The Latvian Legion (1943-1945) and Its Role in Latvia's History
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis provides research on the largest Latvian military formation to serve Nazi Germany from 1943 until the end of World War II. As the most decorated non-German Waffen-SS formation, it fought from the outskirts of Leningrad to the defensive lines of Berlin. However, it also has become a focal point of heated contemporary discussions between historians from Western Europe and the Russian Federation. Accusations that the Latvian Legion engaged in war crimes and supported the Nazi ideology are just part of these discussions. The thesis first looks at the history of the Latvian nation and the influences that its neighbors Russia and Germany had on it. Historically, the Latvian people have always been under the geopolitical influence of one of these states, at times facing the worst of their foreign policies -- forced occupation and genocide. It then examines the written works of the Legions survivors, the research of domestic historians, the reports of foreign ambassadors, and the historical opinions of Russian experts. Finally, the thesis seeks to find out how the Latvian Legion is perceived in todays Latvia.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics