Prison­niers de guerre améri­cains à Tambov

Commentaire (0) L'après-guerre



World War II

by James D. Sanders
Co-Author, Soldier’s of Misfor­tune
Co-Author, The Men We Left Behind

The Depart­ment of Defense knew that 99,101 Ameri­can POWs were repor­ted by the Germans to have been captu­red and placed in the German prison camp sustem dureing World War II [1] Only 91,255 retur­ned. By May 15, 1945, the Penta­gon belie­ved 25,000 Ameri­can POWs « libe­ra­ted » by the Red Army were still being held hostage to Soviet demands that all « Soviet citi­zens » be retur­ned to Soviet control, « without excep­tion » and by force iuf neces­sary, as agreed to at the Yalta Confe­rence in February 1945. When the U.S. refu­sed to return some mili­tary forma­tions compo­sed of Soviet citi­zens, such as the First Ukrai­nian SS Divi­sion, Stalin reta­lia­ted by retur­ning only 4,116 of the hostage Amer­can POWs. On June 1, 1945, the United States Govern­ment issued docu­ments, signed by Gene­ral Dwight D. Eisen­ho­wer, explai­ning away the loss of approxi­ma­tely 20,000 POWs remai­ning under Stalin’s control.

As early as 1948, the United States began to receive reports of Ameri­can POWs ensla­ved in Sive­ria, some buil­ding tanks for the Soviet Army. Photos of young Ameri­can soldiers, in uniform, taken before the now ensla­ved Ameri­cans depar­ted to fight the Nazi’s, were smug­gled out of the gulag. On the back of some of the photos was the name and address of these Ameri­cans, ensla­ved because of a failed foreign policy.[2]

Sibe­rian camps for World War II Ameri­can and British POWs were obser­ved into the 1960s by Soviet MVD Colo­nel Vladi­mir Maka­ro­vich.

Task Force Russia (TFR), in 1992 deve­lo­ped infor­ma­tion on at least three « Soviet NKVD Camps for Eonglish-spea­king people (Moscow 024353), » [3] Camp 27 (Kras­no­dar); Camp 64 (Tambov), Camp 4B (Ivanov « and any other corol­lary faci­li­ties. »)[4]

Two docu­ments surfa­ced at the Natio­nal Archives rela­ted to Ameri­can (and English) POWs at Tambov. On Decem­ber 10, 1945, the Ameri­can Embassy in Moscow recei­ved the follo­wing message:

Infor­ma­tion recei­ved here that as of 30 August 1945 the Russians were holding priso­ner approxi­ma­tely 45 Ameri­can enlis­ted men and two offi­cers, one captain and on lieu­te­nant, at Rada near Tambov in the Stalin­grad area. Priso­ners were repor­ted in barbed wire under guard.[5]

One week later the OSS recei­ved Tambov infor­ma­tion from a Pole who had been captu­red by the Russians in 1944. In April 1945 he was placed in a Soviet prison camp at Tambov with « seve­ral score Ameri­cans » as well as « English­men. » The « English­men and Ameri­cans asked him urgently to notify the Allied autho­ri­ties of their plight. »[6]

Maria Il’i­nichna Filip­pova worked in this camp’s regis­tra­tion office. In 1992 she confir­med that « she encoun­te­red Ameri­can and British names while going through the ques­tio­naire that each priso­ner had to fill out. » And, an NKVD offi­cer who was assi­gned to this camp between 1943–46, Alek­sei Niko­lae­vich Loba­nov, « remem­bers that there were usually a rela­ti­vely small number of Ameri­cans there. »[7]

On April 28, 1945, NKVD troops were given writ­ten instruc­tions « to confine Ameri­can citi­zens in Camp 188 [Rada]. » On May 11th, Major Yusi­chev, senior NKVD offi­cer at Rada, recei­ved a message that there were « 2,500 Fren­ch… Ameri­can and British POWs who will arrive shortly. »[8]

Roger Koeh­ren, a French POW held by the Soviets at Tambov after the war ended, recal­led that:

With me in barrack(quaran­tine) number one, there were Ameri­can and English avia­tors. They had all been held in German Stalags or in eastern Gernamy and were, like the Alsa­cians, gathe­red at Tambov to be repa­tria­ted. I do not know what happe­ned to these poor pilots, they were not repa­tria­ted with us at the end of 1945.[9]

As the clouds of Govern­ment cover-up appea­red on the hori­zon in the early 1990s, Paul M. Cole, Ph.D, was hired by Dod to write the Govern­ment version of possible Soviet reten­tion of Ameri­can POWs after World War II. This « report » was finan­ced at taxpayer expense under DoD contract number MDA903–90-C-0004. It can best be descri­bed as an excellent example of bureau­cra­tic obfus­ca­tion of a fifty-year old cover-up.

