Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9861
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by tigre » 29 Oct 2022 13:58

Hello to all :D; more..........................

Guerrilla Warfare in the Ukraine.

UPA Organization in 1944.

The company organization (Figure 3) was not rigid, but generally followed one of) these two types:

1. The light type company consisting of 168 men armed with rifles, light machineguns,' submachineguns, hand grenades, and demolition materials. Its principal mission was to effect hit-and-run raids. When an engagement against tanks was anticipated, the companies were reinforced with antitank rifle (panzerbusche 43, 88-mm bazooka) teams and antitank bazooka teams.

The company was organized in the triangular system (three platoons of three squads each) but the strength of the squads was flexible. The rifle platoons were equipped with 50-mm light mortars.

2. The heavy type company consisted of about 186 men, its organization also following the triangular concept. The armament was similar to the light company, but it was reinforced by a three-piece heavy machinegun platoon, and a three piece 82-mm mortar platoon. The missions of these companies were the attack of important areas, the defense of certain objectives, and open battle against enerny forces.

Mounted guerrillas fought in the Northern Region. They formed special heavy squadrons sometimes equipped with Iight artillery.

The UPA forces considered light automatic weapons best suited to guerrilla tactics, The most popular among these was the submachinegun due to its easy handling and firepower which made it the most powerful shock element in ambush and close combat. The standard hand grenade of the German and Soviet Armies, as well as those manufactured by the guerrillas themselves, were also favorite weapons. The efficient German panzerfaust and the panzerbüsche 43 were used, as well as a variety of antitank mines. The source of armament for these forces was the German and Soviet arsenals seized in raids and major engagements.

The seizure of weapons and ammunition was a permanent objective of the Ukrainian guerrillas, inasmuch as they had no outside help whatsoever and depended entirely on their own resources. Thus, during the German occupation period (1941-44) the German weapons and those of their allies were widely used by the UPA. During the Soviet occupation period, starting in mid-1944, they used Russian weapons almost exclusively.

Source: Military Review. November 1960.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 947
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Steve » 07 Nov 2022 20:13

“The seizure of weapons and ammunition was a permanent objective of the Ukrainian guerrillas, inasmuch as they had no outside help whatsoever and depended entirely on their own resources.”

Very true, and this presumably caused the UPA to fall back on primitive weapons such as axes and knives when it came to killing civilians. There are accounts on Youtube left by survivors of what happened in Polish villages when the UPA arrived but unfortunately they seem to be only in Polish. The following are a couple of examples taken from “The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands” by Alexander Statiev. Page 86.

The first is from a report by the Rovno headquarters of the Red partisans “Nationalist conduct mass terror against the Polish population and the (Polish) villages …… Nationalists do not shoot Poles but stab them with knives and axe them regardless of their age or sex. In the village Triputni, nationalists axed 14 Polish families ……. In the (Polish) Berezno and Chaikovo villages ……… nationalists slaughtered the entire population and burned down over 2,000 houses.

Waclaw Szeletnicki, a Polish priest, described a UPA massacre of Poles in Plebanowka village. “This was a hideous sight of human forms chopped with axes and gored with knives, some bodies with legs chopped off and hands cut off”

Often forgotten is that the UPA did not just wage war against the Soviets they also waged war against the Jewish and Polish civilian population.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7467
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2022 23:11

The Ukrainian extermination units were accompanied by local (living in abject poverty) Ukrainian peasants - subjected to massive propaganda days before.
It's possible they committed the majority of the atrocities because they didn't have any weapons except the usual agricultural tools and because they were avenging real and imagined offenses.

User avatar
Orlov
Member
Posts: 785
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 20:15
Location: Europe

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Orlov » 10 Nov 2022 17:12

Steve wrote:
07 Nov 2022 20:13
“The seizure of weapons and ammunition was a permanent objective of the Ukrainian guerrillas, inasmuch as they had no outside help whatsoever and depended entirely on their own resources.
[...]
Often forgotten is that the UPA did not just wage war against the Soviets they also waged war against the Jewish and Polish civilian population.
It should be remembered that the beginnings of the UPA and the UNS were desertions of Ukrainian volunteers from Schutzmannschaften Bataillonen (appropriately) in Volhynia-Podolia and Galicia. They went to the guerrillas armed with their service weapons. Of course, the UPA / UNS was supported by the troops of the Ukrainian popular movement, i.e. the peasants. They carried out their first attacks on the Polish population in their old uniforms - the example of Parosla.
In the fall of 1942, there were no more Jews alive - most of them were murdered in Selbstreningungsaktionen in the summer of 1941, or in the Einsatzkommandos extermination or deported to extermination camps started in 1942. The UPA and the UNS, of course, murdered the survivors of the rescued Jews, although there were also exceptions and the UPA used the skills of Jewish doctors.
PS: However, I do not know why the discussion changed from the title year 1941 - unless it was the intention of its initiator.

