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Wehrmacht

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Wehrmacht Balkenkreuz emblem

The Wehrmacht was a German-derived expression commonly used on Earth in the 1930s-1940s to indicate the combined regular German military, consisting of the army (Heer) – one of its most senior officers having been Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (VOY: "The Killing Game") – , navy (Kriegsmarine) and air force (Luftwaffe) of Nazi Germany, not including the armed ground forces (Waffen-SS) of the Nazi Party's own "Schutzstaffel" (SS) force. Its emblem was in German parlance called "Balkenkreuz" (translated as "beam cross"), and was carried on all vehicles of the organization on Earth, as well as on those of its 23rd century derivative on the planet Ekos.

Alternate timeline Wehrmacht Edit

Volkswagen Kubelwagen

Wehrmacht military vehicle

German Wehrmacht army Generalmajor

Wehrmacht general

In an alternate 1944 caused by the Temporal Cold War, the Wehrmacht army forces, alongside the SS, were able to conquer Europe and the eastern seaboard of the United States. Their occupation was fiercely fought against by the American Resistance. The resistance ambushed a small prisoner convoy that consisted of an Ford Model 51 truck that transported Captain Jonathan Archer from a field hospital for questioning, and escorted by a BMW R75 motorcycle and a Wehrmacht Volkswagen Kübelwagen (though driven by a SS soldier), carrying the license plate "WH-52552". All vehicles were damaged during the attack and their German occupants killed. (ENT: "Storm Front")

Concurrently, a Wehrmacht Generalmajor, arriving in a Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track vehicle, was stationed at the occupied American White House as liaison officer in order to relay orders from Adolf Hitler to the Na'kuhl, who were purportedly developing advanced weaponry for Nazi Germany. Under orders to provide the Na'kuhl with resources, the misguided general belatedly realized that they were following their own agenda and was subsequently killed by the Na'kuhl leader Vosk. (ENT: "Storm Front", "Storm Front, Part II")

This timeline was later averted by Archer and his crew of Enterprise NX-01 from 2155. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Luftwaffe Edit

Stuka Airplanes, Timestream
Stuka over New York City.
He 111s in the time stream.

The German air force branch of the regular Wehrmacht military, the Luftwaffe, also maintained a presence during the occupation of the eastern United States in the alternate timeline version of World War II. Its air force operations in the occupied territories were overseen by a Luftwaffe regional command. One of the airplanes the Luftwaffe operated, was the Stuka dive-bomber plane. A squadron of these, retrofitted with by the Na'kuhl provided plasma cannons, attacked Enterprise over New York City in order to prevent it from in turn destroying the temporal conduit the Na'kuhl were constructing. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Another airplane type employed by the Luftwaffe had been the He 111 bomber, several of these seen by Jonathan Archer in the time stream, as the proper timeline was realigning itself, due to his and his crew's actions. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

The Stuka was also operated by the mirror universe counter part of the Luftwaffe. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly", opening credits)

Ekosian Wehrmacht Edit

Ekosian newsreel 6 Ekosian Wehrmacht general
Ekosian Wehrmacht soldiers on the march
Ekosian newsreel 3
Ekosian Wehrmacht tanks
Ekosian Wehrmacht general

In the mid-2200s, the historical German Wehrmacht was recreated on the planet Ekos as a result from an ill-advised attempt by historian John Gill to reform Ekosian society, which was in the throes of anarchy, along the lines of a modified form of National Socialism. Originally dispatched by the Federation to serve as a cultural observer only, and in clear breach of the Prime Directive, Gill believed that by establishing a passive version of the Nazi state, but complete with such organizations as the SA, SS, Wehrmacht and their accouterments – resulting in a severe case of cultural contamination – , he could quell the upheaval on Ekos, setting himself up as Führer after his role model, Adolf Hitler.

However, with power surreptitiously usurped by Deputy Führer Melakon, Gill's social experiment quickly went awry and started to emulate what had happened on Earth in the 1930s-1940s. In 2268, a publicly shown newsreel showed Ekosian Wehrmacht armed forces gearing up for an aggressive campaign against the Zeons, immigrants from the neighboring planet Zeon, and by that time a much persecuted minority. Shortly thereafter a solitary Ekosian Wehrmacht Generalmajor was present at a rally, a bit lost amid a crowd of party, and SS officials, where Melakon and Gill presented their "Final Decision" for the "Zeon problem".

