The Japanese delegates committed suicide before the surrender was agreed, for they refused to admit defeat and suffer the shame of a POW camp. As the fortunes of war turned against them, the Germans were in constant retreat from 1943 and onward.  As a replacement for the ministry, the Wehrmacht High Command Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), under Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, was put in its place. Nearly all the surviving records of the Rhineland death camps were destroyed.  The common soldier had no qualms with the SS, and often assisted them in rounding up civilians for executions.  Partisan fighters, Jews, and Communists became synonymous enemies of the Nazi regime and were hunted down and exterminated by the Einsatzgruppen and Wehrmacht alike, something revealed in numerous field journal entries from German soldiers. Between 1945 to 1946, around 5,500 aircraft were scrapped at Kingman Air Force Base in Arizona alone. The other German POWs hadÂ to then collect the body parts of their friends without using gloves or other protection.  The oath read: "I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath". His commanders and peers, who were less experienced in the effect of Allied air power, disagreed vehemently with his suggestion, arguing that this would violate the prime principle of concentration of force. The designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the previously-used term Reichswehr, and was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted. They were followed by local collaborationists including Serbian Chetniks and Croatian Ustashe, who were all trying to reach the British and avoid execution by the partisans. With the creation of the Wehrmacht in 1935, Hitler elevated himself to Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, retaining the position until his suicide on 30 April 1945. , Legally, the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht was Adolf Hitler in his capacity as Germany's head of state, a position he gained after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg in August 1934.  Though by 1941, the navy had already lost a number of its large surface ships, which could not be replenished during the war.  The U-boat war remained costly for the Allies until early spring of 1943 when the Allies began to use countermeasures against U-Boats such as the use of Hunter-Killer groups, airborne radar, torpedoes and mines like the FIDO. [Ingrid's Note:Â I am not sure this is true!Â I know there was such a plan - some Jews bragged about it on TV some years ago,Â but I never heard that it was carried out! This resulted in a huge amount of equipment being scrapped when the fighting was done. In the late 30’s, Ferdinand Porsche designed the VW Beetle. They can rot at their leisure.”. These officers saw the role of an air force as winning air superiority, tactical and strategic bombing and providing ground support. There was also a reluctance by countries to use Axis equipment as such weapons were seen as former tools of oppression and hatred. An interesting footnote: After the war, many German combat veterans joined the French ForeignÂ Legion. 'defence force') was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It arose out of a war-time need for an infantry rifle that was more compact, semi-automatic, and with a large magazine capacity at the expense of a lesser range. A site recently uncovered atÂ Harmica, 50 kilometres northwest of Zagreb, holds the bodies of 4,500 soldiers, including 450 German officers, executed by communist partisans. Instead of setting the course for Portsmouth Harbor, where he was ordered to knock as many British ships he could, he decided to reach Argentina and ask for a political asylum, like many of his Nazi comrades. The Red Terror was let loose on surrendered German POWs in eastern Europe from Czechoslovakia to Poland and beyond. Six days after the surrender 30,000 pro-Nazi troops from Germany and other Eastern European countries fought a battle against Communist fighters on the Yugoslavian and Austrian border.