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Military

ARMY HISTORICAL SERIES


THE U.S. ARMY IN THE OCCUPATION OF GERMANY
1944-1946


by
Earl F. Ziemke
 
 




CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
UNITED STATES ARMY
WASHINGTON, D. C., 1990
   

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 75-619027

First Printed 1975-CMH Pub 30-6

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents,
US Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402
 


Foreword

Long before the dust settled on European battlefields in World War II, the US Army had to face the difficult tasks of occupying and governing war-torn Germany. Its leaders and troops were called upon to deal with a series of complex challenges in political, economic, financial, social, and cultural affairs, tasks beyond the traditional combat roles of soldiers.

This volume provides an authoritative account of the role of the US Army in military government and occupation of Germany from the inception of planning until the relative separation of military government and tactical troops in 1946. In the process it offers an in-depth study of the first year, the formative period of the occupation, a most eventful phase in the shaping of post-war Europe. The story ranges from Washington and theater headquarters down to military government detachments in the field, and covers the varied national and international civilian and military apparatus that evolved. Illustrating the diverse approaches of the Americans, British, and Russians, it analyzes efforts to combat hunger, disease, and crime, preserve cultural artifacts, re-establish industry and utilities, and resolve thorny problems involving currency, housing, education, newspapers, elections, and displaced persons. 'I, he account shows the pitfalls and difficulties in planning, organizing, and executing such a complex undertaking.

While this volume is part of the Army Historical Series, it continues in effect the history begun in the largely documentary volume of the US Army in World War II series, Civil Affairs: Soldiers become Governors, as well as in the narrative volumes on the European conflict in the same series. Besides being of particular interest to that large number of men, still surviving, who participated in the events depicted here, Dr. Ziemke's volume will constitute for the Army an important source for lessons learned in planning, training, and organization for civil affairs and military government. For the scholar this book should provide a most valuable addition to the literature of the occupation, and for the general reader an enlightening and interesting account of a remarkable episode in the history of the US Army and of Germany.

Washington, DC
30 June 1974
 
JAMES L. COLLINS, JR.
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History

iii


The Author

Earl F. Ziemke received an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin, where he did his undergraduate work. He served in World War II with the US Marine Corps in the Pacific theater. In 1951 he became a member of the staff of the Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University. In 1955 he joined the staff of the Center of Military History, US Army, where he became Deputy Chief of the General History Branch. Since 1967 he has been Professor of History at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Ziemke is author of The German Northern Theater of Operations, 1940-1945, and of Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East (Washington, 1968). He is a contributor to Command Decisions (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1959), to A Concise History of World War II (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1964) and to Soviet Partisans in World War II (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1965) .

iv


Preface

The post-World War II occupation of Germany was a huge and diverse undertaking spanning almost eleven years, conducted in conjunction with three other members of the wartime alliance and involving in various degrees a number of US governmental departments and agencies. The occupation was, moreover, a major event in German history and in the history of the postwar world; and for the Army it was a mission second only in scope and significance to the war itself. The subject of the present volume is that Army mission, its origin, the manner in which it was defined, and its execution to June 1946 in the period of primary Army responsibility.

The narrative begins in the 1930s, before the outbreak of war in Europe, and concludes in mid-1946, a little more than a year after the victory. Although the likelihood of US military forces occupying Germany appeared infinitesimal in the late 1930s and only slightly greater in the first two years of the 1940s, the actions taken in those years were in some ways more significant than the subsequent mission-oriented plans and preparations. It was, of course, most important that the Army, albeit somewhat reluctantly, had recognized the need for civil affairs-military government doctrine and training before the requirement to administer occupied territory was placed upon it. This recognition was a true innovation in the conduct of military affairs.

