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  • Mentality of the waffens SS

    Hi. I'm supposed to write a paper on the combat/political indoctrination and mentality of the Waffen-SS. And since I'm sure this is the right place to ask maybe you can point me in the right direction on literature. So, do you have suggestions about books and papers written on the subject? Preferably more scientific historical works rather than pop culture narratives.

    Thanks John

  • #2
    Originally posted by Taz View Post
    Hi. I'm supposed to write a paper on the combat/political indoctrination and mentality of the Waffen-SS. And since I'm sure this is the right place to ask maybe you can point me in the right direction on literature. So, do you have suggestions about books and papers written on the subject? Preferably more scientific historical works rather than pop culture narratives.

    Thanks John
    Do you read Danish?

    A large scholarly work on the Waffen-SS by three Danish historians was published a few months ago. The book itself will cover your subject, but it also has a massive bibliography that could aid you in your research.

    http://www.gyldendal.dk/waffen-ss-id18687

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    • #3
      Try Dennis Showalter's "Hitler's Panzers"

      Sent from my XT1058 using Tapatalk
      "The legitimate object of war is a more perfect peace." General William T. Sherman , 20 July 1865

      Comment


      • #4
        Keegan's masterpiece

        Originally posted by Taz View Post
        Hi. I'm supposed to write a paper on the combat/political indoctrination and mentality of the Waffen-SS. And since I'm sure this is the right place to ask maybe you can point me in the right direction on literature. So, do you have suggestions about books and papers written on the subject? Preferably more scientific historical works rather than pop culture narratives.

        Thanks John
        I covered this some years ago. Here's an abridged summary:

        "Get hold of : John Keegan's ‘Waffen SS - the asphalt soldiers’ .It was part of the exceptional series of mini- histories published by Purnell’s as a tie- in to the History of the Second World War magazine series, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

        It’s by far the best book written on the subject of the SS and like most books in the series, it’s quite short, avoids the pitfalls of wallowing in irrelevant detail and narrow parochialism and follows it’s theme to an valid conclusion.
        (Oh well, okay if you insist: it’s the best book I’ve read on the subject, which means it must at the very least be good).

        Indeed, they were short and under-referenced but i still regard them as really good works covering the basics of the war.

        After penning ‘Waffen SS - the asphalt soldiers’, Keegan developed a more detail focussed, digression-dotted and padded’ approach to writing military history (The Face of Battle, Six Armies in Normandy, Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America).
        I found him bit irritating at times as he came across a little smug with some of his insights - almost as though he is saying “see, you never thought of it that way before did you?”.

        However back in 1970, with a limited page allocation, an excellent editor in the redoubtable Barrie Pitt and a topic which could really test him, Keegan produced an excellent work.

        His last chapter ‘Soldiers like other soldiers?’ contains the best summary I’ve yet read of the conundrum that was the Waffen SS:

        . On the Nazi/SS mystique -
        “…then there are few historical legends in Germany today (written in 69/70) and none of the Nazi past…It is outside Germany that the Nazi legend persists most strongly in the land of the victors, not of the occupied, And there (US/UK essentially) surely there is an SS legend. It is a many-sided legend.
        Those parts of it which deal with systematic sadism and industrialised death exert the sort of guilty fascination from whoch the healthy-minded recoil and the pornographers have learnt how to profit.
        … thee is another part to the legend, one of broader and not wholly distasteful appeal: that of the janissaries of the Waffen ss, faithfulunto death and fiercer in combat than any soldiers who fought on the western battlefields, It is a legend blemished by a record of known atrocities but one in which the ruthlessness and cruelty of individuals seem transcended by corporate dedication, comradeship and courage of unique degree.What truth is there in this legend?..were they a new army of janissaries?......were they as charged at Nuremberg, criminals in uniform?.....or were they simply as Paul Hausser argued from the witness stand soldiers like other soldiers?”

