View Full Version : Russian Liberation Army (POA)

03-20-2005, 04:57 PM
During some recent casual WW2 reading today, I came across a reference to something that I've seen bits and pieces of before, but nothing in detail - The Russian Liberation Army (Russian acronym POA). Lead by a General Vlasov, comprised of anti-Soviet Russian prisoners of war, made a break for the West toward the end of the war, with massive casualties... And I can never find anything more elaborate than that.

Anyway, does anybody have any good websites or know any good books that discuss the POA? I'm very curious about what they were all about.


03-20-2005, 05:19 PM
Oh, yeah... POA is the cyrillic Russian acronym... I guess it would be ROA using the latin script. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And so the VVS would be the BBC using cyrillic... that could cause a little confusion around here.

But anyway, any Russian Liberation Army info would be much appreciated. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


03-20-2005, 06:32 PM
I have the best book on that subject called; The Illusion - Soviet Soldiers in Hitlers Army.

The author is Jurgen Thorvald.

I shall post some segments later.

03-21-2005, 08:50 AM
Here are two links.
You would need to know Russian.

03-21-2005, 03:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
I have the best book on that subject called; The Illusion - Soviet Soldiers in Hitlers Army.

The author is Jurgen Thorvald.

I shall post some segments later. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, Waldo... and Bogun... although my Russian is first-year university level, so I'm not going to have any success with that! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


03-21-2005, 06:33 PM
I think it is a really good book. Go to the library and try before you buy.

My favorite passage from the book is about a unit called the Kaminski Brigade.

Here is a passage from The Illusion which tells you a little about the Brigade and the Commander.

"Several of Kaninski's regiments mutinied and threatened to switch sides and join the partisans. Kaminski wheedled a 'Stork' light plane. Without escort he landed in front of the staff headquarters of one of his rebellious regimental commanders. He siezed the man by his throat and strangled him in front of his own men. He had several officers shot. Then he flew to other strongpoints and acted in a a similar manenr. By that evening he reported "situation returned to normal."

Kaminski turned out to be (perhaps) more savage than his Nazi masters as they had him shot (eventually).

As always - converts make the greatest Zealots.

More on the Kaminski Brigade here.


03-21-2005, 08:21 PM
Osprey's "Foreign Volunteers of the Wehrmacht, 1941-1945" provides an OK overview of Vlasov's army. Vlasov himself initially fought for the Red Army in the defense of Moscow, IIRC. He was captured and then turned coat. My undergraduate East European History professor, himself a Czech, thought highly of Vlasov: evidently he defied a German order to demolish Prague. Vlasov's troops who surrendered to the Western Allies in Austria were turned over to the Red Army, per an agreement with Stalin (do a keyword search on Operation Keelhaul, and you can read more about it).

Btw, for an interesting take on Russian troops fighting with the Wehrmacht in Northern Italy, check out Carlo Sgorlon's "Army of the Lost Rivers." It's a novel based on the day-to-day routine of Italians and Cossacks in a small Italian town.

03-29-2005, 05:03 AM
Vlasov's unit's liberated Prague and did a local deal to join the western allies to keep fighting the communists after the war.

Karinski's Cossacks faught their way through Nortyhern Italy and holed up in the Tirol.

Neither knew that in the conference of Yalta the allies had agreed to hand over all "Soviet" people after the war.

Both units were handed over and almost certainly killed.

A third unit of 500 men along with women and children under Gerneral Sidlovski worked their way back through Austria and crashed over the border into neutral Lichtenstein requesting Asylum.

The Soviet Government demanded that they be handed over.

As Lichtenstein was neutral and not a signatory of Yalta they ruled that any willing to go back to join the Soviets could of their own free will. The Soviets gave guarantees that all who came back willingly would be well treated and a couple of hundred agreed. About two hours after crossing the soviet border they were herded out of the train into a field and machine gunned down.

Sidlovski and most of his remaining men went on to Argentina.

It is estimated that around 2 million people were more or less forcably repatriated to the greatly enlarged Soviet block after the war in accordance with the treaty of Yalta.

At the same time - this policy was not systematicaly applied - My mother who was a Latvian "Guest Worker" in Kiel and my Step father who was an Estonian in the Wermacht Artillery on the Eastern front, along with many others from the Baltic states were shipped out to England then many went onwards to Canada.

On the Sidlovsky affair check out the film 'Le Vent de L'Est' - it's out on DVD but as it's a French film (with Eng subtitles) may not be widely availiable. Malcom Mcdowell plays Sidlovski.