The German Freedom Front aka the Werewolves, were a Resistance movement in Germany which continued the war against the Allied Forces following the end of World War II. The group adopted a variety of tactics, including roadside bombings, panzershrek attacks, political assassinations, and kamikaze style events to inflict substantial casualties upon the various Allies.
The basic concept of the GFF was developed by SS officer Reinhard Heydrich following the failure of the German seige of Stalingrad in early 1943. Although a devout Nazi, Heydrich was canny enough to realize that the tide of the war was turning against Germany, particularly on the Eastern Front. He concluded that now was the time to begin preparing for a possible invasion and occupation of Germany. Taking cues from the various partisan groups that had appeared in the countries Germany had occupied, Heydrich proposed his plans to his immediate superior, Heinrich Himmler. Although a devoted Nazi himself, Himmler was persuaded by Heydrich's arguments, seeing it more than simple defeatism. Without Adolf Hitler's knowledge, Himmler sanctioned Heydrich's plan.
Over the next two years, Heydrich made use of laborers from concentration camps to build a substantial network of tunnels in the base of the Alps. He also began a stockpile of weapons, including firearms and explosives, and began pulling very specific men (mostly SS) out of the frontlines for the specific purpose of training them as partisans. Heydrich himself quietly relocated to a secret underground bunker in the Alpine Redoubt.
The GFF struck immediately after Germany surrendered, waging an aggressive terrorist resistance against the Allies. While all of the Allies quickly realized that they faced an organized resistance, mutual distrust, particularly between the Anglo-Americans on the one side and the Soviet Union insured that the cooperation that had won the war would not help to win the peace.
Ironically, had the Allies acted more vigorously in those first months, the GFF could very well have been stopped. Privately, Johannes Klein, Heydrich's former driver and confidante, noted that morale among the GFF was initially quite low, and that with enough losses, the whole network could have easily disintegrated. However, the GFF thrived. When Heydrich was killed in 1947, Allied commanders hoped that the GFF would die. Instead, Joachim Peiper took control.
In the meantime, the United States began pulling its troops out in 1947, giving the GFF a substantial victory.
Known Acts of the German Freedom FrontEdit
- A roadside bomb hidden in an abandoned truck, killing two American troops, Lichtenau, Berlin, May 9, 1945
- The assassination of Soviet Marshal Ivan Koniev, May, 1945
- The first use of a suicide bomb, killing several Americans and Germans, Erlangen, July, 1945
- A suicide truck bombing, killing several Soviet soldiers on parade, Berlin, July, 1945
- A suicide bombing by a woman, Augsburg, August, 1945
- Failed suicide bombing in Dresden. The bomber, Gustav Fenstermacher, was captured and turned over to the NKVD, September, 1945.
- The death of American soldier Pat McGraw outside Munich, September 19, 1945.
- The assassination of US General Peorge Patton, September, 1945.
- The assassination of Governor Pietruszka in Wroclaw, Poland, Fall, 1945.
- The truck bombing of the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, Germany, December, 1945.
- The kidnapping and filming of American soldier Matthew Cunningham and Soviet Soldier Nikolai Sergeyevich Golovko, December, 1945.
- The poisoning and killing of Soviet Field Marshall Georgy Zhukov by wood alcohol, along with dozens of top Red army and NKVD officials, New Years Eve, 1945/46.
- The killing of German Governor Konrad Adenauer during a mortar attack, along with several Americans and Germans, early 1946.
- The kidnapping of several German physicists from British custody, early 1946.
- The sabotaging of a US ammunition supply dump, killing 45 US troops, Spring, 1946.
- The theft of radium from a rubbish heap in Hechingen, Spring, 1946.
- The death of hundreds of Americans in the Frankfurt residency compound by a radium-bomb and rendering the compound uninhabitable, prior to the trial of German war criminals, Spring, 1946.
- The toppling of the Eiffel Tower, Summer, 1946.
- The leveling of St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, December, 1946.
- The crashing of a C-47 into a Berlin courthouse, preventing war crimes trials for a third time, Spring, 1947.
- The hijacking of three airlines, two American and one Soviet, December, 1947.