Sunday, July 18, 2010

Soviet PoW and Polish and Soviet Civilians – The Holocaust?

Of the 5,700,000 Soviet soldiers who surrendered to the Germans during World War II, more than 3,000,000 were either shot shortly after capture, starved to death in prisoner of war camps, gassed in extermination camps, or worked to death in concentration camps. They are usually ignored in books about the Holocaust because at the time they were not targeted for total extermination. Those who offer explicit or implicit arguments for including them among the victims of the Holocaust, such as Bohdan Wytwycky in The Other Holocaust and Christian Streit and Jürgen Förster in The Policies of Genocide, point out that the appallingly high losses among Soviet prisoners of war were racially determined. The Germans did not usually mistreat prisoners from other Allied countries, but in the Nazi view Soviet prisoners were Slavic “subhumans” who had no right to live. Moreover, young Slavs of reproductive and fighting age were dangerous obstacles to resettling Eastern Europe with Germans. Hence it is reasonable to conclude that all of them were destined to be killed or else sterilized so that their kind would disappear.

Slavic civilians, ordinary citizens of Poland and the Soviet Union in particular, were held no higher in Nazi racial ideology. Millions were forced to work for the Germans under frequently murderous conditions. Their natural leaders, such as teachers, professors, lawyers, clergymen, and politicians, were ruthlessly exterminated by the Germans. Others perished in massive German reprisals against various forms of resistance. Three million Poles (10 percent of the population) and 19,000,000 Soviet citizens (11 percent of the population) died at the hands of the Germans. Because these deaths were far more selective than was the case with Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped, it is possible to place them in a different category. Those who would exclude them from the Holocaust emphasize that the Germans did not plan to kill all the Slavs. On the contrary, Germany considered the Slavs of Slovakia and Croatia as valuable allies, not candidates for extermination. Complicating the issue is the difficulty of distinguishing racially motivated killings of Poles and Soviet citizens from those that resulted directly or indirectly from German military actions. Bohdan Wytwycky has estimated that nearly one-fourth of the Soviet civilian deaths were racially motivated, namely, those of 3,000,000 Ukrainians and 1,500,000 Belarusans.

Those who would include Polish and Soviet civilian losses in the Holocaust include Bohdan Wytwycky in The Other Holocaust, Richard C. Lukas in The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Rule, 1939–1944, and Ihor Kamenetsky in Secret Nazi Plans for Eastern Europe. These scholars point out that the deaths were a direct result of Nazi contempt for the “subhuman” Slavs. They note that the “racially valuable” peoples of Western European countries like France and the Netherlands were not treated anywhere near as badly. Moreover, Nazi plans for the ethnic cleansing and German colonization of Poland and parts of the Soviet Union suggest that a victorious Germany might well have raised the level of genocide against the civilian populations of those areas to even more appalling proportions. Slovakia and Croatia did not figure as victims in Hitler’s plans to secure Lebensraum, and their Slavic populations could be spared. In A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II, Gerhard Weinberg suggests that experiments done on concentration camp inmates to perfect methods of mass sterilization probably were chiefly aimed at keeping Slavs alive to perform slave labor in the short term while assuring their long-term disappearance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Foundation gives voice to Nazi-era forced laborers

Many forced laborers became pariahs once they returned to their home countries.

The Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation no longer pays out compensation to victims of Nazi forced labor in 2007. But it hasn't stopped working to publicize the former forced workers' suffering.

The Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation (EVZ) began paying compensation to victims of Nazi forced labor in 2000. Funded by the German government and about 6,500 German companies, EVZ paid 4.4 billion euros ($5.7 billion) to 1.7 million former forced workers over seven years.

When payments ended in 2007 - and with them EVZ's original mission - the organization faced the challenge of redefining itself.

Part of a European culture of remembrance

For EVZ board member Guenter Saathoff there was no question that the group should continue to exist.

"Considering the 13 million people who were brought to Germany as forced workers, you have to recognize that forced labor was a European occurrence," Saathoff told Deutsche Welle.

"It must be a permanently anchored and fundamental element of the history of wrongdoing in a European culture of remembrance," he added.

The EZB has holdings of about 400 million euros, which it has used to fund over 2,100 projects, including a program called "Europeans for Peace." So far over 100,000 young people from 28 countries have participated in the program aimed to help victims of anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

Labeled traitors to the fatherland

Still of particular importance to the foundation are projects that support former forced laborers and their families through local initiatives. One such project in eastern Europe encourages dialogue about the once-taboo topic of forced labor. The dialogues initiated by the program give long-needed acknowledgement to the "other" victims of Nazism, according to Saathoff.

"Under Stalin many returning forced laborers were seen as traitors to the fatherland," Saathoff said, adding that many of them lived as pariahs within their societies.

"This project attempts to give those people a voice again in their communities, and we also want to encourage the communities to give the victims their attention, so intergenerational dialog and local initiatives are at the center of our efforts," he said.

Jewish Museum exhibition

Berlin's Jewish Museum is set to host a large exhibition on Nazi-era forced labor beginning this September with the EVZ's financial support.

One of the exhibition planners, Jens-Christian Wagner, explained that the exhibition will show "when and how Germans had to decide what position to take on forced labor."

Wagner, who is also the director of the Dora-Mittelbau Concentration Camp Memorial, added that the exhibition will "use the frame of forced labor to tell the social history of Nazism, the history of a social order that was ideologically anchored in extreme racism."

He said the exhibition is not simply a "commission" by the EVZ but will critically examine both at forced labor and at compensation paid to victims by the EVZ.

To that end, Wagner said the exhibition will also "consider the Italian military detainee or the Soviet prisoner of war, who were denied compensation and humanitarian aid, but who, of course - in the eyes of historians - were also forced workers."

An injury to justice

Wagner said it would have been impossible to make the distribution of compensation absolutely fair. He said this "injury to justice" is yet another result of Germany's coming to terms with Nazi forced labor.

The exhibition will move to Warsaw in 2011, with further stations planned in Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of Germany's 1941 attack on the Soviet Union.

Author: Marcel Fürstenau (dl) 
Editor: Sean Sinico

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Cossacks

The Cossacks were probably the most militarily skilled and loyal foreign volunteers of the Wehrmacht.
In September 1942 the German cavalry General von Pannwitz started raising a complete division with Cossacks, by absorption of previous regiment-sized units like Kampfgruppen von Jungschultz, Lehman, Konomow and Wolff, fresh recruitments, and by implanting a ‘stan’ or Cossack settlement in Poland, and later in Northern Italy. In September 1943 this 1. Kossacken Division was ordered to Yugoslavia, to fight the partisans of Tito.

The Cossacks fought bitterly against the partisans, and proved to be more successful in this kind of operations than the German units, their horses giving them a useful tactical flexibility in the wild terrain of the Balkan mountains. At the end of 1943, with a new 2. Division, von Pannwitz formed the XIV Kossacken Korps. General von Pannwitz was so popular amongst his Cossacks that they granted him the title of ‘Feldataman’, the highest rank in the Cossack hierarchy, traditionally reserved for the Tsar alone.

The Cossacks continued fighting against the partisans and later the Red Army until the end, when the majority of them managed to surrender to the British Army. However, Stalin demanded them to be handed over, and the British acceded. General von Pannwitz, who refused leaving his men, was hanged. The Cossacks were shot at once or sent to the Siberian gulags.

Vlassov’s Army

Russia was far from a monolithic structure. It contained numerous diverse ethnic groups, many of which had long histories of resenting Russian suzerainty and domination. Combined with the long standing hatred of Russia, the new Soviet regime was often even more hated, even by the Russians, so when the Germans invaded, their initial reception was often one of liberator than one of conqueror. Deserters appeared in the hundreds before German units offering their services in any capacity and they were taken in gladly. They were given the names "Hilfsfreiwilliger" (Volunteer Helpers) or Hiwis for short. Initially, their functions were the various menial tasks such as cooking, digging latrines, officers' batmen, etc., but more than once they jumped into combat roles when the opportunity arose. Hundreds of the Hiwis were gradually sucked into the role of combatant, despite the lack of orders and the German ethnic attitudes of the period.

The 134th Infantry Division began openly enlisting Russians in July 1941. Other divisions refrained from such overt violation of Hitler's orders, but more than willingly took the Russians on an unofficial basis. During the winter of 1941/42 the first Osttruppen or Eastern Troops were formed. By early 1942 six battalions of Ostruppen were formed in Army Group Center under Oberst von Tresckow. These units were given territorial designations, like Volga, Berezina, and Pripet. Initially they were used in the rear on anti-partisan operations with the security divisions, but slowly they were brought forward into the front lines.

In early 1942 racist elements of the German hierarchy brought this to Hitler's attention. He responded to the movement by prohibiting the use of Russian "sub humans" as soldiers and on 2/10/42 issued a Fuhrer Order that limited their use of those existent units to rear area operations only. Despite his obvious displeasure, the Osttruppen continued to expand. The OKH was to authorize the use of Hiwis up to 10% to 15% of divisional strength and by August 1942 official regulations were issued governing uniforms pay, decoration, and insignia. By early 1943 an estimated 80,000 Russians were serving the Wehrmacht in Ostbataillonen.

The formation of Russian units in the German army would have been quite limited had not the Soviet General Vlassov been captured in July 1942. He had been a prominent general after the war erupted, but in March 1942 he was ordered to liberate Leningrad with the 2nd Soviet Assault Army. His attack failed and his army of nine infantry divisions, six infantry brigades, and an armored brigade were surrounded, abandoned by Stalin, and crushed, leaving the Germans with 32,000 prisoners. Amongst the German High Command there had always some hope of forming a Russian army to assist them in the conquest of Soviet Russia. As time progressed, it became apparent that Vlassov was the ideal man to form this army.

As the war progressed and the German effort in Russia began failing, Hitler was eventually persuaded to permit the formation of the army. The first steps occurred in August 1942 when General Koestring formed an Inspectorate which was to organize Caucasian troops. Koestring, however, ignored this limitation and took all volunteers possible. When Koestring retired in January 1943 the post of General der Ostruppen was created and given to General Hellmich, who had no previous experience with the Russians. Fortunately, Hellmich and Koestring's service overlapped and the two men agreed on Koestring's earlier decisions.

The Osttruppen was absorbing not only Caucasians, but Ukrainians, Russians, Azberjainis, and Turkistanis. In January 1944 Koestring, now apparently out of retirement, took over from Hellmich with the new title General der Freiwilligen Verbaende (General of Volunteer Units). In the meantime, Hitler had authorized the formation of a Russian army under Vlassov. In November 1942 a Russian National Committee was established in Berlin with Vlassov serving as Chairman. It then issued the Smolensk Manifesto, calling for the destruction of Stalinism, the conclusion of an honorable peace with Germany, and Russian participation in the "New Europe."

The German Army intelligence then proceeded to drop copies of leaflets over the Russian lines, as well as a carefully planned accident which resulted in their being dropped over German lines as well. It appears that Hitler had forbidden any release of this in the German press. During the winter of 1942/43, faced with the destruction of the 6th Army in Stalingrad and Rommel's expulsion from North Africa, Hitler began to reconsider the role he had allocated to Vlassov's Russkaia Osvoboditelnaia Armiia or ROA.

The desertion rate from the Soviet army rose to 6,500 in July 1943, compared to 2,500 the previous year, as a result of ROA propaganda and the future looked bright. However, in September 1943 Hitler announced that the ROA was to be dissolved. The German generals pleaded with him, pointing out that the Russian front would collapse, as there were currently 78 Ost battalions, 122 companies, one regiment and innumerable supply, security, and other units then serving with the German army, not to mention the thousands of Hiwis in the German units. Certainly there were 750,000 Russians then serving in the German army and some estimates go so far as to suggest that 25% of the German army on the Russian front was made up of ethnic Russians.

