How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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Hans
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Hans » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:08 am

re Christianity and the SS all I am able to say is that my uncle [Nordland] was a devout Catholic all his life and never missed any opportunity to attend Mass, either before, during or after his service including his time as a POW. I would hardly think he was on his own. As for destroying churches etc., I think he would have shot himself first.

Ah the propaganda machine. Where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction?

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Matthias Fritz » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:17 am

I see that i must explain what i meant with SS oposition towords christianity ! Himmlers and SS goal was to make their own religion, the NAZI religion, for example take alook at SS mariages, high ranking SS officers were maried by Himmler himself and not in the church !!!Himmler belive that the church is the oposition toword nazism but on the other hand he copy almoust everything from the church even his Wewelsburg casel was considerd to be made as Vatikan, you can see that on the planes that were made by SS !!! If you compare Nazi parades you can also see a lott of simolism taken from the church !
Early SS members, later Waffen SS solders from SS Lah, Das Raich and Totenkopf divisions hade in many ocasions estroyed chrucifixes when they ocupaying France and ther dids in Russia were even more haitful towords christianity and that is the fact and not some alies mit !!!
I also belive that early waffen SS solders were much more nazi indoctrinated than later and that also the fact !!!

Please understand that i have nothing ageinst waffen SS solders, on the other hand i have the highest respect and admiration towords them !!! There simply some question that buders me and i woud like to hear some sort of explanation !
The only real witness that i took to abouth all that was my grandfather but now he is dead for many years and i coud not raise that question any more !!! I am more than happy that so many real waffen SS vets participate in my post and coud only thank you for that !!!
Abouth HJ boys participating in defence of their country i found that quit normal since germany was under havy tret at that time, can you emagine the fear that was cosed by russian trups who were acualy alued by their comanders to rape and destroy german wiliges, towns for one houl month withut mercy and on the other hand alies forces which included Polish and French solders who were also full of vengance, so what coud nazi germany do, exept fight until they can and they did and so woud i !!!

Matthias

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Cott Tiger » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:44 am

phylo_roadking wrote:
it’s child members conducted active war-time duties, were used as reserve manpower-pool and as we all know were eventually used as front-line combat troops.
The Home Guard's bottom age limit in the UK was "officially" 17...with literally hundreds of listed exceptions locally of 16 year-olds in the ranks. Conscription into the British Army officially began at 18 - so it can be said that the British ALSO had "children" - not of legal majority - carrying out active war-time duties. By the way - are you aware that in the last two years of the Home Guards' existence in the UK before Stand-down in December 1944...under the 1942 National Service Act membership of the Home Guard at 17 was ALSO COMPULSORY??? :wink: And in the UK there was NO 10-20% avoiding it!!!

As for the militarism of the Boy Scouts...even THEY realised it!!! And had to do something about it...

http://www.netpages.free-online.co.uk/sha/military.htm
Phylo,

You are talking here about the Home Guard, not the Boy Scout movement. As we all know the British Home Guard was a military defence organization. The Boy Scout movement was not, hence I don’t see how bringing it up here is entirely relevant. Most if not all modern armies enlist/recruit people in their eighteenth year of age (i.e.17). As we all know, the Hitlerjugend differentiates itself as children as young as twelve were eventually seeing front-line combat.

So the argument stands. The Boy Scouts, unlike the HJ, were not a compulsory paramilitary organisation of a political party and it’s member were not put on active war-time duties and they certainly didn’t see any front line combat of any kind. These are clear and fundamental differences.

Regards,

André
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Cott Tiger » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:05 am

Hans wrote::D Andre,

There may have been some differences. However the aim was the same and that was/is to subvert the young to the will of the State. If Gerhard and many other members of the organisations devoted to youth eg. H.J., BDM, Boy Scouts, Jung Volk, Boys Brigades, School Cadet Units etc,. etc. are amiss in their appreciation of what was/is going on then of course I have been lied to, and you Andre of course are right. I can't help thinking however that I am right in remembering my primary & secondary education here in the land down under in the 50s which relied heavily on racism and anti Judaism. Then there was my military service in the 60s which certainly tried to convince me that if you were Asian you were somehow less than a human being. Actualy I was quite dismayed at what they all tried to teach me and luckily had my German mother and Polish stepfather to deprogram me. Incidently my mother belonged to a Catholic Youth Group and never had pressure put on her to join anything else. Then again the photos could also be a figment.

