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Encyclopedia > Russian Liberation Army
A soldier of the Russian Liberation Army
A soldier of the Russian Liberation Army

Russian Liberation Army or ROA (Русская Освободительная Армия, Russkaya Osvoboditel'naya Armiya), also known as the Vlasov army, was a group of volunteer Russian forces allied with Nazi Germany during World War II. The ROA was organized by former Red Army general Andrey Vlasov, who tried to unite all Russians in opposing the USSR. Amidst the volunteers were Soviet prisoners of war, eastern workers (Ostarbeiter), and Russian emigrés (some of whom were veterans of the anticommunist White Army during the Russian Civil War). A soldier of the Russian Liberation Army. ... A soldier of the Russian Liberation Army. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead:17 million Civilian dead:33 million Total dead:50 million Military dead:8 million Civilian dead:4 million Total dead:12 million World War II... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... General Andrey Vlasov General Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov (Russian: Андрей Андреевич Власов; alternative transliterations of his names appear as Andrei Andreievich and as Vlassov or (in German) Wlassow) (September 14 (September 1 O.S.), 1900, Lomakino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast - August 2, 1946, Moscow) was a Soviet Army General who later worked for the Germans... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Eastern Workers or Ostarbeiter is the official term introduced in Nazi Germany to denote people of non-German national origin who inhabited the Reich Commissariat for the Ukraine, the General Commissariat for White Russia, or territories bordering on these territories to the east or on the former free states of... The White movement, whose military arm is known as the White Army (Белая Армия) or White Guard (Белая Гвардия, белогвардейцы) and whose members are known as Whites (Белые, or the derogatory Беляки) or White Russians (a term which has other meanings) comprised some of the Russian forces, both political and military, which opposed the Bolsheviks after the... The Russian Civil War was fought from 1918 to 1922. ...


Months after the invasion of the USSR, separate Russian volunteers who enlisted into the German Wehrmacht wore the patch of the Russian Liberation Army, an army which did not yet exist but was presented as a reality by German propaganda. These volunteers (called "Hiwis", an acronym for "Hilfswilliger" meaning "willing to help") were not under Vlasov's command or control; they were exclusively under German command carrying out various duties: guarding towns and villages from the Soviet partisans, chauffeurs, kitchen and medical units, rescue units. Soon, several German commanders began forming small armed units out of them, primarily used in battle against the partisans. German cavalry and motorized units entering Poland from East Prussia during the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Wehrmacht (help· info) (Defence force) was the name of the armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945. ... U.S. propaganda poster, depicting a Nazi stabbing a Bible. ... Hiwi may have the following meanings. ...


Adolf Hitler permitted the idea of the Russian Liberation Army to be used in propaganda literature so long as no real formations of the sort were permitted. As a result, some Red Army soldiers surrendered or defected in hopes of joining an army that did not yet exist. Meanwhile General Vlasov, along with his German and Russian allies, was desperately lobbying the German high command, hoping that a green light would be given for the formation of a real armed force that would be exclusively under Russian control. Hitler's staff repeatedly rejected these appeals with hostility, refusing to even consider them. Still, Vlasov and his allies reasoned that Hitler would eventually come to realize the futility of a war against the USSR and respond to Vlasov's demands. (help· info) (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 and Führer (Leader) of Germany from 1934 until his death. ...


When Hitler was informed about the large number of Russian and other former Soviet citizen volunteers in the Wehrmacht (a figure estimated at nearly 1 million) he panicked. Upon hearing a false report that these units were unreliable and defecting to the partisans, Hitler ordered their immediate transfer to the western front. Realizing the catastrophic effect that this would have on the eastern front, many German commanders took various elusive measures to keep their Russian volunteers from being transferred. Nevertheless, many Russian volunteers were transferred and forced to serve on western front positions. A number of them were on guard in northern France on D-Day, and without the equipment or the motivation to fight the allies, most promptly surrendered. There were instances of bitter fighting to the very end, triggered by mishandled propaganda from the Allies, promising quick repatriation of soldiers back to the Soviet Union if they gave up. Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ...


