Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3786-ps.05 Last-Modified: 1999/11/26 [Page 684] The Fuehrer: Even the best division can get a shock. Jodl: Besides every new division will be regarded suspiciously. The Fuehrer: Especially if it arrives in good condition; well-looking men with good boots, in good shape, and the rifle not rusted. At once they say: Where do they come from, are there still such things? Jodl: The 3rd panzer grenadier division has been started moving. It comes to Erkelenz. The Fuehrer: What dirty tricks are done there, I know frorn my own experience. Once there arrived a brand new division from home. One regiment came to the place where we were. They passed through but rested then and stacked rifles. Our men then really did a nasty trick. Before they could blink an eye the nice rifles were gone and the old completely dirty and rusted ones were there. They had to go on. It was a mess but nothing could be done. Immediately they say: Where do they come from, do such things still run around? Jodl: The Fuehrergrenadier and Fuehrerescort brigade did not yet start moving, but are now assembled. The Fuehrergrenadier brigade reports the following strength: 4,229 men basic strength, 2 panzer IV, 3 in repair, 8 panzer V, 10 in repair: 5 assault guns, 11 in repair, 27 in transit. That amounts to a total of 60 panzers. The Fuebrer:And the Fuehrerescort brigade is slightly stronger. Jodl: I do not have its report. The Fuehrer: I believe it has 7,000 men. Goering: Can not small groups of panzers-6 or 10-be assigned which speed around in the foreground and put the panzer advance guards out of action? The Fuehrer: This is being done. They work in very small groups of 10 to 14 assault guns with SPW. Goering: They look for the panzers. Keitel: Antitank reconnaissance patrols [Panzerjaeger- spaehtrupps]. The Fuehrer: And antitank reconnaissance cars with PAK which drive very fast. They will now be deployed there for hunting. [Page 685] Goering: Reconnaissance units can be very helptul. Jodl: At the thrust against the 6th parachute division on the 26th, the enemy lost 25 killed, who have been counted and 2 Flamepanzers (flamethrowing tanks) which have been destroyed. Stronger range finding fire by batteries southeast of Nymwegen. The Fuehrer: Until when, may we assume, can the 7th parachute division be brought back from down there, to its original unit? Jodl: That will take long, at least 14 to 20 days. The Fuehrer: Alright, but we have to bring it up here; because here will be a critical point of the first degree. And the 5th parachute division? Jodl: There are no stronger forces yet but at least the 5th and 3rd are here. Goering: We have to combine them. The fighting strength of 4 combined parachute divisions equals that of five divisions. Jodl: Assembled reserves have been destroyed here through artillery fire. The assault continues here with the present forces. He penetrated in Ottilienburg and was thrown out. The Fuehrer: They moan terribly about the whole situation on the Western front and cry. Jodl: The front has been pushed back there. There are now two flat bridgeheads beyond the Roer. It was quiet on the rest of the front, there was movement. The attacks did not take place with the same concentration as during the last days, but were continued more weakly and sporadically. The enemy penetrated south of Hevenbach. A counter-attack is being made there. Farther south he was repelled again. Northwest of St. Vith he was also repelled. The Fuehrer: Here is the Schnee-Eifel. Jodl: No, the Schnee-Eifel is farther back. Here runs the Westwall. This is the wooded ridge of hills, which has to be held then. Well the line will be running a little bit backwards. They are still standing somewhat in front of it. This was the part, which was in the hands of the enemy. Here is the Westwall. [Page 686] Farther south the attacks were sporadic and weaker. Three strong attacks in the direction of the castle Reyland were repulsed. This are will be retaken on this chord. The Roehr has been already reached in one place. From there the line bulges again. Only skirmishes took place today. The following up of the enemy was prevented again and again through counterattacks. The enemy is suffering here considerable losses anyway. The Fuehrer: You reported, that the Americans lost 85,000 men this month; that would mean 50% of their total losses during the whole world war. Jodl: Farther south all was quiet. The enemy advanced again yesterday in the corner at Remich up to Schlossburg and beyond. He was again repulsed there by counter-attacks north of Tettingen. Additional attacks were repulsed. The tanks withdrew after the leading tank was destroyed. Considerable movement was observed southeast of Saarburg. Some replacements or reinforcements seem to take place near Saargemine. There was a strong concentration of rolling stock in the area around Metz and a strong concentration of vehicles in the area around Saverne and Saarbourg. There was no fighting yesterday at the newly gained Moder front, where the section of ModerRotbach was reached everywhere. The bridge in the rear near Merzviller has been completed in this section in spite of the shelling by enemy artillery; it is a 40 ft bridge, which facilitates the supply. Heavier fighting was raging down here, where the enemy continued his attack from the area south of Erstein and south of Colmar. We succeeded here, however, to repel all attacks. One tank was destroyed. These attacks were also repulsed at Markolsheim and 8 tanks were destroyed here. The Fuehrer: This matter here has to be straightened out under any circumstances. The situation is Ruch. that [Page 687] we have to attempt to retake this segment. Does this mean the recapture? Jodl: This is the recapturey which he ordered, on the 27th this line, on the 28th this position. The Fuehrer: But the most important thing is, that this segment will be taken by us. He should carefully consider, whether we should not pull out here the 6th mountain division, relieve it by some other unit, move this unit around and unite it with the 2nd mountain division, so that we can manage. Only mountain divisions can do the trick; the decisive point is, that Breisach remains safely in our hands. If that remains in a large bridgehead, the danger in itself will be small. Maybe you can talk it over with the Western High Command. An attempt has to be made, to remove by any method the 6th SS mountain division and transfer it to the 2nd mountain division, so that both mountain divisions can jointly execute