Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

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Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Fri 11 Sep 2009, 8:35 am

Hi Guys,
With all the interest in the Annivesary of the start of WW2 I thought this might be an interesting thread to cover the Civilian Police who were left to work with occupation forces across Europe.
Some forces were left with their own uniforms and structures overseen by the invading military and others receiving new uniform items to link them to the countries of the occupiers.

Example of own uniforms still used;
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/1941_h10.jpg
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Here we have a member of the 'Royal Hellenic Police' in Athens on Traffic Duty, directing German Army despatch riders across the city in 1941.

Example of adapted uniforms as link to occuping force;
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/dutch_10.jpg
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Dutch National Police, 'RijksPolitie', wearing the new uniform with German issued insignias in 1943, the main uniform is the original one but the collar patches and hat badges were altered to fall in line with German style, they were cornflower Blue.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/german10.jpg
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This one is from 1940 and you can see that the Dutch Municipal Police ,GeemtePolitie, driver is still wearing his normal uniform but is accompanied by a German 'SS Polizei' man to make up a joint patrol. The Motorcycle with sidecar was standard issue for the dutch police at the time, it's a harley-davidson.

Next we have what I have been told were Civil Police that were created to support the occupying forces, although I would need some more info to confirm this, these would seem more of a political groups with a different agenda. Anybody have more details on these forces?
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/polish10.jpg
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Here we have the 'Polish Blue Police' in 1943.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/hipogu10.jpg
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This is a member of the Danish 'Hippoguard' Police in 1942, Looks to be well armed so could be used mainly to protect governement buildings.

Comments please?

Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Fri 11 Sep 2009, 12:16 pm

Very interesting pictures, I am intrigued by this subject and of the saga of the resistance movements and the collaborators with the Nazis and the Japanese. The Japanese created their own puppet government in the Philippines (as well as in Manchuria and Korea) complete with it's own police force.

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Vichy Police poster

Post  Les-Art on Fri 09 Oct 2009, 7:15 am

Found this excellent image of a recruitment poster for the POLICE NATIONALE under the VICHY Regime.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/police12.jpg
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The Vichy insignia is shown between REVOLUTION NATIONALE at the bottom of the poster and it is this double headed axe design that appears in the centre of the Kepi badge. The sleeve badge I have not identified yet but should also carry the axe design.
The collar insignias are the wearers personal number and the breast badge is the insignia in enamel and metal on a leather hanger showing the town/city crest of the wearers assignment.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  RagePaintedSky on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 3:22 am

Hi to all... I'll take the advantage of this first posting to introduce myself...
Despite of the nickname I'm from Spain, my name's Felip and I'm 36. I had the pleasure of being told to visit this forum so here I am...
I'm sorry if my English isn't as good as it would be prudent but I hope it would be understandable at least...
Wandering through the posts I've seen the picture of the Danish Hipo guard and, as Les was asking for comments, and I've been doing research into Denmark during WWII in a Spanish forum, here is mine about the Hipo:

The so called Hipo was a consequence of the worsening Danish-German relations in Denmark. In September 19th 1944 after Germans regarded a Danish police “unreliable behaviour” during the General Strike, Germans decided to dismantle the full Danish police corps. In their place the HSSPf in Danmark, SS-Ogruf. Gunther Pancke decided to raise an auxiliary police corps first known as Hilfspolizei (Auxiliary Police) but later known as Hipokorpsets (Hi[lfs]Po[lizei]korpsets a mix of the German designation and the Danish word for corps), and later again, simply as Hipo. Hipokorpsets was quick to deserve a deplorable reputation, it was said to have responsible for the murder of about 50 Danish resistance suspects and for the torture of some hundreds. The Hipo was created as an auxiliary police branch of an “intelligence corps” (a kind of Danish SD called Efterretnings-Tjenesten (ET)), its members wore a collar patch with the “ET” letters in a runic design. Hipo men did not wear those collar patches but shoulder straps similar to those worn by the German police.

The Spanish post is here: http://www.1y2gm.com/las-naciones-en-la-segunda-guerra-mundial-f63/dinamarca-y-la-segunda-guerra-mundial-t1694-10.htm#13096
But as it's written in Spanish and the forum's translator doesn't work quite good, I'd better refer you to the essential work by David Littlejohn, Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. Vol. 1 Norway, Denmark, France [pages 108-110]. All four volumes of Foreign Legions... are easy to find on the web, if anyone needs more info on them, just drop me a message... They're quite good reference books on the subject of Germany's foreign volunteers or auxiliaries during WWII.


