How many, if any, German troops fled into Spain in late August 1944?

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Sid Guttridge
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How many, if any, German troops fled into Spain in late August 1944?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Apr 2020 10:23

After the Allied landing southern France in mid August 1944, the German troops in south-western France were ordered to either fall back on several Atlantic coast ports or head for Germany.

However, did any head for Spain?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Andy H
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Re: How many, if any, German troops fled into Spain in late August 1944?

Post by Andy H » 10 Apr 2020 14:41

Hi Sid

Ive no specific info relating to your question I'm afraid.
I can imagine that the numbers are small in terms of those 'fleeing'
Lufthansa flew 2 planes a week from Berlin to Spain almost up until sometime in 1944.
At the wars end there were some 5000 Germans in Spain.

Regards

Andy H

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Ironmachine
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Re: How many, if any, German troops fled into Spain in late August 1944?

Post by Ironmachine » 10 Apr 2020 20:02

Not many. As an example, to the concentration camp at Miranda de Ebro, who was used to receive and classify foreigners interned in Spain, arrived in 1944 (the whole year) 1.321 Germans.
It seems that the Germans that fled into Spain in the summer of 1944 were mostly those below:
En el verano de 1944, los aduaneros alemanes de las guarniciones de la frontera pirenaica se pasan en bloque al ejército español, siendo detenidos [5] y concentrados en Figueras, Cervera y Barcelona, para ser trasladados posteriormente al campo de Miranda de Ebro: 337 saldrán de Figueras el 25 de agosto, 429 desde Cervera el día 27 y al día siguiente lo harán 334 desde Barcelona. Todos ellos permanecerán en Miranda hasta octubre, trasladados en diversas expediciones a los balnearios de Sobrón y Molinar de Carranza, hasta que, unos días antes de su repatriación, vuelvan de nuevo a Miranda, para salir hacia Berlín la primera semana de febrero de 1946.
Esos aduaneros, funcionarios y trabajadores civiles movilizados de los ministerios de Hacienda, Comunicaciones y Armamento y Municiones, serán clasificados en Miranda como refugiados civiles [6], de acuerdo con las normas de clasificación que habían sido fijadas definitivamente en abril de 1943, de común acuerdo entre los ministerios de Asuntos Exteriores, Ejército y Gobernación.
[5] En las fichas y expedientes figuran los puestos o guarniciones aduaneras donde se encontraban, así como los lugares de detención. A todos ellos se les abrirán fichas con sus datos personales, estado, nombre de los padres, profesión civil, cuerpo o guarnición aduanera, fecha de detención, fecha de ingreso en Miranda, amigos o familiares en España y otros antecedentes o incidencias.
[6] Un telegrama del Subsecretario de Asuntos Exteriores al del Ejército de 1 de septiembre de 1944, indica que se estudie caso por caso y se confirme qué aduaneros dependían del Ministerio de Hacienda alemán y cuales eventualmente pueden tener consideración de elementos de policía o tropas regulares.
Source: Alemanes internados en campos de concentración españoles (Miranda de Ebro, Sobrón y Molinar de Carranza): 1940-1947 by F. J. López Jiménes, published in Boletín Informativo del Sistema Archivístico de la Defensa nº16 (December 2008).

My translation:
In the summer of 1944, the German custom officers of the garrisons on the Pyrenean border passed over en bloc to the Spanish Army, being detained [5] and concentrated in Figueras, Cervera and Barcelona, ​​to be later transferred to the Miranda de Ebro camp: 337 from Figueras on August 25, 429 from Cervera on the 27th and 334 the next day from Barcelona. All of them remained in Miranda until October, being transferred in various expeditions to the health resorts of Sobrón and Molinar de Carranza, until, a few days before their repatriation, they went back to Miranda , returning to Berlin in the first week of February 1946.
Those customs officers, civil servants and mobilized workers from the ministries of Finance, Communications, and Armament and Munitions, were classified in Miranda as civilian refugees [6], in accordance with the classification rules that had been definitively established in April 1943 by an agreement between the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Army and Interior.
[5] In their files the custom posts or garrisons where they served and the places of detention are shown. All of them had a personal record that included their personal data, state, name of the parents, civil profession, body or custom garrison, date of arrest, date of entry into Miranda, friends or family in Spain and other antecedents or incidents.
[6] A telegram from the Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of the Army on September 1, 1944, indicates that there should be a case-by-case analysis to verify the custom officers that depended from the German Ministry of Finance and those which may eventually be considered as elements of the police or regular troops.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: How many, if any, German troops fled into Spain in late August 1944?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 11 Apr 2020 11:39

Hi Ironmachine,

Thanks. That was rather more than I had expected. It looks from the numbers that perhaps the majority of the border and customs officials crossed the border.

I see there is a book on the subject: Zollgrenzschutz in Frankreich 1941 - 44 by Peter Detlev Kirmsse (Author)

There is also, I think, a rather good site, zollgrenzschutz.de, that I cannot currently access for some reason.

Cheers,

Sid.

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