Nordic Volunteers: Finnish Battalion and Norwegian Legion

Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS
SS-Freiwilligen-Legion Norwegen
The Finnish SS-Freiwilligen Bataillon Nordost was formed in June 1941. It was a motorized infantry battalion of the Waffen-SS. The Finnish Government recruited men for service with the Waffen-SS for a two-year term in early 1941. For most of its existence it was attached to SS-Regiment Nordland of the SS-Division Wiking. While many Finns were already serving with Wiking, the battalion differed in that it was staffed with Finnish officers and NCOs. The battalion was praised by many Waffen-SS commanders. The mathematician Rolf Nevanlinna was chairman of the Committee for the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS. The Norwegian Legion (Den Norske Legion) was formed by the Waffen-SS in June 1941 in German-occupied Norway. The volunteers were deployed to Russia taking part in the fighting on the Leningrad front. The Legion was disbanded in March 1943. Most survivors of the Legion who wanted to continue fighting the Soviets were transferred to the SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 23 Norge, one of the regiments of the newly formed 11.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland. The soldiers of the Waffen-SS were living in a cruel remorseless world, forever removed from the ideological verbiage of the political SS. While the Waffen-SS divisions were fighting in the front line, behind the lines it was a different story. The first and second SS-Infanterie-Brigades, formed from former concentration camp guards for service behind the front line and the SS-Kavallerie-Brigade created for occupation duties and anti-partisan operations moved into the Soviet Union behind the advancing armies. They and the paramilitary death squads of the Einsatzgruppen were assigned to the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) and used for rear area security and policing, and were not under Army or Waffen-SS command. Images: Public domain.

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