Military Review

Postponed end of the war. The uprising of Georgian legionaries on Texel island

38

The Eierland lighthouse after restoration and how it looked after the end of the fighting


Translation of an article from Deutsche Waffenjournal, no. 6 for 2020. Lyricist: Andreas Wilhelmus. Translation: Slug_BDMP.

In early April 1945, on the Dutch island of Texel, a bloody uprising of Georgian soldiers of the 822nd Infantry Battalion of the Wehrmacht against their German comrades began. Some historians call these events "the last battle of World War II in Europe."

From the seaport of Den Helder, double-decker ferries depart regularly during the tourist season with a frequency of once every half hour to Texel Island, separated from the mainland by a 5-km shallow strait. Today this island is very popular with many tourists, including German ones. One of the main attractions is the Ayerland lighthouse in the village of De Cocksdorp in the northern part of the island. Only those who bother to head to the lighthouse may notice a bunker hidden in the dunes, reminding that this idyll has not always reigned on the island. But most of the visitors to the lighthouse are more interested in the picturesque landscape that opens from the tower.

The lighthouse was badly damaged during the war, and during the restoration a new wall was erected around the surviving parts. A passage was left between the 5th and 6th floors, where numerous traces of bullets and fragments remained. And only those who are seriously interested can find out where, when and how the hostilities ended in Europe.

Prologue


During the campaign against France in May 1940, German troops invaded neutral countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. Five days later, the Netherlands were forced to capitulate and the country was occupied by the Germans. On May 29, a Wehrmacht quartermaster arrived on the island to prepare him for the arrival of troops. There they were already awaited by some of the defensive structures built by the Royal Dutch Army in the interwar period. The Germans were not satisfied with them, and as part of the construction of the Atlantic Wall, they built numerous additional fortifications. Thus, by the end of the war, there were about 530 bunkers on the island.


Texel Island Bunker Models - Parts of the Atlantic Wall on display at the local military and aviation museum

During the occupation, the Germans enjoyed the support of local supporters of the Dutch National Socialist Movement, who constituted about 7 percent of the island's population. The island was strategically important as he and Den Helder covered important convoy routes from the mainland to the West Frisian Islands. For the British side, the island served as a reference point for bombers. Some of them were shot down over the island by the German air defense and aviation... This is evidenced by 167 graves of British pilots in the cemetery of Den Burg - the administrative center of the island.

But active hostilities bypassed the island until the very end of the war.

In general, the life of German soldiers on the island was quite calm, and in the summer months it generally resembled a resort. Not like their comrades on the Eastern Front, sent by Hitler on June 22, 1941 against a former ally. Soon they stood at the gates of Moscow, but in December 41 they were forced to go on the defensive, since the Russians were better prepared for war in winter.

There, the Germans began to recruit prisoners of war of non-Russian origin for the so-called eastern legions. One of such legions was the Georgian one, formed in 1942 at a military training ground near the Polish Radom.

Georgian Legion


The core of this formation was the Georgian emigrants who fled from the Bolsheviks and found refuge in Germany. To them were added the Georgians recruited in the prisoner of war camps. Of course, among these defectors were convinced supporters of Georgia, independent of the Soviet Union, but the majority simply wanted to break out of the camps with their cold, hunger and disease and just survive. The total strength of the legion was about 12000 men, divided into 8 infantry battalions of 800 men each. Also, the legion consisted of about 3000 German servicemen who made up its "frame" and occupied command posts. The formal commander of the legion was the Georgian Major General Shalva Mglakelidze, but there was also a German headquarters subordinate directly to the German commander of the eastern legions. Part of the legions were stationed in France and the Netherlands to maintain the occupation regime and defend against a possible Allied invasion.


Parade of the Georgian Legion. The officers are dressed in national costumes, while the privates are in the field uniform of the Wehrmacht

Thus, the 822th Georgian Infantry Battalion "Queen Tamara" was sent to the Dutch Zandvoort to participate in the construction of the "Atlantic Wall". Here, the first contacts of pro-Soviet Georgians with representatives of the left wing of the Dutch Resistance were established, which, after the landing of the Allies in Normandy, resulted in a plan for a joint uprising against the German occupiers. This should have happened at the moment the Georgians were sent to the front line. In addition, the Georgian legionaries supplied the underground weapons, explosives, ammunition and medicines from German stocks. But on January 10, 1945, the 822th battalion was transferred to Texel Island to replace the North Caucasian Legion unit there. But even there, the legionnaires quickly established contact with the local Resistance and developed a plan for an uprising. Its code name was the Russian expression "Happy birthday". After the war, the commander of the 822th battalion, Major Klaus Breitner, said in an interview that he and other German soldiers in the battalion were unaware of the impending uprising.