Interference by the Ekosian and Zeon underground alliance, aided by the crew of USS Enterprise who were sent to Ekos to investigate, resulted in the death of the two Führers and their intentions were thwarted for now. However, it is not known whether or not the Wehrmacht and SS organizations continued to exist on Ekos afterwards. (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

Background information Edit

Though the expression "Wehrmacht" (translated in the English language as "defense force") was, and to date is, almost universally used, even among Germans themselves, to indicate the army branch, its proper usage was to denominate the entirety of the regular (as opposed to the SS; see background note for that organization) German military, thus including the air force ("Luftwaffe") as well as the naval forces ("Kriegsmarine" or "Marine" for short). The correct German word for army is "Heer" and the correct full, formal, official and bureaucratic usage is "Wehrmacht Heer", hence the "WH" on the license plates carried by their vehicles ("WL" and "WM" respectively for the other two branches, and, obviously, "SS" in runic script for that organization).

Hermann Göring

Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring "in New York City"

In reality, the Luftwaffe, which in English translates as "air weapon", was commanded by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, who actually can be spotted in the newsreel of Hitler's visit to New York City in "Storm Front, Part II". Nevertheless, this was not established as canon in the episode. The Luftwaffe had also been the primary[1] opponent of the British Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain (in which the aforementioned He 111 served as the Luftwaffe's primary bomber), recreated by Miles O'Brien and Julian Bashir as a favorite holodeck program, who played RAF pilots in the simulation, as established in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Homefront". The Luftwaffe, which had historically lost the battle, was however, not referred to by name in that episode. The immediate predecessor of the Luftwaffe had been the First World War-era "Imperial German Flying Corps" (Luftstreitkräfte – "air combat forces" – , at the time merely an Imperial German Army branch, much like its contemporary American United States Army Air Corps counterpart was), in which Göring himself had served as a pilot, becoming a fighter ace in the process, and on whose remnants the Luftwaffe was founded. One of its fighter aircraft appeared in the opening credits of the mirror universe Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", indicating that plane was manufactured on mirror universe Earth as well.

The Stukas seen in "Storm Front" were entirely created as CGI by Fred Pienkos at Eden FX, whereas those seen in "In a Mirror, Darkly" was historical footage, as was the footage of the HE 111s seen in the reset time stream.

While the Ekosian general was a clearcut reference to the Wehrmacht, the references in the Ekosian newsreel were more tentative, though still there nevertheless. The reel contained especially produced footage for the episode, intercut with clippings of actual, historical German news, or propaganda footage. In the late 1930s prior to the outbreak of World War II, the military branch of the SS, the Waffen-SS, was at the time still very small and as "amateurs" despised by the regular German military. Developing somewhat sequestered from German society and military alike in that era, they, excepting two very limited and near unnoticed, small unit actions in the 1938 "consensual" Austria and Sudetenland annexations (actually meant to be their baptisms as a military unit), did not partake in any open military maneuvers until the September 1939 Polish campaign, the actual start of the war. The above and other featured parading soldiers in the reel, lacking any discernible SS insignia (on the uniform collars in particular), were from a newsreel of the April 1940 Wehrmacht occupation of Denmark, and in which the Waffen-SS had not taken any part, they instead amassing at that time on the western border in preparation for the May 1940 Blitzkrieg campaign in the West. [1]

The tank clipping, shot in either Belgium or northern France during the Blitzkrieg campaign, unequivocally showed Wehrmacht tanks. The very first SS tank unit only became operational at the start of 1942, well into the war. As a privileged part of the Nazi party, the SS was given preferential treatment, and had first pick of the very best and most modern weaponry German manufactures had to offer at any given time, which the tanks featured in the reel – two SdKfz 265 Panzerbefehlswagens and a Panzer I tank – were most definitely not. Already obsolete at the start of the war, both machines were by 1942 in an advanced state of being phased out for operational duties, and neither had ever served with any SS armored unit.

World War II-era German soldiers were in the Star Trek television franchise, aside from "Patterns of Force" and the two "Storm Front" episodes, also featured in the Star Trek: Voyager fourth season two-part episode "The Killing Game". But for reasons that can only be guessed at, Star Trek producers had, the two generals excepted, invariably chosen to portray only soldiers belonging to the SS. This seemed a bit incongruous as the Wehrmacht had been the larger organization by far (enlisting approximately 18 million soldiers during its existence, whereas the SS in its entirety, non-combat units included, had comprised of approximately 1.2 million volunteers), having carried the brunt of both combat, as well as occupation duties. The Kübelwagen and the general in the two "Storm Front" episodes, as well as the more ephemeral references in "Patterns of Force", were the only allusions Star Trek has ever made to the regular German army. The SS counterpart of the Wehrmacht brigadier general would have been an "SS-Oberführer" or an "SS-Brigadeführer" – one of each actually seen in the by the Ekosion Generalmajor attended rally – sporting different insignia on both their uniforms and headgear.

The Kriegsmarine has never been alluded to in Star Trek, save for the Starfleet vessel USS Emden, named after several cruisers having served in the German navy, including one in the Kriegsmarine.

See also Edit

Footnote Edit

  1. A little known fact is, due to its limited participation, that the air force of Germany's WWII ally, Italy, had also had a presence in the battle.

External links Edit

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