Resistance




 
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February 13th, 2016  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 

Topic: Resistance


I only say this once.....sorry. The forum has been pretty slow so I toss out a query. The resistances/partisans in the Nazi-occupied countries. Did they contribute to the allies victory or not?

Tito's boys and gals provided with locking German resources and not mentioning the Russian/Ukrainian partisans, even if they fought against each other as well.
February 14th, 2016  
Remington 1858
 
 
Tito's partisan forces liberated Yugoslavia without outside troops assisting, a fact not lost on Stalin. Years later when Tito broke with the Soviet Union some hardliners in Moscow wanted to invade. Stalin vetoed the idea, saying it would be more trouble than it was worth.
The French resistance assisted the D-Day landings by destruction of the French railway and telephone systems. General Eisenhower credited their aid as invaluable. In fact they did too good a job. The damage was so severe that it handicapped the later Allied advance to the German border.
In the Byelorus and Ukraine Soviet partisans conducted rail sabotage prior to the Soviet massive offensive in June 1944. ( Operation Bagration).
I would have to say that partisan/guerrilla operations were an important component in Allied victory to the point that the principal mission of U.S. Army Special Forces is training and support of "liberation" forces.
In Britain, Auxiliary Forces were raised and equipped separate from the Home Guard to act as Stay - Behind units to conduct sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the Nazis in case Britain was successfully invaded and occupied.
So, some authorities seem to be convinced of the impact of these groups. However, I am of the personal opinion that except for rare instances a defeat of a conventional military force can rarely be achieved by partisan/guerrillas alone, without assistance of a regular army.
There have been a few instances where guerrillas beat a standing army all by themselves; Cuba, Bolivia and Yugo.
February 15th, 2016  
MontyB
 
 
Personally from Western Europes point of view the military successes of resistence movements were almost negligable, the true value of resistance groups came from the intelligence they supplied.
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February 15th, 2016  
Remington 1858
 
 
Monty B, I see that your posting is a personal viewpoint and you are certainly entitled to a personal view, however I would point out that during WWII considerable resources were devoted to the support of partisan/guerrilla forces. Certainly they were in a good position to supply useful intelligence but they served other purposes as well.
In the case of France. the nation had been defeated and humiliated by the Nazis and the Resistance provided a means for the French to restore their pride and confidence. This happened in all the nations where resistance groups took action against the occupiers.
A similar psychological reaction occurred among the occupiers. German soldiers were forbidden to travel alone and had to walk about in groups accompanied by an NCO armed with a pistol. You can see the enormous range of pistols used by the Germans. That's why!
Rail and telephone sabotage were important to impede mobility and to force the Germans to use radio which could be intercepted.
In Denmark, the Nazis actually surrendered to the Resistance, there being no Allied forces in the country. The Danish Resistance was able to maintain order and repatriate German troops to their home country.
In France today you will find numerous museums and monuments devoted to the Resistance. Whether the contributions of the French Resistance were that critical or whether is is part of a national myth is immaterial. Every nation needs it's heroes.
February 16th, 2016  
MontyB
 
 
As there should be museums and memorials to these movements, I am not arguing that their bravery and tenacity should not be lauded.

However from a combat stand point they simply were not that successful or worrying to the Germans (Eastern Europe is a slightly different story) where the Germans devoted considerable resources to fighting them, the Resistance movements in the West were an indispensable source of intelligence and little else.
February 16th, 2016  
JOC
 
 
The Germans devoted no fewer than 8 SS divisions to the Partisan war in the Soviet Union by 43. So harsh were the German occupiers that the ranks of the Soviet partisans grew to > 1/2 million. Not only did they perform multiple acts of sabotage but they actually bolstered the Red Army by 44. The Soviet people paid dearly for their resistance to the German invader with thousands of villages burned to the ground most as a result of nearby partisan activity and most complete with inhabitants.

Would the Red army have defeated the Germans w/o the aid of the partisans the answer is yes. But that victory was hastened by the destruction and chaos perpetrated by the Soviet Guerrillas.
February 17th, 2016  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I spoke with a member of the Dutch resistance many years ago in UK, he and I chatted for quite a few hours.

I asked him if he was ever frightened, he said much of the time he was terrified, because if he caught it wasnt only him would be executed, but his entire family.
February 17th, 2016  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I spoke with a member of the Dutch resistance many years ago in UK, he and I chatted for quite a few hours.

I asked him if he was ever frightened, he said much of the time he was terrified, because if he caught it wasnt only him would be executed, but his entire family.
The Germans did that from time to time. The reaction to the assassination of Heydrich is a pretty good example of what happened to people close to an event. The Resistance wasn't responsible for the assassination, but still. The 2nd SS behavior in France when they were harassed by the French resistance is another example.
February 17th, 2016  
JOC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
The Germans did that from time to time. The reaction to the assassination of Heydrich is a pretty good example of what happened to people close to an event. The Resistance wasn't responsible for the assassination, but still. The 2nd SS behavior in France when they were harassed by the French resistance is another example.

In the east it was standard practice i.e. mass executions 1:10 to 1:100 for every German killed. But more often the reprisal took the form of forcing the people into barns - etc. and setting them ablaze w machine guns setup outside in case anyone managed to break from the smoke and flames. Millions were killed in this way behind the German lines.

The same occurred in all of occupied Europe but the large scale massive reprisals were more common in the East, where the inhabitants lives were considered of little value. Thousands of Frenchman, Italians, Dutch, Belgium's and more gave their lives in the resistance - guerilla movements that sprung up all across Europe.
February 17th, 2016  
MontyB
 
 
Millions may be a bit of an exaggeration don't you think?
Certainly thousands, probably even 10s of thousands but millions probably not.

I think these days we have a duty to put accuracy over emotion when making statements like this as the standard of investigation in todays students will no doubt lead to a report of millions of people being burnt alive in a barn during WW2.

I do not believe we should ever downplay the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany but at the same time lets not forget that we also committed the similar crimes, shooting Japanese sailors in the water and demolishing towns in Germany that showed any sign of resistance for example and lets face it had there been a German or Japanese resistance after the war I doubt we would have operated much different.

We have the benefit of being the victors to justify our actions but that does not mean we were all that much better.
 


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