As the Spanish volunteers fought against Soviet Union

As the Spanish volunteers fought against Soviet Union

Hitler said about the soldiers of the 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht, consisting of Spaniards, "can not imagine a more fearless guys. Like, "they trample death." In the Soviet Union they were perceived as mercenaries of the dictator Franco, and were partly right. But most of the Madrid Volunteers wanted to be in Russia passionate lovers, which, however, did not prevent them well to fight our soldiers.

In the war with the Soviet Union, as an adventure

June 28, 1941, Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain (in the Middle Ages the so called leaders with absolute 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 said that with the country of the eastern barbarians will be finished in 5 weeks since the week "Operation Barbarossa," the Germans destroyed the main part of the Red Army, and far advanced deep into Soviet territory.

It Franco was a phenomenal success. At some points on the recruitment of volunteers receiving plan was exceeded by one day. A week later, a list of the Spaniards, above all, members of the ultra-nationalist party "Phalanx", ready to fight on the side of the Wehrmacht, exceeded staffing Infantry Division 40 times. This enthusiastically told the Madrid newspaper. In fact, men are not enough, and Franco joined the lack of volunteers due to regular soldiers.

Blue Division, which became the "blue"

"Phalange" wore blue shirts as a sign of commitment to their party. That is why the 250-th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht had initially name the blue, and then - blue. Of the 18,694 soldiers of its first 6000 were Madrid University students and cadets - most young people 18-22 years. A regular army officers of all the forces is not very eager to get into the Wehrmacht. I had some evaders lower in rank, up to the rank and file. But even in these conditions, it was scored a little more than two-thirds of staff commanders, and the lack of covered by the Civil War veterans.

In the crusade against communism

Author of the book "Hitler's Spanish Legion: Blue Division in Russia," wrote Gerald Kleynfeld that many young Spaniards believed the Soviet people's personal enemies, guilty of civil strife in Spain. That is why the volunteers saw themselves as participants in the crusade against communism, something like war on a red Hell.

In fact, they have been deceived. Sly Franco thereby placate Hitler, who, through his protégé - the Spanish Foreign Minister Ramon Sunyer sought to draw Madrid in an armed conflict with London. Recall that in October 1940 between the heads of Germany and Spain, held a 9-hour meeting in which the Fuhrer was trying to persuade the caudillo to declare war on England. Head of the third Reich, though guessed cunning and insincerity vis, the second time to talk about this with Franco refused. "I'd rather rip out all the teeth," Hitler said.

The Spaniards did not clean rifles

Having a crash course in Bavaria, the soldiers of the Blue Division proved to be cheerful and reckless guys who did not understand why salute superiors. Once on the eastern front, they continued to enrage the Germans improper care of weapons and disregard for digging trenches. Hitler even Franco complained: "They believe that the rifle can not be cleaned under any pretext."

Having a crash course in Bavaria, the soldiers of the Blue Division proved to be cheerful and reckless guys who did not understand why salute superiors. Once on the eastern front, they continued to enrage the Germans improper care of weapons and disregard for digging trenches. Hitler even Franco complained: "They believe that the rifle can not be cleaned under any pretext."

Passionate lovers

And the Spaniards put on trunks rifles inflated condoms, wrote Gerald Kleynfeld, showing German officers disregard for the prohibition of sexual relations with the women of the occupied territories. Thus, they, according to historians, positioned themselves passionate lovers, not murderers, rapists, which was missing in the German army. In response, the Wehrmacht supply vessels specially delivered in the Blue Division of the bad food and clothing. Little revenge Germans led to the fact that by December 1941, 700 Spaniards were sent home disabled due to poor nutrition.

The first battle and first victory of

The whole of September and beginning of October 1941 Blue Division was walking from the Polish town of Suwalki to Soviet Vitebsk - up to 35 km per day and 20 kg of military cargo behind each fighter. The entire route was 1000 km. Command of the Wehrmacht, the frame of the Spaniards in such a long journey, in fact tries to "re-educate". For "blue" is not only daring, but expressed seditious thoughts, they say, came to fight against the Reds, not with a Russian.

October 2, 1941 in the New Chapel 2 nd Battalion 269 th regiment of the Blue Division attacked the Soviet battalion, who was trying to cross the river Volkhov. With the advantage of the position of the Spaniards killed soldiers and captured about 80 soldiers of the Red Army. Given that intelligence and the headquarters of the Wehrmacht provided a "blue" precise timing and direction of the blow, the outcome of the battle was predetermined in advance.

General Frost

December 27 troops of the 52nd Army of the Red Army inflicted a heavy blow to the 250-th Division. In addition to Russian bullets and shells volunteers Franco ruthlessly killed General Frost. Soldiers of the 269 th Infantry Regiment, who fell into Soviet captivity in the Red Bor district, said that in the companies only a third of the composition remains. Many of the soldiers froze to death and died of his wounds. They were placed in a terrible kordvudy - in Russian in the woodpile. I wrote about this General Esteban-Infantes in his book, "Blue Division. The volunteers on the Eastern Front. " In general, the winter of 1941 and spring of 1942 the Spaniards, being between the German units fought well, getting from the allies the necessary support at critical moments, including aviation. However, in defense of the Wehrmacht, they have always been the weak link.

Blue Legion

October 20, 1943 Francisco Franco disbanded the "Blue Division" and ordered the soldiers to return home. On the one hand high losses in Russia undermined the political authority of the caudillo, on the other - has increased the political pressure from the United States. Realizing that the 3rd Reich was doomed, the Spanish leader was in a hurry to issue the complete neutrality, to avoid the blow of the German enemies. Despite the military hardships, did not return anything. About two thousand diehard Phalange formed the "Blue Legion" under the command of the Wehrmacht. In total, according to Gerald Kleynfelda against parts of the Red Army fought over 45 thousand Spaniards. A considerable part of them are found in Russia last refuge with birch cross at the head.