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Operation «Sunrise» («Crossword») — April 1945

Andrey Bykov
7 174 19:55 12.12.2018
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  Andrey Bykov
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In the spring of 1945, betrayed the Allied treaty with the USSR, which bore 90% of the severity of the war with Germany, the United States and Great Britain attempted to conclude a separate peace with Nazi Germany. The United States and Great Britain planned to attach the remaining Nazi troops in order to turn them under their auspices against the Soviet Union.



Thus, betrayed the allied duty, the United States not only colluded with the enemy, but been negotiate with the men of main nazi executioner Heinrich Himmler
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Himmler )

The below following text is a translation from
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BF%D0%B5...

Now I ask to admire the material on the English-language page of wiki: http://en.wikibedia.ru/wiki/Operation_Crossword...
and to compare with the Russian-language page. Something like this en English-language resources given all historical information about World War II and Great patriotic War in USSR (excluding those pages where the real history replaced by talented fables)

Translated by Andrey Bykov
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  Andrey Bykov
Andrey_Bikow


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19:55 12.12.2018
Operation Sunrise (the American designation: in english Sunrise — «Crossword» ) — the secret negotiations of representatives of the United States and Great Britain with representatives of Germany about the surrender of German troops in northern Italy in the final period of the Second World War. Helded in March and April 1945 in Switzerland.

Negotiations were held without the direct participation of representatives of the USSR, which caused sharp discontent of the Soviet leadership and the diplomatic conflict between the USSR and its allies. The name «Sunrise» was used by the American side; the British called this operation «Crossword».

Prehistory

The thought of a possible separate peace between the Axis countries and one of the members of the anti-Hitler coalition found its supporters in all the warring countries throughout the war.

The thought of a possible separate peace between the Axis countries and one of the members of the anti-Hitler coalition found its supporters in all the warring countries throughout the war.

Despite that in 1943, at the conferences in Casablanca and Tehran, the Allies outlined the goal of war is the unconditional and complete capitulatuon Germany and its satellites, there were many influential supporters of the idea of negotiating with Germany (with or without Hitler) in the USA and Great Britain.

As the military successes of the USSR grew, many people were inclined to take this idea, both in business circles and in the Republican Party in the USA and in the leadership of American trade unions. They were worried about the post-war reorganization of the world and, above all, the possible strengthening of the role of the USSR in it, and their pressure on President Roosevelt and his team continuously increased.

Thus, in 1944, General J. Marshall sent a memorandum on military-strategic issues to the president, in which he proposed reducing military supplies to the Soviet Union in order to reduce the pace of movement of Soviet troops to the west. On the eve of the presidential election of 1944, Roosevelt even made some concessions to the opposition, in particular, appointed several clear opponents of cooperation with the USSR to senior posts in the State Department. Winston Churchill, since 1943, in his speeches began to allow more and more unfriendly statements in relation to the USSR

In Germany, which was in a hopeless position of war on two fronts, they saw a real way out for themselves in undermining the anti-Hitler coalition and the separate world from one of its sides, preferably with the West. Hitler himself seriously hoped, having at his disposal «miracle weapon», to use it as an argument in negotiations with the Anglo-Americans.

The first known attempt by representatives of Germany to probe the possibility of a separate peace with the Western powers during World War II refers to 1942. The initiative came from the former German Chancellor von Papen, who was German ambassador to Turkey at that time and had constant contact with US intelligence resident George Earl (George Earle). To this end, an employee of the German embassy in Sweden arrived in London, and in Istanbul about peace with Germany, the Turkish Foreign Secretary-General spoke to the British ambassador. The British ambassador simply interned the German envoy, and the Turks were unequivocally made it clear that they could only negotiate peace if similar negotiations were under way with the USSR. On this incident was over

In January 1943, the American-British Summit Conference was held in Casablanca. The conference adopted a declaration on the complete and unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan. Thus, was excluded any idea of any separate peace between Germany and the Western allies.

In February 1943, Allen Dulles arrived in Bern. Here, in Switzerland, he headed the European Center for the Office of Strategic Services of the United States. As experts, sources and trustees, people who were related, business or official with influential people in business, political and military circles of Germany were involved. So, one of the closest employees of Dulles was Gero von Schulze-Gevernitz, a German by nationality who emigrated to the United States after the Nazis came to power. His father, a well-known German scholar, an expert in international relations, was a member of parliament during the Weimar Republic and participated in the creation of the Weimar Constitution.




