Skip to comments.War Weary, World War II Style (History repeating itself. Yes it is...)
Posted on 12/01/2003 1:48:03 AM PST by Oreo KookeyEdited on 04/22/2004 12:38:01 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
President Truman (search), just a few months into his young presidency, is coming under increasing fire from some Congressional Republicans for what appears to be a deteriorating security situation in occupied Germany, with some calling for his removal from office.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944-1946
Published in Hardcover by Univ of Toronto Pr (February, 1998)
Authors: Alexander Perry Biddiscombe and Perry Biddiscombe
Biddiscombe describes their organizational, ideological and social character and follows their development inside a Nazi bureaucracy beset with turf wars and personality clashes. Noting that "the Nazi Reich was hardly a unified totalitarian state, but rather a feudal patchwork of rival fiefs," he adds a geographic element to his analysis, highlighting the regional differences among the werewolf groups within Germany and the differences found in groups outside German territory.
The Nazi resistance or partisan movement began in 1944 as the Allies began to dislodge the German army from occupied territories. Biddiscombe draws on detailed archival materials to describe how support for a resistance movement came from a variety of competing interests within the Third Reich. First established as part of Himmler's SS, then coupled with the Hitler Youth, the Werwolf groups were subsequently dominated by the military who saw their usefulness in slowing the Allied advance. In analyzing the active role of the Werwolf in partisan resistance, the author presents many detailed descriptions of attacks on Allied soldiers and collaborating Germans (sniping, decapitation wires, assassinations, poisonings, etc.) and sabotage actions. He documents a few cases involving children as young as 9 or 10 years old (p.62 and p.64) and many conducted by teenagers (pp.59 ff.).
At times the author's analysis distinguishes between Werwolf attacks and partisan resistance that occurred before and after the German surrender, but generally this distinction remains in the background. This distinction deserves greater prominence. While some fighting has continued after the formal end to many wars, most stops soon thereafter. (Fighting continued only briefly in Texas after Lee's surrender and President Johnson?s declaration that the civil war was over.) Continued and vigorous post-surrender partisan activity in Germany would have revealed a significant residual pro-Nazi German sentiment and resulted in a much more difficult occupation.
Biddiscombe at one point characterizes post-surrender resistance as "minor" (p.275). He labels post-war Werwolfs as "desperadoes" (p.151) and describes them as fanatics living in forest huts (p.80). He also cites U.S. Army intelligence that characterized partisans as "nomad bands" (p.197), judged them as less serious threats than the attacks by foreign slave laborers (p.152) and considered their sabotage and subversive activities to be insignificant (p. 115). Finally, he notes that: "the Americans and British concluded, even in the summer of 1945, that, as a nationwide network, the original Werwolf was irrevocably destroyed, and that it no longer posed a threat to the occupation." (p.51)
It would appear that the defense of home and family from outside invaders united large, disparate groups of Germans, while post-war partisan actions only attracted relatively few fanatics and/or thugs. A plan to mount post-war resistance, the Axmann Plan, never worked. In tallying up the Allied soldiers killed by partisan activities after the surrender, this reader found fewer than several dozen. It appears that when the war was over, so was the most of the resistance.
This is so close to our current situation that I had to look back to make sure it wasn't satire.
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