Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

German Kriegsmarine 1935-1945.

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Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

Postby ReinhardH » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:52 pm

I realize the chances are unlikely, but were there any Kriegsmarine officers who may have taken part in the Valkyrie plot that are known to have escaped undetected? Reason I ask is because my father was there that day, and relayed to me a funny story about an encounter he had. He was with the group of soldiers from the army weapons school in Berlin who were called up for the emergency.
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Re: Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

Postby Tom Houlihan » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:41 pm

I'm not very knowledgeable on the plot, but I can't recall hearing of any Kriegsmarine Offiziere. As the plot was based around the Ersatz Heer, it seems unlikely. Not necessarily impossible, but unlikely.
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Re: Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

Postby ReinhardH » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:59 pm

Ok, thanks, that's what I thought. I don't know much about the event either, and can't offhand recall mention of any branch of the Wehrmacht other than Heer being involved.
What got my interest was that dad had mentioned that he was there that day, so the most I've done since is a little online research.
I found an interesting article with Otto Ernst Remer's personal account of his role in the event, part of which corroborates exactly what my father told me:
http://library.flawlesslogic.com/remer.htm

Here's the pertinent excerpt from the Remer article:
"Due to the prevailing uncertainty and because of misunderstanding -- some thought that the guard regiments sealing off its designated area meant that it had mutinied -- on two occasions my regiment came within a hair's breadth of being fired on by other units. At the Fehrbelliner Platz an armored brigade had assembled at the order of the conspirators, but an order radioed by Lt. General Guderian removed it from the conspirators' control. 
Thereafter this unit undertook reconnaissance and mistakenly concluded that the guard regiment "Grossdeutschland" was on the side of the conspirators and had apprehended Reich Minister Goebbels. Several of the brigade's tanks advanced tentatively, and bloodshed could have been a near thing had I not intervened personally to clear up the confusion.
The same thing happened in front of the Bendlerblock, the Headquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army, when a Panzergrenadier company tried to take over from my guard, which had been authorized by the Fuhrer. The energetic intervention of officers from my regiment made possible a clarification at the last moment and prevented German soldiers from firing on each other. Here too the question "Hitler -- with him or against him?" proved decisive."


Dad recalls that while at the army weapons school, one day out of the blue and under highly emergent conditions, they were handed combat gear and automatic weapons "the likes of which we wished we'd had in Russia". All they knew was that they were responding to an emergency somewhere in Berlin. Allied bombing raids were already taking their toll on the city and the civilian population, so firefighter or rescue duty wasn't out of the question at that point. No military vehicles were available to them, so they had to commandeer buses, trucks, streetcars, whatever was available at the time to get to wherever they were ordered to go as fast as possible.
Once they got there, he recalls watching his commanding officer not far up ahead, engaged in a very heated discussion with a commander of the unit which was already in place. Said they were prepared to fire on the other German unit there, but the situation was defused before it got to that point.
As a result, his unit wound up standing guard around some building complex, orders were to let no one in and no one out. The guards cordoning off the complex couldn't have been posted very close together, because at some point dad saw someone sneaking out of a back door of the building he was standing 'guard' behind. The individual was clearly trying to make an inconspicuous exit from the building, and in the process, happened to be headed directly towards where my father was standing. As the 'escapee' moved closer, dad saw that he was an elderly gentleman in a Kriegsmarine uniform of considerable rank. Having already had enough of the military and of his year in Russia and of the politics, all dad felt he was obliged to do at that point was to give his superior officer a simple salute as the old man passed by 8)
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Re: Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

Postby hucks216 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:29 am

Claus von Stauffenberg's brother Berthold was a Kriegsmarine officer and was with the Valkyrie plotters in Berlin on the fateful day. It was Berthold that bent the pliers and put rubber around the handles to enable his brother to grip them better when the time came to set the fuzes.

And also not forgetting Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, although he was linked to the resistance long before the Valkyrie plot.

Source: Countdown To Valkyrie by Nigel Jones (ISBN 978-1-84832-508-1)
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Re: Kriegsmarine officers and Valkyrie..

Postby ReinhardH » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:11 pm

Thanks! Naturally I'm curious as to who that officer may have been .. whether he was a conspirator who tried to escape, or if he was just someone who happened to be there that day, and was just trying to get as far away from the fracas as possible.

Dad never mentioned how long his unit was actually there, but he left me with the impression that their role was minimal, and that they calmly returned to the school that same day to go about their normal business after the situation around the buildings was defused.
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