Operation Keelhaul: Britain’s Repatriation of Anti-Communist Russians and Ukrainians to Stalin and Certain Death

Dressed in uniforms issued by the German Army, members of the Russian Liberation Army sit under guard after their capture during the fighting in Normandy. Most of these men were returned to the Soviet Union after the war only to be executed. PHOTO: WarefareHistoryNetwork.com

Operation Keelhaul (1944-1947) involved sending back to the USSR several million Russians and Ukrainians into the clutches of Stalin. Political asylum was refused. British authorities handed them over, knowing full well that they would be enslaved, tortured and murdered. This is yet one more disgraceful chapter in the career of Winston Churchill and his henchmen.

Right from the beginning, the British government determined that all captured Russians must be sent back, as “they belong to the Soviet authorities.” In now-released secret documents, it is revealed that on July 17, 1944, Churchill’s government agreed to hand Soviet citizens back to Stalin.

The policy of the United States was then adapted to fit this British initiative. Due to some resistance among British authorities, a second cabinet meeting was held in 1945 in which Operation Keelhaul was re-confirmed.

The final deal was cut at Yalta in February, 1945 and deemed secret.

In particular, servile and communist mole Anthony Eden pushed for this outcome. Eden argued that failure to return Soviet nationals would impede the release of Allied POWs that came into Soviet hands. All this was ultimately in vain. In reality, Eden suffered throughout the war and post-war from a deluded vision of a Grand Alliance with Stalin’s monstrous regime. Eden was surrounded by Soviet agents.

It is yet another example of hidden history and hypocritical, selective human rights. There is a well-done and rarely seen 1975 BBC documentary on this subject, done when remnants of media investigations still existed. We located a copy. The operation Keelhaul video on You Tube is age restricted for delicate flowers but can be viewed here for now.

Soviet citizens in the Wehrmacht who were captured in Normandy

One in 10 Axis soldiers captured in Normandy were Russians, who were primarily members of General Vaslov’s Russian Liberation Army. Several are shown in Wehrmacht uniforms in the photo at left.

Elsewhere, groups like the Cossacks became hardcore opponents of Soviet Bolshevism and had joined Axis-commanded formations. These volunteers constituted 15 to 20 percent of those to be repatriated.

Some Russians had been pressed into labor battalions, supporting the Axis war effort, including the building of the Atlantic Wall. Others were in prisoner of war (POW) camps.

POWs and other Russian labor conscripts were considered a security threat, as they had seen the world outside of Soviet control. Ultimately, this was broadened to include those who fled West before the advance of the Red Army.

There was no effort on the western side to deal with these people as individuals. They were all lumped together.

The Soviets universally considered them traitors.

Besides summary execution — often right upon arrival in Odessa’s harbor — the primary method of disposal was starvation in Siberian gulags, which peaked between 1948 and 1950. Many committed suicide before being keelhauled. Once the repatriation began, no one took much notice and the news was buried.

Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul

Betrayal and Murder of the Cossacks

The section starting at minute 00:58:00 in the video below is essential viewing for purposes of understanding true versus faux history.

Approximately 35,000 Cossacks, including women and children, surrendered to British troops in Austria. These people had been Axis allies during WWII and were fierce anti-Bolsheviks.

On May 28, 1945, through trickery, the British separated and transported 2,046 disarmed Cossack officers and generals to a nearby Red Army-held town and handed them over to the commanding general, who ordered them tried for treason. Most were taken to Moscow, where they were tried in a star chamber justice system and hung.

ART: Moorfield Story Institute

On June 1, 1945, the British placed 32,000 Cossacks (along with women and children) into trains and trucks and delivered them to the Red Army for repatriation to the USSR.

In another hand off, Gen. Alexander in a telegram noted “50,000 Cossacks, including 11,000 women, children and old men.”

At a location near Graz, British forces repatriated these Cossacks to SMERSH. Those not executed were sent to the gulags in far northern Russia and in Siberia, where many ultimately died.

