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Eisenhower, Berlin, and the National Redoubt

Jeff Korte, M.A. Candidate
Department of History,
University of Saskatchewan

Preface:

This article, in two parts, will focus upon the strategic decisions of the western allied forces during the final months of the Second World War. Specifically, the decision by SHAEF to abandon a drive to Berlin and concentrate its armies against the remaining German forces clustered in southern Germany.
Part One will provide a short history and discuss in brief the reasons SHAEF provided for their decision to leave Berlin to the Soviet Red Army, while Part Two will concentrate upon one of the often overlooked reasons SHAEF saw the German forces in the south a greater target than the German capital; specifically, the feared establishment of a inner fortress position within the German, Austrian and Italian Alps, generally referred to as the German National Redoubt.

These discussions are separate yet intricately linked. It is difficult to discuss one without referring to the other, as SHAEF had two choices before them after pushing forward into Central Germany: North, which included Berlin, or South, which included the National Redoubt. By discussing the merits of either target, one is forced to examine the evidence provided in support for the other target.

Part One: The Allies and Berlin

The failure of the western allied forces, under Supreme Allied Commander, American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, to capture Berlin during the Second World War has been a divisive issue among historians, politicians and military personnel both past and present since before the war ended. The ultimate consequences of the Allied actions during the war, both military and political, resulted in a divided Germany and a divided Europe during the Cold War that followed.1Eisenhower's critics tend to believe that he did not recognize the political importance that the capture of Berlin would entail, and that by allowing the Soviet Union to take the German capital, it provided them with a significant political advantage during the post-war period.2 The benefit that could have been achieved by Eisenhower racing the Soviets to Berlin remains unclear, as the post-war divisions had already been decided at the political level. Despite the enormous forces that Eisenhower had at his disposal, he was not in a position to make policy. Thus, the question of whether Eisenhower should have made an attempt to either take Berlin prior to the Soviets or join in the fighting for the city is largely moot. I believe that, with the political situation taken into consideration, along with the training and information that Eisenhower had at the time, he made the only decision he could regarding Berlin.

Eisenhower offered three reasons for his decision to abandon a northern advance to Berlin and instead target those remaining German forces in the south. First and foremost were the zones of occupation.Eisenhower himself had argued against these zones, specifically the placement of Berlin deep in the Soviet zone.4Once this decision had been made, however, all strategic planning at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) took these boundaries into consideration.5Although Eisenhower was willing to alter his plans if ordered to do so, there would be no such orders from Washington.6

Eisenhower and American General Omar Bradley, Commander of the 12th Army Group, also believed that the capture of Berlin would entail huge losses for the attacking forces. Critics have dismissed Bradley's estimate of 100,000 casualties as far too pessimistic, as it would mean a greater number of casualties than the Americans had suffered since landing at Normandy.7However, it should be noted that the Soviet Union placed their own casualties as over 300,000 in the two weeks of fighting from the Oder to the collapse of Berlin.8This number included killed, wounded and missing. Interestingly, recent western sources place the total casualties suffered by the Soviets as even higher.9

Besides the zones of occupation and the possible casualties, Eisenhower also offered the National Redoubt.10The Redoubt is generally overlooked in recent history, yet after the zones of occupation and possible casualties, it was the third reason given by Eisenhower for the shift of the allied forces to the south.11Indeed, Eisenhower appeared convinced during the final months of the war that Germany had only three remaining avenues of resistance available; a falling out among the Allies, the Werwolf movement, and the National Redoubt, all of which will be discussed in greater detail in Part Two of this article.12

Since their arrival on the beaches of Normandy in June, 1944, the German capital was considered the natural and expected target for SHAEF. Throughout the campaign into German-occupied Europe, Eisenhower had allowed for a Broad-Front strategy, pushing forward across the entire front, with the onus on his forces in the north. This approach allowed SHAEF to fully utilize their considerable manpower and equipment, but also forced the Germans to deploy their own troops and equipment along the entire front as well. With the increased mobility of the Allied forces, this arrangement helped to keep the German defenders off-balance.13 So great was the Allied success in the summer and fall of 1944, that their forces had managed to liberate most of France and considerable territory of Belgium and The Netherlands. By September, 1944, the Allies had managed to fight their way to the point their logistical services had planned for them to reach by May, 1945. Indeed, several allied intelligence summaries predicted an end to the war in late 1944.14 Regardless, critical shortages of gasoline and ammunition were beginning to slow the Allied forces.

German Leader Adolf Hitler apparently realized that the amount of supplies and gasoline that could flow through the Normandy area would not be sufficient to sustain the massive Allied formations for long. By leaving strong garrisons in place in many of the coastal harbours while the surrounding territory was overrun Hitler was able to forestall the Allied seizure of the much needed seaports. By September, Eisenhower was forced to repeatedly starve his southern armies of fuel and ammunition in order to continue pushing forward in the north.15 The major sea port of Antwerp, Belgium was captured by the Allies in September, but was not cleared and safe to receive supplies until the end of the following month. The incredible advance of the Allies was a double-edged sword.

As the Germans were forced back towards their own borders resistance began to stiffen. By November, the combat experience and the skill of the German Wehrmacht was beginning to show to such an extent that some in the Allied command were no longer sure about victory even in 1945. In addition, while the Allies were increasingly stretching their supply lines to the limit, the German supply lines shortened as they fell back closer to their own territory.16Regardless, by December the Allies had managed to push their way up to the German frontiers and the Rhine in some places, and were ready to continue into Germany itself. With the Russian winter offensive in the east gaining momentum, it apparently appeared to SHAEF that the Germans could do little but remain on the defensive.

On December 16th, however, the Western Allies were shocked when the Germans launched a major offensive against the thinly held junction of the Northern and Central Allied Army Groups through the Ardennes. Hitler apparently hoped to smash through the thinly held Allied lines and cut off the British and Canadian forces fighting in the north from their supply lines, and their American counterparts, and eventually destroy as many as thirty Allied divisions. Although Berlin itself was threatened by the Russian forces in the east, Hitler apparently realized that he could destroy as many as thirty Red Army divisions and it would make little difference, so great was the Russian advantage in manpower.17In the west however, the loss of thirty divisions would cripple the Allied war effort and allow the Germans time to turn their full attention to the east.18

The German Ardennes Offensive took the Western Allies completely by surprise.19Hitler had assembled some of his best remaining troops, consisting of just under thirty divisions, of which over ten were Panzer or Panzer Grenadier.20The Germans attacked in weather that negated the Allied air superiority and smashed through the thin Allied lines as SHAEF desperately tried to rush reinforcements to the area. Although the Allies were able to contain the offensive after their initial shock, the German forces managed to move over twenty miles into the allied lines virtually unopposed, with the battle raging until mid January, 1945. While the Allies managed to contain and eventually repulse this attack, the effect upon SHAEF confidence was significant, and although they were able to make up their losses with equipment and supplies coming in from America and Britain, their timetable had been set back six weeks.21

While the Allies were able to make up their losses in manpower and equipment, Hitler was not. By bleeding the other fronts white in an effort to regain the initiative against the Western Allies through the Ardennes, the German armed forces were now paying the price for their leader's gamble. Indeed, by January, 1945, the German situation on the Eastern Front was so desperate, the Russians outnumbered the German forces by a rate of ten to one, with a similar massive advantage in tanks, assault guns and other equipment. Before the Russian winter offensive reached the end of its supply lines in the middle of February 1945, the Red Army had crushed the German opposition and Soviet advance units had forced their way to the Oder River, the final natural obstacle in their path, and only thirty-five miles from Berlin.22

The Allied armies, having regained their balance after the shock of the Ardennes, had forced the remaining German defenders further back during February, and had managed to bring all of the army groups up to the Rhine. British General Bernhard Montgomery, commander of Eisenhower's northernmost Army Group, was making extensive preparations for an Allied crossing of this river into Germany proper. With the onus of the Allied advance remaining with Montgomery in the north, including priority of supply, both the Central and Southern Army Groups expected to remain for in position on the Rhine for several weeks in order to allow for regrouping.

The defensive strategy of the German Western Front, however, was shattered by the 12th Army Groups seizing of an intact bridge over the Rhine at Remagen on March 7th.23As mentioned, Eisenhower's basic plan had always proposed a broad front strategy, with the primary onus to be in the north. With this sudden and unexpected capture of a large bridge over the Rhine, Bradley was suddenly in a position to swiftly put troops across this major obstacle and into central Germany. American General George S. Patton also managed to force the Rhine further south a full day before Montgomery's planned crossing in the north.

Originally, Eisenhower wanted to use this bridgehead as a threat, pulling German defenders from their posts across from Montgomery in the north. However, although the Germans tried desperately to destroy this remaining bridge, Bradley was able to put five divisions across before its collapse, and had used this cover to build several temporary bridges in the immediate area.24 Although Montgomery still had a considerable force that jumped the Rhine several days later, Eisenhower was forced to decide which of his commanders would be able to best exploit their position, Montgomery or Bradley. Considering the deliberate preparations and cautionary methods of Montgomery, Eisenhower began to shift his strategy to Bradley in Central Germany.25Eisenhower believed that of the two, Bradley had the greater possibility of success in destroying enemy forces and bringing the war to a close.26 In short, due to Remagen, the focus on a northern advance shifted away somewhat to central Germany in hopes of exploiting this military windfall.

