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Rommel se brief aan sy vrou vanaf 16 November 1942

Rommel se brief aan sy vrou vanaf 16 November 1942



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Ek is op soek na die oorspronklike Duitse weergawe van Erwin Rommel se brief aan sy vrou Lucie Rommel vanaf 16 November 1942. U kan die Engelse vertaling op bladsy 354 van "The Rommel Papers" vind. Die Engelse vertaling begin so:

Beste Lu, nog 'n goeie stap terug. Om dit alles reg te maak, reën dit nou, wat dit nog moeiliker maak om te beweeg. Tekort aan petrol! Dit is genoeg om een ​​te laat huil. Kom ons hoop die Britte het ewe slegte weer ...

Ek wil hierdie twee sinne vind in Rommel se oorspronklike woorde: "Tekort aan petrol! Dit is genoeg om een ​​te laat huil." Google translate kom met:

Mangel en Benzin! Dit is 'n goeie idee om 'n enkele keer vir Weinen te bring.

My Duits is goed, en die bogenoemde lyk vir my na 'n redelike goeie vertaling, maar het iemand die oorspronklike?

Ek hou Maandag 'n openbare lesing oor die wêreldwye primêre energievoorsiening. Ek gebruik die aanhaling as bewys van die belangrikheid van olie in oorlog. Die boek is die eerste keer in 1953 gepubliseer; die redakteur en vertaler werk direk saam met Rommel se seun Manfred, wat die koerante versamel en georganiseer het. Daar is dus op sigself geen argiewe geraadpleeg nie. Na wat ek gesien het, is daar geen aantekening in die boek wat aandui wat met die oorspronklike gedoen is nadat die boek geskryf is nie


"Benzinmangel! Es ist genug, um zu weinen."

Dit is wat in die boek staan. My oupa het hierdie Duitse boek wat deur 'n vriend van hom aan hom geskenk is. Ek het deur die boek gegaan sodra ek hierdie vraag sien. Ek weet nie seker of dit sy oorspronklike teks was nie, maar aangesien dit Duits is en presies ooreenstem met wat u deur Google Translate gevra het, dink ek dit is eg.


Erwin Rommel

Veldmaarskalk Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, The "Desert Fox" [1] (15 November 1891 - 14 October 1944), was 'n offisier van die Duitse leër in die Eerste en Tweede Wêreldoorlog.

  • Eerste Slag van die Argonne - (1915)
  • Karpaten -offensief (1915)
  • Slag van Caporetto (1917)
  • Val van Frankryk
    • Slag van Arras (1940)
    • Siege of Tobruk (1941)
    • Operation Crusader (1941)
    • Slag van Gazala (1942)
    • Slag van Bir Hakeim (1942)
    • Eerste Slag van El Alamein (1942)
    • Slag van Alam Halfa (1942)
    • Tweede Slag van El Alamein (1942)
    • Slag van Medenine (1943)
    • Slag om die Kasserine -pas (1943)

    In die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het hy die Duitse leër in Noord -Afrika beveel in 'n lang stryd teen die Britse 8ste leër. Hy is uiteindelik in El Alamein verslaan. Later in die oorlog beveel hy die Duitse magte wat die Franse kus verdedig het teen die inval van die Geallieerde Normandië.

    Rommel was baie geliefd onder die Duitse publiek en gerespekteer deur die Geallieerdes. Hy word beskou as ridderlik en menslik as ander Duitse leiers dit nie was nie. Sy beroemde Afrikakorps is nie beskuldig van oorlogsmisdade nie. Soldate wat deur sy leër gevange geneem is, is goed behandel en bevele om gevange Joodse soldate en burgerlikes dood te maak, is geïgnoreer. [2]

    Rommel het geweet van die plan van senior offisiere om Hitler in 1944 te vermoor. Toe dit misluk, is alle betrokkenes gemartel en tereggestel. Hitler het hom die keuse van selfmoord of krygsraad aangebied, en hy het selfmoord gepleeg. Sy dood is aangekondig as die dood van 'n held in die geveg.


    Rommel's Afrika Korps

    DAAR IS NIE MEER EVOKATIEWE FRASE uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog te voorskyn nie as “Afrika Korps. ” Die naam roep 'n unieke oorlogsteater op, 'n spookagtige pragtige leë kwartier waar leërs vry kan rondbeweeg, bevry van dorpe en heuwels, strydpunte en blokkeer posisies, en veral die lastige burgers. Dit roep 'n oorlog van byna absolute mobiliteit op, waar tenks soos skepe op see kon werk, en waar hulle wou, waag hulle op dapper reise honderde kilometers in die diep woestyn in, dan om die vyand se flank en om op te kom soos seerowers van ouds om verwoestende houe teen 'n niksvermoedende vyand te gee. Uiteindelik impliseer dit 'n ontsaglike held, in hierdie geval veldmaarskalk Erwin Rommel, 'n edele bevelvoerder wat die goeie stryd gestry het, wat Adolf Hitler en alles waarvoor hy gestaan ​​het, gehaat het en wat nie verder kon wees as ons stereotipe van die Nazi -fanatikus nie . Alles aan die Desert Fox trek ons ​​aan-die manlike houdings, die voorkoms wat buite die sentrale rol lyk, selfs die bril sit net so. Deur Rommel en sy elite Afrika Korps op die voorgrond te plaas, kan ons die woestynoorlog as 'n skoon stryd teen 'n moreel waardige teenstander beskou. Dit was oorlog, ja, maar byna uniek in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, dit was 'n oorlog sonder haat, soos Rommel dit beroemd in sy memoires genoem het.

    Dit is 'n aantreklike beeld rondom. Ongelukkig is dit feitlik alles 'n versinsel. Die woestyn was skaars 'n toevlugsoord vir skoonheid of romanse. Die geveg was 'n nagmerrie vir beide kante. Die woestyn het die onderskeie tenkvlote nie vry laat rondloop nie, maar hulle het onweerstaanbaar aan hul toevoerlyne vasgeketting, en 'n enkele konvooi of 'n verlore kolom vragmotors kan 'n hele aanval op sy spore keer. In teenstelling met die gedroomde mobiliteit van woestynoorlogs, sou beide kante baie meer tyd in statiese verdedigingsposisies deurbring, dikwels baie ingewikkeld, as wat hulle tenks sou laai.

    Dit laat ons by Rommel. Ook hier moet ons die mitologie uitdaag. Hy was nie polities nie. Sy loopbaan was uitsluitlik gebaseer op Hitler se guns, en ons kan sy houding teenoor die führer redelik beskryf as aanbiddend. Hy was Hitler se seuntjie met 'n ligte hare, 'n jong offisier wat herhaaldelik oor meer senior kandidate gepromoveer is. Hy was ook 'n mediaskepping. Nazi -propaganda het hom geskilder as 'n slagveldheld en 'n model Nasionaal -Sosialist en Ariër, 'n man wat sterker vyande kon oorwin deur blote wilskrag. En hy was nie 'n passiewe omstander van die hype dat hy 'n aktiewe medepligtige was nie. (Sien die beter kant van Rommel ’s hieronder.) Hy het niks meer liefgehad as om 'n kameraspan saam met hom op die veldtog te hê nie, en hy sou gereeld beveel dat tonele weer opneem as sy postuur onvoldoende heldhaftig was of as beligting het hom nie die beste voordeel getoon nie. Soos gereeld met openbare persone die geval is, was sy verhouding met die media selfbedienend en selfvernietigend. Gedurende die jare van oorwinning het die Duitse propagandamasjien hom as voorbeeld vir die nasie gebruik. As dinge versuur het, het hy 'n afleiding geword van die steeds slegter nuus op ander fronte. Toe hy nie meer nuttig was nie, het die regime hom vir 'n groot deel van 1943 op die agtergrond geplaas en daarna, nadat hy hardnekkig verbind was met die moordpoging op Hitler in Julie 1944, hom gedwing om homself dood te maak.

    Ja, die leser kan reageer, maar ons is beslis op 'n stewiger grond met betrekking tot sy militêre vaardigheid. Immers, nie minder nie 'n figuur as die Britse premier Winston Churchill noem hom “a groot generaal ” op die vloer van die Laerhuis. Die gewaagde bedrywighede van Rommel aan die hoof van die Afrika Korps (later vergroot en hernoem tot Panzerarmee Afrika) was sekerlik opwindend, maar baie offisiere in sy eie leër het hulle as 'n uiteindelike waardelose byeenkoms beskou. Sy belangstelling in die sombere logistieke wetenskap, sy liefde vir aksie, sy neiging om weg te vlieg waarheen die geveg die hewigste was - al hierdie eienskappe sorg vir 'n opwindende film. Tog is dit probleme onder 'n bevelvoerder onder moderne omstandighede, en hulle het almal wesenlik bygedra tot die ramp wat hom en sy leër in die woestyn uiteindelik getref het.

