Why the Waffen-SS

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 23 Feb 2021 20:26

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Feb 2021 20:21
Another snippet from the war diary of 26 Panzer Division for late 1942 showing nervousness about an Allied assault from the sea:
4.10.42
Abends treffen zwei Fernschreiben über die Landung eines engl. Stoẞtrupps auf der Kanalinsel Sark (Sercq) und über eine Anzahl beunruhigender Anzeichen für eine erneute engl. Landung ein.

In the evening, two telex messages are received about the landing of English commandos on the Channel Island of Sark (Sercq) and a number of worrying signs of a renewed English landing.
Again, apologies if the translation is off (mixture of me and Google Translate) and I don't understand why the author insists on writing of "meeting" messages! I should obviously have paid more attention in school. :oops:

Interesting that, even this late in the year when anyone with any knowledge of the possible weather in the Channel at this time of year should have realised that a major landing was very unlikely, there were still "worrying signs" being shared.

Regards

Tom
October was a month where the LAH for example was alerted so yes the threat of a landing was taken very seriously.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Feb 2021 08:28

Hi ljadw,

You post, "There does not need to be an added value for the existence of the waffen ss." Interesting. So what on earth was the point of creating it in the first place? Why divert manpower and weaponry from arguably the best army in the world if there was nothing to be gained? In the words of the thread title, "Why the Waffen-SS"?

You post, "It is obvious and understandable the ss wanted a military component....." Yup, we know that. Everyone in the Nazi apparatus was trying to expand their turf, but this is not a military justification for its existence, though it might be a political one.

You go on, "......and there could be no objection to it as long it does not become too big." What does "too big" mean? I would suggest that one soldier or weapon diverted from what was arguably the best Army in the world was "too big" and the German Army command felt the same.

You go on, "It is not surprising that Hitler would order the setting up of a corps command for the senior waffen ss divisions." In the power grabbing world of the Nazi regime, this is not surprising, but it is not a military justification. The senior Waffen-SS divisions had never previously operated in the same corps, they had all worked perfectly well under Army corps commands and they had almost no trained staff officers so the new W-SS corps had to borrow them from the Army anyway. So what was the point?

You post, "There can be no valid objection against this." There are and I have given some of them to you several times already. You just avoid addressing the issues raised.

You post, "This corps command by definition will be set up on a training ground in Germany." Why? The Army didn't find it necessary during the war to withdraw several motorised divisions to Germany for six months just to set up a new corps headquarters. Why did the Waffen-SS need to?

You post, "Same for the new units for the upgrade of the divisions. But these new units could join the division behind the front as happened with LAH. The DR was completely burnt out so its case was different as it needed a serious refit." You said previously that the W-SS divisions had suffered no more heavily than Army divisions, so why were all the senior Waffen-SS divisions sent to France to refit and only one in eight of Army panzer divisions?

You post, "If decisions are not based on percentages then calculating them makes no sense." That of itself makes no sense. Percentages are just a simple analytical tool that are throwing up questions that you cannot answer.

The "12%" you particularly object to, but do not dispute (presumably because it is based on your own figures), essentially means "one in eight". I have previously written "one in eight" to accommodate your "percentagiophobia" but you still did not answer. I have written it again in the previous paragraph. Will this elicit an answer from you? No, of course not. Your "percentagiophobia" is just a smoke screen to obscure the fact that you have no answer to the problems a percentage analysis creates for your position.

You post, "You are wrong when you seem to think all mech units are elite." But I don't. You are just making that up!

However, if you can name one Waffen-SS division that was not fully mechanized that was considered elite, please tell us. We have been waiting quite a long time for an answer to that. It looks a lot to me as though the force multiplier for the better Waffen-SS divisions was not some "value-added" by virtue of being in the Waffen-SS, but the fact that they all had wheels and tracks, like the rest of the Panzerwaffe.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Feb 2021 20:20

And yet another interesting snippet in 26 Panzer Division war diary that shows that the Germans were nervous of an allied landing in the autumn of 1942:
6.10.42
[...]
In den Morgenstunden kommen von der Armee Befehle, die wieder Nachrichten über Anzeichen für ein bevorstehendes englisches Unternehmen enthalten. An der Küste zwischen Seine und Loire war sogar schon die I. Alarmstufe befohlen worden. Der Tag verlief aber widereum ohne besondere Vorkommnisse.

