Georgian volunteers

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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Kordes
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Georgian volunteers

Post by Kordes » Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:26 pm

My late father told me, he and some other Germans formed the Georgian Field Btl. I/9 from Soviet POWs in Ukraine. He was at the Caucasian front and retreated crossing the Asow sea. From Krim island, he was sent to Kriegsschule Hannover and lateron Warthelager Posen. As a Lt. he was sent to reiwStammRgt 1 at Castres/South France. After the south invasion, they retreates through the "Black Mountains" (Montagnes noirs) under severe attacks of the Maquis. They had to abandon all material and went by night in small groups to the Rhone valley, which was already occupied by the Allies. The then surrendered and was in French captivity in Algeria until 1947.
At the Freiburg Archives, there is nothing about both unities. I want to know more about them.

Lorenz
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Re: Georgian volunteers

Post by Lorenz » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:06 am

Kordes wrote:My late father told me, he and some other Germans formed the Georgian Field Btl. I/9 from Soviet POWs in Ukraine. He was at the Caucasian front and retreated crossing the Asow sea. From Krim island, he was sent to Kriegsschule Hannover and lateron Warthelager Posen. As a Lt. he was sent to reiwStammRgt 1 at Castres/South France. After the south invasion, they retreates through the "Black Mountains" (Montagnes noirs) under severe attacks of the Maquis. They had to abandon all material and went by night in small groups to the Rhone valley, which was already occupied by the Allies. The then surrendered and was in French captivity in Algeria until 1947.
At the Freiburg Archives, there is nothing about both unities. I want to know more about them.
Here is what I have:

Georg. Feld-Btl. I./9
Formed 14 September 1942 at Truppen-Übungsplatz Mitte near Radon in central Poland by the Georgische Legion for the German 9. Infanterie-Div., then located in North Caucasia. It was formed from I. Ausbildungs-Btl. of the Georgische Legion, which had come into existence in July 1942. The Bataillon had a Stab and 1. – 5. Kp.
History
10 Nov 42: assigned to Heeresgruppe A this date with 38 German cadre and 927 Georgians. The Bataillon was recommended for light combat duties only until experience gained.
12 Dec 42: attached to Grenadier-Rgt. 57 (9. Inf.Div.) this date.
1 Mar 43: after 3 and a half months in North Caucasia, ordered to transfer to Crimea.
24 Apr 43: reported to be in transfer to Feodosiya/Crimea with 840 Georgians where it successively came under 153. Feld-Ausbildungs-Div. and then 355. Infanterie-Div. in Crimea.
27 Nov 43: Georg. Feld-Btl. I./9 ordered disbanded as “unreliable” by OKH, with the personnel still deemed reliable to be sent to Truppen-Übungsplatz Wildflecken in Germany to fill up other units. This order was apparently not carried out.
Winter 1943-44: Btl. in South Ukraine attached to 50. Infanterie-Div.
Apr 44: transferred from South Ukraine to France and incorporated into Freiwillige-Stamm-Rgt. 1.
30 Dec 44: its Feldpostnummer was not deleted until this date, which suggests it retained its identity until November or December 1944.
FpN: 26230
Kommandeur:
Hptm. Kraus (Jul 42 - 11 Aug 42)
Oblt. Kurt Strack (12 Aug 42 - ? ) 2/43, 4/43

[Sources: Tessin, Georg - Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945, III:135; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-78 roll 417/913; T-311 roll 150/993; roll 151/927).


Freiwillige-Stamm-Rgt. 1
Ordered formed 1 February 1944 (the FpN for the Regimentsstab was entered in the FpÜ on 26 Apr 44) in Castres/southwest France as a Regimentsstab to command Turkestanian, Georgian and North Caucasian replacement troops. Assigned to the Freiwillige Stammdivision.
History
Mar 44: transferred to Albi/42 km N of Castres.
Apr 44: the Regiment’s first troop components arrived and consisted of Turk. Bataillon I./370, Georg. Feld-Btl. II./4 and Georg. Feld-Btl. I./9 following their transfer to France from South Ukraine.
12 Jun 44: the Regiment’s Turk personnel were ordered reassigned to the Turk. Ausbildungs- und Ersatz-Brigade this date.
Aug – Sep 44: Freiw.Stamm-Rgt. 1 was broken up and largely scattered during the retreat from France and little of it remained by mid-September.
17 Sep 44: the Regiment’s North Caucasian component with 375 men was located just north of Kaiserstuhl near Freiburg on this date.
1945: Regimentsstab headquartered in Grüntal/Bernau near Berlin and continued to exist to the end of the war.
FpN: 12700
Kommandeur:

[Sources: Tessin – II:27, XIV:270; Kannapin; J.Thorwald - The Illusion: Soviet Soldiers in Hitler’s Armies.]


