Blue division of the Wehrmacht: what happened to the Spaniards on the Eastern front

History 23/02/20 Blue division of the Wehrmacht: what happened to the Spaniards on the Eastern front

Hitler said about the soldiers of the 250th infantry division of the Wehrmacht, consisting of Spaniards: “it is impossible to imagine a more fearless guys. They say, “they are trampling on death.” In the Soviet Union they took the mercenaries of the dictator Franco and was partly right. But most of the Madrid volunteers wanted to be in Russia, passionate lovers, which, however, did not prevent them from not bad to fight with our soldiers.

the war with the Soviet Union, as for adventure

on 28 June 1941, Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain (in the middle ages the so-called leaders with unlimited power, an unofficial title), called on his compatriots to participate in the war against the Soviet Union. He spoke about the tremendous victories of the Wehrmacht and reported that the country of Eastern barbarians will be finished in 5 weeks, since the week of operation “Barbarossa”, the Germans defeated the main part of the red army and had progressed deep into Soviet territory.

It’s Franco was a phenomenal success. Some recruiting offices the plan for the reception of volunteers was exceeded in one day. A week later, the list of Spaniards, first of all, members of the far-right nationalist party “the Phalanx”, ready to fight for the Wehrmacht, exceeded the staffing infantry division 40 times. About it with enthusiasm, told Madrid newspaper. In fact, soldiers are not enough, and Franco joins the shortage of volunteers by soldiers of the regular army.

the Blue division, which became “blue”

“Falangists” wore blue shirts as a sign of commitment to his party. Therefore, the 250th infantry division of the Wehrmacht had received initially the name blue, and then blue. Of the 18 694 her first 6000 soldiers were students of the Complutense University of Madrid and the cadets – young people 18-22 years old. And the officers of the army personnel of all forces are not very eager to get into the Wehrmacht. Had nkotoryh evaders to lower in rank, down to rank and file. But even in these conditions, it was typed a little more than two-thirds of the personnel officers, a deficiency covered at the expense of veterans of the civil war.

In a Crusade against communism

the Author of the famous book “Hitler’s Spanish Legion: blue division in Russia” Gerald Kleinfeld wrote that many young Spaniards regarded the Soviet people as personal enemies, guilty in the civil strife in Spain. That is why the volunteers saw themselves as a crusade against communism, something like a war with the red devil.

In fact, they were deceived. Franco cunning thus was to appease Hitler, who, through his protégé, the foreign Minister of Spain, Ramon Sonera sought to draw Madrid in the armed conflict with London. We will remind, in October, 1940, between the heads of Germany and Spain was held on 9-hour conversation, in which the Fuhrer was trying to persuade the Caudillo to declare war on England. The head of the 3rd Reich, though, and figured out the trick and insincerity vis-a-vis, the second time to talk about this with Franco refused. “I’d rather pull out all their teeth,” said Hitler.

the Spaniards were not cleaned rifles

After a crash course in Bavaria, soldiers of the Blue division proved themselves cheerful and reckless guys, who did not understand, what for to give honor to my superiors. Once on the Eastern front, they continued to annoy the Germans improper care of the weapon and disregard for digging trenches. Even Hitler complained Franco: “they believe that the rifle should not be cleaned under any pretext”.

Passionate lovers

And the Spaniards wore the trunks of rifles inflated condoms, wrote Gerald Kleinfeld, showing German officers disregard for the prohibition of sexual relations with women of the occupied territories. Thus they, according to historian described themselves as passionate lovers, not murderers-rapists who are missing in the German army. In response, the suppliers of the Wehrmacht specialcially supplied part of the Blue division bad food and uniforms. A little revenge for the Germans led to the fact that by December 1941, 700 Spaniards were sent home with disabilities due to poor nutrition.

the First battle and the first victory

throughout September and early October 1941, the Blue division walked from the Polish city of Warsaw to the Soviet Vitebsk – up to 35 km per day and 20 kg of military cargo over the shoulders of each fighter. The entire route was 1,000 km, and the command of the Wehrmacht, sending the Spaniards in this long journey, in fact, tried to “transform”. Because “blue” is not only insolent, but were seditious thoughts, they say, came to fight against the Reds, not the Russian.

on 2 October 1941 in the New Chapel of the 2nd battalion of the 269th regiment of the Blue division attacked the Soviet battalion, which was trying to cross the river Volkhov. Having the advantage of position, the Spaniards killed a part of the red army and captured 80 soldiers of the red army. If we consider that the exploration and the headquarters of the Wehrmacht was given to “blue” the exact time of onset and direction of impact, the outcome of the battle was predetermined.

General frost

December 27, troops of the 52nd army of the red army inflicted a heavy blow on the 250th division. In addition to the Russian bullets and shells volunteers Franco ruthlessly killed General frost. The soldiers of the 269th infantry regiment, who were in Soviet captivity in the red forest, said that the companies were only one-third of the whole. Many soldiers froze and died of his wounds. They were laid in a spooky cordwood – in Russian in the woodpile. This was written by General Esteban Infantes in his book “Blue division. Volunteers on the Eastern front”.

overall, the winter of 1941 and spring of 1942, the Spaniards, in the midst of German compounds, fought well, receiving from the allies with the necessary support at critical moments, including aviation. However, in defense of the Wehrmacht, they were always the weak link.

the Blue Legion

20 Oct 1943 Francisco Franco disbanded the “Blue division” andtold the soldiers to return home. On the one hand, high losses in Russia undermined the political authority of the Caudillo, on the other – intensified political pressure from the United States. Realizing that the 3rd Reich was doomed, the leader of Spain was in a hurry to make a complete neutrality, not to get under blow of the German enemies. Despite the military hardships, returned not all. About two thousand diehard Falangists formed a “Blue Legion” under the command of the Wehrmacht. In total, according to Gerald Kleinfeld against units of the red army fought more than 45 thousand Spaniards. A large part of them found in Russia last shelter with birch cross at the head.

Alexander Sitnikov

© Russian Seven

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