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RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich

 
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RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 12:47:36 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Von Rom
He surrendered his army to U.S. General George C. Patton on May 8, 1945.


quote:

IronDuke
Not exactly, he surrendered to a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry Division.


quote:

Von Rom

I know

But I said in one sentence what it took you to say in eight sentences.

The above individuals were representing their respective armies. Just as a spokesperson speaks for the president.



Oh dear. I'm sorry, you just gave me the impression that you were trying to praise Patton again, giving him credit for something he had less to do with than usual. I'm assuming that you're saying the Master Sergeant represented Patton, Dietrich his Panzer Armee.

I've done a little research. I'd like your opinion (indeed any thread readers opinion and help)because late war American OOBs are not a strongppoint for me.

Michael Reynolds Men of Steel tells me (and you claim you know and agree with this) that Dietrich surrendered to a Master Sergeant of the 36th on or shortly after 8 May.

Shelby Stanton's Order of Battle: US Army in WWII tells me the 36th joined XXI Corp on 27th April 1945. He also tells me it finished the war in Kustrin, Austria which supports the claim it was this unit Dietrich surrendered to as he was caught in Kustrin.

John Ellis's The World War II databook says 36 Division did indeed belong to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

I'm not sure who commanded Seventh Army at this time except it was either General Patch or General Keyes, a fact I picked up from Carlo D'Este's book on Patton.

I'd appreciate any help corrodorating these facts, but if I'm correct, and 36th Division belonged to 7th Army, and Patton (as I understand it although you are the Forum "expert") commanded 3rd Army, how was the Master Sergeant of the 36th accepting the surrender of General Dietrich on behalf of General Patton .

Please correct me if I am wrong (a request I make to all thread readers. I'm interested in the truth. Whether I provide it or someone else corrects me is immaterial) , but if I am right Patton had absolutely nothing to do with this. Thus, on what do you base your assertion he surrendered to Patton?

Secondly, you seem to be suggesting Dietrich represented his Panzer Armee when he surrendered. However, since they surrendered separately, in another area, of their own volition, not because Dietrich was directing them to, how do you support this statement?

Regards,
IronDuke
(Other thread users, I'd appreciate any help nailing down the OOB for 36th at this point in the war, in case I'm wrong).



Oh, brother

Of all the things to argue in this thread and you choose this?

When I said "I know", I meant that Dietrich did not walk up to Patton and say "I surrender".

Frankly, I could care less to whom he or 6th army surrendered.

This is all incidental to what is under discussion.

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions:

You debate the obscure; and argue the inconsequential.

Have fun sorting all this out

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 31
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 1:14:37 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Von Rom
He surrendered his army to U.S. General George C. Patton on May 8, 1945.


quote:

IronDuke
Not exactly, he surrendered to a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry Division.


quote:

Von Rom

I know

But I said in one sentence what it took you to say in eight sentences.

The above individuals were representing their respective armies. Just as a spokesperson speaks for the president.



Oh dear. I'm sorry, you just gave me the impression that you were trying to praise Patton again, giving him credit for something he had less to do with than usual. I'm assuming that you're saying the Master Sergeant represented Patton, Dietrich his Panzer Armee.

I've done a little research. I'd like your opinion (indeed any thread readers opinion and help)because late war American OOBs are not a strongppoint for me.

Michael Reynolds Men of Steel tells me (and you claim you know and agree with this) that Dietrich surrendered to a Master Sergeant of the 36th on or shortly after 8 May.

Shelby Stanton's Order of Battle: US Army in WWII tells me the 36th joined XXI Corp on 27th April 1945. He also tells me it finished the war in Kustrin, Austria which supports the claim it was this unit Dietrich surrendered to as he was caught in Kustrin.

John Ellis's The World War II databook says 36 Division did indeed belong to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

I'm not sure who commanded Seventh Army at this time except it was either General Patch or General Keyes, a fact I picked up from Carlo D'Este's book on Patton.

I'd appreciate any help corrodorating these facts, but if I'm correct, and 36th Division belonged to 7th Army, and Patton (as I understand it although you are the Forum "expert") commanded 3rd Army, how was the Master Sergeant of the 36th accepting the surrender of General Dietrich on behalf of General Patton .

Please correct me if I am wrong (a request I make to all thread readers. I'm interested in the truth. Whether I provide it or someone else corrects me is immaterial) , but if I am right Patton had absolutely nothing to do with this. Thus, on what do you base your assertion he surrendered to Patton?

Secondly, you seem to be suggesting Dietrich represented his Panzer Armee when he surrendered. However, since they surrendered separately, in another area, of their own volition, not because Dietrich was directing them to, how do you support this statement?

Regards,
IronDuke
(Other thread users, I'd appreciate any help nailing down the OOB for 36th at this point in the war, in case I'm wrong).



Oh, brother

Of all the things to argue in this thread and you choose this?

When I said "I know", I meant that Dietrich did not walk up to Patton and say "I surrender".

Frankly, I could care less to whom he or 6th army surrendered.

This is all incidental to what is under discussion.

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions:

You debate the obscure; and argue the inconsequential.

Have fun sorting all this out




Why do you object so to being corrected? You introduced Patton, I merely pointed out he had nothing whatsoever to do with this (I presume this is a disappointingly ungracious way of saying you agree with me and you now retract the statement "He surrendered to General George S Patton"?) My problem is that basic innaccuracies like this make me question and double-check the facts you present before arguing with you. My disappointment is that when I find your facts are wrong, you suddenly decide I'm debating the obscure. If the circumstances of his surrender were so obscure and inconsequential, why did you make a statement about it? If you find it worthwhile making a statement in a forum about something, why am I the one debating the obscure when I correct it?

As for

quote:

When I said "I know", I meant that Dietrich did not walk up to Patton and say "I surrender".


Fair enough, then please explain (to wrap this aspect of it all up) why you mentioned Patton in this context at all? He didn't (as you've said) personally accept Dietrich's surrender and he didn't command 36th Division, so why did you mention him if you knew this? It is misleading.

You seemed to move the debate on to Malmedy, but, in light of the above, I must now double check this episode out, before presenting an opinion. I know Reynolds in his biography of Peiper had a few things to say about this episode, including a theory of his own to consider.

However, I'll be careful not to disagree with any "facts" you've presented, as I don't want to be guilty of debating obscurities again.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 32
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 2:31:40 AM   
Golf33

 

Posts: 1961
Joined: 3/29/2003
From: Canberra, Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33

_____________________________

Steve Golf33 Long

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 33
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 3:39:14 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 8/25/2004 1:54:52 AM >

(in reply to Golf33)
Post #: 34
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 4:14:09 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Von Rom
He surrendered his army to U.S. General George C. Patton on May 8, 1945.


quote:

IronDuke
Not exactly, he surrendered to a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry Division.


quote:

Von Rom

I know

But I said in one sentence what it took you to say in eight sentences.

The above individuals were representing their respective armies. Just as a spokesperson speaks for the president.



