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The German war machine was well organized, the logistics were quite accurate and I can only imagine that they also were quite on time with wages payment before the Allied invasion in France.
My question is: Did German soldiers receive pay after the Allied invasion of France in June 1944?
A deeper question is: Did German soldiers that survived the world war receive pay for their services and, if they did, what government payed them?
From the comments:
I think that D-Day could be a point were the government decided to direct all funds into the war effort as in weapons, food, etc.
If you are a totalitarian state in a total war setting, money is not that important.
In a market economy with other factors yes, paying salaries has effects in production. People want to buy new things, and capitalists/individual workers direct their effort to produce the things the public wants (food, clothing, building, enterteinment, transport, etc.) diverting that workforce and production means away from more "war-friendly" production.
But in Germany in 19441, things were not like that.
It would not matter how many "money" the public had, Porsche or Volkswagen could not have decided on their own to stop producing military equipment in order to sell more private vehicles. And even if you were a company that had no direct orders about what to produce, you would not have access to the raw materials, and your workers would have been subject to conscription.
Some consumer goods were produced, of course, as people needed food, clothes and other basic stuff, but those would have been rationed so more pay would not have helped.
Of course as the war advanced and less and less goods were available to the public, that did lead to the logic inflation, as items at "official" price became scarce and black market did flourish; in a sense you could say that the state did cut the soldiers pay by creating the conditions for this scarcity and inflation, but without the public face loss of actually reducing the soldiers'pay slip.
And of course, DevSolar is right that "the turning point" was not D-Day and that a more relevant refence would have been the defeat at Stalingrad and the German reaction to it; if you want more precision the Sportpalast speech on 18 February 1943 is routinely quoted as the beginning of total war by Nazi Germany.
1And in fact almost all other countries involved, including those that were way more liberal and less in danger than Germany in 1944 did also enact rationing and government control of the economy in order to support the war effort.
The German state always cared for its soldiers and veterans. The soldiers were paid for as long as possible (long after June 44), receiving regular soldier's pay ("Wehrsold"). After the war they, and/or their relatives, received pensions and other benefits as soon as possible, as long as possible and as widely as possible, even exploiting loopholes in legal definitions; running contrary to publicly emphasised politics.
Let's start with the "deeper question":1
As for the regular pensions of regular Wehrmacht soldiers, the Allies - now after the war having the last word on everything regarding Germany until 1955 - had differing opinions on and arguments about that:
Colonel Gomme-Duncan: Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that these officers and men earned their pensions as soldiers before the war, and surely in every sense of justice are entitled to them? We should not expect the Germans to take away the pensions of our men. (15 March 1948 → Commons Sitting → Germany)
But the general agreement was reached that soldiers were entitled to pensions.
The actual pay during the war for active personnel was never in question at the time, from neither side.
After D-Day soldier's pay continued orderly and well into the last weeks of 1945. Although, as much as the organisational structure of Reich and Wehrmacht crumbled near the end, pay in terms of money became increasingly less useful.
Even though money was loosing utility near the end of the war and shortly after the capitulation, the Wehrsold was paid out with meticulous reliability. "As long as possible" mentioned in the introduction to this answer means, that as long as soldiers were attached to their organisational structure, Wehrsold was paid. This might be read as "right until the end in May 1945". In reality Wehrsold was paid even after that point:
Showing that some individuals were paid for up until October 1945. This is no fluke. Although not the norm this applies to quite a number of soldiers. For this particular individual it was:
It finally surrendered to US troops near Vienna, Austria on May 5, 1945. It is possible that Woditsch was part of this division, if he joined them after recovering from his illness or injuries in time, and, if he survived the war, ended up as a POW of the Americans. Interestingly, he was still paid a salary of 36 Reichsmark in October 1945, indicating that he survived the war.
(Picture from: An Ss Soldbuch & Id Tag To The Ss Volunteer Cavalry Regiment 1 & POW)
You might wonder how a soldier got his regular pay even after May 1945. The organisational structure of the Wehrmacht was not immediately and completely dismantled everywhere! After the unconditional surrender in the second week of May 1945 the German head of state Karl Dönitz continued a German government in Flensburg, very weakened and de facto without any much territory to control, trying to negotiate with the allies over some details. This ended only on May 23rd when all remaining troops surrendered and together with the officers were captured as prisoners of war.
The mystery of continued payments even after May 23rd, 1945 is explained in how British and Americans organised the adminstration of their "Disarmed Enemy Forces" (DEF) or "Surrendered Enemy Personnel" (SEP). After the Fall of Berlin English and American forces corralled German soldiers, but left them with a certain degree of self-administration. In the American sector:
Ende Mai [… ]. Die Militärkommission der 6. USArmy Group [… ]. Die enge Zusammenarbeit blieb also gewährleistet. Das war um so nötiger, als sich das Schwergewicht nun zunehmend auf die Geldversorgung verlagerte. [… ] Die Militärkommission überließ daher Verfahren und Verantwortung für die ordnungsgemäße Durchführung dem Oberbefehlshaber Süd [… ] Sie stellte als Grundbetrag 200 Millionen Reichsmark (RM) in Aussicht, von denen die Hälfte auf einem Girokonto der Deutschen Reichsbank - so hieß sie damals ja noch - in München für unbaren Geldverkehr und als Reserve verbleiben sollte, während die anderen 100 Millionen RM der Leitende Intendant für die notwendigen Zahlungen zu eigener Verfügung erhielt. Damit konnte zunächst der Wehrsold, auf den ja auch für die den Kriegsgefangenen rechtlich gleichstehenden Entwaffneten ein Anspruch bestand und dessen Zahlung, je nach der Kassenlage der Einheiten, seit dem 10. Mai eingestellt worden war, wieder gezahlt werden.
(Summary: after the payments had stopped after May, 10 in 1945, the Americans ordered money transfers and authorised local authorities to distribute the money to the soldiers who still had a legal claim on the money.)
(From: Kurt Nothnagel: "Die "Dienststelle Fritsch" Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Versorgung der entwaffneten deutschen Wehrmachtangehörigen in der amerikanischen Besatzungszone, 1945-1947", Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, Volume 21, Issue 1, 1977.)
The last remnants of the Wehrmacht were only dissolved in December 1945 and the Wehrsold stopped.
Returning to the pensions, still paid out: The currently official stance on pension claims and benefits is:
Die Zeit als Kriegsteilnehmer bei der deutschen Wehrmacht wird nach der Vollendung des 14. Lebensjahres als Ersatzzeit anerkannt.
