Waffen-SS

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
Leprechaun
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Waffen-SS

Post by Leprechaun » 05 May 2021 21:00

Did the Allies make any speacial plans for tackling SS-Divs. In Normandy or the retaking of Europe or the Eastern Front where such units were identified in defence ? Just curiose as some authors seem to still write about the Waffen SS as been the most formidable fighting force Europe has ever seen.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Michael Kenny » 05 May 2021 23:37

Leprechaun wrote:
05 May 2021 21:00
Did the Allies make any speacial plans for tackling SS-Divs. In Normandy or the retaking of Europe or the Eastern Front where such units were identified in defence ?
No special measures at all.

Leprechaun wrote:
05 May 2021 21:00
Just curiose as some authors seem to still write about the Waffen SS as been the most formidable fighting force Europe has ever seen.
Those days and those authors are long gone. People like Keegan and Hastings thought like that but modern writers have a more realistic opinion. These days Waffen SS books with Knights/Samurai/Elite/Spartans in the title are normally found in the bargain bin.

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 06 May 2021 07:14

Hi leprechaun,

For the Allies the issue was where the armour was, not who was driving it.

The same was true for the German infantry. They didn't much care who was driving a tank, just so long as a German tank turned up to support them.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Leprechaun » 12 May 2021 09:41

Thanks just reading the free pdf True Himmler

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Georg_S
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Georg_S » 14 May 2021 06:44

According to what I have Read during the years was both Allied (east & West) afraid of the Waffen-SS. They had great respekt of them , mostly because they was in most cases well trainee and highly motivated because of their beliefs. I cant give any sources as this have been collected över 30 years of reading and researching.

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Georg
Waffen-SS, SS-TV, KZ/KL SS-Pz.A.A.
- http://wennallebruderschweigen.blogspot.com/

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 May 2021 10:55

Hi Georg_S,

The Allies had no justifiable respect for the Waffen-SS. Their reputation was largely based on wartime PR by Goebbels, self-serving post-war memoirs by Waffen-SS veterans and a gullible and money-orientated largely English-language publishing industry that accepted their estimates of themselves at face value.

The Allies did have respect for German armoured formations, all of which were Army when Germany was winning the war and most of which were still Army when it was losing it.

You will find no Waffen-SS divisions proposed as "elite" or "classic" that were not motorized or armoured. Even some of the Waffen-SS's mechanized divisions had no particular reputation.

The bits of the Waffen-SS advanced as "elite" or "classic" were all motorized from the start and ultimately part of the panzerwaffe, which tells you that it was their vehicles and tanks, rather than their drivers, that were the key point.

There was no magic Waffen-SS "fairy dust" that could turn poor manpower into a good quality soldiers.

What the presence of the senior Waffen-SS divisions on a battlefield did mean was that that was probably where Hitler was particularly focused.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Boricua63
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Boricua63 » 14 May 2021 11:36

I interviewed a gentleman who survived five Russian POW camps, and he said that when the Russians were sorting out the soldiers, they checked for members of the SS. It went like this: "Arme hoch. Vögel? Nicht Vögel?" (Hands Up - SS Bird or not?) Those who has the tattoo from the SS were sent to Siberia. The rest of the soldier went to different camps.

The Russians hated them because of their participation during Operation Barbarossa and the Concentration Camps.

I interviewed a Waffen-SS soldier who was in Operation Barbarossa. He died several years ago. He spoke just briefly about Stalingrad because he got nervous and I didn't want to affect his mental health with very bad memories. But it was clear to me that when he was answering the question, he was no longer with me in the room but in Stalingrad.

Hope this helps!
Inquisitive,

Tannia from Puerto Rico

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 May 2021 12:00

Hi Boricua63,

No W-SS units served at Stalingrad.

Sid.

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Georg_S
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Georg_S » 14 May 2021 12:12

I have interviewed a US vet who was among the unit WHO libirated Dachau ge had another opinion as you Sid. Then when I have Read books (countless) not from SS vets Many of them wrote about the scary feeling knoeing that infront of them it was SS units . Those books are most about D-day, Op Market Garden and Battle of the Bulge.

Best regards

Georg
Waffen-SS, SS-TV, KZ/KL SS-Pz.A.A.
- http://wennallebruderschweigen.blogspot.com/

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 May 2021 12:38

Hi Georg-S,

I said "The Allies had no justifiable respect for the Waffen-SS."

I also wrote, "The Allies did have respect for German armoured formations".

At "D-day, Op Market Garden and Battle of the Bulge" every single Waffen-SS division the Allies faced was an armoured formation.

The only exception, I think, was 6th SS Mountain Division at the Bulge, which nobody pretends was an outstanding formation. (Much of it had run away when it first met the Russians!)

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 May 2021 12:50

I think there was one very real 'fear' about facing SS Units-fear that after capture you would end up in a ditch with a bullet in the back of your head.

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Georg_S » 14 May 2021 13:46

Michael Kenny wrote:
14 May 2021 12:50
I think there was one very real 'fear' about facing SS Units-fear that after capture you would end up in a ditch with a bullet in the back of your head.
That might be the case, but I know according to sources mentioned that soldiers of the Waffen-SS often fought hard. I also know that members of the Waffen-SS had similiar fear being captured by Western or Estern Allied. There are to many accounts and photos of soldiers of the Waffen-SS being excecuted , beaten, slaughtered or burned.

One veteran that I knew, who fought on all fronts (that Waffen-SS participated) ranked what they was most afraid of being captured by - Russians, Chzechs, Canadians, US, French etc.

Best regards
Georg
Waffen-SS, SS-TV, KZ/KL SS-Pz.A.A.
- http://wennallebruderschweigen.blogspot.com/

Michael Kenny
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 May 2021 13:50

Why would a German fear being captured by the Soviets?

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Georg_S
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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Georg_S » 14 May 2021 15:04

Michael Kenny wrote:
14 May 2021 13:50
Why would a German fear being captured by the Soviets?
Im not sure if you are joking or serious with that comment.

Regards
Georg
Waffen-SS, SS-TV, KZ/KL SS-Pz.A.A.
- http://wennallebruderschweigen.blogspot.com/

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Re: Waffen-SS

Post by Westphalia1812 » 14 May 2021 17:01

Sid Guttridge wrote:
14 May 2021 12:38


The only exception, I think, was 6th SS Mountain Division at the Bulge, which nobody pretends was an outstanding formation. (Much of it had run away when it first met the Russians!)

Well, Keith E. Bonn called the unit ,,the best German division in the upcoming fight for the Low Vosges; in fact, it was probably the best German infantry formation on the entire western front in early January 1945." (When the odds were even, p. 207).

It certainly wasnt outstanding but, in january 1945, which Wehrmacht formation could be called "outstanding"?

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