Why the Waffen-SS

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Feb 2021 19:12

Hi Aida 1,

Yes, we know all that.

1) Hitler was simply wrong. Not only was there no Allied invasion plan, but there was no possibility of an Allied invasion due to lack of resources and, even if there had been, the worsening autumn weather made an invasion later than September impracticable. Yet all three senior Waffen-SS divisions remained there to the end of the year and were only ordered to move to the Eastern Front after the Stalingrad relief offensive in the last part of that month had failed.

2) The question is why all three senior Waffen-SS divisions needed to be there simultaneously for so long when only 12% of Army panzer divisions were? As a result, none of the senior Waffen-SS divisions were on an active battlefront anywhere at 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 19:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
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
Again only shows the bias. The tone says it all :lol: I think that Hitler and not you decides where the fire was and he suspected the fire would be in the west so he intentionally sent his fire brigade there. Serious historians illustrate how worried Hitler was by the fact that he sent his firebrigade to France. In your haste you aven included the Totenkopf again which was not long in France. :lol:
If the divisions of 6 army had effectively been destroyed to the last man and would have had to be rebuilt from scratch, you would not have seen it reconstituted as fast as it was given the difficult manpower situation. There was for every division still a core of units that were not in the pocket plus men on leave and wounded so you had an experienced core. In addition, existing regiments were integrated in the divisions so the process would be quicker. Reconstituting units can be done quick if you force the process. Even the burnt out waffen ss divisions were refitted very quickly after Normandy.
Where the 9 and 10 th ss are concerned they were really set up from scratch in a difficult manpower situation and were not meant for the eastern front. They were specifically set up to be a mobile reserve for OB west and were only temorarily sent to the east when a crisis occurred there.
II obviously do not agree with your opinion about the performance of waffen ss units in the beginning of the war. Why has been discussed here before and i am not going to restart that discussion. :roll:
Do not try to pretend the small wafen ss would be a constriction of the german war effort. :roll:
And stating it need not have an added value is not a 'confession'. It is simply a fact that has never been in discussion. :roll: Contrary to you ,I am not bothered by the existence of the waffen ss.
Where the upgrade of the senior waffen ss divisions in 1942 is concerned, you still have difficulty accepting that the additional units were formed on training grounds in Germany as was done for army units. The system was not different for the waffen ss. :roll:

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 28 Feb 2021 19:32

Sid Guttridge wrote:
28 Feb 2021 19:12
Hi Aida 1,

Yes, we know all that.

1) Hitler was simply wrong. Not only was there no Allied invasion plan, but there was no possibility of an Allied invasion due to lack of resources and, even if there had been, the worsening autumn weather made an invasion later than September impracticable. Yet all three senior Waffen-SS divisions remained there to the end of the year and were only ordered to move to the Eastern Front after the Stalingrad relief offensive in the last part of that month had failed.

2) The question is why all three senior Waffen-SS divisions needed to be there simultaneously for so long when only 12% of Army panzer divisions were? As a result, none of the senior Waffen-SS divisions were on an active battlefront anywhere at 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.
Serious historians Judge the extent of Hitlers worry about allied landings in the west by the fact that he sent his fire brigade to the west. They will not come up with your drivel about the abscence of waffen ss divisions in the east. :lol: Hitler commanded Germany(s armed forces not Sid Guttridge. :lol:
And already know why what you say is nonsense as there is no conceivable reason why Hitler would sent DR and LAH back to the east as long as he freared the threat of an allied landing and that was much later as you always pretend. After the Torch situation it was not long before the ss units left for the east. Not surprising you are as always including the Totenkopf which spent almost the whole of 1942 in Russia. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 01 Mar 2021 13:27

Hi Aida1,

You post, "I think that Hitler and not you decides where the fire was and he suspected the fire would be in the west so he intentionally sent his fire brigade there. Serious historians illustrate how worried Hitler was by the fact that he sent his firebrigade to France." Yup, and Hitler got it badly wrong. As a result, all three senior Waffen-SS divisions missed arguably the decisive turning point of the war and weren't on any other active front either.

You post, "In your haste you aven included the Totenkopf again which was not long in France." The only specific mention I made of Totenkopf in my last post was, "But the LAH, DR and Totenkopf were not new divisions." Is that wrong? No! Furthermore, even the Totenkopf was in France during the climax of the Stalingrad campaign, as I have said before, several times.