(The time as a war participant in the German Wehrmacht is recognized after the completion of the 14th year of life as a time eligible to count for a pensions claim; the time in the army counts as compensatory for regular work time with associated contributions to the pensions fund.)
Info from an answer to a request to the official pensions institutions in Germany)
After 1956, every deed anyone did by order of the German Reich in officially recognised organisations or institutions was bureaucratically classified as regular work, eligible for pensions, even without the claimants having paid into the funds of solidarity otherwise required for that.
For more details on how and when pensions to soldiers were agreed upon and came to be paid after the war, cf.
Alaric Searle: "Wehrmacht Generals, West German Society, and the Debate on Rearmament, 1949-1959", Praeger Frederick: Westport, 2003.
The above is exclusively for West-Germany and unified Germany after 1990. The GDR handled things a little differently, and less generous. For these details:
Johannes Frerich & Martin Frey: "Sozialpolitik in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik", De Gruyter: Berlin, Boston, 22014. (Some extracts on GBooks, p24f.)
1: This version of the answer was self-censored by the original author of this post due to popular request. A more detailed explanation is found in version 15 in the edit history. Do not go there and read that version if you are easily offended.
Yes, the German soldiers were being paid after June 6, 1944.
Consider the case of the Merkers mine, where most of the gold reserves of Germany, plus a lot of looted artwork and precious metals, plus a substantial amount of printed Reichsmark and the plates to print them, had been moved not long before the Reichsbank in Berlin (the normal repository for Germany's financial reserves) had been destroyed by bombing. Third Army overran this area and were told about the contents of the mine by French and Polish workers who had moved the contents into the mine. This prompted considerable interest from high command.
Eisenhower and Patton were touring the mine, guided by Col Bernard Bernstein, deputy chief of the financial division of SHAEF, who had been detailed to supervise the safeguarding and inventorying of the mine.
Bernstein also showed the generals the art treasures, plates the Reichsbank used for the printing of the Reichsmark currency, and the currency itself. While they were looking at the latter, a German official said that they were the last reserves in Germany and were badly needed to pay the German army.
So, yes, the soldiers were being paid in Reichsmark right up until the monetary reserves of Germany were captured.
It is my understanding that while the regular Wehrmacht soldiers were generally entitled to pay and pensions, members of the SS and Waffen-SS were not. The SS was declared a criminal organisation during the Nuremberg trials and so all payments and service was stopped at that point. Conscripts, after 1943, were exempt from the declaration of criminal activity.
Stein, George (2002) . The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939-1945. Cerberus Publishing. ISBN 978-1841451008.
German POW asks: 'Why did America give their young men for us?'
German World War II veteran Paul Golz, 94, reflects on his time fighting at Normandy while at home in Pleiserhohn, Germany, on April 23, 2019. In June 1944, Golz was a 19-year-old private when he was captured by the Americans three days after D-Day. Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes BUY
KOENIGSWINTER, Germany &ndash Paul Golz was a 19-year-old German private when he was captured by the Americans in a Normandy field, three days after the D-Day invasion.
Golz says it was a stroke of luck that changed the trajectory of his life.
Being a prisoner of war in America for two years beat being a soldier in Germany, where Golz had avoided the hellish eastern front and refused to join the Waffen-SS, which after World War II was deemed a criminal organization for its atrocities.
As a POW in America, Golz tasted his first Coca-Cola, met comedian Red Skelton, watched Mickey Mouse at the cinema and heard jazz music for the first time. Along the way, he learned English, a skill that led him to a long career with the German foreign service.
The invasion ultimately changed his life for the better, Golz said. &ldquoOtherwise I was a poor farmer&rsquos boy. I have seen another life. I&rsquove always had a good guardian angel all of my life.&rdquo
Golz returned to Normandy for the first time since the war in 2014 and hopes to go back for the 75th anniversary of the invasion that turned the tide of WWII and helped the Allies win.
Now 94 with white hair and piercing blue eyes, Golz lately has been asked to tell his war story more often. War veterans are dying off quickly and Golz is an eyewitness to the historic battle from the other side of the shores of Normandy.
Golz almost didn&rsquot make it to Normandy in June 1944. An ammunition runner in the German Wehrmacht, Golz&rsquos unit was sent to Russia to fight in January 1944. But Golz got very sick, sidelining until the end of March.
&ldquoEveryone was dead,&rdquo Golz said, of the 50 soldiers in his company sent to fight in Russia. &ldquoMy guardian angel had given me diphtheria and scarlet fever.&rdquo
On April 4, 1944, Golz&rsquos 19th birthday, he was sent to Baumholder and assigned to a machine gun team with the 91st Air Infantry Division.
From there, they walked more than 500 miles to help defend the French harbor of Saint-Nazaire. When the Allies never came there, Golz&rsquos team was ordered to Normandy. At Cherbourg&rsquos heights, Golz helped place &ldquoRommel asparagus&rdquo logs driven into the ground and connected with barbed wire to snare Allied gliders and paratroopers.
The Americans have landed
On the morning of the invasion, Golz was near Carentan, where at about 6 a.m., he went to a local farmer for milk.
&ldquoHe knew me,&rdquo Golz said of the French farmer. &ldquoEvery morning I went to him to get milk.&rdquo
But the farmer said, &ldquo&rsquoHey, listen, get out, get out! The Americans have landed already with tanks,&rsquo&rdquo Golz said. &ldquoHe heard it on the radio.&rdquo
Golz&rsquos team was sent to the fight, toward Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first village in Normandy liberated by the Allies.
Along the way, Golz remembers &ldquolooking for chocolate or something to eat. We were hungry and thirsty.&rdquo
They saw gliders and parachutes strewn in the meadows, remnants of the airborne assault on Normandy that had begun the night before the invasion.
While passing through hedges, he encountered his first American, a paratrooper waving his rifle with a white sock over it in surrender. &ldquoHe was trembling with fear,&rdquo Golz said.
&ldquoI won&rsquot do you any harm,&rdquo Golz said calmly, in German.
The paratrooper offered him water from his canteen, but Golz remained wary of what might be inside. &ldquoFirst, I had him drink it,&rdquo he said.
Paul Golz as a young German soldier. the 94-year-old World War II veteran hopes to return to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the historic D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Golz was captured three days after the invasion and held as a prisoner of war in America for two years.×
Paul Golz as a young German soldier. the 94-year-old World War II veteran hopes to return to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the historic D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Golz was captured three days after the invasion and held as a prisoner of war in America for two years.
