example of Nazi contempt for the accepted rules of war; and it would serve a United States Senator as a stepping-stone toward a meteoric career. But the Malmedy massacre and the other murders of 17 December did not complete the list chargeable to Peiper and the troops of the 1st SS Panzer Division. By 20 December Peiper's command had murdered approximately 350 American prisoners of war and at least 100 unarmed Belgian civilians, this total derived from killings at twelve different locations along Peiper's line of march.
So far as can be determined the Peiper killings represent the only organized and directed murder of prisoners of war by either side during the Ardennes battle.  The commander of the Sixth SS Panzer Army took oath in the trials of 1946 that, acting on Hitler's orders, he issued a directive stating that the German troops should be preceded "by a wave of terror and fright and that no human inhibitions should be shown." There is conflicting testimony as to whether the orders finally reaching Peiper specifically enjoined the shooting of prisoners. There is no question, however, that
 Hitler's order to take no prisoners probably had wide circulation. Lt. Col. George Mabry, commander of the 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, has stated that his unit captured a German colonel from the Seventh Army who had such an order. Ltr, Gen Barton to author, 17 Nov 59.