At least that’s the claim of our steady customer denierbud, the author of the One Third of the Holocaust video trash that we have almost completely debunked, without denierbud having responded to our challenge to publish our commentaries on his website.
In his online article Stroop on Treblinka, Jamie McCarthy wrote that
The so-called "Stroop Report" has never had its authenticity challenged, even (to our knowledge) by Holocaust-deniers who reject incriminating documents almost as a matter of course.
It McCarthy is right, this means that denierbud is a pioneer of sorts in matters of inanity. For in his latest production we are asked to believe that some obscure female forger – denierbud suspects that it was Rachel Auerbach, a member of a Polish state investigation committee who visited the site of the Treblinka extermination camp in November 1945 and wrote about that camp, and who denierbud refers to as “a feminist and a zionist” connected to “a propaganda group headed by Adolf Berman and Emmanuel Ringelblum” – produced a detailed 75-page document in German, consisting mostly of daily teletype reports with file numbers and other formal features and precise information such as data about the units and forces involved, and including a casualty list with about 100 names and unit designations, added over 50 manipulated photographs (denierbud somehow counted “around 65 photos”), gave the whole thing the look of ornate German craftsmanship, leather bound, profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper, and then somehow planted it in Nazi archives, where it was discovered by US military intelligence and passed on to the US prosecution team to be presented as Document 1061-PS by US chief prosecutor Jackson on the second day of the Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal.
The claim also implies that someone induced former SS commander Jürgen Stroop into never challenging the authenticity of the document. As we shall see below, Stroop provided information to interrogators about the history of the report, the number of specimens issued and the purpose and features of each specimen.
Denierbud seems to be quite obsessed with the issue, for he has been continuously adding material to his feature since I first looked at it. At that time, it consisted of just the “no deadly explosions” and “not enough Germans killed” arguments, five “other points to consider” and his musings about the forger being Rachel Auerbach. Now he has added another to the two he apparently considers his main arguments, his “other points to consider” have increased to ten, and his speculations about the forger’s identity have been expanded. Fanatical true believer that he is, denierbud will probably keep on adding to his crusade against the Stroop Report, but I don’t feel like waiting until he’s got all his BS together. The following commentary is based on denierbud’s feature as it stood on 16.09.2007 at 21:04 hours GMT, according to a screenshot I have taken. What changes denierbud may introduce to his “essay” in the future will be commented as they come along.
So, what is denierbud’s bold forgery claim based on? What indications against the authenticity of a document that even fellow “Revisionist” truth-seekers found no basis to challenge does he think to have found?
Any demonstrable incompatibilities with the historical context that becomes apparent from other evidence? No, denierbud has none of that to offer.
Any physical indications of manipulation?
Well, he thinks he found two related to Stroop’s artillery, which I shall look at first of all. Though belonging to different sections of denierbud’s “essay”, these claims will be discussed together due to the similarity of their subject.
1. “The Forger Got The Gun Wrong” (item A of the section “A Fraudulent Commemoration Book”)
Denierbud starts out claiming that the “forger” of his fantasies “got the gun wrong” when mentioning a 10 cm howitzer in the “short list of weapons”, because this is not the kind of gun that, according to some anonymous Australian artillery buff who obviously shares denierbud’s convictions, is shown on photographs included in the Stroop Report, especially this one that denierbud calls the “Stroop report gun photo”. The gun on this photo, according to denierbud, is shown especially by the characteristics of the gun shield as being a “75mm wz. 02-26 Polish divisional field gun”. Stroop, so denierbud tells us, would certainly have “reviewed ammunition orders for the weapon”, and he also was a World War I veteran who would therefore have “25 years of experience with howitzers”, so he couldn’t have possibly got the gun wrong. Denierbud also claims that a howitzer is “not the best choice for a weapon for inner-city fighting” – something his “forger” of course would not know.
One problem with denierbud’s “wrong gun” claim is that, as will be shown hereafter, his “Stroop report gun photo” was certainly not part of any specimen of the Stroop Report, even though its inclusion in a “Stroop Report Image Gallery 2” by a certain dubious“Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team” might suggest otherwise.
