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Thread: German Werewolf Resistance

  1. #1
    purify the soul CPLHUNTER's Avatar
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    Post German Werewolf Resistance

    Does anyone know about the post WW2 Werewolf resistance movement?

    There seems to be some parallels between this group and the guerilla movement in Iraq...

    I have been able to find some of the following information:

    The Werewolves were originally organised by the SS and the Hitler Youth as a diversionary operation on the fringes of the Third Reich, which were occupied by the Western Allies and the Soviets in the autumn of 1944. Some 5,000 -- 6,000 recruits were raised by the winter of 1944-45, but numbers rose considerably in the following spring when the Nazi Party and the Propaganda Ministry launched a popular call to arms, beseeching everybody in the occupied areas -- even women and children -- to launch themselves upon the enemy. In typical Nazi fashion, this expansion was not co-ordinated by the relevant bodies, which were instead involved in a bureaucratic war among themselves over control of the project. The result was that the movement functioned on two largely unrelated levels: the first as a real force of specially trained SS, Hitler Youth and Nazi Party guerrillas; the second as an outlet for casual violence by fanatics.

    The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers -- perhaps even that of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the occupiers were given widespread publicity through Werewolf leaflets and radio propaganda, and long after May 1945 the sabotage methods promoted by the Werewolves were still being used against the occupying powers.

    Although the Werewolves originally limited themselves to guerrilla warfare with the invading armies, they soon began to undertake scorched-earth measures and vigilante actions against German `collaborators' or `defeatists'. They damaged Germany's economic infrastructure, already battered by Allied bombing and ground fighting, and tried to prevent anything of value from falling into enemy hands. Attempts to blow up factories, power plants or waterworks occasionally provoked melees between Werewolves and desperate German workers trying to save the physical basis of their employment, particularly in the Ruhr and Upper Silesia.

    Several sprees of vandalism through stocks of art and antiques, stored by the Berlin Museum in a flak tower at Friedrichshain, caused millions of dollars worth of damage and cultural losses of inestimable value. In addition, vigilante attacks caused the deaths of a number of small-town mayors and, in late March 1945, a Werewolf paratroop squad assassinated the Lord Mayor of Aachen, Dr Franz Oppenhoff, probably the most prominent German statesman to have emerged in the occupied fringes over the winter of 1944-45. This spate of killings, part of a larger Nazi terror campaign that consumed the Third Reich after the failed anti-Hitler putsch of July 20th, 1944, can be interpreted as a psychological retreat back into opposition, even while Nazi leaders were still clinging to their last few months of power.

    Although the Werewolves managed to make themselves a nuisance to small Allied and Soviet units, they failed to stop or delay the invasion and occupation of Germany, and did not succeed in rousing the population into widespread opposition to the new order. The SS and Hitler Youth organisations at the core of the Werewolf movement were poorly led, short of supplies and weapons, and crippled by infighting. Their mandate was a conservative one of tactical harassment, at least until the final days of the war, and even when they did begin to envision the possibility of an underground resistance that could survive the Third Reich's collapse, they had to contend with widespread civilian war-weariness and fear of enemy reprisals. In Western Germany, no one wanted to do anything that would diminish the pace of Anglo-American advance and possibly thereby allow the Red Army to push further westward.

    Despite its failure, however, the Werewolf project had a huge impact, widening the psychological and spiritual gap between Germans and their occupiers. Werewolf killings and intimidation of `collaborators' scared almost everybody, giving German civilians a clear glimpse into the nihilistic heart of Nazism. It was difficult for people working under threat of such violence to devote themselves unreservedly to the initial tasks of reconstruction. Worse still, the Allies and Soviets reacted to the movement with extremely tough controls, curtailing the right of assembly of German civilians. Challenges of any sort were met by collective reprisals -- especially on the part of the Soviets and the French. In a few cases the occupiers even shot hostages and cleared out towns where instances of sabotage occurred. It was standard practice for the Soviets to destroy whole communities if they faced a single act of resistance. In the eastern fringes of the `Greater Reich', now annexed by the Poles and the Czechoslovaks, Werewolf harassment handed the new authorities an excuse to rush the deportations of millions of ethnic Germans to occupied Germany.

    Such policies were understandable, but they created an unbridgeable gulf between the German people and the occupation forces who had pledged to impose essential reforms. It was hard, in such conditions, for the occupiers to encourage reform, and even harder to persuade the Germans that it was necessary.

