The Russian Defense Corps

In the near future in Russia there is a growing interest in the history of the snow-white movement, the history of Russian emigration, and, in general, the history of the "other" of. This is not unusual, especially when you consider that, in fact, over the 70 years of our history information on this was quite greedy and had only one interpretation. Meanwhile, as a result of the October Revolution of 1917, Russia had left more than 2 million Russian people. This emigration does not represent a class, not a layer, but simply part of the Russian people, in all its vertical section. From the upper layer of the nobles and intellectuals to hereditary farmers and workers. The boundaries of their settlement have been very significant — it was actually all the European countries, China, the U.S., North Africa. On Earth, there was not the 1st of the continent, where there were no Russian.

Quite a lot of Russian sheltered at the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (S.H.S), then so called future of Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. At the time, Lord of Alexander I Karadjordjevic, who was trained in Russia and wholeheartedly believed in the standards of Orthodox-Slavic brotherhood, also considered himself obliged to provide assistance to former subjects of different powers, which more than once came to the defense of his country, admitted to the area of the country the remnants of Wrangel Russian Army. White Russians here were provided by civilian law. By 1941, the small size of the Russian colony in Belgrade was approximately 10,000 people. Many institutions, theaters, steel country road were equipped with Russian spices.

In the spring of 1941, after Yugoslavia was occupied by the Germans, they appointed the chief of the Russian emigration in Serbia, the former major-general of the royal army MF Skorodumova. Skorodumov was a member of the First World War, was seriously wounded and taken prisoner in Germany, from which three times tried to escape, but to no avail. At the initiative of Lofty Duchess Maria Pavlovna, in 1917, he was exchanged for a German officer and arrived in Petrograd, where he drew in a whirlwind of events started in the country of revolutionary upheaval.

Russian Defense Corps

Immediately after the German invasion of the USSR, Russian emigration was divided into two camps feedback. So called "defeatists", in other words, those who believed that the need to side with Germany and assist defeat Bolshevism (some of emigrants completely sincerely mistaken for plans Germans and the Japanese, believing that they are fighting only to Bolshevism), also "defencists" immigrants, who believed that the need to have forgotten An old aggressive attitude of the Bolsheviks and work together to break the enemy who attacked common Motherland. One of the few immigrants embodied in life was to create in the minds of Serbia Russian Defense Corps.

Already in June 1941, the head of the Russian office of trust on the terrain of Yugoslavia (the organization that represented the interests of the Russian emigration to the German occupation forces) Major General MF Skorodumov has proposed the formation of the emigrants of the Russian Army General Wrangel separate division, but received this waiver. In the first weeks of the war the need for the creation of similar compounds Germans did not seem necessary, also in the middle of the German High Command at that time were very strong nationalist eyes, following which the Russian, though opposed the Bolsheviks were Russian. Were very strong, ultra-eyes, all the peoples of Europe were distributed along racial pyramids and the position of Russian in it was very unflattering.

With all of this over time, away from Berlin in the occupied territories, and the fronts of the second World War, the German generals convinced that the need for cooperation with other nationalities overdue and need to start a dialogue with their partner. And if it's on the main fronts completely realized only by 1942, the situation in the Balkans has become clear in 1941. In the occupied areas of Yugoslavia Communist guerrilla groups emerged Tito. In addition to acts of sabotage against the occupying forces, they also kill Orthodox priests and Russian immigrants, considering them as accomplices of Hitler's Germany. These facts could not affect the mood of Russian immigrants. Skorodumov once again appealed to the Germans with a request for the development of at least parts of the self-defense against the Yugoslav Partisans.

Russian Defense Corps

The fact of strengthening the Balkans guerrilla movement has put before the German management question of finding additional capacity to conduct police and security services. Against this background, it was decided to allow the formation of the armed Russian troops. Initiators of the creation of these units do not give up hope that once they are straightened with the "communist bandits" in the Balkans, they will be able to get to Russia and fight for its liberation from the Bolsheviks.

Fascinating moment that later in his memoirs, many veterans of the Russian Defense Corps tried to present his service Germans as an act of necessary self-defense in response to the persecution of Russian emigres from the local communists. But if we accept this version, it becomes quite clear why the general Skorodumov as other favorites of emigration from the outset sought to send Russian troops on the Eastern Front. Later, trying to whiten themselves, former collaborators began to give the reason for the investigation. Like many other emigres who were scattered all over Europe, they were eager to take revenge for a disappointing defeat in the civilian war, albeit with the help of Hitler and German troops. It is logical that, after all, in the eyes of most of the Serb population of Russian immigrants began to be perceived as lackeys of the occupation regime.