The ROA did not officially exist until the fall of 1944, after Heinrich Himmler persuaded a very reluctant Hitler to permit the formation of 10 Russian Liberation Army divisions. On 14 November in Prague, Vlasov read aloud the Prague Manifesto before the newly created Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. This document stated the purposes of the battle against Stalin, and spelled out 14 democratic points which the army was fighting for. German insistence that the document carry anti-Semitic rhetoric was successfully parried by Vlasov's committee; however, they were obliged to include a statement criticising the Western Allies, labelling them "plutocracies" that were "allies of Stalin in his conquest of Europe". (help· info) (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ... Prague (Czech: Praha, see also other names) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. ... The Prague Manifesto (in Russian: Пражский Манифест) is a document that was created by several members of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia, an anti-communist coalition of former Soviet military and citizens who aimed to overthrow Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and establish a democratic government in Russia... General Vlasov (in glasses) and members of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (in Russian: Комитет Освобождения Народов РоссиÐ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... A plutocracy is a form of government where all the states decisions are centralized in an affluent wealthy class of citizenry, and the degree of economic inequality is high while the level of social mobility is low. ...


By the end of the war, only one division was fully formed, under the command of General Sergei Bunyachenko. A second division was incomplete but already put into action under the command of General Grigorii Meandrov. A third only began formation.


The first and only active combat the Russian Liberation Army undertook against the Red Army was by Lake Oder on 11 April, 1945, done largely at the insistence of Himmler as a test of the army's reliability. After three days, the outnumbered first division had to retreat. No defections to the Soviet side were reported; however, up to 300 Red Army soldiers had surrendered during battle. Vlasov then ordered the first division to march south to concentrate all loyal to him Russian anticommunist forces together. As the army, he reasoned, they could all surrender to the Allies on "favorable" (no repatriation) terms. Vlasov sent several secret delegations to begin negotiating a surrender to the Allies.


During the march south, the first division of the ROA came to the help of the Czech partisans to support the Prague Uprising which started on May 5, 1945 against the German occupation. The ROA engaged in battle with SS units that had been sent to level the city. The ROA units armed with heavy weaponry fended the relentless SS assault, and together with the Czech partisans succeeded in preserving most of Prague from destruction. Due to the predominance of communists in the new Czech Rada, the first division had to leave the city the very next day and tried to surrender to US Third Army of General Patton. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... Rada is the term for council or assembly borrowed by Polish from Middle High German Rat (council) and later passed into Czech, Ukrainian, and Belarusian languages. ... The US Third Army was first activated as a formation during the First World War. ... George Smith Patton, Jr. ...


With the end of the war being imminent, the ROA began seeking active contact with the western allies, hoping they would sympathise with their goals and potentially use them in a future war with the USSR.


The Allies had little interest in aiding or sheltering the ROA, especially when that aid would severely harm relations with the USSR. Soon after, Vlasov and most of his supporters were caught by the Soviets, or forcefully extradited to them by the Allies. Even those ROA soldiers who surrendered or escaped to Allied controlled areas faced repatriation to the Soviets. The great majority of these soldiers were sent to Gulags. It was declared that all the Vlasovtsy (followers of Vlasov) were traitors. Summary exile to hard labor camps in Siberia for 10 years was the mildest sentence for them. Gulag (Russian: ГУЛАГ (help· info)) is an acronym for Главное Управление Исправительно—Трудовых Лагерей и колоний, Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey i kolonii, The Chief Directorate [or Administration] of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies of the NKVD. Anne Applebaum, in her book Gulag: A History, explains: Literally, the word GULAG is an acronym, meaning Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or... Siberia is also an album by Echo & The Bunnymen. ...


Vlasov and several other leaders of the ROA were tried and hanged in Moscow on August 3 1946.


See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with RONA. (Discuss) 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 Lokot Republic (Russian: Локотская Республика) was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi occupied Russia under an all-Russian administration from 1941 to 1943. ... The Eastern Front at the time of the Prague Offensive. ... Operation Keelhaul was a programme carried out in Austria by British forces in May and June 1945 that decided the fate of thousands of post-war refugees fleeing eastern Europe. ... Categories: Stub | Companies of Canada ... Ataman Pyotr Krasnov Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov (Петр Николаевич Краснов in Russian) (September 22 (10 O.S.), 1869 — January 17, 1947), sometimes referred to in English as Peter Krasnov, was Lieutenant General of the Russian army when the revolution broke out in 1917, and one of the leaders of the counterrevolutionary White movement afterwards. ... Andrei Shkuro Andrei Grigoriyevich Shkuro (Shkura) (Андрей Григорьевич Шкуро (Шкура) in Russian) (January 19, 1887 (O.S.: January 7) – January 17, 1947) was a Lieutenant General (1919) of the White movement. ...

External links

  • Russian Liberation Army information page by veteran Alexander Dubov
  • Russian Liberation Army online group
  • Cossacks in German Service
  • Russian Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht in WWII by Lt. Gen Wladyslaw Anders and Antonio Munoz

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