Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement,1944-1946

Overview

Near the end of the Second World War, a National Socialist resistance movement, known as the Werwolf, flickered briefly to life in Germany and its borderlands. Dedicated to delaying the advance of the Allies on both fronts, the Werwolf succeeded in scattered acts of sabotage and violence. By the spring of 1945, it also showed signs of becoming a vengeful Nazi reaction against the German populace itself. 'Collaborators' and 'defeatists' were frequently assassinated, and crude posters warned that certain death ...

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Overview

Near the end of the Second World War, a National Socialist resistance movement, known as the Werwolf, flickered briefly to life in Germany and its borderlands. Dedicated to delaying the advance of the Allies on both fronts, the Werwolf succeeded in scattered acts of sabotage and violence. By the spring of 1945, it also showed signs of becoming a vengeful Nazi reaction against the German populace itself. 'Collaborators' and 'defeatists' were frequently assassinated, and crude posters warned that certain death would follow any failure to resist the enemy.

Werwolf violence failed to mobilize a spirit of national resistance. Biddiscombe argues that the group was poorly led, armed, and organized, and that it was doomed to failure given the war-weariness of the populace and the hesitancy of young Germans to sacrifice themselves on the funeral pyre of the regime. He also demonstrates that although the group failed to assume a popular character, its influence was still great and its revolutionary sentiments would have grave implications for the future.

Werwolf! is the most complete history to date of the Nazi partisan movement. It will be of great interest to general readers as well as to military historians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802008626
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Perry Biddiscombe is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreign Terms and Abbreviations
Introduction 3
1 Gothic Guerrillas: The Bureau 'Prutzmann' and the SS-Werwolf 10
2 A Nursery Tale: The Hitler Youth and the Werwolf 57
3 A Werwolf War: The Military and the Kleinkrieg 87
4 Reign of Terror: The Party and the Werwolf 117
5 Werwolf Redoubts 151
6 The Werwolf along Germany's Periphery 198
7 Western Allied and Soviet Reactions to the Werwolf 252
8 Consequences and Significance of the Werwolf 275
App. A The Werwolf as a Research Problem: A Historiographical Essay 289
App. B Charts and Tables 300
Chart 1 Dienststelle Prutzmann 300
Chart 2 The SS-Police Command Structure 301
Chart 3 An Example of Regional Werwolf Organization - The Werwolf Staff of HSSPF Gutenberger 302
Table 1 HSSPF in the Greater Reich, Autumn 1944 303
Table 2 Gauleiter in the Greater Reich, Summer 1944 304
Notes 305
Bibliography 417
Illustration Sources and Credits 425
Index 427
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Very much like Iraq today...

    This work is a very interesting nod to how the past can be just like the present. This book is a vivid reminder to how effective partisan warfare can be on a large enemy. Luckily for the Allies, this was not a popular cause. It demonstrates that a small force, politically motivated and liked by the community, can drastically alter the shape of the battlefield. This is a great work to analyze for any leader on the battlefield today fighting the insurgent forces that terrorist field. I have seen these forces and we continue to fight them. I do indeed have a better insight now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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