You post, "If the divisions of 6 army had effectively been destroyed to the last man and would have had to be rebuilt from scratch, you would not have seen it reconstituted as fast as it was given the difficult manpower situation. There was for every division still a core of units that were not in the pocket plus men on leave and wounded so you had an experienced core." Yup, about 10% of the men in the Stalingrad divisions were not caught in the encirclement and some key staff were flown out as well. What is your point? 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions also received a cadre of veterans.

You post, "In addition, existing regiments were integrated in the divisions so the process would be quicker. Reconstituting units can be done quick if you force the process." Yup, but, as I pointed out earlier, the Waffen-SS didn't have the infrastructure to force the process in this way. Men who in 16th Panzer Division might have been giving the Allies at Salerno a hard time seven months later, were instead still not committed to action in 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions seven months after that. The creation of new Waffen-SS divisions was a rabbit hole down which good quality Reich volunteer manpower disappeared for a good year before reappearing. If Germany had been showing due urgency, this manpower might have been better used in the Army, rather than in expanding the political vanity project of the Waffen-SS.

You post, "Even the burnt out waffen ss divisions were refitted very quickly after Normandy." Yup, because after the Bomb Plot Himmler was made head of the Ersatzheer (Reserve Army) and could preferentially rebuild them. Again the Waffen-SS was dependent on Army resources.

You post, "Where the 9 and 10 th ss are concerned they were really set up from scratch in a difficult manpower situation....." Exactly my point. They shouldn't have been set up in the first place.

You post,".....and were not meant for the eastern front." .....and yet still ended up there! It is a ridiculous proposition that there were somehow divisions designated for a particular front! If true, that would be another argument against the Waffen-SS's existence because it would mean it was less flexible than the Army. Fortunately it is nonsense.

You post, "They were specifically set up to be a mobile reserve for OB west and were only temorarily sent to the east when a crisis occurred there." This sounds like another example of Waffen-SS divisions being in the wrong place at the wrong time again! The three Army panzer divisions lost at Stalingrad were all back on the Eastern Front by October/November 1943, two of them having served in Italy in the interim! It also sounds as though you are saying that the 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions were not intended to enter action before a Western Allied landing - which turned out to be 18 months after their formation!

If one wanted to be cynical (and I reserve my options) it could be suggested that the sorely tried Army was the shield behind which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd W-SS Divisions were rebuilt and upgraded in the second half of 1942 and behind which 9th, 10th and 12th Waffen-SS Divisions were created in 1943-44.

You post, "II obviously do not agree with your opinion about the performance of waffen ss units in the beginning of the war. Why has been discussed here before and i am not going to restart that discussion." Why "obviously"? We don't have to disagree just for the sake of it.

You post, "Do not try to pretend the small wafen ss would be a constriction of the german war effort." Why not? It led to duplication of effort, delays in getting manpower to an active battlefront and drew resources away from arguably the best army in the world, all without offering (or, according to you, even needing) any demonstrable "value added", or any new military specialization not already possessed by the Army, or indeed, almost any military originality whatsoever! What was the point of an independent Waffen-SS?

You post, "And stating it need not have an added value is not a 'confession'. It is simply a fact that has never been in discussion." Actually I have been discussing it with others for well over ten years. It is just new to you. Furthermore, it is a central point. If the Waffen-SS was just intended to produce more of the same with better quality volunteer manpower, what was the military advantage in creating it in the first place?

You post, "I am not bothered by the existence of the waffen ss." If you had a wider interest in what was militarily in the best interest of Germany, I would suggest that you probably ought to be.

You post, "Where the upgrade of the senior waffen ss divisions in 1942 is concerned, you still have difficulty accepting that the additional units were formed on training grounds in Germany as was done for army units." Nope, I have no problem with that. My point to you is that Germany was even less of an active battlefront than France and that they were then sent to the backwater of France, not the operationally active Eastern Front.

You post, "Serious historians Judge the extent of Hitlers worry about allied landings in the west by the fact that he sent his fire brigade to the west." Thanks, I must be a "serious historian" then, as I, too, recognize "the extent of Hitler's worry about Allied landings in the west". But the fact is that he was simply wrong, with the result that first two, and then all three senior Waffen-SS divisions missed arguably the decisive turning point of Germany's war because they were on no active battlefront anywhere at all!

You post, "They will not come up with your drivel about the abscence of waffen ss divisions in the east." Drivel? It is an indisputable fact!

