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spof

Some German documents which are still held in Russia

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spof

This is a site showing approximately 36,000 pages of German records which are still held in Russia.

 

http://tsamo.germandocsinrussia.org/de/nodes/1-germanskie-dokumenty-pervoy-mirovoy-voyny-tsamo-fond-500-opis-12519

 

The site is either in Russian or German but a Google Translate offers this:

 

Number of files     465


Description     

The collection "German Documents for the First World War" (inventory 500, Findbuch 12519) was handed over to the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (CAMO) between 1953 and 1961 by the military science administration of the Soviet Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the USSR.

The collection comprises 36,000 sheets of files from the Grand General Staff, the Supreme Army Command, the staffs of various commanders' committees, troop units and units, the Prussian Ministry of War, the Ministry of the Interior, the Foreign Office and other authorities. This includes, among other things, orders, orders, correspondence and other documents and publications, most of which date from the period from 1910 to 1919.

The vast majority of the files are made up of war tales and battle reports (84 files), maps and schematic sketches (146 files), personnel files of military personnel (85 files), and other documents on personnel records, including financial documents. In addition, there are lists of units, surveys and overviews on the establishment and use of troops, supply field artillery during the fighting around Verdun with ammunition, the use of firearms, material for propaganda and military reports Enlightenment and the General Staff of the 6th Ottoman Army.

In addition, the collection contains material on the internal and external political situation of the German Reich as well as information on sunken and damaged ships. Some files contain documents on the preparation and results of the 2nd Hague Peace Conference, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905, and the Peace Treaty between the Fourfold and Romania.

 

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trajan

Spof,

 

I am certain that I posted a "thanks" for this link long ago, but I can't see that! Anyway, 'Thanks'!!!

 

1) Try as I can I have never managed to get the 'Suche' option on this work - has anyone else tried it? Or is it just me?

 

2) Have any more documents been released on-line? None of the units I am tracking are here...

 

Julian

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spof

Julian

 

I don't think I ever got the search to work wither. They have added more documents since I posted the link but it is all WW2 stuff.

 

There are now indexes which may help you or others looking through the records

http://tsamo.germandocsinrussia.org/de/indexes/types/12

 

Glen

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Michael Lowrey

The files include some really interesting German naval documents from mainly early in the war that I hadn't seen before.

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trajan
56 minutes ago, spof said:

I don't think I ever got the search to work wither. They have added more documents since I posted the link but it is all WW2 stuff.

 

There are now indexes which may help you or others looking through the records

http://tsamo.germandocsinrussia.org/de/indexes/types/12

 

 

Thanks Glen - I'll try that later but having poored over each of the 462 documents by name nothing seems to fit what I am after...

 

44 minutes ago, Michael Lowrey said:

The files include some really interesting German naval documents from mainly early in the war that I hadn't seen before.

 

There is a LOT of potentially good stuff there. A fair amount relates to the Eastern front and the attack on Greece, and a lot is basically maps, but some of these are fascinating in their own way as with the almost day-to-day maps of positions during the 1918 spring offensive. I have not delved into the personal diaries as the names are not familiar to me.

 

Julian

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spof
7 minutes ago, trajan said:

 

Thanks Glen - I'll try that later but having poored over each of the 462 documents by name nothing seems to fit what I am after...

 

I was mostly highlighting that feature as it is new since 2016.

 

56 minutes ago, Michael Lowrey said:

The files include some really interesting German naval documents from mainly early in the war that I hadn't seen before.

 

I doubt many people had seen any of these documents since 1945 at least.

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trajan

Indeed! I certainly can't see why anyone would want to keep and store as a secret document never mind read, the Qualifikationsberichte über den Stabsapotheker Dr. phil. Paradeis, for example! With my archaeological hat on(!), the preserved WW1 Potsdam archive smacks a little of the library found in the Villa of the Papyri, with its collected works of Philodemus of Gadara, one of the more obscure of the Epicureans... I.e., a mixture of bibs-and-bobs that don't add much to the general sum of knowledge. But there again, that's just my view after not finding what I hoped might be there...!!!

