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Egorka
05-12-2012, 05:51 PM
Hello,

Well, well! Long time no see! :) I hope everyone here is doing well and kicking!!!

I want to consult members of this forum on the following subject.

BACKGROUND:
Montgomery accepted the surrender of German forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark on May 4, 1945 @18:30.
Please read the text here: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/gs10.asp
Clause #2 states that "All hostilities on land, on sea, or in the air by German forces in the above areas to cease at 0800 hrs. British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945."

On one hand the Germans surrendered to "C.-in-C. 21 Army Group" (see clause #1).
On the other hand in clause #3 we read, that German command is to "carry out at once, and without argument or comment, all further orders that will be issued by the Allied Powers on any subject."

I understand that "The Allied Powers" here also legally includes the Soviet Armed Forces.
I had some doubts, as sometimes one can read something like "Allies and Soviet Union". But is seem to me it is more of post WW2 phenomena.
This view of mine is also supported by Montgomery himself as it appears from his speech in this video @0:44 where he definitely includes Soviet Union into definition of Allies. (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/monty-speech-german-surrender)

So now, K.Donitz still ordered his forces to continue the evacuation and maintain armed resistance to RKKA. Also in the areas mentioned in the Montgomery's surrender agreement.
The most apparent of such examples should be the denial of German commandant (with 12.000 soldiers) to surrender to Soviet forces on Danish island of Bornholm. They unwillingly surrendered only after 16:00 May 9th.
The last naval battle in the region (with Soviet casualties) was at 18:41 the same day.

It appears German forces on Bornholm violated clauses #2 and #3 of the surrender agreement and consequently were subject to clause #4.

So now the QUESTION:
Did Germans breach the surrender terms by continuing after 0800 May 5th armed resistance to RKKA on Bornholm and its territorial waters?
So it seems to me so far...

Egorka
05-15-2012, 05:27 AM
I guess in here, I have to ask questions and try answering them all by my self. :)

Well, an opinion was sounded that the Montgomery's surrender agreement piculiarly did not include ALL the forces in the zone.
The trick here is that the clause #1 implies that all forces under the "German Comand" should surrender.
But Donitz himself, being the supreme German commander at that time, did not surrender yet.
So all the forces reporting directly to him were not covered by the agreement.
I have unsertain indication that Von Kamptz (commandant of Bornholm) did report directly to Donitz.

If this is true, it a neat trick that was played by the Germans.
What do you think?

Flametrowerguy's comments are most welcome! :)

flamethrowerguy
05-15-2012, 06:41 PM
I don't know about the allied side but it is said that Gert von Kamptz received the message of the partial surrender on May 6.
He immediately ordered a truce and made preparations to surrender the island to the British only, that however was in his very own judgement. He had his AA guns opening fire upon Soviet recce aircrafts that showed up on early May 7.

Chevan
05-16-2012, 12:43 AM
If this is true, it a neat trick that was played by the Germans.
What do you think?

Was that trick neat for them is still a questions.The active warfare on the East ended only 11 may after surrender of Prague.(40+ of thousands of axis were killed) I read some germans hight-ranks naivly shared ideas "surrender on the west and fight in the east", which some of allied politicans warmed up for some of reasons. Nothing but waste of german lifes.The zones of occupations has been separated by allies far before the may.Soviets had no intentions neither to Holland nor to Danmark.

Egorka
05-16-2012, 09:26 AM
I don't know about the allied side but it is said that Gert von Kamptz received the message of the partial surrender on May 6.
He immediately ordered a truce and made preparations to surrender the island to the British only, that however was in his very own judgement. He had his AA guns opening fire upon Soviet recce aircrafts that showed up on early May 7.
The Montgomery's surrender was signed 04 May @18:30.
BBC radio translated the message the same day @20:30.
The capitulation in Denmark was effective from 05 May @08:00.
The local resistance on Bornholm had gathered in in the towns squares openly the same time, i.e. 05 May @08:00. The same day they received weapons and started patrolling the streets (often together with the Germans).

So the point is that it is IMHO impossible that G.Kamptz first was officially informed about the surrender on May 6th (armed local resistance would not be tolerated then).

Also my Danish sources tell me that G.Kamptz got telegram with explicit orders: 1) not to surrender neither to RKKA nor Danish resistance; 2) continue transports at all costs; 3) ause arms to protect the transportation routes.
My other sources also tell me that there was even attempt to deny surrender on May 9th @16:00. This one was only verbal attempt though (I guess they tried their luck). After some time it (1 hour or so) it was finally accepted.

flamethrowerguy
05-16-2012, 04:40 PM
The Montgomery's surrender was signed 04 May @18:30.
BBC radio translated the message the same day @20:30.
The capitulation in Denmark was effective from 05 May @08:00.
The local resistance on Bornholm had gathered in in the towns squares openly the same time, i.e. 05 May @08:00. The same day they received weapons and started patrolling the streets (often together with the Germans).

