind the Greek lines and assaulted Kastoria from the south, capturing a further 1,100 prisoners. For these actions, Meyer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 18 May 1941.

Barbarossa[edit]

Fritz Witt (left) and Kurt Meyer (right), Kharkov, March 1943

Meyer and his battalion participated in the June 1941 Operation Barbarossa as a part of Heeresgruppe Süd. His lightning quick actions during this campaign gained him the nickname "Der schnelle Meyer" (Speedy Meyer). Meyer ordered his men to literally "charge the guns", which resulted not only in the capture of Mariupol on the Black Sea, but also virtually a whole Soviet division. This was a typical example of Meyer's style of command: daring and brave (Meyer was always at the front of his assaults) though also perhaps reckless.

In October, Meyer fell ill and relinquished command to Kraas. After convalescing with his wife in Berlin, he returned to active duty in January 1942. Soon after returning, he was awarded the German Cross in gold for bravery in combat.

Kharkov and the Hitlerjugend Division[edit]

By Meyer's return, the LSSAH had been transformed into SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. After the II SS-Korps had withdrawn from Kharkov, General Paul Hausser ordered its recapture. Eager to reclaim their damaged prestige, the SS launched into the assault. Meyer's reformed SS-Reconnaissance Battalion 1 was constantly in the forefront of the fighting. During the Third Battle of Kharkov, Meyer's battalion frequently co-operated with Wünsche's SS-Panzer-Regiment 1, Theodor ‘Teddy’ Wisch’s SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 2 and Joachim Peiper's III. Battalion, SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 2. These ad hoc Kampfgruppen acted like fire brigades, rushing from one crisis point to another, rescuing trapped German troops and capturing Soviet officers. Meyer’s battalion captured the entire command staff of a Soviet division near Jeremejewka and Aleksandrowka.

In the final phase of the capture of Kharkov, the Leibstandarte's role was to capture the huge central plaza, called Red Square. Meyer, Wünsche and Peiper all led Kampfgruppen which were to take the responsibility of capturing the city. Meyer led his battalion in a high speed charge to the square, capturing part of it before being cut off by Soviet defenders. Meyer and his grenadiers held their ground against vastly larger Soviet forces until they were relieved by Peiper’s Kampfgruppe on 13 March. Together with Peiper’s Kampfgruppe and the rest of Teddy Wisch’s regiment, Meyer’s battalion finally cleared the city centre after a desperate and bloody fight. In honour of this action, Red Square was renamed Platz der Leibstandarte.

The actions of the three SS divisions, Leibstandarte, 2.SS Das Reich and 3.SS Totenkopf, along with the Heer's elite Großdeutschland division, resulted in the blunting of Soviet General Nikolai Vatutin’s offensive and rendering the Soviet Voronezh and South western Fronts impotent. The Third Battle of Kharkov was the last major German victory of the war. For his actions, Meyer became the 195th man to be awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross.

Meyer was alleged to have ordered the destruction of a village during the fighting around Kharkov, leading to the murder of all its inhabitants.[Note 1]

Kurt Meyer (left), Fritz Witt (center)and Max Wünsche (right) in the courtyard of Ardenne Abbey in June 1944.

In the summer of 1943, Hitler declared the formation of a new SS division. The 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend was to be filled by members of the Hitler Youth organization born in 1926—all 17-year olds, brought up knowing only the Nazi system. The division's commanding officers were to come from the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. The division was to be commanded by Meyer's old comrade SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt, and he was to be joined by Max Wünsche. Despite his desire to lead the Hitlerjugend's Panzer-Regiment, Meyer was selected to command the young Grenadiers of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25. Gustav Knittel succeeded him as commander of the SS-Reconnaissance Battalion 1. Meyer was promoted to SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) on 21 June 1943. Meyer was present during the unit's training at Beverloo Camp in Belgium, and early in 1944, the Hitlerjugend was moved to Hasselt in anticipation of the Allied invasion.

