Von Thoma

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by chipm, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    I only know what is briefly mentioned in Wikipedia, and the few things i have Heard/Seen on videos.
    Does anybody know what Rommel thought of him, and vice versa.?
    Thank You
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    If anybody comes across details of his capture by 4th Indian Division I'd be most grateful if they could post it here. He surrendered to Lt-Col Glennie of 1st Royal Sussex on 13th May.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Reference: HW 1/1051
    North Africa: Allied attacks successful, German forces withdrawn to Fuka, von Thoma possibly captured; orders for regaining of air superiority by GAF; allegations that German prisoners shot by Allied soldiers; fighter unit with 25 aircraft transferred from Russian Front to Kesselring's command
    Date: 1942 Nov 5
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: c/1290
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    What are 'HW' files?
    Intelligence decrypts?
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    HW - Records created or inherited by Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
    Division within HW - General records of the Government Code and Cypher School
    HW 1 - Government Code and Cypher School: Signals Intelligence Passed to the Prime Minister, Messages and Correspondence

    CL1 likes this.
  7. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    HW 1 are the BONIFACE signals intelligence summaries passed directly to Churchill throughout a day. They are interesting but usually brief. They would not give too much insight into the details of Von Thoma's capture.

    The WO 208 secret listening transcripts might be a good place to see if Von Thoma made any remarks about Rommel to his fellow captured Generals. The WO 208 seriss might also contain some regular interrogation reports of von Thoma after his capture.
    Charley Fortnum, CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Forgive me, I misread the title on my lunch break.
    I was referring to the capture of von Arnim in 1943, not von Thoma in 1942!

    In penance I offer a study of the capture of the correct 'von':

  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    As to von Arnim (the wrong 'von'), I have the following:

    I Was There! - How Von Arnim Surrendered at Last
    The War Illustrated, Volume 7, No. 156, Page 30, June 11, 1943.

    Our brigade columns of the Fourth Indian Division were working their way through hilly country in the St. Marie du Zit zone, 28 miles south of Tunis, on May 12 (said an officer of this famous unit), when some German lorries came forward with white flags flying. The lorries brought Col. Nolte, Arnim's Chief of Staff, with other officers and interpreters. Nolte said that he had been authorized by Arnim to seek terms of surrender for the supreme commander of the Axis forces in Tunisia, for Gen. Krause, German Panzer general, and their Staffs.

    Nolte was taken to our divisional headquarters, near Ainel Asker, where he was shown a typewritten note setting out terms for the unconditional surrender of the Axis forces and the immediate cessation of hostilities. He reiterated that Arnim was surrendering only himself, Krause and their Staffs, and that they had no power to accept other terms. The Major-General commanding our Division and a Corps Commander went off with Nolte to German H.Q. Arnim greeted the British generals outside his caravan, stiffly saluting each one before inviting them inside. Arnim and Krause then talked with the British generals through an interpreter.

    The Axis commander declared that his forces were too widely scattered for him to order them to cease fire even if he wanted to. Nothing more could be done, and Arnim's surrender was accepted. He and Krause gave up their revolvers, and later in the afternoon, when arrangements had been made for their removal, Armin emerged from the caravan. His Staff Officers, lined up outside, sprang to attention and remained at the salute for nearly half a minute. Arnim acknowledged the salute and then walked down the ranks of his officers, shaking hands with each one of them.

    The officers clicked their heels and some of them gave the Nazi salute. All were dressed in their best uniforms with full decorations and gave a remarkable display of military etiquette. Arnim entered an open car and stood holding the windscreen with his left hand in Hitler fashion while he gave the final salute to his Staff. The car rolled slowly away to the H.Q. of the British 1st Army, followed by other cars carrying Krause and other German officers, along a road packed with Italians and Germans driving themselves into captivity in their own vehicles.

    Arnim stood up in his car practically all the way acknowledging the salutes and cheers of his defeated soldiers. He dined with other captured German generals in a small tent at 1st Army H.Q. Then he had a talk with General Anderson.
    Reuters Special Correspondents in Tunisia.

    I Was There! - How Von Arnim Surrendered at Last - The War Illustrated
  10. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    Some great info there.....Thank You
    He seems to have been a pretty decent guy. Almost the Archetype of what a Military Officer (any county military) should be and how "he" should conduct himself.
    Of all the sacks of crap that committed horrible "war crimes", then evaded the death sentence, and went on to live rather Long/Prosperous lives.....Von Thoma was out of prison for only a few months before he died.
    It would have been fascinating to talk with him.
    I can only paraphrase the famous quote by Churchill, but....."Poor Von Thoma, in the desert, captured, and forced to have dinner with Montgomery" :)
    Thanks Again

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