A screaming and raging Hitler was eventually brought to compromise and only those units whose loyalty was suspect were to be disbanded and the rest would be transferred to the West. This, being left in Wehrmacht hands, the disbandings were limited to 5,000 men and serious procrastination prevented many transfers westwards. However, by October 1943 large numbers of Ostruppen did begin moving west. This was accomplished by exchanging Ost Battalions for German battalions in the west. These Ost battalions were then formally incorporated into the German divisions where they were assigned.

The morale of the Osttruppen began to collapse. Vlassov was persuaded to write them an open letter announcing these transfers were only a temporary expediency and hinted at bigger and better things. When the allies invaded Normandy they were startled to find that many of their German prisoners were, in fact, Russians and soon had 20,000 ROA prisoners in custody. Though Himmler refused to believe Koestring's reports, at that time there were 100,000 eastern volunteers in the Luftwaffe and Navy and another 800,000 in the German Army.

The continuing reversal of German military hopes was slowly bringing even the SS around to reconsidering the desirability of Russian troops. In the east the SS was, by late 1943, regularly rounding up 15-20 year olds to serve as Flak helpers. There was discussion of the creation of an Eastern Moslem SS Division and several Slavic legions were forming in the SS. Himmler soon began considering himself as the leader of the "Army of Europe" and began taking any non-German human material he could find into his hands. It was not long before he saw Vlassov's ROA as another force that could be added.

Himmler approached Vlassov and proposed the formation of a Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (Komitet Osvobozhdeniia Narodov Rossi or K.O.N.R.) It was to be allowed to raise an army of five divisions, two of which were to be raised immediately. The personnel would be drawn from the existing ROA units and from among the Ostarbeiter then in Germany. The first two units formed were placed under Vlassov's command on 1/28/45, the 600th and 650th Russian Divisions. In Neuren an airforce or air division, was organized that consisted of an air transport squadron, a reconnaissance squadron, a flak regiment, a paratrooper battalion, and a flying training unit. This force of some 4,000 men was assigned to General V.I. Maltsev. On 2/1/45 Goering formally handed this division over to Vlassov's command.

By March 1945 the KONR numbered some 50,000 men. The Cossack Cavalry Corps was promised to Vlassov by Himmler, as was the Russian Guard Corps in Serbia, but in fact neither was ever placed under his command. The KONR fought its first battle in February 1945 when a force of the 600th Division attacked in Pommerania and its engagement was a complete success. Hundreds of Soviet soldiers changed sides and joined it. In March it moved to the Oder front and was ordered to attack the Soviet army near Frankfurt. However, it was so pounded by the Soviets that it withdrew to the south and back into Czechoslovakia. On 5/5/45 the Czech communists began a revolt in Prague and Buniachenko ordered the 600th Division to assist them. Their assistance was refused by the Czechs and, as the war ended the next day, the division was taken prisoner by the Americans. The 650th Division, except for one regiment, were captured by the Russians and either executed or sent into the Russian Gulag. Vlassov was snatched from American hands by the Russians, suffered through a short show trial, and was quickly executed along with the major leaders of the KONR.
599TH RUSSIAN BRIGADE: Formed in April 1945 in Aalborg, Denmark, as part of the Liberation Russian Army under Vlassov. It contained:
1/,2/,3/1604th Grenadier Regiment (from 714th (Russian) Grenadier Regiment) 1/,2/,3/1605th Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/,3/1606th Grenadier Regiment
The division was intended to be expanded to form the 3rd Vlassov Division.
600TH (RUSSIAN) INFANTRY DIVISION Formed on 12/1/44 as part of the Russian Liberation Army under Vlassov with what was to have become the 29th Waffen SS Grenadier Division (1st Russian). On 2/28/45 it contained:
1/,2/1601st Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/1602nd Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/1603rd Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/,3/,4/1600th Artillery Regiment 1600th Division Support Units
650TH (RUSSIAN) DIVISION Formed in March 1945 as part of Vlassov's Russian Liberation Army. The division was organized with prisoners of war and contained, on 4/5/45:
1/,2/1651st Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/1652nd Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/1653rd Grenadier Regiment 1/,2/,3/,4/1650th Artillery Regiment 1650th Divisional Support Units
The division was not fully formed and remained in Munsingen until overrun. On 17 January 1945 the organization of the 650th Infantry (Russian) Division was established as follows:
DIVISION STAFF: Division Staff (2 LMGs) 1650th (mot) Mapping Detachment 1650th (mot) Military Police Detachment (3 LMGs)
1651ST INFANTRY REGIMENT: REGIMENTAL STAFF Staff Staff Company (3 LMGs) 1 Signals Platoon 1 Engineer Platoon (6 LMGs) 1 Reconnaissance Platoon (3 LMGs) 1 Signals Platoon 2 BATTALIONS, each with 3 Infantry Companies (9 LMGs ea) 1 Heavy Company (8 HMGs, 4 75mm infantry support guns, 1 LMG & 6 80mm mortars)
13TH INFANTRY SUPPORT COMPANY: (2 150mm leIG, 1 LMG, 8 120mm mortars & 4 LMGs)
14TH PANZERJAGER COMPANY (54 Panzerschreck, 18 Reserve Panzerschreck & 4 LMGs)
1652ND INFANTRY REGIMENT: same as 1651st 1653RD INFANTRY REGIMENT: same as 1651st
1650TH (MOUNTED) RECONNAISSANCE BATTALION: 4 Squadrons, each with (9 LMGs, 2 80mm mortars)
1650TH PANZERJAGER BATTALION: 1 Staff 1 (mot) Staff Company (1 LMG) 1st Company (12 75mm PAK & 12 LMGs) 2nd (armored) Company 14 Assault Guns (sturmgeschutz) & 16 LMGs Detachment captured Russian tanks 3rd (mot) Flak Company (9 37mm Flak guns & 5 LMGs)
1650TH ARTILLERY BATTALION: 1 Staff 1 Staff Battery (1 LMG) 1ST, 2ND & 3RD BATTALIONS, each with: 1 Staff 1 Staff Battery (1 LMG) 2 105mm leFH Batteries (4 105mm leFH & 4 LMGs ea) 1 75mm Battery (6-75mm guns & 3 LMGs) 4TH BATTALION: 1 Staff 1 Staff Battery (1 LMG) 2 150mm sFH Batteries (6-150mm howitzers & 4 LMGs ea)
1650TH (BICYCLE) PIONEER BATTALION 2 (bicycle) Pioneer Companies, each with: (2 HMGs, 9 LMGs, 6 flame throwers & 2 80mm mortars) 1 Pioneer Company (2 HMGs, 9 LMGs, 6 flame throwers & 2 80mm mortars)
1650TH SIGNALS BATTALION: 1 (mixed mobility) Telephone Company (4 LMGs) 1 (mixed mobility) Radio Company (2 LMGs) 1 (mixed mobility) Signals Supply Detachment (2 LMGs)
1650TH FELDERSATZ BATTALION: 1 Supply Detachment 5 Replacement Companies, with a total of: (50 LMGs, 12 HMGs, 6 80mm mortars, 1 120mm mortar 1 75mm leIG, 1 75mm PAK, 1 20mm/37mm Flak, 2 flame throwers, 1 105mm leFH 18 , 6 Panzerschrecke, & 56 Sturm Gewehr 41
1650TH DIVISIONAL SUPPORT REGIMENT: SUPPLY TROOP: 1650th (mot) 120 ton Transportation Company (4 LMGs) 1/,2/1650th Horse Drawn (30 ton) Transportation Companies (2 LMGs ea) 1650th Horse Drawn Supply Platoon OTHER: 1650th Ordnance Troop 1650th (mot) Vehicle Maintenance Troop 1650th Supply Company (3 LMGs) 1650th (mot) Field Hospital 1650th (mot) Medical Supply Company 1650th Veterinary Company (2 LMGs) 1650th (mot) Field Post Office
In a parallel formation to the ROA and KONR another large force of Russians was formed in March 1942 by German Intelligence. This force was the Versuchsverband Mitte (Experimental Formation of Army Group Center). Though officially known as Abwehr Abteilung 203 the unit was to have several names - Verband Graukopf, Boyarsky Brigade, Russian Special Duty Battalion, Ostintorf Brigade, and finally the Russian National People’s Army (Russkaia Natsionalnaya Narodnaya Armiya or RNNA). The unit was started when a Russian émigré, Sergi Ivanov, recruited several prominent Russian prisoners of war and other Russian exiles, to the German cause. Ivanov, acting as a liaison officer for the Abwehr, worked with Igor Sakharov, son of a White Russian General and émigré to Germany, and slowly they organized a force of 3,000 former prisoners of war.

By December 1942 they had 7,000 men training. A brigade was formed consisting of four battalions, an artillery battalion, and an engineer battalion. The organization of the units was based on the Russian model. In August 1942 Colonel Boyarsky took command in December Feldmarschal von Kluge inspected the brigade, was pleased with what he saw, and expressed his pleasure with its actions in combat in the German rear in May 1942. He then stated that he would issue the unit German uniforms and weapons and split it into a number of infantry battalions, which would be assigned to various German combat divisions. This offhanded command shattered the brigade's morale and 300 men promptly deserted. It had seen itself as the cadre of a Russian army of liberation. Despite their protests, the brigade was broken into the 633rd, 634th, 635th, 636th, and 637th Ost Battalions and employed in anti-Partisan operations.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Organising Hell in the East

While the German armies had been desperately trying to carve out this new empire in the East, the tentacles of the SS and its various subsidiary organizations had been assiduous in their allotted task of securing the civilian population. In Russia their first move was to deprive the people of their local party officials. Hitler ordered that all political commissars were to be liquidated, and instructions went out to the 'special units', who acted independently of the army, that some were to be decapitated and their heads brought back to Berlin for further study. The SS were obviously intrigued with the cranial characteristics of those who were classed as untermenschen, a species of Slavic sub-humanity. But this was only the preliminary stage - a mere curtain-raiser to what was to come. This barbaric treatment of prisoners of war became a byword even among some Germans themselves. The Wehrmacht was sometimes involved, but almost invariably these tasks were left to the not so tender mercies of the special units. A report of the Soviet Chief-of-Staff at Sebastopol in December 1941 gives us some idea of the situation: he states

as a rule troop formations exterminate prisoners without interrogation...the shooting of prisoners at the place of capture or at the front line, which is practised most extensively, acts as a deterrent to soldiers of the enemy wanting to desert to us. (Hohne 1969:432)

The special units usually comprised Security Service (SD) personnel plus contingents of the Armed (Waffen) SS who were normally engaged on straightforward military duties, assisted by local militia. Some idea of the more general involvement of the military SS can be seen from a few random instances. Only two weeks after the opening of the Russian campaign, the 'Viking' Division shot 600 Jews in Galicia as a reprisal for 'Soviet crimes'. On some occasions entire villages were destroyed as a form of reprisal, and this kind of 'action' was by no means confined to the East. Lidice in Czechoslovakia was destroyed in 1942 in retaliation for the assassination of the Reich-Protector Heydrich. The 'Prinz Eugen' Division liquidated the inhabitants of Kosutica in 1943; and in 1944 came the destruction of Klissura in northern Greece. The year 1944 also witnessed the notorious murder of the inhabitants of Oradour-sur- Glane in France by the 'Das Reich' Division, and the killing of Canadian and British prisoners of war by members of the 'Hitlerjugend' Panzer Division during the battles in Normandy.

