Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 25 May 2012 17:54

Hi Igor:

I did some additional research regarding the German surrender to 21 Army Group and came across a few items of interest.

From "Beetle: The Life of General Walter Bedell Smith" by D.K.R. Crosswell
Friedeburg offered the surrender of German forces facing the Russians in Mecklenburg. "Nothing to do with me," Monty said. He stated his willingness to accept the surrender of any German soldier entering his lines, but Montgomery wanted the capitulation of German forces in western Netherlands, Friesland and the Frisian Islands, Helgoland, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark. After being harangued by Montogomery on the mercilessness of the Nazi regime and hearing him reject any appeals for safeguarding the lives of German citizens - according to Friedeburg, his reason for coming - the German admiral said he possessed no authority to surrender German forces but requested permission to discuss the field marshal's demands with Dönitz and Keitel, chief of staff of OKW. Friedeburg asked for forty-eight hours, and Montgomery gave him twenty-four.

Dönitz had already decided to surrender unconditionally to the British, but Friedeburg's mission had bought another day. Although refusing to surrender on all fronts, in a demonstration of good faith, Dönitz suspended u-boat activities and released King Leopold of Belgium. At the appointed time, Friedeburg returned to Montgomery's headquarters and signed the "Instrument of Surrender." Typical of Montgomery, the document read that the Germans surrendered to the person of the "C-in-C 21 Army Group." (Montgomery Diary. "Notes on the Campaign in Northwest Europe" p 525)
(p.915-16)


From "The Day the War Ended: May 8, 1945 - Victory in Europe" by Martin Gilbert
The Grand Admiral, the General and the Major had come to surrender three German armies then facing the Russians. Montgomery rejected their offer. Surrender of the forces facing the Russians, he said, must be made to the Russians, and to the Russians alone. They could surrender to him only those armies facing the British; that is, all the German forces in Holland, north-west Germany and Denmark. Montgomery told them, as he reported to London: 'If they refused to agree as above, then I would go on fighting and a great many German soldiers and civilians would be killed. (Telegram to Field Marshal Alan Brooke, quoted in Nigel Hamilton, Monty, The Field-Marshal, 1944-1976, p 505) Major Trumbull Warren, a Canadian officer at Montgomery's headquarters, recalled: 'He told them to look at the maps that showed where we were and where they were. He told them that we had tremendous strength pouring into Germany on the ground and that we had sufficient aircraft for 10,000 bombers, day and night. (Trumbull Warren, 'The Surrender of the German Armed Forces' quoted in Nigel Hamilton, Monty, The Field-Marshal, 1944-1976, p 506)

The German officers crossed back through the lines and returned to Flensburg, where they put Montgomery's condition to Grand Admiral Dönitz and Field Marshal Keitel. At half past five on the afternoon of May 4 the four German officers returned. An hour later they signed the instruments of surrender of all forces facing Montgomery's. It would come into effect at 8 o'clock on the following morning. Listening at that moment to German radio traffic was Norman Cohen, a radio operator attached to Tactical Headquarters Staff, British 2nd Army. He heard, and translated on his note pad, a message from Admiral von Friedeburg to Admiral Dönitz: 'Have signed conditions, including shipping same zones. The cease-fire will take effect from 8 o'clock on May 5.' (The text of the intercepted message was published by Alice Brickach in a letter to the Narragansett Times, 13, July 1944) Cohen kept the note pad as a souvenir.

All German forces in Holland, Denmark and northwest Germany would lay down their arms. German merchant shipping off the North Sea Coast would likewise surrender. ...
(pp 60-61)

I have to question the above author's interpretation regarding the North Sea Coast, as by this time the majority of the German shipping was limited to the waters of the Baltic Sea.

And from Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days by Karl Dönitz
Since April 26 the British had been occupying a bridgehead near Lauenburg on the east bank of the Elbe. From it they launched an attack on May 2 and over-ran the weak German defences. Very swiftly British troops and tanks had thrust forward as far as Lübeck. At the same time, a little farther to the south, the Americans crossed the Elbe and reached Wismar without opposition. Thus from the Baltic to the Elbe the British and Americans were standing astride the roads leading from Mecklenburg to Holstein, which were choked with columns of refugees and the retreating troops of the Vistula army. The gateway to the west was no longer open, and it depended upon British acquiescence whether or not the troops and refugees would be allowed to escape from the pursuing Russians into the British zone in Schleswig-Holstein. It had been solely for the purpose of keeping this gateway into Schleswig-Holstein open for the refugees that the fight against the western Allies had continued on the Elbe. Now that Schleswig-Holstein was in British hands, there was no point in persisting. I therefor gave the orders that surrender negotiations, in accordancewith our prepared plan, should forthwith be initiated. Friedeburg was to go in the first instance to Montgomery and offer to surrender north-west Germany to him. Then, when that had been accepted, he was to go on to Eisenhower and offer the surrender of the rest of the western theatre.

...

