Arrest oF H Himmler

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Dubman, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Hope others can shed some light on this.

    My grand fathers Anti tank battery, 196th battery, 73rd anti tank, RA have a report of them capturing H Himmler. This happened on May 21st (18:30) Meinstedt Germany.
    I have a copy of the report, even seen the compass he was carrying, thanks to the Royal Artillery Musuem.

    I've also read a few bogus reports from people who claim they arrested him. Also read the book 'Black Watch' by Tom Renouf where he tells of when Black watch took Himmler away from where he was arrested.

    So has anyone any information.

    Anything at all would be good.
  2. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Have you tried contacting the Black Watch museum in Perth or thought about obtaining the BW war diary from that period?
  3. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Good call Amber, though I know black watch took him off the hands of the 196th.
    But will ask for their WD for that period.
  4. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Tom Renouf claims to have Himmlers watch.!!!
  5. 4BnEYR

    4BnEYR Well-Known Member

    I was at a recent talk given by Capt Eric "Winkle" Brown RN when he spoke of Himmler's arrest.

    Capt Brown was responsible for investigating, test flying and returning to the UK any novel german aircraft; he often operated in forward areas and being fluent in German was called upon to interrogate German prisoners. He interrogate Goering and was in the advance party that liberated Belsen.

    He spoke at length about the circumstances surrounding Himmler's arrest - you may wish to take a look at his book "Wings on My Sleeve"

    Good luck with your research

  6. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    cheers mate, thats the kinda lead I been seeking. Much appre.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Many years ago.the After The Battle Magazine covered the identification of a disguised Himmler, his arrest,the attempt to save his life when he took poison and his subsequent secret burial by elements of the British Army on Luneburg Heath.

    I would think it may be possible to buy a copy of the comprehenive account from the ATB organisation.
    stolpi likes this.
  8. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Harry thank you so much. I've ordered a few copies.
    Thank you for your help
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Looking at the sources,there are two issues which cover Himmler's demise

    No 14..... Himmler's Suicide.

    No 17......Himmler's Secret Grave Revisted.

    Key Dates

    20 May 1945....Party of 12 detained on trying to cross the Oste bridge at Bremervorde

    22 May 1945....Himmler and his two escorts apprehended at Oste bridge checkpoint.. .....had spent time at a mill on the banks of the River Oste.

    23 May 1945....hectic day..........starts at 0700hrs with Himmler being taken to the Civil Internment Camp at Westertimke..then at 1830hrs..... Himmler taken to 031 Civil Interrogation Camp at .Barnstedt.

    .......ends with Himmler taken to 31a Uelzener Strasse, Luneberg at 2245hrs after revealing his identity to the Camp Commandant of 031 Civil Interrogation Camp, Barnstedt at 1900hrs.

    2314hrs...... Himmler takes poison by mouth phial when being medically examined by Dr C J Wells.Desperate attempt to save the life of a war criminal.

    24 May 1945...US and Russian representatives view the body of Himmler.Press take photgraphs of the body.

    25 May 1945....1100hrs.... Autopsy and dental inspection conducted on Himmler.

    ....1700hrs.Press conference held

    26 May 1945 at 0700hrs....Himmler buried in secret grave by four men...Major Norman Whittaker....CSM Edwin Austin..... Sergeants William Ottery and Raymond Weston.

    *Transcript corrected to indicate that the party split up into a party of 12 and another party consisting of Himmler and his two escorts with the intentions of crossing the Oste bridge at Bremervorde separately.
  10. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    But it's May 21st I more interested in. How he died is another issue.
    196 battery arrested 3 men at 18:30, one of which was Himmler, though he didn't own up for two days.

    I have a copy of report of the arrest plus letters from the Russian who was acting as interpretor with the search party.
    There is a very interesting book by a relative of Himmler, Katrin Himmler 'the Himmler brothers'
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    According to the ATB account,Himmler was arrested along with his two escorts, Grothmann and Macher on 22 May 1945 when intending to cross the River Oste at Bremervorde.The remainder of his party had tried to get across the Oste Bridge here with false documentation on 20 May 1945 and unknown to Himmler had been detained and shipped off to the Civil Internment Camp at Westertimke.The west bridge at Bremervorde was damaged but passable but the party chose to cross by the east bridge which had been blown and replaced with a Bailey bridge and was guarded by infantrymen of the 51st Highland Division.

