427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
bertamingo
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427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby bertamingo » 21 Feb 2017 09:08

Hello people, I've just read this figure from Wikipedia, having seen it a couple of times prior. It seems different accounts stated differently about the compositions of these 427.000 troops, can anyone help? Is this the number of Ost battalions/cossack calvary units etc. only, or is it also inclusive of police units(both those of police battalions and police stations) and various militias(e.g. Belarusian self defense force, Lotok militia etc.)? One website says the figure excludes Ukrainian and Baltic forces, is that correct?

ColinWright
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby ColinWright » 16 Apr 2017 22:45

I think one problem here is that Hitler was very averse to the use of Ost-Truppen, Hiwis, et al -- but of course the German units actually at the front were desperate for replacements.

Sometimes, various anecdotal accounts suggest that as much as 20% of some formations consisted of various types of non-German -- but all more or less under the table. So I doubt if any reliable figure exists.

One of the ironies that has struck me is that a German infantry division was probably one of the safer places to be in much of the East for much of the war. After all, one certainly didn't want to be in a Russian infantry division. Then to remain a civilian exposed one to starvation, arbitrary reprisals by both the Germans and the partisans, and summary kidnapping for slave labor. The death rate in places like Belorussia was really impressive. This would be all the truer in the immediate rear of the front -- where the partisans and the security divisions liked to play.

Get into a Wehrmacht uniform, and you've got (a) food, and (b) some means of self-defense. You're also part of an organization that prefers to avoid unnecessary losses and is a firm believer in making the other poor bastard die for his country. Get yourself set up in the rear with the gear, and you might actually live. Moreover, it'll be in everyone's interest to not notice you're there. The divisional commander of course wants more replacements, and you don't want anyone asking you what you did in the war, daddy.

To return to your question, it's perfectly possible you never would get counted.

bertamingo
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby bertamingo » 19 Apr 2017 00:40

Thank you for the reply. Yeah I doubt the true number and composition might never be established because of the "hidden" troops in German ranks. Joining German military had its benefits, but the reprisals at the world's end were horrific as well, unless a former POW could avoid being repatriated. For the great majority of red army soldiers, the moment they were captured by Axis was the moment they embraced a dark fate, regardless what they did next.

Larry D.
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby Larry D. » 20 Apr 2017 13:07

As you already pointed out, it's all definitional, i.e., who and what gets included in reaching a total for a given point in time and who and what does not. The seminal study on this subject is a 1974 PhD dissertation that is now 43 years old but it is still the best because it is all inclusive and quantum in scope:

Unpublished
Buss, Phillip. “Non-Germans in the German Armed Forces, 1941-45”. Unpublished dissertation, University of Kent (England), 1974.

To provide a hint at the complexity of the subject, here are the Osttruppen unit types covered in the dissertation:

