06 December 2010

Wehrmacht - a minor irritation

A little while go there was an ad announcement about an upcoming programme on History Channel revealing the war crimes of the Wehrmacht. The subject matter is nothing new - the myth of the SS criminals s opposed to the relatively decent regular army was exploded long ago, especially in relation to the Eastern Front. To clarify the regular army committed many vicious war crimes too

But this is not the source of irritation. For some reason we have gotten into the habit of calling the regular Germn army in WWII the Wehrmacht when this title is patently wrong. The German Army was part of the Wehrmacht but the Wehrmacht was more than just the German army.

The Wehrmacht was the name for the combined forces of the Reich, made up of the Kriegsmarine, the Luftwaffe, and the Army. While autonomous the SS in the field was under Wehrmacht control. Operationally in the east it was under the direct control of the Army High Command

The correct name for the German Army of the time was Heer.

A minor irritation but it is like using Armed Forces instead of Army


James Higham said...

What do you mean "myth" of the SS criminals? Do you mean that their crimes were officially legitimate?

jams o donnell said...

Don't be bloody stupid James. The myth that the Heer were the good soldiers is what is exploded

Francis Sedgemore said...

"The correct name for the German Army of the time was Heer."

Today it is still known officially as the "deutsches Heer".

jams o donnell said...

Ah as part of the Bundeswher...