Foreign Volunteers during the Battle of Berlin, 1945

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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jarek_g
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Post by jarek_g » 13 Mar 2005 16:57

Hi guys,
This is not 12 th panzergrenadier regiment (Kaukasische) but Kaukasiche Panzerjäger Verband 12. or Panzerjäger Verband 12, (kaukasische). This unit formed from Kaukasian Nationalities as anti tank units, armed with Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks. Many soldiers armed with Sturmgewehr 44.
Bestreg.
Jarek

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Armenische_Legionar
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Post by Armenische_Legionar » 13 Mar 2005 17:11

Yes!

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Armenische_Legionar
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Post by Armenische_Legionar » 13 Mar 2005 17:19

jarek_g wrote:Hi guys,
This is not 12 th panzergrenadier regiment (Kaukasische) but Kaukasiche Panzerjäger Verband 12. or Panzerjäger Verband 12, (kaukasische). This unit formed from Kaukasian Nationalities as anti tank units, armed with Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks. Many soldiers armed with Sturmgewehr 44.
Bestreg.
Jarek


Hi Jarek_g

Yes, you are right, but than it started to call "a regiment" - anti tank unit. Panzerjäger! that's true.
800 Armenians, 570 Georgians, 1200 Azeris and some hundreds of North Caucasians.

Best regards,
Eduard :wink:

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 13 Mar 2005 17:53

Was it really an honour for Armenian ,Georgian and Azeri nations to have their nationals fighting alongside with Nazis.?..................... as for myself ,I doubt
Was it really an honour for France to fight alongside communists?

/Kasper[/u]

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Exxley
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Post by Exxley » 13 Mar 2005 20:47

Kalavelka wrote:
Was it really an honour for France to fight alongside communists?

Once again, nice to see Kalavelka going off topic just for the sake of it. Wether France (and which France you're talking about ? Free France ? Vichy France ?) sided with the Soviet Union or not ( I guess that what you mean by communists) is hardly relevant to the topic. Besides, the only french military units in Berlin at that time were fighting for the Germans as far as I know.

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 13 Mar 2005 21:04

Gentlemen:

Please stay on topic, or feel free to open new topics in the appropriate Forum areas. Thank you.

Allen/

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lavella
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Post by lavella » 13 Mar 2005 21:05

KalaVelka wrote:
Was it really an honour for Armenian ,Georgian and Azeri nations to have their nationals fighting alongside with Nazis.?..................... as for myself ,I doubt
Was it really an honour for France to fight alongside communists?

/Kasper[/u]


Bonsoir
all depends on which side you are ..............
France ,(not the France of Vichy, a puppet regime from 40 to44 ) the real France like said De Gaulle fought with the allies US , British and Russians till final victory (North Africa and ETO)

Whatever we think about Communism (and there's a lot to say ,I agree), when you have an enemy like Nazism you don't care about your helper.............
1)French communists took largely their part in Resistance (ok ,after june 41 ) and they paid a huge tribute
2) URSS was our allié (like United Nations) in our common struggle , she was decisive for crushing Nazism and paid ,too ,the maximum price as for victims (more than 30 M-civilians and soldiers ) to insure Victory

obviously if you're F.innish ,I understand your position (war with Ussr in 40 and fighting alongside with Nazis during WW2) but I'm French..........and I'm indebted to all those who permitted me till now, to live in a free country

BTW ......this forum is not apologetic for 3rd Reich ,or am I mistaking ? :wink:

Salut et sans rancune pour cette mise au point Lavella

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 13 Mar 2005 21:09

Armenische_Legionar wrote:Hi Jarek_g

Yes, you are right, but than it started to call "a regiment" - anti tank unit. Panzerjäger! that's true.
800 Armenians, 570 Georgians, 1200 Azeris and some hundreds of North Caucasians.

Best regards,
Eduard :wink:


Eduard:

To reiterate my earlier query, are you saying that you have accessed KGB files in Russia and in Armenia and obtained the information you are posting?

