Austria in WW2 and beyond

Theres an interesting bit in Stephen Ambrose's Book "Wild Blue" about Sen George McGovern saying on a TV show in Austria in 1985 that he was only sorry for one bomb that had hung up and eventually dropped on an Austrian farm house, The Owner of the farm phoned the TV station to say the no one was hurt and that he had been Anti Nazi. "I thought that if the bombing of my farm reduced the war by one minute ,it was well worth it" he said

Another anti Nazi? way! I'm suprised that they found anyone to do all the occupying and murdering with so many of 'em about?

War Crime Trials in Austria


If you want to read the diplomatic notes between USA, UK, FR, and USSR regarding the occupation of Austria see Avalon Project - World War II : Documents. Pretty good stuff.

If you are interested in the Operational documents (admittedly from a predominate US point of view) you might try the Army's Digital Library (Available at Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) Digital Library) I did a quick search using Austria Occupation and came up with the original histories produced by the Occupation army. Might be of interest.
I served with a guy who was part of the Army of Occupation in Austria at the ed of WW2. He reckoned that there were loads of un-repentant Nazis there. In his opinion, the Austrian people were, in general, more Nazi the the Germans as the average German showed some remorse but he said he hardly ever met an Austrian who did.

You can find good with most nationalities but I can say, hand on heart, that I have yet to meet a good Austrian.

However, I may just have been unlucky in those I have dealt with and agree that this could be seen as an irrational predjudice.
As far as Austria was concerned, the most common RAF raiders would have been 205 Group, based in Italy around Foggia, flying Wellingtons, Halifaxes and Liberators. Their contribution (not part of Bomber Command) is all too often forgotten. A former UK Defence Attache to Bucharest (Col Macdonald) wrote a very good book on their campaign against Rumania (Through Darkness to Light), since his main Remembrance responsibility was wreaths on their graves.

Innsbruck airport in particular was also for a while the home, very late in the war, for Galland's JV44 "squadron of experten" flying the Me262.

205 Group included 2 Wing SAAF with 31 and 34 Sqns flying Liberators. The AOC for much of the group's time in Italy was a SAAF officer, Brigadier Jimmy Durrant.

South African Military History Society - Journal- MUSEUM NEWS

The first post on this thread has an orbat of 205 Group in about July 1944. Most of the Wellington squadrons later converted to Liberators: Forum -> RAF/Commonwealth operations over Romania


War Hero
A very good simplification.

The Austrians were just as much to blame as the Germans, but could just simply blame it all on the germans afterwards.

The Nazi hunter Simon Weizenthal once put down the "Austrians were not to blame" argument with a load of statistics, ending with "and Hitler wasn't an Eskimo"