Normandy and the battles around Caen[edit]

On 6 June 1944, the Allies launched Operation Overlord, the amphibious invasion of France, which opened the long-awaited Western Front. After much confusion, the Hitlerjugend got moving at around 1430 on 6 June, and several units advanced on Sword Beach, until they were halted by fierce naval and anti-tank fire, and by Allied air cover. Meyer's regiment was ready for combat by 2200 on 7 June. Meyer set up his command post in Ardenne Abbey, whose towers provided an excellent view of the rolling fields of Normandy. His first orders were "more realistic" than those of the division; while the division was ordered to break through to the beach, Meyer himself ordered his regiment to take covering positions during 7 June and await reinforcements.[6] The Canadian Official History described his personal involvement in the battle:

Although Meyer claimed later that only shortage of petrol and ammunition prevented him from carrying the attack on towards the coast, this need not be taken seriously. Indeed, he himself testified that, seeing from his lofty perch "enemy movements deeper in that area"—doubtless the advance of the main body of the 9th Brigade—he came down and rode his motorcycle to the 3rd Battalion to order its C.O. "not to continue the attack north of Buron" (And the Germans did not occupy the latter village that night, in spite of our withdrawal from it. They dug in on a line running south of Buron and through St. Contest. Only towards evening on 8 June did they again enter Buron). Meyer's 2nd Battalion had been drawn into the fight, north of St. Contest "in the direction of Galmanche". Fierce fighting was going on when Meyer visited the battalion in the early evening; just as he arrived the battalion commander's head was taken off by a tank shot... Meyer ordered both this battalion and the 1st (around Cambes) to go "over from attack to defence."[7]

Max Wünsche(left), Fritz Witt(center), Kurt Meyer(right) at a commanders strategy session on or about 7–14 June 1944 in the vicinity of Caen, France

During their first engagement, the Hitlerjugend of Meyer's regiment proved themselves brave soldiers, destroying 28 Canadian tanks while losing only "5 or 6 tanks" for their efforts, according to what Meyer could recollect when he appeared in court in Aurich after the war. The 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment reported 31 German tanks destroyed, and German casualties were serious enough to halt the SS short of their ultimate objective of pushing back the Allies to the sea. Meyer wrote of this battle:

But what is this? Am I seeing clearly? An enemy tank is pushing through the orchards of Contest! My God! What an opportunity! The tanks are driving right across II Battalion's front! The unit is showing us its unprotected flank. I give orders to all battalions, the artillery and the available tanks. Do not shoot! Open fire on my order only!

The commander of our tank regiment has positioned his command vehicle in the garden of the monastery. A wireless link is quickly established with the tank.... Wünsche, commander of the tank regiment, quietly transmits the enemy tank movements. Nobody dares raise his voice.

... An unbearable pressure now rests on me. It will happen soon now. The enemy spearhead pushes past Franqueville and starts across the road. I give the signal for the attack to Wünsche, and can just hear his order, "Achtung! Panzer marsch!" The tension now fades away. There are cracks and flashes near Franqueville. The enemy tank at the head of the spearhead smokes and I watch the crew bailing out. More tanks are torn to pieces with loud explosions.[8]

It was during this period that the shooting of Canadian prisoners occurred. Meyer was later charged with and convicted of ordering that no prisoners be taken, and also found guilty of responsibility for the shooting of eighteen prisoners of war.

Days of furious fighting followed, and over the next two weeks, the regiment suffered badly in the battles for Carpiquet Aérodrome and the villages of Contest, Buron, and Authie.

On 14 June, SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt was killed when British naval gunfire hit his command post. Meyer, as the next highest-ranking officer, was promoted to divisional commander; at 33 years of age, he was the youngest German divisional commander of the war.[9] Meyer managed to hold the line north of Caen in spite of several British and Canadian offensives. By 4 July, the division was reduced to a 'weak battlegroup'. Despite this, Meyer still clung to the Carpiquet Airfield while wave after wave of Allied troops and tanks tried to wrest it from his grasp. By 9 July, Meyer realised he had to withdraw his division or watch it be annihilated. On the 10th, despite Hitler's 'No Retreat' order, Meyer ordered that the Hitlerjugend be pulled back behind the Orne River, abandoning Caen to the Allies. In just over one month of fighting, the Hitlerjugend had been reduced from 22,000 men to just under 5,000.

