Abwehr Foulups

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Ezboard

Abwehr Foulups

Post by Ezboard » 29 Sep 2002 14:56

Griff
Unregistered User
(10/18/00 11:19:44 am)
Reply Abwehr Foulups
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I am constantly amazed by the lack of sense showen by the Abwehr & other German intelligence services during the Third Reich. My friends & I have been playing "what if" lately & I am wondering if someone could tell us what sort of targets could Germany (via sabatours or whatever) have hit that might have crippled (or at least bloodied) American Industry during WW2.
Considering the distance & logistics required & the fact that the Abwehr seems to have been very ineffective (even incompetent), we will have use our imaginations.
Or am I mistaken about their poor performance?

Gareth Collins
Registered User
Posts: 34
(10/18/00 10:02:38 pm)
Reply Abwehr
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Griff,
I think it was less incompitance than is was treachery. Do not forget these were some of the most highly trained soldiers in the world. If you look at the various anti-Hitler factions, you will see a lot in the Abwehr (Canaris, Liß, Oster etc.). Also, a lot of time and information was wasted on the constant childish bickering between the Abwehr and the SD, so a lot of potential situations were lost or wasted. Hitler realised this only too late and the Abwehr was virtually dissolved in 1944.
Regards,
gfc

Griff
Unregistered User
(10/19/00 5:35:53 pm)
Reply Abwehr
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Granted. However, assuming that they might have been able to get their act togather, what sort of targets might they have chosen in the United States that would have put a serious dent in US wartime production? Just for the sake of argument, of course, as I don't see how the Abwehr/SD/whoever would have been able to pull something like that off.
Also, were there any good British targets, other than radar stations, centralized power plants & communications that a competent sabatour could have struck?

Gareth Collins
Registered User
Posts: 37
(10/20/00 2:50:15 am)
Reply Abwehr
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Hello,
The Abwehr had very good intelligence in the Balkans and on the Iberian Peninsula. as we all know Spain was a peaceful ally of Germany at the time. The Abwehr had foreign espionage networks in the Balkans, Portugal and above all, Spain. The Spanish Secret Service facilitated german surveillance of Allied shipping in the Mediterranean. The Abwehr were also conducting secret talks with the Greek dictator, General Ioannis Metaxas, just before he died. This was leading to a peaceful settlement in the Greek Theatre, but he died before things were finalised as a pro-British Government was sworn in. The Abwehr's attempts to set up espionage networks in the UK and USA were complete disasters though. ALL attempts by the Abwehr to land agents in the UK failed, they were either shot or turned away. An attempt to co-operate with the IRA in order to subvert British fighting strength operating from Northern Ireland failed, as did all attempts to lure Eire into the Axis fold. Although the espionage section of the Abwehr was a failure, the other branches faired better.
Abwehr II (Counter-Espionage) was instrumental in organising pro-German uprisings which led to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. They also did similar work on the eastern Front with the anti-Stalinist Baltic States and the Ukraine, these forces are better known as the Brandenberg Regiment.
Abwehr III (Counter-Intelligence) scored a massive success, aided by the Gestapo, when it broke and the destroyed the large Soviet espionage and resistance network known as the Rote Kapelle and the head of the Abwehr in the Netherlands, Oberstleutnant Hermann giskes, was instrumental in running the war's best-known Funkspiel (radio game) when British SOE and MI6 agents were captured and turned.
The Abwehr played a massive part in the July 1944 Bomb Plot (Scwarze Kapelle). You see the Abwehr had access to files that the ordinary military organisations did not. The learnt of the massive war crimes of the Third Reich, and eventally turned against it. In the end the plot failed, Canaris and a mountain of other Abwehr Officers were arrested and most killed. The Abwehr was no more. Its offices were transferred to SD controll from 1944.
Regards,
gfc

Griff
Unregistered User
(10/20/00 9:12:57 am)
Reply Impressive.
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Looks like I need to do some serious research into this subject.
Can you direct me to some good sources?
Also, can you account for why the attempts to establish rings in America failed?
I know the Brits were tipped off about agents who came ashore & arrested most of them before they had a chance to dry off their feet, turning most of them into double agents, (the Double-Cross thing).
Did Enigma play a significant part in Double-Cross, or did the Brits have inside help?
Thanks.

haosterearthlinknet
Unregistered
(11/11/00 8:56:28 pm)
Reply Re: Abwehr
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The "failures" must be understood in the context of Hitler's bizarre leadership style. He was inherently suspicious, and preferred to reach decisions on his own, generally isolating his informational sources from one another. It was appreciated, for instance, by Guderian and others, that the Red Army possessed at least 10,000 tanks prior to Barbarossa. However, it was treasonous to promote any information that was considered detrimental to the Reich, and the available facts were glossed over. Later, Hitler would pass the buck, stating that if he had only known of the numbers of tanks, he would never have invaded.

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