G. von Schulze-Gevernitz (left) and Allen Dulles

Gevernits was married to the daughter of the ruhr coal tycoon Hugo Steennes. Even before the US entered the war, Gevernitz, often visiting Berlin and Bern, tried to make numerous connections promising from the point of view of intelligence. In addition, Gevernits was an old friend of Dulles, they met back in 1916, when Dulles was in Europe in the diplomatic service. Dulles highly valued Gevernits, sent him to important meetings, in which he did not consider it convenient to participate personally, and listened attentively to his opinions and assessments.

In January 1943, the American-British Summit Conference was held in Casablanca. The conference adopted a declaration on the complete and unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan. Thus, was excluded any idea of any separate peace between Germany and the Western allies.

In February 1943, to Bern arrived Allen Dulles. Here, in Switzerland, he headed the European Center for the Office of Strategic Services of the United States. As experts, sources and trustees, people who were related, business or official with influential people in business, political and military circles of Germany were involved. So, one of the closest employees of Dulles was Gero von Schulze-Gevernitz, a German by nationality who emigrated to the United States after the Nazis came to power. His father, a well-known German scholar, an expert in international relations, was a member of parliament during the Weimar Republic and participated in the creation of the Weimar Constitution.

Gevernits was married to the daughter of the ruhr coal tycoon Hugo Steennes. Even before the US entered the war, Gevernitz, often visiting Berlin and Bern, tried to make numerous connections promising from the point of view of intelligence. In addition, Gevernits was an old friend of Dulles, they met back in 1916, when Dulles was in Europe in the diplomatic service. Dulles highly valued Gevernits, sent him to important meetings, in which he did not consider it convenient to participate personally, and attentively listened his opinions and assessments.

In Bern, Dulles in February 1943, met with Prince Hohenlohe, Field Marshal Brauchitsch, Colonel General Zeitzler, speaking on behalf of the German industrialists and right-wing Social Democrats. Questions of possible ways to end the war and the postwar organization of Germany and Europe as a whole were discussed. It was about the fact that Germany could agree to peace if the Western powers would not allow the Soviet occupation of Germany.

In the notes of the German participants in these meetings, it was noted that «…the Americans … don't want to know anything about Bolshevism or Pan-Slavism in Central Europe and in contrast to the British in no way want to see Russians on the Dardanelles and in the oil regions of Romania or Asia Minor». In August of the same year, a British agent, a relative of Yalmar Shaht, Hans Ruzer, met in France with top German officers and spoke of ways Germany could withdraw from the war, referring to a certain «Swiss friend.»

According to the testimony of the former employee of the VI directorate of the RSHA (SD-Abroad) Heinz Felfe (later an employee of the BND and an agent of Soviet intelligence), «the secret hostility of the Western powers towards the Soviet Union was not, of course, news.» Velfe asserts that in 1943 the BD was able to introduce his agent under the pseudonym «Gabriel» into the inner circle of Dulles. According to Gabriel, Dulles was confident that the next world war would occur between the USA and the USSR, and how the war with Germany would end will depend on the state in which the Soviet Union emerged from this war.

Dulles considered negotiations with any serious opposition in Germany as a means to establish a favorable regime for the USA in post-Hitler Germany. In any case, the very fact of such negotiations, according to Dulles in the presentation of «Gabriel», could serve for this opposition as a stimulus for active actions. The agreement between the allies not to enter into negotiations with the Germans Dulles considered rather a measure of psychological pressure on the German leadership.

In April 1944 Dulles met in Switzerland with representative of the conspirators, who subsequently attempted to assassinate Hitler. This representative interested's in whether it was possible to count on any other conditions of the world, in addition to unconditional surrender, if Hitler was eliminated. Having received a negative answer, the emissary returned to Germany.

From the autumn of 1944, the Dulles apparatus began a practical search for senior Wehrmacht commanders who would agree to the local surrender of their subordinate forces in exchange for personal security. For this purpose, the captured German generals were interrogated in detail, and to establish contacts, it was proposed to stage an escape from the captivity of several junior officers and forward them beyond the front line. The leadership did’nt endorse this Dulles initiative.

In the final period of the war, the Germans' attempts to make contact with the West became even more active, and now the high ranks of the SS, including Reichsführer Himmler, were behind them. In November 1944, Dulles, while in Switzerland, received from the head of the SD in Italy Gruppenführer Harster, an offer to begin separate negotiations on the conditions for the cessation of hostilities in Western Europe and even the possible unification of forces to continue the war against the USSR. The mediators were large Italian industrialists Marinetti and Olivetti.

The German consul in Lugano, Von Neurath, met with Gevernits and offered his services: von Neurath was personally acquainted with many German commanders, including the commander-in-chief of the troops in the West, von Rundstedt, and was ready to give them the terms of surrender.

