"Though in the end, I think there can be no doubt that ultimately the forces of imperfect good defeated the forces of near perfect evil."
I just stumbled on this thread, and don't usually get into political discussion like this. However, I love bigschuss' comment which I quote above. Of course, the Allies did some dishonorable things. Americans do dishonorable things every day here, not in a time of war, things that are far worse than most things that happened by US soldiers. Read the news. When Christian ethics and morals are fading or forgotten, bad things follow.
However . . . That Winners only write history is baloney. There are tons of books written by Germans. I've even had some written by SS men. I've read articles written by SS officers. By Japanese soldiers who ate their prisoners. The history is there. Why should it be remembered in great detail, more than is needed to understand the motivation of the Allies to wipe out those large atrocities? An evil man's name will rot away.
The SS did far more than a GI. Can you blame them for not taking prisoners when it came to the SS? War is hell, and when it comes to the SS . . . I don't think you can stand at home today, with your feet up and no major threat to your life or liberty or the life or liberty of those you love or the world at large, and judge a single Allied soldier for treatment of the SS. Maybe it is the true American in me, like the old West. They played the game . . . and lost. An eye for an eye, and you have to know that most of those soldiers believed that.
I have an interesting article in a WWII magazine written by a US soldier who was with a division that was advancing first through many German towns. He was very frank, and I thought it a very cool article to to see what someone was going through at the time. He said that by the time the US troops were taking over German towns, they had see n so much death in their own ranks and seen so many horrors in Europe, that they had a routine by the time it came to taking over German towns. If the town fought them when they approached . . . the Us troops burnt the town. If the Germans didn't attack them, they left it all fine and just took over. He said, by that time, they had all seen too many close friends and strangers die horribly to put up with any more.
And that wasn't the SS.
So - Gregory --- did the Allied "angels" liberate Normandy and the ETO? Well, in marking a large group of people with generic tags like that . . . more than the demonic SS who "liberated" the ETO years earlier or the Russian pigs who liberated parts of the ETO. Of course, this is totally my opinion, but your statement is also just yours.
I'm disappointed that anyone would want to marginally defend the SS. They were evil. They are evil. Seeing there insignia alone should make your heart flip. The whole creation and reason for them was evil.
I don't think that you can judge soldiers back then for not taking SS prisoners. How about that guy with the conceal and carry gun in the restaurant a short bit ago. When a gunman came in to the restaurant and killed people, the guy stood up and shot the gunman. Dead. Would you have taken him a prisoner?
If a terrorist was high-jacking a plane and killed passengers, and someone had a gun and aimed it at him . . . do you think they would try and arrest him? I bet not.
The SS did large and more. I wouldn't really say this about another group in WWII, I bet. But . . . they knew what they were doing. They did it. They played and lost. When they lost, they expected kind treatment. Really, wouldn't more people behave better, perhaps, if whatever you did wrong you had done to you in the same degree? Really, they got better executions than they gave.
God uses imperfect man. There were imperfect men in the Army. There were imperfect men in all the Armies. I don't know what you call the SS men. I wouldn't say they were blameless, that's for sure. They murdered, they were executed. The SS weren't the little old Johann Schmidt who had to join the Army. Again . . . to quote - "They played the game . . . and lost."