The worst of the atrocities were carried out by the re-formed Einsatzgruppen. There were four such units each comprising about 1,000 men, including support personnel such as wireless operators, drivers etc., and detachments from the Waffen SS and the police. Their instructions were couched - quite deliberately - in extremely vague terms. They were to act on their own responsibility to take 'executive measures against the civilian population' (quoted in Krausnick and Broszat 1970:78). The implicit intention of shooting Jews is not stated overtly, and it is not clear to what extent the army itself was always aware of these plans, although the chiefs may well have guessed what was going to happen. According to the evidence of Otto Ohlendorf, the commander of one such Einsatzgruppe, when the groups were being formed in May 1941 in preparation for the invasion of Russia, they were told of the secret decree of 'putting to death all racially and politically undesirable elements where these might be thought to represent a threat to security' (Krausnick and Broszat 1970:79). During the Nuremberg trials after the war, it transpired that at the time this was understood to include communist officials, second-class Asiatics, gypsies and Jews. Despite the care taken in disguising their intentions, members of the Nazi hierarchy were sometimes quite explicit in their planning on occupation policy. At one conference held in July 1941, the officials were told 'we are taking all necessary measures -- shootings, deportations and so on...[the area] must be pacified as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is to shoot anyone who so much as looks like giving trouble' (Krausnick and Broszat 1970:82). It does not take much imagination to realize that almost any measures, no matter how ruthless and bestial, could be justified in the name of security even where the victims - especially women and children - could be shown to pose no real threat to security at all.

There is very little evidence as to what actually took place during one of these 'actions'. For example there is no documentary material for the events leading up to the destruction of the small town of Tuczyn in eastern Poland, although a vivid picture has been 'recreated' by eight of the survivors - who gave their testimonies at different times in different places. There were only fifteen survivors in all out of a population of 3,500, and the stories that were told apparently have an amazing degree of consistency. For economic reasons Tuczyn was not destroyed at the same time as many of the surrounding Jewish settlements, so when the time came - as the inhabitants knew it must - they were 'prepared'. The head of the Jewish Council organized the people for resistance, but they had no weapons, only petrol, matches and bars. When the Germans came in the summer of 1942, the Jews set light to their own wooden houses, and the old and sick - led by the rabbi - jumped into the fire. Others tried to break out of the trap, and a thousand or so fled into the nearby Ukrainian forest. Only fifteen survived because of the actions of Ukrainian peasants who either killed them or handed them over to the Germans. Those who were saved were helped by the Baptist minority among the Ukrainians (Bauer 1976).

The actual executions were carried out on a massive scale by the members of the Einsatzgruppen, often with the active co-operation of local 'partisans' as, for example in Lithuania and the Ukraine. Thanks to the meticulous records kept by some of those involved, we often have complete breakdowns and statistics of their programme of mass murder. By 25 November 1941, Einsatzgruppe A had already executed 229,052 Jews; Einsatzgruppe B had killed 45,467 by 14 November 1941; Einsatzgruppe C 95,000 by the beginning of December of that year; and Einsatzgruppe D 92,000 by 8 April 1942. The speed at which these executions took place was frightening. For instance, in Kiev alone in two days in September 1941, reports showed that 33,771 persons were executed, mainly Jews. In fact, it is probable that by the end of 1942, as many as a million Jews had been killed. And this was just the beginning. The whole grisly process was about to be rationalized with the introduction of the gas chambers. Five extermination camps were set up for this specific purpose, as distinct from the other concentration camps which often functioned as labour industries for some eminent German firms.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Hitler said on many occasions that his dreams of race and space inevitably would involve war with the USSR. Operation Barbarossa, the attack on the Soviet Union, was set for mid-1941. Even before it began Hitler insisted it was to be a Vernichtungskrieg, or war of annihilation unlike any other in history. Planning began in earnest in July 1940 when Hitler stated again that it would not be enough just to win the war but that the Soviet state had to be “utterly destroyed.” After the “inferior race” was conquered, the Soviet peoples, like the Poles, were to become “a people of leaderless slave laborers.”

He was not alone in repeatedly insisting on “the utmost brute force” and said this war was going to be unlike anything seen before. When the invasion began it was by far the largest in world history. Himmler’s attitude on the eve of the attack was that he had “no interest in the fate” of such people. “Whether they thrive or starve to death concerns me only from the point of view of them as slave labor . . . in all other respects I am totally indifferent.”

 In the beginning Operation Barbarossa was unstoppable, and the Germans took vast numbers of prisoners, so many in fact that it was possible to murder the Jews without giving much thought to concerns about their lost labor power. Numerous Soviet prisoners were shot out of hand, but many thousands were confined in camps, including some inside Germany, where it was well known locally that the men were starving to death and were otherwise in desperate shape. The mayor of at least one town wanted to have the road to the camp opened so that ordinary Germans could go to see for themselves “these animals in human form” and imagine what would have happened if “these beasts” had conquered Germany.

To illustrate the net effect of how Soviet prisoners were treated, we need only look at one German report from May 1, 1944. It states that by then the Germans had taken a total of 5,165,381 prisoners. The report speaks about a “wastage” of 2 million (i.e ., they died). Another 1,030,157 were supposedly “shot while trying to escape,” while 280,000 perished in transit camps, bringing the total to 3.3 million. By 1945, out of a grand total of 5.7 million prisoners of war, no less than 3.3 million of them died in captivity. We have to recall, however, that the Germans often made sure there were no prisoners to take and had largely stopped taking any by the time of this survey.

The civil population in one place after another across the occupied areas of the Soviet Union was simply allowed to starve to death, deported to work as slaves in Germany, or exploited on the spot. Mass starvation, however, almost inevitably accompanied the German invasion, because the troops were expected to live off the land, which in many cases had already been combed through for provisions by the retreating Soviet forces. Deliberate starvation was part of the great sieges such as the one at Stalingrad and the other at Leningrad, but we can see the effect of the occupation in many less well known areas like Charkov, a city with a population of nearly 1 million before nearly half of them left with the Soviet evacuation. Located on the road to Stalingrad in the southeast of the country, Charkov was already in terrible shape when the Wehrmacht arrived. Nevertheless, the German Armed Forces were told to live off the land, which meant seizing provisions where they could be found and that left very little for the native population. During each month of the German occupation, hundreds starved to death.

Starvation was magnified many times in cities like Leningrad where major battles took place. The siege of the city lasted from September 8, 1941, to January 18, 1943. Hitler and other leaders repeatedly said they did not even want it to surrender, nor did they wish any of the civilian population to escape. In this battle alone, according to official Soviet figures, civilian losses were put at 632,253, the vast majority of them dying from starvation, but the losses in fact were higher. Hitler told Goebbels that Leningrad should disappear, for it would be impossible to feed its 5 million inhabitants after the battle was won. Even on the ground by the winter of 1942 the death rate just for this city was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000 per day before the registration system broke down.

The Slavic peoples suffered enormous losses. A reliable and conservative estimate puts the losses of the Soviet Union alone at around 25 million, of whom two-thirds or so were civilians. Some Soviet historians have only recently suggested the number of dead may have been twice as large in total, ranging close to 50 million. Although we have to be very careful with these kinds of statistics, there is no disputing the fact that the Soviets suffered by far the greatest casualties in the war. There should be no question in anyone’s mind that if the Nazis had won that war against Stalin, the results for the peoples of the Soviet Union would have been even more catastrophic.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Russia grants WW II vets housing, amnesty

MOSCOW, April 16 (UPI) -- The Russian Duma passed legislation Friday giving amnesty to most World War II veterans and providing them with free housing.

The amnesty also applies to those who survived imprisonment in German concentration camps, workers in munitions factories and survivors of the Leningrad siege, ITAR-Tass reported. It does not include those convicted of murder or sexual assault on children.

The bills are linked to the 65th anniversary of the war's end on May 9.

"The amnesty is offered to apply without any restrictions to veterans of the Great Patriotic War, workers of the home front, who have worked for at least six months from June 22, 1941 through May 9, 1945, former prisoners of the concentration camps, ghettos created by the Nazi Germany and its allies, as well as residents of the besieged Leningrad," said Pavel Krasheninnikov, chairman of the State Duma Committee for Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation.

Krasheninnikov, who drafted the bill, said he expects about 100 to 200 people to qualify for amnesty.

The Duma, the lower house of Parliament, also approved a bill providing housing for World War II veterans and the families of veterans who have died, Voice of Russia reported. Officials estimate at least 1,200 veterans are homeless or forced to share housing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Other former inmates of Auschwitz were also to suffer at the hands of the Russians—ironically Russians themselves. 10,000 Red Army prisoners of war had been sent to Auschwitz in October 1941 to build the camp here at Birkenau. The handful who survived this horror, were, after their liberation, about to be persecuted again.

Pavel Stenkin, Former Soviet POW, Auschwitz: "They invented that at Auschwitz, this Camp of Death, they were training spies. So somebody got this idea in his head - what if they had turned me into a spy?"

Pavel Stenkin was sent into internal exile in the closed city of Perm in the Urals. A victim of Stalin's policy that all Red Army soldiers who'd been captured should be treated as suspected traitors.

Pavel Stenkin: "When I arrived in Perm to work I was called in every 2nd night - "admit this, agree to that, we know everything, we only don't know the purpose you were sent here for. But we will find out with or without your help. Come on, admit that you are a spy." And I would say - "I am not a spy, I'm an honest Soviet man." And the interrogator smiled ironically—"Soviet man". And he smiled again. "Just confess and it'll all be over." 

They were tormenting and tormenting me. And then they decided to get rid of me. They sent me to prison. And the details of my sentence - do you think I heard anything or I read anything about it? I heard nothing and read nothing. Judges were in rush they had theatre tickets so they were in hurry to leave the court."

Pavel Stenkin was sent to a labor camp within the Soviet Gulag system. Captured by the Germans in 1941, he was finally released only after Stalin's death in 1953.

Pavel Stenkin: "I was always feeling hungry. It was not until I was released from prison, in 1953 that I started to eat my fill." 

Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State

Book Review: Propaganda und Terror in Weißrußland 1941-1944: Die deutsche "geistige" Kriegsführung gegen Zivilbevölkerung und Partisanen.

Babette Quinkert. Propaganda und Terror in Weißrußland 1941-1944: Die deutsche "geistige" Kriegsführung gegen Zivilbevölkerung und Partisanen. Krieg in der Geschichte. Paderborn: Schöningh Paderborn, 2008. 420 pp. EUR 58.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-506-76596-3.
Reviewed by Jeff Rutherford (Wheeling Jesuit University)
Published on H-German (March, 2010)
Commissioned by Susan R. Boettcher

Nazi Germany's Battle for Hearts and Minds
On June 22, 1944, German occupation authorities staged an especially dramatic "day of celebration" in Minsk. During the early morning hours, marching columns of boys and girls from the White Ruthenian (Belarusian) Youth Organization (WJW) as well as members of a Belarusian SS unit marched to the German "cemetery of heroes" where they laid a wreath in recognition of Germany's efforts to free Belarus from the Soviet yoke. Following this part of the day's festivities, focus shifted to the center of the city where another procession took place, one that illustrated the German narrative of the war. The first few wagons that passed symbolized Bolshevik rule. A group of individuals wearing tattered clothes and standing behind the hammer and sickle flag were soon followed by a Stalin puppet manipulated by six "Jews." Slogans declaring that "Bolshevism destroyed the intelligentsia" and "Stalin and Lenin preach that religion is opium" were accompanied by sculptors of destroyed churches. The "'freedom' of the NKVD" was symbolized by a prison and a rail car traveling towards Siberia. "After such poverty, misery, exploitation and terror," (p. 363), the second stage of the procession--which focused on German "achievements" in the Soviet Union--began. Slogans such as "the path to European freedom" and "long live a free White Ruthenia" were accompanied by marching German troops and more WJW members. Doctors and workers, who symbolized modern medical care and the unity of Europe laboring to defeat the communist menace, followed the military procession. As Babette Quinkert notes in her comprehensive study of German propaganda in Belarus during the Second World War, this event was not isolated; rather, it was the culmination of the German state's approach to total war. Quinkert's work persuasively challenges the prevailing view that the Third Reich utilized only terror in its attempt to conquer the Soviet Union. Instead, she suggests, Germany pursued a much more balanced policy towards civilians living in the occupied territories.

