By Major Han Bouwmeester

SS Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper used to be one in every of Germany 's so much colourful army leaders of global struggle II with an audacious recognition. The identify Peiper will continuously be associated with the Malmédy bloodbath, the loss of life of Belgian civilians and greater than seventy American infantrymen, yet there's nonetheless a fantasy round Peiper. Why was once a twenty-nine 12 months outdated Waffen-SS officer selected to steer the German spearhead unit through the conflict of the Bulge in December 1944? Peiper used to be a distinct chief in the essentially the most elite Waffen-SS divisions, the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler. Peiper was once charismatic and severe unswerving to his unit. His males relied on him as a pace-setter, even lower than the main severe stipulations. In Germany he was once a well known battle hero. It used to be a logical choice that Peiper turned the commander of the spearhead unit, yet there have been different elements resulting in this choice: tactical concerns, a we-know-what-to-expect-principle, and Peiper was once fortunate that he used to be nonetheless alive and serving within the Waffen-SS.

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Extra info for Beginning Of The End: The Leadership Of SS Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper

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His Janus face makes a myth of SS Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper, and he is, therefore, a favorable subject for a leadership study. Research Questions This thesis examines the leadership of Jochen Peiper and explains why he commanded at the very young age of twenty-nine the most important German unit during Unternehmen “Wacht am Rhein” (Operation “Watch at the Rhine,” the German code name for the Battle of the Bulge). This approach leads to the main research question for this thesis: Why had SS Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper been chosen to be the leader of the spearhead unit of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944?

2002, 45) The treatment by their instructors was fair. Drill instructors were not allowed to touch the recruits or to come within a distance of less than 2 feet without permission of the recruit. And once during a long and exhausting night training, when Schmidt had fallen asleep while marching, his instructor had taken his machine gun, MG-42, from his shoulder and dragged it for most of the march (2002, 45). Williamson also portrays the rest of a training day. In the afternoon the lessons commenced with “make and mend” sessions during which the barracks were cleaned and uniforms were maintained.

Discipline is authority downward and obedience upward, but both bind through a mutual trust and through loyalty. (2001, 45-46) The German Army and the Waffen-SS opinions on obedience were different. The German Army encouraged their educated officer to become independent thinkers, where the Waffen-SS officers were more stuck to their orders. There were exceptions in the Waffen-SS to this leadership tool. Men, such as Sepp Dietrich, Fritz Witt, Theodor Wish, Otto Baum, Kurt Meyer, better known as ‘Panzermeyer’ (see Mark Yeger’s Waffen-SS Commanders: The Army, Corps and Divisional Leaders of a Legend), Max Wü nsche (see Craig Luther’s Blood and Honor, The History of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitler Youth 1943-1945) and Jochen Peiper, all were able to make their own judgment, thought independently and took the initiative to exploit favorable situations on the battlefield and gained most of the time an enormous advantage on the enemy.

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