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German officer and death sentence...

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Kai-Petri, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Seems like towards the end of war death sentences could not be carried out due to lack of men...

    Heinz Reinefarth

    In December 1944, Reinefarth was given command over the XVIII SS Corps in the central Oder river area. Between January and March 1945, he commanded the defense of Kostrzyn nad Odrą ("Festung Küstrin"). He declined to defend it to the last man and was sentenced to death by a military court. However, the sentence was not implemented and he continued to command those of his troops that managed to leave the fortress; they were renamed as the XIV SS Corps.
     
  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    With the exception of the 20th July plotters I don't think there were many - if any - instances of General rank officers being executed by the Nazi regime even in the last desperate months of the war, especially compared to those lost in action. The highest ranking officer executed for losing the Remagen Bridge was a Major.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The following Luftwaffe Generals were executes on charges of corruption (strange,with Goering as commander-in-chief :D)
    Bernhard Waber:06-02-1945
    Hermann Becker:06-02-1945
     
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  4. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    I knew I should of added "...for refusing orders/retreating," :D but that is still less than 1% of General rank officers. Were there any others of General rank (of any service), not including any that were implicated in the July '44 plot?
     
  5. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    There was another high ranking officer which was executed - Oberst (Colonel) Gustav Petri on 09.04.1945 - he refused defending the city of Wernigerode (my recent home town with lots of wonderful old half-timbered houses) against the US-troops in the beginning of april 1945. He was arrested and executed, guilty as a "National traider" - but he rescude the city and the inhabitants - there were only 3 more people who were killed when the US-troops "captured" Wernigerode
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    to make it a Fortress if at all possible northwind ? probably remaining till your literal fortress on the hill top was bombed out / by the way how is the bier ? I've always wanted to take a vacation through the Harz mtn's
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Of course some escaped execution by not being available for it. For instance the German general who surrendered Paris surrended with the city did he not? And at least one of the higher ranking officers judged responsible for the loss of the Remagen bridge was a POW when the sentence of death was pronounced.
     
  8. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    Hallo Erich-
    first the most important aspect for you: we´re having one of best and most popular regional beer (which means it is brewed here by using water from the Harz mountains) of Germany here - it´s called "Hasseröder". So it makes it worthy to do a journey through the Harz mountains and visiting the brewery to taste our bier ...
    The hill top (the Brocken) and the Brocken-Hotel was bombed on 17th of april by US-bombers. Wernigerode surrendered already on 11 of april (Petri was executed on 10th or 11th of april - he got the order to defend Wernigerode on 9th of april, on 10th he decided that it would be senceless to defend the city and he will ignore the order. After his descision he was arrested and condemned-he executed him in Drei-Anne-Hohne, a small village in the Harz mountains.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    excellent been doing a bit of background checking into your area, doesn't the famous brew have a quail or grouse on the label ??

    what a sad tale of one so brave and caring for the safety of the German citizenry yet the turn around and being shot for his duty to the people.

    was the Brocken hit by Jabos or 4-engine heavies ?
     
  10. Jon Jordan

    Jon Jordan Member

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    Seems like a few died of "heart attacks" or similar maladies on the rides back to Berlin (secondary to a self-inflicted bullet wound or poison). But even so, this would be a very small group. You'd have to be pretty unlucky to end up in that position.
     
  11. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    If you are talking German military overall and not just officers, there were very many executions towards the last desperate days of the war. Particularly they were carried out by the SS against any troops accused of cowardice or being away from their unit without permission. These were carried out with the authority of standing orders from Hitler and Himmler and used as an "inducement" for troops to keep on fighting. Many German commanders did ignore these orders as any sensible person, regardless of Goebbel's "Bagdad Bob" style propaganda, could see total defeat coming months before it occurred in May.

    Hitler had his own relative, (Eva Braun's brother in law) a General named Fegelein, executed during the last days of the war. So in fact there are plenty of instances like this to be found of SS troops executing both enlisted men and officers in the last chaotic days of the third reich.
     
  12. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    I read of a disparity in the early war period at least, between OKH courts martial and Nazi policy, sorry I'm reiterating by memory without looking it all back up again but roughly speaking field commanders court martialled for "battlefield excesses" through to 43 were simply rotated back into occupational field commands with SS commissions. The Warsaw debarcle happened on this basis (the heavy executioners hand was started by such commanders using convict battalions being used as occupational SS, they weren't regular army or even SS sönderkommando brutes, a different kind of brute but it still represented nazi policy so I'm not suggesting latitude ought be leant).