As her title indicates, Quinkert examines connections between propaganda and terror as they developed from planning by Wehrmacht officials during the 1930s to the actual occupation of Belarus between 1941 and 1944. Her first section deals with the development of psychological warfare during the interwar period with a focus on its orientation towards the Soviet Union. Quinkert begins her analysis with a look at how Germany grappled with the importance of psychological warfare during the interwar period. Building upon the lessons of the First World War--which highlighted the importance of propaganda, both to strengthen one's own military and home fronts and to weaken the enemy's morale--German military thinkers attempted to construct a military policy that effectively employed propaganda. This process was accelerated after the reintroduction of conscription in 1935 and in 1938 chief of the Oberkommando des Wehrmacht Wilhelm Keitel enunciated its necessity for future war. He argued that Germany would have to exploit its entire means "against the enemy's armed forces, against the material sources of the strength of the enemy and the spiritual strength of his people" (p. 34). This statement was not mere rhetoric; the German army had established already in 1929 a Psychological Laboratory within the Reichswehr Ministry, which led to the creation of four Wehrmacht propaganda companies by 1938. Quinkert persuasively argues that not only did the Germans recognize "that wars of propaganda, economics and combat constituted an inseparable unity," but that they followed this idea to its logical end by building an institutional basis to wage such a multifaceted conflicted (p. 42).

One of Quinkert's most interesting theses concerns the development of the "criminal orders" that turned the German invasion of the Soviet Union into a war of unbridled savagery and atrocity. As Europe underwent a process of ideological polarization during the 1930s--a development most tangibly manifested by the Spanish Civil War--Germany's military thinkers engaged in a "war before the war" with the Soviet Union (p. 43). Two important points arose during this early planning. First, German authorities believed that the Soviets would utilize propaganda behind the advancing German front, stirring up resistance among civilians to the occupiers. This agitation, according to a 1935 study of such possibilities, could have "a devastating effect" on German operations (p. 45). Thus, individuals who could inspire both civilians and soldiers to such actions required special attention; this clearly meant commissars. Second, German propagandists believed that Soviet society could be split along "national and racial lines" and thus developed different programs for the various national groups (p. 47). One commonality among these propaganda lines was the failure of Bolshevism to provide its subjects with the land, peace, and bread it had promised and the resulting use of violence by the regime to keep the state together. Again, the commissars occupied a special place in this propaganda. One position paper from 1935 suggested the use of the following slogans to be directed towards Soviet conscripts: "beat them [commissars] to death, desert either individually or in entire units.... We promise you proper treatment and nourishment.... Turn your bayonets around and fight with us against the damned Jewish commissars" (p. 47). Here, the desire to break up the Soviet Union from within combined with a call for the murder of allegedly Jewish commissars. Already, six years before the Commissar Order was drafted and distributed to the Ostheer, commissars had been targeted for death by at least one section of the German army.
According to Quinkert, this line of thinking directly led to the formulation and implementation of the Commissar Order. The political and military leadership believed that murder of Soviet commissars would both destabilize the Red Army and ensure a far easier occupation of the eastern territories, as no one would lead civilian resistance in the rear areas. In other words, the murder of Soviet commissars was understood as what Quinkert describes as a "preventative defensive strategy against the guerilla war [Kleinkrieg] in the rear area" (p. 59). While her claim that that the German military carried out this order not merely for ideological reasons, but also for "independent pragmatic motives" is not entirely novel, it is certainly convincing and it provides evidence of a German army prepared to contravene the established rules of war long before the opening of Operation Barbarossa.

The implementation of the Commissar Order constituted one aspect of the terror utilized by Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. Quinkert then shifts gears and examines the other side of German occupation policies in her second section: the institutionalization of propaganda for the eastern campaign. The resources devoted to the propaganda mission reflected its status as an important component of the operation. The Wehrmacht propaganda section attached thirteen propaganda companies to the army with another twelve war reporter companies attached to Luftwaffe, naval, and Waffen-SS units. These were complemented by units under the Reich Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories (which were active in the civilian-administered areas) as well by individuals attached to Joseph Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry. In addition, SD and police units, the Foreign Ministry, and Soviet nationals also worked to propagate the Nazi view of the war to the civilian population. Unlike the generally held view that "polycracy" doomed any rational occupation policy in the east, Quinkert persuasively maintains, "the central authorities not only cooperated closely, but also worked together in an effective and solution-oriented way" (p. 109).

Germany utilized various forms of media to reach the civilian population, ranging from pamphlets and posters (both image and text) to film and radio, on a hitherto unprecedented scale during the war. Quinkert notes that during the entirety of the French campaign, a total of two million leaflets were distributed by the Germans; in comparison, during the first week or so of the Soviet campaign, the Germans circulated some thirty million different pieces of propaganda materials. By the turn of the year, this number had risen to 433,000,000 pieces. Some of these materials originated in the Reich but the majority were produced locally by Wehrmacht propaganda units that ran their own printing presses and paper factories. This impressive production system, however, was stymied by problems of delivery: the same lack of roads and vehicles that starved the blitzkrieg made it very difficult for propaganda units to spread their message throughout rural Russia.

Quinkert then examines how German propaganda activities and messages changed during the course of the war by focusing on Belarus. While Belarus is perhaps the best-researched area of Germany's eastern empire, her analysis of connections between terror and propaganda allows for a generally fresh interpretation of the occupation. During the opening phase of the invasion, the propaganda line revolved around the idea of the Germans as liberators, saving Soviet civilians from "Jewish-criminal despotism" that had produced only "poverty and misery" (p. 140). The focus on the alleged links between Judaism and Bolshevism was complemented by concerted efforts to rouse the civilian population into open revolt against the Soviet state; this policy resulted directly from planning during the 1930s. Such cooperation, however, was framed by threats against those who failed to rise to the occasion.

Despite these attempts to win over or at least coerce the Soviet population into supporting the side of the invaders, such propaganda efforts failed. As Quinkert notes, "civilians were not only witnesses to such [German] crimes, but they themselves were also affected" by German occupation policies (p. 157). German claims that the Soviets caused their desperation and misery failed to convince individuals living in cities destroyed by German bombing or those who were rounded up and sent to prison camps in which the Germans murdered various categories of prisoners. Therefore, during the opening months of the war, the reality of German actions completely extinguished any possibility of winning the hearts and minds of the Belarusian population through positive propaganda.

Quinkert shows that in contrast to scholarly assumptions, once this initial propaganda foray failed, the Germans displayed flexibility by changing their message in hopes of achieving greater resonance with the population. Three primary and interconnected themes dominated the remainder of Germany's propaganda campaign in Belarus: the agrarian question; labor policies; and anti-partisan warfare (and its ties to the genocide of the Jews). Since Belarus was primarily an agricultural region, some Germans--primarily within the Wehrmacht and Alfred Rosenberg's Ministry--believed that a policy that promised an end to the hated kolkhoz system promised to generate real support for the occupiers. This policy was to be introduced to the population as one that would be an "intention for the long term" (p. 166) as the Germans feared that the immediate closing of the collective farms would disrupt their ability to live off the land in the Soviet Union.

When it was clear that the war would continue into 1942, German authorities became much more concerned about winning the support of Soviet civilians for the war effort and agricultural reform was made a priority. The propaganda campaign in support of these reforms concentrated on making them comprehensible to peasants and illustrating the "advantages" (p. 221) for them. That this was a major effort is evidenced by the ten million leaflets, one million copies of a special edition of a Russian-language newspaper, sixteen thousand posters, and one hundred eighty thousand sheets of guidelines distributed by Propaganda Section Ostland alone. Despite the intensity of this campaign, it proved a political failure. After an initial surge in peasant support for German policies, attitudes soon retreated back to indifference to the occupiers at best.

This swing was due in part to German anti-partisan policies--where the connection between terror and propaganda of Quinkert's title manifested itself most concretely. From the German perspective, partisans posed a real threat to the systematic exploitation of the country's agricultural resources, especially in 1942 and 1943. The Germans adjusted their policies from a more spontaneous reaction to partisans in 1941 to much larger, more systematic operations in later years. These "large operations" utilized terror on a tremendous scale in the rear areas in an attempt to quash the partisan movement. As Quinkert notes, these operations targeted "actual or alleged partisans ... with a merciless persecution and death" (p. 256), but they were accompanied by a propaganda campaign designed to delegitimate the partisan movement and convince civilians to assist the Germans. While German authorities hoped that the combination of terror and propaganda would lead to a quieter rear area, the campaign failed to extinguish the partisan threat. German rhetoric and promises failed to compensate for the murder of family members or friends linked to the partisans and use of violence actually drove civilians over to the resistance. The final German policy that led to a mushrooming of the partisan movement was the Reich Labor Action, and here again, propaganda constituted an important part of the program.  

Part of Germany's newfound engagement with the civilian population drew on the realization that workers--both for the Reich and for the occupied territories--were desperately needed. Once again, the occupiers utilized various means of propaganda to persuade Soviet civilians to work for the Reich. Two primary themes emerged. First, propaganda emphasized the cultural and economic superiority of Germany, in order to convince Belarusians both that the Reich could not lose the war and that Germany could serve as a model for Belarus. Second, and by far the more important, especially as the war dragged on into 1943 and 1944, was the idea that Europe needed to unify around the German core in order to defeat Bolshevism. This idea of a new Europe struggling to save western civilization against the "Jewish Bolsheviks" led to a campaign that revised many long-standing German attitudes; as Quinkert notes, even the SS began to "revise ... anti-Slavic tendencies" in its training materials (p. 291).

This radical change in propaganda was part of a "change in course" (p. 274) that sought to elevate Belarus (or, in the contemporary terminology, White Ruthenia) to the level of an independent and sovereign state within the Nazi New Order. The idea of the "rebirth of White Ruthenia" (p. 297) now constituted a major piece of the German propaganda effort. The celebration described in the opening paragraphs of this review was the culmination of this effort; it was, in short, an attempt to construct a national identity for Belarusians distinct from competing Soviet or Russian identities that was, however, inextricably linked to Germany. As Quinkert points out, this day of national celebration took place a mere two weeks before the Red Army liberated Minsk from German rule. The military situation was just part of the quandary facing the occupiers. One of the higher-ranking members of the propaganda section in Minsk listed numerous problems plaguing the German propaganda effort: forced requisitioning and labor (some 380,000 Belarusians toiled in the Reich during the war); a peasantry increasingly caught between partisans and Germans; and destruction of homes and lives as well as other daily horrors facing the civilian population. He concluded by stating that all of these "could not be used by even the best propaganda!" (p. 365).

Quinkert has produced an important and useful addition to the literature on German occupation. Her exploration of the neglected topic of German propaganda in the occupied Soviet territories fills a considerable void in the literature without overstating its importance relative to the terror and violence applied on a wide scale by the Wehrmacht, SS, and other Nazi organizations. One minor difficulty in her study is its overwhelming reliance on German sources. While she has utilized three archives in the former Soviet Union, these have been primarily mined for German-language sources. Certainly the propaganda arm of the Wehrmacht was concerned with the ways in which its various messages were received by the population and it made every effort to gauge their effectiveness. Some Belarusian voices, however, would be useful in determining how civilians actually interpreted and understood German propaganda. Aside from this minor caveat, however, Quinkert's study persuasively highlights the totality of Nazi Germany's war effort in the Soviet Union.

Friday, March 12, 2010

General Andrei A . Vlasov at Leningrad

At Leningrad, neither side succeeded in its designs for the isolated city. The German armies could not crack the stub- born Soviet defenses ringing Leningrad's southern outskirts, and, in fact, the line of battle changed very little. Soviet efforts to break through to the city were all but doomed by the plight of the Second Shock Army, whose 130,000 men had been cut off in the nearby Volkhov swamps since mid- March; rescue attempts diverted several Red Army divisions from their offensive assignments. At the end of March, a Soviet relief column managed to pierce the German lines and rush some supplies into the pocket. But the narrow corridor soon collapsed under German counterattack.