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 947
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Steve » 11 Nov 2022 01:09

I think Orlov that the discussion changed with the second post which brought up the killing of Vatutin in 1944. It's a shame we don't have more discussion on the AHF about the UPA. Because it fought for Ukrainian independence the war crimes committed on a very large scale seem to have been forgotten about.

User avatar
Orlov
Member
Posts: 785
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 20:15
Location: Europe

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Orlov » 12 Nov 2022 22:45

Steve wrote:
11 Nov 2022 01:09
[...] It's a shame we don't have more discussion on the AHF about the UPA. [...]
I fully agree with you - this is an important topic, only subject to discussion in accordance with the principle of SINE IRA ET STUDIO.
I will remind again monographs Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide, and Cult: Fascism, Genocide & Cult.
Apart from the unfortunate connection integral Ukrainian nationalism with fascism - this book is awesome, although author had huge problems in Ukraine. I am very interested in the problem of Selbstreinigungsaktionen (erroneously called "pogroms"). Nobody uses the long German name for the phenomenon so creatively developed by the Germans. The involvement of the Einsatzkommandos, but also second-line units of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, inc. SS-Infanterie-Division (mot.) "Wiking" in supporting the marching columns of the OUN in the widespread murder of Jews in Ukraine in the summer of 1941 is a topic that does not exist in the scientific literature - everything was dominated by the mass murder at Babi Yar. Here, of course, Bukovinian Kuren OUN was involved in this terrible crime.
The activities of the OUN(M) and OUN(B) in summer and autumn 1941 is also important. The first enlisted en masse in the created Ukrainian Schutzmannschaften-Bataillonen and the Ukrainische Polizei in Distrikt Galizien and Distrikt Lublin. The latter were either arrested as more radical, or joined the conspiracy to later take the initiative in fighting the Poles, the remnants of the Jews, and the Czechs and the Soviet partisans - that is, all the enemies of "Great Ukraine".
PS: It is a pity that no one has translated into English the book by the excellent Russian historian (who is in exile in Berlin) - Alexander Gogun "Между Гитлером и Сталиным. Украинские повстанцы" [Between Hitler and Stalin. ukrainian rebels].

User avatar
Orlov
Member
Posts: 785
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 20:15
Location: Europe

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Orlov » 13 Nov 2022 23:30

Just found on academia.edu - David A Rich, "Armed Ukrainians in L’viv: Ukrainian Militia, Ukrainian Police, 1941 to 1942" Canadian- American Slavic Studies, 2014 - based on DALO & NARA docs. Please enjoy:
https://www.academia.edu/16170721/_Arme ... 41_to_1942_

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 947
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Steve » 15 Nov 2022 02:55

Interesting how OUN seems to spring up almost fully formed in the weeks after the German invasion. Apparently in the part of Polish Galicia occupied by the Germans in 1939 something close to an OUN administration in waiting had formed financed by the German Abwehr.

In June 1941 OUN military units followed the German army into the Western Ukraine and linked up with a Ukrainian militia that seemingly numbered about 7,000 initially. The NKVD in the W. U. had managed to largely eliminate the Polish Home Army but they failed to eliminate the OUN. This could be because the Poles were mainly urban dwellers while the Ukrainians inhabited the countryside. OUN in the W. U. was run through a sort of central committee called a provod with about a dozen members who supervised the organisation. Below the central committee were large districts which were subdivided down to the local level with each district run by a provod, An iron discipline was maintained with the death penalty frequently used. It seems that during the Soviet occupation they had concentrated on killing collaborators. In 1940 the B version and the M version of OUN had between them 20,000 members half of them under 21. Whether this figure includes those inside and those outside the Ukraine my source does not say.

On the eve of the German invasion the central provod ordered the “wholesale execution of enemies”. Uprisings in Lwów and other towns took place but were suppressed by the Soviets before the arrival of the Germans. On the third day of the German invasion Iaroslaw Strets’ko the second in command of OUN B reported to Bandera “we are raising a militia that will assist the extermination of the Jews”.

The NKVD executed the prisoners it held in Lwów before evacuating but the Jews were blamed and gruesome massacre duly took place. Does anyone know if Stepan Bandera was with the OUN B units that entered Lwów on June 30?

Taken from The Lands Between by Alexander V Prusin and The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands by Alexander Statiev.

