Waarom soldate uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog na VJ-dag doodgemaak word?

Waarom soldate uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog na VJ-dag doodgemaak word?

Teen die einde van Augustus 1945 was die Tweede Wêreldoorlog verby. Oorwinning is oor Japan verklaar, en wat duisende Amerikaanse troepe betref, was dit tyd om die uniforms te laat vaar en huis toe te kom - verkieslik teen Kersfees.

Die probleem was, dit het vier jaar geneem om die beraamde 7,6 miljoen troepe oorsee te kry, en dit sou meer as vier maande neem om hulle tuis te kry. GI's was gepla deur heimwee en verveling, en was 'n prooi vir manipulasie deur politici in Washington en agitators in hul geledere.

Gedurende die vyf maande, van VJ-dag tot Januarie 1946, het duisende die basiese strate regoor die wêreld die strate ingevaar om die vertragings te protesteer. Soldate het plakkate gedra wat hul bevelvoerders bespot en bevele trotseer op 'n manier wat ses maande tevore ondenkbaar sou gewees het. Volgens historikus, R. Alton Lee, skrywer van 'The Army' Mutiny 'van 1946' gepubliseer in Desember 1966 in Die Journal of American History, die optrede van baie soldate kwalifiseer maklik vir die aanklag van muitery.

Die oorlogsdepartement het 'n puntestelsel gebruik

Beplanning vir demobilisasie het begin lank voordat die geallieerde oorwinning verklaar is. In September 1944, agt maande voor die oorgawe van Duitsland, het die Oorlogsdepartement aangekondig dat soldate gedemobiliseer sal word op grond van 'n puntestelsel wat dienslewering, buitelandse ontplooiing, gevegsplig en ouerskap getel het. Soldate met 85 punte of meer was eerste aan die beurt om huis toe te gaan. Vroulike militêre personeel benodig minder punte. Soldate het gedink dat die stelsel regverdig was, net soos die Amerikaanse publiek.

Alhoewel die beoordelingsstelsel deursigtig was, het dit 'n groot probleem weggesteek: Net omdat soldate in aanmerking kom, beteken dit nie dat daar 'n skip beskikbaar is om hulle huis toe te neem nie. Amerikaanse politici was opgewonde om punte te verdien teen presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt en Harry S. Truman, hul gesinne en 'hotheads' in die troepe, soldate in Guam, Manila, Londen, Parys, Frankfurt en ander basisse. strate, georganiseerde inskrywingsveldtogte en opgevoerde publisiteitsstunts om Washington te druk om die demobilisasie te bespoedig.

Binne enkele weke na die Japannese oorgawe, het die Amerikaanse kongresvrou, Clare Boothe Luce (R-CT) erken dat verteenwoordigers 'onder konstante en geweldige druk van dienspligtiges en hul gesinne was'. "Bring die seuns terug huis toe" het die byeenkoms geword. Meer as 200 "Bring Daddy Home" -groepe, gevorm deur diensmeisies se vroue, het 'n inskrywingsveldtog vir verteenwoordigers in Washington gereël. Hulle het foto's van hul kinders gestuur en opgevolg deur honderde babas te stuur skoene met die etiket "Bring asseblief my pa terug."

Die ironie was dat die demobilisasie werk. In die vyf maande na VE-dag (Mei 1945) het meer as drie miljoen soldate huis toe gekom, een miljoen daarvan in Desember alleen. En die oorlogsdepartement en ander entiteite het herhaaldelik aangekondig dat die tempo van demobilisasie sal versnel. Maar dit blyk nie dat dit alles deurdring nie. Op 5 Desember 1945 het die New York Times het gesê dat soldate 'byna psigopaties' was in hul begeerte om gerepatrieer te word.

Dae na die Tye ' verslag, het die weermag aangekondig dat 32 vervoerskepe na die Stille Oseaan ontplooi word om die proses te versnel. Dit het reeds die puntdrempel van 85 na 50 verlaag. Maar dit het sy eie hoofpyn veroorsaak: dit het byna 'n miljoen meer soldate in aanmerking geneem, wat knelpunte in die vervoer en frustrasie verhoog het.

PR -gaffes het voortgegaan. Terwyl hy in Desember deur die Stille Oseaan besoek het, het die nuut aangestelde oorlogsekretaris, Robert L. Patterson, perskonferensies gehou waartydens dit duidelik geword het dat hy nie ten volle bewus was van hoe die puntestelsel werk nie. Dit het die GI's geskok en is wyd berig. Die voorval het Patterson maande lank geknou.

Betogings bereik 'n hoogtepunt op Kersdag

Die soldate se gemoed bereik die breekpunt in Desember. Die vonk was die kansellasie van 'n vervoerskip wat in Manila geanker was. Die nuus oor die kansellasie het soos 'n veldbrand versprei en op Kersdag het 4 000 mans met militêre baniere na die militêre hoofkwartier opgeruk. Een vaandel vergelyk Patterson selfs met die Japannese bevelvoerder en oorlogsmisdadiger, Tomoyuki Yamashita, omdat hulle albei beweer dat hulle "niks weet" van wat hul soldate doen nie.

Oor die volgende drie weke het die gemoedelike bui momentum gekry. Soldate in die poskantore van die weermag in Manila en Tokio het rubberstempels gemaak met die woorde "No Boats, No Votes" en het seker gemaak dat die slagspreuk op alle uitgaande letters gestempel is.

In Frankfurt het soldate op die hoofkwartier van die bevelvoerder van Amerikaanse troepe in Europa, generaal Joseph McNarney, opgeroep en gesing: "Ons wil huis toe gaan!" Hulle is deur gewapende LP’s geblokkeer. Soldate het gesê: "Hy is te bang om ons in die oë te kyk."

In Frankryk marsjeer Amerikaanse soldate langs die Champs Elysées met magnesiumflare en sing: "Ons wil huis toe gaan." Nog 400 vergader by die Trocadero oorkant die Eiffeltoring.

In Londen het 500 Amerikaanse troepe opgeruk na Claridge's Hotel, waar hulle gevra het om Eleanor Roosevelt, wat in Londen was op 'n welwillendheidsmissie, te sien. Sy ontmoet 'n afvaardiging en skryf die volgende dag aan die destydse weermaggeneraal Dwight D. Eisenhower en sê dat die ontevredenheid van die soldate te wyte is aan onsekerheid en verveling. 'Hulle is goeie seuns, maar as hulle nie genoeg het om te doen nie, sal hulle probleme ondervind. Dit is die aard van seuns, ek is bang ... ”

Kommuniste help om die ontevredenheid te versprei

Die onderwerp van die lae moraal van die troepe het 'n onderwerp geword in koerantartikels en artikels. Iemand wat sekerlik tevrede was, was Erwin Marquit. Hy was 'n lewenslange marxis en 'n lid van die Amerikaanse Kommunistiese Party van jongs af by die vloot in 1945.Natuurvereniging en denke, 2002), vertel met trots en in detail hoe "die kommuniste en diegene wat met hulle verbonde was, gehelp het om hierdie GI-uitbarsting in 'n kragtige, goed georganiseerde beweging te lei."

In die oë van Marquit kan enige vertraging van die demobilisasie slegs te wyte wees aan die imperialistiese doelwitte van die kapitalistiese Westerse moondhede. As partylede was hulle doel om "die openlik imperialistiese ambisies wat in die nuwe Amerikaanse rol in die naoorlogse wêreld lê, te weerstaan".

Majoor John Sparrow erken in sy ewe handige "History of Personal Demobilization in the United States Army", wat in 1950 gepubliseer is, die invloed van die party op gebeure en die vernietigende effek daarvan op soldate en burgerlike moraal. Terwyl nie Sparrow of Lee gevoel het dat die CPUSA -aksies geskep die ontevredenheid was hulle dit eens dat hulle dit versterk en versprei.

Namate meer en meer soldate aan boord van die skepe gegaan het, het die 'muitery' verdwyn. Teen Maart was dit 'n verre herinnering. Soos president Truman voorheen op 'n nuuskonferensie op 23 Augustus 1945 opgemerk het: "Dit sal geen verskil maak watter soort [demobilisasie] plan [ons] het nie, iemand sal dit nie geniet nie."


