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In 1954 the former commander of the 12. Infantry Division, the retired general Gerhard Engel, concluded his survey of this formation’s history with the following words:

Thus ended the battles of the 12.1.D., always fairly conducted, though tough and bitter. Its name, its coat of arms and its weapons have remained unsullied till the very last day, as even the enemy has conceded.1


German Army German Soldier Junior Officer Winter Clothes Eastern Front 
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  1. 8.
    P. R. Piccigallo, The Japanese on Trial (Austin, 1979) p. 27; the German and Italian armies took 235 000 American and British POWs during The Second World War, whereas the Japanese took 132 000 (p. 27).Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    On the conduct of two infamous Waffen-SS divisions in France, in 1940 and in 1944, see C. W. Sydnor (Jr), Soldiers of Destruction (Princeton; N.J., 1977) and M. Hastings, Das Reich (London, 1981). Russian figures taken from Blank, Kriegsgefangencn, p. 199. A book which, though it is interesting and at times helpful, tends to sentimentalise POW life in The Second World War, and passes over the fate of the Red Army troops with a few sentences (which it certainly does not do concerning Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese treatment of American POWs) is R. Garrett, P.O.W. (Newton Abbot: Pittsburgh, 1981).Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    The Chinese People’s Daily claimed in 1960 that ‘Japanese militarism inflicted on this country a loss of more than 10 million lives and the destruction and burning of property worth at least 50 000 million US dollars.’ See R. K. Jain, China and Japan (London, 1977) p. 4; same figure quoted in C. J. Argyle, Japan at War (London, 1976) p. 120. Explanation of Japanese brutality quoted from J. H. Boyle, China and Japan at War (Stanford: California, 1972) pp. 341–9. On ‘Thought Control and Indoctrination’ in Japan, see S. lenaga, The Pacific War (New York, 1978) pp. 13–32; and, ibid., pp. 181–202 on The Horrors of War-Japanese atrocities in China. On the ‘Rape of Manila’ and the massacre of some 60 000 Filipinos, see L. Taylor, A Trial of Generals (South Bend, 1981) pp. 114–26, and slightly lower estimates in R. L. Lael, The Yamashita Precedent (Wilmington, 1982) pp. 37, 140. On Japanese expansion in Asia, see the very recent R. H. Myers and M. R. Peattie (eds), The Japanese Colonial Empire (Princeton: N.J., 1984), with a very interesting contribution by M. R. Peattie, ‘Japanese Attitudes Toward Colonialism, 1895–45’, pp. 80–127. Also on the ideological motivations behind the military insurrection of February 1936, see B-A Shillony, Revolt in Japan (Princeton: N.J., 1973) pp. 56–80; his ‘The February 26 Affair: Politics of a Military Insurrection’, in G. M. Wilson (ed.), Crisis Politics in Prewar Japan (Tokyo, 1970) pp. 25–50; and on the domestic scene during the war, his Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan (Oxford, 1981). I wish to thank Dr S. Garon of Princeton University for bringing many of these books to my knowledge and discussing these issues with me at great length.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    G. Parker, Europe in Crisis, 1598–1648 (Glasgow, 1979) p. 293. Generally on the Thirty Years’ War and its historiography, see D. Malawi, Europe at War, 1600–50 (Totowa: N.J., 1980) and T. K. Rabb (ed.), The Thirty Years’ War, 2nd edn (Lanham, 1981); a particularly bloody incident during that war can be found in G. Mann, Wallenstein (New York, 1976) pp. 306–7; examples of barbarities in warfare between the Thirty Years’ War and the French Revolution, in J. Childs, Armies and Warfare in Europe, 1648–1789 (New York, 1982) pp. 1–27; armies living ‘off the land’ and destroying it during the following generation, in G. Best, War and Society in Revolutionary Europe (Bungay: Suffolk, 1982) pp. 34–6, 174–7; treatment of the ‘Francs- Tilers’; by the Prussian army in 1870–71, in M. Howard, The Franco-Prussian War, 3rd edn (New York, 1981) pp. 249–56, 379–81.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    See V. G. Kiernan, European Empires from Conquest to Collapse, 1815–1960 (Leicester UP, 1982) which abounds with descriptions of brutality and barbarism; for American atrocities in Vietnam, sec P. Karsten, Law, Soldiers and Combat (Westport, 1978) particularly ch. 2; see also, M. Ilerr, Dispatches, 5th edn (New York, 1978).Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    N. Stone, The Eastern Front, 1914–17 (London, 1975) pp. 82, 168, 183–4; W. Rutherford, The Russian Army in World War I (London, 1975) pp. 135, 149–53, 157; S. Washburn, On the Russian Front in World War 1 (New York, 1982) pp. 143–5.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Regarding Britain in the Second World War, see, for instance, A. Goldman, ‘Germans and Nazis’, JCH, XIV (1979) 155–91; M. Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience (Oxford, 1981) p. 109; also see Introduction to his Restraints on War (Oxford, 1979) pp. 1–14; also T. Wilson, ‘Lord Bryce’s Investigation into Alleged German Atrocities in Belgium, 1914–15, JCH, XIV (1979) 369–83; a very early example of European pangs of conscience, in M. Eliav-Feldon, ‘Humanitarian Scruples in the liarly Stages of the Age of Colonialism’, Zmanim, IV (in the Hebrew language, 1984); an example of the feeling of shock experienced by American troops when faced with a German atrocity (which was commonplace in the East) in A. H. Mick (ed.), With the 102nd Infantry Division Through Germany (Washington, 1974) pp. 211–16.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Maser, Nuremberg, pp. 259–87. Recent works reviewing the Japanese war trials are R. H. Minear, Victors’ Justice (Princeton: N.J., 1971), and Piccigallo, The Japanese on Trial. Further on atrocities in China, L. 0. Eastman, ‘Facets of an Ambivalent Relationship’, in A. Iriyc (cd.), The Chinese and the Japanese (Princeton: N.J., 1980). A short and interesting study of genocide is I. L. Horowitz, Genocide (New Brunswick, 1976) with numerous unsettling examples from contemporary history. For recent interpretations and analyses of National Socialism and its historiography, see T. Mason, ‘Intention and Explanation’, in G. Hirschfeld et al., (eds). Der Fiihrerstaat (Stuttgart, 1981) pp. 23–40; Craig, The Germans, pp. 61–80; sec also, 11. Arcndt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, 23rd edn rev. (I Iarmondsworth: Middlesex, 1979), especially pp. 278, 283. For a Marxist analysis of ‘Japanese Fascism’ intermingled with ancient myths, see J. Yamamoto, Die Struktur der Selbstzerstdrung (Bochum, 1982).Google Scholar

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© Omer Bartov 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PrincetonUSA

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