Monday, September 16, 2013
More about the alleged massacre at 42nd Street on 27 May 1941
Lt-Col. Walker commanded the 2/7th Battalion, one of Brigadier Vasey's Australian battalions. His battalion was the one accused by Major Forster of committing a war crime by shooting and stabbing unarmed men who would have surrendered. A number of battalions, including the New Zealand Maori battalion, who used a special knife as their personal weapon in addition for guns, had charged the Germans. Lt-Col. Walker wrote about the incident in 1952 to address the charge made by the Germans. The probable explanation was that the Australians had captured German machine guns and turned them on the Germans and quickly killed or wounded many men. I also thought that the Maoris could have knifed some Germans. The Australians did capture three wounded Germans after the fight. Lt-Col. Walker thought that other wounded Germans might have been able to retreat to their own positions. There was one instance where there were unarmed men shot at the foot of a wall. To the Germans, it appeared that they might have been lined up and shot. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.