Major Anti-Partisan Operations in Belorussia

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Roberto
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Major Anti-Partisan Operations in Belorussia

Postby Roberto » 29 Apr 2002 21:21

The following text was translated from Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pages 884 and following. The numerous source notes in the original were left out.


9.3 Step II: The “Major Operations”
(Spring 1942 to spring 1943)

a) Introduction and Functioning of the New Tactic


In the first months of the year 1942 it turned out that the Belorussian partisans had not only made it through the winter, contrary to some predictions, but increased their activities despite reduced ranks and focused on new targets. First locally and starting from the east of the country, then ever more powerfully towards the summer they tried to paralyze the collaboration administration as the key instrument of German exploitation of the country and German administrative action. Due to the German defeat before Moscow and the Soviet counterattack, which had brought the Red Army to the north eastern border of Belorussia, the strategic and political position of the partisan movement had considerably improved. The Germans reacted to this development with a new tactic. It was worked out mainly by the regional military leadership in the rear area of Army Group Center, which in this respect also counseled the Army Supreme Command (OKH) and worked in co-ordination with it. SS and police had little part in this, from what becomes apparent from the sources. This was partially due to a weakness in leadership, because the Higher SS and Police Commander for Central Russia, Bach-Zelewski - later a leading strategist of the fight against the partisans - was absent due to disease between the end of January and the beginning of May 1942. No significant impulses from Einsatzgruppe B can be verified either. The secondary role of SS and police also showed in v. Schenckendorff according them only a certain area to be secured.
The Army Supreme Command had in the second half of February required the commander of the rear area of Army Group Center to present a “program for the annihilation of the partisans”, apparently i.a. as a reaction to a memorandum by the Supreme Commander of Army Group Center, von Kluge. The short-term goal was the “Annihilation of the Partisans" until the beginning of the mud period in April, at least in the area of the railroads, main roads and in the Brjansk area. Von Schenkendorff called for measures in two directions: “propagandistic influencing of the Russian population” and “military annihilation of the partisans”. Beside the political measures he declared the bringing in of troops to be necessary - pointing out that in the previous three months units making up three divisions and two SS-brigades had been taken away from him -, furthermore a restructuring of the “leadership organs and troops” for an “offensive conduction of operations” and the allocation of means for offensive fighting (heavy weapons, planes, vehicles). He also called for building up the local order police, the creation of fighting unit made up of collaborators, the continuation of training courses and exchanges of experience, and intensification of the communications network and the fight against those alien to a locality. Von Schenkendorff submitted his suggestions orally to Halder, Wagner and v. Kluge. Due to the efforts of the Department of War Economy and Armament at the Wehrmacht Supreme Command (OKW), the General Quarter Master and the leader of his section for war administration, Schmidt v. Altenstadt, who in connection with this matter repeatedly visited the rear area of Army Group Center in the spring of 1942, the problem was also forwarded to Hitler.

The Pilot Operation “Bamberg”

The pilot project for offensive “anti-partisan fighting” was the operation “Bamberg” in the area of Glusk-Paritschi-Oktjabrski to the south of Bobruisk, in the eastern Polesje. The operation had already been prepared since 26 February from the southerly General Commissariat Shitomir by actions of the Slovakian infantry regiment with the subordinated German police battalion 325 in the area Mosyr-Shitkovichi, which probably claimed more than 1,000 lives. This action seems to have been held up by the fact that the commander of the police battalion, a major of the order police (Schutzpolizei) didn’t mobilize his troops for some time. From the north the operation was to be conducted not by the 203rd security division, responsible for the area, but by the 707th infantry division, which had been transferred specifically for this purpose from the General Commissariat White Ruthenia. During a preliminary meeting on 8 March von Schenkendorff thanked the security police and the SD for their support so far and assured them that for the “success” of the “great action” they were “absolutely necessary”. The operation plan of the 203rd security division defined as “tasks” a) annihilation of the main partisan bands, b) pacification of the country c) collection of grain and livestock. While this division, which also foresaw a bombing of four villages from the air, still recommended to make a distinction between the guilty and the innocent, demanding that “only the truly guilty and elements alien to the localities are to be shot”, the 707th division from the start planned no “broad development”, i.e. against the partisans in the forest areas, which was said to be impossible due to snow and ice and the beginning of the mud period soon to be expected, but a proceeding along the streets and mainly against the villages in the area of operation, where most partisans could in the meantime have “established” themselves. The commander v. Bechtolsheim ordered that during this action the crimes against Jews and people alien to a locality, “as carried out with success in White Ruthenia, especially in the autumn months of 1941”, were to be imitated “with all harshness”: “The respective instructions for ruthless action against men, women and children also apply for the new operation area.”

The operation “Bamberg” already showed all essential tactical elements and procedures that were to become typical of the later actions and fateful for the population of the affected areas. Between 26 March and 6 April 1942, within 12 days, the reinforced 707th infantry division, the Slovakian infantry regiment and the German police battalion 315 destroyed a series of villages in a broken through forest area between Oktjabrski and Kopakevichi and murdered their inhabitants. In Chwoineja (Choino) 1,350 people were among other things locked into their houses and killed by hand grenades and burning, in Rudnja 800 persons were collected and shot in groups (the men first had to undress), in Oktjabrski 190 persons were burned alive inside the club house, the inhabitants of Kurin were in part shot, in part burned alive, similar as in Kovali, where the children were burned. The number of Belorussian dead was officially put at about 3,500 by the Germans, but the actual number was much higher. The partisans estimated it at 5,000, and according to the listing by Romanowski et all 4,396 people died in 15 localities alone.

The actions that took place before and afterwards in the surrounding areas are not included in these figures, which means it must be assumed that at least 6,000 people were murdered. The great majority of them were locally residing peasants and non-fugitive Jews, who were also targeted by the operation. It is justified to speak of people “murdered”, for there was hardly any fighting, there was “no greater resistance to be broken”, which is not surprising for actions against villages. The losses of the German and allied troops during the core action were merely seven dead and eight wounded, 47 rifles and machine pistols were captured. The partisans in the area, whose number was estimated at 1,200 to 2,000 men, got away.