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charlie2

Thanks for pointing out the index, it makes it a lot easier to use. I guess anything that was moveable was taken back to the USSR in 1945. I doubt that anyone will ever know what was taken and is still stored somewhere in the Russian archives. Amber room anyone? :D

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AOK4
2 hours ago, charlie2 said:

Thanks for pointing out the index, it makes it a lot easier to use. I guess anything that was moveable was taken back to the USSR in 1945. I doubt that anyone will ever know what was taken and is still stored somewhere in the Russian archives. Amber room anyone? :D

 

Our Belgian military archives got several truckloads of archives back from Moscow in 2002... I wonder whether there is more German military paperwork there. But the the German government has no interest at all in their military past...

 

Jan

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trajan
15 hours ago, charlie2 said:

Thanks for pointing out the index, it makes it a lot easier to use. I guess anything that was moveable was taken back to the USSR in 1945. I doubt that anyone will ever know what was taken and is still stored somewhere in the Russian archives. Amber room anyone? :D

 

The Russian MIlitary archives have never been properly catalogued. It was only by chance that a Russian colleague of mine found there the incredibly useful copies of 18th and 19th century plans of a site I am working on in the Ukraine. 

 

12 hours ago, AOK4 said:

 

Our Belgian military archives got several truckloads of archives back from Moscow in 2002... I wonder whether there is more German military paperwork there. But the the German government has no interest at all in their military past...

 

What on earth were Belgian archives doing in Moscow? Had they been taken by the Germans in WW1 / 2 and stored at Potsdam? 

 

I would disagree on the Germans not having any interest in their military past - the military archives at Freiburg, Munich, etc., are open for searching.

Edited by trajan

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egbert

I am a vivid reader of the files since the opening of the mentioned website. Also have posted many links to interesting subjects here on GWF with no whatsoever interest or response......

i.e. 

with my final conclusion:

 

 

So nothing new here.

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trajan
1 hour ago, egbert said:

I am a vivid reader of the files since the opening of the mentioned website. Also have posted many links to interesting subjects here on GWF with no whatsoever interest or response......

 

Hi Egbert,

 

I am so sorry to hear that!

 

I did have a short look through the files when SPOF first published the link, but had a new look at them last week when trying to see if I could find anything relevant to my various areas of interest - e.g., FeBA 24 and 50, and certain bayonet matters. I had noticed all the U-boat stuff and had a new look at the sinking data only yesterday, which held my interest for longer than I expected! Yes, there is so much of interest in the files, as with, for example, the shell expenditure at Verdun, and even though I not especially interested in the history of the western front - (I would love to be but I have too many other interests plus family and work commitments!), I certainly found the sit-rep maps for 1918 fascinating. I guess too many GWF members are frightened by the need to know some German(!), but generally most of the type-written stuff is easy to follow and, I suspect, could be copy-pasted into google for a serviceable translation. The hand-written diaries, though, are a challenge which I have certainly avoided, although the official 'Tagesbericht' seem slightly easier - well, the ones I have looked at seem that way, written in a very neat hand as with the Soldbuchen and other similar material.

 

Julian

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Michael Lowrey

The British captured the German naval archives in 1945 and then allowed the Americans to make a microfilm copy of the files. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration still sells copies of these microfilms; the original documents are now back in Germany. A lot of the items the Russians have scanned in (unsurprisingly) aren't the actual original documents but rather certified copies of the original that they captured somewhere or rather. Still very interesting, as they're now more accessible — and the Russians seem to have selected the more interesting parts of the early naval war to present.

 

New items for me include questionnaires on individual ship sinkings frfom 1915 and 1916 (have only seen these in some U-boat KTBs from 1918), a detailed summary of U 22's friendly fire torpedoing of U 7, and detailed documents on the salvage of U 30.

 

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MartH

There were teams of men from all the allied powers looking for documents and they shipped back train loads. The British particularly wanted the naval archives to understand the U boats and were scared of the Russians getting their hands on the new U boat technology. The Americans were interested in documents on fighting the Russians and produced a wealth of material based upon the captured materiel. The US had men placed in Potsdam during the 1920's getting copies of papers relating to engagements with US Forces in the Great War and often copied information on the units either side, this too has been copied and sent back. What the Russians still have is a mystery, some say warehouses.... 

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roel22

A colleague of mine (a journalist) has been in one of those Russian warehouses, I think somewhere in the 90's.

The place was packed with German WW1-boxes and documents of all sorts. To him it looked like it had never been researched.

