Patton .................

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Feb 2019 18:06

Hanny wrote:
06 Feb 2019 11:49
paulrward wrote:
05 Feb 2019 22:36


To Mr. Hanny and Mr. Anderson :
Sadly your post content adds little to nothing not already known.
Sorry, but the correct expression is "adds little or nothing to what is already known". Or, if you wish to be Shakespearian, the post's content is "a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

histan
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Re: Patton .................

Post by histan » 06 Feb 2019 19:52

Guys

I have been away for over a fortnight but am I correct in summarizing the recent discussion as:

The official history states (in one place only) that US forces were held up in clearing the Ruhr pocket by Waffen SS units

POW and other records show almost no Waffen SS were present in the pocket and so this statement is incorrect.

The counter argument has been made that there are no POW records for the Waffen SS because the US army shot them all between them being captured and registered as POWs.

Regards

John

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Feb 2019 21:47

histan wrote:
06 Feb 2019 19:52
Guys

I have been away for over a fortnight but am I correct in summarizing the recent discussion as:

The official history states (in one place only) that US forces were held up in clearing the Ruhr pocket by Waffen SS units
To be perfectly accurate, The Last Campaign states "At many small towns the burgomaster came out with a white flag; at others, the Germans fought until overwhelmed. The presence of SS troops more often than not made the difference." That is the passage in question.
POW and other records show almost no Waffen SS were present in the pocket and so this statement is incorrect.
No Waffen-SS units were present, especially given the clarification that the ad-hoc Waffen-SS "Brigade" that 1st ID recorded prisoners from attacked from outside the pocket towards the pocket, so technically was not in the pocket.

My issue remains over the question of whether or not SS personnel, Waffen-SS or Allgemeine-SS, were captured in the pocket and may have been what Mac was referring to. Given that by this time some form of SS constituted about one in ten of the uniformed troops in Germany, I would be surprised if the prisoner intake recorded zero of them. Mori has said, more or less, that he hasn't found any/many, but without researching the actual figures (unfortunately outside of the time frame of most of my research collection) I hesitate to cast this possibility aside...and, BTW, it has nothing to do with Mori's research or research ability, which he has proven many times is excellent; it is simply my own questioning nature and perplexity if there were in fact few to none.
The counter argument has been made that there are no POW records for the Waffen SS because the US army shot them all between them being captured and registered as POWs.
Indeed. :roll:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

histan
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Re: Patton .................

Post by histan » 06 Feb 2019 22:03

Thanks Richard

My immediate response after seeing the actual quote is that maybe the use of the word "troops" might have been a slightly poor choice.

I can see that the presence of local organized SS (not Waffen SS) might result in more resistance being offered.

Regards

John

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Feb 2019 22:07

histan wrote:
06 Feb 2019 22:03
Thanks Richard

My immediate response after seeing the actual quote is that maybe the use of the word "troops" might have been a slightly poor choice.

I can see that the presence of local organized SS (not Waffen SS) might result in more resistance being offered.
Yep. To me, the only real question is whether or not the passage was a mistake or whether Mac had some justification for it. The other potential source to clear this up would be to refer to the OCMH file on the draft of The Last Campaign at NARA II.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 06 Feb 2019 23:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
06 Feb 2019 02:38
Your could also see the half-full glass: the guy did review a lot of secondary litterature, including many hard to find books. It's pretty convenient to have an off-the-shelf synthesis of these sources.
Again, reviewing a lot of secondary literature, even if it is harder to find secondary literature, is a pretty low bar to cross.
Except that such organized review is nowhere else to be found. And the overall tone of the work is neutral rather than boastful. That makes it a useful piece of work, even if you don't like it.

You seem to say it was easy - so what? Effort is not a relevant metric to assess quality of a piece of work (think of art!).

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 06 Feb 2019 23:10

histan wrote:
06 Feb 2019 19:52
I have been away for over a fortnight but am I correct in summarizing the recent discussion as:

The official history states (in one place only) that US forces were held up in clearing the Ruhr pocket by Waffen SS units

POW and other records show almost no Waffen SS were present in the pocket and so this statement is incorrect.
Yes, that's it, and no more than that. It's nothing to make a big deal of.

As a matter of fact, I wouldn't have believed it could trigger any lengthy discussion... But isn't Charles MacDonald more human now that we realized he allowed himself one quick fix in an otherwise super reliable 600+ pages book?

