History 13/01/20 Rebellion “Queen Tamara”: how Georgian legionaries of Hitler killed Germans 812
the Night of 5 may 1945, the Georgian Legion stationed on the Dutch island of Texel, revolted against their German commanders. The suppression of the rebellion, the Wehrmacht sent numerous reinforcements, but virtually unarmed Georgians continued to resist until 20 may 1945.
the Georgian legionaries
in the Autumn of 1944 the Nazi command moved to the Dutch island of Texel battalion “Queen Tamar”, the Georgian Legion of the Wehrmacht. It was formed in the summer of 1943, and the men participated in the struggle against Polish and Soviet partisans. The unit consisted of 800 Georgian legionaries, among whom were also several dozen Russian Armenians.
the Command post was occupied by German officers, managed major Klaus Breitner. On the island of Texel collaborators perform a supporting function. According to the recollections of local residents they did not carry weapons and say that they are former prisoners who joined the battalion under the threat of execution. At the new place, the Georgians came in contact with the Dutch resistance, which was stolen from the warehouses of the Wehrmacht food and medicine.
By February 1945, the Legionnaires formed a connection with a cell of the Communist party of the Netherlands and agreed on a joint uprising. The Dutch, realizing that the Germans will soon be defeated, asked Georgians to renounce bloodshed, but the leaders of the underground, Shalva Loladze and Valiko Shanti, replied that to wait no longer.
day of reckoning
the Uprising began in the night of 5 to 6 may with the murder of corporal Alex Reinhard guarding the offices of the Gestapo in the town of Den Burg. To time came a few people in the German form and after signal phrase: “happy birthday”, jumped on him and stabbed with bayonets. Firearms, the Georgians were not, but for three hours they were able knives UBIbe more than 400 Germans of the garrison of the island.
insurrectionist Eugene Artemije in an interview with Dutch journalists said, “We like to drink the blood of these bastards!”. The former footballer said that that morning they took revenge for bullying in concentration camps and slaughtered the Germans in their beds. Local resident Alex Kastelberg recalled that the land in front of the commandant’s office was littered with slaughtered by Germans, lying in pools of blood.
822 the commander of the battalion, captain Klaus Breitner, escaped from the island on the boat in the same pants, but a few hundred Germans managed to take refuge on the coastal batteries in the Eastern and southern part of the island. From there, they began shelling the positions of the rebels. In a few hours the centre of Den Burg was destroyed and the Legion tried in vain to dislodge the Germans from the battery.
To deal with “traitors”, the Germans sent 2000 soldiers of the 163rd regiment, who were ordered not to take prisoners. Several times the island was bombed by German aviation. Of the rebels entrenched at one of the lighthouses in the North of Texel, where in a few days killed them all. The surviving Legionnaires took refuge in the forests, where the Germans were afraid to go because of the minefields.
Local resident Vim der Armen recalled that night, the island belonged to the Georgians “…they undermined the Nazi patrols, attacked the checkpoint. My family hid one of the wounded “Russian” in the basement, although it was supposed to be shot”. Due to the fact that on may 2, the rebels destroyed the communication cable, on the surrender of Germany on the island is not known.
the end of the rebellion
the rumors about the end of the war appeared may 15, and the fighting on the island was until 20 may and ended after the landing of the canadian troops. The Germans surrendered their weapons and came out of the woods 228 surviving Georgians. In the fighting killed 565 legionaries, the Germans lost in killed 812 soldiers and officers. The number of victims of the local population was 120.
In accordance with the agreement, allied command gave the soldiers of the battalion “Queen Tamar” the Soviet side. Most of collaboratianiston was arrested and sent to camps. In 1956, all of them rehabilitated.
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