The Second Shock Army's prospects were bleak indeed, and its best hope seemed to be its new commander, Lieut . General Andrei A . Vlasov, a brilliant leader and popular hero who had flown in to take over on March 21. Vlasov had sprung to prominence during the disaster at Kiev, when his strong handling of an army made up of shattered divisions had been instrumental in preventing even greater losses. Then he had served with distinction in the winter counter- offensive in front of Moscow, and as soon as he arrived on the Volkhov front, he had shown his mettle by attacking two German divisions and advancing eight miles-to within 15 miles of Leningrad. It was true that his drive then petered out, but Moscow was still confident that if anyone could extricate the Second Shock Army, it was Vlasov.

But in April, Vlasov worked no miracles; his troops and tanks were immobilized by mud when the frozen swamps melted, and they could neither attack nor defend them- selves. The crisis deepened in May, and two other armies in Vlasov's group launched another desperate drive to open an exit route through the surrounding German lines. Finally they succeeded in driving a 400-yard-wide corridor through to the Second Shock Army. Many of Vlasov's wounded were evacuated through the gap, and a large number of troops rushed out in wild disarray. The corridor remained open only for a short time, until German artillery and Luftwaffe dive bombers closed it.

In June, the men of the Second Shock Army were sick, starving, almost out of ammunition and under constant, heavy German fire. German forces kept closing in, reducing the pocket. Many a time Vlasov radioed for help, but each time the Leningrad front headquarters in charge of the Vlokhov area told him to keep on pressing the attack. At one point, headquarters sent a plane to get him out, but he refused to leave his men.

Finally, in late June, the pitiful remnants of the Second Shock Army made their last attempt to break out. The men punched two small holes in the German lines. Vlasov, having done all he could, ordered his survivors to destroy whatever heavy equipment remained, then break up into small groups to try to escape. Some men filtered out, but German troops swarmed over those still in the pocket. About 32,000 Russians survived to surrender; all the rest lay dead or dying in the putrid swamp. The debacle had cost the Red Army nearly 100,000 men.

As for Vlasov, his story took a weird turn. German soldiers came upon the hero general in a farmhouse and took him prisoner. When the Russians next heard of Vlasov, they were bewildered and mortified to find out that he had turned traitor and was leading an army of Soviet defectors against their homeland. What had gone wrong with Vlasov? Soviet propagandists lamely suggested that he had been a German agent from the start and had deliberately led his army to destruction. Actually, Vlasov's harrowing experience convinced him that he had to undertake a patriotic war to liberate his countrymen from the ruinous clutches of Stalinism. But he paid the price for treason in full. In the last days of the War, when Vlasov and his anti-Communist Russians were stationed in Czechoslovakia, the turncoat general surrendered to American forces. He was sent back to the Soviet Union, where he was formally tried for treason, condemned and executed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Organization of the Eastern Troops, 5 May 1943

How To Use the Formation Tables Below
The tables below provide the organization of the Eastern Troops in service of the Germany Army on 5 May 1943.  Only units known to the General der Osttruppen, the commanding officer responsible for supervising eastern troops, are presented in the tables.  The tables are not intended to display the organization of regular German Army formations and units, their titles are only provided to show which formation or unit each Osttruppen unit was attached to.  The tables cover all Heeresgruppen and theatres of war.  The Schematische Kriegsgliederung does not indicate to which specific divisional commands each unit is assigned to, unless the division in question is a German Army security division.  Where an eastern unit has been attached directly to a German Army division, it is usually noted as being "bei...", so an eastern unit attached to the 344. Infanterie-Division would have a note next to it indicating that the unit is "bei 344. Infanterie-Division."
The tables are laid out so that the organization of higher-echelon formations, i.e. corps and armies, and their respective attachments should be clear.  The tables go from the top-most organization to the bottom-level organization, so if you are reading the page from top to bottom you will begin at the Army Group level, and proceeding down you will see the various assigned Army and Corps.  Use the links within the tables to jump from one formation to another.
Each table has a label at the top, indicating which formation it refers to.  This title is repeated in the left-hand column of the table for reference.  The right-hand column lists all of the Osttruppen units assigned to that particular formation.  Within the right-hand column, each "level" of indentation indicates a level of subordination.  No indentation means that the unit in question is directly attached to the main formation.  Units indented one level are directly subordinate to the parent unit above it.  A parent unit or formation of regiment size or larger with subordinate elements is always displayed in boldface type, and without being indented.
The echelon-level of certain units and command staffs, i.e. REGIMENT, BRIGADE, CORPS, etc., is provided next to the unit's or staff's title in brackets with capital letters: e.g. Armenische Legion (REGIMENT).  This is used where the unit's or staff's title designation does itself indicate the exact size.
Research footnotes next to unit titles are presented in BLACK type and in brackets [ ].  These are footnotes that were added by the researcher, and are either additions, corrections, or translations of notes found on the original document.
Original footnotes next to unit titles are presented in BLUE type and in parenthesis ( ).  These are notes added directly to the original document, and are not translated or altered from their original form.
Unit assignments are occasionally noted next to a unit in RED type and in brackets [ ].  These indicate the actual higher formation that the unit is assigned to.
The unit titles of all units and formations are presented in their original German form, and appear in BLUE type.  If you need translations of their titles, use the Site Glossary.  In most cases, the unit titles are in their unabbreviated form.  Unit titles are left unabbreviated when the actual title can not be determined.
Source: This information was largely taken from the original document listed below, found on Microfilm Roll T78-413, Frame 1302, a holding of the U.S. National Archives.  Supplemental information was provided by the sources listed at the bottom of this page.
Notes on the Summary Tables:
Below each Formation Table is a Summary Table that presents an overall picture of the total numbers of Osttruppen units, organized by unit type, ethnicity, and size, that were assigned to that formation on 5 May 1943.  The Summary Tables are meant to be used to perform quick examinations of the total units assigned to each formation, and present this information in an easy-to-read format.  In-depth examinations should instead be performed using the Formation Tables, as they provide more specific information.  The Summary Tables use certain abbreviations and categories to organize the information, as noted below:
  • Construction Battalions: includes all Bau- and Träger-Bau-.
  • Construction Companies: Includes all Bau- and Straßenbau-, and Eisenbahn-Bau-.
  • Supply Companies: Includes all Nachschub- and Nachschub-Transport-.
  • Cossack Cavalry: Used to differentiate between Cossack cavalry and other cavalry units.
  • Cossack: Cossack infantry units are listed under the regular "Infantry" categories, Cossack cavalry units are under their own category, "Cossack Cavalry."
  • Infantry categories: If not specified, units (regardless of size) are assumed to be infantry.  Also includes Gebirgs-, Jäger-, Feld-, and Sicherungs-Infanterie-.
  • Cavalry: Also includes Kavallerie-Sicherungs.
Unit Composition/Size:
  • Unspecified units in 162. Infanterie-Division (turk.) are listed as being "Turkic."
  • School category units are company-sized units unless otherwise specified.
  • Armen.: Armenian
  • Aserb.: Azerbaijani
  • Estn.: Estonian
  • Finn.: Volga-Finnish
  • Georg.: Georgian
  • Kalmuken: Kalmuck
  • Kauk.: Caucasian
  • Kosaken: Cossack
  • Lett.: Latvian
  • Litau.: Lithuanian
  • Nordkauk.: North Caucasian
  • Nordukr.: North Ukrainian
  • Ost: Composed of mostly Russian and Byelorussian personnel, possibly with some Ukrainians, unless otherwise specified.
  • Ostvölk.: Eastern peoples (general term)
  • Turk.: Turkestani, also used as a general term for the "Asiatic" eastern peoples
  • Ukrain.: Ukrainian
  • Wolgatat.: Volga-Tatar
  • BR = Total Brigade-sized units.
  • R = Total Regiment-sized units.
  • B = Total Battalion-sized units.
  • C = Total Company-sized units.
  • P = Total Platoon-sized or smaller units
Schematische Kriegsgliederung der landeseigenen Verbände
T78-413, Frame 1302 (H 1/153)
General der Osttruppen
Nr 402/43 gKdos.
Stand vom 5.Mai.43
General der Osttruppen
General der Osttruppen Heeresgruppe A Heeresgruppe Süd
Heeresgruppe Mitte
Heeresgruppe Nord
Oberbefehlshaber West
Wehrmacht Befehlshaber Ukraine
Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres
Total Eastern Troops, 5 May 1943

Heeresgruppe A
Heeresgruppe A Direct Attachments Befehlshaber Krim
Befehlshaber der Straße Kertsch
17. Armee (A.O.K. 17)
Heeresgruppe A, Total Eastern Troops
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe A)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe A) Turkestanisches Feldzeug-Bataillon 8 (3 Kompanien) Turkestanisches Feldzeug-Bataillon 11 (3 Kompanien)
5. Georgische Nachschub-Transport-Kompanie/151
6. Georg.Nachschub-Transport-Kompanie/151
4. Turk.Nachschub-Transport-Kompanie/592
5. Kauk.Nachschub-Transport-Kompanie/546
Kaukasische Freiwilligen-Infanterie-Kompanie [No other designation]
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 64 (4 Kompanien und Nachschub-Kolonne)
2 x Ost-Hiwi-Kompanie [These may be "Hiwi-Wach-Kompanien", but the designation is not clear]
Ukrainische Nachschub-Kompanie (mot.) 666
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 15
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 27
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 55
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 63
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe A), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Georg. Kauk. Ost Turk. Ukrain. Total
Ordnance Battalions - - - 2 - 2
Construction Battalions - - - - 1 1
Supply Companies 2 1 - 1 1 5
Hiwi Companies - - 2 - - 2
Infantry Companies - 1 - - - 1
Telephone Operation Sections - - 4 - - 4
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 2 6 3 2 3B; 8C; 4P
Befehlshaber Krim (Heeresgruppe A)
Befehlshaber Krim (Heeresgruppe A) Turkestanisches Infanterie-Regiment Bergmann (17 Kompanien) [Reorganized on 24 July 1943 as:]
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./Bergmann (4 Kompanien)*
Kaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon II./Bergmann (4 Kompanien)*
Kaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon III./Bergmann (4 Kompanien)*
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./73 (5 Kompanien; in Auffrischung)
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 804 (5 Kompanien)
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 806 (5 Kompanien; in Auffrischung)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Batillon I./370 (5 Kompanien; in Auffrischung)
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon II./4 (5 Kompanien)
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./9 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Bau-Bataillon 245 [Number of companies not given]
5. Aserbeidschanische Straßenbau-Kompanie/551
5. Aserbeidschanische Straßenbau-Kompanie/559
5. Aserbeidschanische Straßenbau-Kompanie/563
5. Armenische Bau-Kompanie/51
5. Armenische Bau-Kompanie/144
5. Georgische Wach-Kompanie/43B
Befehlshaber Krim (Heeresgruppe A), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Aserb. Georg. Turk. Total
Infantry Regiments - - - 1 1
Infantry Battalions - 3 2 1 6
Construction Battalions - - - 1 1
Construction Companies 2 3 - - 5
Guard Companies - - 1 - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 6 3 3 1R; 7B; 6C
* Counted as part of the regiment and not as independent battalions.
Befehlshaber der Straße Kertsch (Heeresgruppe A)
Befehlshaber der Straße Kertsch (Heeresgruppe A) 4. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/563 (In Zuführung:)
Georgische Bau-Kompanie 17
Georgische Bau-Kompanie 24
Turkestanisches Träger-Bau-Bataillon 1000
Befehlshaber der Straße Kertsch (Heeresgruppe A), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Georg. Turk. Total
Construction Battalions - 1 1
Supply Companies - 1 1
Construction Companies 2 - 2
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 2 1B; 3C
17. Armee (Heeresgruppe A)
17. Armee (A.O.K. 17) (Heeresgruppe A) Kosaken Regiment Platow (Stab und 8 Kompanien) Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron (bei Regiment 4 ) [No other designation; probably refers to Radfahrer-Sicherungs-Regiment 4]
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 131 (4 Kompanien)
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 221 (4 Kompanien)
Ukrainische Bau-Kompanie 97
Ukrainische Bau-Kompanie 101
Ukrainische Nachschub-Kompanie 562
Ost-Bau-Kompanie 4
Ukrainische Kraftfahr-Kompanie (mot.) 562
Ost-Fahr-Kompanie [No other designation]
Ost-Nachschub-Kolonne [No other designation]
1. Ost-Nachschub-Kolonne/125
2. Ost-Nachschub-Kolonne/125
1. Turkestanische Infanterie-Kompanie/452
Turkestanische Nachschub Kolonne 452
17. Armee (Heeresgruppe A), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Kosaken Ost Turk. Ukrain. Total
Cossack Cavalry Regiments 1 - - - 1
Construction Battalions - - - 2 2
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 1 - - - 1
Construction Companies - 1 - 2 3
Supply Companies - - - 1 1
Supply Columns - 3 1 - 4
Motor Transport Companies - 1 - - 1
Motor Pool Companies - - - 1 1
Infantry Companies - - 1 - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 5 2 6 1R; 2B; 12C
Heeresgruppe A, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ethnicity Total
Cossack Cavalry Regiments 1 Kosaken 1
Infantry Regiments 1 Turk. 1
Total Regiments
Construction Battalions 2 Turk.; 3 Ukrain. 5
Infantry Battalions 1 Turk.; 2 Georg.; 3 Aserb. 6
Ordnance Battalions 2 Turk. 2
Total Battalions
Construction Companies 1 Ost; 2 Armen.; 2 Georg.; 2 Ukrain.; 3 Aserb. 10
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 1 Kosaken 1
Guard Companies 1 Georg. 1
Hiwi Companies 2 Ost 2
Infantry Companies 1 Kauk.; 1 Turk. 2
Motor Pool Companies 1 Ukrain. 1
Motor Transport Companies 1 Ost 1
Supply Columns 1 Turk.; 3 Ost 4
Supply Companies 1 Kauk.; 2 Georg.; 2 Turk.; 2 Ukrain. 7
Total Companies
Telephone Operation Sections 4 Ost 4
Total Platoons/Sections