    By the time that this rough opposition to the occupation had started to soften, the Cold War was under way and reform became equally difficult to implement. As a result, both German states created in 1949 were not so dissimilar to their predecessor as might have been hoped, and changes in attitudes and institutions developed only slowly. Thanks partly to the Werewolves there was no German revolution in 1945, either imposed from above or generated from below.

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    Senior Member Count Lippe's Avatar
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    A couple of idiots and fanatics, but no match to the resistance in Iraq...

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    purify the soul CPLHUNTER's Avatar
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    I wonder what CNN would have to say if we starting handling Iraq like this:

    Despite its failure, however, the Werewolf project had a huge impact, widening the psychological and spiritual gap between Germans and their occupiers. Werewolf killings and intimidation of `collaborators' scared almost everybody, giving German civilians a clear glimpse into the nihilistic heart of Nazism. It was difficult for people working under threat of such violence to devote themselves unreservedly to the initial tasks of reconstruction. Worse still, the Allies and Soviets reacted to the movement with extremely tough controls, curtailing the right of assembly of German civilians. Challenges of any sort were met by collective reprisals -- especially on the part of the Soviets and the French. In a few cases the occupiers even shot hostages and cleared out towns where instances of sabotage occurred. It was standard practice for the Soviets to destroy whole communities if they faced a single act of resistance. In the eastern fringes of the `Greater Reich', now annexed by the Poles and the Czechoslovaks, Werewolf harassment handed the new authorities an excuse to rush the deportations of millions of ethnic Germans to occupied Germany.

    Maybe the heavy handed measures helped to prevent the resistance from being able to fully organize into an effective force?

    Not saying that we start killing everyone over there, but it's just interesting to see how things were done in the not so distant past...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPLHUNTER
    Maybe the heavy handed measures helped to prevent the resistance from being able to fully organize into an effective force?

    Not saying that we start killing everyone over there, but it's just interesting to see how things were done in the not so distant past...
    Actually I was a bit chocked the first time I heard that the western allies had used these methods of collective punishment. Christ I thought we were the good guys. After all it was doing these things in occupied europe that made the nazis the bad guys of all time.

    But the allies (western) didn't come close to the nazies in terms of using
    these methods. Perhaps a german resistance never rised precisely because the occupation wasn't brutal enough, at least compared to the recent hardship of war.

    The nazis on the other hand radicalized the population of, for example poland, in no time with their brutality from day one. And a polish resistance rised that would fight the germans, without wavering no matter how hard the nazis retaliated on the civilian population.

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    Member Jedburgh's Avatar
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    From the Nov-Dec 2004 issue of Armor magazine:

    The German Werewolf and the Iraqi Guerrilla
    madman. Members of the national and local leadership at virtually every level outlawed — members of an ousted criminal regime. Intelligentsia that resisted the movement, ruthlessly eliminated by a paranoid dictator, leaving a nation without a vital personnel infrastructure. Fiscal infrastructure decimated by the effects of war. American troops and military leaders forced to grapple with a fanatical resistance using guerrilla tactics to frustrate operations and influence the local population. An indifferent local populace
    that changes disposition from one block to another...

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    Senior Member a_very_ex_STAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPLHUNTER
    Does anyone know about the post WW2 Werewolf resistance movement?

    There seems to be some parallels between this group and the guerilla movement in Iraq...
    That's a very big post - inversely proportional to the size, significance and achievements of the supposed Werwolf resistance (dis)organization

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    Massgruàgschdemmiga Jarhead's Avatar
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    This damn Wehrwolf´s killed 16 people in my Hometown in the last days of WW II. Most of them where shot, and others where hanged.
    R.I.P

    Jarhead

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    Senior Member Wodan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nielsen
    Actually I was a bit chocked the first time I heard that the western allies had used these methods of collective punishment. Christ I thought we were the good guys. After all it was doing these things in occupied europe that made the nazis the bad guys of all time.

    But the allies (western) didn't come close to the nazies in terms of using
    these methods. Perhaps a german resistance never rised precisely because the occupation wasn't brutal enough, at least compared to the recent hardship of war.