You post, "Hitler commanded Germany(s armed forces not Sid Guttridge." Yup, and Hitler got it wrong.

You post, "And already know why what you say is nonsense as there is no conceivable reason why Hitler would sent DR and LAH back to the east as long as he freared the threat of an allied landing and that was much later as you always pretend." Again, Hitler's fears are well recognized, including by me, but again I would remind you that on this occasion his fears were groundless. He simply got it wrong. As a result first two, and ultimately all three senior Waffen-SS divisions were on no active front anywhere at arguably the decisive moment of Germany's war.

You post, "After the Torch situation it was not long before the ss units left for the east." Actually it was nearly three months after the Torch landings in North Africa before they first entered action in the East. Between the opening of the Soviet encirclement of 6th Army at Stalingrad on 19 November and the defeat of Manstein's relief attempts in late December, they remained in France. Only then were they sent east. By the time the first of them arrived, 6th Army was at the point of final surrender.

I appreciate that you have invested heavily in divisional histories of the senior Waffen-SS divisions and have swallowed their perspective rather uncritically, but there comes a point where one has to address that actual facts as they really are, not as we might prefer them to be.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 01 Mar 2021 21:18

A quote from Im Hauptquartier der Wehrmacht 1939-1945 ,Walter Warlimont Athenaum 1964 pp 264-265:
' Hitlers worries about the west, which not at all ceased with the- propagandistically far exaggerated- defensive success at Dieppe, but recently also expanded to the coasts south of the Loire estuary,, resulted in transporting even more units to France.In the abscence of any other reserves, only the recruit divisions of the reserve army were available for this. Consequently a development was started whiose harmfull effects in armament,mobility and combat experience still persisted at the defense against the landing in 1944. Remarkably Normandy was again designated as probable landing objective in the new orders'

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 01 Mar 2021 21:51

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Mar 2021 13:27
Hi Aida1,


You post, "After the Torch situation it was not long before the ss units left for the east." Actually it was nearly three months after the Torch landings in North Africa before they first entered action in the East. Between the opening of the Soviet encirclement of 6th Army at Stalingrad on 19 November and the defeat of Manstein's relief attempts in late December, they remained in France. Only then were they sent east. By the time the first of them arrived, 6th Army was at the point of final surrender.

I appreciate that you have invested heavily in divisional histories of the senior Waffen-SS divisions and have swallowed their perspective rather uncritically, but there comes a point where one has to address that actual facts as they really are, not as we might prefer them to be.

Cheers,

Sid.
Reading you it is as if the waffen divisions were living creatures that decided to stay in France a bit longer. :lol: It is again Hitler who decides when to send divisions to the east and that order came at the end of december which is not really long after the events of november 1942 in France and North Africa. It was beginning december before the disarmament of french troops was ended. Beginning december Das Reich was sent to Rennes. (Das Reich III Weidinger pp 353-354)
Once the encirclement of 6 army happened, sending mobile units from the west was no solution as the transport takes too long and they need to be kitted out for winter use first which takes time too. So obviously you do not see Hitler then rushing mobile units from France to Russia to aid in the relief of 6 army.
I do not know what your problem is with unit histories you are not even able to read. :roll: Based on the war diaries and other primary documents and extremely detailed. Contrary,to you at least i know where the divisions actually where :lol: So your condescending tone is very inappropriate.
And you will NEVER be able to present a realistic what if scenario where the 3 waffen ss divisions would have ended up around Stalingrad in 1942. Impossible given the historical context.Hitler had more to think about than the operations in the south of Russia but you ignore that to satisfy your bias. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Mar 2021 00:05

Hi Aida1,

You post, "Reading you it is as if the waffen divisions were living creatures that decided to stay in France a bit longer. It is again Hitler who decides when to send divisions to the east and that order." Well, you clearly aren't reading me. As recently as Post #3432 I posted "It was not their fault, because they had to go where they were told......" Nor was this the first time I posted as much to you!

You post, "It was beginning december before the disarmament of french troops was ended." Yup, but at least two of the three senior Waffen-SS divisions appear to have had no part in that essentially administrative activity. What do your divisional histories say on the subject?

You post, "Beginning december Das Reich was sent to Rennes. (Das Reich III Weidinger pp 353-354)" So? As this wasn't in the Vichy zone it presumably wasn't disarming Vichy French troops there, if that is what you are implying. Please explain.

You post, "Once the encirclement of 6 army happened, sending mobile units from the west was no solution as the transport takes too long and they need to be kitted out for winter use first which takes time too. So obviously you do not see Hitler then rushing mobile units from France to Russia to aid in the relief of 6 army." Sorry, but I can't resist: :lol:

You post, "I do not know what your problem is with unit histories you are not even able to read. Based on the war diaries and other primary documents and extremely detailed." Maybe so, but they aren't helping you much in answering my questions, are they?

You post, "Contrary, to you at least i know where the divisions actually where". Which is presumably why I had to tell you which seats of Vichy divisional headquarters the Totenkopf moved through, or remind you about the composition of the German forces at Toulon?

You post, "So your condescending tone is very inappropriate." I don't know about "inappropriate", but it is wrong. I apologize.

You post, "And you will NEVER be able to present a realistic what if scenario where the 3 waffen ss divisions would have ended up around Stalingrad in 1942." Why would I want to? But it would have been useful if at least two of them had been on an active battlefront somewhere at arguably the decisive turning point in Germany's war, don't you think?

You post, "Hitler had more to think about than the operations in the south of Russia....." We all know that. Your point is what?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2021 19:30

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Mar 2021 13:27
Hi Aida1,

You post, "I think that Hitler and not you decides where the fire was and he suspected the fire would be in the west so he intentionally sent his fire brigade there. Serious historians illustrate how worried Hitler was by the fact that he sent his firebrigade to France." Yup, and Hitler got it badly wrong. As a result, all three senior Waffen-SS divisions missed arguably the decisive turning point of the war and weren't on any other active front either.
Cheers,

Sid.
Hindsight. Historians will accept that Hitler could never know there would be no landings. Given the strategic situation as he saw it at the time with the intelligence he had ,he could not do otherwise than strengthen the west with mobile and other divisions.
In the completely theoretical case that Hitler would have known there would be would no landings, it is likely LAH would have ended up being sent to Rhzev in july or moved south to the Causasus. You conveniently forget there were crisises in Army Group center in the summer. A scenario where LAH and Das Reich would conveniently be available to help 6 army timely is not realistic.Totenkopf could never be given when it started its refit.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2021 20:05

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Mar 2021 13:27
Hi Aida1,

Y

You post, "In addition, existing regiments were integrated in the divisions so the process would be quicker. Reconstituting units can be done quick if you force the process." Yup, but, as I pointed out earlier, the Waffen-SS didn't have the infrastructure to force the process in this way. Men who in 16th Panzer Division might have been giving the Allies at Salerno a hard time seven months later, were instead still not committed to action in 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions seven months after that. The creation of new Waffen-SS divisions was a rabbit hole down which good quality Reich volunteer manpower disappeared for a good year before reappearing. If Germany had been showing due urgency, this manpower might have been better used in the Army, rather than in expanding the political vanity project of the Waffen-SS.


Cheers,

Sid.
Untrue. The waffen ss could also use existing units to integrate in a division if it wanted. Was done with the Totenkopf in 1942.
Where the 9 and 10 ss is concerned, you are being devious or ill informed. :lol: They were specifically set up because OB west had no mobile reserves anymore after everything had been sent east after Stalingrad. It is only the crisis on the eastern front in march 1944 that lead to a lot of divisions from OB West being sent east including the 9 and 10 ss (Im feuersturm letzter Kriegsjahre W Tieke Munin Verlag 1975 pp 13-34). You would be wrong to think that that is the earliest moment that these SS units could be used in combat. It was not easy to give them the necessary manpower but it was found . The most difficult issue was giving them enough equipment. If for some reason it had been decided to use these divisions earlier , it would have been possible by simply forcing the equipping of the divisions.The setting up of a unit is a process and that process has not to be absolutely completely finished before the unit can be put into combat.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2021 20:21

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Mar 2021 13:27
Hi Aida1,



You post,".....and were not meant for the eastern front." .....and yet still ended up there! It is a ridiculous proposition that there were somehow divisions designated for a particular front! If true, that would be another argument against the Waffen-SS's existence because it would mean it was less flexible than the Army. Fortunately it is nonsense.

You post, "They were specifically set up to be a mobile reserve for OB west and were only temorarily sent to the east when a crisis occurred there." This sounds like another example of Waffen-SS divisions being in the wrong place at the wrong time again! The three Army panzer divisions lost at Stalingrad were all back on the Eastern Front by October/November 1943, two of them having served in Italy in the interim! It also sounds as though you are saying that the 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Divisions were not intended to enter action before a Western Allied landing - which turned out to be 18 months after their formation!

