Blow Torch Brigade
Joachim Peiper, born Jan. 30, 1915 became the Youngest Colonel in the SS with the help of Heinrich Himmler. His combat style was disliked by many other German officers as he cared little about Loss of German Infantry and German resources as he concentrated on only the objective at hand. His unit became known as the "Blowtorch Brigade".
In Sept. of 1943 his unit was sent to Italy to disarm Italian forces who had capitulated to the allies. Italian partisans captured two of his men in Boves Italy. Peiper sought the help of the town Preist to obtain their release and promised no retaliation. After the 2 German soldiers were released, he set about to burn all the houses in the village, killing innocent men women and children.
In Nov. of 1943 he was sent to Russia and helped to repel a Russian advance at Jitomir. He also led attacks on 4 Russian headquarters for which he was the "youngest" to receive his Nations highest award at the age of 28, "Oak Leaves Of The Knights Cross".
December 6th his division killed 2280 Russian soldiers taking only 3 prisoner before continuing to set ablaze the city of Pekartschina again killing Innocent men women and children.
Dec. 17th, 1943 He bagan his murderous campaign in Belgium by mudering 24 American POW's in Honsfeld
Dec. 17th, 1944 His Unit was responsible for the The Massacre of 11 black soldiers ,of the 333rd Field artillery Battalion, after capture by SS soldiers in Wereth Belgium . At Wereth, a neighbor, a Nazi sympathizer informed the SS of the Americans taking refuge at a farm house. The Americans surrendered but were taken out, brutaly beaten and tortured, and then shot. They were left in the snow for 2 months before taken for burial. Some were found with fingers cut off. .
Dec. 17th, 1944 at the Baugnez crossroads ( 5 points ) in Belgium, his unit fired on a convoy of American trucks , the 285th Field Artillery Div headed for St Vith. After a brief battle the Americans, outgunned, surrendered and then were taken prisoner. At Baugnez crossroards they, along with other POW's, were executed. Some fled across the street to the café Bodarwe. When the café was set ablaze they fired on and killed all who ran out , some on fire.
Eighty Six bodies were found a month later in the snow frozen stiff. ... Of the over 100 prisoners, 86 were found dead. 21 escaped. (althogh there are conflicting numbers)
The 1st Panzers continued onto Stavelot, Cheneux, LeGleize, and Stoumont murdering more men, women and children.
On July 16th 1946 he was put on trial , along with 70 of his men, for the Malmedy massacre .Sepp Dietrich, his commander, was also put on trial. He was sentenced to hang. But of the 43 sentenced to hang, 22 sentenced to life, 2 sentenced to 2o years, 1 sentenced to 15 years, 5 sentenced to 10 years..all were set free in 1950, except Joachim Peiper who was released in 1956. He eventually settled in eastern France in 1972.
July 14th 1976, his home was set ablaze by Molotov coctails. His charred body was found inside the next day.