To conclude the account in the middle of 1946 may appear less defensible. The occupation went on, with the Army as the executive agency for military government until 1949, and the Army continued to provide the occupation force until 1955. A good reason for stopping short of either of those two years, certainly, is space. The whole story could simply not be told in a single volume with anything like the treatment it deserves. A better reason, the author believes, is that, being a part of the Army Historical Series, the volume should concern itself with the Army experience. While military government is not the sole subject of the volume, it is one of the main subjects, and after March 1946 control of military government passed to the Office of Military Government in Berlin, which, although it was headed lay an Army general, regarded itself as predominantly a civilian agency. In the field, by the end of June 1946, the military government detachments were divorced from the tactical commands, much reduced in strength, partially civilianized, and limited to observing and advising German governmental agencies. Military government as it was conceived during the war and installed in Germany in 1944 and 1945 had ended. The occupation forces had also changed. The troops that had fought the war and occupied Ger-

v


many after the victory had gone home. They had been replaced by another army of occupation, and military government continued for three more years; but that is another story better told elsewhere since much of it lies outside the area of direct Army concern.

In the text, references occur in several places to Department of the Army Field Manual 27-5, Military Government, first published in July 1940. Over the years, FM 27-5 was revised several times and eventually superseded by other volumes, the most recent of those being FM 41-10, Civil Affairs Operation, published in October 1969. The purpose of those publications was and is to provide a procedural and doctrinal framework within which the Army could conduct civil affairs and military government should the need arise. FM 27-10, The Rules of Land Warfare, issued in October 1939 and also subsequently revised, provided guidance concerning the rights and obligations of occupation forces. Without attempting in any way to shape history to fit the field manuals, the author has assumed that the most useful purpose his work could serve would be to present a true description in one instance of the manner in which the Army actually carried out an occupation.

Although the discussion of plans has been limited to those that determined or influenced what was done, or in some instances not done, in the occupation, plans along with policy development and other preparations still figure heavily in the narrative. The chief reason why so much of the planning, more specifically the Army's involvement in it, is included is that it has not been covered elsewhere. To make the account comprehensible it has been necessary to treat matters that in combat operational histories would be left to be dealt with separately in volumes on strategy, organization, or procurement and training. The range, therefore, has had to be broad and include, in particular, plans developed over a relatively long period of time at several levels in Washington, in London, and in Germany.

At the risk of, perhaps, belaboring the obvious, it should be pointed out that geographically as well as chronologically, the volume does not purport to be a history of the whole occupation. It is concerned with those parts of Germany US forces held prior to July 1945, with the considerably less than one third of the country that became the US zone in July 1945, and with aspects of quadripartite control pertinent to an understanding of the Army's mission in Germany. The British share in the occupation has been dealt with in two volumes of the British official World War II history: F. S. V. Donnison, Civil Affairs and Military Government Central Organization and Planning (London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1966) and F. S. V. Donnison, Civil Affairs and Military Government North-West Europe, 1944-1946 (London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1961). Official or, for that matter, any other kind of systematic histories of the occupation have been published neither in France nor in the Soviet Union. The reader interested in events in the French zone and the Soviet zone will need to consult two works, one American and one British: F. Roy Willis, The French in Germany, 1945-1949 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962) and J. P. Nettl, The Eastern Zone and Soviet Policy in Germany, 1945-1950 (London

vi


Oxford University Press, 1951) . Although somewhat dated, the best comparative treatment of the early occupation period in all four zones is W. Friedmann, The Allied Military Government of Germany (London: Stevenson and Sons Ltd., 1947) .

The author is indebted to General Lucius D. Clay and Professor Oron J. Hale who read the manuscript and contributed insights from their personal knowledge of the occupation. He is likewise grateful to his former colleagues at the Center of Military History, Dr. Stetson Conn, Dr. Maurice Matloff, Col. John E. Jessup, Jr., Dr. Robert W. Coakley, Mr. Charles B. MacDonald, Mr. David Jaff and Mrs. Christine O. Grubbs, who gave the benefit of their expertise in writing American World War II military history. The author also wishes to express his appreciation to the staff of the former National Archives World War II Records Branch in Alexandria, Virginia, who made the months spent there both pleasant and profitable.