Eugen Pinak
Member
Posts: 1112
Joined: 16 Jun 2004 16:09
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Eugen Pinak » 15 Nov 2022 09:20

Steve wrote:
15 Nov 2022 02:55
Does anyone know if Stepan Bandera was with the OUN B units that entered Lwów on June 30?
He was in Belz. His deputy Stetsko was in Lviv.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7467
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by wm » 15 Nov 2022 22:11

Steve wrote:
15 Nov 2022 02:55
Interesting how OUN seems to spring up almost fully formed in the weeks after the German invasion. Apparently in the part of Polish Galicia occupied by the Germans in 1939 something close to an OUN administration in waiting had formed financed by the German Abwehr.
OUN was created in 1929, and its predecessors were even older.
It was a large movement from the beginning, and the Ukrainians were very active in the Second Polish Republic - in politics and in the economy, frequently dislodging Jews and Poles from local trade and industry.


Steve wrote:
15 Nov 2022 02:55
On the third day of the German invasion Iaroslaw Strets’ko the second in command of OUN B reported to Bandera “we are raising a militia that will assist the extermination of the Jews”.
Really? Although literally on the third day, nobody was aware of the Commissar Order, and its (later) results were still unknown.


Steve wrote:
15 Nov 2022 02:55
The NKVD executed the prisoners it held in Lwów before evacuating but the Jews were blamed and gruesome massacre duly took place.
The Soviets executed up to estimated 100,000 such prisoners.
Jews were attacked in reprisals in all the occupied by the Soviets territories (including Romania, Eastern Poland, and Lithuania) because they were the most enthusiastic collaborators with the aggressor.

User avatar
Orlov
Member
Posts: 785
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 20:15
Location: Europe

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Orlov » 16 Nov 2022 02:55

Steve wrote:
15 Nov 2022 02:55
Interesting how OUN seems to spring up almost fully formed in the weeks after the German invasion. Apparently in the part of Polish Galicia occupied by the Germans in 1939 something close to an OUN administration in waiting had formed financed by the German Abwehr.
1) Please read Gogun's book about Soviet partisans in Ukraine, you will understand why the Soviets infiltrated Poles so easily, and they had serious problems with the Ukrainians.
2) The Germans used their anti-Bolshevik and anti-Jewish enthusiasm throughout the entire territory of the occupation - they found helpers everywhere, who went to the Ordnungsdienst and Schutzmannschaften Bataillonen

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 947
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Steve » 16 Nov 2022 03:36

“Really? Although literally on the third day, nobody was aware of the Commissar Order, and its (later) results were still unknown.”

What has a message from the deputy commander of OUN B to Bandera got to do with the commissar order?

“Jews were attacked in reprisals in all the occupied by the Soviets territories (including Romania, Eastern Poland, and Lithuania) because they were the most enthusiastic collaborators with the aggressor.”

There is no doubt that some Jews in the Western Ukraine welcomed the Soviets but many of them probably felt they were second class citizens in Poland. That Jews were recruited into the militia and the NKVD is not surprising. They were probably regarded as being more likely to be loyal than Poles or Ukrainians who were both looking for independence. No doubt many of them enjoyed now being top dog.

The nationalisation policies of the Soviets hit the Jewish middle class, lawyers, bankers etc particularly hard as they made up a disproportionately large part of it. Also a large number of Jews made their living from small enterprises such as making shoes or clothes etc. which were also nationalised. A Home Army report in July 1941 said “many Jews who had lost their living sought the existing opportunities in the Soviet apparatus, where they became visible as state functionaries in the regime that destroyed independence of Poland”. Jews were likely to be better educated than Poles or Ukrainians as their own schools seem to have been better and a higher percentage of them went to university than Poles or Ukrainians. As many of them had worked in businesses they would be able to do the sort of work the Soviet bureaucracy needed doing and again they were probably more likely to be loyal than Poles or Ukrainians. I haven’t come across any figures for what proportion of the militia, NKVD and Soviet bureaucracy were Jewish in June 1941 in the Western Ukraine.

I see Orlov that the book has had good reviews so I will look if the local library has a copy and if not I will put it on my Xmas present list.

Eugen Pinak
Member
Posts: 1112
Joined: 16 Jun 2004 16:09
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Eugen Pinak » 16 Nov 2022 08:00

Steve wrote:
16 Nov 2022 03:36
I haven’t come across any figures for what proportion of the militia, NKVD and Soviet bureaucracy were Jewish in June 1941 in the Western Ukraine.
Chief of the Prison department of NKVD in Lviv Mark Lerman, who organized massacre of prisoners, was a Jew. I think it was enough for anti-Semites. As for the ranks and file of his "death squad"- Jews were not over-represented there, Russians were.

