Hey /his/ I have a Particular interest in the foreign Waffen SS volunteers. Where they heroes or Traitors? Also lets talk about the:
>Motives for signing up
and Especially the Battle of Narva.
No /pol/ tier comments please
Can't say much but some of the last defenders in Berlin were French SS troops
Granted, it's because they would have been hanged and tried after the war, but that's besides the point, a lot of brave fuckers
Those coming from countries attacked and subjugated by the Reich were traitors. Those whom the Reich had been liberated from the reds were not.
Heroism, meanwhile, comes down to individual bravery or what they fought for.
The Balts fought to keep the Reds from coming back, and refused to fight Western Allies, while the motivations of, say, Bosnians I am hazy on.
Btw, units of the fussilier battalion of the 15th Latvian were also among the last defenders of Berlin. Got cut off from the dibision HQ and ended up defending Luftwaffe HQ, if memory serves.
What? I thought the SS was entirely made of volunteers. They had fairly strict requirements to get in. Rounding up conscripts seems silly given that they were a political army and not a normal army.
To the best of my knowledge, the conscripted divisions were not really bothered too much with indoctrination, apart from the regular "fight the red plague, save Europe" material.
The Germans actually distinguished between what they considered "true" SS divisions and the late stuff - the first were called SS Division and the second were Division der SS.
Various issues Siegrunen has a lot on the foreign units, if you can get hold of them.
The 19th was (mostly) volunteers, as the core was made of volunteer Schuma batallions.
The 15th was conscripts (apart from the officers), called to serve in 1943. The "volunteer" bit is a bald-faced lie to subvert the prohibition to conscript from occupied territories.
They began mass conscription in 1943 to replenish their extremely depleted units (SS had very high casualty rates, contrary to popular belief).
In the case of the Estonians, some of the foreign SS "volunteer" forces were just local conscripts from the regular pre-war national armies they would've been called up in.
They had no love for the Germans but they knew things would be much tougher under the Soviets, so they fought.
In Estonia many men, including my great grandfather joined the Waffen SS hoping to stop the commies and therefore continue building independent Estonia again. They had more hope that the Germans would let us be independent than the Russians. It was pretty much an option between bad and worse. There was also a third option, like my great grandfathers brother did, and hide in the forest.
Speaking of general opinion though, by patriotic associations and both the Estonian state the ones who fought on the German side are more looked upon as heroes than the ones who fought on the Russian side. Might be the reason of the Soviet occupation that continued after the war.
369th Reinforced Infantry Regiment was way better
Only non-german units allowed in the city of Stalingrad
>be born in 1904 in a small rural area
>big family, parents are poor as hell
>was not the first son so he knew he couldn't inherit the farm
>Estonian independence war, he dad and older brother all take part
>since he knew couldn't get the farm decided to be successful otherwise
>attended military college
>1st Estonian republic, good times, good training
>become an air force officer in 1928
>soviet occupation 1939
>all forces in Estonia are given orders to surrender
>hides in the forest with his brother until the German occupation
>could speak decent German and had a German name so he decided to join them
>became a pilot in the Waffen SS
>meet great grandmother
>make her pregnant
>shot down somewhere in Russia during WWII
>get taken to a labour camp in Siberia
>get back from the labour camp in like 1950
>die from accumulated diseases
The only weird thing for me is that my grandfather wasn't sent to the labour camp with him. His wife died in the bombing of Tallinn, so that's logical. But I never understood why my grandpa wasn't taken to Siberia. Also, pic related, him during military academy.
Another picture, if someone could tell me anything based on the insignia I would be very grateful
Well your grandfather must've been about 5 years old when the war ended, why would the Soviets have sent him to Siberia?
Anyway, my maternal grandfather's brother, Husein Vukovic, joined the Waffen SS in what was then the NDH (Ustase Croatia). He was in administration, so we think he was either handed over to the Partisans/denied access to Austria by the Brits, and killed at the end of the war, or that he aped being a German and survived in Germany, Austria, or Argentina with a German wife.
Who knows, I might have second cousins out there descended from him and not even know it.
No pictures though. My grandma has one of him in the uniform, all blond and Aryan looking and shit, but I didn't take a picture of it.
Sending 5 year olds to Siberia would have not nearly been the worst thing the soviets have done. They sent sick people there, the elderly and tons of kids, it didn't matter at all to them.
I think you mean,
>none of the new recruits were voulenteers
Which is partly true. But there were certainly voulenteers to the end.
Isn't there a recent Estonian film about how the war divided the country? One friend fighting for Hitler - another for Soviets?
I read a book on a Norweigan SS voulenteer named Ivar Skarlo. It's not translated to any other (non-nordic) language to my knowledge. It was a good read. He was 16 when he signed up and served 1941-1945. He didn't get to the front until around the time of Stalingrad however. He says they spent weeks locked up in trains just travelling vast distances in Soviet. Seems absurd to me that they wanted to take all that within a manner of months... It took just ONE month to travel from the polish border to the front when he got there.
He was also at Narva and manned a MG-42. He didn't leave his foxhole for two weeks except at night to shit and piss. The HQ would send out food at night too, but some nights they never got there for whatever reason. Him and his assistant Gunner sat there for two weeks, I believe. Every morning started with Katysja rocket fire followed by an infantry charge which he mowed down. There was a sniper in a belltower on the opposite end of the river that kept taking shots at his position. One morning Ivar just flipped and emptied his entire magazine into the bell tower (he couldn't see the sniper). After that the sniping stopped.
