Hello to all
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
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.