Commander of the 822 battalion, Major Klaus Breitner

"Happy Birthday!"


This day came on April 6, 1945 exactly at 1 am. The day before, the Georgians learned that 500 of them would be sent to the mainland - to the front. They immediately informed the Dutch underground about this. They also hoped that other eastern legions on the mainland would join the uprising. The leader of the uprising on Texel Island was the commander of the 3rd company of the 822th Georgian battalion, Shalva Loladze. To use the surprise effect, the Georgians attacked the Germans, using only edged weapons - daggers and bayonets. The guards were formed so that they included one Georgian and one German. They attacked suddenly, and therefore managed to destroy about 400 Germans and Georgian officers loyal to them, but the battalion commander, Major Breitner, managed to escape.


The leader of the uprising Shalva Loladze, a former captain of the Red Army Air Force. In the photo - in the form of the Wehrmacht

However, Loladze's plan was not fully implemented. Although the rebels managed to take possession of Den Burg and the Texel administration, they could not capture the coastal batteries in the south and north of the island. Major Breitner managed to get to the southern battery, contact Den Helder and request support. Also, the events on the island were reported to the main apartment in Berlin. The response was an order: to destroy all Georgians.

In the early morning, heavy batteries began shelling the Teksla bunker seized by the Georgians, preparing a counterattack by German troops arriving from the mainland. Subsequent events can be called an act of retaliation. Some local residents joined the Georgians and took part in the battles. Both sides took no prisoners. Many civilians were also injured - those suspected of complicity in the mutiny were put up against the wall without trial.


Bunker "Texla" - the operational center of the German troops on the island. Photo of 2017


A map from a local museum shows the position of the front line by the end of the second day of the uprising

Soon after noon, Loladze and his comrades-in-arms were forced to leave the Texla bunker and retreat to Den-Burg. The Germans attempted to persuade the Georgians defending Den Burg to surrender, but the Georgian parliamentarians sent for negotiations joined their fellow countrymen. After that, the German coastal batteries of Texel, Den Helder and the nearby island of Vlieland opened fire on the city. This resulted in civilian casualties. The Georgians were forced to retreat to the north, and also leave the small port village of Oudeshild. Thus, by the end of the day on April 6, only the settlements of De-Kogg, De-Waal, De-Coxdorp, the vicinity of the Vliit airfield and the lighthouse, in close proximity to the northern coastal battery, remained under their control. This situation persisted for the next two weeks.

The Georgians, relying on well-known fortifications, switched to partisan tactics: attacking from ambushes, they inflicted significant losses on the Germans. The Germans destroyed every bunker, settlement, peasant farmstead, where they assumed the presence of insurgents. This led to more and more civilian casualties.

The Germans were pulling more and more forces and heavy weapons to the island and ultimately managed to push the Georgians into the northern part of Texel, where most of them settled in the area adjacent to the lighthouse and in it. The rest of the Georgians hid in various parts of the island, some even took refuge in minefields. Some were sheltered by local peasants, risking their own lives and the lives of their families. If hidden insurgents were found, the Germans shot those who gave them shelter, and burned the courtyards.

Ultimately, the Germans stormed the lighthouse. The Georgians who defended it committed suicide.

On 22 April, about 2000 Germans staged a raid across the island in search of the remaining Georgians. Loladze and one of his comrades hid in a ditch on one of the farms, but were betrayed by its owner and killed.

Nevertheless, the surviving rebels, especially those that found cover in the minefields, continued to fight, ambushing the Germans. This continued after the surrender of German forces in Holland on May 5, and after Germany's unconditional surrender on May 8.

The final


Local residents were already awaiting the arrival of the allies, and skirmishes continued on the island. In the end, with their mediation, a kind of truce was established: during the day the Germans could freely move around the island, and at night the Georgians could do the same. The Allies had no time for the small island, so only on May 18 a group of Canadian officers arrived in Den Burg to negotiate surrender, and on May 20 the disarmament of German troops began.