[...]
In the morning, orders come from Army, again containing news of indications of an imminent British enterprise. On the coast between the Seine and Loire, the first alert has even been ordered. The day passed without any special incidents.
They seem to have been a nervous lot!

Regards

Tom

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Feb 2021 23:07

Hi TfC,

They certainly do!

I wonder if they were as nervous in 1943?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Peter89 » 25 Feb 2021 21:10

Sid Guttridge wrote:
24 Feb 2021 08:28

You post, "There does not need to be an added value for the existence of the waffen ss." Interesting. So what on earth was the point of creating it in the first place? Why divert manpower and weaponry from arguably the best army in the world if there was nothing to be gained? In the words of the thread title, "Why the Waffen-SS"?
The Waffen-SS was the army that ought to be loyal to Hitler instead of the senior officiers.

There was also a race to skim the cream of the manpower pool for the quasi private units of the top ranking Nazi officials, like the early Fallschirmjägers. I think this is also a byproduct of the high army standards after the Versailles treaty, which allowed the Germans to over-select and over-train their soldiers.

There were also parallel intelligence services, which actively fought against each other.

My point is that the creation of Waffen-SS was fundamentally a political decision, but I see similarities with other German branches and units. On the other hand, I don't see similarities before 1920.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 25 Feb 2021 21:17

Sid Guttridge wrote:
24 Feb 2021 08:28
Hi ljadw,

You post, "There does not need to be an added value for the existence of the waffen ss." Interesting. So what on earth was the point of creating it in the first place? Why divert manpower and weaponry from arguably the best army in the world if there was nothing to be gained? In the words of the thread title, "Why the Waffen-SS"?

You post, "It is obvious and understandable the ss wanted a military component....." Yup, we know that. Everyone in the Nazi apparatus was trying to expand their turf, but this is not a military justification for its existence, though it might be a political one.

You go on, "......and there could be no objection to it as long it does not become too big." What does "too big" mean? I would suggest that one soldier or weapon diverted from what was arguably the best Army in the world was "too big" and the German Army command felt the same.

You go on, "It is not surprising that Hitler would order the setting up of a corps command for the senior waffen ss divisions." In the power grabbing world of the Nazi regime, this is not surprising, but it is not a military justification. The senior Waffen-SS divisions had never previously operated in the same corps, they had all worked perfectly well under Army corps commands and they had almost no trained staff officers so the new W-SS corps had to borrow them from the Army anyway. So what was the point?

You post, "There can be no valid objection against this." There are and I have given some of them to you several times already. You just avoid addressing the issues raised.

You post, "This corps command by definition will be set up on a training ground in Germany." Why? The Army didn't find it necessary during the war to withdraw several motorised divisions to Germany for six months just to set up a new corps headquarters. Why did the Waffen-SS need to?

You post, "Same for the new units for the upgrade of the divisions. But these new units could join the division behind the front as happened with LAH. The DR was completely burnt out so its case was different as it needed a serious refit." You said previously that the W-SS divisions had suffered no more heavily than Army divisions, so why were all the senior Waffen-SS divisions sent to France to refit and only one in eight of Army panzer divisions?

You post, "If decisions are not based on percentages then calculating them makes no sense." That of itself makes no sense. Percentages are just a simple analytical tool that are throwing up questions that you cannot answer.

The "12%" you particularly object to, but do not dispute (presumably because it is based on your own figures), essentially means "one in eight". I have previously written "one in eight" to accommodate your "percentagiophobia" but you still did not answer. I have written it again in the previous paragraph. Will this elicit an answer from you? No, of course not. Your "percentagiophobia" is just a smoke screen to obscure the fact that you have no answer to the problems a percentage analysis creates for your position.

You post, "You are wrong when you seem to think all mech units are elite." But I don't. You are just making that up!

However, if you can name one Waffen-SS division that was not fully mechanized that was considered elite, please tell us. We have been waiting quite a long time for an answer to that. It looks a lot to me as though the force multiplier for the better Waffen-SS divisions was not some "value-added" by virtue of being in the Waffen-SS, but the fact that they all had wheels and tracks, like the rest of the Panzerwaffe.

