"Hiwis" on the Eastern Front during June-December 1941

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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"Hiwis" on the Eastern Front during June-December 1941

Post by Komi » 07 Jan 2021 13:51

I have a few questions about the Axis use of "hiwis" (or whatever you want to call local auxiliaries) on the Eastern Front specifically during the period of June-December 1941. I recognise that, during this early period, "hiwis" were more likely to be recruited on an ad-hoc or informal basis, so information could be a bit sketchy.

First off, are there any estimates for the total number of "hiwis" recruited, respectively, by Germany, Italy, and any other Axis nation participating in this phase of the Eastern Front?

, during this period how were "hiwis" typically organised once recruited? Were they just attached to regular Axis units wherever they were needed, or was there any attempt during this period to organise distinct "hiwi" units?

Third, were "hiwis" during this period typically segregated by nationality (e.g. Ukrainians together, Russians together, etc) or could you find groups of mixed nationality?

, what were the common tasks assigned to "hiwis" during this initial period? Were they most often relegated to rear-line duties like hospitals, kitchens, and such? Or were any utilised in combatant roles during June-December 1941?

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