About Serbian Volunteer Corps being in the SS

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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Based
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About Serbian Volunteer Corps being in the SS

Post by Based » 15 Jan 2022 05:56

As of what i’ve heard, in 1944 they were officialy part of the waffen SS, but however, there wasn’t enough time to give them division, and uniforms since the end of the war was coming, and Germany and, Serbia was being attacked by Yugoslav forces. I wanted to ask, is this true? And, if they had time to give unfiorms would they be numbered as part of the SS, as I heard they joined in mid or late 1944, thank you!

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Ivan Ž.
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Re: About Serbian Volunteer Corps being in the SS

Post by Ivan Ž. » 18 Jan 2022 23:10

Hello, Based, and :welcome:

No, they never became part of the SS, it's just a common misconception. The confusion was made by careless people publishing/quoting only one or two papers from a series of documents, showing the order for the corps to be incorporated into the SS after moving to the OZAK, or listing (mistakenly) the corps as an SS unit. The order was actually never carried out. The idea was abandoned after an appeal by Hermann Neubacher and the corps was only subordinated to the RFSS while in the OZAK, without becoming part of the SS. You will find all documents (in German and translated to Serbian) in the book Srpski dobrovoljački korpus u službi naroda i otadžbine by Borivoje M. Karapandžić (Belgrade, 2002), pp. 84-105 (see also pp. 63-83). Additionally see Nemačka obaveštajna služba by the Yugoslav State Security Service, vol. IV (Belgrade, 1959), p. 952.

There is also an interesting entry in a secret (and unpublished) SS report written at the time of the planned absorption of the Serbian Volunteer Corps into the SS: "The Serbian volunteer of today does not feel like a German soldier, but rather as an independent ally who only needs to be equipped with German weapons." See BArch, NS 31/445 (p. 136).

The corps actually ended the war as part of the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland (a.k.a. the DM Chetniks), into which it was incorporated in late March 1945 - and it was also renamed Šumadija Division, a few days before surrendering to the Allies, in early May; see Za istoriju naših dana by Boško N. Kostić (Belgrade, 1991), pp. 234, 261. Karapandžić speculates that the commanding general (Miodrag Damjanović) renamed the corps probably out of fear of the Allies; see Građanski rat u Srbiji 1941-1945 (Valjevo, 2010), p. 190. According to the corps commander (Kosta Mušicki), his men even disarmed some Germans during the retreat; see Dokumenta sa suđenja Ravnogorskom pokretu edited by Miodrag Zečević, bk 2 (Belgrade, 2001), p. 1113. Additionally see Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o NOR-u naroda Jugoslavije ed. by the Military-Historical Institute, vol. XIV, bk 4 (Belgrade, 1985), pp. 861-863, 993-995.

Cheers,
Ivan

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