Then again, my university lecturers must also have lied to me and thus alas my many years of tertiary education have been wasted on me and my fellows. Damn, and here I am a British subject, and thought I knew it all, by divine right.

Ah well, really the only thing I ever learned is that I know nothing, but at least nothing is something, therefore ....... .

Back to the tons of paper - why I bother I don't know. Bound to be all a fabrication.

- Hans
Hi Hans,

What exactly makes you believe that the aim of the Boy Scots "was/is to subvert the young to the will of the State". Having been through Cubs and Scouts myself and with my son being a young “Beaver” (part of the Scouting organisation) I find that a rather bizarre statement.

In fact the Scout Method is entirely juxtaposed from your belief. It encourages young people to become independent, healthy, helpful and happy citizens.

I don’t really get the rest of your post. Western Society in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s was rife with racist, xenophobic sentiments etc. (to some extent it still is). I don’t think anybody is denying that. However, I don’t see what relevance that has to the debate that Boy Souts were no different from the HJ.

As for your German mother managing to avoid the compulsory membership of the HJ, she was obviously part of the 10% or so that managed to avoid it. Roughly eight million of her peers did not. (Note: it was far easier for girls to avoid the HJ call-up than it was teenage boys).

Regards,

André
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Cott Tiger » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:16 am

Hi Guys,

Interestingly I am reading “A Woman in Berlin” at the moment. It is the anonymous diary of a civilian woman living in Berlin written during the last few week of the war and the initial period of Soviet occupation.

Just this morning I read the following passage about how she felt when she saw HJ boys as young as twelve heading towards the front-line and peering out from under their over-sized steel helmets:
Up to now a being a soldier meant being a man. And being a man means being able to father a child. Wasting these boys before they reach maturity obviously runs against some fundamental law of nature, against our instinct, against every drive to preserve the species. Like certain fish or insects that eat their own offspring. People aren’t supposed to do that. The fact that this exactly what we are doing is a sure sign of madness
Regards,

André
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:01 pm

As we all know the British Home Guard was a military defence organization. The Boy Scout movement was not, hence I don’t see how bringing it up here is entirely relevant. Most if not all modern armies enlist/recruit people in their eighteenth year of age (i.e.17). As we all know, the Hitlerjugend differentiates itself as children as young as twelve were eventually seeing front-line combat.

So the argument stands. The Boy Scouts, unlike the HJ, were not a compulsory paramilitary organisation of a political party and it’s member were not put on active war-time duties and they certainly didn’t see any front line combat of any kind. These are clear and fundamental differences
No, Andre - if you look back through the thread I'm talking about under-military age service during the war in Britain. It was at certain non-adult ages as compulsory as in Germany....AND was far more rigorously policed as far as I can see. There was no de facto "get-out" for compsulory service at 17 as there was in Germany....IF despite the verious attempts to enforce compulsory membership of the HJ...you simply weren't in it!
Most if not all modern armies enlist/recruit people in their eighteenth year of age (i.e.17)
Yes - but you're forgetting something. AS OF WWII...in Britain anyway...what was the age of majority??? 21 :wink:

In the UK - Call-Up to the regular services was NOT 17 - it was a boy's 18th birthday. The National Service Act closed the manpower resource loophole between the end of some type of secondary-level education sometime in a boy's sixteenth year...and his 18th birthday.

My argument about the similarity of the HJ to other period youth organisations is the balance of fieldcraft vs. other types of...learning...and the level of paramilitary-style organisation applied to each movement. 1933-39 and on into the first years of the war, the time split between fieldcraft and learning/drilling was roughly similar.

