Subject: FILES ‘SHOOTING OF P.O.W’s at BRUMMEN, HOLLAND’
P.R.O. London, England.
The documents have been arranged by me in some order and marked A.1. etc at top right.
1. TIME AND LOCATION: centre of Brummen, Holland.
Approx. 1800h (A.2)
Approx. 1700h (B.2)
2. HOW MANY GERMANS WERE IN THE LORRY?
A.2 : 2 Luftwaffe guards in back of truck Driver & co-driver 2 SS guards on running boards
A.3 : 1 Luftwaffe guard on back 1 SS guard on running board
A.4.1 : 1 SS guard with Schmeiser on right running board
B.1 : in cabin 2 SS men + driver 1 SS man on running board 2 guards, Luftwaffe on the rear
3. HOW MANY P.O.W’s WERE IN THE LORRY?
A.2 : Approx 20 Officers and approx 5 OR’s
A.3 : ‘party of Officers’ and 5 or 6 OR’s
B.1 : Approx 20 Officers and approx 3 OR’s
The documents show the following names:
A.1 : Major.C.D.Byng-Maddick. G1 & G4. 1 Para Bde.
Major.D.C.Murray. O.C: 1 Para Sqn, RE.
Lt.W.D.C.Morley. Para Regt (Provo Coy)
Capt.T.J.Livesey. 1 Para Sqn, RE.
Capt.D.McLean. 2 Para Bn. (Adjt)
Capt.W.V.A.Gell. 3 Pl, 250 Coy RASC.
A.2 : Lt.A.L.Tannenbaum. 2 Para Bn.
Major.A.Cotterell. War Correspondent.
Pte.G.McCracken. 2 Para Bn.
Lt.T.V.McNabb. Recce Sqn.
A Lt of G.P.R. *
Lt.A.Platt. Recce Sqn.
B.1 : Major.C.F.H.Gough. O.C: Recce Sqn.
Major.J.A.Hibbert. G2 & G3. 1 Para Bde.
Major.D.Mumford. 1 A/L Lt Regt, RA.
Lt.R.F.Wilson. 7 K.O.S.B’s.
B.2 : Major.W.F.Arnold. O.C: 1 A/L A-Tk Bty, RA.
Captain.B.W.Briggs. HQ. 1 Para Bde.
Captain.D.Mortlock. RASC. 1 Para Bde.
From eye-witness accounts it is clear that also the following soldiers of 2nd Para Bn were in the lorry;
Pte.S.Allen. (Sig’s Pl)
Pte.A.T.Roberts. (Div HQ, Def Pl)
2/Lt.J.S.Flavell. (Spare Officer)
*The row of graves in the cemetery at Enschede shows that this was Lt.K.S.Mills.
4. WHICH GERMANS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHOOTING?
A.2 : ‘someone’ shot, presumed at 2 escapees. One bullet punctured right hand back wheel. Presumed to be the guard on right hand running board.
A.2 : 30 rounds by SS guard of right hand running board to the lorry. He had climbed up by the cab. A.4.1 : possibly the SS guard of right hand running board, shot (emptied magazine) into rear of truck. Other SS man fires about 3 single shots (pistol?)
A.4.2 : SS man shooting into rear of lorry definitely the one on right hand running board. Someone else fired a Luger (confirmed by A.5.2).
B.1 : 2 SS men emptied Schmeisers from the rear.
C : SS man on mudguard shot into back of lorry.
D.1 : SS guard shot into back of lorry, other SS man with pistol.
It may seem superfluous to determine the men who shot. However: page 174 of the book “Remember Arnhem” by John Fairley, edition 1978, suggests that the shooting was made by SS men from the truck that came from the opposite direction.
5. WHO WERE KILLED, SUBSEQUENTLY DIED?
A.2 + A.3 + L.1 : a SS NCO HATSKA
A.2 : Pte.McCracken (confirmed by A.5.1) A Capt of the Recce Sqn (must be: Platt) A Lt of the GPR (must be: Mills)
A.3 : 4 killed
A.4.1 : 2 Officers and 1 OR killed
D.1 : 4 killed
The Registers for the Eastern General Cemetery at Enschede give the following information:
Killed 23rd Sept 1944: Pte.S.Allen. 2nd Para Bn.
Pte.G.E.McCracken. 2nd Para Bn.
Lt.K.S.Mills. Glider Pilot Regt.
