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WWII BLUE DIVISION & EASTER FRONT DVD

Price: 5 USD

Fantastic  & complete Autorun Menu DVD relating the Blue Division . You can find in this DVD

* Photos/ Videos / Music / Documents
More than 100 Blue Division  as well as Uniform & documentation photos
Fantastic Collection of More than  10 Videos of Blue Division Footage as well As Info ( more than 40 minutes  in total )
Information relating the Organization  and  Battle Campaign During WWII of the BLUE DIVISION  in pdf
300 WWII EASTER FRONT  photos from my private Collection and as Bonus WWII MAPS & PROPAGANDA + WWII GERMAN ARMY MANUAL

1941


22 Jun 1941

At 3.15 am the Germans launched Operation 'Barbarosa' - the attack on the Soviet Union


DEPARTURE

14 Jul 1941

General Muñoz Grandes and his Spanish staff flew to Berlin, as the rank and file of the Spanish Volunteer Division boarded trains for Germany

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17 Jul 1941

Spanish Battalions began arriving at the Grafenwöhr training grounds near Bayreuth in Bavaria . Nicknamed the "Blue" Division because of the blue fascist shirts they arrived in.

25 Jul 1941

The Spanish Volunteer (Blue) Division was officially designated the 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht . The Division was reorganised to match German Division structures.


Marching through Poland

28 Jul - 19 Aug 1941

The 250th (Blue) Division underwent intensive training

21 - 26 Aug 1941

The 250th (Blue) Division trained 1,200 km east to Suwalki in Poland

29 Aug - 8 Oct 1941

The 250th (Blue) Division marched nearly 1,000 km through Poland and Lithuania to Vitebsk in Russia



Sep - Dec 1941

Between 6 and 27 Sep 1941 the Luftwaffe heavily bombed Leningrad . From 4 Sep to 31 Dec the Germans artillery also pounded the city.




19 Sep 1941

Germans captured Kiev.

29 - 30 Sep 1941

As the Russians attacked in the Leningrad area the Germans brought in the 7th Flieger Division as reinforcements for Eighteenth Army ). The first units to arrive were 1st and 3rd Battalions of 1st Para Regiment, and 2nd Battalion of the divisional assault regiment. On the night of 29/30 Sep 1941 1st and 3rd Battalion took positions of 1st Infantry Division southwards along the Neva from the Schlusselburg to Viborogskaya. 2nd Assault Battalion went straight from transports into action. With the aid of No. 2 Company of the Para anti-aircraft machine-gun battalion they reduced the Petroschkino bridgehead where the Russians had managed to get several armoured fighting vehicles over the river. Over the next few days the Russians repeatedly tried to retake their postions, but were driven off.

2 Oct 1941

Hitler launched Operation Typhoon . Battle of Moscow began.

9 - 10 Oct 1941

The 250th (Blue) Division trained northward to Shimsk to join the XXXVIII Corps in Army Group North  says as part of Eighteenth Army,  has this Corps as part of Fourth Panzer Group on 1 Sep 1941 and part of Sixteenth Army on 1 Jan 1942, by which time the Spanish had joined its ranks).

11 Oct 1941

On the night of 11/12 Oct the 250th (Blue) Division relieved the German 18th Division and part of the 126th . The Spaniards were to defend a 50 km north-south front from Lubkovo on the west bank of the River Volkhov to the western shore of Lake Ilmen.

Facing them were the Russian 52nd Army and Novgorod Army Group (NAG) . At that time the 52nd Army had two understrength rifle divisions, four corps artillery regiments, and one anti-tank artillery regiment. The NAG had two rifle and one tank division, although the later had no tanks., consistently calls the Russian "Armies" "Corps", but other sources, notably Glantz, correct this.)

12 Oct 1941

On the night of 12/13 Oct the II/269 battalion fought the first action of the 250th (Blue) Division. Spanish outposts surprised and stopped a Soviet battalion from crossing the Volkhov under cover of darkness at Kapella Nova. The Russians left behind 50 dead and 80 prisoners.