Among the Cossacks who escaped repatriation, many hid in forests and mountainsides, and some were hidden by or assisted by local Austrians and the German populace.


18 Comments on Operation Keelhaul: Britain’s Repatriation of Anti-Communist Russians and Ukrainians to Stalin and Certain Death

  1. At this point is anybody still arguing that WWI and WWII were NOT depopulation operations carried out by banksters and political con-men? I mean c’mon people, time to throw your high school and college history books in the trash because all that stuff is just obfuscation and cover for criminality.

  2. Sean McMeekin discusses the repatriation of Soviet citizens in his book “Stalin’s War” which I highly recommend. The degree to which FDR, Harry Hopkins and to a somewhat lesser degree, Churchill kowtowed to Stalin was even more astounding than I had realized. There is no evidence that I am aware of that FDR and Hopkins were Soviet agents but I would at least have respected them for a job well done. As it is, they were apparently naive fools.

  3. “Thanks to the terrible power of our International Banks, we have forced the Christians into wars without number. Wars have a special value for Jews, since Christians massacre each other and make more room for us Jews. Wars are the Jews’ Harvest: The Jew banks grow fat on Christian wars. Over 100-million Christians have been swept off the face of the earth by wars, and the end is not yet.” (Rabbi Reichorn, speaking at the funeral of Grand Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iudah, 1869, Henry Ford also noted that: ‘It was a Jew who said, ‘Wars are the Jews’ harvest’; but no harvest is so rich as civil wars.’
    The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, Vol. III, p. 180). https://concisepolitics.com/2017/09/12/rabbi-quotes-that-make-your-stomach-churn-with-repulsion/

  4. According to British documents, located in the British Public Records Office at Kew Gardens in London, over 500,000 Croatian civilians and 200,000 soldiers were handed over to Tito’s Yugoslav Partisan Army in May of 1945. Based on eyewitness testimony and independent documentation, we can only estimate that the vast majority were slaughtered.
    May 15th 2014 marks 69 years since the days after WWII ended hundreds of thousands of innocent Croats (disarmed soldiers, civilians including women and children, fleeing communist Yugoslavia into promised freedom in the West found themselves slaughtered over the ensuing two months by Tito’s communists; the field at Bleiburg in Austria marks the central point where the slaughters began as the fleeing refugees were turned by the British forces into Yugoslavia, into the vicious and murderous hands of the communists, who dare to call themselves antifascists, under the pretence of forced repatriation.
    Bleiburg British 8th Army Massacre Confessions. https://archive.org/details/BleiburgBritishMassacreConfessions

  5. ⁣Sir Hartley Shawcross, said in a speech at Stourbridge, March 16, 1984
    “Step by step, I have arrived at the conviction that the aims of
    communism in Europe are sinister and fatal. At the Nuremberg
    Trials, I, together with my Russian colleagues condemned Nazi
    Aggression and Terror. I believe now that Hitler and the German
    People did not want war.
    But we [England] declared war on Germany, intent on
    destroying it, in accordance with our principle of Balance of
    Power, and we were encouraged by the ‘Americans’ around
    We ignored Hitler’s pleading, not to enter into war. Now we are
    forced to realize that Hitler was right. He offered us the cooperation of Germany: instead, since 1945, we have been facing
    the immense power of the Soviet Empire. I feel ashamed and
    humiliated to see that the aims we accused Hitler of, are being
    relentlessly pursued now, only under a different label.”

  6. “…if you really are serious when you talk of Jewish plots, may I not direct your attention to one worth talking about?… You have not begun to appreciate the real depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken your natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them. We have been at the bottom not merely of the latest great War but of nearly all your Wars, not only of the Russian but of every other major revolution in your history. We have brought discord and confusion and frustration into your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No one can tell how long we shall go on doing it…” -Marcus Eli Ravage ​​ Jewish Writer and Rothschild Biographer, The Century Magazine, A Real Case Against the Jews, 1928 p.347

  7. The Americans rounded up the members of the Russian officers’ school and the reserves in Southern Germany and Austria and drove them together in the camps Plattling, Füssen, Kempten and Linz. There were mass suicides and indescribable scenes of despair, but the “crusaders” handed all of them, to the last man, over to the Soviets.

