Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by green slime, Jan 2, 2014.
Thanks for correcting me on that!
That article, brought very little outside what was stated in the document linked in the original post.
It is also too brief to provide any further insight, and I was hoping for more qualitive work, especially after your criticisms about "not worthy of a West Point Cadet".
At least it provided further references for its statements. I guess I'll have to wait for a revised edition of Hamilton's "Bloody Streets".
I stick to my point that"the German defense of Berlin" was good,only to be published in the Readers Digest .
In 1953,a lot of people expected the cold war to become a real one (conventional/nucleair) and the Pentagon was interested in informations about the Red Army .Here :about the weapons/tactics used in street fighting :what were the weapons/tactics used by the Germans/Soviets in the role of attacker/defender ?
OTOH,we have an article published by the Historical Division (Germany),the aim of which was to convince the German people that the Wehrmacht was not responsible for the defeat (it all was Hitler's fault)and to convince the US that the Germans were the experts in fighting the Russians and that they should receive the main part of the billions of $,the US planned to invest in the rearmament of Western Europe .
What was now the content of the article ? Could the assistant chief planning at the Pentagon say :this is something I can advise the chief of staff to read ? Or should he say : It is something for the garbage basket ?
1)As the Battle of Berlin was a defeat,one could expect the usual excuses of the losers: it is not our fault,it is the fault of Hitler .And,one should not be wrong (see P 23 of the article).
2) Of the 63 pages of the paper,how many were usfull? Let's be magnanimous : 3.
Some exemples of crap/of topicthings/unproved claims:
a)Himmler and Goering held back "appreciably strong forces " (haha) in the vicinity of Berlin as a personal bodyguard .(P 21)
b)Elements of the population fraternized with the Russians and now the usual crap) :even took up arms to fight with the Russians . (As to expected : the traitors) (P 47)
c)The defense forces must consist of first-class combat troops (this is for the minus habens who was thinking that second-class combat troops would be sufficient)
d) : the summum of crap ( P 23 ):"the object of this study is neither to accuse nor to justify (this is for the minus habens who was thinking that the object was to accuse or justify);Nevertheless (I expected this one),the conclusion must be reached that it was not incompetence...nor sabotage that led to the downfall of Berlin,but the disorganization of the command system brought about by Hitler" .
Here we have it : if Hitler had not disorganized the command system,never these censored (but I am thinking on :racial inferior) Russians could have captured Berlin .
Thus: what do we have :? CRAP AND THE USUAL EXCUSES IT WAS ALL THE FAULT OF HITLER .
( b ) I don't find surprising in the least. Afghanis fraternise with Americans, as do Iraqis. French fraternised with Germans. I'm not seeing this statement as controversial. When its crystal clear who the victor will be, of course such things happen. Tell me it hasn't happened in any conflict. Why would the Fall of Berlin be any different? If my family had suffered brutal injustice at the hands of the regime, I'd happily take pot shots at the brutes defending it as they scampered away.
Actually, the summary for which you quote (d), was looking in particular at "Organizational Planning".
In that context, that particular passage of that summary of that chapter makes perfect sense. You can read what you like into it. Ultimately, it was Hitler that was responsible for the Organisation, and dismissal, of key personnel, and the Führer principal led to increasingly confusing and conflicting orders emanating from the bunker. Or do you deny Hitler's influence even during those final two weeks? The ravings, rantings, and conflicting orders and countermanded orders, and lists of dismissals are readily available.
Berlin could've been defended better, with better planning and organisation. Ultimately, the end result, on a large scale, would've been the same; Nazi Germany would've been defeated. However, in December 1944, when the writing is distinctly, not only on the wall, but also on the Grand Piano in Hitler's private quarters, remarkably little activity to prepare for the defence of the capital city was taking place. Just how many more hours or days Nazism could've survived is a moot point.
And I'm still awaiting for a reference to some original qualitative first source research of outstanding quality. Christian Parkinson's article has zero original research / conclusions. It's all third hand references. Must be one of those lazy researchers you were talking about earlier.
I think it was documented to some extent on a thread over on the axis history forum. It also makes sense from an opertunity persepective. Front line troops were not often spending signficant amounts of time in population centers and some of the time they were there they were in combat. Second echelon troops on the other hand would not only be occupying cities and towns but searching for holdouts and having the time to search for loot and or other things. The implication is they would have a much greater opertunity. One would also expect front line troops to be kept under tighter control due to militiary necessity.
