Cossacks in the German Army, 1941-1945
The Cossacks who wore German uniforms saw their service not as treason to the motherland, but as an episode in the revolution of 1917, part of an ongoing struggle against Moscow and against Communism. A Wehrmacht needing men and an SS hungry for power reinterpreted or ignored Hitler's racist ideology to form entire divisions of Cossack volunteers. German offices developed relationships to "their" Cossacks similar to those in the French and British colonial armies. The Cossacks responded by fighting effectively and reliably on the Russian Front and in the Balkans. Their reward was forced repatriation into Stalin's Gulag at the hands of the Western powers in 1945.
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