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Old 02-13-2020, 09:02 PM
Capn Carl is offline
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WW2 examples of communications with the enemy


Iím sure this was rare, but it happened. I know that at the end of the war, Axis leaders were able to express a willingness to surrender by sending messages thru neutral nations. Iím curious if there were any instances before that, that didnít involve a surrender, why the contact was sought, and how so.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Capn Carl View Post
Iím sure this was rare, but it happened. I know that at the end of the war, Axis leaders were able to express a willingness to surrender by sending messages thru neutral nations. Iím curious if there were any instances before that, that didnít involve a surrender, why the contact was sought, and how so.
Local cease fires sometimes happened to deal with casualties.

Three cases of attempting it during the brutal slog through the Huertgen Forest are in this link. Success was limited since they were not coordinated at high levels. The American officer running for cover with the Germans he was negotiating with when they all came under American artillery fire is a prime example of what could go wrong.

They tend not to make the big picture histories since they are largely regiment or brigade and below actions during relatively natural lulls in the fighting. I have stumbled across other examples over the years. IIRC that would mostly be in memoirs from low level leaders or histories that round out the overall narrative with low level leader accounts.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Capn Carl View Post
Iím sure this was rare, but it happened. I know that at the end of the war, Axis leaders were able to express a willingness to surrender by sending messages thru neutral nations. Iím curious if there were any instances before that, that didnít involve a surrender, why the contact was sought, and how so.
Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to England in 1941, to negotiate peace. The English locked him up, and Hitler ordered him shot. He died (after the war) in prison, on the insistence of the Russians.

He claimed a spiritual experience, and the realization that Germany couldn't fight a two-front war, as his motivation.

context: Hitler didn't want peace because he was drug-addicted and a moron. The English and Russians wanted surrender. The "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech was 1940. Hitler had his chance at peace in 1938-39
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:51 AM
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There was fairly regular contact about prisoners of war, through the Red Cross and the "Protecting Power" (a neutral country - Switzerland in the case of British interests in Germany), between states that observed the Geneva Conventions. So, for example, there were medical repatriations of sick prisoners, formal complaints about breaches of the Conventions and requests for improvements reported through the Red Cross and/or Protecting Power reports. (Seems incongruous in the light of what happened to POWs not covered by Geneva, and in the concentration camps, but it did happen, however slowly).
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to England in 1941, to negotiate peace. The English locked him up, and Hitler ordered him shot. He died (after the war) in prison, on the insistence of the Russians.

He claimed a spiritual experience, and the realization that Germany couldn't fight a two-front war, as his motivation.

context: Hitler didn't want peace because he was drug-addicted and a moron. The English and Russians wanted surrender. The "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech was 1940. Hitler had his chance at peace in 1938-39
Nitpick: the "we shall fight them on the beaches" speech was not a demand for German surrender; it was a refusal of British surrender, which is not at all the same thing.

I think the main obstacle to Hess's mission is not that the UK were already determined to insist on a German surrender; it's that Hess was not a credible interlocutor. Hess wanted peace between Germany and the UK, but he did not represent the position of the German government, and could not negotiate on their behalf.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to England in 1941, to negotiate peace. The English locked him up, and Hitler ordered him shot. He died (after the war) in prison, on the insistence of the Russians.
No, Rudolf Hess did not fly to England. He flew to Scotland and the British locked him up. Is it really so hard to get such details right in a board dedicated to accuracy? Would you be happy with people saying that that Gallipoli landings were conducted entirely by British (or English) soldiers?

It's also a little misleading to say he died "after the war... in prison" - he died in 1987, not 1947.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:32 AM
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The US "NUTS" reply to the German offer for the US surrender at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge is fairly famous. The process of how the offer was communicated and responded to has been described in detail:
https://www.army.mil/article/92856/t...the_nuts_reply

Last edited by Wrenching Spanners; 02-14-2020 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:53 AM
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There was the Potsdam Declaration.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to England in 1941, to negotiate peace. The English locked him up, and Hitler ordered him shot. He died (after the war) in prison, on the insistence of the Russians.

He claimed a spiritual experience, and the realization that Germany couldn't fight a two-front war, as his motivation.

context: Hitler didn't want peace because he was drug-addicted and a moron. The English and Russians wanted surrender. The "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech was 1940. Hitler had his chance at peace in 1938-39
Or was murdered by British agents to keep him quiet.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...e-8802603.html
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Or was murdered by British agents to keep him quiet.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...e-8802603.html
You'd think if he hadn't revealed these wartime secrets by 1987, he wasn't going to.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
The US "NUTS" reply to the German offer for the US surrender at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge is fairly famous. The process of how the offer was communicated and responded to has been described in detail:
https://www.army.mil/article/92856/t...the_nuts_reply
I've always liked the---probably an invention of the movie, A Bridge Too Far---doomed 1st Airborne Division's (UK) rejection of a Nazi surrender demand while they were outnumbered, surrounded, and besieged in the Dutch town of Arnhem:
Quote:
German Emissary: "My General says there is no point in continuing this fighting. He is willing to discuss a surrender."

2nd Parachute Battalion C/O Lieutenant Colonel John Frost (to Major Carlyle): "Tell him to go to hell."

Major Carlyle (an umbrella-carrying officer based in part on Digby Tatham-Warter): "We haven't the proper facilities to take you all prisoner! Sorry!"

German: "What?!"

Major Carlyle: "We'd like to. But we can't accept your surrender. [pause] Was there anything else?"
SS General Karl Wolff's secret negotiations with Allen Dulles about surrendering German forces in Northern Italy probably fit within the OP.

The Battle of Castle Itter is probably relevant to the OP. Certainly one of the stranger fights during WW2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32622651
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:47 PM
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In the Pacific theatre, there was Guy Gabaldon, who single-handedly captured over 1,300 Japanese soldiers and civilians by talking to them.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by The Stafford Cripps View Post
It's also a little misleading to say he died "after the war... in prison" - he died in 1987, not 1947.
It's also a bit misleading to say that he died "at the insistence of the Russians"; he committed suicide of his own volition. (And it was the Soviet authorities who insisted on keeping him in prison, not all of whom were Russian.)
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Old Yesterday, 05:51 AM
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Towards the end of the Pacific War with Japanese kamikazes being the primary threat, American destroyers that shielded carrier groups were often dived on upon by the mostly unskilled pilots as it was the first enemy vessel they saw, instead of going after the much bigger and more critical targets of American aircraft carriers.

One US Destroyer decided to put up a giant painted sign on it's deck that said CARRIERS THIS WAY with an arrow pointing to the nearest carrier. The sign was in English and also too small to be seen except by a Japanese pilot already diving on them but it was at least something.
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