Mid Oct - Dec 1941

The 110 man company were given the task of clearing Russian trenches which had been pushed forward to within 200 m of the one of the battalion HQ of 328th Regiment. The Engineers attacked, took the trenches, and blew up a T-34 in the process, then held off Russian counter attacks. During the rest of the day they killed 250 enemy, took 200 prisoners, and knocked out two tanks. Constant fighting radically reduced the numbers in the companies. As a consequent the Para Engineer Battalion was pulled out of the line on 16 Nov and the Division in Dec. All returned to German

16 Oct 1941

The Spanish repulsed a second Russian assault by artillery and infantry  I/269 Battalion - the hardest hit unit - suffered four dead and many wounded, but the Russians lost 40 dead and another 80 prisoners.

During the 250th (Blue) Division's first week on the line the Russians and Spanish bombarded each others positions . The Spanish also sent small parties across the Volkhov in rubber boats, where they discovered the Russians were entrenched in considerable strength.


Assault Engineers cross the Volkhov

18 - 19 Oct 1941

In the bitter cold of early winter, two platoons of the II/269 battalion crossed the Volkhov at Udarnik on the night of 18-19 Oct  This was the start of an offensive, made jointly with German troops, intended to complete the encirclement of Leningrad by connecting with the Finns to the east of the Ladoga. The lead elements established a bridgehead and other units including a company of III/263 battalion followed. The later company took causalities, including the company commander, from Russian mortars and machine guns. The Spanish infantry were and supported by Spanish and German artillery, but also faced Russian artillery and mortar fire. During the battle for the bridgehead German artillery accidentally fired on Spanish positions. By the evening of the 19th the Spanish had secured the bridgehead - they named the bridgehead "Posición Navarro" in honour of a captain who had died in a Russian artillery barrage two days earlier.

20 Oct 1941

The remainder of the II/269 battalion followed the advance guard across the Volkhov  and the Spanish expanded their positions, taking Smeisko on the highway to Novgorod

21 - 22 Oct 1941

The II/269 battalion occupied Russa, and Sitno. Soviet machine gun emplacements offered stiff resistance in the woods between Russ and Sitno. Several large forces of the Soviet 52nd Army counter attacked against Sitno. Both sides suffered heavy losses, with the Russians losing 200 dead and 400 prisoners. Continuous Russian artillery fire did not prevent the Spaniards reinforcing the bridgehead.

23 Oct 1941

An early morning Soviet attack supported by artillery penetrated to the centre of Sitno . Comandante Román lead men of II/269 in close quarter fighting to drive them out again. The Russian retreated after suffering heavy losses.


27 Oct 1941

The Russians brought up sizable reserves and counter-attacked the Spanish bridgehead The Russian infantry managed to reach within 30 m of the Spanish positions before being driven off.

28 Oct 1941

On 28 Oct the Russians called off their offensive toward Siniavino .

III/263 battalion occupied Tigoda
250 Mobile Reserve Battalion took Dubrovka, turned south and attacked 'the Barracks', a Soviet strong point established in stone buildings at Muravji  The Spaniards were driven back by heavy automatic fire.

29 Oct 1941

III/263 battalion occupied Nitlikino  Germans captured Shevelevo, Otenski, Possad and Posselok during this period  says the Spanish captured them, but  has the Spanish taking over the positions from Germans on 8 Nov).

The 250 Mobile Reserve Battalion attacked the Barracks again, this time backed by three batteries of 10.5 cm guns  The Soviet machine guns drove them back with heavy loss, and the battalion retired again. In their two attacks the battalion had suffered 50% losses

Early Nov 1941

The Spanish positions on the east bank suffered continuous attacks by Soviet infantry, artillery and aircraft




2 Nov 1941

Spanish repulsed a strong Russian attack at Nikitkino  Russian dead 221; Spanish 15 dead and 55 wounded.