Oh dear. I'm sorry, you just gave me the impression that you were trying to praise Patton again, giving him credit for something he had less to do with than usual. I'm assuming that you're saying the Master Sergeant represented Patton, Dietrich his Panzer Armee.

I've done a little research. I'd like your opinion (indeed any thread readers opinion and help)because late war American OOBs are not a strongppoint for me.

Michael Reynolds Men of Steel tells me (and you claim you know and agree with this) that Dietrich surrendered to a Master Sergeant of the 36th on or shortly after 8 May.

Shelby Stanton's Order of Battle: US Army in WWII tells me the 36th joined XXI Corp on 27th April 1945. He also tells me it finished the war in Kustrin, Austria which supports the claim it was this unit Dietrich surrendered to as he was caught in Kustrin.

John Ellis's The World War II databook says 36 Division did indeed belong to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

I'm not sure who commanded Seventh Army at this time except it was either General Patch or General Keyes, a fact I picked up from Carlo D'Este's book on Patton.

I'd appreciate any help corrodorating these facts, but if I'm correct, and 36th Division belonged to 7th Army, and Patton (as I understand it although you are the Forum "expert") commanded 3rd Army, how was the Master Sergeant of the 36th accepting the surrender of General Dietrich on behalf of General Patton .

Please correct me if I am wrong (a request I make to all thread readers. I'm interested in the truth. Whether I provide it or someone else corrects me is immaterial) , but if I am right Patton had absolutely nothing to do with this. Thus, on what do you base your assertion he surrendered to Patton?

Secondly, you seem to be suggesting Dietrich represented his Panzer Armee when he surrendered. However, since they surrendered separately, in another area, of their own volition, not because Dietrich was directing them to, how do you support this statement?

Regards,
IronDuke
(Other thread users, I'd appreciate any help nailing down the OOB for 36th at this point in the war, in case I'm wrong).



Oh, brother

Of all the things to argue in this thread and you choose this?

When I said "I know", I meant that Dietrich did not walk up to Patton and say "I surrender".

Frankly, I could care less to whom he or 6th army surrendered.

This is all incidental to what is under discussion.

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions:

You debate the obscure; and argue the inconsequential.

Have fun sorting all this out




Why do you object so to being corrected? You introduced Patton, I merely pointed out he had nothing whatsoever to do with this (I presume this is a disappointingly ungracious way of saying you agree with me and you now retract the statement "He surrendered to General George S Patton"?) My problem is that basic innaccuracies like this make me question and double-check the facts you present before arguing with you. My disappointment is that when I find your facts are wrong, you suddenly decide I'm debating the obscure. If the circumstances of his surrender were so obscure and inconsequential, why did you make a statement about it? If you find it worthwhile making a statement in a forum about something, why am I the one debating the obscure when I correct it?

As for

quote:

When I said "I know", I meant that Dietrich did not walk up to Patton and say "I surrender".


Fair enough, then please explain (to wrap this aspect of it all up) why you mentioned Patton in this context at all? He didn't (as you've said) personally accept Dietrich's surrender and he didn't command 36th Division, so why did you mention him if you knew this? It is misleading.

You seemed to move the debate on to Malmedy, but, in light of the above, I must now double check this episode out, before presenting an opinion. I know Reynolds in his biography of Peiper had a few things to say about this episode, including a theory of his own to consider.

However, I'll be careful not to disagree with any "facts" you've presented, as I don't want to be guilty of debating obscurities again.

IronDuke


Ironduke:

I don't mean to be flippant with you. However, the question of Dietrich's surrender was immaterial to the discussions at hand. Even now I find it irrelevant. It really is a trivial WW2 issue which has no bearing on any important discussions.

On such minor points of fact I usually don't spend much time on them.

On the other hand, on major points of fact, I will spend a great deal of time researching them.

The fact that you cannot seem to distinquish between these two things (minor vs major points of fact) is what I find frustrating about debating you.

The discussion originally centered around several hundred US soldiers and civilians being murdered by SS troops in the Ardennes.

You, however, decided to focus on to whom Dietrich surrendered at the end of the war.

However, since you have now made this a point of contention, I will now devote my attention to this question.



Websites


Here is a list of websites that all state that Dietrich surrendered to troops under Patton's command:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Dietrich


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Dietrich.html


http://members.tripod.com/~SSPzComdr/SeppDietrich.html


http://www20.brinkster.com/tompoulsen/1stsspanzerdiv.html



The Composition of Third Army



Your sources state that Dietrich surrendered to the 36 Division which belonged to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

Note the above date 30th April.

However, what your sources fail to mention is that starting near the first of May, and throughout the month of May, Patton's Third Army was absorbing HUNDREDS of separate units under its command, including V Corps, and elements of XV Corps (from General Patch) and many other divisions (Ladislas, Farago, The Last Days of Patton (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1981), p. 66).

As Patton, himself, stated by May 4, 1945 these absorbed divisions "gives us the biggest Army we have had. . ." (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p. 696).

In early May, 1945 Patton commanded troops throughout Germany and Czechoslovakia. And according to (D'Este, p 727), Patton's forces advanced to the Danube, and were primed to advance into Austria and Czechoslovakia.

While Patton was instructed to attack northeast into Czechoslovakia with the XII and V Corps (op cit.), he was busy planning to move his headquarters near Munich (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p. 699).

So two questions remain:

1) What unit did Dietrich surrender to on May 8, 1945? Your sources state that the 36 Division belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April. I am assuming your source is correct. However, it may not be.


2) And was this unit (after May 1, 1945) placed under Patton's command?

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 2:52:51 AM >

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 35
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 4:43:28 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


Good questions.

This issue was tackled by a few people, including Cole in the Official History. He stated that Peiper had fought on the East Front, and so was used to this type of activity. Most of all the murders took place along his route of advance.

The fact that others did not do anything similar could be based on the fact that their soldierly qualities forbade them from doing such despicable things. It is well known that Rommel tore up such orders from Hitler when he was in command of the Afrika Korps.

Perhaps certain people and commanders are prone to this sort of thing. For example the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

(in reply to Golf33)
Post #: 36
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 4:58:14 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke



Ironduke:

You raise valid points.

However, if the issue centred just around Malmedy, then doubt creeps in.

However, what about the other 300+ GI POWs who were murdered and the 80+ Belgium civilians who were murdered in the Ardennes?

It is interesting that in discussions about Malmedy in books and articles, many of these other murders are rarely mentioned, which casts a larger light on the systematic murders of US POWs by certain SS units.

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 37
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:11:53 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
Joined: 4/2/2003
From: Colchester, UK
Status: offline
I go away and look what happens, I miss all the 'interesting' stuff

Anyway, regarding Malmedy and the massacres of various groups of prisoners by both sides I think the following link should help resolve a few issues

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/malmedy2.html

I won't even begin to try and precis the document but it highlights the confusion over what actually happened at Malmedy, who was responsible, other 'incidents' that occured and the sham of a trial at Dachau in 1946.