Cheers,

Sid.
You make no sense. In the big picture it does not matter whether of all the divisions that can be set up with the manpower availbable some are waffen ss. The only valid objection would be it soaking uo too much of the highly motivated recruits .
As the waffen ss divisions get recruits that specifically volonteer for the waffen ss ,the refitting of waffen ss divisions is a completely separate issue from the refitting of army units so coming up with percentages is without merit. Germany could not replace the losses sustained in 1942 so it was not able to refit all its Heer mobile units and setting up new ones made that even more impossible.
How strange that you would again repeat the factually incorrect statement that waffen ss division had alegedly to be sent to France to refit and upgrade. :roll:
It has been stated before that LAH refitted behind the eastern front and DR was refitting and upgrading in Germany. For Totenkopf also the new units needed for the upgrade were being set up in Germany in Sennelager while the core of the division was still fighting around Demjansk. Hitler ordered the transport to France of the units of Totenkopf that were setting up in Germany on 26 august 1942 because he believed that after the failed landings at Dieppe there would be new ones(Soldaten Kampfer Kameraden III, Volpersal p 29). The only reason the 3 waffen ss divisions ended up in France was the perceived threat of an allied landing. Without that DR and Totenkopf would have done their complete refit and upgrade in Germany. Before Hitlers fear of an allied landing the only mobile units refitting in France were Heer ones.
Setting up a corps comMand also entails the setting up of corps level units so it is not just a staff. You seem confused about that.
And the idea of having the senior waffen ss divisions operating together under an ss corps command does imply they would eventually always end up at the same place .
Last edited by Aida1 on 25 Feb 2021 21:27, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by David Thompson » 25 Feb 2021 21:25

Aida1 -- Please post sources or applicable authorities when you make factual claims.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 25 Feb 2021 21:34

David Thompson wrote:
25 Feb 2021 21:25
Aida1 -- Please post sources or applicable authorities when you make factual claims.
All statements have been sourced to volumes of the divisional histories of the involved waffen ss divisions and one book by Walter Warlimont plus one Original document. When i have to repeat a statement i am not going repeat the source each time .Sid Guttridge never even bothers to source anything which is not surprising given his lack of detailed knowledge about what waffen ss divisions were actually doing in 1942.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 21:57

Hi Peter89,

You post, "My point is that the creation of Waffen-SS was fundamentally a political decision....." I agree.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 22:56

Hi Aida1,

You post, "In the big picture it does not matter whether of all the divisions that can be set up with the manpower availbable some are waffen ss." It does if there is no demonstrable "value added" as a result. Or if all three senior Waffen-SS divisions miss arguably the decisive campaign of Germany's war and aren't on any other active battlefront either.

You post, "The only valid objection would be it soaking up too much of the highly motivated recruits." This, too, became an issue in mid war, because the Waffen-SS was creaming off many volunteers the year before the Army was allowed to conscript them.

You post, "As the waffen ss divisions get recruits that specifically volonteer for the waffen ss ,the refitting of waffen ss divisions is a completely separate issue from the refitting of army units". Except that every single man and weapon that the Waffen-SS got was subtracted from Army resources. This might not matter if there was some "value added" in the creation of the Waffen-SS, but where is it?

You post, "....so coming up with percentages is without merit." In this particular case it has a lot of merit. The fact is that you have failed a dozen times when asked to explain why it was necessary for all three senior Waffen-SS divisions to be operationally idle in France at arguably the key turning point of Germany's war, but only 12% of panzer divisions (your figures).

You post, "Germany could not replace the losses sustained in 1942...." How does that justify the absence of the three senior Waffen-SS divisions from any front at all during the latter part of 1942?

You post. "How strange that you would again repeat the factually incorrect statement that waffen ss division had alegedly to be sent to France to refit and upgrade." So you are saying that LAH, DR and Totenkopf undertook no "refit and upgrade" in France?

You post, "It has been stated before that LAH refitted behind the eastern front and DR was refitting and upgrading in Germany. For Totenkopf also the new units needed for the upgrade were being set up in Germany in Sennelager while the core of the division was still fighting around Demjansk, etc., etc., etc........." You are aware that Germany was an even less active operational area than France? And that these facts still don't put any of the three senior Waffen-SS divisions on an active battlefront anywhere at arguably the most vital time in Germany's war? Meanwhile, 80% of the Army's panzer divisions were presumably serving on an active battlefront.

You post, "Setting up a corps comMand also entails the setting up of corps level units so it is not just a staff." Yup, and all their equipment as assuredly came from Army stocks as did their staff officers. What is your point?