Heeresgruppe Süd
Heeresgruppe Süd Direct Attachments6. Armee (A.O.K. 6) 1. Panzerarmee (Pz.A.O.K. 1)
4. Panzerarmee (Pz.A.O.K. 4)
Armeeabteilung Kempf
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Süd
Heeresgruppe Süd, Total Eastern Troops
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Süd)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Süd) Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon II./198 (5 Kompanien) 6. Turkestanische Wach-Kompanie/571
7. Georgische Wach-Kompanie/571
4. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/592
5. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/592 [From 22 June 1943]
4. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/573
4. Ukrainische Wach-Kompanie/571
5. Ukrainische Wach-Kompanie/571
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 112 [Number of companies not given]
Turkestanisches Bau-Bataillon 156 [Number of companies not given]
Turkestanisches Bau-Bataillon 305 (4 Kompanien und Nachschub-Kolonne)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Georg. Turk. Ukrain. Total
Infantry Battalions 1 - - 1
Construction Battalions - 2 1 3
Guard Companies 1 1 2 4
Supply Companies 2 1 - 3
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 4 4 3 4B; 7C
6. Armee (Heeresgruppe Süd)
6. Armee (A.O.K. 6) (Heeresgruppe Süd) Ukrainisches Infanterie-Bataillon 6 (8 Kompanien) [Renamed Ost-Bataillon 551 1 June 1943] Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 450 (5 Kompanien)
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 109 (4 Kompanien und Nachschub-Kolonne)
Ukrainisches Bau-Bataillon 111 (3 Kompanien)
1. Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron/583
6. Armee (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Kosaken Turk. Ukrain. Total
Infantry Battalions - 1 1 2
Construction Battalions - - 2 2
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 1 - - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 1 3 4B; 1C
1. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Süd)
1. Panzerarmee (Pz.A.O.K. 1) (Heeresgruppe Süd) Kosaken Abteilung 126 (4 Kompanien) Kosaken Abteilung 161 (4 Kompanien)
Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron (bei III. Panzerkorps) [No other designation]
1. Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron/82
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./94 (4 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./295 (4 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./371 (4 Kompanien)
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 802 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 784 (4 Kompanien)
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./111 (5 Kompanien)
Ukrainische Bau-Kompanie 235
1. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Aserb. Kosaken Nordkauk. Turk. Ukrain. Total
Cossack Cavalry Battalions - 2 - - - 2
Infantry Battalions 1 - 1 4 - 6
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons - 2 - - - 2
Construction Companies - - - - 1 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 4 1 4 1 8B; 3C
4. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Süd)
4. Panzerarmee (Pz.A.O.K. 4) (Heeresgruppe Süd) 5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/606 5. Armenische Nachschub-Kompanie/619
4. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/606
6. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/606 [From 22 June 1943]
4. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Georg. Turk. Total
Supply Companies 1 1 2 4
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 1 2 4C
Armeeabteilung Kempf (Heeresgruppe Süd)
Armeeabteilung Kempf (Heeresgruppe Süd) Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron (bei 57. Infanterie-Division) [No other designation] Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron (bei 6. Panzer-Division) [No other designation]
4. Georgische Wach-Kompanie/591
5. Armenische Nachschub-Kompanie/591
6. Armenische Nachschub-Kompanie/591 [From 22 June 1943]
Ost-Wach-Bataillon 555 (3 Kompanien)
Ukrainische Infanterie-Kompanie 248
Ost-Kompanie 448
5. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/122B
6. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/122B
Armeeabteilung Kempf (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Georg. Kosaken Ost Ukrain. Total
Guard Battalions - - - 1 - 1
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons - - 2 - - 2
Guard Companies - 1 - 2 - 3
Supply Companies 2 - - - - 2
Infantry Companies - - - 1 1 2
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 1 2 4 1 1B; 9C
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Süd (Heeresgruppe Süd)
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Süd (Heeresgruppe Süd) (Kosaken-)Kavallerie-Regiment von Jungschultz (12 Kompanien) [Renamed Kosaken-Regiment 1 (von Jungschultz) on 15 February 1943, and redesignated 3. Reiter-Regiment Sswodno on 1 June 1943] Kalmuken Kavallerie-Regiment Dr. Doll (19 Kompanien)
Kalmuken-Kavallerie-Regiment 5 Kuban (4 Kompanien)
Kosaken Abteilung I./454 (3 Kompanien)
Kosaken Abteilung II./454 (3 Kompanien)
Kosaken Abteilung III./454 (4 Kompanien)
Kosaken Abteilung IV./454 (4 Kompanien)
Kosaken Kavallerie-Ausbildungs-Abteilung [No other designation]
Kosaken Abteilung 213 (5 Kompanien)
Ost-Reiter-Ausbildungs-Abteilung Kranz (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Reiter-Abteilung 403 (3 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 783 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bau-Bataillon 559 (5 Kompanien)
Ost-Minenräum-Kompanie 554
1. - 3. Ost-Kompanie/556
1. und 2. Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel/66
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 62
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 43
Ost-Fernsprechbetriebsstaffel 51
Ost-Kompanie 213
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Süd (Heeresgruppe Süd), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Kalmuken Kosaken Ost Turk. Total
Cossack Cavalry Regiments - 1 - - 1
Cavalry Regiments 2 - - - 2
Cossack Cavalry Battalions - 5 - - 5
Cossack Cavalry Training Battalion - 1 - - 1
Cavalry Training Battalions - - 1 - 1
Cavalry Battalions - - 1 - 1
Infantry Battalions - - - 1 1
Construction Battalions - - 1 - 1
Mine Clearing Companies - - 1 - 1
Infantry Companies - - 4 - 4
Telephone Operation Sections - - 5 - 5
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 7 13 1 3R; 10B; 10C
Heeresgruppe Süd, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ethnicity Total
Cavalry Regiments 2 Kalmuken 2
Cossack Cavalry Regiments 1 Kosaken 1
Total Regiments
Cavalry Battalions 1 Ost 1
Cavalry Training Battalions 1 Ost 1
Construction Battalions 1 Ost; 2 Turk.; 3 Ukrain. 6
Cossack Cavalry Battalions 7 Kosaken 7
Cossack Cavalry Training Battalions 1 Kosaken 1
Guard Battalions 1 Ost 1
Infantry Battalions 1 Georg.; 1 Nordkauk.; 1 Ukrain.; 6 Turk. 9
Total Battalions
Construction Companies 1 Ukrain. 1
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 5 Kosaken 5
Guard Companies 1 Turk.; 2 Georg.; 2 Ost; 2 Ukrain. 7
Infantry Companies 1 Ukrain.; 5 Ost 6
Mine Clearing Companies 1 Ost 1
Supply Companies 3 Armen.; 3 Georg.; 3 Turk. 9
Total Companies
Telephone Operation Sections 5 Ost 5
Total Platoons/Sections