Like almost all later major actions against partisans or those around them, the operation “Bamberg” consisted of four phases:
Phase 1: Marching up and forming a great cauldron, in this case with a diameter of 25-30 kilometers, until 28 March inclusively,
Phase 2: Tightening the cauldron - in this case until 31 March inclusively,
Phase 3: The so-called clearing out of the cauldron in the form of the “last concentric attack” - in this case on the 1st and 2nd of April, and
Phase 4: The so-called mopping up backwards - here the “repeated thorough cleaning and crossing of the area in backward direction up to the second initial position”, during which the villages and farmsteads lying inside the inner target area were destroyed together with the majority of their inhabitants, in this case between 3 and 6 April (see figure 4).
Fighting with the partisans and losses on the German side were most frequent in the third phase. The infamous mass crimes, the destruction of villages and the murder of their inhabitants, occurred in phase 3 and mainly in phase 4, when after conclusion of the coordinated military advance with “daily objectives” to be reached under all circumstances more time was left therefor. This depopulation was always planned in advance. Only thereafter was the operation considered as concluded. In phase 4 there also commenced the more or less organized plundering of agricultural products of the affected area, the so-called collection.
The key importance of the 4th phase becomes apparent from several sources about operations of so-called fighting against bandits, such as a passage in the diary of Bach-Zelewski wherein the “operation of so-called mopping up” is criticized, which would always lead to “a great number of destroyed bandit subjects” as its object was “to annihilate the population sympathizing with the Bolsheviks” rather than the partisans. This can be proven not only for the operations mentioned in this context, “Nürnberg” and “Erntefest II”, but also for instance for “Sumpffieber”, “Franz” and “Hornung”. The number of victims accordingly went up during the respective final phase, like in operation “Bamberg”. It is not without reason that the SS and Police Commander of White Ruthenia, v. Gottberg, wrote the following about the final phase of operation “Nürnberg”: “What followed was then more or less a hare hunt.”

Another typical feature of such operations was the setting of “daily objectives” practiced during Operation “Bamberg”. Certain units had to cover a certain distance until an established final point during a day while “mopping up” all localities. The further away the daily objective was, the greater the probability, that there was no time for an exact investigation as to who supported the partisans (and for the “collection” of agricultural products) and thus the tendency was to kill everyone around. The possibility of allowing many people to run away was often not considered the executing units because the inhabitants of the affected areas were generally seen as sympathizers of the partisans. To need to set such “daily objectives” resulted from the inner logic of such an operation under participation of various units for a coordinated proceeding. Thus the remote message post of Combat Group von Gottberg during the Operation “Frühlingsfest” sent and received 3,500 remote messages. The determination of what distance was to be covered until the respective “daily objectives”, however, contained a conscious preliminary decision on the procedure inside the villages. The troops were thus put under pressure. Daily distances of up to 30 kilometers with a “crossing and mopping up, i.e. a march with combat actions and searching of the villages”, such as Himmler considered possible, indicated an annihilation intention present from the very start. Sometimes the closing of the cauldron failed wholly due to a too stretched target area, to great daily objectives and too splintered German forces. If - as during later operations such as “Weichsel” - more laborers were to be collected, on the other hand, a “most thorough” searching and short daily objectives were ordered.

Yet another typical feature was the carrying out of “investigations and verifications”, examinations and interrogations in the villages, mainly by “GFP (Geheime Feldpolizei = Secret Field Police) and SD”, as in the case of “Bamberg”. Given the great marching distances their anyway dubious activity was reduced to identify not persons, but villages suspect of partisan activity and suggesting the next targets of “verification”. These commandos often also carried out a part of the executions. The support by the Luftwaffe in the form or reconnaissance and combat flights, which later became a rule, also existed already during Operation “Bamberg”.

The same applied to the activity of agriculture officials (in this case 24), given that an essential goal of the action was the confiscation of agricultural products. “The task was the total encirlement and annihilation of the partisan groups and the securing and pacification of this area, in order to collect the great stocks of agricultural products and take them away”, reported General Major v. Bechtolsheim. Instead of the expected “at least 10-20,000 units of cattle” the reported booty consisted of only 2,454 cattle, 2,286 sheep, 115 tons of grain, 120 tons of potatoes and more. In this respect fundamental difficulties for the Germans showed up, which were also characteristic of later actions. The affected area had until then delivered no agrarian products to the Germans (“no collection at all so far due to partisan activity”). The economy staff in Bobruisk had prior to the operation suggested to either occupy the area militarily on a constant basis or to carry out a “total collection” including the last cow and the seed grain, which would lead to a “deterioration of the mood of the population”. For a longer occupation there were not enough troops, however, and the “total collection” was “a task almost impossible to solve” due to transportation difficulties caused by the weather. From the point of view of the agriculture authorities the operation was thus condemned to fail as a collection operation, given that the confiscation remained a partial success and the so-called pacification as a pre-condition for a long-term exploitation did not occur. As will be shown, the agrarian administration could nevertheless consider the strategy of the great operations against partisans to make sense due to other reasons.

The development and results of Operation “Bamberg” were followed with attention by high and highest authorities. The commander of the rear area of Army Group Center, for instance, constantly kept himself informed. While he internally remarked that the result had been “not fully satisfactory” because the partisans had got away and “among those reported by the division as partisan helpers there seem to have been many who had only very loose connections to the partisans”, he congratulated the 707th infantry division nevertheless on its having “annihilated 3,000 partisans”. Army Group Center and its supreme commander v. Kluge also let themselves be informed on a regular basis. Also informed where the head of the war administration department at the Army Supreme Command/General Quarter Master, Schmidt v. Altenstedt, General Quarter Master Wagner himself and through him also Hitler.

The “Major Actions” were not invented with Operation “Bamberg”. An action near Sewsk (Sjwosk) to the south of Lokot in the Brjansk area, apparently in support of the local “self administration district” of Russian collaborators and claiming 1,936 lives, had been carried out shortly before by an Hungarian unit. (Here also the Germans thus tried to transfer the responsibility to allied troops.) It was the Operation “Bamberg”, however, that became a model in many respects.

Laurent
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Postby Laurent » 30 Apr 2002 09:21

Hi Roberto

Thanks for the effort

Laurent

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wildboar
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Anti Partisan operation was not directed against civilians

Postby wildboar » 30 Apr 2002 17:29

Roberto,
The greatest myth circulated by postwar communists is that Wehermacht's anti partisan operation was directed against civilians which is biggest hoax ever circulated

Roberto infact there were no independent partisans in Belorussia or Ukraine and infact they were NVKD operative's in garb of partisans and they took there orders from BERIA the monster head of NVKD

Also STALIN would never permit independent partisan to operate as they would become troublesource for him once war ended and stalin & beria were not fools to allow non communist partisans to operate and all partisans that operated against HEERS were regular member of NVKD and not civilians as claimed by later day communist propoganda.

Also most of the partisans commited horific atrocities against civilians whom they wished withouth any reason or logic and after end of war atrocities of nvkd partisans was blamed on WEHERMACHT till today no reasonable investigation is made on atrocities commited by partisans on civilians and blamed on wehermacht infact a reasonable enquiry would proved the role of partisan

Also many times nvkd controlled partisans commited atrocities on civilians in by wearing wehermacht uniform

One more thing roberto you may doubt but told to me by father of my ukranian friend that stalin hated ukranians and tried to massacare them by way of artificial famine when operation barbossa started it was god sent oppurtunity for stalin to reduce maximum no's of ukranians by sandwiching them in war and hence on BERIA's verbal order NVKD controlled partisans started killing spree of ethnic ukranians in Ukraine ,it was only when Wehermacht started anti partisan operations that this frenzy of killing of ukranians stopped . had wehermacht not undertaken anti partisans operation in ukraine then substaintial no of ethnic ukranians would had been murdered by nvkd controlled partisans , thus enabaling stalin to achive his aim of destroying ukranian ethnicity.

