Summer Auction 2019 Sale 76
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/30/2019
(1872-1952) Austo-Hungarian generalmajor of World War I who held senior positions on the Armeeoberkommando (General Staff) and exercised significant influence over Emperor Karl I of Austria and Generaloberst Arthur Arz con Straussenberg, Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army. Fine content grouping of seven World War II-dated A.L.S.’s “Frhr. v. Waldstatten”, 19pp. total, 8vo. and 4to., and one written on a correspondence card, Leitersdorf, 1939-44, all to Franz Bohme (1885-1947) Austrian General in the Wehrmacht, Commander of the XVIII Mountain Corps in the Balkans and Commander-in-Chief in German-occupied Norway during World War II, in German. Waldstatten writes a series of lengthy letters to his friend, discussing military matters and the progress of the Germans in World War II, in part, “…I sense…how you, as the successful commander of such first-rate, victorious troops, feel the urge to give rein to your well-justified feelings of pride and happiness. And the fact that…..you thought of your old instructor in tactics makes me extremely happy…..I do not want to be an armchair strategist, but... on the first press reports from the front, it is as if the two sides were meeting each other in an exercise. In so doing, I thought more of outmaneuvering the Polish army on the Vistula than of completely pinning them down so that that would lead on to the encirclement and annihilation of the Poles. I knew too little of the latest and most effective weapon of war - the fast-moving armored division - to evaluate its powers adequately. One thing I do know - if I were still an instructor at a military establishment, I should put in a word for the impetuous, daring types who were ready for command much more strongly than I did 30 (!!) years ago... The achievements of the army are fabulous - I feel myself once again proud to be a German, proud of the German army - at heart, all of us Austrians were equally good and genuine Germans…Let's wait for times of peace. Shall we have to wait a long while for them? Who could give an answer to that question?” (20th September 1939) “…I congratulate you very warmly and genuinely on your high decoration... I have followed your victorious advance through France on my wall map of the war... continually amazed at the areas said to be strong and important which could be hurried, or rushed, through! It was fantastic what was achieved in this regard... Poland, France; will you now be denied the opportunity of gathering new laurels in England?' (20th June 1940, less than a month before the Battle of Britain commenced) “…Once again I have the occasion to congratulate you most warmly. You are actually now on the penultimate step to the highest military rank, a 'fighting General of Infantry'; this is magnificent, and I congratulate you most warmly' (28th September 1940) “…In the East, in the West, in the South - at every point of the compass you have magnificent successes to show! What more can Mars, the god of war, offer you? With the Greek gods you must already be on the best of terms! Thirty years ago, who would have surmised that you would win the laurels beside the Aegean Sea and - as I expect - in Greece as well?' (27th April 1941) “…I became an officer 50 years ago; in that profession I could serve only 26 years... I feast on the memory of those 26 years in my real calling... All that you have been able to take part in, with such rich success, is indeed enviable. Especially in the Balkans, you had a whole host of most interesting problems to solve. “Fortune in war remains kind only to the man who is expert at his job” is an observation whose truth has been proved over the centuries. I cannot surmise where you are stationed on the Russian front, but I know for certain that it is there that the greatest conceivable actions will take place…” (16th August 1942) “…You keep the information you give about your own activities in very general terms, and thus very much in accord with proper military practice in such matters: it allows me to make only very broad surmises about where you are operating. Perhaps one will read your name shortly in Tunis…..since you are always posted to places where something is wrong...' (19th November 1942), 'It is certainly a cause for astonishment that you have been able to stand up physically to what is already 4 ½ years of all kinds of hardship on the battlefield - of which 3 have been spent in Russia!!... The news you have sent has naturally interested me very greatly. It's a pity that I cannot follow your operations on a map. Where may your position be? I opt for the area around Nevel or Vitebak….In any event, it looks - overall - very difficult. Without having an accurate picture of the defenses, I should argue for a landing in the Bremen - Hamburg area. May you succeed in winning the greatest strategic - yes, the decisive - victory of the war!!...But - in my opinion - one cannot exclude the thought that all the great excitement is one huge American bluff!' (9th January 1944). With the original envelopes, three also signed by him in the return address panels. With translations. A fine group of letters for their content and association.
ALFRED VON WALDSTATTEN
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $125.00
Estimate: $200 - $300
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
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