Why the Waffen-SS

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Feb 2020 12:33

Hi Aida,

To break your post down to individual points:

1) You post, "At least what i post is historically correct." Mostly, but you have a tendency, I would gently suggest, to be flawed in some of your analysis.

2) You post, "Historically correct is that only LAH was earmarked for Fall Blau until Hitler sent it to France because he was convinced a landing was imminent." And Hitler was wrong, France remained a backwater and 1st W-SS Division remained unengaged in France for many months after any Allied (essentially British) was rendered unlikely due to the weather.

3) You post, "And i am not the only one here saying that." Even if true, it wouldn't necessarily make you right.

4) You post, "The other two divisions would never have taken part in the summer offensive because not part of AGS." As I explained above, the Army Groups did not have a fixed establishment. For example, in mid 1942 much of Manstein's 11th Army was switched from the southern end of Army Group South in the Crimea to the northern end of Army Group North for an assault on Leningrad. It only requires the will an and order to send any division to Army Group South.

5) You post, ".....and where Totenkopf was concerned, it was not even materially possible". Yes, because it was heavily engaged at Demijansk and emerged from that experience too shattered to do so. It was sent to France to rebuild. This, I would note, conforms with my original point.

6) You post, "Makes your comment about not campaigning very silly." Silly or not, it is a fact that 1st W-SS Division campaigned nowhere for an entire year in the middle of the war and it and 2nd W-SS Division remained in France for many months after the seasonal weather had made any Allied landing there improbable. However, the issue here is why all three senior W-SS divisions missed Germany's last strategic offensive completely. The reasons may be justifiable, necessary or not, but it is a sufficiently remarkable point that it bears investigating.

7) You post, "I noticed you shifted your comment about not campaigning from 1942 to 1942/43 after noticing that the divisions were actually in combat in 1942." You'll have to point me to the posts concerned. However, I was was fully aware that 1st and 2nd W-SS divisions did campaign in the East in the first part of 1942 and that 3rd W-SS Division was at Demijansk for longer.

8) You post, "You make it sound like it was a sort of dishonour to be refitting in France or elsewhere in 1942....." No, you have chosen to be offended on a point I never made. My point is simply that all three were absent from arguably the decisive campaign of the war and were not, in fact, on any other front either. This is of particular interest because the W-SS were meant to be the ideological standard bearers of National Socialism against Judaeo-Bolshevism.

9) You post, ".....divisions were sent there (France) because of a perceived threat of an allied invasion, a fact which you conveniently ignore all the time." Nope, I acknowledged this at some length earlier. What you are failing to acknowledge is that because the threat was only perceived, not real, France remained an operational backwater.

10) You post, "But you do not make this comment when Heer divisions were in France to refit as the 6.,7. and 10.Pz divisions were doing in 1942 at the same time as the SS divisions. Shows your bias. You only want SS divisions never to refit or reorganise in France or elsewhere." Have you read the thread title? It is "Why the W-SS". If talking about the W-SS on a W-SS thread is "bias" then I plead guilty. It certainly beats being reprimanded by AHF Administrators for going off-thread!

11) I have no problem with any Feldheer or W-SS divisions rebuilding in France. They had to do it somewhere and France is a rational choice as they could combine rebuilding with invasion watch. The difference is that only a relatively small proportion of Army mechanized divisions were in France at any one time compared with the Waffen-SS situation in 1942-43, when all its senior formations were there simultaneously. What makes it even more notable is that this resulted in all three senior W-SS divisions being absent from the decisive front and campaign of the war simultaneously.

12) You post, "You could do with some reading." Indeed, couldn't we all?

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 14 Feb 2020 14:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 14 Feb 2020 14:20

Sid Guttridge wrote:
14 Feb 2020 12:33
Hi Aida,

To break your post down to individual points:

1) You post, "At least what i post is historically correct." Mostly, but you have a tendency, I would gently suggest, to be flawed in some of your analysis.

2) You post, "Historically correct is that only LAH was earmarked for Fall Blau until Hitler sent it to France because he was convinced a landing was imminent." And Hitler was wrong, France remained a backwater and 1st W-SS Division remained unengaged in France for many months after any Allied (essentially British) was rendered unlikely due to the weather.

3) You post, "And i am not the only one here saying that." Even if true, it wouldn't necessarily make you right.

