Gorque wrote:Hi Igor:
During the negotiations, the Germans wanted to surrender to the Western Allies, yet keep on fighting the Soviets in order to buy additional time for civilians and soldiers to retreat to the lands slated for Western Allied occupation. Monty (and later on Eisenhower) would not have any of this. The Germans in the lands specified by the May 4 agreement had to cease fighting by 8:00 on May 5. This included the Soviets, which was all well and good as there wasn't any Soviets on Bornholm, or for that matter Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein or any of the other lands mentioned.
Kind of... So, in your opinion, what implication does it have to our discussion?
The German Navy, on the other hand, was another matter as it was still active in the evacuations in the Baltic, which also meant it was engaged in actions against the Soviets. I hope this explanation is more concise.
The German Navy in the mentioned ares were to surrender too.
Precisely. The forces on Bornholm were in a legal limbo brought about by the British not venturing to Bornholm to accept the surrender.
Important here is that this legal limbo was ONLY there with respect to Germans expectations and wishes.
But formally there were no "legal limbo", as the Germans waived all rights with respect to interpretation of the surrender terms.
They were included in the May 4 agreement, which meant that the ships that had arrived there and those that will be arriving there, (the May 4 agreement was silent on ships in-transit) had to stay in Bornholm until the British arrived to accept their surrender. But if the British weren't going to accept their surrender, then they had every right to continue on to Denmark proper.
Germans did NOT know and were NOT SUPPOSED to know what Brits were in reality planning to do. Hence Germans were to obey, which they did not in Bornholm case.
Anyway, British intentions do not clear Germans from their legal responsibility. Again, it is not favorable to Germans, but, hey, it was unconditional
Monty did say that he would accept individual units into his lines, but not whole units, or something of that nature.
Yes. But this was said OUTSIDE of the surrender deal. Monty cut them some slack. And anyway, by accepting individual POWs, Monty did not violate the 4th May terms. Though, it does not mean that those individual German POWs did not violate it at the same time.
The Germans on Bornholm, by honoring the May 4 agreement by staying put, also had their POW status degraded when the Soviets arrived, as the Soviet Union, if my memory serves me correctly, was not a signatory to the Geneva accords in regards to the treatment of prisoners.
Germans captured on Bornholm did have POW status.
The deal with Geneva convention was only somewhat relevant in 1941. But USSR quickly declared that though not being formal signatory, it will adhere to Geneva convention. Later it also signed formally.
That is info without double checking the facts...
Are we still friends?
We have never been friends in the first place.
But I am grateful to you that you put my arguments to scrutiny - that is what I am here for. Thank you!