In February 1945, emissaries from the leadership of the RSHA arrived to meet with Dulles: from the head of the VI administration of Schellenberg and even the head of the RSHA Kaltenbrunner. Prior to this, there was no activity of Kaltenbrunner in search of the separate peace. From the messages he received, Dulles concluded that the leadership of the Reich was inflaming a serious conflict over the continuation of the war, and Himmler and Martin Bormann in particular are parties to this conflict. In the proposals of Schellenberg, Dulles, according to him, suspected some kind of trick and did not take them seriously.

At the same time, a one Benedictine priest with a message to the Pope made his way from Milan to the Vatican, saying that Germany expects mediation from the Catholic Church to end the war in Italy.

Dulles, in «The Secret Capitulation», notes that industrialists, diplomats, churchmen and SS-men were looking for contact from the German side, but there was no noticeable initiative by army generals; All contacts with the Wehrmacht were achieved thanks to the efforts of the Anglo-Americans.

In February 1945, Himmler met with the Vice-President of the Swedish branch of the Red Cross, Count Bernadot, and tried to make him a mediator in negotiations with the Anglo-Americans.

Thus, by the end of the winter of 1945, Dulles had amassed a rather rotund portfolio of contacts and proposals from German representatives. But none of these contacts gave any real hope for a practical solution to the problem of the bloodless end of the war in northern Italy.

Switzerland, for its part, was interested in the early end of the war on its borders, and preferably without destroying the infrastructure of Northern Italy, with which Switzerland was closely linked economically. In addition, the Swiss authorities were afraid that the uninhabited SS men, fleeing from the Allied offensive in Italy, would seek refuge in Switzerland. Due to its neutrality, Switzerland could not provide official assistance to the warring parties.

Nonetheless, Dulles’s unofficial mission worked closely with the Swiss intelligence services. Dulles himself was assisted by a high-ranking intelligence officer of the Swiss general staff captain (in the spring of 1945 — Major) Max Waibel (German). He tacitly solved many issues within the country. In particular, he had the right to indicate to the Swiss border guard service to freely pass across the border anyone who presented the set password.

Switzerland, as a neutral country, could officially communicate with the German authorities, including the military and intelligence agencies. Swiss General Staff Colonel Roger Masson kept in touch with Schellenberg, and Weibel had the opportunity to consult with Masson. Dulles praised the role of Waibel and the Swiss special services in general in their operations in Switzerland.
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19:56 12.12.2018
Preparation and first contacts

February 25, 1945 Italian businessman and chamberlain Pope Baron Luigi Parilli (English) Russian. (Luigi Parrilli) through the Swiss professor Max Gusman (eng. Max Husmann; 1888−1965) and Waibel came into contact with Gevernits. Parilli said that some of the SS officers in Italy are ready to cooperate with the Americans in order to prevent bloodshed and destruction. He stressed that it was the SS people, not the Wehrmacht, who were interested in this and were ready for the most serious steps. Been sounded the names of the SS headquarters officer in Genoa Hauptsturmführer Guido Zimmer, Standartenführer Eugen Dollmann (him) and, indirectly, the head of all the forces of the SS in Italy, Obergrudenführer Wolf.




Carl Wolf, photo of 1937




O. Dolman (far right) with Kurt Daluege (left) and General Palma during the visit of the delegation of the German police to Italy, 1936.

Verbose and high-strung Parilli didn't make an impression of a serious counterpagent for Gevernits. Dulles also initially regarded this signal as another testing step from the top of the SS, and no more. After consulting, Gevernitz and Dulles decided that they could deal, if not with the commander of the German troops in Italy, Field Marshal Kesselring, then with Wolf and Dolman.

Karl Wolff held at that time the position of «supreme leader of the SS and the police» (Höchster SS- und Polizeiführer) with Army Group «C» in Northern Italy, had very broad powers in that capacity and was personally subordinate to Himmler. Wolf enjoyed great trust from the Nazi elite; Hitler favored him. Wolff even allowed himself sometimes to contact the Führer through Himmler’s head.

One of these cases caused a misunderstanding between Wolf and Himmler in 1943, when Hitler allowed Wolf to divorce, contrary to Himmler’s ban. It was after this that Wolff, before the head of the personal headquarters of the Reichsfuhrer, was assigned to Italy. Kaltenbrunner and Schellenberg, according to Dulles, envied Wolf and were unfriendly towards him. Wolf’s position in the SS hierarchy was special: by rank, he was only one step lower than the Reichsführer SS, but he was a little away from the main leading vertical of this odious organization. This was taken into attention by the Americans in Operation Sunrise.