Hipo memebers at target practice.

Collar patch of the Efterretnings-Tjenesten Silver runic-style ET on black. Piping was black and white for NCOs and silver for Officers.

Both images come from Littlejohn's book.

I hope I haven't been too boring... pale
Pleased to be here...

Felip

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 5:50 am

Excellent post, welcome to the forum. Your English is also very good so don't be ashamed by that Very Happy

Would you happen to have the ISBN numbers for the Foreign Legions of the 3rd Reich books?

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 6:21 am

Hi Felip,
Welcome to the forum, your English is excellent.

Thanks for the info on the 'Hippoguard', it's very interesting.

Look forward to your future posting.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  RagePaintedSky on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 6:50 am

Thanks for the welcome...
Sorry I missed posting the ISBNs... Here they are:
0912138173 [0-912138-17-3] Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. Vol. 1 Norway, Denmark, France
091213822X [0-912138-22-X] Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. Vol. 2 Belgium, Great Britain, Holland, Italy and Spain
0912138297 [0-912138-29-7] Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. Vol. 3 Albania, Czecholslovakia, Greece, Hungary and Yugoslavia
091213836X [0-912138-36-X] Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. Vol. 4 Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Free India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia

All the books were published by R. James Bender Publishing, San Josť, CA, USA between 1987 and 1994.
Note it's worth getting the fourth volume (even you're not too interested on its subject) because it's got some additional information about the first three in an appendix.

By the way, if you Chris are interested in wartime collaboration with Japan, maybe the book Wartime Shanghai may be of your interest ISBNs are 0-203-26575-0 (Adobe eReader Format) and 0-415-17441-4 (Print Edition). I shall tell you if I remember some other...

Thanks again...

Felip

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 8:05 am

Thanks Felip, I have checked Amazon and the prices are exorbitant Crying or Very sad

I will have to check my used/rare book sources and maybe they will have more reasonable prices.

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 10:06 am

Here is a re-inactor wearing the uniform of the Polish Blue Police as shown in a previous post in Black and White.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/polish11.jpg
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Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  RagePaintedSky on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 10:51 am

Thanks, Les... It is a very nice sample of how the uniform was looking. It's amazing how people spends time and money to keep the memory of such things alive, thanks to them too. I can not recall having read (before reading the post) about that Polish Blue Police, an interesting learning for me...
Thanks again

Felip

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 11:11 am

I have to do some research on this Police force, but they would certainly appear to have been an entirely civilian organisation. As opposed to the one working for the occupation forces.

Certain uniform elements were retained after the war and up to the point where the Polish Police changed back to a Blue uniform, see the 'New Blue Police for Europe' thread. The following items were still used - Rank insignias on the Cap band, Blue collar patches , blue whistle lanyard and the Blue trousers with thin Blue stripe. The main colour change would be the top of the cap and the jacket which were changed to Grey some time during th elate 1940's. The rank structure is a little large, so to help identify the wearers seniority within the collar patches gained some silver embroidered elements to aid in this.

I have a rank chart which I just need to colour in ,if anyone is interested I will finish it off and post it on the forum.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  RagePaintedSky on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 11:58 am

Thanks for the additional info, Les... The rank chart would be interesting to see, if it does not cause you much trouble to post it...
Regards

Felip

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 12:12 pm

Hi Felip,
Just found some info on the Polish Blue Police on a this website;
http://www.savingjews.com

Quote from website;
'Blue Police Ė the uniformed auxiliary Polish police force created by the Nazis out of the remnants of the regular pre-war Polish state police, called "navy blue" for the navy blue color of their uniforms. According to international law, they were subjected to the occupying power, i.e. to the Germans. The Polish policemen were drafted on the pain of death and the Nazis held them and their families accountable for fulfilling their duties. Many, if not most, cooperated with the underground, including the Home Army.'

I think this explains everything.

I will finish off the rank chart shortly, it is all drawn up and only needs to be coloured in, so it shouldn't take that long to do. I have several others in the drawing stage of various Police forces throughout the world so once I actually sit down and concentrate on the task in hand ,I will finish a few off and get them posted here or at least in the appropriate area of the forum

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Animal on Mon 26 Oct 2009, 9:59 am

Les-Art wrote:Here is a re-inactor wearing the uniform of the Polish Blue Police as shown in a previous post in Black and White.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/polish11.jpg
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Regards,
Les

I think that's a prewar police uniform, because the Nazis didn't allow them to wear the Polish eagle on their caps(POW's were required to remove their cap eagles as well), instead replacing them with a cap badge based on the coat of arms of the district within the General-Government they were serving in.