4) You post, "The other two divisions would never have taken part in the summer offensive because not part of AGS." As I explained above, the Army Groups did not have a fixed establishment. For example, in mid 1942 much of Manstein's 11th Army was switched from the southern end of Army Group South in the Crimea to the northern end of Army Group North for an assault on Leningrad. It only requires the will an and order to send any division to Army Group South. For example, in 1943 a panzer division (25th?) was sent to it from Norway.

5) You post, ".....and where Totenkopf was concerned, it was not even materially possible". Yes, because it was heavily engaged at Demijansk and emerged from that experience too shattered to do so. It was sent to France to rebuild. This, I would note, conforms with my original point.

6) You post, "Makes your comment about not campaigning very silly." Silly or not, it is a fact that 1st W-SS Division campaigned nowhere for an entire year in the middle of the war and it and 2nd W-SS Division remained in France for many months after the seasonal weather had made any Allied landing there improbable. However, the issue here is why all three senior W-SS divisions missed Germany's last strategic offensive completely. The reasons may be justifiable, necessary or not, but it is a sufficiently remarkable point that it bears investigating.

7) You post, "I noticed you shifted your comment about not campaigning from 1942 to 1942/43 after noticing that the divisions were actually in combat in 1942." You'll have to point me to the posts concerned. However, I was was fully aware that 1st and 2nd W-SS divisions did campaign in the East in the first part of 1942 and that 3rd W-SS Division was at Demijansk for longer.

8) You post, "You make it sound like it was a sort of dishonour to be refitting in France or elsewhere in 1942....." No, you have chosen to be offended on a point I never made. My point is simply that all three were absent from arguably the decisive campaign of the war and were not, in fact, on any other front either. This is of particular interest because the W-SS were meant to be the ideological standard bearers of National Socialism against Judaeo-Bolshevism.

9) You post, ".....divisions were sent there (France) because of a perceived threat of an allied invasion, a fact which you conveniently ignore all the time." Nope, I acknowledged this at some length earlier. What you are failing to acknowledge is that because the threat was only perceived, not real, France remained an operational backwater.

10) You post, "But you do not make this comment when Heer divisions were in France to refit as the 6.,7. and 10.Pz divisions were doing in 1942 at the same time as the SS divisions. Shows your bias. You only want SS divisions never to refit or reorganise in France or elsewhere." Have you read the thread title? It is "Why the W-SS". If talking about the W-SS on a W-SS thread is "bias" then I plead guilty. It certainly beats being reprimanded by AHF Administrators for going off-thread!

11) I have no problem with any Feldheer or W-SS divisions rebuilding in France. They had to do it somewhere and France is a rational choice as they could combine rebuilding with invasion watch. The difference is that only a relatively small proportion of Army mechanized divisions were in France at any one time compared with the Waffen-SS situation in 1942-43, when all its senior formations were there simultaneously. What makes it even more notable is that this resulted in all three senior W-SS divisions being absent from the decisive front and campaign of the war simultaneously.

12) You post, "You could do with some reading." Indeed, couldn't we all?

Cheers,

Sid.
2) Hitler did not consider France a backwater. Your judgment in perfect hindsight is irrelevent. Hitler also reinforced Norway a lot because he believed there was a threat of an allied landing. What you think does not count. What counts is the motivations of the decisionmakers at the time with the information they had. Because Hitler and the OKH were convinced there was a threat, Das Reich was pulled out of its reorganisation in Germany and sent to France as was LAH from Russia. After Jubilee, Hitler was still afraid of more landings so parts of Totenkopf that were setting up in Germany were also sent to France.
4) You offer no compelling reason why the OKH would need to add to AGS one division from AGC and why it would be Das Reich which was supposed to be reorganised. :roll:
5) Where Totenkopf is concerned you are still in denial of the fact that its combat units were engaged around Demjansk until october so you would need a lot of imagination to see it take part in the summer offensive in the south . Totenkopf spent only a short time in France before going back to the eastern front.
6) Untrue obviously as LAH was in the frontline until the end of may so was not a year out of the fighting. Neither was Das Reich and Totenkopf even less. And the german high command clearly disagreed with you concerning the probability of an allied landing given where were the divisions were situated in France and what their mission was there and that the 3 Heer pz divisions also remained in France as a mobile reserve and all were involved in the occupation of Vichy France in november. No need for any investigation. You only need to read what happened. The ss divisions did get the impression they were at some point destined for North Africa as the men got a medical checkup to see if they were suitable for the tropics( Das Reich III O Weidinger p 453).
8) Silly very coloured comment :lol: I think Adolf Hitler would know better where he wanted his ss divisions to be .Not up to you to secondguess that.
9) ) Not a backwater in the eyes of the german high command then. Does not matter whether it was wrong. They did not know that. Hindsight is always wrong.
11) There was only one german army, not two. AGS would excute Fall Blau and whatever divisions were part of it would take part which would have included two ss divisons if LAH had not been sent away. Only you have the strange opinion that the 3 senior ss divisions absolutely needed to take part even if you had to pull them from elsewhere. Hitler and the OKH did not reason that way. :roll:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Feb 2020 15:02