The Officer Commanding Hamburg District was directed by Supreme Headquarters to send an officer with a flag of truce to the British at eight o'clock on the morning of May 3 to offer the surrender of Hamburg and at the same time to inform the British that a delegation under Admiral was on its way.
(p.453)

further
Towards evening the air attacks stopped. I told Freideburg to meet me at the Levensau bridge over the Kaiser Wilhelm canal near Kiel. Graf Schwerin-Krosigk and I reached the rendezvous without incident. My instructions to Freideburg were that he was to offer Montgomery the military surrender of the whole of north Germany and at the same time invite the Field-Marshal's special attention to the problem of the refugees and troops in retreat on the eastern boundaries of the area occupied by the British. He was in particular to do his utmost to ensure that the evacuation and withdrawals by land and sea were not adversely affected by the surrender, but would be allowed to continue. He took his leave of us in the darkness, accompanied by our best wishes for his success.
(p. 454)

and
Shortly before midnight Friedeburg returned from his negotiations with Montgomery and reported at once on the salient features of his conference. The Field-Marshal, he said, had not rejected the proposed separate surrender - had not, that is, demanded simultaneous unconditional surrender on all fronts including the Russian.

On the morning of May 4 Friedeburg submitted his detailed report in the presence of Schwerin-Krosigk, Keitel and Jodl. Montgomery, he informed us, was prepared to accept separate surrender of north Germany, but he demanded that Holland and Denmark should be included. He, Friedeburg, had replied that he had not the authority to agree to this, but that he was sure that I would agree. Montgomery had also demanded, he continued, the simultaneous surrender of all warships and merchantmen. This, of course, affected the vital question of our refugee evacuation organization, and Friedeburg had therefore explained our problem and our anxiety to bring as many as possible into the western territories and save them from falling into the hands of the Russians. Montgomery had replied that he would not prevent individual soldiers from surrendering, but that in no circumstances could he accept the surrender of formed bodies of troops. As regards refugees he had refused to give any guarantees, for, he said, the question at issue was that of a purely military surrender and civilian affairs did not come into it; he had, however, added that he was 'no monster'. Montgomery had made the further stipulation that there should be no demolitions and no sinking of warships within the area to be surrendered. Friedeburg had then asked to be allowed to report to me, since he did not have the authority to accept some of the demands.

So much for Friedeburg's report. As far as an extension of the surrender to include the Netherlands and Denmark was concerned, both Schwerin-Krosigk and I were only too pleased at the prospect of 'getting these countries off our hands' and seeing them handed over in an orderly manner as soon as possible.

The demand that we should surrender our ships disturbed me gravely. It would mean the end of the evacuation by sea of troops and refugees to the western territories. From Frideburg's report on Montgomery's attitude towards this question, however, I had the impression that it might be possible to allow those ships already at sea to continue their voyage westwards. But the wounded, refugees and troops aboard them would have to be landed at Danish ports. The arrival of some 300,000 Germans would put a great political and administrative strain on Denmark's slender resources. Quarters, food and medical attention for so vast a number of foreigners, and hostile foreigners to boot, would present a problem of very great difficulty. But these were the disadvantages which we perforce had to accept with good grace. ...

We could not endanger our primary object, namely, to make separate capitulations in order to save human lives. The officers of Supreme Headquarters on the other hand were of the opinion that to hand over weapons, and particularly warships, the most strikingly outward and visible of armed strength, would be a violation of the tenets of military honour.
(p. 457-58)

finally
On the morning of May 4 I gave Freideburg full authority to accept Montgomery's conditions. He flew back to British Headquarters with instructions that, as soon as the formalities of the separate surrender to Montgomery had been completed, he was to fly on to Eisenhower in Rheims, and offer him in the same manner the separate surrender of our forces in the American sector.

Freideburg's report of May 4 had come as a great relief to us. The first step towards a separate surrender to the West had been accomplished without our having been forced to abandon German soldiers and civilians to the mercy of the Russians.
(p. 459)

From the above quoted sources, it appears to me that when F.M. Montgomery agreed to the "Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945 ", it was for a separate surrender of only those forces named in the document and in particular, didn't take into consideration the Soviets or Americans as evidenced by his reply to Friedeburg's offer of surrender of the German forces facing the Soviets in Mecklenburg: "Nothing to do with me,"

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 29 May 2012 22:09

Gorque wrote:From the above quoted sources, it appears to me that when F.M. Montgomery agreed to the "Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945 ", it was for a separate surrender of only those forces named in the document and in particular, didn't take into consideration the Soviets or Americans as evidenced by his reply to Friedeburg's offer of surrender of the German forces facing the Soviets in Mecklenburg: "Nothing to do with me,"
Hello gorque,

Thank you for the interesting reading. Though I am of different opinion. :) An opinion which was shared, apparently, by everyone in May 1945, i.e. the British, the Germans, the Danes, SHAEF and the Russians.

I found a number of documents, which shows that it was a common perception. Here are just two of them.
The documents are my return translation from Danish. I tried to quickly google the original English text, but with no luck so far.
The documents are presented in the "Bornholm mellem øst og vest", 2006 - document collection about Bornholm in international relations during the period 1944 to the end of Cold war.
document 178.
Telegram 10 may 1945 from 21st Army Group, EXFOR TAC, to SHAEF FORWARD.
The following is from OKW.
"Bornholm commaandant reports 5 Russian torpedo boats arrived to Rønne harbour at 14:30. According to the Russian commisiion order, the new [Russian] island command and commanding general is to arrive at 17:30 to accept capitulation from the German commandant.
Russian occupation forces are on the way. Bornholm is Danish territory. Surrender of this island is clearly covered by the conditions signed with fieldmarchal Montgomery.
Requesting immediate clarification from Aollied Supreme Command if German troops capitulation to the British is valid, or the Russian claim for Danish islan Bornholm is rightfull. OKW considers itself legaly bound by the agreement with Montgomery.
Bornholm commandant was instructed not to take any further steps and await Allied Supreme Command descision.
Autorisation: Detleffsen, OKW. Sighned by Assmann, Capt. Zur See. "
Document 188.
Telegram 10 may 1945 from Eisenhower, SHAEF FORWARD, to Military Mission Moscow, EXFOR TAC, and SHAEF Mission Denmark.
Ref. nr.: FWD-21181.
The following message was sent to OKW.
"In accordance to military capitulation, the German military commanders are obliged to follow the orders issued by Allied Expeditionary Force or the Red Army. OKW is still legaly bound by ceasefire agreement signed with Montgomery, but due to aforementioned reasons the German commandant has to follow the orders of the local Russian commandant."
From the above documents is deffinitevely clear that Bornholm was indeed covered by the agreement sighned with Montgomery.
What is not 100% clear is clauses 2-4 were also legaly applicable to RKKA as one of the Allies.
But so far I don't see why they should not.
Best regards
Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 30 May 2012 02:44