    Met hierdie gedagtes in gedagte, laat ons 'n kort operasionele toer deur die Afrika Korps in oorlog neem. Die punt is nie om 'n spesifieke afgod te verpletter nie, maar om 'n bietjie balans te herstel in 'n gesprek wat dit baie nodig het.

    TOE ROMMEL in Afrika aankom, het hy 'n ten volle besefte kuns van oorlog saamgebring. Hy het 'n Pour le Mérite (die beroemde Blue Max) gewen vir 'n reeks naelbytende bergoptredes in die Caporetto-veldtog van 1917, waaronder die sloping van Italiaanse magte wat sy grootte groot was by die slag van Mount Matajur hy was 'n baie gewilde taktiese instrukteur by die Dresden Infanterieskool tussen die oorloë wat hy onder een van die weermag se kosbare panzerdivisies (die 7de) tydens die inval in Frankryk en die Lae Lande in 1940 beveel het. In Frankryk het Rommel hom meer gedra soos 'n hussar uit die 18de eeu wat op 'n aanval uitgevoer is as 'n afdelingsbevelvoerder. Hy het van voor gelei, vyandelike vuur trotseer en af ​​en toe sy radio afgeskakel eerder as om die risiko te kry om bevele te stop. Hy ry so vinnig vorentoe dat die 7de Panzer bekend staan ​​as die “ghost -afdeling ” vanweë die neiging om situasiekaarte af te laai en weer te verskyn waar die minste verwag word.

    Daar was baie in die Duitse hoë bevel, waaronder die hoof van die generale staf, Franz Halder, wat Rommel nie baie waardeer het nie, maar soos 'n historikus tot die gevolgtrekking gekom het, was dit onmoontlik om so 'n suksesvolle generaal te krygsmag. Rommel het in plaas daarvan die Ysterkruis gekry, en dit sou dieselfde wees in Afrika.

    Rommel het middel Februarie 1941 aangekom met redelike alledaagse bevele om as 'n sperband, of “blocker, ” om die Italianers te versterk nadat hulle 'n week vroeër deur die Britte in Beda Fomm in Libië gemoker is. Sy mag was redelik klein: die verkenningsbataljon en 'n antitankafdeling van die 5th Light Division (gou herdoop tot die 21ste Panzer Division). Die res van die afdeling was nog op pad na Afrika, en 'n tweede afdeling, die 15de Panzer, sou eers einde Mei ten volle aankom.

    Rommel het sy bevele gehad, maar hy het bevele in die verlede geïgnoreer en daarvoor versier. Terwyl die Britse magte uit Afrika weggestap het om 'n uiters slegte veldtog in Griekeland te beveg, het hy 'n vinnige persoonlike verkenning in sy betroubare Fieseler Fi 156C Storch-vliegtuig uitgevoer en daarna 'n offensief met sy Italiaanse vennote begin. Die pantserdivisie van Ariete en die infanteriedivisies van X Corps (Bologna en Pavia) het oos vanuit Sentraal -Libië deur Cyrenaica (die oostelike kusstreek van Libië) geslinger, in 'n poging om die Egiptiese grens in een grens te bereik. Hy het die Britse verdediging by El Agheila op 24 Maart binnegedring, en daarna op 31 Maart na Mersa el Brega gery, net 'n rukkie om 'n aantal radioboodskappe uit Berlyn en Rome te neem (en te ignoreer) om hom te waarsku om niks te doen nie. Uiteindelik, in Agedabia, breek hy die Britse verdedigers (elemente van die groen 2de Pantserdivisie, gedeeltelik toegerus met gevange Italiaanse M13/40 tenks), en plaas dit voor met die infanterie van die 5de Ligte Afdeling terwyl hy sy panzers op 'n rit om die oopte stuur. woestynflank na die suide, die eerste gebruik van 'n taktiek wat sy handtekening sou word.

    Hierdie drie klein ontmoetings, wat nie die regimentsterkte oorskry nie, was genoeg om die hele Britse verdedigingsposisie in Cyrenaica los te maak. Rommel brei sy verkenning nou uit tot 'n algemene offensief, alhoewel die betrokke magte nog klein was. Een kolom loop op die kuspad na Benghazi, terwyl nog twee oor die Cirenaican -bult sny en 'n berg Britse voorrade by Msus en Mechili opskep. Die Britse agterkant was in chaos. Op 6 April het 'n Duitse motorfietspatrollie die Britse bevelvoerder in Cyrenaica, luitenant -generaal Philip Neame, sowel as luitenant -generaal Richard O ’Connor, die oorwinnaar van Beda Fomm, gevang. Teen 11 April het die Duitsers die Libiese kusvesting Tobruk omsingel terwyl kleiner formasies na die ooste gedruk het, Bardia ingeneem het en die Egiptiese grens by Sollum en Ft bereik het. Capuzzo.

    Dit was 'n spoed-maneuver en die afstande was groot, met die Afrika Korps wat meer as 600 myl in minder as twee weke afgelê het. 'N Ongelooflike prestasie, maar ons mag nie tereg vra nie, 600 myl waarheen? Voorlopig het Rommel 'n onoorwonne vesting agterop gesit, 'n ernstige bedreiging vir sy kommunikasie en aanbod. Twee haastige pogings om Tobruk te bestorm, het erg skeefgeloop. In die Paasstryd (10-14 April) en die Slag van die Salient (30 April - 4 Mei) het die verdedigers van die 9de Australiese Divisie gehang. Mynvelde het die Duitse aanvalle gekanaliseer, terwyl direkte vuur van artillerie, antitankgewere en ondersteunende tenks die aanvalsmagte deeglik opgeskiet en generaal -majoor Heinrich von Prittwitz, bevelvoerder van die 15de Panzerdivisie, doodgemaak het.

    Die teenwoordigheid van 'n onoorwonne Tobruk het die rit oor die woestyn nutteloos gemaak. Inderdaad, vir al die roem wat dit vir Rommel in die wêreldpers gebring het, het hierdie eerste veldtog hom min vriende onder bevelvoerders in Berlyn besorg. Generaal Halder was veral nie beïndruk nie. Rommel, het hy geskryf, “ storm die hele dag deur met formasies wat oral op die pers versprei is. ” Die man het blykbaar kranksinnig geword. 'N Duitse divisie-plus het grondgebied oorskry-'n uitgestrekte woesteny, om presies te wees-maar dit het niks gewen nie. Daar was geen stryd om uitwissing nie, geen kesselschlacht (omsingelingstryd) nie, en dit kon ook nie gewees het nie. Die Afrika Korps het 'n lang pad gekom, maar het nou op 'n randjie van nêrens gevaarlik gesit. Hoewel Rommel en sy bevel 'n bevredigende mate van aggressie getoon het, iets wat almal in die offisierkorps verstaan, het die meeste van hulle sy rit na die Egiptiese grens as 'n wanbrand beskou.

    VOLGENDE OPERASIES verdien dieselfde koue oog. Beide kante het die somer herbou, vervang en versterk, maar in die algemeen het die Britte dit vinniger gedoen. In November 1941 het die Britse agtste leër, onder leiding van generaal sir Alan Cunningham, Operation Crusader geloods, 'n poging om Tobruk te verlig (alhoewel om te sê dat die klein hawe nog 'n beleg was en nog 'n voorbeeld is van mites in die woestyn) oorlog). Crusader het tot harde gevegte gelei met groot verliese aan beide kante. Rommel se onbeskaamde besluit om kontak te verbreek en 'n “ -rit na die draad aan die Egiptiese grens te begin, was die belangrikste oomblik van die veldtog. Op 24 November het hy elke tenk wat hy kon opspoor, opgedaag en 'n aanval diep in die Britse agterkant beveel. Tydens hierdie wilde rit het sy pansers vinnig agtereenvolgens die hoofkwartier van die XXX Corps, 7th Armoured Division, 1st South African Division en die 7th Armoured Brigade oorrompel en paniek ontketen. Uiteindelik was die ry na die draad egter nog 'n rit na nêrens, en het dit min invloed op die operasionele situasie gehad. Die Britte het nie in duie gestort soos Rommel van hulle verwag het nie. Met sy tenksterkte byna nul en sy (grootliks Italiaanse) infanterie gedimineer, het hy geen ander keuse gehad as om terug te trek na waar hy begin het nie, El Agheila.

    Teen hierdie tyd was die dinamika van die woestynoorlog goed gevestig. 'N Yster logika was aan die werk, en geen van die twee kon aan sy greep ontsnap nie. Lang vooruitgang het u nie net van u spoorweg weggeneem nie, maar u ook die hele tydsone daaruit geneem. Aanbod het nie net 'n probleem geword nie, maar 'n probleem. Rommel was baie gevaarliker by El Agheila, relatief naby sy hoofbasis in Tripoli, as op die Egiptiese draad, 600 myl na die ooste. Die geallieerde magte was eweneens nooit gevaarliker as toe hulle met die hulpbronne van hul basisse in Egipte op hul rug geveg het nie, en nooit hulpeloos as toe hulle net Cyrenaica ver na die weste oorval het nie.

