Torch-men-Order #0428

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Lagami
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Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Lagami » 03 Feb 2016 21:57

All settlements, in which German troops are found, up to a depth of 40 - 60km from the main lines of battle, are to be destroyed and set on fire, also 20-30km from the roads. For the destruction of the settled areas in the required radius, the air force will be made available, also artillery and rocket-launchers will be used extensively, as well as intelligence units, skiers and Partisan divisions, who are equipped with bottles with flammable liquid. These hunting expeditions in their activities of destruction are to be dressed to the greatest extent in German soldier's uniforms and uniforms of the Waffen-SS looted from the German army.

This will ignite hatred toward all fascist occupiers and make the conscription of partisans from the outlaying areas of fascist territories easier. It is important to have survivors who will tell about "German atrocities". For this purpose every regiment is to form hunter-units of about 20- 30 men strong with the task to detonate and incinerate the villages. We have to select brave fighters for this action of destruction of settled areas. These men will be especially recommended to receive bravery awards when working in German uniforms behind enemy lines and destroying those settlement outposts. Among the population we have to spread the rumor that the Germans are burning the villages in order to punish the Partisans.

-(Archive Series 429, Rolle 461, General's Headquarters of the Army, Division, foreign Units East II H 3/70 Fr 6439568. Filed: National Archive Washington) [1] [in progress] "Fackelmänner Befehl" (torch men-order) confirmed. Russian Security Service FSB published Stalin's order No. 0428.



I have found this order during my research. Is this for real? I can't really find any reliable source on this order. And obviously I can't look into the national archives where this quote above is based on.

What really bothers me about this orders is this part: "These hunting expeditions in their activities of destruction are to be dressed to the greatest extent in German soldier's uniforms and uniforms of the Waffen-SS looted from the German army."

I really can't find out if this is a real order or just something made up by neo-nazis.

Art
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Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Art » 04 Feb 2016 07:28

If it's not an original document, then what source is it from? I would check for a start if the quoted text is really present in the US archive records.
All settlements, in which German troops are found, up to a depth of 40 - 60km from the main lines of battle, are to be destroyed and set on fire, also 20-30km from the roads. For the destruction of the settled areas in the required radius, the air force will be made available, also artillery and rocket-launchers will be used extensively, as well as intelligence units, skiers and Partisan divisions, who are equipped with bottles with flammable liquid.

That part is present in the Russian publication of the order, whereas all the rest is not.

Art
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Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Art » 04 Feb 2016 16:06

Also an article in German on the same subject (beginning from page 667):
http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/2000_4.pdf
I can't translate it easily, but the idea seems to be that this particular "variant" of the order is a fake.

Lagami
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Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Lagami » 04 Feb 2016 18:20

Hey thank you for the research you did.

I am German and thus understand everything of the book you provided.
You are indeed right with your assumption. The quote you made is the only part that is actually proven to be real. The rest of the above text is based on no physical documentation and is mostly mentioned by political right wing supporters.

The book says this based on the fact that the order has been released in the following source released by the russian military archive:
Stavka VGK. Dokumenty i materialy 1941 god . Moskau 1996 = Velikaja Otecestvennaj a 5 , 1 , S.299 f. , Prikaz y Narodnog o Kommissara Oborony SSSR 22 ijunja 1941 g . - 1942 g . Moskau 1997 = Velikaja Otecestvennaj a 2 , 2 , S.120 f .

Besides of that "Sergej Slutsch" did take a look at a copy of the original document which is stored here:
Central'ny j Archiv Ministerstvo Oborony RF in Podols'k, Fon d4, Opis ' 11, Delo 66, List 221

And he confirmed that only the part quoted by you above is actually in there. Anything behind that is not found in any official documents.

The author does add that this does not mean that there haven't been any actions like that though.
Following source claims that there have been attacks on villages commited by russian partisans who did wear German uniforms while commiting them:
Archiv des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte München, MA 1564, NOKW 2535, S.18

However, Germans did the same. Kommandoverbände der Abteilung II des Amts Ausland/Abwehr des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht did use Russian uniforms on the eastern front as well.
So yea, especially because of mentioning this I guess this is a pretty safe source.

Lagami
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Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Lagami » 04 Feb 2016 18:30

On top of the above I just noticed that they even checked the source I mentioned in the original post:
-(Archive Series 429, Rolle 461, General's Headquarters of the Army, Division, foreign Units East II H 3/70 Fr 6439568. Filed: National Archive Washington)

According to the book there is not a single mention of the Torch-Men-Order in this film. The Frame 6439568 does just show a handwritten text of 4 phrases mentioning "1. pioneer troops 2. Railroad troops 3. ponton-troops 4. others".
The whole thing has nothing to do with the order and it seems like someone just randomly copied that source without even knowing what is in it.

Of course I'd love to check this film myself but as said I highly doubt that this book itself or the research done by others for it are to be questioned.

Art
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Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Art » 05 Feb 2016 14:04

Just to put an end to any possible ambiguity here is a scanned copy of the original order from the files of the South-West Front (TsAMO RF f.228, op.161, d.4, ll.96-97)
Image
Image
Image
From what I see the text coincides with publication in the collection of documents from 1997 and there are no words about German uniform.

Lagami
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Location: Germany

Re: Torch-men-Order #0428

Postby Lagami » 05 Feb 2016 16:10

Very nice, thank you!

The false information spread by right wing people as propaganda is really frustrating.


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