The following excerpt from page 26 of Richard Raskin’s book A Child at Gunpoint (Aarhus : Aarhus University Press, 2004) brings us a description of the Stroop Report by the man whose name it bears:
Captured by U.S. forces in May 1945 and extradited to Poland in 1948 to stand trial for the crimes he had committed in Warsaw, Stroop gave testimony during pre-trial hearings on the full range of his activities as leader of the Großaktion, including the making of what would come to be known as the Stroop Report:
Since Himmler and Krüger were very interested in the progress of the operation, I had to send daily reports to Krüger, who forwarded them to Himmler. At the conclusion of the operation, in compliance with Krüger’s wish, three bound books were made of these reports, one of which was for him, the second was to be sent on to Himmler via Krüger, and the third was for me. As far as I remember, an unbound file copy of the report (das Konzept) remained in the headquarters of the SS and Police Leader in Warsaw, in the care of Chief of Staff Jesuiter.
Only two of the four specimens mentioned by Stroop were discovered (denierbud claims that “Only three copies exist”). Raskin, as above, pages 28 ff.:
Two specimens of the Stroop Report were exhibited at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in November 1945, sharing the document number 1061-PS, and when subsequently entered as evidence in December 1945, they shared the title “US Exhibit 275”. According to the “Staff Evidence Analysis” prepared by the Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel (OCC), the sources of these originals were listed as the Seventh Army Intelligence Center (SAIC) for the one, and the Military Intelligence Research Section (MIRS) in London for the other. (See Appendix II, pp. 61-62 below.)
One of these specimens, the one supplied by SAIC, was a leather-bound original. Having served its purpose in Nuremberg, it was sent to Warsaw by the OCC in 1948 on the request of the Polish authorities preparing their case against Stroop. It is still there today, in the care of the Institute of National Remembrance, and is the only leather-bound original whose whereabouts are now known[my emphasis – RM].
The MIRS specimen is unbound, and is presumably the file copy which – according to Stroop – was kept at SS headquarters in Warsaw, though how it found its way to MIRS in London (if in fact it did) is a mystery. In any event, the MIRS copy is now at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. That it is the file copy rather than one of the bound originals, is suggested not only by the absence of a leather binding, but also by the fact that Stroop’s signature is missing from the final page of the introduction and that none of the 32 dispatches is signed by Stroop nor counter-signed by his chief of staff, Jesuiter. (All of these signatures are found in the leather-bound Warsaw specimen.)
Widely circulated claims that all three leather-bound originals were recovered after the war and are currently located at the NARA in Washington, the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz and the Chief War Crimes Commission in Warsaw, are simply incorrect. The Bundesarchiv possesses no specimen of the document, and the NARA copy – as already mentioned – is unbound and devoid of the signatures that were undoubtedly present in all three of the leather-bound specimens of the report.
It is therefore clear that two of the three leather-bound originals are now missing[my emphasis – RM].
On pages 40 to 49 of his book, Raskin provides copies of all 53 photographs (not 65, as denierbud claims) that are included in the specimen kept by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw, the only leather-bound original of the Stroop Report known to have been found:
Denierbud’s “Stroop report gun photo” is not among these photographs. It is therefore irrelevant to discussing the authenticity of said leather-bound original.
What about the file copy kept at the NARA?
Indeed there are certain differences between the Warsaw original and the NARA copy, as pointed out by Raskin on page 49:
37 of the 53 photos in the Warsaw document are also in the NARA copy, though not necessarily in the same order nor of the same size. And in the case of three other photos, the 7th, 15th and 41st in the Warsaw document, there is a NARA variant, taken of the same scene but a moment earlier or later and from another angle.
What Raskin refers to as the 7th, 15th and 41st photos in the Warsaw document are the following photos included in the THHP feature of the Stroop Report:
“Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”
NARA Variant (from the site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum): "To the Umschlagplatz"
“These bandits defended themselves by force of arms”
NARA Variant: "These bandits offered armed resistance"
“The radio car of the command post”
NARA Variant: "In the radio car of the command post"
Regarding the 16 photos in which the Warsaw original and the NARA copy completely differ from each other, Raskin (as above, page 50) writes the following:
Of the 16 photos in the Warsaw document that are not represented in the NARA specimen, the one that is most striking is the picture of the captured HeChalutz women (the 26th in the series, shown on p. 44 above). And of the 16 photos in the NARA document not found in the Warsaw specimen, none stands out as particularly memorable.