You post, "And the idea of having the senior waffen ss divisions operating together under an ss corps command does imply they would eventually always end up at the same place." Indeed, but as it turned out, that "same place" was in the backwater of France, while the real action was taking place in the East and Africa! As a result all three Waffen-SS divisions were on no active battlefront at arguably the decisive moment in Germany's war.

You post "All statements have been sourced to volumes of the divisional histories of the involved waffen ss divisions." As a matter of interest, what W-SS divisional histories do you have?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 27 Feb 2021 20:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Feb 2021 22:56
Hi Aida1,

You post, "In the big picture it does not matter whether of all the divisions that can be set up with the manpower availbable some are waffen ss." It does if there is no demonstrable "value added" as a result. Or if all three senior Waffen-SS divisions miss arguably the decisive campaign of Germany's war and aren't on any other active battlefront either.

You post, "The only valid objection would be it soaking up too much of the highly motivated recruits." This, too, became an issue in mid war, because the Waffen-SS was creaming off many volunteers the year before the Army was allowed to conscript them.

You post, "As the waffen ss divisions get recruits that specifically volonteer for the waffen ss ,the refitting of waffen ss divisions is a completely separate issue from the refitting of army units". Except that every single man and weapon that the Waffen-SS got was subtracted from Army resources. This might not matter if there was some "value added" in the creation of the Waffen-SS, but where is it?

You post, "....so coming up with percentages is without merit." In this particular case it has a lot of merit. The fact is that you have failed a dozen times when asked to explain why it was necessary for all three senior Waffen-SS divisions to be operationally idle in France at arguably the key turning point of Germany's war, but only 12% of panzer divisions (your figures).

You post, "Germany could not replace the losses sustained in 1942...." How does that justify the absence of the three senior Waffen-SS divisions from any front at all during the latter part of 1942?

You post. "How strange that you would again repeat the factually incorrect statement that waffen ss division had alegedly to be sent to France to refit and upgrade." So you are saying that LAH, DR and Totenkopf undertook no "refit and upgrade" in France?

You post, "It has been stated before that LAH refitted behind the eastern front and DR was refitting and upgrading in Germany. For Totenkopf also the new units needed for the upgrade were being set up in Germany in Sennelager while the core of the division was still fighting around Demjansk, etc., etc., etc........." You are aware that Germany was an even less active operational area than France? And that these facts still don't put any of the three senior Waffen-SS divisions on an active battlefront anywhere at arguably the most vital time in Germany's war? Meanwhile, 80% of the Army's panzer divisions were presumably serving on an active battlefront.

You post, "Setting up a corps comMand also entails the setting up of corps level units so it is not just a staff." Yup, and all their equipment as assuredly came from Army stocks as did their staff officers. What is your point?

You post, "And the idea of having the senior waffen ss divisions operating together under an ss corps command does imply they would eventually always end up at the same place." Indeed, but as it turned out, that "same place" was in the backwater of France, while the real action was taking place in the East and Africa! As a result all three Waffen-SS divisions were on no active battlefront at arguably the decisive moment in Germany's war.

You post "All statements have been sourced to volumes of the divisional histories of the involved waffen ss divisions." As a matter of interest, what W-SS divisional histories do you have?

Cheers,

Sid.
You pose a strange question at the end as i certainly mentioned Lehmanns history of the LAH, Weidingers history of Das Reich and Volpersals of Totenkopf. All very detailed and wellknown.
As usual you produce the same nonsense inspired by bias.
The waffen ss does not need an added value. If you can set up x number of divisions, it has zero importance whether some of those are waffen ss except if these were worse than army divisions which they were clearly not.The only case one could make is them attracting too many of the willing soldiers.
If you can refit x number of mobile divisions,it does not matter how many of those are waffen ss because they are not worse than army div. So the net effect is zero unless obviously waffen ss div are actualky better. :lol:
In the big picture your percentage game has therefore zero practical importance in the worst case. :lol:
It is strange you still cannot get your head around the fact that new units are mostly set up on training grounds in Germany so all new units needed for the upgrade of the waffen ss divisions were obviously set up there as well as the corps units. When the 1.Kav div for example was upgraded to the 24.pz in the beginning of 1942 that took place in Germany from where it moved to France for training while being reserve of 7 Army(24. Pz div Von Senger und Etterlin Podzun Pallas 1986 pp 69-71).The 26.Pz was created in Belgium in the autumn of 1942 and then also sent to France for training while is reserve of 15.army(http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... 26PD-R.htm) Using upgrading mobile units as reserve in France did not start with the waffen ss divisions.
You were told more than once that DR refitted in Germany and LAH in Russia. DR 's refit was almost done when it was sent to France so one cannot say it refitted in France. The only one that had a very short refit in France was Totenkopf as it received 6000 recruits very late in 1942. All neatly sourced to the divisional histories.
And it need not be repeated why the waffen ss divisions eventually ended up all 3 in France. Has been explained in detail before. There were perfect good reasons for it. You will not see historians wondering why the senior waffen ss divisions ended up in France. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Feb 2021 21:59

