WWII Polish forces


Mi General
MI.Net Member
Feb 29, 2004
During WWII some of the Polish People served with the German Army,

Polish Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht and Auxiliary Forces during WWII

Of all the Nations Germany overran during WWII, the Poles admittedly suffered what was the most harsh and brutal occupation of the entire conflict, the only equal being the occupation of the Eastern regions of the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1944.

When Poland was conquered after the Invasion of 1939, its territory was divided into three distinct regions, none of which were to be allowed any notion of the former nation. The western region of Poland was annexed into the German Reich and became Gau Danzig-West Preussen and Gau Posen (later Gau Wartheland). These areas annexed into the German Reich also came under Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS territorial organization, becoming respectively Wehrkries XX and XXI and SS-Oberabschnitte Warthe and Weichsel. The central portion of Poland came under the civilian control of the Generalgouvernement, and the eastern portion of Poland came under Soviet control begining on September 17th when the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the east, and was offically handed over when all German forces pulled back to the demarcation line of the Bug River. When Germany later attacked the Soviet Union in June of 1941, the eastern region of Poland previously occupied by the Soviets was added to the control of the Generalgouvernement and later came under the Reichskommissariat Ostland and Reichskommissariat Ukraine. Thus, by the summer of 1941, Poland was completely occupied by Germany.

Their is no question that the fate of Poland under German and Soviet occupation was harsh. Of all the nations of Europe, Poles suffered the highest per-capita losses, with 1 in every 5.9 persons being killed as a result of the conflict, most under the brutal rule of the German security and police forces. Along side this cruel reality, Poles pride themselves on the fact that their nation was the only one not to collaborate with the enemy. Although this is true to a degree, if one looks closely at the issue there were in fact a few select cases of Polish foreign volunteers during WWII.

There existed in Poland, as in nearly every other region of Europe during the time of WWII, a distinct group that was ripe for voluntary or conscripted service within or alongside the Reich. This group was known as the Volksdeutsche. Volksdeutsche were historic ethnic enclaves resident beyond the German boarder that for political and/or traditional reasons were considered a part of greater Germany. It was from among these groups that the Germans first gathered volunteers from Poland. Although they are not technically thought of as Poles by the Germans, the ethnic German Volksdeutsche were in reality from Poland and can thus be seen as Polish volunteers.

Initial milita groups and the Selbschutz

The first such instance of ethnic German Volksdeutsche from Poland being formed into units to support Germany was in September of 1939 with the attack on Poland. Upon the entrance of German troops into the regions of Western Poland, small groups of Volksdeutsche came together and formed local milita groups. These Volksdeutsche milita aided the German attack in many areas, and became so useful that shortly after the German Invasion, between September 8th and 10th, it was decided to reorganize the milita groups into Self-Protection units, otherwise known as Selbschutz. The Selbschutz was therefore formed in the early days of the German attack on Poland from ethnic German-Poles between the ages of 17-45 in the regions of Western Poland. The Selbschutz came under the control of the SS, being organized into three regions known as Südlicher Bereich, Mittlerer Bereich and Nördlicher Bereich. Each region was itself divided into districts known as Kreise, and each Kreise into a locality or Ort. The southern and central regions came under the direct control of the SS-Hauptamt, while the northern region came under the control of the RSHA. As September 1939 came to an end, the Selbschutz was reorganized and came under the operational control of Ordungspolizei or Order Police. Throughout its existance, the Selbschutz was entrusted with various rear-area security and support operations, and in many cases earned for itself an infamous reputation - so much so that it was therefore requested that the Selbschutz be disbanded. An order was later placed directing that the Selbschutz be disbanded as of November 8th, 1939, with effect from the 30th of November, 1939. A select few units of the Selbschutz would go on to serve until April of 1940 when all unit were finally and permanently disbanded. It is thought that a total of 45,000 ethnic German-Poles served in the Selbschutz before it was ordered to be disbanded.

Now when the war ended, those that were in Prisoner of war camps, for political reasons could not be repatrated, and so stayed in this country.

