User:Neun-x/Festung

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Festung is a the German term for fort, fortress, fortification or stronghold. During the second world war, Adolf Hitler formed a different meaning for 'Festung': he (and generally the Nazi propaganda) used the world to name cities (or dseldomly other locations) that should be defended - because of their military importance and/or their traffic junction especially stubbornly; and this also in case they were closed in.

Hitler started that practise at the beginning of 1944. The idea failed and caused bigger losses of the Wehrmacht.

Concept[edit]

The Red Army had pushed back the Wehrmacht during summer 1943 at many frontal sections. [1] To stop this advance, Hitler developped at the beginning of march 1944 the idea to form „Feste Plätze“. He meant places that were traffic junctions and that had importance for military operations or strategic mportance. His idea was that the enemies would have to conquer these places first before they could continue their advance; during the time of the siege important traffic lines would be closed for them.

Die „festen Plätze“ sollen die gleichen Aufgaben wie die früheren Festungen erfüllen. Sie haben zu verhindern, daß der Feind diese operativ entscheidenden Plätze in Besitz nimmt. Sie haben sich einschließen zu lassen und dadurch möglichst starke Feindkräfte zu binden. Sie haben dadurch mit die Voraussetzung für erfolgreiche Gegenoperationen zu schaffen.

— Adolf Hitler (8. März 1944)[2]

Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch later said that declaring a city "Festung" also - or prior - had political or propagandistic reasons. Especially cities known in Germany or in many countries worldwide were tried to hold - so-to-say as Prestige objects.[3]

  1. ^ Für einen kurzen Überblick, siehe: Kurt von Tippelskirch: Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Bonn 1956, S.327–347 und 370–389
  2. ^ Führer-Befehl Nr. 11 (Kommandanten der festen Plätze und Kampfkommandanten) vom 8. März 1944; zitiert in: Walter Hubatsch (Hrsg.): Hitlers Weisungen für die Kriegführung 1939–1945, Bernhard & Graefe Verlag für Wehrwissen, Frankfurt/ Main 1962, Dok. 53, S.243–250
  3. ^ Karl-Heinz Frieser: Irrtümer und Illusionen - Die Fehleinschätzungen der deutschen Führung im Frühjahr 1944, S.524