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Old August 26th, 2014, 03:17 AM   #1

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Effectiveness of German Wehrmacht against Partisans


How effective was German Wehrmacht against Partisans? German Wehrmacht generally thought about conventional war. But Partisans fought non-conventional war.

I mean the way Wehrmacht fought using medium bombers for terror bombing, then dive bombers to soften enemy defence, dropping Paratroopers to disrupt enemy from behind then Tanks supported by infantry breaking enemy defence.

How effective it was?
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Old August 26th, 2014, 05:51 AM   #2
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Against which partisans?
As you could see, was the resistance different in europe and as well in most states late and military rather weak, even marginal. Strong military resistance long before the end of the war was only in Poland, the SU, Yugoslavia and Greece.
The Polish resistance was military weak. Only in the end of the war, when the Germans retreated they had some military success, even against the Soviets and their partisans. The effectiveness of the Polish resistance consisted rather on the creation of an underground state with civilian disobedience and sabotage and as well the killing of collaborateurs.

Greece and Yugoslavia had different to Poland a great advantage, the lack of German troops. The most times the germans had only a few Infanterie divisions there, mostly Austrians, which had not the capacity to controll the whole occupied area. Therefor greater areas were controlled by partisans, the Germans nevertheless controlled the important strongholds and streets.
Neither the Yugoslavians nor the Greeks would have been able to expell the Germans, if they hadn't retreated by themselves. The germans indeed were able to start several campaigns against the partisans, which could defeat the partisans for a while but not permanent. The main effect of the anti-partisan warfare were executions and cleansing of partisan zones, which caused starvation or at least malnutriation. A great negative effect was as well, that the partisan units even fought each other and collaborated from time to time with germany and its allies.

Soviet partisans are maybe the most famous ones, but much is distorted by Soviet propaganda. The claims about the killing of Germans is e.g. 70 times exaggerated. Allthough the loss of material was great and during some periods the supply was threatened, were the soviet partisans, in comparison with their number, not really succesful in the sabotage of supply lines. Even worse was their result of military reconnaissance. With greater success the soviet partisans fought against German allies or exactly the native units of collaborateurs.

As I said, the Germans had not the units to destroy the partisans. What they did was to controll the runways and strongolds between the runways. During the rails war, germany had great problems with the sabotage actions, but already in september 1943 it was under controll. What the germans did were greater operations from time to time in which they attacked the partisan camps. Usually they destroyed these camps, but the partisans in mass escaped. Especially in Russia they created death zones between the runways, from which the population was deported as forced laborers or killed. Remaining population was attacked whenever possible. The Wehrmacht played only a minor role in the partisan warfare. The most was done by anti-partisan units, which belonged to the Police, the SS or Russian collaborateurs, but as well axis troops. What the Wehrmacht did was, that from time to time regular Wehrmachtunits in refrshment areas were commanded to fight partisans. Usually they cleansed the partisan areas for a short time, but if the germans were gone, the partisans came back.

So if effectiveness means, that the Wehrmacht or the germans and allies in general destroyed the partisans, then they were not effective. If effectiveness means, that they widely kept the supply lines open and controlled more or less the necessary territories and could keep the partisans down, then one could claim they were, concerning the low number of troops available.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:15 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSDD View Post
How effective was German Wehrmacht against Partisans? German Wehrmacht generally thought about conventional war. But Partisans fought non-conventional war.
The most notable thing about the Wehrmacht's campaign was it's brutality.
If there was partisan activity in the area the Wehrmacht's normal response on the Eastern Front was to destroy the local villages, killing large numbers of the local civilians.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:18 PM   #4

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Quote:
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The most notable thing about the Wehrmacht's campaign was it's brutality.
If there was partisan activity in the area the Wehrmacht's normal response on the Eastern Front was to destroy the local villages, killing large numbers of the local civilians.
This is, sadly, true. For every dead German soldier 100 civilians were executed, for every wounded German soldier - 50.

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kragujevac_massacre]Kragujevac massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
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The most notable thing about the Wehrmacht's campaign was it's brutality.
If there was partisan activity in the area the Wehrmacht's normal response on the Eastern Front was to destroy the local villages, killing large numbers of the local civilians.
I wrote above about the behaviour inside the death zones. Nevertheless should be not forgotten, that the behavior of partisans was not completely different to that. Partisans as well robbed and burned villages, killed the population. A lot of these partisan warfare was as well the fight between self-protection units of locals against partisans.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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One of the greatest victories the Wehrmacht achieved against the French Partisans was in the Vercors region in 1944 when French resitants foolishly mounted a premature uprising encuraged by thr suuccess of the allied landings in Normandy .In June 1944.
The French Maquisards were routed but great brutality did ensue by the WWehrmacht to those they captured.
Between September 1941 and July 1944 Partisans in what is now Belarus formed a ''Partisan Republic'' and caused widspread damage and destruction to the occupying Nazis facilities -but at a cost.
380,000 Belarussians were deported to Germany as forced labour; and according to Albert Axell in his book'' Russia's Heroes 1941-45'' AND BBLARUS LOST 2.2 MILLION folk due to Nazi occupation.
But success by the antiNazi German resistance was very spotty with sucesses being atched with horrendous losse ike the Vercors campaign. in France.
The assasination of azi Heydrich in Prague in 1942 prompted the masacre of the Czech village of Lidice raising the question was the death of Heydrich a price worth paying?-the loss of a whole village ?
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Old August 26th, 2014, 06:57 PM   #7

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Yes!

Hitler was...being Hitler.
Goerring was incompetent and doped out of his skull on cocaine and painkillers
Himmler was an organised emoire builder but a useless leader
Bormann was a non-entity

The obvious candidate to be an effective leader to the Nazis was Heydrich, not only because he was surgically precise with punishment but because he didnt mind offering the carrot along with the stick if it achieved higher goals.

He was dangerous, killing him demoralised the entire leadership since nobody was safe, it threw the succession into chaos and started up another series of rat pit fights amongst the higher echelon.

It removed a man who had been increasing armament production for one who killed his own workers, lowered morale and decreased production.

It was important for the war effort but at a terrible price for the Czechs.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #8
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Good post, Nemowork.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 12:07 PM   #9

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It depends on what we define the term partisan to mean. In Wehrmacht parlance, counter-partisan operations were blanket excuses to murder, rape, and pillage through wide areas without much of any accountability. The partisans only became really effective when the Red Army started closing in on them.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 12:41 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beorna View Post
Greece and Yugoslavia had different to Poland a great advantage, the lack of German troops. The most times the germans had only a few Infanterie divisions there, mostly Austrians, which had not the capacity to controll the whole occupied area.
That's not entirely true. In the case of Yugoslavia you had also stationed Turkmen units, SS Handžar and Skanderbeg divisions and others. There were also a lot local colaborant units, such as the Ustaše, Nedićevci, certain Četnik units, Slovenski domobranci and many others. Those were the most brutal in their attitude towards the locals. That there were mostly Austrians is probably true only for the areas directly annexed to the Reich - Slovene Styria, Carniola and Carinthia. Those were controled by Wehrmanschaften, which included also a lot of local men. Those often surrendered quickly at partisan attacks.

Otherwise they acted in many different ways. Take a look at the desant on Drvar or how they crushed the Užice republic.

In Frankolovo, not that far from where I live they killed 100 Slovenes because one high Nazi functionary was killed in a partisan ambush. He was driving from his wedding. Thatfor the Germans gathered 100 hostages from the prisons in Celje and Maribor and hanged 99 of them on the trees along the road at Frankolovo. Only one wasn't hanged - because he was shot when he tried to escape.
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