SS vs. NKVD

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Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 23 Aug 2019 08:51

On a grand scale activities of the NKVD OT forces in 1943 were as follows (as reported to Stalin and Molotov by Beria on 8.1.44)

Total 931 549 men detained - 582 515 military and 349 034 civilians.
Military personnel:
- retreating from the battlefield - 42 807
- stragglers - 158 585
- former POWs - 88 221
- encircled in pockets (retreating from behind the hostile lines) - 18 086
- without requisite documents - 254 922
- violators of the order No.0860 ("On measures to strengthen discipline in garrisons and on lines of communications")
Civilians:
- deserters from defense works - 3560
- escaped from penitentiary system - 114
- deviators from conscription - 65 259
- deviators from relocation from the frontline zone - 11 110
- violators of the frontline regime - 113 790
- without identification documents - 87 665
- suspicious - 67 536

Of those numbers arrested by NKVD troops intelligence organs 80 296 men:
- Hostile agents - 4822
- traitors - 14 626
- from police and punitive organs - 5663
- German collaborators - 21 022
- deserters from the Red Army - 23 418
- marauders - 929
- other "criminal element" - 9816

Also 95 German parachuted intelligence agents were detained and given to SMERSH.
NKVD troops liquidated 114 bandit groups with 636 members and arrested 160 single bandits. Bandits were mostly German collaborators at large or deserters from the Red Army. The most infected with banditism were rear areas of the 1-4 Ukrainian and former North-Caucasus Front where 604 bandits were arrested or killed. Confiscated from bandits and hostile agents: 4 light machine guns, 391 rifles, 89 pistols, 109 hand grenades, 75 kg of explosives, 10 radios.
Enemy agents, traitors, bandits, deserters, collaborators and other criminal element were given to NKVD, NKGB or SMERSH organs.
Military personnel retreating from the battlefield, stragglers and without documents were returned to their units or sent to formation points of fronts and armies.
Deviators from military service, deserters from defense works and malicious violators of the frontline regime were given to territorial organs of NKVD for prosecution.
Karelian Front's NKVD rear security forces had 29 combat engagements against hostile intelligence or sabotage groups in the Front's rear area. Claims: 269 kills and 40 prisoners.
8686 enemy military personnel were captured in the rear of the Red Army and transferred to POWs reception points.
Weapons collected on battlefields and confiscated from civilians: 85 airplanes, 757 tanks, 31 armored cars and armored carriers, 230 various guns, 539 mortars, 290 AT rifles, 1712 machine guns, 2488 machine pistols, 34 783 rifles, 1314 pistols, 302 827 artillery shells, 78 774 mines, 47 176 hand grenades, 5 478 536 rifle and pistol ammo. Also 150 dumps with Soviet equipment and ammunition and 19 abandoned enemy dumps were found and taken under guard in front's rear area.
Three regiments and three battalion of the NKVD OT forces took part in battles against regular enemy forces. They claimed 379 kills and 217 prisoners.
Casualties of the NKVD OT troops in 1943: 480 killed and dead of wounds, 1203 wounded, 12 missing in action.

From appendix: NKVD OT troops in action against regular Axis forces in 1943:

Karelian Front:
82 Border Regiment - in defense of the Restikent sector since the start of the war having two Finnish battalion against it. No large actions during the year, reconnaissance activity from both sides.
80 Border Regiment - defends the coast of the Onega Lake

former South-West Front:
143 NKVD Rifle Regiment in defense of Izyum area 1-11.3.43

former North-Caucaus Front:
2 battalion/23 Border Regiment - attack in Maikop as a part of the 46 Army
From March to June 1943 two composite groups from the 26 and 95 Border Regiments took part in offensive operation on the Taman peninsula as a part of the NKVD Separate Rifle Division.

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Svejk
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Svejk » 23 Aug 2019 14:12

Art wrote:
23 Aug 2019 07:50
"It can be seen that OT troops..."
[/quote]

Hi Art,
What do you mean by the abbreviation "OT"?

