29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian) (also known as the Kaminski Brigade) was an anti-partisan formation made of the people from so-called Lokot Autonomy territory in the Nazi Germany-occupied Russia during World War II. See also Insurgency In the context of an occupation or a Civil war, counter-insurgency (abbreviated COIN is a military term for the combat The Lokot Autonomy (Локотскoe самоуправление was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi -occupied Central Russia under an all-Russian administration Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The formation saw action behind the German lines of the Eastern Front and was later became folded into the Waffen-SS. The Eastern Front of World War II (die Ostfront 1941-1945, der Rußlandfeldzug 1941-1945 (Russian campaign or der Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign The Waffen-SS ( German for "Armed SS" literally "Weapons SS" was the Combat arm of the Schutzstaffel ("Protective Squadron"
When the Germans advanced into the Soviet Union in June 1941, many saw them as liberators. The Lokot Autonomy (Локотскoe самоуправление was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi -occupied Central Russia under an all-Russian administration The German people (Deutsche are an Ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, descent and speaking the German language as The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 While many prisoners of war were taken, many Soviets escaped capture and retreated to the forests to wage a guerrilla war on the Germans. Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc To supply their campaigns, the Soviet partisans often raided towns and villages for food and supplies. The Soviet partisans were members of a Resistance movement which fought a Guerrilla war against the Axis occupation of the Soviet Union
In October 1941, near the city of Bryansk, citizens of the town of Lokot banded together to defend their town from such raids. Bryansk01jpg|thumb|left|200px|Forest Museum in Bryansk]]Ziu-9 Bryansk 2056 They elected the Russian born Konstantin Voskoboinik as Mayor and commander of the defence. A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning "greater" is a modern title used in many countries for the highest ranking officer in a municipal government Voskoboinik's St. Petersburg classmate, the German-Polish engineer Bronislav Kaminski (former volunteer of the Red Army from the Russian Civil War), was elected as deputy commander. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River Bronislav Vladislavovich Kaminski (Ками́нский Бронисла́в Владисла́вович 16 June 1899, Vitebsk - 28 August The Red Army ( Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия R aboche- K rest'yanskaya K rasnaya A rmiya The Russian Civil War (1917–1923 was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed Initially the militia numbered no more than 400-500 men. The Commander of Army Group Centre, Günther von Kluge and the commander of Panzergruppe 1, Heinz Guderian approved the creation of the Lokot Autonomy, which received some degree of autonomy and self rule. Army Group Center (Heeresgruppe Mitte was the name of two distinct German strategic Army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II Günther “Hans” von Kluge ( October 30, 1882 – August 19, 1944) was a German military leader Heinz Wilhelm Guderian ( 17 June, 1888 – 14 May, 1954) was a military theorist and innovative General of the German The Lokot Autonomy (Локотскoe самоуправление was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi -occupied Central Russia under an all-Russian administration Autonomy ( Greek: Auto- Nomos - nomos meaning "law" one who gives oneself his/her own Law) is the right to Self-government
The population of the republic grew as Russians, Byelorussians, and other former Soviet citizens looking to escape the harassment of the partisans began to move into the area. The Russian people (Русские— Russkie) are an East Slavic Ethnic group, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries Belarusians or Belorussians (Беларусы Biełarusy previously also spelled Belarussians, Byelorussians and Belorusians, also Soon there were too many people to be accommodated in the town, and so a militia was created to protect the expanding republic. The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary Citizens to provide defense emergency law enforcement or Paramilitary service Equipped mostly with a mixture of captured Red Army uniforms and weapons, the militia began to expand. The Red Army ( Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия R aboche- K rest'yanskaya K rasnaya A rmiya
During a partisan attack in January 1942, Voskoboinik was killed, and so Kaminski took over command of the Republic and its expanding militia. In cooperation with German forces, the militia began commencing aggressive anti-partisan operations. In June 1942, the group took part in the major action codenamed Operation Vogelsang as a part of Generalleutnant Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa's Gruppe Gilsa II. Please see " General " for other countries which use this rank General (genəˈraːl is presently the highest rank The militia, serving as guides, scouts and translators, stayed with the Gruppe until it was disbanded in October 1942. A guide is a person who leads people through unknown or unmapped country or conducts travellers and tourists through a place of interest Reconnaissance (also scouting) is a military and medical term denoting exploration conducted to gain information Translation is the interpreting of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text likewise called a " translation
