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  #1  
Old 27th September 2005, 12:34
Marius Marius is offline
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Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Hi all,
unfortunately this topic was going down in another one Thread. So I will start it here again. I would like to know what is your opinion about the books written by Olaf Gröhler. I am sure everybody interested in aviation history has at least one book of this German author. And many excellent authors are quoting informations published by Gröhler.
I have the book "Bombenkrieg gegen Deutschland" (Akademie-Verlag Berlin 1990), where you can read on page 12:

Bereits am 1.September 1939 wurde der Vorbefehl für die Bombardierung Warschaus erlassen und dieser dann am 10.September mit der verlogenen Behauptung begründet:
"Der Angriff ist als Vergeltung der an den deutschen Soldaten verübten Verbrechen anzusehen und hat die Zerstörung von Wasserkante zum Ziel. Es kommt darauf an, bei dem ersten Angriff weitgehende Zerstörungen in dicht besiedelten Stadtteilen zu erreichen."



In another one very interesting book you can find many lectures about the air war in World War 2: Vorträge zur Militärgeschichte Band 12, Luftkriegsführung im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Verlag E.S.Mittler & Sohn GmbH, Herford 1993.
On pages 329-349 you will find the following contribution: Olaf Groehler - Der strategische Luftkrieg und seine Auswirkungen auf die deutsche Zivilbevölkerung. On page 332 we can read the following:

Bereits am 10.September 1939 befahl der Generalstab der Luftwaffe unter willkürlich weiter Auslegung des Repressalienbegriffs:
"Der Angriff ist als Vergeltung der an den deutschen Soldaten verübten Verbrechen anzusehen und hat die Vernichtung von Wasserkante..." (as above)"



Reading these sentences the reader must believe there was an original order (to destroy the city Warsaw) which arrived all Luftwaffe units and so on and so on.
But Gröhler cut out two very important sentences. Here is the original document:


Entwurf: Angriffsbefehl "Wasserkante"
(Dieses Dokument trägt den Vermerk: nicht befohlen CH.
Op 1 aufheben v.W.)


1. Lfl.1 und 4 bereiten für 11.9. einen zusammengefassten Angriff gegen "Wasserkante" vor.
2. Der Angriff ist als Vergeltung der an den deutschen Soldaten verübten Verbrechen anzusehen und hat die Zerstörung "Wasserkante" zum Ziel.
...
6. Einzelheiten der Durchführung:
a. Es kommt darauf an, bei dem 1.Angriff weitgehendst Zerstörungen in den Stadtteilen zu erreichen.
b. Daneben ist die Zerstörung der militärisch wichtigsten Ziele unter allen Umständen durch den Einsatz von Stuka-Verbänden sicherzustellen.
c. Beim 1.Angriff sind keine Brandbomben mitzuführen.
....

Weisungen des Ob.d.L. Fuehrungsstabes Ia fuer den Feldzug in Polen an Luftflotte 1 und 4 mit Ergaenzungen und Vorbefehlen
BA/MA Freiburg, ZA 3/418, page 34-35.



Comparing the original document and what we can read in Gröhler`s words we see the manipualtion done by the author. In reality this order was a draft and never arrived German Luftwaffe units or staffs, because it just wasn`t ordered. By the way if Luftwaffe (intended) bombed civilian targets in Poland is another topic (discussed and closed on another Thread) and I don`t want to continue it here.

Gröhler was starting his book and the latter lecture with such a manipulation (he concealed it was a draft and not ordered) and I will ask you what can we believe written by the author in all his books?

The other question is: is there anyhow a need to manipulate documents to bring evidence of German war crimes?
Also photo expositions on German war crimes are quoting Gröhler`s (manipulated) words, it seem to be a irrevocable basis. And it seems to be the only (German) documented evidence about the beginning of bombing terror against civilians.

What about other authors?

Marius
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  #2  
Old 27th September 2005, 22:20
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius
I would like to know what is your opinion about the books written by Olaf Gröhler
Isn't he Comrade Gröhler?

What I mean is that he is from the former East (Communist) Germany and most probably was a party member - a must for such a high profile position. Accordingly, he just followed the party line, namely vilifying the whole German Army, as per Moscow's directives.

I've read his book on the air war during W.W. 2, translated in Hungarian, many years ago, and my opinion was that he was clearly biased against the 'Nazi' Luftwaffe.

