Wehrmacht Osttruppen Prisoner 1944

A colourised version of this image:

A Wehrmacht Osttruppen (“eastern troops”) prisoner (possibly from the Infantry-Battalion 781 attached to the 711th ID.) told Allied soldiers that he spent three days in a foxhole waiting to surrender to U.S. forces on the La Haye du Puits (Manche) front in Normandy. July 9, 1944
He said he was a Russian from Turkestan and had served TWO years in the Russian Army before he was captured by the Germans and given the choice of serving in the Wehrmacht or being shot.
(The American on the left, talking to the prisoner, appears to be wearing the helmet of the ESB Engineer Special Brigade).
About one third of the infantry strength of the divisions faced on D Day Normandy was made up of Osttruppen. Each static division received an extra three Ost Battalions to address the weakness of the six battalion infantry divisions deployed as static divisions on the Atlantic Wall.
Turkestan, also spelled Turkistan, literally means “Land of the Turks” in Persian. It refers to an area in Central Asia between Siberia to the north and Tibet, India and Afghanistan to the south, the Caspian Sea to the west and the Gobi Desert to the east.
(Photo source - US Army Signal Corps)
(Colorized by David Stroodle from the USA)
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