"Hitler's Table Talk" Study Hour: Episode 17

Published by carolyn on Thu, 2014-07-03 22:19

July 3, 2014

Hitler calls Heinrich Himmler "our Ignatius de Loyola" who "with intelligence and obstinacy forged the instrument of the SS" to become "that extraordinary body of men."

Ray Goodwin and Carolyn Yeager read and comment on the dinner table monologues by the German Leader from Jan. 1st to 5th, 1942, as taken down by trusted aide Heinrich Heim.  Included in this episode:

  • The importance of that which transcends understanding and the inspiration received at Obersalzberg

  • The sacrifice demanded of the SS and other elite forces and the extraordinary qualities of Heinrich Himmler;

  • The personality of Sepp Dietrich and the leadership of Goering and Viktor Lutze;

  • The importance of optimism and comparison of the American, English and Russian soldier;

  • The meaning and importance of the title "Fuehrer";

  • The three great mistakes of the Italian High Command and the future of tank warfare.

The edition of Hitler's Table Talk being used was translated by Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens, published by Enigma Books, New York, and can be found as a pdf here.


which would make tanks obsolete. What Hitler may have been referring to was the Panzerfaust  - tank fist, which was carried and operated by one man, and was a single use device, but on perpendicular impacting a tank's steel armour could punch through 5.5 inches of it, killing everyone inside.
it's principle of operation had been discovered by the Germans in 1935, in that if a small cone of metal, say of mild steel, or brass, surrounded by a quantity of high explosive, on impacting the prospective target with its hollow end, that explosive on being detonated at that moment would suddenly - in micro seconds, collapse the cone, transforming it into a jet of liquid metal travelling at the astonishing speed of 27,000 fps - with small variations, as there are different HE formulations. It's not surprising then that the tank side was penetrated. A successful penetration did not require another Panzerfaust.
How fast is 27,000 fps ? A mil rifle bullet leaves the muzzle at a tenth of that speed.

Thanks for this comment, Michael. It seems right to me. These weapons were not used until 1943, but Hitler certainly knew of their developmental progress in Jan. 1942

Sepp Dietrich was SS. He was the first commanding officer of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and rose to the rank of SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer ending the war as commander of 6th SS Panzer Army. He is a holder of the Knights Cross to the Iron Cross with oak leaves swords and diamonds.
Here is something not so well known. The LSSAH had uniforms slightly different from the rest of the SS and they were also the only ones allowed to wear white accoutrements with its black uniform and bear the SS runes on the collar tab without a unit number. Despite being Reichführer SS, Himmler did not have full control over the LSSAH and Dietrich simply ignored any instructions from Himmler he did not like the look of. Needless to say Sepp Dietrich was always backed up by Adolf Hitler.