instructions in case of capture
following was taken from the No. 12, Vol. I
August 1944 issue of The
Intelligence Bulletin. This publication was
issued by the U.S. War Department to military
personnel with the intention of providing helpful
information concerning the enemy.
instructions in case of capture
the troops of other nations, German soldiers are
instructed to reveal nothing more than "name, rank,
and serial number" in case of capture, and are
reminded that in accordance with international law, any
other information may (and must) be refused. In
addition, the German Army warns its soldiers to obey
certain special instructions:
If you believe you are in danger of being
captured, destroy all papers that you have on your
person. Above all, tear out page 4 of your
soldbuch (pay book), which mentions your unit.
If you are captured, be strictly military and, at
the same time, polite. Don't be influenced by
friendliness on the part of the enemy, or by
Never speak the enemy's language.
Always remember that the most trivial things, to
which you attach no importance, can often give
valuable information to the enemy.
No interest in technical questions is to be
shown, not even when the questioner tries to
provoke an argument by belittling German weapons.
Don't try to deceive by false answers.
Don't let yourself be fooled by an assumed
knowledge, on the questioner's part, of the
subject under discussion.
Don't discuss military matters or details of
operations with your fellow prisoners.
North Africa the German Army regarded the following
information as especially valuable to the United
Nations, and warned its troops that they must take every
precaution to keep it secret:
the unit to which you belong, and its location.
The effectiveness of your unit, and its losses.
The other units which belong to your regiment or
your division. The other unitswhich were engaged
at the same time as yours, and their
When, and by what means, you arrived in the
theater of operations, what you saw on your way,
and when you had your last leave.
What weapons the German Army has, whether you have
seen any new ones, and if and when new or repaired
tanks may be expected to arrive.
The morale of the German troops; details regarding
supplies and materiel.
The morale at home; the effect of United Nations
soldiers in other theaters of operation receive similar
warnings. The Germans caution their troops not to
believe that better treatment will be given them if they
consent to talk. It is stressed that even after a
soldier has been interrogated, he must be careful when
talking to other comrades in camp, because of the
possibility that a listening apparatus may have been
installed. Troops are warned, too, that strangers in
German uniforms may try to win their confidence, and
that these strangers will certainly be spies. Speaking
over the radio, making phonograph recordings, and
writing of war experiences are strictly forbidden. Of
special significance is the German Army's threat of
future punishment if these orders are not fully obeyed:
prisoner remains a German soldier. You must realize that
after your return you will, if necessary, be called upon
to answer for your behavior during your time of