Hi Aida,

1) Whether France was a backwater does not depend on what Hitler, I, or anyone else believes or believed. It depends on the facts. The facts are as I have rendered them twice before: "In 1942 France was undoubtedly a backwater. In the entire year there was one day of ground combat by one division on either side (Dieppe). Compare that to the Eastern Front, where around 400 German and Soviet divisions were in the front line for every day of the year. In other words, in 1942 there were about 150,000 more division days spent on an active battle front in the East than in France!" (or, to put it another way, there were some 75,000 times more division days spent on an active battle front in the East in 1942 than in France!) You have repeatedly offered no contradiction to this and yet resist drawing the obvious conclusion: France was a backwater in 1942.

4) You post, "You offer no compelling reason why the OKH would need to add to AGS one division from AGC and why it would be Das Reich which was supposed to be reorganised." I don't have to.

5) You post, "Where Totenkopf is concerned you are still in denial of the fact that its combat units were engaged around Demjansk until october....." Perhaps you should read my posts more carefully?

5) You post, "Totenkopf spent only a short time in France before going back to the eastern front." Yup. And, if I am not mistaken, this "short time" included the entire Stalingrad encirclement battle. And why was it in France at all? Because it had suffered very heavily at Demijansk and was sent to France to rebuild, as I said right at the start of our discussion.

8) You post "I think Adolf Hitler would know better where he wanted his ss divisions to be ." Interesting. So are you suggesting a political motive in the absence of the three senior W-SS divisions from the arguably decisive campaign of the war? Tell us more.

8) You post, "Not up to you to secondguess that." I can second guess anything I wish to, should the mood take me. So can you, or any other poster here.

9) You post, "Hindsight is always wrong." Did you mean to post that? If so, could you clarify what you mean, as it implies we never learn from experience?

10) You post, "Only you have the strange opinion that the 3 senior ss divisions absolutely needed to take part even if you had to pull them from elsewhere. Hitler and the OKH did not reason that way." Errrr, well actually Hitler, if not OKW, did. The Nazis deliberately put senior SS units in the order of battle of every single occupation of the 1930s and every campaign of WWII, with two exceptions - Denmark/Norway and North Africa. And even you concede that they were at one point intended for the latter. Yet at no point in any of these campaigns was a W-SS military presence necessary, useful though it often was. The German Army made all its conquests of 1939-42 without indispensable W-SS participation. The whole point of the armed SS was so that the Nazi Party could be shown to be making a "blood sacrifice" alongside the German people. So, yes, normally Hitler did think that way.

And yet all three senior W-SS divisions simultaneously missed arguably the decisive campaign of the war against their greatest ideological foe.

Interesting, is it not?

11) You post, "There was only one german army, not two." Yup, I don't think anyone here is arguing with that. And then there was the W-SS - militarily a near clone of the German Army but of an overtly political creation.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S You appear to be running low on smilies. Would you like me to send you a few? I have plenty to spare, as I never use them myself.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 14 Feb 2020 17:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
14 Feb 2020 15:02
Hi Aida,

1) Whether France was a backwater does not depend on what Hitler, I, or anyone else believes or believed. It depends on the facts. The facts are as I have rendered them twice before: "In 1942 France was undoubtedly a backwater. In the entire year there was one day of ground combat by one division on either side (Dieppe). Compare that to the Eastern Front, where around 400 German and Soviet divisions were in the front line for every day of the year. In other words, in 1942 there were about 150,000 more division days spent on an active battle front in the East than in France!" (or, to put it another way, there were some 75,000 times more division days spent on an active battle front in the East in 1942 than in France!) You have repeatedly offered no contradiction to this and yet resist drawing the obvious conclusion: France was a backwater in 1942.