A query for photographs from the Stroop Report on the site of the USHMM turns up 59 photographs, two of which (this one and this one) show the report’s cover page. Out of the other 57, 15 (nos. 5, 7, 8, 13, 14, 16, 22, 25, 28, 33, 34, 36, 37, 41 and 56) are identified as being from the Stroop Report but have no equal or variant in the photos included in Raskin’s book. The 16th of the photos “in the NARA document not found in the Warsaw specimen”, mentioned by Raskin, is missing and may thus theoretically be denierbud's “Stroop report gun photo”. However, it does not show either in this query nor among the 55 photographs listed under the subject classification “GHETTOS (MAJOR) -- WARSAW (Poland) -- Uprising/Suppression -- Stroop Report”. It is only turned up as # 66 out of 151 photos by a query under “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” on the USHMM site. As we can see there, it is not identified as part of the Stroop Report. The subject classification is a “GHETTOS (MAJOR) -- WARSAW (Poland) -- Uprising/Suppression – General” .
So unless the USHMM wrongly allocated this photo, we can conclude that it is not part of either of the available specimens of the Stroop Report, and therefore without relevance to discussing the authenticity of either specimen.
There are, to be sure, photographs in the Stroop Report that show a gun firing at buildings. These are photos numbers 28 and 37 turned up by the USHMM’s “Stroop Report” query and numbers 36 (the lower of the two pictures shown on this page) and 37 (the upper of the pictures shown on this page) of the Warsaw original’s photos shown by Raskin.
The former two are not very helpful as they show little more of the gun besides its wheels. The latter two are more interesting, as they show the silhouette of the gun shield, which is obviously a straight rectangular shield, without a bulge such as that of the German 10,5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18.
Does this mean it is the 7.5-cm gun that denierbud claims it to be, rather than a howitzer matching Stroop’s description?
Not necessarily, as there are a number of howitzers of the calibers 10 or 10.5 centimeters, in use by German forces during World War II, that seem to match what can be seen of the gun and especially the profile of its shield. For instance:
• The 10,5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 16. Although a World War I gun, it also saw service in World War II, according to the Lexikon der Wehrmacht.
• The 105mm M14 lFH Skoda, of which updated versions served well into the Second World War, again with the German army after it had occupied Czechoslovakia. Apparently this gun was also referred to as 10cm Feld-Haubitze M.14. According to the Lexikon der Wehrmacht, 127 Czech 10-cm howitzers 10-cm le. FH. 30(t) were taken over by the SS, and the Wehrmacht took over 382 Skoda-built Czech army howitzers under the designation 10-cm le.FH 14/19(t), as well as 676 Polish army howitzers under the designation 10-cm le.FH. 14/19(p), which had also been built by Skoda. This site shows some pictures of a Polish 100 mm howitzer of Skoda manufacture (Haubica 100 mm wz. 1914/1919 Skoda), apparently used in the 1939 campaign. This article also features one photograph of what I presume is the same type of gun. An article about this howitzer can be found here.
• The Italian Obice da 100/17, which saw service in the German armed forces as the 10 cm FH 315(i) (also mentioned in the Lexikon der Wehrmacht).
On the other hand, the 10 cm howitzer, the use of which is specifically mentioned only in the supplementary report of 20 April 1943, need not have been the only field artillery employed by Stroop’s forces. There are mentions of the use of artillery in other daily reports, at least one of which suggests an artillery piece other than the 10-cm howitzer.
In the report of 21 April 1943, the use of unspecified “schwere Waffen”, i.e. heavy weapons (incorrectly translated as “heavy artillery”) is mentioned:
Inasmuch as the special operation concerning the block of buildings occupied by the Army Accommodation Office had to be interrupted yesterday because of darkness, one battle group reinforced by Engineers and heavy artillery was again sent into the block of buildings, which was found to contain an enormous quantity of dug-outs and subterranean passages firing from time to time.
And in the report of 30 April 1943, it is stated that
In attacking one of the blocks we had to use a gun today.
The type of gun is not specified. This action is likelier to be the one shown in the above-mentioned four photographs from the Stroop Report than the one on 20 April 1943, for on these photos the gun seems to be firing at buildings already burned out, and the report of 30 April 1943 mentions such burned-out buildings:
Although some giant blocks of buildings now are completely burned out, the Jews continue to stay in the dug-outs 2 to 3 meters below ground.
