Bacque 1, Bacque James

Writes:

# Read “OTHER LOSSES” by James Bacque (1991), you will know how
# General Eisenhower, as a commader-in-chief of the European theater
# at the end of WW II killed over 1,700,000 disarmed German soldiers.

This is ridiculous. While there was mistreatment of German POW’s
after the war, the number of those who died in captivity doesn’t
even approach this figure. Following is an article I posted about
this issue some time ago.

The claim to about 1 million German POW’s who died at the the allied camps
was presented in a book by Canadian James Bacque, a novelist who has
absolutely no credentials or reputation as a historian. Some comments
on the work were made by Prof. Stephen Ambrose, director of the Eisenhower
Center at the University of New-Orleans (a thorough refutation appears
in the NYT, Feb. 24, 1991). Ambrose does admit that there was mistreatment
of German POW’s in the spring and summer of 1945, but adds:

“When scholars do the necessary research, they will find Mr. Bacque’s
work to be worse than worthless. It is seriously – nay, spectacularly –
flawed in its most fundamental aspects”. For example, Bacque’s
extrapolation of one million deaths is based on on a typographical error
in a single army medical report. Ambrose wrote “[Bacque] arrived at
his most basic conclusion, a death rate at all camps of 30 percent, by
dividing the 21,000 deaths by the 70,000 prisoners [listed in the
report]… all other figures in the document make it clear that that the
correct number of the prisoners was 700,000. This would make the death
rate not 30 percent but 3 percent”.

In concluding his arguments against Bacque’s spurious research, Ambrose
wrote “Mr. Bacque is wrong on every major charge and nearly all his
minor ones”. He than quotes Albert Cowdrey, a military historian for
the Department of the Army: “Surely, [Bacque] has reason to be satisfied
with his achievement. He has no reputation as a historian to lose, and
_Other_Losses_ can only enhance his standing as a writer of fiction”.

-Danny Keren.

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io21067
Organization: University of Maine System
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1993 19:53:54 EDT
From:
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: soc.history,soc.culture.indonesia
Subject: Re: Book Review – The American Killings 1944-46
References: <1993O[email protected]>
Lines: 21

Read “OTHER LOSSES” by James Bacque (1991), you will know how
General Eisenhower, as a commader-in-chief of the European theater
at the end of WW II killed over 1,700,000 disarmed German soldiers.

In the front page of that book, you will read statement like this:

“The shocking truth behind mass deaths of disarmed German soldiers
and civilians under General Eisenhower’s command”

You had better read that yourself to improve your collection about mass
killings. And don’t forget, American Indians were also the victim of
genocide. Yesterday was a Columbus day; we in New England had no class.
Last night, a TV program presented a show on which an Actor said
“What if American Indians found Europe instead of Christopher Columbus
found America. Would there have been genocide?” Do you think it was also
a mass killing? I just curious.

Putut Karangtunggal
[email protected] *** a villager boy seraching for knowledge

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From: [email protected] (David Emery)
Subject: Re: Book Review – The American Killings 1944-46
In-Reply-To: ‘s message of Tue, 12 Oct 1993 19:53:54 EDT
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>Read “OTHER LOSSES” by James Bacque (1991), you will know how
>General Eisenhower, as a commader-in-chief of the European theater
>at the end of WW II killed over 1,700,000 disarmed German soldiers.

A team of historians lead by Stephen Ambrose thoroughly debunked this
story. There’s a rebuttal book that came out of a conference to
examine these claims (No, I don’t have a citation. If you’re really
interested, I’d suggest getting in touch with Dr. Ambrose at the
University of New Orleans. This isn’t in my area of interest.) It
received a lot of ‘airplay’ within military history circles when the
book came out, and I remember hearing something about it on the
national media, too. The national media treated the story with some
distance, because some of the points stretched credibility, even
without any significant historical analysis.

dave
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From: [email protected] (Lance Visser)
Subject: Re: Eisenhower, was :Re: Book Review – ERRATA …ERRATA…ERRATA….
Sender: [email protected] (news access account)
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Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1993 13:13:42 GMT
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In <[email protected]> [email protected]
(asia z lerner) writes:

