Your Grandfather Eastern Front Despises & Kills Russian Subhumans

You Discover Your Unknown Grandfather fought for the German Army on the Eastern Front. He believed Nazi ideology and kills Russian subhumans as he thinks of them.

German infantry riding atop what appears to be a Stug which was an assault gun mounted on a tank chassis somewhere on the Eastern Front. [photo by Michael Nicholson courtesy of Corbis)

Family Secret Revealed: Your grandfather was a vicious German soldier inspired by Nazi ideology

This would be a shock to most people. Quite an interesting story of how this diary came to light and was published. If you like memoirs by common soldiers, this is a good one however evil the opinions of the diarist are.
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Commonly used to represent a common German soldier on the Eastern Front, this candid shot was taken by a fellow SS soldier in France in the winter of 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, the largest engagement ever fought by the US Army.
Russian soldiers attacking somewhere on Eastern Front. Like many photographs from the Soviet Union in World War Two this may be a posed photograph.

“Now we see them coming, those Red bastards, that Asian mob.”

“Now we see them coming, those Red bastards, that Asian mob. Night attacks are a particular specialty of this gang… We receive orders to retreat to our baseline positions. The entire front line must be pulled back to its original position. Damn it, it is unbelievable that we must retreat — we, the 299th Infantry Division, have to run; German soldiers have to abandon the field to those Russian schweine!”- From: Eastern Inferno: the Journals of a German Panzerjäger on the Eastern Front, 1941-1943

 

Comments Charles McCain:  “divisions with high numbers like the 299th Infantry Divison were typically reservists called to the colours, often older than many of the soldiers in the more elite low numbered divisions. High number divisions often lacked the training and equipment of the lower numbered divisions.

They did not have organic artillery like all American infantry divisions, nor did they have any motor transport except for a handful of trucks for their headquarter’s company which included staff officers and communications troops. They also had a handful of and kubelwagens for higher ranking officers.

These divisions had hundreds of horse-drawn wagons on establishment and  hauled their rations and equipment on wagons and most of the officers rode horses.

 

Work for your victory as hard as we fight for it

Nazi propaganda poster issued May 1942.

Imagine this: you are a grown American man living in 21st Century America. One day, out of the blue, your mother gives you a set of journals kept by her father, your grandfather, during World War Two. She never knew him. He was killed in action when she was a toddler.

 

German army half-tracks attacking the Soviet Union. The invasion began the night of 21/22 June 1941 and was known to Germans as Operation Barbarossa

Hans Roth made his first journal entry on 11 July 1941 — three weeks into the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

For you as this man’s grandchild, this is the first you have ever heard of these documents. Your mother had never mentioned them. She actually did not know about them for many years since her father’s brother had them. Eventually, he gave them to her mother, who gave them to her.

You knew your mother had been born in Germany during the war, one of the kinder krieg, but of that time she knew little and said less.

Now she tells you a secret. A secret she has kept from you and your sister for much of your lives.

 

Your grandfather fought in World War Two — just like the grandfathers of many of your friends. Only your grandfather wore feldgrau and served in the Wehrmacht. And he fought and died, in Russia.

What has your grandfather written about in his journals? Your mother can’t tell you. Not because she is being difficult and won’t tell you. She can’t tell you because she has never read the journals. The emotional pain would be overwhelming. Unfortunately, you can’t read them either — not because reading them would overload your emotional circuits. You can’t read them because they’re in German. And neither you nor your sister can speak or read German.

From your mother and from flipping through the three journals you learn this of your grandfather: his name was Hans Roth. He served as an enlisted soldier in the 299th Infantry Division of the German Army. Until he was killed, all of his time in the army he spent on the Eastern Front. Most of that time he was in combat. Not easy duty for anyone. Especially not for a panzerjäger. A “tank hunter.”

Yet you and your sister realize these journals are a gift. They are a gift both to you and to history; for sixty years after your grandfather went missing in action in June/July of 1944, he reaches across those decades and speaks. And what he writes are those rarest of historical documents: a contemporaneous diary meant to be read only for him and perhaps one day his family. He records his thoughts raw, without censorship, never holding back.