    Dit behoort dus nie verbasend te wees dat Rommel spoedig weer die tafel oor die Geallieerdes gedraai het nie. In Januarie 1942, nadat hy 'n paar kort weke deurgebring het om sy magte te hergroepeer na hul lang terugtog, was Rommel weer op die offensief, hierdie keer in die operasionele volgorde van Gazala-Tobruk. Voordat Rommel vroeër in 1941 deur hul magte geklop het, het die Britte die front van baie meer ervare eenhede kortsigtig ontneem en na die moeras van die Balkan gestuur - wat geëindig het met die rampspoedige verlies van Griekeland en Kreta aan die Duitsers. Nou, laat in 1941, in 'n logies verweerlike herhaling, het die Britte weer meer veteraan-troepe uit Afrika gestuur om die ineenstortende posisie van Brittanje in die Verre Ooste te versterk, wat voortspruit uit 'n reeks Japannese hamerslae. Vir albei kante was daar altyd 'n plek wat belangriker was as Afrika.

    Rommel se tweede offensief het vinnige vrugte afgewerp. Weer eens was 'n groen eenheid, die 1ste Pantserdivisie, op sy pad. Rommel se openingstoot het dit in knope vasgemaak. 'N Taakspan van die regiment, Group Marcks, het om sy regterflank naby die kus gekom, terwyl die massa Afrika Korps aan die linkerkant omgedraai het. Om Duitse panzers agter te laat rondloop, was genoeg om die 1ste Armoured wankelend terug te stuur. In die volgende twee weke herwin Rommel Cyrenaica. Dit was selfs makliker as die eerste keer, miskien die grootste huzaaraanval van alle tye. Dit was 'n lae-intensiteit geveg van die kampfgruppe verskeidenheid, sonder 'n volledig gevormde verdeling in sig. Dit het min gevegte ingesluit en minimale ongevalle veroorsaak, en teen 6 Februarie het Rommel op die Gazala -lyn gestaan, net oos van die Cirenaican bulte en 35 myl wes van Tobruk.

    Hier het die hyperbeweging van die woestynoorlog tot stilstand gekom. Beide kante het vermorsel om heen en weer te jaag en was op die oomblik nie in staat om verder op te tree nie. Byna vier maande lank het die opponente gesit, ingegrawe en na mekaar gekyk. Die Gazala -posisie het al die kenmerke van stellungskrieg, of statiese oorlogvoering, gedra: loopgrawe en geweerputte, doringdraad en masjiengeweer neste. Vir die Britte het versterkte bokse, digte, 360 grade konsentrasies tenkhindernisse en myne die voorkant oorheers, met die gapings tussen hulle beskerm deur groot myne. ”

    Op die Gazala -lyn sou Rommel egter uiteindelik 'n werklike oorwinning behaal, nie die sinnelose heen en weer van die “Benghazi -lotte nie. ” Op 26 Mei 1942 gaan Panzerarmee Afrika oor na die offensief, 'n frontale aanval deur die Italiaanse infanterie -afdelings om die Britte vas te maak. Daarmee het Rommel die mees gewaagde stap van sy loopbaan uitgevoer en sy hele gemeganiseerde mag gelanseer - vyf afdelings, duisende voertuie en feitlik elke as -tenk in die orde van die geveg, bestaande uit 'n stewige wapenrusting byna 15 myl aan 'n kant - hardloop om 'n diep kant om die Britse flank. Die “ gewapende falanks ” is 'n cliché van militêre geskiedenis, maar dit was die regte ding: Italiaanse XX gemotoriseerde korps, die Afrika Korps en die 90ste ligafdeling.

    TEN EINDE van hul naderende optog was die massiewe mag op die Britse linkerflank neergesit, en die opening van die aanval was so naby aan die Platoniese ideaal van “surprise ” as enige operasie in die oorlog. Om 07:00 het Rommel ’s phalanx in die versterkte boks by Retma, ongeveer 40 kilometer suid van Gazala en Tobruk, neergestort. Dit was 'n ongelooflike toneel. Die verdedigers sit in die sonskyn van 'n heerlike Mei -oggend en kyk nuuskierig toe terwyl 'n stofwolk op die horison verskyn. Teen hierdie tyd sien hulle almal vreemde weerpatrone en storms waai uit die niet op. Hierdie een het egter skielik tot iets erger verduidelik: tenks, tenks en meer tenks, voertuie van elke beskrywing, wat uit die stof vaar. Dit was, het 'n Britse soldaat gesê, en die hele Rommel beveel in volle huil reguit vir ons. In die ooste, naby Bir Gubi, lê die 7de Gemotoriseerde Brigade. Die helfte van die eenheid het welverdiende rus en ontspanning gekry, en die mans het die noodlottige oggend in die Tobruk-hawe geswem. Wes van Retma is die derde Indiese Brigade ewe onvoorbereid betrap. Sy bevelvoerder, brigadier A. A. E. Filose, het gesê dat 'n hele bloedige Duitse pantserdivisie hom teëgekom het. Hy was eintlik besig om Italiaanse tenks van die Ariete -afdeling te sien, maar dit was vroeg in die oggend, sodat ons Filose sy onnauwkeurigheid kan vergewe. Beide brigades, tesame met die Retma -boks, was in die eerste minute oorweldig met baie min gevegte. Die laaste inskrywing in die 3de Indiese ’'s -oorlogsdagboek was ontsagwekkend: die posisies is heeltemal oorval met vyandelike tenks in die boks. Oor die hele gevegsgebied het dit die 7de Gemotoriseerde Brigade te hulp gesnel en is dit verswelg deur die 15de Panzer -afdeling. Toe het 22ste Pantserbrigade, wat probeer het om tot die verligting van 4de Pantser te ry, ook in vlamme afgegaan. Teen die middag was die Britse linkervleuel in flarde.

    Maar toe die aanvanklike skok verby is, het die agtste weermag in sy hakke gegrawe en voordeel getrek uit 'n onderwaardeerde stuk toerusting. Die M3 Grant-tenk (met vergunning van U.S. Lend-Lease), wat dikwels kavaleries deur historici van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog behandel is, was baie beter as alles wat die agtste weermag nog gehad het. Sekerlik, dit was onheilspellend en lomp, en ja, dit het werklik 'n monsterlike doel van 10 voet-3-duim-lang vir die Duitse vuur aangebied. Aan die positiewe kant het die dik wapenrusting dit egter byna alles gedoen, behalwe 'n direkte tref van 'n 88 mm -lugweergeweer. Dit was ook een van die sterk gewapende tenks van die dag en het twee vorme van hoofbewapening verpak: 'n 75 mm-geweer met 'n kort loop in 'n vaste houer ('n sponson) in die romp en 'n 37 mm-geweer in die rewolwer. Binne enkele minute na die Duitse uitbarsting op die Britse flanke, word die een panser na die ander op skynbaar onmoontlike afstande geboor, en spoedig val Rommel se grond tot stilstand.

    Aan die einde van die eerste dag het die panzers agter die Britse linies 'n laer gevorm en in die volgende paar dae het Rommel hulle 'n aanval agteruit geloods, dit wil sê na hul eie beginposisies, om oop te maak 'n toevoerlyn. Dit was 'n wonderlike improvisasie, en genoeg om die Britte te verwoes, wat ver verkies het om op een front op 'n slag te baklei eerder as drie. Binnekort het die pansers uitgebreek en 'n wervelende aksie om die onbeskryflike terrein, bekend as Knightsbridge, bestry en op Tobruk gery. 'N Paar dae tevore het die 2de Suid -Afrikaner 'n posisie in die agterste gebied beklee, maar skielik het hy die voorkant verdedig. Verlede jaar was Fortress ” nou feitlik onverdedig, en die pansers het dit in 'n enkele dag oorskry en die ongelukkige 2de Suid -Afrikaanse afdeling in linte gesny. Die jong afdelingsbevelvoerder, generaal -majoor Hendrik B. Klopper, het die understatement van die eeu teruggekeer: 'n situasie nie in die hand nie. ”

    Dit was beslis nie#8217t nie. Die Gazala-Tobruk-volgorde was die grootste oorwinning in die loopbaan van Rommel, nie net 'n triomf op taktiese vlak nie, maar 'n oorwinning op operasionele vlak, 'n oorwinning wat selfs generaal Halder kan liefhê. Noem dit Rommel se reël#1, wat steeds 'n suksesresep is: “ Maak seker dat jy in die eerste oomblikke van die geveg in die agterkant van jou teenstander uitbars met 'n hele panzerleër. ” Die veldtog was 'n ernstige skok vir die Geallieerdes. Winston Churchill het die slegte nuus gehoor terwyl hy met president Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington vergader het, 'n vernedering wat die premier tot in sy wiele geruk het. As gevolg van die val van die Japannese in Singapoer, lyk die verlies van Tobruk die ineenstorting van die Britse Ryk.