Allen/

Panzermahn
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Post by Panzermahn » 14 Mar 2005 05:38

Master list of foreign volunteers fighting in the Battle of Berlin

a) Confirmed participation
1) Frenchmen (350 soldiers from the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division Charlemagne led by Brigadefuhrer Krukenberg)
2) Danes (24th SS Regiment Danmark from the Nordland division - formed from the former personnel of Freikorps Danmark - led by Per Sorenson)
3) Swedes (3rd kompanie, auflakrung abteilung of the Nordland Division - Schwedenzug - led by Hano Gosta Pehrsson)
4) Spaniards (150 men, from Einsatzgruppe Ezquerra - led by Miguel Sanchez Ezquerra)
5) Hungarian (one Hungarian company...)
6) Romanian
7) Latvians (15th Fusilier Battalion - Obersturmfuhrer Neilandis)
8) Estonian (remnants from the 20th SS Estonian division)

b)alleged participation
1) A Russian battalion (Siberians & Tibetans?)
2) Georgians
3) Armenians
4) Azeris
5) Caucasians
6) Italian


Anyone can add more?

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Armenische_Legionar
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Post by Armenische_Legionar » 14 Mar 2005 18:57

Allen Milcic wrote:
Armenische_Legionar wrote:Hi Jarek_g

Yes, you are right, but than it started to call "a regiment" - anti tank unit. Panzerjäger! that's true.
800 Armenians, 570 Georgians, 1200 Azeris and some hundreds of North Caucasians.

Best regards,
Eduard :wink:


Eduard:

To reiterate my earlier query, are you saying that you have accessed KGB files in Russia and in Armenia and obtained the information you are posting?

Allen/




Yes, You are right!

Regards,
Eduard :)

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 14 Mar 2005 22:59

Panzermahn wrote:Master list of foreign volunteers fighting in the Battle of Berlin

a) Confirmed participation
1) Frenchmen (350 soldiers from the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division Charlemagne led by Brigadefuhrer Krukenberg)
2) Danes (24th SS Regiment Danmark from the Nordland division - formed from the former personnel of Freikorps Danmark - led by Per Sorenson)
3) Swedes (3rd kompanie, auflakrung abteilung of the Nordland Division - Schwedenzug - led by Hano Gosta Pehrsson)
4) Spaniards (150 men, from Einsatzgruppe Ezquerra - led by Miguel Sanchez Ezquerra)
5) Hungarian (one Hungarian company...)
6) Romanian
7) Latvians (15th Fusilier Battalion - Obersturmfuhrer Neilandis)
8) Estonian (remnants from the 20th SS Estonian division)

b)alleged participation
1) A Russian battalion (Siberians & Tibetans?)
2) Georgians
3) Armenians
4) Azeris
5) Caucasians
6) Italian

Anyone can add more?


Panzermahn:

Which Romanians have been 'confirmed' as participating in the battle and by whom? Same question regarding the Hungarians?

While I do not doubt that some Russians fought on the German side in Berlin, I still find the claim of a "Russian battalion" that consisted of Tibetans to be humourous.

While they were not "foreign volunteers", I can add the security detachment of the NDH embassy in Berlin to your list of participants in the battle - the mixed group of Poglavnik Bodyguard troops and a Flak unit of the Domobranstvo defended the embassy against the Soviet advance.

Allen/

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jarek_g
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Post by jarek_g » 15 Mar 2005 11:45

About Latvians in Berlin. This not all battaillon but remnants of this units, ca. 80 men, i.e. little company from 15. fusiliers bn.
Bestreg.
Jarek

Panzermahn
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Post by Panzermahn » 15 Mar 2005 12:54

Panzermahn:

Which Romanians have been 'confirmed' as participating in the battle and by whom? Same question regarding the Hungarians?

While I do not doubt that some Russians fought on the German side in Berlin, I still find the claim of a "Russian battalion" that consisted of Tibetans to be humourous.

While they were not "foreign volunteers", I can add the security detachment of the NDH embassy in Berlin to your list of participants in the battle - the mixed group of Poglavnik Bodyguard troops and a Flak unit of the Domobranstvo defended the embassy against the Soviet advance.

Allen/


Allen,

Let me check back on my archives on the Rumanians...i think i read it somewhere (had to find all the pages on WW2 books i have)

By the way, thanks for your info on the security detachment of the NDH embassy

On the Hungarians, a member of this Forum, Hardi, came across several monographs on Hungarian volunteers of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS by several Hungarian researchers in the archives of Hungarian military archives in Budapest. One of it deals with a Hungarian company fighting in the Battle of Berlin. I already PM him and waiting for him to translate excerpts from Hungarian to English.