By late 1942, the armed forces of the Republic of Lokot had expanded to the size of a five-regiment brigade, close to 10,000 men under arms. A regiment is a Military unit, composed of a variable number of Battalions – commanded by a Colonel. A brigade is a Military unit Echelon: is Kaminski now decided to give his militia an official title. He decided on the Russian National Liberation Army (Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya, RONA). The Germans now decided to send 36 captured Soviet field guns and 24 captured T-34/76 tanks in various states of disrepair to reinforce Kaminski's militia, which was now rostered upon the official German order of battle as the Kaminski Brigade. A field gun is an Artillery piece Originally the term referred to smaller Guns that could accompany a field army on the march and when in combat could be The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1941 to 1958 It is widely regarded as having been the world's best Tank when the Soviet Union The brigade was tasked with controlling the partisan presence in the forests which covered the Bryansk Oblast. Bryansk Oblast (Бря́нская о́бласть Bryanskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an Oblast)
In the summer of 1943, the brigade began to suffer major desertions, due in part to the recent Soviet victories and in part to the efforts of the partisans to "turn" as many of Kaminski's troops as possible. As a part of these efforts, several attempts on Kaminski's life were carried out. Each time, Kaminski narrowly avoided death and punished the conspirators with execution. Several German officers passing through Lokot reported seeing bodies hanging from gallows outside Kaminski's headquarters. A gallows is a frame typically wooden used for execution by Hanging. Fearing a breakdown in command, a German liaison staff was attached to Kaminski's HQ to restructure the brigade and return stability to the unit.
Prior to Operation Citadel, the massive offensive to destroy the Kursk salient, the brigade took part in several major anti-partisan operations aimed at protecting German supply lines. The Battle of Kursk (Курская битва refers to a series of German and Soviet operations on the Eastern Front of World War II History KurskOld2jpg|thumb|200px|Pre-1917 view of Kursk]] Archaeology indicates that the site of Kursk was settled in the fifth or fourth century B In Operations Zigeunerbaron, Freischütz and Tannenhauser, the brigade was involved in action against partisans and also took part in reprisal operations against the civilian population. Not to be confused with a Reprise. In warfare a reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of the laws of war to punish an enemy for breaking
After the failure of Citadel, the Soviet counteroffensives forced the brigade, along with the their families (around 50,000 civilians), back with the retreating Germans.
During the retreat, desertions from the brigade increased greatly, and the entire formation seemed close to disintegration. Bronislav Vladislavovich Kaminski (Ками́нский Бронисла́в Владисла́вович 16 June 1899, Vitebsk - 28 August When the commander of the Second Regiment threatened to join the partisans (he was offered amnesty if his entire regiment joined the partisans), Kaminski flew to his headquarters and according to one account, strangled him in front of his men. Despite losing many men to desertion, Kaminski instigated harsh measures to keep the brigade together.
The brigade finally settled in the Lepel area of Polotsk. Lepel (Ле́пель Lepiel, Lepel Ле́пель 'lʲepʲelʲ is a town located in the center of the Lepiel District in the Vitebsk Province Polotsk ( Polatsk, По́лацк Полоцк Polockas Połock is a historical city in Belarus, situated on the Dvina river This area was overrun by partisans, and the brigade was involved in heavy combat in this area for the rest of the year. Early in 1944, the brigade was relocated to Warthegau. Reichsgau Wartheland (initially Reichsgau Posen, sometimes briefly called Warthegau) was the name given by Nazi German government to the largest subdivision At this point, the brigade's ranks were replenished by the addition of Belorussian police forces, resulting in a worsening of discipline.
In March 1944, the brigade was renamed Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski for a brief period, before it was absorbed as a part of the Waffen-SS in June 1944. The Waffen-SS ( German for "Armed SS" literally "Weapons SS" was the Combat arm of the Schutzstaffel ("Protective Squadron" With its transfer to the Waffen-SS, the brigade was renamed Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA, and Kaminski was given the rank of Waffen-Brigadeführer der SS, as the only man with such rank. Plans were made for a Russian/Byelorussian SS Division, and the structure was laid down for the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr. 1).