    OOK HIER, laat ons egter eerlik wees. Om die agtste weermag in Gazala te verpletter en tienduisende gevangenes by Tobruk te neem, het min help om die strategiese probleem van Rommel op te los. Tensy die Britte heeltemal vernietig is, sou hulle altyd kon versterk tot 'n vlak wat die as nie kon pas nie. Baie latere ontleders voer aan dat die Panzerarmee op hierdie stadium moes onderbreek het, gewag het totdat 'n gekombineerde lugvaart-operasie teen Malta van stapel gestuur is om die logistiek te verbeter, en dan eers opgetree het. Sulke argumente ignoreer die dinamika van die woestyngeveg, maar die noodsaaklikheid om moraal te handhaaf deur 'n seëvierende leër aan die gang te hou, en veral Rommel se persoonlikheid.

    Pouse? Stop? Wag? Almal wat verwag het dat Rommel sou versag, het duidelik nie aandag daaraan gegee nie. In plaas daarvan het die Panzerarmee feitlik sonder voorbereiding oor die grens na Egipte gewel. Vir Rommel, vir sy manne en selfs vir Hitler en Mussolini moes dit gelyk het asof 'n groot oorwinning net oor die volgende horison lê: Kaïro, Alexandrië, die Suezkanaal, die Britse Ryk self.

    In werklikheid is dit vandag moontlik om te sien wat die groot Pruisiese oorlogsfilosoof Karl von Clausewitz eens die “ -afrondingspunt ” genoem het - daardie oomblik in elke veldtog wanneer die offensief stoom begin verloor, afloop en uiteindelik stop. Die Panzerarmee was uitgeput, sy toerusting was verslete en het dringend herstel nodig. Britse winkels en voertuie wat vasgevang is, het veral sy lewensaar geword, veral die Kanadese Ford -vragmotors, maar die Afrika Korps het nie meer gereeld op sulke voertuie beslag gelê nie. Mannekrag was besig om te breek. 'N Chroniese tekort aan drinkwater het duisende soldate op die rolletjies geplaas. Kolonel Siegfried Westphal, die operasionele hoof van Panzerarmee, was geel van geelsug. Die intelligensiehoof van die weermag, kolonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Mellenthin, was besig om weg te mors met amoebiese disenterie. Rommel het beide siektes raak, sowel as 'n ernstige bloeddrukprobleem (sonder twyfel veroorsaak deur spanning) en chroniese, lastige sinusitis.

    Alhoewel dit maklik sou wees om al hierdie siektes as 'n eenvoudige ongeluk te beskou, was dit eintlik die prys wat Rommel en al die ander betaal het vir die stryd teen 'n buitelandse veldtog met onvoldoende hulpbronne.

    Dieselfde kan gesê word vir die res van die onderneming. Die Panzerarmee het 'n ad hoc -poging aangewend om in Julie deur die Britse knelpunt by El Alamein te breek. Dit het misluk en was bedroef teen Britse verdediging op die Ruweisat -rif, maar het in Augustus 'n tweede, meer doelbewuste poging aangewend. Na 'n aanvanklike deurbraak, het dit in sterk Britse verdediging by Alam Halfa Ridge neergestort, en dit het ook misluk. Na nog 'n lang pouse begin 'n derde slag van El Alamein einde Oktober.

    Hierdie keer was dit egter die goed versorgde Britte tydens die aanval, en hulle kon daarin slaag om deur die Panzerarmee te breek en Rommel en geselskap terug te ry, nie honderde kilometers nie, maar meer as duisend, heeltemal uit die woestyn en na Tunisië . Daar moes nog geveg word in Afrika, maar die “woestynoorlog ” was verby.

    Dit sal nie maklik wees nie, maar ons moet hierdie operasionele volgorde van die romanse en legende waarin dit toegedraai is, stroop. In Noord-Afrika was 'n hard-dryf bevelvoerder en 'n handjievol Duitse afdelings wat ongeëwenaard was wat gevegsterkte betref (kampfkraft) verstrengel geraak in 'n veldtog waarvoor hulle uitsonderlik ongeskik was: een wat ver, logistiek swaar en afhanklik was van vlootvoorraad ('n onbetroubare buitelandse vloot). Dat hulle hul suksesse aanvanklik behaal het, behoort niemand te verbaas nie, die Wehrmacht was op hierdie stadium in die oorlog nog onoorwonne teen die Britse leër. Dat hulle uiteindelik op die lange duur sou toegee aan twee wêreldryke - die Britte wat kwyn, die Amerikaner wat net begin waak - behoort ook niemand te verbaas nie.

    In Gazala was die Amerikaanse Grant -tenks die oorlewingsmarge vir die Britse agtste leër, selfs na die ontsaglike skok van die opening. By “Tredde Alamein, het generaal Bernard Law Montgomery sy aanval gelei met nog 'n tegnologiese wonder, ten minste volgens woestynstandaarde, die Amerikaanse M4 Sherman.

    Later het ontleders die Sherman sleggeslaan vir sy optrede in die Europese teater, waar dit deur swaarder Duitse tenks soos die Panther en Tiger I en II geëwenaar is, maar die beoordeling sou die woeste Duitse en Italiaanse tenkwaens wat die Sherman in El Alamein in die gesig gestaar het, verbaas het. Die Wehrmacht sou daarvan spog kampfkraft tot aan die einde van die oorlog, maar dit sou toenemend ongelukkig lyk in die lig van die materiaal en die logistieke superioriteit van sy gekombineerde vyande.

    Tydens die oorlog het Rommel en die Afrika Korps 'n reputasie as onoorwinlikheid verkry. Artikel na artikel in die Duitse pers stel Rommel gelyk aan die groot Pruis-Duitse kapteins van die verlede. Byna 70 jaar na die verpletterende Duitse nederlaag by El Alamein, is dit egter tyd om ons te bevry van die greep van die Duitse propaganda. Ons is almal lief vir ons legendes, maar ons moet erken dat Rommel en die Afrika Korps baie nader gekom het aan 'n beslissende oorwinning in fantasie as wat hulle in werklikheid gedoen het.

    Robert M. Citino, 'n professor in geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Noord -Texas, het baie oor die Duitse weermag geskryf. Sy mees onlangse boek is The Wehrmacht Retreats (University of Kansas).

    ONS IS NOU vaardig genoeg in die openbare betrekkinge om te weet dat mediasensasies ontstaan ​​deur samewerking. Mense wil roem hê, en die media benodig interessante mense. Dit is die kern van die Rommel -legende. Die Nazi -propagandis dr Josef Goebbels het teen 1940 geweet dat hy hier iets besonders het: Rommel was meer as 'n goeie generaal. Hy was 'n rebel wat geweier het om volgens die reëls te speel. Hy was persoonlik dapper, hy het altyd van voor gelei, en hy het homself so hard soos sy manne bestuur. Hy was eg - nie net 'n sussie nie, maar ook 'n steak. Gevolglik het geen ander Duitse generaal soveel mediadekking gekry nie. Nuusberigte - gekyk deur die klein dokter self - was verwonderd oor die mooi voorkoms van Rommel, sy hoë, gladde voorkop, 'n sterk energieke neus, prominente wangbene. 'n nuwe werkwoord bedink om u teenstander, Rommeln (“to Rommel ”), te oortref, en toe die aksie na die woestyn verskuif, beweer hulle dat rommel eintlik 'n ou Arabiese woord vir “sand is. ” (Onwaar.) Die Nazi's het inderdaad selfs 'n fliek gemaak oor die 1940's, Victory in the West. Maar die rol van Rommel in al hierdie hype word gereeld oor die hoof gesien. Hy verlang na roem, geniet sukses en hou daarvan as die media hom 'n held noem. Sy roem was inderdaad 'n hooftema in sy briewe aan sy vrou, Lu, soos in April 1941 toe hy spog dat die hele wêreld se pers praat oor sy buit in Afrika. Geen ander Duitse generaal het so gewillig gestaan ​​vir soveel foto's nie, altyd in 'n kommando, staande in die toring van 'n tenk, of wys na die verre horison. Rommel het 'n amptenaar van die Duitse propaganda -ministerie op sy eie personeel in Afrika gehad, luitenant Alfred Berndt, wat fotograwe geregisseer het, poses voorgestel het vir Rommel en heldhaftige prosa aan tydskrifte en die ministerie oorgedra het. Geen ander Duitse generaal het ooit sy eie perskonferensie gehou nie, soos Rommel ingestem het om vroeg in Oktober 1942 te doen. Terwyl hy in die kamer voor die internasionale pers instap, plaas hy sy hand op die deurhandvatsel en verklaar: “Vandag staan ​​ons 100 kilometer uit Alexandrië en Kaïro en het die poorte van Egipte byderhand. ” En daardie film van 1941, Victory in the West? Dit was nie net oor Rommel nie. Hy het 'n ster daarin gespeel en eintlik gehelp om dit te regisseer. Hy is die middelpunt van die aandag, ry onverpoosd vorentoe, sny deur die Franse verdediging en neem hordes gevangenes. (As u dit ooit sien, let op die realisme van daardie tonele: U kyk na werklike krygsgevangenes, Senegalese eenhede uit Wes -Afrika.) Net nadat hy deur Hitler ontbied en in 1941 na Afrika gestuur is, het Rommel aan 'n paar medewerkers gesê dat soon they’d all be watching a film called Victory in Africa. It was not to be. But in his relationship with the media, his “almost American sense of public relations,” as one biographer put it, he was exactly what Goebbels once called him: a truly modern general. R.C


    Implicated in 1944 July Plot and Death

    On D-Day—June 6, 1944�,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy, and invading forces eventually reached 1 million. After the Allied invasion and the resulting push across France, Rommel knew that Germany would lose the war and discussed surrendering with other officers.

