Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

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.
Komi
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Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 16 Feb 2021 01:40

Aside from the Croat Naval Legion serving with the Kriegsmarine, were there any other foreign-volunteer naval units that served Germany or Italy during WWII? I am asking about specific units formed of foreigners, not simply foreign individuals scattered among regular German or Italian crews. My question is not just limited to seagoing forces, I am also interested about foreign units in the land forces of these two navies.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Ironmachine » 16 Feb 2021 08:18

Some information:
The Kriegsmarine also recruited a naval police unit of French volunteers to guard the U-boat base at La Pallice, near La Rochelle. The unit was called the Kriegsmarinewerftpolizei La Pallice (roughly the Navy Wharf Police of La Pallice), abbreviated to KMW. The first volunteers were wounded soldiers discharged from the LVF, followed by adherents of political parties M.S.R., P.P.F. and Franciste. Some were STO who preferred to do their time in this unit rather than in Germanyh. On 30th June 1944, the German commander of the U-boat base gave the men of the KMW the choice of defending the base or joining the LVF in Germany. Some of those who left found their way into "Charlemagne". The KMW numbered some 200-300 men.51
[...]
51. Similar "guard" units of naval police may have been recruited for other U-boat bases. There is even a suggestion that French naval police fought at Saint-Nazaire against the British commando raiders.
Source: For Europe: The French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS by Robert Forbes.
In January 1943, the Kriegsmarine started also to recruit about 200 French volunteers to protect the naval installations in La Rochelle, called the Kriegsmarinewerftpolizei "La Pallice", under command of Lieutenant Rene Lanz, veteran of WW1 and of the LVF. Possibly the same kind of units existed in Saint Nazaire and Bordeaux, not confirmed.
On June 30, 1944, the German Commander of La Rochelle gave them a choice between staying to defend the base or joining the French Waffen SS. The same attitude prevailed with other Kriegsmarine commanders in France during this critical period. About 1,500 French Kriegsmarine volunteers reached Greifenberg in Germany to be incorporated into the Waffen SS Division Charlemagne.
https://www.axishistory.com/books/137-g ... iegsmarine

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 16 Feb 2021 10:58

Ironmachine wrote:
16 Feb 2021 08:18
Very interesting, thank you for sharing. I wonder if the Kriegsmarine recruited these sort of foreign naval police in any other occupied territories...

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by LColombo » 16 Feb 2021 15:54

One of the "bands" (banda MVAC n. 9) of the Milizia Volontaria Anti-Comunista (MVAC, Volunteer Anti-Communist Militia, irregular paramilitary forces serving Italy in Yugoslavia against the partisans) was subordinated to Maridalmazia, one of the local commands of the Regia Marina (with jurisdiction over Dalmatia). Its men were "Orthodox Greeks (? maybe Serbs?) and Dalmatian Italians" and they wore naval uniforms.

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 16 Feb 2021 17:45

LColombo wrote:
16 Feb 2021 15:54
One of the "bands" (banda MVAC n. 9) of the Milizia Volontaria Anti-Comunista (MVAC, Volunteer Anti-Communist Militia, irregular paramilitary forces serving Italy in Yugoslavia against the partisans) was subordinated to Maridalmazia, one of the local commands of the Regia Marina (with jurisdiction over Dalmatia). Its men were "Orthodox Greeks (? maybe Serbs?) and Dalmatian Italians" and they wore naval uniforms.
That's interesting, what were their duties? Did they serve aboard vessels or conduct some activities ashore?

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by LColombo » 16 Feb 2021 19:02

Ashore, for sure. As far as I know they were employed against the partisans and/or for defense of naval bases in Dalmatia.

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 16 Feb 2021 19:35

LColombo wrote:
16 Feb 2021 19:02
Ashore, for sure. As far as I know they were employed against the partisans and/or for defense of naval bases in Dalmatia.
Sounds a bit similar to those 'naval police' recruited in France then.

So just to clarify, those men were officially part of the MVAC, but were subordinated to Regia Marina command, yes? I am asking because I'm curious if, for example, they received pay at the standard rates of the Regia Marina, and to whom their official oath of loyalty was?

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by LColombo » 17 Feb 2021 01:06

Komi wrote:
16 Feb 2021 19:35
So just to clarify, those men were officially part of the MVAC, but were subordinated to Regia Marina command, yes?
As far as I know, yes.
Komi wrote:
16 Feb 2021 19:35
I am asking because I'm curious if, for example, they received pay at the standard rates of the Regia Marina, and to whom their official oath of loyalty was?
I don't know these details, sorry...

These's some information here

https://www.arsmilitaris.org/pubblicazioni/cetnici.pdf

https://books.google.it/books?id=XoiqDw ... ia&f=false

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 17 Feb 2021 10:45

LColombo wrote:
17 Feb 2021 01:06
I don't know these details, sorry...

These's some information here

https://www.arsmilitaris.org/pubblicazioni/cetnici.pdf

https://books.google.it/books?id=XoiqDw ... ia&f=false
No problem, thank you for the links.

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 27 Feb 2021 21:24

I have heard that there were Ukrainians (including defectors from the Soviet Navy) who served with the Kriegsmarine. Does anyone know if they were formed into their own units, or just scattered among German sailors?

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 15 Mar 2021 17:53

It seems there were some volunteer units recruited for the Luftwaffe of guys from the Benelux region, for instance a "Flemish Flak Brigade" that I've seen mentioned. Did anything like that exist in the Kriegsmarine? I.e. a Flemish, Dutch, Walloon, etc. unit?

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Wim » 15 Mar 2021 19:48

Hello Komi,

Flemish were recruited for the Kriegsmarine (500-600) but they didn't serve in a Flemish unit. They were merely scattered over different ships.

Or later on transferred to the Waffen SS Division Langemarck.

Wim
Any information about Flemisch in German service (Waffen SS, OT, NSKK, Kriegsmarine, DRK, ...) during WWII is welcome.

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 15 Mar 2021 20:17

Wim wrote:
15 Mar 2021 19:48
Hello Komi,

Flemish were recruited for the Kriegsmarine (500-600) but they didn't serve in a Flemish unit. They were merely scattered over different ships.

Or later on transferred to the Waffen SS Division Langemarck.

Wim
Thanks Wim. Do you know if they were at least given any kind of identifying insignia? I thought I remembered once reading about foreigners in the Kriegsmarine being given national "shield" badges on their sleeves, but I can't find the source now...

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Wim » 16 Mar 2021 07:43

Hello Komi,

In the Kriegsmarine is there no tradition of wearing any kind of shields so no indentifying insignia.

The where just part of the German Kriegsmarine.

Greetings

Wim
Any information about Flemisch in German service (Waffen SS, OT, NSKK, Kriegsmarine, DRK, ...) during WWII is welcome.

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Re: Naval volunteer units serving Germany or Italy

Post by Komi » 16 Mar 2021 09:10

Wim wrote:
16 Mar 2021 07:43
Hello Komi,

In the Kriegsmarine is there no tradition of wearing any kind of shields so no indentifying insignia.

The where just part of the German Kriegsmarine.

Greetings

Wim
Thanks Wim. Maybe it was one of the Luftwaffe units that I read that about. Although, I do recall seeing that the Croat Naval Legion had national insignia on their uniforms (see the shield on the arm of the left guy).

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/42/05/66 ... a48d34.jpg

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