Eugen Dolman (1900−1985) was also a fairly well-known person. He received a brilliant liberal arts education — he graduated with honors from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, lived in Italy since 1927, studying Italian art and history, and started extensive acquaintances in aristocratic, intellectual, ecclesiastical and political circles. In 1934 he joined the Nazi Party, from 1935 he was the head of the press service of the Nazi Party in Italy. In 1937, he had to replace a translator at a meeting of Himmler and the head of the Italian police Bocchini in Ostia. Since that time, he was invited as a translator to Italian-German high-level meetings. Dolman joined the SS and quickly advanced through the ranks. Himmler made him his personal observer in Italy and consultant on Italian issues.

In December 1937, Dolman accompanied Himmler on a trip to Libya, attended the Munich Conference in 1938, in 1939 on the signing of the Steel Pact, in 1942 participated in the trip of Hitler and Mussolini to the Eastern Front, in July 1944 he was the official translator for the meeting Hitler and Mussolini in the residence «Wolfsan». In fact, Dolman served as liaison officer with Mussolini. After the arrest of Mussolini in 1943, he tried to get close to Kesselring. In his memoirs, Dolman argues that he was never a supporter of national socialism, nor an admirer of Hitler, joined the party and the SS only for the sake of a career, and from mid-1943 he tried to take steps that would help alleviate the fate of Italy in the war.

In particular, in the summer of 1944, he helped Wolf get a secret audience with Pope Pius XII. Dolman even lent Wolf his civilian suit for this visit. At this meeting, Wolf tried to convince the pontiff in his quest for peace.

Back in early February, Wolf, perhaps without the approval of Himmler, visited Hitler. In the presence of Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs Ribbentrop and SS Gruppenführer Fegelein, Karl Wolf suggested that it was time to look for an opportunity to consolidate with Britain and America against the Bolsheviks. Hitler's answer was rather vague, but in general it could be understood as approval and permission to act. Thus, Wolf, starting his game, partly shielded himself from accusations of treason. As it turned out later, Ribbentrop, by that time, he himself was trying to reach the Americans through Sweden. In Italy, Wolf could count on the support of at least two more influential Germans: General Aviation Maximillian von Paul (German) and German Ambassador Rudolf Rahn (German).

Nobody discussed possible surrender and negotiations with the West with Mussolini and his staff. Moreover, when Mussolini became suspicious at the end of February — early March that the Germans were preparing to surrender Northern Italy, Ambassador Ran and others managed to convince the duce that the German troops would fight to the end.

On February 28, at a meeting of Wolf and his entourage, it was decided to send Dolman to Switzerland for a preliminary meeting. The meeting was attended by the head of the SD in Italy gruppenführer Harster. As it turned out later, he immediately reported on what was happening to his direct commander, Kaltenbrunner.

In early March, Parilli returned to Switzerland with Dolman and Zimmer. On March 3, in one of the restaurants of Lugano, Waibel arranged a meeting of the Germans with a trusted employee of Dulles, Paul Blum. From the conversation with Dolman Blum concluded that he really represents Wolf (although Dolman himself did not say that directly). The Americans demanded that Dolman and Wolf, in support of their intentions and real power, release the two arrested members of the Italian underground — Ferruccio Parry and Antonio Usmiani. A few days later, Zimmer delivered both to the Italian-Swiss border, and Weibel hid them in a private clinic in Lugano. Crossing the border in all cases was provided by Waibel.
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The first meeting with Wolf

On the morning of March 8, 1945, Wolf arrived in Switzerland, in Lugano, accompanied by Dolman, Zimmer and his adjutant Sturmbannführer Eugen Wenner (Eugen Wenner, some sources named the name Max). From there, emissaries went by train to Zurich with great precautions, since there were quite a few people in Switzerland who knew both Wolf and Dolman by sight. The Germans were accompanied by Guzman and Waibel. Upon arrival, Wolf handed over to Dulles some kind of credentials — a certificate of himself and a long list of his actions over the past year, which should have testified to his commitment to the idea of an early end to the war.



/150px-Max_Husmann.jpg
M. Husmann

At 10 pm on March 8, Dulles and Wolf met for the first time at the OSS safe house in Zurich. Wolf introduced Dulles Husmann. Wolf immediately stated that he considered Germany’s military defeat to be inevitable, ready to put at the disposal of the Americans all the SS forces under his command, to influence Kesselring, as commander of the Wehrmacht, and to ensure Kesselring or his deputy would arrive in Switzerland. Wolf emphasized that he acts completely independently of Himmler and Hitler. Dulles, in turn, said that it could only be about the complete surrender of the entire German grouping and that these negotiations in no way signify a violation of the Allied obligations to the USSR as a member of the anti-Hitler coalition.