+>In article <[email protected]> writes:
+>>+++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++
+>>
+>>Message-Id:
+>>Read “OTHER LOSSES” by James Bacque (1991), you will know how
+>>General Eisenhower, as a commader-in-chief of the European theater
+>>at the end of WW II killed over 1,700,000 disarmed German soldiers.
+>> ^^^^[a] ^^^^^^^^^^[b] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^[c]
+>>
+>>Due to technical problem, some words I wrote were missing and some
+>>unwanted ones appeared in the screen. I was astonished to find what
+>>appeared in the screen. The meaning was quite different from what
+>>I meant. Hopefully these errata will help to clarify the statements.
+>>
+>>[a] should be: was responsible for mass missing/killing
+>>[b] should be: Germans determine that over 1,700,000 soldiers,
+>> alive at war’s end, have never returned home.
+>>[c] should be: blank (deleted).
+>>
+>>To whom who already read those statement before these errata,
+>>I badly apologized. I urge you, however, to read that book by
+>>yourself to avoid technical problem or misinterpretation which can
+>>generate misunderstanding.
+>>

+>Since you have bothered to post a fairly shoking accusation, I think
+>it is up to you to explain, at least, what is the nature of Eisenhower’s
+>presumed responsibility for the death of those soldiers.

+>Did he:

+>1) Have them shot

No.

+>2) Did not supply them with food, when they were under his
+>direct authority

Yes and no. He put them at a lower priority for food than other
groups (allied soldiers, civilians in former occupied countries).
It has to be understood that the german surrender did not make
things magic and right in europe. Most of europe was either flattened
or wrecked as a result of the war. Normal systems of food distribution
and transport were just not working. In such a situation, you have
to set priorities for who your going to help first and most.

The people involved decided to put german POW’s at a lower priority,
but they did not try to starve them. Lower rations != starvation.

+>3) Did not make an effort to aid them, even if they were not
+>under his authority

I believe they did the best they could under the circumstances. Many
german civilians also suffered and died during the same period. You
have a flattened europe where nothing works, you have millions of
men in uniform in europe that must be fed and supported….and which
you have to figure out how to get home as quickly as possible.

+>Or something else.

The problem with this issue is although there may well be
some truth in what is being said:

1. The death count is vastly overstated.

2. Putting all responsibility on Eisenhour overstates his
position and takes away responsibility from many other
people involved in the decisions.

3. The people who like this issue the most are trying to
make various german war crimes seem like standard operating
procedure for any army. (See, the americans killed millions
of disarmed Germans after the war….so what we did during
the war to unarmed civilians is what nations do during war.)

I’m not accusing the author of this particular book of [3]. I
believe that he had good intentions in doing is research, but
tried to “make” data to fit his very controversial conclusion
in order to sell more books.

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From: [email protected] (Roger Lustig)
Subject: Re: Book Review – ERRATA …ERRATA…ERRATA….
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In article <[email protected]> writes:
>+++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++
>
>Message-Id:
>Read “OTHER LOSSES” by James Bacque (1991), you will know how
>General Eisenhower, as a commader-in-chief of the European theater
>at the end of WW II killed over 1,700,000 disarmed German soldiers.
> ^^^^[a] ^^^^^^^^^^[b] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^[c]

>Due to technical problem, some words I wrote were missing and some
>unwanted ones appeared in the screen. I was astonished to find what
>appeared in the screen. The meaning was quite different from what
>I meant. Hopefully these errata will help to clarify the statements.

>[a] should be: was responsible for mass missing/killing

Still nonsense. Bacque can’t even do arithmetic; that much
is easily demonstrated.

>[b] should be: Germans determine that over 1,700,000 soldiers,
> alive at war’s end, have never returned home.

When did the Germans determine that? The *Soviet* government
kept its German POWs for ten years; many of them died. This
has little to do with General eisenhower, though.

>[c] should be: blank (deleted).

Try that for the rest of your article. And then ask Bacque:
–Where were these soldiers killed?
–By whom? Has he ever found an eyewitness?