Infact anti partisan operation by wehermacht was war against NVKD and its mass-genocide policies not against civilians

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Roberto
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Postby Roberto » 30 Apr 2002 18:22

Roberto,
The greatest myth circulated by postwar communists is that Wehermacht's anti partisan operation was directed against civilians which is biggest hoax ever circulated


Really? Then how do you explain the enormous disproportion between the number of “partisans” killed on the one hand and the number of firearms apprehended and German casualties on the other that becomes apparent from German documents on the anti-partisan operations in Belorussia?

Roberto infact there were no independent partisans in Belorussia or Ukraine and infact they were NVKD operative's in garb of partisans and they took there orders from BERIA the monster head of NVKD


You talk a lot of bull when the day is long, my friend. What is the source of your contention that all Belorussian/Ukrainian partisans were NKVD operatives?

Also STALIN would never permit independent partisan to operate as they would become troublesource for him once war ended and stalin & beria were not fools to allow non communist partisans to operate and all partisans that operated against HEERS were regular member of NVKD and not civilians as claimed by later day communist propoganda.


More baloney. While I would agree that Stalin was reluctant in regard to partisan movements not controlled by the Soviet government and thus saw to it that partisan units were under the control of NKVD cadres, I find it extremely hard to believe that all 200,000 or so partisans in German-occupied territory were operatives of the NKVD. All sources that I have consulted point out that the majority of partisans were local folks who ran to the woods escaping German brutality and deportation for forced labor. The Germans were well aware of this, as several utterances by German officials show. Just this one by Jodl:

“In a fight, you [or „they“, depending on whom the speaker is addressing] can do whatever you [or „they“] want: You [or „they“ ] may hang them, hang them upside down or quarter them. The only restriction concerns reprisals after the fight. I must be sure that I don’t expell the male population thereby. For news of such will spread from village to village, and then another 2000 men will run off to the bandit areas.“


Translated from Guido Knopp, Der verdammte Krieg. Stalingrad 1942-43. C. Bertelsmann Verlag, page 118

There was at least one partisan organization which was anti-Soviet and fought both the German occupiers and the Red Army, by the way - the Ukrainian Insurgent Army:

http://www.infoukes.com/upa/

Also most of the partisans commited horific atrocities against civilians whom they wished withouth any reason or logic and after end of war atrocities of nvkd partisans was blamed on WEHERMACHT till today no reasonable investigation is made on atrocities commited by partisans on civilians and blamed on wehermacht infact a reasonable enquiry would proved the role of partisan


While I have no doubt that the partisans committed horrific atrocities against both German soldiers and civilians deemed to be “collaborators”, you still have to show me evidence to a single such atrocity that was blamed on the German invaders. The killings during operation “Bamberg” and the other major anti-partisan operations which, according to German records, killed more than 130,000 people in Belorussia alone, must certainly be ruled out.

Also many times nvkd controlled partisans commited atrocities on civilians in by wearing wehermacht uniform


If you still believe in that myth, my friend, I recommend you read again the actual text of Stalin Order 0428 on the thread

Stalin Order O428
http://pub3.ezboard.com/fskalmanforumfr ... =175.topic

of the old forum.

One more thing roberto you may doubt but told to me by father of my ukranian friend that stalin hated ukranians and tried to massacare them by way of artificial famine when operation barbossa started it was god sent oppurtunity for stalin to reduce maximum no's of ukranians by sandwiching them in war and hence on BERIA's verbal order NVKD controlled partisans started killing spree of ethnic ukranians in Ukraine ,it was only when Wehermacht started anti partisan operations that this frenzy of killing of ukranians stopped .


Well, “father of friend told me” is not exactly a source that I consider relevant on an issue like this. While it is known that the NKVD committed gruesome massacres of real or alleged opponents of the Communist regime incarcerated in various prisons in the Western Ukraine during the Soviet retreat in 1941, there is no evidence whatsoever of a whole-sale killing spree against ethnic Ukrainians by “NVKD controlled partisans”, which I strongly doubt even existed at the time.

had wehermacht not undertaken anti partisans operation in ukraine then substaintial no of ethnic ukranians would had been murdered by nvkd controlled partisans , thus enabaling stalin to achive his aim of destroying ukranian ethnicity.


Yeah, Wehrmacht saved poor Ukrainians from bad, bad NKVD partisans. Which they presumably did by burning to the ground the village of Kortelisy on September 23, 1942 and killing all its 2,892 population of men, women and children, by destroying 459 villages in Ukraine completely with all or part of their population, at least 27 of them with the entire population of men, women and children, right? (Ukrainska RSR u Velykyi Vitchyznianiy Viyni, vol.3, p. 150, as quoted in Andrew Gregorovich, World War II in Ukraine, http://www.infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-20.html )

Infact anti partisan operation by wehermacht was war against NVKD and its mass-genocide policies not against civilians


They sure did. The pertinent German documents are plain proof thereof, aren’t they?

On the Eastern front orders such as Keitel’s order of 16 September 1941 called for ruthless and indiscriminate repression of resistance from the very start. Excerpt from an online translation:

To nip the plots in the bud the most drastic means are to be employed immediately at the first provocation in order to make the authority of the occupation force prevail and to prevent further spreading. Attention should be paid to the fact that a human life in the countries concerned often means nothing and only by unusual severity can a deterrent effect be achieved. In these cases the life of one German soldier must be atoned for by the death sentence for 50 to 100 communists, as a rule. The manner of execution shall further increase the deterrent effect.


Source of quote:

http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/USSR4.htm

Keitel became even more explicit in his order of 16.12.1942:

1.) Der Feind setzt im Bandenkampf fanatische, kommunistisch geschulte Kämpfer ein, die vor keiner Gewalttat zurückschrecken. Es geht hier mehr denn je um Sein oder Nichtsein. Mit soldatischer Ritterlichkeit oder mit den Vereinbarungen der Genfer Konvention hat dieser Kampf nichts mehr zu tun.
Wenn dieser Kampf gegen die Banden sowohl im Osten wie auf dem Balkan nicht mit den allerbrutalsten Mitteln geführt wird, so reichen in absehbarer Zeit die verfügbaren Kräfte nicht mehr aus, um dieser Pest Herr zu werden.
Die Truppe ist daher berechtigt und verpflichtet, in diesem Kampf ohne Einschränkung auch gegen Frauen und Kinder jeder Mittel anzuwenden, wenn es nur zum Erfolg führt.
Rücksichten, gleich welcher Art, sind ein Verbrechen gegen das deutsche Volk und den Soldaten an der Front, der die Folgen der Bandenanschläge zu tragen hat und keinerlei Verständnis für irgendwelche Schonung der Banden oder ihrer Mitläufer haben kann.
Diese Grundsätze müssen auch die Anwendung des “Kampfanweisung für die Bandenbekämpfung im Osten” beherrschen.
2.) Kein in der Bandenbekämpfung angesetzter Deutscher darf wegen seines Verhaltens im Kampf gegen die Banden und ihre Mitläufer disziplinarisch oder kriegsgerichtlich zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.
Die Befehlshaber der im Bandenkampf eingesetzten Truppen sind dafür verantwortlich, daß
sämtliche Offiziere der ihnen unterstellten Einheiten über diesen Befehl umgehend in der eindringlichsten Form belehrt werden,
ihre Rechtsberater von diesem Befehl sofort Kenntnis erhalten,
keine Urteile bestätigt werden, die diesem Befehl widersprechen.