According to Dulles, he was very afraid that the mission of Wolf could be a provocation in order to embroil Stalin with the Anglo-Americans. At the same time, Dulles considered the prospect of seizing Northern Italy without a fight to be extremely important not only militarily. Such a quick victory would allow the Americans to get ahead of the Red Army in south-eastern Europe and thus expand their zone of post-war influence here.

After meeting with Dulles, Wolf left Gevernits with a brief plan of his actions to secure future surrender and returned to Italy on March 9. Here he got a summons from the head of the RSHA Kaltenbrunner — he clearly did not like the fact that Wolf had traveled to Switzerland without his knowledge. Wolf declined to meet, citing urgent matters. In order to have an excuse before Himmler and Kaltenbrunner about the contacts with the enemy, Wolf retroactively invented a legend: he was going to solicit the Americans about the release from captivity of Obersturmbannführer Wünsch, Hitler's favorite. In this way he could explain the sudden release of Parry and Usmiani. Wolf waited for another news: Kesselring on March 8 left for Berlin to go to Hitler’s headquarters on an urgent call.

After a sleepless night, Dulles and Gevernitz returned to the Berne OSS office on the morning of March 9 and made a report to the headquarters of the Allied Command in Caserta. Dulles offered to prepare several high-level officers for negotiations with Kesselring. On the same day, the name of the operation appeared — «Sunrise», symbolizing the hope of a major success.

On March 12, Field Marshal Alexander informed the Soviet side about the arrival of representatives of the German commander in Italy to discuss the terms of surrender. Molotov, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, spoke in favor of the participation of the USSR in these negotiations, but the diplomatic agencies of the United States and Great Britain refused. Dulles explains that the participation of the Soviet representative would be difficult to provide purely technicaly: it would be very difficult to pass him off as an American or an Englishman, and it would be almost impossible to come up with some plausible legend for a Soviet general or senior officer to arrive to Switzerland.
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The second meeting with Wolf

Meanwhile, representatives of the Allied Command arrived in Switzerland incognito, including the Deputy Chief of the Allied Forces Headquarters in Caserta, American General Lyman Lemnitzer, and the Chief of Intelligence at Alexander Headquarters, General Terence Airey. They entered the country according to the documents of two American sergeants serving the OSS, since there were no plausible pretexts for the arrival of such high-ranking military men in a neutral country. It was decided to continue the negotiations in Ascona, in the secluded estate of the son-in-law Gevernitsa on the shore of Lake Maggiore, a few kilometers from the Italian border. A rather large group of OSS employees came there; they came from Bern two or three people apart.

The Washington leadership had fears that the Germans might organize an attack on this place from the water or from the air, as they abducted Mussolini in 1943 and tried to abduct Eisenhower in 1945.

Dulles was forced to explain that the enemy, in order to abduct one or two generals would not began complicate its already difficult position by direct violation of the neutrality of Switzerland. In any case, the OSS provided reliable security for the estate, and the Swiss constantly patrolled the lake.




From left to right: M. Waibel, L. Lemnitzer, T. Airy. Ascona, 1945

Since the first visit of Wolf, an important event occurred: Kesselring received a new assignment and left Italy on the Western Front, changing von Rundstedt as commander. Following this, Kesselring was called to Berlin. Kesselring was replaced by Colonel-General Fitinghof, for which Wolf could not vouch as much as Kesselring, although he was on good terms with him. Fitinghof was an apolitical general of the old Prussian hardening, unconditionally committed to duty and oath. Wolf never initiated him into his intentions and never spoke to him about surrender.

On the morning of March 19, Wolf arrived, accompanied by Wenner and Zimmer. Husmann, Gevernits, and Waibel met them and took them to Ascona with even more precautions than before. It was assumed that Kaltenbrunner was closely following the movements of Wolf. Dolman this time remained at Wolf's headquarters to control the situation.

The meeting was held in three stages. On the morning of March 19, Dulles and Gevernitt talked with Wolf. After lunch they were joined by Lemnitzer and Airy. Dulles introduced the generals to Wolf as his military advisers, without naming names or ranks. Dulles spoke briefly with Wolf again before leaving.