The buildings that the 10-cm howitzer was used against on 20 April 1943, on the other hand, seem to have been intact before being fired upon:
At about 1500 hrs. I managed to arrange that the block of buildings occupied by the Army Accommodation Office said to be occupied by 4,000 Jews is to be evacuated at once. The German manager was asked to call upon the Jewish workers to leave the block voluntarily. Only 28 Jews obeyed this order. Thereupon I resolved either to evacuate the block by force or to blow it up.
The list of units in operation on 30 April 1943 makes no mention of the 10-cm howitzer:
Used in the operation:
. Police 5/133
Security Police 3/36
Waffen SS 6/432
Cordoning forces: .
. Waffen SS 3/318
German Police 2/89
moreover some Polish Police 200
So the gun used on 30 April 1943 may have been a gun, either belonging to one of the units mentioned in the above-quoted list or specifically requested for the occasion, of another type and caliber than the 10-cm howitzer used on 20 April 1943.
This, in turn, means that the gun shown on the photos in question may have been of the type and caliber that denierbud claims to have identified, without this signifying that the mention of a 10-cm howitzer in the daily report of 20 April 1943 and the supplementary report of the same day is mistaken, let alone that there’s a reason to suspect manipulation. According to the Lexikon der Wehrmacht, the German armed forced also used Soviet and Polish booty guns of the 75/76 mm calibers, namely the Soviet 7.62-cm-F.K. 295/1(r) gun of Soviet manufacture and the 7.5-cm-FK 02/26(p) and 7.5-cm-F.K. 97(p) guns of Polish provenance. The 7.5-cm-FK 02/26(p) seems to the same model as the “75mm wz. 02-26 Polish divisional field gun” that denierbud claims to have identified.
Stroop’s mention on 30 April 1943 of a strong-point in a burned-out block having to be taken out by artillery fire, incidentally, ridicules denierbud’s conjecture that the gun photos may be showing “Jewish and/or Polish resistance dressed as Nazis, using an old gun to bring down a building that is merely a bombed out façade, possibly hit by a German bomber in 1939”, on grounds that they seem to be shooting into an already destroyed building. “Why take out an already destroyed shell of a building?”, denierbud rhetorically asks. Well, buddy, the answer is provided in Stroop’s daily report of 30 April 1943, as pointed out above. Read before writing.
In the same paragraph, denierbud further indulges in amusing conjectures about the “grinning man” with that “stereotypical German face” (a German national myself, I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a “stereotypical German face”) in the “Stroop report gun photo” that I have shown is not part of any specimen of the Stroop Report and therefore irrelevant to this discussion. He also wonders why the men in this photo show no concern about sniper fire “from the buildings on either side of them”. Apart from the fact that, as we shall see in the next part of this commentary, the ghetto resistance fighters didn’t exactly have many rifles to snipe at their opponents, the idea that the gun might have been set up in an already secured part of the ghetto to fire at one of the “tougher” areas apparently did not occur to our genius.
Now to SS-Brigadefuehrer and Major General of Police Stroop and his alleged expertise in artillery. What can be gathered from online sources about Stroop’s service in World War I is that he was a volunteer, that he was wounded and awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, and that after the war, he returned to work at the land register. How this would necessarily give him “25 years of experience with howitzers”, as denierbud claims, is beyond my understanding, but maybe denierbud knows something about the man that I don’t.
As to denierbud’s claim that Stroop would have reviewed ammunition orders for the howitzer, it should be borne in mind that this was Wehrmacht equipment which, while allocated to an SS operation, may well have been used under the command and responsibility of a Wehrmacht officer, who accordingly may have been the one to review ammunition orders. That the Wehrmacht operated with a certain autonomy within the scope of this operation is suggested by Stroop’s pointing out the excellent cooperation with the Wehrmacht on several occasions, see the reports of 22 April 1943 and 10 May 1943.
Last but not least, a word about the use of howitzers in urban combat, which denierbud considers them not to be the “best choice” for. Here is what an expert of the Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, thinks about the matter (emphases are mine):
The Russians learned that conventional artillery fires are used during the approach to the city and while capturing the city outskirts. Then, the Russians deploy the bulk of their self-propelled artillery in direct-fire support of tanks and infantry. Since massed artillery fires create rubble in the very areas through which a force wants to advance, direct-fire is preferable. Direct fire can be conducted by guns, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and the 82mm Vasilek automatic mortar. When Russian forces arrived at Grozny, they had few fire support coordinators and forward air controllers. Motorized rifle officers were not skilled in adjusting indirect artillery fire, but could readily aim and adjust direct fire.