Most were employed by the M.O.D. as mine/bomb clerance Op's and were based in Guilford (i think), I have tried to find infomation about them on the internet but have found none.

does anyone have any info about this group.
Polish Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht and Auxiliary Forces during WWII
In German Wermaht as volunteers was service citizen of Poland but not Polish. In 1939 Poland have only 69% people who was nationality polish others nationality who lives in poland was: ukrainian, bielorusia, jewish,german. One problem is Silesian because for german they was german for polish they are polish. After conquered Poland Silesian was served in german army because for german they was german.
The faemos unit create by german where serviced citizen of Poland was ukrainian division SS "Galizien".
one more of a Virtual Nonsens

This nonsense should not be dignified by answer, but I will comment anyway. First you claim that it were "Polish people" in banditen Selbschutz and then, in the same breaths state something opposite: that this bandits were german. Those Selbschutz German rascals were set by hitlerites specifically against Christian Poles (although some Poles of Jewish faith and some Polish citizens of Jewish faith were also killed by those bandits. Mass murder of Jews happened two years later by other German units than Selbschutz). In two months in Pomerania alone they buthered 50 thousand Polish people mostly of Catholic faith including over 2000 Polish priests from Pomerania district alone. Obviously your education, or rather lack of it, does not permit even to tell the difference between the "Polish citizens" and "Polish people". Stick to your menial jobs and leave writing to more competent people (or citizens).
Last edited:
Hmm, not sure how you managed to post without being registered?, but its sorted now.
Your point of view is very much appreciated but your insults are not.
Clearly I didnt post this thread but the person who did would seem to have found this article and thought it worthy of discussion and clarification, I doubt that it is the posters personal view.
You will find quite often that members post information for discussion that they have found in several places, including myself.
Just to remind you, this is a place for discussion and learning not blatant insult.
Once again thanks for the clarification
Well said, Bombardier.
I think the 'unregistered' poster has taken offence where none was intended as Droney's thread clearly poses a question relating to these units of German/Polish citizens, where some decided their loyalty was to Germany. Everyone has the greatest respect for what the Polish nation suffered and what they contributed towards victory, in WWII.
I'm sure we're all adult enough to accept that what we post here in good faith may not always be completely accurate and that we are prepared to be corrected, if that is the case. Isn't that what 'discussion' in the forums is all about? There is no need to insult members because you don't like or agree with what has been posted.
We are all very proud of what the good and righteous people of our nations did during those terrible years, but we must accept also, that there are those amongst our communities who are only too ready to turn on their neighbours, when it suits their own beliefs or ambitions.
It is the human condition and has been going on since time immemorial.
Re: Selbstschutz

1. Correct name of this formation is Selbstschutz.

2. After disbanding Selbstschutz all people were moved to SS or SA formations in Gau Danzig-West Preussen and Gau Posen (later Gau Wartheland) or to Sonderdienst in General Gouvernament. All these formation were not in Wehrmacht structures!

3. In the beginning 1944 from Sonderdienst were formed:
“Bataillon I” – Gruppe “Schalk” (Landesinspektor Richard Schalk) – Glebokie
“Bataillon II” – Gruppe “Wachter” (nn) - Molodeczno
“Bataillon III” – Gruppe “Jaensch” (Reichsrat Dr Jaensch) – Bilgoraj
“Bataillon IV” – Gruppe “Schulze”. SD. Lwow
“Bataillon V” – Gruppe “Gnauk” (Reichsrat Bruno Gnauk) – Bilgoraj, next
“Bataillon VI” – Gruppe “Pfaffenroth” (SS-Stubaf Helmuth Pfaffenroth) –
“Bataillon VII“ – Gruppe “Burgsdorff” (Dr. Kurt Burgsdorff) - ?
“Ersatz-Bataillon” – Camp at Trawniki.
SS-Bataillon „Streibel“(SS-Sturmbannführer und Major der Schutzpolizei Karl
Streibel) - Lublin

4. "Now when the war ended, those that were in Prisoner of war camps, for political reasons could not be repatrated, and so stayed in this country." Which country You mean?

5. "Although they are not technically thought of as Poles by the Germans, the ethnic German Volksdeutsche were in reality from Poland and can thus be seen as Polish volunteers." - very smart but not logic.

6. There are many sites about Selbstschutz but unfortunately in polish

7. Poles served in Wehrmacht, even in Waffen-SS!! But they had to!! Many
of them deserted and then fought in Polish forces. From the end of 1943
Germans conscripted as many people as they can, even Polish people. Most
of them were from Silesia, Pomerania, and Warthegau.
"Now when the war ended, those that were in Prisoner of war camps, for political reasons could not be repatriated, and so stayed in this country." Which country You mean?

The U.K.

When i was stationed at larkhill on Salisbury plain some of these guy's were working on clearing UXB's on the Range, i was with the Salisbury range detachment (SPRDE) and got talking to some of them, they were a mix of Russian, Polish and some German, with a british officer in charge.

Similar threads