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Mon 26 Oct 2009, 12:21 pm

Hi Animal,
I think you might be right, now that you mention the badge being a coat of arms and checking out the
black and white photo again he is clearly not wearing an eagle.

Elements of both uniforms are the same of course like the breast badge and collar badges ,so they may have ben pre-war items still being used.

Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  wfrad on Tue 27 Oct 2009, 7:55 am

Hi Les,
Interesting, I know little about any police force with the exception of the English forces.
Hereís a link below from the Axis History Forum showing Polish officers (sorry not fantastic pics) during WWII although reading the comments it seems a few people are a little uncertain as to whom their allegiance was given.
Iím certain [well almost certain] that Poland had the fewest collaborators of any nation occupied by the Germans, and those that did have some affiliation to the Germans were of German stock themselves.
Correct me if Iím wrong, I remember reading that most of the Police returned to duty under threat of execution and on returning to duty many in fact acted as double agents.
The rank chart would also be of great interest when you finish it!
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=146142

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Tue 27 Oct 2009, 11:47 am

Hi WF,
I didn't know anything about this force until I found this photo and posted it here.

The info on the Axis History site I think covers all the details on this force and about it's members. The quote from the 'savingjews' website that I posted explains all in the simplist terms to understand.

The Rank chart I have is not for WW2 but post war, and since a few peoiple now have an interest in seeing it I'll make an effort to finish it this week and post it on this thread.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 3:23 am

Hi Guys,
Found this photo on Flickr.com which clarifies the point that the colour photo of the Polish re-inactor is indeed wearing the pre war uniform.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/polish12.jpg
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This photo is listed as showing invited guests to the 1936 Nuremburg Rally. The three men nearest the camera are Polish Police officers and standing next to them are Japanese Police Officers. As mentioned by Animal they have the Polish Eagle badge on their hats so this firmly places the photo in the pre-war era.

Best Regards,
Les

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Polish Police ranks communist era

Post  Les-Art on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 3:49 am

Hi guys,
Well got my act together and manged to compile this rank chart of the Polish Police pre 1990.
I didn't realise they had so many ranks when I started until I went through all the notes I received directly from a source in Poland. The chart can be used as being accurate before 1990 when they became a democratic country and changed the name from Militia , communist era name for most Eastern Block Police,to POLICJA with the name change came a completly new form of insignias.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/polish13.jpg
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Of note is the following;
Ranks for Privates used Metal cap badges in the design of the White Polish eagle, all other ranks used a metal wire embroidered version of the White Eagle. The ranks on the cap bands are directly embroidered metal wire with varying quality of embroidery and styles, notably the chevrons which sometimes are quite shallow in angle and sometimes quite pointed. The stars also can be seen in various sizes between ranks, but the same size on the actual band, so you don't get a band with say two small and one large star, they would all be the same size.
The eppaulettes are made from the same material, as the jacket and are not detachable. The bars , chevrons and stars are white cloth sewn onto the eppaulette.
The ranks of the MILITIA were the same as the Military and in fact the Ranks above Colonel ARE Military Generals with no distintion different from the Millitary on their uniforms. So the highest rank of Police is the Colonel ,as far as the unique uniform is concerned.
This rank structure would have started post War, however it will have grown over the years to create ALL the ranks shown here and I know that the Cap badge style changed a couple of times. So there may have been less ranks in the 1950's than shown here.
As usual any comments or corrections are welcomed.

Best Regards,
Les

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Dutch resistance armband colour?

Post  Les-Art on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 4:06 am

Hi guys,
Need some help with this one. Came across this photo from 1944 from the liberation of Holland.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/dutch_11.jpg
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It shows a member of the KONINKLIJKE MARECHAUSSEE, Royal Constabulary, and two Local Police men (on bicycles) escorting suspected collaborators.

The Policemen are all wearing the armband of the Dutch Resistance movement, which has the word 'ORANGE' printed on it. What I would like to know is the colour of the armband. Was it orange with with black lettering or white with Black lettering, or some other colour. I know that Orange cloth was used extensively to show support for the Allies and to identify those fighting against the occupation during the liberation, as this is the colour for the Netherlands. So anyone have the answer to this question?