With the massive Allied crossing in the north underway, and a considerable Allied contingent forcing the Rhine at Remagen, Eisenhower was able to concentrate on eliminating one of the primary targets of the Allied Expeditionary Force since the planning for D-Day had begun, the Ruhr industrial basin. The Ruhr area was home to a majority of Germany's war-making heavy industry, and absolutely essential for any hope of Germany to continue the war. With the unexpected capture of the Remagen Bridge, the entire German defensive strategy had been thrown off-balance, and by the end of March this primary goal of surrounding and cutting off of the Ruhr industrial basin from the rest of Germany was completed. Allied intelligence believed that as many as 150,000 German soldiers were now trapped within the Ruhr area, and as a result, Eisenhower decided to devote considerable resources (eighteen divisions) to its destruction, although this further slowed the advance in the north. Eisenhower believed that this was simply too large a force to contain and bypass. By April 18th, the Ruhr forces surrendered, and it would be discovered that the Ruhr held not 150,000, but 317,000 German troops that were taken prisoner, including thirty general officers, which was not including those who fell during the three week battle.27

When initially given the task of leading SHAEF, Eisenhower had been given specific orders to follow. These orders specified him to drive into the heart of Germany and destroy its ability to resist.28 For Eisenhower, this included military targets, such as the German Armies in the field, and the industrial centres that supplied war material and kept Germany in the war, such as the Ruhr, and the German capital of Berlin.29With the destruction of the Ruhr pocket, the Allies effectively destroyed the German ability to defend themselves in the north, removing "twenty-one divisions and captur[ing] enormous quantities of supplies [from their order of battle.]"30

With such a massive defeat for the Germans in the north, and worrisome to Allied Intelligence, the vast majority of the still considerable remaining German Armed Forces were in the south. In the northern area, which included Berlin, remained approximately twenty to thirty German divisions including three to four Panzer divisions. In the south, which included the Redoubt zone, were over one hundred German divisions of which approximately thirty were Panzer divisions. It is important to mention that this total did not include the twenty to thirty divisions still fighting in the Italian theatre.31 These southern forces also included the vast majority of the remaining Luftwaffe regular and new jet forces.

Worse, Allied Intelligence had been reporting for several months that Berlin may not be the prize that it once was. Specifically, SHAEF had received voluminous amounts of information which stated that German military, government and Nazi Party offices and their staffs had been fleeing Berlin for the area around Berchtesgaden, Hitler's retreat in the German Alps. While this intelligence stated that most of the German agencies had moved at least a skeleton staff into this area during February and early March, by the time the Ruhr had surrendered, these reports had confirmed that the flow of German officials from Berlin to the Berchtesgaden area had reached such a level that few departments were still operating in Berlin.

With Allied Intelligence relatively clear on the fact that Hitler was unlikely to capitulate even with the capture of Berlin, the possibility of the still considerable German forces remaining in the south putting up a final stand in the German Alps had to be taken into consideration.32Worse, while Hitler's exact whereabouts were still unclear even at this late stage, the Allies had been able to pinpoint other important Nazi figures, such as Herman Goering, head of the Luftwaffe and Hitler's publicly chosen successor, and Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, as being either in the Berchtesgaden area or setting up command posts there. Allied Intelligence had confirmed that significant construction activity and what appeared to be massive convoys of supplies had been flowing into the southern region for some time. For SHAEF, it appeared that the Nazis had all but abandoned Berlin, and were preparing a last-ditch stand in the Alps.

With the Allied armies making significant headway across Central Germany, it was only a matter of time before Germany was cut in two by the Allies from the west and the Soviets from the east. The question facing Eisenhower was whether, with this final meeting of the allies looming, to turn north in the direction of Berlin and assist Montgomery's forces, or turn south in the direction of Berchtesgaden and the remaining cluster of German forces. Eisenhower decided to swing his forces south, leaving the battle of Berlin to the Soviet forces, and order his northern armies to halt at the Elbe river, fifty miles from Berlin. Thus, to SHAEF, the mass of forces in the south must have appeared to be a credible and significant threat.33

Considering the political implications the capture of the German capital would entail, the objections were swift in coming, particularly from the British. British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, along with the British Chiefs of Staff and Montgomery, were unhappy with Eisenhower's decision, as any drive for Berlin would be primarily in the British force's frontlines to the north, as well as the political and psychological importance of Berlin.34The American Chiefs of Staff disagreed, believing that Eisenhower's strategy was sound.35With the American forces outnumbering their own by almost three to one, the British were simply not in a position to force the issue, particularly after Churchill had agreed with the other Allied leaders to place Berlin in the Soviet zone of occupation.

There has been some discussion among historians to include personal factors into the debate, such as the relationship between Eisenhower and Montgomery. Some historians believe that Montgomery's behaviour during the Ardennes Offensive and the public statements that he made following this battle led to a serious rift among the Allied Command. This appears to be borne out as some post-war memoirs and personal histories make clear.36 It apparently appeared to the American commanders, particularly Eisenhower and Bradley, that Montgomery implied he had to come to the rescue of the American forces in the Ardennes. Some historians argue that the personal rift between Eisenhower and Montgomery caused the former to be somewhat predisposed to any reason to keep Montgomery out of the headlines further. Montgomery's arrogance and lack of tact was legendary, and was disparaged by even some of his staunchest supporters.37 The personalities of both Eisenhower and Montgomery do provide some support for such theories. This remains speculation of course, as none of the parties involved cared to comment in detail on such matters, although some historians have correctly offered up such disagreements as food for thought.38

Regardless, Eisenhower, perhaps in keeping with his orders to destroy military and industrial targets, refused to consider a target with only political significance. Eisenhower repeatedly stated that his strategy was flexible, and he was prepared to target any area chosen by his superiors.39 However, few such orders were forthcoming. The physically weakened American President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not dispute the actions of Eisenhower, nor did the American Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall and the rest of the American Staff.40 Newly appointed President Harry S. Truman was apparently not in a position to challenge the general course of strategy laid out by Eisenhower.41All often stated that events on the ground usually outraced their ability to offer specific orders to Eisenhower, and were content to propose general guidance alone.42

Many of America's allies would later comment after the war on the single-mindedness of the American Command with strictly military affairs, often refusing to take political matters into consideration at all.43 Eisenhower was apparently conscious of political necessities, albeit in his own fashion. For example, Eisenhower was aware of the American government and military's need for the bulk of American forces to be concentrated against Japan as soon as possible. In this regard, an end to the war in Europe as soon as could be managed would free up countless divisions and material for the Pacific Theatre. With the atomic bomb still an uncertainty, the war with Japan was expected to continue for some time after the collapse of Germany. Allied political leaders had already made a concerted effort to bring the Soviet Union into the war with Japan, and Eisenhower apparently made an effort to avoid any last minute complications.

Regardless, one of the primary reasons given by Eisenhower were the future zones of occupation for the Allied forces in Germany. These areas had already been decided at the political level, which placed Berlin deep in the future Soviet zone.44 Eisenhower had cabled Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin on March 31st regarding his intentions to leave Berlin to the Soviets and attempt to stop those forces that appeared to be massing in the south.45In his message, Eisenhower stated that Berlin has lost its former strategic importance, and that he planned to head further south with his forces. Stalin agreed with Eisenhower's claim for Berlin, and stated that the Soviet High Command would allot only secondary forces to its capture.46 This was not borne out by events, as Stalin ordered a massive assault to capture the city, allegedly fully recognizing Berlin's importance in political terms.47For Stalin, "Berlin was a symbolic reward for the immense sacrifices they had made . . . his people would see an Allied entry into Berlin ahead of the Russians as a resounding slap in the face. Newly-discovered archives have shown he was quite ready to shoot his way into . . . Berlin, if necessary, through an American advance guard."48Unlike Berlin in the north, the majority of the remaining German forces were in the south in the future American zone and therefore would primarily be an American problem.

Both Eisenhower and Bradley have pointed out their concern over Allied casualties in an expected house-to-house battle for Berlin. Bradley believed that Berlin would cost as many as 100,000 Allied casualties.49 As he stated after the war, this was a pretty stiff price to pay for a prestige target. However, it is interesting to note that the Soviet Union placed their own casualties for taking Berlin much higher than Bradley's estimate.50Some Soviet soldiers reportedly did not appear impressed by the decision to sweep into Berlin, and stated that it was not needed for the outcome of the war and incredibly costly for the Soviet troops. Historian Stephen Ambrose, who had done extensive research with Allied veterans, pointed out that the general mood of the American soldiers he spoke to was that if the Russians wanted to get involved in "the ultimate street fight, that was their business."51Thus, Allied casualties would be heavier if Eisenhower attempted to race the Soviet Army to Berlin first before moving south into the future American zone of occupation.

Even though Eisenhower apparently took the future zones into consideration, the Allied armies managed to fight their way up to the Elbe river before being ordered to halt. This already placed them deep into the future Soviet zone. Interestingly enough, the zones of occupation were known to Hitler and the upper echelons of the German Command. Hitler was allegedly delighted at the movement of the Western Allies up to the Elbe River, and believed this was the beginning of the break up of the Allies.52 Eisenhower, however, was simply moving up to an easily recognizable stopping point and did not move past this, apparently much to the chagrin of both Hitler and some of Eisenhower's subordinates.

While the Western Allies had been increasingly concerned over Soviet failures to live up to past agreements, the continued existence of the Nazis kept them together.53 Undeniably, when the Western Allies and the Soviet armies met in Germany, there were often serious suspicions of each other. Indeed, the Soviets allegedly appeared to expect a renewal of hostilities with their allies.54Certainly, after having communicated directly with Stalin his intention to leave Berlin to the Soviet forces, a sudden dash for the city would have made the situation between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies worse.

