The main culprits in World War II massacres are Germany’s leading Axis faction. The massacre of six million unarmed Jewish civilians, in particular, is considered the world’s largest massacre. During World War II, Allied forces also were accused of genocide at various times.
The massacre of 73 unarmed Italian and German soldiers by the US military in Italy on July 14, 1943, is considered to be one of the leading massacres by the allies.
American and British troops in the Sicilian invasion
In Sicily, Italy during World War II, There was a confront between Allies And enemy forces on July 14th 1943, at the end of a confrontation between American and Italian troops near the small village of Caltagirone in Sicily, 73 Italian soldiers surrendered to the U.S. Army and were shot dead on two occasions.
While the Sicilian invasion was Happening, the 7th US Troop was under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, while the 8th British troop, led by George L.Montgomery, was fighting from the southeast of the Island.
During this Invasion the 157th and The 179th infantry Regiments of the 7th division in the 8th US force troop were supposed To take control of the coastal areas of the island and also take control of the Comiso Airport After Taking The airport they were ordered to handover it to the 8th Division of Canadian forces.
The Biscary Airport Massacre
The capture of Biscary Airport in Sicily was entrusted to the 180th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army, and their task was to annex the American First Division after its capture.
In July 1943, US forces launched their Attack to fulfil that task.
The American Infantry Division consisted of troops who had never previously participated in such battles. As a result of that, in less than 48 hours after the beginning, they were showing a lot of weakness on the Battlefield. Pretty soon Lt. Gen. Patton had to spoke to them and told them not to show any sympathy for the enemy and not to accept any prisoners. Some said that this speech turned these young soldiers into Inhumane killing machines.
73 prisoners were killed on two occasions
Italian sniper squadron poses a serious threat to the first group to invade Biscari airstrip.
As a result, troops of the 180th Infantry Regiment suffered heavy casualties and were killed by Italian snipers on a large scale. Some of the soldiers of the 180th Regiment somehow escaped unnoticed by these snipers.
Were able to Capture 35 Italian Soldiers including The snipers. They were also able to capture two German soldiers too.
Major Roger Denman, commander of the 1st Battalion of the 180th Infantry Regiment, ordered prisoners to take off their shoes and military uniforms to prevent their escape Denman said the prisoners should be taken in to further questioning and handed them over to his troop, including Sergeant Horus T. West.
Suddenly when the prisoners were being taken, the sergeant snatched the machine gun from the soldier next to him and continues firing until the prisoners fall to their deaths.
Even after all the prisoners are dead, he renews the magazine of the gun and continues firing until the corpses are pierced.
A few hours after this, the second Group of prisoners also get killed.
The 180th Infantry Regiment fighting at the other end of the airport was also under heavy attack as well as the Italian Army launches continuous mortar and sniper attacks This time too, the US military was able to capture 36 Italian soldiers.
American troops Captain John Compton commands the snipers among the prisoners but no one came forward So the captain ordered his troop to line up all the prisoners and shoot them. As the result, all the prisoners died at the scene.
Allegation of genocide
The U.S. military later sued Captain John Compton and Sergeant Horus T. West over the court-martial.
The sergeant was convicted of the massacre and sentenced to prison. In 1944 he was released due to his good behaviour and sent back to the battlefield as an ordinary soldier.
At trial, Captain John states that he was right and that he carried out orders from Lieutenant General Patton, his high-ranking officer, and was eventually released without guilty.
Soon he was transferred to another regiment and returned to the battlefield where he was killed by an enemy attack.