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Feb 2019 05:15

Mori wrote:
06 Feb 2019 23:07
Except that such organized review is nowhere else to be found.
Organized review of what exactly? The absence of evidence to support the contention he so boldly puts forth initially? His inability to find oral history sources beyond what John Keegan told him - incorrectly - was not available?
And the overall tone of the work is neutral rather than boastful.
The overall tone of the work to my hearing is more moral equivalency - without substantial evidence. The major clue is the unquestioned encomium of James Bacque's incredibly shoddy piece of "research". I've said it before and I will say it again, I know the NARA archivist who assisted Bacque. He told Bacque exactly what the category of "other losses" was and Bacque ignored it.
That makes it a useful piece of work, even if you don't like it.
I don't like it because it isn't useful. Rather than a search for secondary sources that confirmed his initial assumptions, he would have done much better to search the British and American IG and JA files. Of course he did find Eisenhower's directive and Bett's report, but did he actually explore the files of the theater and army JA's? Somehow I doubt he really did a deep dive into those, given that he implied that the files were deliberately kept "secret" until 1980, when that actually was the end of the first major declassification year...25 years for non-PID was standard.
You seem to say it was easy - so what? Effort is not a relevant metric to assess quality of a piece of work (think of art!).
Er, no, research is HARD and writing using original sources is HARDER...I think you know that full well? Finding secondary sources...even "difficult to find ones" in 2009 should have been easy, especially with university access to online resources.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 07 Feb 2019 09:02

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Feb 2019 05:15
Er, no, research is HARD and writing using original sources is HARDER...I think you know that full well?
I disagree. Research is not difficult and using original sources is not either.

Researching archives is not difficult because NARA and similar places are just as user friendly as libraries. I don't see the "barrier to entry" - just see how many people visit them. Using original sources, especially if you're familiar with the langage, is not complicated.

Therefore, since it's easy, everyone should be able to do so.

(mode tease /on) For example, instead of saying "just go check the JA" or "look into the OCMH manuscripts", you should actually do it -lead by example. (mode tease /off).

Hanny
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Hanny » 07 Feb 2019 10:13

Mori wrote:
05 Feb 2019 16:54
Hanny wrote:
05 Feb 2019 10:16
Thank you for that oral acount. Sadly it adds little to nothing not already known.

You are aware of the 0s of thousands oral histories we have right?. Many of which contain what you refer too. https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bit ... lltext.pdf
I was about to point to the same document :)

Among other things, you will notice that "cold killings", ie murder of prisonners already on the rear (instead of on the spur of the moment on the front line) are exceptional. Besides the 2 cases motivated by Patton's speeches after the Sicily landing, Harris spots less than 5 examples, and (AFAIR) they are mostly in the second half of April 1945. Thats both when the soldiers see the concentration camps and when retaliation from the enemy is not possible anymore.
Found these while looking for something else, might be of interest, or not :)

https://csws.utk.edu/554-2/
http://csws.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/ ... Part-2.pdf

And So when we had prisoners we didn’t like we’d say, “Shiptock! Take them back to regiment.” Fifteen minutes later, Shiptock would be back although regiment, two miles, three miles behind the line. That was our way of treating SS troopers. Yeah

file:///C:/Users/User1/Downloads/2003-Pointer-James-Transcript.pdf
POINTER: Oh yes, yes. One of those battles there in the wintertime—we had an outpost in a pillbox, and the Germans came up with flamethrowers on the tanks, and forced them to surrender. They marched them out of sight, you know, around the hill and we heard the machine gun fire and everything. And that night we set out a patrol and found those people all killed. And the word spread real fast along the front, you know, about killing a prisoner, or something like that. So, we didn’t take any prisoners for about a week
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Feb 2019 17:13

Mori wrote:
07 Feb 2019 09:02
I disagree. Research is not difficult and using original sources is not either.
If it is so easy, then why don't more do it? The much more common mode is the "comfy chair research", getting out of your chair long enough to get to a book on a shelf and then sitting down again to leaf through it.
Researching archives is not difficult because NARA and similar places are just as user friendly as libraries. I don't see the "barrier to entry" - just see how many people visit them. Using original sources, especially if you're familiar with the langage, is not complicated.
I agree...but only to a point. For one thing, it is difficult to use intra-library loan from NARA, or Kew, or Freiburg. One of the few exceptions are the German records on microfilm, and the few NARA records at Fold3...which also originate from a small microfilm collection that is otherwise not readily available. All of which means that in most cases you have to be physically there or pay a researcher to go there for you.