Eisenhower was mindful that the Soviet Union was also aware of the possibility of Hitler fleeing Berlin for Berchtesgaden. The Soviets were also apparently deeply suspicious of the strategic oddities of German defence and the mass of forces to the south, as well as the flow of government, political and military assets moving from Berlin to the German Alps, and appeared to also believe the Nazis would conduct a final stand in this area.55 When asked previously what Soviet forces would do if Hitler fled into the Alps, Stalin's reply was a curt, "We shall follow him."56 Bradley appeared to share Eisenhower's appraisal of the situation, and did not want to drive for Berlin, then have the Red Army continue south and force the Allies to make Southern Germany "a test of Russian compliance with the zonal agreement."57By striking south, Eisenhower was able to clear the American zone, while, as mentioned, still placing his forces on the Elbe River, deep in the Soviet zone.58

The massive Soviet offensive to capture Berlin commenced as the Allied advance forces were perched on the Elbe River, some fifty miles from Berlin themselves. Launched from their positions on the east bank of the Oder River, the Red Army pushed through the remaining German defences and had both surrounded and entered the city itself between April 22nd and April 25th. After approximately two months of building up their forces and moving supplies and troops into position, the estimated strength of the Soviet forces facing Berlin was approximately 2.5 million troops, over 6000 tanks and other self-propelled guns, and over 7500 combat aircraft.59Facing this Soviet onslaught was approximately one million German troops of varying effectiveness.60 Although some later critics point out that Eisenhower had troops at the Elbe at this point, about the same distance from Berlin as the Soviets, and should have made a quick run for the German capital, this was primarily the American 2nd Armoured division, of approximately 50,000 troops in total, all at the feathered edge of their supply lines.

Having made his decision not to flee to Berchtesgaden on April 22nd, Hitler committed suicide on April 30th in his Berlin bunker, with the Red Army only a few hundred metres away. News of his death was broadcast to the German forces the following day. On May 2nd, Berlin officially fell to the Soviet forces after weeks of ferocious fighting that was not only street-to-street and house-to-house, but even room-to-room. Although the exact estimate of Russian casualties during the battle for Berlin is unclear, the Soviet Union, as mentioned, placed the number of killed and wounded at far over Bradley's 100,000 estimate. Also as mentioned, this number of casualties was higher than the Western Allies had sustained in the entire eleven month campaign from Normandy to the German Unconditional Surrender. Two months after Berlin fell to the Red Army at such a great cost, the Western Allies took control of their agreed upon sectors of the German capital, at no cost to themselves.

Part Two: The Allies and the National Redoubt

During the final months of the Second World War, the belief that Hitler might flee the German capital of Berlin to a fortified Alpine position in the south was a serious consideration within SHAEF. This position became known as the German National Redoubt, or Alpenfestung (Alpine Fortress) as it was called by those Germans involved. According to Allied Intelligence, this Redoubt would hold considerable foodstuffs and military supplies built up over the preceding months and would even include entire weapon production facilities. Hitler would rely upon his personal guard, the fanatical Shutzstaffel (SS), and chosen Wehrmacht units, to man the carefully prepared defensive positions. Within this fortified terrain, Hitler would be able to forestall any Allied victory and cause tremendous difficulties for the occupying Allied forces throughout Germany.

While the German capital was considered the natural and expected target for the Allied armed forces since their arrival on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944, Berlin was relegated to secondary status in the closing months of the war.61Eisenhower instead sent the bulk of his forces through the centre of Germany, and cut the remaining German territory in half to prevent further German forces from withdrawing into this allegedly fortified alpine zone, before ordering his armies to swing south and overrun the Redoubt zone itself. While the Russian Red Army was waging its historic battle for Berlin in late April and May of 1945, the Allied armies were sent charging into southern Germany, attacking a Redoubt that simply did not exist.

This last statement obviously requires some explanation. The National Redoubt, specifically as early Allied intelligence described it, filled with crack SS units and complete with hundreds of defensive positions linked by a maze of tunnels, did not exist. Bradley stated in his postwar memoirs that the Redoubt "grew into so exaggerated a scheme that I am astonished we could have believed it as innocently as we did. But while it persisted, this legend of the Redoubt was too ominous a threat to be ignored."62 During his postwar interrogation, the German officer placed in charge of the Redoubt defences, General Georg von Hengl, believed that the Allies suffered from what he termed as "Redoubt psychosis."63 Eisenhower had pointed out after the war that his staff was soundly professional and not a "group of people that gives way to hysterical emotion."64 Yet SHAEF was concerned enough about the Redoubt to give this possible threat as one of three reasons to shift their main thrust away from Berlin to Southern Germany in April 1945. Eisenhower, in his final report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, stated that although the Redoubt was ultimately not to be the final seat of the Nazi government;

. . . the possibility remained that it would still be the scene of a desperate stand by the fanatical elements of the armies [once Germany had been cut in two by the Allies] together with those which might retreat northward out of Italy . . . The conquest of the Redoubt area thus remained as an important objective of the Allies, despite the collapse of the rest of Germany . . . In the event of determined resistance, its reduction would constitute a formidable problem . . .65
It is also interesting to note the reaction of SHAEF's Chief of Intelligence, British General Kenneth Strong, whose post-war comments are key to understanding the hold the Redoubt would come to have on the Allied intelligence network. Strong was considered one of the best intelligence officers in the Allied forces, yet even he stated that considering the complete shock achieved by the Germans with the Ardennes Offensive, he was loathe to take any more chances with the Germans, even if the Redoubt proved a myth.66 Stephen E. Ambrose, a historian with a long and scholarly interest in Eisenhower and the Second World War, described some of the early intelligence produced by SHAEF concerning the Redoubt to be "the worst intelligence reports of all time, but no one knew that in March of 1945, and few even suspected it."67 Bearing in mind the advanced state of collapse within the German Reich during the final months of the war, the question of why SHAEF considered the Redoubt a more pressing concern than capturing the German capital remains.

As discussed in Part One, Eisenhower's decision to abandon a northern advance to Berlin and instead target those remaining German forces in the south was explained in a variety of ways. Many of the reasons supplied by SHAEF are identical to those given for targeting the Redoubt zone in the south. For example, the capture of the Remagen bridge and the subsequent capture of the Ruhr, which gave the Allies a considerable beachhead into central, not northern, Germany, while removing a significant number of divisions from the German Order-of-Battle from the north. As well, the future zones of occupation, which placed Berlin deep in the future Russian zone, also placed the remaining German forces massing in the Redoubt area in the future American zone. Thus, if the Redoubt were to become operational, it would be primarily an American problem. Bradley pointed out after the war that leaving Berlin to the Russians should never have been an issue. The Americans wanted to clear out their zone of occupation, not the Russian zone. Also in Part One, Eisenhower appeared convinced that the Germans had only three remaining avenues of resistance available; a falling out among the Allies, the Werwolf-Guerrilla movement, and the National Redoubt.68The National Redoubt, also rumoured to be the base of operations for the Werwolf movement, was also to be in the south. Thus, Eisenhower was able to address all three of these remaining avenues of resistance by shifting his forces south.

While the Redoubt did not take the form SHAEF was expecting, this is not to say there was nothing in the area at all, and most certainly the Redoubt zone itself did pose a particular military threat. The natural terrain of the area heavily favoured the defender. There were some defensive positions completed on the northern approaches and the southern defences, originally designed for the Italian theatre, were complete. Thus, with a determined force and a little time to prepare, the Redoubt zone would be a significant problem for attacking forces.

Indeed, the Wehrmacht had made extensive surveys of the Alpine area. Most were done in 1943 as Italy was knocked out of the war and the Allies were landing forces in southern Italy. The Wehrmacht was ordered to do extensive planning for a defence in depth of the southern Italian Alps, believing that the Allies would move swiftly up the Italian nation.69The Allies faltered, however, and Hitler was able to rush considerable German forces into Italy, holding the Allied armies far away from the alpine approaches. As the Allies slowly inched their way up the Italian peninsula between 1943-1944 these original plans for such defences began to once again gain credence.70 As a result, the construction of a defence in depth with fortified positions and stores of equipment was begun in early 1944. These positions were completed and ready for use that same year. Although they originally had no relation to the Redoubt plan as a whole, both the Germans and the Allies would later see their existence as perfectly fitting in with the feared Redoubt. By 1945, the Italian campaign forced the Allied troops to fight in increasingly mountainous terrain, where their superiority in material and equipment was largely negated.71 During the Allied Chiefs of Staff Conference on February 5th, 1945, it was concluded that the terrain so favoured the defending Wehrmacht forces that it would be possible for the Germans to withdraw ten divisions to other fronts (approximately one-third of their forces) and it would not give the Allies a significant advantage.72

Any discussion of the Redoubt must take into consideration where Eisenhower was getting his information about the proposed Alpine Fortress, and it is here that the most serious miscalculations lie. The various intelligence services that provided the Allied commanders with their data regarding German intentions have become, in the post-war decades, the favoured target for any discussion regarding the Redoubt. Both the military and civilian intelligence sections failed to properly recognize the Redoubt for the chimera it truly was.73 It should be noted that the failure of the intelligence systems was not that they were reporting the Redoubt threat, as all information on the enemy's situation and possible future actions was important, but that they should have been able to prove that it did not exist in the manner that was feared.74 As late as May 1st, 1945, less than a week before the unconditional surrender of the German forces, some of the Allied intelligence summaries were concerned that activity was increasing in the Redoubt zone, yet admitted that the reports coming in were still inconclusive and unconfirmed.

The Allied intelligence system during the war, according to some involved, was flawed.75 Some of the more spectacular failings include, for example, the hedgerows of Normandy. Here the Germans slowed the Allies to a crawl even after the British warned the Americans that this unique terrain had been used to great effect by the British and French forces in their evacuation from France in 1940, and these warnings went largely unheeded. As well, there was also the failure of intelligence officers to warn the Allied forces during Operation Market-Garden that considerable German armoured forces were in the area undergoing re-fitting.76 Also, there was the failure in intelligence to foresee the German Offensive through the Ardennes during the months of December 1944 and January 1945. In every instance it was later discovered that enough evidence existed to show the German intentions, particularly in the Ardennes, but was simply not properly seen for what it was.77 The blame for such failures certainly cannot be placed upon any specific individual, but possibly on the inexperience of the Allied system when dealing with such problems.78 The fog of war notwithstanding, it should be noted that such criticisms come not only from historians with the luxury of hindsight, but several key individuals involved with Allied Intelligence writing after the war.