Final battles in Normandy - Falaise pocket[edit]

While the division rested and refitted, Meyer went to visit Erwin Rommel, the overall commander of the Army Group. When he requested air cover, Rommel replied:

Why are you telling me this? Do you believe that I drive around with my eyes closed? I have written report after report. In Africa I drew attention to the fatal impact of the fighter bombers, but the gentlemen in Berlin, of course, know much better, they simply don't believe my reports any longer! Something has to happen! The war in the west has to end! But what will happen in the east?[10]

Later that afternoon, Rommel's own staff car was strafed and he was wounded. Soon after this, he was forced into committing suicide for alleged complicity in the July 20 Plot to assassinate Hitler.

A graphical presentation of the Falaise pocket

The Canadians began their assault on Falaise, meaning to meet up with the Americans who were circling behind the German lines, hoping to surround and destroy the German divisions around Caen. Meyer realised at this point that further resistance could only end with death or capture; nonetheless he set up his battered division to attempt to defend the road to Falaise. After several days fighting, Meyer realised again that he had to try to save the remainder of his division, reduced to about 1,500 men. He led his men in an attempt to break out of the Falaise pocket. Here he speaks of the terror felt when surrounded:

The misery around us screams to high heaven. Refugees and soldiers from the broken German armies look helplessly at the bombers flying continuously overhead. It is useless to take cover from the bursting shells and bombs. Concentrated in such a confined space, we offer unique targets for the enemy air power. The forest areas are full of wounded soldiers and the sundered bodies of horses. Death shadows us at every step. We are lying as if on a salver in full view and range of the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Divisions' guns. It is impossible to miss.[11]

Destruction in the Falaise Pocket

Despite this, Meyer made it out of the Falaise pocket. On 27 August, he became the 91st soldier to be awarded the Swords to the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. Meyer and the remnants of the Hitlerjugend joined the retreat across the Seine River and into Belgium. On 6 September 1944, in the town of Durnal near Namur in Belgium, wounded and trapped he was captured by partisans and handed over to American forces. Because he was missing and presumed dead, he was retroactively promoted to Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen SS effective from September 1.

Trial for war crimes[edit]

Meyer was held as a prisoner of war until December 1945, when in the town of Aurich Germany he was put on trial for war crimes relating to the shooting of Allied prisoners in Normandy. The charges were that:

  • 1. Prior to 7 June 1944, Meyer had incited troops under his command to deny quarter to surrendering Allied soldiers.
  • 2. On or around 7 June 1944, Meyer was responsible for his troops killing twenty-three prisoners of war at Buron and Authie.
  • 3. On or around 8 June 1944, Meyer ordered his troops to kill seven prisoners of war at his headquarters at the Abbaye Ardenne.
  • 4. On or around 8 June 1944, Meyer was responsible for his troops killing seven prisoners of war, as above.
  • 5. On or around 8 June 1944, Meyer was responsible for his troops killing eleven prisoners of war, as above.

The third and fourth charges referred to the same event; the fourth charge was provided as an alternative to the third, in case the killings were found to be a war crime but he was not found to have ordered them. The fifth charge related to a separate group of prisoners; in this case, the prosecution did not allege he had directly ordered their deaths. In total, Meyer was charged with the responsibility for the deaths of twenty-three prisoners on 7 June, and eighteen more on 8 June.[12] He pled not guilty to all five charges.[13]

A second charge sheet, which accused him of responsibility for the death of seven Canadian prisoners of war at Mouen on 8 June 1944, was prepared but, after the successful conclusion of the first trial, it was decided not to try the second set of charges.[13] No charges were laid against him regarding allegations of previous war crimes in Poland or in the Ukraine; the Canadian court was constituted only to deal with crimes committed against Canadian nationals.[14]

Kurt Meyer stands trial in Aurich, Germany for 5 counts of war crimes in December 1945.

