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Any Estonians in "Kurland-Kessel" Courland Pocket?

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.

Any Estonians in "Kurland-Kessel" Courland Pocket?

Postby Lit. on 18 Jul 2004 12:31

Could someone answer these questions:

Was any Estonian unit in Kurland-Kessel?
What unit, if positive?
Any Estonians in other units in the same Pocket?
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Postby David C. Clarke on 18 Jul 2004 23:47

I believe that Estonians served in the 11.SS Freiwilliegen-Panzergrenadier Division "Nordland", which fought at Kurland beforee it was evacuated to help defend Berlin.

Best Regards, David
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Postby nublu on 19 Jul 2004 07:04

There were youngsters who were taken into service as Flak Hilfer's. They served in 127th FLAK Battallion of 6th FLAK Division.

All together in this Battallion was 54 AA guns (divided into 6 Battaries) and 4 search-light units. All commands were mixed. Older men and commanders were Germans, part of the team were Estonians.

Don't know about other Estonian or half-Estonian units, but probably there could be more Estonians.

On the Soviet side was fighting from late 1944 also Estonian Rifle Corps.

rgrds

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Postby Patrice on 19 Jul 2004 07:27

Hello
Yes, in the 20°Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS"Estland"(estnich Nr.1).
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Postby nublu on 19 Jul 2004 08:03

Patrice wrote:Hello
Yes, in the 20°Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS"Estland"(estnich Nr.1).
Patrice


I am afraid that if there were any units from 20th Division in Courland pocket then only for very short period.

20th Division was fighting in Estonia on Narva area, and some Battallions also on Emajõgi. It was retreating from this area from 19th of September 1944. Artillery regiment started the retreat earlier, and was evacuated intact into Neuhammer area. All other units had to fight advancing Russians. Part of them were encirceled, and had to break out. Part of them never managed to reach Latvia and Kurland area.

There could fight some mixed Kampfgruppen from 20th Division for short period also on Kurland pocket. But within few weeks all Estonian units were collected in Neuhammer area, and 20th Division was formed there again.

rgrds

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Postby Patrice on 19 Jul 2004 09:06

Hello.
The 24 January the SS-FHA orders the transformation of the Estnische SS-Freiw.Brigade into Division
The 20th Division formation is really finished in July 1944.
During this time Estonians units were send in the Narva aera where they are attached to the Armee-Abteilung "Narva"(9 Febuary).
Untill mid July 1944 the Division fight on the Narva river,after the Russian counter-offensive of the Summer 1944,it must reprocessed to a line Udria-Repiknu.
In August 1944,the Division was in the Tartu(Dorpat)aera,and fight in coopération with Waloon volontary as Kampfgruppes and undergoes heavy losses.
In September ,the Estonia is givenup by the Germans and the Division is found encircled in the Courland Pocket.
The Division is evacueted by sea into Eastern-Prussia for reconstitution.
Many Estonians refuse the evacuation and fight the Russian occupation inside the resistance group "The Brothers of the Forest"and this largely after the War end.
The reconstitution was made at Neuhammer in Silésia with the remainder of the Division and Estonians Frontier-Guards.
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Postby Patrice on 19 Jul 2004 09:06

This informations came from Dictionnaire Historique La Lutfwaffe La Waffen-SS 1939/1945 Editions Heimdal.
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Last edited by Patrice on 19 Jul 2004 09:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nublu on 19 Jul 2004 09:20

Patrice wrote:Hello.
Untill mid July 1944 the Division fight on the Narva river,after the Russian counter-offensive of the Summer 1944,it must reprocessed to a line Udria-Repiknu.
In August 1944,the Division was in the Tartu(Dorpat)aera,and fight in coopération with Waloon volontary as Kampfgruppes and undergoes heavy losses.

Actually, division was divided into several fighting groups. Part of battallions continued fighting on Tannenberg line. Part were sent to Emajõgi frontline, near Tartu (Dorpat). Some battallions were on training and in reserve.

Patrice wrote:In September ,the Estonia is givenup by the Germans and the Division is found encircled in the Courland Pocket.
The Division is evacueted by sea into Eastern-Prussia for reconstitution.
Many Estonians refuse the evacuation and fight the Russian occupation inside the resistance group "The Brothers of the Forest"and this largely after the War end.


Yes, as i said. Courland was used just for evacuation. Division units didn't fight there. Probably just during the retreat to this area.

Estonians who refused the evacuation stayed in Estonia and fought there as forest brothers. Not in Courland, what is part of Latvia. Of course there could be also some small groups from division or other Estonian units which still remained in Courland. But i haven't found any mentioning about them until now.

rgrds

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Postby Maigewitter on 29 Jan 2006 15:37

My grandfather was in the kurland kessel and he was from estonia, he was a "deutsch-balte". He was a Sonderführer(used as translator) in the Stab Nachrichten-Abteilung 187, 87. Infanterie-Division until the capitulation on the 8.5.45. He was released in 1954..
Last edited by Maigewitter on 29 Jan 2006 18:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Abramis on 29 Jan 2006 18:06

My uncle Peeter Kõrgekuhi, from Estonia, perished in Kurland Kessel. He was in the reds´ side. His name is said to be engraved in a memorial stone that I personally have never seen.
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