Hi Igor:

Thanks for the posting of those 2 documents. Are the dates on both of the documents May 10 or is that the date of their archiving? May 10 would be a strange date, being after the cessation of hostilities.

The exact date and time, especially in regards to the reception of message 188 by the Bornholm garrison, would be critical to the position of whether or not the German troops on Bornholm breached the cease-fire agreement of May 4, 1945.

Message 178 seems to confirm my belief that the Bornholm garrison was still under the belief that their surrender was to be to the Brits as per the May 4th agreement and were now seeking confirmation as to who they were to surrender to, as the May 4 agreement was a separate surrender agreement, per the references that I provided, especially when considering Montgomery's comment regarding the German troops in Mecklenburg, which covered only the Netherlands, Frisians Islands, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark. And Bornholm at the time was a part of Denmark, so therefor it naturally follows that the Bornholm garrison was to surrender to the Brits. The May 4 agreement also stipulated a surrender only to C-in-C 21 Army group and not anyone else and the Germans were sticklers for minutiae. If not, then why would they be seeking confirmation if they already knew in advance as to who they were to surrender to?

Finally there are the 2 links to the newspaper articles I provided, especially the one from Lewiston Daily Sun which highlighted the confusion regarding Bornholm with Eden stating that "Eisenhower had intended to send an Allied force to Bornholm to accept surrender of German forces there, but before doing so he asked the Russians on May 8 if it would interfere with their plans.", once again indicating that the German garrison on Bornholm was waiting for a British contingent to surrender to.

The evidence you've provided so far doesn't support your contention that the German garrison on Bornholm was in violation of the May 4 separate surrender agreement between the Flensburg government and F.M Montgomery. What's needed is the date and time that the Bornholm garrison actually received message 188 in order for you to prove your point.

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 30 May 2012 13:20

Hi,

The footnotes for the documents state the time stamps:
Doc 178: "WO class no 219, ref. no. 2148, p. 16-17, SHAEF Forward incoming message. Ref. no. GO-362. Top Secret. Urgent. Issued 10. may at 1030B, reseived 1420B. Info: EXFOR MAIN, SHAEF Mission Denmark. Designation: Aktion: G-3 (SHAEF FWD)."
Doc 188: "WO class 219 ref. no. 2148, p. 13. SHAEF outgoing message. – unclassified. Urgent. Issued 10. may at 2235B. Telegramm to OKW eas sent at 22.50B."

Whatever Germans wanted and expected is of NO relevance to the question raised. Germans had their own adgenda and followed it. This though makes no difference as far as they had been informed about the conditions, which they were. But instead of following the conditions (i.e. all 7 clauses) the Krigmarine leadership gave orders to continue armed resistence on Bornholm, which clearly violates clause 2 of condition.

The only way out of this situation for Germans (and you) is to somehow prove that clauses 2-7 are preconditioned by clause 1.
If they are preconditioned, then you are right - Germans did not violate agreement.
If they are NOT preconditioned, then I am right - Germans did violate agreement.
Best regards
Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 30 May 2012 15:29

Egorka wrote:Hi,

Whatever Germans wanted and expected is of NO relevance to the question raised. Germans had their own adgenda and followed it. This though makes no difference as far as they had been informed about the conditions, which they were. But instead of following the conditions (i.e. all 7 clauses) the Krigmarine leadership gave orders to continue armed resistence on Bornholm, which clearly violates clause 2 of condition.

The only way out of this situation for Germans (and you) is to somehow prove that clauses 2-7 are preconditioned by clause 1.
If they are preconditioned, then you are right - Germans did not violate agreement.
If they are NOT preconditioned, then I am right - Germans did violate agreement.
Hi Igor:

Thanks for the information on the time-stamps. If those dates and times are correct, then they were issued and received after the general surrender, which wouldn't make sense as the time frame would be limited to May 6 at the earliest and May 9 at the latest.

