31. SS Freiwilligen Division?

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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Helmut Von Moltke

31. SS Freiwilligen Division?

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Thu May 18, 2006 5:43 am

hi, was the 31.SS Freiwilge Division made of Czechs or what? Wikipedia says that it's made out Volksdeutsche from that area, but a award winning site about the German side of WWII, a sub section on Freiwilge says that they were Czechs. Anyone have any more info? thanks. :D

the site: http://www.geocities.com/herrvermylen/W ... teers.html

cheers,

kevin.

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu May 18, 2006 6:51 am

Hi HvM,

One has to wonder who gave the site an award?

The division contained volksdeutsch from the Bohmen-Mahren Protectorate and Slovakia, men from various W-SS depots in the Protectorate and (if I remember rightly) elements of the ad hoc von Schill regiment previously used to suppress the Slovak National Uprising. (This all bears double checking).

Many volksdeutsch had mixed German-Czech ancestry, but the Germans recruited them because of the German bit. (Hitler's own surname is thought to have been medieval Czech and President Hindenberg used to call him "The Bohemian Corporal").

In 1941-43 the puppet Czech government of the Protectorat three times tried to get Germany to accept a volunteer legion like the French and Spanish to fight against the USSR, but was rejected each time. It wanted thereby to gain national recognition in Axis Europe. By mid 1944 the Germans so distrusted the Czechs that they sent 11 out of the 12 battalions of the ±6,000 man Protectorate Army (Vladni Vojsko) to Italy as construction troops. However, defections to the Italian Partisans were so great that the formation was disarmed in late 1944. The 1st Battalion still in Prague took part in the uprising against the Gwermans in early May 1945.

Hitler despised the Czechs and was resistant to using them militarily even if willing. He intended to displace them with German settlers and did not want to grant them any national recognition within Axis Europe, which a volunteer legion on the Eastern Front would have achieved.

Cheers,

Sid.

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Fri May 19, 2006 6:32 am

thanks for the explanation. :[]

ah well, about the Czechs in Wehramcht thing, which the Germans were so hesitant to do so, Czechs living in German annexed land like the Sudentenland, etc were conscripted to the Wehrmacht, to add to the explanation.

cheers,

Kevin.

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Post by sid guttridge » Mon May 22, 2006 3:44 am

Hi HvM,

Sudetenland Czechs were conscripted by the German Army wehrkreise that were extended into them in October 1938: (from memory, WKVIII, WKIV, WKVII and WKXVII.) They have nothing to do with W-SS recruitment in the Protectorate.

Cheers,

Sid.

pzrmeyer2

Post by pzrmeyer2 » Mon May 22, 2006 8:35 am

sid guttridge wrote:Hi HvM,

Sudetenland Czechs were conscripted by the German Army wehrkreise that were extended into them in October 1938: (from memory, WKVIII, WKIV, WKVII and WKXVII.) They have nothing to do with W-SS recruitment in the Protectorate.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid, any idea how many? Seems a very small demograpic, given the large Germany majoritites in these lands.

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Post by sid guttridge » Mon May 22, 2006 8:47 am

Hi pzrmeyer,

I have the population stats somewhere, but not the recruitment stats. Yes, it was only a relatively small minority. I will dig the population stats out.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Post by sid guttridge » Wed May 24, 2006 2:58 am

Hi pzrmeyer,

When Germany took over the Sudetenland in October 1938 it included 676,478 Czechs.

At the same time 261,524 Germans remained in Czechoslovakia, nearly half of them in Slovakia.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: 31. SS Freiwilge Division?

Post by hardi » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:31 am

Helmut Von Moltke wrote:hi, was the 31.SS Freiwilge Division made of Czechs or what?
hi,

unfortunately that is absolutely false, see Pencz, Rudolf: For the Homeland! The History of the 31st Waffen-SS Volunteer Grenadier Division
Solihull, UK: Helion & Company, 2002

75% of the enl. men were volksdeutsche from Bácska (~ Komitat Batschka, Hungary).

The Div. raised at 44. oct. 1. and had nothing to do with the former Czechoslovakia.

It seems the mistakenly given name ("Böhmen und Mähren") lead us to an other mistake again :)

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Re: 31. SS Freiwilge Division?

Post by Le Page » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:40 pm

hardi wrote:
Helmut Von Moltke wrote:hi, was the 31.SS Freiwilge Division made of Czechs or what?
hi,

unfortunately that is absolutely false, see Pencz, Rudolf: For the Homeland! The History of the 31st Waffen-SS Volunteer Grenadier Division
Solihull, UK: Helion & Company, 2002

75% of the enl. men were volksdeutsche from Bácska (~ Komitat Batschka, Hungary).

The Div. raised at 44. oct. 1. and had nothing to do with the former Czechoslovakia.

It seems the mistakenly given name ("Böhmen und Mähren") lead us to an other mistake again :)
Yes, 31st Division Batschka had personnel mostly from Slovakia and Hungary. I don't know why post-war historians confuse this unit with the Division Bohmen-Mahren, which doesn't have a number.

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Post by Paulus II » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:14 am

Batschka:

Wikipedia:
Bis 1918 gehörte die gesamte Region zum habsburgischen Ungarn, danach kam der südliche Teil zu Serbien bzw. Jugoslawien, der nördliche Teil verblieb bei Ungarn.
"Until 1918 the whole region was part of the Habsburg Hungary, after that the southern part became part of Servia/Yugoslavia whilst the northern part remained Hungarian".

http://teacher2b.com/batschka/batschka.htm
http://spotlightongames.com/genealogy/backa-wel.html

German settlers in the region:
Image


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Post by Pisti3 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:24 am

On the 1.march 1945 a group of 250 sol. were transferred to the division from the 26th. Hungaria. They were very young soldiers (16-17) members of the arrowcross youngs. Name: SS-Freiwilligen-Füsilier-Battalion 31 "Szálasi".
Commander: Zvonimir Bernwald Untersturmführer
Combats:Waldenburg,Strehlen

In Gustav Lombards memoir they performed well,but most of them died at Strehlen.


source:
Image

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