>let me put up those rose tainted glasses
now lets put it down
feel free to look up all the SS divisions and tell me those foreign divisions were any good
a smaller part of them were volunteering
the whole thing is insignificant compared to the size of the Heer, or the waffen SS itself
baltics are a special case, they were liberated? from the USSR (i dont know how much of a liberation was that for everyone)
generally you can say these divisions were poorly trainer, poorly equiped and poorly performing
not much else than emergency units to fill up the holes in your frontline
>By the end of 1943 almost none of them were volunteers.
Nonsense, this is post-war white washing by Western European volunteers covering their asses, just like every Frenchman who claimed he was in the Résistance during the war.
“Ce qui?! Non, I didn’t volunteer for Le Nazis, I was drafted against my will!”
At least the Eastern volunteers had the valid threat of Soviet domination to justify their actions.
Plenty of Norwegians joined the German military to fight on the eastern front. They saw the invasion as a protection against the bolsheviks and the capitalists, not as a conquest for power.
That is most definitely not a SS uniform, that's Heer.
Which is also odd, considering you say he was a pilot - those are not Luftwaffe insignia. Plus, those are officer collar tabs, so it seems rather unlikely he just up and switched to aviation mid-war.
Any more information - name, more precise previous service history?
I'm actually on my way to the state archive to research my own ancestors military service.
old ppl like to make stories up
my grandfather supposedly saw tigers evacuating through my town
then when i was reading about the operations conducted around this area it was pretty clear what he saw was PzIVs, since no tigers ever came around here
True, but "WE WUZ AVIATORS N SHIT" is a bit far-fetched.
Wait, but this guy is going by what his greatgrandmother was told.
I got news for ya, buddy. Greatgranddad said he was a pilot to get laid.
"Oh Urmas, if only you were a flyboy"
"Oh, but you see, Liina, I am a pilot... in the SS! That's why you haven't seen me with those other Estonian pilots.
Now get naked."
from a dutch perspective based on stories i've heard; it was a cool thing to do, loads of people signed up without knowing what they were even doing and wanted out later on
there was also loads of propaganda
Hero idolization has no place in history. I don't have an opinion on whether they were heroes or traitors, but becoming emotionally invested tends to skew one's perspective when conflicting material comes up.
I believe everyone had their reasons to choose and act how they did. No-one wants to see everything around them turned to ruin, including things they hold dear, much less by their own volition. Be the antagonizing factor foreign invaders, modes of government or ideological differences.
Same reason anyone else volunteered really I would assume, a few of my greatuncles signed up immediately on the 3rd September (I'm Australian) because they believed that by fighting Germany they would eradicate socialism and communism, they then got sent to Egypt to fight the Italians and were then sent back to Australia to fight the Japanese, never actually fighting the Germans they had signed up to fight. The same thing happened with their fathers and uncles who volunteered to stop German imperialism in WW1 and got sent to Palestine and Gallipoli.
TLDR People sign up because they believe they are doing right
Heh, 33rd Charlemagne in Pomerania.
From what I've read they failed to counterattack at Hammerstein on February 24th (who wouldn't, given the situation of 1945), but then pretty much ran away from their sector of the defensive line, leaving the left flank of the 15th division completely exposed. Didn't even report the fact to anyone, neither Corps HQ not neighbouring division.
Colonel Janums of the 33rd Regiment of the 15th division had commander of 33rd Charlemagne, Brigadefuehrer Krukenberg, stumble upon his HQ with just a single companion, unwilling to disclose what happened to his division even then.
Hitlers biggest mistake was kiling all the slavs and russians on the eastern front most of them were actually looking forward to germany invading because life under Stalin was so shitty. Most of the ss recruits were drawn from this type of people that he didnt piss off.
Supposedly the UAN said they could rally 10 to 15 divisions from Ukraine, if the Germans would let them fight under the yellow and blue, and promise autonomy after the war.
Of course, everything was smooth sailing for Jerry in 1941, so the UAN leaders were jailed, Ukraine was brutalized and all they got when they realized the shit they were in was one lousy division out of a nation of tens of millions.
Man could you imagine the effect another 10 divisions could have had in the war
Of course they'd have to provide for their own logistics ideally. German logistics were a complete fuckfest as it was. The bigger advantage would be the ability ti pass through unharried by partisans and not needing to provide occupation forces.
The Finnish Volunteer Battalion was formed as a way to strenghten relations between Finland and Germany, which were somewhat shaky following the Winter War. Comparisons were also drawn to the 27th Jäger Battalion, a WW1 era Imperial German Army unit which was made up of Finnish volunteers who wanted to help Finland gain independence (as Finland was still a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire back then).
Well, add to those 10 or 15 another 10 or 15 in Russia, another 5 from Belarus - it all adds up.
But true, having non-hostile rear areas would have been enough of a reason.
Another interesting tidbit of the foreign SS units is the fate of the Cossacks, and more interestingly that of the commander of the Cossack Cavalry Corps, Helmuth von Pannwitz.
After the war, as a German he could have remained with the Western Allies - instead he chose stay with his men in the face of almost certain doom, as the Cossacks were being handed over to the Soviets who would punish them as traitors.