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                                         TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 3786-PS
              Stenographic transcription in the
                Headquarters of the Fuehrer.
       Discussion on the Situation of January 27, 1945
             First copy of second transcription

No 24/25

       Situation at noon of January 27, 1945 in Berlin

The Fuehrer                           Rear Admiral v. Puttkamer
Reich Marshal Goering                 Colonel v. Below
Field Marshal Keitel                  Colonel v. Brauchitsch
Col. General Jodl                     Captain (naval) Assmann
Col. General Guderian                 Hauptbereichsleiter Zander
General Burgdorf                      Direktor Dr. Schuster
General Buhle                         Lt. Colonel Waizenegger
Ambassador Hewel                      Major Buechs
Lt. General Winter                    Major v. Freytagh-Loringhoven
General Koller                        Major John v. Freyend
Vice Admiral Voss                     SS Major Goehler
SS Maj. General Fegelein              SS Major Guensche
Maj. General Scherff                  

                    Beginning 16.20 hours

                                                              [Page 656]

Dr. Schuster: As far as the weather conditions are concerned, my
Fuehrer, I have to report, the weather conditions are characterized by
incoming depressions over the Atlantic all the way to France. They
continue over Germany with snow and remain in the east, caused by a
strata of cold air, which lies over Russia and which penetrates in the
area of the province of East Prussia caused by strong winds from the
east and south. An offshoot of this depression spreads all over Italy
and this causes a considerable increase in difficulties in parachuting
for the enemy.

A major change in the weather conditions cannot yet be expected. These
depressions with some areas of precipitations will as before continue
from the west; it is going to spread from west to east and stay longer
here in this area, because a further advance to the cast is barred.

For England that means, that the conditions for parachuting are
deteriorating with these east winds, which blow here towards England. In
the last 3 days the whole of the eastern counties and the Midlands,
there were low-lying clouds with continuous falls of snow, accompanied
by poor visibility and heavy icing in these clouds. But the weather in
England is not so bad as to prevent all flying, because conditions over
the west of England are better, when the wind is blowing off the land.
There the clouds are sparse and visibility is good, i.e. better weather.
Hence the complete lull in flying over England is not caused solely by
the weather.

The Fuehrer:  By what else?

Goering:  Here there are no airfields; the latter lie in this direction.

Dr. Schustet.(to the Reichsmarschall): We have further ascertained, that
in December similar conditions existed over England and during 4 weeks
the British flew under similar circumstances. They were compelled,
within one month, to move 2800 aircraft to airfields in the North and
the West of England.

                                                              [Page 657]

Goering:  They have also lost a lot in recent weeks through these

Schuster: The fact remains, that the major part of the British
airfields, approx. 90%, are located in a territory of bad weather.
England is reporting considerable snow fall and low temperatures.

New precipitations are c oming over France and western front. The whole
territory from the Eifel to the south is covered today by snow with
heavy clouds and very bad visibility.

The weather conditions over the Reich are very much different. Snow
covered territories alternate with belts of fog, especially in the
northern part of the Reich. Conditions improved somewhat in the
territory south of Stettin as far as Breslau including the large
territory of Posen. The clouds are dense, but at a height of 800-1200 m
and below these clouds visibility is about 5-10 kin, with the result
that flying is possible today. This is the first day for some time past,
which shows somewhat more favorable conditions. Therefore the area of
Pomerania and the Vistula, as far south as Cracow has very poor
visibility the whole day owing to the snowfall. Here the units are
grounded. In East Prussia the clouds are dense at a height of 300-500m
with temperatures of 15 degrees. Yesterday there was a strong easterly
wind with a velocity of about 40 kin p.h. This strong east wind makes
icing in the whole of this area worse. As far as Hungary conditions make
for good flying over the whole Hungarian area with its heavy clouds at a
height of about a 1000m. Budapest lies within the region of snowfalls.
At nighttime: clouds at 400 m very heavy icing was recorded.