Often he writes just after a vicious battle with the Reds. He is glad he killed a lot of them. He despises them. Yet not one of us would think differently. Why? Because he is living in a situation when human existence is at its most elemental: kill or be killed. That is the only choice you have. And since we are programmed by nature to live and survive, we kill.

That’s what your grandfather did from June of 1941 — when he crossed into the Soviet Union as part of the 299th Infantry Division of the German Army — until he went missing in late June of 1944.

Soviets Destroy 299th Division

Infantrie Division 299 was the first German division hit by the massive Soviet offensive which began on the night of June 21/22 1944. This offensive, which made D-Day just a few weeks before look like a skirmish, was an attack of unprecedented violence against the Germans. The battle has a name which is fully descriptive: The Destruction of Army Group Center. (Heers Gruppe Mitte).

Twenty-seven German divisions and their higher echelon commands, disappeared in five days. Over 300,000 men simply gone missing in just five days…never to be found. Hans Roth is one of them. In fact, he is still listed as missing in action as are over three million German soldiers from World War Two. Most lie in unmarked graves in the former Soviet Union as does, undoubtedly, Hans Roth.

 

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This famous photograph of a German soldier is often used to depict a German soldat in action on the Eastern Front. His face expresses the weary hopelessness of the German landser, or common soldier. However, it is one a series of photographs taken in France in the winter of 1944 a fellow member of his SS division. The film and camera were later captured by American troops. He was probably killed in battle against the Anglo-Americans. I hope so.
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But he did make it into Life Magazine.

Russian Soldiers Dancing Like Crazy Ivans

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Russian soldiers in World War Two uniforms prepare to march through Red Square
(photo courtesy Financial Times)
“Must be drunk, Herr Oberleutnant. They’re dancing around like lunatics.”

While retreating through Rumania in World War Two, sentries for a German unit notice something very odd going on in a nearby village occupied by Russian troops. For reasons unknown, the Russian soldiers suddenly begin to dance around like fools. German troops, peeking out of their foxholes, start laughing as the Russian troops in the distance run around like they are mad, jump up and down, roll on the ground, swat themselves all over.

Most of the Russians begin shouting so loudly the sound carries as far as the German line and the German troops double up with laughter. Incredibly, the Russian soldiers manning the defense perimeter along the side of the village facing the Germans, jump out of their foxholes, shrieking, and waving their arms in the air. Are the Russians drunk the Germans wonder?

All of a sudden,

…a bunch of Russians are running directly toward us, as if they are being chased by the very devil. As they’re running they’re flapping their arms all about, as if trying to fly.

The German soldier witnessing this event is just about to open fire with his machine gun when his officer tells him to hold fire because the Russians are unarmed.

The Ivans run madly through the German lines, leaping over German foxholes while flapping their arms and shrieking. A swarm of mad bees had attacked the Russian soldiers and stung them so many times they would do anything to get away, even throwing down their firearms and running in the direction of the German line.

(Source: Blood Red Snow: the Memoirs of a German Soldier On the Eastern Front by Gunther K Koschorrek)

 

Russian soldiers dressed in Red Army World War II uniforms prepare to parade in Red Square in front of a backdrop of St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Thousands of Russian soldiers and military cadets marched across Red Square to mark the 72nd anniversary of a historic World War II parade. The show honored the participants of the Nov. 7, 1941 parade who headed directly to the front lines to defend Moscow from the Nazi forces. The parade Thursday involved about 6,000 people, many of them dressed in World War II-era uniforms. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian soldiers dressed in Red Army World War II uniforms prepare to parade in Red Square in front of a backdrop of St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Thousands of Russian soldiers and military cadets marched across Red Square to mark the 72nd anniversary of a historic World War II parade. The show honored the participants of the Nov. 7, 1941 parade who headed directly to the front lines to defend Moscow from the Nazi forces. The parade Thursday involved about 6,000 people, many of them dressed in World War II-era uniforms. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Courtesy of London Financial Times)

http://blogs.ft.com/photo-diary/tag/wwii/

Field Marshal von Manstein, Completely Naked, Meets Field Marshal Rommel

 

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Herr Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein in Russian with German and Romanian troops, 1942.

(photo credit: Kirsche/Associated Press courtesy of the New York Times.

Posted by Charles McCain on http://charlesmccain.com/blog/

Von Manstein shouted: “So we meet at last!”