Source of quote: Ernst Klee/Willi Dressen, ”Gott mit uns”: Der deutsche Vernichtungskrieg im Osten 1939-1945, 1989 S. Fischer Verlag GmbH Frankfurt am Main, page 68. Reference of quote: Verfahren Js 4/65 GstA Ffm, Freiburger Bände Bd. III.

My translation:

1.) In the bandit fighting the enemy uses fanatical fighters with communist training who shrink from no act of violence. The issue here is more an ever one of to be or not to be. With soldierly chivalry or the agreements of the Geneva Convention this fight no longer has anything to do.
If this fight against the bandits both in the East and on the Balkans is not conducted by the most brutal means, the forces available will in a foreseeable time no longer be sufficient to control this plague.
The troops are thus authorized and obliged to employ in this fight any means, also against women and children, if only they lead to success.
Considerations of whatever nature are a crime against the German people and the soldier at the front, who must bear the consequences of the bandits’ attacks and thus can have no understanding for any mercy granted to the bandits or their followers.
There principles must also govern the application of the “Combat Instructions for the Fight Against Bandits in the East”.
2.) No German employed in the fight against the bandits may be taken to reckoning disciplinarily or by court martial on account of his behavior in the fight against the bandits and their followers.
The commanders of the troops employed in the fight against the bandits are responsible for seeing to it that
all officers of the units subordinated to them are notified of this order immediately and in the most thorough form,
their legal consultants obtain knowledge of this order immediately,
no verdicts contradicting this order are confirmed.


The results of the application of such orders can be seen i.a. in the data of the major anti-partisan actions in Belorussia between 1942 and 1944 according to Christian Streit's Kalkulierte Morde:

Codename; Period; Area; Number of Dead Partisans/Civilians; Number of Captured Firearms; Number of Dead in German Formations

1942

Bamberg; 26.03 - 06.04; Glusk, Bobruisk; 4,396; 47; 7

?; 09.05 - 12.05; Klitshev, Bobruisk; 520; 3; 10

?; Beginning of June; Slovodka, Bobruisk; 1,000; ?; ?

?; 15.06; Borki; 1,741; 7; 0

?; 21.06; Zbyshin; 1,076; ?; ?

?; 25.06; Timkovtshi; 900; ?;?

?; 26.06; Studenka; 836; ?;?

?; 18.07; Yelsk; 1,000; ?; ?

Adler; 15.07-07.08; Bobruisk, Mogilev, Beresino; 1,381; 438; 25

Greif; 14.08-20.08; Orsha, Vitebsk; 796; ?; 26

Sumpffieber; 22.08-21.09; White Ruthenia; 10,063; ?; ?

?; 22.09-26.09; Malorita; 4,038; 0; 0

Blitz; 23.09-03.10; Polozk, Vitebsk; 567; ?; 8

Karlsbad; 11.10-23.10; Orsha, Vitebsk; 1,051; 178; 24

Nürnberg; 23.11-29.11; Dubrovka; 2,974; ?; 6

Hamburg; 10.12-21.12; Neman-Shtshara; 6,172; 28; 7

Altona; 22.12-29.12; Slonim; 1,032; ?; 0

1943

Franz; 06.01-14.01; Grodsyanka; 2,025; 280; 19

Peter; 10.01-11.01; Klitshev, Kolbtsha; 1,400; ?; ?

?; 18.01-23.01; Sluzk,Minsk, Tsherven; 825; 141; 0

Waldwinter; until 01.02; Sirotino-Trudy; 1,627; 159; 20

Erntefest I; until 28.01; Tsherven, Ossipovitshi; 1,228; 163; 7

Erntefest II; until 09.02; Sluzk, Kopyl; 2,325; 314; 6

Hornung; 08.02-26.02; Lenin, Hansevitshi; 12,897; 133; 29

Schneehase; 28.01-15.02; Polozk, Rossony, Krasnopolye; 2,283; 54; 37

Winterzauber; 15.02 - end of March; Osveja, Latvian border; 3,904; ?; 30

Kugelblitz; 22.02-08.03; Polozk, Osweja, Drissa, Rossony; 3,780; 583; 117

Nixe; until 19.03; Ptitsh-Mikashevitshi, Pinsk; 400; ?; ?

Föhn; until 21.03; Pinsk; 543; ?; 12

Donnerkeil; 21.03-02.04; Polozk, Vitebsk; 542; 91; 5

Draufgänger II; 01.05-09.05; Rudnya and Manyly forest; 680; 110; 0

Maigewitter; 17.05-21.05; Vitebsk, Surash, Gorodok; 2,441; 143; ?

Cottbus; 20.05-23.06; Lepel, Begomel, Ushatshi; 11,796; 1,057; 128

Weichsel; 27.05-10.06; Dniepr-Pripiet Triangle southwest of Gomel; 4,018; 1,570; 28

Ziethen; 13.06-16.06; Retshitza; 160; ?; 5

Seydlitz; 25.06-27.07; Ovrutsh-Mosyr; 5,106; 528; 34

?; 30.07; Mosyr; 501; ?; ?

Günther; until 14.07; Voloshin, Lagoisk; 3,993; ?; 11

Hermann; 13.07-11-08; Ivje, Novogrodek, Wolishin, Stolbzy; 4,280; 986; 52

Fritz; 24.09-10.10; Glebokie; 509; 46; 12

?; 09.10 - 22.10; Stary Bychov; 1,769; 302; 64

Heinrich; 01.11-18.11; Rossony, Polozk, Idritza; 5,452; 476; 358

?; December; Spaskoye; 628; ?;?

?; December; Beloye; 1,453; ?; ?

Otto; 20.12-01.01.1944; Osveja; 1,920; 30; 21

1944

?; 14.01; Ala; 1,758; ?; ?

?; 22.01; Baiki; 987; ?; ?

Wolfsjagd; 03.02-15.02; Glusk, Bobruisk; 467; ?; 6

Sumpfhahn; until 19.02; Glusk, Bobruisk; 538; ?; 6

?; Beginning of March; Beresino, Belnytshi; 686; ?; ?