From:
P.Buss dissertation (pp.53, 79, 90, 96, 100, 102, 105, 121-43, 146-47, 155-58, 247, 249, 252-53, 281, 293, 297-98, 304-05, 308, 310-11, 318-19, 336, 347, 350-54, 397-99, 428, 456-58) -
29. Waffen-Gren.Div. der SS (russ. Nr. 1), 30. Waffen-Gren.Div. der SS (russ. Nr. 2), 600. Inf.Div. (russ.), 650. Inf.Div. (russ.);
Freiwilligen-Stammdivision;
Russ.Grenadier-Brig. 599;
Brigade Kaminski, SS-Waffen-Sturm-Brig. R.O.N.A.;
Kdre.d.Osttruppen z.b.V. 700, 701, 702, 703, 704, 709, 710, 711, 712, 720, 721, 740, 741, 853;
Ost-Regimentsstäbe z.b.V. 750, 751, 752, 753, 754, 755, 756;
Ost-Rgt. Mitte, Freijäger-Rgt. 16, Gruppe Tietjen;
Ost.Verband “Graukopf”, SS-Drushina-Verband;
Ost-Btle. 7, 134, 207, 229, 263, 268, 308, 339, 406, 412, 427, 439, 441, 446, I./447, II./447, 448-49, 453-54, 456, 541, 551, 556, 560-61, 600-05, 615-20, 627-30, 633-37, 642-43, 646-49, 653-54, 661-63, 665, 667-69, 674-75, 680-81, Beresina;
Ost-Kpn. 10, 14, 25, 34, 37, 45, 59, 1./75, 2./75, 1./84, 2./84, 85, 98, 102, 110, 113, 129, 1./131, 2./131, 145, 152, 156, 176, 178-79, 182-83, 188, 1./195, 2./195, 198, 1./203, 205, 1./221, 252-53, 255-56, 260, 1./263, 2./263, 1./267, 2./267, 268, 299, 321, 323, 331, 337, 383, 387, 407, 409, 420, 448, 453, 455-56, 473, 552-53, 555, 559, 612-13, 626, 632, 641, 690;
Ost-Reiter-Abt. 207 (Grossrussen), 281 (Ukrainer), 285 (Ukrainer), 403, I./454, 580;
Ost-Reiter-Schwadronen 57, 201 (Ukrainer), 2./203, 2./221, 286 (russ.), 339, 448;
Ost-Bandenjäger-Züge 31;
Ost-Sicherungs-Kpn./Züge in Btle. 456, 555, 557, 587, 611, 692-93, 830, 930, 954-55, 965-66;
Ost-Wach-Btl. 555;
Ost-Wach-Kpn. (independent and in Btle.) 43, 99, 122, 456, 508, 551-52, 571, 581-82, 591, 603, 607-11, 722;
Ost-Wach-Züge in OFK 814;
Ost-Landessch.Kpn./Züge in Btle. 232, 245, 268, 307, 310, 351, 353, 377, 405, 439, 446, 529-31, 558, 560, 561, 614, 618-19, 667, 675, 694, 778, 783, 826, 842, 861, 868, 875, 894, 898, 968, 981;
Ost-Art.Abt. 2. SS-Inf.Brig., 621, 752;
Ost-Battr. 1./203, 214, 582, 614, 1./670, 2./670, 2./Mitte, 1., 2., 3./Befh.Heeresgebiet Süd;
Ost-Panzer-Kpn. 709, 1., 2./Befh.Heeresgebiet Süd;
Panzerjägerverbände (russ.) 10, 11, 13, 14;
Ost-Pi.Btle. 454, 666;
Ost-Pi.Kp. 2. SS-Inf.Brig., 158, 174 (russ.);
Ost-Minenraum-Kp. 554;
Ost-Bau-Btl. 134;
Ost-Bau-Pi.Btl. 559;
[Ost-] Hiwi-Bau-Btl. 123;
Ost-Bau-Pi.Kpn. in Btle. 9, 17-18, 20, 24-25, 31, 40-41, 44, 46, 51-53, 55, 57, 59, 63-64, 78-81, 87, 91, 94-96, 98, 100-01, 107-09, 119-21, 123-25, 127, 129, 131-32, 134-37, 141, 144, 146, 153-54, 156, 213-14, 216-19, 221-22, 244-46, 248, 254, 257, 305-06, 320, 370, 401, 403, 407, 410, 413-21, 430, 432, 488, 502-05, 508, 532, 571, 576, 591, 677-78, 725, 728-30, 732, 734-35, 737-39, 781-83, 785-86, 789, 792-93, 795-97, 799, 801, 803, 820, 823;
Ost-Strassen-Bau-Kpn. in Btle. 506-07, 523, 538, 544, 551, 559, 562-63, 584, 597, 676, 679-80;
Ost-Eisenbahn-Bau-Kpn. in Btle. 2, 12, 83, 106, 111, 404, 511, 515-18;
Ost-Nachr.Kpn. 1./515, 2./515, 644-46, 671, 673;
Ost-Fernspr.Bau-Züge 15, 27, 31, 43, 51, 55-56, 59-60, 62-63, 66A-C;
Ost-Feldzeug-Btl. 550;
Ost-Feldzeug-Kpn. in Btle. 2-8, 10, 12-19, 22-26;
Ost-Techn.Kpn. in Abt. I, II, III, IV, VI, X, XI;
Ost-Techn.Kpn. in Btle. 3-8, 10, 13, 15, 23-24, 26, 33, 43;
Ost-Propaganda-Züge in Kpn. 612, 637, 666, 670, 689, 691, 693-95, 697;
Ost-Nachschub-Btle. 574, 651, 663;
Ost-Nachschub-Kpn. in Btle. 23-24, 43, 47, 49, 51, 56-58, 99, 102, 106-07, 117-18, 136, (K) 142, 144, 147, 151, 177, 306, 320, 349, 419, 501, 508, 522, 533, 543-46, 548-53, 561-63, 571-73; 591-93, 602, 604, 606-08, 610, 612, 617, 619, 622, 627, 687, 690, 720;
Ost-Nachschub-Kol.Abt. 551 (Ukr.);
Ost-Nachschub-Kpn. 221, 286, 350, 354, 424, 444, 448, 457 (turk.), 580, 650-1 (Lit.), 652 (lett.), 725 (Ukr.), 726 (turk.);
Ost- leichte Fahrkolonnen 1/54, 2/54, 1/125, 2/125, 3/125, 1/128, 2/128, 3/128, 3/139, 1/150, 2/150, 3/150, 403, 452 (turk.), 793 (lit.);
Ost-Kraftfahrpark-Staffel 555, 556, 622;
Kriegslazarette (S) 905, 919, 941, 943-48, 952, 954-55;
Feldlazarette (S) 741-54;
Res.Lazarette (S) Habelschwerdt, Hindenburg, Langenbielau, Linsdorf, Weidenau,;
Sanitäts-Kp. (S) Arlon.

