Garyt wrote:By ''killing survivors'' I'm not referring to not rescuing survivors and leaving them in the water, I mean the deliberate act of killing them in the water with machine gun fire, grenades etc as in the Peleus case.
Which was Eck taking matters into his own hands, not a policy of Donitz.
Just as much as Eck was prosecuted for war crimes, so should have been Richardson in regards to the Laconia incident. Would you not agree?
Eck was following his understanding of the operational orders given through Donitz, the gunner was obeying what he thought was a legitimate order from his skipper. Both were convicted on a strict liability basis.
Richardson was in a different position. He queried what to do with his superiors, reporting the Red Cross flags. He didn't, unlike Eck, immediately open fire on helpless men in the water. Instead his superiors ordered him to disregard the Red Cross flags and attack the U-boats, which in themselves weren't helpless but could at least dive to avoid fire. Richardson was not ordered to machine gun men in the water, he was told to attack submarines.