At the second meeting, possible options for action in the current situation were considered: Wolff either directly addresses Fitinghoff and tries to convince him to capitulate, or acts through Kesselring, or relies only on his own strength. The latter option was clearly the weakest. About 50 thousand people directly subordinated to Wolf in Italy, of which only about 10 thousand combat personnel were almost without heavy weapons. These troops occupied some important positions, but were dispersed, besides consisted mostly of national SS units.

They stopped at the second version. Wolf asked to postpone the planned Allied offensive in Italy for a few days in order to have time to go to Kesselring and talk with him. The matter was complicated by the fact that Kesselring from Berlin departed immediately to the place of his new destination, without even visiting Italy to say goodbye to Mussolini and to his headquarters. Wolf also told Dulles that Kaltenbrunner is also seeking contacts with allies and «will not tolerate rivalry.» For five to seven days, Wolf promised to have Kesselring will impact the Fittinghoff. Within the limits of his authority, Wolff undertook to limit anti-guerrilla and punitive measures in Northern Italy, try to prevent the implementation of the scorched-earth tactics and save the life of political prisoners.
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Diplomatic conflict

On March 22, a sharp note was sent to the British ambassador to the USSR about separate negotiations with Germany. There was a lively correspondence at the level of diplomatic departments and directly between Stalin and Roosevelt. Stalin directly accused the Allies in collusion with the enemy behind the back of the USSR. Roosevelt responded in the sense that nothing much happened, it was only a purely military matter — the surrender of the German group in Italy, and Stalin was misinformed by his diplomats and intelligence. Stalin's response was cold and thorough.

Stalin listed all the cases in which, in his opinion, the United States and Britain were delaying the solution of important issues for the defense of the USSR, despite the fact that the Soviet Union always did everything possible to facilitate the military efforts of the allies, sometimes even to the detriment of their plans. As a result, on April 11, Roosevelt wrote a short message to Stalin:

«Thank you for your sincere explanation of the Soviet point of view regarding the Berne incident, which, as it now seems, has faded into the past, without bringing any benefit. In any case, there should be no mutual distrust, and minor misunderstandings of this nature should not arise in the future. I am confident that when our armies make contact in Germany and unite in a fully coordinated offensive, the Nazi armies will disintegrate».

The US Ambassador to Moscow Harriman, having received this telegram, immediately suggested that the president remove the word «insignificant» from the text; Roosevelt refused and stressed that he considers the «misunderstanding» to be insignificant. Stalin received a message on April 13, after Roosevelt’s sudden death.

Dulles only found out about this scandal on April 13, in Paris, from the head of CSS, General Donovan.
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Wolf in Berlin

On April 2, Parilli reported that Wolf met with Kesselring, he promised to give instructions to Fitinghoff, but while answered the question about the possible surrender of the Western front, which he now commanded, replied in the negative. After that, Himmler summoned Wolf to Berlin and gave him a earful for an unauthorized meeting with Dulles. A few days later, in the presence of Kaltenbrunner, Himmler ordered Wolf not to interrupt contact with Dulles, but he was strictly forbidden to go to Switzerland. Himmler also refused to report on Wolf’s mission to Hitler — the Fuhrer was annoyed at Ribbentrop’s clumsy actions in Sweden. Wolf Himmler made it clear that he actually took his family hostage, and ordered him on the way back to call at the SD intelligence center in Bavaria. There, Schellenberg service officers interrogated Wolf all day about the details of communication with the Americans.

April 9 began the Allied offensive in Italy. On the same day, Parilli conveyed that Fitinghof was ready to capitulate on honorable terms, including the retention of a small active contingent of German troops for law enforcement. Wolf is ready to come to Switzerland with a trusted representative of Fittinghoff, who will sign a surrender on his behalf. For operational communication with Fittinghoff Americans transferred to Italy an agent with a radio station. This agent was a 26-year-old Czech Vaclav Hradecki, an active participant in the Resistance from the very beginning of the war. Zimmer arranged it in Milan on the top floor of one of the buildings occupied by the SS services in a room with a sign on the door «Entrance only with the permission of the Obergruppenführer.»

On April 15, it turned out that Fitinghof changed his position: he discovered that his negotiations with the Americans were not a secret, and he was frightened. Dulles tells the story of a certain Wehrmacht mysterious officer, who came to Fitinghoff, began to warn him against any agreements with the Americans, called for dealing only with the British, and then disappeared no one knows where. Whether him was an agent of Kaltenbrunner, or of Soviet intelligence, or even British (if there was such a case at all) remains a mystery.

Regarding the terms of surrender, a categorical answer came from Caserta: the Germans would have to sign an act that the Allies would put on the table. Issues of preserving German military honor obviously did not bother anyone at Alexander's headquarters.