_____________________________

Thankyou for using the World Wide Web. British designed, given freely to the World.

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 38
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:15:26 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Ironduke:

I don't mean to be flippant with you. However, the question of Dietrich's surrender was immaterial to the discussions at hand. Even now I find it irrelevant. It really is a trivial WW2 issue which has no bearing on any important discussions.


Indeed, but who mentioned it first. We have a duty to be correct about anything we post, however trivial.

quote:

On such minor points of fact I usually don't spend much time on them.

On the other hand, on major points of fact, I will spend a great deal of time researching them.

The fact that you cannot seem to distinquish between these two things (minor vs major points of fact) is what I find frustrating about debating you.


I didn't debate you, merely corrected your facts where I believed there was innaccuracy.

quote:

The discussion originally centered around several hundred US soldiers and civilians being murdered by SS troops in the Ardennes.

You, however, decided to focus on to whom Dietrich surrendered at the end of the war.


I have posted on this as well. As I said, my initial post was merely to correct facts, not pass comment. I focused on it because it was wrong.

quote:

Websites


Here is a list of websites that all state that Dietrich surrendered to troops under Patton's command:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Dietrich


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Dietrich.html


http://members.tripod.com/~SSPzComdr/SeppDietrich.html


http://www20.brinkster.com/tompoulsen/1stsspanzerdiv.html


I believe I have stated before I don't like websites, they are not peer reviewed and usually written from second hand sources because (quite understandably) they are written by enthusiastic amateur historians using resources at their disposal. However, what was noticeable was that they all use almost the same wording for this statement linking Dietrich and Patton, but don't give a source. My guess is their source is the same. I don't think we have four sources here, just four sources repeating something they've heard as none present evidence, but it's a moot point. They present no evidence, just make the statement.


[
quote:

b]The Composition of Third Army



Your sources state that Dietrich surrendered to the 36 Division which belonged to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

Note the above date 30th April.


Noted.

quote:

However, what your sources fail to mention is that starting near the first of May, Third Army was absorbing HUNDREDS of separate units under its command, including V Corps, and elements of XV Corps (from General Patch) and many other divisions (Ladislas, Farago, The Last Days of Patton (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1981), p. 66).


V Corp was transferred on 4th May. The source that tells me this (Weigley) tells me it raised the strength of 3rd Army to the largest it ever was (540 000 men). Therefore, I'm guessing the other units came under Patton's control as Governor of Bavaria after the war. Further to this point, I can't trace any transfer of XV Corp before war's end. On the 5th May, it was still under Devers, because he accepted the German First Army's surrender at XV Corp HQ.

quote:

In early May, 1945 Patton commanded troops throughout Germany and Czechoslovakia.


Source? I'm guessing this actually refers to mid-late May, when he became Governer of Bavaria. 3rd Army had ended the war in Czechoslovakia, so in addition to his command of them, he might well have taken control of forces in Southern Germany as Governer of Bavaria. However, I wouldn't have thought this would have been early May, as he couldn't have formally taken up this post until after the formal cessation of hostilities.

quote:

While Patton was instructed to attack northeast into Czechoslovakia with the XII and V Corps (op cit.), he was busy planning to move his headquarters near Munich (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p. 699).


The move to Munich happened on 23rd May according to D'Este, presumably in line with his capacity as Governor of Bavaria.

quote:

So two questions remain:

1) What unit did Dietrich surrender to on May 8, 1945? Your sources state that the 36 Division belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April. I am assuming your source is correct. However, it may not be.


My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.

quote:

2) And was this unit (after May 1, 1945) placed under Patton's command?


The real question is was this unit placed under Patton's command before they captured Dietrich? It is quite feasible they were placed under Patton's command eventually (it might explain why Dietrich and Patton were originally linked) because Patton was Military Commander of Bavaria after the war, and his authority may have extended into Austria. However, I can find nothing to suggest they belonged to him when they captured Dietrich (or after that, although maybe others have information on this).

However, having hit the websites versus history books argument, it may be best to leave this for the Forum to judge for themselves, and move onto Malmedy. We've both presented, let them judge.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 39
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:19:06 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke



Ironduke:

You raise valid points.

However, if the issue centred just around Malmedy, then doubt creeps in.

However, what about the other 300+ GI POWs who were murdered and the 80+ Belgium civilians who were murdered in the Ardennes?

It is interesting that in discussions about Malmedy in books and articles, many of these other murders are rarely mentioned, which casts a larger light on the systematic murders of US POWs by certain SS units.


Von Rom,
Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo. I guess we'd need to discuss on a case by case basis. Do you have links or details to these killings?

The same applies to the POWs. I think we'd need to review the circumstances of the GI murders, to see if we can detect policy. Do you have anything further on these?

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 40
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:36:48 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Ironduke:

I don't mean to be flippant with you. However, the question of Dietrich's surrender was immaterial to the discussions at hand. Even now I find it irrelevant. It really is a trivial WW2 issue which has no bearing on any important discussions.


Indeed, but who mentioned it first. We have a duty to be correct about anything we post, however trivial.

quote:

On such minor points of fact I usually don't spend much time on them.

On the other hand, on major points of fact, I will spend a great deal of time researching them.

The fact that you cannot seem to distinquish between these two things (minor vs major points of fact) is what I find frustrating about debating you.


I didn't debate you, merely corrected your facts where I believed there was innaccuracy.

quote:

The discussion originally centered around several hundred US soldiers and civilians being murdered by SS troops in the Ardennes.

You, however, decided to focus on to whom Dietrich surrendered at the end of the war.


I have posted on this as well. As I said, my initial post was merely to correct facts, not pass comment. I focused on it because it was wrong.

quote:

Websites


Here is a list of websites that all state that Dietrich surrendered to troops under Patton's command:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Dietrich


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Dietrich.html


http://members.tripod.com/~SSPzComdr/SeppDietrich.html


http://www20.brinkster.com/tompoulsen/1stsspanzerdiv.html


I believe I have stated before I don't like websites, they are not peer reviewed and usually written from second hand sources because (quite understandably) they are written by enthusiastic amateur historians using resources at their disposal. However, what was noticeable was that they all use almost the same wording for this statement linking Dietrich and Patton, but don't give a source. My guess is their source is the same. I don't think we have four sources here, just four sources repeating something they've heard as none present evidence, but it's a moot point. They present no evidence, just make the statement.


[
quote:

b]The Composition of Third Army



Your sources state that Dietrich surrendered to the 36 Division which belonged to XXI Corp and that XXI Corp belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April.

Note the above date 30th April.


Noted.

quote:

However, what your sources fail to mention is that starting near the first of May, Third Army was absorbing HUNDREDS of separate units under its command, including V Corps, and elements of XV Corps (from General Patch) and many other divisions (Ladislas, Farago, The Last Days of Patton (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1981), p. 66).