4) You post, "You offer no compelling reason why the OKH would need to add to AGS one division from AGC and why it would be Das Reich which was supposed to be reorganised." I don't have to.

5) You post, "Where Totenkopf is concerned you are still in denial of the fact that its combat units were engaged around Demjansk until october....." Perhaps you should read my posts more carefully?

5) You post, "Totenkopf spent only a short time in France before going back to the eastern front." Yup. And, if I am not mistaken, this "short time" included the entire Stalingrad encirclement battle. And why was it in France at all? Because it had suffered very heavily at Demijansk and was sent to France to rebuild, as I said right at the start of our discussion.

8) You post "I think Adolf Hitler would know better where he wanted his ss divisions to be ." Interesting. So are you suggesting a political motive in the absence of the three senior W-SS divisions from the arguably decisive campaign of the war? Tell us more.

8) You post, "Not up to you to secondguess that." I can second guess anything I wish to, should the mood take me. So can you, or any other poster here.

9) You post, "Hindsight is always wrong." Did you mean to post that? If so, could you clarify what you mean, as it implies we never learn from experience?

10) You post, "Only you have the strange opinion that the 3 senior ss divisions absolutely needed to take part even if you had to pull them from elsewhere. Hitler and the OKH did not reason that way." Errrr, well actually Hitler, if not OKW, did. The Nazis deliberately put senior SS units in the order of battle of every single occupation of the 1930s and every campaign of WWII, with two exceptions - Denmark/Norway and North Africa. And even you concede that they were at one point intended for the latter. Yet at no point in any of these campaigns was a W-SS military presence necessary, useful though it often was. The German Army made all its conquests of 1939-42 without indispensable W-SS participation. The whole point of the armed SS was so that the Nazi Party could be shown to be making a "blood sacrifice" alongside the German people. So, yes, normally Hitler did think that way.

And yet all three senior W-SS divisions simultaneously missed arguably the decisive campaign of the war against their greatest ideological foe.

Interesting, is it not?

11) You post, "There was only one german army, not two." Yup, I don't think anyone here is arguing with that. And then there was the W-SS - militarily a near clone of the German Army but of an overtly political creation.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S You appear to be running low on smilies. Would you like me to send you a few? I have plenty to spare, as I never use them myself.
1) Extremely flawed as Hitler and the OKH sent reinforcements including first two and then a third ss division to an area they considered important so they did not intend to send these divisons to what was in their eyes a backwater. You are substituting your own opinions to their motivations. If they shared your opinions they would have acted otherwise.
4) You do because Das Reich would automatically not take part in the summer offensive by the simple fact that it did not belong to AGS. And Totenkpf could never have done so. Theoretically you could imagine a lot of divisions being more suitable for the summer offensive than those actually present in the south.
5) Things are much more complicated than that. Hitler had already decided in march that the Totenkopf was to be reformed which included adding more units(Soldaten Kämpfer Kameraden III p1). The execution of this order was made complicated by the fact that Totenkopf was in the Demjansk pocket. The setting up of the new units for Totenkopf started in july 1942 in Sennelager . After the Dieppe landing Hitler feared a new landing so on 26.8 the units setting up in Sennelager were ordered to France where they were joined at the end of october by the units returning from Demjansk (Soldaten Kämpfer Kameraden III pp 29-32) . There is no way the Totenkopf could materially have been able to participate in the fighting in the south and its being in France was purely due to the threat of an allied landing as the reorganisation started in Sennelager. Even the refit it had was too short.
8) No Hitler was worried about the threat of allied landings in France and Norway. Both were reinforced. And in France were certainly going to be put mobile units that were in refit. No political motives at all.
10) This is your supposition that that was an intentional policy and there was already going to be two divisions in the summer offensive until Hitler reacted to the imminent threat of an allied landing in the west by pulling out LAH. Even by your own suppositon he would want to have ss divisons in the west then too so you make no sense when you want them all in Fall blau which would never have happened. Also, Hitler wanted them all upgraded and an ss corps setup which had an influence too on what happened.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Gorque » 14 Feb 2020 19:25

I see that TigerIvan has returned.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Feb 2020 13:36

Hi Aida,

1) You post, "If they shared your opinions they would have acted otherwise." Now who is second guessing?

