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MALMÉDY MASSACRE (17 December 1944). During the Battle of the Bulge, the First SS Panzer Division under Lieutenant Colonel Joachim Peiper overran a convoy of Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, in the Belgian Ardennes near the town of Malmédy. On 17 December 1944, the Germans marched approximately one hundred unarmed American prisoners into a field and systematically shot them. A few feigned death and escaped; eighty-six died. Peiper and seventy-two others were subsequently tried and convicted by an American tribunal. Forty-three, including Peiper, were sentenced to death by hanging, the others to imprisonment ranging from ten years to life. The death sentences were later commuted, and none of the convicted served a full prison sentence. Peiper was paroled after ten years.


Bauserman, John. The Malmédy Massacre. Shippensburg, Pa.: White Mane, 1995.

Gallagher, Richard. The Malmédy Massacre. New York, 1964.

Weingartner, James J. Crossroads of Death: The Story of the Malmédy Massacre and Trial. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

Whiting, Charles. Massacre at Malmédy: The Story of Jochen Peiper's Battle Group, Ardennes, December, 1944. New York: Stein and Day, 1971.

Charles B.MacDonald/a. r.

See alsoAtrocities in War ; Bulge, Battle of the ; Violence ; War, Laws of .

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