CIC 477

Past Issues
CIC 476
CIC 475
CIC 474
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10
CIC 9
CIC 8
CIC 7
CIC 6
CIC 5
CIC 4
CIC 3
CIC 2
CIC 1

German Mobilization in World War II: Cavalry Divisions

The general utility of horse cavalry began to decline early in the Nineteenth Century.    The introduction of the rifled musket by mid-century and then the machine gun toward its end, followed by the development of trench warfare in the early Twentieth Century and mechanization in the period following the Great War, further limited the role of cavalry as a battlefield arm.  Nevertheless there were occasions and circumstances during the Second World War – and even after -- when cavalry came into its own again, notably on the vast open spaces of the Eastern Front.  Mounted troops proved valuable for operations in swamps and forests, for patrolling, screening, and reconnaissance, for security duties, and even as mobile reserves.  As a result, Germany, which began World War II with no cavalry unit larger than a brigade, ended the war with five cavalry divisions.

ARMY WAFFEN-SS TOTAL
Year New ReD Total New Lost Total New ReD LostTotal
1938 - - - - - - - - - -
1939 1 - 1 - - - 1 - - 1
1940 - - 1 - - - - - - 1
1941 - 1 - - - - - 1 - -
1942 - - - 1 - 1 1 - - 1
1943 2 - 2 - - 1 2 - - 3
1944 2 2 2 1 - 2 3 2 - 4
1945 - - 2 1 - 3 1 - - 5
TOTAL 5 3 2 3 0 3 8 3 - 5
Key.  Year, figures are as of December 31st in each case except 1945, when the end of March is used.
New, indicates a unit raised since the end of the previous year.  ReD indicates a division converted into
something else, such as the 1st Cavalry Division, which became the 24th Panzer Division in May of 1941. 
Lost
indicates a division destroyed in combat during the year.  Total is the number of cavalry divisions
available at the end of the year.

Typically, a cavalry division, whether Army or Waffen-SS (the Nazi party’s private army of “supermen”), consisted of four cavalry regiments forming two brigades, plus a mounted artillery regiment and reconnaissance, anti-tank, signals, engineer, anti-aircraft, and other ancillary troops, and ran about 10,000 men, but some numbered as many as 17,000.

While the troops in the Army (Heer) cavalry divisions were largely Germans or Volksdeutsch (“overseas” Germans one might say), the men who served in the Waffen-SS divisions were frequently recruited from non-Germans, including Hungarians, various Balkan peoples, and Soviet minorities.

FootNote:  Earlier pieces on “German Mobilization in World War II” include Miscellaneous Divisions

 

Bob Capa Meets Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben

Soon after the D-Day landings in Normandy, American troops closed in on Cherbourg, at the end of the Cotentin Peninsula, in order to capture the port from the Germans.  A hard fight ensued, as Hitler declared the city a fortress with orders to fight to the last man and bullet.  By June 19th, three American divisions were closing in on the town.  A general assault on the 22nd resulted in the surrender of Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben, garrison commander, and a substantial force on the 26th, effectively ending the siege.

As Major General Manton S. Eddy of the 9th Infantry Division accepted von Schlieben’s surrendered, various photographers wanted to “capture” the moment, and so the two were called upon for “one more picture” several times.

Among the photographers present was the internationally famous photojournalist Robert Capa (1913-1954), who had covered conflicts from the Spanish Civil War to the "China Incident" and many places in between before landing on Omaha Beach to be on hand for the main thrust against the Nazi Empire.  As Capa stepped up to take a shot, von Schlieben muttered in German words to the effect that “I’m getting tired of being photographed with American generals.”

Now Capa, a native of Hungary – and technically an “enemy alien” despite being an authorized war correspondent – was fluent in several languages, including German.  So he promptly replied to von Schlieben’s crack in perfect German, “Well, I’m getting tired of photographing surrendering German generals,” and took the picture

Biographical Notes:

Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben (1894-1964) joined the Prussian Army as an officer cadet on the outbreak of World War I.  He rose to regimental adjutant by the end of the war, during which he was several times wounded in action.  During the Battle of France in 1940 he commanded a command of a panzer regiment, then a panzer brigade on the Eastern Front, and commanded a panzer division in the Battle of Kursk.  In late 1943 he was given command of the 709th Static Division, holding Cherbourg, and after D-Day was appointed commander of the city, which Hitler declared a fortress.  Following his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war until 1947, and then lived quietly in Hesse. 