Later, Golz and a fellow soldier named Schneider saw another paratrooper down in a field. This time, the American was dead. Schneider rifled through the dead man&rsquos pockets and pulled out a wallet. Inside was a photo of a woman. Schneider then tried to pry a gold ring off the American&rsquos finger but could not get it off.
He said he was going to cut the finger off. Golz told him, &ldquo&lsquoIf you cut the finger, I blow you away.&rsquo&rdquo
As they continued, Golz and his fellow soldiers spent more time hunkered down in ditches than on the road because of constant air attacks. U.S. warplanes made strafing runs so low to the ground that Golz could see pilots&rsquo faces.
But he wasn&rsquot scared, he said. &ldquoIt was a new situation for us. What shall happen now?&rdquo At such a young age, he said, one doesn&rsquot think about dying.
Three days after the invasion, Golz and his team of four were supposed to cover his company&rsquos withdrawal. After firing at a column of American trucks, the Germans hid in old foxholes. Golz looked up to see their only escape route at the pasture entrance blocked by an American Sherman tank.
&ldquo&lsquoHey, boys, come on. Hands up,&rsquo&rdquo the Americans shouted, as they came into the pasture.
The Americans searched the prisoners and found the wallet Schneider took. A soldier hit Schneider with the butt of his rifle, Golz said.
&ldquoIf he (the American soldier) had found the finger, he (Schneider) probably would have been shot, so I was his guardian angel for him,&rdquo Golz said.
A first meal and on to America
After being marshaled up by the Americans, Golz walked by scores of wounded Germans and their desperate cries of &ldquocomrade, help me.&rdquo
&ldquoSo much for a hero&rsquos death,&rdquo Golz remembers thinking at the time.
They walked several hours to Utah Beach, where thousands of ships and landing boats dotted the coastline, and then boarded a British transport ship. After days of no food and water, Golz and his fellow prisoners were treated to a &ldquofirst meal&rdquo in the ship&rsquos mess of sausage, mashed potatoes, white bread and a cup of coffee.
It did little to curb their hunger.
The prisoners queued a second and third time. Finally, the mess officer yelled: &ldquoWhat the hell is going on here? We only have 800 German prisoners on board and 8,000 have eaten!&rdquo
From England, Golz traveled by train to Scotland, and then, along with about 2,000 German POWs, by the Queen Mary liner to America.
Paul Golz pictured as a boy with his family. Golz says fighting in World War II and his subsequent capture by the Americans at Normandy changed the course of his life. The son of a poor farmer, Golz learned English and went on to work in the German foreign service.×
Paul Golz pictured as a boy with his family. Golz says fighting in World War II and his subsequent capture by the Americans at Normandy changed the course of his life. The son of a poor farmer, Golz learned English and went on to work in the German foreign service.
Confronting the past, looking ahead
Golz spent two years at Camp Patrick Henry, where he had &ldquoa good time&rdquo as a POW in Newport News, Va.
He worked in the kitchen and grew vegetables in the garden. He learned how to bowl, listened radio shows, mowed the lawn, played football and made friends with Americans.
But Golz and the other Germans were also confronted with reality of Nazi crimes against humanity when the camp showed the movie &ldquoFactories of Death&rdquo about the concentration camps.
Golz said that after the movie was shown to the prisoners, they were punished and given only bread and water for a week.
Golz was sent to Scotland to rebuild roads in 1946 and returned to Germany the next year as a free man. It was difficult to find work, but the English he learned helped him when he applied for a job with the German foreign office. Over the years, he was stationed in Madagascar, Nigeria and Togo, but never made it back to the United States.
Now, 75 years after D-Day, Golz lives in Pleiserhohn, a rural district of Koenigswinter, about 12 miles east of the former West Germany&rsquos capital city of Bonn. Golz briefly reflected on the upcoming anniversary of D-Day.
&ldquoSo many died on 6th of June. Why did America give their young men for us?&rdquo Golz asked. From his point of view, America&rsquos victory freed Germany from the Nazi regime.
But Golz is not a man who lives in his past. He follows political news on TV and thinks about the world we are living in now. To &ldquokeep peace and democracy&rdquo is important, he said.
&ldquoNo one can do anything alone in the world anymore. We need each other.&rdquo
2. Rommel was injured multiple times in both world wars.
Taking part in dangerous raids and reconnaissance missions throughout World War I, his men supposedly joked, “Where Rommel is, there is the front.” But all of this fighting, including one 52-hour period in which his unit captured some 9,000 Italian prisoners, came with a price. In September 1914, for example, Rommel charged three French soldiers with a bayonet after running out of ammunition, only to be shot in the thigh so badly that a hole opened up as big as his fist. Three years later in Romania, he lost quite a bit of blood from a bullet to the arm, and he also continuously suffered from stomach ailments, fevers and exhaustion. More physical hardships came during World War II, from appendicitis to a face wound caused by a shell splinter. Then, in the wake of the D-Day invasion, Allied aircraft strafed his open-topped car as it rode through Normandy, France, causing it to somersault off the road. When the dust cleared, Rommel was unconscious, with multiple skull fractures and glass fragments in his face. In order to cover up the subsequent forced suicide of the popular general, Nazi officials told the public he had died as a result of those injuries. The truth didn’t come out until the conclusion of the conflict.
A Bodyguard of Lies: How the Allies Deceived Germany about D-Day
In planning the Normandy landings, Allied commanders realized that if Germany was able to determine the specific location and timing of the invasion, it would be able to concentrate its forces to repulse it. Tactical surprise was essential for ensuring a successful landing. Given its size, it was impossible to hide the evidence of the invasion force. By 1944, there were 1.5 million American servicemen in Britain, plus prodigious quantities of their supplies and equipment.
While the intent to invade could not be concealed, the location and timing had to be if there was going to be any chance of success. Accordingly, starting in 1943, the Allies began to develop several stratagems for deceiving the Germans about Allied plans for the invasion of Europe. Collectively, these stratagems were named Operation Bodyguard. A title inspired by Churchill's comment to Stalin, Bodyguard consisted of different hypothetical invasion plans to be carried out between June and September 1944, and diplomatic gambits designed to conceal the Allies' true intention.
