Booty, Looting etc.

Discussion in 'General' started by Ron Goldstein, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Appendices from

    Appendix, 16 August 1944


    No. 11, 16th August 1944.
    Last Part I Order issued No. 10 dated 9th August 1944.

    (i) The possession of any form of alcohol by tps is forbidden. In particular this order refers to Calvados and Cider.

    (ii) All unoccupied houses whether damaged or untouched by war are out of bounds to all tps.

    (iii) French civilian clothing found lying about in the vicinity of buildings will on no account be touched.
    Anyone in possession or wearing articles of such clothing will be reported and from the date of this order disciplinary action will be taken.

    (iv) All vegetables, in private gardens, or open fields, including potatoes, carrots, etc., will on no account be touched without the authority of an Officer.
    This applies equally whether in the battle area or not.

    Signed O.P. DAWNAY
    Captain & Adjutant,
    1st Armoured Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS

    Ref No:- 1st CG 14/44

    Squadron Leaders,

    1. Furniture, utensils, etc, left behind in billets by the owners and not locked up may be used.

    2. Nothing may be taken away from the houses.

    3. No cupboards, doors etc, which are locked, may be forced open. The owners have been allowed to put their belongings into a room and lock it up.

    4. Vegetables etc., may be taken, within reasonable limits.

    5. No domestic fowl or beast may be killed without permission of an Officer.

    Signed O.K. HEYWOOD
    Captain & Adjutant,
    1st Armoured Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS
    14th November 1944
  2. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys have enjoyed reading your posts on here. And written a few more book titles on my to get list. The modern take on this topic when people are told they are dying they have a wish list now when this topic crops up it sets me thinking Not all the people in the world have wish lists in this situation so surely in war it's the same thing Not all the military personnel will do a bit of trophy shopping and all though its part and parcel of war and death not all will think its right . And I do believe you can not judge a normal person when they are living on their nerves in the theatres of war Elsie
  3. Biggles115

    Biggles115 Member

    Not really on the subject of looting but my wife's grandfather (Australian Army) told me recently that when he was in New Guinea late in the war, working as a craftsman, there was a large hanger that he used to see a group of fellow craftsmen enter early every morning. Throughout the day he would hear the sound of various machines, banging and hammering coming from the hanger but nobody seemed to know exactly what was going on inside as the doors were always locked. He later found out that the enterprising soldiers were producing "genuine" Japanese Officers Swords which were being flogged off to American troops. Nice work.
  4. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    I've just finished reading "Tank Wars" by Mark Urban, which is the story of the 5th Royal Tank Regiment from 1940 to 1945.

    It's a very good book, and I'd recommend it. However, there's quite a few stories in there about members of the regiment looting captured vehicles and houses, and even taking things off dead soldiers. It was seen as "spoils of war" and quite accepted; it increased as the war went on, and was very frequent once the regiment had crossed into Germany.

  5. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    My Dad's memory of October 1943 near to Petacciato.

    “It was still considered to be too dangerous to set up the cooks in the farm so I took prepared food and ammunition the next day. The company were not really interested in the meal and soon I discovered why. The farm had a large flock of turkeys, allegedly 96, as well as an array of other poultry and a few pigs. When E Company left, the only moving creatures were the farmer and his wife who had just returned. The excuse was: ‘Il Tedeschi portari tutto.’ (‘The Germans have taken everything‘). I took a killed and dressed turkey back for Jimmy Sadler. Roast pork also appeared on our menu for several days. This was looting, but it would not compare with that perpetrated by those following close behind the front line who never heard a shot fired in anger. I later saw beautiful furniture cut up to make a trailer in which was loaded magnificent silver servers and cutlery from the hotel we were in.”

  6. stevej60

    stevej60 Active Member

    I think from the stories my dad told my of his time in italy that the civilian population did a fair amount of "plundering" from the army.
    and vice versa, cigarettes traded for allsorts of kit and even the odd "lorry" I read in a book a few years ago of a unit near Naples being
    dispatched to search for a stolen steam train!
  7. DPas

    DPas Member

    Here is a small souvenir my Grandad lifted from the last POW camp he was in (Stalag 383, Hohenfels) before he absconded.

    It is a mug from Truppenübungsplatz Hohenfels. He also acquired a German jeep for a few days but that is another story.