Perhaps you could PM him yourself?

By the way, the flak unit of the Domobranstvo, is it Slovenian or Croatian? The name sounds familiar..

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 15 Mar 2005 14:57

Panzermahn wrote:By the way, the flak unit of the Domobranstvo, is it Slovenian or Croatian? The name sounds familiar..


Hi Panzermahn:

The NDH was the acronym of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska), so the flak unit was obviously of the Croatian Domobranstvo (regular armed forces). Slovenia did not have a state during WW2, and could not have had an embassy in Berlin.

Allen/

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AAA
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Post by AAA » 15 Mar 2005 18:02

Re the Latvians in Berlin.

jarek_g : negative on that. Most of the 15th fusilier battalion was in Berlin, the 80-odd is the last coherent remnant after several days of fighting.

I've been meaning to post this a while, this would be a good a place as any I guess. The following is a translation from the Latvian, which explains how the 15th fusilier wound up in Berlin. The book is A. PETERSONS, in Mums jāpārnāk. Latviešu karavīri : pedejie Berlines aizstavji. (my translation, any english langauge confusions - particularly any mangled German place-names - are my fault)
pages 68 – 73
In March 1945, Latvian units, with in heavy fighting to cover the retreat of defeated German units from Pomerania, crossed the Oder at Swinemünde (now Svinoscje) and were deployed in the Neubrandenburg area as the reserve of Army Group Weischel. In order to arm German reserve units going to the front, the Latvians had to give up all their automatic weapons, leaving only a few rifles for guard duties. Also here the Latvian 15th Grenadier division was reinforced by replacements drawn mainly from Latvian construction regiments. The units were involved in construction of covering positions.
The Latvians used this situation and prepared to break out to the western allies. Under their officers, units were prepared for force marches, since to the western allies it was at least 150 km. Of course, this was concealed from the German leadership, even though they probably has some suspicions. War time law was in effect, and this meant that even the slightest disobedience to Reich orders was a death sentence.
The situation at the front was changed by the soviet offensive towards Berlin started on April 16th. The soviets had concentrated immense forces and disregarding heavy losses forced their way towards Berlin. This also affected the partially armed Latvian units, and this has been described by Colonel Janums in his memoir. At 1000 on April 19th 1945 he was called to the division HQ and ordered to form a kampfgruppe of three battalions by 2000. In fact this was a mobile regiment without rear support and horse transport. This order wrecked the Latvians plans. Colonel Janums, who was ready to command the division in place of the Germans, calculated that the Latvian division with night marches could reach the Elbe which had been reached by the [western] allies. However, bringing 9000 men across the Elbe without crossing means at this moments was impossible. Evaluating all the options, he left in his place the energetic Major V.Baumans and decided to go with his combat group to Berlin and try to cross the front there.
Already at 1900 arrived five trucks with trailers and delivered orders, that KG Janums was to be involved in the defense of Berlin in the area of Herzfeld 15 km east of Berlin.
The KG consisted of Captain Rubjas’ battalion from the 33rd grenadier regiment, major A.Alksnītis’ battalion from 32nd grenadier regiment and the German captain Wally’s 15th fusilier battalion.
Even though the KG was given all the weapons remaining to the division, there was insufficient, and some soldiers of the KG were armed only with panzerfausts.
At 2130 the column moved out, however, there was insufficient transport. Since there were also added signal and pioneer platoons as well as medical support and kitchens, there was missing transport for one battalion, and so the 15th fusilier was to be transported later.
The column moved all night and only on the morning of April 20th drove through the Berlin suburb of Bernau and after some hours was about 25 km east of Berlin, behind Stienitzsee. However the XI Panzer corps HQ, to which KG Janums was subordinated, had already moved to (?) Springhagen, SE of Berlin.
Colonel Janums arrived at the corps HQ as it withdrew following a soviet tank attack. The 15th battalion was split off and withdrew in a different direction. The situation demanded decisive action and Colonel Janums decided to begin a break towards the west, On the night 22nd – 23rd april, making a 70 km march, they [the KG] skirted south of Berlin.
There was a short fight of the morning of 23rd April with elements of Marshall Konev’s assault units which were advancing towards Brandenburg in surrouding Berlin. At 0100 of April 27th Colonel Janums lead his 824 men into US bridgeheads on the Elbe, and for them the war was over.