Heeresgruppe Mitte
Heeresgruppe Mitte Direct Attachments2. Armee LII. Armeekorps
VII. Armeekorps
XIII. Armeekorps
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 580
2. Panzerarmee
XX. Armeekorps
XXXXVII. Panzerkorps
XXXXVI. Panzerkorps
XXXXI. Panzerkorps
XXXV. Armeekorps
LIII. Armeekorps
LV. Armeekorps
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 532
4. Armee
LVI. Panzerkorps
XII. Armeekorps
IX. Armeekorps
XXXIX. Panzerkorps
XXVII. Armeekorps
Korück 559
3. Panzerarmee
VI. Armeekorps
II. Luftwaffen Feldkorps
XXXXIII. Armeekorps
201. Sicherungs-Division
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 590
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 582
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Mitte
Heeresgruppe Mitte, Total Eastern Troops
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Mitte) Ost-Bataillon 82 (2 Kompanien) Ost-Bataillon 308 (3 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Fernsprecher-Kompanie/515
2. Ost-Fernsprecher-Kompanie/515
Turkestanisches Träger-Bau-Bataillon 1001 (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Kompanie 606
4. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/544 [Brjansk)
1. Ost-Kompanie/607
2. Ost-Kompanie/607 (Gomel)
3. Ost-Kompanie/607 (Gomel)
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/548 (Gomel)
5. Turkestanische Wach-Kompanie/B99 (Orscha)
Turkestanische Infanterie-Kompanie 493 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 608 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 611 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 609 (Minsk)
1. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
2. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
3. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
4. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/B147 (Bobruisk)
5. Turkestanische Infanterie-(K)Kompanie/51B (Witebsk)
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/B107 (Witebsk)
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/B23 (Smolensk)
(In Zuführung:)
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie 79
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie 135
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./1 (5 Kompanien)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Aserb. Georg. Ost Turk. Total
Construction Battalions - - - 1 1
Infantry Battalions - 1 2 - 3
Telephone Companies - - 2 - 2
Infantry Companies - - 10 2 12
Supply Companies 1 1 - 3 5
Guard Companies - - - 1 1
Construction Companies - - - 2 2
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 2 14 9 4B; 22C
2. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
2. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte) Ost-Reiter-Schwadron 299 Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie 120
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie 123
Turkestanische Eisenbahn-Bau-Kompanie 217
LII. Armeekorps
1 x Schwadron/Ost-Reiter-Abteilung 57 [No other designation]
VII. Armeekorps
1 x Schwadron/Ost-Reiter-Abteilung 57 [No other designation]
Ost-Bau-Kompanie 168
Ost-Kompanie 407
XIII. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 340
Ost-Kompanie 413
Ost-Kompanie 182
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 580
Ost-Reiter-Abteilung 580 (3 Schwadronen)
Ost-Aufklärungs-Abteilung (mot.) 581 (4 Schwadronen)
Ost-Wach-Bataillon 552 (7 Kompanien)
Ost-Wach-Bataillon 581 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./76 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Feld-Bataillon I./389 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./785 (4 Kompanien)
2. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ost Turk. Total
Cavalry Battalions 1 - 1
Reconnaissance Battalions 1 - 1
Guard Battalions 2 - 2
Infantry Battalions - 3 3
Cavalry Squadrons 3 - 3
Construction Companies 1 2 3
Rail Construction Companies - 1 1
Infantry Companies 4 - 4
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 12 6 7B; 11C
2. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
2. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte) Ost-Kompanie 85 4. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/44
4. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/320
4. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/511
Kosaken Artillerie-Batterie 553
XX. Armeekorps
1. Ost-Kompanie/84
2. Ost-Kompanie/84
XXXXVII. Panzerkorps
1. Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron/137
2. Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron/137
Ost-Kompanie 45
Ost-Kompanie 102
XXXXVI. Panzerkorps
Ost-Wach-Bataillon 581 (2 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Kompanie/446
2. Ost-Kompanie/446
Ost-Kompanie 178
XXXXI. Panzerkorps
Ost-Kompanie 383
XXXV. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 34
Ost-Kompanie 156
LIII. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 25
Ost-Bataillon 441 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Kompanie 453
LV. Armeekorps
Ost-Bataillon 134 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Kompanie 110
Ost-Bataillon 339 (4 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Reiter-Schwadron/447
2. Ost-Reiter-Schwadron/447
Ost-Kompanie 455
Ost-Bataillon I./447 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon II./447 (4 Kompanien)
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./125 (5 Kompanien)
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 532
Kosaken Kavallerie-Sicherungs-Abteilung III./57 (4 Schwadronen)
Ost-Bataillon 615 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 616 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 617 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 618 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 620 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Artillerie-Abteilung 621
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon II./9 (5 Kompanien)
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 807 (5 Kompanien)
2. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Aserb. Kosaken Ost Turk. Total
Cossack Cavalry Battalions - - 1 - - 1
Guard Battalion - - - 1 - 1
Infantry Battalions 2 1 - 10 - 13
Artillery Battalions - - - 1 - 1
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons - - 2 - - 2
Cavalry Squadrons - - - 2 - 2
Infantry Companies - - - 15 - 15
Construction Companies - - - - 3 3
Artillery Batteries - - 1 - - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 1 4 29 3 16B; 23C
4. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
4. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte) 4. Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie (mot.)/604 5. Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie (mot.)/604
4. Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie/622
4. Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie/687
4. Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie/690
Ost-Kompanie 612
1. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/136
2. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/137
4. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/57
4. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/544
Ost-Kompanie 626 (mit Oberquartiermeister 4, A.O.K. 4)
Ost-Ersatz-Bataillon 4 (4 Kompanien)
LVI. Panzerkorps
Ost-Banden-Jagd-Kompanie (mit 31. Infanterie-Division)
1. Ost-Kompanie/131
2. Ost-Kompanie/131
Ost-Kompanie 10
1. Ost-Kompanie/267
2. Ost-Kompanie/267
Ost-Bataillon 456 (3 Kompanien)
XII. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 260
Ost-Kompanie 268
Ost-Bataillon 412 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Banden-Jagd-Kompanie [Assigned to 98. Infanterie-Division]
IX. Armeekorps
Ost-Banden-Jagd-Kompanie [Assigned to 252. Infanterie-Division]
XXXIX. Panzerkorps
Ost-Kompanie 195
Ost-Kompanie 439
XXVII. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 152
Ost-Kompanie 253
Ost-Bataillon 229 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 427 (2 Kompanien)
Korück 559
Ost-Bataillon 627 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 642 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 643 (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 629 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Artillerie-Batterie 614
Ost-Bataillon 646 (Dorogobusch) (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Kompanie 613 (Dorogobusch) (mit Ortskommandantur 292)
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 640 (Dorogobusch)
4. Armee (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ost Turk. Total
Infantry Battalions 9 - 9
Replacement Battalions 1 - 1
Supply Companies 5 - 5
Infantry Companies 14 - 14
Construction Companies - 4 4
Anti-Partisan Companies 3 - 3
Guard Companies 1 - 1
Artillery Batteries 1 - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 34 4 10B; 28C
3. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
3. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte) Ost-Kompanie 639 Ost-Kompanie 644
Ost-Kompanie 645
Ost-Kompanie 59
2. Wolgatatarische Bau-Kompanie/825 [Became 4./Wolgatatarisches Bau-Bataillon 18 on 13 August 1943]
VI. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 183
Ost-Bataillon 406 (3 Kompanien)
4. Georgische Bau-Kompanie/91
4. Georgische Bau-Kompanie/415
II. Luftwaffen-Feldkorps
1. Ost-Kompanie/263
2. Ost-Kompanie/263
3. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/248
3. Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie/416
XXXXIII. Armeekorps
Ost-Kompanie 205
Ost-Kompanie 331
Kosaken Abteilung 443 (3 Kompanien)
201. Sicherungs-Division
Kosaken Bataillon 622 (5 Kompanien)
Kosaken Bataillon 623 (5 Kompanien)
Kosaken Bataillon 624 (5 Kompanien)
Kosaken Bataillon 625 (5 Kompanien)
Kosaken Kompanie 638
Ost-Bataillon 603 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Reiter-Schwadron 201
1. Wolgatatarische Infanterie-Kompanie/825
5. Ost-Sicherungs-Kompanie/722
Ost-Wach-Bataillon 508 (3 Kompanien)
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 590
Ost-Bataillon 281 (3 Kompanien)
rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 582
Ost-Bataillon 628 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 630 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Artillerie-Batterie 582
Ost-Ersatz-Kompanie 582
3. Panzerarmee (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Georg. Kosaken Ost Turk. Wolgatat. Total
Infantry Battalions - 4 5 - - 9
Guard Battalions - - 1 - - 1
Cossack Cavalry Battalions - 1 - - - 1
Infantry Companies - 1 10 - 1 12
Replacement Companies - - 1 - - 1
Artillery Batteries - - 1 - - 1
Cavalry Squadrons - - 1 - - 1
Construction Companies 2 - - 2 1 5
NCO School Unit - - 1 - - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 6 20 2 2 11B; 21C
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Mitte (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Mitte (Heeresgruppe Mitte) Ost-Ersatz-Regiment Mitte (9 Kompanien) [Became
Ost-Ausbildungs-Regiment Mitte on 10 July 1943 (handwritten note)] Kosaken Abteilung 600 (5 Kompanien)
Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie 350
Ost-Nachschub-Kompanie 354
Ost-Bataillon 633 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 634 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 635 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 636 (2 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 637 (4 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Kompanie/221
2. Ost-Reiter-Schwadron/221
Ost-Bataillon 602 (4 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Kompanie/203
2. Ost-Reiter-Schwadron/203
Ost-Bataillon 604 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Reiter-Schwadron 286
Ost-Bataillon 601 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 605 (4 Kompanien)
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Mitte (Heeresgruppe Mitte), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Kosaken Ost Total
Replacement Regiments - 1 1
Cossack Cavalry Battalions 1 - 1
Infantry Battalions - 9 9
Supply Companies - 2 2
Infantry Companies - 2 2
Cavalry Squadrons - 3 3
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 17 1R; 10B; 7C
Heeresgruppe Mitte, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ethnicity Total
Replacement Regiments 1 Ost 1
Total Regiments
Artillery Battalions 1 Ost 1
Cavalry Battalions 1 Ost 1
Construction Battalions 1 Turk. 1
Cossack Cavalry Battalions 3 Kosaken 3
Guard Battalions 4 Ost 4
Infantry Battalions 1 Aserb.; 1 Georg.; 2 Armen.; 3 Turk.; 35 Ost 42
Reconnaissance Battalions 1 Ost 1
Replacement Battalions 1 Ost 1
Total Battalions
Anti-Partisan Companies 3 Ost 3
Artillery Batteries 1 Kosaken; 2 Ost 3
Cavalry Squadrons 9 Ost 9
Construction Companies 1 Ost; 1 Wolgatat.; 2 Georg.; 14 Turk. 17
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 2 Kosaken 2
Guard Companies 2 Ost 2
Infantry Companies 1 Kosaken; 1 Wolgatat.; 2 Turk.; 55 Ost 59
NCO School Unit 1 Ost 1
Replacement Companies 1 Ost 1
Supply Companies 1 Aserb.; 1 Georg.; 3 Turk.; 7 Ost 12
Telephone Companies 2 Ost 2
Total Companies

Heeresgruppe Nord
Heeresgruppe Nord Direct Attachments16. Armee 18. Armee
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Nord
Heeresgruppe Nord, Total Eastern Troops
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Nord)
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Nord) (In Zuführung:) Aserbeidschanische Bau-Kompanie 25
Aserbeidschanische Bau-Kompanie 87
Armenische Bau-Kompanie 254
Armenische Bau-Kompanie 257
Georgische Bau-Kompanie 127
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie 414
Litauische Wach-Kompanie 650
Lettische Wach-Kompanie 651
Lettische Wach-Kompanie 652
Direct Attachments (Heeresgruppe Nord), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Aserb. Georg. Lett. Litau. Turk. Total
Construction Companies 2 2 1 - - 1 6
Guard Companies - - - 2 1 - 3
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 2 2 1 2 1 1 9C
16. Armee (Heeresgruppe Nord)
16. Armee (A.O.K. 16) (Heeresgruppe Nord) rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 584 Ost-Ersatz-Bataillon 16 (1. und 3. Kompanie in Aufstellung) [Number of companies not given]
Ost-Bataillon 667 (6 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 668 (6 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 669 (3 Kompanien in Vfg.; 3 Kompanien in Aufstellung)
Ost-Bataillon 620 (4 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Artillerie-Batterie/670
2. Ost-Artillerie-Batterie/670
Ost-Nachrichten-Kompanie 671 [Disbanded 23 August 1943]
Ost-Bataillon 653 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 654 (4 Kompanien)
Kosaken Kavallerie-Schwadron 655
Estnische Infanterie-Kompanie 657
16. Armee (Heeresgruppe Nord), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Estn. Kosaken Ost Total
Replacement Battalions - - 1 1
Infantry Battalions - - 6 6
Artillery Batteries - - 2 2
Signals Companies - - 1 1
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons - 1 - 1
Infantry Companies 1 - - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 1 10 7B; 5C
18. Armee (Heeresgruppe Nord)
18. Armee (A.O.K. 18) (Heeresgruppe Nord) rückwärtigen Armeegebiet 583 Estnisches Infanterie-Bataillon 658 (4 Kompanien)
Estnisches Infanterie-Bataillon 659 (4 Kompanien)
Estnisches Infanterie-Bataillon 660 (4 Kompanien)
Estnisches Ersatz-Bataillon Narwa (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 661 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 662 (2 Kompanien)
Ost-Ersatz-Bataillon 663 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon (Finn.) 664 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 665 (4 Kompanien)
Ost-Pionier-Bataillon 666 (4 Kompanien)
18. Armee (Heeresgruppe Nord), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Estn. Ost Total
Replacement Battalions 1 1 2
Engineer Battalions - 1 1
Infantry Battalions 3 4* 7
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 4 6 10B
* One of the Ost-Bataillone is designated as (Finn.).  This probably refers Volga-Finns, and not Finns from Finland.
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Nord (Heeresgruppe Nord)
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Nord (Heeresgruppe Nord) Ost-Reiter-Abt. 207 (3 Kompanien)
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 842 (2 Kompanien)*
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 843 (2 Kompanien)*
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./198 (5 Kompanien)
Ost-Pionier-Bataillon 672 (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Reiter-Abteilung 285
1., 2. Nordkaukasische Infanterie-Kompanie/844
Befehlshaber Heeresgebiet Nord (Heeresgruppe Nord), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Nordkauk. Nordukr. Ost Total
Infantry Battalions 1 - 2 - 3
Engineer Battalions - - - 1 1
Cavalry Battalions - - - 2 2
Infantry Companies - 2 - - 2
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 2 2 3 6B; 2C
Heeresgruppe Nord, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Ethnicity Total
Cavalry Battalions 2 Ost 2
Engineer Battalions 2 Ost 2
Infantry Battalions 1 Armen.; 2 Nordukr.; 3 Estn.; 10 Ost 16
Replacement Battalions 1 Estn.; 1 Ost 2
Total Battalions
Artillery Batteries 2 Ost 2
Construction Companies 1 Georg.; 1 Turk.; 2 Armen.; 2 Aserb. 6
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 1 Kosaken 1
Guard Companies 1 Litau.; 2 Lett. 3
Infantry Companies 1 Estn.; 2 Nordkauk. 3
Signals Companies 1 Ost 1
Total Companies

