; after a while, a complement ..............................
Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr (*) 1943-1944
The area of operations. Coast of the Adriatic.
What was this battalion of the SS-Karstwehr, whose soldiers were able to act so cruelly? To answer this question, it is useful to take a brief look at the area of operations where the SS-Karstwehr deployed: the Adriatic coastal zone. It was caused by the capitulation of Italy in September 1943 and was temporarily maintained until the end of the war. Most likely, the area of operations was connected in some way to the Reich or was even completely annexed. At the end of 1944, almost 2.1 million people lived in this melting pot between central, southern and southeastern Europe: Italians, Slovenes, Croats and Germans. Italy had annexed most of the territory after the First World War and pursued a radical policy of Italianization during the fascist government. Ethnic tensions between Italians, Croats and Slovenes broke out in World War II, when the partisan movement took hold and the Italian army responded with strong countermeasures. After the surrender of Italy in September 1943, Tito's communist partisans briefly took over the control and established the so-called Kobariška Republika (Republic of Kobarid). This was just a short episode. Through several large-scale military operations, the Germans finally expelled the partisans from their domain and consolidated their own power in the newly created area of operations of the Adriatic coast.
When National Socialist Germany had a special political interest in a territory occupied during World War II, it was not under military administration, but under civil administration. This was also the case in the coastal operations area of the Adriatic, where the Gauleiter of Carinthia Friedrich Rainer was named "Supreme Commissar". The superior leader of the SS and the police (Höhere SS-und Polizeiführer) on the Adriatic coast, SS Gruppenführer Odilo Globocznik, was responsible for all police tasks and, therefore, also for the battle against the partisans. With his staff, he had previously led in Poland the "Aktion Reinhardt", that is, the systematic extermination of Jews in the area. From there, Globocznik also brought a command of about 100 men: the notorious "Abteilung R", where the "R" meant "Reinhardt". This was responsible for the persecution of the Jews, but was also used again and again in the "anti-partisan struggle". For the defense against a possible Allied invasion, General Ludwig Kübler was responsible for the area, an energetic personality, who was brutally opposed to the action of the guerrillas.
German policy in the Adriatic coastal area was characterized by a classic "divide-et-impera" ("divide and conquer") and put each ethnic group against each other. The Italian administration remained in existence, although its influence was gradually suppressed. Thus, the Germans withdrew the Italianization measures of the interwar period, but did not offer the Slovenes or the Croats a real political alternative. A burden for the local population in this context also meant the settlement of some 30,000 Cossacks and their families in "band centers" in Friuli in the autumn of 1944. At that time, the Adriatic coastal area was one of the few rear territories inside the cracked German Reich.
(*) from Karst, German name of the Slovenian region of Carso.
Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.