Hi Aida1,

You post, "The waffen ss does not need an added value." Quite a confession! That completely undermines any good military reason for its existence.

There is a cost to setting up a parallel organization because of duplication of functions. In the Waffen-SS's case it also had to set up a new depot structure as it expanded, which meant it took far longer to field divisions than the Army. Many of the Army divisions destroyed as Stalingrad at the beginning of February 1943 were back on operations in Italy barely seven months later. Contrast that with the length of time it took to field 9th and 10th W-SS Divisions, whose formation began at about the same time.

Creating a heavily volunteer Waffen-SS that was only as good as Army equivalents that were largely using conscripts was therefore not a good use of limited resources.

You post, "The only case one could make is them attracting too many of the willing soldiers." I told you in my last post that this actually was a problem in the middle war years when the Waffen-SS was creaming off youthful manpower a year before the Army could enlist it. Please read it again. It was an issue also raised by Albert Speer with specific regard to 12th W-SS Division.

What is strange is that you still don't seem to grasp that (1) Germany was even less of an operational area than France and (2) that while all three senior Waffen-SS divisions were away from any front anywhere at arguably the turning point of Germany's war in the second half of 1942, the great majority of the Army's panzer divisions were on an active battlefront.

You post, "Using upgrading mobile units as reserve in France did not start with the waffen ss divisions." Did anyone say that it did? But, according to you, the LAH arrived in France already fully refitted and DR nearly so. They then conducted no operations for half a year! It was not their fault, because they had to go where they were told, but it remains a fact.

You post, "And it need not be repeated why the waffen ss divisions eventually ended up all 3 in France....... You will not see historians wondering why the senior waffen ss divisions ended up in France." And yet you still cannot justify the fact that all three senior Waffen-SS divisions simultaneously missed arguably the decisive campaign of Germany's war, two of them for half a year while, according to you above, they were already fully refitted and when, again according to you above, they could equally have been refitted behind the Eastern Front.

Remember, according to your figures only 12% of German Army panzer divisions were in France at this time, whereas all three senior Waffen-SS divisions were.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 28 Feb 2021 10:00

Sid Guttridge wrote:
27 Feb 2021 21:59
Hi Aida1,

You post, "The waffen ss does not need an added value." Quite a confession! That completely undermines any good military reason for its existence.

There is a cost to setting up a parallel organization because of duplication of functions. In the Waffen-SS's case it also had to set up a new depot structure as it expanded, which meant it took far longer to field divisions than the Army. Many of the Army divisions destroyed as Stalingrad at the beginning of February 1943 were back on operations in Italy barely seven months later. Contrast that with the length of time it took to field 9th and 10th W-SS Divisions, whose formation began at about the same time.

Creating a heavily volunteer Waffen-SS that was only as good as Army equivalents that were largely using conscripts was therefore not a good use of limited resources.

You post, "The only case one could make is them attracting too many of the willing soldiers." I told you in my last post that this actually was a problem in the middle war years when the Waffen-SS was creaming off youthful manpower a year before the Army could enlist it. Please read it again. It was an issue also raised by Albert Speer with specific regard to 12th W-SS Division.

What is strange is that you still don't seem to grasp that (1) Germany was even less of an operational area than France and (2) that while all three senior Waffen-SS divisions were away from any front anywhere at arguably the turning point of Germany's war in the second half of 1942, the great majority of the Army's panzer divisions were on an active battlefront.