vii

Athens, Georgia
30 June 1974
EARL F. ZIEMKE
 

vii


Contents

 

Chapter  

Page

   
I. A DIFFICULT BIRTH 3

A School of Military Government Is Established

3

The Army Takes the Lead

8

The Program Under Attack

12

The Civil Affairs Division

14

Military Government Training Expands

17

The Army Is Given Control

20
   
II. OVERSEAS BEGINNINGS 23

A Mission Emerges

23

Theater Planning Begins

24

A Civil Affairs Section, COSSAC

28

Toward a Plan

31
   
III. WASHINGTON VS LONDON 34

The AT (E) Committee and CCAC

34

The EAC and CCAC (L)

37
   
IV. THE SUPREME COMMAND 42

SHAEF Concentrates on Overlord

42

Civil Affairs Becomes G-5

42

no AMGOT

45
   
V. SHAEF'S NEW MISSIONS 52

Displaced Persons

52

Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives

53

A Directive for Germany

57
   
VI. SHRIVENHAM AND MANCHESTER 62

The Civil Affairs Center

62

EGAD

68

The Manchester Phase, EGAD

72
   
VII. STAFFS FOR GERMANY 80

The German Country Unit

80

The Handbook Controversy

83

The US Group Control Council

91
   
VIII. US POLICY EMERGENT 97

Fraternization

97

JCS 1067

98

A Program for Germany?

106
   
IX. TRIPARTITE AGREEMENTS 109

The Surrender Instrument

109

The Zones

115

The Control Machinery

126

Crosscurrents

129
   
X. THE RHINELAND CAMPAIGN, 1944 133

Military Government in Action

133

The Germans

138

Aachen

144

Monschau

149

Battle of the Bulge

153
   
XI. GETTING READY FOR "THE DAY" 158

ECAD

158

Practice and Policy

160

Eclipse Plans

163

The Carpet and Static Plans

164

The Displaced Persons Executive

167

War Crimes

169

PsyWar

173

A Place for the Control Council Group

175
   
XII. THE RHINELAND CAMPAIGN, 1945 178

The Hard Winter

178

On the Move

184

Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives

197

The DP Flood Begins

200

The G-5 Field Survey

206
   
XIII. AFTER MALTA 208

The Fate of JCS 1067

208

War Crimes

215

A Mission for the US Group Control Council

221
   
XIV. ECLIPSE 225

The Ruhr Pocket

225

The Turn to the East

232

Into the Redoubt

246
   
XV. THE VICTORY SEALED 257

Surrender at Reims

257

Flensburg Interlude

260

Meeting in Berlin

263
   
XVI. GERMANY IN DEFEAT 269

The Carpet

269

The Country

273

The Question of Policy

283

The DPs Homeward Bound

284

The Wehrmacht

291
   
XVII. ZONE AND SECTOR 297

Access to Berlin

297

Rolling the Carpet

306

Settling in the Zone

308

The Spoils

314

Exit SHAEF

317
   
XVIII. THE OCCUPATION TROOPS 320

Army-Type Occupation

320

Non-Fraternization

321

Redeployment and Readjustment

328

Currency Control

336

Police-Type Occupation

339
   
XIX. POTSDAM GERMANY 342

Quadripartite Control

342

Potsdam and Policy

345

The Subjects of the Policy

347

A Lesson in Democracy

360
   
XX. THE FIRST FREEDOM 367

ICD Organization and Policy

367

Press Control

368

ICD Overt Operations

372

Other Media

374
   
XXI. RECKONINGS WITH THE PAST 380

Denazification

380

War Crimes Trials

390
   
XXII. THE TURNING POINT 396

Military Government in the Static Phase

396

"Not a Job for Soldiers"

401

"We Don't Want the Low Level Job"

404
   
XXIII. WINTER 407

The Season of Despair

407

DPs, The Resurgent Problem

413

The Army in Disarray

421
   
XXIV. NEITHER AN END NOR A BEGINNING 425

OMGUS Takes Control

426

The Road Ahead

433
   
XXV. CONCLUSION 444
   
NOTE ON SOURCES 450
   
GLOSSARY 457

 

