Festung Dünkirchen - 1944 - 1945

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Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 24 Jun 2005 21:00

Andreas wrote:Regarding whether Dunkirk should have been surrendered earlier - AIUI there were very stringent reprisal measures threatened against commanders who surrendered, including reprisals against their families. This alone makes it difficult to judge the morality of holding out until the surrender for these last remnants on the French coast...


Well I am not out to pass judgment on Frisius, rather suggesting that the accusation of the Allies behaving dishonourably by not adhering to the spirit of an agreed ceasefire, or flatly rejecting a ceasefire suggested on humanitarian grounds can easily be turned at Frisius too, if not in Sept. 1944, then clearly by March 1945. Surrendering Dunkirk could easily have been justified on humanitarian grounds alone in March 1945, but then Frisius of course also had other factors to fit into the equation - perhaps also the well-being of his own family.

Incidentally, I wonder how the families of wounded Germans handed over to the Allies as part of a ceasefire agreement would have been treated? Is the picture of the unfortunate deserter posted by JPK suggestive of what might have happened by March 1945 to the relatives of a surrendered garrison?

Maybe there are some cases of surrendered German garrisons from the last months of the war that can help throw light on this.

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Gerst
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Dunkirk

Post by Gerst » 24 Jun 2005 21:07

When the Candian "Black Watch" attacked Spyker, they violated the cease-fire.
As for Frisius, he needed no threats against his family to induce him to make a stand. He was very loyal, you might even say fanatical.

Gerst

jopaerya
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Post by jopaerya » 24 Jun 2005 21:10

Hi Gerst

Kriegestagbuch Dunkirchen

03-10-1944
Ab 18.00 Uhr 48 stunden Waffenruhe zum Evakueiren der Bevölkung ,
zusätzlich je 6 Stunden zum Entminen und Verminen der Strassen.
80 eigene Schwerverwundete werden gleichzeitig herausgebracht.

04-10-1944
62500 evakuiert, 750 zuruckgebleiben. Waffenruhe wird 4 Stunden
verlängert. Um 10.00 Uhr schlagartig Feureüberfalle auf den gesämten
ausseren Festungsbereich . Eigen Artillerie bekämfte Batterien und Ansammlungen

26-03-1945
Waffenruhe zur Ubername von Rote-Kreuz-Sendungen fur die Kriegsgefangenen
in die Festung.

Regards Jos

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JPK
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Post by JPK » 24 Jun 2005 21:16

Bonsoir

The picture come from"Libération du Nord et du Pas de Calais" by Etienne Dejonghe et Daniel Laurent .Hachette 1974 and it is an excerpt from "Dunkerque libéré" by A.Chapelle et L.Moreel. S.I.L.I.C Lille
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Gerst
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Dunkirk Cease-fires

Post by Gerst » 25 Jun 2005 03:33

Gentlemen, I must appologize for a serious error. There was no cease-fire on September 10, 1944. The "Dernier Avis" issued by the order of von Kluge (through the mayor of Rosendael) was an evacuation order for males over 15 years. There was no cease-fire associated with this.

On September 14, von kluge also instructed the mayor of Rosendael to meet with the Allied commander but the Alied response was an option to "surrender or face the consequences." The reply was delivered to Admiral Frisius at 2300 the night of September 17. The admiral did not reply "nuts," but it was probably the German equivalent. Eventually, the cease-fire of October 3 was arranged. The Allies adhered to the letter of the agreement, but at the minute it expired, "Jabos" roared in to hit the German positions, just as the admiral had predicted.

The one incident cited by Frisius in his diary which set him off was the Canadian requirement that the Germans could evacuate only as many wounded as Allied wounded. He had many more. That made him state that the "English are no gentlemen."

General von Kluge had left Dunkirk by S-Boot the night of September 18/19, 1944 with his chief-of-staff and a number of German wounded.

Sorry for the error.

Gerst

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Gerst
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Photo of Hanging

Post by Gerst » 25 Jun 2005 03:37

The photo of the deserter is also found in Le dernier "Seigneur" du Dunkerque, by Patrick Oddonne.

Gerst

Ken S.
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Re: Dunkirk

Post by Ken S. » 22 Feb 2018 02:12

War Diary for September 1944

https://blackwatchwardiary.files.wordpr ... -diary.pdf
Gerst wrote:When the Candian "Black Watch" attacked Spyker, they violated the cease-fire.
As for Frisius, he needed no threats against his family to induce him to make a stand. He was very loyal, you might even say fanatical.

