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Mt. Elbrus

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS and Volkssturm.
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Mt. Elbrus

Postby gavmeister13 on 06 Aug 2003 10:17

why did some gebirgsjager place a flag at the top of Mt. Elbrus? it seems like a waste of manpower and time.
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Postby fdewaele on 06 Aug 2003 10:50

It's symbolic. Symbols are hugely important in war because of their propaganda value. Placing a German flag on the highest top of Europe had enormous propaganda value.
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Postby Juha Hujanen on 06 Aug 2003 16:32

I did read from sowhere,that AH went furious when he heard of this operation.He regarded it as waste of time.

Cheers/Juha
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Postby Daniel L on 06 Aug 2003 16:55

It was widely covered in magazines. The expedition put the flag on the wrong top a few times.

Best regards/ Daniel
Last edited by Daniel L on 08 Aug 2003 00:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Andy H on 06 Aug 2003 23:09

18 Germans made the ascent on the mountain (14 from the 1st Mtn Div & 4 from the 4th Mtn Div) and Oberfeldwebel Kümmerle planted the German battle flag, whilst the standards of both the 1st & 4th Mtn Divisions were planted alongside on August 21st 1942.

Due to the German strong point at Elbrus house the Russians didn't reach the summit till early January 1943, when a Russian special unit raised the Hammer & Sickle

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Postby Benoit Douville on 08 Aug 2003 00:12

Great info Andy! Can somebody post a picture about the Nazi Flag on top of Mt-Elbrus. I would be glad to see it.

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Postby USAF1986 on 08 Aug 2003 03:07

From Hitler's Mountain Troops: Fighting at the Extremes by James Lucas: the Reich War Flag and the divisional flags of the 1st and 4th Mountain Divisions planted on Mt. Elbrus and the climbing party en route to the summit. On 21 August 1942, a joint 23-man team from 1st and 4th Mountain Divisions (General der Gebirgstruppe Rudolf Konrad’s XXXXIX Mountain Army Corps), led by Hauptmann Heinz Groth and Hauptmann Max Gämmerler from each division respectively, scaled the 5,633-meter-high Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in the Caucasus, and planted the Reich War Flag at the summit. Although an impressive feat, Hitler seemed to view the event as mere grandstanding!

Regards,
Shawn
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Postby Ardvark on 08 Aug 2003 09:28

I never knew this event took place, thanks for sharing.

I dont think anyone would get upset over the loss of 23 men for the short period of time this took.



Al
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Postby Benoit Douville on 09 Aug 2003 01:31

It is really appreciated Shawn.

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Postby gabriel pagliarani on 09 Aug 2003 11:36

fdewaele wrote:It's symbolic. Symbols are hugely important in war because of their propaganda value. Placing a German flag on the highest top of Europe had enormous propaganda value.

Exactly. Thule secret society gave an enormous value to Elbrus, the door of Europe opened by Arian race while migrating in Wester Europe. If AH was not a Thule's adept, surely at least a dozen of top NSDAP leaders were members of Thule.
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Postby Benoit Douville on 17 Jan 2004 04:57

If Hitler didn't approve the operation I was wandering who give the order to send those Gebirgs Divisions on top of Mt-Elbrus?
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Postby Foelkersam on 27 Jan 2004 22:54

This is from the excellent book "Stopped at Stalingrad" by Joel S.S. Hayward, page 166. publ. 1988.

The activities of these mountain troops [1st & 4th Mountain Div. (my note)] were carefully monitored at Hitler's headquarters. The Führer had repeatedly demanded that they strike through the Caucasus to the Black Sea port of Sukhumi as quickly as possible. The seizure of this port - coupled with the capturte of Novorossiisk and Tuapse, wich Seventeenth Army looked set to take from the north - would cripple Oktyabrkii's fleet [Soviet Vice Admiral, Commander Black Sea Fleet (my note)], enabling Admiral Schwarzes Meer [Germanys Blach Sea Fleat] to ferry troops and much-needed supplies across the Kerch Straits. Accordingly, the War Lord [i.e. Hitler] exploded when told that his troops had scaled Elbrus (an act with absoltely no military worth and only slight propaganda value) but had failed to reach the coast. As Albert Speer recalled:

I often saw Hitler furious but seldom did his anger erupt from him as it did when this report came in. For hours he raged as if his entire plan of the campaign had been ruined by this bit of sport. Days later he went on railing to all and sundry about "those crazy mountain climbers" who "belong before a court-martial." They were pursuing their idiotic hobbies in the midst of a war, he exclaimed indignantly, occupying an idiotic peak even though he had commanded that all efforts must be concentrated upon Sukhumi.


The author continues: "Logistical breakdowns, not the time wasted climbing Elbrus, prevented the mountain troops from taking the Black Sea ports, as Hitler probably realized once he cooled down."

Hope this was good reading to all of you Elbrus-fan!

PS: Colonel von Luck, 21st PzDiv, the Panzer commander from Russia, Africa and Normandy was sent as prisoner to Russia and a couple of years in a camp nearby.
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