The primary focus was to make the Germans think that the Pas de Calais would be the main invasion target to conceal the actual date and time of the assault and to fix German military forces in Calais, and elsewhere in Europe, to prevent them from reinforcing German troops in Normandy for at least two weeks after the invasion began.
Under Bodyguard, the Allies developed several different scenarios for possible invasion plans and political initiatives designed to thwart the German war effort. Their code names and targets were as follows.
Royal Flush was a ploy to convince Germany that the Allies were making overtures to Turkey, Spain and Sweden in order to recruit them to the Allied side and to enlist their support for the invasion of Norway and/or landings elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
Zeppelin was a plan for landings in Crete and Greece, and then proceeding up the Balkans to meet up with Soviet forces on the Eastern Front.
Ferdinand was a plan for an amphibious landing just south of Rome in central Italy. This was eventually dropped when it began to duplicate actual, possible, battle plans.
Vendetta was a plan for landings at Marseille on the French Mediterranean coast. This eventually became Operation Anvil, an actual plan to simultaneously land troops on the Cote d'Azur with the D-Day landings. It was scrubbed because of a shortage of men and landing craft. It was subsequently reinstated as Operation Dragoon and carried out on Aug. 15, 1944.
Copperhead was another stratagem designed to convince the Germans that the Allies would strike in the Mediterranean and were making political overtures to Spain. Ironside was a proposed landing at Bordeaux. Fortitude South was a proposed landing in the Pas de Calais. Graffham was another series of negotiations with Sweden in preparation for a landing in Norway, and Fortitude North was a proposed landing at Trondheim, Norway.
In addition, the Allies also discussed a stratagem to persuade the Germans that they would rely on strategic bombing to defeat Germany and that an invasion would not occur until 1945.
The Allied effort to deceive Germany was aided by two unlikely sources. First, Ultra-signals intelligence from decrypted German radio transmissions allowed the Allies to see what stratagems were working and to reinforce German misconceptions about Allied plans.
For example, when intercepted communications showed that the Germans were concerned about the possibility of Allied landings in the Bay of Biscay and Bordeaux, the Allies leaked details about a proposed plan (Ironside) to German double agents. The details outlined a plan for two divisions sailing from the U.K. to establish a beachhead on the Garonne Estuary, which would then be reinforced by an additional six divisions of American troops sailing directly from the U.S. That force would then link up with a second force, Operation Vendetta, advancing from the south, following a successful landing in Marseille.
Secondly, the Allies had the use of the German double agents who had been turned by MI5 (Military Intelligence Section 5) under the Double Cross System, and were being run by the Twenty (XX) Committee. Twenty in Roman numerals is XX, as in double cross. The British proved remarkably adept at identifying German spies. After the war, it was discovered that all but one German spy sent to Britain was either captured or had turned themselves in during the war. The one exception committed suicide.
Captured spies were given the option of working for the British as double agents, and were used to feed select misinformation to their German handlers. In some cases, the spies were fed accurate information in order to increase their credibility with the Germans. The Spanish double agent Juan Pujol Garcia, for example, codenamed Garbo, was given accurate information about the Allied invasion plan, and was told to warn the Germans that the Normandy landings were not a feint. His German handlers didn't believe him and, even if they had, it was too late, by then, to do much in response.
The Allies also used fake radio traffic to simulate the presence of large military formations when, in fact, there were none or they were much smaller. In Egypt, for example, radio traffic suggested that the Ninth, Tenth and Twelfth armies were getting ready for an invasion of Crete, followed by landings in the Balkans. In reality, there was no such force, only three small, understrength divisions. Recordings of trucks and tanks being operated were also played over loudspeakers to create the impression that substantial forces were encamped.
Actors were also used to confuse German intelligence. The British actor M.E. Clifton looked remarkably like British Commander Gen. Bernard Montgomery. He was used to make public appearances in Gibraltar, Malta and North Africa (Operation Copperhead) in order to persuade the Germans that he would be leading an attack somewhere in the Mediterranean. Later, he was used immediately before the Normandy landings to give the impression that Montgomery was in the Mediterranean and hence no cross-channel invasion was imminent.
The main thrust of the deception effort, however, was Operation Fortitude. It had two aspects: Fortitude North was a plan to convince the Germans that the Allied landings would be in Norway, while Fortitude South was designed to convince the Germans that the landings would occur in the Pas de Calais.
Both operations required the creation of two phantom armies. Fortitude North was to be carried out by the 250,000 strong British 4th Army based in Edinburgh, while the attack on Calais would be carried out by the First United States Army Group (FUSAG) under Gen. George Patton and the 21st Army Group under Montgomery.
The purported invasion of Calais was set for mid-July, D-Day +45, in order to reinforce German concerns that the Normandy landings were a feint and that the real target was Calais.
FUSAG existed only on paper. Montgomery and the 21st Army Group were real, but were intended to be part of the Normandy invasion force. The British 4th Army had existed during World War I. Under its commander, Gen. Sir Henry Rawlinson, it distinguished itself in battles at the Somme, Ypres and Amiens. In the spring of 1944, however, it existed only on paper.
Edinburgh was outside the range of German reconnaissance aircraft, so the Allies relied primarily on fake radio traffic to give the impression that the British 4th Army was preparing for an invasion of Norway. The British also faked radio traffic to mimic a buildup of ships and aircraft in Scotland in anticipation of an invasion.
For Fortitude South, the Allies relied on a combination of radio traffic, information leaked to double agents and the creation of dummy aircraft, landing fields and fake equipment to give German reconnaissance flights the impression that a substantial armed force had been prepared for the invasion of Calais.
FUSAG was positioned in the southeast, in order to persuade German intelligence that the center of the invasion force was directly opposite Calais. Patton was dispatched to visit many of the dummy facilities with Army photographers in tow to encourage the deception. The German High Command considered Patton the best American general, and expected that he would lead the Allied attack across the channel.
The Fortitude South deception worked extremely well. German military intelligence initially estimated that the Allies had 79 divisions in Great Britain, when in reality they had only 52. By D-Day, the estimate had been increased to 90 divisions. The Germans believed, even after the Normandy landings, that a substantial military force of 40 divisions remained in Great Britain. It was this phantom force, they concluded, that was earmarked for Calais. The German error reinforced their belief that the Normandy landings were a feint and that a bigger force was being readied to attack Calais.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel kept a large number of German troops, and a significant part of his armored units, deployed around the Pas de Calais. He continued to believe that it would be the eventual target long after the Normandy landings had been carried out. German troops did not move from the area until weeks after D-Day. Moreover, the deception forced the Germans to keep a significant amount of their reserve troops uncommitted in anticipation they might be needed to defend an attack on Calais.