In regards to your above contention "Whatever Germans wanted and expected is of NO relevance to the question raised." , may I, once again, highlight that the surrender agreement of May 4, 1945 was a separate surrender agreement between C-in-C 21 Army group and those German forces specifically named by the agreement. On May 4, the Germans did not surrender to the Americans or the Soviets in the affected areas, but only to Montgomery and the troops under his command. If the Germans were to surrender to the Soviets within the areas specified, then that order would have to originate either from C-in-C 21 Army group or his immediate superior in SHAEF. From what I recall, those forces under SHAEF consisted of personnel from the United States, the United Kingdom and its domains, Canada and the recently liberated France. (Apologies if I missed any nationality) The May 4 agreement was not a matter of, as you put it "what the Germans wanted and expected", but what was implicitly agreed to as evidenced by the statements made by both parties involved both during and before the meeting (see my previous posts above). There was no stipulation in the surrender of May 4 for the German forces to surrender to anyone else other than to Montgomery or his superiors, or as implied, Montgomery's or SHAEF's designee. As the Germans had surrendered to the British, not the Soviets, they, the Germans, were awaiting clarification, as evidenced by your message 178, as to whom they were to surrender to, if it was not to be to the Brits. This position is further strengthened by the German reply to the Soviet demand to surrender which you've provided:
"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Replying to your letter from 7 May 1945, that there will be no answer to the dropped Russian leaflets.
The Wehrmacht forces on Bornholm are having orders to defend it from any invasion.
According to the armistice agreement, Bornholm lays in the British zone of interest.
I have orders to allow only English landing on the island.
G.v.Kamptz"


There is also the fact that Eisenhower on May 8 was seeking permission from the Soviets to send a delegation in order to effect the garrison's surrender, also provided in prior posts, not only by myself but by you as well in the link you've provided, further proving my contention that the Germans on Bornholm were still in compliance with the separate surrender agreement of May 4.

Therefor, the only logical conclusion that can be reached from the above evidence is that until the Germans on Bornholm had been notified by either Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets, they were still in compliance with the May 4 separate surrender agreement.

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 30 May 2012 17:00

Gorque wrote:Thanks for the information on the time-stamps. If those dates and times are correct, then they were issued and received after the general surrender, which wouldn't make sense as the time frame would be limited to May 6 at the earliest and May 9 at the latest.
:)It deffinately made some sense to OKW and Eisenhower so lets try to catch with them.
You see even as late as May 10th 10:30B the OKW was still trying to propagate their adgenda and bend the things their way. That is wha tI have kept saying again and again.
In regards to your above contention "Whatever Germans wanted and expected is of NO relevance to the question raised." , may I, once again, highlight that the surrender agreement of May 4, 1945 was a separate surrender agreement between C-in-C 21 Army group and those German forces specifically named by the agreement.
Agreed.
And indeed after some discussion and research we came to mutual (I hope) agreement that Bornholm was indeed covered by the agreement.
On May 4, the Germans did not surrender to the Americans or the Soviets in the affected areas, but only to Montgomery and the troops under his command.
Agreed.
If the Germans were to surrender to the Soviets within the areas specified, then that order would have to originate either from C-in-C 21 Army group or his immediate superior in SHAEF.
Ehrrr... Probably so. Regardless of the answer it makes no difference in my chane of logic.
The May 4 agreement was not a matter of, as you put it "what the Germans wanted and expected", but what was implicitly agreed to as evidenced by the statements made by both parties involved both during and before the meeting (see my previous posts above).
What was agreed ( at least oficially) is what was SIGNED. That is 7 clauses of the surrender.
The unoficial part makes only some difference as historical context, that is all.
There was no stipulation in the surrender of May 4 for the German forces to surrender to anyone else other than to Montgomery or his superiors, or as implied, Montgomery's or SHAEF's designee.
Right, one more time - agreed.
As the Germans had surrendered to the British, not the Soviets, they, the Germans, were awaiting clarification, as evidenced by your message 178, as to whom they were to surrender to, if it was not to be to the Brits.
Not exactly like that. On 4th of may they surrendered part of forces to C-i-C 21st, but on 7th all the forces to all Allied parties.
So asking on 10th of May such question as OKW did is rather meaningless. Unless you are a German officer in 1945 of course. So that is what they did.
This position is further strengthened by the German reply to the Soviet demand to surrender which you've provided:
"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Do not take the Von Kamptz reply at face value. What else did you expect him to say at that time? His words is no proof of validity of any thing, but only to see the Germans point of view.
There is also the fact that Eisenhower on May 8 was seeking permission from the Soviets to send a delegation in order to effect the garrison's surrender, also provided in prior posts, not only by myself but by you as well in the link you've provided, further proving my contention that the Germans on Bornholm were still in compliance with the separate surrender agreement of May 4.
I do not quite follow your logic here. Eisenhower was perfectly aware that Bornholm was covered by Montgomery's surrender, but did not want to aleinate the Soviets on this secondsry (for him) issue. Since the Denmark as a whole and Bornholm in particular was not clearly assigned to either West or East (i.e. it was not predefined by Big Three who shell liberate Danmark), Eisenhower send his telegramm to Moscow.
Therefor, the only logical conclusion that can be reached from the above evidence is that until the Germans on Bornholm had been notified by either Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets, they were still in compliance with the May 4 separate surrender agreement.
In order for surrender to happen, it has to be taken. Hense lack of a single British soldier on Bornholm was preventing execution of clause 1.
But the clauses 2-4 were still in force (until opposite is proven) and these clauses WERE BREACHED by Germans on Bornholm.
Best regards
Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 30 May 2012 22:03

Hi Igor:

I see you and I are finding many points of agreement. :)
Egorka wrote: It deffinately made some sense to OKW and Eisenhower so lets try to catch with them.
You see even as late as May 10th 10:30B the OKW was still trying to propagate their adgenda and bend the things their way. That is wha tI have kept saying again and again.