 

Roel

 

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voltaire60

  May I raise a query that I first put up some years back which seems germane to this thread-just in case anyone has any inkling from the German stuff  still in Russia (or over that way)?  On one of my first trips to Kew for Great War stuff, I could not find a particular British battalion war diary (1 LRB 1918 from memory-likely to be false-I'll take my Alzheimer tablet later)-  but a helpful staff member  waved his hand towards the library shelves and said there was-somewhere- a listing of British  War Diaries captured by the  Germans  and subsequently trucked off eastward by the Russkies in 1945-spoils of war, etc. I was very helpfully told that the WDs were mainly from 1918-German offensives-and those from North Africa 1940-1942. Now try as I might, I have never found any reference to this work, let alone found it on the shelves at Kew.

    I hope this may ring a bell with someone. Does the German stuff on these listings contain any British stuff  that had been captured???

( By the way, a commonish book on Soviet rule under Stalin is Merle Fainsod "Smolensk under Soviet Rule"-based on the Communist Party docs. seized when the Germans visited that way during Barbarossa-and subsequently re-pilfered by the Americans in 1945- now at the Hoover Institution at Berkeley)

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MartH
20 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

  May I raise a query that I first put up some years back which seems germane to this thread-just in case anyone has any inkling from the German stuff  still in Russia (or over that way)?  On one of my first trips to Kew for Great War stuff, I could not find a particular British battalion war diary (1 LRB 1918 from memory-likely to be false-I'll take my Alzheimer tablet later)-  but a helpful staff member  waved his hand towards the library shelves and said there was-somewhere- a listing of British  War Diaries captured by the  Germans  and subsequently trucked off eastward by the Russkies in 1945-spoils of war, etc. I was very helpfully told that the WDs were mainly from 1918-German offensives-and those from North Africa 1940-1942. Now try as I might, I have never found any reference to this work, let alone found it on the shelves at Kew.

    I hope this may ring a bell with someone. Does the German stuff on these listings contain any British stuff  that had been captured???

( By the way, a commonish book on Soviet rule under Stalin is Merle Fainsod "Smolensk under Soviet Rule"-based on the Communist Party docs. seized when the Germans visited that way during Barbarossa-and subsequently re-pilfered by the Americans in 1945- now at the Hoover Institution at Berkeley)

 

Hi 60Volts you have raised a very interesting idea. I know that both Edmonds for France and Belgium and Macpherson for the Medicals both complained about lack of war diaries when in retreat due to the people being lost or the material being captured and requested via adverts in periodicals and newspapers returned captured officers to write things down. 

 

This Edmonds raises in the preface to Volume II 1918 France and Belgium, he correspond with over four thousand to fill the gaps. 

 

Edmonds was also the correspondence "glue" between Official History writers in the inter war years (France and Germany Official History authors did not have direct contact till 1938) and during the Second World War he was in contact with the Reichsarchiv during WW2 via the Swiss Embassy and was sent a copy of Der Weltkeirg Volume 13 in 1942 via this router. He was also the collator of the war diaries, which were written to allow the production of OH's. So my educated guess if such a document exists or existed on the shelves of the IWM the compiler is J E Edmonds. 

Edited by MartH
Cut and paste edit to make sense

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voltaire60

Hi  Mart- Thanks for the info.   I really wish I could crack the WD stuff in Russia- it bugs me when I have to write up 2 1/5LRB casualties of 1918  and both the official regimental and "Gentlemen and Officers" are light on detail.  

   Hope the mutt continues to prosper.. Is he/she a collector of official histories as well?  :wub:

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MartH

60Volts, Oh yes Kai was on West Wittering beach yesterday coating himself in sand and enjoying life, he is a collector of smells, but enjoys a trip to book fair.

 

The issue of missing war diaries is a fascinating subject and shows the obstacles Edmonds had to over come. It is also amazing to me the number of people who corresponded on Volume 2 1918 France and Belgium alone, over 4,000 that is a lot of letters and paper. I wish he wrote something up on the War Diaries.

 

 

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MartH

I have been doing some research and Jeffery Grey's work "The Last Word?" has a chapter on captured Axis documents at the end of the Second World War, now this was for use in the Cold War. this led me to this document Click here, and although not to do with the activities at the end of the Second World War it is interesting, and does look at captured Great War records. 

 

The last word's article only goes into detail for the Second World War documents saying that the US and UK captured most of them, but since Potsdam was captured by the Russians I suspect (know) that  even though the Reichsarchiv had been fire bombed many documents survived and therefore many documents would have been captured by the Soviets.

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