The whole thesis of Bacque’s silly book rests on one simple mistake
by Bacque: the term “other losses” in prison camp censuses.

The term refers to prisoners *released*; not to prisoners killed.

Tell me this: of the thousands of Germans who *survived* American
prison camps during and after the war, none has ever reported
anything like what Bacque talks about. Many of these people
are still alive, and can be interviewed. I’ve got a whole
book of oral history of such experiences.

Why has nobody ever reported the supposed mass killing?

>To whom who already read those statement before these errata,
>I badly apologized. I urge you, however, to read that book by
>yourself to avoid technical problem or misinterpretation which can
>generate misunderstanding.

And I urge you to read *any* review of the book by a competent
historian. Your librarian will help you find these reviews.

The book you bought was reduced in price for a reason: it’s trash.

Roger

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From: [email protected] (James E Calnan)
Newsgroups: soc.history
Subject: Re: Book Review…Baque
Date: 21 Oct 1993 21:44:42 GMT
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One other thing about Baque’s scholarship in “Other Losses” that
came clear when he was interviewed on Canadian television (on the program
“W5”) was that his research was so shoddy that he “missed” the explanation
for other losses contained in the document folder next to the one where he
first encountered the phrase. When he found no other explanation for
“other loses,” he asssumed that the phrase had sinister meaning. When
these examples of shoddy scholarship were pointed out to Baque’s academic
supervisor (who had only just before said for the camera that he thought
Jim’s work was great and had written so in the book’s introduction)
repudiated his student and said that in the light of this he felt it was
best to re-evaluate his support for the work.

I hope this comment doesn’t class me in with the genocide crowd,
but I couldn’t resist.

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From: [email protected] (Torsten Hauptfleisch)
Subject: Re: Other Losses
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References:
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 1994 17:49:42 GMT
Lines: 74

[email protected] (Karl Krech) writes:

: According to James Bacque’s book “Other Losses”, more German soldiers
: were killed in American and French POW camps after WWII than were
: killed on the western front between 1941 and the end of the war. About
: one million unarmed German POWs died in these camps. Bacque’s well-
: documented book uncovers this least welcome secret of WWII and shows
: how Eisenhowers obsessive hatred, not only of the Nazi’s, but of
: Germans, resulted in this tragedy.
:
Having read the first edition of his book and some other ‘second hand’
material on treatment of german POWs by allied forces as well I can in
no way agree with Bacque’s claim that more than 1 million POWs died
in french and american custody.
The true points in his book are
1) The record keeping by american forces is a mess.
2) Treatment of german POWs by France was criminal (100.000 presumed
dead by other sources too)
3) Treatment of german POW by US forces was not according to international
standards
4) Eisenhower used legal tricks (POWs reclassified as DEPs etc.)
5) Eisenhower had psychic problem with regard to Germany

But in my eyes

HE CLEALY FAILS TO GIVE EVIDENCE OF HIS CLAIM OF 1 MILLION DEAD !!!!

There’s a lot of wild adding, subtracting, estimating and classifying in
which even the inclined reader qickly looses the trace. Other solutions to
Braque’s number enigmas are always possible. For example: US forces
allegedly reported more POW camp inmates released than there where re-
gistered to make up for the dead. 30 or so pages earlier he states that
there was no tag field for the Volkssturm guys on the register field
which he views as another attempt to make up the numbers. He nowhere
rules out that the several hundred thousand surplus releases stem from
that category.
Even when he deals with details his (moral?) outrage carries him to far
sometimes. In a camp in Alsace the american officers did have their casino
rooms redecorated three times in 1945, which provokes Bracque to the remark
that they did so while the POWs were starving (non-lethal if I remember
correctly). Now, boys and girls, to anybody who’s served with the forces
it’s well known that one of the main objectives of superiors is to keep
their men employed. So a more realistic solution here too, and usually such
work means extra rations or other advantages also. Old forces habit. BTW,
should they feed the POWs with wallpaper and paint?