‘…mother naked’ Field Marshal von Manstein  shook hands for the first time with Field Marshal Rommel.

While waiting to meet with the Fuhrer on July 13th, 1943, von Manstein suggested to his ADC, Alexander Stahlberg, that they take a swim in one of the many beautiful lakes close by FHQ in East Prussia. Neither had their swim trunks. However, no one was around so into the lake they went stark naked and had a most enjoyable swim.

When they begin to swim back toward the ladder of the small footbridge they had used to enter the lake, young Stahlberg spotted a half a dozen men on the footbridge. Von Manstein asked if any of them were women and Stahlberg said he did not think so.

When they got to the base of the ladder Stahlberg got a better look (von Manstein was virtually blind without his glasses) and said, “I believe, sir, that it is Field Marshal Rommel.”

“You’re right. my dear fellow, this is Field Marshal Rommel!”

“Then there was a big hello from below and above, and Manstein shouted, ‘so we meet at last!’ It was true: Manstein and Rommel had never met until that moment…

Rommel spoke again from above: ‘Well gentlemen, why don’t you come up?’ And Manstein called back: ‘Yes, why not?’ And so, mother naked, we climbed the rungs until we were standing before the well-dressed officers.”

 

From: Bounded Duty: the Memoirs of A German Officer 1932–1945 by Alexander Stahlberg

 

I highly recommend this book. It is out of print and hard to find but is the only first- hand account we have of von Manstein in the last years of the war from November 1942 until the end. Stahlberg, a strong anti-Nazi from a family of anti-Nazis, many of whom were executed by the Nazis, was in a position to know everything and see everything. He was from an aristocratic Prussian family with roots going back centuries in East Prussia. He was related to everyone.

He is a sympathetic figure and his anti-Nazi credentials are impeccable. When he made contact with the British on Manstein’s behalf and began to tell their intelligence officers who he was and how many members of his family had been killed by the Nazis, one of the British intelligence officers stopped his recitation by politely saying, “we know who you are.” And they invited him to breakfast.

Stahlberg had great admiration for von Manstein and waited to publish his own memoirs until after von Manstein died in 1973. In spite of his admiration and respect for von Manstein, Stahlberg saw him as a tragic hero and deeply flawed man. While less known in the US and the UK than other German commanders, von Manstein was unquestionably Germany’s best field commander in World War Two and the best field commander of any country during the war. 

Unlike most historical figures, von Manstein was recognized in his own time as Germany’s greatest Field Marshal. It was thought by key anti-Hitler plotters in the German Army, that only von Manstein had the prestige to lead an army revolt against the Nazi Party. Except for the thoroughly Nazified Field Marshals such as Model, all the others would have followed his orders.

At the time of his brief meeting with the Fuhrer mentioned in the beginning of the post, Field Marshal Kluge was also present. Later in the evening, after their usual meeting with Hitler where he refused their advice, the three Field Marshals retired to their common quarters and sat up over several bottles of red wine. Stahlberg was present as he always was at every meeting or social gathering at von Manstein’s insistence.

In front of Rommel, Kluge said to von Manstein, “Manstein, the end will be bad, and I repeat what I told you earlier: I am prepared to serve under you.” With that, Kluge retired. Over a few more glasses of wine, Rommel also told Manstein that the war would end in a total catastrophe and further should the Allies land in Europe, the entire German state and military would quickly reach a point where it would collapse like a house of cards.

Then Rommel stood to take his leave and von Manstein stood to shake his hand. Said Rommel, “I, too, am prepared to serve under you.”

Yet von Manstein who alone among the German Field Marshal’s had the opportunity to be one of the great men of the 20th Century could not bring himself to assassinate of Hitler (which he easily could have done on the several occasions Hitler visited his forward HQ). Nor, could he envision himself as leading the German Army against the Nazi Party and any military formations which would have remained loyal to the Party.

 “What tragedy governed his life!”  Stahlberg wrote of von Manstein in his memoirs. Von Manstein was a great general. But he could have been a great man. That he chose not to is a classic form of Greek tragedy.

 

Source: author’s research and Bounded Duty: the Memoirs of A German Officer 1932–1945 by Alexander Stahlberg

Russland-Nord, Erich von Manstein, Brandenberger

 

 Manstein with General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, one of his divisional commanders, in June 1941.

