I Was A Teenage Werewolf


The last gasp of bogus Iraq-World War II comparisons was (we can only hope) the notion that the postwar period in Iraq is similar to the "Werewolf" period in postwar Germany (when you'll recall that Allied troops were still being killed on an almost daily basis and Hitler was sending out home videos from his hiding place in an abandoned Fanta bottling plant). This tale has now filtered up from the blogger/columnist level to America's leadership, with National Security Advisor Rice and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld pointing to the Werewolves in recent speeches. At Slate, Daniel Benjamin puts a silver bullet in the legend of Operation Werwolf, which, it turns out, was manned mostly by underage kids, caused no real disruptions in the occupation, and killed a total of zero (0) Allied troops in the postwar period:

In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen was assassinated on March 25, 1945, on Himmler's orders. This was not a nice thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was "probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement."

Indeed, the organization merits but two passing mentions in Occupation of Germany, which dwells far more on how docile the Germans were once the Americans rolled in—and fraternization between former enemies was a bigger problem for the military than confrontation. Although Gen. Eisenhower had been worrying about guerrilla warfare as early as August 1944, little materialized. There was no major campaign of sabotage. There was no destruction of water mains or energy plants worth noting. In fact, the far greater problem for the occupying forces was the misbehavior of desperate displaced persons, who accounted for much of the crime in the American zone.