V Corp was transferred on 4th May. The source that tells me this (Weigley) tells me it raised the strength of 3rd Army to the largest it ever was (540 000 men). Therefore, I'm guessing the other units came under Patton's control as Governor of Bavaria after the war. Further to this point, I can't trace any transfer of XV Corp before war's end. On the 5th May, it was still under Devers, because he accepted the German First Army's surrender at XV Corp HQ.

quote:

In early May, 1945 Patton commanded troops throughout Germany and Czechoslovakia.


Source? I'm guessing this actually refers to mid-late May, when he became Governer of Bavaria. 3rd Army had ended the war in Czechoslovakia, so in addition to his command of them, he might well have taken control of forces in Southern Germany as Governer of Bavaria. However, I wouldn't have thought this would have been early May, as he couldn't have formally taken up this post until after the formal cessation of hostilities.

quote:

While Patton was instructed to attack northeast into Czechoslovakia with the XII and V Corps (op cit.), he was busy planning to move his headquarters near Munich (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p. 699).


The move to Munich happened on 23rd May according to D'Este, presumably in line with his capacity as Governor of Bavaria.

quote:

So two questions remain:

1) What unit did Dietrich surrender to on May 8, 1945? Your sources state that the 36 Division belonged to the Seventh US Army on 30th April. I am assuming your source is correct. However, it may not be.


My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.

quote:

2) And was this unit (after May 1, 1945) placed under Patton's command?


The real question is was this unit placed under Patton's command before they captured Dietrich? It is quite feasible they were placed under Patton's command eventually (it might explain why Dietrich and Patton were originally linked) because Patton was Military Commander of Bavaria after the war, and his authority may have extended into Austria. However, I can find nothing to suggest they belonged to him when they captured Dietrich (or after that, although maybe others have information on this).

However, having hit the websites versus history books argument, it may be best to leave this for the Forum to judge for themselves, and move onto Malmedy. We've both presented, let them judge.

IronDuke




quote:

Indeed, but who mentioned it first. We have a duty to be correct about anything we post, however trivial.


Well, you better be absolutely correct in everything you post, no matter how trivial it is. You do realize of course that this sort of thing will drive everyone crazy.

All I can say is you better be prepared to stand up to that same (and ridiculous) level of perfection in even the most trivial comment you make.

And I consider Dietrich's surrender to be very trivial. Something someone would find as a question in a WW2 trivia game.

Yet, you cannot seem to distinquish between the trivial and the important. This is very frustrating. So far we have wasted hours on what to me is truly an insignificant fact.

When I am looking for insignificant details such as birthdates, surrender dates, etc, I usually just look at a few websites, especially if they seem to be correct in most of the major issues.

As for the rest, I am not pitting websites against books; only that for minor things such as these I will look at several websites. And you'll note they all agree on who Dietrich surrendered to. There are many more websites than these.

As to the final issue of who Dietrich surrendered to: It is not really important to me. So I will go with your assertion of it being the 36th Division. But who was in command over this division on May 8,1945?

I have looked through every book I have, and I cannot find anything definite. Perhaps, in the future I may run across more information.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 4:38:22 AM >

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 41
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:52:32 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke



Ironduke:

You raise valid points.

However, if the issue centred just around Malmedy, then doubt creeps in.

However, what about the other 300+ GI POWs who were murdered and the 80+ Belgium civilians who were murdered in the Ardennes?

It is interesting that in discussions about Malmedy in books and articles, many of these other murders are rarely mentioned, which casts a larger light on the systematic murders of US POWs by certain SS units.


Von Rom,
Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo. I guess we'd need to discuss on a case by case basis. Do you have links or details to these killings?

The same applies to the POWs. I think we'd need to review the circumstances of the GI murders, to see if we can detect policy. Do you have anything further on these?

Regards,
IronDuke


quote:

Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo.


What is your source for this?

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 42
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 6:41:47 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
ID:

quote:

My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.


This is fine.

But your sources stated that the 36th Division was part of 7th Army up until April 30th, 1945.

As I have shown HUNDREDS of units started to come under Patton's command AFTER May 1, 1945.

So my question is this:

Who had command over the 36th Division on May 8, 1945 (the date of Dietrich's surrender?). Was it still under 7th Army or under Patton's command?

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 43
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 10:02:46 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
I found out more regarding Dietrich's surrender:

1) Patton was in Austria on May 7, 1945. This is when many important Nazis surrendered, including Dietrich. Patton, along with Patterson, the Under Secretary of War, flew to XX Corps HQ at St. Martin/Innkreis, Austria on May 7, 1945 (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p. 697).

2) The 36th Infantry Division crossed into Austria on May 7, 1945.

The question is: At this time was the 36th still attached to Seventh Army?

According to its unit history, Seventh Army had moved into Bavaria while the 36th Division moved into Austria.

The Bavaria region of Austria was rich with the private residents of the Nazi elite along with the rest & relaxation centers and training centers for the SS. This led to may fanatical German holdouts against all hope in this area. It was in this area the 36th captured it's most famous prisoners:

Reichmarshal Hermann Goering - Onetime Chief of the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, President and hand picked successor to Adolf Hitler.

Reichsminister Dr. Hans Frank - Poland's #1 war criminal, hung after the Nuremberg war trials.

Admiral Nicholas Horthy - Dictator of Hungary

Air Marshal Ritter von Griem - Successor to Hermann Goering as head of the Luftwaffe.

Air Marshal Hugo Sperrle - Inventor of dive bombing techniques.

SS General Sepp Deitrich - "Defender of Vienna."

Max Amann - Publisher of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kamph."

Leni Reifenstahl - Director of the German film industry.

Along with the captures the 36th liberated many notables.

Edouard Daladier - Former Prime Minister of France.

Paul Reynaud - - Former Prime Minister of France.

General Maurice Gamelin - Former head of the French Army.

General Maxime Weygand - Former head of the French Army.

Madam Alfred Cailliu - Sister of General Charles de Gaulle.

Michael Clemenceau - Son of the famous French statesman and husband of Madam Alfred Cailliu.

Leon Jouhaux - Secretary of the Confederation General du Travail.

Jean Borotra - Famous French tennis player of the 1920's.

The 36th was shocked by what they found when they liberated the concertration camps in the Dachau, Hurlach and Landsberg area.

The end of the Second World War found the 36th at Kufstein, Austria. November of 1945 brought a new Division Commander, Brigadier General Robert I. Stack.

http://www.ghg.net/burtond/36th/36infhist.html#Stateside

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 8:20:18 AM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 44
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:22:39 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
In addition to Patton being in Austria (on May 7,1945), and the 36th Division being in Austria (on May 7, 1945), units of Third Army (the 80th Division) also moved into Austria in May, 1945:


From the 80th Division G-2 reports:

"The absolute and complete disintegration of German resistance during the last days of the war in Europe was never more apparent than in the 80th Division's drive through Austria, from Braunau to Liezen. With the end in sight, thousands of German soldiers threw down their arms with the realization of the hopelessness of further resistance. During the Spring campaigns, the idol of Nazis had been beaten to dust on all fronts, and with each succeeding Allied victory, greater doubt was cast in warped minds for Nazi victory.