The Germans also believed that the invasion would not succeed unless the Allies could quickly capture a port, so they devoted a considerable amount of their defensive effort to protecting the Channel ports and to ensuring that they could destroy them, rendering them useless to the Allies, if they needed to. They were right in that assessment. They simply did not anticipate that the Allies would use Mulberry Harbours to create their own temporary ports and breakwaters at Arromanches and Omaha Beach.
Allied deception was a critical element in the success of the Normandy landings. They pinned down significant numbers of German forces, not only in France, but throughout occupied Europe. Rommel devoted a significant amount of his effort to build up the Atlantic Wall to strengthening defensive fortifications from Calais to Boulogne-sur-Mer. He had a disproportionate amount of his troops and armor there and, more importantly, he kept them there rather than immediately redeploying them to Normandy.
On June 1, five days before the Normandy landing, the Allies intercepted a message from the Japanese ambassador to Germany, back to Tokyo, in which he outlined that Adolf Hitler believed that the Allies would simultaneously launch diversionary attacks against Norway, Denmark, Bordeaux and Marseilles before attacking with the main force across the Strait of Dover against Calais.
This Never-Before-Seen WWII Document Offers An Inside Account Of An Elite Nazi Combat Unit's Collapse
Seventy years later, 90-year-old Frankemolle still has that report, which he stored in his Long Island home alongside photos and mementos from his period of service with the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. The two-page Special IPW Report, titled The Odyssey of Goetz Von Berlightngen, is an English translation of a first-hand account written by an unnamed Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) staff officer in the presence of his American interrogators.
Frankemolle believes he may have one of the last copies of that forgotten document, which his family agreed to share with Business Insider.
Nazi SS combat troops were Hitler's most diehard and elite soldiers, still notorious for their wartime atrocities. But this officer's account reveals that he and his comrades fought hard — but suffered from waning morale in the months following the Allies' successful D-Day invasion of the European mainland on June 6, 1944.
You can find the full document at the bottom. But here are the highlights of a jarringly intimate glimpse into the enemy camp during World War II.
Heading to the front
The officer's unit, the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division — named after a spelling variation of the medieval German knight Götz von Berlichingen — headed from Thouars, France, to Normandy to fight the Allied forces landing there. "Everyone was in a good mood and eager to see action again — happy that the preinvasion spell of uncertainty and waiting had snapped at last," the German SS officer wrote.
As the motorized column traveled along French roads, it was ambushed from the air by an enemy it had never encountered before.
"Something happened that left us in a daze," the officer wrote. "Spouts of fire flicked along the column and splashes of dust staccatoed the road. Everyone was piling out of the vehicles and scuttling for the neighboring fields. Several vehicles already were in flames."
The startled soldiers only continued their march after 15 minutes of strafing and bombing. "The men started drifting back to the column again, pale and shaky and wondering that they had survived this fiery rain of bullets. Had that been a sign of things to come? This had been our first experience with the 'Jabos' (Fighter bombers)."
An hour later a second and more effective air attack left the French road strewn with destroyed vehicles and equipment. The officer had this to say:
It dawned on us that this opponent that had come to the beach of Normandy was of somewhat different form. The march was called off, and all vehicles that were left were hidden in the dense bushes or in barns. No one dared show himself out in the open anymore. Now the men started looking at each other. The first words passed. This was different from what we thought it would be like. If things like this happened here, what would it be like up there at the front? No, this did not look like a feint attack upon our continent. It had been our first experience with our new foe — the American.
The division now traveled only in darkness and on secondary roads. When the soldiers reached their assigned sector near the French town of Periers, they began wondering why the German air force, known as the Luftwaffe, hadn't appeared, according to the officer's account:
But now the "Jabo" plague became even more serious. No hour passed during the daytime without that nerve-frazzling thunder of the strafing fighters overhead. And whenever we cared to look we could see that smoke billow from some vehicle, fuel depot or ammunition dump mushrooming into the sky. The common soldier began to think. What would all this lead to, and what was being done about it? Where was the Luftwaffe, and why had it not been committed during the past few days?
Officers lied to lower-ranking soldiers that the German planes were operating in adjacent sectors where they were needed even more.
Complaints arose that the division's fighting capabilities were deteriorating while the enemy's was strengthening.
"The hope of driving the Americans back into the [English] Channel had already given way to a hoping of being able to hold our own against the invaders," the officer wrote.
An American ground advance near Coutances, France, forced the unit to pull back.
The decisive blow came on July 26, when 2,000 heavy bombers annihilated several German sectors and the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division ceased to exist in anything more than name.
Here is the officer's amazing description of the chaotic retreat:
No human account ever could describe the hardship, the sacrifice, the misery the men of this division alone experienced. No one who finished this retreat still alive will ever forget this Gathsename [place of suffering], because each village, each road, even each bush seared into his brain the memories of terrible hours, insufferable misery, of cowardice, despair and destruction.
The German officer found a regrouping area away from the destruction. There, he rounded up stragglers and deserters from other units and forced them to join the ranks of the beleaguered SS division as replacements for all those lost.
"And that is the history of the 17 SS Pz Gren Div GOETZ VON BERLIGHINGEN up to my capture (1 Nov 44)," concludes the unnamed German officer's account.
Frankemolle himself landed on Omaha Beach shortly after the initial invasion waves to deliver ammunition to the advancing troops. However, he spent most of his service in Europe as a gunner aboard a supply ship.
He believes the German SS officer who wrote this account was among the group of prisoners he guarded for one night, although he was not involved in his capture.
The US general most respected by the Nazis may surprise you
Let’s be clear: if the German high command had any respect for American generals at the outset of World War II, they would never have declared war in the first place. But as we all know, respect is earned and not issued, so it took a little time for the United States to earn respect on the battlefield.
History may remember the most audacious personalities and events, while some figures end up quietly stealing the spotlight through bravery and determination. Jimmy Doolittle did both.
That’s right, it’s good ol’ Jimmy “Payback’s a Bitch” Doolittle.
Before the many, many armchair historians start clacking away at their keyboards try to remind me that Gen. George S. Patton existed and that Nazi High Command feared him the most, let me remind readers that fear and respect are not the same thing and that Patton’s history is often apocryphal. Even Patton’s personal biographer wrote he was not a “hero even to professional German officers who respected him as the adversary they most feared in battle.” For most of World War II, the German general staff barely noticed Patton at all.
