The Wehrmacht leaves Italy escorted by the US Army. US color footage. There is a kind of mistery inside this footage. These German soldiers, filmed at the end of Apr...
The Wehrmacht leaves Italy escorted by the US Army. US color footage.
There is a kind of mistery inside this footage. These German soldiers, filmed at the end of April/early May, 1945 are not Prisoners of War. They are armed soldiers, some of them with Italian collaborationist women and their children, trying to reach the fatherland with any possible means; in this case they travel pratically "escorted" by US Army units originally based in Italy.
Germany will not surrender until the 9th of May. While we see what appears to be the seizure (or maybe the purchasing...) of personal weapons belonging to some German Officier, the thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers, as it appears near the end of the film, will reach German soil with their Mausers and MG-42 bullet belts around the neck.
How an agreement like that have been possible, and the role of the US Army in protecting the retreating Wehrmacht against attacks by the Italian partisans, is just another of the many remaining secrets of WW2.
About this interesting issue friend youtuber terentii from Russia suggest:
"Regarding the "mystery" of how the Germans were able to withdraw from northern Italy virtually unmolested in the last days of the war, a secret agreement had been struck between Himmler's right-hand man Karl Wolff and OSS chief Allan Dulles the day before Hitler's suicide. It was upheld by Doenitz, as Hitler's successor, with the aim of bringing as many troops as possible back to Germany for surrender to the Western Allies and forming a united front against the Soviet Union. I would assume the treatment they received at the hands of the Americans was part of the deal, as it was definitely not US standard operating procedure.
The agreement is referenced in Ian Kershaw's biography of Adolf Hitler; I would be interested in learning more about it, if circumstances allow."
Italian friend youtuber PaulixBlack adds:
"I've noticed a couple of things: a) the German convoy (if it's the same all through the film) includes some civilian cars and at least one italian military truck; b) at 6.13 an handwritten sign can be seen, reading "P27 may 8 Haglund". If it means that specific reel was shot on may 8 1945, it was 6 days after the surrender of German troops in Italy, which was effective from may 2nd.
Anyway I don't know how this could explain the german soldiers being armed: maybe this could be the consequence of an agreement between the commanders on the field,depending on particular military/political circumstances in the area (which remains unknown). "
In the future I hope to be able to give you a list of the major Forums and Blogs with a thread about this footage.
Soundtrack performed by SunDummy - Sermons #5 (Mighty Voices Collide) added (Demo Only) in 2009 by ROMANO-ARCHIVES.
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Category: Travel & Events
Tags: WW2 World-War-II Wehrmacht Italy