    The nazis on the other hand radicalized the population of, for example poland, in no time with their brutality from day one. And a polish resistance rised that would fight the germans, without wavering no matter how hard the nazis retaliated on the civilian population.
    Winner writes history (TM)

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    Senior Member a_very_ex_STAB's Avatar
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    You can't really compare post WW2 Germany to the occupation in Iraq.

    In WW2 Germany was basically carpet bombed to fcuk and then invaded in order to rearrange the rubble. The population were completely beaten.

    Iraq was never carpet bombed in the same way. Although their military was comprehensively beaten on the battlefield the population were not blasted into total submission.

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    Senior Member Freibier's Avatar
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    The werewolve never really took off and it lacked public support right from the start. People were tired of the war and wanted peace and at least in West Germany, the allies got the "hearts and minds" campaign right (with japan, probably for the first and last time since )

    I think the insurgency in Iraq is more comparable to the partisan warfare in eastern europe during WWII.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sayeret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPLHUNTER
    I wonder what CNN would have to say if we starting handling Iraq like this:

    Despite its failure, however, the Werewolf project had a huge impact, widening the psychological and spiritual gap between Germans and their occupiers. Werewolf killings and intimidation of `collaborators' scared almost everybody, giving German civilians a clear glimpse into the nihilistic heart of Nazism. It was difficult for people working under threat of such violence to devote themselves unreservedly to the initial tasks of reconstruction. Worse still, the Allies and Soviets reacted to the movement with extremely tough controls, curtailing the right of assembly of German civilians. Challenges of any sort were met by collective reprisals -- especially on the part of the Soviets and the French. In a few cases the occupiers even shot hostages and cleared out towns where instances of sabotage occurred. It was standard practice for the Soviets to destroy whole communities if they faced a single act of resistance. In the eastern fringes of the `Greater Reich', now annexed by the Poles and the Czechoslovaks, Werewolf harassment handed the new authorities an excuse to rush the deportations of millions of ethnic Germans to occupied Germany.

    Maybe the heavy handed measures helped to prevent the resistance from being able to fully organize into an effective force?

    Not saying that we start killing everyone over there, but it's just interesting to see how things were done in the not so distant past...
    It would probably make a difference but whether or not it would help us in the long run, I can't say. Although I don't advocate that we start committing these acts. In the past though, almost always countries have used techniques that are considered inhumane by today's standards. Such as the British putting Boer civilians in internment camps, genocide of 80,000 members of the Herero and Namaka tribe members by the Germans, executing of Indian prisoners during the Indian rebellion of 1857.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wodan's Avatar
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    genocide of 80,000 members of the Herero and Namaka tribe members by the Germans,
    The hereros were armed, outnumbered the germans, the "genocide" is by numbers highly exaggerated, in that battle, the hereros illegally took lands they before sold to german colonists and killed them, that it was told the way its still thought to have happend, is mainly based on the fact that the german colonists were too ashamed to openly say how they got their ass kicked...

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    Member sipari's Avatar
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    http://www.paladin-press.com/detail.aspx?ID=1260

    It has some more info, otherwise not so special, interesting item to have anyway.

    Other bibliography:
    Fuller, J.F.C. Die entartete Kunst, Krieg zu fuhren 1789-1961. Koln: 1964.
    Goebbels, Josepf. Tagebucher. Hamburg: 1977.
    Grau, Karl-Friedrich. Schlesisches Inferno. Stuttgart: 1966.
    Lons, Herman. Der Werwolf. Jena: 1920.
    Rose, Arno. Werwolf 1944-1945. Stuttgart: 1980.
    Werwolf, Winke fur Jagdeinheinten. Berlin: 1945.
    Whiting, Charles. Werewolf, The Story of Nazi Resistance Movement, 1944-1945. London: 1972.

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    Senior Member Smok's Avatar
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    Werewolf wanted to kill my grandfather. They even sent him death sentence. But my grandpa was well trained soldier of polish underground army and later polish army during WW2 and he defended himself during attempt of his assasination. One Werewolf member was killed and two others have to flee.
    They attacked small police post (near city Ostroda) where my grandfather was (he was a policeman shortly after the war), but grandpa sprayed them from SMG and when they were suppresed by fire he threw hand grenade and killed one of the attackers. They never tried to kill my grandfather again.

  15. #15
    purify the soul CPLHUNTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh
    From the Nov-Dec 2004 issue of Armor magazine:

    The German Werewolf and the Iraqi Guerrilla
    Thanks for the link, good article

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