The court was the first major Canadian war crimes trial, and faced a number of hurdles before it could be convened. Chief among these was the fact that, as the accused was a general officer, he had to be tried by soldiers of equal rank, and finding sufficient Canadian generals able to sit was difficult. The court, as eventually constituted, had four brigadiers - one, Ian Johnston, a lawyer in civilian life - and was presided over by Major General H. W. Foster, former commander of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in Normandy.[15]

Following eyewitness statements by both German and Canadian soldiers, as well as French civilians, the trial found Meyer guilty of the first, fourth and fifth charges, but acquitted of the second and third. This meant that he was deemed guilty of inciting his troops to give no quarter to the enemy, and of the responsibility for his troops killing eighteen prisoners at the Abbaye Ardenne, but not responsible for the killings of twenty-three at Buron and Authie; whilst he was held responsible for the deaths at the Abbaye Ardenne, he was acquitted of directly ordering the killings.[13] In Meyer's closing statement before sentencing, he chose not to ask for clemency, but instead defended the record of his unit and the innocence of his soldiers, and closed by saying that "by the Canadian Army I was treated as a soldier and that the proceedings were fairly conducted."[16]

While most observers expected a sentence of some years imprisonment - the court had not found him guilty of directly ordering the murders, but merely of tacitly condoning them - the court sentenced Meyer to death; one of the five judges, Bell-Irving, later commented that he believed a guilty sentence required the death penalty and that no lesser sentence was permissible.[17] The sentence was subject to confirmation by higher command, and while Meyer was originally willing to accept it, he was persuaded by his wife and by his defence counsel to appeal. The appeal was reviewed by Canadian headquarters and dismissed by Major-General Christopher Vokes, the official convening authority for the court, who noted that he could not see a clear way to mitigate the sentence imposed by the court.[18]

However, shortly before the sentence was to be carried out, the prosecutor realised that the trial regulations contained a section allowing for a final appeal to "the senior combatant officer in the theatre", and on making enquiries found that no-one had completed such a review. The execution was postponed until a review could be carried out; somewhat oddly, the senior officer was found to be the commander of Canadian forces in Europe, the same Christopher Vokes who had just dismissed Meyer's appeal.[19] On encountering the appeal for a second time, Vokes had second thoughts, and began a flurry of meetings with senior officials to discuss how he should proceed. Vokes' main concern was the degree to which a commander should be held responsible for the actions of his men, feeling that it was not simply enough for a commander to fail to prevent such killings. The consensus which emerged from the discussions was that death was an appropriate sentence only when "the offence was conclusively shown to have resulted from the direct act of the commander or by his omission to act."[20] Discussing the case, Vokes conceded that "there isn't a general or colonel on the Allied side that I know of who hasn't said, 'Well, this time we don't want any prisoners'"; indeed, he himself had ordered the shooting of two prisoners in 1943 before his divisional commander intervened.[21]

After his deliberations, Vokes commuted the sentence to one of life imprisonment, stating that he felt Meyer's level of responsibility for the crimes did not warrant the death penalty. Following his reprieve, a Communist-operated German newspaper reported that the Soviet Union was considering putting Meyer on trial for alleged war crimes committed at Kharkov. However, little more was heard of this, and in April, Meyer was transported to Canada to begin his sentence.[22]

Later life[edit]

Meyer served five years in Dorchester Penitentiary, in New Brunswick, Canada where he worked in the library and learned English.[23] He petitioned for clemency in late 1950 - somewhat surprisingly including an offer to serve in a Canadian or United Nations military force if released - and was partially supported: the government was willing to let him return to a German prison but not to release him outright. He was transferred to a British military prison in Werl, West Germany in 1951.[24] He was released from prison on 7 September 1954 after the German government received advice to reduce his sentence to fourteen years. He had now spent nearly ten years in prison and factoring in the conventional reduction of a third for good behaviour, he was eligible for release as having served his sentence.[25]

He took a job working as a distributor for the Andreas Brewery in Hagen. Ironically, one of his major clients was the Canadian army mess at Soest, where he spent much time as a guest. Meyer became active in the Waffen-SS veteran's organization HIAG, and was outspoken in its battle to have war pensions awarded to former members of the Waffen-SS. His memoirs, Grenadiere (1956), were published as part of this campaign and were a glorification of the SS's part in the war as well as of his role in it.[26]