You post, "Using upgrading mobile units as reserve in France did not start with the waffen ss divisions." Did anyone say that it did? But, according to you, the LAH arrived in France already fully refitted and DR nearly so. They then conducted no operations for half a year! It was not their fault, because they had to go where they were told, but it remains a fact.

You post, "And it need not be repeated why the waffen ss divisions eventually ended up all 3 in France....... You will not see historians wondering why the senior waffen ss divisions ended up in France." And yet you still cannot justify the fact that all three senior Waffen-SS divisions simultaneously missed arguably the decisive campaign of Germany's war, two of them for half a year while, according to you above, they were already fully refitted and when, again according to you above, they could equally have been refitted behind the Eastern Front.

Remember, according to your figures only 12% of German Army panzer divisions were in France at this time, whereas all three senior Waffen-SS divisions were.

Cheers,

Sid.
The massive bias as usual. The existence of a few waffen ss divisions does not need to have an added value. In the big picture they could not be a big drain on german resources and were at least as good as army divisions. There can be no valid objection to the existence of a few volonteer highly motivated 'elite' divisions, rather the contrary. And the senior waffen ss divisions were certainly very good.
Comparing the setting up of 9 th and 10 th ss from scratch with the reconstitution of the 6 th army after stalingrad is not valid as the 6 th army divisions could be reconstituted around a core of units and men not in the pocket and also existing units were integrated in the divisions to force the reconstitution(for example Die 71. Infanteriedivision 1939-1945 Dorffler p 306).
You clearly still cannot get your head around the fact that new units are never set up on the eastern front despite examples being given from Heer divisions so the new units needed for the upgrade of the waffen ss divisions were obvioulsly set up on training grounds in Germany as would be comman practice.
And still stubbornly wanting the 3 senior waffen ss divisions in Operation Blau while 2 could never have been part of it. :roll: The historical reasons while Hitler had a reltively high number of mobile divisions in France in 1942 have been explained and are known to you but you seem to be eastern front obsessed . Serious historians writing about Operation Blau do not share your wondering about the abscence of the senior waffen ss divisions. :lol:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Feb 2021 10:45

Hi Aida1,

You post, "The existence of a few waffen ss divisions does not need to have an added value." So you said before. And as I said before, "Quite a confession! That completely undermines any good military reason for its existence."

You post, "In the big picture they could not be a big drain on german resources....." "Not being a big drain on German resources" doesn't look like much of a selling point to me.

You post, ".....and were at least as good as army divisions." is also not much of a selling point either, given that Army divisions were full of conscripts while the senior Waffen-SS divisions consisted of volunteers.

You post, "There can be no valid objection to the existence of a few volonteer highly motivated 'elite' divisions....." There can if they offer no "value added" at an additional cost, as discussed last time.

You post, "And the senior waffen ss divisions were certainly very good." Not always. Their predecessors did not distinguish themselves in Poland, and yet got expanded into the Waffen-SS. And, given that they were full of volunteers and always motorised, it is not surprising that they often performed well - not least after six month doing nothing operational in France while the bulk of the Army was engaged in a life or death struggle on active battlefronts!

The question is, what did being in the Waffen-SS, rather than the Army, bring by way of "value added" in a military sense? There was clearly a strong political reason to create and expand the Waffen-SS, but where is the "value added" militarily? The Waffen-SS did not add a single man or weapon to Germany's resources and was militarily unoriginal, so what was the military point of it as an independent institution?

You post, "Comparing the setting up of 9 th and 10 th ss from scratch with the reconstitution of the 6 th army after stalingrad is not valid as the 6 th army divisions could be reconstituted around a core of units and men not in the pocket and also existing units were integrated in the divisions to force the reconstitution(for example Die 71. Infanteriedivision 1939-1945 Dorffler p 306)." Thank you. You make my point for me. The Army had the infrastructure and foundations to create or recreate divisions in a relatively short period. The Waffen-SS did not. Its independence may have been a constriction on Germany's war making potential.

The 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Division are cases in point. They were first formed in January 1943. They first saw action in April 1944, well over a year later! During that time the former had already had three commanding officers! The first commanding officer was appointed even as the German forces in Stalingrad were surrendering. Yet many of the Army divisions annihilated at Stalingrad were back on operations in half the time it took to field 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions.