If you discover more detailed information about these two Verbände, please let me know. Detailed information is hard to find for many of these Legion- and Ost- units.

--Lorenz

Kordes
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Re: Georgian volunteers

Post by Kordes » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:39 pm

Thank you for your Informations!
Indeed, I have some more informations. My father wrote them down for me but unfortunately by the moment all my litterature is packed in a lot of boxes as I am about to reorganize my room, which has to be painted at first... When the manuscript will be availiable again, I will tell you more.

Lorenz
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Re: Georgian volunteers

Post by Lorenz » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:01 pm

Kordes wrote:Thank you for your Informations!
Indeed, I have some more informations. My father wrote them down for me but unfortunately by the moment all my litterature is packed in a lot of boxes as I am about to reorganize my room, which has to be painted at first... When the manuscript will be availiable again, I will tell you more.
Fair enough. I will look forward to whatever information you have.

Cheers,

--Lorenz

gogi
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Georgian volunteers

Post by gogi » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:52 am

I am a Georgian historian working on the history of the Wehrmachts Georgian Legion. In 2003 I have published my book on the Georgian volunteers of the Wehrmacht in the Second World War.
I have a lot of information about I/9 Georgian bataillon from the German, Georgian and Soviet-russian sources.
Please contact me on my hotmail: [email protected]
I will send to you the detailed information.

Sincerely yours,
Gogi

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:10 am

Hi Gogi -

Welcome to the forum. Information on the Georgian volunteers is quite scarce so your expertise here is most valuable.

Will your book be published in German or English?

Best regards,

George

gogi
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Georgian volunteers

Post by gogi » Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:33 am

Thank you George,

My book on the Georgian Legion was published in 2003 in Tbilisi on Russian (about 200 pages). In this work I am dealing with all Georgian units in the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS during the Second World War.
Recently I have published on French in the 39/45 magazine (n°235) an article on the Sonderverband "Bergmann" in the battle of Caucasus.
Now I am working on the second, enlarged edition of my book. It will be
published soon in Georgia.
Of course, I am always ready to help with expertice. If you, on your part, have some informations on the Georgian volunteers I will be extremely gratefull.

Respectfully,

Gogi

Lorenz
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Post by Lorenz » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:25 am

Yes, welcome, Gogi. I think we may have met before over on Axis History forum.

How unfortunate it is that your books are only in Russian and Georgian. I am sure they must contain much new and previously unknown information on the Georgian units in the Wehrmacht. Perhaps some day we will all have advanced software and interface devices on our computers for the instant processing of books in other languages. Or, perhaps all books will be distributed with a CD-ROM tucked in the back cover that contains the book in 6 or more common languages for those readers who do not read the book's printed language. Regretably, I am too old to have much hope of ever seeing those days, so the information in your books much go unknown to me.

Regards,

--Lorenz

gogi
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Georgian Volunteers

Post by gogi » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:20 pm

Thank you very much, Lorenz.

Your information about I/9 Georgische Feldbataillon is really very interesting. Only one remark:
1) One can found the detailed information about I/9th short Caucasian compaign in the excellent book of the late Dr. J. Hoffmann. Kaukasien 1942/43. Das deutsche Heer und die Orientvölker der Sovjetunion. Freiburg, 1991. SS. 304-307.

2) Tessin's information, that during its stay in Crimea I/9 was incorporated in 50th German Division is not correct. In reality, as well as Sonderverband "Bergmann" in spring of 1943, I/9th was incorporated in 153th Feld Ausbildung Division. At this time, generals Koestring and Helmich had an "unofficial" project to form in Crimea, on the basis of the Caucasian bataillons, the mixed German-Caucasian Division, on the model of 162th Turkic division of General Niedermayer. But Hitlers reluctivness does not permitted to them fulfill these project.
At the end of 1943 - beginning 1944, beeing incorporated in the 355th division, I/9 bataillon guarded the railway lines and stations on Kerch Peninsula.
In the april of 1944, was evacuated from Sevastophol to the South France and then incorporated in the 1st regiment of the Freiwillige Stamm Division. Bataillons companies were dislocated in Toulouse, Saint-Soulpice and Mazamet with the aim to guard road Toulouse - Bordeau.
Only few members of bataillon, managed to retreat with the German troops after the Allies invasion of French Riviera.
Far more details see in my book.

