TIL Part of the reason why the Allied secret services could fool the nazis many times is that the deputy head of the German Abwehr, Hans Oster, actively sabotaged the nazi war effort.

TIL Part of the reason why the Allied secret services could fool the nazis many times is that the...

Oster informed his friend Bert Sas, the Netherlands' military attaché in Berlin, more than twenty times of the exact date of the repeatedly delayed invasion of the Netherlands. Sas passed the information to his government, but was not believed. Oster calculated that his "treason" could cost the lives of 40,000 German soldiers and wrestled with his decision, but concluded that it was necessary to prevent millions of deaths that would occur in what would be undoubtedly a protracted war should Germany achieve an early victory.

Well, I can imagine it's hard to believe someone when they give you a different date twenty times.

This is a classic case of "The Nazi who cried invasion."

There were a lot of unsung heroes that took the Nazis down from the inside.

As was the actual head.

He knew that if he married, on his death the pension payments would be transferred to his wife. As a sign of gratitude, he married his housekeeper in 1966 so she would receive his pension. One week later, Albert Göring died 

That was nice of him.

Yep, He hated Hitler, because he knew he would start a war.

His boss, Admiral Canaris, was certainly anti-Hitler and, let's say, did not have his head in the game. Both Canaris and Oster tried to save Jews (Oster was ultimately fired for it); both were suspected of involvement in the July 20 Plot and were executed.

The single greatest saboteur of the Nazi Reich was Hitler himself.

Look up Bismark because that's what happens when Germany is militaristic and has a competent leader. When he was around they were beating up everybody and grabbing land. He took Germany from being a loose bunch of various states and turned them into one of the most powerful countries in the world. Then Kaiser Wilhelm pissed it all away and set the stage for Hitler and his ilk. Bismark was not a military leader, he was a political one but was smart enough to leave the military affairs to the military and didn't try anything that they weren't capable of doing.

...the Gestapo seized the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, in which Oster’s long term anti-Nazi activities were revealed.

LPT: if you're a spy or part of the resistance, don't keep a diary of your true intentions

I've always found Albert Goring to be a fascinating case. The dude certainly had some personal issues (wonder why?) but compared to his brother he's an angel.


Seriously, could you imagine if a competent Nazi had risen to power? Or if something had happened to him just before he decided to invade Russia?

I've seen it before. Eleven times as a matter of fact.

How do we not sing praises for these guys non-stop. Their names should be better know than Erwin Rommel.

I can see why you would, though. At some point, all you have is your legacy. Does the world remember a hero, or forget a fucking Nazi? I'd place that over my life, but hopefully not record anything that's places comrades in more danger.

Really? I've only seen it nein times.

Also a bit more on the pragmatic side, when the allies eventually come knocking on your door, you want a detailed recording of the fact that you arent actually a nazi

Bismark is the exception that proves the rule to the phrase: German politicians are terrible.

(I don't have any dislike for Merkel, my comment is more historical)

"a man such as God meant men to be, lucid and serene in mind, imperturbable in danger."

An "early victory" doesn't mean in the war, it means winning a single battle.

Nothing better. There is a modern narrative that Hitler was absolutely retarded and kept interfering with his generals which messed up the Nazi war effort.

This narrative is very incorrect. His commanders messed up plenty themselves. The narrative stems from post-war efforts by the American military to figure out what the hell happened on the Eastern front and what the Soviets did to win, because the USA wanted to not make the same mistakes as the Nazis if it came to WW3. Who did they turn to for information on the Eastern front? Not the Soviets, they didn't want to share anything; they turned to the old German generals, generals that made mistakes but weren't exactly inclined to admit they fucked up and instead decided to blame Hitler.

Hitler was a dumb ass nonetheless, but he wasn't everything wrong with German command.

It's funny because nein is a German word

I certainly feel like Stauffenberg and everyone else involved with the assasination and coup attempt is not getting enough praises. Maybe it's because most of them were still Nazis and not jewish pacifists in a concentration camp. In my opinion however, it's an enormous sign of courage if you see that something is really wrong and stand up to your own party/government. Remember that they were not some random soldiers, but high-ranking officers and officials. Very brave of them to risk their lives, when they could've just carried on and enjoyed their power.

