29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian)

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29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian)'
Ronav.png
Active August 1944
Country Nazi Germany Germany
Allegiance Adolf Hitler
Branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Type Infantry
Colors White, Blue, and Red             
Commanders
Notable
commanders

Bronislav Kaminski
Christoph Von Diehm

29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian) (German: 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS RONA (russische Nr.1)) was a Waffen SS Grenadier division intended to be formed from the personnel of the S.S. Sturmbrigade R.O.N.A. (also known as the Kaminski Brigade) following Heinrich Himmler's order of August 1, 1944. 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian) never existed as such.[1][2][3] At that time the brigade's manpower was estimated to be 3,000-4,000 men.[4] The reorganization was postponed during the Warsaw Uprising which started that same day. On August 4, 1944 the brigade was ordered to assist in the efforts in crushing the Uprising. A mixed regiment of 1600-1700 members of the brigade was used against insurgents until the end of August 1944. Waffen-Brigadeführer der SS Bronislav Kaminski and chief-of-staff Waffen-Obersturmbannführer Ilya Shavykin were killed by the SS under unknown circumstances shortly thereafter.[citation needed] The death of Kaminski and unreliability of his troops as a combat unit ended plans to expand the Kaminski Brigade to a division. In 1945 its number was reassigned to 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Italian).

History[edit]

Plans to form a division from the personnel of the S.S. Sturmbrigade R.O.N.A. (also known as the Kaminski Brigade) which appeared in 1942 as an anti-partisan formation made of the people from the so-called Lokot Autonomy territory in the Nazi Germany-occupied areas of Russia during World War II. Its leader Bronislav Kaminski named it as Russian Liberation People's Army (Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya, RONA). In spring 1943, Kaminski Brigade increased to 10-12 thousand soldiers armed with equipment provided by captured soviet tanks and artillery. From the beginning of its existence the formation was involved in action against partisans and also took part in reprisal operations against the civilian population, committing numerous atrocities against it.

After Operation Citadel, personnel of the R.O.N.A. retreated to Belarus and were stationed in the Lepel area of Vitebsk, and were involved in anti-partisan activities and committed numerous atrocities against the civilian population. In March 1944, the unit was renamed Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski (Peoples Brigade Kaminski) for a brief period, before it was absorbed as a part of the Waffen-SS in June 1944. With its transfer to the Waffen-SS, the brigade was renamed Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA, and Kaminski was given the rank of Waffen-Brigadeführer der SS. After Operation Bagration, personnel retreated again further west and by the end of July 1944 remains of the Kaminski unit (3-4 thousands [some sources give 6-7 thousands] were collected at the SS training camp Neuhammer.[citation needed]

Suppression of Warsaw uprising[edit]

Main article: Warsaw Uprising

In 1944 Kaminsky took part in the crushing of the Warsaw Uprising, in the Ochota area, where R.O.N.A. committed many war crimes (murder, rape and robbery). According to respected views, the soldiers committed almost 700 murders though numbering only 1% of German forces at the time of the Warsaw uprising.[5] Kaminski thought himself to have direct authority from the SS commander Heinrich Himmler and he didn't want to accept orders from general SS Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, who was in charge of German forces in Warsaw.[6]

Kaminski allegedly gave his men permission to loot [7] — and many did. Kaminski's brigade soon lost any combat worthiness and Kaminski himself focused entirely on collecting valuables stolen from civilian homes.[8] Perhaps 10,000 residents of Warsaw were killed in the Ochota massacre, most murdered by Kaminski's men.[9]

Commanders[edit]

Planned order of battle[edit]

  • Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS 72 (russische Nr.1)
  • Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS 73 (russische Nr.2)
  • Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS 74 (russische Nr.3)
  • Waffen-Artillerie-Regiment der SS 29 (russische Nr.1)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GEORG TESSIN Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 VIERTER BAND: Die Landstreitkrafte 15—30 VERLAG E. S. MITTLER & SOHN GMBH. - FRANKFURT/MAIN 1970
  2. ^ GEORG TESSIN Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 SECHSTER BAND: Die Landstreitkrafte 71-130 BIBLI O VERLAG OSNABRUCK 1972
  3. ^ p.399 GEORG TESSIN Verbande und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 ERSTER BAND: HIBLIO VERLAG OSNABRUCK 1977
  4. ^ (German) 29.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr.1)
  5. ^ Jerzy Kirchmayer (1978). Powstanie warszawskie (in Polish). Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza. p. 367. ISBN 83-05-11080-X. 
  6. ^ Jerzy Kirchmayer (1978). Powstanie warszawskie (in Polish). Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza. p. 367. ISBN 83-05-11080-X. 
  7. ^ "Протокол судебного заседания Военной коллегии Верховного суда СССР по делу военнослужащих бригады РОНА Ивана Фролова и других". Wolfschanze.narod.ru. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  8. ^ Jerzy Kirchmayer (1978). Powstanie warszawskie (in Polish). Warsaw: Książka i Wiedza. ISBN 83-05-11080-X. 
  9. ^ Jozef Wroniszewski (1970). Ochota 1944. Warszawa.