On the morning of 20th April to Berlin also went the 15th fusilier battalion, which at day’s end arrived in Berlin’s eastern suburb of Erkner and occupied positions on the east bank of the Erkner canal.
The battalion went to Berlin organized :
1st company (130 men) commanded by German lieutenant Donath and platoon commanders cadets Melderis and Sils;
2nd company (105 men) commanded by German lieutenant Schmidt with platoon commanders lieutenant Stauers, lieutenant Tītmanis and warrant officer Laiviņš
3rd company (80 men) with lieutenant Rutkis, warrant officer Kamps and 1st Lieutenant Neilands
4th heavy weapons company, which really was only a platoon and one mortar (without ammunition), commanded by German lieutenant Kilp with platoon commanders lieutenant Liepnieks and cadet Krūmiņš.
The duties of Battalion HQ adjutant were carried out by cadet Antoms.

Some 180 unarmed men remained in the battalion previous positions and together with division broke out to Schwerin on 2nd May.
Battalion commander Captain Wally drove with a separate vehicle and reported to Colonel Janums, but without his battalion.
With one of the last trains on 21st April to Berlin departed the battalion supply element lead by lieutenant E.Zaļums with lieutenant Rozenbergs and doctor lieutenant R.Kilēvičs. After a few days they found and rejoined the battalion in central Berlin.
The battalion was unable to link up with Janums, but the Latvian officers had information that Colonel Janums intended to break to the west.
On April 21st by the Erkner canal the 15th fusilier battalion was deployed for combat and in a complicated situation. The Latvians wanted to break out towards the west, and were further motivated by the fact that Colonel Janums had begun his move. The colonel had managed to get rid of his German officers by sending them to Berlin’s supply services. The 15th fusilier battalions three company commanders were German, but using the circumstances that the battalion commander was in Berlin, the Latvian officers decided to act themselves. They knew that Janums would try to make his way west through Potsdam, so they made that their initial objective.
On the night to 22nd April, when the red army began artillery preparation for an attack, the Latvian companies left their Erkner positions and began looking independently for withdrawal routes. This was not easy. In the area near the front every intersection was controlled by German field gendarme posts. These halted units retreating without permission, but sent separate soldiers to collection points (Frontleitstelle). Further back was active field military tribunals under nazi party leaders, which using wartime laws on deserters (which all individually retreating soldiers were considered), immediately carried out sentence of death by hanging. The soldiers hanged from roadside trees and posts has remained as one of the most terrible ghosts in the memories of the front line soldiers.
In this situation the battalion’s 2nd company was luckiest, together with a platoons from 3rd company succeeded in getting the center of Berlin with the transport of a withdrawing German unit. The leadership of this group was taken up by Latvian officers Eduards Stauers and Voldemārs Laiviņš.
The other companies were less lucky. They withdrew less organized and divided into small groups, went in different direction during the night with the main direction towards Potsdam. These soldiers were halted and involved in defensive battles in a wide area from the Reichstag near the Spree to Templehof airport in the southern sector – this is why the soldiers’ memoirs published about the Berlin fighting are so different.
Even though the situation on the front at the gates of Berlin was critical, the German rear area services were still working pedantically.
The 2nd company on the night of April 22nd after withdrawing came onto Berlins central east-west road. The company succeeded in getting to the Tiergarten station and even the Potsdam train, but train movement was halted in front of their eyes. The Latvians came to the attention of the order services, and collection officials gave them orders to go to the collection point for Latvians at Jaeger strasse in the center of Berlin, a small street between Wilhelm and Friedrich strasse near the Reich chancellery.
The participants remember, that they were placed in the second storey gymnasium of some school. Here was found the “lost” battalion commander Wally. Also here arrived the battalion supply officers with the last train from (?) Firstenburg. However the battalion could not be fully collected, since many soldiers lost during the confused withdrawal were involved in combat with other units

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