Gerst

Olaf from Hamburg
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Re: Festung Duenkirchen - 1944 - 1945

Post by Olaf from Hamburg » 06 Nov 2018 19:03

12 years later, time to put it back on top :-)
My father was one of the soldiers woho were changed to Dunkerque on April 18th 1945. He was an only 17 Years old Fähnrich of the intantry and got captuered at Ibbenburen, easter 1945. After staying a few days as a POW on a flat meadow close to the Rhine with nothing to do, nothing to cover or to clean himself he thought, he´ll go mad. So after seeing the incredible big amount of allied arming, he knew, the war will end in about two weeks. And up to than he will go mad on this meadow. So when an Allied officer looked for soldiers changing into Dunkerque, he said yes. His idea behind it: When the Allied still did not take this French harbour, they won´t do it ´til the war is over because it´s not intresting anymore. He found himself safer at the chanel than on a naked meadow close to the Rhine with no regular food.
My dad is now aged almost 92 today and starts to write down how he survived the years from 1933 to 1945. And I help him doing some backround-reserch.
For his last days as a forced soldier I read both books of Patrick Odonne, but still some facts are not clear.
In this Dunkerque-Topic one user quote the Kriegstagebuch Dünkirchen - where can I look at it, who has it, how can I get it?

Kind regards from Lüneburg

Olaf from Hamburg
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Re: Festung Duenkirchen - 1944 - 1945

Post by Olaf from Hamburg » 08 Nov 2018 11:54

Here are three of the outstanding questions, in which I hope that the war diary of the Dunkirk garrison can provide information - and the google-translator made the job:

My father told me about a general fire ban for the last two or three days because Donitz was already negotiating with Montgomery. As a result, fishing by explosives (grenades?) was prohibited, which he and his comrades in the harbor before their accommodation in the administrative building of the refinery / oil port to improve the diet had previously been happy to operate.
In Frisius' personal diary, on the 5th of May, heavy artillery fire, including barrage fire the next day, and his demand as to whether Dunkirk had accidentally or deliberately been omitted from the negotiated truce for the northwest. And on May 3, he wrote in his diary that he now wants to combat attacks by the enemy more than before, to strengthen the fighting spirit of the troops.
Must have been rather a violent shooting. Here is now statement against statement. Although a Czech siege soldier for a BBC project spoke of heavy artillery fire at the end of the siege, too. But when was my father and his comrades forbidden to "dynamite fishing"? Or did that happen sooner to save ammunition?

My father also reported that he and his comrades had to hand over weapons to various assembly stations in the city before Vice-Admiral Frisius officially surrendered to General Liska.
In the case of the contemporary witnesses cited in the book by Patrick Odonne, on the other hand, the impression arises that the soldiers marched off armed and had only left their weapons at a single post outside the city.
Does the war diary clear up this?

- When exactly did the march to captivity take place in Zedelgem? On May 8, Frisius received the transfer order by radio, on the morning of May 9, he signed the surrender. Consequently, was the garrison ready to march on May 8, or was this only initiated after the capitulation? Or did the soldiers pack their things and march on May 10 (gaining time and tasting the fact that they had not been defeated)?

Many things are fading in memory, others are re-composed or wrongly sorted in time. My father tries to reconstruct exactly the individual days of his short stay in Dunkirk. Which, however, he finds difficult, since he was only in the consciousness of an imminent end of the war in the beleaguered city can be exchanged. So he longed for the end and thought of nothing else, but there was little left of his ministry in his consciousness. So he can not remember the reception of the exchanged soldiers on April 18, read at Frisius. However, the Vice Admiral also writes of volunteers from the prisoner of war camp Ostend. My father, however, was previously unprotected on a meadow on the Rhine near Cleves.

But he remembers the highly decorated and rather daring Major Turk, under whose leadership he had to complete a two-day guard in Pont-de-Spycker. And with whom he took the approximately 60-kilometer walk into the Belgian captivity.

In general, my dad remembers the short time in Dunkirk as calm and sure. He can´t remember any bombardment by planes or artillery drumfire - which probably throws a clear light on his impressions of the Battle of Ibbenbüren.

On the plate landed with him and his comrades - except the fish from the harbor - especially leeks. Leek in all variants, the Frisius often mentioned at this time spring cauliflower was already eaten. As nice as it was for my dad to be able to eat fresh vegetables every day under the given conditions, he is still unable to eat, see, or smell leeks.

Unfortunately, a search on the internet did not yield any results regarding the german war diary of the fortress Dunkirk for the period from 18 April to 9 May 1945. My father and I are grateful for every tip.

Thanks a lot,

Olaf

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