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  #61  
Old 8 July 2005, 13:51
tony762 tony762 is offline
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thank you for your insight on the kerry, mccain stuff, brought up points i hadnt thought of.

All politicians are Assholes IMO.

some are better some are worse (in my eyes)
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  #62  
Old 9 July 2005, 03:22
mangda mangda is offline
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It is easy to say that you can not understand how people commit atrocities when you only look at the specifics of a single act instead of the totality of a given situation. Seperate a man from his home and loved ones for extended periods of time, place him in a hostile enviornment, deprive him of food and sleep, have some of his friends die in front of him, throw in a good "indoctrination of hate" and you have a time bomb waiting to happen. Some men will be able to hold there morals in that situation but many will bend
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The bulk of the force in the Warsaw ghetto extermination came from two Waffen SS trainee Bn's who had never seen action.
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  #63  
Old 9 July 2005, 10:33
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Were they the SS "Sturm Strumpfen" "Totenkopfs" (Deadheads)? Absolutely ruthless soldiers, if you want to call them that.
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  #64  
Old 9 July 2005, 14:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbornelawyer
To mitigate the likelihood of partisan activity or other forms of resistance, he ruled with a velvet glove, and Czechs suffered far less than many other occupied peoples, especially the Poles (though worse than those like the Slovaks who chose collaboration).
Velvet glove? Hmmm....

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/.../Heydrich.html

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Heydrich was involved in the execution of this "Final Solution" from the start. In the summer of 1939, Himmler assigned the job of mass murder to the Einstatzgruppen, killing squads under the control of Heydrich's security police. Most of the commanders came from Heydrich's SD. Heydrich oversaw the massacre of thousands of Jews, Polish leaders, communists and clergymen. He once commented, "We have had to be hard. We have had to shoot thousands of leading Poles to show how hard we can be." (9) In 1941, after the SS established extermination camps in Poland, Heydrich took the job of coordinating the deportation of European Jews to these camps.
I guess when wholesale extermination of people is taking place, the definition of suffering changes. Damn moral relativism rearing its ugly head again.
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  #65  
Old 9 July 2005, 15:40
airbornelawyer airbornelawyer is offline
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Originally Posted by mangda
The bulk of the force in the Warsaw ghetto extermination came from two Waffen SS trainee Bn's who had never seen action.
Someone commented earlier (I think mdb23) about how people calling themselves soldiers could simply murder innocents in cold blood. Others, like Doc Doom, noted the role of Nazi indoctrination. And all of us who have been in the military know the importance of discipline - from the self and the outside - in reining in our lesser angels.

The Stroop Report is interesting in that regard less for the clinical detachment that Justice Jackson noted in Stroop's description of the operations than for the fact that he describes those operations in detail as combat operations. It is clear that he did not see his force (or at least did not intend his audience to see them) as "exterminators", but as combatants. Every daily report is about how his soldiers valiantly fought an enemy, describing the actions taken, the casualties among his forces, enemy killed or captured, weapons seized, and enemy tactics which one might infer he thought justified ruthlessness. At least as he describes it, this wasn't the coldly clinical killing of the death camps, but "heroic" combat against an armed enemy. Reading between the lines, you can see how easy it would have been for his men to convince themselves that they were only fighting the enemy, and to the extent there were innocents among them, it was their own fault for harboring or hiding among the enemy.

Looking at the details, one can see other factors at work.

In identifying the average size of his force, Stroop lists a number of units, with a total average daily strength of 30 officers and 2,049 men. That ratio of officers to men indicates that there was little leadership at the top (even assuming that most of the officers would have exercised such leadership).

Within many of the main units, the ratio was even less. The two units to which mangda refers are the SS Panzergrenadier-Ausbildung-und-Ersatz-Bataillon 3 (SS-Pz.Gren.Ausb.u.Ers.Btl.3, or 3rd SS Armored Infantry Training and Replacement Battalion) and the SS-Kavallerie-Ausbildung-und-Ersatz-Abteilung Warschau (SS-Kav.-Ausb.-u.Ers.-Abt. Warschau, or SS Cavalry Training and Replacement Battalion Warsaw), both based in Warsaw. The average strength of the former was 4 officers and 440 men, and of the latter was 5 officers and 381 men.

These two units were the main fighting force, along with two other units. One was SS-Polizei-Regiment 22 (SS-Pol.-Rgt. 22), a regular uniformed police unit, whose I. Bataillon provided 3 officers and 94 men and whose III. Bataillon provided 3 officers and 134 men. The other was a battalion of what were called "Trawniki men." These were drawn from Ausbildungslager Trawniki (Ausb.L. Trawniki, or Trawniki Training Camp), a training camp for concentration camp guards, mainly from Eastern Europe. "Trawniki men" comprised 2 officers and 335 men. The other large contingent was regular Polish police (4 officers and 363 men), but these were mainly used for perimeter security.

