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Anti-Soviet Russian units in WWII (within the German forces)

Last modified: 2014-10-11 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: nazi | poa | roa | poha | rona | saltire (blue) | collaborationist | shoulder patch | coat of arms: bordure |
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ROA: Russian Liberation Army

Russian Navy St. Andrew flag
image by Yosef Obskura and Željko Heimer, 06 Apr 1999

Russian Liberation Army (Русская Освободительная Армия, whose cyrillic initials are of course РОА). This was Lt. General Andrei Andreievich Vlasov’s army (rather an amalgamation of many units) which reached about 750 000 men at its strongest point.
Santiago Dotor, 09 Jun 2000

The flag of ROA was simply the Andrew’s flag without red border. (Fotos of this flag with nazi-flag side-by-side at Committee of liberation of peoples of Russia in Prague in 1944 known to historicians.)
Victor Lomantsov, 01 Oct 2001

According to Andrey Jahwlanski, Sergey Drobiazko and George Mamulia in Flag Report 17 [frp], ROA used the white flag with blue St. Andrew’s cross (without red border) and some units used the tricolor.
Jaume Ollé, 14 Jul 2001


Insignia / shoulder patch

ROA insignia
image by António Martins, 28 May 2007

The ROA “coat of arms” was Argent, bordered Gules a saltire Azure. That shield as a sleeve badge were placed on bigger one, which was olive-green, with (yellow) letters "РОА" (it is ROA) in chief of that darker shield.
Aleš Krížan, 19 Jun 2001

The ROA arm badge (really a patch) depicted a blue saltire on a white, shield-shaped background, with a red border around the entire shield. The red-bordered shield was itself located on a black background underneath the gold Cyrillic initials "РОА". But the flag of ROA was simply the Andrew’s flag without red border.
Victor Lomantsov, 01 Oct 2001


Patch-on-tricolor flag

reported ROA banner
image by António Martins, 28 May 2007

According to Andrey Jahwlanski, Sergey Drobiazko and George Mamulia in Flag Report 17 [frp], the ROA used this emblem on the center of a Russian tricolor and it was used by the Military Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia.
Jaume Ollé, 14 Jul 2001


Inexistent patch-based flag?

putative ROA banner
image by António Martins, 28 May 2007

David Littlejohn [ltj87] says that «The flag of the ROA was a blue saltire on white with a narrow red edging», thus identical to the unit’s arm badge.
Santiago Dotor, 09 Jun 2000


Incorrect flag design

wrong ROA banner
image by António Martins, 22 May 2001

The ROA arm badge (really a patch) depicted a blue saltire on a white, shield-shaped background, with a red border around the entire shield, not around the saltire itself.
Victor Lomantsov, 01 Oct 2001

This design, a Russian St. Andrew’s flag with red fimbriation along the cross, was based in a misunderstating of the original written description from [ltj87]. It was hosted in this site long enough to become dangerously widespread. So, a word of caution: This flag design never existed!
António Martins, 28 May 2007


RONA: Russian Liberation Peoples’ Army

Russian Liberation Army (RONA) Flag
image by Chrystian Kretowicz

RONA (or РОНА in cyrillic characters) stood for "Russian Liberation Peoples’ Army" (Русская Освободительная Народная Армия), a grandiloquent title for the infamous 15,000-strong anti-partisan unit led by Bronislav Kaminski (who was shot by the SS under charges of looting). David Littlejohn in Foreign Legions of the Third Reich [ltj87] speaks of no flag for the RONA, but describes and illustrates its arm badge as a fully-black Cross of Saint George (a Czarist order, a cross formy whose arms join in a small central disc crossed by two swords.
Santiago Dotor, 09 Jun 2000

Besides Vlasov's ROA, there was Bronislav Kaminski's Brigade (RONA/POHA - Russian National Liberation Army) which numbered 10,000 men. Kaminski's command was allowed by the Germans to have virtual control over a large chunk of the Russian territory (eventually the size of Belgium) in exchange for fighting the Soviet partisans. This area was known as either the ""Lokot Autonmy," or the "Lokot Republic," because it was centered in the small town of Lokot, near the city of Bryansk.
As the released prisoners of the gulags were not allowed to return to the big cities, the towns like Lokot were populated by many of them. Not surprisingly, these people didn´t have any liking for the Soviets. Eventually, Kaminski (interestly, of Polish-German extraction) was given the rank of Waffen-Brigadefuhrer (SS General) and his command was renamed the Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS (russische Nr. 1). In 1943, the Soviet offensive forced the Germans and Kaminski to relocate to Lepel, then he was ordered west to help quell the Warsaw Uprising in August of 1944. Kaminski, who hated the Poles for reasons only known to him, allowed his soldiers to commit unbelievable atrocities against the civilian population. They seemed only interested in pillaging, rape and robbery, and by this time his units had little military value. Eventually, he was arrested by the Gestapo, courtmarshalled, and executed. Apparently, his crimes were unimaginable even to the hardcore Nazis.
The Flag of the Lokot Republic featured the cross of RONA and the image of Saint George slaying the Dragon, a traditional Russian symbol.
Pete Loeser, 10 October 2014

The source requested was Flag Report 17, article “Symbols of anti-Soviet groups in the WWII, By Dr. Andrey YASHLAVSKY, and collaborations by Dr. Sergey DROBIAZKO (special thanks to Dr. George MAMULIA from Tbilisi, Georgia).
Jaume Ollé, 10 October 2014


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