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By Carlos Caballero Jurado

The all-volunteer 'Blue department' was once a formation that allowed Franco's technically impartial Spain to aid Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. Following preliminary education in Germany, the Blue Division's devices have been despatched to the japanese entrance in August 1941, the place, after a 40-day march to front, the department fought in different significant battles together with Leningrad. In 1943, with the tide turning opposed to the Axis forces in Russia, the department was once ordered to be withdrawn, but many males selected to stick on and serve with the Volunteer Legion. Even after the cave in within the East, a few volunteered to serve with Waffen-SS devices via to the autumn of Berlin in 1945. This publication narrates the reports of the typical soldier, exploring his motivation for serving the Wehrmacht, and detailing his dramatic reviews in a brutal and adversarial theater of worldwide struggle II.

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Additional info for Blue Division soldier 1941-45: Spanish volunteer on the Eastern Front

Sample text

This was just the moment in which the Red Army launched its winter offensive and Hitler demanded to his forces to hold at all costs. The Blue Division was able to operate perfectly well in this new situation. The Spanish Division's weaknesses in the war of movement again became apparent when some of its units joined the operation against the Soviet forces in the Volkhov Pocket, during the spring and summer of 1942. The Germans specifically referred to the difficulty in synchronising their attacks with the Spanish.

Several of the officers of the German Liaison Staff formed very critical opinions, especially in regard to the capabilities of Spanish officers and 50 General Esteban-lnfantes (with field service cap), t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e chief of t h e G e r m a n Liaison Staff, C o l o n e l K n u p p e l ( w i t h 'Schirmmutze'). They are a c c o m p a n i e d by Spanish a n d G e r m a n officers. ( F D A ) the discipline of the men. The same occurred with some commanders of the army corps in which the Blue Division was integrated.

The Spanish Army was very similar to most European armies of the time in which the NCOs were not trained at academies. Generally, they were long-service soldiers with little or no academic background. It would not be unusual to find that many had stayed in the army for no other reason than to have regular meals and a roof over their heads. They were held in contempt by the officers and hated by the men. During the Civil War, thousands of men had been appointed 'provisional sergeants'. After the conflict had been concluded, while the Spanish Army made a serious effort to convert its wartime commissioned officers into good professionals, it did not pay the same attention to its so-called 'provisional NCOs' who, in many cases, wished to continue in the army, but had to accept 'demotion' to the rank of corporal, which frustrated many of them.

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