In order to create an alle­ged scho­larly defense of the bureau­cracy, Dr. Cole was forced to ignore Battle Casual­ties of the Army, found in the Natio­nal Arhives Record Group 407. These are World War II records prepa­red by the Machine Records Branch, Office of the Adju­tant Gene­ral (under direc­tion of the Statis­tics Branch), for the War Depart­ment Gene­ral Staff. The records state that the Germans repor­ted the capture of 99,101 Ameri­cans before their repor­ting system broke down in March, 1945.

But the United States Govern­ment cannot use 99,101 known POWs as the offi­cial number because only 91,255 retur­ned. [10] And, more than 8,000 of these retur­nees were POWs captu­red after the German repor­ting system broke down.[11] In other words, only 83,000 Ameri­cans capu­tred by the Germans and repor­ted through the Swiss Red Cross to the United States govern­ment, retur­ned after the war. Worse yet, no Nazi scape­goats were hanged for this loss of thou­sands of Ameri­cans.

The govern­ment solu­tion in 1945, and again in 1992, was to allege that only 76,854 POWs were « esti­ma­ted » to be held by the Germans as of March 15, 1945.[12] The Germans actually captu­red 77,120 U.S. Army person­nel in the Euro­pean thea­ter. This is the figure upon which the Govern­ment « esti­mate » is based, and it is a deli­be­rate decep­tion because there were also 20,277 Ameri­cans captu­red in the Medi­ter­ra­nean thea­ter as well as 1,704 captu­red in the early figh­ting in North Africa, for a total of 99,101.[13]

Paul Cole, using the 76,854 to anchor his reaso­ning, conclu­ded: « For it to be true that about 23,000 Ameri­can POWs were libe­ra­ted from Nazi German camps, trans­fer­red to USSR terri­tory and never repa­tria­ted, all of the follo­wing must be true:

1. That the entire histo­ri­cal record, inclu­ding the RAMP’s report, has been falsi­fied. . . . [14]

2. That Supreme Allied Headquar­ters deli­be­ra­tely distor­ted esti­mates of Ameri­cans in Nazi camps follo­wing the first day of the Normandy inva­sion to arrive at a final March 1945 esti­mate. . . .
3. That the Soviets had at one time in their custody approxi­ma­tely 56,500 Ameri­can POWs, 23,000 of whom were not esti­ma­ted as POWs by Allied Headquar­ters, were not carried as POWs in German records, and all of whom were success­fully trans­por­ted to and impri­so­ned in the USSR without a trace. . . .[15]

6. That the repor­ting of the post-war U.S. Army « psypool » program, desi­gned to collect infor­ma­tion on Ameri­cans in Soviet custody in the 1950s, was tampe­red with. . . .[N]ot a single live sigh­ting was recei­ved.>16]

As earlier proved, RAMPs has in fact been fasi­fied. Supreme Allied Headquar­ters did deli­be­ra­tely, after the fact, conve­niently forget than an addi­tio­nal 21,981 Ameri­can POWs were capu­tred in the Medi­ter­ra­nean and North Afri­can thea­ters.

Paul Cole’s point six, above, is fabri­ca­ted and without serious merit. See Soldiers of Misfor­tune, chap­ters 9 and 11 for a discus­sion of the signi­fi­cant docu­men­ta­tion avai­lable on World War II Ameri­can POWs in the gulag. One of them, Sergeant Jim Patrick, surfa­ced in Moscow in June 1992. His story was publi­shed in Pravda on June 11, 1992, on page 2. DIA has, to date, stone­wal­led all efforts to obtain Sergeant Jim Patri­ck’s debrie­fing report and final dispo­si­tion.

And, the United States Govern­ment refuses to declas­sify thou­sands of World War II docu­ments from AFHQ files–all rela­ted to « Russian matters, » POW exchanges and forcible repa­tria­tion.

Why would the United States go to the extreme measure of frau­du­lently using taxpayer money to rebury a fifty-year old cover-up? Because the events that ocur­red at the end of World War II opened the door for Soviet and Commu­nist Bloc reten­tion of Ameri­can POWs during the Korean, Cold and Viet­nam Wars.

If the public knew preci­sely what happe­ned in 1945, there could be no doubt about the fate of Ameri­cans lost in more recent wars. Nor could there be any doubt about the vera­city of govern­ment state­ments and actions since the Viet­nam war ended with the aban­don­ment of hundreds of Ameri­can POWs held in the Viet­na­mese second tier prison system, hostages to Hanoi’s demand for payment of war repa­ra­tions.