In another article co-authored by the same author, it is noted that
Self-propelled howitzers will provide better direct-fire support to the infantry.
And in this article about the military force that denierbud obviously hates most, we read the following:
Direct-fire artillery can be a valuable tool in urban combat provided one does not care about collateral damage. The IDF made extensive use of point-blank, direct-fire artillery, especially 155mm self-propelled howitzers, during the fighting in Beirut in a technique called “sniping”. The much heavier 155mm high explosive projectiles were found especially effective in reducing strong-points and reinforced buildings; in some cases, causing the entire building to collapse.
So howitzers seem to be an adequate weapon for direct fire in urban combat.
The conclusions to be derived from all above considerations are that there was no “forger” who “got the gun wrong”, but that denierbud got just about everything wrong in this … well, let’s be gentle and call it a nice try.
2. “A weapons caliber that doesn't exist” (item 7 of the section “Ten Other Points to Consider”)
Based on his anonymous Australian artillery buff’s input, denierbud triumphantly blusters away as follows:
An Australian man who has studied WWII weapons for many years, brought to my attention that the type of anti-aircraft gun mentioned in the report is a "2.28-cm A.A. Gun." The problem is that caliber doesn't exist. "2.28 cm" was not a caliber used by any military. But that's not the only problem with this gun. We read the full line:
3 2.28-cm A.A. Guns 2/24
They have 3 guns and "2/24" means 2 officers and 24 enlisted men. It would thus appear that 8 enlisted men operate each gun. The problem is that in the German army, there was a 4-man crew for anti-aircraft guns. Not 8. How did the forger make this mistake? She likely had access to some fairly poor reference material or photos and didn't quite understand what she was looking at. For instance 2.28 meter is the chassis width for a German anti-tank gun, the Wespe and Marder II. Would a general writing this with everything fresh in his mind make this mistake? No. It's about as likely as a rural American making a mistake for "a 22 rifle" and calling it a "21.28 rifle." It's hard to believe that it's a clerical error when you consider it represented a significant part of his arsenal, and that he would have been signing off for nearly a month on ammunition consumption and requisition forms for it. See list of weapons here and here.
The weapons caliber "2.28 cm" doesn’t seem to have existed indeed, that much is true. What the “list of weapons” (more precisely: the list of units at Stroop’s disposal as of 20 April 1943) obviously refers to is a 2 cm anti-aircraft gun, as can be seen from the following mention of the same hardware in Stroop’s supplementary teletype report of 20.04.1943:
The A.A. Artillery - 3 2-cm. guns used for this operation had two men killed.
2 cm or 20 mm anti-aircraft guns of various types were widely used by German armed forces in World War II. They are presented on the Lexikon der Wehrmacht site.
So this mention of “3 2.28-cm A.A. Guns” is either the result of manipulation or a plain and simple mistake.
Manipulation is an unlikely possibility if one considers (arguments related to the document as a whole and its context aside) that denierbud’s female forger, as denierbud himself “for instance” assumes, would have needed to have at her disposal “some fairly poor reference material” about German hardware that was produced and applied in comparatively low numbers (and about which “reference material” would be accordingly hard to come about, harder at any rate than reference material about, say, the most common light anti-aircraft cannon used by the German army, navy and air force), namely the tank destroyers Marder II (“From June 1942 to June 1943, FAMO, MAN and Daimler-Benz produced 576 Marder II vehicles. In addition, 75 were converted from July 1943 to March 1944.”) and Wespe (“Ausf F was produced by FAMO of Breslau (Wroclaw) and some 1400 chassis were manufactured, while 524 were completed as tanks from 1941 to 1943.”). Then she would have had to be not only ignorant of military matters, but suffering from such elementary confusion as to make the chassis width of either of these tank destroyers, 2.28 meters, into a “2.28 cm” caliber of an anti-aircraft gun (why “convert” a tank destroyer into an anti-aircraft gun in the first place?) when writing page 2 of Stroop’s first teletype report of 20 April 1943. After that, she would have had to realize her mistake and correct it in the supplementary teletype report of 20.04.1943:
The A.A. Artillery - 3 2-cm. guns used for this operation had two men killed.
but forget to correct it in the immediately preceding teletype report! It takes a “Revisionist” conspiracy theorist to contemplate so far-fetched a scenario.