Politically, while he defended the role of the SS, he was more conciliatory; he told a reporter just after his arrival in Germany in 1951 that nationalism was past and that "a United Europe is now the only answer".[27] At a HIAG rally in 1957, he announced that while he stood behind his old commanders, Hitler had made many mistakes and it was now time to look to the future, not to the past.[26] He did not pursue a political career, partly due to ill-health; he needed a cane to walk, and suffered from heart disease and kidney problems.[26]

After a series of mild strokes, he died of a heart attack in Hagen, Westphalia on 23 December 1961, his 51st birthday. Fifteen thousand people attended Kurt Meyer's funeral in Hagen. A cushion-bearer bore his medals.[28]

Summary of SS career[edit]

Dates of rank[edit]

Notable decorations[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
29 June 1944 In diesem Abschnitt haben sich in den Kämpfen der letzten Tage die 12. SS-Panzerdivision "Hitler-Jugend" unter Führung von SS-Standartenführer Meyer, insbesondere die Kampfgruppen des SS-Sturmbannführers Olboetter, besonders ausgezeichnet.[34] In this section, in the battles of the last days, has the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitler Youth" under the command of SS-Standartenführer Meyer, especially the combat groups of SS-Sturmbannführer Olboetter, have especially distinguished themselves.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Beevor, p. 181. Beevor cites Peter Lieb's Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg?: Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44, p. 159 (2007), which itself refers to the findings of an Allied court of enquiry on war crimes in Normandy (TS 26/856, The National Archives). Part of this document, relating to the Modlin shootings, is summarised here. Neither case was tried by the Canadian court, which restricted itself solely to cases related to Canadians, but Brode (p. 58) notes that the prosecution was aware of at least the Kharkov case, and contemplated introducing it as additional background material. After Meyer's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, there were reports that the Soviet Union wished to try him for the Kharkov case, but nothing came of this; see Brode, p. 107.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Kurt Meyer, Grenadiers;Stackpole Books p. 238
  2. ^ Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals,Methuen 1986, p. 31
  3. ^ Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals,Methuen 1986, p. 36
  4. ^ Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals,Methuen 1986, p. 47-51
  5. ^ Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals,Methuen 1986, p. 92
  6. ^ Stacey, p. 130
  7. ^ Stacey, p.132
  8. ^ Kurt Meyer, Grenadiers;Stackpole Books pp. 222–223
  9. ^ Forty, p. 29
  10. ^ Kurt Meyer, Grenadiers;Stackpole Books p. 271
  11. ^ Kurt Meyer, Grenadiers;Stockpole Books p. 296
  12. ^ Copy of the formal charge sheet
  13. ^ a b c The Abbaye Ardenne Case : trial of SS Brigadefuhrer Kurt Meyer
  14. ^ Brode, p. 31
  15. ^ Brode, pp. 54–55
  16. ^ Brode, pp. 99–100
  17. ^ Brode, pp. 100–101
  18. ^ Brode, p. 102
  19. ^ Brode, p. 104
  20. ^ Brode, p. 106
  21. ^ Brode, p. 105
  22. ^ Brode, p. 107
  23. ^ Douglas How, "One Village One War, 1914-1945, Hantsport: Lancelot Press, 1995, p. 366
  24. ^ Brode, pp. 206–209
  25. ^ Brode, p. 213
  26. ^ a b c Brode, p. 214
  27. ^ Brode, p. 210
  28. ^ Tony Foster, Meeting of Generals,Methuen 1986 photo caption, pp. 328–329.
  29. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 77.
  30. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 308.
  31. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 310.
  32. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 66.
  33. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 45.
  34. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 141.
Bibliography
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  • Brode, Patrick (1997). Casual slaughters and accidental judgements : Canadian war crimes prosecutions, 1944-1948. ISBN 0-8020-4204-X. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
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  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
  • Vokes, Chris; John P. Maclean (1985) [1985]. My Story. Memorial Edition. Gallery Books, Ottawa Canada. ISBN 0-9692109-0-6. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt
Commander of 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
14 June 1944 – 6 September 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmbannführer Hubert Meyer