What a guy

The guy who will kill this overused joke will be an even greater hero.

Quite a few US civil war veterans married their maid/caretakers when they were close to death. There was still a civil war widow living a few years ago.

Edit: The last widow died in 2004, but one daughter was still collecting her civil war pension in 2014: http://time.com/95195/civil-war-pensioner/

That was just Hitler finally being an hero.

But the winners write the history

Can people please stop parroting this bullshit? The Allies and Soviets won the war, but did that stop any sort of critical judgment of them? No. Caesar Augustus was the undisputed victor of the 1st c. BCE Roman civil wars and died unopposed in his power - ergo he is the victor. Do works of history (then or now) only laud him and his greatness? No.

All the victors can do is hope to control access to evidence for as long as they can.

When you're sitting there at the gallows like "You just had to write a fucking diary, didn't you?"

Merkel is the best chancellor we've had in decades, imo. Schröder would've messed up the financial crisis and the refugee situation very badly. I doubt Kohl would've outperformed Merkel. All in all, Germany is doing pretty damn well, and that's partly thanks to her. I don't like the CDU very much and disagree with her stance on quite a few things, but she is anything but mediocre. While the old EU powerhouses are struggling severely (France, UK), I don't feel like we have terribly much to worry about in Germany right now. She may be 'forgettable', but only in the sense that she didn't build a personality cult around herself, which is a huge plus, in my opinion.

Well lots of people involved in the July 20 plot... were decidedly less than heroic. Actually, a lot of them were sadistic, evil fucks. Like Arthur Nebe, commander of Einsatzgruppe B, or Erich Hoepner, who was decorated several times for his Army's co-ooperation with Einsatzgruppe A in murdering Jews and aggresive implementation of the Commissar Order.

Remember that while there was a small core of the July 20 plotters who were motivated my moral grounds, by and large it was made up of people who didn't like Hitler because they thought he was losing them the war (as well as other reasons, like distaste for his low birth and his rather uncouth management style). People who agreed wholeheartedly with the genocidal war taking place against the Soviet Union, and wanted to oust Hitler in order to make peace with the Western Allies so it could be prosecuted with full strength.

He was making a joke. XX chromosomes makes you female.

It looks like:

Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr

From the article

Oster was arrested in 1943 on suspicion of helping Abwehr officers caught helping Jews escape Germany.After the failed 1944 July Plot on Hitler’s life, the Gestapo seized the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, in which Oster’s long term anti-Nazi activities were revealed. In April 1945, he was hanged with Canaris and Dietrich Bonhoeffer at Flossenbürg concentration camp.

That was his official allegiance.

There's isn't much of german political history, since Bismarck was in fact the first leader of Germany.

Evil can never triumph

Evil triumphs all the fucking time. But the winners write the history and rewrite the definition of evil.

Hitler thought he was a genius because his tactics worked against unprepared countries. Right from the start he always made decisions based on gut feelings rather than tactics, strategy, and research.

Amphetamines didn't help, but Germany was doomed either way.

Makes you cry. Und I did!

Also the double x spies.

"So, the 12th of May? Okay. No? Okay, the 5th of April? Okay. No? The 16th of March? Okay. No? Okay, the 12th of May? Okay, No? Okay, how's the 1st of August? Listen, uh, let me get back to you on this...."

Would he be higher up than the army’s Chief of Staff General Ludwig Beck?

Coming from this article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Resistance

You'd think a guy would stop keeping diaries where he wrote about how he was committing treason. Shame.

For some reason that I can't fathom pop culture has lauded Rommel as a "good German" even though he was a strong supporter of Hitler and was complicit in the Holocaust (though thanks to his failures the planned murder of Jews in mandatory Palestine didn't happen). He wasn't even a participant in the July 20 plot, but because he was executed due to his tangential relationship to it he often gets mentioned as a part of it.

Meanwhile people who actually resisted Hitler, like Canaris or von Tresckow or Oster get short shrift.

Evil can never triumph as long as good men sacrifice all to oppose it.

winners write history.

