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The 2. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division was formed in January 1945 from Kosaken-Reiter-Brigade Kaukasus II of 1. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division.

In August 1944 the Waffen-SS took over responsibility for supplying the Cossack units, whether or not the Cossack units were actually transferred into the Waffen-SS and if so, to which degree, has been debated post-war.

It saw action against the Soviet Red Army as well as Bulgarian forces during the fighting in Hungary. At the end of the war the cossack units surrendered to the British forces in Austria after receiving a guarantee from a British General, possibly General Archer, that they would not be turned over to the Soviets. This soon changed however and they were turned over to the USSR a few weeks later, many of them being executed, including several of the German officers serving in those units, and the rest doing hard labour for a long time.

This unit took part in anti-partisan operations in Croatia.


Oberst Hans-Joachim von Schultz (1 Sep 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Area of operations

Hungary & Yugoslavia (Sep 1944 - May 1945)

Order of Battle

Kuban-Kosaken-Reiter-Regiment 3
Don-Kosaken-Reiter-Regiment 5
Terek-Kosaken-Reiter-Regiment 6
Kosaken-Artillerie-Regiment 2

Ivan Kononov, commander of Don-Kosaken-Reiter-Regiment 5
(Courtesy of Peder)

Cossack soldiers on horseback displaying their flags
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Cossack soldier
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Sources used

Christopher Ailsby - Hitler's Renegades: Foreign nationals in the service of the Third Reich
Dr Jeffrey T. Fowler - Axis Cavalry in World War II
Steve Kane - Waffen-SS Forces in the Balkans: A checklist (in World War II Journal, Vol 7)
Richard Landwehr - Steadfast Hussars: The Last cavalry Divisions of the Waffen-SS
David Littlejohn - Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, vol 4
John E. Strandberg - Horsepower: The use of horses by the German armed forces during World War II (in Military Advisor Vol 21, No 4)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Peter J. Huxley-Blythe - Under the St. Andrew's Cross: Russian & Cossack Volunteers in World War II
François de Lannoy - Pannwitz Cossacks: Les Cosaques de Pannwitz 1942 - 1945