    After the 1944 July Plot𠅊n assassination attempt against Hitler that occurred on July 20, 1944—Rommel&aposs contact with the conspirators was revealed, implicating him in the plot to overthrow Hitler. Rommel was then offered the option of taking his own life to avoid a public trial and protect his family.

    On October 14, 1944, German officers took Rommel from his home to a remote location. There he took his own life by biting into a cyanide capsule. He was 52 years old. Rommel was given a full military burial.


    Erwin Rommel

    Erwin Johannes Rommel was born in 1891 and he joined the German Army as a cadet in 1910.

    During World War I he served as an infantry lieutenant with the German Army in Italy, Romania and France.

    For his bravery in action during the Battle of Caporetto he was awarded the highest decoration bestowed by the forces of Imperial Germany, the ‘Order of the Pour le Merite’ — the Blue Max.

    In the years between the world wars, Rommel served as instructor at the Infantry School at Dresden and later served as Commander of the German War Academy. It was during this period that he wrote "Infantry Attacks" ("Infanterie Greift an"). Though based on his personal experiences, the book became a seminal work and was incorporated into the training of military cadets and junior officers.

    During the rise of the 3rd Reich, Rommel found himself singled out to command Hitler’s personal bodyguard. He commanded the 7th Panzer Division as the German blitzkrieg rolled over France and for his tactical prowess of massing forces of combined armor and infantry was sent to command the forces in the African theater. There he earned the nickname “the Desert Fox.” Rommel’s famous goggles, which he sported in all of his photographs, were actually the pair taken from British General Richard O’Connor when he was captured in April 1941, and not German Army issue. As commander of the Afrika Corps, his unorthodox tactics and his grasp of strategy sent the British army staggering and nearly drove the British out of Egypt and put the British empire's lifeline, the Suez Canal in the hands of the 3rd Reich.

    Rommel’s luck ran out, however, as well as his supply lines on October 23, 1942 at the Battle of El Alamain. As Rommel struggled to regain his momentum, British forces under Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery slammed into the stalled Afrika Corps with massed ground attacks and constant harassment from the air. The Afrika Corps found itself trapped with its back to the sea. Rommel fought rearguard actions through Benghazi, Tripoli and finally to the Mareth Line in Southern Tunisia. Even his eleventh hour victory at the Kasserine Pass in February 1943 could not stem the Allied onslaught and Rommel was recalled from the African theater in March 1943 to Italy by Hitler. The Afrika Corps was abandoned in Tunisia and close to 275,000 Axis soldiers were forced to capitulate. This blow, following so closely on the heels of the German defeat at Stalingrad sowed the seed of discontent in Rommel with the German High Command (OKW) and Hitler’s handling of the war.

    Following a brief posting to Italy, Rommel took command of the 7th German Army in Brittany and Normandy, and began an analysis and strengthening of the already formidable fortifications of the Atlantic Wall of Hitler’s Fortress Europe. With the inevitable Allied invasion of Western Europe looming, Rommel hoped to hold any invading force to the beach and use his armor and mechanized infantry as a mobile reserve to quickly stem any Allied push and prevent a breakthrough to the hedge country of France.

    When the D-Day invasion began, Rommel was back in Germany on leave for his wife’s birthday. Unable to stem the invading tide and with the OKW reluctant to commit its infantry and panzer reserves to the Normandy invasion sites, the German Army lost valuable time as it tried to ascertain whether the landings at Normandy were the main Allied push or merely a feint. With news of the invasion, Rommel rushed back to the headquarters of Army Group B by late evening of June 6th and attempted to push the German counterattack.

    Realizing the severity of the situation, Rommel went directly to Hitler in the hopes of convincing the Furher that the situation in Normandy was untenable and to have the German army pull back to defensive positions on the Seine. Hitler's outright rejection of any strategic retreat affected Rommel so greatly that he discussed with other high-ranking German officers the idea of opening secret talks with the Allies. They believed that by removing Hitler from power a negotiated truce might be possible. On July 16, 1944, these hopes were dashed when Rommel was severely wounded when his staff car was strafed by Allied aircraft. His injuries were severe enough to remove him from command of the forces in Normandy. On July 20, 1944, a bomb detonated during a conference between Hitler and his top advisors in his headquarters on the Eastern Prussia, the "Wolfschanze." Though the bomb failed to kill Hitler, Rommel, along with some of the highest officers in the German military, was implicated for his part in the assassination attempt. Facing a propaganda nightmare Hitler himself ordered Rommel to commit suicide.

    With Hitler using the safety of Rommel’s family as leverage, Rommel poisoned himself on Oct. 14, 1944, while publicly he was said to have died in an automobile accident. Not able to afford to lose Rommel's prestige before the German people Hitler had Rommel buried with full military honors and Rommel's complicity in the ‘20th of July Plot’ was never made public.


    Rommel's letter to his wife from November 16, 1942 - History

    ESPIONAGE AND THE MANHATTAN PROJECT
    (1940-1945)
    Events > Bringing It All Together, 1942-1945

    Security was a way of life for the Manhattan Project. The goal was to keep the entire atomic bomb program secret from Germany and Japan. In this, Manhattan Project security officials succeeded. They also sought, however, to keep word of the atomic bomb from reaching the Soviet Union. Although an ally of Britain and the United States in the war against Germany, the Soviet Union remained a repressive dictatorship and a potential future enemy. Here, security officials were less successful. Soviet spies penetrated the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and several other locations, sending back to Russia critical information that helped speed the development of the Soviet bomb.

    The theoretical possibility of developing an atomic bomb was not a secret. Fission had been discovered in Berlin, and word of the breakthrough had spread quickly around the world. The scientific basis for a sustained, or even explosive, chain reaction was now clear to any well-versed research physicist. Most physicists initially may have thought an explosive chain reaction unlikely, but the possibility could not be entirely discounted.

    Met an atomic bomb program of its own, Germany attempted to build a large spy network within the United States. Most German spies were quickly caught, however, and none penetrated the veil of secrecy surrounding the Manhattan Project. German physicists heard rumors and suspected an atomic bomb project was underway in Britain, the United States, or both, but that was all. Japan also had a modest atomic research program. Rumors of the Manhattan Project reached Japan as well, but, as with Germany, no Japanese spies penetrated the Manhattan Project.

    The Soviet Union proved more adept at espionage, primarily because it was able to play on the ideological sympathies of a significant number of Americans and British as well as foreign migr s. Soviet intelligence services devoted a tremendous amount of resources into spying on the United States and Britain. In the United States alone, hundreds of Americans provided secret information to the Soviet Union, and the quality of Soviet sources in Britain was even better. (In contrast, during the war neither the American nor the British secret services had a single agent in Moscow.) The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) had thousands of members, a disproportionate number of whom were highly educated and likely to work in sensitive wartime industries. Many physicists were members of the CPUSA before the war. This does not mean that every member of the CPUSA was willing to supply secret information to the Soviet Union, but some were and some did.

    Soviet intelligence first learned of Anglo-American talk of an atomic bomb program in September 1941, almost a year before the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) was created. The information likely came from John Cairncross, a member of the infamous "Cambridge Five" spies in Britain. (Cairncross served as a private secretary for a British government official, Lord Hankey, who was privy to some British discussions of the MAUD Report.) Another of the "Cambridge Five," Donald Maclean (left), also sent word of the potential for an atomic bomb to his Soviet handlers around the same time. (Maclean was a key Soviet agent. In 1947 and 1948, he served as a British liaison with the MED's successor, the Atomic Energy Commission.) At the same time, the sudden drop in fission-related publications emerging from Britain and the United States caught the attention of Georgii Flerov, a young Soviet physicist, who in April 1942 wrote directly to Josef Stalin to warn him of the danger.

    Soviet intelligence soon recognized the importance of the subject and gave it the appropriate codename: ENORMOZ ("enormous"). Soviet intelligence headquarters in Moscow pressured their various American residencies to develop sources within the Manhattan Project. Many of these early attempts at recruiting spies were detected and foiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Manhattan Project counterintelligence officials. In February 1943, they learned of Soviet attempts to contact physicists conducting related work at the "Rad Lab" at the Universiteit van Kalifornië, Berkeley. The scientists in question were placed under surveillance and, when possible, drafted into the military so that they could be assigned away from sensitive subjects. Another scientist at the Rad Lab caught passing information to the Soviet Union in 1944 was immediately discharged. In early 1944, the FBI also learned of several "Met Lab" employees suspected of divulging secret information to their Soviet handlers. The employees were immediately dismissed. While these Soviet attempts at espionage were discovered and thwarted, other Soviet spies went undetected.

    Of the Soviet spies not caught during the war, one of the most valuable was the British physicist Klaus Fuchs. Fuchs first offered his services to Soviet intelligence in late 1941. Soon thereafter, he began passing information regarding British atomic research. Soviet intelligence lost contact with him in early 1944 but eventually found out that Fuchs had been reassigned to the bomb research and development laboratory at Los Alamos as part of the newly-arrived contingent of British scientists. Fuchs worked in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, and from there he passed to his Soviet handlers detailed information regarding atomic weapons design. Returning home to begin work on the British atomic program in 1946, he continued to pass secret information to the Soviet Union intermittently until he was finally caught (largely due to VENONA), and in January 1950 he confessed everything.

    For over four decades, Klaus Fuchs was thought to be the only spy who was a physicist at Los Alamos. In the mid-1990s, release of the VENONA intercepts revealed an alleged second scientist-spy: Theodore Hall. Like Fuchs, a long-time communist who volunteered his services, Hall made contact with Soviet intelligence in November 1944 while at Los Alamos. Although not as detailed or voluminous as that provided by Fuchs, the data supplied by Hall on implosion and other aspects of atomic weapons design served as an important supplement and confirmation of Fuchs's material. The FBI learned of Hall's espionage in the early 1950s. Unlike Fuchs, however, under questioning Hall refused to admit anything. The American government was unwilling to expose the VENONA secret in open court. Hall's espionage activities had apparently ended by then, so the matter was quietly dropped.

    The most famous "atomic spies," Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (right), never worked for the Manhattan Project. Julius Rosenberg was an American engineer who by the end of the war had been heavily involved in industrial espionage for years, both as a source himself and as the "ringleader" of a network of like-minded engineers dispersed throughout the country. Julius's wife, the former Ethel Greenglass, was also a devoted communist, as was her brother David. David Greenglass was an Army machinist, and in the summer of 1944 he was briefly assigned to Oak Ridge. After a few weeks, he was transferred to Los Alamos, where he worked on implosion as a member of the Special Engineering Detachment. Using his wife Ruth as the conduit, Greenglass soon began funneling information regarding the atomic bomb to his brother-in-law, Julius Rosenberg, who then turned it over to Soviet intelligence. As Greenglass later explained, "I was young, stupid, and immature, but I was a good Communist."

    In March 1946, Greenglass left the Army. Soviet intelligence maintained contact with him, urging him to enroll at the University of Chicago in order to re-enter atomic research. The NKGB (the People's Commissary for State Security and the predecessor to the KGB) offered to pay his tuition, but Greenglass's application to Chicago was rejected. In 1950, the confession of Klaus Fuchs led the FBI to his handler, Harry Gold, who in turn led the FBI to David Greenglass. When confronted, Greenglass confessed, implicating his wife Ruth and his brother-in-law, Julius Rosenberg. This was soon confirmed through VENONA intercepts (Rosenberg was codenamed ANTENNA and LIBERAL, Ethel was WASP, Greenglass was BUMBLEBEE and CALIBER, and his wife Ruth was OSA). The "rolling up" of the espionage ring stopped, however, with the Rosenbergs. Julius and Ethel (who knew of her husband's activities and at times assisted him) both maintained their innocence and refused to cooperate with authorities in order to lessen their sentences. Because of his cooperation, Greenglass received only 15 years, and his wife, Ruth, was never formally charged. The Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. Authorities apparently hoped to use the death sentences as leverage to get them to name names, but the Rosenbergs maintained their silence. Despite a worldwide campaign for clemency, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed on June 19, 1953.

    At least two other scientists associated with the Manhattan Project also served as spies for Soviet Union: Allan Nunn May and Bruno Pontecorvo. Another British physicist who came over with James Chadwick in 1943, May, unlike his colleague Klaus Fuchs, was not assigned to Los Alamos. Instead, he was chosen to assist in the Canadian effort to construct a heavy water-moderated reactor at Chalk River, Ontario. During 1944, May visited the Met Lab several times. Once during these visits, he even met Leslie Groves. In February 1945, May passed what he had learned to Soviet intelligence. His colleague at Chalk River, Bruno Pontecorvo, also served as a spy. Pontecorvo was a former prot g of Enrico Fermi. In 1936, Pontecorvo, who was Jewish, fled fascist Italy for France. When France fell to the invading Nazi armies in 1940, Pontecorvo was again forced to flee fascism. He was invited to join British atomic research, and by 1943 he found himself assigned to the Chalk River facility. Pontecorvo established contact with Soviet intelligence and began passing them information about the atomic activities there. He continued his dual life as a physicist and a spy in Canada until 1949 when he was promoted and moved back to Britain to join the atomic research being conducted there. Following the arrest of Klaus Fuchs, Pontecorvo's Soviet handlers became worried that he would be exposed, and in 1950 Pontecorvo defected with his family to the Soviet Union. Pontecorvo continued his work as a physicist in the Soviet Union, eventually receiving two Orders of Lenin for his efforts, all the while continuing to deny that he had been a spy during his years in Canada and Britain.

    A number of spies within the Manhattan Project have never been positively identified. Most are only known by their codenames, as revealed in the VENONA decrypts. One source, an engineer or scientist who was given the codename FOGEL (later changed to PERSEUS), apparently worked on the fringes of the Manhattan Project for several years, passing along what information he could. Soviet documents state that he was offered employment at Los Alamos, but, to the regret of his handlers, he turned it down for family reasons. Another source, a physicist codenamed MAR, first began supplying information to the Soviet Union in 1943. In October of that year, he was transferred to the Hanford Engineer Works. In another case, a stranger one day in the summer of 1944 showed up unannounced at the Soviet Consulate in New York, dropped off a package, and quickly left. The package was later found to contain numerous secret documents relating to the Manhattan Project. Soviet intelligence attempted to find out who the deliverer of the package was so that they could recruit him. They never could, however, determine his identity. An Englishman codenamed ERIC also provided details of atomic research in 1943, as did an American source codenamed QUANTUM, who provided secret information relating to gaseous diffusion in the summer of 1943. Who QUANTUM was or what became of him after the summer of 1943 remains a mystery.

    Few aspects of the Manhattan Project remained secret from the Soviet Union for long. Given the size of the pre-existing Soviet espionage network within the United States and the number of Americans who were sympathetic to communism or even members of the CPUSA themselves, it seems highly unlikely in retrospect that penetrations of the Manhattan Project could have been prevented. In most cases, the individuals who chose to provide information to the Soviet Union did so for ideological reasons, not for money. They were usually volunteers who approached Soviet intelligence themselves. Further, in most cases, they were not aware that anyone else had chosen to do the same thing. (Fuchs, Greenglass, and Hall were all at Los Alamos at the same time, yet none of them knew of the espionage activities of the other two.)

    Soviet espionage directed at the Manhattan Project probably hastened by at least 12-18 months the Soviet acquisition of an atomic bomb. When the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test on August 29, 1949 (left), the device they used was virtually identical in design to the one that had been tested at Trinity four years previously.

    Vorige Volgende

    The text for this page is original to the Department of Energy's Office of History and Heritage Resources. The main sources for this entry were:

    • Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (New York: Basic Books, 1999)
    • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999)
    • David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994)
    • Jeffrey T. Richelson, A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995) and
    • Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America -- the Stalin Era (New York: Random House, 1999).

    For a summary of the failure of German espionage in the United States (and in Britain), see Richelson, Century of Spies, 139-144.

    On the scope of Soviet espionage in the United States in general, see Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield Haynes and Klehr, Venona and Weinstein and Vassiliev, Haunted Wood.

    On Cairncross as the source of the first word on atomic energy to reach Moscow, see Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb, 82-83 Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield, 114 and Weinstein and Vassiliev, Haunted Wood, 172. Cairncross may have passed word as early as October 1940 see Richelson, Century of Spies, 136. In 1993, Cairncross denied to the Schecters ever having passed this information (Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History (Washington: Brassey's, 2002), 348 (note 5)). On Maclean passing word of the atomic bomb program in the fall of 1941, see Richelson, Century of Spies, 137. On Maclean in general, including his work with the AEC, see Haynes and Klehr, Venona, 52-55. On the Flerov letter, see Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb, 76-79.