So the point is that it is IMHO impossible that G.Kamptz first was officially informed about the surrender on May 6th (armed local resistance would not be tolerated then).

Also my Danish sources tell me that G.Kamptz got telegram with explicit orders: 1) not to surrender neither to RKKA nor Danish resistance; 2) continue transports at all costs; 3) ause arms to protect the transportation routes.
My other sources also tell me that there was even attempt to deny surrender on May 9th @16:00. This one was only verbal attempt though (I guess they tried their luck). After some time it (1 hour or so) it was finally accepted.

Whatever the correct version is, it's obvious that Kamptz -and every other German on that island- wasn't too keen on Soviet captivity in the first place. They certainly prefered the British isles...

flamethrowerguy
05-16-2012, 04:43 PM
I read some germans hight-ranks naivly shared ideas "surrender on the west and fight in the east", which some of allied politicans warmed up for some of reasons.

Concerning Bornholm I once read that back then the Soviets had huge apprehensions that the British could ally with the remaining German garrison to prevent a possible Soviet invasion of the island.

Egorka
05-16-2012, 05:25 PM
Whatever the correct version is, it's obvious that Kamptz -and every other German on that island- wasn't too keen on Soviet captivity in the first place. They certainly prefered to British isles...Yes, no wonder.

Egorka
05-16-2012, 06:33 PM
The Russian leaflet dropped on Bornholm on 07 May app. @18:00.
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/befrielsen/bornholm/kilder/loebeseddel.pdf

"to the commandant of Bornholm
In order to avoide unnessesary casualties, I propose you to immediately capitulate.
Send representatives for negotiating conditions of surrender to Kolberg 08/May at 10:00.
We garanty safety on the way.
The commander of the airforce unit
Lieutenant Colonel Slepenkov"


The response of the G.v.Kamptz on 08 May ( i.e. after he was informed of the final capitulation signed 07 May @02:41).
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/befrielsen/bornholm/kilder/kamptz.pdf

"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Replying to your letter from 7 May 1945, that there will be no answer to the dropped Russian leaflets.
The Wehrmacht forces on Bornholm are having orders to defend it from any invasion.
According to the armistice agreement, Bornholm lays in the British zone of interest.
I have orders to allow only English landing on the island.
G.v.Kamptz"

Chevan
05-17-2012, 12:45 AM
Concerning Bornholm I once read that back then the Soviets had huge apprehensions that the British could ally with the remaining German garrison to prevent a possible Soviet invasion of the island.
Endeed. Once in allied conference ( seems in potsdam) Stalin even sarcastically hinted to CHurchill - "You keep 400 000 of german ARMED pows in Holland what for?".For a long time the westerners tied the false concerns with stalin's paranoia - until the most recent time when the brits has declassified details of "operation Unthinkable" (http://web.archive.org/web/20101116155514/http://www.history.neu.edu/PRO2/pages/002.htm) where those holland pows were planned to use in allied attack of Soviet troops.

Egorka
05-21-2012, 05:51 AM
Hi,

I checked the book "Tyske og russiske aktiviteter på Bornholm under 2. Verdenskrig", 2004 ("German and Soviet activities on Bornholm during Second World War").
Though it is OK and detailed account of this narrow topic, I had some questions about overall quality of the book.

I have not seen in the book that G.v.Kamptz was reporting directly to Karl Dönitz during 5th to 9th of May 1945.
According to the command structure described in the book, German commandant of Bornholm G.v.Kamptz was reporting to Vizeadmiral Werner Lange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Lange) who was part of Marineoberkommando Ostsee in Kiel (see attachment).
IF this info is correct than, IMHO, Werner Lange was to follow the Montgommery's capitulation (Kiel is located in Holstein).

BUT... According to www.feldgrau.com/kmsorg.html W.Lange seem to had been replaced by Konteradmiral Günther Schubert (http://www.geocities.com/~orion47/WEHRMACHT/KRIEGSMARINE/Konteradmirals/SCHUBERT_GUENTHER.html) on 30 March 1945.


Admiral Commanding, West Baltic
Vizeadmiral Werner Lange 11.29.44-3.30.45
Konteradmiral Günther Schubert 3.30.45-7.22.45


Though does it change anything???
Both W.Lange and G.Schubert were to follow the Montgomery's capitulation and so do the forces under their chain of command.

P.S: www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=9214

Kommandierender Admiral westliche Ostsee

Formed on 29 Nov 1944 and subordinate to the Marineoberkommando Ostsee. It controled Seekommandanten between the German-Danish border to the German-Polish border west of Leba & included the island of Bornholm. The Staff Quarters were in Ahlbeck bei Swinemünde.

