Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
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Steve
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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by Steve » 07 Jun 2021 12:04

While ruminating on this mysterious air force over a cup of great British tea (helps the little grey cells) I remembered a book by Jurgen Thorwald called The Illusion. According to Thorwald who was a writer and journalist he was asked by General Reinhart Gehlen in 1950 to write a history of the Russian volunteers so that it might serve as a “textbook” in a future military confrontation. He was told that all available information held by the Germans would be made available and surviving witnesses would be assembled so that he could interview them in depth. The book was published in 1952 with the title Wen sie verderben woollen and seems to have made no impact.

In 1974 with interest in Vlasov etc rising he tried again with this book The Illusion. In theory it should be a first class account but Thorwald was a journalist and maybe thought that a dry factual account was unlikely to sell well. Unfortunately he seemingly decided to spice it up perhaps to try and capture the drama of the times. For example you get long word for word dramatic conversations which leave you wondering how anyone could have remembered them six odd years later. Lines such “Keiling gazed into the eyes of Sveryev’s woman and he was struck by the intensity of hatred glowing in them” of course no source is given. However, as he apparently had access to everything available in Germany on the Russian volunteers when he sticks to facts and figures may be a source. The following comes from page 262.

“In Jager, just to the west of Karlsbad, General Aschenbrenner, the former German air attaché in Moscow, along with his adjutant Buschmann and Russian Air Force Colonel Malytsev, had set up a mixed air division composed of former Russian air and anti-aircraft officers, non coms, and enlisted men. The majority had previously served in German air units, many as ground personnel at airports and on flak batteries, but some had done actual flying, either delivering planes or in squadrons engaged in combating partisans. In Jager there now took shape a flak regiment, a parachute troop battalion, a communications regiment, an air force transport regiment, a reconnaissance echelon with readied planes, and a pilot’s school. The division was officially subordinated to the German Luftwaffe, not to Vlasov”.

That the air division was subordinate to the Luftwaffe and not Vlasov may help explain why it has been so difficult to trace. Presumably it was never officially part of the KONR air force and was always known as the ROA air division or maybe had a German designation. Apart from the recon echelon there is no mention of any planes though you would expect some training planes if there was a pilots school. If only “some had done actual flying” it is hard to believe the Luftwaffe would have been handing over much in the way of modern planes.

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WAR LORD
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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by WAR LORD » 08 Jun 2021 15:23

A Pay Book that might be of interest
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WAR LORD
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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by WAR LORD » 08 Jun 2021 15:25

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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by WAR LORD » 08 Jun 2021 15:26

bit more
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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by WAR LORD » 08 Jun 2021 15:27

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Re: Number of volunteers for Vlasov's ROA

Post by WAR LORD » 08 Jun 2021 15:29

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