Meer uit die toneel van die beroemde VJ Day Kiss op Times Square

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Geskryf deur: Eliza Berman

Alfred Eisenstaedt se foto van 'n matroos wat 'n vrou op Times Square soen, nadat nuus oor die Japannese oorgawe in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog verskyn het, het 'n lang lewe geleef sedert dit op 15 Augustus 1945 geneem is. Dikwels genoem The Kiss, & #8221 het dit die ikoniese beeld geword van viering aan die einde van die oorlog, 'n swart-en-wit boeksteun wat 'n era van duisternis skei van die begin van 'n tyd van vrede. Dit het ook die afgelope paar jaar 'n soort #metoo -infamie gekry, nadat die vrou op die foto gesê het dat die soen nie gewild was nie.

Maar “ The Kiss ” was nie die enigste foto wat daardie dag geneem is nie, en Eisenstaedt was ook nie die enigste fotograaf wat op die luidrugtige feeste in New York op pad was nie. 'N Ander LIFE -fotograaf, William C. Shrout, het daardie dag 'n ander stel negatiewe na die kantoor gebring, met sy eie perspektief op die reaksie van mense op vrede.

Terwyl foto's van Shrout baie gemeen het met Eisenstaedt - soene was daar daardie dag baie - vang hulle een ding wat Eisenstaedt nie maklik kon vasvang nie: beelde van Eisenstaedt self. Op een foto soen Eisenstaedt 'n verslaggewer, sy kamera oor sy skouer geslinger, in 'n houding wat nie anders is as die van die beroemde soen wat hy die dag gefotografeer het nie. In 'n ander stap hy en daardie vroue na Shrout, met 'n helder glimlag op hul gesigte.

Shrout se beelde van 'n magdom ander anonieme omhelsings help om die beroemde soen in konteks te plaas. En Shrout se beelde van die man agter die foto herinner ons daaraan dat selfs al is 'n fotojoernalis 'n onpartydige getuie van die geskiedenis, is hy ook deel van die geskiedenis wat hy aanskou.

Liz Ronk het hierdie gallery vir LIFE.com geredigeer. Volg haar op Twitter @lizabethronk.

Eisenstaedt se ikoniese foto: 'n Jubelende Amerikaanse matroos gryp 'n tandheelkundige assistent in 'n buigende soen op 'n oomblik van spontane vreugde oor die langverwagte oorwinning oor die Tweede Wêreldoorlog oor Japan. Op VJ-dag, 1945, geneem terwyl duisende op Times Square vasgekeer het. In die afgelope dekades het hierdie ikoniese foto veroordeling veroorsaak nadat Greta Zimmer Friedman, die vrou wat deur die matroos gesoen is (vermoedelik George Mendonsa was) gesê het dat die soen ongesiens was. In 2019, kort nadat Mendonsa op 95 -jarige ouderdom oorlede is, is 'n standbeeld van die soen in Florida gemerk met #metoo -graffiti.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

LIFE-fotograaf Alfred Eisenstaedt en 'n verslaggewer tydens VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

LIFE-fotograaf Alfred Eisenstaedt het 'n verslaggewer gesoen tydens VJ-dagvieringe op Times Square, 14 Augustus 1945.

William C. Shrout The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock


Waarom is daar twee VJ-dae? VSA vier die oorwinning oor Japan op 15 Augustus, 2 September en hier is die rede

Vir almal wat nie in die geskiedenisklas aandag gegee het nie, is VJ Day Victory Over Japan Day - die dag wat die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog beteken het.

Maar volgens sommige kalenders is die vakansie reeds op 15 Augustus gevier. Wat is dan reg?

Sommige geskiedenisboeke toon dat die oorspronklike VJ-dag op 15 Augustus 1945 (14 Augustus in die VSA) was. Dit was die dag waarop Japannese magte oorgegee het, toe keiser Hirohito op nasionale radio gaan en Japan se onvoorwaardelike oorgawe aankondig.

Hierdie aankondiging kom op die hakke van die bombardement op Hiroshima, die Sowjetunie se oorlogsverklaring teen Japan, die bombardement op Nagasaki en 'n kort militêre staatsgreep in Tokio.

Maar die Amerikaanse weermag se sentrum vir militêre geskiedenis erken VJ -dag op 2 September van dieselfde jaar - die dag waarop Japan formeel oorgawe -dokumente aan boord van die USS Missouri in Tokiobaai onderteken het.

Onbekende WWII -soldaat se onontwikkelde film onthul beelde wat nog nooit vantevore gesien is nie

Iets na 09:00 daardie dag het minister Mamoru Shigemitsu namens die Japannese regering geteken en 'n tranerige genl Yoshijiro Umezu namens die weermag onderteken.


VJ-dag: die formele oorgawe van Japan

VJ -dag, 2 September, herdenk die geallieerde oorwinning oor Japan in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Op 2 September 1945 onderteken die Japannese die formele oorgawe -dokumente wat die oorlog beëindig het.

Na die nederlaag van Duitsland in Mei 1945, het die Verenigde State 'n groot logistieke poging aangepak om meer as 'n miljoen troepe uit Europa, die Verenigde State en ander onaktiewe teaters na die Stille Oseaan te herontplooi. Die doel was om die herontplooiing betyds te voltooi om 'n inval in Japan op 1 November te begin.

Die taak moes aangepak word in die lig van mededingende skeepsvereistes vir die demobilisasie van langdiens-troepe, Britse herontplooiing en burgerlike hulp in Europa. Teen die tyd dat die oorlog in Europa geëindig het, het ongeveer 150 000 man direk van Europa na die Stille Oseaan verhuis, maar 'n groter oordrag uit die Verenigde State het skaars begin.

In die Stille Oseaan het generaal van die weermag, Douglas MacArthur en vlootadmiraal Chester W. Nimitz, geen moeite gespaar om hawens en gereed basisse uit te brei om die verwagte toestroming te ontvang en om invalsmagte te monteer nie. Teen die middel van die somer van 1945 het die meeste verantwoordelike leiers in Japan besef dat die einde naby was. In Junie het diegene wat 'n ooreenkoms bereik het, in die openbaar uitgekom, en Japan het reeds vredesgevoelers deur die Sowjetunie gestuur, 'n land wat hulle vrees ook op die punt staan ​​om die oorlog te betree, ondanks 'n nie -aggressiewe verdrag tussen die twee nasies.

Reeds tydens die Teheran -konferensie aan die einde van 1943 het die Sowjet -leier Joseph Stalin beloof om die oorlog teen Japan te betree, en almal het in Jalta in Februarie 1945 ooreengekom dat die USSR dit sou doen drie maande na die nederlaag van Duitsland. Tydens die Potsdam -konferensie in Julie 1945 bevestig die Sowjetunie sy ooreenkoms om oorlog teen Japan te verklaar. Die Verenigde State, Brittanje en China het die Potsdam -verklaring uitgereik waarin 'n beroep op Japan gedoen word om op dieselfde tydstip onmiddellik oor te gee, het president Harry S. Truman besluit om die nuut getoetsde atoombom teen Japan te gebruik in die geval van voortdurende Japanse weerstand.

Ondanks die veranderende meningsklimaat in Japan, het die steeds magtige Japannese weermag onderhandelinge geblokkeer deur daarop aan te dring om 'n beslissende stryd te voer om die kus se tuisstrande te verdedig. Die Japanse regering het dus sy voorneme aangekondig om die bepalings van die Potsdam -verklaring te ignoreer. Gevolglik het 'n eensame Amerikaanse B-29 van die Marianas op 6 Augustus 'n atoombom op Hiroshima laat val. Op 9 Augustus het die Sowjetunie die oorlog betree en 'n tweede bom op Nagasaki neergegooi. Die volgende dag het Japan om vrede gedagvaar, en op 15 Augustus is Japan se oorgawe aangekondig.

Die oggend van 2 September 1945 vergader die Geallieerde en Japanse afvaardigings aan boord van die USS Missouri in Tokiobaai vir die formele ondertekening van die oorgawe -dokumente. Nadat hy 'n welsprekende inleidende verklaring afgehandel het, het generaal MacArthur die verteenwoordigers van Japan beveel om die twee oorgawe -instrumente te onderteken, elk vir die Geallieerde en die Japanse regerings. Hulle is gevolg deur verteenwoordigers van die Verenigde State, China, die Verenigde Koninkryk, die Sowjetunie, Australië, Kanada, Frankryk, Nederland en Nieu -Seeland. Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het formeel geëindig, en president Truman verklaar 2 September die amptelike VJ -dag.