A plain and simple mistake, on the other hand, is a far more likely possibility if one considers (arguments related to the document as a whole and its context aside) that one of the anti-aircraft weapons used on the German home front (and thus probably also in occupied territories well behind the battlefront), according to the Lexikon der Wehrmacht, was the Swiss-made 2-cm-Flak 28 Oerlikon, the “28” in the designation of this weapon apparently referring to the year 1928, in which it had first been introduced in the German armed forces. Stroop probably did not type his teletype messages himself but had them copied from his handwriting by a teletype operator, and it is altogether possible that
a) Stroop referred to the weapon as “Flak 2 cm 28” in his handwritten draft,
b) the teletype operator wrongly assumed that the “28” referred not to the type of the weapon but was a part of its caliber measurement (“2 centimeters and 28”), and
c) the teletype operator thus made Stroop’s “Flak 2 cm 28” into a “Flak 2.28 cm”.
There may have been a subsequent attempt to rectify or at least signal this mistake. This is suggested by the presence of a smudge over the dot separating the “2” from the “28” in “2.28 cm”, which is visible in this facsimile, and by the fact that there is a dot separating whole numbers from decimals in the figure, which is contrary to German usage. Germans separate decimals from whole numbers by a comma instead of a dot (as in “3,14”) the dot being used to separate thousands from hundreds and millions from thousands (as in “5.721.800”), unless the separation is signaled by blanks (“5 721 800”) – the exact opposite of Anglo-Saxon usage. So it may be that an original comma in “Flak 2,28 cm” was erased and replaced by a dot to signal to the reader that was what meant was a Flak 2.0 cm of the “28” type, and that the “cm” at the end of the designation was in the wrong place. Needless to say, such hurried semi-correction is far more likely to have originated with SS commander Stroop under pressure to send the teletype report to his superior than with a forger at leisure to, if necessary, retype the whole page containing this mistake.
The 2 cm Flak 28 Oerlikon, according to this page, was operated by four gunners: one for putting the sights on the target and operating the trigger, two for adjusting the sights’ distance and direction, and one in charge of providing the ammunition. The latter task, however, might have to be carried out by a greater number of gunners in practice, in order to keep up a rapid firing sequence involving not only steady ammunition supply but also substituting the gun’s barrel when it became too hot. The 2 cm Flak 30, a model introduced by the German armed forces in 1934 and later largely replaced by the 2 cm Flak 38, required 8 men to operate, according to the Lexikon der Wehrmacht (my translation):
The weapon’s operation required eight men: one lead gunner, one gunner, one man on the distance measuring device and five load gunners who were completely busy getting the ammunition and exchanging barrels that had become too hot.
Thus there is the possibility that the Wehrmacht 2 cm anti-aircraft guns mentioned by Stroop were Flak 28 operated in a manner similar to that of the Flak 30 guns.
Another possibility is that Stroop had requested or originally been announced Flak 28 guns but was actually issued Flak 30 guns, and that, being under pressure, he mixed up the two when scribbling down the text of the teletype report in question.
Conversely, it is also possible that Stroop had requested or originally been announced Flak 30 guns but was actually issued Flak 28 guns, and that he incorrectly assumed that the latter had the same operating crew as the well-known former. As already explained in the discussion of denierbud’s “wrong gun” claim, Stroop’s having served in World War I need not have meant that he was an artillery expert; this applies especially in regard to weapons that did not yet exist during his World War I service. As to the argument that Stroop would have been “signing off for nearly a month on ammunition consumption and requisition forms”, which is only relevant assuming that the flak guns were in use throughout the month-long operation even though they are only mentioned in two daily reports, the same objection applies as in regard to the 10-cm howitzer: as the flak guns were Wehrmacht and not SS equipment, and as the Wehrmacht may have been operating with a certain degree of autonomy under Stroop’s overall command, it is possible that the man in charge of signing ammunition requests for these guns was not Stroop, but a Wehrmacht officer.
