Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 20th, 2015, 08:22 PM   #1
Archivist
 
Joined: Nov 2014
From: United States
Posts: 192
How many Wehrmacht soldiers surrendered from January to April 1945?


How many Wehrmacht soldiers surrendered from January to April 1945? Why didn't they continue fighting against the Allies? You would think a military as indoctrinated and ideologically driven as they were would fight until the very end, which it seems only small numbers of them did. So why the massive surrenders?
Cmyers1980 is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 20th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #2

Tercios Espanoles's Avatar
Gonfaloniere
 
Joined: Mar 2014
From: Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
Posts: 6,403
Blog Entries: 1

All of them.
Tercios Espanoles is offline  
Old January 20th, 2015, 11:35 PM   #3

Scaeva's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,989

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmyers1980 View Post
Why didn't they continue fighting against the Allies? You would think a military as indoctrinated and ideologically driven as they were would fight until the very end, which it seems only small numbers of them did. So why the massive surrenders?
Human nature. No one, outside the mentally ill or the suicidal, wants to die.

Most Germans, with the exception of some the more delusional of hardcore Nazis, also knew that the war was lost by 1945. A great many people in the German military were just hoping to survive until the end of it, and weren't too keen on being killed in what had obviously become a lost cause.
Scaeva is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 04:18 AM   #4

RoyalHill1987's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2008
From: Halicarnassus, 353BC
Posts: 1,855

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmyers1980 View Post
How many Wehrmacht soldiers surrendered from January to April 1945? Why didn't they continue fighting against the Allies? You would think a military as indoctrinated and ideologically driven as they were would fight until the very end, which it seems only small numbers of them did. So why the massive surrenders?
In Spring 1945, the Soviets held 2 million German POWs, while the western Allies held 7.5 million. So the grand total was about 9.5 million - a figure that includes all Wehrmacht soldiers (at least, those still alive) who had surrendered since the start of the war.

They knew it was over. Resistance was useless. Everyone knew how many were dying at the front. Every family in Germany had lost someone. They had seen their cities pounded into rubble by allied bombing raids. They could see Soviet tanks on the streets of Berlin. In many cases, they simply ran out of ammunition due to being surrounded and besieged.

In the film downfall, based on Traudl Junges' diaries, the Fuhrer was informed that the Soviets are now less than 500 metres from the bunker, and that the defenders will exhaust their ammunition during the night.

There was no hope. It was useless. Many just wanted the nightmare to be over. Surrender to the western Allies offered that possibility. Some were captured by the Soviets because they had no other choice.

Last edited by RoyalHill1987; January 21st, 2015 at 04:31 AM.
RoyalHill1987 is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 05:20 AM   #5

Yora's Avatar
Academician
 
Joined: Jan 2015
From: Germany
Posts: 97

As far as I know, the final weeks of the war were all about retreating west to get into American and British protection. Getting caught by the Red Army was regarded as a much more horrifying fate and as things turned out those fears were entirely justified. (Though it has to be said that the German troops had set the level of savagery in the east years earlier and the soviet troops were giving back just as badly as they had recieved. Might not have been nearly as bad if the German had not set the expectations for a war of annihilation.) It's estimated that over a million German soldiers died in Soviet prison camps. And that is, if they were taken alive at all.

I know there were some units that insisted to go down fighting against the Americans, but I wonder how much fighting there really was on the western front after mid-April. The reason the new German leadership did not surrender until the western and eastern allies met in the middle was not out of delusional hope that they could hold their territory, but to get as many people as possible out of the areas that would be the Soviet Occupied zone.