6 Nov 1941

By 6 Nov the Spanish front had stabilised

Temperature dropped to -15º C and rivers and streams began to freeze  The Volkhov froze enough to allow heavy motor vehicles to cross

8 Nov 1941

The I/269 Battalion under Commandante Luque and a batttery of 10.5 cm guns were instructed to relieve the Germans who had captured Otenski, Possad and Posselok . Their new positions lay beyond thick woods, 12 km east of the main Spanish positions. For the next month the Spanish defended these extended positions. They dealt with full on Soviet assaults, artillery bombardment, temperatures reaching -20º C, and Soviet ambushes of the their convoys of supplies and wounded.

12 - 18 Nov 1941

From 12 to 15 Nov 1941 the four rifle divisions of the Russian 52nd Army repeatedly attacked the defences of the German 126th Infantry Division around Malaia Vishera . Poor reconnaissance, inadequate artillery support, failure to concentrate, and a propensity for frontal assaults, all contributed to heavy losses and little progress. However, on 17/18 Nov the 52nd army attacked again and took Malaia Vishera, driving the defenders back toward Bolshaia Vishera.


12 Nov 1941

Waves of Soviets attacked Possad and Posselok early in the morning of 12 Nov 1941 The Russians suffered 40 dead and over lost 80 prisoners; Spanish 9 dead, 26 wounded. At 6 am the 40 surviving Spanish in Posselok evacuated the burning village and retreated north to Possad (also burning by this stage).

13 Nov 1941

The Russians encircled the remains of the I/269 battalion in Possad; the Spanish lost communication with Otenski and hence the ability to evacuate their wounded . I/269 defend the 6 km of trenches at bayonet point against massed Russians assaults supported by heavy artillery bombardment.

The company of the 269 regiment located at Sitno  repulsed three Russian companies. Spanish losses: 30 dead, 70 wounded.

The Russians mined the Otenski-Possad road. 10 Spaniards were wounded by a mine.

14 Nov 1941

The remaining 180 effectives of I/269 battalion continued to man the defences of Possad . Another 200 lay dead or wounded. Commandante Rebull replaced the wounded Luque. 250 Mobile Reserve Battalion was committed to defence.

15 Nov 1941

The suffering I/269 battalion repulsed further Russian attacks at Possad. Spanish assault engineers built two strong points between Possad and Otenski: Intermediates A and B. That night 200 wounded were evacuated from Possad.

16 Nov 1941

The remnants of the six companies defending Possad were evacuated . Three new companies replaced them, one each from II/262, I/263, and the assault engineers. Rebull remained in command.

19 Nov 1941

Russian 50th Tank regiment attacked Possad

21 Nov 1941

Russians penetrated Spanish positions (II/269 Battalion?) . Spanish also attacked by Partisans.


27 Nov 1941

The Spanish built two blockhouses between Otenski and Schevelevo to guard the supply route

1 Dec 1941

Temperature -28º C. Elements of 262 regiment repulsed Russian attacks. All units of 250th (Blue) Division suffered artillery and aerial bombardment.

2 Dec 1941

Temperature -31º C . 3rd Company in I/269 battalion repulsed Russian attack. Russian artillery and aerial bombardment continued; Russians use American Martin Bombers.


4 Dec 1941

In -38º C frost four Soviet infantry regiments, supported by artillery, mortars and aircraft, attacked the Spanish positions east of the Volkhov  The units of 263 Regiment at Nikitkino and 250 Mobile Reserve Battalion at Dubrovka were particularly heavily hit by the artillery barrage. II/263 threw back Russian attacks at Otenski and Possad (100 dead). It took the garrison of the Otenski monastery (2 companies of assault engineers and an anti-tank gunners, supported by 2 artillery batteries) four hours to see off the Soviet battalion attacking them. 269 Regiment also repulsed the attack at Shevelevo (25 dead). After nine hours the situation stablised, although Possad was still under massive Russian assault. The remnants of I/269 returned to Possad to reinforce the defenders. The Russians also infiltrated Spanish units on Lake Ilmen. Spanish losses for the day were 18 dead and 97 wounded.

