British Free Corps

Foxbat

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Motivations are never made clear regarding Morgen but I’m left with the impression that he was a real stickler for the rules and the processes around them.....almost obsessively so. I do actually wonder if he might have been autistic...
 

paranoid marvin

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He could only prosecute in relation to legal and illegal activities under German law. It's beyond comprehension, but at that time (under German law) the a camp commandant could be found guilty of illegal killings and embezzlement but not managing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. Presumably the reason he didn't disappear' is that he (according to Wiki) was ordered to carry out the investigation by Himmler himself.
 

paranoid marvin

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Motivations are never made clear regarding Morgen but I’m left with the impression that he was a real stickler for the rules and the processes around them.....almost obsessively so. I do actually wonder if he might have been autistic...

It seems that he did his job, in that he prosecuted those who broke the law. He couldn't do anything about the death camps ; if he had tried to he almost certainly would have ended up dead or disappeared.
 

-K2-

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Wasn't just French equipment that the Germans captured and reused.
View attachment 69303
View attachment 69304

You might want to recheck these. No pilot of any 'established' air corps would trade their own nations aircraft they have long trained in for another nations. But, every established nation had similarly marked (their own), other enemy nations (and in the case of the Japanese, German...Soviet, U.S.) aircraft, if they could get them.

What you most likely have there are captured aircraft used for testing to determine EXACTLY how capable and more importantly what were the flaws and limitations of enemy planes. They'd re-mark them so the plane would not be mistaken for an enemy craft, flying them if possible. In many cases, they'd have to re-assemble aircraft from many others that were cannibalized for parts. Unfortunately, when they did that wrong it ended up with either disastrous results or perhaps worse still, they underestimated the enemies capabilities.

For fun, look up why the German, Italian, and Japanese liquid cooled engines (like from the Bf-109, MC.202/205, Ki-61) are almost identical to British versions--but--are upside down.

K2
 
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-K2-

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The British had RAFwaffer aka No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight RAF
and the Germans had Zirkus Rosarius [Rosarius' Circus?]
I'm sure the Japanese and Americans did something similar.
Yes, everyone did. Besides testing capabilities (of which you can find extensive test-to-failure declassified data), they would often use other designs to drive their own developments (although, the German's much less so, "Es ist perfekt," a common phrase used by German designers and engineers to this day, hehe).

As to making use of enemy trucks, tanks and so on...When forced to walk hundreds of miles carrying a lot of gear, every nation's soldiers made use of what they could find to ease the journey (carts, bikes, motorcycles, cars, trucks, tanks, horses, mules, oxen, camels, goats, dogs...etc.). The only trouble being, making them keep pace with those without (slower) and being willing to 'walk away from it' when it ran out of fuel or broke down.

Tanks, planes, guns, and so on can be argued from now till doomsday...What cannot be, is the ability to move troops and materials en-masse to keep combat troops supplied (logistics). To that end, it's easy to understand why the lowly Jimmy or Deuce and a Half is credited with American successes:





K2
 
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CupofJoe

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I remember a quote about the 2.5 ton truck being the most important military vehicle on the Western Front.
And it is a thing of beauty, for a certain point of view ;)
 

paranoid marvin

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I remember a quote about the 2.5 ton truck being the most important military vehicle on the Western Front.
And it is a thing of beauty, for a certain point of view ;)

On the Eastern Front what really hindered the Germans at the beginning of Barbarossa were supply lines. It's incredible just how similar it went to the French invasion of Russia a century earlier. Invade with a massive army, drawing further and further in, extending supply lines to breaking point and constantly moving forward. Suddenly you find that your hundreds of miles inside Russia, you've no supplies, Winter is coming in and suddenly you're being encircled by the Russian army.
 

Venusian Broon

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On the Eastern Front what really hindered the Germans at the beginning of Barbarossa were supply lines. It's incredible just how similar it went to the French invasion of Russia a century earlier. Invade with a massive army, drawing further and further in, extending supply lines to breaking point and constantly moving forward. Suddenly you find that your hundreds of miles inside Russia, you've no supplies, Winter is coming in and suddenly you're being encircled by the Russian army.
Essentially they had little petrol/diesel - even early in the war - so having fleets of trucks build even a simple logistics system was more-or-less impossible. They were banking on being able to use the Russian rail network so they could use their more abundant coal, but 1) it was a different gauge to the German one, so adapting it would take a long time and/or 2) the Russian did a great job in destroying stock and infrastructure so they couldn't really even use captured Soviet equipment.