        .On the difference between the old 1871- 1933 (good) German army and the new (post June 1934) ‘Nazi’ army
        “.. the significance of the form which Hitler gave to the German Army when
        Inaugurated its re-expansion in 1935 has largely escaped observers. That form, deliberately chosen by Hitler, was that of a truly national army, something which Germany had never possessed before.

        Hitler however … “loathed and despised the old officer corps ……..the new German army was to be as uniform and monolithic an organisation as he could make it ……… But what he succeeded in producing was a half-way house of an army, as efficient in combat as the Kaiser’s had ever been, indeed even more tenacious in disaster, but one ambivalent in its loyalties and uncertain of its tradiions. Rohm, in a sense had been right; a Nazi state needed a Nazi army. ‘something new, fresh and unused’, and that the Wehrmacht never became.

        The Waffen SS on the other hand was unequivocally Nazi from the start. Its loyalty was never in question, but what is interesting is that on so firm an ideological foundation Himmler should have chosen to build in a form which owed a great deal to the imperial past. Two features predominated: rigorous selection and very strong unit identity.”

        . On the quality of the SS as fighting units:

        “the foreign SS divisons with the exception of Viking and Nordland were all either too small or too poorly motivated to count for anything in events of the scale in which they found themselves involved…………. Most of the east European SS was riff-raff with the exception of the Latvian and Estonian divisions which were fighting in defence of their own homelands. The rest were contemptible or pathetic and
        Did nothing to further the german war effort - indeed through their consumption of munitions which could have been better used by conventional formations, probably hindered it.
        But the elite, Liebstandarte, Reich, Totenkopf, Hofenstauffen, Frundsberg, Hitler Juend were without question divisions of the highest quality, greatly esteemed by the generals fortunate enough to have them under command, rightly feared by their enemies. Wether they were better than the divisions with whom they must be strictly equated – the best of the army panzer divisions is imponderable.”

        . On the question of SS/Wehrmacht atrocities and the inclusion of Concentration Camp personnel in the Waffen SS

        Since the scale and confusion of the fighting in the east defies accurate dissection, it seems unlikely that we shall in the near future be able to apportion blame fairly between one category of German soldier and another.
        It does seem however, that more blameworthy incidents are attributable to the Wehrmacht than the generals would like to admit.
        They of course would admit to none but it would be impossible for them to deny that the Commissar Oder (which enjoined the instant execution of all political commissars taken prisoner)
        Applied equally to army and SS was carried out by both, though by the latter with none of the reluctance admittedly shown by some units of the former.”

        He equally lays blame on both SS and German army units for killings of families associated with partisans and the deaths of millions of Soviet POW’s who “lost their lives through the callousness or neglect of their captors”

        And there was throughout the war a constant coming and going between the concentration camp and field branches of the SS at almost every level. The rank and file of the field divisions of the SS must therefore have been well aware of the workings of the camp system and there is no record of their objecting to serving side by side with men so transferred.”

        Hope this helps you out.

        Regards lodestar

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Taz View Post
          Hi. I'm supposed to write a paper on the combat/political indoctrination and mentality of the Waffen-SS. And since I'm sure this is the right place to ask maybe you can point me in the right direction on literature. So, do you have suggestions about books and papers written on the subject? Preferably more scientific historical works rather than pop culture narratives.

          Thanks John
          Find the German SS histories published by their veterans organisations, a few might be in english the rest in German. You'll find what your looking for under training, much of the content will be on battles and campaigns.
          My worst jump story:
          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
          No lie.

          ~
          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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          • #6
            Can we put the subject to bed? Really, why revisit these asshats? Evil does as evil does. Shoot them all and case closed.
            Credo quia absurdum.


            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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            • #7
              Great, thank you for your info. Maby I'll post the paper here!

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              • #8
                There hardly is one "mentality" of the Waffen SS.

