Finland... Good, Bad, or Cursed? - Page 2




 
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August 4th, 2011  
sunb!
 
 
A complete list and full comments to each military unit found here: http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1516
August 5th, 2011  
Seehund
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
While messing around on the net I found this however I wont vouch for its accuracy...

Denmark 10,000 in Freikorps Danemark, 11th SS Div.
Frikorps Danmark was a battalion size unit of 1.200 men. The Corps formed an independent battalion in SS Division Totenkopf until 1943 when it was dissolved.
August 6th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seehund
Frikorps Danmark was a battalion size unit of 1.200 men. The Corps formed an independent battalion in SS Division Totenkopf until 1943 when it was dissolved.
I am not sure I concur, everything I read is a bit sketchy but there appears to be references that say anything from 1000 to 12000 volunteers.

Also to be fair the unit wasn't dissolved in 1943 it was integrated into 11th SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division Nordland and must have been of at least regimental strength as according to the war diaries of the division one Battalion of the Danmark regiment was withdrawn to Germany to refit in late May 1944.
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August 6th, 2011  
Seehund
 
It was created 19th July 1941 as an independent battalion with five companies. It dissolves 20th May 1943. The volunteers were urged to join the Regiment 24 Denmark but many did not want to continue and believed it was a breach of contract.

The war diary is intact here in Denmark just as the strength lists. There were 896 total in the 5 companies.
August 6th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seehund
It was created 19th July 1941 as an independent battalion with five companies. It dissolves 20th May 1943. The volunteers were urged to join the Regiment 24 Denmark but many did not want to continue and believed it was a breach of contract.

The war diary is intact here in Denmark just as the strength lists. There were 896 total in the 5 companies.
Yet Regiment 24 went on to form part of the 11th SS Division so there must have been a significant number of volunteers...

http://www.waffen-ss.no/Nordland-english.htm

http://slesvigske.dk/danmark.htm

It would be my guess and it is just a guess that the number of 10000 is the total number of volunteers and replacements recruited throughout the war to maintain the units strength at 1000-1200.
August 6th, 2011  
sunb!
 
 
'It was common that for battalion and regiment sizes to be significantly below what was standard at the war's outbreak. Some units were defined as a company on paper and in the war diaries - but was in reality no more than 50 to 60 men from 1943 and onwards. Not only in the Werhmacht...
August 6th, 2011  
Seehund
 
SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 24 "Denmark" was officially established on 6 May 1943 and many of the Danish volunteers from the Frikorps Denmark, SS Inf. Reg "Nordland" and otherWaffen SS units were transferred to the new SS Regiment Denmark. But expectations for recruitment in Denmark did not go as expected so the regiment was filled up with Germans and Romanians of German descent. The Regiment was not fully staffed until the 20th May 1943.

At the end of 1943 the regiment consisted of 1,200 Danes, 1,120 ethnic Germans from Romania and 800 Germans. So there never was a purely Danish regiment. At the end of 1944 approx. 12,180 Danes had volunteered for the Waffen SS. How many who tried to enroll in the course of the wars last months is not known but it can hardly be many. According to the German archives from 1940 to the end of 1944 exactly 5,637 Danes was accepted for service in the Waffen SS.
August 6th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
I am not arguing with the 1200 Danes on operational status what I am saying is that to maintain that number through out the war possibly required the 10,000 men that was mentioned in my original post and as you have pointed out that 12,180 volunteered I suspect that is where the number of 10,000 came from.

I am not disagreeing with you I am just trying to ascertain the accuracy of the original data I posted.
August 7th, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
Back to topic?

Finland have a short and violent story as a free republic, and the country itself wasn't 100% unified at the outspring of the Winter-War either.
What the Soviet bombing did was to consolidate the people of Finland, and make them stand up against the agressors as one nation claiming it's right to independance.

Finland had any right to hope for support from their neighbouring countries, but as Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (all hampered by governments strung up with peace-at-all-cost slogans) claimed neutrality, there was little official help to gain from them.

The Swedes did their share, but had to keep a low profile.
Norway had neither the guts, nor the means to do anything.
Volunteers for the support of Finlands cause had to work in the darkness, as the government was hardcore pasifists, and on a strict, and clearly naive, neutral lane.
Military personel on contract had to apply for a leave of absence, but couldn't name Finland as a cause for it.
The volunteers had to gather at stations in small groups before leaving, but it should be noticed that government officials turned a blind eye towards it.
As we couldn't openly do much in means of military support, the solution was to send backpacks filled with non-military equipment that none the less was of strategic importance for the soldiers in Finland who recieved them.
There was a demand for warm clothing and winter camoflage, so the "cottage-industry" responded by sending large quantities of what was often labeled "white-pajamas" to Finland.

While the Winter-War was a fight Finland had to take on their own, the Continuation-War was indeed with German support, and thus it has not reached the same status of a "Sacred-War" as the Winter-War in Finland.

Allthough Finland did fight on the Axis side of the conflict, it should be noticed that Finland was quite strict on the matter, they fought for Finland, and not for the sake of Hitlers dream about a Third Reich stretching out all over the world.
Even the volunteers from Finland who fought in German Waffen-SS units were bound by a contract stating that they would only fight against the Soviet Union, and only as long as Finland was actively in a state of war with the Soviet Union.
Also, there was little sympathy for German causes in Finland.

What may be interesting here is that Scandinavia was a British area of influence when it came to the post-war situation, and the rather harsh conditions brought upon Finland after the war was of British origin.
That is the limitations of armed forces, the war-reparations paid to the Soviet Union afterwards was a Soviet invention.
August 7th, 2011  
KJ
 
 
1939-40 8000 Swedes were committed at Märkajärvi on the Salla front section along with some 700 Norwegians.

At Hangöudd 1941 Swedish Kusjägarkompaniet belonging to the Swedish voluntary battalion got it´s baptism in fire.
After a blockade and constant harassing patrols the Soviets withdrew their forces from one of (at the time ) most heavily armed outposts on finnish soil.

During the winter and continuation war 117 Swedish soldiers were KIA along with 2 Norwegians and 1 Dane serving in the Swedish volunteer units during this time.

I have not found an accurate number of WIA but some sources claim that number times three.

I know that these figures does not include pilots wich all three of the scandinavian nations provided also on a volunteer basis.


Some interesting information on the armament of Hangöudd for my fellow scandinavians that read swedish.
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hang%C3%B6fronten

KJ sends..
 


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