    On the name "ENORMOZ," see Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield, 118. For those Soviet intelligence operations that were detected and stopped, see Vincent C. Jones, Manhattan: The Army and the Atomic Bomb, United States Army in World War II (Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1988), 263-266, and Haynes and Klehr, Venona, 325-326.

    For the sources consulted regarding Klaus Fuchs en Theodore Hall, see the notes for their separate entries (Fuchs' notes Hall's notes).

    The information on the Rosenbergs and David Greenglass is from Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield, 128 Haynes and Klehr, Venona, 295-303, 307-311 and Weinstein and Vassiliev, Haunted Wood, 198-202, 205-216, 221-222, 327-334.

    The information on May is from Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb, 105. On Pontecorvo, see Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev (New York: HarperCollins, 1990), 317-318, 379.

    On FOGEL/PERSEUS, see Weinstein and Vassiliev, Haunted Wood, 190-195, and Haynes and Klehr, Venona, 16, 313-314. Before Theodore Hall was identified, FOGEL/PERSEUS was sometimes mistakenly thought to be the source that turned out to be Hall. On MAR, see Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield, 117. On the strange "walk-in" in New York, see Weinstein and Vassiliev, Haunted Wood, 193. On ERIC, see ibid., 181-182, and on QUANTUM, see Haynes and Klehr, Venona, 311-313.

    For estimates of how many years Soviet espionage sped up their atomic weapons program, see Andrew and Mitrokhin, Sword and Shield, 132, and Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb, 222.


    The Boy Who Became a World War II Veteran at 13 Years Old

    With powerful engines, extensive firepower and heavy armor, the newly christened battleship USS South Dakota steamed out of Philadelphia in August of 1942 spoiling for a fight. The crew was made up of “green boys”—new recruits who enlisted after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor—who had no qualms about either their destination or the action they were likely to see. Brash and confident, the crew couldn’t get through the Panama Canal fast enough, and their captain, Thomas Gatch, made no secret of the grudge he bore against the Japanese. “No ship more eager to fight ever entered the Pacific,” one naval historian wrote.

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    Video: Archival Footage of D-Day

    In less than four months, the Suid -Dakota would limp back to port in New York for repairs to extensive damage suffered in some of World War II’s most ferocious battles at sea. The ship would become one of the most decorated warships in U.S. Navy history and acquire a new moniker to reflect the secrets it carried. The Japanese, it turned out, were convinced the vessel had been destroyed at sea, and the Navy was only too happy to keep the mystery alive—stripping the Suid -Dakota of identifying markings and avoiding any mention of it in communications and even sailors’ diaries. When newspapers later reported on the ship’s remarkable accomplishments in the Pacific Theater, they referred to it simply as “Battleship X.”

    Calvin Graham, the USS South Dakota‘s 12-year-old gunner, in 1942. Photo: Wikipedia

    That the vessel was not resting at the bottom of the Pacific was just one of the secrets Battleship X carried through day after day of hellish war at sea. Aboard was a gunner from Texas who would soon become the nation’s youngest decorated war hero. Calvin Graham, the fresh-faced seaman who had set off for battle from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the summer of 1942, was only 12 years old.

    Graham was just 11 and in the sixth grade in Crockett, Texas, when he hatched his plan to lie about his age and join the Navy. One of seven children living at home with an abusive stepfather, he and an older brother moved into a cheap rooming house, and Calvin supported himself by selling newspapers and delivering telegrams on weekends and after school. Even though he moved out, his mother would occasionally visit—sometimes to simply sign his report cards at the end of a semester.  The country was at war, however, and being around newspapers afforded the boy the opportunity to keep up on events overseas.

    “I didn’t like Hitler to start with,” Graham later told a reporter. When he learned that some of his cousins had died in battles, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to fight. “In those days, you could join up at 16 with your parents’ consent, but they preferred 17,” Graham later said. But he had no intention of waiting five more years. He began to shave at age 11, hoping it would somehow make him look older when he met with military recruiters.  Then he lined up with some buddies (who forged his mother’s signature and stole a notary stamp from a local hotel) and waited to enlist.

    At 5-foot-2 and just 125 pounds, Graham dressed in an older brother’s clothes and fedora and practiced “talking deep.” What worried him most was not that an enlistment officer would spot the forged signature. It was the dentist who would peer into the mouths of potential recruits. “I knew he’d know how young I was by my teeth,” Graham recalled. He lined up behind a couple of guys he knew who were already 14 or 15, and “when the dentist kept saying I was 12, I said I was 17.”  At last, Graham played his ace, telling the dentist that he knew for a fact that the boys in front of him weren’t 17 yet, and the dentist had let them through. “Finally,” Graham recalled, “he said he didn’t have time to mess with me and he let me go.” Graham maintained that the Navy knew he and the others on line that day were underage, “but we were losing the war then, so they took six of us.”

    It wasn’t uncommon for boys to lie about their age in order to serve. Ray Jackson, who joined the Marines at 16 during World War II, founded the group Veterans of Underage Military Service in 1991, and it listed more than 1,200 active members, including 26 women.  “Some of these guys came from large families and there wasn’t enough food to go around, and this was a way out,” Jackson told a reporter. “Others just had family problems and wanted to get away.”

    Calvin Graham told his mother he was going to visit relatives. Instead, he dropped out of the seventh grade and shipped off to San Diego for basic training.  There, he said, the drill instructors were aware of the underage recruits and often made them run extra miles and lug heavier packs.

    Just months after her christening in 1942, the USS South Dakota was attacked relentlessly in the Pacific. Foto: Wikipedia

    Teen die tyd dat die USS South Dakota made it to the Pacific, it had become part of a task force alongside the legendary carrier USS Enterprise (the “Big E”). By early October 1942, the two ships, along with their escorting cruisers and destroyers, raced to the South Pacific to engage in the fierce fighting in the battle for Guadalcanal. After they reached the Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, the Japanese quickly set their sights on the carrier and launched an air attack that easily penetrated the Enterprise’s own air patrol. Die draer USS Hornet was repeatedly torpedoed and sank off Santa Cruz, but the Suid -Dakota managed to protect Onderneming, destroying 26 enemy planes with a barrage from its antiaircraft guns.

    Standing on the bridge, Captain Gatch watched as a 500-pound bomb struck the South Dakota’s main gun turret. The explosion injured 50 men, including the skipper, and killed one. The ship’s armor was so thick, many of the crew were unaware they’d been hit.  But word quickly spread that Gatch had been knocked unconscious. Quick-thinking quartermasters managed to save the captain’s life—his jugular vein had been severed, and the ligaments in his arms suffered permanent damage—but some onboard were aghast that he didn’t hit the deck when he saw the bomb coming. “I consider it beneath the dignity of a captain of an American battleship to flop for a Japanese bomb,” Gatch later said.

    The ship’s young crew continued to fire at anything in the air, including American bombers that were low on fuel and trying to land on the Onderneming. Die Suid -Dakota was quickly getting a reputation for being wild-eyed and quick to shoot, and Navy pilots were warned not to fly anywhere near it. Die Suid -Dakota was fully repaired at Pearl Harbor, and Captain Gatch returned to his ship, wearing a sling and bandages. Seaman Graham quietly became a teenager, turning 13 on November 6, just as Japanese naval forces began shelling an American airfield on Guadalcanal Island. Steaming south with the Onderneming, Task Force 64, with the Suid -Dakota and another battleship, the USS Washington, took four American destroyers on a night search for the enemy near Savo Island. There, on November 14, Japanese ships opened fire, sinking or heavily damaging the American destroyers in a four day engagement that became known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

    Later that evening the Suid -Dakota encountered eight Japanese destroyers with deadly accurate 16-inch guns, the Suid -Dakota set fire to three of them. “They never knew what sank ‘em,” Gatch would recall. One Japanese ship set its searchlights on the Suid -Dakota, and the ship took 42 enemy hits, temporarily losing power. Graham was manning his gun when shrapnel tore through his jaw and mouth another hit knocked him down, and he fell through three stories of superstructure. Still, the 13 year-old made it to his feet, dazed and bleeding, and helped pull other crew members to safety while others were thrown by the force of the explosions, their bodies aflame, into the Pacific.

    “I took belts off the dead and made tourniquets for the living and gave them cigarettes and encouraged them all night,” Graham later said.  ”It was a long night. It aged me.” The shrapnel had knocked out his front teeth, and he had flash burns from the hot guns, but he was “fixed up with salve and a coupla stitches,” he recalled. “I didn’t do any complaining because half the ship was dead.  It was a while before they worked on my mouth.” In fact, the ship had casualties of 38 men killed and 60 wounded.