If one wanted to be cynical (and I reserve my options) it could be suggested that the sorely tried Army was the shield behind which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd W-SS Divisions were rebuilt and upgraded in the second half of 1942 and behind which 9th, 10th and 12th Waffen-SS Divisions were created in 1943-44.


Cheers,

Sid.
Stupid comment as there were effectively units specifically set up for OB west and these were mostly Heer divisions. There was even at some point a prohibition to send units from OB west to the east(order from 28.12.1943 see Entscheidung im Westen Dieter Ose DVA 1982 p34) but then when the crisis happened in march 1944 this wasthrown overboard and OB west lost most of its reserves again(In Feuersturm letzter Kriegsjahre Tieke pp33-34)And you seem to think that Hitler knew when the allied landing would happen :lol: Anyway, the 9 and 10 ss were effectively only meant to take action whenever the allied landed. That is what they were specifically trained for.
The last paragraph is a perfect example of your obsession. Pretty stupid comment. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Mar 2021 14:05

Hi Aida1,

You post, “Hindsight”. If you object to hindsight than you are probably on the wrong forum. This is the Axis History Forum. Hindsight is what we do!

You post, “Historians will accept that Hitler could never know there would be no landings.” And I agree. He therefore had to rely on his judgement, but on this occasion his judgement was simply wrong. Not only was there no invasion, there were no plans for an invasion and there weren’t even the means available for an invasion of continental Europe in 1942. As a result of this failure of Hitler's judgement, first two, and later all three, senior Waffen-SS divisions were in the backwater of France at arguably the decisive moment of Germanys war and a good month away from any possibility of entering action anywhere else!

You post, “A scenario where LAH and Das Reich would conveniently be available to help 6 army timely is not realistic.” And I am not suggesting it, either. My question is why was it necessary for all three senior Waffen-SS divisions to be simultaneously absent from any battlefront anywhere, (two of them for half a year!), when only 12% of Army panzer divisions were in that situation?

You post, “The waffen ss could also use existing units to integrate in a division if it wanted.” So why did it take so long to field new Waffen-SS panzer divisions compared with the Army?

You post, “Where the 9 and 10 ss is concerned …..They were specifically set up because OB west had no mobile reserves anymore after everything had been sent east after Stalingrad.” So why give the task to the Waffen-SS which, because of its limited infrastructure, took twice as long to field them as Army panzer divisions took? The 9th and 10th Waffen-SS divisions took 15 months to reach any battlefront anywhere! (The 12th Waffen-SS Division also took a year to get into action, and then only because action came to it!). The three Army panzer divisions resurrected at the same time as 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions were created were back on the Eastern Front by October-November 1943, two of them having already served in Italy!

You post, “You would be wrong to think that that is the earliest moment that these SS units could be used in combat.” So you are saying that they could have been deployed on an active battlefront earlier? That months of unnecessary inactivity took place? Sounds a lot like LAH and DR in 1942!

You post, “It was not easy to give them the necessary manpower but it was found.” Yup, largely by February 1943, yet they only got into action in April 1944! The same manpower in the Army’s 14th, 16th and 24th Panzer Divisions might have been back in action by September-November 1943.

You post, “…..there were effectively units specifically set up for OB west and these were mostly Heer divisions.” Yup. With one exception, they were all low-grade infantry divisions including older men, lower medical categories, Ost Truppen, much captured weaponry and limited transport. designed for static defence, or training. Two reconnaissance training brigades were the lucky ones – they had the luxury of bicycles! The one exception was the (Reserve) Panzer Lehr Division, which was based on demonstration units normally based in the Reich. Its presence in France wasn’t subtracted from any battlefront anywhere else.

You post, “And you seem to think that Hitler knew when the allied landing would happen.” On the contrary, my argument is precisely the opposite – that because Hitler clearly didn’t know when the Allied invasion would take place, he tied down particularly Waffen-SS mechanized divisions in 1942 and 1943 in a sterile invasion watch while the war was being fought on other fronts largely by the Army. The formations affected include every single one of the Reich-raised Waffen-SS panzer divisions.

You post, “The last paragraph is a….. pretty stupid comment.” Do you mean this: “If one wanted to be cynical (and I reserve my options) it could be suggested that the sorely tried Army was the shield behind which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd W-SS Divisions were rebuilt and upgraded in the second half of 1942 and behind which 9th, 10th and 12th Waffen-SS Divisions were created in 1943-44.