This isn’t to imply that Patton didn’t deserve his accolades and reputation or that he didn’t do as history says he did. Patton’s shift from entrenched positions in North Africa to a more mobile kind of warfare, one designed to destroy the enemy’s forces rather than hold land, helped turn the tide for the Allies in World War II. But to the Germans, Patton was one threat among many. By 1944, Patton didn’t even warrant a one-paragraph briefing in the German High Command’s War Diary. In their view, the Allied invasion of Sicily was nothing to brag about. Even as 3rd Army commander in Europe, the Germans facing Patton used words like “timid” and “systematic” to describe his tactics.
Harsh words from the Germans. But they still lost.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Jimmy Doolittle was Maj. Jimmy Doolittle. He was promoted after the United States entered World War II, and of course, immediately began planning his infamous raid over Tokyo. The Doolittle Raid involved secretly getting 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers as close to Japan as possible aboard the USS Hornet, and then taking off on a short runway – something that had never been done – then flying these stripped-down tin cans full of bombs over the Japanese homeland and crash landing in China, hopefully avoiding Japanese patrols.
This is a plan so unprecedented and audacious that I can’t even come up with a modern real-world comparison. Three of the Doolittle Raiders died after dropping their ordnance, one crew was interned in the USSR, eight were captured by the Japanese, and all planes were lost. But Jimmy Doolittle was flying in the lead plane. It was his first combat mission. But while the Doolittle Raid may have awed the Japanese and the American public, it did little for Nazis. Doolittle wasn’t finished though. In just two years, he would be promoted to Lieutenant General and go from commanding a squadron of 16 bombers to commanding the entire Eighth Air Force – and the largest aerial formation ever assembled.
Lt. Col. James Doolittle wires a Japanese Medal of Peace to one of the bombs destined for Tokyo in 1942.
The air war over Europe was very, very different from the fighting on the ground and was a much longer war. By 1944, Doolittle was in command of Eighth Air Force in Europe, and the Allies were making preparations for the coming D-Day invasions. Doolittle and the Eighth were tasked with reducing the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe and giving the Allies complete air superiority over Europe. At the time, the German air forces were wreaking havoc on Allied bombers. American bombers would avoid any contact with the Luftwaffe if they didn’t have fighter protection, and even when they did, the Nazi’s twin-engine Zerstörergeschwader heavy fighters and Sturmböcke were still able to take their toll on Army Air Forces. But Operation Argument – better known as “Big Week” – changed all that.
The Germans had pulled their entire air force back to Germany. Doolittle wanted to plan Big Week in a way that would force Germany to respond with fighter interceptions so he could either destroy the Luftwaffe in the air or destroy the production of replacement aircraft. The Nazis, with their new heavy fighter tactics, were more than willing to challenge the Eighth Air Force bombers. But Doolittle had two surprises waiting for them. The first was the new longer-range P-51 Mustang fighter. The second was a revolution in bomber defense tactics: instead of being forced to stay close to the bombers, fighter escorts could sweep the skies clear well ahead of the bombers.
Doolittle targeted factories all over Germany, in 11 cities, including Leipzig, Brunswick, Gotha, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Steyr, to name a few. Some 3,894 heavy bombers and 800 fighters took off from England, including the new P-51 flying well ahead of the bomber force. And the Luftwaffe arrived in force to greet them. The new fighters and their new tactics were devastating to the heavy German fighters. Allied airmen hunted down and picked off the fighters before they could get close to the bomber formations. During 3,000 sorties over six days, the Allies punished the German air force and industrial capacity. The air raids damaged or destroyed 75 percent of the factories that produced 90 percent of Germany’s aircraft. The Luftwaffe was “helpless” in the face of the aerial onslaught.
The Nazis lost hundreds of airplanes and pilots, and had the capacity to replace neither of them. The Allies would soon have total air superiority over Europe, just in time for the June 1944 invasion of France. Doolittle also ordered his fighters to hit any military targets on the ground if the opportunity arose. By the time Allied forces landed in Normandy, flak was taking down more Allied bombers than fighters were. The Nazis noticed, especially Adolf Galland, a fighter ace and senior commander of the Luftwaffe under Hermann Goering.
Courtesy of 8th Air Force.
Galland would become friends with many of the Allied officers he fought after World War II. One of those was James Doolittle. After the war, Galland told Doolittle that the German High Command had no idea what was happening to them until it was much too late, and they were overcommitted. His tactic of allowing fighters to sweep the skies instead of being in formation with the bombers took the Luftwaffe from offense to defense for the rest of the war, and never again would the Luftwaffe be a considerable threat to the Allies in the air. Because of this, the Germans knew Doolittle could destroy the German oil industry, as well as its communications and transportation infrastructure. The Army Air Force did just that.
1 Answer 1
I don't have access to the book to get the exact quote
Is there anything to this?
Your cousin got the anecdote slightly wrong. Collins did not report that the soldiers were Nazis (a technicality perhaps) nor that they cut off their own eyelids.
Collins didn't actually claim to have seen this himself. In this extract, he doesn't explain what evidence for motivation was found by the two guys (or perhaps the men from the 101st and/or 82nd who told the two guys) nor does he explain how they distinguished other causes of the injury from the cause they suggest.
I can't find any other sources that mention German soldiers being deliberately mutilated in this way.
There is the history of Johannes Steinhoff a German pilot who was burned in a crash and had to have his eyelids reconstructed after the war. It is difficult to see how this could be the origin of Collins' anecdote.
The idea of cutting eyelids off as a punishment (not as a means of preventing sleep) goes back a long way (e.g. Roman stories of the torture of Regulus in Carthage).
A possible origin for stories of this sort could be reports about the effects of severe cold on German soldiers at the russian front:
The Italian journalist Curzio Malaparte recalled in his novel Kaputt how he had watched the German troops returning from the Eastern Front, and was in the Europeiski Café in Warsaw when "suddenly I was struck with horror and realised that they had no eyelids. I had already seen soldiers with lidless eyes, on the platform of the Minsk station a few days previously on my way from Smolensk.
"The ghastly cold of that winter had the strangest consequences. Thousands and thousands of soldiers had lost their limbs thousands and thousands had their ears, their noses, their fingers and their sexual organs ripped off by the frost. Many had lost their hair… Many had lost their eyelids. Singed by the cold, the eyelid drops off like a piece of dead skin… Their future was only lunacy."