I was under the impression that Bornholm capitulated to the Soviets on 16:00 or so hours on the 9th or am I mistaken?
Egorka wrote:
If the Germans were to surrender to the Soviets within the areas specified, then that order would have to originate either from C-in-C 21 Army group or his immediate superior in SHAEF.
Ehrrr... Probably so. Regardless of the answer it makes no difference in my chane of logic.

It does in mine because until either Monty or SHAEF issues an order otherwise, the Germans are complying with the agreement of May 4.
Egorka wrote:
The May 4 agreement was not a matter of, as you put it "what the Germans wanted and expected", but what was implicitly agreed to as evidenced by the statements made by both parties involved both during and before the meeting (see my previous posts above).
What was agreed ( at least oficially) is what was SIGNED. That is 7 clauses of the surrender.
The unoficial part makes only some difference as historical context, that is all.
What was said at the meeting, but not put down in writing has enormous significance to the parties involved as it speaks to what the parties to the agreement intended. Not everything that is intended is always committed to writing. This is the crux of my argument, that the May 4 agreement was a separate surrender as per the unwritten discussions. :)
Egorka wrote:
As the Germans had surrendered to the British, not the Soviets, they, the Germans, were awaiting clarification, as evidenced by your message 178, as to whom they were to surrender to, if it was not to be to the Brits.
Not exactly like that. On 4th of may they surrendered part of forces to C-i-C 21st, but on 7th all the forces to all Allied parties.
So asking on 10th of May such question as OKW did is rather meaningless. Unless you are a German officer in 1945 of course. So that is what they did.

I'm viewing the surrender of May 7th as pertaining to covering the balance of the German forces not previously covered under the May 4 surrender, as these forces had already surrendered. If we use the May 7 surrender, then what we have is the Bornholm garrison surrender time being extended from 0800 hours British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945 to midnight of May 8-9 and the Soviet bombing raids upon Bornholm took place on May 7 and 8. So either the May 4 separate surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the Germans on Bornholm are waiting for a British contingent to surrender to, unless a notice from Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets is sent, which doesn't occur, or the May 7 general surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the deadline for surrender is midnight May 8-9.


Egorka wrote:
This position is further strengthened by the German reply to the Soviet demand to surrender which you've provided:
"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Do not take the Von Kamptz reply at face value. What else did you expect him to say at that time? His words is no proof of validity of any thing, but only to see the Germans point of view.
There is also the fact that Eisenhower on May 8 was seeking permission from the Soviets to send a delegation in order to effect the garrison's surrender, also provided in prior posts, not only by myself but by you as well in the link you've provided, further proving my contention that the Germans on Bornholm were still in compliance with the separate surrender agreement of May 4.
I do not quite follow your logic here. Eisenhower was perfectly aware that Bornholm was covered by Montgomery's surrender, but did not want to aleinate the Soviets on this secondsry (for him) issue. Since the Denmark as a whole and Bornholm in particular was not clearly assigned to either West or East (i.e. it was not predefined by Big Three who shell liberate Danmark), Eisenhower send his telegramm to Moscow.
Therefor, the only logical conclusion that can be reached from the above evidence is that until the Germans on Bornholm had been notified by either Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets, they were still in compliance with the May 4 separate surrender agreement.
In order for surrender to happen, it has to be taken. Hense lack of a single British soldier on Bornholm was preventing execution of clause 1.

Agreed

Egorka wrote:But the clauses 2-4 were still in force (until opposite is proven) and these clauses WERE BREACHED by Germans on Bornholm.
I agree that these provisions were still in force and that these provisions would have been honored to the Soviets satisfaction if either SHAEF or Montgomery issued the proper order to the Germans to surrender to the Soviets. But since no order came until May 9 or 10, there was no breach by the Germans to the agreement.

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 31 May 2012 13:05

Gorque wrote:Hi Igor:
I see you and I are finding many points of agreement. :)
That is a start!
I was under the impression that Bornholm capitulated to the Soviets on 16:00 or so hours on the 9th or am I mistaken?
Yes, you are not mistaken here. App. between 16:00 - 18:00 the 9th of May 1945.
If the Germans were to surrender to the Soviets within the areas specified, then that order would have to originate either from C-in-C 21 Army group or his immediate superior in SHAEF.
Gorque, please, listen carefully. The Germans on Bornholm were NOT to SURRENDER to Red Army according to the terms.
They were to
  • "CEASE ALL THE HOSTILITIES" (clause 2) and
    "CARRY OUT AT ONCE, AND WITHOUT ARGUMENT OR COMMENT, ALL FURTHER ORDERS" of Red Army as an Allied Power (clause 3).
When, after 08:00 May 5th, a German on Bornholm shot at an Allied Power soldier (read Red Army soldier), such German was breaching the surrender agreement.
When the same soldier did not follow or otherwise failed to comply to the orders issued by Allied Power (read Red Army soldier), such German was again breaching the surrender agreement.