Respectfully yours,

Gogi

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:41 pm

Hi Gogi -

I found some information regarding a Georgian SS officer:

Iwan Scherwaschidse

29 Aug 1892: Born in Suchum-Kele.

1914-1917: Served in the Inguschsky Cavalry Regiment of the Tsarist Army. Decorated several times, rose to the rank of first lieutenant.

December 1917 - 1921: Served in the Tschetschensky Cavalry Regiment (North Caucasian) and fought against the Bolsheviks. Wounded three times, promotion to captain.

Exile in France.

1941: Enters German service. Serves in the East for eight months. Discharged.

October 1944: Volunteers for Georgischen Reiter Verband der SS.


Best regards,

George

gogi
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Georgian Volunteers

Post by gogi » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:20 pm

Hi George,

Thank you, for interesting information. What is your source?
George Chervachidze was from the ruling prince family of Abkhazia (North-Western province of Georgia). According your information, during the Civil War in Russia, he served not in Georgian, but in the White Army of general Denikin. Namely, in the so called "Whiled Division", composed from the mountaineers of the North Caucasus.
I have never heard of his service in the Georgian Regiment of the Kaukasischer Verband der Waffen SS. But it is interesting to note, that Prince Colonel Phridon Tzulukidze, the commander of Georgian regiment, was also an old emigrant and served in 1918-21 in the Army of the Independent Georgia. In the emigration, he served as an commander of "Spahis" regiment in the French Army Foreign Legion. In the 1936-39 he participated in the Spanish Civil War and was decorated by Franco. The only squadron from the Georgian Regiment, engaged on the autumn 1944 in battle, was those headed by prince Nikoloz Nakashidze, who defended the road between Palmanova and the coast of the Adhriatic sea. In general, Kaukasischer Verband succesfully participated in the 3 military operations against the red Italian and Titos partisans.
Due to P.Tzulukidzes activity, Georgians stayed in the North Italy, and thus, unlike other Caucasians (mainly North Caucasians and Azerbaidjanians) escaped the forced repatriation in the USSR.

Respectfully,

Gogi

sid guttridge
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Post by sid guttridge » Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:23 pm

Hi Guys,

Feldgrau at its best.

Congratulations to all concerned. More please.

Cheers,

Sid.

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:38 pm

Hi Gogi -

The source of my information is the officer's personnel file, which unfortunately only consists of one page.

If you'd like copies of this document, send me a pm with your address and I'll get the copy out to you.

Best regards,

George

gogi
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Georgian volunteers

Post by gogi » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:12 am

Dear George,

Thank you very much for this documents. I have found among my sources aditional infos about Chervachidze. At the beginning of the Germano-Soviet war, he, as some other Georgian emigrants in the France, have volunteered in the organisation "Tamara", created by Abwehr for the sabotage aims and clandestine activity behind the Soviet lines in Georgia. This organisation was divided on the two groups; "Tamara-I" (at the level of section) and "Tamara-II" (at the level of company). After training in the Romania, "Tamara-II" was incorporated in the Caucasian Sonderverband "Bergmann", which in the spring of 1942 participated in the battle of Caucasus. In this actions Chervachidze was wounded and sent back to Germany. "Tamara-I", at the beginning of the september of 1942, was parachuted from the Crimea in the Western Georgia, and, as Germains failed to overcome the Great Caucasian mountain chain, was partly captured, partly annihilated in the warfare fightings.


Respectfully yours,

Gogi

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:38 pm

Hi Gogi -

I'm glad you liked the documents.

Do you know what happened to Chervachidze at the end of the war? Do you think he survived? He had six children (a son when he was only about sixteen!). Perhaps internet searches can turn up family members.

I will keep my eyes open for more files on Georgian officers.

By the way, I'd love to see your 39-45 article!

Best regards,

George

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