Negotiations between Canadian and German officers

In total, during the events, according to the local administration, 120 local residents and 565 Georgians were killed. Data on German casualties vary. The figures are from 800 to 2000. Currently, only the remaining fortifications, a permanent exhibition in the local museum of aviation and military stories Yes, the Georgian cemetery, named after Shalva Loladze, reminds of "the last battle on European soil."


Georgian cemetery on Texel
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 31 July 2020 07: 16 New
    +2
    In early April 1945, on the Dutch island of Texel, a bloody uprising of Georgian soldiers of the 822nd Infantry Battalion of the Wehrmacht against their German comrades began.
    fool If they were slaughtered like rams, then they were not considered comrades, eh? request
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 31 July 2020 08: 10 New
      +5
      It seems that the translation is unsuccessful, about "comrades".
      1. Slug_BDMP
        31 July 2020 09: 05 New
        13
        the original was "kameraden" - I left it that way
  2. 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 31 July 2020 07: 30 New
    +8
    Thank Slug_BDMP
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 31 July 2020 07: 44 New
    +1
    In early April 1945, on the Dutch island of Texel, a bloody uprising of Georgian soldiers of the 822nd Infantry Battalion of the Wehrmacht against their German comrades began.
    . laughing Comrade went to comrade, and bloody ... If they are comrades, so what have not been divided ..? smile And another question, how can you hide in minefields, without losses, and still conduct military operations from there?
    1. VIP
      VIP 31 July 2020 13: 36 New
      +2
      "how can you hide in minefields, without losses", if I put mines, then you fucking take me, and I'll easily get salt and pepper under your tail
    2. Slug_BDMP
      31 July 2020 17: 50 New
      +1
      I join the previous speaker. They most likely set these minefields themselves, and therefore were well oriented in them. And how do we know that there is no loss? Maybe there were mine losses?
    3. Akuzenka
      Akuzenka 1 August 2020 17: 48 New
      +4
      Betray twice how many times this was observed. No honor, no dignity! In my opinion, this is a rebellion, just a way to keep your skin from the punishing sword of justice.
      1. Fibrizio
        Fibrizio 3 August 2020 15: 43 New
        +1
        I would really not want to ever face the choice of death or joining a national formation on the side of the enemy.
        Here I think it is necessary to assess the degree of harm (guilt) caused by a person who was forced to join such a formation.
        If he peeled potatoes in the train, I don't think it's worth shooting for that.
        In general, everything is very complicated here.
  4. Olgovich
    Olgovich 31 July 2020 08: 00 New
    +5
    Yes, they only rebelled when they were sent to their death, to the Eastern Front

    Nevertheless, even if the Germans write with respect about their actions, they fought with dignity.
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 31 July 2020 08: 13 New
      13
      Well, when it became clear how the war ended, they rebelled. Look, the Crimean Tatars began to en masse to ask for partisans since December 1943, when it became clear even to them that they would have to answer for 1941-42.
    2. Serg koma
      Serg koma 31 July 2020 20: 48 New
      +1
      the battalion (about 800 people) was formed from Georgians recruited by the Nazis from the camps of Soviet prisoners of war in Poland, who preferred to become defectors than to die of starvation in the camp, or under the threat of execution. It was originally used for operations against partisans in the vicinity of the Polish city of Radom. The battalion was sent west on 24 August 1943 and arrived at Zandvoort on 30 August. It remained in Zandvoort until early February 1945. The battalion was commanded by Major Klaus Breitner. At the beginning of 1944, an underground organization arose in the battalion, and the Germans, suspecting this, transferred the battalion to the island of Texel on February 6, 1945, where the Georgians were supposed to play an auxiliary role.

      “In the fall of 1944, troops of the Wehrmacht, consisting of Georgians, arrived at Texel,” says the guide of the local museum, Wim der Armen. - However, we called them "Russians", like all the natives of the USSR. The Georgians did not carry weapons, but were dressed in German uniforms: a year ago, the German leadership decided to create national units from Soviet prisoners of war - this is how their battalion "Queen Tamara" appeared. My father asked one Georgian: "How can you serve Hitler?" He replied: "We were lined up in the camp and said:" Now you will fight for the Fuhrer against the Bolsheviks. " Those who refused were killed on the spot. I agreed - and I'm waiting for the moment to take revenge. " The "Russians" immediately got in touch with the Resistance: they stole food and medicine from the warehouse for them.