But the most dubious part of his book is the one where he judges other exam-
inations dealing with this topic. He, of course, reviews soviet publications
postively that support his allegations. Those contrary to his position are
eigther inaccurate or blatant politically motivated lies. I remember only
two cases. One is that of a red cross office in Bavaria which found out most
of the bavarian MIAs were last sighted on the Eastern front. Bracque challenges
this with the idea that Bavaria is a small state (wrong) and that Bavarians
might have been predominantly sent to the Eastern front ( totally unproven)
or that they might not have had time to sent post when redestinated to the
Western front (Do I hear laughter?). The other is that of the official
federal examination on the treatment of german POWs. Here he declines to
say that it’s simply a politically fake. That Prof. Maschke and his team
questioned ten thousands if not hundredthousands of former POWs in the
fifties and sixties and most hints on the question of missing POWs pointed
to the Soviet Union is absolutely unwellcome to Bracque so he cooses to
debunk it straightforward.

Yours,
Torsten
————————————————————————
Torsten Hauptfleisch posting from Geodaetisches Institut
Universitaet Hannover
[email protected] Nienburger Str.1
[email protected] D-30167 Hannover

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From: [email protected] (Erhard Sanio)
Subject: Re: Other Losses
Organization: netmbx, Berlin, Germany
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 1994 22:03:33 GMT
Message-ID:
References:
Lines: 59

In article
[email protected] (Karl Krech) writes:
>
>.. . About
>one million unarmed German POWs died in these camps. Bacque’s well-
>documented book uncovers this least welcome secret of WWII and shows
>how Eisenhowers obsessive hatred, not only of the Nazi’s, but of
>Germans, resulted in this tragedy.
>
The above is definitely untrue. Bacque’s book, far from being “well-docu-
mented, is based on distorted evidence and irresponsible extrapolations.
Bacque took some figures from POW camps with well-known hard conditions
(especially the grasslands on the banks of Rhine during the first chaotic
weeks) and extrapolated the mortality therefrom onto the total of German
POWs on the Western front during the whole period of 1945/46. In one case
(French POW camp) he misread the released persons as dead, further on, he
failed to recognize that the waste majority of aged “Volkssturm” people
and minors caught as AA artillery helpers (Flakhelfer) were registered
as POWs but sent home instantly in most cases which explains much better
some differences of figures of POWs taken and released than Bacque’s
speculations do.
The total of German POW losses in the West during that time was between
6,000 and 10,000 persons rather than the million asserted for ends of
sensationalism, most of them in the provisional camps in May/June, 1945.

Most convincing evidence against Bacque’s hypothesis is that the “Deutsche
Diensstelle” (German registration office for military losses) did register
less than 60,000 missing soldiers on the Western front and in the Western
part of the Reich during the whole period 1939-1945/46. Those numbers are
including missing personnel during the bomb war. As the pensions for the
relatives of missing/killed soldiers are based on the data of that office,
it would be impossible to hide away hundreds of thousands of MIAs.

The assertions about Gen. Eisenhower are most definitely a lie. When the
more than 7.6 million POWs emerged (versus 1-2 million expected), the
nutritional situation in the whole of Europe was rather critical, and
Gen. Eisenhower ordered resupply from the UK (where food was rationed, too),
because he was fearing starvation among both the POWs and the population.

Maybe he didn’t just love the Germans at that time – he did not make
them starve anyway nor did he intend or attempt to do so.

Ref.: Erich Maschke (Ed.), Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen
des Zweiten Weltkriegs, Muenchen 1962-1974
Wolfgang Benz and Angelika Schmidt (Ed.), Kriegsgefangenschaft. Be-
richte ueber das Leben in Kriegsgefangenenlagern der Alliierten,
Muenchen 1991
Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt), Jahresbericht, Berlin 1985, p.20ff.

Btw., Bacque’s distortions are starting to become just another Neonazi
legend.

regards, es

Last-Modified: 1994/10/07

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From: [email protected] (Danny Keren)
Newsgroups: soc.history,soc.culture.indonesia
Subject: Re: Book Review – The American Killings 1944-46
Followup-To: soc.history
Date: 13 Oct 1993 06:40:55 GMT
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