Regarding the wartime service of children in the UK...it actually began BEFORE Germany in ONE respect! Remember the "Fire Guard Messengers"; with a general lack of radio communications for civil defence and telephone communications prone to disruption by air raids, many towns appointed children volunteers aged between 14 and 18 as messengers or runners - beginning in 1939! These Fire Guard Messengers would run or cycle through the night raids ferrying messages between ARPs and the fire brigade units and fire watchers volunteers with their buckets of sand and stirrup pumps.
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by gerhard2 » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:57 pm

How on earth can anyone compare the Hitler jugend of up to 1943 with the Hitler jugend of 1944 till wars end.
I was in the Hitler jugend until early 1943. Hans mentioned Klein kaliber drill. Well I did not handle a gun, .22 or otherwise until basic training after joining up. If the Hitler jugend was a paramilitary organization I must have ben asleep. I just find it incredulous how some people here can know and tell me what I did and saw wether it was Hitler jugend, Waffen SS or the POW camp.
And Andre saying:
"In fact the Scout Method is entirely juxtaposed from your belief. It encourages young people to become independent, healthy, helpful and happy citizens."
I thought that was the Hitler jugend method too to become independent, healthy, helpful and happy citizens. Add patriotic and change citizen for German.
The rest is just the usual propaganda klap-trap
Gerhard

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by John P. Moore » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:10 pm

Funk & Wagnalls' dictionary has the following definition of Paramilitary - "Having a military structure although not officially military; capable of becoming, replacing or supplementing a military force: said of certain political movements, etc" Therefore, it would seem to be a bit of a stretch to consider the Hitler Jugend to be a paramilitary organization. I'm thinking that the German Grenzschütz or US Border Patrol would be better examples of paramilitary organizations.

John

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:17 pm

Hans mentioned Klein kaliber drill. Well I did not handle a gun, .22 or otherwise until basic training after joining up.
Conversely - I know my father in the later 1940's enjoyed range time with a .22 with HIS "organisation" - the BB when on Summer Camp on the Isle of Man! :shock: It was regarded as a special treat and reserved for "camp".

There's ONE aspecty of period teenage life in the UK that is however VERY relevant....and DOES fall into John's definition...
THE FIRST WORLD WAR
In 1914, the first World War, there was a big expansion of the Cadet Force, the War Office took over the administration, and continued until 1923 when control and administration reverted to the Territorial Army Associations. In that year 1923, the government ceased to recognise the Cadet Force, taking away all financial support. This was a very difficult period for everyone, but the voluntary spirit that had been it's greatest strength in the early days, once again came to the surface. Everything that was required had to be paid for by individuals, and even the wearing of Regimental badges and buttons was forbidden, it certainly was a difficult and unhappy time.

BRITISH NATIONAL CADET ASSOCIATION (BNCA)
Trying to keep the Cadet Force alive and at the same time to get back government support, brought about the formation of the BNCA (British National Cadet Association). By 1932 the BNCA had gained recognition and achieved some measure of success, and was allowed - under the guidance of the Territorial Army Associations - to run the Cadet Force.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Shortly after the start of the Second World War (1939 - 1945) saw a massive expansion of all the Cadet Forces, not only the Army Cadet and Sea Cadets, but included the formation of the Air Training Corps. By 1942 the War Office - known today as the Ministry of Defence - took over the administration of the ACF once again, giving it support beyond the members wildest dreams. Uniforms were provided - free, they had rifles issued, although they were from the Boer War period!, camps were set up and assistance given to help run them and train the Cadets. The War Certificate 'A' Parts 1 and 2 were then the Proficiency Tests for training, with the red star worn on the arm of uniforms similar to your APC blue stars of today. At one period there were more than 140,000 Army Cadets serving, though not without problems to find officers and instructors to run the cadet detachments throughout the country. Most fit and able bodied men were already in the forces or committed members of the Home Guard or other Emergency Services. Working hours for the civilian population were extended to help the 'war effort', few people had spare time to be involved with Cadets or for that matter any other activities
.
The early months of the 1939‑45 war were a matter of ‘shadow boxing’. This period of the 'Phoney War' (as it became known) ended with stunning suddenness when the enemy launched the blitzkrieg. In a matter of weeks nearly all Europe, from Norway to the South of France, was under German occupation. The analogy with 1860 was inescapable: the Army in disarray and the threat of the invasion immanent. 1860 brought about the birth of the cadet movement: 1940 was to bring about its expansion to undreamed of heights.