I would certainly not quote him as reference in any of my writings.
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Old 28th September 2005, 00:55
Pawel Burchard Pawel Burchard is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius
Entwurf: Angriffsbefehl "Wasserkante"
(Dieses Dokument trägt den Vermerk: nicht befohlen CH.
Op 1 aufheben v.W.)
Marius, could you please explain the sentence "CH. Op 1 aufheben v.W."?

Regards,
Pawel
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Old 28th September 2005, 11:05
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Pawel,

I am not sure now, but Op 1 could mean point 1 of the order or "Operation". The bombing mission was planned for 11.9. and therefore ceased (aufheben).
v.W. is probably Oberstleutnant von Waldau.

Marius
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Old 28th September 2005, 12:18
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Marius,

Could this cancellation only refer to point one in the order: the combined operation of Luftfl. 1 & 4?

In which case there is no lie, but only misinterpretation, since the document does proof Groeher's point and differs only on the technicality of joint operations.

Perhaps Op means operationeller Punkt, or something like that?
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Old 28th September 2005, 13:45
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Ruy,
nobody said it is a lie, but a manipulation. The reader of the books does not know the order was a draft only.
Combined or not combined..., this order was cealed. There was no such attack on Warsaw on 11.9. or later (you can compare it with my book Kampfflieger, where all bombing missions are listed hour after hour and day after day).
"Nicht befohlen" is concerning the whole document.

For the 25.9. exists another order, where you cannot find any intention to bomb purely civilian targets.

It is possible that "Unternehmen Wasserkante" was "Operation 1", planned as a big bombing attack on Warsaw on 1.9.1939.
I will ask someone for it.

Marius
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Old 28th September 2005, 18:22
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

One more note;
Ruy, you wrote about point 1. It is giving the date 11.9. for the mission. But in Gröhler`s articles you cannot find this detail. The author just cut out point 2 from the whole context.
As I read one of the books many years ago, I was convinced this order was generalized for September 1939 and in fact given to Luftwaffe units. But it seems Gröhler had a vision of the things at first and then he was searching for "proper words" in documents.

The very big problem is that the publicity is knowing only Gröhler`s version of the order and it is using it plentiful and as reliable. Ironically you can find it everywhere. And here the question comes up from itself: where are other similar orders? What about the air war history if they did not even existed?

Our speculations concerning Op 1 and the rest are perhaps going much too far. They could be common short-cuts in the German military administration papers.

Marius
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Old 28th September 2005, 23:33
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Warsaw was a target of heavy attack on the previous day and a lot of leaflets were then droped. On 11.09 Heeresgruppe Sued called for immediate air support due to unexpected attack of Polish army (Battle of Bzura). This, combined with Hitler's visit on the front, may have resulted with cancellation of the order.
By the way, why not to ask Groehler himself?
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Old 29th September 2005, 12:10
Marius Marius is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

The whole area around Warsaw was bombed on 10.9., not only the city itself. I don`t know anything about leaflets on this day.
In spite of the Bzura battle Luftwaffe was strong enough to carry out such a repression attack on Warsaw. For example also on 13.9. ca. 218 aircraft of Luftflotte 4 attacked military targets in Warsaw.

The order was never cancelled, because it was a draft only. As you will it never left the drawer. Such methods of attacks surely were discussed (as in every other nation`s high commands too). In Poland it was not needed to demoralize civilians, because Poland was too weak and the campaign took a fast end.

I think the reason for cancellation of the draft is going to an international matter. President Roosevelt send a note to the participating governments at the start of the war and everybody of them agreed (as I remember).
The other reason should be the fear of retaliatory attacks by French and RAF bombers.

I can "understand" that later RAF (divided from Germany by the English Channel) sought for any method to win the long war.
Maybe we will not find similar German orders for the period 1940-1941 as well, because Germany was repeatedly searching for peace with England. Such repression attacks against the enemy would make it impossible to gain peace.

Marius
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Old 30th September 2005, 00:46
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Books about Luftwaffe and air war by Olaf Gröhler

Germany was in hurry to finish the campaign and was also in hurry to get Warsaw. One of the Stalin's conditions was that Warsaw must be captured before the enter of the Red Army. Hence many misleading reports about capture of Warsaw. Also, it seems you overestimate Luftwaffe abilities, as IIRC, on 17.09 raids on Warsaw were cancelled and all the efforts directed toward tactical targets.
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