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Amusing German war time contradictions


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On 5.10.2016 at 3:23 AM, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

random stuff:

1. I don't think what was said is really likely to ever be resolved to anyone's satisfaction.  It's well within the sort of thing Wilck had said in terms of being melodramatic, and again he wouldn't have been the first to have complained about something "unfair."  On the other end of the spectrum, it is an odd sort of thing for someone to say, and it's almost too funny to believe.

2. The use of the M12 in a direct fire role is pretty well documented, both in the urban fight at Aachen, and firing against bunkers on the Siegfried Line.  The use of other SP guns (M7, M8, Sherman 105) in direct fire anti-structure roles is also well recorded across all theaters.  

As far as post battle engagements, I wouldn't rule it out.  The US Army did lots of firing tests against captured German hardware, testing the 155 MM against the sort of structures that were expected to be encountered down the road wasn't entirely out there.

On the other hand the amount of damage a 155 MM would cause in terms of fragmentation and chaos in a place the US is occupying/has civilians returning to makes it seem unlikely it would be done in an urban location, occupied by Americans.  

Agree with all.

The US Arty unit in question was the C battery of 991st FAB. Unfortunately I couldn´t dig some AAR or comparable, so some more light could be shed on the battery´s M12 gun actions, particularly the days around and after october 21, 1944.

https://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=PublicUnitProfile&type=Unit&ID=10155

One rare pic of a M12 in action during the Aachen battle.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/armyphotos-togetherweserved/304087_med.jpg

While trying to find more info about Col Wilck´s career, abilities and profile, I stumbled upon another Wehrmacht officer. Otto Lasch, who formerly was Wilck´s divisional commander (349, ID), when Wilck commanded one this divisions regiments (GR 913). 349. ID was destroyed in July 1944 near Lemberg at the eastern front. While having this survived, Wilck´s next command was taking the 246. VGD as divisional commander and Otto Lasch raised up in command and at last was fortress commander of east prussian city of Konigsberg (Kaliningrad today) in 1945. Lasch surrendered the city to the russians  on 9 April 1945.  For this act, Hitler condemned him in absentia and his family to death. His wife and daughters were arrested in Berlin and Denmark. However at the end of the war they were released.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Lasch

I found it quite interesting that both, Wilck and his former superior shared the same fate of been given a fortress command to defend a german city to the last bullet at direct Fuhrer order. Wilck surely was afraid of what actually happened to Lasch half a year later, which might explain some his melodramatic behaviors. So it wasn´t without a good reason, particularly after the July 20 plot. This just as a side note.

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On 5.10.2016 at 3:11 AM, Sublime said:

Though such actions are rightfully still regarded as they are. Rare instances ( with the m12s) of them being used in emergency or specially called in. Not a common direct fire tool like a Su76 or StuG.

I could see the US maybe test shooting 155s ( werent the m12s new to the ETO being introduced with DDay or am I wrong? Not the 155 but the SP gun carriage..? ) because this would perhaps have left a foreboding feeling amongst US troops about their chances clearing out more urban  German areas and a desperation to find any exceptional weapon that they could blast positions with instead of sending men into.

The idea frankly that US forces would shoot something up with 155mm shells ( and especially when in the fall of 44 the US has a severe shortage of artillery shells and gasoline for frontline ETO units ) just to make it jive with a story. Especially a story that really hadnt been written if it was in the few days after the battle. I could only see Wilck being hugely sarcastic, insane, or senile to say the US was going around blasting buildings with 155mm SP guns for the express purpose of making a story work after the fact. To test it on heavy structures for the West Wall and urban fighting? Sure.  Vandalism via gun? An army past time of all nations as long as war existed. Youre giving large children dangerous toys.  Blowing up some building with 155mm fire to make "comrade eisenhower" correct after the fact? Please.

Sure it was plain sarcasm. But Wilck didn´t obviously knew about the fact that his former command bunker was test fired on after his surrender. He mainly refered to Ike´s statement in CiE, where it´s untrue that his surrender happened the way Ike described, at least when you look at the details. That still remains fact. Beeing then asked knowing about the shell marks on his command bunker, his response then was laconic and sarcastic for sure. That test firing incident surely is yet to be cleared up, which remains difficult, but off course has nothing to do with Ike writing CiE in 1948.

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On 5.10.2016 at 2:25 AM, BletchleyGeek said:

Hi Harry,

In the many - 10? 12? - years since I first met you on the Internet - some Matrix Games' Steel  Panthers edition forum perhaps? - I have never ever remotely entertained the notion you were some kind of insincere revisionist. 

In these times where so many, in the Internet and out of it, seem bent on re-enacting the rethoric of the late 20s and 30s you do stand out in a good way.

 

Cheers, 

 

BG.

 

 

Yeah mate, from Matrix SPWAW or CMX1 times I guess as well. :)

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