Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


This is coolbert:

The SS Mann - - as intellectual??

In a previous blog entry I mentioned the strange case [?] of SS General Eduard Deisenhofer. A man of obvious high intellect. A PhD, an outstanding scholar, etc. AND a SS mann!! Actually, a pretty high ranking SS mann!

I would think that most persons find a tremendous contradiction here. SS mann and intellectual? That persons with real mental abilities and scholarly backgrounds were attracted to the SS comes as a surprise to most? What goes on here?

[Joseph Goebbels was reputed to have THREE PhD's? I am not sure if a PhD in Europe and the right to claim the title of Herr Doctor has the same connotations it does here in the U.S.?]

Here too is another SS mann who was a Herr Doctor!

Oskar Dirlewanger.

A man of obvious physical courage and ability on the battlefield.

"was an infantry officer in World War I and won both the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Iron Cross 1st Class."

"He served in the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 and he was wounded three times."

"Dirlewanger was known to lead his soldiers into combat personally which was unusual for someone of his rank; he was wounded many times in combat"

"Dirlewanger was seriously injured in combat for the twelfth time"

"Dirlewanger . . . led many assaults, winning several awards for bravery"

A man also of considerable intellectual talents. [??]

"in the year 1922 he attained a PhD in Political Science."

But, possessed a dark side to his character that was deplorable in the extreme.

"Oskar Dirlewanger was arguably a skillful psychopath"

"psychopath - - n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse."

"Dirlewanger was an alcoholic"

"In 1934 he was convicted of, among other things, the rape of a thirteen-year old BDM girl and molesting other underage girls"

Dirlewanger, a reprobate, cad, bounder, anti-social psychopath, commanded a SS unit of similar like-minded men.

"Dirlewanger could be kept in check only while on military duty, so he [Berger] organised the creation of a military unit which would be used to rehabilitate convicts."

This became known as the Dirlewanger unit. First at battalion strength, then regimental, and finally a division size unit. As a division size unit, NEVER DID, however, actually get beyond the manpower level of a normal infantry brigade.

[from this point on, referred to as the Dirlewanger!!]

This is the very bad idea of trying to "reform" criminal minded persons by placing them under military discipline. "Reform" by induction into the military.

This "concept" [the "Dirty Dozen"] is proven to JUST NOT WORK, period. Is a popular notion, reforming criminals by forcing [inducing them to volunteer?] them to join the military. But only that, a notion, not working, usually backfiring on advocates.

[I am not absolutely correct here? The various Muslim armies [Turks for instance] have been known to employ criminals in bashi bazook units. I have blogged on this before. Irregulars drawn from the ranks of released prison inmates. Being used right now - - as we speak - - by the Sudanese government in the form of the janjaweed!!??]

"convicted criminals (starting with poachers) could be reformed and used as second line units on the eastern front against the partisans. However a lack of poachers meant that the division soon began accepting other criminals . . . and members of the Wehrmacht convicted of felony offenses and eventually all German convicts.

"the Wilddiebkommando Oranienburg (Poacher's Command Oranienburg) was formed. This unit was to be composed of criminals convicted of poaching. It was felt that poachers were in possession of skills which would make them excellent scouts and anti-partisan troops . . . Initially a unit of convicted poachers, it became over time composed of increasing numbers of common criminals . . . the volunteers sent to the Dirlewanger were convicted of major crimes which would be considered criminal in civilian courts. While the theory was that service in the Dirlewanger would rehabilitate the criminals, it in fact provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts with no repercussions."

[the primary role of the Dirlewanger was to be in anti-partisan operations. Very dangerous but necessary duty on the Eastern Front during World War Two. Gave the Dirlewanger also good opportunity to commit atrocity against helpless civilians!!]

"provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts with no repercussions."



Consider the sordid descriptions of what the Dirlewanger was capable of:

"numerous cases of corruption, rape, indiscriminate slaughter, beating and looting. Desertion was common."

"atrocities were a daily occurrence"

"Dirlewanger's unit . . . gained a reputation for extreme brutality, including mass murder of civilians, rape and other excesses. Even children were often the victims . . . Dirlewanger's unit was used in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, where they committed much worse atrocities"

"mass executions of tens of thousands of civilians in the Wola district of the city [Warsaw]"

"During the battle [Battle of Warsaw - - 1944], the Dirlewanger [unit] behaved atrociously, raping, looting and killing citizens of Warsaw"

"the brigade continued its practise of looting, raping and killing,"

"In its final phase, Dirlewanger's men came to include, besides common criminals, increasing numbers of political prisoners (Communist, Socialist, trade unionists, anarchists and so on), patients from psychiatric hospitals and homosexuals, as well as others considered unfit to serve in normal military units."

"the ability to volunteer [get out of prison for free ticket?] for service in the regiment was extended to all criminals, even those convicted of the most heinous crimes."

The "soldier" on the far left front appears to be enjoying himself? Shooting the man kneeling in the front of the photo!

Ordinary and common criminals can become soldiers? NO! More trouble than they are worth. A BAD IDEA! Never has worked, never will work.




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