División Española de Voluntarios – División Azul
The Spanish Blue Division (División Azul), officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250.Infanterie-Division in the German Army, faced a major Soviet attempt to break the siege of Leningrad in February 1943, when the Soviet Army 55 attacked the Spanish positions at the Battle of Krasny Bor. Despite heavy casualties, the Spaniards were able to hold their ground against a Soviet force seven times larger and supported by tanks. The assault was contained and the siege of Leningrad was maintained for a further year. It remained on the Leningrad front where they suffered heavy casualties both due to cold and to enemy action. The Spanische-Freiwilligen Kompanie der SS 101, under command of Waffen-Hauptsturmführer der SS Miguel Ezquerra (1903 – 1984), fought the last days of World War II against the Soviets in Berlin in May 1945 as part of 11.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland. Image: A comrade nails a division sleeve badge on the grave of Corporal Marcelino Gil Martin of the Blue Division in Grigorovo at Leningrad sector. This photo was taken in June 1943 when his brother, Lieutenant Angel Eustaquio Gil Martin obtained permission to go to the sector looking for the grave of his brother Marcelino, fallen the previous year. Credit: Doug Banks. Public domain.