Auerhahn; 07.04-17.04; Bobruisk; 1,000; ?; ?

Frühlingsfest; 17.04-12.05; Polozk, Ushatshi; 7,011; 1,065; 300

Pfingstausflug; June; Senno; 653; ?; ?

Windwirbel; June; Chidra; 560; 103; 3

Pfingsrose; 02.06-13.06; Talka; 499; ?; ?

Kormoran; 25.05-17.06; Vileika, Borissov, Minsk; 7,697; 325; 110


Total I:
139,884 partisans/civilians killed

Total II:
100,070 partisans/civilians killed, 9,360 firearms captured

Total III:
112,603 partisans/civilians killed, 1,533 dead in German and auxiliary formations

In the above listed major anti-partisan actions in Belorussia between 1942 and 1944, at least 139,884 partisans and civilians were killed. The list is a transcription / translation of the one in Gerlach’s a.m. book, which is based on the contemporary German records that the author could get hold of. The number of dead was probably even higher, given that Gerlach’s list also includes the “prisoners” who, according to Gerlach, were mostly executed. These figures I have left out for simplification reasons.

The “Total II” of the above list gives the number of partisan / civilian dead in such operations for which the total of apprehended firearms of all types (rifles, pistols, machine guns, occasionally also heavy weapons) could be established. It shows that the number of dead was more than ten times higher than the number of apprehended firearms, which suggests that 90 % of those killed were not partisans but unarmed civilians.

The “Total II” of the above list gives the number of partisan / civilian dead in such operations for which the number of dead in the German and auxiliary formations could be established. It shows that in these operations 112,603 “partisans” but only 1,533 members of anti-partisan formations were killed – a ratio of 73 to 1 - , which is another indication of how few of those killed by the German formations were actually partisans.

The major actions listed above were not those that accounted for the greatest number of victims. On the contrary, most of those killed in anti-partisan warfare in Belorussia between 1941 and 1944 fell victim to countless smaller operations, as demonstrated by Gerlach in his a.m. book.

For the whole of Belorussia and the period between July 1941 and July 1944, Gerlach established a total of 345,000 victims of rural anti-partisan operations among the population. 14,000 of these were Jews. Partisan losses, according to Soviet sources quoted by Gerlach, were 26,000 plus 11,800 missing most of whom, according to Gerlach, must be considered as dead. These data confirm the assumptions that result from comparing the number of dead “partisans” in the major actions on the one hand with the number of apprehended firearms and the German losses on the other: 9 in every 10 people killed by German anti-partisan units were not partisans, but unarmed civilians (Gerlach, as above, pages 957/958).

Beside the victims of anti-partisan operations, according to Gerlach, the German occupiers killed on the territory of Belorussia about 700,000 prisoners of war, 500,000 to 550,000 Jews and 100,000 others, mainly Communist functionaries, members of the Polish intelligentsia as well as urban resistance fighters and their supporters – altogether between 1.6 million and 1.7 million people.


Let me get this straight, my friend: I have no sympathy whatsoever with Communism let alone with Stalin, one of the three or four greatest mass murderers in history (the others being Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and Genghis Khan, not necessarily in that order). But I think your infantile “evil Communists vs. noble Wehrmacht” black-and-white imaging is completely out of touch with reality. Which makes you either a very naïve character who blindly trusts whosoever’s tales and never looked up any serious sources on the issues at hand or a propagandist bent on whitewashing the Nazi regime. As which of them do you want me to see you?

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Re: Anti Partisan operation was not directed against civilia

Postby Laurent » 01 May 2002 00:50

wildboar wrote:Roberto infact there were no independent partisans in Belorussia or Ukraine and infact they were NVKD operative's in garb of partisans and they took there orders from BERIA the monster head of NVKD

Also STALIN would never permit independent partisan to operate as they would become troublesource for him once war ended and stalin & beria were not fools to allow non communist partisans to operate and all partisans that operated against HEERS were regular member of NVKD and not civilians as claimed by later day communist propoganda.


Any guerilla movement is by essence difficult to control, as you lack means of communication and survival is possible only if you limit your contacts with other guerille groups.
It is true that the first groups of partisans were organized by communists officials after the retreat of the Red Army. But what saved Soviet Union during WWII was not love of communism or reign of terror, it was the nationalism of people of Soviet Union, especially Russia.
Most people in Ukrain welcome German as liberators, but treatement as Untermensch, forced deportation of workers in Germany and taking their ressources to feed the German war machine was enough to make them side with the partisans in most cases. The first groups of partisans were too quickly organized and too few to be efficient or even to survive long, the support of population was necessary.

Also you seem to forget the UPA, the Ukrainian Liberation army that wages guerilla againt Germany first then against Red Army after their troops liberate the country (this time also, most people in Ukrain welcome Red Army as liberators, as Hitler's reign has been far worst than Stalin's). UPA never took orders of the NKVD.

In any country, occupation by a foreign army will be reacted by people that will fight it, but not Bielorussia and Russia in 41-44, that's strange...


wildboar wrote:Also most of the partisans commited horific atrocities against civilians whom they wished withouth any reason or logic and after end of war atrocities of nvkd partisans was blamed on WEHERMACHT till today no reasonable investigation is made on atrocities commited by partisans on civilians and blamed on wehermacht infact a reasonable enquiry would proved the role of partisan.


Most of atrocities reported are also reported by German documents, part of them falling in Allied hands at end of WWII, so no Soviet conspiration here.

You speak of reasonable enquiry, well the SU is dead since more than ten years and no enquiry has been done by Bielorussia and Ukrain, AFAIK.

wildboar wrote:One more thing roberto you may doubt but told to me by father of my ukranian friend that stalin hated ukranians and tried to massacare them by way of artificial famine when operation barbossa started it was god sent oppurtunity for stalin to reduce maximum no's of ukranians by sandwiching them in war and hence on BERIA's verbal order NVKD controlled partisans started killing spree of ethnic ukranians in Ukraine ,it was only when Wehermacht started anti partisan operations that this frenzy of killing of ukranians stopped . had wehermacht not undertaken anti partisans operation in ukraine then substaintial no of ethnic ukranians would had been murdered by nvkd controlled partisans , thus enabaling stalin to achive his aim of destroying ukranian ethnicity.


The fact that millions of Ukrainians were exterminated under the communist rule is well-known and is an historical fact, as the fact that many were killed during WWII, the majority by Germans. Both realities are sadly compatible.

Wermacht saving Ukrainian people from the NKVD, that is a big hoax.

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Postby viriato » 01 May 2002 15:03

In fact there seems to be a double standard here. The activities of the UPA are never accounted on the side of the partisans in most literature, perhaps because it is more expedient and/or political correct to hide their existence or worse even giving them a nazi tone. And if I remember well UPA's activities only ceased in the fifties. But of course we are told that Europe was already living in "peace".

