How successful was Operation Werwolf as Germany was overrun in 1945?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Operation Werwolf was the Nazi plan, conceived sometime in 1944 as the war began going very badly for Germany, to train commando units to operate behind Allied lines and conduct a long term guerrilla resistance.  Suffice it to say, the operation never got off the ground, and in military terms, was singularly unsuccessful.

On the other hand, it was very successful psychologically.  The Allies did not realize that the plan was never really followed through on and did not receive anywhere near the resources it would have taken to succeed.  Rather than being part of an organized campaign, isolated SS units of fanatical Germans fought on in the Bavarian Alps, at least as a delaying action.  Mistaking this for the larger effort they had heard about, the Allies dedicated considerable military strength towards occupying and destroying any resistance in southern Germany before a guerrilla campaign could take place.

Some historians (though this is difficult to prove) argue that the distraction of the Allies for this purpose effectively allowed the Red army to take Berlin without competition from their western counterparts.

docsheng | Student

Operation Werwolf was a classic example of too little too late. As a psy-war op it distracted the allies which would've been useful as a ploy to stall for time had there really been an Alpine Redoubt.

The real function of the Werwolf Organization was to keep National Socialism alive after the war was over. In this it was successful. There are Nazi parties in almost every country in the world today.

One could argue that the Holocaust has kept National Socialism alive, through constant reference to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. I suppose the imagery of the Third Reich is so potent that as long as there is a visual record there will be people attracted to National Socialism. However, the establishment of secret bank accounts, investments in multi-national corporations, and the infiltration of other political parties (like the Greens and the Republicans) has made the Werwolf Organization a very potent force in the modern world.

As a resistance to Allied Occupation it only achieved limited results. But as a "keeper of the flame" it was very successful....