Latvian Legion

Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-J16133, Lettland, Appell der SS-Legion.jpg
Latvian Legion (Waffen-SS) marching next to Riga Cathedral in Riga on Latvian Independence Day, 1943
ActiveJanuary 1943 – 1945
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Branch Waffen SS
TypeInfantry
Size87,550 men as of July 1, 1944; with another 23,000 men as Wehrmacht auxiliaries
Motto(s)Dievs svētī Latviju
ColoursLatvian national colors
MarchZem mūsu kājām ("White Road under our feet")
EngagementsEastern Front (World War II)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch
Hinrich Schuldt
Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock
Carl Friedrich von Pückler-Burghauss
Rūdolfs Bangerskis
Kārlis Lobe
Voldemārs Veiss
Arvīds Krīpens
Voldemārs Skaistlauks
Augusts Apsītis-Apse
Vilis Janums

The Latvian Legion (Latvian: Latviešu leģions) was a formation of the German Waffen-SS during World War II. Created in 1943, it consisted primarily of ethnic Latvian personnel.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The legion consisted of two divisions of the Waffen-SS: the 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian), and the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian). The 15th Division was administratively subordinated to the VI SS Corps, but operationally it was in reserve or at the disposal of the XXXXIII Army Corps, 16th Army, Army Group North.[7] The 19th Division held out in the Courland Pocket until May 1945, the close of World War II, when it was among the last of Nazi Germany's forces to surrender.[8]

  1. ^ Gerhard P. Bassler, Alfred Valdmanis and the politics of survival, 2000, p150 ISBN 0-8020-4413-1
  2. ^ Ieva Zake, American Latvians: Politics of a Refugee Community, 2010, p92
  3. ^ Andrew Ezergailis, Latvian Legion: heroes, Nazis, or victims? : a collection of documents from OSS war-crimes investigation files, 1945-1950, 1997, p38
  4. ^ Valdis O. Lumans, Latvia in World War II, 2006, p286
  5. ^ Mirdza Kate Baltais, The Latvian Legion in documents, 1999, p14
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference legion3 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Page Taylor, Hugh; Bender, Roger James (1982). Uniforms, Organization and History of the Waffen-SS. 5. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 978-0-912138-25-1. OCLC 60070022.
  8. ^ Neiburgs, Uldis (16 March 2018). "Aftermath: What happened to the Latvian Legionnaires after the war?". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved 27 May 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)