Kommandierender Admiral
Vizeadmiral Werner Lange (29 Nov 1944-30 Mar 1945)
Konteradmiral Günther Schubert (31 Mar 1945-22 Jul 1945)
Chef des Stabes
Kapitän zur See Karl Prossinagg (29 Nov 1944-00 Apr 1945)
Kapitän zur See Günther Wachsmuth (00 Apr 1945-00 May 1945)

Führungsstab

1. Führungsstabsoffizier
Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Walter Sigmann (00 Dec 1944-00 May 1945)
3. Führungsstabsoffizier
Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Heinrich Spindler (00 Dec 1944-00 May 1945)
4. Führungsstabsoffizier
Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Franz Schmitz-Lenders (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)
Ing.-Offizier
Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) der Reserve Paul Surbir (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)

Quartiermeisterstab

Quartiermeister
Fregattenkapitän M.A. Hans Naumann (00 Nov 1944-00 Nov 1944)
Fregattenkapitän Paul-Adolf Reiche (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)
Qu III
Korvettenkapitän Franz Thill (00 Dec 1944-00 May 1945)
Artilleriewaffenreferent
Kapitänleutnant (W) Kuno Fischer (00 Dec 1944-00 May 1945)
Sperrwaffenreferent
Korvettenkapitän (W) z.V. Karl-Anton Beuss (00 Jan 1945-00 May 1945)
Sanitätsoffizier
Flottenarzt Dr.med. Erich Domke (00 Nov 1944-00 Apr 1945)
Marineoberstabsarzt Dr.med. Ernst Stutz (00 Apr 1945-00 May 1945)
P I
Korvettenkapitän M.A. der Reserve Hans-Stephan Krukenberg (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)
Verwaltungsoffizier & Intendant
Fregattenkapitän (V) Richard Grupp (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)
Stellvertreter
Geschwaderintendant Dr. Johannes Schultz (00 Nov 1944-00 May 1945)

Gericht des Kommandierenden Admirals westliche Ostsee

Leitender Richter und Rechtsberater
Geschwaderrichter Dr. Heinrich Burckhardt (00 Dec 1944-00 May 1945)

unmittelbar unterstellte Dienststellen

Bevollmächtigter des Kommandierenden Admirals westliche Ostsee in Stettin
Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Kähler (00 Mar 1945-00 Apr 1945)

Subordinate Commands & Units

Seekommandant Pommern
Seekommandant Schleswig-Holstein und Mecklenburg
Inselkommandant Bornholm
10. Sicherungsdivision
Kommandant der Seewasserstraße Kaiser-Wilhelm Kanal
Marinepeilabteilung II

Egorka
05-29-2012, 05:23 PM
Hello,

Apparentlymy opinion seem to had been shared by everyone in May 1945, i.e. the British, the Germans, the Danes, SHAEF and the Russians.

I found a number of documents, which shows that it was a common perception. Here are just two of them.
The documents are my return translation from Danish. I tried to quickly google the original English text, but with no luck so far.
The documents are presented in the "Bornholm mellem øst og vest (http://www.danmarkidenkoldekrig.dk/Bornholm/bog.pdf)", 2006 - document collection about Bornholm in international relations during the period 1944 to the end of Cold war.


document 178.
Telegram 10 may 1945 from 21st Army Group, EXFOR TAC, to SHAEF FORWARD.
The following is from OKW.
"Bornholm commaandant reports 5 Russian torpedo boats arrived to Rønne harbour at 14:30. According to the Russian commisiion order, the new [Russian] island command and commanding general is to arrive at 17:30 to accept capitulation from the German commandant.
Russian occupation forces are on the way. Bornholm is Danish territory. Surrender of this island is clearly covered by the conditions signed with fieldmarchal Montgomery.
Requesting immediate clarification from Aollied Supreme Command if German troops capitulation to the British is valid, or the Russian claim for Danish islan Bornholm is rightfull. OKW considers itself legaly bound by the agreement with Montgomery.
Bornholm commandant was instructed not to take any further steps and await Allied Supreme Command descision.
Autorisation: Detleffsen, OKW. Sighned by Assmann, Capt. Zur See. "


Document 188.
Telegram 10 may 1945 from Eisenhower, SHAEF FORWARD, to Military Mission Moscow, EXFOR TAC, and SHAEF Mission Denmark.
Ref. nr.: FWD-21181.
The following message was sent to OKW.
"In accordance to military capitulation, the German military commanders are obliged to follow the orders issued by Allied Expeditionary Force or the Red Army. OKW is still legaly bound by ceasefire agreement signed with Montgomery, but due to aforementioned reasons the German commandant has to follow the orders of the local Russian commandant."

From the above documents is deffinitevely clear that Bornholm was indeed covered by the agreement sighned with Montgomery.
What is not 100% clear is clauses 2-4 were also legaly applicable to RKKA as one of the Allies.
But so far I don't see why they should not.