                The motives, way of thinking, and intentions can only vary so wildly that they can't be described as a unified thing.
                Michele

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                • #9


                  This one is presently undergoing a medical treatment,based on a vigourous and virile physical motivation , provided by these warmful Canadian soldiers

                  Redemption and the end of the tunnel are near !
                  That rug really tied the room together

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                    Can we put the subject to bed? Really, why revisit these asshats? Evil does as evil does. Shoot them all and case closed.



                    As usual we have the comments from people who put their own nation on the level with saintliness.

                    My late father in law was Waffen SS and as far as I was concerned was a good professional soldier and a product of his time,like many of us might have been in the same time and place in history...sure many bad things happen but in the same manner you could put pilots of the USAF doing the same thing during Gulf War 1 and 2 to civilian populations of Iraq....but of course the winners always get to write history.

                    Before condemning others you should look at the history of your own country since conception and how you treated your own citizens...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      People do tend to forget that the Waffen SS could draft men into the ranks. They even drafted a Romanian General!

                      Pruitt
                      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bow View Post
                        [/B][/B]

                        As usual we have the comments from people who put their own nation on the level with saintliness.
                        I commented and I'm not doing that.

                        My late father in law was Waffen SS and as far as I was concerned was a good professional soldier and a product of his time,
                        Well, I suppose he told you what he wanted to tell you.

                        like many of us might have been in the same time and place in history...
                        Many, but not all. Not every German man of military service age volunteered for the Waffen SS. Many were positively disgusted by them, and that while they were serving their country elsewhere.

                        sure many bad things happen but in the same manner you could put pilots of the USAF doing the same thing during Gulf War 1 and 2 to civilian populations of Iraq....
                        You mean, deliberately exterminating undesirable ethnic groups? No, I don't think the USAF did that.
                        What about reprisals in which harmless civilian hostages would be murdered in a 10:1 ratio for the killing of a soldier by partisans? No?
                        Anything comparable to the Warsaw massacres? Not even that?
                        So maybe you're just utterly wrong.

                        but of course the winners always get to write history.
                        Dude, you are posting this under a post that says, and I quote:

                        Find the German SS histories published by their veterans organisations
                        So I have news for you: the losers also get to write history, if not always, at least most definitely in the case of these thugs.

                        Before condemning others you should look at the history of your own country since conception and how you treated your own citizens...
                        Done that. I'm entirely capable of condemning the Italians who carried out an atrocity at Debre Libanos in 1937, and also the Germans who carried out an atrocity at Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944. Both were war criminals, the former Fascist criminals, the latter Waffen-SS criminals.
                        Michele

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          People do tend to forget that the Waffen SS could draft men into the ranks. They even drafted a Romanian General!

                          Pruitt
                          The fact that not all Waffen-SS members were volunteers is but one of many reasons why I wrote, above, that you can't describe one "Waffen-SS mentality".

                          They didn't just draft men. At the end of the war, entire foreign units became, formally, "Waffen-SS" at the stroke of a pen. You could go to bed in your Hungarian trooper's uniform, sure you were serving your country, and wake up the next morning in the same uniform, but officially as a member of the Waffen-SS. I don't know if these poor guys were also required to then, ex-post facto, swear personal allegiance to a foreign head of state. Maybe they never came to that, but the contrary wouldn't surprise me.
                          Michele

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sebfrench76 View Post
                            Redemption and the end of the tunnel are near !
                            Sorry to say I disagree with this choice, Séb. Taz is a Recruit, and not knowing the background, he might have a predictable reaction of sympathizing with a poor POW who seems to have been smacked around by his captor.

                            The background, Taz, is that at this time and on that frontage, the Waffen-SS units were known for systematically murdering their prisoners. There are several well-documented cases, as well as a few war crimes trials, for the murder of dozens of Canadian prisoners at the hands of the colleagues of the POW in the photo. I don't condone the rough handling he received, but I think this background is worth mentioning.
                            Michele

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Michele ,I adore you.
                              But the fate of this bastard ,I really don't care about it.
                              Sorry for the recruit.He knows for sure that I hate these guys .
                              That rug really tied the room together

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