      Those who continued the battle after the Victory were buried near the Texel mountain Hogeberg: fresh flowers sway under the USSR coat of arms.

      “Earlier on May 9, the Soviet ambassador always came here to lay wreaths on the“ Victims of Fascism, ”says taxi driver Ron. - But after 1991 he stopped visiting the cemetery: I don't know why.


      ... Above the tulips - signs: "Russian soldiers lie here".

      "The Crucified Island" ("Georgia-Film" USSR 1968). War film, drama. Director: Shota Managadze. In Georgian with English subtitles. Unfortunately, the Russian dubbing of the film has been destroyed. The film has been preserved in the Georgian version.
  5. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 31 July 2020 08: 48 New
    +4
    Very, very interesting page in history! And the material is excellent! I just presented all this so vividly that I simply cannot convey!
    Why hasn't Georgia made a film about it yet? I think it would be a spectacular movie!
    1. Slug_BDMP
      31 July 2020 09: 04 New
      +6
      From pedivikia:
      "In 1989 the Tbilisi publishing house" Merani "published Revaz Japaridze's novel" Holy Week ", which tells about the uprising."
      "In 1968 the film studio" Georgia-Film "released the film" The Crucified Island ", directed by Shota Managadze, script by Revaz Tabukashvili"
      There is a film on the Internet, but only in Georgian.
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 31 July 2020 09: 13 New
        +3
        Thank! Did not know. It's a pity that I don't know Georgian, but I'll look, maybe there are subtitles ...
        And all the same, I think that with the current possibilities it would be possible to reshoot!
        1. Phil77
          Phil77 31 July 2020 09: 45 New
          +6
          Good morning! Yes, there is also in Russian. Site ohdv.ru., and on YouTube there. hi
          1. Astra wild
            Astra wild 31 July 2020 13: 44 New
            +3
            My grandmother told me about these events, and later, already in part, I watched this film, but I forgot the name
      2. Phil77
        Phil77 31 July 2020 10: 03 New
        +4
        One of the participants in these events, Yevgeny Artemidze, died in Georgia in 2010.
      3. ZAV69
        ZAV69 9 August 2020 17: 40 New
        0
        Quote: Slug_BDMP
        "In 1989 the Tbilisi publishing house" Merani "published Revaz Japaridze's novel" Holy Week ", which tells about the uprising."
        "In 1968 the film studio" Georgia-Film "released the film" The Crucified Island ", directed by Shota Managadze, script by Revaz Tabukashvili"

        This is all the times of the USSR yet. And now it is somehow uncomfortable in front of future allies.
        By the way, at the end of WWI, when the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was concluded, Georgia tried to lie under the Second Reich, but the trouble is, Versailles happened and the Reich was gone
  6. Gunter prereen
    Gunter prereen 31 July 2020 09: 15 New
    0
    One more "heroes"!
    1. awdrgy
      awdrgy 2 August 2020 12: 01 New
      -2
      Are you benevolent or what?
  7. Blacksmith 55
    Blacksmith 55 31 July 2020 10: 12 New
    15
    The phrase “sent by Hitler on June 22, 1941, against a former ally,” cut the ear.
    I understand that this is a translation from a German magazine.
    The USSR has never been an ally, a non-aggression pact does not mean being an ally.
    Thanks for the article, already read about it, just refreshed my memory.
    1. DrEng527
      DrEng527 31 July 2020 21: 56 New
      -6
      Quote: Blacksmith 55
      a non-aggression pact does not mean being an ally.

      and the treaty on "Friendship and Border" between Germany and the Soviet Union of September 28, 1939, signed after the invasion of Poland by the armies of Germany and the USSR by the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the USSR People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Molotov?
      1. Pilat2009
        Pilat2009 1 August 2020 07: 16 New
        +1
        Quote: DrEng527
        and the treaty on "Friendship and Border" between Germany and the Soviet Union of September 28, 1939

        Friendship can be gritted with teeth. All countries have ever signed something. The Soviet Union defended its interests. Therefore, you can poke treaties as much as you like. Arranges an agreement, it is signed, does not suit it, it is denounced
      2. ZAV69
        ZAV69 9 August 2020 17: 41 New
        0
        Quote: DrEng527
        Agreement on "Friendship and Border"

        This is not a treaty of alliance.
        1. DrEng527
          DrEng527 9 August 2020 18: 25 New
          0
          Quote: ZAV69
          it is not a treaty of alliance.

          waiting for your definition of friendship for states ... hi
          1. ZAV69
            ZAV69 9 August 2020 18: 34 New
            0
            Quote: DrEng527
            waiting for your definition of friendship for states ...

            And I'll go from the opposite. The union treaty provides for certain actions in the event of an attack on an ally by a third party.
            1. DrEng527
              DrEng527 9 August 2020 20: 55 New
              0
              Quote: ZAV69
              And I'll go from the opposite.

              there is also an ostrich position wink I note that the Treaty of Friendship and Border is the result of the partition of Poland
              Quote: ZAV69
              certain actions when attacking an ally by a third party.

              see WW2 - USSR and Britain / USA
  8. Trilobite Master
    Trilobite Master 31 July 2020 11: 28 New
    +3
    The only thing I didn't understand is why
    Some historians call these events "the last battle of World War II in Europe."

    If we mean the clashes of the Germans and the Georgians "partisans" on the island before the arrival of the allies, then this is strange - then the continuation of hostilities can also be considered the antics of the Bandera in Ukraine or the "exploits" of the "forest brothers" in the Baltic States - many of these ghouls even have a German uniform wore ...
    Are there any explanations for this?
    Is it "difficulties in translation", a peculiar understanding of the concept of "battle" by the German author, or something else?
    1. Pilat2009
      Pilat2009 1 August 2020 07: 31 New
      0
      Quote: Trilobite Master
      clashes between Germans and "partisans" on the island of Georgians before the arrival of the allies

      The forest brothers and the Balts are irregular formations, but the partisan Japanese on the islands are quite
  9. Operator
    Operator 31 July 2020 11: 39 New
    +3
    The German author of the primary article presented himself as complete idiots (calling the USSR an ally of Germany), the Germans (declaring their losses of at least 800 people), rodents (who were so afraid of getting to the front that they were ready to cut anyone), the British (who did not shoot the command German forces on the island for the conduct of hostilities after the surrender of Germany) and the Dutch (who landscaped the graves of the rodents that provoked mass casualties among the civilian population) laughing
    1. Lynx2000
      Lynx2000 31 July 2020 23: 48 New
      +3
      He (the German author of the original source) also stated that this is "the last battle".
      It is especially striking that most of the prisoners of war were forced to "agree to serve" on the side of Nazi Germany because of the "unbearable conditions" in captivity.
      Damn - damn it ?! How European is it to justify betrayal.

      When were Prague and Czechoslovakia liberated?
      Now they are writing about the ROA uprising and their role as liberators.

      I will not be surprised that soon they will write that Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Tatars and others from Europe fought with Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Tatars and others from the USSR in order to free themselves from the "Bolshevik yoke", and the Germans have nothing to do with , so, "stood next to"!
      1. Operator
        Operator 1 August 2020 00: 40 New
        -2
        Now it is politically correct to write that Germans, Ukrainians, Georgians, Tatars, etc. fought exclusively with the Russians laughing
  10. Fitter65
    Fitter65 31 July 2020 14: 07 New
    +3
    Not like their comrades on the Eastern Front, sent by Hitler on June 22, 1941 against a former ally.
    And when was the USSR an ally of Hitler's Germany? The author, you follow the "bazaar".
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 31 July 2020 19: 12 New
      +1
      And when was the USSR an ally of Hitler's Germany? The author, you follow the "bazaar".
      Write these phrases in German and address to the author of the article.
      1. Fitter65
        Fitter65 31 July 2020 23: 52 New
        0
        Quote: 3x3zsave
        And when was the USSR an ally of Hitler's Germany? The author, you follow the "bazaar".
        Write these phrases in German and address to the author of the article.

        Well, the article is written in Russian, if I'm not mistaken, and posted on a Russian-language site. So why am I scared to ask the author questions in German?
    2. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 31 July 2020 19: 42 New
      +3
      Probably, this is how the Germans perceive the transfer of Brest by Guderian to Krivoshein in 1939 request Although already in 1940 there was some German assistance to Finland in the confrontation with the Red Army.
  11. DrEng527
    DrEng527 31 July 2020 21: 57 New
    -1
    An interesting episode, thanks to the translator hi