Most historians and writers in historical topics, talking about the siege of Leningrad, accuse of the death of hundreds of thousands of defenders of the city and its civilians exclusively the German side. For some reason, they do not take into account that the Germans surrounded Leningrad only from the south, and from the north the Finnish troops occupied positions. Without belittling the crimes of Germany, we should not forget that in addition to the citizens of the Third Reich, numerous volunteers from European countries who went to the East as “new crusaders” also took part in keeping the city in the suffocating iron ring of the blockade.
La "Divizion azul"
"Spain intends to send one legion of 15 people to 000 people in Russia." Franz Halder, War Diary, 29 June 1941, Sunday, 8 Day of War.
After the end of 1 on April 1939 of the bloody civil war, the victory of General Franco in Spain established a semi-fascist dictatorship. The Spanish nationalists considered all the local left-wing agents of the USSR, and the military assistance provided by the Soviet Union to the republican government provoked burning hatred in their hearts.
The news that Germany started the war against Soviet Russia caused unprecedented excitement among local nationalists in Spain. The cautious caudillo feared to speak directly on the side of the Axis countries. Spain’s internal situation at the start of the 40 was fragile. At least half of the country's population disliked the dictator, as of June 1941, there were up to 2 millions of political prisoners — the ideological enemies of the regime — in prisons. In addition, problems could begin with the Western allies, especially with England and the countries of Latin America. Finally, the government of the Third Reich, after weighing all the pros and cons, also preferred to see Spain as an officially neutral country.
22 June 1941 The Spanish Foreign Minister Serrano Sunnier informed the German ambassador in Madrid, Ebegard von Storer, that Spain welcomes the attack on the USSR and is ready to help by volunteers. 24 June 1941, Adolf Hitler accepted this offer. Throughout Spain, dozens of recruiting centers were opened, to which thousands of volunteers rushed. The number of people willing to fight the hated Bolsheviks exceeded 40’s expected times, due to which 2 July 1941 had recruiting centers forced to curtail their activities. Most of the volunteers were veterans of the Civil War, members of the HONS movement (Falange Espanola de las Juntas de Ofensiva National Sindicalista), who arrived at the recruiting centers in their traditional uniform - blue shirts and red berets. The unofficial name of the Spanish Volunteer Division - “Blue Division” (the German name “Blau”, Spanish - “Azul”) originated from the color of their shirts.
13 July 1941, the first echelon with volunteers went to Germany, a day later the commander of the freshly baked formation, General Muñoz Grandes (Agustín Muñoz Grandes) and his headquarters, flew there. By July 20 all the Spanish volunteers were gathered in Bavaria at the Grafenwer camp. There, the Spaniards underwent the necessary medical examination, they were given the standard field uniform of the Wehrmacht (feldgrau). From the usual infantry divisions, the Spaniards were now distinguished only by a special mark on the sleeve above the elbow. Connoisseurs of fascist heraldry depicted a shield on the division sign, a horizontal yellow stripe across a red background cut through the middle of the shield. It depicted a four-pointed black cross and five crossed arrows with their tips pointing upwards - the symbol of the phalanx. On top of all this tricky building crowned the inscription "Spain".
July 25 division received a number of the German nomenclature and was 250-th infantry division of the Wehrmacht standard configuration, consisting of three regiments of three battalions in each. The division also included an artillery regiment that included one heavy artillery division, an anti-tank division, reconnaissance and reserve battalions, several communications companies, doctors, military police and ... veterinarians. The fact is that the Germans, experiencing the need for motor transport, originally came out of a delicate situation on the assembly of the Spaniards with rolling stock. The German staff officers simply transferred all divisions of the division to horse traction. 5610 horses were captured during Wehrmacht operations in Yugoslavia. This circumstance initially caused a lot of anecdotal situations: animals did not understand the commands either in German or in Spanish.
Soldiers of the "Blue Division"
The total strength of the division was 18 693 man - 641 officer, 2272 non-commissioned officer and 15 780 lower ranks. 31 July 1941, the Spanish volunteers swore allegiance to Hitler. The division’s training in combat under the German regulations was easy, most soldiers had a wealth of experience in civil war battles, and therefore by August 20 it was announced that the unit was ready to be sent to the front.