On 6 May, 1945, the garrison of the town of Kirchdorf surrendered (strength 350). On the evening of the same day, representatives of the 80th Division met with August Eigruber, Gauleiter of Oberdonau, who desired to surrender his Gau to U.S. forces and be allowed to move east to fight the Russians. This proposition was denied. The morning of 7 May, General Major (U.S. Brig. Gen.) Soeth surrendered his Corps of 20,000 troops, formed two days previously in the National Redoubt area. On 8 May, 1945, General der Panzer Truppen Balck, Commanding General, 6th German Army and former Commander of German Army Group 'G', surrendered his command, 102,000 strong, to the 80th Division.

Also on 7 May, 1945, SS Brigade Keitel, under the command of SS Major Keitel [Author's note: This was the son of General Keitel, Hitler's right hand.], surrendered to our forces. Brigade Keitel, strength 3,000 was an element of the 6th SS Panzer Army. Keitel's report that Sepp Dietrich still commanded the 6th SS Panzer Army was the first knowledge of the Allies that Dietrich still lived. He had previously been reported dead by the Russians.

On 8 May, 1945, General der Panzer Truppen Balck, Commanding General, 6th German Army and former Commander of Army Group 'G', arrived in Liezen from the Southeast. He asked to surrender his entire army to the 80th Division. He was told that all troops west and north of the Enns River by 12:01 A.M., 9 May, 1945 could surrender to U.S. forces.

The strength of the 6th German Army at the close of the war was estimated to be approximately 200,000 and consisted of the following units: 1st and 3rd Panzer Divisions, 1st and 9th Mountain Divisions, 5th SS Panzer Division Viking and 14th SS Grenadier Division (1st Ukrainian). Approximately 102,000 of them were across the Enns River by 12:01 A.M., 9 May, 1945. In addition, elements of the 2nd Panzer Army, 6th SS Panzer Army, 7th German Army and the 7th SS Mountain Division (Prinz Eugene) of Army Group 'F' surrendered."

Read more here:

http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/history156.html

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 3:51:57 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 45
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 5:26:23 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
Here is a map of Third Army's Area of Operations:

As you can see, units under Patton's Command moved through Germany toward the Czech border AND drove into Austria in May, 1945, where hundreds of thousands of German soldiers and generals surrendered to them.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 3:31:20 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 46
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 7:45:07 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
I don't know how the command structure would have worked, but General Patton became a FOUR STAR GENERAL by April 18, 1945 (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p.694).

As such, even though he was still in command of Third Army, would he also have been the top ranking Commander in Austria at this time (May, 7, 1945) as well? As a Four Star General would he then be the most senior commander and thus be given credit for German forces surrendering to Allied unts in Austria?

I mention this because many of the websites linking Dietrich's surrender, specifically mention that Dietrich surrendered to troops under the command of General Patton. They do not say Dietrich surrendered to Third Army (even though many troops from Dietrich's 6th SS Panzer Army DID specifically surrender to Third Army (the 80th Division)).

I don't know the answer to this question, so I am throwing this out to more knowledgeable people.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/26/2004 11:45:18 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 47
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 9:47:28 PM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Well, you better be absolutely correct in everything you post, no matter how trivial it is. You do realize of course that this sort of thing will drive everyone crazy.

All I can say is you better be prepared to stand up to that same (and ridiculous) level of perfection in even the most trivial comment you make.


I welcome any and all corrections. If someone has a better and more accurate source than me, I welcome the correction, because it gives me a new title to add to my book wish list.

quote:

And I consider Dietrich's surrender to be very trivial. Something someone would find as a question in a WW2 trivia game.


I've never seen a WWII trivia game so couldn't comment on this. Are there any you would recommend?

quote:

Yet, you cannot seem to distinquish between the trivial and the important. This is very frustrating. So far we have wasted hours on what to me is truly an insignificant fact.


I note from your later posts that you compounded this problem by finding out even more. I've said everything I have to say and am happy to let this rest if you are.

quote:

When I am looking for insignificant details such as birthdates, surrender dates, etc, I usually just look at a few websites, especially if they seem to be correct in most of the major issues.


We have a difference of approach, then. I will have to ensure I continue to use respected authorities as your comments above suggest my every word will be scrutinised for error.

quote:

As for the rest, I am not pitting websites against books; only that for minor things such as these I will look at several websites. And you'll note they all agree on who Dietrich surrendered to. There are many more websites than these.


I don't doubt what they say, I am just not convinced they are correct. Rather like the research you did on D'Este's work which we never got to see as the thread was unfortunately locked, my research on this point suggested there was room for doubt over who he surrendered to. Actually, there is no doubt, it was a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry, I just wonder why people felt it necessary to credit Patton rather than Bradley or the poor Sergeant himself.

Whatever, I've told everything I could find out and propose to move on to Malmedy.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 48
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 10:03:24 PM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

ID:

quote:

My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.


This is fine.

But your sources stated that the 36th Division was part of 7th Army up until April 30th, 1945.

As I have shown HUNDREDS of units started to come under Patton's command AFTER May 1, 1945.

So my question is this:

Who had command over the 36th Division on May 8, 1945 (the date of Dietrich's surrender?). Was it still under 7th Army or under Patton's command?


I took another look at Stanton, widely regarded as the US Army OOB bible. He lists 36th Division as joining 7th Army on 29th March 1945. He goes onto say it joined XXI Corp on 27 April 45. He lists no other assignments after that. Not happy with a blank, I checked what he says about 1st Division. This is relevant because 1st Division is one of the units we know did cross to Patton (as part of V Corp) in early May.

For 1st Division, he shows it joining V Corp on 30 April, and joining 3rd Army on 6 May 1945 (as part of V Corp). Weigley thought it was the 4 May, but it may be one was saying when the order was given, the other when operational control was passed. Whatever, Stanton records the passing of 1st Division to 3rd Army control in early May.

For 36 Division, there is no such record, leading me to conclude that in the absence of any further info, 36 Division beloned to 7th Army on 8 May 1945. Stanton records when any Division changed Army, as the 1 Division record shows, but there is nothing against 36 Division's name suggesting it left 7th Army. I've said all I can on the matter.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 49
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 10:07:54 PM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke



Ironduke:

You raise valid points.

However, if the issue centred just around Malmedy, then doubt creeps in.

However, what about the other 300+ GI POWs who were murdered and the 80+ Belgium civilians who were murdered in the Ardennes?

It is interesting that in discussions about Malmedy in books and articles, many of these other murders are rarely mentioned, which casts a larger light on the systematic murders of US POWs by certain SS units.


Von Rom,
Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo. I guess we'd need to discuss on a case by case basis. Do you have links or details to these killings?

The same applies to the POWs. I think we'd need to review the circumstances of the GI murders, to see if we can detect policy. Do you have anything further on these?

Regards,
IronDuke


quote:

Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo.


What is your source for this?