For another, the records are incredibly diverse in their content and are often poorly indexed if they are indexed at all. For example much of what is in RG 156 are random boxes, simply labeled "Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Executive Division Historical Branch, Military Historical Files". Luckily for many, RG 407, Entry 427 is one of the record groups that is heavily indexed and used, but even then missing or empty and misfiled files often make for problems. Thus, research actually can take a lot of time and repeated visits before usable material is found...surely you've encountered that problem?
Therefore, since it's easy, everyone should be able to do so.
And if it is so easy that everyone should be able to do so, why don't they? Why is it the exception rather than the rule?
(mode tease /on) For example, instead of saying "just go check the JA" or "look into the OCMH manuscripts", you should actually do it -lead by example. (mode tease /off).
Okay...

1). Indeed I am curious, but since it isn't my current field of study, then it isn't important enough to me that I wish to go through the difficulties I mentioned above.
2). Further to that I now live in the Pacific Northwest, so getting to NARA II myself now requires extensive planning and costs. Oddly enough, I'm not interested in spending my time and money on facilitating someone else's research interests. :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 07 Feb 2019 21:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Feb 2019 17:13
If it is so easy, then why don't more do it?
Don't know, and it's besides the point. It's not because few people do it that it's difficult / complicated / hard work.

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 07 Feb 2019 21:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Feb 2019 17:13
(mode tease /on) For example, instead of saying "just go check the JA" or "look into the OCMH manuscripts", you should actually do it -lead by example. (mode tease /off).
Okay...

1). Indeed I am curious, but since it isn't my current field of study, then it isn't important enough to me that I wish to go through the difficulties I mentioned above.
2). Further to that I now live in the Pacific Northwest, so getting to NARA II myself now requires extensive planning and costs. Oddly enough, I'm not interested in spending my time and money on facilitating someone else's research interests. :lol:
It is somewhat embarassing that you never seem happy with the sources other people leverage (this thread having at least two such examples) yet are so relaxed when it comes to the sources to back your own arguments...
(take this as a caring comment, nothing agressive).

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 07 Feb 2019 21:52

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Feb 2019 17:13
For another, the records are incredibly diverse in their content and are often poorly indexed if they are indexed at all. For example much of what is in RG 156 are random boxes, simply labeled "Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Executive Division Historical Branch, Military Historical Files". Luckily for many, RG 407, Entry 427 is one of the record groups that is heavily indexed and used, but even then missing or empty and misfiled files often make for problems. Thus, research actually can take a lot of time and repeated visits before usable material is found...surely you've encountered that problem?
Not really. It might be because I usually have a very clear idea what I'm looking for, so that I quickly skip unrelevant information. Or it may be that I just forget time spent checking useless information and only remember that I found what I wanted.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Feb 2019 22:21

Mori wrote:
07 Feb 2019 21:47
It is somewhat embarassing that you never seem happy with the sources other people leverage (this thread having at least two such examples) yet are so relaxed when it comes to the sources to back your own arguments...
(take this as a caring comment, nothing agressive).
No, I understand and appreciate your caring kindness, but it simply isn't true I am never happy with other sources brought up here and at other sites...I've been led to many excellent sources that way and happily use them. Nor am I embarrassed at being unimpressed by Harris' work (I confess I don't remember which other source given in this thread I may have poo-pooed). I'm not sure why I should be embarrassed at pointing out what did impress me in that work, just because it was unfavorable? Again, any work that starts with Bacque and Ambrose as secondary sources supposedly confirming a thesis and which also accepts Keegan's flawed belief about oral history resources is fundamentally flawed.

Furthermore, I thought I made it clear I accept your research has shown no Waffen-SS units captured in the pocket, but I remain unsure if that also excludes Allgemeine-SS/Waffen-SS personnel captured? If your research into PW reports for the period hasn't yielded any sign of them I admit my astonishment, but unless I can come up with something to counter it I have to accept the oddity.

Meanwhile, as I already said, this is to an extent out of my period and focus of interest, which is basically Normandy through the Ardennes, unless it has to do with tanks, so if I'm relaxed about my sources it's because except for the 1st ID (which turned out to be a bust) and theater PW cumulative figures, I don't have access to any that directly contradict you.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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