However it should be pointed out, that even the Allies that were swimming in oil - the US and UK - had pretty severe problems trying to get petrol and supplies from Normandy after the breakout and that was France. Tanks can get pretty far in attacks, a couple of hundred kilometers say, but when they run out of petrol, it's always difficult to get enough to the tip of the advance.
 

Foxbat

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Once again this book has surprised me. I had no idea there was a muslin Waffen SS division. I’ve found this web page that some might find interesting
 

Montero

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I've tried looking for it and can only find a reference to Cary Grant in a film, however one of the PoW stories I read years back, I'm sure had a story in it about one British PoW agree to make a propaganda broadcast on behalf of the Nazis. He got top notch travel to Berlin, best food in a hotel and then repeated all their propaganda putting a big finish on it of "I want you to tell everyone what I've said. I want you to tell it to the Army, tell it to the Navy, but above all tell it to the Marines."
 

BigBadBob141

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Odd thing really, saw a documentary recently about the way the British gathered intelligence, if they captured a high ranking German officer they would put him up in a very nice country house where he would get all the comforts of home.
He would be free to roam the house and talk to other prisoners, but unknown to them the house was completely bugged, in the cellars teams of German speakers, a lot of them German Jews, recorded on discs and wrote down all that was said.
But the odd thing to me was among the information gathered was a lot of evidence about the Holocaust and war crimes that had been committed and who had committed them, but instead of using this info for war crime trials at the end of the war it was all hushed up because, and I do not really understand this, they were worried that people would find out that they were bugging private conversations among prisoners, as if this was somehow shameful, they would rather let war criminals escape then have this method of intelligence gathering reveiled to the world, even thou Churchill wanted to go ahead and try them even if the bugging was reveiled!
 

paranoid marvin

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Odd thing really, saw a documentary recently about the way the British gathered intelligence, if they captured a high ranking German officer they would put him up in a very nice country house where he would get all the comforts of home.
He would be free to roam the house and talk to other prisoners, but unknown to them the house was completely bugged, in the cellars teams of German speakers, a lot of them German Jews, recorded on discs and wrote down all that was said.
But the odd thing to me was among the information gathered was a lot of evidence about the Holocaust and war crimes that had been committed and who had committed them, but instead of using this info for war crime trials at the end of the war it was all hushed up because, and I do not really understand this, they were worried that people would find out that they were bugging private conversations among prisoners, as if this was somehow shameful, they would rather let war criminals escape then have this method of intelligence gathering reveiled to the world, even thou Churchill wanted to go ahead and try them even if the bugging was reveiled!

Perhaps the important thing was more the gaining of information rather than the prosecution of individuals. Let everyone know how you find out your secrets and suddenly everyone shuts up and you get no more intelligence. Then there was still the 'not the done thing among gentlemen' attitude at that time that war had to be 'played' by gentlemanly rules, especially between officers and probably moreso if they were Wehrmacht (rather than SS etc.)

Still, no-one was involved in the atrocities should have gotten away with it.
 

sknox

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>It's incredible just how similar it went to the French invasion of Russia a century earlier.
I have a much-treasured copy of War and Peace, which I found in a used book store back when I was a kid. It was printed in 1942. Forward by the famous Clifton Fadiman. But the great bit is the interior pages. What's that called that isn't the cover but is on the paper on the inside?

Anyway, there in the front is a map of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. And on the back end is a map of Hitler's invasion. Here's a picture of the book (mind is in about this condition)1600218061107.png

and here's a picture of the Napoleon map.

1600218172053.png


Even as a kid I recognized how extraordinary this was. 1942. The maps were a kind of statement of hope.
 