So voluminous was the intelligence provided, that one former intelligence officer stated that its quantity eventually spoiled the Allied Command.79 The shock of the Ardennes Offensive, however, coming when the Germans were considered incapable of carrying out such an attack, appeared to have prepared the Allied command and their intelligence networks for the Redoubt myth. As stated, Strong later wrote in his memoirs that his own "view about the National Redoubt, was that it might not be there, but that we nevertheless had to take steps to prevent it being established. After the Ardennes, I was taking no more chances with the Germans."80 Considering the complete surprise achieved by the Germans, it is perhaps more easily explainable that the Allies would believe the Germans capable of another logistical miracle, this time in the Alps.

As early as February 18th, 1945, SHAEF also concluded that "there [was] some slight evidence of a determination to hold an inner fortress in the Austrian Alpine provinces."81 Included in this early report is the determination to track certain German units, specifically:

 
[w]here panzer, panzer grenadier, parachute, and especially SS divisions are concentrated, however, fanatical resistance will undoubtedly be met with. Indeed, any abnormal concentration of divisions should provide good evidence of the area where Nazi leaders plan to make a stand.82
This tracking of specific German units in order to determine where the Nazi leadership may force a final stand would become key to the Redoubt. This report also makes clear that, in the opinion of SHAEF, the capture of Berlin itself would not lead to a collapse of German resistance. Finally, they stated that while the actual readiness of the Redoubt was not known, "[t]he extent of the area held and the duration of German resistance would depend on how swiftly the Allies could penetrate this difficult country."83

In their own intelligence report of March 20th, Bradley's 12th Army Group stated that "[f]ield fortifications are reported in progress . . . [with] artillery depots [also being] reported,"84 along with a wide variety of other supplies being sent into the alpine zone. One week later, the 12th Army went into even greater detail, and stated that:

 
the [fortifications included] numerous vaults embedded in the natural elevations of the ground. Since April 1944 an increasing amount of ammunition has been coming into the vaults, with nothing leaving . . . A considerable amount of ammunition has also been stored above ground. . . Ground sources report an underground factory . . . (possibly for making flying bombs), [and another] underground factory . . . for the production of Messerschmidt engines and possibly for V-weapons . . . Ground sources report food supplies for 20,000 persons for 18 months, with arms and ammunition for an even longer period are stored in the erchtesgaden area. Each day about 450 trucks with supplies [were] going towards Berchtesgaden.85
One of the worst intelligence summaries concerning the Redoubt was submitted by SHAEF in their Weekly Intelligence Summary of March 11th, 1945. Within this report, Allied intelligence laid out the physical description of the proposed Redoubt, which they believed consisted of most of Austria, parts of Southern Germany and Northern Italy. Here, they stated that:
defended both by nature and by the most efficient secret weapons yet invented, the powers that have hitherto guided Germany will survive to organize [their] resurrection; here armaments will be manufactured in bombproof factories, food and equipment will be stored in vast underground caverns and specially selected corps of young men will be trained in guerrilla warfare, so that a whole underground army can be fitted and directed to liberate Germany from the occupying forces.86
This report expressed concern that "the main trend of German defence policy does seem directed primarily to the safeguarding of the alpine zone."873 As well, it stated specifically that air reconnaissance showed at least twenty sites of activity within the proposed Redoubt zone that appeared suspicious in nature, including fortifications and other preparations. SHAEF also continued to track German troop deployments, specifically that:
considerable numbers of SS and specially chosen units are being systematically withdrawn to Austria; that a definite allocation of each day's production of food, equipment and armaments is sent there; and that engineer units are being engaged on some type of defence activity at the most vital strategic points . . . It seems reasonably certain that some of the most important ministries and personalities of the Nazi regime are already established in the Redoubt area.88
This report is fascinating considering the complete overreaction to the Redoubt myth as seen in post-war light.89 While many of these suspected Redoubt facilities were not found in photoreconnaissance missions, some others were, thus adding to the confusion at SHAEF.90

Allen Dulles, Head of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) station in Switzerland, agreed that the area should be overrun as soon as possible. Dulles pointed out a crucial factor that he felt must be taken into consideration, specifically that while the Redoubt preparations are apparently increasing, it would not be necessary to complete the fortifications to make the Redoubt a threat. He stated that:

elaborate fortifications are not in themselves necessary to make a mountain area . . . a formidable fortress if defended by resolute men with training in mountain warfare [and] . . . fanatical SS divisions. The forces which are defending the Rhine and Berlin are very possibly being sacrificed to gain a few weeks more for
the gathering together of the chosen forces in the reduit.91
Due to the rapid advance of the Allied armies from both east and west, any planned defensive position in the Alps would need to be given time to prepare, and for SHAEF, Germany appeared to be taking specific concrete steps to protect the Redoubt zone.92 As the intelligence units were tracking the movement of the German forces, the German strategy appeared to be shielding the Redoubt area, with distinct patterns taking shape among the German defenders since the failure of the Ardennes Offensive, specifically, the location of some SS units and the concentration of German forces in the south. In the early Redoubt reports, it was thought that the SS would be taking their places within the Redoubt and their absence from the fighting was suspect.93 Allied Intelligence believed that it was possible that these forces were being held back while the Wehrmacht fought off the Allies long enough for the Redoubt to become operational. It was noticed prior to the Ardennes Offensive that several key SS divisions appeared to be missing.94 Their location was made very clear to the west when they attacked through the Ardennes. After this attack, however, the Allies again became suspicious when these divisions were absent from the front lines.95 And it is here that one of the major Redoubt mysteries came into play.

The absence of the various SS divisions immediately following the failed Ardennes Offensive is now clear. Badly mauled during the offensive, they were pulled back deep behind German lines. Unable to make up their losses in both manpower and equipment as quickly as in the past due to Germany's limited resources, they were effectively out of action for some time.96 It was not until March 6th that these forces were again to see action, being sent to southern Germany to attempt a relief of the German forces surrounded by the Red Army in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, which was also unsuccessful. This may appear as a standard and sound military tactic to send reinforcements to attempt a breakout of some of Germany's troops trapped by the Red Army. Yet from a strict military sense, sending them to relieve Budapest made absolutely no sense.

The SS divisions sent to relieve Budapest were among the best-equipped Panzer forces Hitler had at his disposal at this stage of the war.97 While the Italian front was holding, the western front was collapsing from the weight of the Allied onslaught. Worse, the Soviet Army was perched only thirty-five miles from Berlin and was expected at any time to launch a massive and final offensive to capture the German capital. Horribly outnumbered, the German forces facing the Red Army were desperate for any reinforcements that could be spared. Hitler's decision to send some of his best remaining forces to relieve the capital of Hungary while his own was on the verge of attack made absolutely no military sense at all, unless Hitler was looking to protect the Alpine region.98

This decision remained one of the most persuasive for the existence of a final German stand in the Redoubt, as Allied intelligence considered the Redoubt zone only 200 kilometres directly west from Budapest, although it would appear in hindsight that Hitler had little idea of the consequences of his decision.99 The inability of the Allies in explaining the SS deployment to Budapest was largely the same as their failure to predict an attack by these same forces in the Ardennes. This hinged upon the Allied estimation of "what the enemy would do on the basis of what skilled professional generals would do under such circumstances, and not what Adolf Hitler might do."100 Both the Allies and the Soviets could see absolutely no sense in the fighting in Budapest, unless the Redoubt was taken into consideration.101 The Allies might have reconsidered their position had they been aware of the position of the German General Staff, who apparently also saw Hitler's decision as horribly and utterly wrong.102

Regardless, after the failure of their attempt to relieve Budapest, and as still one of the best SS forces remaining, their movement in March and April showed a withdrawal westward into the Redoubt zone.103 It is understandable that the Allies would not realize that this force was not moving to the Redoubt for a final stand, but were attempting to save themselves from Soviet captivity by heading west. It was a simple coincidence that the Redoubt zone was in their path.

On April 11th, the same day that advance forces of the 12th Army Group reached the Elbe River, they reaffirmed the threat that the Redoubt could hold if the Allies did not overrun the area as soon as possible, as "[a]ll reports indicate that the Nazi Redoubt is rapidly becoming a reality."104 The Germans were believed to be making a last-ditch effort to supply the region. While they also admitted the Redoubt was apparently not yet fully operational, they reported that:

[g]round sources indicate that the guard detachment at Berchtesgaden has been doubled, possibly indicating the arrival of high-ranking personages. Large quantities of supplies are reportedly being accumulated. . . . Confirming the fact that the Redoubt may actually be in the process of activation, are tactical reconnaissance reports of April 10 showing approximately 2,000 vehicles headed towards Berchtesgaden.105
As mentioned in Part One, SHAEF was concerned with the apparent massing of the remaining German forces in the south, and by mid-April, they were able to see precisely where the German disposition was. As feared, there were only approximately twenty-nine Divisions in North-east Germany, of which "eight are panzer type divisions of low quality. No firm estimate of tank strength can be made but there might be as many as 500 tanks and assault guns in NW and NE Germany"106

However, there remained a total of 103 German divisions in the south, and the report was clear that this number did not include the twenty to twenty-five divisions still fighting in the Italian theatre. The trend of German defence that SHAEF had feared in March was now a certainty, with:

the greater part of the German Army to the south of the Allied wedge. Two thirds of the SS divisions and three quarters of the enemy armour are already there. Excluding the German Armies in Italy, the following approximate number of nominal divisions will be facing the Allied and Russian forces in the South:
     
    Central and SW Germany 25
    Protectorate and Austria 64
    Jugoslavia 14
    103 Divisions
Of these thirty are panzer type divisions, which might possibly dispose 2000 tanks and guns . . . If the Germans withdraw in Italy additional divisions will be available for the defence of Austria and the Redoubt area.107
This final massing of forces in the south, along with the bulk of the remaining SS and panzer forces, appeared as proof that the Nazis would attempt a final stand in the Redoubt area.

Allied Intelligence was still not clear as too precisely what was happening within the Redoubt zone, particularly from high-level signal intelligence such as ULTRA, the codename given to the decrypts of the German enigma machine. While decrypts indicating supplies and troops transfers to the alpine zone were intercepted, there was simply not enough signal traffic specifically concerning the alpine zone or mention of any Redoubt. As the Germans were still sending other high level signals, it could be logical for Allied intelligence to assume that the Redoubt plans were in fact a hoax. The Redoubt myth might have ended then and there, but apparently some Allied analysts apparently noticed a pattern.

The Ardennes Offensive was managed by Hitler while keeping the Allies largely in the dark. Although after this attack it was found that intelligence decrypts had information on the impending offensive, it was simply not seen at the time for what it was.108 Hitler had ordered a complete radio blackout for the German forces involved, and these forces were assembling within Germany proper, making the use of simple landlines possible.109

After the Ardennes, some Allied officers at SHAEF were now apparently unwilling to take any more chances.110 As a result, while some apparently believed that since signal intelligence was making no specific mention of a German Redoubt that it could not possibly exist, others pointed out the Ardennes Offensive, and believed that a lack of confirmation was suspicious on its own.111 As a former Allied Intelligence Analyst conducting research after the war, Ralph Bennett argued that such a case could be made. In his opinion, it was possible that intelligence staffs had by now "come to rely so heavily on high-level decrypts that they took the absence of unequivocal evidence that an attack was planned to be proof of the contrary."112

Regardless, the OSS, which relied more on human intelligence than signal decrypts, concurred on the Redoubt threat. By April, Dulles summarized the Redoubt intelligence in detail, and stated the OSS believed:

 
. . . there is evidence that considerable activity has recently developed . . .and that sufficient supplies and weapons have been stored in inner reduit to equip with light arms and feed approximately 25,000 men for period of year. Work on defence of important passes into reduit and on certain underground plants for light arms and on hidden depots has also been pushed . . . Hitler apparently not yet retired to reduit . . . Undoubtedly, many high Nazis have already decided in favour of reduit as evidenced by movement of their families to this area.113
The OSS were also able to follow the movement of German governmental, military and Nazi Party ministries and staffs into the region, and continued to report that the number of high-level command posts were increasing during March and April.

Bradley's 12th Army group also saw the Redoubt as a growing threat, and believed that the forces in their direct path will continue to fall back, under pressure, towards the Redoubt, to mount a last-ditch effort there. They did, however, realize that there did not appear to be much time remaining for these German forces to move into position in order to man the Redoubt.114 They summed up the danger of allowing German forces into the area unmolested, regardless of amount of supply completed at this date, and stated that the:

terrain in this area is truly the most rugged section of Europe, and is ideal for defence . . . In addition, 20,000 to 30,000 workers are said to be employed-presumably on defences. [However,] supply appears to be receiving more attention than defence. The Redoubt area is supposed to contain numerous underground factories, arsenals, airdromes and dumps. It has been suggested that these installations will make the area militarily self-sufficient. Aircraft factories are reported to exist capable of producing complete Messerschmitts. V-weapon factories, chemical warfare factories, aluminium refining plants and many other types of installation have been reported.115
SHAEF was apparently convinced that the German forces might fall back into this area and use the natural terrain and the supplies stockpiled thus far to continue the fight.116 At SHAEF headquarters, it would slowly emerge in April that the Redoubt was indeed largely unmanned, and the question of the Redoubt's operational level depended entirely on who would get to this area first, the remnants of the German forces, or the Allied armies. Considering that the Redoubt, as the Allies expected it, was simply not in existence, it is important to see how some of the Nazi elite were deliberately feeding Allied intelligence with false information.

The Redoubt offered up an intriguing opportunity for Joseph Goebbels, German Minister for Propaganda. Goebbels set up a special unit within his ministry to invent and spread rumours about an Alpenfestung, particularly how vast, prepared, and filled with food and equipment the rumoured fortress was.117 This unit was entirely self-contained and thus had little factual information, but Goebbels apparently delighted in making up entire stories about the Redoubt's existence just to confuse and annoy the Allies.118 By controlling the regular German press to say nothing about a Redoubt position while simultaneously sending out rumours to neutral governments and leaking plans himself, Goebbels was key in keeping the Redoubt myth alive and its purpose and state of readiness unclear. He also encouraged these rumours among his own countrymen, and by making the Redoubt an object of discussion among the regular troops, Goebbels was able to provide the Allies with further evidence of the Redoubt's existence when these soldiers were interrogated upon capture.119 Thus, he was able to use one of the finest sources of military intelligence, the POW, against the Allies because:

[s]oldiers of every army are enjoined to tell their captives only their name, rank and military number . . . under the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners. But capture is a traumatic experience; when a man suddenly finds himself in the hands of people who have been doing their best to kill him and who have been described to him in the most horrifying terms, the vow of silence may well seem less important than placating a captor who has him completely under his control. Soldiers do talk, and when they discover that their captors know as much or more about their own units than they themselves do, they see even less reason to keep quiet.120
Even worse for Allied Intelligence, Goebbels enlisted the assistance of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst)121 in his grand illusion.122 With their help, he was able to produce bogus blueprints, false reports on construction supplies and timetables, expected armament production schedules and troop transfers to the Redoubt.123 By recognizing how an army collects their information on the enemy's intentions, Goebbels was instrumental in keeping the Redoubt alive not only among the Allies, but among his own countrymen as well. The Redoubt became part fantasy and part official deception plan.124

Regardless of Goebbels theatrics, the cause for the failure of the Redoubt plan was the apparent lack of interest on Hitler's part. The required order from Hitler for construction and supply of a Redoubt was not given until April 24th, far too late to organize any effective resistance.125 Without Hitler's early approval, the Redoubt never stood a chance of being the threat the Allies expected.126 Hitler had two choices before him: either remain in Berlin or move to his summer retreat in Berchtesgaden to lead the Redoubt forces. Having finally admitted to himself and his staff that the war was truly lost, Hitler decided to remain in his Berlin bunker.

Yet Hitler had planned to leave Berlin for Berchtesgaden.127 The movement of the various German government ministries was merely the beginning, and SHAEF believed that Hitler would follow.128 In this regard the intelligence was absolutely correct, Hitler was planning a move to the Redoubt zone, yet at the last minute decided to remain in Berlin, after sending the bulk of his staff and command structure to the Redoubt area to prepare for his arrival.129 It also appeared, from postwar interrogations and memoirs, that most of those in Hitler's entourage assumed that he would follow.130 For example, German General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command, stated that the move to Berchtesgaden from Berlin was not only expected, but was the only option he still saw open to Hitler. Keitel stated that it was his:

own absolutely firm belief at that time that the Fuehrer and the OKW operations staff would also be transferring their supreme command to Berchtesgaden . . . [t]he aircraft for this were standing by, and everybody not absolutely vital to the
Fuehrer's headquarters in Berlin had already been sent off to Berchtesgaden by special trains and convoys of lorries. The same went for the OKW and the War Office . . . Hitler himself had signed the orders for this, as he himself planned to take over in the south . . . All this was done to prepare the way for the imminent migration of the Fuehrer's headquarters to Berchtesgaden, a move which at that time was beyond any question.131
Goebbels and some others would eventually convince Hitler to stay. Thus, the information that the Allies were intercepting concerning the movement of important Nazi, military and government ministries and officials from Berlin into the Redoubt zone was true.

Regardless of the intelligence they had been receiving, the actual state of preparation within the Redoubt was entirely different than what SHAEF had been led to believe. In mid-April, German Field-Marshal Albert Kesselring was given orders to defend the Alpenfestung.132 Upon arrival, however, Kesselring was shocked to discover the lack of preparations for such a stand. By April 24th, he was reasonably sure that he had no mountain-trained troops, who would be absolutely vital to defend the area. He was unable to locate the vast stores of weapons and foodstuffs that were rumoured to be in the Redoubt, and was having tremendous difficulty organizing any effective air cover.133 While he had himself oversaw the completed positions in Italy in 1944, he was unable to locate any effective defences along the entire northern front of the Redoubt, as most were sporadic and without any permanent troops stationed to defend them. Kesselring would be forced to coordinate some type of defence, all the while trying to discover the vast stores of weapons and other supplies he had been told to expect.134 The flow of convoys into the area that may have been considered by SHAEF to be supplies for a final stand were in reality military and governmental staffs, rather than combatants, who would continue to transfer files, equipment and Nazi loot into the area right until the end. The coordination was so poor that Kesselring had been told a certain SS General was in charge of the storing of food and equipment, yet Kesselring was unable to even locate this man, much less any of the expected stores.135 Kesselring was left with using the Redoubt as a rallying point, not as a defensive position.136 Writing in his memoirs after the war, Kesselring found the idea of using the Redoubt as a fortress almost laughable, but he was prepared to use the terrain as a delaying feature, which would allow the German forces still in the east a chance to fight their way west.137

Proving that the Redoubt was, in fact, a completely uncoordinated and not officially planned affair, the OKW War Diary confirmed that they did not receive official instructions from Hitler to prepare the Redoubt until 29 April, one week prior to capitulation.138 Placed in charge of the Redoubt defences in the final weeks of April, General Georg von Hengl shared Kesselring's appraisal of the Redoubt situation. Von Hengl was astonished at the complete lack of prepared combat troops in the area. In his postwar interrogation, von Hengl believed that when he arrived, the Redoubt contained over 250,000 men, yet he also believed that, by his own estimate, a full ninety percent of these were non-combatants, or military and government support staff.139 To the best of his knowledge, there had never been any army divisions transferred to the Alps, and only the "already utterly drained local garrisons of the replacement army, the fighting qualities of which were limited, were at [his] disposal for employment in the north."140 Allied intelligence had been unable to make any sense of the defences and movement of military and government assets and staff during April, and perhaps rightfully so.

While SHAEF may have been uncertain as to precisely what they were going to find in the Redoubt zone even at the beginning of May, they were certain that the Germans had absolutely no more time to ready their Alpenfestung. By the final days of April, Dever's Army Group was at the outskirts of the Redoubt, and taking prisoners at a rate of approximately seven battalions per day.141 Advances would average thirty or more miles per day, with the Allied armies outracing not only their supply lines, but even some of their heavier motorized guns and armour. The collapse of German resistance in Northern and Central Germany was so great, the official history of the United States Army stated that the fighting was no longer an offensive or even pursuit warfare, but "more of a motor march under tactical conditions."142 If the Redoubt was going to defend itself, it would have to do so with the forces and supplies currently at its disposal. Speed, therefore, became the essence of defeating the Redoubt threat.

By May, however, the German armies remaining were so shattered that any type of organized withdrawal was practically impossible. Still pouring in from the Balkans, Italy and the east, those units that did survive the move were broken, completely disorganized and often weaponless.143 Regardless of some hastily made obstacles, by the night of May 4th, the Allied armies entering the Redoubt from the north had managed to capture over 60,000 German troops, and had effectively destroyed the remnants of the German First Army in their path.144 So rapid was the advance that in some cases, the German troops garrisoned in the area were shocked to find Allied advance units were "on them, among them, and through them, before they realized what was happening."145

On May 3rd, advance units of the American Fifth Army from Italy managed to link up with their counterparts from the north and seize control of the Brenner Pass connecting Austria and Italy. With the capture of this major roadway through the Alps, any hope of the Germans mounting a last-ditch defence was gone. The American forces who entered the Austrian city of Innsbruck the same day apparently expected thousands of dug in German defenders, but were shocked to discover members of an Austrian resistance group had seized the city and anxiously awaited the Allies.146 By May 4th the city of Salzburg also fell, with Berchtesgaden, long thought to be the final command centre for Hitler and the Nazi elite, falling into Allied hands on May 5th. German Army Group G, which had been badly mauled by the Allies for the past month, was being pushed further and further back into the Redoubt and was ready to capitulate. By May 5th, the German commander of this force, General Friedrich Schultz, had set up a meeting with General Devers and sent his deputy, General Hermann Foertsch, to surrender unconditionally.

Devers apparently did not consider that the Germans would be able to continue for much longer, as his forces had managed to capture over 600,000 German soldiers from Army Group G in the final month alone, which were far greater numbers than existed in his own forces, and he expected that the Germans had reached the end of their manpower. Devers thus believed the surrender to have only symbolic significance, perhaps the remaining administration and command staff, along with the few remaining remnants of the German fighting forces.147 During the meeting while the terms of surrender were being delivered to Foertsch, he inquired what plans had been made to feed his forces after their surrender, as Army Group G had only approximately six days of food remaining.148 Considering that Allied intelligence had for months been concerned of the flow of supplies to the region, this question appeared to have surprised Devers. When he inquired what number of men were now surrendering in the Redoubt, he was doubly shocked when Foertsch replied approximately 250,000 to 350,000 of Army Group G alone, spread throughout the Redoubt zone.149

So surprised was the assembled Allied staff that they questioned Foertsch about the surrender, making sure that he understood that they were requiring him to surrender unconditionally. Foertsch assured them that he understood, and that he was simply not in a position to do otherwise. The fact that the German Redoubt was holding over 250,000 German soldiers in Army Group G alone and yet was still willing to surrender so readily was a shock. From the German perspective, with the southern front of the Redoubt wide open due to the surrender of the German forces in Italy on May 2nd, the rapid movement of the Allies from both the south and the north, the complete failure to coordinate the few supplies flowing into the region in the months prior to the German surrender, and finally the death of Hitler, the feared German Redoubt had no reason to resist.150

So swift was the advance that the vast majority of the SS and mountain troops the Allies expected to defend the Redoubt never even made the withdrawal. Two-thirds of the remaining German forces along the northern edge of the Alps were wiped out.151 The remaining soldiers, numbering as many as 300,000, fell back into the Redoubt zone as disorganized rabble, rather than a coherent group.152With the Allies driving forward with such haste, there was never time to organize these men into a functional force. Thus, the National Redoubt, an alpine fortress that so concerned SHAEF for months and even days prior to the German surrender on May 8th, surrendered unconditionally after only five days. The Allied intelligence networks failed to recognize that the Redoubt was a totally uncoordinated affair until it was too late. Hitler, despite having ordered the fortifications and stocking of the Redoubt on April 24th, did not give the OKW specific instructions to do so until April 29th.153 Most of all, the Redoubt was a refuge, not a fortress.154

The Allies appeared, at first glance, to be poorly served by their intelligence.155Yet the intelligence received was certainly not of bad quality, it was perhaps just excessive and overwhelming. Given more time, the Allies would have most certainly have broken the Redoubt myth. The Allies appeared to be looking for patterns and thus provided the collapsing German government with capabilities that it was not able to muster at this late stage of the war. The Allies sadly failed to realize that, in the final months, the Germans were reporting on what they would like to do, not on what they were going to do, or able to do.  Allied Intelligence during the war suffered from several shortcomings.156 Eisenhower had developed a close relationship with Allied intelligence and insisted that commanders should never rely on a single source, a lesson he learned during his command in Africa.157 Prior to the Ardennes, SHAEF was able to rely on signal decrypts, specifically ULTRA, but also Army intelligence such as captured documents and POWs, and OSS intelligence through agents and informers in place.158 As well, a considerable amount of information came from resistance groups in the occupied territories.159

As the Germans were pushed back into Germany over the Rhine, however, many of these sources dried up. The resistance groups in the occupied territories were no longer available, and the ULTRA messages began to wane as the Germans were able to use landlines and runners to carry messages to their forces in the field. The number of captured documents and POWs also declined, as the Allies halted on the Rhine to bring up supplies.  The redundancy of information sources that were crucial to SHAEF Intelligence was thus limited to a degree not seen in the battles across France and Belgium.160 Some analysts, writing after the war, believed that ULTRA eventually spoiled the allies, specifically that SHAEF relied too heavily on signal decrypts prior to the Ardennes.161 As mentioned, Hitler had ordered a complete radio blackout and kept the planning to select personnel for the Ardennes Offensive, which negated ULTRA. Worse, the Allied Intelligence staff had based their estimates of future German activity on what trained professional officers would do, not on what Adolf Hitler would do.162

Strong, writing after the war, admitted that there was information on the build-up of German forces opposite the allies in the Ardennes area, and that he did mention this to Eisenhower in his report.163 However, he also admitted that he believed it was a strategic reserve for a defense of the Rhine, although he did offer an offensive as an option, as was his duty to do. He simply did not believe it likely.164 His American counterparts would believe it even more unlikely. The Americans had never witnessed a full German offensive, and apparently never considered the possibility of a full German attack as at this stage of the war as it appeared to make little military sense.165 Thus, even though the German professional officers shared this appraisal of the situation, it was Hitler that had planned and was in control of the entire affair.166

The Ardennes Offensive and the resulting Battle of the Bulge are, in my opinion, key to understanding the failure of Allied Intelligence and SHAEF to properly see the Redoubt for the chimera it was. After the failure of ULTRA to provide timely warning for this attack, its spell had been broken for many Allied commanders who had previously viewed ULTRA as infallible. As stated, Strong later wrote in his memoirs that his he was taking no more chances with the Germans after the Ardennes.167 Hitler's ability to order and carry out a radio blackout provided a precedent to the lack of ULTRA and other signal decrypts over the Redoubt. ULTRA's silence spoke volumes.168

Thus, while the Allies had underestimated the offensive power remaining to Germany in December 1944, SHAEF then appeared to overestimate the German logistical capability in March and April 1945.169 The Intelligence estimates for the end of hostilities in the European Theatre bear this out. In September of 1944, Allied Intelligence believed Germany would be out of the war by December 1944. In January 1945, these same estimates gave the earliest possible date as July 1945, with hostilities unlikely to continue past December 1945.170

The Allied sweep into Germany proper during March and April created a flood of information for SHAEF intelligence to handle. Signal decrypts once again increased and the Allies were capturing countless scores of German POWs. This flood of information is generally referred to as 'noise' that could have the ability to drown out more crucial pieces of information.171 As Germany collapsed, the amount of information simply began to overwhelm the Allied intelligence system.172

Worse, much of the redundancy built into the system was defeated. The POW, one of the most effective sources of intelligence to any army, was being systematically used by Goebbels.173 The SD was providing a vast array of bogus blueprints and other documents to assist in the illusion.174 With the OSS and G-2 being flooded by such reports, captured documents, and agents in place reporting the Redoubt as possibility, ULTRA was damning by its silence, actually lending some support. The one source that could not be turned against the Allies, and should have balanced out the other intelligence sources, was effectively negated. Allied Intelligence apparently became so convinced that something was happening in the Redoubt zone that the capture of Wehrmacht officers who denied knowing anything about the Redoubt was seen as further verification. Allied Intelligence believed that only SS and other specialty forces were involved in the Redoubt, thus keeping it from their regular army counterparts.175 Considering the complete surprise achieved by the Germans in the Ardennes, it is perhaps more easily explainable that the Allies would believe the Germans capable of another logistical miracle, this time in the Alps.

For example, the countless convoys that were apparently correctly reported in Allied intelligence were still flooding into the Redoubt zone even during the final days. However, these were later found to be more often government and personal valuables, rather than needed military supplies and foodstuffs. For example, Hitler ordered the entire collection of seized artworks from their storage sites around the Reich into the mountains near Salzburg. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of priceless artwork, looted from all over Europe, were transferred to the Berchtesgaden area. These artworks, which had arrived in Germany from 1940 until 1944 by the trainload, were suddenly moved overland by truck in late 1944 and continued into late spring 1945. The convoys were reportedly so long they often stretched out of sight in both directions.176

The Redoubt, as SHAEF expected it to exist, was a chimera. From a military standpoint it was started far too late, but it did have the potential to be a serious problem for the Allies if they did not overrun the area as soon as possible.177 Eisenhower's decision to swing his Allied armies south against the Redoubt effectively ended any possible threat the remaining German troops were able to offer. While the Redoubt was ultimately not the military fortress that the Allies expected, the choice of ignoring it completely was simply not an option with the intelligence provided. Considering his other options, I believe Eisenhower made the correct decision regarding the National Redoubt based on the information he had at the time. Unfortunately, some of the information he had was being fed to his intelligence organization by the Germans. The National Redoubt is generally considered to be one of the final intelligence failures by the Allies during the war, yet this conclusion is somewhat unsatisfactory. The Allies appeared to be not the victim of poor intelligence, but rather being somewhat over-cautious and overwhelmed by it's sheer volume.

Endnotes

1. Remi Nadeau, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt Divide Europe, (New York: Praeger Publishing, 1990), xii.
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2. Winston Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953), 455-457.
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3. Russell F. Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants, (Bloominton: Indiana University Press, 1981), 685.
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4. "Why Ike Didn't Capture Berlin: An Untold Story," U.S. News and World Report, Vol. 70, No. 17, (April 26, 1971): 70.
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5. Ibid., 70.
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6. Alfred D. Chandler, ed., The Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1970), 2559-2560.
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7. Omar Bradley, A General's Life, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983), 416-419.
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8. Georgi K. Zhukov, Marshall Zhukov's Greatest Battles, (London: Macdonald & Company, 1969), 287-288.
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9. H.P. Willmott, The Great Crusade, (London: Michael Joseph Ltd., 1989), 450-452; David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, When Titans Clashed, (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1995), 269-271.
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10. Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants, 700.
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11. Ibid., 700.
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12. Stephen E. Ambrose, The Supreme Commander, (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970), 649.
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13. Stephen Ambrose, Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1967), 23-25.
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14. Combined Intelligence Committee, C.C.S. 660/1, Prospects of a German Collapse or Surrender, 9 September 1944. 84-90.
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15. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, SCAF 78, Progress of Operations Report, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, 9 September 1944. 4.
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16. John Toland, Battle: The Story of the Bulge, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1959), viii.
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17. Alfred Jodl, ETHINT 51, "Ardennes Offensive", 15-17, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 3, (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979)
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18. Walter Warlimont, Inside Hitler's Headquarters, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1965), 475-477.
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19. William Casey, The Secret War Against Hitler, (Washington: Regnery Gateway, 1988),182-183.
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20. Alfred Jodl, ETHINT 51, "Ardennes Offensive", 15-17.
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21. Hugh M. Cole, The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge, (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1965), 6-9.
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22. Center for Land Warfare, US Army War College, 1986 Art of War Symposium: Transcript of Proceedings, Vol. 1 July, 1986.
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23. In his postwar interrogation, Goering describes the loss of the bridge at Remagen "one of the biggest catastrophes." Hermann Goering, ETHINT 30, p. 13, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 2, (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979)
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24. Weigley, Eisenhower's Lieutenants, 630-632.
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25. Ibid., 640-641.
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26. Ambrose, Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945, 31-34.
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27. Charles B. MacDonald, The Last Offensive, (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1973), 372.
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28. Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command, (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1954), 53-54.
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29. Ibid., 468.
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30. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1948), 406.
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31. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945, (London: His Majesty's Stationary Office, 1946), 136-137.
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32. Harry C. Butcher, My Three Years with Eisenhower, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1946), 809.
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33. Ibid., 804.
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34. Combined Chiefs of Staff, CCS 805/4, Plan of Campaign in Western Europe, "Memorandum by the Representatives of the British Chiefs of Staff," (4 April, 1945)
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35. Combined Chiefs of Staff, CCS, Plan of Campaign in Western Europe, Reference: CCS 805/4, "Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff," (6 April, 1945)
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36. For one such example, see Arthur Bryant, Triumph in the West, (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1959), 280-281.
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37. Ibid., 279.
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38. There are many examples of this rift between Montgomery and Eisenhower in the many histories written about this period. One of the best sources, in my opinion, is G.E. Patrick Murray, Eisenhower vs Montgomery: The Continuing Debate, (Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1996.) This work looks at all the differences of both men, rather than simply commenting on a few of the more memorable disagreements.
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39. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force to War Department, SCAF 260, (31 March, 1945), 4.
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40. Ehrman, Grand Strategy, 139-149.
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41. William D. Leahy, I Was There, (Toronto: Whittlesey House, 1950), 350-351; Herbert Feis, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, (London: Oxford University Press, 1957), 599.
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42. John Ehrman, Grand Strategy, Volume VI, (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1956), 139-149.
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43. For example, see Chester Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe, (London: Collins, 1952), 713-717; Forrest C. Pogue, 'The Decision to Halt at the Elbe,' Kent R. Greenfield, ed. Command Decisions, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1959), 383-387; and L. F. Ellis, Victory in the West, Vol. II, (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1968), 321.
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44. CCS 320/27 Allocation of Zones of Occupation in Germany, Memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, (16 September, 1944)
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45. Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, (New York: The Viking Press, 1973), 567-568.
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46. United States Military Mission Moscow Russia, MX 23588, (1 April, 1945.)
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47. Glantz and House, When Titans Clashed, 256-257.
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48. British Broadcasting Service: Online, WORLD: Letter from America, Monday 15 November 1999, 1-2.
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49. Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier's Story, (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1951), 535-536.
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50. Albert Seaton, Stalin as Military Commander (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975), 254; Glantz and House, When Titans Clashed, 269-272.
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51. Stephen E. Ambrose, The Victors, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), 341.
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52. Kenneth Strong, Intelligence at the Top, (Toronto: Cassell & Company Ltd., 1968),196.
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53. U.S. General John Deane, who was the United States Liaison officer to the Soviet High Command during the war, concluded that the generosity of the Allies in regards to supplies and other affairs was having a negative effect upon their relations. He pointed out that no discourtesy shown by the Soviets appeared to have any effect upon the allies generosity, thus they appeared to no longer take the concerns of the Western Allies seriously. This attitude is "beyond their understanding, hence they do not trust us." Deane felt that, at this stage of the war, the Allies needed to take a harder line with Russia in order to ensure cooperation. Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Revision of Policy with Relation to Russia," Memorandum from Commanding General, U.S. Military Mission, U.S.S.R, JCS 1313, (16 April, 1945)
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54. Bradley, A Soldier's Story, 550.
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55. Feis, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, 561-562.
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56. David Eisenhower, Eisenhower at War 1943-1945, (New York: Random House, 1986), 650.
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57. Bradley, A Soldier's Story, 543.
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58. The fear that the Russians would not adhere to the zones of occupation was not merely an Allied concern. Churchill pushed Eisenhower to ignore the future zones of occupation and take as much territory as possible, arguing that they would be able to figure it out later. Nigel Hamilton, "Did Eisenhower Let Stalin Grab Europe," U.S. News and World Report, Vol. 101, No. 9, (September 1, 1986): 33.
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59. Glantz and House, When Titans Clashed, 261.
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60. Ibid., 261-262.
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61. Eisenhower, Report by the Supreme Commander, 135-138. American Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall pointed out that the Redoubt muddied the issue of Berlin after the war. While he personally believed that the Nazis were considering moving the government to Southern Germany as the Red Army approached Berlin, Allied Intelligence was undecided on an actual Redoubt, and this intelligence failure gets tangled with the other military and political reasons for not taking Berlin. Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, (New York: The Viking Press, 1973), 568-569.
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62. Bradley, A Soldiers Story, 536.
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63. Georg von Hengl, "The Alpine Redoubt: Final Historical Survey of this 'Spectre'" MS# B-461, p. 3, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 24. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979).
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64. Rodney Minott, The Fortress That Never Was, (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964), 143.
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65. Eisenhower, Report by the Supreme Commander, 136.
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66. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 187-188.
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67. Ambrose, The Supreme Commander, p. 624.
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68. Ibid., 649.
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69. B.H. Liddell Hart, The Other Side of the Hill, (London: Pan Books, 1983), 340-341.
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70. Ibid., 367-369.
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71. The Allies had committed 30 divisions compared to approximately 22 German, with an approximately 2 to 1 advantage in manpower for the Allies. Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973), 327.
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72. Argonaut Conference: Combined Chiefs of Staff with USSR, Minutes of the First Tripartite Military Meeting Held in the Soviet Headquarters, Yalta, on Monday, 5 February 1945, 255.
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73. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 185-189.
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74. Ambrose, Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945, 73-75.
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75. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 191-194.
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76. Ralph Bennett, Ultra in the West, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1979), 153.
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77. CCS 761/3 Combined Chiefs of Staff: SCAEF Report on Strategy in NorthWest Europe, (29 January, 1945): 112.
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78. The danger of having 20/20 hindsight regarding the intelligence failures during the war is captured nicely by Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Captains Without Eyes, (Boulder: Westview Press, 1987), 16. Regardless, the U.S. Army released a major report in 1981 that damned the failure of intelligence in the Ardennes, see Bruce Lee, Marching Orders, (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 285-286.
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79. Bennett, Ultra in the West, xii-xiii
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80. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 188.
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81. JIC (45) 55 (Final) 18 February 1945, "German Situation After the Capture of Berlin and Loss of the Ruhr," 1.
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82. Ibid., 3.
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83. Ibid., 6.
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84. Headquarters, 12th Army Group, G-2, "Weekly Intelligence Summary," No. 33, (27 March, 1945): 17.
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85. Ibid., 17.
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86. SHAEF Weekly Intelligence Summary, Number 51, 11 March, 1945, Appendix C, 1.
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87. Ibid., 1.
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88. Ibid., 1.
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89. According to some researchers, SHAEF headquarters, following this report, put up a map of the Redoubt area which included symbols for suspected ammo, food and petrol dumps, fortifications, factories and defence lines. Although the vast majority were unconfirmed, the Redoubt map, over the coming weeks, would be filled with such markings. So much so that the Redoubt appeared more fortified than Berlin. One such researcher was Cornelius Ryan, who based his account upon post-war interviews. Cornelius Ryan, The Last Battle, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966), 210-212.
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90. Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's Six Great Decisions, (New York: Longmans, Green & Company, 1956), 189.
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91. Document 5-76, RTT No. 290, March 27, 1945, Allen Dulles, From Hitler's Doorstep, Neal H. Petersen ed., (University Park: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), 484-485.
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92. SHAEF Weekly Intelligence Summary Number 51, Appendix C, 1.
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93. JIC (45) 55 (Final), 3.
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94. These forces were some of Germany's finest, including the First SS Panzer (Liebstandarte Adolph Hitler,) the Second SS Panzer (Das Reich,) the Ninth SS Panzer (Hohenstaufen,) and the twelfth SS Panzer (Hitler Jugend) Divisions. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 252.
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95. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 256-259.
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96. Gerald Reitlinger, The SS: Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945, (New York: The Viking Press, 1968), 369.
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97. Ibid., 369-370.
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98. Charles Messenger, Hitler's Gladiator, (Toronto: Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1988), 166-168.
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99. Hermann Goring, ETHINT 30, p. 17, World War II German Military Studies, Volume 2, (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1979) As well, SS General and Commander of these SS forces, Sepp Deitrich, was unable to explain why his forces were sent to Budapest. Messenger, Hitler's Gladiator, 166-168.
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100. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 259.
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101. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, 457.
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102. Warlimont, Inside Hitler's Headquarters, 499; Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader, (New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1952), 384-385.
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103. Headquarters 12th Army Group, G-2, "Weekly Intelligence Summary," No. 35, (11 April 1945): 17-18.
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104. Ibid., 17.
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105. Ibid., 17-18.
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106. JIC/SHAEF (45) 17 (Final) "Disposition of German Forces after the Junction of the Allied and Russian Armies," (20 April, 1945): 1.
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107. Ibid., 3.
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108. Bennett, Ultra in the West, 188.
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109. In layman's terms, the German High Command could simply pick up the phone and talk to the positions on the front, rather than send their instructions over the airwaves. Ronald Lewin, Ultra Goes to War (London: Hutchinson of London, 1978), 345-346.
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110. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 187-188.
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111. Bennett, Ultra in the West, 199-200.
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112. Bennett makes this claim cautiously, believing it would need to be substantiated fully before ascribing to experienced Intelligence officers such "intellectual naiveté.'" Bennett, Ultra in the West, 199-200.
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113. Document 5-87, Telegram 8349, April 6, 1945, Allen Dulles, From Hitler's Doorstep, Neal H. Petersen ed., (University Park: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), 492-493.
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114. Headquarters, 12th Army Group, "Weekly Intelligence Summary No. 34," 3 April, 1945, 2-3.
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115. Headquarters, 12th Army Group, "Weekly Intelligence Summary No. 34," 3 April, 1945, Annex 1, 'The Redoubt-Summary,' 1-3.
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116. Charles B. MacDonald, The Last Offensive, (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1965), 407.
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117. Wilhelm Hoettl, Hitler's Paper Weapon, (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1955), 149.
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118. Ibid., 148-149.
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119. Reuben E. Jenkins, "The Battle of the German National Redoubt - Planning Phase," Military Review, XXVI, No. 9, (1946), 6.
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120. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Captains Without Eyes, 259.
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121. The SD, or Sicherheitsdienst, was the Intelligence and Security service of the SS.
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122. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Captains Without Eyes,. 148-149.
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123. Minott, The Fortress That Never Was, 27.
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124. Dulles, From Hitler's Doorstep, 14-15.
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125. Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, (New York: Macmillan Company, 1970), 479-480.
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126. Hitler was described in many post-war accounts as simply unable to carry out a Redoubt. He did not have the ability to think defensively in such a long-term fashion. Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, World War II in Europe: Causes, Course and Consequences, (Stanford University: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1995), 22-23.
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127. Speer, Inside the Third Reich, p. 465.
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128. Headquarters 12th Army Group, G-2, "Weekly Intelligence Summary," No. 32, 20 March, 1945, 16.
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129. Rudolf Semmler, Goebbels: The Man Next to Hitler, (New York: Ams Press, 1947), 188.
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130. Wilhelm Keitel, The Memoirs of Field Marshall Keitel, (London: William Kimber, 1965), 198.
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131. Ibid., 198-199.
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132. Minott, The Fortress That Never Was, 100.
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133. Ibid., 100-102.
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134. Ibid., 100-102.
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135. Albert Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring, (London: William Kimber, 1954), 327.
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136. Albert Kesselring, Kesselring: A Soldier's Record, (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1954), 327-334.
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137. Christopher Duffy, Red Storm on the Reich, (New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1991), 298.
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138. The OKW War Diary, "The Last Events (20 April - 1 May, 1945," MS# C-020, Chapter 6, p. 647, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 2. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979).
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139. Georg Ritter von Hengl, "Report on the Alpine Fortress," MS #B-459, p. 3, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 24. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979).
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140. Von Hengl, "Report on the Alpine Fortress," MS #B-459, 2.
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141. Reuben E. Jenkins, "The Battle of the German National Redoubt - Operational Phase," Military Review, XXVI, No. 6, (1946): 21.
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142. MacDonald, The Last Offensive, 441.
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143. Minott, The Fortress That Never Was, 104-105.
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144. Jenkins, "The Battle of the German National Redoubt - Operational Phase," 24.
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145. Ibid., 24.
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146. James Lucas, The Last Days of the Reich, (London: Arms and Armor Press, Ltd., 1986), 206-207.
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147. Minott, The Fortress That Never Was, 126-127.
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148. Jenkins, "The Battle of the German National Redoubt - Operational Phase," 24.
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149. Ibid., 24.
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150. Eisenhower, Report by the Supreme Commander, 142-143.
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151. Perry Biddescombe, Werwolf, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 181.
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152. Ibid., 181-182.
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153. The OKW War Diary, "The Last Events (20 April - 1 May, 1945)" MS# C-020, 647.
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154. In his postwar interrogation, Von Hengl repeatedly refers to the Redoubt as the Alpine Refuge, not Alpine Fortress. Georg Ritter von Hengl, "Report on the Alpine Fortress," MS #B-459, 11.
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155. Former American Secretary of State Dean Rusk recalled the 1941 state of the U.S.'s intelligence effort in testimony before the U.S. Senate: "When I was assigned to G-2 in 1941, well over a year after the war had started in Europe, I was asked to take charge of a new section that had been organized to cover everything from Afghanistan right through southern Asia, southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. Because we had no intelligence organization that had been giving attention to that area up to that time, the materials available to me when I reported for duty consisted of a tourist handbook on India and Ceylon, a 1924 military attaché's report from London on the Indian Army, and a drawer full of clippings from the New York Times that had gathered since World War One. That was literally the resources of the G-2 on that vast part of the world a year after the war in Europe started." Government Communications Headquarters, United Kingdom "The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community-An Historical Overview," February 23, 1996, 4.
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156. Government Communications Headquarters, United Kingdom "The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community-An Historical Overview," February 23, 1996, 4.
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157. Michael E. Bigelow, "Eisenhower and Intelligence," Military Intelligence, Volume 17, No. 1, (1991): 2.
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158. Ibid., 2.
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159. Ibid., 2.
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160. Bennett, Ultra in the West , xii-xiii; Bigelow, "Eisenhower and Intelligence," 2.
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161. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 261-262.
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162. Bigelow, "Eisenhower and Intelligence," 4.
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163. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 154-156.
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164. Ibid., 154-156.
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165. Ibid., 154-156.
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166. Gerd von Rundstedt, "The Ardennes Offensive," ETHINT 47; and Alfred Jodl, "Planning the Ardennes Offensive," ETHINT 50, World War II German Military Studies, Vol. 3. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979)
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167. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 188.
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168. Harold Duetsch, "The Influence of Ultra of World war II, Parameters, Vol. 8, No. 4. 4.
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169. Strong, Intelligence at the Top, 163-164.
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170. CCS 660/1 "Prospects of a German Collapse or Surrender," (8 September 1944), CCS 772 "Planning Date for the End of the War with Germany," (30 January 1945) and CCS 776/3 "Report to the President and Prime Minister," (9 February, 1945.)
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171. Richard K. Betts, "Analysis, War and Decision: Why Intelligence Failures are Inevitable," World Politics, Vol. 31, No. 1, (October 1978): 69.
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172. Ralph Bennett, "World War II Intelligence, Defense Analysis, (London: Brassey (UK) Ltd.) No. 3, (1987): 116-117.
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173. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 259.
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174. Kirkpatrick, Captains Without Eyes, 259; and F. H. Hinsley, British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 3, Part 2, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 711.
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175. Jean Edward Smith, The Defense of Berlin, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkin's Press, 1963), 37.
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176. This transfer of artwork had as a final destination an abandoned salt mine that cut two kilometres into the mountain to a massive collection of caverns, with only a single point of access. Fitted with clean wooden floors, modern lights and dehumidification equipment, DORA received 6755 old master paintings, 230 drawings, 1039 prints, 93 tapestries, 68 sculptures, 43 cases of individual objects, and countless pieces of priceless antique furniture. Hitler also dispatched his personal library of 119 cases of books, along with 237 other cases destined for Linz. So inaccessible was this region, that tanks and oxen were the only suitable forms of transportation to the mine itself. James S. Plaut, Hitler's Capital, The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 178, No. 4, (October 1946)
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177. Chester Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe, (London: Collins, 1952), 690-694; and Kesselring, Kesselring: A Soldier's Record, 327-328.
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