|Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS|
The Finnish SS-Freiwilligen-Bataillon Nordost left SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking in March 1943, and were replaced with the Estonian SS-Frewilligen-Bataillon Narwa. Heinrich Himmler decided that the ethnic Swedish community had positively influenced all of Finland, and that all Finns, therefor, could be considered Germanic and given full SS membership. The Finnish volunteers had fought well, and were accepted as full comrades within SS-Wiking. Up to that time, the Finnish battalion was involved in all of Wiking´s battles, fighting in the Kalmuck Steppe, in the retreat through Rostov, and finally, along the Donets during the campaign which saw the recapture of Kharkov. Individual Finns remained with the Waffen-SS until the end of World War II. Credit: Marc Rikmenspoel. Image: Finnish Waffen-SS volunteers march past Wiking commander SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner in Ruhpolding on May 23 1943 before leaving for Finland. Commons Bundesarchiv.
Labels: C:II March – June 1943