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Sat Mar 30, 2013, 02:45 PM

 

Shame of the deserters

OF ALL the men who took up arms in the Second World War, Private Eddie Slovik was surely the unluckiest. Nearly 150,000 Allied soldiers deserted but the 25-year-old ex-convict from Detroit, Michigan, was the only one to face the firing squad.

In 1944, as the war still hung in the balance and his colleagues in the 28th Infantry Division were suffering heavy casualties, he refused to fight. Slovik told his superiors that he preferred prison but unfortunately his appeal against "death by musketry" happened to coincide with a German counter-offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge.

His execution, ratified by General Dwight D Eisenhower, was meant to send a strong message to any other soldiers considering desertion.

The mental collapse and desertion of tens of thousands of men - the equivalent of 10 army divisions - reached near epidemic proportions in Europe in the Second World War.


http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/388090/Shame-of-the-deserters

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Reply Shame of the deserters (Original post)
Paul E Ester Mar 2013 OP
Sherman A1 Mar 2013 #1
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #4
SamKnause Mar 2013 #2
Paul E Ester Mar 2013 #3

Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 02:55 PM

1. A couple of things

1). I recall the movie "The Execution of Private Slovak" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Execution_of_Private_Slovik

2). I recall an article or report or something from years ago that noted a study that the US Army would need some 200 Divisions to fight the war in Europe. It was done with far, far fewer and the results were in part heavy combat fatigue.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 04:15 PM

4. That film was really intense. Memorable, by all means. n/t

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Response to Paul E Ester (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 03:01 PM

2. Private

Thanks for the reminder and for posting.

Have you seen 'The Execution of Private Slovik' ?

It is an excellent movie !

Stars Martin Sheen as Private Slovik.

It has been quite a few years since I watched it.



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Response to SamKnause (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 03:25 PM

3. I have not seen that movie, I will check it out.

 

I was surprised from the article on the huge numbers, and to learn they ran the black markets of Europe and the SAS was composed of deserters.

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