Is this a photo of the reformed 14th Waffen SS Division, 1st Ukrainian Galician Division
I was wondering if you guys could help me identify what military unit this soldier belonged with in the picture. It is definitely of a Ukrainian but the uniform is part British and the pants look like a German NCO/Officer pants. But honestly I am not sure. I understand that the British spearheaded the removal of the reformed 14th SS Division out of Europe. Any information or pictures that can confirm this would be GREATLY appreciated!
09-01-2014 09:31 PM
Definitely not a Waffen SS Soldier, and I see nothing that indicates that he is in German Service...I'm inclined to think he's an Eastern European (Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, or Jugoslav) Irregular...Sorry I can't be of more help...
Welcome to the Forum!
Thanks for the reply. In the picture I see a Ukrainian flag pin on the pocket and the hat is of Ukrainian origin (note the prominent V in the cap). The history of the 14th was that it was organized in Ukraine, from Ukrainian nationalists. Before the end of the war it was reorganized to become the 1st Ukrainian Army Division. The British helped keep soldiers from the 14th out of Soviet hands and moved them to South America and the UK. The pants of the soldier look as if the are of WW2 German origin, and the rifle seems to be a Gewehr 98. Looking for a confirmation on the pants and the British accoutrements. Also if anyone has ever seen another picture like this? Thanks for the help
I don't think the British "reformed" them.
They were over run during Normandy, and treated as prisioners of war.
I have been doing some research the past few months and have found some interesting facts.
From the book MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service by Stephen Dorril, pg. 200-201, "While the British did place the Ukrainians in POW cage, they were assigned as Separated Enemy Personnel (SEP), a distinction which to the Ukrainians at least denoted their special status. Once in the POW camp, the Ukrainians kept to their military formation, adding the Ukrainian insignia to their German uniforms for the benefit of the British, and resumed political activities. As Mark Aarons and John Loftus point out, the SS Division [14th] was 'the only Axis unit to survive the war intact, under arms and with their own officers.' Indeed the Division was not only not disarmed, but 'in many cases more arms were issued.'"
Source: MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service - Stephen Dorril - Google Books
Here is a website that I found for the Rimini camp for S.E.P's with some photographs.
Source: Rimini DP Camps in Italy
Here is a photo (supposedly) of 14th SS in captivity.
Source: Rare Photo of Galicia - Page 4 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums
I am wondering what your thoughts are?
Also, the uniform jacket is of British origin as well as the belt.
This photo could easily have been taken in the UK post 45. I would say it is very difficult to say when/where the photo were taken.
Now i see the name of the photo is "tim grandpa". So it would be wise to share all the relevant info you have before asking questions. That way maybe it is possible to find an answer, or lead you into the right path.
Good luck Sir
Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.
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The photo that I posted is of my Grandfather. He had told me when I saw the picture, "It was me in a play." This information was a little hard to believe.
His brother was an intelligence officer for the Ukrainian nationalists (I would say high ranking since he was stationed in Berlin during the war, crossing the border in 1939).
My Grandfather never talked much about the war whenever I prodded him for information he was always "on guard." A phrase he would always say, "This or that... [such and such]... will be there for a thousand years."
He said he did spend time in Berlin, receiving personal documentation from "an SS officer." Also, he said he was a soda jerk in Berlin at a place named Stalhman's were he served high ranking Germans drinks.
This information never really made sense... How does a Ukrainian get paperwork in Berlin from an SS officer? I would think the Gestapo would have been suspicious especially when most Ukrainians were sent to forced labor farms or sent into the ranks of German Wehrmacht.
He lived in New Jersey only an hour drive from the place were Pavlov Shandruk (leader of the Ukrainian army at the end of the war) is buried...
This seems to be only bits and pieces of a much larger story which my Grandfather was holding back from telling me. As a military historian I am trying to piece all the puzzle pieces together. I was hoping that the picture would be a huge help and maybe someone would have something similar in their collection.
I will add some more information later... just a few more tidbits of information that I have.
My observations on the original photo are:
Cap: looks like it is made of cardboard and would fit your Granddad's story of a play.
Battledress Blouse; this is British but has been tailored around the collar and is typical for those modified by Polish Forces.
Belt: British 1939 pattern.
Buildings: these don't appear to be British, but look more European.
The British certainly wished to use the Ukrainians as native speakers against the Soviets should the Cold War have ever gone "hot". Hence they were certainly given special status and a lot of their wartime activities were, shall we say, "overlooked".
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