Slovak Army Units/Identifications

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Zaboha
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Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Zaboha » 20 Jan 2020 21:58

Hello All!
This is my first post.

My father was born in western Slovakia in a village just north of Bratislava. He never talked much of the war and passed away in 1998. I'm trying to discover whatever I can of which units he may have been attached to and places he would have fought. He specifically mentioned he fought at Rostov-on-Don and generally on the Russian front. He was conscripted into the army at about age 16 which would be about 1941. That would mean he did not fight in Poland. He did mention that he fought generally in the Ukraine which seems to be in the 1941-1942 time frame (below is a picture of his squad in Ukraine). I assume he was with the Slovaks attached to German Army Group South maybe under von Kleiss (German 17th Army)? He mentioned he initially trained as an anti-aircraft gunner but later was in a rifle company. He has positive opinions of the K98 Mauser rifle, MG 42 and the BMW motorcycle that he must have had some exposure to them (obviously the K98).

Is there anywhere that is a good place to start looking? I have been all through internet pages, youtube and even contacted the Slovak Embassy in the USA with little luck.

Any information is appreciated since I have very little to go on.
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Leo Niehorster
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Leo Niehorster » 21 Jan 2020 11:06

You mightt ake a look at:
  Mark W.A: Axworthy
  Axis Slovakia
  = Hitler's Slavic Wedge, 1938–1945 =
  Axis Europe, New York, NY, 2002
  ISBN: 1-891227-41-6

Unfortunately, it does not have an index or a bibliography; nor are there any footnotes in the text to indicate sources. :(

--
Leo
Information not passed on is lost.
URL: World War II Armed Forces

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jan 2020 11:42

Hi Zaboha,

To have served at Rostov, your father was almost certainly with the Slovak Rapid Division under Generals Malar and Turanec.

I, like Leo, would recommend Axis Slovakia by Axworthy. Its text seems very authoritative, as the author apparently researched in the Slovak military archives.

Axis Slovakia covers in some detail the campaigns of the Rapid Division in the Ukraine in 1941, on the River Mius north of Rostov in the winter of 1941-42, in the Caucasus in the summer of 1942 and the Kuban Bridgehead in early 1943, so you will be able understand some of your father's experiences. His age group were sent home in 1943 after two years on campaign and the Rapid Division received completely new manpower and a new title.

Your father was presumably in Slovakia during the Slovak National Uprising in late 1944, though it appears from your description that his home village was outside the area covered by the uprising and behind German lines.

It is possible that your father's service record still exists, as the Czechoslovak archives were simply closed from the 1940s to the early 1990s and not weeded out. The Slovak military archives were sent from Prague to Trnava when Slovakia and the Czech Republic split in the 1990s. The best way to get access is probably by asking the US military Attaché in Bratislava to approach the Trnava archive. This would give your request more weight.

Cheers,

Sid.

Zaboha
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Location: USA

Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Zaboha » 21 Jan 2020 14:00

Leo & Sid,

Thank you for the information and leads. I had just ordered Mr. Axworthy's book and I am awaiting its arrival from Amazon. I had seen General Turanec's name and I am familiar with the Slovak Rapid or Fast Division but wasn't sure if that was the only unit that was at Rostov.

I truly appreciate the information provided! I am excited to dig in and find out what I can.

Thank you both so much!

Zaboha

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KACKO
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by KACKO » 24 Jan 2020 11:24

Zaboha wrote:
21 Jan 2020 14:00
Leo & Sid,

I had just ordered Mr. Axworthy's book and I am awaiting its arrival from Amazon.
Greetings Zaboha,

The best work so far on Rapid Division (Rychla divizia in Slovak) is Pavel Micianik book “Slovenska armada v tazeni proti Sovietskemu Zvazu III - Rychla divizia”. In fortunately it was published only in Slovak.
Actually I asked friend of mine who is good friend of Pavel Micianik if there is a list of soldiers who were serving with Rapid Division in 1941-42 which can be checked without contacting archives. If there is something I will keep you posted.

Have a great day.

Zaboha
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Location: USA

Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Zaboha » 27 Jan 2020 17:07

KACKO:

Thanks for the information. I am not fluid in Slovak but it is good to know any resources out there that are available.

Thanks for checking in with your friend on my behalf.

Z

Zaboha
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Zaboha » 04 Feb 2020 19:20

Just a follow up. I found his picture on a website with a lot of information on the Slovak Rapid Division. My family (my Mom included) are certain this is my Dad. The original photo caption references that this was a captured Russian vehicle that was of great use in the Rasputitsa.

The site I found is:
http://www.ondrejkovics-sandor.com/?lg=2&s=131

It may be that this is a known site to the individuals in a group like this but thought I'd share it for those that do not know about it.
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 Feb 2020 11:22

Hi Zaboha,

Excellent link. Many thanks.

I think that is a German Raupenschlepper Ost, rather than a captured Soviet vehicle. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raupenschlepper_Ost)

Have you got Axworthy's book yet?

Cheers,

Sid.

Zaboha
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by Zaboha » 05 Feb 2020 19:16

Sid,

Thanks for the clarification on the tracked vehicle!

The book arrives tomorrow or Friday. It is coming via USPS which unfortunately doesn't provide very good tracking info. Looking forward to reading it. I have also been in touch with the Slovak National Archives and starting to follow that lead.

Thanks for all you help!!

Z

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KACKO
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Re: Slovak Army Units/Identifications

Post by KACKO » 16 Feb 2020 02:53

Zaboha wrote:
04 Feb 2020 19:20
Just a follow up. I found his picture on a website with a lot of information on the Slovak Rapid Division. My family (my Mom included) are certain this is my Dad. The original photo caption references that this was a captured Russian vehicle that was of great use in the Rasputitsa.

The site I found is:
http://www.ondrejkovics-sandor.com/?lg=2&s=131

It may be that this is a known site to the individuals in a group like this but thought I'd share it for those that do not know about it.
Majority of these vehicle, RSO of which 80 were supplied to Slovak army, served in Artillery Regiment 11, based in Zilina and Slovak tank regiment, which was based in Turciansky Sv. Martin, now Martin.
Both of these units were, or their parts were parts of Rapid Division.

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