FACTOID # 18: Alaska spends more money per capita on elementary and secondary education than any other state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Dirlewanger Brigade

Wilddiebkommando Oranienburg
Sonderkommando Dr. Dirlewanger
SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger
SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger
SS-Sonderbrigade Dirlewanger
2.SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger
36.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS
Image File history File links Divisional symbol of the 36. ...


The SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, often referred to as the Dirlewanger Brigade was a German Waffen SS formation which saw action during World War II. Originally formed for anti-partisan duties, it eventually saw action against the Red Army near the end of the War. Although upgraded to divisional status, it never reached above brigade strength. It is among the most infamous of all Waffen SS units of the war. Waffen-SS recruitment poster; Volunteer to the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS (lit Armed Protective Squadron) was the combat arm of the Schutzstaffel. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km (over 11 miles) into the air, August 9, 1945 after the Allied atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ... The Soviet partisans were members anti-fascist resistance movement which fought against the occupation of the Soviet Union by Axis forces during World War II. At the end of June 1941, immediately after the Germans crossed the Soviet border, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) (see... Red Army flag The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya in Russian), the armed forces organised by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to fifteen thousand soldiers. ... Brigade is a term from military science which refers to a group of several battalions (typically two to four), and directly attached supporting units (normally including at least an artillery battery and additional logistic support). ...

Contents


Oskar Dirlewanger - Legión Cóndor

The history of the Dirlewanger Brigade is inextricably linked to the life of it's commander, Oskar Dirlewanger. Born 26 September 1895, Oskar Dirlewanger was an intelligent and brave man, but he was also severely troubled. After winning the Iron Cross first and second class while serving in the Imperial German Army during World War I, Dirlewanger joined the Freikorps and took part in the vicious street fighting against communist insurgents. When the crisis was averted, he returned to university and obtained a PhD in political science. Joining the NSDAP in 1923, he was soon expelled and was forced to reapply and rejoin the formation. The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a military decoration of Germany which was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. ... The term German Empire (Deutsches Reich) commonly refers to Germany, from its consolidation as a unified nation-state on January 18, 1871, until the abdication of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II on November 9, 1918. ... WWI redirects here. ... The designation of Freikorps (German for Free Corps) was originally applied to voluntary armies. ... Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... Niccolò Machiavelli, ca 1500, became the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to political science Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... The Nazi swastika The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ...

Oskar Dirlewanger as an SS-Oberführer, 1944.
Oskar Dirlewanger as an SS-Oberführer, 1944.

After completing his PhD, Dirlewanger went on to hold a teaching job. In 1934, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a female minor. He lost his position and was forbidden from returning to teaching. After serving a two year jail sentence, Dirlewanger was released. Soon after, he was again accused of sexual assault and was thrown into a Concentration Camp. Desperate, Dirlewanger contacted Gottlob Berger, an old Freikorps comrade now working closely with Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS. Despite the two convictions and the fact that Dirlewanger was an alcoholic, Berger secured his comrades release and secured an appointment for him with the Legión Cóndor, a German volunteer unit fighting in the Spanish Civil War on Franco's Nationalist side. Dirlewanger fought bravely during this campaign, being wounded in combat three times. Image File history File links Oskar Dirlewanger as an SS-Oberführer, 1944. ... Image File history File links Oskar Dirlewanger as an SS-Oberführer, 1944. ... Sexual abuse is physical or psychological abuse or harm that involves sexual behavior. ... Concentration camp in Nazi Germany. ... Gottlob Berger (July 16, 1896 - 1975) was a German SS general during World War II. From 1940, he was Chief of Staff for the military SS and head of the SS main leadership office. ... Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Himmler (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ... Heinrich Himmler as the Reichsführer-SS Reichsführer-SS was a special SS rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945. ... For other uses of the abbreviation SS, see SS (disambiguation) The Schutzstaffel (Protective Squadron), or SS, was a large paramilitary organization that belonged to the Nazi party. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The Condor Legion (Legión Cóndor in Spanish) was a unit of Nazi Germanys air force which was sent as volunteers to support the Nationalists (i. ... History of Spain Series Prehistoric Spain Roman Spain Medieval Spain Age of Reconquest Age of Expansion Age of Enlightenment Reaction and Revolution First Spanish Republic The Restoration Second Spanish Republic Spanish Civil War The Dictatorship Modern Spain Topics Economic History Military History Social History The Spanish Civil War (July 1936... Francisco Franco Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade (December 4, 1892 – November 20, 1975), abbreviated Francisco Franco Bahamonde and sometimes known as Generalísimo Francisco Franco, was dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. ... Nationalism is an ideology that creates and sustains a nation as a concept of a common identity for groups of humans. ...