    Treachery was also used to put General Vlasov’s head on the block. He had first been taken to Castle Schlüsselberg, where American officers interrogated him for days. He found new hope, described to the Americans the satanic system of Communism, and told them what would happen if Moscow were to succeed in making half of Europe Communist. He told the Americans that Bolshevik imperialism was much more dangerous than the might of the Germans whom they had just destroyed.

    But evidently this did not impress the officers, and if it did, it was useless, for it was the insiders in Washington and the Roosevelt Administration that determined the overall line taken.

  8. You who are reading this book did not see the P.O.W. camp with
    its fourteen feet high wire fencing and its wooden barracks. You
    never heard that cry of despair when the white-belted and white-
    helmeted military police came to hand the Cossacks over. Tear gas
    bombs had to be thrown into every room. The Cossacks hurriedly
    knotted their shirts into ropes to hang themselves before the military
    police could force its way in. They barricaded the doors, then broke
    in the windows and fought for every piece of broken glass in order
    to cut open their veins. Old friends tried to cut each other’s throats.
    Those unable to die this way tore off their shirts, offering their
    bared breast, shouting: “Shoot here, for I am not going back to
    Soviet Russia.” (Pittsburgi Magyarsag, July 2nd, 1954.) (Also
    Magyarok Utja, edited in Argentina.)
    The clamour of the same executioners was heard throughout Europe
    from the English Channel to the Black Sea. It was not nazism that
    had to be liquidated now, but the leaders of the Christian nations
    irrespective of political creed or party.P118

  9. Those who rounded up “war criminals” by the ten thousand and
    tortured both guilty and innocent in their jails were, almost
    exclusively, Jews. The commandants, captains and secret agents in
    the jails for “war criminals” at Salzburg and other places, as well
    as in the notorious Marcus Camp were, almost without exception,
    Jews dressed in American uniform. According to a Jugoslav refugee
    who had been in the camp at Klagenfurt, its British Commandant,
    who handed over “war criminals” and compelled them by force
    to return to Communist dictatorship, proudly put a notice on his
    desk sporting the inscription “I AM A J E W ! P118

  10. For those who take the time to watch ‘Operation Keelhaul’ it was my good fortune to be taught history in high school by Captain John Grieg who featured several times in the film. John was specifically involved with the Cossacks. He despised hypocrisy and his last word in the film describing the situation is “disgusting”. In 1979, my last year at school, he helped me write a dissertation on the Repatriation of the Cossacks. My only regret is not to have concluded the work with a more aggressive critical assessment of the leadership.

    There must be something karmic because 36 years later I was standing by the table in Livadia Palace exactly 75 years to the minute where the Yalta Agreement was signed. I visited the Palace several times as I lived in the area for 12 years. Always preferred the upper floor of the Palace that was dedicated to Niki, Alex and the family.

    There is a fine piece recently published by some Russian historians at Stolen History that refutes the mainstream portrayal of Nicholas II insisting that he was a strong honorable leader who was deposed and did not abdicate. It’s horrendous the suffering that is caused by so many decisions that are made in swanky offices and drawing rooms.

    Bless you John and all those who suffered.

    My work is at pispascana.com

  11. Another story could be written about the Sudeten Germans sent back to the loving arms of Edvuard Benes. Kurt Glaser’s ‘Czecho-slovakia A Critical History’ says they became slaves and deprived of property, women raped, or outright killed by Czech forces. An interesting note covered up is that Benes had “Nazbol” tendencies in Czech-Slovak, highly nationalist of the hodge-podge country held together by Allied glue, but also critical of Jews and had them removed from power. He had an un bridled hatred for anything German though.

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