Na VJ-dag wou Amerikaners hulle van die wêreldverhoog onttrek

S vyf jaar gelede is die grootste brand in die wêreldgeskiedenis uiteindelik uitgewis. Nadat hy twee van sy stede deur atoombomme verwoes gesien het, het keiser Hirohito oor die radio aan sy mense aangekondig dat Japan sou oorgee. 'N Golf van byna oproerige vieringe het in die Verenigde State en ander geallieerde lande ontstaan. In Londen en New York het kantoorwerkers kaartjies en papiere by hul vensters uitgegooi om verbygangers met geïmproviseerde konfetti te laat stort, en Lewe die tydskrif Alfred Eisenstaedt het 'n ikoniese - en nou omstrede - foto geneem van 'n matroos wat 'n verpleegster soen te midde van die gejaag op Times Square.

Hierdie beeld word dikwels gesien as 'n simbool van hoe Amerikaners aan die einde van die oorlog gevoel het. Die tradisionele vertelling beweer dat die Verenigde State opgewek en vol vertroue was, die meester van die wêreld nadat hy die Nazi's oorwin het en die keiserlike Japan onderdanig gemaak het. Nadat die Japannese oorgegee het en die mees vernietigende oorlog in die geskiedenis beëindig het, het Amerikaners verstandig ingegaan in die wêreldwye leiersrol wat hulle ná die Eerste Wêreldoorlog ontketen het.

Die meeste van die vertellings is onwaar, en om die nasleep van die oorlog te verstaan, kan Amerikaners waardevolle insigte gee oor die krisis wat die koronavirus meebring. Alhoewel die meeste Amerikaners bly was dat die oorlog verby was, was daar baie angstigheid oor hoe die ekonomie sou reageer op die einde van die oorlog. Byna 10 miljoen Amerikaners is in die gewapende magte opgeneem, en hulle was desperaat om huis toe te kom en beskikbare poste op te doen voordat hulle verdwyn: hulle onthou almal die groot depressie, en die werkloosheidskoers was in 1941 in die dubbelsyfers voor die konsep het ernstig begin. Niemand kon met selfvertroue sê of die privaatekonomie die agteruitgang sou kry as militêre uitgawes opduik nie, en die GI's wou werk kry voordat die werk opraak. GI's in die buiteland begin lobby by hul kongreslede en protesteer hoe stadig hulle ontslaan word, en die oorlogsekretaris is in Guam verbrand.

Hulle was nie die enigste wat gretig was om die seuns terug te bring nie. Harold Ickes, een van die belangrikste argitekte van die New Deal, het gewaarsku dat die steenkoolmyne in die land 'n tekort aan mannekrag het. Tensy die weermag 30 000 mynwerkers ontslaan het, het hy gesê dat die Amerikaanse ekonomie sou vries en die herstel van Europa tot stilstand sou kom sodat hulle weer aan die werk kon gaan. Die weermag, wat nie 'n stokperdjie wou oprig vir bevoorregte kiesdistrikte wat ontslaan word nie, het in sy hakke gegrawe en die kongres en die uitvoerende gesag woedend gemaak.

Intussen wou industriële werkers tuis loonverhogings hê nadat hulle jare lank stakings vermy het om die oorlogspoging te help. In November 1945 het die UAW 'n landwye staking van honderde duisende werkers teen GM geloods en 'n vlaag nasionale stakings wat gedurende 1946 voortgeduur het, afgeskop. Gedurende daardie jaar het meer as 5 miljoen werkers gestaak vir loonverhogings wat volgens hulle die gevolg was. na jare sonder roering. Hulle het 'n punt: Terwyl die prysbeheer en rantsoenering in die oorlog verslap het, het inflasie in dubbelsyfers gespring. Dit is geen wonder dat die aandelemark byna 'n kwart van sy waarde verloor het in 'n beermark wat van Mei tot Oktober 1946 geduur het nie. Dit was nie verbasend dat die Republikeine die Demokrate uit die Huis en die Senaat uitgevee het tydens die middeltermynverkiesings van 1946 nie.

Te midde van hierdie onrus in die binneland, was die laaste ding wat die meeste Amerikaners wou hê, om bykomende globale verantwoordelikhede te aanvaar. Sommiges het gehoop dat die Sowjetunie en die Verenigde State die oorlogsbond sou handhaaf en sodoende konflik sou vermy, ander dat die Verenigde Koninkryk 'n balans sou vind teen die Sowjets in Europa, en ander dat alle lande hul geskille vreedsaam in die nuwe Verenigde Nasies sou oplos. Dit was eers met groot moeite dat die Truman-administrasie die nuwe Amerikaanse rol in die wêreld aanvaar en toe die Amerikaanse volk oorreed om 'n anti-Sowjet-buitelandse beleid te ondersteun.


Waarom soldate uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog na V -J -dag doodgemaak word - GESKIEDENIS


D-Day is 'n militêre term wat die begin van 'n militêre operasie aandui.

Die D -dag in die moderne geskiedenis verwys na wat op 6 Junie 1944 gebeur het - die dag waarop die Slag van Normandië begin het.

Dit was 'n groot poging wat maande se geheime voorbereidings behels het. Duisende geallieerde troepe het aan die begin van die geveg op die strande van Normandië, in die noorde van Frankryk, geland om die vasteland van Europa te bevry van die Nazi -besetting.

D-dag was die keerpunt in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog toe die geallieerde magte hul stryd teen die asmagte begin wen.

Die inval was met die naam Overlord.

Vind meer uit hier

VE Day staan ​​vir Victory in Europe Day.
Dit is 'n baie belangrike gebeurtenis in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog - die einde van die oorlog met Duitsland op Dinsdag 8 Mei 1945.
Lees meer hier


VJ Day staan ​​vir Victory in Japan Day.
Dit is 'n baie belangrike gebeurtenis in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog - die dag toe Japan op 15 Augustus 1945 aan die Geallieerdes oorgegee het.

Die einde van die oorlog is gekenmerk deur tweedaagse vakansiedae in die Verenigde Koninkryk, die VSA en Australië.

& kopiereg Kopiereg - lees asb
Al die materiaal op hierdie bladsye is gratis vir huiswerk en klaskamer. U mag nie die inhoud van hierdie bladsy herversprei, verkoop of plaas nie enige ander webwerf of blog sonder skriftelike toestemming van die skrywer Mandy Barrow.

Die Force Publique Dit is aanvanklik in 1885 bedink toe koning Leopold II van die Belge, wat die Vrystaat van die Kongo as sy privaat eiendom gehou het, sy sekretaris van binnelandse sake beveel om militêre en polisiemagte vir die staat te stig. Kort daarna, vroeg in 1886, is kaptein Léon Roger (van die Carabiniers van die Belgiese leër) na die Kongo gestuur met bevele om die mag te stig. 'N Paar maande later, op 17 Augustus, word hy bevorder tot "Kommandant van die Force Publique". [3] 'n Aantal ander Belgiese offisiere en onderoffisiere is ook na die gebied gestuur as die kern van die offisierkorps. Die beamptes van die Force Publique was heeltemal Europees. Hulle bestaan ​​uit 'n mengsel van Belgiese gewone soldate en huursoldate uit ander lande wat deur die vooruitsig op rykdom aangetrokke was of bloot aangetrokke was tot die avontuur van diens in Afrika.

