The conduct of reprisals by the German army of occupation in the southern USSR, 1941-1943 / by Truman Oliver Anderson III.
This dissertation explores the conduct of reprisals against the civil population of the Ukraine by the German army of occupation during the Second World War. The study examines a particular German military jurisdiction--the rear area of Army Group South--and evaluates the behavior of German forces there within the larger history of military violence to civilians both in the Second World War and throughout the modern period. It provides an operational history of the command, and relates the conduct of reprisals there to other aspects of German military government, including economic policy, inter-allied relations, and most importantly, to the extermination of the Jews of the Soviet Union. Throughout, the dissertation assesses the relative importance of National Socialist racial ideology and the norms of Western counterinsurgency methods in shaping the army's actions towards the ethnically diverse population of the southern USSR. The study first addresses the question of the civilian's growing importance as an object of military violence since the Enlightenment, and follows the development of the international law of war through the 1977 protocols to the Geneva Conventions. It then examines the manner in which National Socialist racial dogmas colored the occupation policies of the German armed forces in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, calling special attention to the pervasive sympathy of the military leadership for the core objectives of the Hitler regime. The remainder of the dissertation examines in depth the development of reprisal doctrine and practice within the rear area of Army Group South from the beginning of the campaign in the USSR until the reconquest of the Ukraine by Soviet forces in the fall of 1943. The study places special emphasis on the manner in which reprisal instructions filtered down from the high command and were actually interpreted and implemented by small units in the field. The dissertation reaches the conclusion that the reprisal outcome in this jurisdiction was the result of many complex factors, including ideological radicalization of warfare, command personality, and the particular political and tactical circumstances surrounding individual episodes of reprisal.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:46:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/bib40106