Local militias in liberated territories

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narikis
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Local militias in liberated territories

Post by narikis » 20 Nov 2020 13:14

Aside from Italy and France, were there any other territories in west-europe that organised local militias to fight alongside the Allies during the liberation of Europe? I came across one battle involving a Luxembourg militia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vianden

I discount here "armies in exile" that returned to their homelands during the Allied invasions, I am instead curious about militias that were organised among local civilians and resistance groups during the Allied advances into their homeland.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Nov 2020 16:12

I've run across remarks about "Russians" who formed a collective combat unit in France and fought along side a US Ranger battalion in the summer of 1944. Not clear on if these were laborers or liberated PoW, or if they were former Wehrmacht 'Ossie' soldiers.

Better documented are the Belgian resistance members who sized control of the Antwerp docks, preventing German sabotage. After the arrival of the Britsh 30th Corps they occupied part of the defense north of the city.

narikis
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by narikis » 21 Nov 2020 17:09

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Nov 2020 16:12
I've run across remarks about "Russians" who formed a collective combat unit in France and fought along side a US Ranger battalion in the summer of 1944. Not clear on if these were laborers or liberated PoW, or if they were former Wehrmacht 'Ossie' soldiers.
Ah, I haven't heard of that. I guess it's not impossible they could have been former Wehrmacht soldiers, after all there was the mutiny of the Georgian Legion in Texel...

There was also of course the Polish resistance in France, made of both expats and wartime exiles, so perhaps these Russians could have been something similar.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Nov 2020 16:12
Better documented are the Belgian resistance members who sized control of the Antwerp docks, preventing German sabotage. After the arrival of the Britsh 30th Corps they occupied part of the defense north of the city.
Could you recommend any source to learn more about this?

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Loïc
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by Loïc » 21 Nov 2020 18:08

I don't consider at all the several Maquis FFI FTPF as "local militias" but only partisans units and guerrilla at best merged within the "regular" French Army after september 1944, militarily-historically speaking the «Militia» ceased to exist in France with the National Guard in 1871 replacing the Provincial Militias in 1789 and add to that the word was given during the period to a mainly unarmed civilian collaborationnist political movement and auxiliary police its name inspired from Italy MVSN Blackshirst so France and Italy are totally counter-examples to use such word to name Partisans units of both countries

it existed whole "Russians" units in France, former Soviet under german uniforms from the numerous Ost-Battalions, joining the FFI as 2 Ukrainian Protection Battalions Division in Franche-Comté intially for the 30th Waffen SS Division, a 1st Soviet Partisans Regiment from Armenians under german uniforms in southern France, a whole "russian" company in Britanny (from Ost-Bataillon 633) and others examples of "Soviet Detachments"...but they were not local militias

narikis
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by narikis » 21 Nov 2020 18:14

Loïc wrote:
21 Nov 2020 18:08
I don't consider at all the several Maquis FFI FTPF as "local militias" but only partisans units and guerrilla at best merged within the "regular" French Army after september 1944, militarily-historically speaking the «Militia» ceased to exist in France with the National Guard in 1871 replacing the Provincial Militias in 1789 and add to that the word was given during the period to a mainly unarmed civilian collaborationnist political movement and auxiliary police its name inspired from Italy MVSN Blackshirst so France and Italy are totally counter-examples to use such word to name Partisans units of both countries
This seems to be a cultural misunderstanding then. In English we can use "militia" as a generic term for an armed group raised of civilians. That is all I meant when asking the question.
Loïc wrote:
21 Nov 2020 18:08
it existed whole "Russians" units in France, former Soviet under german uniforms from the numerous Ost-Battalions, joining the FFI as 2 Ukrainian Protection Battalions Division in Franche-Comté intially for the 30th Waffen SS Division, a 1st Soviet Partisans Regiment from Armenians under german uniforms in southern France, a whole "russian" company in Britanny (from Ost-Bataillon 633) and others examples of "Soviet Detachments"...but they were not local militias
Thank you for clarifying this.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Nov 2020 21:59

Loïc wrote:
21 Nov 2020 18:08
... a whole "russian" company in Britanny (from Ost-Bataillon 633...
This is the group referred to in a history of the US Rangers in WWII. They are mentioned fighting alongside the Ranger battalion during the siege of Brest.

nuyt
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by nuyt » 21 Nov 2020 23:37

In the liberated southern parts of the Netherlands former resistance groups developed into the Stoottroepen (Shock troops) in 1944-45, eventually numbering some 6000, equipped with a mix of prewar Dutch, UK and US gear and weapons. Some moved along Allied troops deep into Germany in 1945. Read a piece here in Dutch: https://75jaarvrij.nl/cms/view/57982481 ... oottroepen

Aber
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by Aber » 22 Nov 2020 10:37

narikis wrote:
20 Nov 2020 13:14
Aside from Italy and France, were there any other territories in west-europe that organised local militias to fight alongside the Allies during the liberation of Europe? I came across one battle involving a Luxembourg militia.
eg Liberation of Antwerp
the Witte Brigade, along with the Armée secrète, the Front de l'Indépendance, the Mouvement National Royaliste and Groupe G, helped allied forces capture the port of Antwerp intact in 1944.

nuyt
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Re: Local militias in liberated territories

Post by nuyt » 22 Nov 2020 11:51

A video of the Stoottroepen Limburg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_WT4I6L26g

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