Latvian Legion Military and Feldpost History

    19. Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS Lettische

    In February 1944, the 2nd SS Latvian Brigade was expanded into divisional strength forming the "19. Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS Lettische Nr 2." The division was composed of: 329 Officers, 1421 NCO's, and 8842 other ranks. In spring 1944, the 19th SS Division and their sister 15th SS Division were placed under VI SS Corps as part of 18th German Army in northern Russia. A new Soviet offensive was launched in July 1944, against its sister 15th SS Division. The remnants of the 15th was withdrawn while the 19th SS Division was left together with the 15th SS Artillery Regiment to defend the northern perimeter between Riga and Madona, Latvia.

    Still under the direction of VI SS Corps, the 19th SS Division was ordered to cross the west bank of the River Daugava (which cut through Riga in the northwest). By 12 October 1944, the last defenders had evacuated Riga, and the last two bridges across the River Daugava were blown. By October 19, the Soviet forces had taken controlled of Riga and the final phase of the war in Latvia. The 19th SS Division retreated towards the Courland peninsula. By December, the Soviets succeeded in gaining only 16 Square-kms of territory but at a terrible cost of loosing over fifty divisions. The 19th SS Division alone had accounted for the destruction of ten Soviet Infantry Divisions and entire Armored Corps.

    By January 1945, the Germans withdrew seven divisions from Courland to defend the German Reich, leaving 25 divisions to hold a 161kms front line in Latvia. The 19th SS Division remained in "Fortress Courland" engaging Soviet forces until the end of the war. Most of the surviving Latvians surrendered to Soviet forces, and were subsequently sent to Siberia and probably executed. The division went through five commanders. The last commander was SS-Generalleutnant Bruno Streckenbach from 19 May 1944 to 8 May 1945.

    Latvian Legion Feldpost

    Latvian 19th Waffen-Grenadier Division Feldpost

    Feldpost cover dated March 1944, by now the brigade was reformed into the Latvian 19th SS Volunteer Division. Sender shows FPN 15205C (1st. Gren. Rgt., 2nd. Btl., 3rd. Co.). This FPN was formerly assigned to the SCHUMA Unit 19.

    Feldpost numbers assigned to the 19th Latvian Waffen-Grenadier Division

    The Latvian 2nd SS Brigade was reformed which included two training regiments. In January 1944 the brigade was transform into the 19th Waffen-Grenadier Division der SS. The 19th SS Division was given the Tactical no. SS-19 and Kenn no. 350. The following Feldpost numbers were added:

    Staff and War Reporters Co.-----------------------------43500

    Waffen-Gren. Rgt. 42 Staff Rgt--------------------------33595

    I Staff Regiment---------------------------------------------45849

    II Staff (5-8 Co.)----------------------------------------------15205

    III Staff (9-12 Co.)--------------------------------------------42515

    13th. Industrial Co.-------------------------------------------43827

    14th. anti-Tank Co.-------------------------------------------27775

    Waffen-Gren. Rgt. 43 Staff Rgt--------------------------34300

    I Staff (1-4 Co.)------------------------------------------------35118

    War II Staff (5-8 Co.)----------------------------------------36164

    III Staff (9-12 Co.)--------------------------------------------47278

    13th. Industrial Co.--------------------------------------------33938

    14th. anti-Tank Co.--------------------------------------------45683

    Waffen-Gren. Rgt. 44 Staff Rgt----------------------------09015

    I Staff (1-4 Co.)-------------------------------------------------58978

    War II Staff (5-8 Co.)-----------------------------------------10217

    III Staff (9-12 Co.)---------------------------------------------08570

    13th. Industrial Co.--------------------------------------------59587

    14th. anti-Tank Co.---------------------------------------------11862

    15th. anti-Tank Co.---------------------------------------------59273

    SS Artillery Rgt.,Staff Rgt. ---------------------------------02280

    I Staff (1-3 Battr.)----------------------------------------------57958

    II Staff (4-8 Battr.)---------------------------------------------12451

    III Staff (7-9 Battr.)--------------------------------------------11861

    IV Staff (10-12 Battr.)------------------------------------------06462

    SS Anti-tank Unit 19 Staff-------------------------------------58680

    SS Supply Transport 19 Staff---------------------------------10457

    Transport Co.------------------------------------------------------------11158(A-D)

    War Motor Vehicle Repair Co.------------------------------03927

    Motor Transport Co.--------------------------------------------02659

    1st. Transport Squad--------------------------------------------15386

    2nd. Transport Squad--------------------------------------------13867

    SS Engineers Btl. 19,Staff (1-3 Co.)-------------------------05918

    SS Medical Co----------------------------------------------------58895

    2nd. Medical Troop Co. 19-------------------------------------11993

    Motorized Ambulance Platoon---------------------------------56327

    War SS Veterinary Co. 52--------------------------------------58519

    SS Admin. Troop 19, Admin. Co-------------------------------09542

    Bakery Co.----------------------------------------------------------04696

    Butcher Co.---------------------------------------------------------11026

    SS Military Police Troop----------------------------------------47836

    SS Signal Unit------------------------------------------------------00577

    SS Field Reserve Btl. 19,Staff (1-5 Co.)--------------------39232

    Staff (1-5 Co.)-----------------------------------------------------14937

    SS FpA 19----------------------------------------------------------10512

    Latvian Legion Feldpost

    2nd Latvian SS Brigade Feldpost

    Feldpost mailed by a Latvian in the MotorWorks Repair Platoon of the 2nd Latvian SS Brigade, FPN 47466. Cover shows a postage due of 18Rpf.

    VI Waffen-Armeekorps der SS Lettische

    In order to control the Latvian Divisions of the Waffen-SS, a Latvian SS Army Corps was established in October 1943. Personnel came from the IV SS Panzer Corps (which had absorbed the VII SS Panzer Corps) and the "Artillerie Kommandeur (ARKO)" of the VII SS Corps. This Corps composed of German personnel was organized and trained in Grafenwohr. In January 1944 the designated "VI Waffen-Armeekorps der SS Lettische" was responsible in coordinating the efforts of both Latvian Divisions in holding the southern sector of the "Panther Line" a defensive perimeter under the 18th German Army. In late March 1944 near Ostrov, Soviet forces attacked and virtually destroyed the 15th SS Latvian Division. The German units were forced to withdraw to Latvia. The remnants of both Latvian Divisions retreated across toward Riga. In October 1944, Riga fell to the Russian forces and the VI SS Corps was forced to form part of the Courland defense until the end of the war.

    The following feldpost numbers were assigned to the VI Waffen-Armeekorps der SS Lettische:

    Staff Corps---------------------------------------------------01800

    Staff Art. HQ--------------------------------------------------10887*

    Signal Corps Unit 106, Staff (1-2 Co.)-----------------11579

    Transp. Battr. 106----------------------------------------------04793**

    Military Police 106------------------------------------------59973

    Repair Shop Co. 106----------------------------------------67463

    Anti-aircraft Battr.-------------------------------------------20258

    Medic Co. 106-----------------------------------------------22172

    Motorized Ambulance 506----------------------------------19051**

    Field Hosp. 506------------------------------------------------10749**

    Security Co. 106--------------------------------------------20602

    SS anti-Art.---------------------------------------------------57966

    Admin. Unit 506---------------------------------------------22045

    SS FpA 106---------------------------------------------------15360

    (*) Indicates that FPN was formerly assigned to VII SS Panzer Corps.
    (**) Indicates change to SS Corps Troop.

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