Czechs in the Wehrmacht

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Kamerad06
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Czechs in the Wehrmacht

Post by Kamerad06 » 16 Jan 2005 09:06

Under German occupation, the Czech half of Czechoslovakia became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

Were the men of that area, Czechs, conscripted into the Wehrmacht?

Were there Czech units, or were these men distributed throughout the general Wehrmacht?

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 17 Jan 2005 10:04

Hallo....the mens from Sudetenland became the Volksteutsche (owners of Volkliste) and they was normaly absorbed to Wehrmacht. They belongs to borders German Wehrkreis. I know some people, and their great-grandfathers serwed in Wehrmacht units - specific in 73.ID and 5.PzD. Nobody without Volkliste (with Czech nationality) serwed in Wehrmacht or SS units. Some Czechs served as confident for SD, Gestapo or Polizei organizations, but there were prohibited to Czechs to served in German combat units (there were fear abouth making new Czech legions like in WW I). The Protectorate have their own military troops - Vládní vojsko (Goverment Army) equipped with infantry arms, but it served in Protectorate and later (1943/44) it was placed to Italy, where they build fortifications (many of them deserted and take a part in partisans fight). So, there weren´t some specific "Czech" formation inside the Wehrmacht or SS.

Cheers...

Kamerad06
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Post by Kamerad06 » 17 Jan 2005 15:19

Thank you very much. That was the information I was looking for.

Roger Griffiths
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Post by Roger Griffiths » 17 Jan 2005 23:07

Yes, although not Czech. related, I had a Polish friend, now sadly deceased. Individual circumstances could modify treatment. His father had been officer in Imperial and Royal Army (ie Austro-Hungarian) in WWI. In 1918, they, being Galician Poles, took their armoured train to Poland. He was thereafter career officer in Polish Army and lived in Warsaw throughout WWII and died naturally there about 1980. I only know what I was told, but right or wrong, I deduced that he was spared because of his status as a former Austro-Hungarian officer. Adolf was, of course, successor to both the Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs.

Roger

ninoo
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Post by ninoo » 18 Jan 2005 01:54

Hi,

How about Slovakians?

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 18 Jan 2005 09:27

Slovakia became independent in March 1939. They participate on attack against Poland (only limited Air actions), from their teritory attack german forces against Lvov (1., 4. gebirgs Division). In 1941 Slovak army participated in attack agaimst Soviet union - they fight on Kavkaz. Later (?1943?) they were withdraw home. Until 1944 there were fighter squadron equiped with Bf-109G. Most of Slovak army take action against Germans when Slovak national uprising begun. Slovak army was eguipped with Czechoslowak arms, tanks (Lt-35, Lt-38, Lt-40) and airplanes (Avia B-534). There were olso some number of Bf-109E and G. The political forces were Hlinova garda (Hlinka´s Guard) - the Slovak alternative to german SS or SA. But - MANY of Slovaks run in 1939 from Slovakia and fight alongside with Czechs against Germans in Battle for France, Battle for England, at Tobruk, at Dukla and Dunkirk.

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mikerock
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Post by mikerock » 19 Jan 2005 08:30

Was Pilsen in the Sudetenland?

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 19 Jan 2005 16:04

Pilsen itself no, but it was VERY close to borders between Sudetenland and Protectorate. We can say it was border-city.

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mikerock
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Post by mikerock » 24 Jan 2005 21:10

Thank you Glynwed.

Was there a significant German population there?

--Mike

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 25 Jan 2005 12:04

There probably was some german comunity, but probably not so hight to be part of Sudetenland.

There are the pages of Pilsen (Plzeò) city:
http://info.plzen-city.cz/article.asp?sec=71

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Klemen L.
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Czechs in Wehrmacht

Post by Klemen L. » 09 Feb 2005 14:43

Were the men of that area, Czechs, conscripted into the Wehrmacht?


In short, yes they were. All men eligible for draft from Sudetenland (annexed to the German Reich) were mobilised in the Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS. This includes also those Czechs who remained in the area after 1938 from this or that reason as well as those who were living in mixed community (for example mixed marriages or simply had some Czech ancestors (a grandmother or grandfather) in their past hence their Czech-sounding surnames like Swoboda, Janda, Pokorny, Jelinek et cetera)). Eventually some of them made quite distinguished careers in the German Army in World War 2. The most famous "Czech" in the Wehrmacht that comes to my mind right now would be Oberfeldwebel MARTIN HRUSTAK, born on 17.10.1913 in Sudetenland. Hrustak was a former regular Non-Commissioned Officer in the Czechoslovakian Army before the war and joined the German Army in 1940, and namely to the 162nd Infantry Regiment of the 61st East Prussian Infantry Division. For his outstanding bravery at Kirischi Bridgehead at the end of 1943, where he served as a Zugführer in the 7th Company, he received Germany's highest award for bravery - the Ritterkreuz on 11.12.1943. Unfortunately he didn't survive the war as he was killed in action on 18.08.1944 during a Soviet counter-attack near Riga (Latvia).

More about him (along with his photo) you can find here: http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/Hrustak-Martin.htm

However, there was another category of Czechs who served in the German Army in World War 2, who are today mostly forgotten. This namely concernes the Czech soldiers from the Hultschin (Hlučín) Bezirk, a small chunk of land in the Province of Schlesien. Gerichtbezirk Hultschin/Hlučín was part of Prussia for nearly 200 years before being incorporated into the newly formed Czechoslovakia in 1918, only to be again annexed by Germany in 1938. According to the census from 1920 there lived in this area about 48,000 people (39,209 Czechs and 7,707 Germans plus a small number of Poles, Jews etc.). All Czechs from this area were after the annexation automatically becoming eligible for draft and most of them eventually had found their way into the German Army. I am afraid little is known about them. I couldn't find any books, diaries or even memoires. In fact, most Czechs don't know much about them either.

Probably the most famous Czech from Hultschin/Hlučín area, who was serving in the German military in World War I or World War II was Leutnant PAUL BILLIK, a famous German pilot, who was born on 27th March 1891 in a small village of Haatsch (Hat) in the Hultschin Bezirk. He served with Jasta 7, 12, 52 and SS 4 and survived the war with 31 aerial victories. Billik was killed in a crash at Staaken, Berlin on 8th March 1926 whilst flying a Junkers F13.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions that have been raised here. If anyone can find any new material about Hultschin guys I would be most grateful if that person could contact me as I have a rather keen interest to learn more about them.

Best wishes,

Klemen

Some useful links:

http://www.fragmentsofanempire.com/Sudetenland/jurisdictions/maps/bzhultah.JPG

http://www.fragmentsofanempire.com/Sudetenland/jurisdictions/bezhults.htm

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 10 Feb 2005 09:05

to Klemen L.:

Most what you say is correct, but there is a little mistake. When we talk abouth Czechs from Sudetenland (or Hluèín area), after annexation in 1938 they formally became the Germans. Nobody without Volksliste (it means German nationality) can´t enter Werhrmacht. The mens from Hluèín area moreover directly became the Reichs citizens (not Sudetenland). Of course, this people have their original Czech or German names, and some of them can speak Czech, but after receive Volkliste, they became a Germans. I know some 4 people, which Great Grandfathers served in Wehrmacht - two of them were from Hluèín area. One was from Hohenstadt (Zábøeh today) and served from 1939 in 5.PzD, in 1941 was at Moscow and was killed in some 1943. The second was draft in 1945 only 16 years old, he survive tha battle at Olomouc and ended war near Dresden. The 3rd one was from Hermannshutte (Heømanova Hu

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Klemen L.
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Post by Klemen L. » 10 Feb 2005 23:36

Most what you say is correct, but there is a little mistake. When we talk abouth Czechs from Sudetenland (or Hluèín area), after annexation in 1938 they formally became the Germans. Nobody without Volksliste (it means German nationality) can´t enter Werhrmacht.


Yes, I know but this still doesn't change the fact that they were Czech by origin. After German annexation in 1938 all were granted German citizenship just like many Sudeten Germans were granted Czechoslovakian citizenship in 1918. They Volksliste was thus just a formality. I don't know if I have explained myself clearly, have I? :roll:

In addition to this there were also many Germans of Czech origin who have emmigrated to Germany or Austria before the Great War or between the wars, where they have soon mostly assimilated with the indigenous (German) population. You are probably aware of such melting-pot in Vienna, where there were living many Czechs before the Great War 1914-1918.

In Hultschin case, this was a clean Czech territory, which was annexed back to Germany and all eligible men were soon drafted into the army. Most of them were Czechs by birth. You might wanna look http://www.volksbund.de and type "Hultschin", "Haatsch" and names of any other villages from the Hultschin area in the Geburtsort search box and you will get many Czech, German and Polish surnames. The losses must have been horrible: I have typed several villages in the Geburtsort search box and for every village I have got in average at least thirty names; for example just a small village of Schepankowitz (Štěpánkovice) lost 31 men in World War II 1939-1945.

On the website of the village of Bolatice (Bolatitz) - http://www.bolatice.cz/bolatice/deutsch/text.asp?sysID=8 - it can be read that each of the villages has its own memorial (Denkmal) with the names of the men who died in WW1 and WW2.

[quote]The second was draft in 1945 only 16 years old, he survive tha battle at Olomouc and ended war near Dresden. The 3rd one was from Hermannshutte (Heømanova Hu

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 11 Feb 2005 09:22

Czech (or German, Hungarian, Pole) by origin, Germans by nationality. I think we can stay on this point :wink: .

There is a maybe useful map:
http://www.fronta.cz/mapa.php?mapa=csr_ ... 8c31ed95c1

Abouth memories, there is a book by Franz Weber (14.PzD)
http://www.militaria.cz/index.php?ac=re ... l&pozice=0

Thanks you like the article abouth Polish Airforces in 1939. I have to finish the article about 9.Armee in 1945, and than i maybe start the article abouth 1938 - What if. Nothing abouth France in 1940. ut i have a book from Mr. Zdráhala - he escape form Bohmen-Mahren to France, served as Artilleryman in some czech formation )can´t remember the name from my head now) and ended the war in French liberty Forces near Bir Hakeim, were he was taken prisoner.

Cheers

Jan

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 11 Feb 2005 11:13

Has anyone any information on the size of the Vládní vojsko in Italy?

I knew a Czech fellow here in Australia who said he served in Italy:he showed me a photo of himself in what looked like full Wehrmacht helmet and uniform.He fleed Czechoslovakia in 1948.


/Peter

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