The Wehrmacht was there too, albeit in smaller numbers. A 24-man section from Leichte Flakalarmbatterie III/8 Warschau, a Warsaw-based antiaircraft unit, provided heavy weapons support. A 44-man element from Pionierkommando der Eisenbahn-Panzerzug-Ersatz-Abteilung Rembertow (Engineer Command of the Rembertow Armored Train Replacement Battalion) and a 35-man platoon from Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon 14 provided combat engineer support (manily demolitions).

Looking at the German casualty figures, a couple of things emerge.

First, not only were there few officers, they were apparently not leading from the front. No officers were killed or wounded. Of the 14 Germans killed, the highest ranking was an SS-Unterscharführer, or junior sergeant (a Polish police captain was killed, but he would not have been in a position to command German soldiers). Among the wounded, there were also very few NCO casualties: 29 Waffen SS cavalry were wounded, of whom 23 were privates, 3 were corporals (Rottenführer) and 3 were junior sergeants. Of 21 Panzergrenadier wounded, there were 15 privates, 1 corporal, 4 junior sergeants and one senior sergeant (Oberscharführer).

Age is another factor. Among the two Waffen SS battalions, most of the soldiers were fairly young. Most of the Waffen SS KIAs and WIAs were between 18 and 21. They would have been around 9-12 years old when Hitler came to power in 1933.

But this could be overstated, too. The Waffen SS wounded list includes a number of SS men in their 30s (though few in their mid- to late-20s). These would have included a number of men turned down for regular military service or who had previously completed military service and later joined the SS.

The police units were generally much older, as they would have been older professional policemen not drafted into the Wehrmacht in earlier waves. Among Sicherheitspolizei casualties, the one KIA was 38 and the WIAs were 41, 32 and 33 years old. Among Ordnungspolizei casualties, 2 of 3 KIAs were in their 30s, and WIAs ranged in age from 26 to 40.

Non-Germans fell into two categories. The Polish police were mainly older, like their German counterparts. But the Trawniki men were mainly young (and mainly Ukrainians) and probably even more viciously anti-Semitic than their German overseers (Stroop calls the Trawniki men "Askaris", the term, from the Swahili word for soldier, for native soldiers in German colonies before World War One).

The Wehrmacht units involved were rear area units mainly made up of less fit soldiers. The two antiaircraftmen killed (when Jewish resistance fighters attacked their 20mm gun) were a 36-year old lance corporal and a 42-year old private. The two combat engineers wounded were a 46-year old sergeant and a 19-year old private.

I'm not sure what lessons can be drawn from this, other than the obvious one that mixing sadists and losers with impressionable and easily manipulable kids is a prescription for evil. The capacity for self-delusion, the ability to convince yourself that you aren't really committing the act that you are committing, is also strong and not limited to people like Stroop's men.
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  #66  
Old 9 July 2005, 16:06
airbornelawyer airbornelawyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner
Velvet glove? Hmmm....

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/.../Heydrich.html

I guess when wholesale extermination of people is taking place, the definition of suffering changes. Damn moral relativism rearing its ugly head again.
Are you deliberately trying to insult me, or can you not read?

As stated, the specific charge was that Heydrich deliberately sought to undercut resistance in Bohemia and Moravia by avoiding the heavy-handed tactics he and his minions employed elsewhere. Whether that is true is debatable, and unfortunately accurate information is hard to come by (on the one hand, there are lots of Heydrich apologists among the historical revisionist movement, and on the other hand, many Czechs, like most other occupied peoples, bristle at the suggestion that their experience under occupation was not as brutal as that of others).

But the text you cite has nothing to do with Bohemia and Moravia. Heydrich's evils as SD and RSHA head are well-documented. And while Schoenberg states that the Reichsprotektor position "gave Heydrich the power to crush Czech resistance and to push for deportations of Czech Jews to Poland," she provides no evidence on this one way or another, but instead jumps straight to his assassination.
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  #67  
Old 10 July 2005, 03:57
mangda mangda is offline
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Quote:
Also, when citing someone else's words, it is, if nothing else, proper courtesy to credit them to the original source.
The Black Angels
The Story Of The Waffen SS by Rupert Butler. Page 179
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  #68  
Old 10 July 2005, 04:56
ExSquid ExSquid is offline
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I seem to recall reading somewhere that a German prison unit was also involved in putting down the Warsaw Ghetto revolt.

