Defender of Western Europe - & quot; Turkestan & quot ;.

The photo captured "Turkestan" in Normandy (possibly from the 781st eastern battalion of the 711th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht). The prisoner said that he had fought in the Red Army before two years before being captured. On the western front, he sat in the trenches for three days and waited for the arrival of the Americans.
At the end of 1943, the command of the Eastern Legions in Poland was disbanded. The result of his work was the formation of 14 Turkestan, 8 Azerbaijan, 7 North Caucasian, 8 Georgian, 9 Armenian and 7 Volga-Tatar battalions.
In total, 53 battalions were formed with a total of over 50,000 men, initially sent to Russia and then to Western Europe.
Turkestan Legion:
In September 1942, the first two companies of the Turkestan Legion arrived on the Eastern Front, which divided the platoon, poured into the German units and used in battles on the Astrakhan direction.
In the fall of 1942, during the offensive of the German troops on Tuapse, the 17th German army participated in the fighting of the 452nd and 781th Turkestan battalions.
Subsequently, the number of units of the Turkestan Legion in the Astrakhan area was increased to three infantry battalions (450th, 782th and 811th), which were subordinate to the headquarters of the rear security forces in Elista, but were assigned to the 16th Wehrmacht division and after the onset of the Soviet offensive near Stalingrad in December 1942, they were on the offensive site of the 28th Army.
The 450th, 782th and 811th Turkestan battalions were on the Astrakhan direction from September 1942 to January 1943, during this period of time the losses of the 450th battalion killed, wounded and missing were almost 20% of the personnel (188 of 961 servicemen), the 452nd battalion - 11% of the personnel, the 782th battalion - 12% of the personnel, the 811th battalion - 9% of the personnel.
On January 7, 1943, the merits of the personnel of the 450th, 782th and 811th Turkestan battalions were noted in the order of the 16th motorized division of the Wehrmacht, in which it was noted that the legionnaires had "won the right to wear the German military uniform."
On September 29, 1943, A. Hitler ordered to remove all the "Eastern" units and units from the Eastern Front as insufficiently reliable and send them to serve in Western Europe.

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