And on top of all that, if German had any "doubt or dispute", than Allied Powers (read Red Army) "decision will be final" (see clause 7).
It does in mine because until either Monty or SHAEF issues an order otherwise, the Germans are complying with the agreement of May 4.
Nope. See my comment above.
What was said at the meeting, but not put down in writing has enormous significance to the parties involved as it speaks to what the parties to the agreement intended. Not everything that is intended is always committed to writing. This is the crux of my argument, that the May 4 agreement was a separate surrender as per the unwritten discussions. :)
Monty just cut German some slack, when he verbally said that he will accept individual surrender. It is not part of the agreement but just Monty being kind. That is it.
All other parties mentioned in the written document (remember "Allied Powers"?) had no further obligations as mentioned in the undersigned document.
I'm viewing the surrender of May 7th as pertaining to covering the balance of the German forces not previously covered under the May 4 surrender, as these forces had already surrendered.
No, it is not like that. The Germans on Bornholm did not surrender because none came to them to accept the surrender.
And otherwise, May 7th surrender OVERRODE the May 4th surrender. This is specifically covered by the clause 5.
If we use the May 7 surrender, then what we have is the Bornholm garrison surrender time being extended from 0800 hours British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945 to midnight of May 8-9 and the Soviet bombing raids upon Bornholm took place on May 7 and 8.
The bombing raid was in accordance to 4th of May agreement.
The Soviets envoked clause 4 as a retaliation to German "hostilities" (clause 2) and "disobedience of orders or failure to comply with them" (clause 3).
So either the May 4 separate surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the Germans on Bornholm are waiting for a British contingent to surrender to...
German can wait as much as they want for anyone they want.
Just that in the mean while that should stop breaching clauses 2 and 3 of the surrender terms! Or else clause 4 will kick in.
... , unless a notice from Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets is sent, which doesn't occur, or the May 7 general surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the deadline for surrender is midnight May 8-9.

May 7th surrender overwritten the May 4th surrender, but it did not move the deadline for anything at all. The superseding can not be used to degrade the conditions of the previous agreement.

But hey, remember that there is clause 7, right? Germans had NO saying alone in interpretation of the surrender terms! Period.
Therefor, the only logical conclusion that can be reached from the above evidence is that until the Germans on Bornholm had been notified by either Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets, they were still in compliance with the May 4 separate surrender agreement.
As mentioned above, Germans breached clauses 2 and 3 when they maintained hostilities to Allied Power (Red Army) and disobeyed Allied Power's (Red Army) orders.
I agree that these provisions were still in force and that these provisions would have been honored to the Soviets satisfaction if either SHAEF or Montgomery issued the proper order to the Germans to surrender to the Soviets. But since no order came until May 9 or 10, there was no breach by the Germans to the agreement.
Compliance to clause 2 and 3 is NOT linked to clause 1. They come in force automatically after 08:00 May 5.
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 31 May 2012 15:06

Hi Igor:
Egorka wrote:
If the Germans were to surrender to the Soviets within the areas specified, then that order would have to originate either from C-in-C 21 Army group or his immediate superior in SHAEF.
Gorque, please, listen carefully. The Germans on Bornholm were NOT to SURRENDER to Red Army according to the terms.
They were to
  • "CEASE ALL THE HOSTILITIES" (clause 2) and
    "CARRY OUT AT ONCE, AND WITHOUT ARGUMENT OR COMMENT, ALL FURTHER ORDERS" (clause 3).
When, after 08:00 May 5th, a German on Bornholm shot at an Allied Power soldier (read Red Army soldier), such German was breaching the surrender agreement.

When the same soldier did not follow or otherwise failed to comply to the orders issued by Allied Power (read Red Army soldier), such German was again breaching the surrender agreement.

And on top of all that, if German had any "doubt or dispute", than Allied Powers (read Red Army) "decision will be final" (see clause 7).
I strongly disagree as the Germans on Bornholm were under orders, up until May 7, per the separate surrender agreement of May 4, to surrender to C-in-C 21 Army group. Bornholm, per the May 4 agreement, was included with Denmark. The Germans were still under that presumption on May 7. Secondly, despite the fact that the Germans had surrendered, they still had rights and obligations and one of those rights was to be surrendered to the forces under the command of the C-in-C of 21 Army group, once again, under the presumption that Bornholm was to be included with Denmark as per the May 4 agreement. Their rights would have breached by their surrender and subsequent detention to the forces of the Soviet Union. Message 178 confirms the confusion regarding who the Germans were to surrender to and what their fate would be of the Bornholm garrison based upon who was to control Bornholm.

Egorka wrote:
What was said at the meeting, but not put down in writing has enormous significance to the parties involved as it speaks to what the parties to the agreement intended. Not everything that is intended is always committed to writing. This is the crux of my argument, that the May 4 agreement was a separate surrender as per the unwritten discussions. :)
Monty just cut German some slack, when he verbally said that he will accept individual surrender. It is not part of the agreement but just Monty being kind. That is it.
All other parties mentioned in the written document (remember "Allied Powers"?) had no further obligations as mentioned in the undersigned document.
Whether Montgomery cut the Germans some slack, as you allege, or not is immaterial to what the parties ultimately intended and what the parties intended but wasn't transcribed has equal wight with what was transcribed. Furthermore, if you continue to insist that the Soviet Union was a party to the separate surrender agreement, then the Soviet Union must also adhere to the spirit of the agreement as well as its transcription. One cannot achieve a greater claim to a legal agreement than that of one of the original signers.
Egorka wrote:
I'm viewing the surrender of May 7th as pertaining to covering the balance of the German forces not previously covered under the May 4 surrender, as these forces had already surrendered.
No, it is not like that.
This is specifically covered by the clause 5.
May 7th surrender OVERWRITTEN the May 4th surrender.
As clause 5 acknowledges that the May 4 agreement is to be superseded in the event of general surrender agreement, then the deadline date is superseded as well.
Egorka wrote:
If we use the May 7 surrender, then what we have is the Bornholm garrison surrender time being extended from 0800 hours British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945 to midnight of May 8-9 and the Soviet bombing raids upon Bornholm took place on May 7 and 8.
The bombing raid was in accordance to 4th of May agreement.
The Soviets envoked clause 4 as a retaliation to German "hostilities" (clause 2) and "disobedience of orders or failure to comply with them" (clause 3).
Your argument, which relies upon clause 4 of the May 4 agreement, is not valid, as the May 4 agreement was superceded by the May 7 surrender agreement, thereby rendering the individual provisions of the May 4 agreement invalid as well, per clause 5.
Egorka wrote:
So either the May 4 separate surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the Germans on Bornholm are waiting for a British contingent to surrender to...
German can wait as much as they want for anyone they want.
Just that in the mean while that should stop breaching clauses 2 and 3 of the surrender terms! Or else clause 4 will kick in.
And yet a few posts earlier you just wrote that clause 5 kicked-in, and clause 5 invalidates the entire agreement, doesn't it?
Egorka wrote:
... , unless a notice from Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets is sent, which doesn't occur, or the May 7 general surrender agreement is in effect, in which case the deadline for surrender is midnight May 8-9.

