Legion Krempler - info & identification

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Ivan Ž.
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Legion Krempler - info & identification

Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 16:35

I'm looking for more info about Karl von Krempler and his Legion.
Where is he from? What kind of unit this was?
If i remembered right, von Krempler was member of Handschar Division,
but the Legion was Albanian...?

Here are two pics of Legion that i've found.
First one was posted on forum and it shows K.von Krempler with Legion.
Second shows German officer (who is he?) with members of Legion Krempler
and two soldiers of Skanderbeg Division (in background).
Photo is from "Jugoslavija u ratu 1941-1945" book, V.Strugar.

Also, if anyone has more pics, please post them.
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Ivan Ž.
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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 16:39

Here's a close-up of a man for identification.
His boots looks Gebirgsjäger to me...
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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 20:34

And one more thing:
SS-Rottenführer in the background of first photo
- does this look like SS-Kama collar patch or what?!
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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 15 May 2005 20:37

Ivan:

The SS "Kama" Division was never activated, and I've never seen any evidence that their collar patch was ever produced.

Regards,
Allen/

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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 20:40

Allen Milcic wrote:Ivan:

The SS "Kama" Division was never activated, and I've never seen any evidence that their collar patch was ever produced.

Regards,
Allen/
I haven't seen any evidence of their collar patch produced either,
but what do you think this collar patch could be?
I was thinking perhaps Hakenkreuz from Handschar patch just shining in the sun...?

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 15 May 2005 21:03

Sorry Ivan, the photo is just not clear enough for more than guesswork.

Allen/

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Ivan Ž.
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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 21:12

Well...thanks anyway for your reply, Allen.
But what do you men "never activated"?
Here's Soldbuch of a member of "Kama" (and "Handschar" too) Division.
You can see SS Kama stamp.
(i found these pics on one other forum,
posted by the owner of this Soldbuch, i forgot his name unfortunately...)
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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 15 May 2005 21:22

From a short article I prepared for Feldgrau:
23.Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS "Kama" (kroat.Nr.2)

History:
Approval was given for the raising of a 2nd "Croatian" Waffen SS division on June 17, 1944. The new division was given the honorary title "Kama". Actual recruitment for "Kama" had started on June 10th 1944, and a sizeable number of German officers and NCO's were made available to the division. Officers and men from the 13.SS were also transfered to "Kama", including the entire Reconnaissance Battalion. To this core of troops was added a new batch of Muslim recruits.

Interestingly, "Kama" was never formed at anything near divisional level. At its peak strength in September 1944, it had 3,793 men within its ranks total. Fearing Partisan disruption of the new division in training, the assembly site chosen for the division was the Backa Region. Backa had been annexed by Hungary following the invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, and was far enough from partisan influences on the troops.

The division began to take shape in July and August of 1944, but during the month of September 1944, the Red Army made dangerous advances into the Balkans and Hungary. The training bases for the "Kama" Division were suddenly precariously close to the front lines. The SS-FHA attempted to get the division ready for combat, citing the unrealistic date of September 24th as when the unit would be ready for frontline service. The training state of the recruits was still in the basic stage, however, and the unrealistic date of committal passed. Thereafter, the SS-FHA realized that no time was left for the "Kama" Division to form. As the Red Army moved into Hungary, German military leaders decided to disband the unit and make as much use of the already formed personnel as possible by transferring them as replacements to other divisions. The decision was made in October, 1944, and most of the divisional elements went to help form the 31.SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division.

The Muslims of "Kama" were ordered to report to the 13.SS. Some of them deserted on the way to the 13.SS headquarters, but most reported for duty. The divisional number 23 was then handed over to the newly forming Dutch Panzer-Grenadier-Division.

"Kama" was originally envisioned as an anti-Partisan unit, but the worsening German military situation required that the division's organization be aborted and it never was fully formed, trained or employed in combat.

Organization General Composition
Waffen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment der SS 55 (kroat.Nr.3)
Waffen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment der SS 56 (kroat.Nr.4)
SS-Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 23
SS-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 23
SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 23
SS-Flak-Abteilung 23
SS-Pionier-Bataillon 23
SS-Gebirgs-Nachrichten-Abteilung 23
SS-Gebirgs-Sanitäts-Abteilung
SS-Feldersatz-Bataillon 23

Commanders:
Standartenführer Helmuth Raithel 7.01.44 - 9.28.44
Brigadeführer Gustav Lombard 9.28.44 - 10.01.44
Regards,
Allen/

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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 21:29

Thanks for info, Allen.

And now let's back to the topic:
do you have any idea who could that SS officer from second photo be?

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Post by Larry D. » 15 May 2005 23:31

Ivanwss wrote:
I'm looking for more info about Karl von Krempler and his Legion.
Where is he from? What kind of unit this was?
and:
And now let's back to the topic:
Oberst der Polizei and Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Karl von Krempler was send into the Sandjak in October 1943 to take over the approximately 5,000-man Sandjak Militia with headquarters in Sjenica, a self-protective force of Moslem irregulars desperately trying to hold both the Chetniks and the Partisans at bay. Also known as "Muselmanengruppe von Krempler" after he took it over, Krempler later appointed Hafiz Sulejman Pacariz as its Moslem commander although Krempler remained in charge.

Karl von Krempler was considered something of an authority on the Moslems of Yugoslavia, having been involved in recruiting large numbers of them in East Bosnia for the 13th SS Mountain Division "Handschar" during the spring and summer of 1943. In a rare photo taken during the summer of 1944, von Krempler is shown as a portly, sloppily dressed older officer of average height with the Edelweiss sleeve insignia on his right sleeve, above which is sewn the special badge for single-handed destruction of a tank. Where he managed to destroy a tank is unknown, but he may have been in Russia prior to being reassigned to Yugoslavia. In any case, he was sent to Sandjak in early October 1943 and given the task of rebuilding the Militia into what the Germans hoped would eventually be a legion.

On 30 March 1944 Krempler was personally given the title SS Commander in the Sandjak Region (SS-Führer im Gebiet Sandschak) by Heinrich Himmler. At the end of July 1944, Legion Krempler was re-designated Police Self-Defense Regiment Sandjak (Polizei-Selbstschutz-Rgt. Sandschak) with four planned battalions that, together with the remainder of the Legion that had not been included in the Regiment, numbered around 4,000. Partisan forces attacked and took Sjenica 14-15 October 1944 and Krempler's Legion was scattered and demoralized. The older Moslems deserted while several hundred of the younger men under Pacariz traveled to Sarajevo where they joined up with the notorious Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburic. Pacariz was given the rank of Pukovnik in the Ustasha Militia and he and his men finished the war with Luburic. Meanwhile, Oberst der Polizei Karl Krempler and his small contingent of German training cadre were reassigned during the latter part of October 1944.

[See: "The Moslem Militia and Legion of the Sandjak", in: Axis Europa Magazine, Vol. II/III (No. 9), Jul-Aug-Sep 1996, pp.3-14. This article provides details on the Legion's combat activities.]

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Post by Ivan Ž. » 15 May 2005 23:36

Thank you, Larry.

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Post by Ivan Ž. » 10 Oct 2005 18:15

Does anyone have some informations about Kampfgruppen "Bendel" & "Strippel"?
(I've found them mentioned always next to Legion "Krempler")

Thanks in advance,
Ivan


...btw, correct is "Sandzak" (Sandžak), and not "Sandjak".

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Post by Larry D. » 10 Oct 2005 18:59

...btw, correct is "Sandzak" (Sandžak), and not "Sandjak".
I know how it's spelled in Serbo-Croatian, or whatever they call it now. It is phoneticized in English language publications as "Sandjak" repeat "Sandjak". See Tomasevich, Jozo - The Chetniks (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975), index page 505 as an example. In the German language it's phoneticized as "Sandschak" repeat "Sandschak".

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Post by Ivan Ž. » 10 Oct 2005 19:33

OK, nevermind.
It is the same letter (dž) as in "Handschar" (Handžar); do English spell "Handjar", as well ?
(just curious)

Cheers,
Ivan

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kama

Post by Hallandsen » 10 Oct 2005 20:59

Hi
I`m aware of the possibility that this Collar Patch might be taken for an replica, as most here have a selfmade authorization to classify nearly all posted in this forum as such, alass this could be a KAMA Collar Patch, - I once saw the pics posted here in a very fine solution, and find Iwanss have seen one in the former pic.
I`m afraid the statement that these Patches was never made, won`t hold as I got this one long before the Foreign Legion Books from Bender.
Hi from Hallandsen
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