4) I don't have to send any particular Waffen-SS divisions anywhere. My point is simply that during arguably the decisive campaign of the war none of the three senior W-SS divisions took part in Germany's last strategic offensive and over the winter of 1942-43, during the Stalingrad encirclement operations, all three senior divisions were simultaneously absent from any active front anywhere. Given that the senior Waffen-SS divisions were meant to be Nazism's ideological spearhead against its great ideological foe - Bolshevism - this is worthy of comment.

5) You post, 3rd Waffen-SS division "being in France was purely due to the threat of an allied landing as the reorganisation started in Sennelager." Really? The fact remains that after only about a month at Sennelager (according to you) for the newly raised part of the division, all the rest of its rebuilding took place in France over the next six months. And even then, according to you, "Even the refit it had was too short."!

10) You post, "This is your supposition that that was an intentional policy and there was already going to be two divisions in the summer offensive until Hitler reacted to the imminent threat of an allied landing in the west by pulling out LAH." That is entirely your invention. I don't have to defend propositions that are not mine. If you want to argue with yourself, feel free, but please leave me out of it.

10) You post, "Also, Hitler wanted them all upgraded and an ss corps setup which had an influence too on what happened." Ahhhh, now we are getting down to it. So, all the three senior Waffen-SS divisions were simultaneously absent from any active battlefront for many months during arguably the decisive campaign of the war because, "Hitler wanted them all upgraded and an ss corps setup....." This wasn't a decision by the military professionals of OKH, but a political decision made by Hitler as Fuhrer?

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Are you sure I can't offer you a few of my spare "smilies"? You now appear to have run out completely!

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 15 Feb 2020 14:28

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Feb 2020 13:36
Hi Aida,

1) You post, "If they shared your opinions they would have acted otherwise." Now who is second guessing?

4) I don't have to send any particular Waffen-SS divisions anywhere. My point is simply that during arguably the decisive campaign of the war none of the three senior W-SS divisions took part in Germany's last strategic offensive and over the winter of 1942-43, during the Stalingrad encirclement operations, all three senior divisions were simultaneously absent from any active front anywhere. Given that the senior Waffen-SS divisions were meant to be Nazism's ideological spearhead against its great ideological foe - Bolshevism - this is worthy of comment.

5) You post, 3rd Waffen-SS division "being in France was purely due to the threat of an allied landing as the reorganisation started in Sennelager." Really? The fact remains that after only about a month at Sennelager (according to you) for the newly raised part of the division, all the rest of its rebuilding took place in France over the next six months. And even then, according to you, "Even the refit it had was too short."!

10) You post, "This is your supposition that that was an intentional policy and there was already going to be two divisions in the summer offensive until Hitler reacted to the imminent threat of an allied landing in the west by pulling out LAH." That is entirely your invention. I don't have to defend propositions that are not mine. If you want to argue with yourself, feel free, but please leave me out of it.

10) You post, "Also, Hitler wanted them all upgraded and an ss corps setup which had an influence too on what happened." Ahhhh, now we are getting down to it. So, all the three senior Waffen-SS divisions were simultaneously absent from any active battlefront for many months during arguably the decisive campaign of the war because, "Hitler wanted them all upgraded and an ss corps setup....." This wasn't a decision by the military professionals of OKH, but a political decision made by Hitler as Fuhrer?

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Are you sure I can't offer you a few of my spare "smilies"? You now appear to have run out completely!
1) No secondguessing. Das Reich and LAH were not refitting in France before the threat of an allied landing was perceived. Neither was Totenkopf. You still are following a very strange reasoning where the participation in Fall Blau is concerned. Clearly, the OKH and Hitler reasoned differently. Your colourfull descrption of the senior waffen ss division is your own.
5) You are playing a silly game here. All 3 waffen ss divisions were upgraded and got extra units, among others a Panzer Abteilung. The Totenkopf also got an extra regiment. The new units for Totenkopf were setting up in Sennelager from july 1942(divisional history says so not me). After the landing in Dieppe hitler was worried about new landings so these units were sent to France end of august. The units in the front joined them end october so the whole new unit was only together then and still needed 6000 new recruits which Hitler released from their service in the RAD so they could join up early. When the division was supposed to go east again in january, these recruits were still untrained so the division got a reprieve. All mentioned before but you clearly do selective reading.
10)Wrong again as with or without the upgrade, the divisions would not have been part of the summer offensive as explained before several times in detail. And Heer divisions also got upgrades and refits which had them absent from the front for a long time. Nothing out of the ordinary about upgrading mot. divisions and eventually even making them into pz div. Setting up an ss corps command over the 3 senior waffen ss divisions is a perfectly normal step in the development of the waffen ss .