D/S
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  #69  
Old 10 July 2005, 08:09
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RHPZ RHPZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbornelawyer
Heydrich had a well-earned reputation for unmitigated Nazi evil. But as Reichsprotektor, he was, if nothing else, pragmatic. To mitigate the likelihood of partisan activity or other forms of resistance, he ruled with a velvet glove, and Czechs suffered far less than many other occupied peoples, especially the Poles (though worse than those like the Slovaks who chose collaboration). Hence there was no active Czech resistance to threaten German activities. As a result, the Allies had to bring in Czech agents from outside to effect the assassination, with the hope (fully realized) that the Nazi retaliation would be so disproportionate and indiscriminate that Czech resistance would be stiffened and Heydrich's policy of moderation would be for naught.

Discuss.
Sir,

I have to agree with your opinion that Czechs suffered far less than many other accupied peoples, although it is painfull for those (Czechs) who follow the ideas of them who were active in resistance and mostly died in the Nazi´s hands. There are some facts that could be added to understanding. Heydrich knew that Czech factories (especially Skoda Plzen - Pilsener) were essential part of German machinery. The last thing Nazis wanted was the cutting on the weapon productions. Therefore he ruled Protektorate with moderate glove, although I wouldn´t dare to use the word velvet.

As to the Czech active resistance, there was lack of people who would managed to established a quality net of agents and partisans. Majority of officers, including the whole Military Intelligence (on order of famous Chief General Frantisek Moravec), left for France and Britain after March 1939. Also the territory of Protektorate was not really excelent for partisan movement as known from Slovakia and the territory of Soviet Union. There are just few parts, heavily forested, good for long-term concealment.

Partial disagreement with you, Sir, I see in your claim that the Allies had to bring in Czech agents from outside to effect the assassination. Czech president Benes (in exile in London since 1939 - 1945) was not satisfied with the fact that Allies didn´t consider Czech exile goverment as part of coalition (due to the fact discussed above - a lack of active resistance) and he ordered General Moravec to elaborate any plan which could reverse such a opinion. Moravec, Chief of Intelligence in exile, who was always in charge of Czech and Slovaks commandos in Britain, decided to assasinate Heydrich.

Regards,
RHPZ
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  #70  
Old 10 July 2005, 13:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbornelawyer
Are you deliberately trying to insult me, or can you not read?
Neither.

The historical record speaks for itself. You can delve deep into unit histories, arcane facts, and various sundry trivia all day long.

That doesn't change what the nazis did, or who Heydrich was. He was part and parcel of that whole regime. Nothing he did during the time he adminstered that area can mitigate the crimes he committed. To say that the Czechs were treated somewhat better due to Herr Heydrich's 'pragmatism' appears to make you an apologist to some degree. John Wayne Gacy was pragmatic, too. Ran a thriving business, was involved in his local democratic precinct politics, and even entertained sick children as Pogo the clown.

Along the way he killed 33 young men (the figure is probably higher). Next to Heydrich, Gacy is a boyscout.
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  #71  
Old 10 July 2005, 23:17
tony762 tony762 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner
Neither.

The historical record speaks for itself. You can delve deep into unit histories, arcane facts, and various sundry trivia all day long.

That doesn't change what the nazis did, or who Heydrich was. He was part and parcel of that whole regime. Nothing he did during the time he adminstered that area can mitigate the crimes he committed. To say that the Czechs were treated somewhat better due to Herr Heydrich's 'pragmatism' appears to make you an apologist to some degree.
AL is right in saying that Heydrich was softer on the Czechs than others, that in no way lessens the horror that he was responsible for.
AL is NOT an apologist but is merely stating a little known fact.
please lets not get to the point where we are getting close to insulting each other, this is a forum for learning, knowlegde and yes opinon but lets think rationally about this.
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  #72  
Old 4 January 2006, 08:34
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I think this belongs to this topic:

Newly released documents show that Churchill wanted to bomb German villages in revenge for the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice

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Fascinating wartime documents have just been released in Britain that shed light on one of the dark moments of Czech history. On a June morning in 1942 people in the Nazi occupied Czech Lands woke up to a chilling radio announcement. In ice-cold tones a voice in German said that the village of Lidice not far from Prague had been wiped off the map, and all the men shot. This was in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler's man in charge of the Czech lands, who was killed a few weeks before by Czech parachutists sent from London. The Lidice massacre sent shockwaves round the world, and the archives that have been released in London, reveal how the British cabinet reacted in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity. David Vaughan reports.
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  #73  
Old 4 January 2006, 09:09
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Interesting stuff, I do know that RH's state funeral was one of, if not the, most elaborate the Nazi's ever put on. Not too long ago I saw original programs from it selling on Ebay.
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  #74  
Old 4 January 2006, 09:50
Attila175 Attila175 is offline
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What I dont get is how some people seem to thin that the racist views and killings were a just a German thing. There were people of just about every european origin that were all to willing to help kill jews. Anti-semitism was common through out the continent. A good bit of the Waffen-SS was made up of foreigners as were many of the concentration camp guard units.
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