Gebirgsjäger atrocities?

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Reader3000
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Gebirgsjäger atrocities?

Post by Reader3000 » 28 Jul 2003 12:09

Are there any atrocities and/or warcrimes committed by Gebirgsjäger units?

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Germanica
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Post by Germanica » 28 Jul 2003 16:11

Which Mountain Divisions would we be talking about here? Army or Waffen SS?

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Germanica

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Reader3000
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Post by Reader3000 » 28 Jul 2003 19:14

Both, Heer and Waffen-SS, but with emphasis on the Heer ones.

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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » 28 Jul 2003 20:45

I know that 6.SS "NORD" has been accused of intentionally burning the town of Rovaniemi. There may be information that refutes this allegation, though.
NORD was also accused of raping nurses in an American field hospital later in the war, but this was disproven.

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Post by David Thompson » 28 Jul 2003 22:13

The SS Volunteer Mountain Division (Freiwillingen Gebirgsjägerdivision) "Prinz Eugen" division was accused of atrocities by the Yugoslav government, and a number of its officers were tried, convicted, sentenced to death and executed for war crimes. Here are some commanders of German mountain units accused of war crimes by the Yugoslavs:

Fehn, Gustav (1892-1945) [General der Panzertruppe] – commander, 33rd Infantry Regiment 1 Apr 1939; commander, 4th Rifle Brigade 28 Jul 1940; commander, 5th Panzer Division 25 Nov 1940-10 Aug 1942; commander, XXXX Panzer Corps 1 Oct-13 Nov 1942; commander, Afrika Korps 16 Nov 1942-15 Jan 1943; commander, LXXXVI Panzer Corps 1 Jul-19 Aug 1943; commander, XXI Mountain Corps 10 Oct 1943-1 Aug 1944; commander, XV Mountain Corps 1 Aug 1944-8 May 1945 [Knights Cross 1940] {taken prisoner by Yugoslav partisans and killed 5 Jun 1945 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; ABR-H; Third Reich Factbook).}

von Hoesslin, Hans (1890-1947) [Generalleutnant] -- WWI service as Bavarian infantry officer; Reichswehr service; commander, 19th Infantry Regiment 1 Oct 1929; Infantry Leader VII (Inf. Führ. VII) 1 Feb 1931; retired as Generalleutnant 31 Mar 1932; commander, 188th Reserve Mountain Division 1 Dec 1939-31 Mar 1943 and 20 Oct 1943-May 1945 {put on trial by a Yugoslav court at Ljubljana for war crimes; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 27 Jul 1947 (History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 526, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948); executed at Belgrade 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; ABR-H; ABR-Croisier-H).}

Kuebler (Kübler), Josef (?-1947) [Generalleutnant] -- commander, 718th Infantry Division 14 Mar-1 Apr 1943; commander, 118th Jaeger Division 1 Apr 1943-10 Jul 1944; commander, 1st Mountain Division 10 Oct 1944-10 Mar 1945 {arrested and put on trial by a Yugoslav military court at Belgrade on charges of ordering or committing massacres, deportations and atrocities against civilians; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 16 Feb 1947 (NYT 17 Feb 1947:1:3; LT 17 Feb 1947:3:c) executed 27 Feb 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; Third Reich Handbook; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 526, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948).}

Kuebler (Kübler), Ludwig (1889-1947) [General der Gebirgstruppe] -- WWI service as Bavarian infantry officer; Reichswehr service; commander, 98th Mountain Regiment (Geb. Jg.R. 98) 1 Oct 1935; commander, Mountain Jaeger Brigade (Geb. Jg. Brig.) 1 Oct 1936; commander, 1st Mountain Division (1 Geb. D.) 1 Mar 1938-25 Oct 1940; commander, XXXXIX Mountain Corps 25 Oct 1940-19 Dec 1941; service with 4th Army 19 Dec 1941-20 Jan 1942; commander, LXXXVII Mountain Corps 21 Jan 1942-8 May 1945; Governor General of the Adriatic Coast (Adriatisches-Küstenland); commander, LXXXVII Mountain Corps [Knights Cross 1939] {arrested and put on trial by a Yugoslav court at Ljubljana on war crimes charges; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 27 Jul 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141) or by firing squad (ABR-H); executed at Belgrade 18 Aug 1947 (ABR-Croisier-H; Third Reich Factbook; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 526, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948).}

