A Hidden Army (Soviet Citizens in Wehrmacht and SS during the Second World War) Cover Image

Скривена армија (совјетски држављани у Вермахту и СС током Другог светског рата)
A Hidden Army (Soviet Citizens in Wehrmacht and SS during the Second World War)

Author(s): Aleksej J. Timofejev
Subject(s): Military history, Military policy, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Fascism, Nazism and WW II, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Institut za strategijska istraživanja
Keywords: Second World War; Germany; USSR; 1941-1945; Wehrmacht troops; SS;

Summary/Abstract: The successes of Germany and the USSR in the war of 1941-1945 were significantly influenced, among the other things, by one neglected factor: sudden change in the disposition of the population towards the German troops. Factor of the disposition of the population influenced not only the change in the military luck, but also the activity of the militant collaborationism. According to the calculations of the contemporary historians “general number of the USSR citizens and emigrants, who spent at least some time in service with Wehrmacht troops, SS, police or paramilitary units, amounted to approximately 1,200,000 men (including up to 700 thousand Slovenes, up to 300 thousand representatives of the Baltic people, up to 200 thousand representatives of Tataro-Turkistan, Caucasian and other smaller nations)” with the maximum number at one time of 800-900 thousands. Numerous units were formed by nations which were “annexed” to the USSR on the eve of the war: the 14th division “Galicia”, 15th and 19th Letonian SS division “Galicia”, 15th and 19th Letonian division SS, 20th Estonian division. Western Belarusia and Lithuania did not have independent SS divisions but therefore they gave more police battalions which were used in suppressing the partisan movement in the northwestern parts of Russia, in the eastern Ukraine and Byelorussia. As early as in November 1941, Hitler ordered formation of four national legions – Turkistan, Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian-Magometan. They formed later on many police and military regiments and the 162nd Turkistan division of Wehrmacht. The Russians formed, besides many small units, the Kozak cavalier corps which was used for anti-partisan operation in the area of Yugoslavia. The culmination of the policy of using Russian collaborators of the occupiers was reached within the so-called “Lokot region”. As late as in 1945, the division ROA of General Vlasov was formed. After 1991, historiographic fate of the Soviet collaborators varied from rehabilitation to the continuation of the Soviet historiographic traditions.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 50-64
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Serbian