WHAT IF SEPP DEITRICH DIED IN GREECE 1941?

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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WHAT IF SEPP DEITRICH DIED IN GREECE 1941?

Post by 2311Marine » Thu May 13, 2004 8:14 am

To All,

Have a what if question. In 1941 some where in Greece I believe, Sepp Deitrich escaped death when they ran into a hidden British machine gun nest while traveling down a road in his command vehicle. What if Sepp Deitrich didn't make it out of that situation? Who would have succeeded him? Would it have hurt or helped the division in the up coming events (RUSSIA)?

In past books and memoirs Sepp Deitrich's leadership skills have been called into question. So woud the division had faired better under someone else?

Thoughts?

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Post by Das Reich » Thu May 13, 2004 12:30 pm

I think Sepp's attitude gave alot of his soldiers that rugged determination.

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Post by Roger Griffiths » Fri May 14, 2004 2:18 pm

Sepp Dietrich was a sergeant major at end of WWI. That was probably his career maximum potential. Because he was Adolf's main personal bodyguard in the early days, he got preferrment. Von Runstedt called him 'decent but stupid'. I don't know about 'decent', he shot Ernst Roehm. Adolf ignored him if he gave any opinions on operations in military conferences.

Having said that, Sepp Dietrich (Dietrich = picklock, hence key insignia of LSSAH) mothered LSSAH like any good sergeant major and the Division loved him. The technicalities were looked after by Lehrmann (IA) who was a military intellectual. Sepp Dietrich was a good leader of men and LSSAH was an outstanding Division.

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Post by Timo » Sat May 15, 2004 11:10 am

Very good characterized Roger. I'd like to add that, apart from allready being above his intellectual maximum, Divisional command was definitely the top of his other leadership abilities, despite the help of a good staff and very capable Regimental and Battalion commanders. It was complete nonsense to make him commander of an Korps or Armee.
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Dietrich

Post by Uncle Joe » Sun May 16, 2004 10:40 am

Hmm, Heinz Gunther Guderian´s recent history of the 116. Panzerdivision (Aberjona edition) disagrees with Timo´s and Roger´s comments. I don´t have the book handy, but the book has several very positive comments on Dietrich. HGG quotes letter (written after the invasion) from his CO who comments that Dietrich is the only higher commander with a grasp of real situation.

Seems that lot of negative comments on Dietrich come from the PC people. Wiesels, I call them.

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Post by Roger Griffiths » Sun May 16, 2004 11:25 am

Uncle Joe, descending to personal insults does'nt enhance your opinion. None of us on here are anti-German in any shape, way, or form. No doubt Dietrich, like most general's, and most troops, in Normandy knew they were on a loser, soon after things got under way. You did'nt have to be a intellectual giant to realize that.

Dietrich was a very good leader of men, and I have never picked up an action where the LSSAH disappointed. Commanding, at times over 20,000 men, is no mean feat.

Roger

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Post by Nibelung » Tue May 18, 2004 8:22 am

which means, he was suitable for the divisional command? (no sarcasm behind that)

they never dissapointed...sepp must have been the man for the job then...
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Post by ericv » Tue May 18, 2004 9:34 am

No.. I don't think so.. There were a lot more capable SS-officers out there..

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Post by Nibelung » Tue May 18, 2004 9:37 am

what do youz think about felix steiner of Wiking?
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Post by ericv » Tue May 18, 2004 9:41 am

I have a high regard of both Steiner and Hausser's military capabilities.. (and of LSSAH, Das Reich, Totenkopf and Wiking!!) I do think that Dietrich and Eicke were not really at their place as divisional commanders despite the high decorations.

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Post by Nibelung » Tue May 18, 2004 9:44 am

i agree with you on Eicke.
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Post by ericv » Tue May 18, 2004 9:53 am

I am open to criticism however. Being "adored" by the men of LSSAH (so that they will do everything for that leader) and at the same time having very capable subordinate officers to effectively lead the soldiers into a battle can be a good combination.. It sometimes reminds me of the Afrika Korps.. no matter what German officer led the Afrika Korps or one of its divisions, all the soldiers always gave their best (I think because of Rommel, although I must say that I have a higher regard for Rommel's tactical/operational capabilities then i do of Dietrich's capabilities)

Bottomline is that both Rommel and Dietrich (and also Eicke) inspired their soldiers to great deeds.. That can be worth more than a brilliant general..

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Post by Nibelung » Tue May 18, 2004 10:41 am

yes, if i wouldn't check your post i would mention the DAK too...i think that is the reason that the german army/SS was so succesfull although it lost the war, they knew how to wake up the battle spirit of men which the officers led into battle...

i read some memories of slovenes drafted in the wehrmacht and they speak very highly of officers as beeing tough, inspirational leaders with a sense for their men...(i'm not sayin' that was the image of every officer, it just seem's they knew how to give men confidence in what they were doing)
There are no desperate situations, there are only desperate people. - Heinz Guderian
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Post by ericv » Tue May 18, 2004 11:02 am

Maybe because most of these officers served in WW I, so they knew what it was like and knew what to say to "ease the spirits" or convey in any other manner to the ordinary soldier that they understood what it was like to be in the frontline.. I don;t know really..

But, like you sau, without a doubt they were able to awaken some kind of spirit within the ranks of their soldiers.

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Post by 2311Marine » Tue May 18, 2004 12:16 pm

I was reading a part in STEEL INFERNO and either didn't realize or forgot that another SS General was a SgtMaj during WWI, Kurt Meyer. Now he inspired and was from what I can tell a good leader. Although he soiled his rep by killing British POWs in Normandy.

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