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Us Observers In German Army, Ww2


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#1 Manic Moran

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 1204 PM

I could have sworn that I had come across accounts of US Army observers attached to the German Army when they set about conquering France in 1940. After all, they were still neutral. Damned, however, if I can recall where I saw it so that I can refresh my memory that they were indeed there, or what they reported.

 

Can anyone illuminate me a little?



#2 Markus Becker

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 1353 PM

Ok?? I'll cross post this and see what I get.

#3 Rich

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 1933 PM

I could have sworn that I had come across accounts of US Army observers attached to the German Army when they set about conquering France in 1940. After all, they were still neutral. Damned, however, if I can recall where I saw it so that I can refresh my memory that they were indeed there, or what they reported.

 

Can anyone illuminate me a little?

 

As far as I was able to discover, none of the American military attaches in Berlin actually "accompanied" the German forces, but they deduced quite a bit from their contacts in the Wehrmacht. Truman Smith was the Chief Attache before the war and his assistants, first James Crockett and then Percy Smith (who took over as chief just after the war broke out) were very active and also worked with Alfred Wedemeyer, who attended the Kriegsakademie (1937-1938). There reports were filed with the Military Intelligence Division (MID) of the War Department staff. One of the more interesting consequences of their work was the assumption that the Germans were building large numbers of Panzerkampfwagen Neubaufahrzeug as the "Pz-VI" and so spurred the demand to Ordnance for 75mm-armed tanks to counter the threat.The best sources are the MID reports filed in RG 165, but quite a bit can be gleaned from a copy of Thomas G. Mahnken, Uncovering Ways of War: U.S. Intelligence and Foreign Military Innovation, 1918–1941, (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2002). BTW, Percy Smith was also the first G-2 on the staff of the Armored Force.



#4 Mikel2

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 2033 PM

Wrong German invasion of France, but still interesting:

 

http://www.shsu.edu/..._ncp/Sedan.html


Edited by Mikel2, 03 August 2017 - 2033 PM.


#5 DougRichards

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 2201 PM

Observation can sometimes be done, second hand, so to speak.

 

A friend of mine collects dvds of WW2 colour footage taken by cameramen from the various combatants.

 

One of the more curious sets he has is of footage taken by a German officer, post 1941, using Kodachrome colour film, of German troops and equipment in action.

 

Kodachrome could only be processed in one location in the world at that time, and that was in the USA.

 

This officer managed to get a supply of the stuff, but also to then send it to the USA for processing, probably through a contact in Spain, Sweden or Switzerland, and then have it sent back to him once processed during the war.

 

It is not too much to theorize that Kodak knew what they were dealing with, and that they provided copies to the US War Department for analysis.

 

The guy could have used Agfacolor, which was an easier to process film, but instead chose Kodachrome due to its superior, at the time, colour qualities.



#6 Markus Becker

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 0043 AM

Someone found this:

"See Uncovering Ways of War, U.S. Intelligence and Foreign Military Innovation, 19181941, Thomas G. Mahnken
Page 111 mentions "Throughout the campaign, the German Army continued to provide U.S. Military Attaches information. It also invited them to tour the front in Belgium and France."

#7 Rich

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 0103 AM

Someone found this:

"See Uncovering Ways of War, U.S. Intelligence and Foreign Military Innovation, 19181941, Thomas G. Mahnken
Page 111 mentions "Throughout the campaign, the German Army continued to provide U.S. Military Attaches information. It also invited them to tour the front in Belgium and France."

 

Yep, I mentioned it above... :D The only problem is that I don't recall that any of the attaches (there were typically only two, the senior attache and his deputy) actually accepted the invitation.



#8 Markus Becker

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 0129 AM

Someone else posted this in another forum. And why would US attaches not accept such an invitation? Ideal opportunity to gather some information.

#9 Rich

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 0745 AM

Someone else posted this in another forum. And why would US attaches not accept such an invitation? Ideal opportunity to gather some information.

 

Why they didn't isn't the point. I'm just saying I don't recall them saying they did...






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