    Regaining power, and after afflicting heavy damage to the Japanese ships, the Suid -Dakota rapidly disappeared in the smoke. Captain Gatch would later remark of his “green” men, “Not one of the ship’s company flinched from his post or showed the least disaffection.” With the Japanese Imperial Navy under the impression that it had sunk the Suid -Dakota, the legend of Battleship X was born.

    After the Japanese Imperial Navy falsely believed it had sunk the South Dakota in November, 1942, the American vessel became known as “Battleship X.” Photo: Wikimedia

    In mid-December, the damaged ship returned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for major repairs, where Gatch and his crew were profiled for their heroic deeds in the Pacific. Calvin Graham received a Bronze Star for distinguishing himself in combat, as well as a Purple Heart for his injuries. But he couldn’t bask in glory with his fellow crewmen while their ship was being repaired. Graham’s mother, reportedly having recognized her son in newsreel footage, wrote the Navy, revealing the gunner’s true age.

    Graham returned to Texas and was thrown in a brig at Corpus Christi, Texas, for almost three months.

    Battleship X returned to the Pacific and continued to shoot Japanese planes out of the sky. Graham, meanwhile, managed to get a message out to his sister Pearl, who complained to the newspapers that the Navy was mistreating the “Baby Vet.” The Navy eventually ordered Graham’s release, but not before stripping him of his medals for lying about his age and revoking his disability benefits. He was simply tossed from jail with a suit and a few dollars in his pocket—and no honorable discharge.

    Back in Houston, though, he was treated as a celebrity. Reporters were eager to write his story, and when the war film Bombadier premiered at a local theater, the film’s star, Pat O’Brien, invited Graham to the stage to be saluted by the audience. The attention quickly faded. At age 13, Graham tried to return to school, but he couldn’t keep pace with students his age and quickly dropped out. He married at age 14, became a father the following year, and found work as a welder in a Houston shipyard. Neither his job nor his marriage lasted long. At 17 years old and divorced, and with no service record, Graham was about to be drafted when he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He soon broke his back in a fall, for which he received a 20 percent service-connected disability. The only work he could find after that was selling magazine subscriptions.

    When President Jimmy Carter was elected, in 1976, Graham began writing letters, hoping that Carter, “an old Navy man,” might be sympathetic. All Graham had wanted was an honorable discharge so he could get help with his medical and dental expenses. “I had already given up fighting” for the discharge, Graham said at the time. “But then they came along with this discharge program for deserters. I know they had their reasons for doing what they did, but I figure I damn sure deserved more than they did.”

    In 1977, Texas Senators Lloyd Bentsen and John Tower introduced a bill to give Graham his discharge, and in 1978, Carter announced that it had been approved and that Graham’s medals would be restored, with the exception of the Purple Heart.  Ten years later, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation approving disability benefits for Graham.


    The North African Campaign

    Following the breakout at Minqar Qaim in late June 1942, the New Zealand Division fell back to the Alamein Line, where it took part in the first Battle of Alamein. At Ruweisat Ridge on 15 July 1942, and the El Mreir Depression a week later, the New Zealanders seized their objectives after successful night assaults. But on both occasions they were left unsupported by British armoured units, and when German tanks appeared they had no choice but to surrender.

    The inability to get anti-tank and other heavy weapons forward to the New Zealanders contributed to the debacles at Ruweisat and El Mreir. But its main cause was the failure of the British armour to move forward. Faulty orders and a lack of initiative on the part of the exhausted British tank commanders lay at the heart of the problem. The 4th, 5th and 6th (NZ) Brigades suffered heavy casualties in these battles, and several thousand more New Zealanders were captured.

    A stalemate developed on the Alamein Line. Rommel, conscious that a lack of reinforcements and supplies were weakening his position in North Africa, tried to grab the initiative before it was too late. On 30 August 1942 German and Italian forces breached the Alamein minefields and headed south in an attempt to outflank the Allied forces. Deciphered German codes – dubbed ULTRA intelligence by the Allies – allowed the Allies to track Rommel’s intended movements and they pounded his columns with artillery and from the air. Having made little progress and with his tanks short on fuel Rommel fell back to his original positions. This action marked the debut of the 8th Army’s new commander, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery. While he was fortunate to assume command just as conditions began to favour the Allies, Montgomery had more than good luck on his side. He brought a new uncompromising approach to the campaign, immediately indicating that there would be no thought of further retreat.

    Breakthrough at El Alamein

    The New Zealand Division played a key role in the second Battle of El Alamein, which began on 23 October 1942. Its task, along with South African, Australian and British divisions, was to 'break in' through the enemy defences, which were now covered by deep minefields. At 9.40 p.m. the skies around El Alamein lit up as around 900 guns opened fire on known Axis positions. Twenty minutes later the infantry began their assault, advancing forward under a First World War-style creeping barrage. While the New Zealanders seized their objectives, the overall battle did not develop as Montgomery expected. Congestion, poor coordination and cautious leadership prevented Allied armoured units from taking advantage of gains made by the infantry.

    Montgomery planned a new attack – Operation Supercharge – further to the south, which would essentially repeat the process of the initial attack. He looked to the New Zealand Division's experienced headquarters to plan the ‘break in’ component of Supercharge, although the division itself was too weak to provide the necessary punch. Two British brigades, with New Zealand support, would carry out the attack while New Zealand infantry battalions protected their flanks.

    Operation Supercharge began at 1.05 a.m. on 2 November, with the British infantry brigades forcing open a path for British armour to pour through. Having breached the prepared Axis positions, the tanks ran into Rommel’s panzers (German tanks). Both sides incurred heavy losses in the ensuing battle, but by evening the Afrika Korps was facing defeat. Realising his battered armoured units were fast running out of fuel, Rommel decided to withdraw. Despite Hitler ordering the German-Italian troops to ‘stand fast’, by 4 November Axis forces in North Africa were in headlong retreat. Many Italian troops, without adequate transport, were taken prisoner. Rommel’s defeat at El Alamein would prove to be the decisive moment of the North African campaign.

    The Axis position in North Africa was furthered weakened when Anglo-American forces landed in Vichy-French Morocco and Algeria in November 1942. To meet the new threat, Axis forces poured into Tunisia, forming a new army commanded by General Hans-Jurgen von Arnim. The Germans and Italians were now fighting on two fronts.


    Barbara stood by George&aposs side during his presidential campaign

    After entering politics, George spent time in Congress, became ambassador to the United Nations, had a posting in China, and served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming Ronald Reagan&aposs vice president. During George’s successful run for the presidency in 1988, Barbara was at his side, offering humor on the campaign trail and speaking on his behalf at the 1988 Republican National Party Convention.

    The support went both ways. When Barbara suffered from depression in the 1970s, she later recalled, “Night after night George held me weeping in his arms while I tried to explain my feelings."


    Digital Resources: Higuchi Wartime Correspondence

    During World War II, Hiro Higuchi of Hawaiʻi volunteered to serve as one of two chaplains attached to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Japanese American unit formed in January 1943. Following his enlistment, Higuchi attended the U.S. Army Chaplain School at Harvard University in the fall of 1943. In November 1943, he joined the soldiers of the 442nd RCT for intensive training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. In June 1944, Higuchi accompanied the 442nd RCT to Europe, where he served with the unit in Italy and France. Chaplain Hiro Higuchi returned home to Hawaiʻi in December 1945.

    As chaplain of the 442nd RCT’s 2nd Battalion, Higuchi did not engage in battle, though his duties enabled him to experience firsthand the nature of war. He provided comfort and solace to the troops, held religious services on the front lines, transported the wounded and dead from the battlefield, comforted injured soldiers at first aid stations, wrote letters to the families of those killed in action, held memorial services, and performed various administrative duties.

    While serving with the 442nd RCT, Chaplain Higuchi wrote frequent letters to his wife Hisako reassuring her of his safety and documenting his experiences and impressions of the war. His descriptive letters provide insight into the mindset and experiences of the soldiers of the 442nd RCT and the nature of military life in World War II.

    Hisako Higuchi also wrote frequent letters to her husband describing life at home in Pearl City, Oʻahu . She describes the daily activities of family and friends, as well as noteworthy happenings around the island. Her detailed accounts of daily life provide insight into the nature of Hawaiʻi ‘s homefront during the war.

    This website contains a selection of the letters exchanged between Chaplain Hiro Higuchi and his wife Hisako during World War II. The letters are listed in chronological order and are available in PDF format.

    To learn more about the correspondence and other papers of Chaplain Hiro Higuchi, please see the Hiro Higuchi Papers Finding Aid.

    Copyright Disclaimer: Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, their descendants, or the repository if copyright has been signed over, as stipulated by United States copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user to determine any copyright restrictions, obtain written permission, and pay any fees necessary for the reproduction or proposed use of the materials.