By the way numerous other guerrilla movements were also still active in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece in the forties and fifties. But then, where were those gallant defenders of the Right and the Oppressed? 8O

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Postby Roberto » 02 May 2002 19:54

Harrison E.Salisbury, The Unknown War, Bantam Books 1978, pages 160 to 165.

[...]Many of those killed by the Germans were partisans, underground fighters, Soviet men and women, particularly young men and women, who remained in the occupied zones and carried on the fight for their motherland.

In the early phase of the war the partisans fought almost entirely on their own. In the 1930s at the time of the Spanish Civil War, an elaborate organization had been set up in Byelorussia along the route of any German invasion of organized Communist bands which would stay behind the lines in case the Nazis rolled over the frontier.
Bases were established, ammunition, arms, foodstuffs and radio equipment was placed in caches ready for use in the deep forests and marshlands in case of emergency. But just before the war the system was liquidated. The depots were cleaned out and the organizations dispersed by Police Chief Beria. No reason has been given for the action, but many Russians believe that Beria convinced Stalin that the bases might just as easily be used against Stalin as against Hitler; better take no chances.

When war broke out a central partisan administration was set up under P.K. Ponomarenko, a long-time Byelorussian official. It was created in July 1941, but not until July 1942 was Ponomarenko given permission to start operations.

But partisans did operate from the start of the war. A yound schoolteacher named Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya headed a partisan band in a little village named Petrishchevo not far from Moscow near Kalinin. She was captured by the Germans in December 1941 and hung in the village street where her lifeless body was found by Red Army troops when they recaptured the town. She was made into a national hero. Newspapers carried her photograph and endless stories about her exploits. There were supposed to be 10,000 partisans operating in the winterclad forests around Moscow at the time of the Battle of Moscow, and they were credited with killing 18,000 Germans. A group of young people in the town of Krasnodon in the Donbas set up an underground organization which took a deadly toll of the Germans until they were captured and executed. Their story became the subject of a best-selling novel by the writer Alexander Fadeyev, called The Young Guard. After the war he had to rewrite the book because he had written the story as it actually happened, that is, that the youngsters fought entirely on their own. In the rewrite he was compelled to claim that they Young Guard carried out their operations at the instructions of the higher Communist Party leadership.[...]


The Phantom War
The German struggle against Soviet partisans 1941-1944

by Matthew Cooper
Macdonald and Jane’s Publishers Limited, London, 1979

Introduction

Evil devours itself. Perhaps no other single aspect of the Second World War so well exemplifies the truth of this saying as the German struggle against the Soviet partisans from 1941 to 1944. Unpleasant tale though it is, its telling provides some important truths concerning the nature of the Third Reich and of its Führer, Adolf Hitler; it reveals that National Socialism contained within itself the seeds of its failure. Had it not been for the brutality of its racial dogma, the complexities and contradictions of its organization, and the intransigence and narrowness of intellect of its leader, it is at least arguable that Germany could have pacified the occupied territories of Russia, harnessed for its own purposes the discontent with the Communist regime that was widespread among the Russian peoples, and thereby brought to an end the Soviet Union. The failure to achieve this was the primary cause, in its turn, of the defeat of the Third Reich.

But, interesting though such a thesis may be, it is purely hypothetical. What is certain, however, is that, by their savage repression of the Eastern peoples, the German invaders lost the support of the indigenous population, created hostility where none previously existed, and, despite the great weaknesses inherent in the partisan movement, were forced to surrender large areas of occupied territory to the Soviet guerrillas. Although the Germans could claim, with reason, that the partisans had not succeeded in their primary task - the dislocation of vital supply lines to the armies at the front - they themselves were brought to the realization that their ruthless measures, born of an intolerant radicalism, could only fuel the fires of resistance, and foster, rather than subdue, partisan activity. But by the time this truth had penetrated the prejudices of Führer, High Command, and regime, it was too late; the war in the East had been lost.

The history of German rule in occupied Russia in general, and of its security measures in particular, also reveals much about Hitler’s responsibility for the immeasurable atrocities that took place during the war. Certainly, although he gave orders of great cruelty concerning the policies to be pursued towards the Russian people, they included no mention of any desire to commit genocide. Perhaps, therefore, it could be argued that he had no intention of allowing his political officials and soldiers to engage in the destruction of twenty million Russians, of whom at least 750,000 were Jews - the enormity of which figures becomes clear when it is realized that the number of Soviet soldiers and partisans killed in battle amounted to around one third of the total. Perhaps, even, it might be said that the Führer had no knowledge that such wholesale slaughter, initiated solely by subordinates such as Heinrich Himmler, was taking place. Perhaps. But what can be established beyond doubt is that it was Hitler, and he alone, who created the conditions whereby such evil could be done. He shaped the mentality of the invaders. Without his diatribes against the Slavs and the Jews - the Untermensch - and without his orders, or those emanating at his instigation and with his approval from his military staffs, the High Commands of the Wehrmacht and the Army, the atrocities perpetrated by his SS men and his soldiers would not have taken place. As Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, Chief of the SS Anti-Partisan formations, was to tell the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg after the war: ‘If, for decades, a doctrine is preached that the Slav race is an inferior race, and the Jews not even human at all, then such an explosion is inevitable’. For that, Hitler must bear responsibility.

The struggle behind the German front lines in the East was immense; at its peak, it involved some 250,000 partisans against 500,000 men in the security forces. At times it could cause the invader much consternation. In 1943, for example, the Luftwaffe was forced to issue to its pilots a map on which, in red, were marked areas over which it was dangerous even to fly - areas that were in the German-held rear areas themselves. Claims for the efficacy of the Soviet guerrilla war have been many. General Ponomarenko, Chief of the partisan Central Staff, asserted that up until the middle of 1943, Soviet guerrillas in Belorussiya alone killed more than 300,000 Germans, caused more than 3,000 railway accidents, and destroyed 3,263 bridges, 1,191 tanks, 4,097 lorries, 378 heavy guns, and 895 supply depots. A well-known British military writer, Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, wrote: 'The partisans, whose numbers were always increasing, sowed fear in the hearts of the German soldiers, who were scattered along the endless railways. In the immense spaces which these crossed, the partisan detachments played the same role as did the submarine packs in the Atlantic' - packs which, it should be remembered, nearly brought about the economic demise of Great Britain. Others, however, have been less sure of the value of the guerrillas. Sir Basil Liddell Hart, for example, believed their activities to have been both ineffective and counter-productive, rarely being more that just a nuisance value and having direct consequences for the civilian population by provoking the enemy into taking severe reprisals. Such writers point to the fact that the partisans were but an auxiliary force of the Red Army; that their activities did not become serious until the second half of the occupation; that, even then, they were limited to the poorer, less populated, and often less strategic areas; and that, in any case, Soviet claims for their successes are wildly exaggerated. Indeed, if early Soviet accounts are to be believed, the Germans suffered more than one million casualties from guerrilla activity alone - about one-sixth of all their soldiers who fought in the East. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, General Jodl, Chief of Operations of the Wehrmacht High Command, in whose interest it would have been to exaggerate the menace of the partisans, doubted whether German casualties in the Soviet Union at their hands were as high as 50,000. Recent studies suggest that they were even less, at between 15,000 and 20,000, not including those of the Eastern volunteers who also took part in security operations. In this sense, at least, the phantom war lived up to its name, appearing to possess immense form but, in reality, having little substance. This, however, was often overlooked by the Germans, who, in the extreme violence of their security measures, appeared not only to have misunderstood the proper conduct of anti-guerrilla warfare, but also to have overestimated the partisan danger. As the Head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, admitted a few months before the Germans were driven from the Soviet Union: ‘Perhaps we have overreacted to these bandits, and by this have caused ourselves needless problems.’