Which bit? The big chunk was based on Reynold's biography of Peiper. The second bit was a TV documentary in which they took veterans back to the scene of their service to discuss the issues. It is not what I usually refer to as sources, hence I qualified it by saying "I did hear." The veterans discussed the incident in detail, but I was hoping others would know more about it and have more qualified sources to discuss it with.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 50
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 11:32:01 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Well, you better be absolutely correct in everything you post, no matter how trivial it is. You do realize of course that this sort of thing will drive everyone crazy.

All I can say is you better be prepared to stand up to that same (and ridiculous) level of perfection in even the most trivial comment you make.


I welcome any and all corrections. If someone has a better and more accurate source than me, I welcome the correction, because it gives me a new title to add to my book wish list.

quote:

And I consider Dietrich's surrender to be very trivial. Something someone would find as a question in a WW2 trivia game.


I've never seen a WWII trivia game so couldn't comment on this. Are there any you would recommend?

quote:

Yet, you cannot seem to distinquish between the trivial and the important. This is very frustrating. So far we have wasted hours on what to me is truly an insignificant fact.


I note from your later posts that you compounded this problem by finding out even more. I've said everything I have to say and am happy to let this rest if you are.

quote:

When I am looking for insignificant details such as birthdates, surrender dates, etc, I usually just look at a few websites, especially if they seem to be correct in most of the major issues.


We have a difference of approach, then. I will have to ensure I continue to use respected authorities as your comments above suggest my every word will be scrutinised for error.

quote:

As for the rest, I am not pitting websites against books; only that for minor things such as these I will look at several websites. And you'll note they all agree on who Dietrich surrendered to. There are many more websites than these.


I don't doubt what they say, I am just not convinced they are correct. Rather like the research you did on D'Este's work which we never got to see as the thread was unfortunately locked, my research on this point suggested there was room for doubt over who he surrendered to. Actually, there is no doubt, it was a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry, I just wonder why people felt it necessary to credit Patton rather than Bradley or the poor Sergeant himself.

Whatever, I've told everything I could find out and propose to move on to Malmedy.

Regards,
IronDuke


As far as having perfection regrding trivial issues:

I doubt I or many people would spend hours researching every trivial issue. If you have time to do so, then all the power to you.

As far as those websites go, including the online encyclopedia, they go into great detail on many things, so they obviously did their homework.

I have shown that Patton, the 36th Divison, and the 80th Division were all in Austria at the time of the surrender of many high ranking German officers.

I should also note that NO major historian has mentioned any of this; I had to piece it together.

This does raise doubt that since Patton was a four star general, he would have been senior officer in Austria at the time of the surrenders, and would have received credit for these surrenders.

As I understand the chain of command, ANY senior officer present, usually has authority.

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 51
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 11:44:46 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

ID:

quote:

My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.


This is fine.

But your sources stated that the 36th Division was part of 7th Army up until April 30th, 1945.

As I have shown HUNDREDS of units started to come under Patton's command AFTER May 1, 1945.

So my question is this:

Who had command over the 36th Division on May 8, 1945 (the date of Dietrich's surrender?). Was it still under 7th Army or under Patton's command?


I took another look at Stanton, widely regarded as the US Army OOB bible. He lists 36th Division as joining 7th Army on 29th March 1945. He goes onto say it joined XXI Corp on 27 April 45. He lists no other assignments after that. Not happy with a blank, I checked what he says about 1st Division. This is relevant because 1st Division is one of the units we know did cross to Patton (as part of V Corp) in early May.

For 1st Division, he shows it joining V Corp on 30 April, and joining 3rd Army on 6 May 1945 (as part of V Corp). Weigley thought it was the 4 May, but it may be one was saying when the order was given, the other when operational control was passed. Whatever, Stanton records the passing of 1st Division to 3rd Army control in early May.

For 36 Division, there is no such record, leading me to conclude that in the absence of any further info, 36 Division beloned to 7th Army on 8 May 1945. Stanton records when any Division changed Army, as the 1 Division record shows, but there is nothing against 36 Division's name suggesting it left 7th Army. I've said all I can on the matter.

Regards,
IronDuke



quote:

For 36 Division, there is no such record, leading me to conclude that in the absence of any further info, 36 Division beloned to 7th Army on 8 May 1945. Stanton records when any Division changed Army, as the 1 Division record shows, but there is nothing against 36 Division's name suggesting it left 7th Army. I've said all I can on the matter.


This does not necessarily mean that the 36th Division was not transferred to Patton's command.

Let me explain:

After checking on various divisions, I noticed that several divisions were used as "floaters" - ie they were transferred between commands on numerous occasions, even for very short periods of time.

For example: the 10th division was transferred to Patton's command for 48 hours when he started to move into Germany. He wanted to keep it, and argued with Bradley over its transfer.

Similarly, the 71st division was also placed under Patton's command. Yet this division does not appear in Third Army's OoB.

The same could be said for many other divisions.

The 36th Division, in its unit history, talks about the Seventh Army as though it was a separate unit.

For example, the unit history states that while the Seventh Army moved to liberate Bavaria, the 36th Division remained in Austria. What are we to make of this?

The fact that your sources do not go beyond April 30, 1945 still leaves a blank. The transfer of the 36th could have been temporary.

I would like to see conclusive proof on the matter.

Even so, since Patton was a four star general, wouldn't his authority be important in Austria at this time as senior commander?

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 52
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/25/2004 11:50:26 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Golf33

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Further, if the massacre was confined to just Malmedy, then there could be room for doubt.

However, in addition to the 81 GIs murdered at Malmedy, an additional 300 or so US soldiers and 80+ Belgium civilians were also murdered in 12 different locations, and all along Peiper's route of advance.

Is this all just coincidence?

It does seem interesting that although an Army Commander is apparently issuing orders for a 'wave of terror', only one battlegroup from one division under his command has ever been accused of carrying out those orders. Since Peiper's men were by no means the only members of that division, or that corps, or that army, to fight in the front line during the campaign, what was it that stopped the others behaving in the same despicable manner?

This is not to suggest that Dietrich didn't issue such an order, rather it lends credibility to his admission that he did, since doing so was counter to his interests if it was possible to blame the whole thing on Peiper instead.

Regards
33


A fair point, not least because Peiper's unit seem to have sent prisoners to the rear on a number of occasions during this battle, so it is hard to believe they decided to adhere to some Fuhrer order at this one point (and just this one point) during the fighting.

From what I've read, it seems there were two possible solutions.

Firstly, the fact the KG was well out in front, in the midst of a narrow corridor they had punched into American lines meant they had few supporting troops to transport prisoners to the rear with. They were also pressing on as fast as they could, and with US troops on three sides, they were conscious they couldn't just leave a company sized American force behind astride their line of communication. This doesn't excuse what happened, but it could be some Officer (maybe not even Peiper) decided there was nothing else to do. It's a warcrime and the sort of solution that would not have troubled much of the SS, but not premeditated.

