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The Malmedy Massacre was a war crime in which 84 American prisoners of war were murdered by their German captors during World War II.
— The Malmedy Massacre's Wikipedia page

The Malmedy Survivors were 43 men left of about 120 that managed to escape ferocious German guns after their captors of the 1st SS Panzer Divison opened fire on their mostly unarmed prisoners. The massacre took place on December 17, 1944, in a field near the Belgian town of Malmedy. The men who made it back to Allied lines faced an intense brutal winter's cold, SS search parties sent after them, and their own wits and many who escaped the inital attack perished quickly afterward. Their struggle was featured in the film Saints and Soldiers, as survivors of the massacre struggle to evade German patrols and hide out until the Allies retake the area.

Battle vs. Hiroo Onoda (by El Alamein)[]


The Ardennes Forest

December 17, 1944

A truck from the 1st SS Panzer Division leads a convoy down a dirt path. Several armored cars follow behind and two troop transports drive at the back of the line.

"It is very fortunate, is it not, Mr. Onoda, that my divison was able to discover you and your men?" The German SS officer gave an emotionless smile and crossed his legs, folding his hands in his lap as he looked at the Japanese man sitting in the seat across from him. A translator seated next to the officer spoke in rapid Japanese, repeating the German's words to Onoda.

Hiroo Onoda shifted uncomfortably in his seat and made a reply, stony-faced.

"He says that he appreciates the rescue, but he insists that he and his men could have held out longer by themselves," the translator relayed. The SS officer cocked his head slightly and his expression shifted by a millimeter as he studied his Japanese ally.

The 1st SS Panzer Division had made an unexpected strike into the Phillippines, both to release pressure on Japanese soldiers hiding there and to make an attack on several U.S. airbases there to prevent American-dominated skies giving the Japanese trouble during the naval battles to come. They were unsuccessful against the Allied forces, but had stumbled across Onoda and his men and "rescued" them.

Onoda spoke up quickly.

"Onoda would like to know why he and his men have had to accompany you this far west," the translator said. Onoda continued speaking and the translator said, "He says, Doesn't Japan have a war of its own to fight?"

The SS officer's eyebrows scrunched together and he answered slowly and deliberately, "Perhaps the Land of the Rising Sun would do well to cast its light on its allies to the West. The Third Reich did all it could to prevent the fall of Mussolini. Japan hasn't demonstrated the same level of commitment." The translator sat silent for a moment, his hands clasped tightly together, but before he could try to speak without offending Onoda the German officer continued. "Regardless, tell Mr. Onoda he is here for a demonstration of how the Fatherland deals with those who stand in its way."


The convoy pulled over to the side of the road in the town of Malmedy. The armored cars were driving German soldiers, who piled out and trudged into the ankle-deep snow, while the troop transports held American prisoners-of-war. The SS officer, the translator, and Onoda stepped down from the truck and Onoda walked over to stand with two of his men who had accompanied him on his trip. A Nambu pistol and a Shin guntō officer's sword hung at his belt.

The German soldiers pointed their rifles up at the Americans and herded them into the middle of the snowy field, forcing them to line up single-file. The armored cars had machine-guns mounted in turrets on top, and one of the SS soldiers climbed up and sat lazily, watching the scene unfold. The American soldiers stood bored with their arms up in the air as the Germans stepped in and began to search them. The SS officer made his way to Onoda with the translator. As the Japanese soldiers saw the German approaching, they rolled their eyes. "We have to make sure they aren't carrying weapons, you see," the officer explained, although this was rather obvious. One of Onoda's men bent over and said something and the Japanese men laughed. The translator stifled a chuckle and shifted uncomfortably in the cold snow.

The American prisoners grew restless, shifting and lowering their arms slightly as they stood in line. The German soldiers barked orders at them and pointed their rifles at the Americans, but held their fire. One of the Americans had an M1911 pistol tucked in his winter coat, and as his German captor tried to take the pistol from him, he struggled and yanked back, stumbling into the snow. The German soldier shouted loudly and a gunshot tore through the quiet air as somewhere, one of the Germans fired his rifle.

The tension building up cut loose in an instant as the German soldiers standing and watching opened fire on the American prisoners, sending them flying through the air as the bullets tore through their coats. The machine gun on the armored car spat out a murderous volley of fire down at the Americans floundering in the field. The gunfire was as defeaning as it was quick. Onoda and his men were still crouching in surprise when the shooting stopped. The bodies of the American soldiers lay in the snow, their blood staining it white. The SS officer was unfazed at this display of ferocity, and as he turned to order his men back to their trucks, a good number of the Americans sprang up from the prone position and sprinted toward the forest just a few meters from their location. The machine gun began to shoot again, the rounds tearing up the snow and chasing the soldiers as they disappeared into the woods.

"Damn it! Damn it!" screamed the SS officer in frustration. He turned to his men standing there in disarray. "Shoot the bodies! Make sure that they're dead!" he shouted, spit flying from his mouth in rage. Clenching his gloved hand into a fist, he turned to find Onoda and his men gone.


Three of the American soldiers (including the one who had hidden his M1911) had regrouped behind a fallen tree and peered out over the trunk. They could barely see the figures of the German soldiers walking around, placing extra shots into their fallen prisoners. With a good deal of cursing, the G.I.s checked to see what weapons they had gotten away with: three magazines for the handgun, a bayonet, and a combat knife. One of them had managed to keep a map tucked in his britches, and he pulled it out and studied it. "We need to head further south, away from the Germans," he muttered, his breath condensing as he spoke. "We're just a few miles from Allied positions, but I have no idea if we've been overrun, or if the Krauts are going to send search parties after us... we'd best get moving." The group of men cautiously ducked out from the trunk of the tree and crouched off deeper into the forest.


Onoda and his men crawled through the snow and stopped to rest by a flat rock.

"We'll find these Yankee bastards and bring them back to the Germans..." Onoda muttered. "We'll show them who's more committed to their cause." One of his soldiers held a Type 30 bayonet in his hand, a makeshift handle created by wrapping cloth around the bottom so he could safely hold the blade like a knife. "Those years in the Phillippines will do us good," Onoda continued. "We can keep a low profile and pick them off before they have a chance to react."

The forest was quiet, and Onoda winced at the crunching footsteps he and his men made as they pushed through the heavy snowfall. White flakes began to trickle slowly down from the sky, and Onoda began to regret his decision instantly - pride had cost him here, and he couldn't afford to be bogged down in a snowstorm. "Move quickly," he whispered to his men.

Malmedy Survivors: BlueBlueBlue

Hiroo Onoda: RedRedRed

The Japanese soldiers did well to pick up their pace, for they quickly spotted the cautious Americans, who moved so slowly that Onoda didn't notice them at first. "There," he whispered to his men. He raised his Nambu pistol and stood up, shouting at the Americans and pointing his handgun at them.

The Americans turned around, startled, and dove into the bushes for cover. Onoda didn't shoot, though, as he only wanted to capture the Americans. The Malmedy Massacre survivors were unaware of this, and the pistol-carrying soldier fired off a shot at Onoda, which only grazed his left shoulder. Onoda jerked back and shouted in pain before firing off blindly with his Nambu, spending an entire magazine in his rage. He stopped and pointed the pistol at the snow as he pulled the trigger once more - no bullet fired. He dropped the magazine and left it in the snow, sliding a new one into place and pulling back the slide on the top of the gun. The Americans hadn't moved from their position, and they held their breath, waiting. Onoda peered through the bushes and lowered his pistol, firing a shot that flew straight into an American's chest, shattering his clavicle as it traveled downward into his body. Blue As the Malmedy massacre survivor slumped forward onto his face, dead, blood pooled out from under him and stained the snow red. The two remaining Americans jumped up from cover and ran away from Onoda and his men, not even bothering to fire back as they fled. Onoda chanced one more shot that missed, and he and his men gave chase.

The Malmedy survivors broke to the left and one of them began to scale a tree that offered enough branches to climb easily and offer camoflage. The other American looked wildly about for somewhere to hide but the Japanese soldiers rushed down the path and spotted him. He held out his trench knife in front of him and backed away nervously. Onoda drew his sword and approached his opponent, but the American turned and ran as he saw the sword. The Japanese soldiers continued their pursuit and didn't notice as the American in the tree dropped down and landed cat-like behind them. He raised his Colt pistol and fired at the Japanese soldiers ahead of him, sending the .45 round spinning through the forest and into the neck of its target. Red The Japanese soldier fell forward into the snow. As Onoda pushed forward after his fleeing opponent, his fellow soldier turned and approached the Malmedy survivor with the M1911. The American raised his handgun as the Japanese soldier whipped out his Type 30 bayonet, makeshift handle and all.

The Malmedy survivor squeezed the trigger on the M1911, firing off a shot that smashed into the Japanese soldier's stomach. Onoda's man grunted and jerked back in pain but pushed forward, breathing heavily. The Malmedy survivor stumbled back in shock and tripped over a tree root sticking out of the snow. The American sank deep into the snow and floundered as he tried to get up. The Japanese soldier walked over to the American and knelt down, face blank and emotionless. The Malmedy survivor fired his entire magazine into the Japanese soldier, pulling the trigger in terror as the magazine emptied. The Japanese man was riddled through the torso but held on long enough to swing his bayonet down into the American soldier, stabbing into his chest. The Japanese soldier gave one final, rasping cough and rolled to the side, his eyes glazed. Red The American spat blood and slumped back into the snow, sinking deeper into it. Blue

Hiroo Onoda had closed in on the last Malmedy survivor, who had turned in terror and held his M3 knife out in front of him. Onoda approached the shaking man and placed the Nambu on his forehead. As Onoda began to speak in Japanese, the American reached up and dropped the magazine out of Onoda's pistol, then swiped at the Japanese man's face with his knife. Onoda stumbled back, dropped his handgun, and locked eyes with his foe before they both dove for the pistol. The American's hand slammed down over the Nambu first, but Onoda dug his nails deep into the Malmedy survivor's forearm and raked them across his hand, drawing blood. The Malmedy survivor spat in rage and swung his bloody arm into Onoda's face, knocking the Japanese lieutenant aside. He stumbled up to a knee and kicked Onoda across the face as he tried to recover, then stood up with the pistol and fumbled with the magazine, trying to slip it up the grip and into place. Onoda stood up and whipped out his shin guntō, leaving it loose on the American's neck.

They stared at each other, breathing ragged. The Malmedy survivor slowly slides the magzine into place, and Onoda drives the blade deeper into the American's neck, drawing blood. Finally, the Malmedy survivor leaps back as Onoda makes a desperate lunge forward. He pulls the slide back and fires the contents of the magazine into Onoda, killing the Japanese lieutenant and dropping him to the ground. Red

The Malmedy survivor takes Onoda's spare magazine and his sword and looks around wildly for any other enemy soldiers before he sprints off into the forest.

Expert's Opinion[]

The Malmedy Survivors won because they had a much tougher ordeal than did Onoda - ultimately being hunted down and having to hide mere feet from opponents in freezing temperatures was more taxing on a person than was hiding in the jungle for so many years. The M1911 outperformed the Nambu with ease and up-close, although Onoda had the longer shin guntō sword, the Americans were stronger physically and were able to overpower him with their shorter blades.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Vorkuta Prisoner (Call of Duty) (by El Alamein )[]

Malmedy Survivors: BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue

Vorkuta Prisoners: RedRedRedRedRed

The snow howls audibly in the miserably cold northern winter as a Soviet army truck bounces along a dirt road. Inside sit five American soldiers, shivering and exhausted. The Second World War has come to a sudden halt after the catastrophic defeat of the German military during the Battle of the Bulge, and the Soviet forces have declared war on the Allies just as quickly. Red Army forces stumbled upon the pitiful survivors of the Malmedy massacre and rounded them up for interrogation, preparing to transport them to the Vorkuta gulag for detention. Unbeknownst to the Soviets, one of the soldiers has managed to sneak a .45 M1911 handgun in his coat, and several of the others have stowed their bayonets and knives in their boots.

Suddenly the truck grinds to a screeching halt, throwing the Americans from their seats. The driver of the truck stumbles from his seat and shouts in Russian, but several gunshots and a scream silence him. The Soviet guarding the Americans in the back of the truck jumps out, but meets a similar fate. Assuming their captors to be slain, the Malmedy survivors slowly rise and the captain peers around the corner, handgun drawn. Two more bullets ping off the side of the truck, sending the captain scrambling back for cover.

The Vorkuta gulag has crumbled into chaos as the prisoners have commenced a massively determined rebellion, breaking out with makeshift and stolen weapons and fleeing into the surrounding winter wasteland. Five of the Vorkuta prisoners (including the Monster of Magadan, Sergei Kozin) have fled down the main road, bringing them to a brutal collision with the truck carrying the Malmedy Survivors.

As the Malmedy Survivors sprint down the road for cover behind a snowbank and a ditch, the Vorkuta Prisoner with the handgun shoots at the Americans, injuring one in the leg and the shoulder. The wounded man falls and hits the dirt road as his comrades reach safety. A third shot to the stomach finishes him off, sending him in a violent death spasm that throws a blood splatter across the snow. Blue The Vorkuta prisoners advance as the gunslinger fires again, only to hear the infamous click of death. A moment later the Malmedy survivor captain rises with his .45 and places one round into the Russian's chin. The Vorkuta prisoner clasps at the gaping hole in his face and drops the pistol as he crumples backward to the ground. Red While the Vorkuta prisoners turn to recover the firearm and the magazines on their dead ally's body, the Malmedy survivors take off, sprinting in the opposite direction and down a nearby hill. 

"Take cover behind that tree," the captain orders one of his men, handing him the pistol. "We'll grab their attention to the east and you can take them by surprise." The Malmedy survivor takes off right before the Vorkuta prisoners appear on the top of the hill. Sergei Kozin hops down with his pickaxe and charges forward while the Malmedy survivors unsheathe their blades and try to steel themselves for the fight to come. Rushing forward, the captain bravely plunges his trench knife into the Monster of Magadan's stomach, but Sergei swats him aside with his arm and pushes forward, swinging his pickaxe and tearing through the torso of one of the Americans. Blue He shakes the pickaxe to dislodge the body stuck on it and raises it high over his head for another attack, only to be interrupted by a pistol shot to the shoulder. Stumbling forward painfully, he grunts in confusion and turns to see the Malmedy survivor with the pistol aiming at him. The American suddenly jerks to the side, blood spurting from his neck, as a 9mm from the Makarov slams into his face. Blue The pistol falls from his hand and lands into the snow. 

The captain of the Malmedy survivors rolls over, regaining consciousness, and his eyes drift to where the M1911 lays on the ground. He crawls on his stomach, racked with pain, while his last surviving soldier sidesteps a brutal swing from Sergei and makes for the pistol-toting Vorkuta prisoner. The Russian scrambles to change magazines once more - having spent his second-to-last clip during the firefight earlier - but is too slow as the American grabs him by the scruff of his collar and throws him to the ground. The Makarov skitters to the dirt road below, the magazine clattering in the opposite direction. The Malmedy survivor follows up by plunging the bayonet into the chest of the Russian and dragging it up and out, tearing his throat in the process. Red He throws the gurgling Russian off the side of the road and turns to a Vorkuta prisoner rushing him with a makeshift knife made of scrap metal. The short blade punctures through his coat and into his upper leg, but fails to reach anyting substantial. In extreme pain, the American places his off-hand over the knife, preventing the Russian from extracting it for a second strike, and slashes his attacker across the side of his face. A deep gash sprouts in crimson red and the Vorkuta prisoner lets go of the prison knife, grasping at his face with both hands and yelling in fear. As he reels in pain, the Malmedy survivor runs up to him, stomps hard on his foot to get him to lean forward, and stabs downward into the Russian's exposed back. Red The injured American looks down at his leg and the knife buried into it, giving Sergei time enough to charge up the hill to the roadside while the only other remaining Vorkuta prisoner makes a dive for the Makarov. 

Sergei smashes into the Malmedy survivor's leg with the pickaxe, shattering the kneecap and sending the American crashing painfully to the ground. Ignoring the sharp bone fragments jutting out of his ruined limb, the Malmedy survivor holds his knife up in his palm as Sergei stomps down on his head with his entire weight behind it. Blue Sergei drives his foot down with enough force to entirely skewer his heel with the knife, and drops his pickaxe in shock. He lurches forward and falls as the American captain slices through his spine with the M3 knife, killing him instantly. Red

Down the road, the terrified Vorkuta prisoner snatches up the Makarov handgun and its magazine, and looks up to see the Monster of Magadan tumble to the ground like a fallen pillar and the smaller Malmedy survivor standing victorious behind him. The Russian hurriedly slides the magazine into place and pulls on the slide, raising the pistol and firing wildly just as the Malmedy survivor raises his M1911 and pulls the trigger seven times. The prisoner's shots fly wild, the bullets whizzing harmlessly into the snow all around. The American's shots hit home, the Vorkuta prisoner jerking seven times as each .45 tears into his body with lethal velocity. The Vorkuta prisoner looks down at his body, riddled with holes, and crumples to his knees before sliding facefirst into the dirt road. Red The American drops his spent magazine and inserts his last spare before making a quick examination of his surroundings and making a break for the safety of the cover of the forest.

Expert's Opinion[]

Although the Vorkuta prisoners had the advantage of a marginally superior firearm and the intimidating physicality of the Monster of Magadan, the Malmedy survivors were simply the better warriors in nearly every respect - better trained, better experienced, and better equipped for a battle against other combat-competent soldiers.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Dunkirk Evacuee (by El Alamein)[]

Malmedy Survivors: RedRedRedRedRed

Dunkirk Evacuees: BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue

The snowy wind howls above the heads of the five men hunched below as they stand by the beach, staring empty-eyed out across the waves that disappeared into the unforgiving gray horizon. An uncharacteristic snowstorm has descended on the men of the Dunkirk Evacauation, leaving them even more bitterly miserable than usual. Behind them, as the beach gives way to gently sloping hills and then the sparse beginnings of a hostile forest beyond, there is movement. Five American soldiers, the ragged and war-weary survivors of the Malmedy Massacre, trudge out from the treeline and stagger out toward the beach. The American captain holds a Colt M1911 as he advances with his men.

The British officer with his Webley turns just as the approaching Americans loom, shadow-like and startling, out from the swirling storm. He raises his gun and fires at one of the Malmedy survivors. The figure jerks back and disappears as the man falls back into the snow. Red The Dunkirk evacuees unsheath their knives and bayonets right as the storm eases up, clearing visibility just in time for the Malmedy survivor captain to return fire with his Colt and kill a British soldier. Blue There is the briefest of pauses before the two groups muster the last reserves of their strength and charge. Gunshots sporadically break the silence of both groups trying to kill the other in hand-to-hand combat.