(photo courtesy of the German National Archive and posted by Charles McCain on http://charlesmccain.com/blog/ )

Italians Die for the Hitler on the Eastern Front

Hitler had a mixed opinion of Italy:

“The Duce is a great statesman. He knows the mentality of his country perfectly and what he’s managed to achieve with Italy and those lazy people is a miracle…” – Adolf Hitler (1940)

“Italy is an enchanting country: it’s just a pity it’s inhabited by such lazy slobs.” – Adolf Hitler (1943)

“Anything would have been better than having the Italians as comrades in arms.” (Hitler a few days before he killed himself.)

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Mussolini and Hitler: two evil men of the 20th Century who I hope are in hell

 

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A little known episode of World War Two, is how many Italian soldiers Mussolini sent to the Soviet Union to fight with the Germans in the Ost Krieg or Eastern War. The Germans attacked the Soviet Union on 21 June 1941. The Germans had not asked Italy for soldiers but Mussolini had insisted on sending 60,000 men to participate in Operation Barbarossa, the German Invasion of the Soviet Union, to curry favor with Hitler and to be able to bask in a small part of the glory which would come from the crushing defeat the Germans were going to inflict on the Soviet Union.

Only the Germans didn’t manage to quite do that in 1941 so they asked Mussolini for more troops which he sent. By the summer of 1942, Italians reached their high point on the Eastern Front with 220,000 men, 16,000 motor vehicles, almost 150 aircraft as well as all of their small supply of modern heavy artillery. Italian navy units, primarily special forces, operated in the Black Sea. It’s easy to joke about Italian military capabilities but their naval special forces were as good as any in the world at that time.

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Yet this adventure ended in tragedy for the Italians with 90,000 soldiers dead. I say tragedy since most of the soldiers were illiterate conscripts, the elite divisions having creamed off the best men early on to fight in North Africa, and most of these young conscripts were badly led and poorly trained with only the most basic equipment.

These lines from his memoir, The Sergeant in the Snow, by Mario R. Stern, an Alpine soldier from the mountains of Northeastern Italy, give a sense of the unreality of Italian soldiers in Russia.

“What direction is Italy in, Sergeant Major?”

“Over there, you see? A long way over there. The earth is round, Marangoni, and we’re among the stars. All of us.”

Stern’s memoir is one of the few written by an Italian soldier on the Eastern Front. It is matter-of-fact. All he does is describe the retreat of the Alpine troops in winter after the Russians pushed them back. Nothing else is needed to create a story of such terrible reality. Tens of thousands of hungry men, cold, frostbitten units with weak officers simply disintegrating, and at every turn Russians shooting at you or Germans who wanted you to fight but wouldn’t give you anything to eat.

It is a memoir like no other simply because the idea that Mussolini sent troops to Russia in the winter to fight with the Germans is so astonishing, so surprising, and so revealing of the contempt Mussolini had for his own countrymen that just to read it is to be shocked.

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None of the Italian divisions ever had enough food since the Germans had to supply them and guess who the Germans supplied first? Most soldiers didn’t have the proper uniforms to fight in the Russian winter. The only soldiers equipped and trained to fight in anything resembling the brutal cold of Russia were the elite Alpine troops but there were only several division of these soldiers. Besides, in the vastness of Russia, what matter were a few division of Italian Alpini anyway?

German commanders were unhappy with the behavior of the Italian soldiers. The Italians wouldn’t shoot prisoners of war or Jews or Communists or anyone really except Russian soldiers and they preferred not to do that.

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Instead of treating the Russians like the sub-humans many (but not all) Germans said them to be, the Italians took up with the Russian village women. (The men were all gone to the army of the partisans.)

The Russian women were lonely. The soldiers were Italians after all. Why were the Germans surprised to find the Italian soldiery sleeping with the Russia village women instead of terrorizing them? What annoyed the Germans the most was that some of the Italian units sold their excess arms and ammunition to the Russian partisans in return for food as long as the partisans didn’t use the weaponry on Italian troops.

“Anything would have been better than having the Italians as comrades in arms.”

– Adolf Hitler in his political testament dictated in the several days before he committed suicide on 30 April 1945.