And,I am still waiting for ONE proof for the allegations in 'the German defense of Berlin' that elements of the population fraternized with the Russians and even took up arms to fight with the Russians .
"Meanwhile, another Communist resistance group was operating in Berlin, led by a Jewish electrician, Herbert Baum, and involving up to a hundred people. Until 1941 the group operated a study circle, but after the German attack on the Soviet Union a core group advanced to active resistance. In May 1942, the group staged an arson attack on an anti-Soviet propaganda display at the Lustgarten in central Berlin. The attack was poorly organised and most of the Baum group was arrested. Twenty were sentenced to death, while Baum himself "died in custody." This fiasco ended overt Communist resistance activities, although the KPD underground continued to operate, and emerged from hiding in the last days of the war."
In the West:
"In October 1944, as the American and British armies approached the western borders of Germany, there was a serious outbreak of disorder in the bomb-ravaged city of Cologne, which had been largely evacuated. The Edelweisspiraten linked up with gangs of deserters, escaped prisoners and foreign workers, and the underground KPD network, to engage in looting and sabotage, and the assassination of Gestapo and Nazi Party officials. Explosives were stolen with the objective of blowing up the Gestapo headquarters. Himmler, fearing the resistance would spread to other cities as the Allied armies advanced into Germany, ordered a savage crackdown, and for days gunbattles raged in the ruined streets of Cologne. More than 200 people were arrested and dozens were hanged in public, among them six teenaged Edelweisspiraten, including Bartholomäus Schink."
But the History and activities of the KPD underground in Berlin are probably lost in the mire of political denunciation / exhultation that was post war German politics.
"The Making of GDR 1945-1953"
"In a number of cases, antifascist committees went beyond simply calling for a bloodless surrender and seized control of their towns and villages. In Flöha, a band of Anti-Nazis deposed the Nazi Bürgermeister at gun-point and disarmed the local police, seizing their weapons. An armed Anti-Nazi police, sporting red armbands, took effective control of the town and began to prepare for the entry of the approaching Red Army. ... By the time the Soviet units eventually arrived in Flöha, they found the town firmly in control of the local anti-Fascist committee."
But of course, nothing could possibly have happened in Berlin. No Berliner would aid a wounded Soviet soldier. No Berliner would tell a soldier of the presence of a sniper or a tank.
Flöha is a little town in Saxony and has nothing to do with the battle of Berlin .
So? That's your comment? No denial of the other activities of the KPD?
I'm still waiting for the original research references (many of which you claimed to have seen) worthy of a West Point Cadet on the topic.
Some more information about those final days: This is about the Latvian's: the 15th Division
By April 4 the 15th Division was reduced from 19,000 men to 8,000 men. 1,000 had been sent to Courland, but the rest were lost during the heavy fighting in the northeast.
In the beginning of April the division was fortifying a defensive position between Neustrelitz and Neubrandenburg, about 50 miles north of Berlin. On April 11 the German commander of the 15th Division, Oberfuehrer Karl Burk, told the Latvian commanders of the regiments that there was a secret order to transfer the whole division to Courland. The war was obviously lost. If the Western Allies did not intervene in Courland, going to Courland meant Russian captivity; if the Allies intended to intervene, surrendering now to the Allies could not hurt. Consequently, the Latvians decided that they would rather be taken prisoners by the Americans or British than wind up in Courland. A plan was worked out to reach the Western Allies by force, if necessary, defying German orders. Furthermore, some of the German staff officers were in agreement with the Latvian position. They went to Swinemuende ostensibly to arrange ship transport and returned to report that no such transport was available. On April 19 the division was ordered to raise a Battle Group of three battalions for the defense of Berlin. The Battle Group was commanded by Col. Janums. It was supposed to engage the Reds at Herzfeld, 10 miles east of Berlin, as part of the German XI Tank Corps. However, there was transportation enough for two battalions only. Thus the third battalion; the 15th Division Fusilier Battalion, stayed behind and left later separately. It never reached the rest of the Battle Group.
At the headquarters of the XI Tank Corps Col. Janums was told to report to the Commandant of Berlin instead. Taking advantage of the confusion in orders and the general disorder around Berlin, Janums took his Battle Group around Berlin in a clockwise direction, fighting several battles with the Reds on his way. On April 26 they reached a forest 4 miles northwest of Lindau. A scouting party returned to report that the Americans were a short distance away and the German forces in the vicinity were weak. Janums dispatched a delegation of four men to the Americans to negotiate a surrender. One of those returned with the necessary instructions, and the Battle Group surrendered shortly after midnight.
