Let's Build the Latvian Legion

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.
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VJK
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by VJK » 07 Mar 2010 11:33

Hi Phil,

Zeltiņš didn't join the Latvian Legion - he was Head of Tukums District 1942-1944.

Best regards,

VJK

Phil Don
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 07 Mar 2010 17:12

Hi Valdis

Thank you for this information.

I think there are some units we don't speak for the moment. Have you infos on the latvian bau battalions.
Here what I have on the first.

Lettische Bau Bataillon 1 (maybe "SS" in his name). I have no commander.
1 to 4 companies

Was attached to the Pionier Bataillon 53 of the Heer.

Regards

Phil D.

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VJK
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by VJK » 07 Mar 2010 19:52

Hi Phil,

Unfortunately, there is almost next to no information about the Construction Battalions - even Silgailis in his "Latvian Legion" admits this. A total of 7 such battalions were formed in mid-September 1944. They were attached to various German units and surrendered in Kurland on 8 May 1945. This is what I've been able to piece together:

I Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Beķeris
II Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Rūdolfs Arness; Hauptsturmführer Lapiņš
III Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Fricsons
IV Lettische Bau Bataillon: Obersturmbannführer Jānis Avotiņš
V Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Pēteris Apkalns
VI Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Apsīte
VII Lettische Bau Bataillon: Hauptsturmführer Spricis

Additionally, there were also in existance Bau Bataillon Kļaviņš (Hauptsturmführer Kļaviņš) and Bau Bataillon Zvaigzne (Obersturmbannführer Jānis Zvaigzne). Both surrendered in Kurland. There is also mention of a Bau Bataillon commanded in April 1943 by Obersturmbannführer Kārlis Zīverts.

Best regards,

VJK

Phil Don
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 07 Mar 2010 21:23

Many thanks Valdis.
I have the 7 constructions battalions in my files but it's the first time I have the names of their commanders.
Now I'm going to search something on them by Google (the only with the complete names).

The first I try: Pēteris Apkalns.
But I found a latvian military chaplain dead in 1942.

Maybe you have something on Jānis Avotiņš who was perhaps a former Pulkvedis-leitnants in the latvian army during the 30's.

Regards

Phil D.

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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 07 Mar 2010 22:23

Hi Valdis

For Hstuf APKALNS Pēteris, I've found an Hstuf APKALNS Pēteris, born 03 february 1898 and who was refugee in Sweden 1945. Can they be the same persons ?

For Hstuf LAPIŅŠ, could Hstuf LAPIŅŠ Olģerts (born 1897) be the same person ?

Regards

Phil D.

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VJK
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by VJK » 11 Mar 2010 11:28

Hi Phil,

I believe it is the same Apkalns. LAPIŅŠ is not an uncommon surname, so unfortunately I can't confirm whether it is in fact Olģerts.

Here is a bio of Obersturmbannführer Jānis Avotiņš:

Jānis AVOTIŅŠ
Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS
born: 23 Feb 1896 in Dreilinu parish
died: 22 Jul 1965 in Ogre

WWI service:
Dec 1914: Graduated from Vilnius Military Academy; served in the 139. Reserve Battalion
Feb 1915 - Feb 1917: Served in the 254. Infantry Regiment, later in the 663. Infantry Regiment
Feb 1917 - Jun 1917: Served in the 5. Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment
Jun 1917 - Dec 1917: Served in the 5. Latvian Rifle Reserve Regiment
Jun 1918: Arrested by the Soviets
28 Jun 1918: Liberated by Czechoslovak forces operating in Russia
29 Jun 1918 - Jul 1919: Joined the Siberian Army (White Russian); served in the 22. Rifle Regiment,
later in the 37. Rifle Regiment as Company and Battalion commander
Jul 1919 - Aug 1919: Deputy commander, 37. Rifle Regiment
Aug 1919 - 1920: Acting commander, 37. Rifle Regiment
1920: Captured by the Red Army
Dec 1920: Released and mobilised into the Red Army as a Company commander
May 1921: Deserted and illegally crossed the Russian/Latvian border whilst on leave

Latvian Army service:
28 Jun 1921: Joined the Latvian Army as Captain; served in the Latgale Partisan Regiment
1922 - 1927: Served in the 9. Rezekne Infantry Regiment
1927 - 1935: Served in the 7. Sigulda Infantry Regiment
1935 - 1938: Infantry battery commander, 7. Sigulda Infantry Regiment
1938 - 1939: Company commander, 7. Sigulda Infantry Regiment
1939 - Sep 1940: Battalion commander, 7. Sigulda Infantry Regiment
Sep 1940 - Oct 1940: Transferred to XXIV Territorial Rifle Corps as battalion commander
Oct 1940: Released from active duty

Promotions:
Lieutenant: 1915
1st Lieutenant: Dec 1915
Captain: 1917
Lt. Colonel: 1939

WWII service:
Jan 1944 - 8 May 1945: Commander, IV Lettische Bau Bataillon

Latvian Awards:
Order of the Three Stars, V Class
Order of Viesturs, IV Class

Other Awards:
Russian Order of St. Vladimir, IV Class with Swords
Russian Order of St. Stanislaus, II Class and III Class
Russian Order of St. Anne, II Class, III Class and IV Class
German Kriegsverdienstkreuz, II Class

Arrested in May 1945 and in October 1945 sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Released in October 1954.

