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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please google under "Frikorps Danmark" for the story and pictures about the over 6000 danes that served with the Waffen SS on the Russian front. Over 2000 of these danish volunteers in the Waffen SS died i Russia. At the time these danes joined the Waffen SS, they had the support and blessing of the Danish Government who supplied 66 trucks and cars. Danish military officers, 77 of them, joined the Waffen SS, and was allowed to keep their danish ranks while in the german service ,with the possibility to return back to the danish military.

After the WW2, all former and surviving Danish members of the Waffen SS, were given two year prison sentence.
 

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Hej Snowhunter,

The Danske Frikorps is an interesting, but sad story. For many years not too many Danes felt comfortable talking about it. The Nazi party in Denmark was never that popular and it is something of an unanswered question why so many Danes enlisted in the Frikorps. Many of the young men that enlisted were more anti-communist than they were Nazi sympathizers and the Germans really hyped the anti-communist perspective in their recruiting. I do not know much about the actual combat history of the Frikorps, but what little I've read indicated they were an effective fighting force.

A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine in Denmark tried to interview some of the surviving Frikorps men, but none would talk about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
From an historical point of view, I find the story of "Frikorps Danmark" very interesting, and I you say, very few danes likes to talk about that "dark side" of their resent history.

Actually, over 12000 danes signed up for "Frikorps Danmark", but only half of them were accepted, and about 20 % of them were etnich germans, living in the danish border area to Germany.

The first danish commander of "Frikorps Danmark", was, by the germans, relieved from his duties, due to "political idiolotical differences". The new commander, an etnich Russian aristocrat, raised in Denmark after the Russian revolution, was killed in action.

Due to very heavy losses in Russia, "Frikorps Danmark", later merged with the SS "Nordland" division.

Poking through these "Frikorps Danmark" google web sites, I found serveral danish web sites about the danish military, including old pictures from the regular danish army, using the danish Krag rifle :)
 

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I have never seen a reference to any use of Krags in combat on the Eastern Front by German-raised units and as far as I know, no Scandinavian weapons were used by units recruited by the Germans in their war with the Soviets {including Swedes, as there were quite a few Swedes who volunteered to serve with the Germans against the Reds}.

Various captured or newly-produced non-German Mauser rifles were used, but in combat units the Germans were pretty dedicated to the 7.92x57 cartridge for logistic reasons. Many Waffen SS units did use a variety of captured weaponry, particularly machineguns, but Krags stayed home in Norge and Danmark.

As for recruiting, it is difficult for modern Americans to understand the perspective of Germans in regards to the "East". Where we see and are taught that the War was a war of aggression and greed-for-land by the Germans, German RECRUITING and much propaganda emphasized the pressing need for advancing Western civilization against valueless, corrupt, perilous Red Communism. This was a very appealing concept to many Europeans who feared the Red Peril. From every country invaded and occupied {and some not even involved in the war}, young men were recruited who supported these notions. And many were disheartened by the alliance of West with East during the War.

The moral chaos of that great struggle was equaled only by the cost of priceless life.
 

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As for Norwegian Krags being used I believe the units raised from the Norwegian population were armed with Mausers. However, Krags were used by rear echelon units, and so were used during the German retreat from northern Norway in 1944, I.E used against the Russian advance. So, at least one instance of use on the eastern front.

I, myself, have a krag bayonet that was found in German ruins on the border between Russia and Norway. Proof positive that Krags were used close to the Litsa front line, if not actually at the front.

(The frog is homemade by the finder, not original.)
 

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As for recruitment... Yes, many were anti Bolshevik, not nessesarily pro nazi. However there are differences. In the baltic the people there had been under brutal soviet occupation first, so viewed the Germans as liberators. No wonder that lots of them joined the SS. In Norway many anti communists and Nazis joined up, but the liberation of the north happened in such a way that that the russians earned a good reputation and at least the northerners were of the opinion that the red army were saviours and friends, not an alternative enemy. Things weren't all that clear, no certainty who were the good or bad ones, so people joined the sides they thought were the good ones depending on circumstance...

Many Norwegians went to fight for Finland as it was attacked by the soviet union (Some of those fighters were veterans from the republic side of the Spanish Civil War) during the Winter war, after that Norway was occupied by the Germans and the Winter war veterans were dismayed to see Finland join Germay in the war of continuation (1941-44)... Those were not easy times for anyone...
 

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I suspect your Danish Krag bayonet was used as a fighting knife, not as a bayonet per se.
There is a good book, the Patriotic Traitors by David Littlejohn, about collaborators in
WWII, in the chapter on Denmark he covers the Freikorps Danemark fairly well. IIRC its first or second commander was a Danish officer, a Count Schalburg, he was KIA in Russia, became the hero-martyr. There was a Danish collaborator outfit, the Schalburg Corps, it
functioned something like the Milice in France, very thuggish and brutal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some of the danish surviving members of the members of the varioius Waffen units, build on private land, a memorial for their fallen comrades, which was quickly blown up by some of the die hard members of the danish resistance (partisan) groups.

Another memorial appears to have build, which has been left alone, perhaps due to the fact that most members of both side of this mini danish civil war, are now dead ?
 

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Danish Krags in German Service

Weaver in "Desperate Measures: The Last-Ditch Weapons of the NAZI Volkssturm" on page 63 cites but does not show photographs of Danish Krags being used by Volkssturm battalions in Berlin.
 

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Hanevik's book has a photo of the Norwegian Hird (Quisling's collaborationist troops) armed with Krag.
 

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Hi Gents ..This is my first Post here , Thought I'd share my 1944 Krag with you. They were issued by the TR. I read somewhere that these Rifles were sent from Danish Stock to Steyr and re-chambered , I have not checked mine yet.
If anyone knows where I could get the correct stock for it (and maybe have it refinished) please let me know ...I think this rare bird would be worth restoring :)
--Mike
 
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