At this time, Himmler again summoned Wolf to Berlin, and Wolf did not expect anything good from this call. He even gave Dulles something like a testament through Parilli. On April 17, Wolf had a long, unpleasant conversation with Himmler and Kaltenbrunner, who accused Wolf of high treason. Wolf had two trump cards: first, he secured, albeit vague, but the Hitler's approval; secondly, Wolf even two weeks ago offered to report to Hitler about the meeting on March 8, and Kaltenbrunner and Himmler refused to do so.

In addition, the prudent Ran with Wolf sent a letter to Hitler, which stated that the steps taken in Italy should serve the good of the Reich. Wolf showed this letter to Himmler in the hope that the Reichsfuhrer would at least not destroy Wolf immediately upon arrival (Hitler would hardly have liked that the mail addressed to him was intercepted by Himmler).

From the conversation, Wolf realized that Kaltenbrunner and Himmler did not know anything or almost nothing about the March 19 meeting.
In the end, it was decided that Wolf and Kaltenbrunner would go to Hitler, and Wolf himself would report everything. Himmler refused to go to the bunker, as he was at that moment not in favor with Hitler after the military setbacks on the Eastern Front.

On April 18, early in the morning, Hitler accepted Wolf and Kaltenbrunner. Wolff kept confidently and managed to present his adventures in a favorable light for him: he acted only in the interests of the Reich, essentially with the sanction of Hitler, and that he did not devote his superiors to the negotiations, only so that the Führer could save face their failure. Hitler reprimanded Wolff for «disregarding the opinion of the leadership,» but did not show anger and accepted his explanations. Kaltenbrunner was silent.

In the evening, Hitler again received Wolf in the presence of Kaltenbrunner and Fegelein, and outlined his plans for the next six to eight weeks. The defense, the Führer said, will be concentrated in several impregnable fortresses — in Berlin, in the north in Schleswig-Holstein and in the south — in the «alpine bastion». When the Russians and the Anglo-Americans meet in the open spaces between these strongholds, a military conflict will inevitably flare up between them.

And then he, Hitler, decides which side to join in this decisive battle. Wolf's task is to hold out for a few weeks in Italy at any cost. Contacts with the Americans need to continue, but not in a hurry to agree to their terms. With these words, Wolf returned to Italy. It was quite clear to him that Hitler was completely unable to adequately assess the situation and make constructive decisions.

While Wolf was in Berlin, Dulles was also preparing for the complete failure of the entire operation. Lemnicer and Airy, seeing no reason to wait for anything unknown, returned to Caserta.
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19:58 12.12.2018
Capitulation

April 16, Soviet troops launched the Berlin offensive.

On April 20, Dulles, to his surprise and displeasure, received an order from the headquarters of the Allied forces (AFHQ) in Caserta: in light of the conflict with the Russians, to curtail the operation and stop all contacts with German emissaries in Switzerland.




Lt. Col. von Schweinitz signs the surrender of the German troops in Northern Italy. In the background is the Sturmbannführer Venner. Caserta, April 29, 1945.

Dulles found himself in an uncertain situation. Wolf at this time had not yet returned from Berlin, and it was not known whether he would return at all. Roosevelt died of a sudden stroke on April 12, and the new President of the United States, Truman, has not yet indicated his attitude towards Operation Sunrise. To rudely break all ties meant to bury all hopes of somehow bringing victory to Italy closer in a bloodless way. To top it off on April 22, Waibel called and gave a message from Parilli: Wolf, Wenner and Wehrmacht Lieutenant Colonel Viktor von Schweinitz (Viktor von Schweinitz) are already on their way to Switzerland, and in Switzerland, they have a power of attorney from Fittinghing to sign the surrender.

Dulles requested additional instructions from Alexander and Donovan. Alexander asked Dulles to pull time; he wanted to get Dulles sanctioned at least to check the credentials of the German delegation. From Washington replied that Dulles should in no way do anything that could be interpreted as a continuation of Operation Sunrise; but if the Swiss themselves, on their own initiative, and not as intermediaries, enter into negotiations with the Germans and wish to give Dulles any information, it can be sent to the headquarters in Caserta.




From left to right: Roettiger, Wenner, Gevernitz, Fitinghof, Wolf, Dolman. Bolzano, May 9 or 10, 1945

If with Parilli Dulles could to talking (he was not a German representative and formally the order to stop contacts did not apply to him), then Swiss citizens Waibel and Gusman had to explain themselves to Wolf and Schweinitz. They met in Lucerne. Dulles also came there to be closer to the scene. Through Waibel, he told Wolf that, in view of the recent events, their meetings were terminated, and asked to wait for the solution of the issue by the Allied Command. Dulles was given a power of attorney by Shvaynits, and he forwarded the text to Caserta and Washington by radio.

