|Active||July – August 1944|
Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling (Schutzmänner-Brigade Siegling) was a Nazi German auxiliary police brigade formed in 1944 in East Prussia mainly from the retreating units of the collaborationist Byelorussian Home Guard (BKA) escaping successful Soviet counter-attack known as Operation Bagration. The total number of soldiers evacuated by the Nazis to East Prussia from across Belarus during the Soviet advance might have reached 10,000. They regrouped northeast of Warsaw under Hans Siegling who was the SS-and-Police leader of the White Ruthenia. The Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling consisted of 4 rifle regiments as well as artillery and cavalry unit. It was renamed by Himmler on July 31, 1944, as the 30th Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr. 2). It consisted of men from the former Soviet Union, mainly from Belarus, including whole Kommandanturas of Bielaruskaja Krajovaja Abarona (BKA) and participants in Vlasov's movement, but also remnants of the German Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo), Sicherheitsdienst (SD), and Ordnungsdienst from the area.
By November 1944, the battalion whose formation started in August originally as the Schuma Brigade Siegling, was transported to France as the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian). While in France, the brigade remained under the leadership of Obersturmbannführer Hans Siegling. By February 10, 1945 the formation was nearly wiped out by mass desertion and the Allies. Only one regiment was left. Some reinforcements came from other formations, but not enough. The battalion was renamed again as the 30th SS Grenadier Division (1st White Ruthenian) or Weißruthenische Nr. 1 (in German), but in April 1945, it was entirely disbanded.
Formation of Schuma Brigade Siegling[edit | edit source]
Resulting from the Soviet Operation Bagration which pushed the German forces out entirely from the Belorussian SSR (or the GK Weißruthenien, as it was called then) toward eastern Poland between June 22 and August 19, 1944, dozens of units remained scattered around. They included remnants of the SiPo, SD, and Ordnungsdienst, as well as the Kommandantura personnel and BKA units composed of the Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian collaborators under the German command. At the end of June 1944 Curt von Gottberg issued an order to create a brigade which by July 20, 1944 was nominally formed and named as Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling. The formation of the brigade’s 4 regiments was completed by July 31, 1944 – all 4 regiments were named after their commanders were stationed at that time at different place: 1-st Regiment at Grady under command of Sturmbannführer Hans Österreich, 2-nd regiment at Stawicz - commander Sturmbannführer Helmuth Gantz, 3-d regiment at Czartoriak – commander Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Mocha and 4-th regiment – commander Sturmbannführer Ernst Schmidt. Artillery unit was stationed at Suliny. Brigade also has a cavalry unit. Approximate number of the personnel is estimated as follows: up to 6 thousand auxiliary Ordnungspolizei, 2 thousand SD men, and up to 8 thousand members of the Bielaruskaja Krajovaja Abarona. They were spread over many locations in East Prussia.
All units suffered from persistent desertion. The local Poles – as soon as they acquired military weapons – or even before that, left and joined the underground Armia Krajowa among other Polish anti-Nazi resistance forces to attack their yesterday masters. Because of mass desertion, it was decided to transfer all units in a brigade-size formation under general command of Obersturmbannführer Hans Siegling (including ethic Germans) to France. Siegling led dozens of anti-partisan operations in Belarus since 1941 as the commander of the 57th Schuma regiment (Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 57).
On August 1, 1944 an order was issued to form a division formation from Brigade Siegling - thus all personnel was transferred from Ordnungspolizei to SS command. The new 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian) created on August 18, 1944 had the following regiments: Waffen-Gren.Rgt. d. SS 75 (russ. Nr. 4), Waffen-Gren.Rgt. d. SS 76 (russ. Nr. 5) (consisted of three battalions each), Waffen-Artillerie-Rgt d. SS 30 (russ. Art.Rgt. 2) (consisted of three artillery batteries) and Replacement Regiment were created. The combat ready units of the Brigade Siegling were transferred to France to participate in operations against the French Resistance.
Operations[edit | edit source]
Initially planned for the anti-partisan warfare in Belarus, on August 6, 1944 "Siegling" received an order to take part in Warsaw Uprising, however, the idea was abandoned. Instead, it was used from August 12 in East Prussia for the harvest collection. Some combat ready units of the brigade were transferred to France in August 1944 to participate at actions against French Resistance.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Leonid Rein (Jan 1, 2011). "Schutzmannschaft-Brigade 'Siegling'". The Kings and the Pawns: Collaboration in Byelorussia During World War II. Berghahn Books. pp. 367–371. ISBN 0857450433. http://books.google.ca/books?id=JCbNmF3iXP0C&pg=PA367&lpg=PA367&dq=Schutzmannschaft-Brigade+Siegling&source=bl&ots=JvotJtFH96&sig=0-T7Ko4cTBrcHCUWZT2E0CJtje8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QrLTUbrEJumsiALq1IDICg&ved=0CF8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Schutzmannschaft-Brigade%20Siegling&f=false. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- G.P (2010). "Re: Hans Seigling" (Internet Archive). Himmler 1944 speech. The German Police.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20110717000005/http://thegermanpolice.com/research/misc/himmler44speech.html. Retrieved 2013-06-24. "Career highlights including his Schutzmannschaft Bataillon in Riga."
- Georg Tessin, Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 Vierter Band: Die Landstreitkrafte 15—30 Frankfurt/Main: Verlag E. S. Mittler & Sohn GmbH, 1970. See: Lexikon.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Untermenschen in SS Uniforms: 30th Waffen-Grenadier Division of Waffen SS Leonid Rein The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 1556-3006, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2007, Pages 329—345
- Bishop C. Zagraniczne formacje SS. Zagraniczni ochotnicy w Waffen-SS w latach 1940—1945. Warszawa, 2006
- GEORG TESSIN Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 VIERTER BAND: Die Landstreitkrafte 15—30 VERLAG E. S. MITTLER & SOHN GMBH. - FRANKFURT/MAIN 1970
- GEORG TESSIN Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 SECHSTER BAND:
Die Landstreitkrafte 71-13 0 BIBLI O VERLAG OSNABRUCK 1972
[edit | edit source]
- Ю. Грыбоўскі — Беларускі легіён СС: міфы і рэчаіснасць
- «Белорусские коллаборационистские формирования в эмиграции (1944-1945): Организация и боевое применение» // Романько О.В. Коричневые тени в Польсье. Белоруссия 1941-1945. М.: Вече, 2008.
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