Om syne te beveel Force Publique, Leopold II kon staatmaak op 'n mengsel van vrywilligers (gewone offisiere losgemaak van die Belgiese leër), huursoldate [4] en voormalige offisiere uit die leërs van ander Europese nasies, veral dié van Skandinawië, Italië en Switserland). Vir hierdie mans bied diens in die Vrystaat van die Kongo militêre ervaring, avontuur en - soos hulle dit gesien het - 'n geleentheid om deel te neem aan 'n humanitêre poging. Van 1886 tot 1908 het die offisierkorps bestaan ​​uit 648 Belge, 112 Italianers, 53 Dene, 47 Swede, 26 Noorweërs en kleiner getalle wat uit ander nasies gewerf is, soos die Verenigde Koninkryk en die Verenigde State. [5]

Onder hierdie Europese offisiere was 'n etnies gemengde Afrikaanse soldaat wat uiteindelik vergelykbaar geword het met die askaris wat deur ander Europese koloniale moondhede aangebied is. Baie is gewerf of ingeroep uit 'vegterstamme' in die Haut-Congo, ander was huursoldate [6] afkomstig uit Zanzibar en Wes-Afrika [4] (Nigeriese Hausas). Die rol wat vereis word van die Force Publique was die van beide die verdediging van die Vrystaatse gebied en die interne pasifikasie. [7] In die 1890's het die Force Publique het die Afrikaanse en Arabiese slawe verslaan tydens die Kongo -Arabiese Oorlog (1892–1894), wat tienduisende slagoffers tot gevolg gehad het. [6]

Soos die tyd aangestap het, het die Force Publique begin toenemend werf en vertrou op Belgiese offisiere en inheemse Kongolese soldate, sodat die wit en swart buitelandse huursoldate meestal teen 1908 uitgefaseer is. [4]

Wreedhede Redigeer

Onder Leopold II het die Force Publique is beskryf as 'n 'buitengewoon wrede leër'. [6] Die belangrikste doel van die Force was om die rubberkwotas en ander vorme van dwangarbeid af te dwing. Gewapen met moderne wapens en die chicote - 'n bulsweep gemaak van seekoeivel - het soldate van die FP dikwels gyselaars geneem en mishandel. Verslae van buitelandse sendelinge en konsulêre amptenare beskryf 'n aantal gevalle waarin Kongolese mans en vroue deur soldate van die Force Publique geboei of verkrag is, onbeperk deur hul offisiere en onderoffisiere. Hulle verbrand dorpe wat hulle as weerbarstig beskou het. Daar is bewyse, insluitend foto's, dat FP -soldate mense se hande afgesny het, óf as trofeë, óf om aan te toon dat koeëls nie vermors is nie, [8] of (deur kinders se ledemate af te sny) om ouers te straf wat beskou word as nie hard werk nie genoeg in die rubberplantasies. [9]

Gedurende die Vrystaatse tydperk het die Force Publique aan institusionele probleme gely het. Gedurende die beginjare van die mag het muiterye van swart soldate verskeie kere plaasgevind. Teen die vroeë 1890's was 'n groot deel van die oostelike deel van die Vrystaat onder die beheer van Arabiese ivoor en slawehandelaars (alhoewel die regering teen die middel van die 1890's weer beheer oor die ooste kon vestig). [10] Organisatoriese probleme was ook redelik algemeen tydens die Vrystaatse era. Met baie Force Publique sommige afdelings wat in afgeleë gebiede van die gebied gestasioneer was, het sommige beamptes besluit om soldate onder hulle beheer te gebruik om privaat ekonomiese agendas te bevorder eerder as om op militêre bekommernisse te fokus. [11] Teen die einde van 1891 het die mag 60 offisiere, 60 onderoffisiere en 3 500 swart soldate gehad. Vriendelike stamme en milisies is dikwels gebruik om beheer oor die uiterste dele van die Vrystaat uit te oefen. [12] Teen 1900 het die Force Publique 19 000 man getel. [13]

Organisasie en rol Redigeer

Na die oorname van die Vrystaat deur die Belgiese regering in 1908, het die nuwe owerhede die Force Publique. Hierdie proses was egter taamlik stadig en is eers tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog voltooi. [14] Alhoewel die nuwe Belgiese administrasie 'meer verlig' was as sy voorganger, het dit steeds probeer om die koste van die koloniale leër laag te hou. As gevolg hiervan was die deel van die opdragte van Belgiese offisiere by askaris (ongeveer een tot honderd) baie laag volgens die standaarde van die meeste koloniale leërs van hierdie tydperk. [4] Die wapens van die Force Publique het ook meestal verouderd gebly weens die streng begrotingsbeperkings op die koloniale administrasie. Die meeste askaris's was gewapen met enkelskoot 11 mm Albini-Braendlin gewere, hoewel die wit kaders en eenhede in Katanga beter Mauser Model 1889 gewere gekry het. Ander wapens sluit in Maxim -masjiengewere, 'n kleiner aantal Madsen -masjiengewere, Nordenfelt 4,7 cm en Krupp 7,5 cm kanonne. [15]

Die uniforms van die ou Vrystaat is steeds in gebruik onder die Force Publique tot die Eerste Wêreldoorlog: Belgiese offisiere het tot in 1914 wit uniforms gedra, [16], terwyl die blou uniform (met rooi afwerking om die nek en die voorste opening), rooi velle en rande van die askaris uitgefaseer is in 'n reeks verander gedurende 1915–1917. [17] Daarna het beamptes en askaris 'n verskeidenheid kakie -uniforms gedra. [18]

Die Force Publique was georganiseer in 21 afsonderlike maatskappye (oorspronklik genommer, maar later slegs onder hul name bekend) elk tussen 225 en 950 man sterk, saam met 'n artillerie en 'n ingenieurs -eenheid. Die hele mag was meer as 12 100 man. Die maatskappye was soos volg: Aruwimi, Bangala, Bas-Congo, Cateracts, Équateur, Ituri, Kasai, Kwango, Lac Léopold II, Lualaba, Lulongo, Makrakas, Makua-Bomokandi, Ponthiérville, Rubi, Ruzizi-Kivu, Stanley Falls, Stanley Pool, Ubangi en Uele-Bili. Daar was ook ses werwingskampe met meer as 2 400 mans. [19]

Die afsonderlike maatskappye wat die Force Publique uiteindelik gegroei tot meer as 600 man elk. Hulle samestellende eenhede, bekend as afdelings, was so wyd verspreid dat die mag geen werklike militêre waarde gehad het nie. Die grootste deel van hierdie sub-eenhede bestaan ​​eerder uit klein garnisoene op vaste plekke, met plaaslike polisiëringsfunksies. [20] Dit was die bedoeling dat elke administratiewe onderneming 'n Compagnie Marche van 150 man. Elkeen Marche of veldmaatskappy was bedoel om vier Belgiese offisiere en onderoffisiere te hê, plus tussen 100 en 150 askaris. In beginsel bestaan ​​maatskappye uit twee of drie 50-man peloton. Daar was veronderstel om genoeg maatskappye te wees om drie te vorm Marche bataljons. Agt Kongolese soldate is tot NCO bevorder. [21]

Die 2 875 man van die Troupes du Katanga vorm 'n semi-outonome mag van ses maatskappye: vier die marche en twee ander infanterie, plus 'n fietsryersmaatskappy en 'n bataljon se hoofkwartier. Daarbenewens was daar die Compagnie d'Artillerie et de Génie (Artillery and Engineers Company) beman Fort de Shinkakasa by die monding van die Kongorivier in Boma. Die fort bevat agt 160 mm gewere beman deur 200 man, [22] plus 'n gelyke hulpmag, wat tydens die oorlog min of geen diens behaal het nie.

Eerste Wêreldoorlog Edit

In 1914 het die Force Publique, insluitend die Katanga -maatskappye, bedra ongeveer 17 000 askaris met 178 wit offisiere en 235 wit onderoffisiere. Die meerderheid het in klein statiese garnisoene gedien poste met hoofsaaklik 'n polisierol. Met die uitbreek van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog is die Katangese eenhede in bataljons (Ie, IIe en IIIme) georganiseer vir militêre diens in Noord -Rhodesië en die oostelike grensdistrikte van die Belgiese Kongo. Die Force Publique kon 'n ander bataljon bymekaarmaak uit kleiner eenhede wat oorspronklik die IIIe genoem is, maar verander na die 11e om verwarring met die Katanga IIIme -bataljon te voorkom.

Tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (1914–18) het 'n uitgebreide Force Publique dien as deel van die Oos -Afrikaanse veldtog teen Duitse koloniale magte in die Kameroene en Duits -Oos -Afrika (Tanzanië, Rwanda, Burundi). Die Force Publique presteer goed op die slagveld en wen die respek van hul Britse en Portugese bondgenote, sowel as die van hul Duitse teenstanders.