A few days lasted waiting for a response. At this time, the Anglo-American offensive was already developing, and guerrilla units intensified in Northern Italy itself. German headquarters relocated from Milan even further north, to Bolzano. Wolf feared that, while sitting in Switzerland, he could lose control of his forces from day to day. He left for Italy on April 24, leaving Wenner in Lucerne. Crossing the border, Wolf was trapped. The villa, where he stayed on the first night, was blocked by the partisans. Gevernitsu had to urgently make his way to Italy and organize a special operation in order to take Wolf out through the battle formations of the partisans again to Switzerland, and then from there to Austria and again to Italy. Once on Swiss territory for a while, Wolff handed over to Veenner the power of attorney for signing the capitulation on the part of the SS through Waibel.

On April 27, finally, the answer came: the German delegation was summoned to the joint headquarters for final negotiations. Venner and Schweinitz flew to Caserta. Dulles stayed in Switzerland, Gevernits went with the Germans; he officially served as a translator, and in fact played an important role in the negotiations. According to Dulles, he was the one who managed to convince Schweinitz to retreat from the conditions put forward by Fitinghoff. Soviet representatives arrived in Caserta — Major General A. P. Kislenko with an officer-translator. Negotiations were markedly military, not political. The deadline for the cease-fire was set on May 2, 14:00 local time.

On April 28, Hitler subdued Kesselring for all the German armed forces in southern Europe. Thus, Kesselring became the immediate head of Fittinghoff. On the same day, the guerrillas executed Mussolini.

On April 29, the act of surrender of Army Group «C» was signed by von Schweinitz from the Wehrmacht and Wenner from the SS. There was no radio contact with Gradetsky at that moment, and the documents were sent to Fitinghoff and Wolf by courier by car. As a result, the act was transmitted nevertheless by radio — Hradecky went on the air from Bolzano — and also received confirmation. On the eve of the surrender, Kesselring dismissed away Fitinghof and his chief of staff, General Rothtiger. But the commanders of the armies that were part of the C group, the commander of the Luftwaffe forces in Italy, von Paul and Wolf, gave the order to their troops to cease hostilities and surrender.

Kesselrring ordered the generals to be arrested, but the order was never executed. The SS units, subordinate to Wolf were already prepared to began the battle against the Wehrmacht’s tank units sent by Kesselring to arrest the rebels, and Wolf, through Gradetsky, even asked the Americans to urgently land a parachute landing force in Bolzano. A day later, after meeting with Dolman and Fittinghoff, Kesselring yet been ready to talk about capitulation in Austria. In general, Kesselring in all the events described was characterized by oscillations and a change of position: on the one hand, he understood that the war was hopelessly lost, on the other — he had repeatedly stated that he would fight as long as the Führer alive.

Hesitated and Fittinghof. Having already sent Schweinitz to Switzerland, he was ready to give up his decision. It got to the point that on April 27, General Roettiger was compelled, in the harshest terms, to return his commander to reality — in the presence of Dolman and Rahn. On April 30, in Berlin, Hitler committed suicide, and this allowed supporters of the surrender to increase pressure on Kesselring. On the night of May 1, he canceled his order to arrest the generals, and even reinstated Fitinghoff and Rötiger in office so that the capitulation signed on Fitinghoff’s behalf would not lose its legal force.

These days, Kaltenbrunner’s active counterwork to the actions of Wolf and Fittinghoff was noted. A messenger from Kaltenbrunner appeared in Switzerland with the proposal to surrender not only Italy but also Austria to the Allies. Nobody believed in the realism of such a proposal. Kaltenbrunner's ally and informant was the Gauleiter Tyrole Gofer (he was partly dedicated into the course of this operation).

The Germans laid down arms in Italy on May 2, on the same day as the Berlin garrison.

Vaclav Hradecki remained in Bolzano until at least May 9 and provided communication after the cessation of hostilities.

The main source of Soviet intelligence in Switzerland, informed about the progress of the negotiations, was Rudolf Rösler («Luc»).

Shortly after the end of the war in Europe, the main events of «Operation Sunrise — Crossword» were widely publicized. Even before this, rumors of Swiss negotiations had leaked to Japan, and Japanese representatives in Switzerland began to wonder if the same channels could be used for Japanese-American negotiations.
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Operation «Sunrise» («Crossword») — April 1945
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