Pages 82 and following

The destruction that was unleashed on the Russian peoples as a consequence of the directives issued by Hitler and OKW at the end of 1942 outweighed even the brutality that had characterized German occupation policy until then. It was, indeed, a slaughter of the innocents, of which even some of the perpetrators were to grow sick. One eyewitness to an SS anti-guerrilla operation, a member of the Ordnungsdienst (the collaborationist indigenous police) who had accompanied the SS men on their mission as a guide, was so appalled at what he had seen that he wrote the following report, dated May 1943, to his German commander in the vain hope that something could be done to prevent such outrages in the future. It ran:

‘We entered the village [believed to be in the Smolensk region] at midday and called for the mayor. The SS offices treated this man abysmally, even though he seemed to be a friend. He was ordered to gather all the people in the square, even the babies, and to take steps to round in all those who might be working in the fields. Guards were posted. By 14:00 all were assembled. The SS men had meanwhile filled in their time by walking round the village and doing precisely as they pleased. There was at least one rape, and nothing was done about it. To the assembled people, the SS officer, through me, told them that their area was bandit infested, that they must have collaborated with those bandits, and that disciplinary action would be taken against them. There were twenty-three men in the square. Half of them were separated, irrespective of age or health, and taken down a side alley. The SS men seemed to know exactly what to do. Without one word of an order from the offices, automatic firing began, and then the SS men returned, without the peasants. The women became hysterical and had to be beaten into submission. Then the huts were set on fire, and all food that was found was destroyed. As the flames began to engulf the final row of huts, a man who had obviously been hiding ran out, his clothing partially alight. The SS men were clearly expecting something of the sort, and shot him dead before he had taken five paces. This was the signal for further brutality. The SS officer rounded on the mayor, telling him that he was not merely a collaborator, but a full bandit. He was, therefore, to die like a bandit. But first he would admit where the bandit camp was. The mayor refused, quite probably because he did not know. The SS officer then had one of the young girls brought before them, and told the SS Scharführer [Sergeant] to perform. The following incident is impossible to recount. The result was that the girl, stripped naked, had one of her breasts cut off. The mayor still refused to talk. The girl was then shot in front of him, and the SS officer fired a few indiscriminate rounds into the group of women, felling two or three. The final refusal to provide information caused the execution of the mayor by slow hanging and the death by shooting of the rest of the inhabitants. The SS men left, leaving some 70 dead people of all ages behind them. I cannot believe that this is either humane or sensible; action to stop it must be taken.’

In a similar vein on 19 July 1943, Herf, a police general in the East, wrote to the Head of the SS Personnel Main Office in great agitation:

‘You have got to know me well over a number of years, and I hope you have a good opinion of me - at least I think you have. I do not know whether I can remain here. Things are going on here which I cannot stomach, to which I am not prepared to subscribe even in the smallest corner of my mind. The problem concerns our official reports.
‘In my opinion, the reports sent out from here to the Reichsführer are “cooked”. Long before I arrived people in the Ukraine were saying quite openly that our casualty reports were false. People said that the figures were kept artificially low in order to highlight the “successes”. I would not wish even to hint at the reason for this. After I had been here only one day the Head of the Operations Section told me quite openly that things were going on here which were not quite right. The ex Chief of Staff (who by the way had been promised my job) told me the same thing. That was on my second day here. I have told both of them that under these circumstances I cannot remain. They advise me to try to get things changed. As you know, I have done so. Yesterday the Gauleiter and General commissar unintentionally and unwittingly broadcast certain secret reports (intended for the Führer) showing that some 480 rifles were found on 6,000 dead “partisans”. Put bluntly, all these men had been shot to swell the figure of enemy losses and highlight our own “heroic deeds”. I am under no illusions that, this being the system, the winter 1943-4 will see the beginning of the end in the rear areas and probably at the front as well. The increase in guerrilla warfare is simply and solely due to the way the Russians have been treated.
‘I have already on several occasions confided to you my misgivings over the “colonization” process. If, however, we are now going to work on this system, I have no desire to see myself subsequently accused of misleading the Reichsführer-SS, with the files brought forward to prove it. The principle is that dead men there must be, no matter where they come from - otherwise the commander concerned is a bad commander and a bad soldier. What’s more he won’t get a decoration.
The Reichsführer-SS “likes” me; I am very distressed by all this because my liking for him is even greater. But ... Max ... I am not a crook and I don’t intend to become one.
‘Yesterday evening I delved into this “6,000/480” problem I mentioned. Answer: “You appear not to know that these bandits destroy their weapons in order to play the innocent and so avoid death.” How easy it must be then to suppress these guerrillas - when they destroy their weapons!
‘My dear Max, I am prepared to serve the country, not some particular person or a pack of lies.
'I am most grateful to you for all the friendship you have shown me, but ... I must now throw in my hand.
'My reasons I have set out briefly above.
'If you wish, recall me to Berlin and I will gladly come. As you can imagine, this has not been easy to write since it means the end of my career; on that I have no illusions.’


Page 97 and following

The policy of ruthless oppression was not without its critics. Although it was powerless against Hitler’s will, the Army High Command admitted in August 1942: ‘Time after time the population [in this case, of the Ukraine] shows itself grateful for every instance when it is dealt with humanely on the basis of equality, and reacts strongly against contemptuous treatment.’ Terror was found to be counter-productive; the chief of staff to 2nd Army noted in May 1942: ‘We can master the wide Russian expanse which we have conquered only with the Russians and Ukrainians who live in it, never against their will.’ Even some politicians came to disappove of severe security measures. In early 1943, Rosenberg wrote to Himmler complaining of the indiscriminate burning of Ukrainian and Belorussiyan villages that was providing the enemy with excellent propaganda material. After an anti-partisan operation code-named ‘Cottbus’, which took place from 3 to 23 June 1943 in the area of Polotsk, Borisov and Lepel under the command of the SS, and which included also Army and Luftwaffe units, the commander, SS Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Polizei von Gottberg, reported 4,500 partisans and 5,000 suspects killed for the loss of fifty-nine Germans. As Wilhelm Kube pointed out in a report:

‘The figures mentioned above indicate that again a heavy destruction of the population must be expected. If only 492 rifles are taken from 4,500 enemy dead, this discrepancy shows that among these enemy dead were numerous peasants from the country. The Battalion Dirlewanger especially has a reputation for destroying many human lives. Among the 5,000 people suspected of belonging to bands, there were numerous women and children. The political effect of this large-scale operation upon the peaceful populations is simply dreadful in view of the many shootings of women and children. In December, the town of Begomie was evacuated by the armed forces and the police. At that time, the population of Begomie was preponderantly on our side. In the course of the fighting, Begomie, which was built up as a strong point by the partisans, has been destroyed by German air attacks.’

