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Old December 10th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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manteuffel manteuffel is offline
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Default Ost Inf Question

I've been playing as the Germans for a while now but I am still learning things. I just noticed that I know almost nothing about the "Ost Infantry." I'm guessing that they fought on the eastern front and were not the most elite but thats all I know.

Any information or links to documentaries would be awesome.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 04:45 PM

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Default Re: Ost Inf Question

The term "Ost" (= east) refers to the origins of the men who fought in these formations: they were recruited from amongst the population of the occupied eastern regions (Baltic states, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Russia etc.) and from the Soviet prisoners of war in German hands.

Amongst the people to be found within Soviet Union, there were many with nationalist and/or anti-communist tendencies, and many of them would have been happy in 1941 to join in arms with Germans against Soviet Union. However, the official German policies of the time were not exactly aimed at taking advantage of such tendencies (being actually much better in alienating the conquered population against their conquerors), and it took time before actual Ost units would start to be formed.

Besides the eastern front, they would also see service in the Balkans, Italy and France. Some of them might have taken part in defending Normandy during the D-day. Wikipedia has information on a number of individual units and their histories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostlegionen

Besides the normal Ost infantry units, the game OOB also provides for Ost SS infantry units and Ost cavalry. Waffen SS was more open to having foreign volunteers serving in their ranks than Heer, which was rather restricted to (ethnic) Germans.

As for cavalry, there was at least one rather sizeable formation recruited from amongst the Ukrainian cossacks. This ended the war surrendering to western allies somewhere in northern Italy or Austria, but they were eventually turned over to the Soviets.

It might be worth remembering that in the Soviet military, ending up as a prisoner of war in the enemy hands was considered a crime, which could get you shot, sent to a labour camp or (during the war) to a penal battalion. Men who had actually willingly volunteered for service under the Germans could expect at least equally harsh punishments if they would end up in the hands of NKVD.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Ost Inf Question

Thank you so much for the excellent feedback! Looks like I will have a lot to read up on but its very fascinating stuff. I also had no idea that it was such a huge force!
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Old December 11th, 2011, 07:47 AM

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Default Re: Ost Inf Question

For some interesting scenario potential, check out what happened to the "Russian Liberation Army" in spring 1945:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Liberation_Army

First pitted against the Soviet invasion, then ending up supporting Czech insurgents against Waffen-SS in the defense of Prague, then departing from the city in an attempts to surrender to the US forces.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Ost Inf Question

Google "Andrey Vlasov"
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