Also, why take them prisoner at all? If obeying some sort of "no prisoners" order, you are disobeying it by accepting the surrender in the first place. It's far easier to simply accept no surrender. This sort of battlefield execution is a common feature of warfare and all sides practised it (both with and without higher sanction) at some point in the war. So, again, I don't think premeditation comes into it.

Secondly, many of the accounts from survivors agree there were two to three single shots first, and there was some commotion within the body of American troops before the firing started. There is a suggestion that this German Tank crewman who admitted firing first, was firing at some Americans who were attempting to escape. The main body stood fast, but the shooting caused other Germans round about to open fire, and it became a massacre. The single shots may well have caused the rest of the prisoners to panic and start to run, giving the Germans the impression there was a general escape attempt on and causing them to open fire (shooting and killing escaping prisoners is not a warcrime, I believe).

What I've seen suggests about half the Americans got away from the massacre, which again doesn't suggest it was premeditated. You don't set up massacres like this in such a way as to give the men a good chance to escape. We'll probably never know the exact reasons. I don't buy the Fuhrer order, though, simply because it doesn't look premeditated and Peiper's unit had taken prisoners up to that point without incident. I can't see why he would suddenly obey a Fuhrer order after ignoring it for days.

This isn't to excuse the SS. Mohnke had form, IIRC, being part of a unit that murdered some British infantry in France in 1940 (anyone confirm this for me?) I remember some incident with Canadians with Meyer in Normandy as well, and the atrocity at Oradour was committed by members of Das Reich. However, I think these and Malmedy display not a matter of policy (I'm not talking about the east here which remains a different matter altogether) but rather the actions of men who had a lower conscience threshold than the regular Army. This sort of behaviour was a more acceptable option for them than it was for others.

Regards,
IronDuke



Ironduke:

You raise valid points.

However, if the issue centred just around Malmedy, then doubt creeps in.

However, what about the other 300+ GI POWs who were murdered and the 80+ Belgium civilians who were murdered in the Ardennes?

It is interesting that in discussions about Malmedy in books and articles, many of these other murders are rarely mentioned, which casts a larger light on the systematic murders of US POWs by certain SS units.


Von Rom,
Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo. I guess we'd need to discuss on a case by case basis. Do you have links or details to these killings?

The same applies to the POWs. I think we'd need to review the circumstances of the GI murders, to see if we can detect policy. Do you have anything further on these?

Regards,
IronDuke


quote:

Good point. I did hear that the Gestapo followed the German forces into some areas to settle old scores. I remember one massacre discovered in a cellar with over a dozen dead, but this was done by the Gestapo.


What is your source for this?


Which bit? The big chunk was based on Reynold's biography of Peiper. The second bit was a TV documentary in which they took veterans back to the scene of their service to discuss the issues. It is not what I usually refer to as sources, hence I qualified it by saying "I did hear." The veterans discussed the incident in detail, but I was hoping others would know more about it and have more qualified sources to discuss it with.

IronDuke




quote:

Which bit? The big chunk was based on Reynold's biography of Peiper. The second bit was a TV documentary in which they took veterans back to the scene of their service to discuss the issues. It is not what I usually refer to as sources, hence I qualified it by saying "I did hear." The veterans discussed the incident in detail, but I was hoping others would know more about it and have more qualified sources to discuss it with.


What date and location does Reynolds give for those Gestapo murders?

As to the TV documentary - OK. Some can be quite good; while others can be very biased, especially, when there is no opposing views.

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 53
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 12:05:49 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

Rather like the research you did on D'Este's work which we never got to see as the thread was unfortunately locked, my research on this point suggested there was room for doubt over who he surrendered to.


Be careful what you wish for

If you wish, since you originally dared me, then simply start a new thread, and in a couple of short paragraghs, present D'Este's view on who originated Operation Cobra.


quote:

Actually, there is no doubt, it was a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry, I just wonder why people felt it necessary to credit Patton rather than Bradley or the poor Sergeant himself.


Well, most people know that enemy officers surrender to the most senior Allied officer present. Since Patton was a four star general in Austria at the time, the credit would go to him.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 10:07:25 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 54
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 1:03:06 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
Here is more Information regarding the 6th SS Panzer Army and Sepp Dietrich surrendering to Patton:


Encompass: A Journal of Military History
Vol. I No. 1
February 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Chronological Survey of the Waffen SS

By Will Rinaman




Excerpts:


January 1945 6th Panzer Army is renamed 6th SS Panzer Army and sent to Hungary to destroy the Russian bridgeheads over the River Gran.

February – April 1945 The attacks in Hungary fail and the 6th SS Panzer Army is redeployed southeast of Vienna. Neumann sees Dietrich's staff car pass his convoy in March on the way to Austria. Dietrich was forced to retreat into Vienna. This was his last battle. The Viking Division retreats into Austria on March 29.

April 12, 1945 Neumann is promoted to Hauptsturmfuhrer (Captain) while engaged in the losing defense of Vienna. That night he and a handful of other men slip out of the siege lines around the city.

April 22, 1945 Hitler accuses the 6th SS Panzer Army of lack of fighting spirit and orders the force to remove its distinctive sleeve-bands and freezes all promotions. Dietrich does not pass these orders on to his men. Guderian is ordered to deliver the instructions from Hitler personally, but he refuses. Neumann describes how the LAH reacted to Hitler's order: “The insult was violently resented by the whole of the LAH. They were thunderstruck at first by this totally undeserved reproach. Then astonishment gave way to indignation. Some of them tore off their decorations as well as their stripes and sent the lot addressed to the Chancellery in Berlin, in a latrine bucket. In it, too, they put an arm taken from a corpse. All this is worrying, and terribly indicative of the attitude which prevails in the SS at the time.”

May 8, 1945 6th SS Panzer Army surrenders to General George Patton.


http://amh.freehosting.net/waffen.html

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 8/25/2004 11:09:04 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 55
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 1:46:41 AM   
Tombstone

 

Posts: 766
Joined: 6/1/2000
From: Los Angeles, California
Status: offline
Oh man. I feel sorry for you guys. Being trapped in a lame argument is never very useful to anyone. Anyways, as far as who is responsible for what, no one should forget that regardless of little tid bits of information the SS were a nasty bunch of guys borne out of a fundamentally infantile and morally corrupt roots. What percent were some of these guys responsible for this bad news? Bottom line... MORE THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN. Trials conducted improperly? I'm sure... that's what happens when things are obvious, you get sloppy. They should all have been executed. The only shame would be that they can only be executed once, unlike the number of people that they themselves were responsible for executing.

Tomo

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 56
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 1:55:47 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Tombstone

Oh man. I feel sorry for you guys. Being trapped in a lame argument is never very useful to anyone. Anyways, as far as who is responsible for what, no one should forget that regardless of little tid bits of information the SS were a nasty bunch of guys borne out of a fundamentally infantile and morally corrupt roots. What percent were some of these guys responsible for this bad news? Bottom line... MORE THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN. Trials conducted improperly? I'm sure... that's what happens when things are obvious, you get sloppy. They should all have been executed. The only shame would be that they can only be executed once, unlike the number of people that they themselves were responsible for executing.