Last edited by Yora; January 21st, 2015 at 05:24 AM.
Yora is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 07:19 AM   #6

Spartacuss's Avatar
mmmmph! mmmMMMMmmph!!
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: Georgia, USA
Posts: 7,575

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yora View Post
I know there were some units that insisted to go down fighting against the Americans, but I wonder how much fighting there really was on the western front after mid-April. The reason the new German leadership did not surrender until the western and eastern allies met in the middle was not out of delusional hope that they could hold their territory, but to get as many people as possible out of the areas that would be the Soviet Occupied zone.
Quite so. The fleeing to the west had been taking place for a few months before Germany surrendered. Slowly at first, then a flood in the last weeks. Those fleeing would have more of an impact on Germany's surrender than most realize.

HyperWar: US Army in WWII: The Supreme Command (ETO) [Appendix E]

You asked about the level of fighting on the Western Front in April, 1945. Table 8 of my referenced source gives the US Army casualties month by month from June, 1944 to May, 1945. I think the numbers for April and May, 1945 will surprise you. Tables for the UK and French casualties are also listed. Many German units put up significant resistance in those last days with some really diehard outfits fighting well into June and July. This, coupled with what has been called wholesale surrenders, presents just how chaotic the situation was.

From the time the Ruhr was taken, allied losses taken each day that Germany did not surrender enraged Eisenhower. He kept this rage under control outwardly, but with his staff it let it fly privately and much of what became his policy for what to do after the surrender was a manifestation. Compared to US treatment of enemy prisoners of war overall during the war, his treatment of prisoners in Europe after the surrender was very harsh.
Spartacuss is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 07:40 AM   #7

Shtajerc's Avatar
last real Windischer
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: Lower Styria, Slovenia
Posts: 5,608

In Slovenia, in the town of Topolšica, the whole Southeast army surrendered on May 9th. It was made by general Alexander Lohr. The last fights were on May 15th. I don't know how many actually surrendered there (there were also many Ukrainians, Montenegrins, Croatians etc) because many fled to Carinthia to surrender to the British, but those then gave them back and they got killed. Like Lohr.
Shtajerc is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 07:49 AM   #8

Spartacuss's Avatar
mmmmph! mmmMMMMmmph!!
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: Georgia, USA
Posts: 7,575

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shtajerc View Post
In Slovenia, in the town of Topolšica, the whole Southeast army surrendered on May 9th. It was made by general Alexander Lohr. The last fights were on May 15th. I don't know how many actually surrendered there (there were also many Ukrainians, Montenegrins, Croatians etc) because many fled to Carinthia to surrender to the British, but those then gave them back and they got killed. Like Lohr.
Yes, the agreement to turn over prisoners and refugees to the Soviets is distasteful to put it mildly. A mistake in my opinion.
Spartacuss is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 08:04 AM   #9

Triceratops's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2011
From: Late Cretaceous
Posts: 2,662
Blog Entries: 2

An unusual little battle that took place in May 1945;

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Battle-German-Soldiers/dp/0306822083/ref=as_at?tag=thedailybeast-autotag-20&linkCode=as2"]The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe: Stephen Harding: 9780306822087: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uIGC6RmIL.@@AMEPARAM@@41uIGC6RmIL[/ame]&
Triceratops is offline  
Old January 21st, 2015, 08:27 AM   #10

Spartacuss's Avatar
mmmmph! mmmMMMMmmph!!
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: Georgia, USA
Posts: 7,575

Gotta get this book. I'm familiar with the incident mainly though my googles on other subjects. Thanks.
Spartacuss is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
1945, april, january, soldiers, surrendered, wehrmacht



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The last German soldiers, 1945 KGB European History 6 March 26th, 2014 04:15 PM
Japan surrendered because... YouLoveMeYouKnowIt War and Military History 44 January 29th, 2014 05:15 AM
Should Constantine XI have surrendered Constantinople? Drakey Medieval and Byzantine History 36 January 12th, 2014 03:35 AM
What if Poland surrendered Danzig? Smerka War and Military History 9 October 21st, 2013 05:29 PM
What was the average German wehrmacht soldiers's view towards serving Nazi-Germany? jeroenrottgering European History 48 November 19th, 2012 12:05 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.