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 15 Feb 2020 17:35

To illustrate concerns about threats of allied landings in 1942 excerpts from Kriegstagebuch LAH nr 6 17.7.1942-7.1.1943

"31.8.1942 Divisional order concerning new designation of the formerly issued orders: Instead of Channel coast A now deployment 2A , instead of channel coast B now deployment 2B . Take effect 01.9.1942 .
Divisional order with specific orders for the land movement of the wheeled vehicles LSSAH in case of alarm.
Divisional order for alarm Netherlands A and Netherland B
Divisional order for movement overview Netherlands A and Netherlands B, for deployment 2A and 2B on day X+1 , for case Bretagne, and for case Gironde estuary.
The former orders for these movement overviews are to be destroyed.
Divisional order for deployment 2 A and 2B at deployment on X day or X + 2 day
Divisional order concerning supplement to divisional order for alert 31.7.1942

1.9.1942 Modification of order for deployment 2 A and 2 B when movement on X+1
Divisional order for alert case Bretagne

4.9.1942 Divisional order concerning early warning in case of landing attempts which have to be expected in september
5.9.1942 Divisional order for special case Ilona(anglo-american landing on the Iberian peninsular) with movement overview
Divisional order : the alarm orders formerly received by the units in sealed enveloppe, need to be given back to division unopened
Divisional order : new designation of alarm cases and establishing of valid march overviews.

12.9.1942 Divisional order for establishing sectors of resonsability at enemy airlandings(new distribution)
19.9.1942 Telex OB West Based on communications from agents, OB West informs that the english intend a landing on the Channel coast between 15 and 25.9 . Landing will probably be carried out on 20.9 on 3 spots : 1 above Le Havre 2. ;In Coxych and surroundings; 3. On an unknown spot in the Netherlands
28.9.1942 Telex order Heeresgruppe D : the reinforced 1.Inf regt (1 inf regt, I/AR) is moved on 1.10 in the area Mezidon-Le Mesnil- Livarot to be ready for quick operations in the direction of St lo - Caen under the command of LSSAH.

9.10.1942 18.00 Telex OB West signed FM von Rundstedt to LSSAH: the Führer considers that Normandy is particularly endangered and has ordered that the entire LSSAH needs to be quickly moved up to the advanced regimental group . SS AH moves as soon as possible in the area Le Mesnil-Orbec-Broglie- Breteuil- Laigle-Le Merleroult-Trun . SS Div AH comunicates immediately to OB West the beginning of the movement "
2300 Div order about the as quickly as possible movement of LAH to the reinforced 1.regt in the area Le Mesnil-Orbec-Broglie- Breteuil- Laigle-Le Merleroult-Trun in land movement and rail transport...."

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by histan » 15 Feb 2020 20:12

The entries in the KTB for LAH are matched by others from OB West and in the records of the OKW Conferences.

This is taken from the official history of British Intelligence, Volume 5 Strategic Deception, by Michael Howard

"On 5 October 1942, 'on the basis of numerous reports from agents' he [Hitler] drew the attention of the Wfst to the threat in the West, ordering that the coast should be put on a state of alert and coastal defences be strengthened [8]. Four days later the Führer's intuition indicated Cherbourg as the most likely target, and measures were ordered for its defence. These instructions were received at the headquarters of Field Marshal von Rundstedt, Commander in Chief West, with less irritation than might have been expected. Ever since the raid on Dieppe on 19 August, von Rundstedt had been on the alert. 'The general situation [is] in no way altered by that operation", he reported on 24 August [9]. 'Commander in Chief West anticipates various enemy operations for prestige reasons precisely in the near future. There is every possibility of renewed large scale landing attempts based on the experience gained on that operation, which may be considered a 'dress rehearsal."
[8] Helmuth Greiner and Percy E Schramm, Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos des Wehrmacht Vol II p794
[9] OB West Lagebeurteilung of 24 August 1942