As regards to ice, I have to report that the Oder, throughout the whole
area, is completely covered with ice except in a few places. The ice is
so thick, that people can walk over it and vehicles even drive across
it. The ice is about 50cm thick. From 60 cm upwards armored vehicles can
cross it. With regard to the Danube. there is ice in the neighborhood of

                                                              [Page 658]

Regarding Baltic ports I have further to report, that Pillau, even with
these strong easterly winds and low temperatures, remains open the whole
winter whereas Koenigsberg, at such low temperatures, has great
difficulty to contend with as regards ice. The channel from Koenigsberg
to the sea has to be kept open by ice-breakers. The Stettiner
Haff(lagune) all freezes very hard, but Swinernuende is comparatively
free from ice. The remaining Baltic ports, to the west of Swinemuende as
far as the Meeklenburger Big already have heavy ice, particularly in the
region of' Ruegen and south eastwards.

As regards to Neisse I have to report, that it is frozen to the sourth
of Ottmachau. The Neisse is only open in the town of Neisse itself. The
situation is this: if we want to open the Oder by changing the water
level, then very large quantities of water must be at our disposal.

The Fuehrer:  Small quaintities are not sufficient?

Schuster: The waves subside very strongly on this long course down to
the Oder and exceedingly strong thrust of water is required; the ice
breaks up, the blocks of ice push over the cover of ice, but freeze very
fast again. The temperature has to be close to zero, so that the
structure of ice can change and that the ice can break up easier.

Guderian:  My Fuehrer, the situation changed somewhat at the army

The Fuehrer:  This has to be stopped at once! There is no sense in it
anymore, they have to fight their way back; a defense line has to be
built here and they have to repel that.

Guderian:  The enemy has attacked here. Up till now he was repelled
everywhere. However, it can be easily seen, that the XVIIIth panzer
division is reinforced by the VIIth and there is a possibility Plijew
will be placed here or down there.

The Fuehrer:  It is obvious that position cannot be held with the forces
at our disposal at this place.

Guderian:  This is clear by now -- The enemy achieved a dent up till
here, and was repulsed at the center. He is further being repelled now.
10 tanks have been

                                                              [Page 659]

destroyed. The bridgehead is annihilated. Very strong attacks here.
Strong attacks being made here from four directions, a total of 15 tanks
were destroyed here.

A counter attack is made against the attack of the 23rd tank division.

The 356th division is arriving, the first transports are here already.

The Fuehrer:  We cannot count upon it yet.

Guderian:  The 23rd. tank division is being taken out in order to build
up replacements here.

The advance of the 6th tank division came up till the red circle. An
enemy attack was repulsed here.

Fuehrer: This has to be discontinued. We have to change here to the
defense, we have to retake that, the Werfercorps and the people's army
artillery have to go on defense. The units have to be put in the line
here in order to retake that.

Guderian: The situation in Budapest became more acute, because the enemy
transferred his main effort in the center of the west section and
penetrated up to the so-called "BIutwiese" (bloody field), on which up
till now most of the parachuting took place. A counter-attack is in the
making. Whether we will succeed with the available forces in improving
the situation is questionable because our heavy losses increased
considerably. He is at tempting to build a bridge across the
Margaretenwiese. The situation becomes more acute day by day.

On the rest of the front there are up here individual attacks: they were
repulsed here, a small dent here, without any importance. An attack was
repulsed here. Regrouping, replacement of Russian troops with Rumanian
troops in this corner here. The Plijew corps is being withdrawn in this

The Fuehrer:  Here.

Guderian:  Either he replaces the 6th guard tank army....

The Fuehrer:  No, he will succeed.

Guderian:  Either he will succeed, or he goes over here.

                                                              [Page 660]

The Fuehrer:  No, he will succeed, in order to break through here. He
knows, that the 20th is gone. Where is the 6th tank army now?

Guderian:  It departed in the direction of Vienna. I don't know exactly,
where the transports stand at this time.

Keitel: 6 trains have departed.

Winter:The forward elements of the 12th SS tank division are already in
the train. The conditions are somewhat better and eased, because there
enough fuel on hand; the road conditions became better, because it did
not snow; even the activities of the planes decreased in the afternoon.
In spite of that the progress for which we hoped generally and which was
ordered, could not be achieved. It can be assumed, that the rate of
speed is slightly improving now.

The Fuehrer:  I at once said: there is no sense in hypnotizing yourself
and then saying: I need it here, consequently it must happen. After all,
I must face facts as they are. The deployment of sufficient forces from
the West is not feasible for another to 8 weeks, because it just could
not be done. Any one who says the contrary is dreaming and live in a
state of wishful thinking, but not in reality This is exactly the same,
as when units were recalled from Greece. But that takes time; we can't
help that. I shall be glad, if the 1st and 2nd corps get here, say in
fourteen days, if they are able to come at all from so far away. If that
can be done, it will be extraordinary. However, I believe, that at the
most, combat units [Kampfstaffeln] will be here. But, there again, one
cannot merely say, I entrain the Karnpfstaffeln, whatever happens.
And I cannot wait long, but I must see, that I get it done, otherwise
everything that stays will also be destroyed.

Winter: There is a strict order that no consideration can be given to
that, but they have to leave.

The Fuehrer:  It is quite clear, there is no other possibility; they
rnust leave, otherwise everything will come to a standstill. All will be
destroyed and afterwards riothing will get away. As far as can be

                                                              [Page 661]

the units which at least can be used here, will get away; those that
have been farthest in the rear will arrive first.

Goering:  How can he get out in such strength?

The Fuehrer:  He assembled everything.

Guderian:  He scraped everything together.

The Fuehrer:  I believe he will start his next attack here. Now, I am
not sure, whether the 44th division can stand up under it.

Guderian:  There is still the 46th division which through its withdrawal
moves the front farther back and shortens the lines.

The Fuebrer: Then they must be brought close to this position here, and
not any farther back. We can't waste anymore time. Whatever breaks in
front, cannot be repaired in the rear. Things must be tightened up. The
attacks will most likely be in the direction of Kormon. That is quite
clear. Then he also blocks the railroad.

Guderian:  This is occupied by the 357th, which is going into position.
The 271st is not so far advanced. Eventually it would be at our disposal
for that.

Now we have to consider, whether we should bring the 356th here. In any
case, the 46th Division must then come here.

The Fuehrer:  What does the 46th division look like?

Guderian:  It is a good division.

The Fuehrer:  We must do it that way for the reason, that we come to a
standstill here, so that I don't have to use the corps or the army here,
but I have to use it in the south. But one sees how dangerous this is.
Things must be cleared up. It is not quite clear to me, whether we can
do it from here, because we have to expect frontal assaults, or whether
we should come around from below. Because, once we are involved in long
frontal assaults, this would not work. But with the strength of this
army it can't be done. For that reason he must go into defensive
positions as quickly as possible, before it is too late. He must build
up a front between the Valances Lake and the Danube. and must cut his
way through to the south.

                                                              [Page 662]

Guderian:  In the opinion of General Woehler and Balek, some bungling
has occurred here. Turning to the west has been done too slowly. Certain
complications in the passing of commands and communications have caiised
the delays.

The Fuehrer:  I also think, it is too narrow again. The other one stood
firm. Things are like this: if one pushes into an enemy, who is massed,
then the meaning of a panzer division is of no value. A panzer division
is then practically nothing else but an inferior infantry division with
assault artillery support and panzer support. It is armored support
artillery, nothing else. Here we have to learn from the British and the
Americans. Now we must pay more attention to that. The panzers also,
will then become more artillery support. For a break-through they are no
longer useful, because of minefields, etc.

Guderian:  Everywhere very close teamwork has been established between
armored infantry, pioneers, and the armored forces.

The Fuehrer: I believe the training in firing of the armored forces at
the present time is still limited to very short distances. Thus the
panzers will be destroyed.

Guderian:  No, my Fuehrer, I as Inspector General personally increased
it to the highest possible range of
our optical instruments.

The Fuehrer: The optical instruments must still be improved: for it is
quite clear, if I advance them so far, they will then destroy the tanks
and that through artillery fire. Thus the tanks will be destroyed. Our
tanks, especially the old ones, with armored sideplates of 30- to 40-mm
are hardly safe against heavy shrapnel. This must be decided upon today.

Guderian:  This will be decided.

The Fuehrer:  The pushing through has no sense any more. That doesn't
help. How he stops it, doesn't make any difference. The right thing is
for him to settle down here, go on the defensive, and try, through
bringing up a unit, if necessary with the most combatable parts of both
SS divisions and the 1st

                                                              [Page 663]

armored division, to take a good grip of the whole thing, and then sweep
upwards, so that no space is lost any more.

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