Vanaf 1916 word die Force Publique het gegroei tot 'n sterkte van drie selfone Groepe (brigades), Kivu, Ruzizi en Tanganyika, bestaande uit 'n totaal van 15 bataljons, uit die statiese garnisoen en polisiemag van 1914. Dit het egter tot laat 1915 geduur Force Publique om die voorbereidings vir 'n grootskaalse offensief op die Duitse kolonie Duits -Oos -Afrika af te handel. Die geallieerde moondhede, die Britse Ryk en België, het 'n gekoördineerde aanval op die Duitse kolonie teen 1916 geloods, die Belgiese bevelvoerder van die Force Publique, Luitenant-generaal Charles Tombeur, het 'n leër van 15 000 man bymekaargemaak wat deur plaaslike draers ondersteun is en na Kigali gevorder. Kigali is op 6 Mei 1916 ingeneem. Die Duitse leër wat in Urundi gestasioneer was, was verplig om terug te trek deur die numeriese meerderwaardigheid van die Belgiese leër, en teen 17 Junie 1916 is Ruanda-Urundi beset. Die Force Publique en die British Lake Force het daarna begin om Tabora, 'n administratiewe sentrum van Sentraal -Duitse Oos -Afrika, te vang. Die weermag het Tabora op 19 September ingeneem ná hewige gevegte. [23] [24] Ten tyde van die Slag van Tabora in September 1916 was ongeveer 25,000 man tydens die oorlog onder die wapen, en hul optrede is deur meer as 260,000 plaaslike draers ondersteun. [24] In 1916 word Charles Tombeur as militêre goewerneur van die Belgiese besette Oos -Afrikaanse gebiede aangestel. Na die Mahenge-offensief en die inname van Mahenge in 1917, het die Belgiese Kongolese weermag ongeveer 'n derde van Duits-Oos-Afrika beheer. [24]

Tussenoorlogse tydperk Wysig

Na die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, soos uiteengesit in die Verdrag van Versailles, was Duitsland genoodsaak om "beheer" van die Westelike deel van die voormalige Duitse Oos -Afrika aan België af te staan. Op 20 Oktober 1924 het Ruanda-Urundi (1924–1945), wat uit die huidige Rwanda en Burundi bestaan ​​het, 'n mandaatgebied van die Volkebond geword onder Belgiese administrasie, met Usumbura as hoofstad. [25]

Op 10 Mei 1919 het die Belgiese koloniale administrasie 'n dekreet uitgevaardig wat die Force Publique in twee takke. Die groepe kampeer het die taak gehad om die grens te bewaak en die kolonie te beskerm teen eksterne aggressie, terwyl die troepe en diens territoriale was verantwoordelik vir die handhawing van interne veiligheid. Battalions from the latter were assigned to every provincial capital, while companies were stationed at each district headquarters. [26]

Tweede Wêreldoorlog Edit

After Belgium had surrendered to Nazi Germany on 28 May 1940, His Excellency Pierre Ryckmans, Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, decided that the colony would continue to fight on the side of the Allies. [27] With Belgium occupied, the contribution to the Allied cause by the Free Belgian Forces from the Belgian Congo was primarily an economic one providing copper, wolfram, zinc, tin, rubber, cotton and more. Already prior to the war uranium from the Shinkolobwe mine had been shipped to New York it was later used in the Manhattan Project to produce the atomic bomb for Hiroshima. [24] The military contribution was also important: the Force Publique grew to 40,000 in the course of the War, formed into three brigades, a river force and support units. [28] It provided detachments to fight Italian forces during the East Africa Campaign and serve as garrisons in West Africa and the Middle East.

At the end of 1940, the XI th Battalion of the Force Publique was placed at the disposal of the British forces in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The 3rd Brigade of the Force Publique, together with the XI th battalion (5,700 men), took part in the campaign in Abyssinia in Italian East Africa, arriving from the Congo via the Sudan. The troops took Asosa and Gambela with little resistance, and shelled Italian forces at Saïo on 8 June 1941. [24] Their retreat cut off, the Italian troops surrendered to General Auguste-Édouard Gilliaert on 7 July 1941, and included nine generals, among them Generals Pietro Gazzera and Count Arconovaldo Bonaccorsi, 370 officers, and 2,574 noncoms and 1,533 native soldiers. [24] About 2,000 additional native irregulars were sent home. Die Force Publique lost about 500 men during the East Africa Campaign, [29] among them 4 Belgians. [24]

Die Force Publique then helped to establish an overland route from Lagos through Fort Lamy and the Sudan to Cairo. Between 1942 and 1943, an expeditionary force of 13,000 was sent to Nigeria. Nine thousand of these troops served in Egypt and Palestine. They returned to the Belgian Congo at the end of 1944 without having seen active service. [30]

Die Force Publique also sent the 10th Belgian Congo Casualty Clearing Station to the battle zone. Between 1941 and 1945, some 350 Congolese and 20 Belgians, under the command of Medical Colonel Thomas, worked together with the British medical services in Abyssinia, Somaliland, Madagascar and Burma. They especially proved their value serving with the Indian XXXIII Corps on the Upper Chindwin, where they were attached to the 11th (East Africa) Division. [31] During the confusion inherent in jungle fighting, the Belgian medical unit found itself on one occasion in advance of the front line troops. This incident was later used by British officers to motivate the fighting troops to greater efforts ("even a hospital can do better"). [32]

Final stages of Belgian rule Edit

At the end of 1940, the FP headquarters, recognising the need for aviation support for the force, began forming the Aviation militaire de la Force Publique equipped with requisitioned civilian machines and based at N'Dolo Airport in Leopoldville. The first machine purchased for the force was a de Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth that entered service on 9 October 1940. [33]

For the remainder of the period of Belgium's rule, the Force Publique continued its joint military and police role, split into territorial units, charged with maintaining public order, and mobile units (between the wars known as unites campees) charged with territorial defence. There was a mutiny by the XIV battalion at Luluabourg in 1944.

In 1945, the FP mobile units consisted of 6 battalions of infantry (the V battalion at Stanleyville, the VI battalion at Watsa, the VIII battalion at Luluabourg, the XI battalion at Rumangabo, the XII battalion at Elizabethville, and the XIII battalion at Léopoldville), 3 reconnaissance units, military police units, a brigade under training at Camp Hardy, still under construction at Thysville, 4 coastal defence guns, and a small aviation element including 2 De Havilland DH.104 Doves. [34]

Between 1945 and 1960, Belgium continued to organise the Force Publique as an entity cut off from the people that it policed, with recruits serving in tribally mixed units and no more than a quarter of each company coming from the province in which they served. Tightly disciplined and drilled, the Force Publique impressed visitors to the Belgian Congo with its smart appearance, but a culture of separateness, encouraged by its Belgian officers, led to brutal and unrestrained behaviour when the external restraints of colonial administration were lifted in 1960. The infamous chicote was only abolished in 1955. The Belgian Government made no effort to train Congolese commissioned officers until the very end of the Colonial period, and there were only about 20 African officer cadets at military schools in Belgium on the eve of Independence. A separate gendarmerie was organised in 1959 drawn from the Territorial Service Troops of the FP. By July 1959, a total of 40 companies and 28 platoons of gendarmerie were either formed or in training. [35]

In 1960, the Force Publique comprised 3 groupements (Groups) each of which covered two provinces. [36] The 1st groupement had its headquarters at Elisabethville in Katanga Province, according to Louis-Francois Vanderstraeten. [37] The 2nd groupement covered Léopoldville and Equateur. The 3rd groupement, commanded by a colonel whose headquarters was at Stanleyville, grouped F.P. units in Kivu and Orientale Province (PO). It comprised 3 infantry battalions (each of approximately 800 men), seemingly including 6 Battalions at Watsa (under Lieutenant Colonel Merckx in 1960), [38] 2 battalions of Gendarmerie (each of approximately 860 men), a reconnaissance squadron (jeeps, trucks and armoured M8 Greyhound vehicles – approximately 300 men), a transport company, a military police company (approximately 100 men), a heavy mortar platoon, a combat engineer company and a training centre at Lokandu. [39]

Organisasie Redigeer

Vanderstraeten reported the dispositions of the Force Publique in July 1960 as: [40]

  • Leopoldville Province: Headquarters FP (French: FP QG), HQ 2nd Groupement, the 13th Infantry Battalion, and 15th Gendarmerie Battalion in Leopoldville itself, 4th Brigade with 2nd and 3rd Infantry Battalions at Thysville, along with 2nd Reconnaissance Squadron, HQ Lower River Defences (EM Défense du Bas-Fleuve or EM DBF) at Boma, plus 3 detached gendarmerie companies and 6 detached gendarmerie platoons. The EM DBF probably directed what remained of the coastal defence guns listed above in 1945. : HQ 4th Gendarmerie Battalion at Coquilhatville, 2nd Instruction Centre at Irebu (17 OSO, 1214 GS), 3 detached gendarmerie companies, 4 detached gendarmerie platoons. Total estimated personnel in the province was 46 Officiers et sous-officiers (OSO) and 2239 Grades et soldats (GS). : HQ 3rd Groupement, 5th Infantry Battalion, and 16th Gendarmerie Battalion at Stanleyville, 6th Infantry Battalion at Watsa, 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron at Gombari, 3 detached gendarmerie companies and 4 detached gendarmerie platoons. Estimated total personnel authorised for the province was 150 OSO and 3456 GS. : 3rd Instruction Centre, Lokandu (17 OSO and 1194 GS), 11th Infantry Battalion at Rumangabo, HQ 7th Gendarmerie Battalion at Bukavu, 2 gendarmerie companies at Bukavu, 2 detached gendarmerie companies, and 4 detached gendarmerie platoons. Estimated total personnel authorised for the province was 76 OSO and 2870 GS. : HQ 1st Groupement, 12th Infantry Battalion, 10th Gendarmerie Battalion, one military police company, and groupement logistics units at Elisabethville. 1st Instruction Centre at Kongolo (17 OSO and 1194 GS), 1st Battalion de Garde and an anti-aircraft battery at Kolwezi, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Jadotville. Estimated total personnel authorised for the province was 142 OSO and 4438 GS. : 9th Gendarmerie Battalion and 8th Infantry Battalion at Luluabourg.