Stop. Just stop with that shit.

And a regime that emphasizes genocide and ethnic cleansing is pretty goddamn evil by any metric

Like the final bullet

He is saying if the Nazi weren't defeated early the scope of the war would grow into a massive war that would take years to end like it did

Executed just one month before the surrender of Germany. That's terribly unfortunate.

Probably was smart to keep some evidence of his treason so that if the war ended with a Nazi defeat, he could show them to the allies and be like 'see I was good guy', and avoid some nuremburgian mishaps.


The guy who shot Hitler was pretty high up.

If the Germans were to successfully invade the Netherlands, then for the Netherlands to win the war they would have to push the Germans back across a body of water which would be a lot harder, take longer, and cost more lives than if they prevented the Germans from establishing a foothold on the Netherlands to begin with.

protracted war

early victory

I'm kind of confused here

Military operations get delayed all the time because everything isn't in place yet. 20 times is a lot, though.

That is a phrase I have not heard in a long time.

I wouldn't say merkel is good or bad just yet, history is always the best judge. Usually takes a couple generations before we can objectively view the data.

Hello, doctor, hospital?! Won't do any good?! Eleven times?!

They weren't his tactics at all, Guderian literally wrote a book on Blitzkrieg, and it wasn't really a tactic at all, rather a somewhat traditional doctrine that included the use of fast armor and motorized supply lines, and the only reason it sort of worked was because France and Britain early in the war figured the whole affair would just be like WWI v. 2.0 with static trenches

IIRC he didn't have much of a choice because he needed protect Germany's access to oil [1] from the apparently inevitable Russian invasion. It seems it was a case of "offense is the best defense".

[1] http://history.stackexchange.com/questions/71/why-did-hitler-attack-the-soviet-union-when-he-was-...

Nein its not!

I'd have an extremely secretive hiding place for my anti-Nazi themed Diary though

when the genocidal side wins they call it manifest destiny.

Context is important here. By this point Germany had already occupied/invaded the Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, the rest of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark and Norway (the last 2 I believe were also warned and somewhat ignored it). If you couldn't see that his plans were to take over the whole continent your head was in the sand, especially from the German perspective and especially because some of the explicit plans to do so had been spread to the upper levels of the Wehrmacht.

From his perspective I think he knew if the Dutch/French/Belgians/anyone handed the Nazis a loss they would struggle to maintain momentum and would give the British time to bring in more reinforcements. The speed of the Blitzkrieg just stunned everyone.

Because what happens when you lose the war, are captured as a POW, and put on trial for your crimes? You have at least something you can point to that will help you support your innocence.

John Tyler

To be competent, you need to be honest, humble

Why do you have to be honest and humble to be a competent human being? Real life is not a movie

Is there anyone that doesn't see evil in expansionist America? I don't know what your education was, but at no point in mine did we ever try to justify the actions of the US when expanding, or say that they were anything less than genocide.

His inexplicable decision to open up a second front in Russia did almost unquestionably lose him the war, though

Hitler consistently made /terrible/ strategic decisions and insisted on micromanaging the war. He never got along with Germany's military leadership, which never liked him in return. The Germany military's spectacular successes in 1939 and 1940 were followed by one blunder after another, with Hitler often meddling in military affairs.

Hitler was a supremely gifted populist politician and master of consolidating personal power. He was a shit military leader.

pretty sure modern warfare was born in 2007 mate, not before the end of ww1.

Also, this wasn't really believed by the French and English. By the end of WW1, most of the fighting was done out of the trenches, and modern warfare was really born. German storm troopers practiced flank routs aided by suppressive fire, and began with strafing fire tactics. The French actually used blitzkrieg tactics in WW1, before the Germans. French Renault tanks (panzer like) were in important factor in the end of the Great War

Question: Who was the highest ranking Nazi who Sabotaged the war effort? Was it Oster?

Sounds like me playing Civ

Seriously. Can you imagine getting caught and told you will hang because your supervisor decided to write a book about it?

The nazis were aware that the abwehr wasn't 100% loyal. The abwehr offices were broken into by the SS intelligence services.

Canaries, the head of the abwehr, was also anti-Nazi. Reinhard Hedrick Heydrich was assassinated by the British because they were afraid that he would take over the abwehr duties which meant one less intel source.

Hitler saw the war in terms of his personal rivalry with Stalin and he decided to attack the city...

Hitler then ordered the 6th Army to advance towards Stalingrad and to take the city, even though it lacked strategic value. Hitler was fixated by the idea of capturing Stalingrad and it became his personal obsession. This led him to ignore the reality on the ground and his general's advice. His foolishness lead to the destruction of the German 6th army. Not only had Hitler divided his forces, but he also allocated too little men and material to the capture of Stalingrad. It was usually accepted at the time and since that an attacking force needs to have at least a 3 to one advantage over the defenders in order to achieve their goals. The Germans did not the necessary numerical advantage over the Soviets. This made the 6th army’s prospect of success very uncertain.

Furthermore, Hitler in his obsession to seize the city meant that he was not fully aware of the situation around the city. For example, German forces had been unable to push back Soviet forces during the series of battles known as the Kolton Operations. This left the Germans exposed on their flanks as they pressed further into the city. Because Hitler divided the German forces, the flank of the 6th army was insufficiently protected. Poorly trained Romanian and Italian forces guarded the flanks and many German commanders privately believed that they could not protect their rear from Soviet attack. Hitler’s determination to capture Stalingrad meant that he dispatched the 6th army on a mission that was unlikely to achieve its objectives and placed it at great risk. Hitler's interference hampered the 6th Army's throughout the siege of Stalingrad. Hitler's style of leadership was the complete opposite of Stalin's. The Soviet leader, had reformed the Soviet High Command, the Stavka, and granted ‘more autonomy and independence’ to capable generals such as Zhukhov. The leader of the Soviet Union had learned lessons from the early days of Operation Barbarossa. He let his generals do the fighting and draw up the strategies needed to beat the Germans.

shit son century and a half is long enough. I mean look at all the stuff done happen since Bismarck

I'm listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and one fascinating thing I learned was that in Mein Kampf, Hitler described his plans to first take control of all surrounding lands with German people (which he did), then invade and defeat France (which he did), then go east and occupy vast amounts of land for the German people to later colonize (which is exactly what he did). Every step of the way, the world was shocked by his actions, even though the book he wrote many years before described his plans from beginning to end.

a double agent is someone who you think is spying for you, but is infact pretending to spy for you and feeding you false information (deliberatly, and thus working for your enemy)

Exactly. It was a sort of forced gamble. Nazi ressources were spread incredibly thin. This eas after all a single country coming out of a recession trying to seize as much as they could. Tank warfare was the name of the game. Germany got its oil from the soviets. If the soviets invaded because the nazu were busy west, they lost. If the soviets just decided to stop selling them oil, the war machine crumbled.

Thus the only way to ensure a continuous supply was to grab it from the source.

I love time-related facts like this. Like the fact that James Madison's John Tyler's grand kids are still alive.

Actually it was Bismarck himself who set the stage for Hitler, although not on purpose. Bismarck supported his emperor and hated the idea of a parliament made up of idiots, but because a totalitarian empire was not possible he therefore changed the constitution so that parliament could make up the rules but whenever the emperor didnt like it he could change it. This set up was partially kept through the Weimar republic with the emperor being replaced by a president who could grab power through the emergency decree. So you could argue that Hitler came to power because Bismarck refused to give power to the people.

You pretty much summed up my opinion right there. Not that Rommel was as bad as many but its weird that he is front and foremost on the "good Nazi" list when their were active anti-Nazis in the Nazi party who died trying to save Jewish lives.

She is lucky the bar for "worst German leader" is set very high.

Then by your definition evil never triumphs. Right?

Then his ghost teabag the corpse while saying "GG EZ"

You'd think. But the Germans were so methodical.

He actually realised it was a bad idea to write about his treason in his diary, as noted in his Diary of Bad Ideas And Other Treasonous Thoughts

Back to back records for largest human catastrophe in history.

Amphetamines are what did it. Hitler was geetered out like a common scrap metal thief. If he wasn't it might have gone differently.

The consensus now is actually that most Germans did know about the camps. And suppression of ideas at a state level is an entirely different factor than "the winners writing history". You're allowed to write about the Clean Wehrmacht and other nonsense, you'd just be fucking wrong. "Winners writing history" is a flimsy bullshit excuse revisionists throw around to cover the fact that that have barely any reliable sources. History, real history, is written by historians, not state propaganda houses.

The Battle of Stalingrad was basically Hitler pulling troops from the main German thrust to fight a battle for a secondary objective (at best) hundreds of miles away because it had "Stalin" in it's name.

Is it linked to your Dropbox or evernote account?

Rommel is mentioned because he was a superior military officer who is studied in military school. No one educated ever claimed he was a good person

Plus the guy who can simultaneously read an article about india and shut the fuck up about civilization.

Found the Abwehr officer!

Well if your sabotage works and your side looses you would certainly like some proof of your work before they hang. Every action and inaction has risk that you have to weigh out.

edit, wrong your

Caesar? Ask 100 people on the streets about him the answers you'll get will be: who or mistaken for julius caesar.

Well yeah, there have been a lot of people called "Caesar" you'll have to be a lot more specific than that.

World War I wasn't really​ started by Germany. And who started it is irrelevant, it would have happened anyway.

Good tactic tho. In your own had plan it to happen in a couple months. Tell people is happening 2 months sooner and keep 'delaying' it

That you could arguably blame on Austria for both as well.

No, we call it genocide. The Trail of Tears is a ubiquitous lesson in American History, and every teacher I know of teaches it with all the information necessary to label it as one of the worst crimes in global history.

Manifest destiny wasn't genocide, it was a cause of genocide.

So in laymen's terms, Hitler micromanaged the 6th and, just like all micromanagers, fucked himself in the ass for it.


inb4 allies were just as bad as the axis or even worse?

Hear Hear for Merkel! Excellent positive post about her. This coming from an American that admires her no drama style of doing things.

On his Wiki page, under allegiance, it notes Nazi Germany. Surely that shouldn't be the case if he was actively undermining them?

Thank you! So much terrible pop history on reddit sometimes. Now for the insane "every nazi was a drug addict and that explains everything to happen in ww2" argument.

*I'd also like to add, generals like von Manstein wrote influential books after the war that helped shape the narrative of an incompetent Hitler and a clean Wehrmacht.

hahah. "She's not as bad as hitler", yeah..

I think it's odd that Germany is honestly doing very well economically yet Merkel is supposedly a bad leader. Aside from the refugee crisis what has Merkel done poorly (Honest question)

Right? We call it "manifest destiny" but even my public school teachers didn't hesitate to label it as ruthless and genocidal.

How much of the bad things that the allies did get talked about. Every history class I've taken from k-12 glossed over our the camps we put the Japanese in.

Caesar? Ask 100 people on the streets about him the answers you'll get will be: who or mistaken for julius caesar.

a lack of reason to do additional research limits what most people will know.

Since the world isn't one unified country it's impossible for the winners to write history but their certainly influencing it within their spheres of influence and I see plenty of proof of that everyday.

There is a great book about just how much better the English spying operation was during WWII, than the almost farcical German operation.

Double Cross - The True Story of the D Day Spies Is his book I read, he also has some others focusing on espionage during WWII.

You just triggered Reddit

They need to build trump's wall out of all these emails that no one can seem to get over

Have you ever heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise?

Urgh, no originality at all

it's hard to win at a world war when your midlaner belongs in bronze.

Hitler was geetered out like a common scrap metal thief.

That is the best line ever.

A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Dunkirk and stalingrad are the best examples of Hitler meddling in military affairs.

Then you are lost!

Pictured here, you know, just thinkin' bout stuff.

I watched 'The Longest Day' on Netflix yesterday.

I don't know what's historically accurate or not, but I assumed the delay in sending the reserve Panzers was real. All because Hitler has to personally 'release' them, had taken a sleeping pill and told no one to wake him up no matter what.

Can you imagine being in an active war and large strategic decisions are made by one guy who seems to .... not give a fuck.