Oberbefehlshaber West
Oberbefehlshaber West
LXXXVIII. Armeekorps Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 787 (5 Kompanien)
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon 812 (5 Kompanien)
7. Armee (A.O.K. 7)
LXXXIV. Armeekorps
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 797 (5 Kompanien)
76. Infanterie-Division
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 798 (5 Kompanien)
1. Armee (A.O.K. 1)
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 803 (5 Kompanien)*
Wolgatatarisches Infanterie-Bataillon 826 (5 Kompanien)
Oberbefehlshaber West, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Georg. Nordukr. Turk. Wolgatat. Total
Infantry Battalions 1 2 1 1 1 6
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 1 2 1 1 1 6B

Wehrmacht Befehlshaber Ukraine
Wehrmacht Befehlshaber Ukraine 2 x Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon (Schepatowka) [No other designation] Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon (6 Kompanien) (Mosyr) [No other designation]
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 2 (6 Kompanien)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 4 (8 Kompanien)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 6 (8 Kompanien)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 10 (8 Kompanien)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 11 (8 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 786 (5 Kompanien)
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 835 (5 Kompanien)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 3 (8 Kompanien) (bei 1. Kavallerie-Division)
Kosaken Infanterie-Bataillon 9 (8 Kompanien) (bei 1. Kavallerie-Division)
Legionslager Shitomir
3 x Aserbeidschanische Kompanie [No type or designation given]
Legionslager Berditschew (Verlegung nach Zaslaw)
Armenische Kompanie [No type or designation given]
Legionslager Proskurow
9 x Turkestanische Kompanie [No type or designation given]
Legionslager Zaslaw
Georgische Kompanie [No type or designation given]
2 x Armenische Kompanie [No type or designation given]
Wehrmacht Befehlshaber Ukraine, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Aserb. Georg. Kosaken Nordkauk. Turk. Total
Infantry Battalions - - - 10 1 1 12
Infantry Companies 3 3 1 - - 9 16
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 3 3 1 10 1 10 12B; 16C

Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres
Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres Wehrkreis im Generalgouvernement162. Infanterie-Division (turk.) 1. Kosaken-Division
Wehrkreis im Generalgouvernement (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres)
Wehrkreis im Generalgouvernement (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres) Armenische Legion (BRIGADE) Legion-Führer-Schule (Legionowo) (BRIGADE)
Ostvölkisches Genesenden-Bataillon I (Kossow)
Armenisches Stamm-Bataillon
Armenische Unterführer-Kompanie
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon 810 (5 Kompanien)
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon 813 (5 Kompanien)
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon 809 (in Auffrischung)
Armenisches Infanterie-Bataillon 814 [Added by handwritten note dated 31 August 1943]
Aserbeidschanische Legion (REGIMENT)
Aserbeidschanisches Stamm-Bataillon
Aserbeidschanische Unterführer-Kompanie
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 817 (5 Kompanien)
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 805 (in Auffrischung)
Georgische Legion (REGIMENT)
Georgisches Stamm-Bataillon
Georgische Unterführer-Kompanie
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 799 (5 Kompanien)
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 822 (5 Kompanien)
Kaukasische Infanterie-Kompanie General Bergmann
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 795 (in Auffrischung)
Georgisches Infanterie-Bataillon 823 [Added by handwritten note dated 31 August 1943]
Nordkaukasische Legion (REGIMENT)
Nordkaukasisches Stamm-Bataillon
Nordkaukasische Unterführer-Kompanie
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 836 (5 Kompanien)
Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 800 (in Auffrischung)
Turkestanische Legion (REGIMENT)
Turkestanisches Stamm-Bataillon
Turkestanische Unterführer-Kompanie
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 788 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 789 (5 Kompanien)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 781 (in Auffrischung)
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon 782 (in Auffrischung)
Wolgatatarische Legion (REGIMENT)
Wolgatatarisches Stamm-Bataillon
Wolgatatarische Unterführer-Kompanie
Wolgatatarische Dolmetscher-Vorschule-Kompanie
Wolgatatarisches Infanterie-Bataillon 827 [Number of companies not given]
Wolgatatarisches Infanterie-Bataillon 828 [Added by handwritten note dated 31 August 1943]
Biala Podkaska
Wehrmacht Befehlshaber Ukraine, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Armen. Aserb. Georg. Kauk. Nordkauk. Ostvölk. Turk. Wolgatat. Total
Officers School (Brig.) 1 - - - - - - - 1
Convalescent Battalions - - - - - 1 - - 1
Reception Battalions 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 6
Infantry Battalions 4 2 4 - 2 - 4 2 18
NCO Companies 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 6
Translator Companies - - - - - - - 1 1
Infantry Companies - - - 1 - - - - 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 7 4 6 1 4 1 6 5 1BR; 25B; 8C
162. Infanterie-Division (turk.) (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres)
162. Infanterie-Division (turk.) (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres) Nachrichtenstaffel Divisions-Führer-Schule
Turkestanische Stamm-Kompanie
Georgische Legion (REGIMENT)
Georgische Unterführer-Kompanie
Georgische Bau-Kompanie
Georgisches Ersatz-Bataillon [No other designation]
Aserbeidschanische Legion (REGIMENT)
Aserbeidschanische Unterführer-Kompanie
Aserbeidschanische Bau-Kompanie
Aserbeidschanisches Jäger-Bataillon I./97
Aserbeidschanisches Gebirgs-Bataillon I./4
Aserbeidschanisches Jäger-Bataillon I./101
Aserbeidschanisches Infanterie-Bataillon II./73
Aserbeidschanisches Ersatz-Bataillon [No other designation]
1. Turkestanische Legion (REGIMENT)
Turkestanische Unterführer-Kompanie
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./305
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./44
Turkestanisches Ersatz-Bataillon [No other designation]
2. Turkestanische Legion (REGIMENT)
Turkestanische Unterführer-Kompanie
Turkestanische Bau-Kompanie
Turkestanisches Jäger-Bataillon I./100
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./384
Turkestanisches Infanterie-Bataillon I./297
Turkestanisches Ersatz-Bataillon [No other designation]
Neuhammer (mit Bau-Kompanie [No other designation])
162. Infanterie-Division (turk.), Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Aserb. Georg. Turk. Total
Replacement Battalions 1 1 2 4
Infantry Battalions 4 - 5 9
Reception Companies - - 1 1
Division's Officers School - - 1 1
Construction Companies 1 1 3 5
NCO Companies 1 1 2 4
Signals Section - - 1 1
Repair Platoon - - 1 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 7 3 16 13B; 11C; 2P
1. Kosaken-Division (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres)
1. Kosaken-Division (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres) (in Aufstellung:) Kosaken Kavallerie-Regiment Don 1
Kosaken Kavallerie-Regiment Kuban 4
Kosaken Kavallerie-Regiment Terek 6
Kosaken Kavallerie-Artillerie-Regiment
1. Kosaken-Division, Total Eastern Troops:
Unit Type Kosaken Total
Cossack Cavalry Regiments 3 3
Artillery Regiments 1 1
Total Units by Ethnicity/Size 4 4

The Summary Table below displays the total number of Osttruppen units serving in the German Army on 5 May 1943.  The regiments, battalions, companies, and platoons/sections listed in the above table include all independent units, as well as the subordinate elements of the 162. Infanterie-Division (turk.) and 1. Kosaken-Division.  These totals are provided in order to allow a more immediate analysis of the type and number of Osttruppen units serving in the German Army on this date.  The specific formation tables should be used for more in-depth examination of the Osttruppen units and their assignments.
Total Eastern Troops, 5 May 1943:
Unit Type Ethnicity Total
Artillery Regiments 1 Kosaken 1
Cavalry Regiments 2 Kalmuken 2
Cossack Cavalry Regiments 5 Kosaken 5
Infantry Regiments 1 Turk. 1
Replacement Regiments 1 Ost 1
Total Regiments
Artillery Battalions 1 Ost 1
Cavalry Battalions 4 Ost 4
Cavalry Training Battalions 1 Ost 1
Construction Battalions 1 Ost; 5 Turk.; 6 Ukrain. 12
Convalescent Battalions 1 Ostvölk. 1
Cossack Cavalry Battalions 10 Kosaken 10
Cossack Cavalry Training Battalions 1 Kosaken 1
Engineer Battalions 2 Ost 2
Guard Battalions 5 Ost 5
Infantry Battalions 1 Ukrain.; 3 Estn.; 3 Nordukr.; 3 Wolgatat.; 4 Nordkauk.; 8 Armen.; 10 Aserb.; 10 Georg.; 10 Kosaken; 21 Turk.; 45 Ost 118
Ordnance Battalions 2 Turk. 2
Reception Battalions 1 Armen.; 1 Aserb.; 1 Georg.; 1 Nordkauk.; 1 Turk.; 1 Wolgatat. 6
Reconnaissance Battalions 1 Ost 1
Replacement Battalions 1 Aserb.; 1 Estn.; 1 Georg; 1 Turk.; 2 Ost 6
Total Battalions
Anti-Partisan Companies 3 Ost 3
Artillery Batteries 1 Kosaken; 4 Ost 5
Cavalry Squadrons 9 Ost 9
Construction Companies 1 Wolgatat.; 2 Ost; 3 Ukrain.; 4 Armen.; 6 Aserb.; 6 Georg.; 18 Turk. 40
Cossack Cavalry Squadrons 9 Kosaken 9
Division Officers School 1 Turk. 1
Guard Companies 1 Litau.; 1 Turk.; 2 Lett.; 2 Ukrain.; 3 Georg.; 4 Ost 13
Hiwi Companies 2 Ost 2
Infantry Companies 1 Estn.; 1 Georg.; 1 Kosaken; 1 Ukrain.; 1 Wolgatat.; 2 Kauk.; 2 Nordkauk.; 3 Armen.; 3 Aserb.; 12 Turk.; 60 Ost 87
Mine Clearing Companies 1 Ost 1
Motor Pool Companies 1 Ukrain. 1
Motor Transport Companies 1 Ost 1
NCO Companies 1 Armen.; 1 Nordkauk.; 1 Wolgatat.; 2 Aserb.; 2 Georg.; 3 Turk. 10
NCO School Units 1 Ost 1
Reception Companies 1 Ost; 1 Turk. 2
Signals Companies 1 Ost 1
Supply Columns 1 Turk.; 3 Ost 4
Supply Companies 1 Aserb.; 1 Kauk.; 2 Ukrain.; 3 Armen.; 6 Georg.; 7 Ost; 8 Turk. 28
Telephone Companies 2 Ost 2
Translator Companies 1 Wolgatat. 1
Total Companies
Repair Platoons 1 Turk, 1
Signals Section 1 Turk. 1
Telephone Operation Sections 9 Ost 9
Total Platoons/Sections
Additional Sources:
Munoz, Antonio J. Hitler's Eastern Legions Volume II: The Osttruppen.  New York: Axis Europa, Inc., 1997.
Tessin, Georg. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939 - 1945: Band 1 - 14. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag, 1976.

Research: Forrest Opper and Jason von Zerneck

*Corrections by Victor N. Titov