Tomo



Heheh

I know, sometimes it goes round 'n round. . .

As time goes by it's amazing how thinking starts to change.

What is even more amazing is who originally instigated to have those sentences of those SS men overturned.

(in reply to Tombstone)
Post #: 57
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 2:09:32 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

I have shown that Patton, the 36th Divison, and the 80th Division were all in Austria at the time of the surrender of many high ranking German officers.


As were lots of other people. So what? Can you tell us which other units were in the area at the time. Why be selective?

quote:

I should also note that NO major historian has mentioned any of this; I had to piece it together.


Unfortunately, I think it's this sort of comment which turns other forum readers off.

quote:

This does raise doubt that since Patton was a four star general, he would have been senior officer in Austria at the time of the surrenders, and would have received credit for these surrenders.

As I understand the chain of command, ANY senior officer present, usually has authority.


This just seems like another attempt to credit Patton at the expense of others on the flimiest of grounds. If that is your intent, we're just likely to rehash the other thread and get this one locked up as well, so lets drop it. It's faulty reasoning. Austria is in Europe and so was Eisenhower, so we could credit him if you will allow it. I don't know where Devers was but he was in Southern Germany on 5th May, and was an Army Group Commander so maybe he was around and we can credit him. I prefer to credit a Sergeant (who has so far remained nameless) in the US 36th Infantry Division. Lets agree to disagree, we've both presented our evidence, anyone interested can decide for themselves.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 58
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 2:18:46 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Rather like the research you did on D'Este's work which we never got to see as the thread was unfortunately locked, my research on this point suggested there was room for doubt over who he surrendered to.


quote:

Be careful what you wish for

If you wish, since you originally dared me, then simply start a new thread, and in a couple of short paragraghs, present D'Este's view on who originated Operation Cobra.


As I said in that thread in response to this request, the research is yours, why do I need to get involved? Presumably, you have considered the standard received wisdom about the generation of Cobra in order to prove it wrong, so it would be easier (and more beneficial to your case) if you did this, as you won't need much research having already done it.


quote:

Actually, there is no doubt, it was a US Master Sergeant of the 36th Infantry, I just wonder why people felt it necessary to credit Patton rather than Bradley or the poor Sergeant himself.


quote:

Well, most people know that enemy officers surrender to the most senior Allied officer present. Since Patton was a four star general in Austria at the time, the credit would go to him.


Most people don't know this. Dietrich was caught with his wife by a Sergeant. He didn't present himself at 3rd Army HQ and ask for Patton. The most senior Allied Soldier present when Dietrich surrendered was a Master Sergeant. Why just include Austria, why not place his surrender in Europe and credit Bradley or Ike? I am sorry, but I find this reasoning unbalanced. I can see no reason for it, other than to try and attempt to credit Patton with something that was nothing to do with him. As I said, we're getting nowhere as usual, we've both put our case, everyone else can decide who made the most sense.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 59
RE: Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich - 8/26/2004 2:28:49 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1578
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

ID:

quote:

My source was Reynolds book on 1st SS Panzer Corp. He also gives the place Dietrich surrendered (Kufstein) which was where a separate source (Shelby Stanton) says 36 Division ended the war. A third source (James Lucas Hitler's Enforcers) also states Dietrich was captured at Kufstein by 36 US Division. If you think they may be wrong, please state why, and your source for your suspicion. I don't believe it's enoguh to cast doubt on these sources just because they disagree with you.


This is fine.

But your sources stated that the 36th Division was part of 7th Army up until April 30th, 1945.

As I have shown HUNDREDS of units started to come under Patton's command AFTER May 1, 1945.

So my question is this:

Who had command over the 36th Division on May 8, 1945 (the date of Dietrich's surrender?). Was it still under 7th Army or under Patton's command?


I took another look at Stanton, widely regarded as the US Army OOB bible. He lists 36th Division as joining 7th Army on 29th March 1945. He goes onto say it joined XXI Corp on 27 April 45. He lists no other assignments after that. Not happy with a blank, I checked what he says about 1st Division. This is relevant because 1st Division is one of the units we know did cross to Patton (as part of V Corp) in early May.

For 1st Division, he shows it joining V Corp on 30 April, and joining 3rd Army on 6 May 1945 (as part of V Corp). Weigley thought it was the 4 May, but it may be one was saying when the order was given, the other when operational control was passed. Whatever, Stanton records the passing of 1st Division to 3rd Army control in early May.

For 36 Division, there is no such record, leading me to conclude that in the absence of any further info, 36 Division beloned to 7th Army on 8 May 1945. Stanton records when any Division changed Army, as the 1 Division record shows, but there is nothing against 36 Division's name suggesting it left 7th Army. I've said all I can on the matter.

Regards,
IronDuke



quote:

For 36 Division, there is no such record, leading me to conclude that in the absence of any further info, 36 Division beloned to 7th Army on 8 May 1945. Stanton records when any Division changed Army, as the 1 Division record shows, but there is nothing against 36 Division's name suggesting it left 7th Army. I've said all I can on the matter.


This does not necessarily mean that the 36th Division was not transferred to Patton's command.

Let me explain:

After checking on various divisions, I noticed that several divisions were used as "floaters" - ie they were transferred between commands on numerous occasions, even for very short periods of time.

For example: the 10th division was transferred to Patton's command for 48 hours when he started to move into Germany. He wanted to keep it, and argued with Bradley over its transfer.

Similarly, the 71st division was also placed under Patton's command. Yet this division does not appear in Third Army's OoB.

The same could be said for many other divisions.

The 36th Division, in its unit history, talks about the Seventh Army as though it was a separate unit.

For example, the unit history states that while the Seventh Army moved to liberate Bavaria, the 36th Division remained in Austria. What are we to make of this?

The fact that your sources do not go beyond April 30, 1945 still leaves a blank. The transfer of the 36th could have been temporary.

I would like to see conclusive proof on the matter.

Even so, since Patton was a four star general, wouldn't his authority be important in Austria at this time as senior commander?


I don't agree. My sources do go beyond April 1945, Stanton lists all the US units and what they were doing until the end of the war, and then up until they were returned to the US for decommissioning. Some of the later entries give unit information for December 1945 where applicable. Stanton clearly lists the floaters as you term them. He lists 71st Division as joining third army on 8 April. He gives no such listing for 36th. The more examples you give, the more of your examples that Stanton confirms, only shows he did know and list when Divisions joined Third Army, and therefore didn't list (as in the 36th's case) when they didn't. I think your evidence is helping me rather than yourself.

As for the 36th Division remaining behind whilst other parts of the Army moved on, I don't see anything wrong here. The Americans were mopping up and manning the demarkation line with the Soviets. German resistance was light and hundreds of thousands were surrendering, why would Patch take everybody across the border into Austria?

I repeat, Stanton gives no indication of any transfer, where we know from other sources a transfer took place, he confirms it. As I said, we've said everything there is to say, people will make up their own minds.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
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