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Masters Thesis On U.S. Soldiers Looting During WW2

Article about: I found this online. Figured it may be something of interest. I agree and disagree with some of the points. I also think if the author expanded his interview pool and supported some of the i

  1. #11


    A neighbour of mine (amongst many in the 'hood) was a WW II Canadian vet. When I was about 16 in the early 80's he was showing me his NW Europe souvenirs and his Dad's WW I items. He was a dispatch ridr with one of the CDn brigade HQ's so he got around a bit and liked to trade and acquire things. He had a german officers sword, broken in half that I saked about it being a duffle bag cut. He said 'No' as it happens one day in une of '45 in the city Germany they were bsed in for occupation he saw a german major wearing his full parade waffenrock, polished buttons, sword belt and sabre strutting down the street as arrogant as could be. This pissed off my friend and his mates so he nipped across the street and called him to a halt - grabbed his sword, took it out and snapped it over his knee, stuck it in his belt, stripped hi decorations and then took his cap off tossed it to the side of the street and pissed in it in front of the major, then kicked him in the ass and sent him on his way.

    My neighbour also said that the Canadians did as much souveniring as the Americans did even though it was prohibited, but not much of significance turns up from CDN vets like in the USA because as the troopships arrived in Halifax harbour an announcement came over the tannoy indicating that a kit bag inspection would be made for contraband before leaving the port for demob transport home, anyone caught with contraband might face up to a one year extension of their enlistment. He said you could see the ships rise out of the water as stuff went overboard. He took a chance with some badges, sword half etc. in his bag. He said once they got down the gangplank there were no MP's or officers who cared anywhere. Apparently they were concerned about weapons making it home and the risk of guys getting reckless with them as they adjusted to civvie life but didn't really care to sort through everyone's' stuff and really didn't care about other items like helmets, badges, uniforms etc. I've heard similar accounts from other vets, but those that came back in late '46 etc had no issues bringing in booty. Far east guys typically hated the Japanese too much to bring souvenirs as most that I knew were POW's after Hong Kong and Singapore.

  2. #12


    The taking of souvenirs is as old as man himself. In ancient
    days, imagine the bones or weapons of your ememy
    on the hearth. It is nothing new.........


  3. #13


    Quote by Walkwolf View Post
    The taking of souvenirs is as old as man himself. In ancient
    days, imagine the bones or weapons of your ememy
    on the hearth. It is nothing new.........
    Totally agree. It was has been done for a millennium The conquering army's would always parade with the conquest of their campaign. Its is just what mankind has done!!!!! Be it Them or Us. It is what it is. Booty and WE (collectors)have all gained from these items. Haven't We????
    Semper Fi

  4. #14


    My dad, a veteran of WWII, came back with several items which kickstarted my collecting. Believe it or not, the souvenir he was most proud acquiring at the time was an Agfa camera he got off a German on the street for a cigarette. I also just discovered a stereo view with 3rd Reich themed photo-cards he got from a civilian house he stayed at. He had totally forget about it. So clearly the trophies were not limited to pistols, medals, daggers, etc. I will post a photo of the entirety of his bring-backs here one day.

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