von Ludwiger, Hartwig (1895-1947) [General der Infanterie] -- commander, 704th Infantry Division 20 Feb-30 Apr 1943; commander, 104th Jaeger Division 1 May 1943-29 Apr 1945; commander, XXI Mountain Corps 29 Apr-8 May 1945 [Knights Cross 1941; Oakleaves 1942] {arrested and put on trial by a Yugoslav court at Belgrade; convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging 1 Apr 1947 (History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 527, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948); executed at Belgrade 5 May 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; Field of Honor 2, pps. 147-8; ABR-Croisier-H; ABR-H; Third Reich Factbook).}

von Oberkamp, Carl Reichsritter (1893-1947) [SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS] -- service, "Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler" 1940; service, SS Division "Wiking" 1940-1942; Inspector of SS Mountain Troops 1943; commander, SS Volunteer Mountain Division (Freiwillingen Gebirgsjägerdivision) "Prinz Eugen" 3 Jul 1943-1 Feb 1944 or 15 May 1943-30 Jan 1944; commander, 38th SS Panzergrenadier Division "Nibelungen" Apr 1945 {arrested and put on trial by a Yugoslav military court at Belgrade on charges of ordering or participating in massacres of civilians; convicted of war crimes 27 Mar 1947 (History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 527, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948) or 4 Apr 1947 (NYT 5 Apr 1947:6:2) and sentenced to death by hanging; executed at Belgrade 1 Apr 1947 (History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 527, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948) or 4 May 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; Waffen-SS Commanders II, p. 132).( Octavianus post in Third Reich Forum: "Yugoslav War Crimes Proceedings," http://keywest.dnsvault.com/~forum3rd/p ... php?t=7980).}

Sauberzweig, Karl (1899-1945) [SS-Gruppenfűhrer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS] -- WWI service as infantry officer; Free Corps (Freikorps) service 1919; Reichswehr service; general staff, 3rd Infantry Division Oct 1930; instructor at the Army Signals School to Jun 1935; general staff (as Ib), XI Army Corps to Apr 1938; general staff (as Ib), XVII Army Corps Apr 1938-25 Sept 1939; general staff (as Ia), XI Army Corps Dec 1939-Jun 1941; commander, 466th Infantry Regiment 1 Jun-18 Aug 1941; commander, 306th Infantry Regiment 1 Oct 1941-Jan 1942; instructor in battalion and regimental command courses Jan-Apr 1942; commander, 131st Infantry Replacement Regiment May-Nov 1942; chief of staff for new unit inspectorate 1 Dec 1942-1 Aug 1943; commander, 13th SS Mountain Division "Handschar" 9 Aug 1943-19 Jun 1944; commander, IX SS Mountain Corps 1 Jun 1944-6 Jan 1945; general for special assignments with Army Group H Mar 1945 {taken prisoner by allied forces; extradition requested by Yugoslav government; suicide at Neuengamme internment camp 20 Oct 1946 (Waffen-SS Commanders II, p. 186).}

Schmidhuber, August (1901-1947) [SS-Brigadefűhrer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS] -- service, SS Division "Das Reich" 1941-1942; service, SS Division "Prinz Eugen" 1942-1944; commander, 21st SS Mountain Division "Skanderbeg" (21. SS Freiwilligsten Gebirgsjägerdivision "Skenderbeg" ["Albanische Nr. 1"]) 1 May 1944-20 Jan 1945; commander, 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division "Prinz Eugen" (7. SS Freiwilligsten Gebirgsjägerdivision "Prinz Eugen") 20 Jan-8 May 1945 {captured by Soviet forces May 1945 in Slovenia; turned over to Yugoslav authorities; put on trial Feb 1947 by a Yugoslav military tribunal at Belgrade on charges or participating in massacres, deportations and atrocities against civilians; convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging 16 Feb 1947 (NYT 17 Feb 1947:1:3; LT 17 Feb 1947:3c); executed at Belgrade 19 Feb 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141; Waffen-SS Commanders II, pps. 200-203) or 27 Feb 1947 (History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 528, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948).(Octavianus post in Third Reich Forum: "Yugoslav War Crimes Proceedings," http://keywest.dnsvault.com/~forum3rd/p ... php?t=7980).}

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Germanica
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Post by Germanica » 28 Jul 2003 23:28

Both Handschar and Prinz Eugen were accused of numerous atrocities against Serbian civilians/partisans. However, as David points out, these accusations either came from the post-war Serbian government itself, or the Soviet Union. This is not to say that both divisions are free of acts of criminality, but one must remember the state of warfare that existed in the Balkans, and it is my affirmed belief that neither division somehow bears "more" guilt for atrocities than Tito's own Serb Partisans.