    Himmler and his two escorts were not included and had gone to ground after spending some time in a nearby mill but were picked up by a patrol while walking down the main street of Bremervorde before they got to the crossing.Himmlers route to captivity was a route south,calling at the Civil Internment Camp at Westertimke.From here he was taken south,then northeast via Fallingbostel,Soltau and to Barnstedt, where he revealed his true identity.He had been masquerading as "Sergeant Hitzinger"

    The village of Meinstedt near to Hesslingen is about 12 miles south east of Bremervorde and the apprehension of Himmler in his disguise at this point is at variance with the account as detailed by the ATB.

    It would be interesting to see the relevant documentation of the arrest.

    Incidentally as I see it,the Russians were summoned when Himmler had committed sucide and were asked to view the body...reported that "they grudgingly agreed that it might be Himmler"
  12. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  13. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    This account of the arrest of Himmler appears to agree with the ATB issues No14 and No 17.

    The bridge at Bremervorde was an essential part of apprehending all Germans elements who were associated with the SS and its subsidaries such as the Gestapo and SD .The bridge was a intelligence and security screening point of 45 Field Security Section,Intelligence Corps,the executive unit of HQ 30 Corps which was based at Zeven,a town a few miles to the south west of Meinstedt.

    This check point was managed by Staff Sergeant John Hogg supported by a number of NCOs belonging to the 1003 Field Security Reserve Detachment.Also assisting Staff Sergeant Hogg were two 45 Field Security Section Sergeants, Arthur Britton and Ken Baisbrown,both in the role of intelligence operators and linguists.These specialists had a copy of the very important CROWCASS intelligence document which indicated the wanted list of SS,Gestapo,SD and other war criminals in the "Immediate Arrest Categories" but did not include photographs.

    Himmmler and his party carried demobbed documentation where they were described as former German Secret Field Police which unknown to the party was grounds for automatic arrest, being within the structure of the SD.Further, the documentation carried the same SD stamp,deliberately smudged to confuse scrutiny and held as the 12 previously arrested.

    The Westertimke Arrest Report shown for Heinrich Hitzinger, wrongly typed as Hizinger,was completed by John Hogg with Arthur Burton and Ken Baisbrown as witnesses.Himmler gave his last place of residence as Flensburg...location of Doenitz government HQ where Doenitz had sacked Himmler from all state duties on 6 May 1945 and from where the Himmler party had set off on a journey supposingly to Bavaria.
  15. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    well I've heard 4 reports now of Himmlers arrest, maybe their all true maybe none are.
    We will never know.
    But for me the 196 battery of 73rd got him, simply cos it was my grand father.
    any other info anyone plz keep it coming
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I read today about a CSM in the East Surrey Regt. who was guarding him at the time of his death. He got an MBE for trying to save him - Unfortunately I couldn't find his citation :lol:
  17. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Drew do you know of anything at kew to do with this?
    I heard some documents were still under secrets act till 2045
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Not something I've ever looked at mate...If there was anything I suspect it would be recorded in the units war diary, I'd imagine it would be a big trophy for a unit to claim. I have seen arrest reports in war crime files but the criminals were not in the same league as Himmler. I'd be surprised if the records were not in the public domain. Have you searched 'Himmler' on TNA's Discovery search engine?
  19. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    I got eh battery report of 198, 73 rd anti tank, that was at fire power museum,
    shame to say I only copied most but not all
    there was a full file
    including reports from the Russians who were acting a interpretors.
    both had sent letters in later years to the regiment confirming what had happened.
    you can see the report in this topic.....
  20. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Since this discussion started,I have looked at the evidence that you produced.I have also looked into the capture of Himmler and read a number of articles which point to discrepancies in the official line.For instance,I saw one reference to a Russian who claimed that one of the Russians involved was his father's relative.

    Perhaps some historical organisation might have a further look at it....should be interesting to revisit it.

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