Total strength of the Force Publique immediately prior to independence was 22,403 Congolese regular soldiers and NCOs, 599 European NCOs, and 444 European officers. [2]

Commanders Edit

The last 15 commanders of the Force Publique were: [41]

  • Lt-Col. Louis Paternoster, May 1907 – December 1907
  • Col. Joseph Gomins, May 1908 – May 1909
  • Col. Albéric Bruneel, May 1909 – March 1911
  • Lt-Col./Col. Auguste Marchant, March 1911 – January 1916
  • Maj-Gen. Charles Tombeur, 1916 – May 1918
  • Maj-Gen. Philippe Molitor, 1918 – April 1920
  • Lt-Col./Col. Frederik-Valdemar Olsen, 1920 – August 1924
  • Col./Maj-Gen. Paul Ermens, 1925 – July 1930 , July 1930 – July 1932
  • Col. August Servais 1932 – November 1933
  • Col/Maj-Gen. Émile Hennequin, April 1935– November 1939
  • Lt-Col/Col. Auguste Gilliaert, November 1939– December 1940
  • Lt-Gen. Paul Ermens, December 1940 – August 1944
  • Maj-Gen./Lt-Gen. Auguste Gilliaert, August 1944 – 1954
  • Maj-Gen. Émile Janssens, 1954 – July 1960

On 5 July 1960, five days after the country gained independence from Belgium, the Force Publique garrison in Léopoldville mutinied against its white officers (who had remained in complete command) and attacked numerous European and Congolese targets. The immediate incident sparking the mutiny was reported to have been a tactless speech made by the Belgian general commanding the FP to African soldiers in a mess hall at the main base outside Léopoldville, in which he stated that Independence would not bring any change in their status or role. Lieutenant General Émile Janssens's intention may only have been to stress the need for continued discipline and obedience to orders, but the impact on the soldiers, unsettled by the demands of maintaining order during Independence celebrations and fearful that they would be excluded from the benefits of the new freedom, was disastrous. The outbreak caused fear amongst the approximately 100,000 Belgian and other European civilians and officials still resident in the Congo and ruined the credibility of the new government as it proved unable to control its own armed forces. For example, the white community in Luluabourg was besieged in improvised fortifications for three days until rescued by a Belgian Army paratroop drop.

This violence immediately led to a military intervention into Congo by Belgium in an ostensible effort to secure the safety of its citizens (the earlier Luluabourg intervention had been against orders). The re-entry of these forces was a clear violation of the national sovereignty of the new nation, as it had not requested Belgian assistance.

Soon afterwards, after an extraordinary meeting of ministers of the new Congolese Government at Camp Leopold on 8 July, the FP was renamed as the Congolese National Army (Armée Nationale Congolaise (ANC)), and its leadership was Africanised.

The chain of events this started eventually resulted in Joseph Mobutu (Mobutu Sésé Seko), a former Sergeant-Major in the FP who had been promoted to Chief of Staff of the ANC by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, gaining power and establishing his dictatorial kleptocracy. His regime was to remain in power until May 1997.

Prior to independence, the air component of the Force Publique (Avi / or Avimil, Aviation militaire de la Force publique) was based mainly at the N'Dolo airport, Leopoldville. Avimil's roles included the transportation of passengers, medical supplies and other goods, as well as undertaking connecting flights and recognition duties. Between 1944 and 1960 the following unarmed aircraft and helicopters were used by Avimil:

    -4B (V-40 to 46) Mk.I AS.10 6 (A-21 to 26) AS.65 6 (C-31 to 36)
  • 12 De Havilland DH.104 Dove (D-10 to 22)
  • 1 De Havilland DH.114 Heron 2 (OO-CGG)
  • 2 Sikorsky H-19D (S-41 & 42)
  • Two Sikorsky S-55 (S-43 & 44)
  • 3 Sud Aviation Alouette II SE.3130 (Artouste) (A-51 to 53)
  • 3 Piper L-18C Super Cub (P-61 to 63)

At independence on 30 June 1960, Avimil was placed under the control of the new government of the Republic of the Congo, and continued its missions until 20 July 1960. On this date the chief of Belgian forces in the Congo ordered the assembly of non-Congolese personnel and operational aircraft ('des appareils en état de vol') at the Belgian base at Kamina. On 23 August they were transferred to Elizabethville, and on 26 August officially turned over to the secessionist State of Katanga. [33]


The French Mutiny

There is, after all, a limit to what men will put up with, and early in 1917 the French Army reached that limit.

When the year 1917 opened, the French Army had lost—in men killed, dead of wounds, captured, or simply “missing”—some 1,300,000 men. Reflecting on this, the French government at last nerved itself to relieve Marshal Joffre, and it replaced him with General Robert Nivelle, who had done well at Verdun and who believed that he knew how to break the German line. In the spring of 1917 Nivelle was allowed to conduct an all-out offensive along the Chemin des Dames , near Soissons.

Nivelle had devised certain tactical innovations which, he was convinced, would fracture the German lines quickly. His offensive would not be long-drawnout, like all former ones it would be short, sharp, and decisive, and although both the government and the pessimistic Pétain grew very skeptical, Nivelle was a persuasive sort and he had his way. On the morning of April 16 the big fight began. To learn what came of it read Dare Call It Treason by Richard M. Watt.

What came of it was disaster followed by mutiny. Nivelle was as wrong as Joffre, Haig, and Falkenhayn, and all the rest. Instead of a breakthrough there was unredeemed slaughter, after which the French soldier concluded that he had had enough. The French Army mutinied: not en masse or by prearrangement, but by individual units, battalions, and divisions, spontaneous “walk outs” by men who were not asking anything in particular except an end to senseless killing. By the end of May the Army was almost wholly paralyzed, yet the mutinous troops were not actually a revolutionary force. They were just men who were in utter despair and who had made up their minds to make no more offensives.

The Army in short was in revolt, but it never formulated its demands and it formed no revolutionary councils. It created a situation which the organized leftist elements in the French Republic—numerous, active, and looking for an opening—did not recognize until it was too late. In the spring of 1917 France might have gone the way Russia went. All of the elements were there, yet they never quite combined to make a revolution.

A good deal is owed to Pétain. As in 1940, he became the trustee in bankruptcy, the difference in 1917 being that the nation still had substantial assets. The mutinous soldiers did not want to see either a German victory or a complete overturn of French society they just wanted not to be wasted in offensives which had no chance to succeed. Taking over the supreme command of the Army, Pétain restored obedience: partly by giving the soldiers decent treatment, partly by abstaining from making senseless attacks on impregnable trench systems, and partly by a program of fairly stern repression. By the narrowest of margins, he kept the Army from disintegrating and so kept France from following the Russian pattern.

It is a strange and completely fascinating story that Mr. Watt recounts. The strangest part about it is the way in which the Army kept this mass mutiny more or less secret. Neither the Germans, the Allied powers, nor even the French people really knew what was happening. To this day the full story has not been told. As Mr. Watt says, the tale “trails off into silence.” The Army was nursed back to the point where it would at least obey its officers and defend the trenches, and in 1918 it was finally ready to take part in the counteroffensive which drove the Germans out of France and led to the Armistice. There are still gaps in the story of just how this was done. Perhaps the French Academy summed it up when, welcoming Pétain to membership, it apostrophized him: “You have discovered this: that fire kills .” And for a final word, Mr. Watt’s verdict is as good as any:

Dare Call It Treason, by Richard M. Watt. Simon and Schuster. 344 pp. $5.95.