"On 12 October he [von Rundstedt] reported 'Enemy attack possible at any time and in different places, Normandy and the north coast of Brittany appearing the most likely enemy point of departure [11].' A week later, he had to admit that the evidence was obscure and contradictory, but he held firmly to his opinion "that 'British are trained and in complete readiness for landing operations on a fairly large scale'. Even on 2 November he reported that 'from various sources of information operations similar to Dieppe seem likely in November under still favourable weather conditions [12]. Not until December did he admit that conditions were now unlikely.
[11] OB West Lagebeurteilung of 12 October 1942
[12] OB West Lagebeurteilung of 2 November1942

And the following from the Wfst Conferences
19 August 1942 "West: This morning at 0600 hours, British troops landed at Dieppe* Yesterday's enemy air activity in no way indicated his intention to effect a landing. The landing took place along a 30 kilometers wide front. At Dieppe proper, British tanks have been put ashore, but the local heights are firmly in our hands. The "ADOLF HITLER" SS-Division and the 10th Panzer Division have been placed at the disposal of the commander of the local sector, General KUNTZEN, Commanding General of LXXXI Infantry Corps. The Fuehrer takes the transfer of the "Grossdeutschland" Division to the Western Front into consideration again. However, he drops that idea because OB West (Commander in Chief in the West) reports that there is reason to hope that the landed British forces will be disposed of by tonight."

5 September 1942 "In the evening the OB West reports by telephone that a British air borne division has been transferred from England proper to the Isle of Wight and that attempts to land on the Normandy peninsula are planned by the British. The Fuehrer therefore gives the order to shift the ?th Parachute Division, which is stationed in Normandy, farther to the north. Following a report of the Chief of OKff several days ago, the Fuehrer had given the order to transfer seven replacement training divisions from the ZI to the west."

6 September 1942 The Shifting of the ?th Parachute Division toward the north, which the Fuehrer demanded yesterday, has been ordered by OB West in the meantime. Today the Fuehrer mentions that the "Reich" SS-Division should be shifted into the area thus far occupied by the 7th Parachute Division because no tanks are available as tactical reserves: "General Goering" Brigade and the 6th Panzer Division. In Normandy: The ?th parachute Division and the "Reich" SS-Division. Farther to the East: The "Adolf Hitler" SS-Division and the 10th Panzer Division."

9 September 1942 "OB West is against a shifting of the "Reich" SS-Division to the north. He is of the opinion that the Division 1 s present quartering area, northwest
of Angers, is more favorably located in view of its mission as a support reserve for the submarine bases in Brittany and the areas of Brittany and Normandy, and in view of a possible commitment of the division in the Netherlands.
The Fuehrer regards the occupation of the coastal areas in southern France as inadequate, especially in view of the fact that it would not be
possible, in case of an emergency, to shift the motorized units to that part of the coast swiftly enough. He, therefore, gives the order to activate five new divisions specially organized for coast defense in the area of OB West until 15 November 1942."

There is more!

Regards

John

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Feb 2020 07:29

Hi Guys,

That is very interesting and tends to prove that the sacrifices of 2nd Canadian Division at Dieppe were far from wasted. I have made this point elsewhere on AHF.

However, it doesn't make the threat of an Allied invasion in 1942 real or France an active battlefront. Throughout 1942 it remained a backwater, whatever Hitler's fears.

What is more, all three senior W-SS divisions remained in France long after the narrow season the weather allowed for invasion was over. Indeed, they only appear to have returned to the Eastern Front as early as they did due to the Stalingrad emergency.

This still puts all three senior W-SS divisions far from any active battlefront during the battle of Stalingrad or, indeed, the Caucasus Campaign.

For reasons good or bad, the three divisions that were meant to be the ideological standard bearers against Bolshevism missed arguably the decisive campaign against it. Nor were two of them engaged in any active campaign anywhere else.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 16 Feb 2020 11:07

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Feb 2020 07:29
Hi Guys,

That is very interesting and tends to prove that the sacrifices of 2nd Canadian Division at Dieppe were far from wasted. I have made this point elsewhere on AHF.

However, it doesn't make the threat of an Allied invasion in 1942 real or France an active battlefront. Throughout 1942 it remained a backwater, whatever Hitler's fears.

What is more, all three senior W-SS divisions remained in France long after the narrow season the weather allowed for invasion was over. Indeed, they only appear to have returned to the Eastern Front as early as they did due to the Stalingrad emergency.

This still puts all three senior W-SS divisions far from any active battlefront during the battle of Stalingrad or, indeed, the Caucasus Campaign.

