Librarian

WW2 Uniforms of Latvian SS volunteers – Part 2

2015-11-10

In case if you missed it, here is the first part.

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Some people may mistaken such a uniform with Waffen-SS. Actually it was still Schutzmannschaft uniform.  Führer on the second photo is missing one button. Nicht in Ordnung.  )

Two tables with National Identity Kokarde, Collar Patches, Sleeve Patches, Shoulder Boards of Schutzmannschaft. Hopefully it will help you with identification of führers.

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When it comes to Latvians, probably the most distinctive sign was their national insignia. They preferred to wear it instead of approved unit insignia. Also it could be worn on any hand, also it could be factory made or even hand made.

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There is another uniform you may see. Looking at this picture somebody may mistakenly identify those führers as Heer,  but actually it is Orpo uniform. You can see both Orpo and Latvia insignias.

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Finally some of  führers from ORPO and Schutzmannschaft were promoted to the ranks of “junior” Waffen-SS.

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Can you see those sad faces ? ) This is because they had blank right collar patch. The reason is simple.  They were not considered good enough to have the standard Sig runes and to identify Germans from non Germans. Life is a bitch )

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Only getting sweets  improved their mood. I do not have 100% proof but I believe this is how Lettische SS-Freiwiligen Division supposed to look like in a time period of February 1943 till October 1943.

But one day  became a great moment. Führers were promoted to the rank of full electricians and were allowed to have Sig runes. Unfortunately I can not identify exact period and units, just because there was no proper Ordnung.

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Unfortunately there was nothing able to keep the things in proper Ordnung. On the contrary it went from bad into worse.

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This photo is a prime example of insane mix. You can see SD type of uniform with SS Sig runes, ORPO uniform without ORPO marks, Latvian pre 1940 uniform, SS uniform with blank right collar patch and SS uniform with Latvian collar patch. It was a pain and nothing else except of pain for the German eyes. Hitler himself was furious and somewhere around 1943 it was desided that Latvians were still not worthy of  Sig runes.  Pretty much it was more or less the same time when Dirlewangers were allowed to recruit not just from poachers but pretty much from any convinced criminal including convinced rapers. To identify all of those mega Führers from just Führers Sig runes were taken away from Dirlewangers too. From this period of time whenever you see “Waffen-SS” with anything else than Sig runes there must be something wrong with them. Any division without Sig runes either included way too many foreignness, were convinced criminals even by German courts or were guarding concentration camps. Such an order was a pleasure to watch for the German eyes. Ordnung über alles!

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Again no 100% proof, but I believe such a collar patches were issued to 15. Lettische SS-Freiwiligen Division from October 1943 till June 1944.

From June 1944 till the very end of war 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian) and 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian) were issued collar patches with  swastika.

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From left to right: Žanis Butkus,  Nikolajs Galdiņš and Alfrēds Riekstiņš . At a time pictured all of them were the  führers of 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian).

 

15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS

Führers of 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian).

Do you think it brought at least some kind of Ordnung? ) No, nothing could change Latvians.

Here is Latvian Waffen-SS führer named Rudolph, somewhere in 1944-1945.

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Shorty after seeing this picture Hitler had a heart attack and died. The war was lost – all because of Nicht in Ordnung.

As an extra bonus photo of Latvian madam with her own ideas about collar patches

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