    There are also staff chief diary records directly stating the tremendous disparity between nazi policy and regular army for both military doctrine and political ideal (von Kleist's chief of staff wrote such things as "nazi insanity" and "complete abandonment of all rational military procedure" in bold lettering and then submitted it for the records, this was no small movement but an intense organisational disarray topical experts like Dr Martin Kitchen claim were as inherently responsible for the defeat of Germany as any other factor of the war).
    And court martials were generally the purview of regular army, Hitler's overwhelming higher authority notwithstanding, technically speaking. ie. army locks war criminals up, nazis sets them back loose again with a big pat on the back.

    Kind of a weird situation all round I'd say.
     
  13. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Rommel was forced to commit scuicide after being implicated, Kluge committed scuicide also, General Ohlbricht was executed along with Stauffenberg by General Fromm to cover up his role in the plot. General Treschow, Admiral Canaris, General Oster, General Fromm are some of the general staff officers executed for their role in the plot
     
  14. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    yes Erich you´re right - the famous brew have a wood grouse on the label :D ...
    The Brocken was hit by Jabos I guess ...
     
  15. Morg308

    Morg308 New Member

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    The dates given - 06.02.1944 - is that in American or German form? I'm guessing German, so Feb. 6th 1944?
     
  16. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    Generalmajor Hennig von Tresckow wasn't executed - He committed suicide by using a rifle grenade on the Eastern Front after he heard that the plot failed.

    in total 3 Fieldmarshalls (Erwin Rommel, Günther von Kluge and Erwin von Witzleben) and other 19 officers in the rang of a General were sent to death for their role in the plot
     
  17. dhsetzer

    dhsetzer Member

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    Werner Mork was a private in the German Army serving on the Russian front in the last days of the war. His memoirs suggest an acceleration in the number of field executions as the war drew to a close and soldiers became less and less willing to sacrifice themselves in the last throes of a lost cause.

    He himself was subject to a Standgericht (Drumhead Court-Marshal), but a 'compassionate?' officer offered him a near-suicide mission as an option to outright execution.

    The full story can be found here in the sections called, "The War on the Eastern Front - 1945."

    http://www.dansetzer.us/Mork/

    .
     
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  18. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Is he a relative of our Kai Petri???? :confused:
     
  19. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    This means that Germans had their "penal battalions" too. :cool:

    In fact suicidal actions at the end of the war turned the entire Wehrmacht into a gigantic penal battalion.
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Hans Emil Otto Graf von Sponeck (12 February 1888 – 23 July 1944) was a German Generalleutnant during World War II who was imprisoned for disobeying orders and later executed.

    On December 28 1941, after having eliminated one of the two Soviet beachheads around the town of Kerch, the battle in eastern Crimea had developed in favour of the Germans. Nevertheless, Sponeck requested permission to retreat to avoid being cut off and captured, and so to regroup, but was denied three times. On 29 December the Russians landed additional forces on the southern coast at Feodosia and Sponeck had only thirty minutes to decide what to do next. On his own initiative, he gave order to his 10,000 men to retreat. In temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius, in a howling snowstorm and icy winds, the battalions of the 46th Infantry Division marched west. The soldiers marched for 46 hours with only the occasional rest for coffee, to warm up. Many suffered frostbite, and most of the horses starved. Much of the Divisions heavy equipment, including its artillery, remained behind on the frozen road.

    On 31 December Sponeck's 46th Infantry arrived at the Parpach neck, where they established a defensive line. The following day, 1 January 1942, Red Army attacked again and were held back by Sponeck's men. The arrival of a rail-mounted unit finished off sixteen soviet T-26 tanks. Sponeck and his forces held off the enemy long enough until reinforcements arrived.

    The court found him guilty of disobedience to a superior officer. Sponeck maintained that he had acted against orders, on his own initiative, in order to avoid the destruction of his division. He was nevertheless given the death sentence, but Adolf Hitler (on Manstein's proposal) commuted the sentence to seven years in prison. Hans Sponeck was to serve as an example to those who disobeyed Hitler's new order not to retreat. Sponeck was held prisoner in the Germersheim Fortress where he was allowed into town occasionally; his wife visited him in the fortress for one week per month

    After the plot of July 20, 1944, even though Sponeck had no contact with the German military resistance, Josef Bürckel, Gauleiter of Gau Westmark where Germersheim was located, pressed Heinrich Himmler, who was the Reichs Security Official, to have Sponeck executed in retribution for the assassination plot. Subsequently, Himmler gave the order for Sponeck to be executed by firing squad. The task was carried out in the morning of 23 July 1944 in Germersheim.

    But I wouldn't feel too sorry for the bastard, implicated as he was in the liquidation of Jewry in the Ukraine.
     

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