Thanks
Looking for Information on Koruck 532,559,580,590. 1941-1943

Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 23 Aug 2019 18:32

See the previous page:
viewtopic.php?p=2218619#p2218619
I used OT abbreviation instead of a more cumbersome "NKVD forces for security of the operational army's rear".

Contrary to usual myths the function of NKVD OT troops or "NKVD blocking detachments" (technically the term is not fully correct) was to separate suspects which were then given to investigative organs for further legal prosecution. That meant close cooperation with security agencies belonging to the army, NKVD or NKGB. As evidenced by relatively moderate losses in 1943 operations of NKVD OT troops were mostly police-type activity with few actual combat engagements. Things became more interesting in 1944 when they had many clashes with Ukrainian, Baltic, or Polish guerrilla forces. It should be also added that OT troops operated in an immediate front-line zone, mostly in the belt about dozens km wide along the front line. For security and police operations further in the rear the NKVD had a separate branch of troops called internal forces. "Internal" doesn't seem to be a fully valid term actually, since they also secured Soviet lines of communications in Eastern Europe:
viewtopic.php?p=2061649#p2061649

Volyn
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Volyn » 23 Aug 2019 20:51

Art wrote:
23 Aug 2019 08:51
On a grand scale activities of the NKVD OT forces in 1943 were as follows (as reported to Stalin and Molotov by Beria on 8.1.44)

Total 931 549 men detained - 582 515 military and 349 034 civilians.
Military personnel:
- retreating from the battlefield - 42 807
- stragglers - 158 585
- former POWs - 88 221
- encircled in pockets (retreating from behind the hostile lines) - 18 086
- without requisite documents - 254 922
- violators of the order No.0860 ("On measures to strengthen discipline in garrisons and on lines of communications")
Civilians:
- deserters from defense works - 3560
- escaped from penitentiary system - 114
- deviators from conscription - 65 259
- deviators from relocation from the frontline zone - 11 110
- violators of the frontline regime - 113 790
- without identification documents - 87 665
- suspicious - 67 536
Art - are there other documents like this for NKVD activity behind the lines in locations like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, etc. throughout 1944?

Volyn
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Volyn » 23 Aug 2019 22:18

Another interesting similarity between the SS and NKVD during the war -

Reinhard Heydrich and Ivan Serov, both rose from relative obscurity to become the second-in-command of their respective organization. Both of them fit the ideal profile that their political leaders sought for: Ruthless, cunning, veterans who actually fought at the front - Serov was wounded in battle and Heydrich flew combat missions until he was shot down.

They were also responsible for the mass deaths and deportations of their state's enemies, and their time in command overlapped for almost a year; Serov was promoted to his position in July 1941.

Lastly, they were very young relative to their peers at this level in the government, Heydrich was 37 and Serov was 35 when Germany attacked the USSR.

Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich - SS
Reinhard Heydrich.jpg

Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Ivan Serov - NKVD
Ivan Serov.jpg
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Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 24 Aug 2019 08:18

Art wrote:
18 Aug 2019 11:48
* in August 1945 out of 916 000 authorized strength of the NKVD troops 59 000 (or less than 7%) belonged to the operational army security troops.
From the same document:
Authorized strength of the NKVD military forces on 15 August 1945 - 916 314 men
Actual strength - 817 642
Authorized strength by components:
Border troops - 198 928
Internal troops - 196 928
Operational army's rear security troops (OT) - 58 523
Convoy troops - 151 510
Industry and rail security troops - 123 382
Governmental communications (signal) troops - 59 396
Supply components - 9 774
Military prosecutors - 1042
Military tribunals - 2056
Military schools - 15 032

The year 1945 was a peak point of NKVD forces, their total strength being well over 800 thousand men. That was due to a combination of factors:
- formation of additional border units for Soviet western borders
- formation of additional convoy units in view of ever-increasing numbers of POWs
- formation of NKVD divisions for Soviet lines of communications in Eastern Europe
- war against insurgency in Western Ukraine/Baltics

Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 07:38

For purpose of comparison here are duties of the US Army military police corps as defined by the US Field Manual FM 19-5 of 1944

On theater of operations:
a. In combat areas
1) Control traffic.
2) Handle prisoners of war...
3) Control stragglers and handle replacements and discharged hospital patients..
4) Control the circulation of civilians, including refugees, local inhabitants, and camp followers.
5) Assist in security of headquarters...
6) Prevent pilferage and looting.
7) Assist in troop movement.
8) Apprehend enemy agents, fifth columnists, and enemy sympathizers.

b. In occupied territories
1) Security measures
a) Guard captured material and installations.
b) Seize weapons in the hand of local inhabitants and localities strategically important to the combat troops of military government.
c) Reduce areas of resistance, including the elimination of guerrilla activities.
d) Protect against vertical envelopments, commando raids, and against any attack in vital installations, including lines of communications.
e) Apprehend enemy agents, fifth columnists, and enemy sympathizers.
f) Assist the civil affairs officers in the supervision of civil police.
g) Prevent pilferage and looting.
2) Supervise the enforcement of orders and regulation, including-
a) Curfew and blackout regulation.
b) Price control regulations.
c) "Off-limit" areas in occupied towns.
d) Collection and distribution of hoarded foodstuffs in specified areas
3) Control the circulation of individuals, including refugees, local inhabitants, stragglers, and cap followers.
4) Patrol towns.
5) Prevent and investigate crime
6) Guard military officials and other dignitaries.
7) Operate information bureaus.
8) Assist in troop movement.

In many points they coincided with typical functions of the NKVD troops in the front-line zone and behind it (respective paragraphs are highlighted with bold). Hence my statement that NKVD troops and especially OT NKVD troops were similar to military police by their function. The major difference was traffic control, security of headquarters, and prevention and investigation of crimes for which the Soviet military had dedicated elements. My April 1945 in addition to military police elements organic to divisions the US Amy had non-divisional military police units which authorized strength equal to 1147 per division (from Reorganization of ground troops for combat). Considering 89 combat divisions available that must mean about 100,000 total authorized strength. That was more than the strength of NKVD OT forces but less than OT+internal forces combined.

Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 08:35

Volyn wrote:
18 Aug 2019 14:50
were NKVD units used to enforce Order No. 227 as well?
No, NKVD troops had little to do with the Order No.227. I've tried to explain it earlier:
viewtopic.php?p=1130210#p1130210
Did NKVD military officials preside over the disciplinary trials of Soviet soldiers?
Most large Soviet army formation from the level of combat division/brigade and higher had the same three elements:
1) military tribunal
2) military prosecutor
3) counterintelligence and political surveillance office under varying names and with varying affiliation over time.

For all intents and purposes 1) and 2) were integral part of the Red Army and their personnel formed a special grade of officers called "juridical personnel" in official parlance which were assigned special juridical ranks. Similarly there were also military prosecutors and tribunals in the Navy and NKVD forces. Situation with 3) is more intricate:
- before February 1941 they were known as NKVD Special Departments or Special Sections (or a common abbreviation OO NKVD), their personnel were NKVD officers of state security ranks.
- from February to July 1941 - as Red Army's 3rd sections (counterintelligence) with their personnel being Red Army's officers of political ranks
- from July 1941 to April 1943 - OO NKVD again
- from April 1943 - Red Army's Smersh counterintelligence sections with personnel having common Red Army ranks.
Again, Navy and NKVD troops had similar elements, so that NKVD units also had OO NKVD attached. OO NKVD were not part of the NKVD military units, but rather belonged to NKVD state security agencies. Theoretically OO NKVD had to deal with such matters as espionage, treason and secrecy leakage. Practically their functions were very broad and also covered desertion and military discipline in general, and included prevention, information, investigation and to some extent punishment of crimes.