Lohse, bemoaning the fact that many of the killed would have been suitable for forced labor in the Reich, wrote to Rosenberg enclosing Kube’s report and stating:

‘It should not be ignored in this connection that in view of the difficulties in making oneself understood, as generally in such clean-up operations, it is very hard to distinguish friend from foe. Nevertheless, it should be possible to avoid atrocities and to bury those who have been liquidated. To lock men, women and children into barns and to set fire to these, does not appear to be a suitable method of combating bands, even if it is desired to exterminate the population. This method is not worthy of the German cause and hurts our reputation severely. I am asking that you take the necessary action.’

The Reich Commissar’s request, however, went unheeded.


Page 162
Conclusion

It would be pleasant, for the writing of this book, to conclude by proving that German occupation policy in the East, far from pacifying the population, brought upon its practitioners the full fury of guerrilla warfare - warfare that severely dislocated their supply lines and led to considerable strategic consequences for the course of the war. This, however, would be only partially true. The Germans did, in fact, succeed, through a combination of energy and resourcefulness, in securing their lines of communication for the expenditure of relatively few combat-worthy soldiers; the outcome of the war in Russia was therefore affected very little by the activities of Soviet guerrillas.

Success in the elimination of the partisan menace was, however, to elude the Germans; indeed, by their measures, they actually ensured the continuance and development of the very movement that they were trying to destroy. Certainly the Soviets invested considerable resources in the partisan struggle, resources which might have been put to more use, militarily, at the front, but they were better able to do so than were the Germans, for whom acute scarcity of men and material was a major problem. At a time when the Third Reich, heavily outnumbered in men and material, was fighting for its existence - as it was clearly doing once its soldiers had set foot on Soviet soil - any diversion, however small, of scarce manpower and equipment, or of the attention of already hard-pressed military commands, was bound to be harmful. The irony, from the German point of view, was that the guerrilla war was so unnecessary. Its very existence proved the futility and brutality of German occupation policy, which squandered the valuable potential that lay in the East.

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Richard Murphy
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Soviet Partisans

Postby Richard Murphy » 02 May 2002 20:27

Roberto correctly points out the obvious disparity between "Partisan" casualties and captured weapons. Renowned historian on the Soviet period John Erickson also points out both Stalin's initial sceptisism on arming the population behind German lines, though in the end he was left with little choice if the German's fragile supply structure was ever going to be comprehensively disrupted. However, he also reports that the attempts to insert Party activists in order to ensure their political reliability failed because the only people he trusted (IE those he sent in.) were unfamiliar with the area's into which they were sent and were quickly rounded up (With no doubt as to their fate.).

In the end, I think nationalism and German atrocities played a far stronger role in motivation of the Partisan movement. Stalin & co simply tried to claim credit after "liberating" the areas involved. Wasn't one of the Red Army's senior commanders (I forget which.) killed by a partisan bomb?

Regards from the Park,

Rich

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Roberto
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Re: Soviet Partisans

Postby Roberto » 02 May 2002 23:16

Richard Murphy wrote:Roberto correctly points out the obvious disparity between "Partisan" casualties and captured weapons. Renowned historian on the Soviet period John Erickson also points out both Stalin's initial sceptisism on arming the population behind German lines, though in the end he was left with little choice if the German's fragile supply structure was ever going to be comprehensively disrupted. However, he also reports that the attempts to insert Party activists in order to ensure their political reliability failed because the only people he trusted (IE those he sent in.) were unfamiliar with the area's into which they were sent and were quickly rounded up (With no doubt as to their fate.).

In the end, I think nationalism and German atrocities played a far stronger role in motivation of the Partisan movement. Stalin & co simply tried to claim credit after "liberating" the areas involved. Wasn't one of the Red Army's senior commanders (I forget which.) killed by a partisan bomb?

Regards from the Park,

Rich


Hi Rich,

Nice to see you around again.

The Soviet commander killed by Ukrainian partisans was General Vatutin, if I'm not mistaken.

Cheers,

Roberto

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Postby David Thompson » 25 Sep 2005 20:33

Here's an interesting essay on this topic: "How to Lose a Guerrilla War" by Antonio J. Munoz, at:
http://www.axiseuropa.com/articles/guerrillawar.pdf

Note that while present-day politics is off-topic for the H&WC section of the forum, the 1941-1944 anti-partisan war in Belorus is not.

Some related threads:
How the Nazi occupation failed in Galicia/ Ukraine
viewtopic.php?p=431283#431283
Nazi occupation policies for the USSR
viewtopic.php?t=61454
The Soviet Partisan Movement 1941-1944
viewtopic.php?t=65387
The German Army & anti-partisan warfare in USSR
viewtopic.php?t=62191

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Postby G. Trifkovic » 26 Sep 2005 01:21

Mr. Roberto and Mr.Thompson,

many thanks for the information.Keep 'em comin'!

Cheers,

Gaius

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Re: Soviet Partisans

Postby cavszabo » 12 Sep 2007 18:13

The Soviet commander killed by Ukrainian partisans was General Vatutin, if I'm not mistaken.

Cheers,

Roberto[/quote]

Hi,

It was actually Marshall Vatutin. Incidentally, it's interesting to see in the Soviet report that he was killed by "bandits", the name the Axis also used for partisans. I guess this time the shoe was on the other foot!

Chris

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Re: Major Anti-Partisan Operations in Belorussia

Postby Sven-Eric » 27 May 2008 22:24

Does anyone here know where to find information about the high ranking officials of Einsatzgruppe B? I mean the name of the people.

Regards,
Sven-Eric

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Re: Major Anti-Partisan Operations in Belorussia

Postby David Thompson » 27 May 2008 22:29

Sven-Eric -- My fellow moderator Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research website at http://www.geocities.com/~orion47/

has a lot of detail on those fellows. Look in the Waffen-SS and German Police section and you'll see a special page on the Einsatzgruppen listed, third from the top.

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Re: Major Anti-Partisan Operations in Belorussia

Postby Sven-Eric » 27 May 2008 22:55

Thanks, David. I will have a look at it.

Regards,
Sven-Eric


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