Shooting Brother Robert The K. of the Suburban Sheepdog Blog called my attention to an article in Salon Magazine by Alex Seitz-Wald in which he accuses “Gun rights activists who cite the dictator as a reason against gun control have their history dangerously wrong.” The whole article is an exercise in “You can’t fight the Government. You’ll get killed!” or how to be a proper sheep. Robert does a great work fisking Mr.Seitz Hyphen Wald. Go read it.
“And the ancillary claim that Jews could have stopped the Holocaust with more guns doesn’t make any sense at all if you think about it for more than a minute.”
Let’s examine a bit what was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from a “tactical” viewpoint. Half a million people, mostly Jews but some Unerwünscht (undesirable) added were forcibly moved to a walled compound inside the city of Warsaw. The Ghetto’s surface was about a square mile with very little in public services or comforts. In fact, Wehrmacht reports indicated that “the ghetto contained 27,000 apartments with an average of 2 ½ rooms each. An average of six persons per room.” The population was under food rationing issuing 1,000 calories per day to workers and 300 calories for non-workers. Mind you, a normal working human being requires 3,500 calories to properly function. These underfed civilians were just that: Civilians with no training in firearms as we understand it today and people who were conditioned since birth to accept the dictum of the State without questioning much, if any.
So, when the uprising started, the Germans faced a starving population contained in a known area. When the uprising started, calculations were sent up the chain of command indicating that the problem would be solved in three days. It actually took five weeks to take control of the Ghetto. No more than 500 partisans both Jews and Poles faced the German Army in total. The amount of weapons they used was small according to the Wehrmacht reports that stated “7 Polish rifles, 1 Russian rifle, 1 German rifle, 59 pistols, several hundred home-made hand-grenades, several hundred incendiary bottles, home-made explosives and some ammunition.” It is safe to assume some weapons taken from Non-German Wehrmacht conscripts that were in charge of patrolling the Ghetto alongside the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst who were not issued weapons.
But what was the amount of force that the Germans required to put down the Uprising? Again according to the Wehrmacht report:
2,000 officers and men of the Waffen SS; three Wehrmacht divisions, providing sappers and artillery support; two battalions of German police (234 officers and men); 360 Polish police; about 35 security police; and a 337-man battalion of fascist auxiliaries, called ‘Askaris’ by the Germans in contemptuous reference to the black troops who had helped defend Imperial Germany’s African colonies before and during World War I. In total, it was expected that 2,842 Germans would be committed to cleaning out the ghetto, while another 7,000 SS troops and policemen patrolled the surrounding non-Jewish districts.
Here is the funny part: The Germans were never able to re-occupy the Ghetto. Over and over they were repelled by a band of undernourished, poorly-armed, untrained civilians who knew they were going to die. But chose to so fighting, not taking a trip in a cattle cart.
The Germans chose to set the Ghetto on fire for the most part or used artillery to bring down the hardest buildings. The sewers where Jews and others hid, were filled with water or poison gas. Again, the alleged three day operation took some 7 weeks by over 2,800 of the finest troops of the day, with full support of their supply lines and a back up of 7,000 more troops in the area. Ladies and Gents: 500 partisans tied up almost 10,000 Nazi troops, that is a feat of arms.
Military doctrine tells us that it requires 10 regular soldiers to control the effect of a single partisan/guerrilla fighter; The Jews at the Warsaw Ghetto required twice that number. That is 10,000 soldiers that could have been used at North Africa to counter the Allied attacks but weren’t . In fact three days before the ending of the Uprising, the Afrika Korps and the Italian Army surrendered and Africa went to the Allies.
And my only question to Mr.Seitz Hyphen Wald would be, If the partisan tactics of civilians facing a regular well-constructed army are such a failure, why was the French Resistance so fundamental in the success of World War II? I ask that because the French Resistance officially came to be in the same week that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was put down and according to him, they should have not amounted to anything and they French fighters would have been better off just submitting to the German masters.
So, Would the Jews stopped the Holocaust if they were armed? I my opinion, yes. I mean, there has not been lack of trying by some countries to eradicate Israel since the state’s foundation, but the Jews are still there, kicking asses and taking names with guns and the mindset of Never Again.