During this period, the brigade was attached to Kampfgruppe von Gottberg, an anti-partisan formation which also contained Dr. In Military history and Military slang, the German term Kampfgruppe (pl Oskar Dirlewanger's infamous SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger. Oskar Dirlewanger ( September 26, 1895 Würzburg - June 5, 1945 Altshausen) was a World War II officer with The brigade took part in several anti-partisan operations and committed numerous atrocities against the civilian population.
As the front line approached again, the brigade and accompanying civilian refugees were due to be evacuated to Hungary, but the start of the Slovak National Uprising left it stranded in a railway trains near Racibórz in southern Poland. Hungary (Magyarország 'mɔɟɔrorsaːg) officially in English the Republic of Hungary ( Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian Republic The Slovak National Uprising ( Slovak: Slovenské národné povstanie, abbreviated SNP or 1944 Uprising was an armed Insurrection organized Racibórz (Ratibor Ratiboř is a town in southern Poland with 60218 inhabitants (2006 situated in the Silesian Voivodeship (since 1999 previously in Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland
When the Armia Krajowa rose in Warsaw Uprising on 1 August 1944, the brigade was ordered north to assist the efforts in crushing the rebellion. The Warsaw Uprising ( Powstanie Warszawskie) was a World War II struggle by the Polish Home Army ( Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. SS-Gruppenführer Heinz Reinfarth was placed in charge of Kampfgruppe Reinfarth, a pacification unit which consisted of the Kaminski along with the Dirlewanger and several other Ordnungspolizei and SS rear area units. Gruppenführer (literally “Group Leader” was an early Paramilitary Rank of the Nazi Party, first created in 1925 as a senior Heinrich Reinefarth (commonly known as Heinz Reinefarth, December 26 1903-May 7 1979 was a German official and military officer during and after World The Ordnungspolizei (Orpo was the name for the uniformed Regular German Police force in existence during the period of Nazi Germany, notably Himmler personally requested Kaminsky's assistance, and the latter obliged by gathering a task force of 1,700 unmarried men and sending them (together with four T-34 tanks, one SU-76 and few artillery pieces) to Warsaw as the 1st Regiment under field command of Kaminski's deputy, SS-Sturmbannführer Yuri Frolov. The SU-76 ( Samokhodnaja Ustanovka 76) was a Soviet Self-propelled gun used during World War II. Warsaw (Warszawa; also known by other names) is the Capital and Largest city of Poland. Sturmbannführer was a paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party which was used by both the Sturmabteilung (SA and the Schutzstaffel
The volunteers were first tasked with clearing the sector of Ochota district defended by only 300 poorly-armed Poles. Ochota is a district in Warsaw located in the central part of the city Their attack was planned for the morning of August 5, but when the time came, the Kaminski's men could not be found; after some searching, they were found looting abandoned houses in the rear. Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. The attack finally got underway shortly before noon, and the assault went poorly, with the brigade advancing only 275 meters before nightfall. The men had no training for or prior experience in urban combat (for many it was first time they had even seen a major city) and they fought poorly while suffering high casualties. Urban warfare is modern warfare conducted in Urban areas such as Towns and cities. At the same time, thousands of Polish civilians were killed by the RONA SS men during the events known as Ochota massacre; many victims were also raped. Ochota Massacre (in Polish Rzeź Ochoty - "Ochota slaughter") - a wave of Mass murders Robbery, Looting, Arson Rape, also referred to as Sexual assault, is an Assault by a person involving Sexual intercourse with or Sexual penetration of another person Mid-month, the Kaminski was moved south to the Wola sector, but it fared no better in combat here than in Ochota; in one incident a sub-unit had stopped their advance to loot a captured building on the front line and was consequently cut off and wiped-out by the Poles. A front line is a line of confrontation in an Armed conflict, most commonly a War.