5 Dec 1941

Marshal Zhukov launched Russians on their Winter offensive

Russian Air, artillery, mortar and infantry attacks on the Spanish positions continued unabated in -30° C temperatures

6 Dec 1941

Temperature -31° C . At 0800 hours Russians began intensive artillery and mortar attack on Possad - the barrage was maintained all day. Spanish repulsed attack at Nikitkino. Spanish repulsed Russian attacks launched on Possad at 1700 hours. None-the-less the Spanish position had become dire - they would have withdrawn except it would have exposed units on their northern flank.

7 Dec 1941

Russian attacks on the Spanish positioins continued in -40° C cold . The defenders weakening with 269 Regiment alone losing 30 dead and 30 wounded. The German command ordered all exposed units to withdraw to the west bank of the Volkhov.

As the Russian attackers withdrew in exhaustion, the Spanish in Possad began to evacuate at 2100 hours and retired quietly to Otenski

8 Dec 1941

The mauled Assault Engineer company of Captain Guillermo Diaz were probably the last to leave Possad, as they were ordered out at 0700 hours on 8 Dec . The combined Spanish force in Otenski retired to Schevelevo , assertion that the evacuation of the east bank started on 8 Dec;

10 Dec 1941

The Spanish abandoned Sitno, Tigoda, and Nikithino

11 Dec 1941

The Spanish evacuated Smeisko and Posición Navarro - the original bridgehead on the east bank. The last of the Spanish recrossed the now frozen Volkhov to the west bank . During the month of combat 269 Regiment alone lost 120 dead, 440 wounded and 20 missing. III/263 Battalion lost 196 men, mostly from 2nd company which was left with one officer and nine other ranks. The Assault Engineers were down to 40% effectives.


End of Dec 1941

The 250th (Blue) Division established a new line on the Volkov . The Division was dedicated to repel the numerous infiltrations and raids that the Russians tried, taking advantage of the ice layer that covered waters of the river.

                                                                                              
     Volkov AREA


19 DEC 1941
Hitler took over direct command of OKH.]

24 Dec 1941

The Soviets attacked Udarnik and Gorka. The Spaniards defended "as though nailed to the ground" - fulfilling an order from General Grandes.

26 Dec 1941

A Spanish platoon under Alferez Moscoso established a strong point between Udarnik and Lubkovo'.

27 Dec 1941

The Russian 4th and 52nd Armies finally reached the Volkhov river near Kirishi, Gruzino and north of Novgorod, and seized bridgeheads across the river, but Kirishi and Tigoda Station remained in German hands

Early in the morning of 27 Dec 1941 Soviet forces attempted to infiltrate to the rear of the Spanish positions, leading to heavy fighting at the Intermediate  At 6.30 am a Russian battalion, with artillery support, attacked and penetrated Udarnik. Commandante Román's II/269 drove them out and southward. At 10 am, the II/269 met 3 companies of the I/269 (under Rebull) moving north from Lubkovo. They found the Spanish defenders of the Intermediate naked, mutilated, and nailed to the ground with their own bayonets and picks.

Rebull then led two companies of the I/269 battalion, supported by German 7.5 cm artillery, against a Russian Battalion that had taken the 'Old Chapel' - a half ruined church near Lubkov. The Russians quickly fled back across the Volkhov and Spanish fire decimated them on the frozen river.