Any help appreciated.
Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 6:51 am

Les, here is the rank insignia for the pre 1939 Polish State Police:

http://www.uniforminsignia.org/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=1768
http://www.uniforminsignia.org/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=1769

Correct rank translations:

Posterunkowy = Constable
Starszy Posterunkowy = Senior Constable
Przodownik = Leader
Starszy Przodownik = Senior Leader
Aspirant = Student (Officer Cadet ?)
Podkomisarz = Junior Commissioner
Komisarz = Commissioner
Nadkomisarz = Chief Commissioner
Podinspektor = Junior Inspector
Inspektor = Inspector
Nadinspektor = Chief Inspector
Generalny Inspektor = Inspector General

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 12:09 pm

Hi Chris,
Thanks for the link to the website with the earlier Polish ranks.
I can never get anything to download off this site so have had a quick look at the two links and I'm not entirely sure I agree with designations that they have used.
No such rank as Police Officer it would transalate on their site as Senior Policeman
I think that your translation is more accurate.
The issue I would have is the way in which they have grouped the various ranks, in my experience the rank titles stay together as a group within a particular title and don't jump up to the next rank structure. For example ALL ranks with INSPEKTOR titles would have similar eppaulettes and cap bands with the difference being the number of stars.
I have noticed mistakes in this website for other Police forces insignias, which is not surprising as it is more difficult to get info on police than military which tend to be better documented.

I would say that the first 5 ranks would have had similar caps with only the cap band insignia differing. The Aspirant , who is not yet an officer, having the blank eppaulette with one star The Komisarz would all have the same caps and eppaulettes and the Inspektors all the same caps and epaultettes, both of these ranks would differ in the number of stars. The Inspektor-General would have the most elaborate cap and eppaulette.

It should now be easy to identify the ranks of the men in the 1936 Nuremburg photo.

This is just my two cents worth and I'll see if I can clarify this info from another source.

Best Regards,
Les

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Chart

Post  wfrad on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 12:38 pm

The chart is very interesting les, it closely follows the Polish armies ranks [mid 60's] with a few small changes.
What puzzles me is the ensignís rank, simply because the ensigns insignia is the same as the armies junior warrant officer.
I would have thought that the Ensign would have had a single star coming below junior lieutenant, although it could be a throwback from the Austrian Empireís system of using junior NCOsí ranks for cadet officers.
Regards
WF

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 1:06 pm

Hi WF,
The information that I recieved was from a Polish collector whose first language was not English, so some of the titles may not be 100% accurate as far as the English translation is concerned. However the sequence from lowest to highest rank is correct. There is no rank with one star on a plain eppaulette, or should I say there wasn't at that time but there may have been at some point in the past.

The Ensign rank could be something like a Sergeant-Major or at least the military equivilant of the rank before a Warrant Officer. Did the army Warrant Officers have similar epaulettes to the ones shown ? Maybe I just need to re-title the Ensign as a Junior W.O.

I will be doing a little more research on these ranks but would imagine that the ones shown could certainly go back to the 1960's and even earlier. As far as I can find out the rank structure changed after the war to encompass a larger structure, so therefore more ranks were added in the middle management area if you like, Sergeants and Warrant Officers. Not much would have changed during the Communist Era and the first major change in insignias took place after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The most radical change has been the latest one with the new uniform and use of cloth insignias, the New rank insignias are shown on Wikipedia.

Appreciate any more thoughts on this subject.
Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police in Occupied Countries during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Sun 01 Nov 2009, 11:17 pm

Les-Art wrote:Hi Chris,
Thanks for the link to the website with the earlier Polish ranks.
I can never get anything to download off this site so have had a quick look at the two links and I'm not entirely sure I agree with designations that they have used.
No such rank as Police Officer it would transalate on their site as Senior Policeman
I think that your translation is more accurate.
The issue I would have is the way in which they have grouped the various ranks, in my experience the rank titles stay together as a group within a particular title and don't jump up to the next rank structure. For example ALL ranks with INSPEKTOR titles would have similar eppaulettes and cap bands with the difference being the number of stars.
I have noticed mistakes in this website for other Police forces insignias, which is not surprising as it is more difficult to get info on police than military which tend to be better documented.

I would say that the first 5 ranks would have had similar caps with only the cap band insignia differing. The Aspirant , who is not yet an officer, having the blank eppaulette with one star The Komisarz would all have the same caps and eppaulettes and the Inspektors all the same caps and epaultettes, both of these ranks would differ in the number of stars. The Inspektor-General would have the most elaborate cap and eppaulette.

It should now be easy to identify the ranks of the men in the 1936 Nuremburg photo.

This is just my two cents worth and I'll see if I can clarify this info from another source.

Best Regards,
Les
Les, the rank translations on uniforminsignia.org are often totally incorrect and are usually the American approximate rank which usually isent even comparable. In terms of the rank translations that whole website is a mess.

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