Foreign volunteers and conscripts

An unidentified SS man
In 1942, the Waffen-SS was further expanded and by the second half of 1942 an increasing number of Western European volunteers and conscripted ethnic Germans, so-called Volksdeutsche, began entering the ranks. SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS Felix Steiner created a capable formation from disparate elements, and he commanded the SS-Division Wiking competently through the many battles in the east from 1941 until his promotion to command the III. (Germanic) SS-Panzerkorps in April 1943.
SS-Division Wiking Division Command Post 22 January 1942. Combat leadership and treatment of personnel. More than any other formation, this Division must be careful to ensure that the treatment of its soldiers by the chain-of-command is handled in the correct manner. 
The most important consideration for enlightened treatment of personal is the tireless and continuing care of the superior for the well-being of his subordinates. He must reach the state where all of his subordinates have complete trust in him and know without a doubt that he is always their best comrade. 
In particular, platoon leaders and company commanders must always be near their men. They must be their men´s model and example, have their confidence in all manners and never be standoffish. The more sensible, conscientious and warmhearted the leadership of a unit is, the greater is its cohesiveness and fighting value. It is exactly in regard to our Nordic volunteers that this humane treatment of our forces appears to me to be of quite decisive importance. /signed/ SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner. Credit: Peter Straßner: European VolunteersImage: An unidentified SS man. Public domain.

No comments:

Post a Comment