the attack. This can be done in partial movements. The enemy cannot achieve here very much with his tanks. The attack has to be carried out here. That always was also Himmler's idea, because he cannot achieve very much with his tanks. On that sort of ground that may result in a success. The distance is 30 to 50 km. A mountain division can do that. Otherwise it cannot be done. If his affair could be settled, it would fit very well with that linking up here Schlettstadt could be outflanked; that is not so necessary, that can be smaller too, this does not make any difference, the only thing is, we would have better protection, because Colmar is very close. Jodl: And the whole artillery is here. The Fuehrer: The bridges have to be out of artillery range. Planes are reported, when they approach, but not artillery fire. Up here the whole thing has been stopped. Jodl: It has been stopped. The Fuehrer: Discuss it with Western High Command, whether the 6th SS mountain division cannot be pulled out there. This line can also be held easier defensively later on than the other one. [Page 688] Jodl: Much easier. The Fuehrer: If 2 mountain divisions are placed in the frontline, the whole position could be held. Jodel: This order was issued yesterday. (Presentation) The Fuehrer: Especially an elaborate defense line has still to be built here. Jodl: That's the old one, the new one is a little bit farther in front. The Fuehrer: This one has to be developed. Jodl: The question of command in the West is still to be discussed today. The Fuehrer: Yes, Goering, I wanted to talk that over with you. Well, the people, who are speaking here today, assume, that Student has become very tired. Goering: He need not stay, you don't know him, you don't know his terrible slow way of talking. You don't understand that. But he is still -- if I don't consider Model -- of all of them, as he was before, the one of those with the greater standing power if the going is tough, I am convinced of that. He is terribly slow; you think he is nuts, because you don't know him. But I take him gladly. The Fuehrer: He had the same thing previously at the operations in Italy. Goering: He talked just as slowly. Everybody thought, he was dumb. I take him gladly, because I knowand you. gentlemen, are witnesses -- that he will be called again in a critical hour. I am taking him with the greatest pleasure; for I need him, because he inspires again his parachute army. He says: "Yes, the Fuehrer told me also...." I know him, the others don't. I don't blame them, because they don't have any other means to judge him. The other day somebody asked me, whether I had a dumbbell up there. Then I replied: No, he is not dumb, he talked so slowly before. As he was wounded on the head, they think that this is an effect of it. But he had it previously. Nevertheless before every operation he says: We better jump on the enemy. The Fuehrer: He performed the most audacious operations. [Page 689] Goering: Well, I gladly take him, so that he won't be judged wrongly. I know, he will be called in the critical hour. He stands up well. He is not a great genius in any other respect but he is sticking it out in a good and straight fashion, who knows that he has to hold his troops in line. But I take him gladly away, that you can judge later on how the front is held, after he is gone. The Fuehrer: I would regret that very much, I really don't know. Does Blaskowitz stick it out so well? Goering: No, he is a smoothy. Student's little toe is worth more than all of Blaskowitz. The Fuehrer: That's just the question. Goering: But I shall be delighted to take him because I know at the critical moment you will get angry and ask for Student again. I shall be looking forward to that day. The Fuehrer: I won't. Goering: No, but you will give him back to me then. Why should I expose an outstanding man to such gossip. You know him he has always talked so slowly. The Fuehrer: At the time I developed our plans for the West he was just as slow. But at the end he delivered the goods. The same goes for the operation for the liberation of the Duce. Goering: He did his other jobs in Italy well, too. The Fuehrer: He absolutely cleared up everything in Italy. Goering: If he had stayed there, no bridgehead would have been established there either. But I need him urgently. He must reorganize the army of parachutists and move the divisions there. You got a man then whom you can transfer somewhere else where the going is rough, in case the need arises. He won't yield an inch. He probably will speak tlnen still more slowly, that is possible, but he will be slower in retreating, too. The Fuehrer: He reminds me of Fehrs my new valet from Holstein. When I tell him something it takes him minutes to grasp it. He makes a very stupid impression, but he does his job very well, only he is terribly slow. [Page 690] Goering: Student is a man with very clever ideas. There is no doubt about it. He figures things out for himself. The Fuehrer: It was suggested however, to move Blaskowitz up there and give his job to Hausser or should we do it the other way around? Jodl: To move up Hausser. Goering: Hausser has now become familiar with things here now. Jodl: Here are essentially SS-formations. The Fuehrer: I just want to say that's mere improvising. In case I want to carry out that thing I should like to have Hausser here too. Fegelein: Especially since pressure always comes from the Reichsfuehrer although he can no longer interfere; he, nevertheless always presses him. The Fuehrer: To carry out this operation. The Reichsfuehrer is alI wrapped up in it. He says: "My Fuehrer, if we have that piece here, then he has one important supply line less, we have a beautiful new position, and I can guarantee that nothing is going to happen at Breisach." After all, the whole bridgehead depends on it. Ferries this and ferries that, a bridge is much better after all. Jodl: In any case, the difficulties caused by the severing jof the line] becomes already apparent. Hausser has now pulled out all he could out of the line and deployed them down below there, so that it is impossible to figure out at the moment. how to get out the fast moving formations. For this reason also it will be necessary to concentrate the control in one hand; too many high headquarters only cause difficulties, there. Apart from that he has no quartermaster staff. I would suggest that Hausser is left here and that we give him also the 1st army. That I believe would be the right thing.
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