31 Dec 1941

In -40 C temperatures elements of II/263 Battalion effected a golpe de mano (limited assault) and captured 4 prisoners and one machinegun for the loss of 4 wounded  This type of operation was typical of the warfare engaged by the two sides







1942


7 - 9 Jan 1942

On 7 Jan Morozov's 11th Army (from Northwestern Front) attacked toward Starrai Russa 60 km away. In two days of fighting they reached the outskirts of the city . Ski battalions bypassed the German strongpoints to the north of the city, crossed the frozen Lake Ilmen, and cut the Staraia Russa-Shimsk road. Other Russian forces entrenched along the Lovat River to the south of Staraia Russa, but at that point the offensive faltered.

8 Jan 1942

As a result of the Soviet Winter Offensive, and of Hitler's order to hold at any cost, the Russians smashed the German 290th Division south of Lake Ilmen  By 8 Jan 543 men of this Division were trapped in the village of Vsvad (under Captain Pröhl), surrounded by the Russian 71st Ski Battalion and without outside contact. The 250th (Blue) Division were asked to reestablish contact with the Vsvad garrison.

9 Jan 1942

Captain Ordás of the 5th Anti-tank Company was given command of the Ski company at Spasspiskopez on north-west shore of Lake Ilmen  Ordás was commander from their origin in Nov 1941).

10 Jan 1942

At 0600 hours on 10 Jan 1942 the Ski company set out in -40° C temperatures, heading south over the surface of Lake Ilmen . Ordás had 206 Spaniards and 70 horse-drawn sleighs with Russian drivers. The sleighs contained ammunition, provisions for three days, and a pedal powered radio. Out on the lake temperatures dropped to -56° C. The rough ice and open stretches of water forced the company to take many detours, and the 30 km journey took 24 hours.

11 Jan 1942

On 11 Jan 1942 Ordás' exhausted men made contact with a German patrol from Ustrika, and took shelter in their cabins  At 1010 hours Ords made his first radio report to the Division, and it was good news. Their overnight ordeal had caused 102 frostbite cases, 18 of which were very serious resulting in subsequent amputations. None-the-less Ordás was ordered to continue his mission and so he established his HQ at Pagost Ushin and sent his men out to reconnoiter.

13 Jan 1942

Russians attacked between Godorok and Dubvizy . The attackers penetrated to Finev Lug, Miassojbor and Lujbino Pole, and established a pocket on the west bank of the Volkhov. Subsequently Commandante Román's II/269 Battalion was detached from the 250th (Blue) Division to operate against the Volkhov pocket.

14 Jan 1942

With temperatures below -40° C frostbite had reduced Ordás' Ski company to 76 effectives .

17 Jan 1942

Latvians of the 81st Division joined forces with Ordás Ski company  In -21° C cold Lieutenant Otero de Arce took men of the Ski company and 40 Latvian soldiers on a reconnaissance to the south-east. Passing through Maloye Utschno and Bolshoye Utschno, they encountered Russians at Shiloy Tschernez. De Arce assaulted the Russian positions and drove them out at bayonet point. Two of his squads advanced to the next village to the south - Pnikovo - but the defenders (six T-26 tanks and two battalions of infantry) drove the imprudent squads back and forced De Arce's main force out of Shiloy Tschernez. De Arce and a rear-guard of 36 Spaniards made a stand at Bolshoye Utschno allowing the wounded to escape by sleigh. The Lieutenant and a few survivors later escaped under cover of darkness. Of the 36 men in the rear guard, 16 were killed and 16 wounded. (Scurr actually says De Arce started with 36 Spaniards, but I've chosen to accept Proctor's assertion that this was the number in the rear-guard. Given the company only had 76 effectives on 14 Jan this may be incorrect.)

18 Jan 1942

Temperature -22° C  23 Spaniards and 19 Latvians, under Alférez López de Santiago and other Alférez, retraced the path of De Arce and entrenched at Maloye Utschno  Overnight a swarm Russian ski troops, backed by tanks and artillery, assaulted Maloye Utschno (Scurr, 1980). The defenders claimed the Russian infantry were primed on Vodka and rushed into the explosions of their own grenades. Overwhelmed the surviving defenders abandoned the shattered and burning village.