The normal procedure was that investigation of crimes was made by military prosecutors or OO NKVD/Smersh under control of prosecutors. After investigation cases were heard by a jury of three men appointed by the military tribunal which included tribunal's members and possibly other officers selected for the task. However OO NKVD had the power to make in exceptional cases sentences by their own and execute deserters if needed. Although these cases were considered "exceptions", what makes an "exceptional case" wasn't strictly defined and it was largely left to their own discretion. Finally for various disciplinary offenses soldier and officers could be transferred to penal units for a term up to three months by disciplinary power of their command without trial. Which wasn't formally considered a criminal record.
So as a final conclusion the role of the NKVD, if present, was mostly investigation, yet there were exceptions from this rule.

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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 20:47

Stiltzkin wrote:
17 Aug 2019 01:42
The 242nd rifle Division for instance, attached to the 30th Army, replaced its personnel with NKVD border troops (1,500 officers and men).
That part from Zetterling is written in a very ambiguous manner
242 RD.png
But strictly speaking Zetterling doesn't say that 242 RD was one of those fifteen. 15 divisions formed using a cadre from NKVD troops were 243, 244, 246, 247, 249, 250, 251, 252, 254, 256, 257, 259, 262, 265, 268 Rifle Divisions. However, the fact that a part of personnel came from NKVD troops didn't make them NKVD formations.
I do not know where the NKVD artillery was deployed, but it certainly existed, the notion that they weren't assigned any heavy weapons can be refuted (Artillery Btls.)
I don't think that anybody claimed that NKVD troops didn't had any heavy weapons. As of 1 October 1941 the only NKVD artillery unit was an artillery regiment in the Dzershinksy Motorized Rifle Divisions at Moscow. During October it donated some elements to form 2nd Motorized Rifle Divisions which included a 2nd artillery regiment. These two were the only artillery units of the NKVD troops, as far as I know. Both regiments saw a limited employment at Novgorod in the winter 1943/44 as mentioned above.
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Stiltzkin » 25 Aug 2019 21:34

But strictly speaking Zetterling doesn't say that 242 RD was one of those fifteen. 15 divisions formed using a cadre from NKVD troops were 243, 244, 246, 247, 249, 250, 251, 252, 254, 256, 257, 259, 262, 265, 268 Rifle Divisions. However, the fact that a part of personnel came from NKVD troops didn't make them NKVD formations.
This leaves the problem of the role they were assigned to, but if a substantial part of a Division is substituted, it also changes its nature (I would even go so far to state that the NKVD assumed the function of leadership). I assume that there must have been even more cases. Not only were Divisions refilled and NKVD formations held in reserve, they were also assigned heavy weapons. Thus, with the original question in mind, we can conclude that they indeed must have met on the battlefield, whether they were actually encountered and engaged by any SS formations is another matter.

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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 21:47

Stiltzkin wrote:
25 Aug 2019 21:34
This leaves the problem of the role they were assigned to
Provide a cadre of officers and NCOs for newly formed units.

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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Stiltzkin » 25 Aug 2019 21:50

I would even go so far to state that the NKVD assumed the function of leadership
Not NKVD but officers transferred from NKVD troops to Army units. After being formed those divisions were not under NKVD control operationally or organizationally.
Last edited by Stiltzkin on 25 Aug 2019 23:08, edited 1 time in total.

Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 23:07

Volyn wrote:
17 Aug 2019 00:14
1. Did SS units ever fight NKVD units during the war?
BTW II SS Panzerkorps versus 17 NKVD Rifle Brigade at Kharkov, March 1943. Which is mentioned by Nipe ("Last victory in Russia")

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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Stiltzkin » 25 Aug 2019 23:19

Why was half of my post removed and substituted by your response?

Art
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Re: SS vs. NKVD

Post by Art » 26 Aug 2019 07:16

Looks like I accidentally edited it instead of quoting. I can't return it back.

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