Fig. Spanish infantry under fire
And now 29 August Spanish battalions on foot moved to the east. Ahead lay the broken roads of Lithuania, Belarus and Russia. After the 40 day march, the Spaniards finally reached Vitebsk. The command of the Wehrmacht initially intended to use the division in the central sectors of the front, but the situation demanded an urgent redeployment of troops to Army Group North, near Leningrad.
October 4 1941 of the Year “Blue Division” arrived at the front on the Novgorod-Teremets sector, where it immediately underwent its first test, an attack by the Russian infantry. At the same time, for the first time in the military reports of the Soviet troops, the message about the appearance at the front of the Spaniards under the command of General Muñoz Grandes slipped. It also stated that the division was staffed with 20-25 youth, the majority of the Phalangist ideological, who fight very bravely. October 16 German troops launched an offensive on the Volkhov-Tikhvin direction. The German units managed to break through the defenses at the junction of the 4 and 52 armies. In the Soviet frontline report from 25 of October, it was reported that "the Spanish division, taking possession of the villages of Shevelevo, Sitno, Dubrovka, Nikitino, Otensky Posad, while holding them."
In November, 1941 was hit hard, to -30. The heat-loving inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula had a hard time - quite a few soldiers got frostbite. 4 December 1941 of the year Soviet troops launched a counterattack on the positions of the 250 Infantry Division. Spaniards entrenched in frozen trenches stubbornly defended their borders. The Red Army managed to surround part of the 269-th regiment, it came to melee. Moreover, as the Soviet commanders pointed out in operational reports, the Spaniards, unlike the Germans, were not afraid of bayonet attacks, and they themselves willingly imposed on the enemy a close battle. By December 7, fighting in the Otensky Posad area had subsided, breaking through parts of the Soviet troops were thrown back. This victory cost the Spaniards dearly, for example, only the 2 battalion of the 269 regiment lost 580 people: 120 killed, 440 wounded and frostbite, 20 went missing.
Fig. Spaniards on the eastern front. Winter 1941-1942's
In late December, the Red Army launched another offensive, the Blue Division again suffered a massive strike. "In the 52 Army reports from 24, 25 and 27 December, it was reported that parts of the 250 Spanish Infantry Division, leaving Shevelevo, in the former group, are defending on the west bank of the Volkhov River in the Yamno-Erunovo-Old Bystritsa section and have stubborn resistance of our units, repeatedly turning to counterattacks, ”General I. I. recalled these events. Fedyuninsky in his book "Alarmed." Despite the staunch resistance of the enemy, the troops of the 52 Army broke through the defenses and drove the Spaniards back several dozen kilometers. On the fierce fighting, the following fact speaks: of the consolidated ski company of 1942 formed by the command of the “Blue Division” in the first days of January 206, by the middle of the month only 12 fighters remained in the ranks. The dispassionate pages of the archive of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR devoted to the interrogations of prisoners of the 250 division also confirm the high losses among the Spaniards. For example, they say that “at the beginning of the 1942 of the year, in the companies of the 269 Infantry Regiment, there remained a 30-50 man, instead of the 150. In the 3 battalion of the 263 regiment, there remained a 60-80 man in the companies, in the whole 2 battalion of the 262 regiment there was up to the 80 man. Always in the testimony of the prisoners we are talking about frostbitten ".
Having retreated to the west bank of the Volkhov River, and having received another replenishment by marching battalions, regularly arriving from Spain, the soldiers of the Blue Division took up defensive positions. However, they could not sit quietly in the warm dugouts. On January 7, the troops of the Volkhov Front delivered a new blow. The intelligence of the 225 division's headquarters of the 52 Army from 18-28 in January notes that "the 263-th and 262-th regiment of the 250-division, stubbornly resisting the actions of our units." The intensity of the fighting was great: according to the headquarters of the 52 Army, the losses of the regiments of the Spanish division reached 100-150 people daily and by the beginning of April 1942 of the year amounted to 8000 people. Despite this, the Germans treated their allies coolly. Adolf Hitler, in his 5 Table Talks on January 1942, remarked: “The Spaniards appear to the German soldiers as a gang of idlers. They view a rifle as a tool that cannot be cleaned under any circumstances. Hourly they exist only in principle. They do not go to the posts, and if they appear there, only to sleep. When the Russians launch an offensive, the locals have to wake them up. ” Let us leave these idle speculation on the conscience of the possessed Fuhrer. The German command of the 18 Army considered that the “Blue Division” with honor had withstood the most difficult trials of the 41-42 winter.
Since May 1942, the division has been fighting in the area of the so-called "Volkhovsky Cauldron", and at the end of June they participated in the most difficult battles for Maloye and Bolshoy Zamoshye, at the site of the breakthrough of units of the 305th RKKA Rifle Division. "... Before the front of the 305th division in the Great Zamoshye area, units of the 250th Spanish division approached, and the legions" Flanders "and" Netherlands "regrouped ... Our units, exhausted by previous battles, lacking shells, and some units and lacking ammunition, food, continued to provide stubborn resistance to the enemy .... Over 1000 enemy soldiers and officers were destroyed and were shot down 17 tanks... "- the extract from the report of the chief of staff of the Volkhov Front dated June 25-26, 1942" On the operation to remove the 2nd Shock Army from the encirclement "reports.
Member of those battles Major A.S. Dobrov, the former commander of the 5th battery of the 830th artillery regiment of the 305th rifle division, recalled this: “... the enemy after a massive raid aviation and artillery by the forces of two regiments - the SS regiment and the regiment of the 250th Spanish "blue" attacked the right flank of the 305th SD - the military town of Ants, but was completely defeated and went on the defensive. In Small Zamoshye, more than 200 fascists were surrounded. They were supplied with food and ammunition, which were parachuted from aircraft. Sometimes, by the will of the wind, something also got to us. ” On June 27, 1942, the last combat-ready units of the 2nd Shock Army were destroyed, the Volkhovsky Cauldron was liquidated, the war on this section of the front passed into a positional stage.
20 August 1942, the German command is beginning to divert the battered regiments and battalions of the Blue Division to the rear for rest and re-formation. On August 26, the remnants of the division were transferred to the Siverskaya, Susanino, Vyritsa, Bolshoye Lisino areas, where the long-awaited completion arrived from Spain. Compared with the initial contingent of the division, consisting of ideological opponents of communism, the newly arrived marching companies constituted a strange conglomeration of staunch phalanx, petty criminals, adventure seekers, adventurers, and just random people. There were also funny motives for joining the Blue Division. So one prisoner of war from the 269 regiment reported that he went to war to annoy his mother, the other one motivated his deed with his wife. Many recruited from career reasons: for service in Russia, a promise of two ranks was promised, others were pushed into this act by mercantile interests. For example, as indicated by S.P. Pozharskaya in his article “Spanish“ Blue Division ”on the Soviet-German front”: “every soldier of the“ Blue Division ”received Reichsmarks per month 60, they were paid at a time lifting in the amount of 100 pesetas, families of military personnel in Spain received Petets per 8 per day” . It should be noted that it was very good money for that time, considering that in Madrid the daily earnings of a qualified construction worker were 9 pesetas, a baker - 10 pesetas, the owner of a small shop - 10-20 pesetas a day.
Beginning with 10 September 1942, the Spanish 250 Division made a systematic replacement of the 121 German Infantry Division in positions near Leningrad. From the operational order for the 250 division, it follows that the border of the defended sector from the east was the railroad Kolpino-Tosno, from the west - the settlement Babolovo. So the "Blue Division" took its place in the blockade ring, taking the 29-kilometer section of the front.
General Emilio Esteban Infantes.
On December 13, 1942, General Muñoz Grandes was replaced by another well-known Spanish general, Civil War veteran Emilio Esteban Infantes. The division for the newfound commander went with shaky discipline, which was caused by both heavy losses and extreme fatigue of war veterans, and low qualities of the incoming replenishment. Disagreement reigned in the regiments, sergeants and officers regularly beat soldiers, because of the almost impunity for theft of commissaries and officers, ordinary soldiers often didn’t receive the standard products, there was almost no regular contact with Spain, letters were sent for three to four months, and almost no newspapers were seen half a year. The energetic general, using his authority, managed to bring the unit entrusted to him in relative order. And, as it turned out, on time: on the morning of January 12, 1943, the troops of the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts with the support of the Baltic fleet launched an offensive to break the blockade. By the morning of January 18, a critical situation had developed for the Germans, and the commander of the 18th German Army, Colonel General Lindeman, was forced to put forward reserves taken from other sectors of the front to meet the attacking Soviet troops. The command of the “Blue Division” allocated a battalion of the 6th regiment, consisting of the most disciplined and persistent soldiers, to be transferred to the Mgi area (workers' settlement No. 269). The Red Army successfully demonstrated all their increased power on them: by January 28, only 800 soldiers remained in the ranks of the 28-man battalion.
February 10 came the turn to get his own for the rest of the "La Divizion Azul". According to the German data against the defensive positions of the 250 division, numbering 5 608 people with 24 guns, 55 - I army concentrated 33 thousands of soldiers, 150 tanks and self-propelled artillery and several artillery regiments. After a massive artillery preparation, the Soviet troops launched an offensive in order to capture the village of Krasny Bor, the key to the entire German defense line. Fierce battles reached the highest limit. As witness of those battles testifies, ".. Spaniards fought steadfastly with daggers, shovels, hand grenades ..". In just one day, the 250 Division lost 75% personnel or 3 645 people.
The command of the "Blue Division" threw all reserves to the front, including the reserve battalion and rear units, but this did not save the situation - the Red Bor was abandoned. At the end of February 1943, the remnants of the division participated in the battles on the Kolpinsky sector, and after 19 in March, when the front stabilized, the Spanish volunteers occupied the trenches for a long time and began a tedious positional war, periodically throwing reconnaissance teams into the nearest rear of the Soviet troops. The last battle of the 250 division of the Spanish division on the Soviet-German front took place on October 4 1943 of the year east of Pushkin, when the Soviet troops conducted unsuccessful reconnaissance in the area of the 269 regiment.
In October 1943, under pressure from the Western Allies, General Franco officially withdrew the Spanish Volunteer Division from the front. The withdrawal of the Spanish troops began on October 12, the soldiers were sent by train to Germany in the city of Hof, for the subsequent departure to their homeland. However, knowing that this would complicate the Spanish-German relations, Caudillo closed his eyes to the fact that almost half of the personnel did not return home. Some soldiers succumbed to the mad propaganda of the Phalangists, others were left in the form of an order. 20 November The Spanish Volunteer Legion (Legiano Azul) was officially formed in Yamburg in November. Colonel Antonio Garcia Navarro, the former chief of staff of the Blue Division, was appointed commander of the new legion. The Legion formed the 1943 infantry battalion (Banderas) under the command of Majors Ibarro and Garcia, while the technical and auxiliary mixed battalions were led by a major with a resounding surname Virgil. The number of this military unit consisted of 2 man. For several weeks, the Legion took part in anti-partisan actions near Narva, and at the end of December 2133 was transferred to the east, where it entered the Wehrmacht 1943 Regiment, stationed in the Lyuban station, under the name of the 450 Grenadier Regiment.
Fig. "In the frozen trenches under Leningrad"
25 December 1943 of the year a squall of fire struck the position of the 121 Division - the Red Army launched an offensive. Within hours, Legien Azul was literally wiped off the face of the earth. 26 January pitiful remnants of the regiment fought for Tosno, then for Luga. In mid-February 1944, the few Spaniards left alive were transferred to Estonia. In mid-March, Franco demanded in an ultimatum form the return of Spanish citizens to Germany from Germany. 12 April, "Blue Legion" was officially disbanded.
In total, during the participation of the Spanish units in the fighting on the Eastern Front, about 55 000 people passed through their ranks. The exact number of dead, wounded, missing and captured Spaniards in 1941-43 is unknown. According to German data, the losses of the 250 Infantry Division were 12 726 people, including 3 943 (including 153 officer) killed, 8 446 wounded, 326 missing. In the personal archive of General Franco there are data on total losses in 12 737 people of them 6 286 killed. Western sources call the number of losses in 4 954 killed and 8 700 injured. According to the documents of the Main Directorate for the Affairs of POWs and Interned Persons, the USSR voluntarily surrendered and were captured in the 452 Spaniard battle.
Both commanders of the 250 Division were awarded Knight Crosses with Oak Leaves, two Spaniards were awarded Gold Crosses, 138 soldiers received an Iron Cross I class, 2 359 - Iron Cross II class, another 2 216 soldiers earned Spanish Military crosses with swords (War Merit with Swords).
Unlike many other foreigners in the service of Germany, the Spaniards were absolutely sure that they were not going to enslave, but to liberate Russia from the Bolshevik yoke. They called their opponents not “Russians”, but “Reds”. The Spaniards of the “Blue Division” were the Europe from which the opponents of the Soviet system were waiting for “deliverance from Stalinist tyranny”. It seems that the soldiers of the 250 Infantry Division were the only occupiers who simultaneously got along with irreconcilability towards the enemy at the front and relatively good-natured attitude towards civilians.
Den Norske Legion
30 November 1939 of the year between Finland and the USSR, the war began. Thousands of thousands of foreign volunteers joined the ranks of the Finnish army. Norwegian volunteers in the number of 600 people arrived in the country of Suomi in December 1939, and after a short training, took part in the hostilities. After the end of the Winter War in March 1940, the inhabitants of the fjord country went to their homeland, where they were greeted as national heroes. In Europe, the war was already raging at that time, and in April 1940 came the turn of the Norwegians to experience the strike of the Wehrmacht’s iron fist. As a result of the operation “Teaching on the Weser”, the German troops occupied the southern and central part of Norway, being ahead of the Anglo-French invasion for just a few days. 9 April 1940, the pro-Nazi National Unity party (Nasjonal samling), under the leadership of Vidkun Quisling, officially came to power in the country, having no political weight in the country before.
After the German attack on the Soviet Union, the leaders of the National Unity party, as well as many well-known Norwegians, such as the Nobel Prize winner writer Knut Hamsun, proposed to organize a volunteer squad to fight the “Bolshevik hordes” following the example of the Norwegian Legion, which was part of the Finnish armed forces during the Soviet-Finnish conflict.
On July 4, 1941, Quisling, in its radio address to the Norwegians, announced the creation of a voluntary association, which will be sent to Finland to fight the Bolsheviks. Recruitment points were opened in all major cities in Norway, and volunteer enrollment began. In the first few days, about 300 people entered the legion, an impressive figure for a small country. Initially, the Norwegian government hoped to form a full-fledged military unit consisting of 2 battalions under the code name “Gula” and “Frosta”. The newly created units were sent to the Bjolsen Skole field camp in Norway, from where they were relocated through Kiel to the training camp Fallenbostel. There 1 August 1941 was officially announced the formation of the “Norway Volunteer Legion”. By this time, the Legion personnel consisted of 751 people - 20 officers, 50 non-commissioned officers and 681 lower rank. The first commander of this military unit was appointed Major of the Norwegian Army Finn Hannibal Kelstrup (Finn Hannibal Kjelstrup). Contrary to the insistent desire of volunteers to fight as a separate military unit, they were included in the Waffen SS. Legionnaires dressed from a Norwegian military uniform to a field uniform of SS troops. They were distinguished from ordinary SS men only by a special sleeve insignia, which is a variation of the “Cross of St. Olaf” - the emblem of the “Hird” assault detachments of the National Unity party. The sleeve logo of the Volunteer Legion of the SS “Norway” was a round shield, framed with a silver border, with a silver cross on a gray (or, in rare cases, on a red) field, and crossed with two silver tips, straight swords upwards parallel to the vertical beam of the cross.
October 3 The 1941 of the year in Fallenbostel, in the presence of Vidkun Quisling, who arrived there, took the first battalion to take the oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler. This battalion was named "Viken". He was solemnly awarded a battalion with a golden lion on a red background with the ax of St. Olaf in his paws. At the beginning of 1942, the legion number reached 1218 people. It consisted of headquarters, 3 rifle companies, a company of infantry guns and an anti-tank company, as well as a reserve battalion stationed in Holmestrand. There was also a Lutheran pastor with the title of Legions-Hauptsturmführer. Insisting on sending the Norwegian volunteers to Finland’s help immediately and seeing their unit as the skeleton of the Norwegian army, the commanders of the legion, Major Kelstrup and Jürgen Becken, caused constant irritation in the military-political leadership of Germany. Therefore, 15 December 1941 of the year they were replaced by the legions of Sturmbannführer Arthur Quist super-loyal to the Reich.
Fig. Norwegian volunteers swear allegiance to Hitler
In February 1942 of the year, the Norwegian Legion was sent to a relatively quiet section of the Leningrad Front, where it became part of the 22 motorized SS brigade under the command of Lieutenant-General Police Friedrich Yekkeln, which was defending in the vicinity of the 250 Spanish Infantry Division. In addition to the Norwegians, this SS "Interbrigade" also included Latvian, Dutch and Flemish volunteers. In mid-March, the legionnaires changed their SS colleagues from the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler division to positions in Leningrad. Most of the fortifications occupied by the legionnaires were erected from a mixture of snow, logs, ice and earth. “Spring came, and all these buildings began to melt and collapse. The dugouts were very tight, and many of the soldiers - tall Norwegians - could not stand erect. Dirt flowed through the trenches, sentries had to stand at the post for 4-5 hours knee-deep in water, snow and mud, and then an hour to go to the constantly flooded dugouts, where they could not even dry out. This went on for several weeks, ”said former legionnaire Bjorn Ostring. The Norwegians failed to open full-fledged trenches and create an uninterrupted line of defense in lowland wetlands, but with the help of Latvian volunteers they were able to equip a number of strongholds on high ground.
Fig. The trenches of the Norwegian Legion
In March-April, the legion participated in the battles in the area of Krasnoye Selo - Panovo. The positional war alternated with attacks against the fortified dugouts of the Soviet troops. Despite the whole tragedy of the war, there were also some funny cases on the front. Once, as the above-mentioned Ostring recalled, the Norwegians received a moral shock when they found a box with an American stew in one of the captured Soviet fortifications. It turns out that, contrary to what official propaganda inspired them, America really helps the Bolsheviks!
In contrast to the neighboring Latvian SS men, who had a fierce hatred of the USSR and the Soviet people, the Norwegians treated the prisoners quite loyally, so defectors appeared in their defense sector most often. One of the passages between the fortifications, the legionnaires called the “Moat for the defectors”.
Fig. Norwegian volunteers and defectors
In mid-May, the 1942 th legion fought in the Pulkovo area, and then was withdrawn to the rear. Anti-tank company stationed in the town of Konstantinovka, other parts - in Uritsk. In May, the rest of the legion visited Vidkun Quisling and some other top leaders in Norway. 17, on the Day of the Norwegian Constitution, on the solemn construction of the Legion, distinguished soldiers and officers were presented with awards. At 25, the volunteer soldiers handed the petition to the Norwegian leader that they did not want to fight under the German command and demanded to transfer part of them to Finland, but their statement was ignored.
In June 1942, the Norwegians returned to the front. Their return coincided with the start of the new Soviet offensive. Once on the position of the Latvian SS men broke into a battalion of Soviet infantry and several heavy tanks. Unable to withstand the attack, the Letts threw trenches and began an indiscriminate departure, which turned into a stampede. Scandinavian volunteers saved them from total extermination. The commander of the anti-tank battalion of the Norwegians was not taken aback and hastily transferred his guns and soldiers to the threatened area. Recently obtained 75 mm anti-tank guns PAK-38, put forward to direct fire, proved to be very effective weapons. All the tanks were hit, and the infantry, which had fallen under massive artillery fire, suffered heavy losses and moved back. The fight was won.
13 August 1942, the Norwegians became part of the 2-th SS infantry brigade, staffed mainly by the natives of Latvia. The number of the Legion to this period reached more than 1000 people. On September 3, a police company composed of an 93 man, made up of Norwegian police officers, were ardent supporters of Nazism. She was commanded by SS Hauptsturmführer Jonas Lee, who received the death sentence of the Norwegian Resistance fighters in his homeland and immediately carried them into the nickname “a man with a pen and a pistol in one hand”. The police company was repeatedly used on the territory of the Leningrad Region in punitive expeditions against the Soviet partisans.
Fig. Police Company of the Norwegian Legion on the march
After the Red Army began the operation to break the blockade, the Norwegians found themselves in the epicenter of the fighting. Together with the Spanish "Blue Division" in February 1943, in the Red Bor area, the Norwegian anti-tank division took part in the hardest battles, which was completely defeated by the Soviet troops. In a few days of fighting, the Norwegians lost only 43 people killed. By mid-February, legionnaires remaining in the ranks of less than 700 people were relegated to the rear. 1 March they were taken to Norway, where they 6 April 1943, the parade marched through the center of Oslo.
May 20 1943 of the year at the Grafenwer training ground in Germany, the Norwegian Legion was officially disbanded. The remaining legionnaires and the replenishment that arrived from Norway were sent to form the Norway regiment of the 11 SS Panzer Grenadier Division Nordland, but this is a completely different story.
During the stay of the Norwegians directly near Leningrad, the losses of the legion were only killed 180 people. In total, during the Second World War, more than 15000 Norwegians fought as part of various combat units of the Wehrmacht and the SS troops, as well as police special units. On the Soviet-German front, 7000 soldiers were involved, of whom about 100 people were taken prisoner, 20 officers and 678 soldiers were killed.
To be continued