Returning to Germany in 1939, Dirlewanger was granted admission to the Allgemeine SS and given the rank of SS-Untersturmführer. Berger realised that Dirlewanger could be kept in check only while on military duty, so he organised the creation of a military unit which would be used to rehabilitate convicts. The Allgemeine-SS was the name for the General SS which consisted of part-time mustering SS formations created under the Nazi Party between 1925 and 1945. ...


On June 15, 1940, the Wilddiebkommando Oranienburg (Poacher's Command Oranienburg) was formed. This unit was to be composed of criminals convicted of poaching. It was felt that poachers were in posession of skills which would make them excellent scouts and anti-partisan troops. By July 1, 1940, the unit numbered 84 men. A seashell vendor sells seashells which have been taken alive from the water, killing the animal inside. ... Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ...


Sonderkommando - Foreign Volunteers

As the news spread of the new formation, hundreds of concentration camp prisoners applied for service with the unit. By September, the formation numbered over 300 men. With the influx of criminals, the emphasis on poachers was now lost, and those convicted of other more severe crimes, including assault, burglary and rape joined the unit. Accordingly, the unit name was changed to Sonderkommando Dr. Dirlewanger (Special Command Dr. Dirlewanger). As the unit strength continued to grow, the unit was placed under the command of the SS Totenkopfverbände (the formation responsible for the administration of the concentration camps) and it was redesignated SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger. ...


In mid 1941, the Dirlewanger was assigned to anti-partisan duties in the General Government region in Poland, and was answereable only to Heinrich Himmler himself. In January 1942, the battalion was authorised to recruit from Russian and Ukrainian volunteers to rebuild its strength. The General Government (in full General government for the occupied Polish areas, in German Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete) was the name given by Germany to the governing authority in Poland after its occupation by the Wehrmacht in September and October 1939. ... Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Himmler (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ...

Collarpatch of the SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger.
Collarpatch of the SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger.

During the battalion's service in Poland, it was involved in numerous cases of corruption, rape, indiscriminate slaughter, beating and looting and desertion was common. The General Government's Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger was disgusted with the behaviour of the Dirlewanger, and his complaints resulted in it's transfer to Byelorussia. Image File history File links Collarpatch of the SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger. ... Image File history File links Collarpatch of the SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger. ... SS and Police Leaders were senior Nazi Party officials that commanded large units of the SS during and prior to the Second World War. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger (1894 - 1945) was a Nazi official and high-ranking member of the SA and SS. Krüger was born into a military family in Strasbourg, Germany (nowadays France) in 1894; he received elementary school education, but ultimately left school before graduating to begin a military career... Belarus (Belarusian: Белару́сь, Russian: Белару́сь (formerly: Белору́ссия)) is a landlocked nation of Eastern Europe with the capital Minsk. ...


In Byelorussia, it came under the command of Central Russia's Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer, Erich von dem Bach Zelewski. The Dirlewanger resumed anti-partisan duties in this area, working in cooperation with the Kaminski Brigade for the first time. It's conduct in Russia, rather than improving, worsened and atrocities were a daily occurence. Central Federal District is one of the seven Russia. ... Erich von dem Bach, born Erich von Zelewski and also known as Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (March 1, 1899 - March 8, 1972), was a Nazi official and a member of the SS (in which he reached the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer). ... Sleeve patch worn by men of the Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA. Kaminski Brigade RONA (Russian:Русская Освободительная Народная Армия) Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA 29. ...