Manton Eddy (1892-1962) attended a military school and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916.  During World War I he served with the AEF in France and on occupation duty in Germany, rising to temporary major.  By 1941 he had passed through various Army schools and risen to regimental commander.  He commanded the 9th Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, and the Normandy Campaign, before being given XII Corps in the Third Army just before Patton’s great drive across France.  He led the corps with distinction until just before the surrender of Germany, when he had to relinquish command due to deteriorating health.  Eddy retired from the Army as a lieutenant general in 1953, having by then commanded Seventh Army in Germany for a time.  

 

Aircraft Production during the Third Reich

Little more than a decade after its invention, the airplane emerged as a critical military technology over the trenches during World War I.  During the war the German Luftstreitkräfte (“Air Service”), an integral part of the Imperial Army, proved a potent, innovative force.  As a result, at the Versailles peace conference, the Allies imposed severe restrictions on German aviation.  Although prohibited from possessing any military aircraft, Germany was permitted to have a civil aviation industry.  During the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), this provided a loophole for the development of militarily useful aircraft, toward the day when Germany would again openly possess an air force, plans for which were well in hand by the mid-1920s. 

Heavy subsidies went to companies involved in aircraft development, such as BMW, Dornier, Heinkel and Junkers, to produce civil aircraft, often designed with military considerations in mind.  For example, the famous trimotor Ju-52 air transport had a medium bomber version, which by early 1930’s standards was by no means an inferior war bird.  The Germans were not the only ones playing this game, as the American Boeing 247 airliner was based on the B-9 bomber, while the B-18 was a militarized Douglas DC-3.  German companies formed partnerships with companies in the Netherlands, Sweden, and even the U.S.S.R. to produce aircraft, including military aircraft, which were sold to other countries, such as Nationalist China.  Meanwhile, Lufthansa and other airlines were heavily subsidized, so that air mail links were established among all the major cities of Germany.  Despite very high costs and only marginally faster delivery than by rail, the program helped sustain a relatively large aviation infrastructure and provided training for pilots and other personnel. 

During the boom years of the Weimar Republic (1924–1929), Germany’s civil aviation industry thrived, carrying thousands of passengers each year around the country and to foreign countries.  But the Great Depression sent the industry into a massive slump, so that by 1930 aircraft production almost came to a standstill, at a time when there were over a thousand commercial aircraft already in service.

The industry emerged from the depths of the Depression slowly, until 1933, with the advent of the Nazi regime.  

Annual Output *
1931 13
1932 36
1933 368
1934 1,968
1935 3,183
1936 5,112
1937 5,606
1938 5,235
1939 8,295
1940 10,826
1941 11,776
1942 15,556
1943 25,527
1944 39,807
1945** 5,664
Total 138,972
Note: * All types of aircraft.
**Jan-Feb only.
Some variant figures can be found.

By 1937 Germany was out-producing Britain (c. 3,000 aircraft a year) and Italy (c. 2,400), and was well ahead of France, which only produced about 500 aircraft that year due to Depression-inspired austerity and a poorly managed attempt to modernize the aviation industry.

Poor management, however, was not just a French problem.  There was little coherent oversight of the German aviation industry until Albert Speer became Minister of Armaments and War Production in early 1942, which resulted in a significant increase in production.

Despite Speer’s influence, the German aviation industry never experienced the sort of exponential expansion that affected the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain.  The German aviation industry suffered from too many experimental types, too many different models in production, and a generally over-engineered product.  In addition, even Speer supported the diversion of resources to certain “special projects”, such as the Me-262 jet fighter, and the “Vengeance” weapons; postwar analysis by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey suggested that just in the last 12 months of the war alone resources expended on the V-1 and V-2 missiles might have been sufficient to produce 24,000 addition fighter aircraft.  Further problems were an increasing shortage of materials, the loss of manpower to the fighting forces, to be replaced by less-efficient slave laborers, and, of course, the continuing attention of Allied strategic bombers.  As a result, while Germany produced rather more than 100,000 aircraft from 1939 through to the end of the war, American output exceeded 300,000, the Soviets reached 160,000, and the British about 130,000.

 

BookNote:  Daniel Uziel’s recent Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II , although necessarily rather technical, manages to examine all aspects of the subject, bringing in personalities, the use of slave labor, problems engendered by Allied operations, and more.  

 


© 1998 - 2022 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy