Former US Soldiers in the Wehrmacht?

Discussion in 'General' started by At Home Dad (Returning), Dec 3, 2008.

  1. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    Hallo all

    I remember once reading about a ficticious character named
    Major Mike, who was a pre-war German immigrant in the USA
    who became a marine in the USMC and was then later brought
    back or voluntarily returned to Germany and joined the Wehrmacht.
    This was from a Sven Hassell book. The point was that Maj Mike left
    the US military in 1939 and therefore knew much about US tactics.

    Then there is the case of the German POWs being massacred in
    Band of Brothers ep1 or 2, cant remember, in which one of the
    Wehrmacht soldiers is from Ohio or Utah or somewhere in the US.
    And as this film/book is based on fact I wondered -

    Are there any/many cases of former service personel of
    the US Military who returned (either forcibly or voluntarily)
    to heimat Germany and joined up?

    What happened to them if captured by Allied Forces?

    Were they subject to treason laws?

    Any good books you can recco on this subject?

    I'm aware of the foreign volunteers of the SS,
    but I'm speaking more about 1st generation
    German immigrants. I believe Germany issued
    a Law requiring them all to return to Germany?
    (ie the stuffy Lt character in Das Boot who has
    come back from South America to enlist)

    Many thanks

    kind regards
     
  2. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Yes their were cases, in the Band of Brothers episode (I think 2) the soldier says his parents "answered the call" along with some word in German. If they were caught they were probably tried unless they were on the other side to steal intel and such. Although the soldiers fate in BOB was left open, apparently he wasn't killed so I assume he had to face the court. (Btw, Cpt. Speirs was so badass! Assuming it was all true of course)

    The most recent case, "Jihad Johnny", he was brought back to American, tried, and sent to prison. Had it been during WW2 their would be the possiblity he would have been given the death penatly.
     
  3. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    I've been wondering the same thing recently. I'm glad you asked the question At Home Dad. :)
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The ones that Eleven 6 are talking about went back to Germany prior to WW2 and joined up. They were treated as POW's like any other when they surrendered.

    However around Bastogne in 44 at the Battle of the Bulge they were German soldiers dressed as MP's in American uniforms causing disruption by turing signs, mis directing traffic etc etc. Most were either killed in fire fights and those that surrendered were shot as spies.

    Andy

    ps. Lt Spears in BoB episode 2 killed the German prisoners because he didn't like them not because one of them was from America. There was a lot of it about according to another thread on here. I believe it refers to quite a few SS guards at a concentration camp. The Americans lined them up and shot them all.
     
  5. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    Isn't there the insinuation in BoB that he might not have been the one that killed them. There was no confirmation was there?
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That is correct at Bastogne he's asked by one of the company Sgts and Spears tells him its better for the men to wonder if the stories are true rather than know either way.

    Something like that anyway....
     
  7. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi,
    This is a slight variation on a theme but it concerns both american and British members of the German army and unfortunately the Waffen SS.No idea as to the provenence of the story but I reckon its too detailed not to be based on fact.
    US volunteers in the Waffen-SS

    There were US citizens who were members of the Waffen-SS, but no unit was made up of American volunteers None were ever raised (despite some claims about an "American Free Corps" or "George Washington Brigade"). According to figures from the SS five US citizens served in the Waffen-SS in May 1940, but after that date no numbers are available.

    Second Lieutenant Martin James Monti (born 1910 in St Louis of an Italian-Swiss father and German mother) went awol Oct 1944, he travelled from Karachi to Naples (through Cairo and Tripoli) where to stole a F-4 or F-5 photographic reconnaissance aircraft (photo recon version of the P-38) and flew to Milan. There he defected, to the Germans and worked as a propaganda broadcaster (as Martin Wiethaupt) before entering the Waffen-SS as a SS-Untersturmführer in SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers.
    At the end of the war he went south to Italy where surrendered to US forces (still wearing his SS uniform) claiming that he had been given the uniform by partisans. He was charged with desertion and sentenced to 15 years hard labour. This sentence was soon commuted and Monti rejoined the US Air Corps, but in 1948 he was discharged and picked up by the FBI. He was now charged with treason and sentenced to 25 years the following year. He was paroled in 1960.
    Peter Delaney (aka Pierre de la Ney du Vair), a Louisiana born SS-Haupsturmführer in SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers who is believed to have served in Légion des Volontaires Français (LVF). He met Monti and probably arranged for him to enter the Waffen-SS. Delaney was killed in 1945.
    At least eight American volunteers are known to have been killed during their service.
    No real attempt by the US authorities to investigate the matter and trace the volunteers was made after the war, as opposed to for example the efforts by the British.
    The Berlin Document Center do have the personnel records of 7 other US citizens who became officers in the Waffen-SS or SD. They were:
    Hstuf. Josef Awender, a medical doctor in the “Frundsberg” born in Philadelphia in 1913,
    Ustuf. Robert Beimes, a signal officer in the “Hitler Jugend” born in San Francisco in 1919, whose father was a translator in the SD,
    Ustuf. Dr. Hans Eckert, born in Buffalo, NY in 1917 and assigned to the SS hospital at Dachau in November 1944,
    Ostubaf. Viktor Fehsenfeld, born in Elk Rapids, Michigan in 1984 and an administrative officer in the SS-WVHA,
    Hstuf. Franz Stark, born in St. Louis in 1901 and assigned to the SD,
    Hstuf. Eldon Walli, born in New York City in 1913 in the SS-Kriegsberichter Abteilung (war reporters) and Hstuf. Paul Winckler-Theede, born in New York City in 1912 and who was a military judge? in the “Das Reich” division.
    Five British citizens became Waffen-SS officers according to documents on file in the Berlin Document Center. They were Railton Freeman, Walter van Leemputten, Vivian Stranders, Hermann Teunissen and Jean Viermeire(Born in London but Belgian National).
    In a letter from July 1990, the former Ostuf. Gerhard Amler , who was a signal officer in the Artillerie Regiment 12 “Hitler Jugend” from June 1944 – May 1945 wrote about a unique radio reconnaissance platoon that his friend, Ustuf. Sigi Schneider organized in the signal battalion. This platoon was composed of men from the USA, Britain and Canada who returned to Germany at the beginning of the war and volunteered for the Waffen-SS. They intercepted Allied radio transmissions that were broadcast in clear text. They also found on the second day of the Normandy invasion radio documents in a shot-up Allied tank. Among the documents was a map that had the quadrants around Caen marked on it. This map together with radio intercepts gave the Germans advance notice of planned artillery bombardments and air attacks.
    Phew!
    Regards
    Verrieres
     
    Drew5233 and von Poop like this.
  8. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    Very cool information Verrieres. Martin was a real piece of work. I wonder what was going through his head.
     
  9. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    ps. Lt Spears in BoB episode 2 killed the German prisoners because he didn't like them not because one of them was from America. There was a lot of it about according to another thread on here. I believe it refers to quite a few SS guards at a concentration camp. The Americans lined them up and shot them all.

    They were also told not to take prisoners apparently, I've been meaning to listen to the commentary since it provides really good insight into the events, but I haven't gotten around to it. :(

    Watcha guys think of the episode when he ran past the German lines to confirm the second squad was ready?
     
  10. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    I thought that was some crazy s**t. I liked it when he joined E Co. I think he was a fairly good leader for them. Someone they could trust, who wouldn't make them do work that he wasn't doing or hadn't done before. I think that's one of the many things they liked about Winters.
     
  11. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Their actually working on a sequel to Band of Brothers called "The Pacific", you guess it, it taks place in the Pacific!

    Since it will be made for tv, I doubt they can show many of the atrosities commited in the region.

    Regarding the OP, it looks like we covered most of it :P
     
  12. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    Yeah, I hear that some of Eugene Sledge's memoirs/notes are going to be included in "The Pacific". They're also going to include Syd Phillips as a character. He was Eugene's good friend, both growing up together in Mobile, AL. (These two were mentioned and interviewed in Ken Burn's documentary "The War".) I'm eager to see "The Pacific". I am also anxious to read Sledge's memoirs, but I have to finish reading Webster's and Winter's first.
     
  13. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Yeah, I hear that some of Eugene Sledge's memoirs/notes are going to be included in "The Pacific". They're also going to include Syd Phillips as a character. He was Eugene's good friend, both growing up together in Mobile, AL. (These two were mentioned and interviewed in Ken Burn's documentary "The War".) I'm eager to see "The Pacific". I am also anxious to read Sledge's memoirs, but I have to finish reading Webster's and Winter's first.

    Lucky, I still need to get my hand on many of their memoirs! Until recently, at my University they were considered "secondary" learning material for classes, they were dropped this year so the campus bookstore stopped carrying them as well. Only place I can find them is Amazon but I don't have the time to order them yet. :(
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers for that Verrieres,

    Makes interesting reading and the Q that leaves me wondering is, Surely Monti new the Germans were finished by Oct 44 and it was just a matter of time before they were defeated so why defect?

    Also its a bit weird they took him back into the US military after the war <scratches head>

    Cheers again :)
     
  15. Dara

    Dara Intrigued

    Lucky, I still need to get my hand on many of their memoirs! Until recently, at my University they were considered "secondary" learning material for classes, they were dropped this year so the campus bookstore stopped carrying them as well. Only place I can find them is Amazon but I don't have the time to order them yet. :(
    I find it odd that they wouldn't carry materials such as the memoirs of soldiers from WWII. I go to half.com to buy mine. They usually come in fairly good condition even though some of them are used. When you get time, you might want to check them out.
     

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