Latvian Legion

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Description:
The Latvian Legion () was a formation of the Waffen-SS during World War II created in 1943 and consisting primarily of ethnic Latvians. The 15th Division was administratively subordinated to the VI SS Volunteer Corps, but operationally it was in reserve or at the disposal of the XXXXIII Army Corps, 16th Army, Army Group North. The 19th Division remained active in the Courland Pocket until May 1945, when it was among the last of Nazi Germany's forces to surrender at the close of World War II.

The legion consisted of two divisions of the Waffen-SS:

Creation

The Latvian Legion was created in January 1943 on the orders of Adolf Hitler following a request by Reichsf├╝hrer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Technically, it was a volunteer unit, but one month after the unit was founded, German occupation authorities in Latvia started conscripting military age men, as close to none had volunteered. They were given a choice between "volunteering" for SS Waffen legions, serving in the German army (Heer) as "auxiliaries" (labourers behind the front lines), commanded by German officers and often treated as subhumans, or being sent to a slave labour camp in Germany. Those who tried to avoid one of those options were arrested and sent to concentration camps.As a result, only 15-20% of...
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