Slovenia and Waffen-SS

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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Re: Slovenia and Waffen-SS

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 am

Hello to all :D; more ..............................

Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr 1943-1944

Battalion of the SS-Karstwehr: self-image and culture of violence.

In this ethnically heterogeneous and tense environment, the SS Karstwehr Battalion operated against the Italian and Yugoslav guerrillas. Initially planned only as a company, the battalion had established itself in Pottenstein, in Upper Franconia, in the summer of 1942 and was directly subordinate to the Reichsführer SS. In reality, the new battalion had a double function: on the one hand, as a specialized combat force for use in the mountainous karst terrain, on the other hand as a geological troop for speleology (a story for Indiana Jones :wink:). Therefore, the choice of the commander of the battalion fell on the SS-Standartenführer Hans Brand, a respected geologist and speleologist. But above all he was not at all an experienced and competent military officer and the other officers of this battalion were not "high-flying" military men either. The members came from all over the German Reich; including ethnic Germans from Romania and Yugoslavia. Although the battalion had extensive training - including the high mountain one, the end result was remarkably weak.

The battalion always lamented the lack of material and weapons. Apart from these difficulties, however, a look at a weekly training plan reveals a much larger problem: the emphasis was on theoretical instruction, while training outside the barracks remained the exception. After lunch, an hour of rest in bed was always ordered and punctually at 17:30 hours, the instructors were working. So it was not surprising that the battalion after one year had just begun Platoon-level training!

However, Brand saw great potential in his new troop, which he called "a special mountain force absolutely independent for battle in the karst," which was outside any military standard. He understood it that way, the SS Karstwehr Battalion outwardly showed an elitist character. Therefore, the SS propaganda companies accompanied the battalion initially during the training and then in the action. Here Brand repeatedly praised Himmler in his reports for the alleged successes of his Battalion. This narrative continues to be found in publications about the SS Karstwehr Battalion.

Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image069.jpg
Climbing training of the SS-Karstwehr. Unlike what the propaganda image suggests, the SS-Karstwehr came out ill prepared for its employment. A specialized unit for the mountain fight in the karst, it was only in the illusory world of its commander...............................................................................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Slovenia and Waffen-SS

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:23 pm

Hello to all :D; more ..............................

Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr 1943-1944

Battalion SS-Karstwehr: self-image and culture of violence.

In August 1943, the battalion was shifted from Upper Franconia to Tarvisio in Friuli and shortly thereafter was engaged for the first time to disarm the Italian forces during the development of the »Fall Achse« (Axis Case). From September 1943 to the summer of 1944, the SS Karstwehr Battalion was used in innumerable large and smaller operations against the Italian and Yugoslavian resistance in the current Italo-Slovenian border area. At the same time, the battalion did not show outstanding military achievements. The poor instruction and the lack of materials were felt.

This led to a different approach to the fight against the partisans than the one implemented by the »Heine« Battalion: while the Wehrmacht mountain hunters fought the partisans directly attacking their camps and villages, causing considerable losses to the enemy, the Battalion SS Karstwehr relocated the means of subsistence of the partisans and destroyed the villages. In addition, there were executions of civilians to dissuade the population (to collaborate). In the first anti-guerrilla operation, the SS-Obersturmführer Oswin Merwald and his company left the small town of Strmec in the Pass of Predil in ruins on October 10, 1943, murdering the entire male population and deporting the women and children remaining. Previously, two of his men had been injured in an attack near the village.

In the following months, the SS Karstwehr battalion attacked the civilian population again and again. Brand did not necessarily support these acts, but as a leader he was too weak and did not have the company commanders really under his control. Instead, the young leaders did what they wanted and shaped a culture of unbridled violence in their units. Nobody symbolizes this more than SS-Obersturmführer Erich Kühbandner, a mere 22-year-old reckless fanatic with a mercenary mentality.

Recent research has shown that Globocznik's men from the »Abteilung R« were responsible for the worst crimes in the partisan struggle in the area of ​​operations, but the SS Karstwehr Battalion also left a considerable trail of blood. No member of the battalion or the subsequent division was charged, either in the war or after it. When the Würzburg prosecutor's office in the mid-1990s identified Walter Weber as one of the main perpetrators of Idrijske Krnice's crime, the former plumber had already died several years ago.

Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image004.jpg
The SS-Karstwehr in the area of ​​operations on the Adriatic coast .....................................................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Slovenia and Waffen-SS

Post by tigre » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:50 pm

Hello to all :D; more (shocking image)..............................

Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr 1943-1944

drijske Krnice - June 11, 1944.

It was once again another frustrating action for the Wehrmacht mountain hunters belonging to the »Heine« Battalion. For about ten days, and in the heat of the summer, they had wandered down the wooded hillside near Idrija, in southwestern Slovenia, but the results of the operation had been disappointing up to that point: only five Tito partisans and two female agents fell into the hands of the Germans. Now, on the last day, there was at least a small success when they captured three armed partisans. For unknown reasons, the mountain hunters delivered them to the SS Karstwehr Battalion, which also participated in the operation.

What followed was an act of barbaric brutality. The SS Karstwehr tied up the three prisoners and led them to the small village of Idrijske Krnice. The mood warmed up. Suddenly, an SS man took out his knife, opened the eyes of one of the partisans and exclaimed mockingly: "Can you see the freedom now? Can you see England?" The soldiers raved and dragged the first prisoner to a wooden table. Several volunteers presented themself, the choice fell to SS Oberscharführer Walter Weber, who raised an ax high and struck the partisan's head with a blow, and other volunteers moved forward, and shortly thereafter, the second prisoner suffered the same brutal death. the SS soldiers put the two severed heads on a table in the middle of the village, put cigarettes in their mouths and left a note that read: "Greetings from the Karstwehrbataillon, the men in green jackets." What really happened with the third partisan taken prisoner is unclear.

Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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SS-Oberscharführer Walter Weber beheads a captured Yugoslav partisan, Idrijske Krnice, June 11, 1944 ...........
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Slovenia and Waffen-SS

Post by tigre » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:02 pm

Hello to all :D; more.................................................

Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr 1943-1944.

From the SS Karstwehr Battalion to the SS 24. Waffen-Gebirgs- (Karstjäger-) Division.

Brand also thought about how to win the partisan struggle politically. In a letter to Himmler of January 6, 1944, he praised the Slovenian people as "affectionate, loyal and highly developed". Therefore, he recommended that the Slovenian population be included in the fight and that a Slovenian Karstwehr troop be established to deal with the threat of the guerrillas. However, the leadership of the SS no longer trusted Brand for this task because in the spring of 1944 he was replaced as a battalion commander. Himmler liked his suggestion to fight resistance. The purely German SS Karstwehr Battalion was to be extended to the SS 24. Waffen-Gebirgs (Karstjäger) Division and would consist of "members of the population living on the Adriatic coast", as established in the order of the SS-Führungshauptamt dated July 18, 1944 in order to organize this unit. However, the first recruits came from areas outside the zone of operations of the Adriatic coast: in the summer of 1944 500 soldiers from South Tyrol arrived. Therefore, the SS hunters of Carso (Karstjäger) should form a military-cultural symbiosis of the southeastern alpine region and the karst zone, possibly also with a view to a later direct connection of this area with the German Reich.

The basis for the recruitment was a military service for the male population in the area of ​​operation of the Adriatic coast. The occupants had already presented it on November 29, 1943, giving men the possibility of freely choosing their units. For example, Italians (and Friulians) served mainly in police battalions, while Slovenes and Croats opted for local self-defense formations. In the new SS Karstjäger Division, now all ethnic groups should serve together. However, the recruitment stalled. Although the division should only reach a total force of 6,626 men, this objective was clearly lost. Three months after the order, the division counted only 1,989 men in September 1944 and 2,479 men in November. In general, this was a sobering result. The only connecting element between occupier and occupied was often the common enemy: the communist resistance movement. But this seemed to be a political alternative for increasingly larger sectors of the population in the face of the impending German defeat.

Significantly, during the third and last training period of the Division, from February to March 1945, there did not seem to be any Slovenian or Croatian recruit. On the other hand, in addition to 300 Italians, there were 170 Spaniards, all former soldiers of the "Blue Division", who had fought on the eastern front from 1941 to 1943. In total, the SS Karstjäger Division was able to recruit a maximum of just under 1,000 local men from the Adriatic coastal zone for military service to their ranks during their existence. The ambitious project to defeat the resistance movement with native Waffen-SS soldiers failed terribly. These had in the leadership of the division anyway not very high esteem. Frustrated, the commandant, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Werner Hahn, wrote in November 1944 that "I would rather fight with 2,000 men than with 6,000 unreliable soldiers." The Italians now "are not soldiers," Hahn said scornfully.

Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.
https://www.welt.de/geschichte/zweiter- ... ngene.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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SS Karstjäger volunteers also used mules as pack animals .......................................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Slovenia and Waffen-SS

Post by tigre » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Hello to all :D; more.................................................

Brutal and incompetent. Battalion of SS-Karstwehr 1943-1944.

From the SS Karstwehr Battalion to the SS 24. Waffen-Gebirgs- (Karstjäger-) Division.

But there were also serious shortcomings in the German Führerkorps (Official Corps), not only in quantitative but also qualitative terms. Nobody typified it better than Hahn himself. Although he was considered a specialist in the fight in the mountains, previously he had only commanded a training battalion. There, in the summer of 1944, he had been judged as "inadequate" for health reasons for his employment in the front and higher hierarchies. Only a few weeks later he was in charge of organizing the division, and with the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer, or Major!

Also with respect to regimental and battalion commanders, his new area of ​​employment was beyond his technical abilities. For example, Kühbandner and Merwald led a battalion at the age of 22 and 25 years, respectively. An operations officer - Ia - with formation of General Staff was evidently never assigned to the division. In the personnel files you can find that almost no officer had a profile that would have fitted into a multi-ethnic division. Key qualifications, such as foreign language skills or experience in handling non-German units, were not available.

Undoubtedly, in the sixth year of the war, the staff of the Waffen-SS was so limited that only unsuitable officers could be found for the reorganization of a division. But this justification is too light, when we compare it with other divisions created at the same time in the Balkans as the SS Divisions "Skanderbeg" and "Kama" with Muslim troops. The officer corps of these two divisions was composed heterogeneously, but in general the selected officers, because of their military qualifications and previous employments, were much better prepared for the new tasks than those of the SS Karstjäger. One can only draw a conclusion from these differences in personnel policy: the SS gave more political importance to the establishment of Muslim units in the Balkans than to a multi-ethnic unit in the area of ​​operations of the Adriatic coast ................

Source: Militärgeschichte · Zeitschrift für historische Bildung · Ausgabe 1/2017.
https://www.welt.de/geschichte/zweiter- ... ngene.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image008.jpg
A team of horses dragging a light gun on a mountain path, part of a series of propaganda photos about the training of the SS-Karstwehr hunters.......................................
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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