The Daily Mail reports “Putin has recruited up to 35,000 prisoners including rapists, murderers and even a ‘maniac’ CANNIBAL who will all be pardoned if they survive six months in Ukraine.” This sounds like a very innovative approach to fighting the war, but it isn’t a Putin original. Rather, it is very similar to what the Nazi’s did during World War II with its “Dirlewanger Brigade.” This kind of unit is created out of desperation and not innovation.
The SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, more commonly known as the Dirlewanger Brigade, was a Nazi unit operating in the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The unit, which was one of the most notorious Nazi units, was known for its atrocious acts.
The Dirlewanger Brigade was created by Oskar Dirlewanger, a German prisoner. He served as a prisoner of war during World War I. He was convicted of rape and was ordered to serve in the SS. He was later exiled to Belarus.
Dirlewanger recruited men who had been in prisons or had been convicted of murder. He was also known to be a sadist. The Nazis accepted him into the SS and ordered him to recruit from criminals.
The Dirlewanger Brigade was an anti-partisan unit that was primarily active in Poland and Belarus. It was known to terrorize civilians through robberies, extortions, and gang rapes. In addition to burning children and women alive, the unit also released starving dogs to eat the civilians. It also shot civilians who tried to escape.
At the height of the Dirlewanger’s activities, the unit was around 4,000 men. The unit’s members were convicted criminals, mentally unstable people, and asylum patients.
While most of the men were convicted of major crimes, the unit also accepted people convicted of less serious offenses. Dirlewanger’s unit was also known to kill more civilians than enemy soldiers. It was also a unit that fought in some of the most infamous terror campaigns in the eastern theater.
The unit also gained a reputation among Waffen-SS officers and other Wehrmacht officers. It also participated in other war crimes in German-occupied Eastern Europe.
The Dirlewanger Brigade was a unit that got results when it came to quelling uprisings. However, many members of the Nazi high command found it incredibly disgusting. It was considered an “out of mind” unit.
The Dirlewanger Brigade was part of the German Army. Its recruits were to come from criminals, soldiers who had been convicted of serious crimes, and members of the Eastern Volunteers. It was also considered to be a unit that had no moral compass or empathy.
The actions of the Dirlewanger Brigade were so detestable that other Waffen SS units tried to take it away from the battlefield. They were also disturbed by the unit’s tactics. It also had regular Army units attached to it. The unit was also known to kill a newborn infant from its mother’s arms while it was burning. It was also one of the most hated units in the Nazi war machine. It was also a unit that had Nazi high command arguing over its status. It was also one of the most feared units in the war.
Eventually, the Dirlewanger Brigade was dissolved. It was also reported that Dirlewanger was a drunk and alcoholic. His unit was also known to be a unit that had sexual misconduct allegations against them. He denied the charges, saying that they were a political conspiracy to ruin him.
This is the exact type of fighting force the Russians are developing. It is too early to tell if it will be a part of other units or be separate like Dirlewanger’s.