Yet another possible reason for the flak guns in question being serviced by what denierbud claims is too high a number of troops is that the manpower of the 3 Wehrmacht anti-aircraft guns consisted not only of the men necessary to load, maneuver and fire the guns proper. According to the Kriegsstärkenachweisung (KStN) of a Wehrmacht Heeres-Flakbatterie 8,8cm as of 01.11.1943, this battery included a light flak platoon (leichter Flakzug) with 3 2-cm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns, one light vehicle, three trucks and one trailer. Its was commanded by one platoon leader (Zugführer), which suggests that the flak platoon mentioned by Stroop had an auxiliary unit attached to it and therefore a different command structure was required than for the “model” light flak platoon we are looking at. The latter’s roster consisted of three lead gunners (Geschützführer), 9 gunners (Kanoniere), three distance measurers (Entfernungsmesser) and four drivers (Kraftwagenfahrer) – altogether 19 men, thereof 15 manning the guns or five per gun. This light flak platoon was part of a larger unit, which included certain “central” detachments serving all sub-units, such as the communications echelon (Nachrichtenstaffel), the vehicle maintenance group (Kfz.Instandsetzungstrupp), the munitions echelon (Munitionsstaffel) and the battery baggage (Batterietross). Had it been allocated to an operation outside its mother unit under the overall command of an SS-officer, like the Wehrmacht anti-aircraft platoon involved in the crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, it would not have benefited from such synergies and might have needed to take along men in charge of communications, vehicle maintenance, ammunition handling and other tasks in order to be a self-sufficient, its roster thus being larger than when operating within the scope of the battery it belonged to. It must further be taken into consideration that some KStN “went through several changes and updates during the war”, so the KStN we have just looked at, as well as any other of a similar unit, may have provided for more troops in the light flak platoon on another date.
We can thus conclude not only that denierbud’s claim about there necessarily being “a 4-man crew for anti-aircraft guns” in the “German army” is dead wrong even assuming that he meant the 2-cm caliber alone (if he meant all types of AA guns, one might add that, for instance, the Geschützstaffel of our “model” 8.8 army flak battery had 4 lead gunners and 36 gunners manning its four 8.8 anti-aircraft guns, i.e. 10 men per gun), but also that there are several banal explanations for the troop strength of Stroop’s anti-aircraft unit (or units, assuming that a separate unit in charge of communications, ammunition handling or other tasks was added to the flak platoon) being 24 men, all of them more realistic than denierbud’s fantasy of a female forger doubling the gun crews because she ignorantly misread some “reference material”.
In what concerns the caliber of the guns, the explanation of a plain and simple transcription mistake, possibly related to a misunderstanding on the part of a teletype operator, has been shown to be far more realistic, even if considered independently of other arguments, than the far-fetched back-and-forth scenario that denierbud’s forgery claim implies.
Having thus dealt with denierbud’s artillery nonsense, and before moving on to other conjectures in the fellow’s “essay”, I would like to finish this exercise by pointing out the highly contradictory image of their “forgers” that conspiraloons like denierbud have:
On the one hand, their black beasts are supposed to have been so unbelievably crafty, clever, resourceful and influential as to produce a detailed 75-page document in German (consisting mostly of daily teletype reports with file numbers and other formal features and precise information such as data about the units and forces involved, and including a casualty list with about 100 names and unit designations), add 53 pages of elaborately manipulated photographs, make the whole thing look so authentic and in line with other evidence that no criminal investigator and no historian ever found anything wrong with it, and finally make sure that Stroop himself confirmed the document’s authenticity against better knowledge.
On the other hand, however, denierbud’s manipulators are supposed to have been so incredibly stupid as to not adequately inform themselves about the contents of what they were manipulating and to use and misread “fairly poor reference material” in a manner suggesting not only technical ignorance but (at least in what concerns the mistaking of a tank destroyer’s chassis width for an anti-aircraft gun’s caliber that denierbud speculates on) downright feeble-mindedness.
So, what are your “forgers” supposed to be, folks?
The evil geniuses required to pull off the highly elaborate manipulations that you believe in?
Or the dumb buggers required to commit the supposed blunders you make a fuss about?
You can’t have both.
Thanks to Sergey for his valuable input.
“The Stroop Report is a Forgery” (Part 2)