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  • Axis Minor Allies

    As we all know, Germany had some Minor allies joining them in the fight against the Soviet Union. They were:

    Romania
    Hungary
    Bulgaria
    Croatia
    Finland (co-belligerent status?)

    There were also Russian troops, Vlasov's Army and others called Hiwis (one and the same?)

    What are your opinions on the status of these troops? Were they all inferior in quality to the Germans or not as well trained, lead and equiped?
    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

  • #2
    I remember reading several places that the Romanians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians just didn't stick up well when faced with overwhelming Soviet forces and were more likely to break and run (though not as often as the Italians). The Croats were quite dogged and the Finns... they kicked the Soviets in the teeth and gave them bloddy noses multiple times until they just flat got run over. It's probably a good thing they only kept to the Northern flank and had so few troops (comparitively) otherwise the Soviets would have been in trouble.
    If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dannybou
      As we all know, Germany had some Minor allies joining them in the fight against the Soviet Union. They were:

      Romania
      Hungary
      Bulgaria
      Croatia
      Finland (co-belligerent status?)

      There were also Russian troops, Vlasov's Army and others called Hiwis (one and the same?)

      What are your opinions on the status of these troops? Were they all inferior in quality to the Germans or not as well trained, lead and equiped?
      Vlasov's Army were not Hiwis -- that term was used for unarmed (more or less) volunteers who served in support roles in German units.

      Your list should also have included Italy (of course) and Slovakia. Security personnel from all occupied countries were also used by the Germans to augment them (e.g., Dutch police and militia were used to fight Op Market-Garden).

      Most (if not all) European countries provided volunteers, some of which formed their units (from platoon through division size); this is also true of most of the parts of the Soviet Union and Poland that were occupied (e.g., Azerbaijan, Ukraine). There were even tiny units composed of Americans, Indians, and Brits.

      Most of these forces (all of them other than the volunteers from the Western European and Baltic states) were the proverbial bottom of the barrel, but some had flashes of mediocrity. The Croats were good at shooting Serbs (and vice versa). Finland’s exploits have been regaled elsewhere. The Hungarians fought like tigers against the Romanians (after the latter switched sides and invaded Hungary under Soviet control).

      Ethnic Germans from everywhere in Europe also joined German units and could be drafted into the SS.

      JS
      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


      "Never pet a burning dog."

      RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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      • #4
        I believe there were also Spanish volunteers fighting for Germany. The Blue Legion?
        Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

        Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
          I believe there were also Spanish volunteers fighting for Germany. The Blue Legion?
          Yep. Suffered heavily at Krasny Bor, near Leningrad(St Petersburg)
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
            I believe there were also Spanish volunteers fighting for Germany. The Blue Legion?
            La Division Azul
            http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

            Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Janos
              Vlasov's Army were not Hiwis -- that term was used for unarmed (more or less) volunteers who served in support roles in German units.

              Your list should also have included Italy (of course) and Slovakia. Security personnel from all occupied countries were also used by the Germans to augment them (e.g., Dutch police and militia were used to fight Op Market-Garden).

              Most (if not all) European countries provided volunteers, some of which formed their units (from platoon through division size); this is also true of most of the parts of the Soviet Union and Poland that were occupied (e.g., Azerbaijan, Ukraine). There were even tiny units composed of Americans, Indians, and Brits.

              Most of these forces (all of them other than the volunteers from the Western European and Baltic states) were the proverbial bottom of the barrel, but some had flashes of mediocrity. The Croats were good at shooting Serbs (and vice versa). Finland’s exploits have been regaled elsewhere. The Hungarians fought like tigers against the Romanians (after the latter switched sides and invaded Hungary under Soviet control).

              Ethnic Germans from everywhere in Europe also joined German units and could be drafted into the SS.

              JS
              Forgot the Slovaks, sorry. Didn't include Italy as I consider them major Axis Power not a Minor one.
              http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

              Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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              • #8
                It was the Romanians I believe who crumbled under a Soviet onslaught that allowed them to encircle Stalingrad.

                Dr. S.
                Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                www.tabletown.co.uk

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                • #9
                  For the most part they were,poorly trained, poorly equiped and poorly lead. The Finns showed some elan though. But they didn't move much past their old borders lost from their first war with Russia.

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                  • #10
                    The Finns

                    Pretty much the ONLY reason they joined Germany was they saw it as their only way to gain back land lost in the Winter War. That is why they didn't go past their borders after joining Germany.

                    dog

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
                      I believe there were also Spanish volunteers fighting for Germany. The Blue Legion?
                      Absolutely right. Each of the following provided at least one division.

                      Spain
                      Latvia
                      Lithuania
                      Estonia
                      Belgium
                      France
                      Netherlands
                      Albania
                      Bosnia
                      Ukraine

                      The following provided a division or more of volunteers to the German armed forces, in addition their own forces:

                      Italy (post 1944)
                      Hungary

                      JS
                      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                      "Never pet a burning dog."

                      RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                      http://www.mormon.org
                      http://www.sca.org
                      http://www.scv.org/
                      http://www.scouting.org/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dannybou
                        Didn't include Italy as I consider them major Axis Power not a Minor one.
                        True...but IMHO not after the Italians surrendered to the allies in 1944.

                        JS
                        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                        "Never pet a burning dog."

                        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                        http://www.mormon.org
                        http://www.sca.org
                        http://www.scv.org/
                        http://www.scouting.org/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
                          It was the Romanians I believe who crumbled under a Soviet onslaught that allowed them to encircle Stalingrad.

                          Dr. S.
                          It was. In numerous German accounts they describe seeing thousands of Romanians running across the snow throwing away everything they had, fleeing the Russians.

                          JS
                          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                          "Never pet a burning dog."

                          RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                          http://www.mormon.org
                          http://www.sca.org
                          http://www.scv.org/
                          http://www.scouting.org/

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                          • #14
                            Axis Minors trivia: - something about Bulgaria, their participation in WWII was limited to Greece and Yugoslavia. The Soviets faced a (not so sticky) situation when they got to Bulgaria, in that Bulgaria had never declared war on the Soviet Union.

                            Of course - preponderance of force takes care of most sticky situations.

                            With regards to the other nations (apart from Finland - which was a special case).

                            It illustrates pretty well about the lack of German manpower in the Soviet Union. I recall one game of Fire in the East where I actually looked forward to the arrival of the Italian forces - as the South was very thin - as far as German troops there.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chrisvalla
                              I remember reading several places that the Romanians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians just didn't stick up well when faced with overwhelming Soviet forces and were more likely to break and run (though not as often as the Italians). The Croats were quite dogged and the Finns... they kicked the Soviets in the teeth and gave them bloddy noses multiple times until they just flat got run over. It's probably a good thing they only kept to the Northern flank and had so few troops (comparitively) otherwise the Soviets would have been in trouble.
                              Hungarians participated in the Operation Blue with good record, later they failed to hold the Don river (however they were the last to leave in that sector, the Germans were faster, and after that the 2nd German Army was annihilated in the same way, so I don't know),
                              Hungary reduced their participation until 1944, they stopped the Soviets at the Carpathians (so the Soviet attacked to the Iasi-Kisinhev direction/Rumania), later they stopped them at the Torda-Maros river (so the Soviet changed the direction again), the defender of Budapest were half of them Hungarians, in 1945 the Hungarian participation reduced due to losses.
                              So I think the record generally not so bad, but I would never say the Hungarians were equal to the German (as no country including US were equal to the German).
                              a brain cell

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