If so, please explain why? We already know that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd W-SS Divisions were inactive in France for up to six months in the second half of 1942 while 88% of the Army’s panzer divisions were fighting on active battle fronts. As a result, the three senior Waffen-SS divisions were on no active battlefront at arguably the decisive turning point of Germany’s war. We also know that the three Army panzer divisions recreated at the same time as the 9th and 10th Waffen-SS panzer divisions were all back on active battlefronts in 7, 8 and 10 months while the 9th and 10th Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions took 15 months to reach a battlefront and then only, according to you, because circumstances forced it on them.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 03 Mar 2021 18:39

A quote from Das deutsche Reich und der zweite Weltkrieg 8 Die Ostfront 1943/44 DVA 2011 p 447:
'From a broader strategic viewpoint it is to be mentioned that the interdependence of the multfront war were more and more noticeable. Hitler had announced in november 1943 in the Weisung nr 51 that he wanted to shift the strategic center of gravity from the east front to the west front.
Consequently,more and more troops were shifted to the Atlantikwall to France to fight off the imminent allied invasion. However the dramtic developments in the spring of 1944, forced him to give in to Mansteins demand and send the II SS Panzercorps across the continent to the east to support Army Group South. After the success of the allied invasion in Normandy, Hitler complained of the abscence of this corps which was supposed to have been the operational reserve.The SS panzer units whose tanks were superior to the british and american would have caused the western allies serious problems if one could have deployed them on the right place at the right time. As this example demonstrates, the military situaton of the Reich had worsened in such an alarming way that the abscence of 2 Panzer divisions had not only tactical but even operational consequences. The german strategy had become one of 'a system of remedies' where Hitlers command decisions consisted in plugging one hole on one front , by tearing open a new one on another front.'

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 03 Mar 2021 19:10

Sid Guttridge wrote:
02 Mar 2021 00:05
Hi Aida1,

You post, "Reading you it is as if the waffen divisions were living creatures that decided to stay in France a bit longer. It is again Hitler who decides when to send divisions to the east and that order." Well, you clearly aren't reading me. As recently as Post #3432 I posted "It was not their fault, because they had to go where they were told......" Nor was this the first time I posted as much to you!
Y
You post, "Once the encirclement of 6 army happened, sending mobile units from the west was no solution as the transport takes too long and they need to be kitted out for winter use first which takes time too. So obviously you do not see Hitler then rushing mobile units from France to Russia to aid in the relief of 6 army." Sorry, but I can't resist: :lol:


Cheers,

Sid.
I do not see where the joke is. Hitler did effectively not rush mobile divisions from the west to the east when the encirclement at Stalingrad happened as they would arrive too late for the relief operation. The only solution was divisions already in the east.
You effectively allege that you do not reproach the ss divisions that they were not on the eastern front but you use their abscence against them which is not much different. :roll:

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 03 Mar 2021 19:34

Sid Guttridge wrote:
02 Mar 2021 00:05
Hi Aida1,

Y

You post, "And you will NEVER be able to present a realistic what if scenario where the 3 waffen ss divisions would have ended up around Stalingrad in 1942." Why would I want to? But it would have been useful if at least two of them had been on an active battlefront somewhere at arguably the decisive turning point in Germany's war, don't you think?

You post, "Hitler had more to think about than the operations in the south of Russia....." We all know that. Your point is what?

Cheers,

Sid.
The historical context is what it is and Hitlers worries about an allied landing in the west are a given. It is not possible that he would not react to it by reinforcing OB West so the sending of DR and LAH in that context was evident. No context can be imagined where Hitler would have sent the divisions back to the east earlier than he did. There was no compelling reason to do it a few weeks earlier than when he did end december. Hitler would need to have been aware of the disastrous developments that would happen in january 1943(the collapse of Army group B) to act otherwise.The arrival of the full strength ss panzer corps when it did was certainly very useful in Mansteins counterattack.
The campaign in the south was certainly not decisive as Germany could hardly win it and one more division more would hardly make a difference. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Mar 2021 19:57

Hi Aida1,

Funny how, having used probably a hundred or more "smilies" in posts to me without a word of objection on my part, your sense of humour fails you the moment I use just one back!

OK, I promise not to use any more.

I will wait for you to finish all your replies before responding.

Cheers,

Sid.

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