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April 1994 Vol. 2 Number 7 Published by the WW II Roundtable Edited by Joe Grant and Jim Gerber It looks as though spring may finally be here. Welcome to the April meeting of the WW II Roundtable. Our program tonight is about the role of women in WW II. We look forward to hearing what our speakers have to tell us this evening. One of our members has been reading one of Dr. Deutsch’s books, “Hitler and His Generals”, and describes one of Hitler’s methods of obtaining power. “Early in 1938 the new Reichschancellor sought to buttress his power by gaining control of the Wehrmacht. No small task. To achieve it, he would have to remove its main bulwarks, two respected military leaders: the Reichs War Minister Marshal von Blomberg and the Army Commander-in-Chief, General von Fritsch. He would plan a virtual coup d’etat, one he might achieve without firing a shot. First, he dug into the past of Frau von Blomberg. Young Eva Gruhn had been a fashion model and a masseuse in the salon operated by her mother. Hitler publicly called her a whore. Next he scoured the dregs of Berlin’s male prostitute demi-monde, and found one who was willing to sell his testimony that he had been frequented by General von Fritsch. Hitler now falsely proclaimed, in speeches and in the press, that the General was a pervert. Slick propagandists manipulated clandestine blackmailers, perjurers and public opinion. Admirers of von Fritsch protested his innocence but to no avail. Once his two obstacles had been accused and forced to resign, Hitler appointed, as his new commanderin-chief, a man who was under personal obligation to him, General von Brauchitsch.” Did Eva Braun Escape? The November 1981 issue of the British Medical Association’s News Review published the findings of a ten-year study on the WW II records of Adolf Hitler and his Mistress Eva Braun, including the dental evidence by a California research team that cast doubt on her death. According to the report, Hitler’s dental records matched those of one of the thirteen bodies found near the bunker in Berlin on twenty-six points, including a unique window crown. The report said that the dental data for the female body presumed to be Eva Braun’s did not agree with her personal dental records. The report stated further that if Eva Braun died in the bunker she may have been buried elsewhere. It also pointed to the possibility that she may have escaped. A German U-boat, U-977, was the last German ship to surrender on August 17, 1945 - more than three months after the war had ended. It surrendered in Argentina. It immediately became suspect of having transported Hitler and other ranking Nazis out of Germany. The controversy as to why this U-boat remained at large for so long after the war ended has never been settled, according to doubters and those who believe it carried Eva Braun and others to freedom. Wise Words For Our Times Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. U.S. President John Adams 1797 Secret Code To confuse the Japanese who were listening to U.S. Marine Corps transmission in the Pacific during the war, the Corps employed more than 300 Navajo-speaking American Indians as radio code talkers. Nasos or Nazis The term Nasos, not Nazis, was the original abbreviation for the National Socialist German Workers Party. However, German writer Konrad Heiden, who had little use for them, bastardized Nasos into Nazis as a means of poking fun at them. Nazi is derived from a Bavarian word that means “simple-minded.” U-Boats Germany’s second-highest-scoring U-boat captain, Wolfgang Luth, was accidentally killed by a sentry for failing to properly identify himself near the headquarters of Admiral Karl Doenitz. Luth commanded four different U-boats in the war, made fourteen patrols and sank forty-four enemy ships, just one short of tying Otto Kretschmer’s record. War Criminals Less than 10 percent of the people considered war criminals for their part in the Nazi extermination camps have ever been brought to justice. According to the West German government, it took approximately 25,000 people to operate the camps. A small portion of them reached freedom through ODESSA, the secret escape organization for former SS members. However, the vast majority of war criminals passed themselves off as refugees at displaced persons camps when the war ended, thereby gaining freedom. April 1944 Europe, Air Operations The U.S. heavy bomber force drops 43,500 tons of bombs especially on aircraft factories throughout Europe. The RAF heavy bombers main efforts are switched from German targets to transport centers in France and Belgium. This respite from all-out attacks on Germany is welcome news to the crews because of the growing efficiency of the German night fighters. During the month 33,000 tons are dropped. USAAF Marauders add 8800 tons in attacks on French and Belgian rail targets. Aircraft from the Mediterranean Air Forces attack oil and communication targets in southeast Europe including Ploesti, Sofia and Belgrade. April 1, 1944 Carolines - The carriers of TF 58 attack Woleai. In the three days of attacks 130,000 tons of Japanese shipping have been sunk as well as seven small warships. The Americans have lost 26 planes but have shot down 150. April 3, 1944 Arctic - The Tirpitz is attacked and damaged by Barracuda bombers from the carriers of the British Home Fleet. Four aircraft are lost but the Tirpitz is put out of action for a further three months. April 10, 1944 Eastern Front - The Russians take Odessa after a vicious battle. The Germans have managed to evacuate by sea 24,000 men, many wounded, as well as 55,000 tons of supplies. In the Crimea the initial German defense lines are being worn down. The Rumanian troops holding the right of the line are in severe trouble. In Rumania itself Second Ukraine Front crosses the Siret. Rumania’s position begins to look increasingly vulnerable. April 18, 1944 Operation Overlord The British government bans all coded radio and telegraph from London and elsewhere in the British Isles. Diplomatic bags are to be censored and diplomats are to be forbidden to leave the country. The only exemptions are for the USA and USSR and, a tribute to their excellent security, the London Poles. The telephone service to Southern Ireland and the distribution of newspapers to there and to Gibraltar have already been stopped on April 5. These measures are designed to help with the security of the preparations for D-Day. April 23, 1944 New Guinea - The US forces take Hollandia without a fight. The advance inland continues meeting its first check near the village of Sabron. The only other problem is with the beach organization as there is some congestion. The subsidiary landing at Aitape is also going well. Tadji airfield is taken. April 28, 1944 US Politics - The Secretary to the US Navy, Frank Knox, dies. He has played a large part in the revival of the navy since Pearl Harbor. SEE YOU NEXT MONTH FOR THE LAST PROGRAM OF OUR SEASON.