15th SS Police Regiment

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15th SS Police Regiment
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Schutzstaffel
Type Security
Size Regiment
Garrison/HQ Wehrkreis X

The 15th SS Police Regiment (German: SS-Polizei-Regiment 15) was initially named the 15th Police Regiment (Polizei-Regiment 15) when it was formed in 1942 from existing Order Police units (Ordnungspolizei) for security duties on the Eastern Front. The regiment was destroyed in January 1943 and the survivors were used to rebuild it in Norway several months later, the second incarnation was formed from existing police units. It was given an honorary SS title, but it never became part of the Waffen-SS, and retained its existing organization and strength, the regiment was transferred to Italy in late 1943 and remained there for the rest of the war.

Formation and organization[edit]

The regiment was ordered formed in July 1942 in Russia from Police Battalion 305 (Polizei-Batallion 305), Police Battalion 306 and Police Battalion 310 which were redesignated as the regiment's first through third battalions, respectively.[1] Between 29 October and 1 November, 10 Company of the Third Battalion helped to liquidate the ghetto in Pinsk, Belarus,[2]killing an estimated 20,000 Jews.[3] I Battalion was redesignated as III Battalion of the 16th Police Regiment later in the year and was later replaced by II Batallion of the 28th Police Regiment from Norway, the regiment was ordered to be rebuilt in Norway on 29 March 1943 with the survivors consolidated into I and II Battalions. III Battalion was intended to be the redesignated IV Battalion of the 27th SS Police Regiment, but I Battalion of the 27th Regiment was ultimately used instead; in July the headquarters and I Battalion were garrisoned in Sarpsborg, II Battalion was in Mysen and III Battalion was stationed in Bergen.[4]

The regiment was transferred to Italy in late 1943 with the headquarters stationed in Vercelli, I Battalion in Turin, II Battalion garrisoned in Milan and III Battalion located in Trieste. It was later reinforced by an anti-tank company and a rocket-launcher battery[5]

The unit controlled two ethnic SS Police units, the SS Police Regiment Bozen and the SS Police Regiment Brixen, the regiment was mainly involved with anti-partisan activities in Italy.

Order of battle[edit]

  • Supreme SS and Police Command (Italien) - SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff
    • SS and Police Command (Mitteitalien-Verona) - SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Harster
      • SS Police Regiment 15 - Oberstleutnant der Schutzpolizei Ludwig Buch
        • SS Police Regiment "Bozen" (Ethnic SS Regiment)
        • SS Police Regiment "Brixen" (Ethnic SS Regiment)

The overall military command which encompassed the corresponding SS units was the German 14th Army under the command of Generaloberst (Colonel General) Eberhard von Mackensen who in turn answered to Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, considered the highest-ranking German commander in the Italian theater.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Arico, pp. 402, 405, 432; Tessin & Kanapin, pp. 621–22
  2. ^ Desbois, Chapter 4
  3. ^ Megargee, p. 1443
  4. ^ Arico, pp. 402, 405, 432; Tessin & Kanapin, pp. 621–22
  5. ^ Tessin & Kanapin, p. 622

References[edit]

  • Arico, Massimo. Ordnungspolizei: Encyclopedia of the German Police Battalions, Stockholm: Leandoer and Ekholm (2010). ISBN 978-91-85657-99-5
  • Desbois, Patrick, Father. In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets, New York: Arcade Publishing (2018) ISBN 9781628728590
  • Gallagher, J. Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican (1969)
  • Megargee, Geoffrey, ed. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Volume II: Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe, Part B, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press (2011). ISBN 978-0-253-35599-7
  • Tessin, Georg & Kannapin, Norbert. Waffen-SS under Ordnungspolizei im Kriegseinsatz 1939–1945: Ein Überlick anhand der Feldpostübersicht, Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag (2000). ISBN 3-7648-2471-9