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Documents

In the East

1944-1945
   

Physical Description:

1 Leaflet: Black and White

Subject: American Expeditionary Forces



JSM ZG 40 R

Obverse: Lieut. General Müller capitulates when his 4th Army is cut off in the area of Minsk by the surprising advance of the russians. On July 8th, 1944 he issued the following order to his troops East of Minsk:   Soldiers of the 4th Army: After a week of heavy fighting and marches, our situation has become hopeless. We have done our duty. Our fighting efficiency has sunk to a minimum and there is no hope whatever for supplies or reinforcements. According to our own high command communique, the Russians are at Baranovici. The last lines across the next waterway are cut. There is no hope whatever of escaping from here by our own means and with the forces at hand. Our units are scattered. a large number of wounded had to be abandoned without any help. The Russian High command has promised: (a) Medical care for the wounded. (b) to leave the officers their daggers, and to leave the men their decorations. It has been proposed to us to collect all arms and equiptment and hand them over intact; and to cease the hopeless resistance. Accordingly, I command that resistance cease at once. The local groups of 100 to 500 men are to assemble under the leadership of their officers or senior non-coms. The wounded are to be collected and taken along. We must show discipline and soldierly bearing and immediately commence with the execution of these steps. This order is to be passed on in writing, orally and by all available means of communication. Müller, Lieut. General Commanding 12th Army corps.

Reverse: In the West Lieut. Gen. von Schliesen capitulates on the 25th of June 1940 when the fortress Cherbourg and altogether 50,000 German soldiers on the Cotentin Peninsula are cut off. since then, additional thousands of German soldiers gave up because they  realized that further resistance meant suicide and that they simply could not stand up against the Allied superiority. Others insisted to continue fighting even in hopeless situations, and thus oerished. In order to avoid such senseless shedding of blood, it may be well to remind you that both Germany and the Allies are bound by the provisions of the Hague convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1929. Accordingly, the following principles hold:   1. Troop commanders are entitled to send a parlementaire with a white flag for the purpose  of discussing surrender. Such parlementaires are considered immune.   2. Parliementaires must be equipped with appropriate credentials and may only approach the Allied lines at specified places and along specified paths.   3. Troop coningents of less than 500 men surrender in the usual manner but in groups of not over 5 men, without weapons, helmets or belts and with hands up-raised.   4. from the moment of surrender, German soldiers * are considered as prisoners-of-war and come under the protection of the Geneva Convention. accordingly, their soldierly honour is respected.   5. Prisoners-of-war receive the same ration as members of the Allied armies and, in the event of sickness or wounds, are treated in the same hospitals as Allied troops.   6. According to the Geneva Convention, prisoners may neiter become subject of reprisals, nor may tehy be exposed to public curiosity. After the war, they are returned home.   *-soldiers according to the Hague Convention are: All armed persons in uniform or who carry an insignia which can be clearly recognized from a distance.

Collection


Location: Vault
Holding ID: ZG 40

Language: english
Countries: Germany