Ordered the formation of the body was received September 12, 1941 from the commander of German forces in Serbia. His commander was appointed Skorodumov which here took up the mobilization of all immigrants aged 18 to 55 years. Already by October 1 as part of a volunteer corps was 893. Among them were 90 Kornilovites plus platoon Kutepovskoy company. Colonel Kondratiev arrived in the corps, along with the flag of the 2nd Kornilov Striker Regiment which for all the snow-white movement was considered an emblem of valor.

Russian Defense Corps
Funeral Corps fighter killed in battle with the guerrillas (Belgrade, 1942)

Pretty soon Skorodumov was removed from command of the Germans because of their own excessive political activity and constant requests to send body in Russia. The new commander of the corps became Chief of Staff Corps, Lieutenant-General BA Shteyfon. The number of housing grew evenly. He headed for greater prosperity in September 1944, when it included 11,197 people. It consisted of five regiments, one of which was a Cossack, also included three separate battalions and five platoons, one of which was a horse.

During the existence
of the body has had time to change the number of official titles:

C September 12, 1941, he was named Russian Private Housing;
From October 2, 1941 — The Russian Defense Corps;
On November 18, 1941 — Russian Security Group;
On November 30, 1942 — The Russian Guard Housing (Wehrmacht);
On October 10, 1944 — The Russian Case in Serbia;
On December 31, 1944 — just a Russian Corps.

All combat actions of the Russian Corps can be chronologically divided into three steps:

1. Fall 1941 — Spring 1944 — part of the Corps carried the security service on the communications of the German troops in eastern Bosnia and Serbia.
2. Spring — Fall 1944 — part of the Corps are involved in large-scale combat operations in Germany and its allies against Tito's partisans in Serbia and Bosnia.
3. Fall 1944 — May 1945 — Active fighting at the front against the Russian, Bulgarian troops also NOAYU (People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia).

Russian Defense Corps

In contrast to most of the eastern forces, the Wehrmacht, nor a German officer in the Russian case had disciplinary authority also did not take the command post. Specifically, the German command subordinate only to the corps commander. German staff in the building consisted of 2 officers at his headquarters, and the headquarters of each of the regiments and battalions, 2 non-commissioned officers — trainers in companies. In addition, in the hands of German military officers and non-commissioned officers were all business establishments of the armed association.

Official hull shape was altered form of the Yugoslav army, the soldiers and officers of the corps wore the insignia of the Imperial Army. The inner life of the housing was organized by way of the imperial army, and the military part — according to the statutes of the Red Army. After the body was included in the Wehrmacht, it was introduced statutes of the German troops. A huge part of the war cabinet has been scattered in various Yugoslav towns, where the garrison was carrying, covering communication and involving for operations against Tito's partisans.

The rapid capitulation of Bulgaria and Romania in August and September 1944, and the defeat of the German Army Group "South Ukraine" radically changed the situation at the front and in the Balkans, namely. Suddenly, for the German command of the Russian were specifically near the borders of Yugoslavia. It was at this time part of the Russian Corps, along with the individual units of the German troops entered in clashes with units of the 57th Russian Army, and their latter-day allies — the Bulgarians. At this time (September-October 1944) from Belgrade were evacuated korpusnikov family members, and all who wish to leave the city of Russian immigrants.

Russian Defense Corps
The officers of the Russian Corps, 1942 year

Clashes between the parts of the body, and the 57th Army were very bloody. Both sides had for each other hatred. In the Russian fighters awaken hatred for white-who tried to strangle people still in civilian clothes, but virtually no one in the military in civilian clothes fighting the war did not take the role. In turn, the fighters of the body awakened hatred for those who forever changed their lives and Porush. Due to the losses incurred by many shelves housing abolished.

The surrender of Germany has found the body on the ground Slovenia. The other day, on April 30 of a heart attack killed the commander of the body BA Shteyfon, which was replaced in that post, Colonel Alexander matting. New commander announced that the case does not lay down weapons to the Soviet Union and the Yugoslav partisans and Tito will go on break to Austria, trying to get to the British zone of occupation. In the end, the body managed to get to the town of Klagenfurt, where he surrendered to the British forces. By the time of the surrender in its ranks, there were about 4,500 people. In fact, all of them survived the captivity, because the UK did not give them the USSR, for the reason that they never were its citizens.

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