The focus of this book is on the troops raised by the Germans in the far-eastern parts of their conquests – the Caucasus, Turkestan, along the Volga and in the Crimea.
The book looks at four types of unit – Intelligence units formed for the war in the Caucasus, the Eastern Legions – infantry battalions formed in the area, Crimean Tatar Forces and Kalmyk Forces.
The section on the main legions starts with a general overview – how many were raised, how they were organised and equipped, what uniforms they wore etc, along with a brief record of where each one fought. Each Legion then gets a longer section – for the Turkestan, Georgian, Armenian, North Caucasus and Volga-Tatar Legions, each with a brief history of the area, examination of its population and discussion of the units formed, their insignia and a brief record of where they were deployed. This section finishes with a brief overview of their military deployment – from the initial Caucasus campaign to their use in the garrison of France.
A great deal of factual information is squeezed into the text, so if you want a reference work on these units, with lots of information on their organisation, deployments, insignia etc, then this book will be useful.
The big flaw in this book is that it totally ignores the war crimes committed by some of these units. This includes taking part in some of the massacres during the Warsaw Uprising and war crimes committed in northern Italy. Instead there are several mentions of ‘anti-partisan’ duties or ‘security duties’, phrases which often hide something much worse.
German Intelligence in the Caucasus
The Eastern Legions
Uniforms & Insignia
The Eastern Legions: Profiles
Crimean Tatar Forces
Author: Nigel Thomas