- Book claims Allied troops raped 285,000 German women during invasion
- There are numerous cases of rape recorded by Allied officers during war
- However, the alarming figure is based on assumptions and lacks evidence
- British and U.S. soldiers could, and were, executed for committing rape
Published: 22:40 BST, 25 March 2015 | Updated: 08:03 BST, 26 March 2015
There were rules against Allied soldiers fraternising with civilian women during the Second World War but they were routinely ignored
There was no doubt that Private Blake W. Mariano of the 191st Tank Battalion was a brave man. As part of the American Army's 45th Infantry Division, he had killed many Germans as he fought through Africa, Italy and southern France, before finally, in March 1945, he and his Sherman tank had crossed the Rhine into Germany.
By April 15, 1945, Mariano had been away from his home in New Mexico for nearly three years. A father of three, the 29-year-old was divorced, although he did have a girlfriend in England.
His loved ones, however, were far from his mind that evening. During the day, his unit had successfully overrun the large village of Lauf on the edge of the Black Forest in south-western Germany, and Mariano decided it was time to celebrate.
Accompanied by another American private, Mariano went out drinking. After finding a well-stocked cellar, the two men quickly became inebriated on cognac, at which point they went looking to complete their evening.
They found what they wanted in an air raid shelter under the town's castle. Huddled there were 17 villagers, two of whom were children.
Mariano pointed his rifle at a young woman called Elfriede. Aged just 21, Elfriede worked in an office, and had a fiancé who was away fighting. Mariano took her outside and raped her. After he had finished, his companion did the same.
Still not sated, Mariano returned to the shelter and chose a 41-year-old woman called Martha. When it became apparent that she was menstruating, Mariano shot her. It would take Martha until the following morning to die.
In a final act of savagery, Mariano selected one more woman, a 54-year-old shopkeeper called Babette, who he also raped. His 'entertainment' now over, Mariano finally returned to his tank.
The following morning, Martha's husband returned to the village after being discharged from the Army. He might have thought that he and his wife were now safe, having survived six long years of war.
As soon as he had discovered what had happened, the widower went straight to the Americans, who immediately launched an investigation.
Just over three weeks later, on May 8, Mariano was arrested and charged. In his defence, he claimed not to remember a thing. The villagers of Lauf would have no such problem. What Mariano had done in a few hours that one night would remain with them for decades.
Did German soldiers receive pay after the Allied invasion? - History
The mind boggling stupidness in this thread is scary.
German soldiers committed atrocity after atrocity throughout Europe. Same as the Japanese did in China, the Philippines and throughout Asia. They left their homeland to conquer a continent and kill every person who stood in the way of their conquest. These were EVIL people. No different from gangstas on the streets of New Orleans or Hitler himself. Giving the average soldier a 'pass' because he was too young, ignorant, or brainwashed to understand that killing millions of innocent people is wrong puts those giving the 'pass' next in line to commit the same atrocities.
Individuals are responsible for their actions. German (and Japanese) soldiers were as guilty as their dictators. Not holding them responsible invites the history to repeat itself.
50-80 million dead from their actions probably have a different view.
You apologists disgust me.
Not every German soldier was a foaming-at-the-mouth Nazi. You are conflating the brutality of the war in the East with the war in the West.
The Eastern campaign was unbelievably violent and brutal, on a scale never seen before and probably since. The Nazis and the Communists hated each other with a burning passion which most of us probably cannot fathom. I don't think anyone can say clearly who committed the first atrocities, but once it happened, it was game on, to the death.
While the war in the West was violent and certainly no picnic, it pales in comparison to the East.
In general, the soldiers in the West did not commit atrocities (and yes, I'm aware of Malmedy) on the scale of what occurred in the East.
So to say every German soldier was evil is an extremely simplistic view of a complex war.
D-Day: The Germans Story In 43 Haunting Photos
In this collection of photos of the aftermath, we see Japanese, Poles, Czechs, Russians and Mongols wearing the Nazis colours.
The D-Day invasion wasn’t all about the winners. It was also about the losers.
But what about the Germans? Well, they weren’t all Germans. In this collection of photos of the aftermath, we see Japanese, Poles, Czechs, Russians and Mongols wearing the Nazis colours. Some had been enslaved. Forced to fight. Others were collaborators, who wilfully fought for the Nazis. After the invasion, all were prisoners. Or dead.
These photos are, of course, the ones the men from the Associated Press were allowed to send back for publication. Blood and gore are in short supply. Retribution is absent. But let’s not dwell on what we don’t see. We should look at what we can see.
This French girl, who was engaged to a German soldier, refused to leave him even after he was captured and confined in a prisoner of war stockade on August 26, 1944. (AP Photo)
German prisoners file past the Town Hall at Cherbourg on their way to a stockade on June 28, 1944. One wounded prisoner is taken in a small truck. General Eisenhower referred to the fall of Cherbourg as the End of the Âsecond phase in the campaign of liberationÂ. (AP Photo)
General Major Robert Sattler, Deputy German Commander of the Fort Du Roule, at Cherbourg, France on June 28, 1944, after his capture. (AP Photo)
A study of German prisoners taken by the Americans in their drive on Cherbourg, France on June 28, 1944. The fall of Cherbourg ends what General Eisenhower refers to as the Âsecond phase of the campaign of liberation.Â (AP Photo/Laurence Harris)
A column of German prisoners, captured in fighting for the outer defenses of Cherbourg are marched to a prisoner of war stockade behind the lines on June 29, 1944. (AP Photo)
Commander of the German forces which capitulated at the French port of Cherbourg, France, stand with their conqueror on June 30, 1944, after giving up the fight. From left to right are: Lt. Gen. Carl Wilhelm von Schlieben, German garrison commander Maj. Gen. J.L. Collins, of the U.S. Seventh Corps which took the city and German Admiral Hennecke, who had been in charge of the port’s sea defenses. (AP Photo/Peter J.)