For example, 16th Panzer Division was annihilated at the beginning of February 1943 at Stalingrad, the month after the two Waffen-SS divisions began forming. Yet it was already giving the Allies a hard time at Salerno just seven months later, seven months before either 9th or 10th Waffen-SS Divisions saw action for the first time!

You post, "You clearly still cannot get your head around the fact that new units are never set up on the eastern front despite examples being given from Heer divisions so the new units for the upgrade of the waffen ss divisions were obvioulsly set up on training grounds in Germany as would be comman practice." Yup. But the LAH, DR and Totenkopf were not new divisions. What is your point? The German Army had an existing Wehrkreis system for creating new formations, refurbishing old ones and feeding a steady flow of reinforcements to all of them. The Waffen-SS did not. This had to be set up for it as it expanded, leading to an unnecessary duplication of resources and delays in fielding manpower in new Waffen-SS divisions.

You post, "And still stubbornly wanting the 3 senior waffen ss divisions in Operation Blau while 2 could never have been part of it." No, I would be content if just a couple of them were on any active battlefront anywhere at arguably the decisive moment in Germany's war. But they weren't.

You post, ".....you seem to be eastern front obsessed." Well, given that there were some 150,000 times as many division-days of combat on the Eastern Front as in France in 1942, I would suggest that being "Eastern Front obsessed" might have some merit on this occasion, don't you?

You post, "The historical reasons while Hitler had a reltively high number of mobile divisions in France in 1942 have been explained and are known to you....." Yup, but that is not what I am questioning. What I am questioning is why these had to include all three senior Waffen-SS divisions at what was arguably the decisive moment in Germany's war? According to the received Waffen-SS narrative, they were meant to be Hitler's elite fire brigade, yet all three of them missed the fire!

Cheers,

Sid

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 28 Feb 2021 18:39

A quote from Das deutsche Reich und der zweite weltkrieg Band 6 Der globale Krieg Wegner,Boog ,Rahn, Stumpf DVA 1990 pp 894-895
'Seen from a global strategic viewpoint namely the growing time pressure had become the main worry of the military leader Hitler. Precisely in the weeks before and after the beginning of the main operation in the east, he feared more than ever not to be able to timely overcome the time corridor between the failure of the Blitzkrieg strategy and the through this enforced transition to a long war , that is before the establishment of a second front in the west.The indications that such a step was imminent, intensified since Molotovs visit in London and Washington in may and june.The then published communique certainly seems to have contributed to Hitlers uncertainty by its seeming unambiguity('creating a second front in Europe in 1942').It could also seem suspicious that the soviet press and propaganda emphasised in the following weeks the supposed consensus of the allies concerning the necessity of the second front in the current year. Not informed about the time-wise postponement of the allied invasion plans,an imminent landing in Norway,Holland, or France,seemed by definition the more likely as german success would be more mainifest. The anglo amerikan allies could not accept a collapse of the red army, so calculated Hitler correctly(even though in overestimation of the own sucesses). And it was at least questionable whether they would accept the loss of the Caucasian oilfields which were considered to be in equal way important for the german and the soviet war effort. Certainly from Hitlers viewpoint, the timeframe before the intervention of the allies on the continent threatened to shorten itself to the same extent as the balance of the fortunes of war tilted in favour of Germany. 'The fast and big successes in the east', so Hitler explained in an order of july 9,'can put England before the alternative to choose between immediately undertaking a big landing to build a second front or lose Soviet Russia as a political and military factor'. It betrayed the high nervosity of the dictator in these weeks who always projected an image of steadfastness, that he at once sent a set of battle strong SS divisions (Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich) ,likewise ordered the immediate setting up of the Walküre II units. Only two weeks later he had the transporting away of the Grossdeutschland prepared against the opinion of Jodl and Halder. At the same time it was pointed out to all diplomatic missions of the Reich that their most important job was the transmission of all information about eventual english and american invasion plans. Additionally, it should through diplomatic channels and through a targeted press policy be given the, hopefully discouraging impression to the english, that Germany was prepared for all eventualities in the west.
How serious the the situation was seen by Hitler, is shown not more clearly as his decision in these weeks to develop the Channel -and Atlantic coast in an impregnable fortress regardless of the encroachment in the last fuel reserves of the Wehrmacht for this puprpose.'He wanted', so he stated in this context before Speer,Keitel,Buhle and the responsable general of Pioniere and Festungen Jacobs 'under all circonstances prevent the building of a second front'.

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