May 7th surrender overwritten the May 4th surrender, but it did not move the deadline for anything at all. The superseding can not be used to degrade the conditions of the previous agreement.

But hey, remember that there is clause 7, right? Germans had NO saying alone in interpretation of the surrender terms! Period.
Here you go again, cherry-picking the portions of 2 individual surrender agreements to suit your agenda. Either one agreement, in its entirety holds sway or the other one does and not a little part of this or a little portion of that. The only way around this dilemma of yours would be if the May 7 agreement specifically referred to certain segments or to the entire May 4 surrender agreement, which, BTW, it doesn't. Therefor, your argument, that the original timetable specified in the May 4 separate surrender agreement be adhered to, is therefor dead in the water. BTW, the May 7 agreement does, for the first time, specifically mention the Soviet High Command, an item which is sorely lacking in the May 4 separate surrender agreement.
Egorka wrote:
Therefor, the only logical conclusion that can be reached from the above evidence is that until the Germans on Bornholm had been notified by either Montgomery or SHAEF to surrender to the Soviets, they were still in compliance with the May 4 separate surrender agreement.
As mentioned above, Germans breached clauses 2 and 3 when they maintained hostilities to Allied Power (Red Army) and disobeyed Allied Power's (Red Army) orders.
Either the May 4 agreement is in effect, in which case the Germans would require notification from Monty or SHAEF, and until that occurred, there would be no breach, or the May 7 agreement is in effect, in which case they have until midnight May 8-9 to cease hostilities. Since they were under the presumption, from the May 4 agreement, that they were to be included with the balance of Denmark, once again there is no breach.
Egorka wrote:
I agree that these provisions were still in force and that these provisions would have been honored to the Soviets satisfaction if either SHAEF or Montgomery issued the proper order to the Germans to surrender to the Soviets. But since no order came until May 9 or 10, there was no breach by the Germans to the agreement.
Compliance to clause 2 and 3 is NOT linked to clause 1. They come in force automatically after 08:00 May 5.
As clause 5 invalidates the entire May 4 agreement, the surrender date and time now becomes midnight May 8-9.

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 31 May 2012 22:41

What is there not to understand? If I surrender to you, then not only I am no longer allowed to kick you in the nuts, but neither of your two friends, while I am waiting for you to come and accept my surrender. It is exactly for that purpose you 3 times included "allied powers" into written agreement. If, while waiting for you, I kick one of your friends or do not listen to his commands, then I would be breaching the agreement with you.

If you speak of "the spirit" of the agreemnet it is fine. You can see at which spirit Montgomery signed the agreement when you watch the video I mentioned several times earlier, where he clearly states, in connection to the 4th May Surrender, who he ment by "Allied Powers".
So want it or not, "Allied Powers" including Red Army IS part of the agreement.

About clause 5:
1. The 7th May surrender was signed almost 2 days after 4th May surrender came in force (08:00 May 5th). So even if you WERE right about this, German had plenty time and opportunity to breach the agreement.
2. The 7th May surrender did NOT invalidate the previous local agreement. It superseded it. These are not the same.
3. What you call cherry-picking is not cherry-picking. It is a common legal practice. In some cases it is indeed so that only goodie parts that follow even without saying, and bad parts are removed. One quick example is the labour law. An employee can sign any job contract, even the one saying that he f.ex. waive all holiday rights. Such parts of the contract, even signed voluntarily and in mutual agreement, would nonetheless be illegal in most of the countries. It is because state labour law suppersedes the specific job contract. It does not "invalidates" the whole contract, but just makes the illegal clauses void.

At the end of the day, what I am trying to tell you is practically exactly the same as what Eisenhower answered to OKW. Read his answer carefully.
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 01 Jun 2012 14:18

Egorka wrote:What is there not to understand? If I surrender to you, then not only I am no longer allowed to kick you in the nuts, but neither of your two friends, while I am waiting for you to come and accept my surrender. It is exactly for that purpose you 3 times included "allied powers" into written agreement. If, while waiting for you, I kick one of your friends or do not listen to his commands, then I would be breaching the agreement with you.