By August 27, the German commanders decided the brigade was too indisciplined and unreliable. Events 479 BC - Greco-Persian Wars: Persian forces led by Mardonius are routed by Pausanias, the Spartan In almost a month of fighting, the brigade had still not achieved any its major objectives. German commander in Warsaw, SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, stated in post war trials that the unit "had no military combat value whatsoever, with both officers and soldiers having not even a hint of tactical understanding. Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest Erich Julius Eberhard von Zalewski and also known as Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1 March 1899 - 8 March 1972 was a Nazi official and a member of the (. . . ) I saw Kaminski's men removing entire cartloads of stolen jewelry, gold watches, and precious stones. The capture of a liquor supply was more important for the brigade than the seizure of a position commanding the same street. Each assault has been instantly stopped, because after taking the objective over, units dispersed into loose plundering hordes. " Kaminski himself was involved in the looting in Warsaw, claiming he was collecting for his "Russian Liberation Fund". Major General Günter Rohr, commander of the Warsaw's southern sector, demanded that the brigade be removed from his command. Major General or Major-General is a Military rank used in many countries Bach-Zelewski agreed, as the troublesome unit was slowing his efforts to suppress the uprising. As soon as replacement units were available, the Kaminski was pulled out of the line after losing about 500 men in combat during the fighting in Warsaw, including its commander Frolov killed by flamethrower. A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of Fire.
The RONA volunteers, now decimated and infamous even among the SS, were then assigned to the Kampinos Forest to help seal off Warsaw. Kampinos Forest (Puszcza Kampinoska is a large forest complex located to the west of Warsaw in Poland. During their stay in the forest, the unit's artillery battery and one of its infantry battalions were suddenly attacked by 80 Polish partisans led by Lieutenant Colonel "Dolina" (Adolf Pilch) while stationed at the emptied village of Truskaw. In Military organizations an artillery battery is a unit of Guns mortars or Rockets so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield A battalion is a Military unit of around 500-1500 men usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel ( Lieutenant-Colonel in English from the French grade 's spelling is a rank of Commissioned officer in the armies Nearly 100 Russian and German SS-men died in the midnight assault; the remnants of the battalion, which was mostly drunk at the time of the attack, fled in disarray discarding their weapons. In Truskaw the 1st Regiment lost its whole artillery and much of the loot from the city.  According to some Polish sources, 250 RONA troops were killed during the night of September 2-3 in the raid on Truskaw, and 100 more in the raid on the village of Marianów the next night.  A captured diary of the Kaminski brigade soldier Ivan Vashenko killed at Truskaw was published in Poland in 1947. 
Kampinos disaster was the last combat action of the brigade. Soon, Kaminski was called to Łódź to attend a leadership conference. Łódź is Poland 's third largest city with population of 753192 in 2007 (lost its second rank to Krakow in 2007 He never reached it; officially, Polish partisans were blamed for an alleged ambush in which Kaminski was killed. According to various sources he was either tried first by an SS court or simply executed by the Gestapo out of hand. The ( contraction of ge heime Sta ats' po' lizei: "Secret State Police" was the official Secret police of Nazi Germany The behaviour of the RONA during the battle was an embarrassment to the SS, and the alleged rape and murder of two German Strength Through Joy (Kdf) girls may have played a part in this. Kraft durch Freude ( KdF, literally "Strength through Joy" was a large state-controlled Leisure organization in the Third Reich, a part of the
With Kaminski's death, the plans for expansion to divisional status were dropped, and the number reassigned to 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Italian). The 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Italian or Legione SS Italiana was created on 10 February 1945 as second SS-Division with number 29 – The remnants of Kaminski's brigade were planned to be folded into General Andrey Vlasov's Russian Liberation Army. General Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov or Wlassow (Андрéй Андрéевич Влáсов &mdash August 2 1946 was a Russian former Soviet Russian Liberation Army (Russian Russkaya Osvoboditel'naya Armiya, Русская Освободительная Армия abbreviated in Cyrillic as РОА in Latin Vlasov protested, calling them "mercenaries," and only agreed to include one out of every ten members of the brigade into his army after careful examination. A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by Accompanying civilians were sent to work in Pomerania.
We shall not be slaves!
To the fight with the enemy we are ready day and night.
Through clouds and flames our people's flag
We shall with a strong hand carry.
Through an open and grief stricken road
In the midst of smoke and battery fire
In action and battle we go with prayer
To the freedom of our Russia!
Who believes, who dares, whose blood is inflamed
Who has not forgotten oppression and shame
Those are tied together with great revenge
For the ashes of our family's graves.
With pain we have paid for that which we loved
For the tortures of our fathers and children
We have not forgiven them, nor forgotten the shame
Of those days suffocated with suffering.
In tight columns march our legions
To fight, for a great revenge
The millions carry on our bright flags
The freedom and honour of our people.
Through an open and grief stricken road
In the midst of smoke and battery fire
In action and battle we go with prayer
To the freedom of our Russia!