1. U.S. Army, Statis­tics and Analy­sis Branch, August 1945.

2. Natio­nal Archives, June 19, 1992, docu­ment outli­ning the « Preli­mi­nary Research Stra­tegy » of the U.S. side of the Joint U.S./Soviet Commis­sion on POWs/MIAs: « The U.S. side was told that the MVD has a master finger­print file of all persons who were appre­hen­ded by or in control of the MVD, dating back to at least as far as World War II. . . . The U.S. does not know whether it is even possible to deter­mine natio­na­lity from the finger­print card; if natio­na­lity is listed it would proba­bly require sequen­tial search of all 17,000,000 cards to find all the persons recor­ded as U.S. » p. 2 of Trudy Huskamp peter­son cover letter. The follo­wing is from page 2 of the Preli­mi­nary Research Stra­tegy, World War II: « Options. If the U.S. wants a full accoun­ting of all persons who went through Soviet control, there appear to be two prin­ci­pal sources: (1) the records of the Repa­tria­tion Affairs Direc­toate and (2) the records of the Minis­try of Defen­se’s admi­nis­tra­tion of the front lines and tran­sit camps. The problem is that the U.S. side was told in March (1992) that if the person was trans­fer­red from a repa­tria­tion camp to the inter­nal prison system the card and file on the person may have been pulled and trans­fer­red to the [presu­ma­bly] MVD, leaving no trace in the records of the Repa­tria­tion Direc­to­rate. . . .(t)he U.S. has no way to judge how fully and accu­ra­tely the camp order books recor­ded the move­ment of indi­vi­duals and how consis­tently natio­na­lity is recor­ded. »

3. Office of the Assis­tant Secre­tary of Defense, Inter­na­tio­nal Secu­rity Affairs, Memo for Task Force Russia, TFR Opera­tio­nal Prio­ri­ties, Septem­ber 10, 1992, p.2.

4. Ibid

5. Message S-34414 to Ameri­can Embassy, Moscow.

6. Natio­nal Archives, OSS files, Decem­ber 18, 1945, docu­ment entit­led: U.S.S.R. POW and Inter­nee Camp Near Tambov.

7. RAND, POW/MIA Issues, Volume 2, World War II and the early Cold War, (hereaf­ter refe­ren­ced as the RAND Report) p.23 This report, commis­sio­ned by the Office of the Secre­tary of Defense and the Joint Staff, contract number MDA903–90-C-0004, is of some limi­ted use as a source of infor­ma­tion from the early TFR research in the old Soviet Union. Its primary value, howe­ver, is as a clas­sic example of Govern­ment petti­fog­ging and disin­for­ma­tion.

8. From Chief of the UNKVD T/O Colo­nel of State Secu­rity Lushuk and Chief of the OPVI UNKVDT/Major of State Secu­rity Livshits (Top Secret), to Chief Admi­nis­tra­tor, Camp 188, Major of State Secu­rity Yusi­chev, Station Rada, May 11, 1945, as repor­ted in RAND Report.

9. Rand Report, pp. 24–25.

10. The actual figure is proba­bly 85–86,000, but, for the sake of simpli­city we will use the [U.S.] Govern­ment’s own offi­cial number.

11. An exact number was provi­ded for Gene­ral George C. Marshall on June 18,1945, but it has never been loca­ted in the natio­nal Archives. A hand writ­ten message has been found in the files stating that 8–9,000 of the retur­nees were MIAs and not POWs. Dated June 7, 1945, there is a nota­tion that the exact number will be provi­ded the next day.

12. Rand Report, p. 3 This number is also stated on page 30. This number is from RAMPS, Reco­ve­red Allied Mili­tary Person­nel, the [U.S.] Govern­ments 1946 version of how they wish things had actually happe­ned.

13. Natio­nal Archives (NA), Battle casual­ties of the Army, Record Group 407, Entry 389, box 458.

14. RAND Report, p. 30. This section is so extra­or­di­na­rily shrill that only the prin­ci­pal alle­ga­tion is placed in the body of the manus­cript. The remain­der of Paul Cole’s number one is: « . . . .and every one of the thou­sands of mili­tary and govern­ment offi­cials who produ­ced it [RAMPS] have parti­ci­pa­ted in a cover-up that has lasted nearly fifty years. » The facts are consi­de­ra­bly different. The staff that wrote RAMPs consis­ted of about ten people, whose names are listed at the front of the report. RAMPs was writ­ten with the mate­rial these people were given to work with. They did not go out and unco­ver the true, unvar­ni­shed truth—RAMPs is, after all, a [U.S.]Govern­ment version of history.

15. The next two points, 4 and 5, are so uncom­pro­mi­sin­gly incom­pe­tently writ­ten that abso­lu­tely no point can be discer­ned from the verbiage.

16. The final two, numbers 7 and 8, are nothing more than hyste­ri­cal pole­mics. Seven suggests that Cole took the records of the POWs who wrote home, combi­ned them with the records of every Ameri­can who recei­ved a Red Cross package and cross-refe­ren­ced this list with the list of all Ameri­can POWs held by the Germans and came up with no discre­pan­cies. Neither Paul Cole or any other member of the bureau­cracy perfor­med this analy­sis—it would prove extra­or­di­nary incom­pe­tence to even attempt such an analy­sis. On the other hand, the bureau­cracy does have the ability to take the 99,101 known POWs and cross-refe­rence them with the roster of POWs who did return. But neither Paul Cole or DOD did this—­for obvious reasons. It would provide a list of Ameri­cans kept by the Soviet Union after World War II with the full know­ledge of the United States Govern­ment.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *