7 Jan. 46

COL. TAYLOR: What proportion of Wehrmacht troops was used in anti-partisan operations as compared to Police and SS troops?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Since the number of Police and SS troops was very small, anti-partisan operations were undertaken mainly by Wehrmacht formations.

COL. TAYLOR: Were the anti-partisan troops usually commanded by Wehrmacht officers or by SS officers?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: It varied, depending mostly on the individual area; in the operational areas Wehrmacht officers nearly always commanded, but an order existed to the effect that the formation, be it Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS or Police, which supplied the most troops for a particular operation, had command of it.

COL. TAYLOR: Did the highest military leaders issue instructions that anti-partisan operations were to be conducted with severity?


COL. TAYLOR: Did the highest military authorities issue any detailed instructions as to the methods to be used in anti-partisan operations?


COL. TAYLOR: What was the result, in the occupied territories, of this lack of detailed directives from above?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: This lack of detailed directives resulted in a wild state of anarchy in all anti-partisan operations.

COL. TAYLOR: In your opinion, were the measures taken in anti-partisan operations far more severe than the circumstances warranted, or were they not?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Since there were no definite orders and the lower commanders were forced to act independently, the operations varied according to the character of the officer in command and the quality of the troops. I am of the opinion that the operations often not only failed in their purpose but even overshot their mark.

COL. TAYLOR: Did these measures result in the unnecessary killing of large numbers of the civilian population?


COL. TAYLOR: Did you report these excessive measures to the commanders of the army groups and other Wehrmacht officers with whom you worked?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: This state of affairs was generally known. There was no necessity to make a special report about it, since every operation had immediately to be reported in all detail, and was known to every responsible leader.