Charts

 

No.   Page
     
1. US Military Government Relationships ( Mobile Phase, September 1944 - July 1945) 95
2. US Military Government Relationships (Static Phase, August-December 1945) 309
3. US Military Government Relationships After 1 April 1946 426

 

Maps

 

 

Illustrations

 

  Page
   
Maj Gen Allen W Gullion 4
Brig Gen Cornelius W Wickersham 6
Secretary of War Henry L Stimson 12
Maj Gen John H Hilldring 16
Lt Gen Walter Bedell Smith 43
Military Government Training at Shrivenham 67
Military Government Officers Practice River Crossing 75
US Troops and German Civilians 99
President Franklin, D Roosevelt's Concept of Occupation Zones 116
Posting the Ordinances 134
Civilians Turn In Weapons and Cameras 135
Germans Read the Proclamation and Ordinances 138
Aachen Evacuees Arriving at Brand 143
Aachen After the Battle 145
Building a Bridge in Monschau 150
CIC Check in Monschau 152
Collecting Bedsheets During Battle of the Bulge 156
Trial in a Military Government Court 180
US Officer Swears In a Buergermeister and Five Policemen 187
A Spearhead Detachment at Work 188
A German Woman Surveys the Wreckage of Her Property 190
Coblenz, March 1945 192
Military Government Headquarters, Coblenz 193
DP Being Dusted With DDT 196
MFA&A Posts Room in Which Museum Pieces Are Stored 199
Russian DPs Prepare Meal in Camp at Trier 201
US Tank Crashes Through Ruins of a German Town 227
Soldiers Admire Manet Painting in Merkers Mine 229
Troops Advance Through Surrendered Town 233
Germans Dig Graves for Concentration Camp Victims 234
Entrance to Nordhausen V-2 Plant 235
Survivors of Buchenwald 237
Captured Germans in an Improvised Stockade 242
Scene of the Atrocity at Thekla 244
Heidelberg, March 1945 247
'Nuremberg, April 1945 248
Mass Funeral for Concentration Camp Prisoners 250
Germans and DPs Carrying Loot 251
Marienplatz, Munich 254
Munich's Main Railroad Station, May 1945 255
Germans Exchange Street Signs 261
Marshal Georgi K Zhukov Pours at the 5 June 1945 Meeting in Berlin 267
Germans Queue Up for Information and Advice 271
School Opens in Aachen 278
Housing Was a Problem 280
Troops Distribute German-Language Newspapers 282
Westbound DPs Board a Train 285
Russian DPs Give Departing Comrades a Send-Off 287
Prisoner of War Column Marches Through Munich 292
Berlin, May 1945 299
Allies Meet in Berlin 302
Russians Leave the US Sector of Berlin 304
Soldiers Check Papers of a Civilian 319
Nonfraternization 323
Fraternization 326
Ice Cream Parlor 331
Maj Gen Ernest N Harmon Inspects a Constabulary Detachment 340
Session at Potsdam 343
Women Salvage Bricks 348
Berliners Receive Bread Ration From a Trailer 349
Many Lived in Shacks and Ruins 352
Troops Search Luggage for Black Market Goods 353
Tanks Move In 356
Printers Assemble Denazified Textbooks 359
First Licensed Newspaper Comes off Press 369
Author Submits Manuscript for ICD Clearance 375
Outdoor Concert in Heidelberg for Americans and Germans 377
Concentration Camp Prisoner Identifies SS Guard 390
Loading Veit Stoss Altar for Return to Poland 399
Lt Gen Lucius D Clay at Laenderrat Meeting 405
Gathering Firewood, February 1946 408
Family Meal 411
General Joseph T McNarney 419
Voters Cast Their Ballots 429
A Day's Ration 436

 

Illustrations are from Department of Defense files, with the exception of photographs on pages 199 and 229 which are reproduced by courtesy of the National Archives.



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