Foxbat

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Perhaps the important thing was more the gaining of information rather than the prosecution of individuals.
This is the way I see it too. We have to look at it in the context of the rising Cold War. Nazis could provide a lot of information on Soviet units, etc. Not only that but they also had knowledge of policing infrastructure in a country that was in ruins. I think keeping civil order in a starving and desperate population would have been important and the Nazis could provide a lot of help. There are stories of prominent local nazis being kept in their positions after the war to provide such stability.

On the subject of ‘the gentlemanly thing’, it appears that Churchill wanted many of these individuals executed without trial and it was primarily Roosevelt that persuaded him otherwise. I don’t know if this is true but it’s something I believe Churchill would have at least considered. For all I believe he was the right leader at the right time for the UK, many of his previous actions showed him to be a thoroughly ruthless man if necessary.
 

paranoid marvin

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This is the way I see it too. We have to look at it in the context of the rising Cold War. Nazis could provide a lot of information on Soviet units, etc. Not only that but they also had knowledge of policing infrastructure in a country that was in ruins. I think keeping civil order in a starving and desperate population would have been important and the Nazis could provide a lot of help. There are stories of prominent local nazis being kept in their positions after the war to provide such stability.

On the subject of ‘the gentlemanly thing’, it appears that Churchill wanted many of these individuals executed without trial and it was primarily Roosevelt that persuaded him otherwise. I don’t know if this is true but it’s something I believe Churchill would have at least considered. For all I believe he was the right leader at the right time for the UK, many of his previous actions showed him to be a thoroughly ruthless man if necessary.

Yes I agree. Churchill was absolutely a 'war time ruler' a bit like Wellesley had been; what was needed in war time , but maybe not really the right man for the job diplomatically when it came to peacetime rule.
 

mosaix

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Regarding keeping sources of intelligence secret: The reason why the breaking of Enigma was a secret for so long is that Britain distributed captured Enigma machines to Commonwealth governments after the war assuring them that they were uncrackable. For years the U.K. was reading the diplomatic signals of multiple foreign countries.
 

Venusian Broon

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On the subject of ‘the gentlemanly thing’, it appears that Churchill wanted many of these individuals executed without trial and it was primarily Roosevelt that persuaded him otherwise.
I seriously doubt this.

There is a famous exchange from Tehran 1943 when the big 3 met that Churchill himself wrote (I believe this is from his 'History of the Second World War, Vol 4):

Stalin, as Hopkins recounts, indulged in a great deal of “teasing” of me, which I did not at all resent until the Marshal entered in a genial manner upon a serious and even deadly aspect of the punishment to be inflicted upon the Germans.

The German General Staff, he said, must be liquidated. The whole force of Hitler’s mighty armies depended upon about fifty thousand officers and technicians. If these were rounded up and shot at the end of the war, German military strength would be extirpated.

On this I thought it right to say: “The British Parliament and public will never tolerate mass executions. Even if in war passion they allowed them to begin, they would turn violently against those responsible after the first butchery had taken place. The Soviets must be under no delusion on this point.”

Stalin however, perhaps only in mischief, pursued the subject. “Fifty thousand,” he said, “must be shot.” I was deeply angered. “I would rather,” I said, “be taken out into the garden here and now and be shot myself than sully my own and my country’s honour by such infamy.”

At this point the President intervened. He had a compromise to propose. Not fifty thousand should be shot, but only forty-nine thousand. By this he hoped, no doubt, to reduce the whole matter to ridicule. Eden also made signs and gestures intended to reassure me that it was all a joke.



It should be noted that the British had by 1941 being picking up official German messages detailing massacres and thus by 1943 with even further evidence I assume they would have been partially aware of the genocidal nature of Nazi occupation of foreign lands and some inkling as to its scale.

I don't know who of Churchill and Roosevelt fully believed Stalin's similar liquidation of the Polish army by the killing of ~15,000 officers at Katyn forest, which had been broadcast by the Nazi's earlier in the year when they had discovered the grave site. I'd guess they probaby did believe it, so that was perhaps the reason Churchill was angry with the comment, he knew that Stalin was probably not joking as he'd done it already.
 

Montero

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Regarding Enigma, I hadn't heard that one, but I had heard that the Russians scooped up Enigma machines through Eastern Europe and we listened in on those until they were phased out, I think it was sixties.
 
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