Talk:4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division
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Straightening out the history
Within the confines of space, the tangled relations of the relations between the Orpo, the Polizei-division and the SS need to be straightened out. The article as it stands, referring to the "SS-controlled police", is highly misleading especially WRT to the applicable period before the Polizei-div was rolled into the Waffen-SS in early 1942.
The Orpo was formed by, and reported to, Himmler *not* in his capacity as Reichsfuhrer-SS, but in his capacity as Chief of German Police in the Interior Ministry. (After Himmler succeeded Frick as Minister he transferred the Orpo to the SS-Hauptamt, but that happened later than the relevant period). Those were different hats on the same head and should not be confused, just as Daluege's job as Orpo chief should not be confused (pre-43) with his status as an SS Obergruppenfuhrer.
When the Polizei-division was first formed prior to the Western Campaigns it was a branch of the Orpo and had nothing to do with the SS, aside from the "personal union" of its bosses. Its intended function was to permit policemen to satisfy their military service obligation and avoid conscription; Orpo members rotated through the Division throughout the war. In January 1941 the Divison (which had been very poorly trained and equipped, and thus confined largely to the reserve), saw its logistics, training etc transferred to the inspectorates of the SS-Fuhrungshauptamt, which was effectively the Waffen-SS high command; but it was still considered a branch of the police for another year, and its men were not enrolled in the SS. Division personnel like all policemen might happen to be reserve members of the Allgemeine-SS, but that was a contingent occurrence. Only in February 1942 was the division formally transferred from the Ministry to the Waffen-SS and its men given SS membership numbers. (Over the course of the transition year, police insignia gradually gave way to Waffen-SS badges, culminating in SS collar patches and ranks replacing those of the Orpo). Solicitr (talk) 22:55, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Lost in translation
I have just completed a copyedit on this article, including one or two word translations after the SS ranks and units, but there are a number of terms which left me and my German wife baffled:
In the '1943' section:
'Dina 4' - Huh?
'Wirtscha(r)fts battalion'; Looking in two English/German dictionaries only produced words like 'economy' and 'economic', which I don't think was originally intended. Certainly when I was serving in the British Army, I'd never come across such a term in the Bundeswehr.
I was amazed to come across a 'war reporter' platoon!
One final thought, were the members of this division tatooed in '42' or at any other time for that matter? It would be good if there was a mention RASAM (talk) 22:57, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
- War reporter platoon (Kriegsberichter-zug). Yup. The SS War Reporter Company, later Regiment, had a platoon attached to each SS division starting with the invasion of France; their principal function was photographic and film records of the unit's operations, all feeding into the Nazi propaganda apparatus. Of course, every US Army division today has a "Public Affairs Office"...
- Wirtschafts-battailon- when I saw that I thought surely there's a mistake; what's meant is Wirtschaftsabteilung; but, no, it was a 'bataillon', a term not actually used that often by the Germans except for infantry battalions. I really, really doubt it was anything like a US "civilian reconstruction unit"; could it have something to do with processing confiscated loot? The SS tended towards euphemisms for its uglier operations; the concentration camps were run by the "Economic-Administrative" (Wirtschafts-Verwaltungs) Main Office. It wouldn't have been the paymasters, who were Beamten, civil servants.