Expansion - Operations in Byelorussia

On 20 August, 1942, the expansion of the Dirlewanger to regimental size was authorised. Recruits were to come from more criminals, Eastern volunteers and military delinquents. In contrast to those who served in the penal battalions for minor offences, the volunteers sent to the Dirlewanger were convicted of major crimes which would be considered criminal in civilian courts. While the theory was that service in the Dirlewanger would rehabilitate the criminals, it in fact provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts with no repurcussions. The actions of the battalion was the subject of several complaints by high ranking Heer officers, but these went unnoticed. A regiment is a military unit, larger than a company and smaller than a division. ... Heer (   listen?) is the German word for army. ...

Men of SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger execute suspected partisans, November 1942.
Men of SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger execute suspected partisans, November 1942.

The second Battalion finally arrived in spring 1943. The battalion was now redesignated SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger. In May 1943, the ability to volunteer for service in the regiment was extended to all criminals, even those convicted of the most heinous crimes. Five hundred men convicted of the most severe crimes were absorbed into the regiment in late May. In August 1943, the creation of a third battalion was authorised. Image File history File links Men of SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger execute suspected partisans, November 1942. ... Image File history File links Men of SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger execute suspected partisans, November 1942. ...


With it's expansion, the Dirlewanger was allowed to display rank insignia and a unique collar patch. In August 1943, the regiment took part in heavy fighting as a part of efforts to anihilate the so-called Partisan's Republic near Lake Pelik. During this period, the regiment saw heavy fighting, and Dirlewanger himself led many assaults, winning several awards for bravery. In November 1943, the regiment was committed to front line action with Army Group Centre in an attempt to halt the Red Army advance. The regiment, untrained and ill-equipped for actual combat, performed poorly and suffered heavy casualties. By the end of the year the Dirlewanger could muster only 259 men. Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte in German) was one of three German army formations assigned to the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, code-named Operation Barbarossa. ...


Retreat - Warsaw

Large numbers of criminals were sent to rebuild the regiment. By late February 1944, the regiment was back up to full strength. It was decided that Eastern volunteers would no longer be admitted to the regiment, as the Russians had proven particularly unreliable in frontline combat. Anti partisan operations continued until June 1944, when the Soviets launched Operation Bagration, aimed at the destruction of Army Group Centre. The Dirlewanger was caught up in the retreat and began falling back to Poland. Unusually, the regiment distinguished itself in several rearguard actions and reached Poland in good order. During World War II, Operation Bagration was the general attack by Soviet forces to clear the Nazis from Belarus which resulted in the destruction of the German Army Group Centre, possibly the greatest defeat for the Wehrmacht during the war. ...

Men of SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger in action in Warsaw, August 1944.
Men of SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger in action in Warsaw, August 1944.