One of the Dunkirk evacuees holds out his FS fighting knife and jabs at a Malmedy survivor, who jumps back and dodges before swiping with his M3 trench knife.  The blade cuts the British soldier on the wrist, but he keeps his grip on his knife and moves in closer. Punching his opponent in the face, he forces the American to the ground, puts a knee on his chest, and drags the knife across his throat. Red The American soldier gurgles, spits blood, and dies. As the British soldier gets up, he turns to find himself staring down the barrel of the Colt. There is a click as the American captain pulls the trigger. Quickly sprinting back to change magazines, he disappears into the thickening storm. The Dunkirk evacuee checks his wrist--blood is dripping but the wound isn't immediately life-threatening.

He turns to find one of his teammates engaged in a fight with two Malmedy survivors. The Dunkirk evacuee has out his sword bayonet, desperately attempting to use its length to hold his assailants at bay, while the Americans circle the British soldier, trying to use their numbers to catch the man off-guard. One of the Americans makes a feint as he lunges forward before pulling back, and as the British soldier turns and swipes wildly, the other Malmedy survivor rushes in and plunges his M1 bayonet into the Dunkirk evacuee's lower back. The man drops his sword bayonet and gasps in pain right as the Dunkirk evacuee with the wounded wrist steps in and dispatches his friend's attacker with a hard slash to the throat. Red Unfortunately for the British soldier, his squadmate was severely injured by the strike and has crumpled into the snow at his feet. Blue Looking up, he finds the other Malmedy survivor advancing with his bayonet. The Dunkirk evacuee steps forward and makes a forward stab, but the American grabs his arm, stops the attack, and throws him to the ground. Before the British soldier can react he receives a stomp to the head that breaks his nose. Clutching his bleeding face, the Dunkirk evacuee offers no resistance as he is killed with a final blow from the M1 bayonet. Blue The Malmedy survivor extracts his weapon from the body of his victim and stands up only to be shot in the face by the Webley revolver. Red

The Malmedy survivor captain aims his M1911 and fires several times, missing the British officer. The British officer turns and raises his Webley, pulling the trigger, but he has already expended his ammunition. Luckily for him, his last remaining soldier leaps from the cover of the storm and tackles the Malmedy survivor to the ground, bringing his knife up to the American's throat. They hit the ground and the Malmedy survivor manages to jam his pistol into the ribs of his attacker and fire before the man can kill him. The British soldier rolls off and over to the side in pain, grunting and bringing his hand to the injury. Looking up, he can only glare defiantly as the Malmedy survivor finishes him off with a shot to the head. Blue The British officer has by now been desperately attempting to reload, inserting bullets one by one into his revolver's cylinder. The Malmedy survivor watches him coolly while he calmly inserts his last magazine, sliding the clip into place. The last Webley bullet slips from the trembling Englishman's fingers and into the snow below.

The Dunkirk evacuee looks up with his still-opened cylinder as the Malmedy survivor pulls the slide back, cocks the weapon and fires, dropping his helpless opponent. Blue A harsh silence descends upon the beach again, punctuated only by the occasional angry whistling of the wind. Taking a moment to look around himself and digest his surroundings, the Malmedy survivor approaches the dead officer, takes his revolver and the bullet from the snow, and stands up. Inserting the last round in the cylinder and snapping it shut, he tucks the second pistol in his waistcoat and gives one final glance back at the bodies lying in the snow--he'd seen enough of those to last a lifetime. Overcome with a sudden kick of fear and pain that he couldn't quite explain, he stumbled and started running in the opposite direction.

Expert's Opinion[]

The Malmedy Survivors emerged victorious thanks to the superiority of the M1911 over the Webley, with its larger magazine capacity and easier reload, and also because of the tougher ordeal they had to go through. While the Dunkirk Evacuees underwent significant hardships holding off the brunt of the Nazi invasion long enough to escape, they had the assistance and coordination of hundreds of other men helping them. The Malmedy Survivors were completely unprepared for their trials and were forced to employ stealth and creativity in order to ensure their survival.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.