Married in 1922 to Zelma Sakse (1897 - 1975), Ausma Ruta (born 1925).

Best regards,

VJK
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Obersturmbannführer Ādolfs Fricis DONIŅŠ

Post by VJK » 11 Mar 2010 11:30

Hi Phil,

You asked about Obersturmbannführer Ādolfs Fricis DONIŅŠ in your PM:

Ādolfs Fricis DONIŅŠ
Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS
born: 4 Sep 1898 in Liepāja
died: 10 Oct 1980 in California, USA

Latvian Army service:
18 Jul 1919: Joined the Latvian Army as Private; served in the Vidzeme Artillery Regiment
1920 - 1922: Attended the Military Academy
1922: Graduated as Lieutenant; served in the Kurzeme Artillery Regiment
1932 - 1936: Battery commander, Zemgale Artillery Regiment
1936 - Jul 1940: Battery commander, Kurzeme Artillery Regiment
Jul 1940 - 1940: Battalion commander, Zemgale Artillery Regiment
1940: Released from active duty

Promotions:
Lieutenant: 1922
1st Lieutenant: 1925
Captain: 1932
Lt. Colonel: Jul 1940

WWII service:
4 Sep 1941 - 5 Feb 1942: Commander 4. Company, 18. Schutzmannschaft Battalion
5 Feb 1942: wounded
1942 - 1943: Head of Western Sector, Riga Schutzmannschaft
1944 - ?: Chairman of the Conscription Committee, Latvian Legion

Latvian Awards:
Order of the Three Stars, V Class
Order of Viesturs, IV Class with Swords

Married in 1924 to Johanna Matilde Beķere (born 1899), sons Ādolfs (born 1924) and Ojārs (1926 - 1931).

Best regards,

VJK
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Phil Don
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 11 Mar 2010 14:29

Thanks Valdis for the two bios and pics.

Phil D.

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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 12 Mar 2010 11:18

I read in your bio for Lt Col DONINS he was "Head of Western Sector, Riga Schutzmannschaft". Did territorial commands have existed for Schuma ?

Phil D.

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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by svelli » 12 Mar 2010 12:14

Hi !
Have somebody any information about untersturmführer Jankovskis?
I think that he served at 39 Rgt? And he was killed 06/02/1944.

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VJK
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by VJK » 12 Mar 2010 16:02

Hi Phil,
I read in your bio for Lt Col DONINS he was "Head of Western Sector, Riga Schutzmannschaft". Did territorial commands have existed for Schuma ?
I can't find any more detail on the organisation of the Riga Schutzmannschaft, but I would think it's logical that Riga would be divided into various sectors.

Best regards,

VJK

Phil Don
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 13 Mar 2010 16:56

Thanks Valdis

I have a question. I don't think these units were part ofthe Latvian Legion but what were the "aizsargu pulka". During the 30's I think they were sort of "national guard" but I've found they were allways existing during the war. Do you have informations?

Regards

Phil D.

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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 22 Mar 2010 17:07

Hi Valdis

I have some questions:
Did the latvian legion's hospital the same as SS Lazarett Riga ?
And do you have something about the structure and directors of this (or these)?

Do you know if german Stubaf Richard KAASERER serve for a brief period in Latvia at the beginning of the Latvian Legion (I've found the pic of a Stubaf "KASERERS" in Tevija) ?

Regards

Phil D.

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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by VJK » 23 Mar 2010 15:33

Hi Phil,

I am away from my sources for the next 2 months, so unfortunately I can't answer your questions in any detail at the moment. I believe that the SS Lazarett Riga you refer to is the same as the Latvian Legion Hospital (my mother worked there) - the Hospital Director was Obersturmbannführer Dr. Kārlis Lediņš. If you give me the "Tevija" link to Kaserers, I might be able to find out something from the article.

Best regards,

VJK

Phil Don
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Re: Let's Build the Latvian Legion

Post by Phil Don » 23 Mar 2010 17:21

Hi Valdis

Here the link

http://data.lnb.lv/nba01/Tevija/1943/Tevija1943-074.pdf

The pulkv HIRTESS in the photo is Staf HIERTHES (I suppose) but I know he serve in latvian units in 1944 but not in early 1943.

Regards

Phil D.

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