The lost Fusilier Battalion wound up in the defense of Berlin. By the time it reached the avenue Unter den Linden, it had only 80 men. Quite a few had decided to try to reach the Americans by themselves in small groups. The battalion was given the defense of the Hauptsicherheitsamt [Main Security Office] and later of the Luftfahrtministerium [Air Ministry], both important buildings in the vicinity of Hitler’s Bunker. Thus the man who had started World War II to secure the precious Lebensraum for his Germans in the Baltic States was in his final hours grudgingly defended by men from one of those three nations which he had planned to eradicate. Grudgingly, because the Fusilier Battalion much rather would have joined Janums’ Battle Group in American captivity. Yet the battalion fought the Soviets desperately because capture by the Reds meant almost certain death.
Some of the German commanders realized that Latvians could expect a worse fate than Germans in Russian captivity because nominally the Latvians were citizens of the Soviet Union. The comedy called “elections” which was staged in 1940 now made Latvian soldiers “traitors” to the Soviet Union. Consequently, those German commanders tried to help the Latvians to escape west. For example, some were evacuated from the Hela peninsula (north of Danzig) to Kiel by the German Navy. However, other German commanders had adopted Hitler’s philosophy of utter destruction, and they tried to make sure that the Latvians were captured by the Russians. For example, the headquarters of the 3rd Tank Army attempted to take away the trucks of the Latvian 15th Division, and the division was ordered to defend a position near Goldberg (south of Rostock). The Latvians ignored German orders and moved west. The 15th Division surrendered to Americans and Canadians near Schwerin on May 2.
The remnants of the Fusilier Battalion of the 15th Division, commanded by 1st Lt. Neilands, were still in Berlin on May 1. Hitler’s associates Goebbels and Bormann tried to negotiate a surrender of Berlin in exchange for a safe-conduct for themselves. They sent General Krebs, the Chief of the Army General Staff, to the Soviets with their proposal. Neilands went along as an interpreter. Of course, since the Soviets were in an almost complete possession of Berlin already, they refused to negotiate and demanded an unconditional surrender. Goebbels and his family died in the ruins of Hitler’s Bunker, but most of the Nazi officials attempted a breakout from the Soviet encirclement during the night from May 1 to May 2. Some succeeded. Berlin surrendered on May 2. Neilands and his Fusilier Battalion wound up in a prisoner-of-war camp in a Berlin suburb. He and several of his men managed to escape from the camp and to reach the west
What in Cologne happened in 1944 is irrelevant for this thread .
It has been claimed(by whom ?) in your source (P 47) that in East-Berlin,some (ha!) elements of the population fraternized with the Russians and even took up arms to fight on the Russian side .
This is totally unproved: when ,where,how many civilians were fraternizing ? And,it takes 2 to fraternize :I ask proofs that the Soviet soldiers were WILLING to fraternize .
The second allegation is BS,nonsens,etc :do you really believe that during street fighting,the Soviets wouls accept that enemy civilians would conserve their arms and join the Soviet forces ?
But why the Western Allies should intervene in Courland? Why should a single Anglo-Saxon soldier fall for the cause of Latvian Nazi servants?
Still you post no original research references, worthy of a West Point Cadet, that you claim to have seen many of.
It was a Latvian pipe-dream. Apparently, as many people may in extreme situations, a few hoped, but the majority clearly did not.
Why do you need original research references ,? Did you /your source give any original research references for the Indian tales that a) on the Eastern front,the Soviet soldiers were fraternizing with the German civilians, b ) that armed German communists were joining the advancing Soviets ?
There may have been communists who hadn't been arrested. Hamburg even though liberated by the west had a very strong communist base, plus there are always opportunists who will join any cause just to get an advantage.
Yes,but these people (opportunists) never will take risks and always are waiting till the fighting is over .
In june 1941,there was no fraternization between the Soviet civilians and the Germans (except in some isolated cases) and no civilians were taking up arms to fight with the Germans . Why would it be different in april 1945.?
When the allies entered Germany,there was no fraternization (which was explicitly forbidden by Eisenhower),neither were anti nazi Germans taking up arms to fight with the allies . Why would it be different in april 1945?
There were a lot of opponents to the regime in the WM,but,there are no proofs that these opponents were surrendering in big numbers,nor were those who surrendered willing to fight with the allies.
Actually the Germans were welcomed by many Ukrainians who thought they would be treated well by the Germans.