The expansion was ordered in 1941 and was put in hand by County Territorial Associations. Units sprang up almost overnight, many of them based on boys' clubs, which provided recruits, premises and sometimes leaders in one package. There was a great air of improvisation in the early days, and some units were virtually private armies. The title 'Cadet Force' was changed to 'Army Cadet Force' and Officers were commissioned by Lord Lieutenants.

Everything had to be provided by privately raised money and even the wearing of Regimental badges were forbidden. Fortunately a voluntary body known as the British National Cadet Association (BNCA) was formed to run the Cadet Force and regain its official recognition.

In 1932, official recognition was restored and by 1936 certain services and small grants were provided but it took World War Two to make the War Office fully accept the Cadet Force again. In January 1942 there was another big expansion. The War Office took over the organisation, equipment and accommodation of the ACF. They also increased grants and free uniforms were authorised.

Gradually this spirited but often unruly force was brought under closer control. Most Companies (as detachments were then called) were organised into battalions, often 800 to 1,000 strong. County Regiments, to which Battalions were badged, provided permanent staff instructors. Capitation grants had been introduced, and TA Associations put finance on a firm basis. Regular Army units with their war commitments could give little help with training (though permanent establishments such as Infantry Training Centres gave valuable assistance with camps and courses). The main professional support was provided by 'Travelling Wings', each consisting of about half a dozen officers, WO’s and NCOs drawn from a variety of units and arms. By 1944 the ACF had shaken down into a well‑organised body providing many recruits for the forces, a fairly high proportion of whom became officers and NCOs
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:43 pm

You can just imagine the reaction of a kid who's been in the Cadets for several years...looking forward to wartime officer training...then at 17 instead of the Home Guard for a year - his number has a 0 or 9 at the end and he ends up down the mines!!! :shock: IIRC there's a VERY short film clip interview of two boys in the "Home Front" episode of The World At War that this happened to - including one that was obviously born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth...and he's putting a good face on it - but you can tell he's not a happy camper!!! :D
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Hans » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:44 pm

Gerhard, Gerhard, Gerhard,

You were there, so what like my relatives can you possibly know? :wink:

I don't think the small calibre weapons are an issue. Boys used them then and now. If the HJ did use them in some units, at least the boys learned how to handle them safely. If other units like yours did not use them, then there was probably a reason, ie they did not have any. My father, according to my mother did not have a rifle until I think week two of the Polish campaign, as there were not enough to go round, so I hardly think that providing small calibre rifles to the HJ would have been a priority.

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Matthias Fritz » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:28 am

You can exept the fact that HJ organisation was based upon military structure and HJ boys were trained and indoctrinaed to become part of waffen SS and other nazi groupings, so i belive that some HJ units receved diferente training than others and that inwolws learning how to use wepens too ! How come that the HJ boys were skiled to use anti aircraft guns if as some of you stated, didnt receve any practise with wepens !?
Once again i have to say that i understand why HJ was used in defence of Berlin and why they become part of Waffen SS ( 12 HJ SS divison ), they receved nazi indoctrination their entair life and nazis coud realay on them that they will fight until the bitter end !
If one is told his entaier life that he is better, even superior compared to all other nations, it is normal that such thinking is exepted by yung boys who realy fight without any fear ( adlist they didnt show any fear ) ither ageinst russians in Berlin or as members of 12 SS HJ in Normandy !
I remember seeing a documentary abouth normandy battles and how did american vet discraibed yung waffen SS solders, his statment was that they hade to be droged to fight in such fearlesnes and being killed was nothing for them ! I belive that that was not some drug efect but simply efective indoctrination that made yung SS solders to fight like real "supermensch" !
I think that we coud compare their fanatisem to the one we see at arabs terorist groups this days, they have also lack of fear of losing their lifes, thinking that they will, by geting killed in some terorist act, enter some sort of haven !