“Perhaps the Army revolts of 1917 had their uses. Maybe it is unfair to label this convulsion of exhausted troops a ‘mutiny.’ At any rate, none dare call it treason.”


World War II Fact: Some Nazi Military Units Kept Fighting Even After Germany Surrendered

Some could not quite believe it was all over. They had longed for an end to the war in Europe for years. “Then suddenly it was upon them all and the impact of the fact was a thing that failed to register–like the death of a loved one,” the historian of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division wrote that year.

At midnight on September 3, 1945, six years to the day after Britain had gone to war with Germany, Dr. Dege had the dubious honor of being the commander of the last German unit to surrender to the Allies. It was four months after the defeat of Hitler’s Reich. It was said that one of his first questions after the surrender was, “Is the Führer really dead?”

It was said on May 8, 1945, that some of the victors wandered around in a daze. They were puzzled by a strange silence. The guns were no longer firing the permanent barrage, their constant companion, during those last months since they had crossed the Rhine.

Some could not quite believe it was all over. They had longed for an end to the war in Europe for years. “Then suddenly it was upon them all and the impact of the fact was a thing that failed to register–like the death of a loved one,” the historian of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division wrote that year.

On that day in May, a combat engineer sergeant serving with General George S. Patton, Jr.’s Third Army in Austria wrote to his wife, “The war’s over! All we can think about is, thank God, thank God … nobody is going to shoot at me any more. I can’t be killed. I have made it!” Medal of Honor Recipient Audie Murphy, recuperating from his three wounds in Cannes, went out into the crowds celebrating the great victory. “I feel only a vague irritation,” he wrote later. “I want company and I want to be alone. I want to talk and I want to be silent. There is VE Day without, but no peace.”

Pockets of German Resistance Remained

Most of the GIs were not given, however, to philosophizing. They simply got blind drunk instead. It was Tuesday May 8, 1945—Victory in Europe Day. It was all over. The Germans were beaten at last. There was peace again. Were the Germans really beaten? Was there really peace in Europe?

Over the past few weeks, the great Allied armies had swept through Hitler’s vaunted “1,000 Year-Reich,” which had lasted 12 years and five months, occupying everything from great, if shattered, cities to remote intact villages and hamlets. But in their urgent drive to kill the Nazi beast, they had left great swaths of territory in German hands. There were German outposts everywhere over hundreds of miles in Germany itself and in the former German-occupied countries, which seemed to come under no one’s control save that of the local commanders.

In the area of Dessau, where the U.S. and Soviet Armies had failed to link up, the entire German infrastructure still functioned. For nearly two months, the locals ran their own post offices, telephone exchanges, and so on, guarded by a sizeable force of German soldiers, with the Allies totally unaware of the situation. Farther north in the area of the German border, SS troops still held out in the forests around Bad Segeberg. Well dug in, they refused to surrender until the commander of the British 11th Armored Division grew sick of the situation. He was not going to risk any more deaths in his division, which had suffered casualties enough since Normandy. Instead, he ordered the commander of the German 8th Parachute Division to do the job for him. Thus, during the week after the war was officially over, German fought German to the death.

The “Night of the Long Knives” and the Battle of Texel

These were not the only ones. On the Dutch island of Texel, across from the important German naval base of Den Heldern, a full-scale mini war had been under way since the end of April 1945. At that time, the 82nd Infantry Battalion, made up of Russian former prisoners of war from Soviet Georgia under some 400 German officers and noncommissioned officers, had been preparing to fight the Canadians who were advancing into Holland. The ex-POWs believed resistance would mean their death in combat or forced repatriation to Russia where again they might well be put to death as traitors.

Instead of fighting for the Germans, they had mutinied under a broad-shouldered former pilot, Lieutenant Sjalwas Loladze. He argued that if they could take their German superiors by surprise and equip themselves with whatever artillery they could find on the island, they would be able to hold out until Canadian paratroopers dropped on Texel and relieved them.

Thus it was that they carried out their own “night of the long knives” in late April. In one night they slaughtered their German officers and NCOs in their beds, some 250 of them, and took the rest of them prisoner. The battalion commander, a Major Breitner, could not be found in his quarters. That was not surprising. He was in bed with his mistress, a local Dutch girl. Hearing the midnight bursts of firing, Breitner thought the Canadians had landed, but he soon discovered that German weapons were being fired and that his troops had mutinied. At gunpoint, he forced a local fisherman to row him over to Den Heldern and alarmed the authorities there.

The next day, the Battle of Texel commenced. The Germans advanced three battalions, some 3,500 men in all, and they soon forced the Georgians to retreat. Still, the former prisoners refused to surrender. Down to 400 men by May, they continued the bitter struggle in which no quarter was given or expected. When a Georgian was taken prisoner by the Germans, he was stripped of his uniform and shot on the spot. The ex-POWs had an even simpler method. They tied bundles of their prisoners together and attached a single grenade to them. It was bloody, but efficient, they thought. Besides, it saved their dwindling supply of ammunition.

While the Canadians, who now occupied that part of Holland, looked on impotently (or so they said later), the men of the Georgian Battalion and their onetime German masters slaughtered each other ruthlessly. VE Day came and went, and they were still at it.

Farmbacher Holds Out in Lorient

On May 8, another cut off German garrison—that of the great German U-boat base at Lorient on the French coast—was still holding out, ignoring both the Allied order to surrender and that of the last Nazi leader, Admiral Karl Dönitz, to lay down their arms. Back in August 1944, Patton had intended to capture the key naval base, but after his army had suffered great losses at Brest and other Breton ports, he had called off the attack.

Lorient was going to be allowed to wither on the vine. Unfortunately for the Allies, Lorient did not wither. For over a year, its commander, elderly General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher, had fought off attacks by the French and American troops who had surrounded the Lorient after Patton had departed with his Third Army. After winning the Knight’s Cross in Russia, Farmbacher had been put out to pasture at Lorient.

During what amounted to a siege, he had been supplied by U-boat and long-range aircraft, supplementing the garrison’s rations with raids on the French and Americans and penetrating their lines in depth to buy food from the local farmers, who were prepared to deal with the enemy—at a price.

Throughout those long months, Farmbacher had succeeded in maintaining the garrison’s morale with a daily supply of that German staple—bread. Unknown to the troops, however, most of that freshly baked Komissbrot was made from sawdust. Fahrmbacher and his chief quartermaster, who kept the matter strictly secret, had had the local rail track pulled up to get at the wooden sleepers below. Daily and in secrecy, these sleepers were sawed up to make sawdust.

Indeed, one of the first things that the fortress commander insisted upon as soon as he was awakened by his soldier servant and given his cup of acorn coffee was for the quartermaster to report the state of the sawdust. Now, over a week after Germany surrendered, Fahrmbacher summoned his quartermaster and asked, “How many railroad sleepers have we left?” The quartermaster hesitated, and the big general knew instinctively that he was in trouble. Slowly, avoiding the general’s eyes, the quartermaster replied, “One!”

Fahrmbacher knew the situation was hopeless. He could not feed the garrison with a couple of sacks of molding flour and the sawdust provided by one lone wooden sleeper. It was time to surrender.

That afternoon, he sent his last message to Dönitz far away in North Germany at the small coastal town of Murwik. It read, “Wish to sign off with my steadfast and unbeaten men. We remember our sorely tried homeland. Long Live Germany.” Thereupon, he ordered one of his officers to make contact with the French besiegers in order to surrender. A little later, the elderly general found himself serving five years in a Parisian jail for having disfigured French property. His real crime was that he did not know the whereabouts of the French postage stamps that had been overprinted with the word “LORIENT” and used by the garrison. His French interrogator had wanted them for himself, knowing they were rare and would soon be valuable. They were, and they are. Today, each one of those 60-year-old stamps is worth at least $1,000.


V-J Day in Iowa marked by celebration and sorrow

When news of the Japanese surrender came on the early evening of Aug. 14, 1945, Joyce O'Brien didn't know the whereabouts of soldier brothers John and Claude Baker, but she knew they could finally come home.

So the 21-year-old bank employee joined more than 25,000 others who poured into downtown Des Moines' streets to join the celebration of V-J Day, or Victory Over Japan Day.

