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Copy of document 3571-PS
Report of U.S. Military Attache, Berlin From: M.A., Berlin Date: May 24, 1939 Report 16,682 G-2 Report GERMANY (Combat) Subject: Occupation of Bohemia and Moravia (Supplement to Report No. 16,520) The following translated extract of an article which appeared in the “Wehrmacht” of March 29, on the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia by German troops on March 15, it is believed will be of some interest in throwing further light on the operation of the German army at the time: "From Silesia, Saxony and Northern Bavaria and the East Mark, seven Army Corps moved on the morning of March 15 past the former Czech border. On the evening of March 14 parts of the VIII Army Corps and the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, under the command of the Commanding General of the VIII A.C., had already occupied the industrial centers of Witkowitz and Maehrisch Ostrau. The troops of Army Group 3 under the command of General of Infantry Blaskowitz were to take Bohemia under their protection, while the troops of Army Group 5 under General of Inf. List were given the same mission for Moravia. For this purpose parts of the Air Force (particularly reconnaissance planes and anti-aircraft artillery) as well as parts of the SS Verfuegungstruppen were placed at the disposal of the two army groups. On the evening of March 14, the march order was received by the troops. On March 15 at 6 A.M. the columns moved past the border and then moved on with utmost precision. In spite of the snow and ice the most important cities of Bohemia and Moravia were in German hands on the evening of March 15, and the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the armed forces [Page 265] was able to set up his headquarters in Prague under the protection of German troops. He himself expressed his appreciation to the troops for their bearing on this march through snow and ice. Anyone who has himself been a soldier, will know what it means to march through snow and ice, particularly when the snow at times is up to a meter high, or to drive in column in such weather. Furthermore the fact must be taken into consideration that the troops were called in without previous mobilization and that the recruits had only received four months training. On March 15 the Air Force also had to suffer from the bad weather conditions. The contemplated employment of large air units had to be waived in consideration of the snow storms prevailing. In spite of these weather conditions, however, the reconnaissance planes fulfilled their missions. As soon as the weather cleared up a little, on March 16, strong Air units of Air Fleet 1 (Commanding General; Lt. General Loehr) fulfilled their mission over Bohemia and Moravia, so that the strength of the German Air Force was also demonstrated in practice to the Czech nation. On March 16 the first air squadrons landed on the Czech airfields which had previously been occupied by the army.” Percy G. Black, Major, F.A. Acting Military Attache.