Capt.Horace A. Platt. Recce Corps.
Died 27th Sept 1944: Lt.T.V.P.McNabb. Recce Corps. (Confirmed by letter of R.C. Hospital at Enschede, dated 19.10.45 to Burgomaster. The name of Lt.Tannenbaum is also in the letter.)
According to records of the town-hall 5 dead were buried in the cemetery, one of which not identified. The last fatality proved to be Major. COTTERELL (confirmed by letter 12.11.82 Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Maidenhead to me)
German authorities informed the Burgomaster that these were shot when attempting to escape on the road from Enschede to Gronau in Germany . . . . . . . .
In Enschede are additional graves for Airbornes, viz;
+ 04.10.44 Sgt.J.F.Huard of the Glider Pilot Regt.
+ 11.10.44 Pte.G.S.Purves of 7th Bn (Abn) KOSB.
But there is no proof that they were in the shooting at Brummen.
6. WHO WERE WOUNDED?
A.2 : Lt.Tannenbaum.
A.2+3: Major. Cotterell.
A.2 : A Lt of Recce, severely wounded (is McNabb)
A.4.1 : 5 seriously wounded of which 1 OR subsequently died, 4 slightly wounded.
B.1 : McNabb, Cotterell, McCracken who subsequently died. Others wounded.
7. WHERE WERE THE POW, DEAD AND WOUNDED TAKEN TO?
B.1 : All into other truck to Zutfen. The wounded to a Luftwaffe Dressing Station, where they were treated.
C : Unwounded to a POW cage. Four wounded Cotterell, McNabb, McCracken and Tannenbaum into a small dressing station where they stayed 45 minutes. Then these, except Cotterell, were taken to hospital in Enschede.
D.1 : POW ‘s to POW Interrogation Centre in Zutfen near railway station. Wounded to a Revierstube in the town.
No 25 Field Dressing Station (German) was in a public building, address Oude Want 6. General Hospital, address Coehoornsingel (removed since many years; a new hospital was built at southern entrance of Zutfen). The Luftwaffe barracks were at Eefde on the road to Deventer. The ‘Revierstube’ will have been the public building, address Oude Want 6, in spite of the fact states that this was not used since August 1944. McCracken died there.
D.2 : Pte. James Flynn witnessed death of an English Major/Officer in Enshede. This was McNabb. Cotterell seen 25th Sept 1944 in hospital x-ray. ‘No trace of Cotterell’s grave was found in cemetery at Enschede.’
F : ‘von Marcovitz, a medical orderly in the German Military Hospital at Apeldoorn is believed to have had under his care certain British POW’s who were wounded at Brummen’. The source is not given.
K.1 : Cotterell at some time in Zutfen hospital (confirmed by L.1) would have escaped 25.09.44 on march for train between 20.30 and 21.00 hrs.
L.1 : 3 Officers and 7 OR’s escaped on march from Zutfen to train. Cotterell was one of them.
1. It is quite understandable that under the circumstances the accounts of the eye witnesses are contradictory on some elements.
2. The death of Pte. S.Allen was confirmed to me by Pte. Roberts (deceased approx 1982)
3. The statement of Atkinson about the escape at Zutfen may be true, but there is no evidence so far that anyone escaped in fact. No names are listed of escapees in that vicinity during September.
4. In my opinion it is most unlikely to accept that a severely wounded man like Lt. McNabb as well as Lt. Tannenbaum (minor injuries) were sent to ENSCHEDE hospital (a distance of approx 50 km) and that Cotterell remained at Zutfen.
5. The transport of the casualties to Enschede (wounded and dead) as well as the information that ‘the five dead were shot when attempting to escape’ must – [in] my opinion – be considered as cohesive. There were hospitals and general cemeteries in Zutfen and at Lochem (20 km distance). The Germans in Zutfen were fully aware that a war crime was committed and they did not want to be involved in it [in] any way.
6. The phrase on D.2 4th paragraph (‘no trace . . . . of Cotterell’s grave can be found in Enschede cemetery . . . .’) proves that the officials did not make a thorough investigation there. Otherwise they would have certainly recorded the grave for the ‘Unknown’, buried together with PLATT, McCRACKEN, ALLEN and MILLS.
7. It is disappointing to note that the ‘Brummen File’ does not contain any final conclusions, made by members of the Commission for War Crimes. Landed in deadlock?
Hengelo, in July 1991.