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Date: Wednesday, 9 August 1944
Place: Caen, Basse-Normandie, France
A captured Panzergrenadier of the SS-Panzer-regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" taken by a Canadian Intelligence Unit during the fighting for Caen. The official Public Archives of Canada caption for this photo taken a month after the activities in question, contains no information about the prisoner other than his division. Note: both allied soldiers are wearing the British P-1944 "Turtle" Mk III steel helmet, which was introduced shortly before D-Day. The Mk III helmet was much superior to the conventional "Brodie" helmet normally worn by British & Commonwealth soldiers. The soldier nearest the camera is holding a .303" Lee Enfield rifle in his right hand.. Canadians have mistreated prisoners because: In June 7th (one day after D-Day), the 25th Panzer-Grenadier Regiment under the command of SS-Standartenführer Kurt Meyer (Kurt Adolf Wilhelm Meyer, “Panzermeyer”) in conjunction with the 12th SS Panzer Regiment managed to repel the Canadians, and destroyed 28 tanks, and infantry regiment “Highlanders Nova Scotia “(born Nova Scotia Highlanders) suffered heavy losses. In this case, the loss of the German divisions were only six people! During the operation, the soldiers of 12. SS-Panzer-Division executed 20 Canadian prisoners of war in the Abbaye d’Ardenne. The "Hitler Youth" Division itself had the lowest percentage of prisoners. Of the original 21,300 men, in Gosostava 1945 it survived only 455 officers and men! The average age of the member of the Division was 17 – 18 years old!
Public Archives of Canada image