Hands clasped over their heads, a group of German prisoners (top) is herded down a slope on the French coast on June 21, 1944, to a ship to take them to a prison camp, as American command post bustles with activity below. American flag on ground provides protection against shelling from allied boats and bombing by allied planes. (AP Photo)
This Japanese, captured while serving in the German army in France on June 21, 1944, gives his name and serial number to an American as he files along with other German prisoners rounded up in the Normandy coast area. (AP Photo)
Three American soldiers, members of an airborne infantry outfit who were captured and held by the Germans near Orglandes, France on June 25, 1944, look at some of their former captors, now held by their comrades who captured the village and released the Americans. The soldiers are from left to right are front: Pfc, James C. Bishop, Dallas, Tex, Pvt. Joseph Burnett, Huntington, W.Va. and Pfc. (AP Photo)
German soldiers, captured by Allied Armies on the Normandy beachheads in France on June 16, 1944, are checked by fellow prisoners. (AP Photo/Jack Rice)
A stretcher bearer attends to a wounded German near the village of Lingevres, France on June 16, 1944, where a fierce battle was fought. (AP Photo)
German prisoners captured by the FFI at Maizy sur Oise, France on Sept. 18, 1944 including officers of the Luftwaffe, stand in formation prior to being transferred to a detention area. Many of them are shoeless. (AP Photo)
An American soldier gives a drink of water to a wounded German prisoner lying on a stretcher somewhere in the Normandy, France on June 19, 1944, battle area through which the allies advanced. (AP Photo)
Two German soldiers surrendered to a solitary American soldier in Barneville, on the west coast of the Cherbourg peninsula, in France, on June 20, 1944. The Americans pushed through the town like a whirlwind after the Germans who are now in full retreat for Cherbourg. The prisoners were turned over to the local police and lodged in the town’s jail. (AP Photo)
German prisoners of war, in the battle for France, carry a wounded comrade to an evacuation area on the beach where landing craft will speed them out to ships in the English Channel for treatment by Allied doctors on June 15, 1944. (AP Photo)
This German soldier managed to keep his mascot dog when he was captured, with other members of his company, by allied troops in the beachhead sector in France on June 15, 1944. (AP Photo)
Not all of the GI Army prisoners taken on the battlefields France are stalwart, Blonde Aryans who we born to rule the world. Not quite so exclusive these days, the Herrenvolk hob-nobbing with men of all races – any as a matter of fact, who can carry a gun Adolf. Among the prisoners captured in France on June 15, 1944, were: (left to right) front row Yugoslav an Italian a Turk a Pole a German a Czech a Russian who forced into the army when the Nazis his town and a Mongol. (**Caption information received incomplete) (AP Photo)
First the troops wade ashore from landing craft. Then the gradual development of land operations some of these early stages. German prisoners being marched along beach on June 11, 1944. (AP Photo)
German soldiers, former ÂHerrenvolkÂ, come over the crest of a hill with their hands over their heads in surrender to American troops during the battle for the Norman beachhead in France on June 11, 1944. (AP Photo)
More than six hundred German prisoners, the largest number yet to reach this country since the opening of the second front, arrived in England on June 12, 1944. Here they are seen being marched under guard to a prisoners-of-war camp. (AP Photo)
American troops moving up to the front lines, right, pass a long line of German prisoners marching back to a holding camp prior to being shipped out of France, on June 12, 1944. (AP Photo)
A German officer smiles as he is interrogated by American soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy, France on June 12, 1944. (AP Photo/Peter Carroll)
Two long double lines of German prisoners are checked by Allied officers, center, as they stand beside barded wire fences of compound in England, June 12, 1944, after their capture on the Normandy coast of France. (AP Photo)
German prisoners of war, captured during the Allied Normandy invasion, are marched to the ships that bring them into captivity in England, in June 1944, at Bernieres-sur-mer, France. (AP Photo)
A wounded German soldier who surrendered to the Allied invasion forces, stands surrounded by a crowd of civilians and a French gendarme on the left, in Barneville in the Normandy region, June 1944. (AP Photo)
A dead German soldier seen in this June 1944 photo
A 16-year old German soldier has his hands clasped over his head as he is taken prisoner with thousands of other Wehrmacht soldiers, at Cherbourg, France, during the Allied Normandy invasion in June 1944. (AP Photo)
Led by a British soldier, a line of German prisoners of war is marched along a barbed-wire barricaded lane as they arrive at a POW camp somewhere in England, in June 1944, following their capture in Allied assault operations on the French Normandie coast. (AP Photo)
German prisoners of war are led away by Allied forces from Utah Beach, on June 6, 1944, during landing operations at the Normandy coast, France. (AP Photo)
Canadian invasion troops stand guard over the first German prisoners captured during the assault on France by Allied forces on June 6, 1944 along a 100 mile front on the Normandy coast between LeHavre and Cherbourg. Wounded soldiers are being treated, in the background. At extreme bear are German coastal fortifications of masonry, silenced by the invaders. (AP Photo)
A steady stream of German prisoners is pouring into this country from the battle of Normandy. German prisoners, captured on the beaches of Normandy, march through a street, somewhere in England, on June 9, 1944, after disembarkation at an English port. (AP Photo)
A long line of German prisoners of war from D-Day invasion on the French beachheads march through a coastal town in England on their way to an internment camp during World War II on June 9, 1944. (AP Photo)
The first Nazi airman to be shot down in the invasion area stands dejected amongst other prisoners at a camp somewhere in England, on June 9, 1944. (AP Photo)
Some of the first German soldiers to surrender to the Americans during the battle of the Normandy beaches on June 9, 1944. (AP Photo)
Some of the first German prisoners captured in the invasion of Normandy on June 9, 1944. (AP Photo)
An American paratrooper holds a Nazi prisoner at the point of his bayonet, one of many incidents during the American advance into Normandy, in France, on June 10, 1944. (AP Photo)
German prisoners help evacuate some of their own wounded, and are seen being put on board Red Cross boats to be taken out to the mother ship, standing by off the beachhead area in Normandy, France on June 10, 1944. (AP Photo)
German officers, captured on the beaches of Normandy in France, hang their heads dejectedly as they arrive on June 10, 1944 in England en route to prisoner of war camps. (AP Photo)
Badly battered German gunner of a gun nest on beach of northern France staggers out of underground nest under watchful eye of a burly U.S. Army M.P. on June 10, 1944.(AP Photo)
Badly battered German gunner of a gun nest on beach of northern France staggers out of underground nest under watchful eye of a burly U.S. Army M.P. on June 10, 1944.(AP Photo)
A wounded German prisoner, wearing a camouflages uniform, is escorted to an allied first aid station in France on June 21, 1944, by Pvt. Gaston Daisneault, Chateauguay, Quebec, (left) and Pvt. Robert Bonneau (center, background), of Lyster, Quebec. (AP Photo)