If you speak of "the spirit" of the agreemnet it is fine. You can see at which spirit Montgomery signed the agreement when you watch the video I mentioned several times earlier, where he clearly states, in connection to the 4th May Surrender, who he ment by "Allied Powers".
So want it or not, "Allied Powers" including Red Army IS part of the agreement.
What we know for a fact, based upon the corroborated memoirs of Karl Dönitz, is that the May 4 surrender was a separate surrender agreement that covered ALL of Denmark. What we do not know for certain is what was meant by "Allied Powers" in the document, which ambiguity, by-the-way, was completely eliminated with the general surrender of May 7 in that the Soviet High Command is mentioned separately from SHAEF, which in my mind, adds creedence that the May 4 agreement did not include the Soviet Union in the term "Allied Powers". What is certain, however, is that "Allied Powers" at the minimum included those armed forces under the command of SHAEF, of which 21 Army group was a part of.

You've been basing your assumption that the term "Allied Powers" to include the Soviet Union from the cobbled together video of Monty's speech. I'm calling it "cobbled together" because in the speech and at the surrender signing, Monty is wearing 2 completely different uniforms, suggesting, at the very least, different times of day and more probably a different day altogether.
Egorka wrote:About clause 5:
1. The 7th May surrender was signed almost 2 days after 4th May surrender came in force (08:00 May 5th). So even if you WERE right about this, German had plenty time and opportunity to breach the agreement.
2. The 7th May surrender did NOT invalidate the previous local agreement. It superseded it. These are not the same.
3. What you call cherry-picking is not cherry-picking. It is a common legal practice. In some cases it is indeed so that only goodie parts that follow even without saying, and bad parts are removed. One quick example is the labour law. An employee can sign any job contract, even the one saying that he f.ex. waive all holiday rights. Such parts of the contract, even signed voluntarily and in mutual agreement, would nonetheless be illegal in most of the countries. It is because state labour law suppersedes the specific job contract. It does not "invalidates" the whole contract, but just makes the illegal clauses void.

1. That's correct, the Germans could have breached the agreement of May 4, but they didn't.
2. I agree, superseding and invalidating are 2 separate terms. When one supersedes a previous agreement, those parts that are contrary to the original then become invalid. I took a short-cut. What became invalid, effective midnight May 8-9 was the separate surrender only to C-in-C 21 Army group etc., the surrender time and date, for those forces that hadn't yet surrendered, and the term 'Allied Powers" at a minimum.
3. The prior contract still needs to be referred to as well as to which parts of the old contract are still to kept in force by the newer agreement. If the new agreement is silent in regards to the above, then the only the terms of the new agreement are in force.
Egorka wrote:At the end of the day, what I am trying to tell you is practically exactly the same as what Eisenhower answered to OKW. Read his answer carefully.
Then why, may I ask you, did Eisenhower on May 8 request of the Soviets to allow him to send a contingent to Bornholm to accept the German surrender?


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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 01 Jun 2012 17:26

Montgomery just spoke to you directly from the screen and you try to twist his words. Not good.
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 01 Jun 2012 19:38

Hi Igor:
Egorka wrote:Montgomery just spoke to you directly from the screen and you try to twist his words. Not good.
I don't see how I'm twisting Monty's words. Over-analyzing at worst, but definitely not twisting. :wink:

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 01 Jun 2012 20:04

You know what I mean. :wink:

Here is the Montgomery's speech. My highlights.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peoples ... 9028.shtml
21 Army Group Personal Message from the C — in — C

On this day of victory in Europe I feel I would like to speak to all who have served and fought with me during the last few years. What I have to say is very simple and quite short.

I would ask you all to remember those of our comrades who fell in the struggle. They gave theirs lives that others might have freedom, and no man can do more than that. I believe that he would say to each of them:
“Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

And we who remain have seen the thing through to the end. We all have a feeling of great joy and thankfulness that we have been preserved to see this day. We must remember to give the praise and thankfulness where it is due:
“This is the Lords doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

In the early days of this war the British Empire stood alone against the combined might of the axis powers. And during those days we suffered some great disasters, but we stood; firm on the defensive, but striking blows where we could. Later we were joined by Russia and America and from then onwards the end was in no doubt. Let us never forget what we owe to our Russian and American allies; this great allied team has achieved much in war; may it achieve even more in peace.

Without doubt, great problems lie ahead; the world will not recover quickly from the upheaval that has taken place; there is much work for each one of us. I would say that we face up to that work with the same fortitude that we faced up to the worst days of the war. It may be that some difficult times lie ahead for our country, and each one of us personally. If it happens thus, then our discipline will pull us through; but we must remember that the best discipline implies the subordination of self for the community.

It has been a privilege and an honour to command this great British Empire team in Western Europe. Few commanders can have had such loyal service as you have given me. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart.

And so let us embark on what lies ahead full of joy and optimism. We have won the German war. Let us now win the peace.

Good luck to you all, wherever you may be.

(Sgd) B L Montgomery
Field Marshal
C-in-C
21 Army Group

Germany 1945
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 01 Jun 2012 20:07

Another good one about what ment "Allied Powers".
Joint Statement with Churchill and Stalin on the Yalta Conference – February 11, 1945

THE DEFEAT OF GERMANY
We have considered and determined the military plans of the three Allied powers for the final defeat of the common enemy. The military staffs of the three Allied Nations have met in daily meetings throughout the Conference. These meetings ... bla-bla-bla
And then just to be on the safe side - Britannica online on "Allied Powers"
In World War II the chief Allied Powers were Great Britain, France (except during the German occupation, 1940–44), the Soviet Union (after its entry in June 1941), the United States (after its entry on Dec. 8–11, 1941), and China. More generally the Allies included all the wartime members of the United Nations, the signatories to the Declaration of the United Nations. The original...
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