For reasons good or bad, the three divisions that were meant to be the ideological standard bearers against Bolshevism missed arguably the decisive campaign against it. Nor were two of them engaged in any active campaign anywhere else.

Cheers,

Sid

Repeating the same speech over and over again does not make it more credible.
It is amazing how stubborn you can keep repeating the same utter nonsense. Only one of the senior ss divisons would have participated in the summer offensive without Hitler getting worried over an allied invasion as you know very well. The other two never would have .
You could have read from the items posted here that the worry about an allied invasion continued until november 1942 when OB West still was convinced of the possibility of a landing but you clearly choose to ignore what sources tell you.. As late as october Hitler ordered the LAH into Normandy because of his worry about an allied invasion. In november there were worries again when the allied invasion fleet going for North Africa was detected. It was afterwards that the different mobile divisons all left to the east or North Africa including the 3 Heer pz div in France.
In the eyes of Hitler and OB West France was not a backwater otherwise he would never have sent the senior ss divisons there. You could have read also that he even envisaged sending the elite Grossdeutschland to France at some point.
Your bias against the waffen ss has gotten the better of you. :lol:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by histan » 16 Feb 2020 12:21

Hi Sid

Every time you see the word "agent" read British Intelligence.

"Operation Overthrow must therefore be judged a major success. Throughout the summer and autumn, up to the eve of the Torch landings, German forces in north-west France remained on the alert in expectation of an imminent Allied attack, and the fears of von Rundstedt and Hitler reinforced one another. No substantial forces were removed either to the Russian front or southward towards the western Mediterranean; and the lack of German suspicion about the real intentions of the Allies can be in part attributed to the success of the London Controlling Section's activities in covering them."
From the official history of British Intelligence, Volume 5 Strategic Deception, by Michael Howard

So yet another failure of German intelligence.

But also there were organisational reasons. The desire to use the three SS divisions together as a corps and to equip them with a panzer regiment meant that the earliest they could be deployed was January 1943.

If LAH or DR were deployed anytime between October 1942 and January 1943 it would be without their panzer regiment.

Regards

John

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 16 Feb 2020 13:18

histan wrote:
16 Feb 2020 12:21
Hi Sid



If LAH or DR were deployed anytime between October 1942 and January 1943 it would be without their panzer regiment.

Regards

John
Would realistically never have been ordered before beginning november when Hitler decided to sent 2 inf div and the 6.Pz from the west to the east to be in reserve to Heersgruppe B and even that was delayed by the allied landing in north africa and OB West did not want to let it go. (Brennpunkte Die Geschichte der 6.Pz div W Paul Höntges Verlag 1977 pp 227-230). Once 6 Army got surrounded it was not divisions from the west that would be the solution as their transfer takes too long. It took several weeks for transferring a whole division to the east . On 4 december 6.Pz div had 80% of its combat units available but only 5% of its supply units(W Paul p236) and it had started transferring on 12 november.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Feb 2020 13:57

histan wrote:
16 Feb 2020 12:21
If LAH or DR were deployed anytime between October 1942 and January 1943 it would be without their panzer regiment.
IIRC DR was deployed in full in a bit after Jan 1943.

The last one to come into the field was TK (March 1943), and it's PR had incomplete training.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2020 13:32

Hi histan,

Thanks for the hard facts.

I am largely aware of what you write.

However, fears of invasion do not make France an active battlefront, so it remained, in practice, a backwater throughout 1942.

Thus, unless they acted as a deterrent to a real invasion plan, (which they didn't, because no such intent, or practical possibility, existed for 1942), any deployments there were operationally redundant. However, they were still justifiable in terms of rebuilding and refitting, which had to be done somewhere.

It seems that the desire to rebuild and upgrade all three senior Waffen-SS divisions to panzer-grenadier status simultaneously was contributory to their absence from any active battlefront anywhere at arguably the key turning point of the war.

Whether they should have been so upgraded is another matter, as it could only be done at the expense of diverting human and material resources from the Army. The same applies to the separate existence of the W-SS as a whole. It added not one man or weapon to the overall German Army order of battle and it was slower than the army to recruit foreigners from anywhere outside north-east Europe, where it was effectively given a recruiting monopoly for front line service from 1940. There seems to be little or no military originality or value added in the creation of the Waffen-SS. By contrast, its political raison d'etre is clear.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 17 Feb 2020 13:51, edited 2 times in total.

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