Matthias

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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Cott Tiger » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:29 am

Gerhard and Hans,

Not everyone has exactly the same experiences in war or in life and it is perhaps unwise to state otherwise.
Gerhard states he never did any military training in the HJ. However, many other people who went through HJ tell a different story. Are they all liars, just because their story isn’t the same as Gerhard’s. This constant, just because one single Vet says it happened like that therefore it must have happened like for that everyone is tiresome.
In 1936, the writer J R Tunus wrote about the activities of the Hitler Jugend. He stated that part of their "military athletics" (Wehrsport) included marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defence, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire and pistol shooting.
Source: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hitler_youth.htm
The Preliminary Training Camp was another program of Hitler Youth. The directors of the camp often were wounded army officers and SS veterans that had prior experience in the Hitler Youth. Boys aged sixteen to eighteen were required to attend a twenty-one day concentrated training. This program was Hitlerís idea of psychological training for military combat. In some ways the training could compare to basic training, it was even more brutal than camps for older boys that were drafted. The main goals were to acquire combat readiness and combat capacity.
Source: http://colanmc.siu.edu/clockwork/papers/p1.html

The Decree of December 1, 1936, providing for Reichsjugenddienstpflicht (Compulsory Youth Service), completely destroyed all remaining youth organizations. The decree contained three major points: 1. All German youth shall join the HJ. 2. The mission of the HJ is to train all German Youth, physically, mentally and morally for national service in the spirit of National Socialism. School and home are subordinated to the interests of the State. 3. The Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader) is entrusted with all phases of the education of German youth and is responsible only the Fuhrer.
Source: http://www.paperlessarchives.com/hitler_youth.html (my highlighting)

To state that the HJ had no programs for military training or duties is simply ludicrous. Are we now going to simply pretend that, for example, 12 SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend didn’t exist, that elements of the HJ didn’t fight in Berlin, and that HJ units didn’t serve amongst anti-aircraft crews?

Regards,

André
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Annelie » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:44 am

To state that the HJ had no programs for military training or duties is simply ludicrous
I have only second edition of The 12th SS so I am not sure about the training, however I believe the time
period would be of consideration. During the 30's I am sure it was entirely different than leading up to the war
and in the 40's. Perhaps some others could explain?
Annelie
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Re: How elite were waffen SS solders at the last stage of 2 WW?

Post by Cott Tiger » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:46 am

John P. Moore wrote:Funk & Wagnalls' dictionary has the following definition of Paramilitary - "Having a military structure although not officially military; capable of becoming, replacing or supplementing a military force: said of certain political movements, etc" Therefore, it would seem to be a bit of a stretch to consider the Hitler Jugend to be a paramilitary organization.

John,

"Having a military structure although not officially military; capable of becoming, replacing or supplementing a military force"

That is exactly what the HJ became though isn't it John?

When Artur Axmann as Reichsjugendführer took control of the HJ he immediately began to reform the group into an auxiliary force which could perform war duties. As we all know it not only fought on the front line in the latter stages of the war as the Nazi's became desperate for manpower but it also became a "supplementing military force" in many of it's other war time duties - such as the manning of anti-aircraft guns (another example would be the drafting of Hitler Youth into service and digging anti-tank ditches around eastern German towns to stop the advancing Red Army in 1944/45, and in the west to stem the advance of the Allied forces)

Also, despite Gerhard’s testimony, it surely cannot be denied that the HJ had a whole raft of military training programs. For example, in 1942, the Hitler Youth established the W-E Lagers. These were special military training camps lasting three weeks in duration. By November of 1942, the Wehrmacht operated 120 W-E Lagers and the SS operated 42 such camps

Regards,

André
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