User avatar
Orlov
Member
Posts: 785
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 20:15
Location: Europe

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by Orlov » 16 Nov 2022 11:39

Steve wrote:
16 Nov 2022 03:36
“Really? Although literally on the third day, nobody was aware of the Commissar Order, and its (later) results were still unknown.”
[...]
Eugen Pinak wrote:
16 Nov 2022 08:00
Chief of the Prison department of NKVD in Lviv Mark Lerman, who organized massacre of prisoners, was a Jew. I think it was enough for anti-Semites. As for the ranks and file of his "death squad"- Jews were not over-represented there, Russians were.
Dears Eugen & Steve,
Please remember about the rules of "Selbstreinigungsaktionen" - the Germans used all elements to encourage the local population to murder Jews. Where there were no spontaneous massacres - they went into action themselves - see Bialystok, Pinsk or places where Einsatzkommandos murdered.
In a moment, an article by a Ukrainian historian, whom I met in the Bundesarchiv Ludwigsburg, about the Nachtigall and Roland battalions should be published - the article ends with the entrance to Lvov (Lviv) itself. His doctorate will be (if it has not already been written) about "Selbstreinigungsaktionen" in Lviv from a microhistorical perspective.
I have to buy it myself and I can suggest it to you as well - an excellent book that I got to know in a thorough review of an insightful Polish historian of Jewish origin - Dr. Marcin Urynowicz - I mean about: Jeffrey S. Kopstein, Jason Wittenberg, "Intimate Violence. Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust", (Ithaca-London 2018)
The main thesis of the mentioned publication is that all previous attempts to explain the pogroms of the summer of 1941 are wrong, three of which are the most popular: 1) revenge for collaborating with the Soviets; 2) the centuries-old anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism of the Christian population among which Jews lived (mainly Poles and Ukrainians); 3) the robbery of Jewish movable and immovable property, and therefore the cause of economic nature. According to the authors, the sources of this wave of over two hundred anti-Jewish pogroms should rather be sought in the ethnic demography and political relations of the interwar period. What happened during the war, up to the summer of 1941, only exacerbated the earlier problems, gave direction and triggered the desire to immediately implement the goals that had been wanted before 1939.
The claim that Jews collaborated with the Soviet regime contradicts what historians know about the representation of individual nationalities in the new power apparatus. For example, data from the Białystok region show that in 1940 Jews constituted only 2% of the in the authorities of rural communes, 9 percent in communist youth organizations, 5.4 percent. among “government candidates” and 4 percent in the cadres of the communist party (p. 6). Taking into account the fact that Jews constituted 12% of of the entire population of the region, it is clear that not only were they not represented in the apparatus of the Soviet power in proportion to their numbers, but they even turn out to be handicapped in this respect. What is equally interesting, in towns where support for communism was weak before the war, there were more pogroms than in those where support was relatively high. This was due to the fact that the main and largest groups supporting communism did not come from the Jewish population, but from the Belarusian and Ukrainian population. The popularity of communist slogans in a given environment was not conducive to the creation of a pogrom atmosphere.
Equally wrong, according to the authors, is the thesis about the anti-Semitism of the Christian population as the main cause of the pogroms. For this purpose, e.g. they ask the question, how is it possible that only 9% of towns suffered from pogroms, and over 90 percent no? If anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews were as widespread as it is presented in the literature, then the wave of such incidents would have to spread much wider. In principle, pogroms should have taken place everywhere, but they did not.
According to the authors, the third most frequent cause of pogroms, the so-called economic, according to which the desire to grab Jewish property and economic positions was the main reason for aggressive protests. If this were the case, then pogroms should be expected primarily in those places where the economic differences between Jews and non-Jews were greatest in favor of the former. However, it is not.
According to the authors, the actual causes of the pogrom wave discussed here can only be explained by the "Political Threat" theory. In a nutshell, it says that where the minority begins to be perceived as threatening the dominance of the majority, the majority initiates actions aimed at preventing the loss of its dominant position.
I will add from myself, and what the mentioned Jeffrey S. Kopstein, Jason Wittenberg, overlook - the great importance of the German propaganda campaign of Vineta Propagandadienst Ostraum e. V. to prepare "Selbstreinigungsaktionen". (No one has written about it so far - apart from one book in German about Vineta).
PS: I specifically emphasize German term "Selbstreinigungsaktionen" - because the action had a different character, from a typical pogrom, although the purpose was the same.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7467
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Ukrainian National Organizations 1941

Post by wm » 16 Nov 2022 20:04

So was the reason a "desire to grab Jewish property" or a "political threat?"

Are we going to believe that poverty-stricken, semi-literate peasants and urban (lumpen-) proletariat attacked the Jews because the Jews threatened them politically?

The "desire to grab Jewish property" is an old invention of communist propaganda (because it was obviously an anti-communist mass uprising triggered by the Soviet genocide), but especially of the perpetrators themselves! - during their post-war trials.

The "desire to grab" defense was the only one that somewhat protected from the death penalty.
The death penalty was mandatory (at least in Poland, I don't know about the Soviet Union) if the motives were political, racist, nationalistic, or religious.

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”