    Mug Writting.jpg
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Dress dagger which my Dad brought back ...
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  9. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    On another thread I mentioned that my Dad brought back binoculars and bath towels.
    OK, perhaps technically this was theft, but they had stolen my Dad from me for 3 years. And many Dads were taken forever.
    So I enjoyed using the binoculars to watch football matches on the grounds of our local team, across the road from our upstairs flat.
  10. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  11. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    My Father returned with a pair of binoculars amongst other things given to him as a POW by a German Guard rather than them falling into looters hands.

    The story l love is when the POW's were being marched North, they came across a farm with a pile of logs. They asked the farmer if they could have some for a fire to keep them warm and he refused to let them.

    The following morning after the POW's had left, the logs remained but his fences, gates and a small shed had disappeared.

    I have to say, from my research, this initial refusal was not what they usually experienced and most things were traded for something from a red cross parcel.


  12. dww

    dww Junior Member

    Looting etc. was not limited to members of the armed forces. My mother was evacuated as a schoolgirl to a small town in Devon. One night a German bomber crashed outside the town following a raid on Plymouth. The wedding rings of the dead crew members were stolen by civilians.
    Drew5233 and Owen like this.
  13. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member


    We have a few topics on this subject but l found this passage in a report from 106 PRC RAF Cosford, where returning RAF PoW's first went to be sorted out, which covers quite a few of these headings, including POW's dress, booty, etc.:-

    ‘Prisoners arrived in the most motley assortment of uniforms and clothing, ranging from brown new army (British, American, or mixed) or RAF battle dresses to ensembles which ran from the threadbare and carefully darned, but clean, RAF uniform to a bizarre mix derived in some cases from at least one dozen uniforms. Prisoners were seen in a variety of German helmets, Russian, American boots, Italian trousers and the most extraordinary sights could be seen. Each prisoner seemed to have at least a sackful of souvenirs and the earlier intakes seemed to be well supplied with cameras, field glasses and such booty. The German dress sword or dagger seemed to be popular souvenir.’

    It would appear that there was no reason to separate the POW's from their booty.


  14. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Almost every Royal Canadian Legion branch I have have ever been in has been generously decorated with a wide assortment of enemy "souvenirs" on the walls and in display cases. I suspect there were bragging rights to the quality and quantity of materials brought back from their service.
  15. jetson

    jetson Junior Member

    I may be incorrect but recalling my service in the fifties, the Manual of Military Law still contained ultimately the death penalty for looting; doubt whether the sentence was ever carried out. There have been stories conveyed to me first hand of people managing to bring back cars from Port Said during the Suez campaign in 1956 and also Mercedes "G" Wagons and Kawasaki 200cc motocycles from the Falklands campaign. Perhaps the latter can be clarifed by the more knowledgeable?
  16. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One of the most reliable self confessed "looters" was the late Stan Siskowski of the Perth Regiment of the 5th Cdn AD who couldn't

    wait to capture houses all over Italy and no doubt later in Belgium and Germany-thought that was what the war was all about…

  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Just reading an extract about the liberation of Breda ,Holland on October 29 1944,(it was said to be a Sunday) from the account of H.D Zidman who was reporting on behalf of the Daily Telegraph.He reports of the behaviour of German troops towards Dutch possessions in the last 10 days before the Germans pulled out.

    He relates, "At 2 15 pm,today I entered Breda with the first Polish reconnaissance troops.Our party consisted of three Polish correspondents,one Polish officer,a Canadian officer and his driver,another British war correspondent and myself".

    "The eagerness of Breda's citizens to help us was enhanced by the behaviour of the German troops within the past 10 days.Officers and NCOs have gone round requisitioning all plain clothes except what male civilians were wearing and all blankets except two per person,in preparation for their flight".

    "Every Dutchman who appeared on the streets was relieved of his watch,his rings and money.The organised hooliganism of the German soldier....I will not say Nazi,since most prisoners deny they are Nazis...was given one more local demonstration".

    I wonder if the Germans issued receipts for their "requisitions"
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I somehow doubt that though I guess you wrote that with your tongue in your cheek ^_^

    One thing I remember a Dutch friend saying was that if the Dutch want to annoy or reply sarcastically to a German then they use the phrase "can we have our bicycles back" other Dutch members on here may be able to corroborate that.

  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Looting, booty, black market or carelessness?

    104 Beach Sub Area Routine Orders.
    15 June. 1944.
    Missing. One Jeep property of 104 Beach Sub Area. Removed from 10 Beach Group Command Post. No M5473195. Marked ‘Olive’. At Approx. 1730 14 June.

    dbf likes this.
  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Or someone too lazy to walk inland!

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