As you can see, there are some Ukrainians and a few Lithuanians, Latvians and Turks within this category. Outside of this category were a huge number of Arab, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Cossack, Crimean Tatar, Georgian, Kalmuck, Latvian, North Caucasian, ROA, Tatar, Turkic, Ukrainian, Volga Finnish, Volga Tatar, etc., units.

L.

bertamingo
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby bertamingo » 21 Apr 2017 07:04

Hi Larry, thanks a lot for the amazing information, it's incredible! Many units are totally unknown to me, so it's really an invaluable piece of information. Is there any way to read the dissertation in its entirety?

George Lepre
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby George Lepre » 21 Apr 2017 13:04

That was a great post, Larry. Thank you.

George

Larry D.
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby Larry D. » 21 Apr 2017 18:08

bertamingo wrote:Hi Larry, thanks a lot for the amazing information, it's incredible! Many units are totally unknown to me, so it's really an invaluable piece of information. Is there any way to read the dissertation in its entirety?


The dissertation was never published to the best of my knowledge. In the late 1970's, a copy could be purchased from the British Library in London on 16 mm microfilm. Today, they could most likely copy it for you onto a CD or DVD so you could use it with your computer. You could try contacting the Reference Dept. or the Reproduction Services Dept. at the British Library and ask them for advice on obtaining a copy. The second option would be the University of Kent Library as all universities retain copies of dissertations authored by their own PhD candidates.

L.

bertamingo
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Re: 427.000 Ost troops in 1942

Postby bertamingo » 23 Apr 2017 01:26

Larry D. wrote:
bertamingo wrote:Hi Larry, thanks a lot for the amazing information, it's incredible! Many units are totally unknown to me, so it's really an invaluable piece of information. Is there any way to read the dissertation in its entirety?


The dissertation was never published to the best of my knowledge. In the late 1970's, a copy could be purchased from the British Library in London on 16 mm microfilm. Today, they could most likely copy it for you onto a CD or DVD so you could use it with your computer. You could try contacting the Reference Dept. or the Reproduction Services Dept. at the British Library and ask them for advice on obtaining a copy. The second option would be the University of Kent Library as all universities retain copies of dissertations authored by their own PhD candidates.

L.


Thank you very, very much, Larry! I think contacting Kent UNi is probably easier and cost effective:) will write them an email soon enough :D


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