German Cavalry and the July 20 Plot

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Pat Holscher
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Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:33 pm

Anyone aware of the details on this. These photos depict a German officer involved in the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler, but who managed to avoid execution. The captions indicate he was to guide troops from his cavalry regiment into Berlin as part of it.

I was aware that part of the plan was to take Berlin with Army troops under command of the plotters, but I'd never heard of a cavalry connection. Was he to lead horse cavalry into Berlin? The photos were taken only days prior to the attempt.

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source ... d=51077530

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source ... d=51077519

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:35 pm

Apparently he retained his PPK.

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source ... d=51077518

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:45 pm

I'd never heard of this fellow, Lt. Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, so I looked him up. As far as I can tell, he really was a cavalryman, although I still wonder if he really intended to lead some mounted troops as a guide into Berlin. Note he was pretty junior, but obviously in the plot.

It turns out he was the brother of Lt.-Colonel Baron Georg von Boeselager, who was a commander of a Cavalry Regiment in Army Group Center on the Eastern Front. One site had this information about him:
March 13, 1943 - Plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler during the fuehrer's visit to Army Group Center HQ in Smolensk. Boeselager's plan involves using his cavalry regiment to ambush Hitler's motorcade.

Though having distinguished himself in combat on the Eastern Front and having been awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Boeselager claims he is not up to the immense task of venturing to assassinate Hitler on his own. He volunteers to lead his cavalry regiment to storm the Wolf's Lair and dispose of Hitler in that fashion. But repeated attempts by Tresckow to get Boeselager's regiment transferred to Rastenberg meet with failure.
I've always thought the German plotters got around to finding their consciences a little late, but I have to give some of them credit, such as Count von Stauffenberg. These two brothers appear to have been pretty gutsy.

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:01 pm

As a total aside, I note the photos of both of these brothers how them wearing peaked caps with the stiffeners removed. Was that a habit of the German cavalry?

Pat
Joseph Sullivan
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Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:41 am

Both brothers were Barons von Boeselager, which is a little confusing. The title Freiherr, which translates literally to "Free Lord," is usually translated as its general equivalent rank in English, which is Baron. A Friherr was a minor noble who held land outright, with duties of a vassel, rather than a serf. Stauffenberg was a Graff, which we usually translate as "count" or "earl."
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dimarcol
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Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:41 pm

Okay...first want to apologize for my long absence..tho I have occassionally been lurking in the background. My only excuse is life in general has been running at a high clip...and that is no excuse. Anyway, I hope to pick up contributing to the excellent discussion that is always up on this forum.

Second... I had the oppurtunity to meet Baron von Boeselager back in 1985 when I was the leader of the US Army's team in the then annual NATO cavalry reconnaissance competition...known as the Boeselager Cup...named for the brother who was killed during the war.

Both brothers were well know horse cavalrymen and Boeselager who was still on the eastern front is credited with bringing back horse cavalry in an anti-partisan role on the eastern front. His anti-nazi sentiments are well documented --hence the decision to honor him with by naming the NATO competition after him. His brother served in the bundeswehr after the war and was a pretty important figure in German post-war military affairs.

Lou D.
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Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:22 pm

Lou! You live! Good to have you back. Knowing your specialties, I am not surprised that you have been busy.

J
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Pat Holscher
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Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:50 am

Lou, really great to hear from you!

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:52 am

By the way, very interesting information on the Von Boeselagers, and somewhat surprising information on the Boeselager Cup. I would never have guessed that a NATO cavalry competition would be named for a Wehrmacht general, albeit an anti-Nazi member of the Heer. Also interesting information on the post war career of the younger officer.

Pat
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Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:28 pm

Lou,

Welcome back!

Couvi

<i>"Cavalier sans Cheval"</i>
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Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:01 am

WW2 always amazes me
great stuff
sam

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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:25 pm

Some time ago, we had a link up to some Getty photos of German cavalry, related to members of a German cavalry regiment who were involved in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler. In particular, that link discussed two brothers who were German cavalrymen, who participated in the plot, one of them surviving it.

The July 20 plot is in the news again recently, as there's new movie out on it. In connection with that, I did not realize that the principal figure in the July plot, Count von Stauffenberg, had been a cavalryman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claus_Sche ... auffenberg

As it turns out, he had been in the cavalry before the war. Interesting to note that several of the central figures of this plot all sort of shared the same background, and had been members of the same cavalry regiment.

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:34 pm

Other plotters we used to have a thread on:

George von Boeselager, also a Cavalryman.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_Boeselager

Philipp von Boeselager, his brother, who survived the plot, and who again was also a cavalryman.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philipp_von_Boeselager

Pat
Tim Holekamp
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:48 pm

To Pat and others,
I happen to have an extremely high interest in the life story of one officer who is listed as one of the hundred von Stauffenberg co-conspirators in places, but whose actual role and subsequent career experiences (on the Eastern Front, Stalingrad) are a bit mysterious. His name was Walther Schmidt-Salzmann. My info is that he lived until about 1990, but I cannot find anyone in Germany who knows his story well-enough to help my research. If anyone here turns up info on Schmidt-Salzmann, please let me know.
thank you,
Tim
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:58 pm

Schmidt Salzman is one of the Long Riders mentioned on the Long Riders Guild website:

http://www.thelongridersguild.com/Historical_S.htm

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:02 pm

He also apparently authored a biography which was published in 1966, which is listed as a sourcehere.

Pat
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:03 pm

Actually it appears to be a letter, and is also mentioned here, along with something else he wrote.

Pat
Tim Holekamp
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:11 pm

Pat,
I don't see a way to get access to that letter, do you?
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:40 pm

Originally posted by Tim Holekamp
Pat,
I don't see a way to get access to that letter, do you?
Outside of contacting the author, no I don't. Given as it's cited twice, however, it must be available somewhere. Having said that, that sure doesn't make it easy to get from here, to be sure.

Pat
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:39 pm

On Schmidt-Salzman, I'd note that a lot of German army officers who were young enough to enter the Bundeswehr did so. Not all, to be sure, but quite a few. Even a fair number of senior German officers, if not heavily tainted with the Nazis, ended up finishing out careers in the Bundeswehr.

Philipp von Boeselager, on the other hand, went into forestry.

Anyhow, I mention that as it isn't impossible that Schmidt-Salzman ended up in the Bundeswehr. It might be worth looking in to.

Pat
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