The Osttürkischer Waffen-Verband der SS was formed 1944 as 1. Ostmuselmanisches SS-Regiment with the support of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, with the intention of expanding it to a division, Muselmanischen SS-Division Neu-Turkistan. The men came from the Turkic units in the Heer that were disbanded (450th, 480th and I/94 Turkic battalions), prisoners of war and men working in Germany.
It was transferred to Belorussia in February 1944 were it trained and was used for anti-partisan missions.

The unit contained some troublesome elements and SS-Hauptsturmführer Billig tried to handle the problem by shooting 78 suspected mutineers, but he was soon removed from command.
It was sent to Poland where it fought the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw uprising, being attached to the SS-Regiment Dirlewanger.
It was transferred to Slovakia in the autumn of 1944 to help fight the uprising where it was redesignated Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbande der SS. In December 1944 450 - 500 deserted from this unit of which 300 later returned.
The Azerbaijani regiment was removed from the unit 30 December 1944 and transferred to Kaukasischer Waffen-Verband der SS. It received soldiers from the disbanded Waffen-Gebirgs-Brigade der SS (Tatar Nr. 1) February 1945 to replace the Azerbaijani soldiers.
It was transferred to Austria were it continued to train until the end of the war.

Commanders

SS-Obersturmbannführer Andreas Meyer-Mader (? Jan 1944 - ? Mar 1944)
SS-Hauptsturmführer Billig (28 Mar 1944 - 5 Apr 1944)
SS-Hauptsturmführer Hermann (27 Apr 1944 - 2 May 1944)
SS-Sturmbannführer der Reserve Franz Liebermann (? June 1944 - 11 July 1944)
SS-Sturmbannführer der Reserve Franz Liebermann (29 July 1944 - 30 Aug 1944)
SS-Hauptsturmführer Reiner Olzscha (? Sep 1944 - ? Oct 1944)
SS-Standartenführer Harun-el-Raschid Bey (? Oct 1944 - ? Dec 1944)
SS-Hauptsturmführer Fürst (? Jan 1945 - ? May 1945)

Manpower strength  

Jan - Feb 1944 3.000
Mar - May 1944 3.500
June - Sep 1944 4.000
Oct 1944 - Jan 1945 5.000
Feb - May 1945 8.500

Order of battle

Waffen-Gruppe Turkistan
Waffen-Gruppe Idel-Ural
Waffen-Gruppe Aserbaijan
Waffen-Gruppe Krim

Order of battle (by Michael W. Lenz)

wss-ostturk-oob

Notable members

Harun-el-Raschid Bey (born as Wilhelm Hintersatz, was stationed in the Ottoman Empire where he became adjutant to Enver Pasha taking the name Harun-el-Raschid Bey)

Insignia

The "Osttürkischen Waffen-Verband der SS" cuff title was authorized for this unit but never used.
cuff-wss-ostturk
(Courtesy of Ruptured Duck)

A collar insignia with a wolf's head was authorized but most likely never issued.
collar-wss-osttruk
(Courtesy of The Ruptured Duck)

Sources used

Research by by Michael W. Lenz
John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SS
Mark W.A. Axworthy - Axis Slovakia: Hitler's Slavic Wedge 1938-1945
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
David Littlejohn - Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, vol 4
James Lucas - Hitler's Mountain Troops: Fighting at the extremes
Antonio J. Munoz - Forgotten Legions: Obscure Combat Formations of the Waffen-SS
Frank Thayer - SS Foreign volunteer collar insignia and their reporductions (in The Military Advisor, Vol 4 No 2)
Gordon Williamson & Thomas McGuirl - German military cuffbands 1784-present

Reference material on this unit

Antonio J. Munoz - Forgotten Legions: Obscure Combat Formations of the Waffen-SS

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.