Men of Wehrmacht: German soldiers: Part 1


The German soldier was the most effective combat soldiers of the War. Most attention to the German soldier is directed to the Blitzkrieg campaigns of 1939-41 when they faced poorly trained, equipped and led opponents. Actually the most amazing success of the German soldiers was their ability to withstand the onslaught of numerically superior Allied forces during 1943-44 without collapsing. The average Wehrmacht unit could operate effectively with one-third the supplies of a comparable American unit. In may cases the Allied superiority in men, planes, tanks, artillery was astronomical, better than 3 to 1, and often even more lopsided. The great tragedy was that the regime they protected was so diabolically evil. And Hitler for whom they made such enormous sacrifices was completely unmoved by their and their country's plight and sacrifice. His attitude was that if the German people did not win the War, they did not deserve to survive. 

German soldiers examine a Soviet machine gun DP-27 (Dyagtereva infantry sample 1927). They used it later themselves


"On the home front we had free labor, which always outproduces slave labor--and the NAZIs were relying on slave labor. Hitler's technicians got stuck in ruts. They were ahead of the world in 1937, but in 1944 they were still building 1930s models. Most of all, we were helped by the fact that in the Army our soldiers accepted responsibility and seized the initiative, which are things that the children of democracy are very good at, and the children of totalitarians aren't. Hitler thought that his kids, brought up in the Hitler Youth, would always outfight kids brought up in the Boy Scouts, because his kids would unquestionably obey, and because they were fanatics. The problem with that was that ultimately the orders could only come from Hitler, so it was difficult to impossible for Germans to ever take the initiative. They would always be waiting for orders. They were paralyzed on D-Day. At a time when they had the means and the wherewithal to drive the British back into the sea, and the tank commanders were ready to go do it, they had to wait to get the okay from Hitler, who was a thousand kilometers away. It was just madness to run an army like that. You see the same thing on a smaller scale throughout the whole war. The Germans made great troops until the lieutenant got killed."

Preparing for action: These men are loading their machine-gun belt

The German taken care of , American soldiers look forward. Ardennes, 1944.

Handiwork of a Soviet sniper

Remains of German convoy after the Americans destroyed it. Near Cherbourg, France.

German soldiers with a Jew

March 1945. Just two months before the end. Goebbels congratulates a young recruit. The others are smiling. These folks were amazing. The Russians were at the doorsteps, remember?

The despair. Chief of Staff of the wrecked German Army, General Hans Krebs arrives at the Soviet Army headquarters in Berlin on May 1, 1945. Krebs shot himself later that day.

German POWs walk glumly under escort by a beady-eyed Russian soldier. Later stages of the war in the Eastern Front.

Russian (on horses) and German soldiers socialise in Poland, sometime in 1939.

The men were a hardy, resilient lot. Seen here in a trench in Russia. October 1943.


Men of Wehrmacht: German soldiers during WW2: PART 2

Wehramcht: Part 3 
 Wehrmacht: Part 4 

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians