Author Topic: German occupation  (Read 401863 times)

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Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #135 on: March 18, 2007, 04:36:24 AM »
Kurt,
I don't think, we taken thread from original topic, because, we need to know, motives for German and Spanish solders to be on Russian soil.

Now, been in Spain, do you have any ability to get some information about Blue Division? For example records, maybe even to get some interview first hand, because so far, what we have, its only speculation, and as we see on the picture, not much left alive.

Hi Vladm,

I can get as much information about the Blue Division as possible, as I have a good friend of mine who is a specialist in that topic and I have some material of my own. So, just ask, and I'll do my best.

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #136 on: March 18, 2007, 11:45:01 AM »
Kurt,
Everything interesting involve Pushkin: photos, stories, records, letters, names - on my site http://www.virtualpushkin.com, I will be happy to create special section of Blue Division.
I've seen few articles from occupation time, and I not really finding them creditable from any perspective. For every picture from State Museum Tsarskoye Selo, they ask $100, to make a copy  ??? .
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Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #137 on: March 18, 2007, 03:42:32 PM »
I'll do my best. I'm starting to investigate right now.

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #138 on: March 19, 2007, 04:44:29 AM »
Some bits of information.



I think this is a palace at Pokroskaya, which was the headquarters of the Blue Division during its time at the front of Leningrad



Under this garden the bodies of some members of the unit lie forever.

And for those who didn't know, in the Blue Division fought not only Spanish volunteers, but also Portuguese ones, as João Rodrigues Júnior, who was 26 years old then. He fought in the Nationalist side during the Spanish in the ' Foreign Legion ' in 1936. He joined the Blue Division in 1941. His reasons:

"It was when the war against Russia began. And I, that in the years of the war of Spain I started understanding what they are the Bolshevists, and his ideas in the mother land, decided to continue my life of legionario, fighting against them. When in Spain began the inscriptions for the campaign of Russia, I volunteered.
- Were in the Blue Division other Portuguese legionaries?
- Yes, approximately fifteen. But I think I'm the only one that still vive."

The source of this information is http://www.geocities.com/divazul/portuguesesdivisionazul.html (well, to be polite I'll say that it's just a Fascist propaganda website who still talks about the war as the "Crusade against the Reds", for instance).

Perhaps the more interesting testimony is the one done by Jaime de Assuncâo Graça, veteran of the SCW of 1936-39 and ex-member of the Blue Division. He joined the Spanish Legion with a group of approximately 45 Portuguese and that had the assent of Salazar, took part in the SCW and he mentions places: Talavera de la Reina Real, Cuesta de las Perdices , Madrid , Chamartin, Villaverde Bajo, where he was hurt by grapeshot and sent to a hospital in Logroñoo.

He mentionssome  Portuguese officials, like Ricardo Espirito Santo and the Captain Botelho Moniz, who after the war went to for the north of Africa, first to Tetuán, then Larache, reaching the destination finally in 1939 in a billeting to five kms from Ceuta, assigned to the 9th bandera of the Legion. In June of 1.942 during a revision done by a sergeant, he remembers the name of another called Portuguese Francisco Leonardo Olinda and in this way he became a volunteer to Russia where he was until January 1943.

From Africa he went from San Sebastian to the barracks of the Blue Division in Germany to Hof. It was in the front of Leningrad, next to Pushkin when he was hurt for the first time by a bullet in the left leg and taken to the hospital. He was send to hospital at Riga, Latvia, where he was given a discharge of 15 days. After the war he returned to Portugal.


As far as I know, the Blue Division was sent to the Leningrad front on may 1942. I'll try to gather more info.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 04:50:43 AM by Kurt Steiner »

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #139 on: March 19, 2007, 12:08:30 PM »

I've been told that here, in the palace of the Prince Paul -correct me if I'm wrong- was placed the HQs of the 269th Infantry Regiment of the Blau. If it's the right palace, I think it's not in Pushkin, but in Pavlovsk (Sluzk). Sometimes I got confused with the Russian geography, I'm afraid... :-[


Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #140 on: March 19, 2007, 12:53:33 PM »
Kurt you are absolutely right, Sluzk January 1944 renamed to Pavlovsk, and position for hq, is natural because its farther from front line.
Also, I've heard, German/Spanish soldiers had guards next to Pavel I sculpture, because he was knighted by Maltese Order.

Here some info about Pavel I:
MALTESE ORDER (the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Johnnits, hospitaliers, knights of Rodos), a monastic knightly order. It was named after the hospital (travelers’ home) in Jerusalem. At the time of the first crusade the brotherhood of hospitaliers was transformed into a monastic order, and the eight-point cross became its emblem. In 1310, the order conquered the island of Rodos, in 1530, the knights landed on Malta, which became their refuge and gave the name to the order. In 1697, Malta was visited by the tsar's servant P. A. Tolstoy, and in 1698 the knights were visited by B. P. Sheremetev, diplomatic relations between Malta and Russia were established in 1770. At that time Russian officers were sent to Malta with a purpose of studying "naval art", and gain "experience in naval science" with the knights. D. Lotta then came to Russia, later becoming a Russian citizen. During the reign of Emperor Pavel I the Convention between Russia and the Maltese order on the foundation of the branch of the Order in Russia was signed on 4 January 1797. Pavel I set up the Russian priorate with ten knight commanders selected from representatives of the noblest families. Many knights moved to Russia from Malta and other European countries. The Vorontsov Palace, where the architect J. Quarenghi built the Maltese chapel, was presented to the order in 1797-1800. The hospital for aged members of the order was built on Kamenny Island and the Cemetery with the Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist was arranged; the Palace of the Priorate was erected in Gatchina. On 10 September 1798, Emperor Pavel I took the Maltese order under his patronage, and in November he honoured himself with the title of the Great Grandmaster. Pope Pius VII confirmed Pavel I in his new role. Russia became the official centre of the Maltese order, and St. Petersburg became the residence of the Grandmaster. In 1798-99, relics of the Maltese order were transferred to St. Petersburg, among them the hand of St. John the Baptist, the Icon of Our Lady of Filermo and a part of the Life-Giving Cross. In the architecture of Mikhailovsky Castle one can see the motif of the palace being the residence of not only the Emperor, but of the grandmaster as well. From 10 August 1799, the Maltese cross was included in the emblem of the Russian empire (the bronze emblem of this pattern was placed on the central wall of the main staircase of Mikhailovsky Castle). During Pavel I’s reign, the Maltese Cross was awarded for military chivalry (instead of the order of St. George, abolished by Pavel). Three "Maltese" thrones of Pavel I have survived to this day; they are kept in the Hermitage, in the Gatchina Palace and in the Armoury in Moscow. The crown of the grandmaster of the Maltese order which belonged to Pavel I is exhibited in the Armoury. After the death of Pavel I (1801) Emperor Alexander I kept the title of the protector of the Maltese order until 1803. By the decree of 18 April 1801, the symbol of the Maltese Order was excluded from the state emblem, and the title of the Grandmaster was excluded from the imperial title. On 26 February, 1810 the finances of the Maltese order were transferred to the Imperial treasury, on 20 November 1817, the Russian priories were abolished, and the Russian subjects were forbidden to bear Maltese crosses. The administration of the Maltese order moved to Rome. At the beginning of the 20th century symbols of the Maltese order were used as an emblem of the Page Corps (housed in Vorontsov Palace) and of the military units formed at the time of Pavel I. In 1913, the Grand Prince Alexander Mikhailovich set up "The Russian Orthodox Order of St. John" (since October 1917, the Order has been abroad).
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 01:01:30 PM by vladm »
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Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #141 on: March 19, 2007, 02:00:24 PM »
Thanks for the info, Vladm!

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2007, 02:21:57 PM »
Some photos of the Malta "Palace" at Gatchina from last year. It had recently been renovated for an upcoming conference- "The Malta Order in Russia".
 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006088.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006087.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Nico2006086.jpg
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Offline ChristineM

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #143 on: March 19, 2007, 04:43:42 PM »
Thanks a MILLION, Robert.

This is the 'Priorat' which Adam Menelaws designed on the order of Paul I.   It certainly looks like they didn't resort to the original earth brick construction.

You cannot imagine how exciting it is to see these photographs.   There are a number of architects and architectural historians in Scotland who will be equally excited.

In think this entire thread is marvellous - thank you everybody.

tsaria

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2007, 02:44:26 PM »
The Order of Battle of the 250 Infantry Division (División Azul) once deployed in the Leningrad Front

Nothern part: Covered by the Infantery Regiment 269, with its lines between Krasnil-Udanik and Ugolki. Its three batalions were deployed like that

HQs .........Motski.
1. Bon .............Salpoje.
2. Bon ............Russa.
3. Bon ...........Kotowitzi.

Center part  Covered by the Infantery Regiment 263, with its lines between Ugolki and Grigorowo. Its three batalions were deployed like that

HQs .........Derewjaniszy
1. Bonn .............Kretshewizkije.
2. Bonn ............Convering the distance between the Wolchow and the little Wolchow rivers.
3.º Bonn ...........Derewjiszy.

Southern part: Covered by the Infantery Regiment 262 from Grigorowo and Wolotowo til the Ssiwerssoff channel. Two of its batallions are deployed, the third one is incorporated into the reserve of the division.

HQs .........At the Kremlin in Novgorod.
1. Bonn ..............Leschino.
2. Bonn .............At the end of the little Wolchow river
3. Bonn ............At the Kremlin in Novgorod.

From Novgorod to the Lake Ilmen we find the Recconoisance Group, with its HQs placed at sStaraia-Rakana.

Artillery: Divided into three sections, one for each part of the front, with its Hqs placed at the the Kremlin in Novgorod.

Reserve troops: The Mobile Batallion at Necochowo.
Anti Tank Group at Witja.
1. Batalion/262 IR at Leschino.
Piooners Batallion at the Kremlin at Novgorod.

The Quastermaster Corps was divided into Podberesje, Necochowo and Domnina.
The Hospital section has it HQs and 1st Company at Grigorowo, the 2nd Co at Necochowo and the field hospital at Jermolinscoje.
The Ammunition and the Veterinarian Medical units were at Grigorowo.


I hope that helps.

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #145 on: March 20, 2007, 03:27:00 PM »
Kurt,
Thank you so much!
I am also today lucky:
División Azul initial deployment (to Leningrad front)


Map from February 1st, 1943


Map from October 1st 1943


Source:
http://usuarios.lycos.es/jnroldan/mapas.htm
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Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2007, 05:24:08 AM »
Glad to help and to see that I don't need to look for those maps ;D

Let's keep searching...



Well, as we can see, the way to wear their uniforms wasn't quite... formal...

This pic, by the way, belongs to the huge collection that a friend of mine, Gonzalo, has about the Blue. He's being very helpful for me in this issue.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 05:40:46 AM by Kurt Steiner »

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2007, 12:49:21 PM »
I am surprised, my dear friends. In my investigation about the Blue Division, a friend of mine, Mencey, has found me some information that has left me surprised.

In the Blue Division we can find, of course, Spanish soldiers. And, surprise, surprise...

White Russian volunteers, too. If you allow me, I'm going to start with the end of the story.

Some Russian volunteers who fought with the 250.

Konstantin Goguijonachvili. A former captain in the Imperial Army (cavalry) of the Czar.2nd Lietuenant in the Spanish Foreign Legion and lieutenant in the Requetés during the Spanish Civil War.

He served in Russia, and returned to Spain in 1944. He received the War Cross with Palms for his actions in Russia. With the Blau Division he served in the 269 Infantry Regiment, the Reserve Batallion 250, the Skiers Company and the Headquarters. In september 1943 he had received

War Merit Cross First and Second Class with Swords (Kriegsverdienstkreuz I. und II. Klasse mit Schwerten)
Iron Cross Second Class (Eisernes Kreuz II Klasse (EK II))
Medal for the Winter Campaign in the East 1941-1942 (Ostmedaille)
Tank Destruction Badge  (Panzervernichtenabzeichen)
Wounds Badge  (Verwundetenabzeichen)

Konstantin Gocharenko Chudov, he was killed in action at the Wolchow, a day like today, March 21, 1942. He, as a lieutenant, served as a translator in the  II Batalion/263 Infantry Regiment. He is buried at Pankowka cementery.

Vasili Krivocheya. He was a former lieutenant in the Czarist army. He fought in the Spanish Civil War as a sergeant in the Legion, in the Headquarters of the first Tercio and as a translator of the Second Section of the HQs, and received the Spanish citizenship.

Vasili Nicolai Krivocheia, comanded the signal section of the 263 Infantry Regiment. He was after that a translator at the HQs of the regiment. He was injured at the head, breast and both legs by shrapnel in 1943. He recovered by a sheer miracle and married a Russian girl there. Once he returned to Spain after WW2, he joined the Legion, where he served until 1961. From then onwards, he served as a Russian translator in the High Command of the Spanish Army. He retired from the army in 1962 and went to live at Madrid, where he died in 1971.

During his time in Russia recived

War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz)
Two -2- Red Crosses to the Militar Merit (Cruces Rojas al Merito Militar)
War Cross (Cruz de Guerra)
Wounds Badge (Medalla de Sufrimientos por la Patria, aspa de herido)


Well, that's the end of the story, now, time to explain the beginning.

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #148 on: March 21, 2007, 01:01:47 PM »
In case someone wonders what on earth were those Russians soldiers doing in the Blau Division, there you have the explanation.

During the Spanish Civil War both sides had their international volunteers who set off for adventure and ideological strife in sunny Spain. We may more easily remember the Orwells of the fight, but the war was not purely one that matched patriotic Spaniards against an awkward amalgam of international "Reds". Many on the Right in a variety of European and other countries also joined the battle in Spain.

White Russian volunteers, almost all of whom came from the Paris emigre community and had served in the White armies of the Russian Civil War, saw the Spanish conflict as the first step in a march back to St. Petersburg.  The effort of the one hundred or so White Russians to be recognized as officers and aristocrats with considerable experience from the Russian Civil War was unsuccessful; they were enrolled in Spanish units as regular soldiers and were not permitted to form a separate Russian unit that might be the basis for a revived Imperial Army (some people say they were around 80, some other people claim they were 182).

The real value of Spanish involvement, for most of these individuals and groups, came not in Spain but at home. From all the foreign volunteers who served in the Nationalist side, Russian volunteers were the most experienced ones -bearing in mind their background, this should not surprise us.

White russian fought in Legion, Requete, Air Force and Army. White russian were famous by their courage. they used an imperial small flag with the phrase; "By Tsar, Motherland and Faith".. one of them was colonel Zajarov (an old officer in Imperial Army)

Another russian white official was general Nicolai Shinkarenko: in photo as Spanish legion lieutenant
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 01:03:44 PM by Kurt Steiner »

Offline vladm

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Re: German occupation
« Reply #149 on: May 18, 2007, 10:40:52 PM »
Kurt,
I was recently watching following movie, and was really disappointed, about how much I was right about volunteers, also, in some related file, it was described, quite few of the Spanyards joined SS to continue effort post 1943:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqpG6qrv0Q4
Most of the solders, understood about severe conditions for defenders of Leningrad, and realize blockade, was killing hundreds of thousands, understanding this post 2 years of fighting there decide to continue effort to defeat this city under German command.
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