Bergmann Battalion

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The Special Group Bergmann or the Bergmann Battalion (German: Sonderverband Bergmann, meaning "highlander") was a military unit of the German Abwehr during World War II, composed of five German-officered companies of the Caucasian volunteers.

History[edit]

The Bergmann battalion was formed of the émigrés and Soviet POWs from the Caucasian republics at Neuhammer in October 1941. Subordinated to the German commando battalion Bau-Lehr-Bataillons z.b.V. 800 and placed under the command of Oberleutnant Theodor Oberländer, the unit received training at Neuhammer and Mittenwald. Later a special 130-men-strong Georgian contingent of Abwehr codenamed “Tamara-II” was incorporated into Bergmann. By March 1942, there were five companies of some 300 Germans and 900 Caucasians:

  1. Georgian
  2. North Caucasian
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Georgian
  5. Staff company, composed of 130 Georgian émigrés

In August 1942, Bergmann went to the Eastern Front, where it saw its first action in the North Caucasus campaign in August 1942. The unit engaged in anti-partisan actions in the Mozdok-Nalchik-Mineralnye Vody area and conducted reconnaissance and subversion in the Grozny area. At the end of 1942, Bergmann conducted a successful sortie through the Soviet lines, bringing with them some 300 Red Army defectors, and covered the German retreat from the Caucasus. Bergmann went through a series of hard-fought engagements with the Soviet partisans and regular forces in the Crimea in February 1943 and was dissolved – like other Ostlegionen units – at the end of 1943. The significantly shrunken ex-Bergmann companies were dispatched to conduct police functions in Greece and Poland.[1]

The Bergmann group used as insignia a traditional Caucasian dagger (kindzhal) with curving blade, worn on the left side of the cap. Made of yellow metal, it was 7 cm long.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Abramian, Eduard: Forgotten Legion: Sonderverbande Bergmann in World War II, 1941-1945.[3] Bayside, NY: Europa Books Inc., 2007. ISBN 978-1891227714

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (German) Hoffmann, Joachim (1991), Kaukasien 1942/43: Das deutsche Heer und Orientvoelker der Sowjetunion. Freiburg, S. 46–47, 56, 195, 267. ISBN 3-7930-0194-6
  2. ^ Williamson, Gordon & Pavlović, Darko (2002), World War II German Battle Insignia, p. 43. Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-352-7
  3. ^ Hardcover, with full color dust jacket, oversized, 140 pages, The complete history of this special formation of North Caucasian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian volunteers who served in the Abwehr as part of the Brandenburg commandos, in the Abwehr "Bergmann" commando unit and later as an entire mountain infantry regiment whose three battalions fought in such regions of Europe as Southern Russia, the Crimea, the Ukraine, Poland and the Balkans (Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia). A NEW study with 90 photographs, 24 battle maps, numerous tables, charts, diagrams, Orders of Battle, many color and black and white line drawings, plus five (5) full color uniform plates by renowned military artist, Darko Pavlovic!