When the Armia Krajowa initiated the Warsaw Uprising on 1 August, 1944, the Dirlewanger was sent into action as part of SS-Gruppenführer Heinz Reinfarth's Kampfgruppe. Fighting alongside Kaminski's Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA, the regiment went into action on 5 August. During the reduction of Polish opposition, the Dirlwanger behaved atrociously, raping, looting and killing civilians regardless of whether they belonged to the Polish Home army or not. Seeing action in the Wola district, the regiment took part in the execution of tens of thousands of civilians. While the regiment's actions were looked on with disdain by Bach Zelewski and the sector commander, Generalmajor Günter Rohr, Dirlewanger's personal bravery in action resulted in Reinfarth reccomending him for the Knight's Cross and promotion to SS-Oberführer der Reserve. Image File history File links Men of SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger in action in Warsaw, August 1944. ... Image File history File links Men of SS-Sonderregiment Dirlewanger in action in Warsaw, August 1944. ... The Armia Krajowa or AK (Home Army) functioned as the pre-eminent underground military organization in German-occupied Poland, which was active in all areas of the country from September 1939 until its disbanding in January 1945. ... The Warsaw Uprising (Powstanie Warszawskie) was a controversial armed struggle during the Second World War by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation and Nazi rule. ... The Kampfgruppe was a common combat formation used by the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War. ... Bronislav Vladislavovich Kaminski (Russian: Бронислав Каминский in Russian) was the commander of the RONA (Russkaya Ovsoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya) unit, a Russian armed force that fought against the Soviet forces in alliance with Nazi Germany and was later incorporated into the Waffen SS. Engineer Bronislaw (also spelled Bronislav) Kaminski was born in 1899... Sleeve patch worn by men of the Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA. Kaminski Brigade RONA (Russian:Русская Освободительная Народная Армия) Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA 29. ... Sowiński defending Wola during the November Uprising German forces during their failed assault on Wola, suburb of Warsaw, on September 9, 1939 Wola is a district of western Warsaw, Poland, formerly the village of Wielka Wola, that was incorporated into Warsaw in 1916. ... The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a military decoration of Germany which was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. ... SS-Oberführer Collar Patch SA-Oberführer Collar Patch Oberführer was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party dating back to 1921. ...


By early September, the Poles had surrendered and the depleted regiment spent the next month guarding the Vistula line. During this time, the regiment was upgraded to brigade status, and redesignated SS-Sonderbrigade Dirlewanger (SS Special Brigade Dirlewanger). In Early October, it was decided to upgrade the Dirlewanger again, this time to a Waffen-SS combat brigade. Accordingly, it was redesignated 2.SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, and soon reached it's complement of 4,000 men. Vistula river basin Vistula ( Polish Wisła, German Weichsel) is the longest river in Poland. ... Brigade is a term from military science which refers to a group of several battalions (typically two to four), and directly attached supporting units (normally including at least an artillery battery and additional logistic support). ...


Slovak Uprising - Division - Surrender

When the Slovak Uprising began in early October 1944, the newly formed brigade was committed to action. The brutal actions of the brigade played a large part in putting down the rebellion, and by October 30 crisis was averted. With the outcome of the war no longer in doubt, large numbers of Communist and Socialist political prisoners began applying for the Dirlewanger in hope of defecting to the Soviets. SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Schmedes, the disgraced former commander of the 4.SS-Polizei-Division was assigned to the Dirlewanger by Himmler as punishment for refusing to carry out orders. With his extensive combat experience, Schmedes became the unofficial advisor to Dirlewanger on frontline combat. The SS Polizei Division was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II. The division was formed in 1939 as part of the SS Police, and was transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1942. ...


In December, the brigade was sent to the front in Hungary. While several newly formed battalions made up of Communist and Socialist volunteers fell apart, several other battalions fought well. During a months fighting, the brigade suffered heavy casualties and was pulled back to Slovakia to refit and reorganise. During this time, the brigade continued its practise of looting, raping and killing, even though Slovakia was an allied area. Complaints soon began to flow in, and some disciplinary measures were introduced. These did little to halt the atrocities taking place.


In February 1945, plans were put in action to expand the brigade to divisional status, however before this could begin it was sent north to the Oder-Neisse line to attempt to halt the Soviet advance. On 14 February, the brigade was redesignated 36.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS. On the 15th, Dirlewanger was seriously injured in combat for the twelfth time. Schmedes immediately assumed command, while Dirlewanger was sent to the rear. He would not return to the division. After being captured by the western allies, Dirlewanger was beaten to death by his fellow prisoners. The Oder-Neisse line (German: Oder-Neiße-Grenze; Polish: Granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the border between Germany and Poland. ...


With its expansion to a division, the Dirlewanger had several Heer formations attached, including a Pionier and a heavy Panzerjäger component. When the final Soviet offensive began on 16 April, the division was pushed back to the northeast. Desertion became more and more common, and when Schmedes attempted to reorganise his division on 25 April, he found it virtually ceased to exist. Anarchy reigned, with men of the 73.Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS lynching their commanding officer, who had been in command of Dachau concentration camp. Panzerjäger (tank-hunters) are German tank destroyers of World War II. Panzerjäger (PzJg) typically refers to designs based around mounting anti-tank guns on convenient chassis with light armour protection. ... Lynching is violence, usually murder, conceived by its perpetrators as extra-legal execution, or used as a terrorist method of enforcing social domination. ... SS Chief Heinrich Himmler inspects the Dachau concentration camp (1936) The Dachau concentration camp was a Nazi German concentration camp near the city of Dachau, north of Munich, in southern Germany. ...


The small remnant of the division attempted to reach the Americans on the Elbe river. Most of the men were captured and executed by the Soviets, however Schmedes and his staff managed to reach the Americans and surrendered on 3 May, 1945. The Elbe River (Czech Labe, Sorbian/Lusatian Łobjo, Polish Łaba, German Elbe) is one of the major waterways of central Europe. ...


Commanders

  • SS-Oberführer der Reserve Dr. Oskar Dirlewanger (15 Jun 1940 - ? Apr 1945)
  • SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Schmedes (? Apr 1945 - ? May 1945)

Orders Of Battle

SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, August 1944

  • Brigade Stab
  • SS-Regiment 1
  • SS Regiment 2
  • Artillerie-Abteilung
  • Füsilier-Kompanie
  • Pioneer-Kompanie
  • Nachrichtren-Kompanie

36.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS, March 1945

  • Division Stab
  • 72.Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS
  • 73.Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS
  • Panzer-Abteilung Stansdorf I
  • Artillerie Abteilung 36
  • Füsilier Kompanie 36
  • 1244.(Heer) Grenadier-Regiment
  • 687.(Heer) Pioneer-Brigade
  • 681.(Heer) schwere-Panzerjäger-Abteilung

See also

This is a list of German divisions in WWII. Only ground units are covered; divisions of aircraft are not. ... Concentration camp in Nazi Germany. ... Waffen-SS recruitment poster; Volunteer to the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS was the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel. ... A paramilitary is a group of civilians trained and organized in a military fashion. ... Sleeve patch worn by men of the Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA. Kaminski Brigade RONA (Russian:Русская Освободительная Народная Армия) Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA 29. ... The Warsaw Uprising (Powstanie Warszawskie) was a controversial armed struggle during the Second World War by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation and Nazi rule. ...

References

  • MacLean, French L. - The Cruel Hunters: SS-Sonder-Kommando Dirlewanger Hitler's Most Notorious Anti-Partisan Unit
  • Michaelis, Rolf - Das SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger: Ein Beispiel deutscher Besatzungspolitik in Weißrussland
  • 36.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS at www.feldgrau.com


Divisions of the Waffen-SS
(see complete list)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Kaminski Brigade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1704 words)
The brigade was tasked with reducing controlling the partisan presence in the forests which covered the Bryansk Oblast.
Early in 1944, the brigade was relocated Warthegau.
In March 1944, the brigade was renamed Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski for a brief period, before it was absorbed as a part of the Waffen SS in June 1944.
Axis History Factbook: 1. SS-Infanterie-Brigade (mot) (1461 words)
Armee was fighting on the front from Korosten to Berdistchev and needed the SS Brigade to assist in its northern flank in the Pripet.
Some of the subunits of the Brigade also actively took part in the Holocaust while assisting Einsatzgruppen C in the mass shotings of the Jewish population of the Soviet Union.
Together with the SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger the Brigade was tasked with the destruction of a powerful partisan group under General Wiejerew in the swampy forests south of Borissov.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m