"Everybody was forming a line and dancing," said O'Brien, 91, of Ankeny. "We called it a snake dance because you put your hands on the hips of the person in front of you and the line went in and out like a snake slithers. It was hilarious. It was such a relief that they would be coming home. We had spent so many years worrying."

Joyce O’Brien, 91, says she danced down Locust Street when the Japanese surrendered ending World War II. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register)

Confetti flew and firecrackers exploded, giving the downtown loop "the appearance of 1,000 state fairs," said a breathless reporter on WHO Radio over the hoots and hollers. "Motorists appeared like magic. . And they created a traffic jam like this city has never seen before. Three military policeman on a downtown corner were kept busy accepting kisses. WACs poured from barracks in various stages of Army uniform. From somewhere came a man beating a drum."

Another radio station, KRNT, led the community in singing "God Bless America," and an American Legion drum and bugle corps made its way down Locust Street, reported The Des Moines Register. "Bottles of beer were drunk on the streets. . Pretty girls jitterbugged in the streets, and hugged and kissed servicemen . "

Iowans in their 80s and 90s remember well that triumphant day 70 years ago, when the world finally welcomed peace after 60 million were killed in World War II.

That evening, little Floyd Gardner, who had just turned 8, took off in a dead sprint across the field, where his dad was working on the family farm near Ossian. He had been sitting on a hill, playing with the dog, when he heard the town sirens blaring. He ran back to the house and saw his mother on the back steps waving a white dish towel, yelling that the war was over.

He ran as fast as he could to tell his father, who stopped the team of horses when he saw his boy sprinting, thinking it was bad news about his other son, Robert, who was fighting in the war. Floyd shouted to his father, "The war is over, the war is over!"

"He went down on one knee and looked at the ground," remembered Gardner, 78, of Bondurant. "When he looked up, I could see he was crying, which made me cry, too. That was the only time I saw him cry other than my mother's funeral."

Bells rang out from churches and city halls across Iowa. Dennis Holmes was only 5, but he never forgot standing near the Iowa River dam watching fishermen when he heard the bells. He got in his grandfather's 1939 Chevy, and they headed to the city hall in Steamboat Rock, where an old forgotten belfry was getting a workout.

"Inside we found the town marshal Ross Ellison ringing the bell for all he was worth," wrote Holmes in an email. "Ross rang the bell for what seemed an eternity. He was celebrating the coming return of his sons from the battlefields of Europe and Asia."

Robert Rigler, of New Hampton, and his comrade, Orville Larson, of Ossian, were stationed in Calcutta supplying the Chinese in their fight against the Japanese and in anticipation of America opening a third front in the war. On V-J Day, they were in Peshawar, Pakistan, and discovered that a hotel there had Canadian Club whiskey at the reasonable price of $5 per bottle, which meant a pleasant celebration of the war’s end. (Photo: Special to The Register)

In eastern Iowa, a little Iowa boy of 5 rode on a passenger train, wearing a child's military uniform. Aboard were troops headed to the West Coast for their assignment when they learned the war was over, said Loren Fligg of West Des Moines. Fligg went to each and snapped off a salute. They hooted with delight.

In Remsen, Barry Holtgrewe couldn't believe his eyes, when "here came a bomber from the south," 500 feet above Main Street. "You could almost see the pilot's face," said Holtgrewe, 81, who today lives in Mount Pleasant.

The pilot banked around and buzzed the town north to south as the townspeople hip-hip-hoorayed near a banner on the side of the grocery store carrying the names of local men who served in the war, a star flanking the names of the fallen.

Overseas, Iowa men who were fighting the war heard the news from ships and airplanes and city streets across the globe.

Duane Chaffee, 91, of Des Moines was a paratrooper, a survivor. He got the short straw when they needed four men to rescue wounded troops surrounded by 500 Japanese soldiers in the Philippines. His feet dangled out of the small plane as they came in low and he jumped in a grove of trees, dug a hole, and cooked tree roots with a small fire to survive for 31 days.

When the men finally risked death by sneaking out of the hole and walking back, they returned to find half their company dead. He said they turned out to be the lucky ones, but soon realized they would be going to Japan.

"They'll fight like crap to save their homeland," he said.

"But we flew in and not one shot was fired. We didn't have to even jump. The pilots landed. We got out, and it was so quiet it was scary," he said. "We knew the war was over. We knew we did it. We didn't have anything to celebrate with but sake."

He returned to the U.S. to marry his wife and had to borrow the $67 for a ring. She died last Christmas, in her home hospice bed by the front window.

"But I've had a good life, my goodness."

Duane Chaffee, 91, of Des Moines was in the 11th Airborne Division and went into Japan four days before the end of the war, then stayed four more months afterward. (Photo: Rodney White/The Register)

Others were out to sea. Donald Smith was aboard the USS Taluga, which had faced kamikaze attacks earlier that spring, when he heard it over the loudspeaker: The war was over. A movie was shown on deck the next night, but after months of sailing in darkness for fear of attack, many were too scared to attend. They didn't trust the news.

"I didn't sit down to watch it. I stood up so I could run," said Smith, of Fort Dodge.

Across the world, Iowans thought one thing: I'm coming home. Raymond Ferren was stationed in Paris and saw a crowd he would never see again in his life, with hugging and kissing and partying. "Everybody was happy," he said. "Some too happy."

But all the Centerville man said he thought of was getting back to his wife and a son, who was only a month old when he enlisted.

It was more of a harrowing end to the war for Ed Pugsley. He expected Japan to surrender, but the news never came before he took off as co-pilot on an Aug. 14 bombing mission of an oil refinery in Japan.

"The recall word was 'Utah,' but it never came, and by 5 in the evening we bombed it," said Pugsley of Des Moines. "We had on Armed Services Radio. At 1 a.m. on Aug. 15, we heard Japan had sued for peace. We were all damn tired. Muted elation I'd guess you would call it. We were airborne 17 hours and 20 minutes. When we got back, we were elated. We didn't run out of gas. We were given a fifth of bourbon for 10 crewmen. Fortunately, some didn't drink.

"In 1985, when the papers were declassified, I learned we dropped the bomb one hour and 10 minutes after D.C. got the surrender. That's why we claim the last bombing mission in World War II."

As the day wore on, it's important to note, there were those who quietly observed the occasion with prayer in churches or in sorrow at home over a lost loved one. "In many Iowa towns they shot off cannons, had bonfires or impromptu parades, but there were also memorial services and just as many were going to church, or they stayed home and cried over family members who died," said Lisa Ossian, professor of history at Des Moines Area Community College, author of "The Home Fronts of Iowa, 1939-1945."

David Brueck of Storm Lake and crew mates on the USS General H. W. Butner were handed this announcement of the surrender on V-J Day. Brueck kept a copy. (Photo: Special to the Register)

"People were really happy the war was over but also really uneasy what this (atomic) bomb might mean. So there was celebration and there was psychic numbing. You can have both."

There were the sick, like Daryle Spatz of Adel, who was taken to the children's hospital in Des Moines that day for medical tests when the news broke. "I am a sick little boy and it's like a Fourth of July celebration. They are cheering and running around," he said. "They did tests on me, and I was diagnosed with polio. My parents had to climb a ladder to see me in the window. I was lucky. I came out of it with no effects until 40 years later. Now I can only walk a block. But that day was like a giant birthday party, and that's when I knew the war was over."

There were other Iowans still frightened. Jim Walker of Urbandale had spent many days playing with his neighbor friends, who were originally from Japan, and joined them with bikes and tricycles on Des Moines' west-side streets when they heard the news.

"But their parents came out and grabbed them. They were afraid something was going to happen to them," he said.

The wounds of war were everywhere that day amid the relief.

Richard Peterson looked down on the crowded streets of Des Moines from the Kirkwood Hotel. He was home on leave and made the trip with his wife from Linn Grove to Des Moines after he heard the good news. But the 98-year-old said they didn't join the hoopla.

"My wife's only brother was killed in action in 1944," he said. "He wasn't coming home."

In the Aug. 15 Des Moines Tribune, under a banner headline announcing a two-day holiday to mark the end of the war, is a photograph of Sgt. Ralph G. Neppel of Glidden, winner of the Medal of Honor.

"Sgt. Ralph George Neppel, 21, had come home again, to his mother and brothers and sisters, to the green fields and the big shade tree in the front yard, to a horse that raised its head when his voice sounded there again.


Kyk die video: AJEX VJ Day