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Germanica
Last edited by Germanica on 29 Jul 2003 10:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 29 Jul 2003 02:54

The 1st Gebirgsjager Mountain Division has been coping some flak recently of its role in the Balkans in 1943.

This is all I can find (in English).Granted it is from a tainted source but a search thru Google brings up a lot of German websites presenting much the same thing:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jul20 ... -j02.shtml

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Post by Penn44 » 29 Jul 2003 03:23

Tom wrote: NORD was also accused of raping nurses in an American field hospital later in the war, but this was disproven.


I understand that American troops in the area executed a number of SS soldiers in reprisals in response to this erronous allegation.

The 6.SS Nord was also accused of murdering five captured Black-American ordnance soldiers at about this same timeframe.

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Post by Tom Houlihan » 29 Jul 2003 03:27

I had also heard of those men being shot based on that account. I hadn't heard of the ordnance soldiers being killed. Do you have a reference on this?

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Heer mountain units implicated in warcrimes

Post by j.north » 29 Jul 2003 08:39

Hi,

The War Crimes Investigation Branch (Norway) built up a case against the 20th Mountain Army for abuses against Soviet prisoners of war committed in late 1944, early 1945. Chief of those implicated was General der gebirgstruppe Ferdinand Jodl.

The crimes included forcing Soviet pows to labour under fire (contrary to the usages of war), shooting pows on the march, starvation, isolation and an extermination policy against sick and wounded (the despatch of sick prisoners to a camp called Mallnitz where they were placed in isolation until they died), execution of escaping prisoners. In one camp an officer's report stated that he had found 'nothing unusual. There had been a case of cannibalism and there had been various scenes because the prisoners had had to be driven to work'.

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Germanica
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Post by Germanica » 29 Jul 2003 11:17

http://www.skalman.nu/third-reich/ss-6.htm

According to this site's own account, "Nord" spent the vast majority of it's time in Northern Finland, manning the defences of the Russo-Finnish border. Contemporary accounts list next to no allegations of acts of criminality against this division.

Regards,
Germanica

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Reader3000
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Post by Reader3000 » 29 Jul 2003 11:56

Thanks for the info.

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Gebirgsjäger atrocities?

Post by Arminiusder Cherusker1 » 30 Jul 2003 14:48

Dear Tom,
I think you should know it better.Rovaniemi wasn't burned from soldiers
of the 6. SS-Gebirgsdivision "NORD".This legend is gone.
The truth wrote the last commander,Standartenführer Franz Schreiber
in his book"Kampf unter dem Nordlicht",published 1969 by Munin-Verlag,
page 303/304.Rovaniemi was set under fire by 2 finish people,maybe
partisans. A train with ammunition,who was standing in the railway-
station, had been removed out of town, but somebody brought the train
back to town and when it exploded, most of the wooden houses of the
town burned down.
It was n o t the 6. SS.Gebirgsdivision "NORD" who could be blamed for
this.
Regards Rudi

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Post by Tom Houlihan » 30 Jul 2003 21:30

Rudi,

You are right, I do know better. I only noted the allegation. Unfortunately, although I am sure of the truth, based on my research, I do not have solid proof in my hands. One of the drawbacks of being a cop, I guess: I like rock-solid evidence! I am trying to track down the proof, so that I can present it in incontrovertible form!
I have read about the ammunition train. In Zoepf's book, there is also mention of a Finnish soldier who claims responsibility for accidentally starting the fire. So, I am trying to track down everything that I can, to get to the truth.
If you thought I was supporting the allegation, I apologize.

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Post by Ebusitanus » 05 Aug 2003 18:10

As it seems the 5th Mountain Div. did some partisan shooting in Creta. At the village of Skines at the 1.8.1941 just after taking the island 146 Men and two women were shot.

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