19 Jan 1942

At day break Lieutenant Otero de Arce led a rescue party towards Maloye Utschno . This group had eight Spaniards, two German platoons, and a Pz IV tank. They recovered the only survivors from Maloye Utschno: Alférez López de Santiago, four other Spaniards and two Latvians.

21 Jan 1942

Lieutenant Otero de Arce, with only six men, headed west across Lake Ilmen . At 0530 hours they met Pröhl and his men - mission complete. Ordás reported the Ski company down to 34 men

24 Jan 1942

The surviving 34 men of the Spanish ski company, German infantry of the 81st Division, and several Pz IV tanks attacked south in temperatures below -58° C (Scurr, 1980). They took Maloye Utschno, Bolshoye Utschno, and Shiloy Tschernez, with the Spanish leading the way with hand grenades. Ordás's men reached Shiloy Tschernez half an hour before the German infantry arrived.

25 Jan 1942

The Spanish ski company reached its lowest level, 12 combatants and was allowed to return to the division. Subsequently the company was reorganised with Lieutenant Otero de Arce assuming command.


12 Feb 1942

Commandante Román's II/269 Battalion relieved the German garrison encircled at Maloye Samoshie

5 Apr 1942

Fuhrer Directive No 41 - summer offensive in Russia. This was known as Operation Blue (Blau)

Late Apr 1942

By the end of Apr 1942 mud forced the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts to abandon their offensives

23 Apr 1942

The Stavka reorganised the forces in the Leningrad area  The Volkhov Front was merged into the Leningrad Front, also this larger formation retained a "Leningrad Group of Forces" and a "Volkhov Group of Forces".

Leningrad Group of Forces: 23rd, 42nd and 55th Armies, and the Coastal and Neva Operational Groups.

Volkhov Group of Forces: 8th, 54th, 4th, 2nd Shock, 59th and 52nd Armies, 4th and 6th Guards Rifle and 13th Cavalry Corps.

17-25 May 1942

Battle of Kharkov.

8 Jun 1942

The Stavka reestablished the Volkhov Front, separate from the Leningrad Front .


25 Jun 1942

At midday the III/262 Battalion and 250 Reconnaissance Group put the final, and successful, assault on Maloye Samoshie .

28 Jun 1942

After three more days of clearing woods and marsh, the Volkhov pocket was liquidated . The Spanish had suffered 274 casualties, but captured 5,097 prisoners and 46 pieces of artillery.

The Germans captured 48,000 men from 2nd Shock Army during June  They captured Vlasov himself on 12 Jul.

Start of German summer offensive in Russia.

3 Jul 1942

Germans capture Sebastopol and hence the Crimea

25 Jul 1942

Germans secure Rostov, the gateway to the Caucasus

6 Sep 1942

German Sixth Army invested Stalingrad.

7 Sep 1942

Spanish 250th (Blue) Division occupied front-line positions near Leningrad  - they could see the city only 10 km away . The Division was part of the XXIVth Corps (General Hansen) within the Eigtheenth Army (Colonel-General Lindemann). The Spanish occupied 29 km from Pushkin in the west to Krasny Bor in the east, a front facing the Soviet 56th, 73rd and 109th Infantry Divisions. The defensive work left by the German 121st Infantry Division didn’t impress the Spaniards as it contained only a thin continuous line of works with wire entanglements; the position lacked sufficient depth and mines. The Spaniards preferred a series of strong points with interlocking support fire. There was only one particularly strongpoint, El Bastion, defending the Moscow-to-Leningrad highway.

18 Nov 1942

Russian winter offensive opened.

19-20 Nov 1942

Russian armour cut off the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad. Planned German offensive against Leningrad was cancelled.

End of Nov 1942

Temperature dropped, snow came, and rivers in the zone of the 250th (Blue) Division - Ishora and Slavianka began to freeze (Scurr, 1980).

12 Dec 1942

Failed German attempt to relieve Stalingrad.



 
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