Post Reply
User avatar
der Blutiger Eimer
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Maine, USA


Post by der Blutiger Eimer »

Has anyone ever portrayed (or seen anyone else portraying) Hiwis ("Hilfswilliger") personnel?

i've been Google-image-searching hiwis and am getting everything from a partisan look to practically all Heer standard uniforms and gear. i'm not discussing freiwilliger/ss units.

granted, the majority of hiwis were rear-eschelon or non-combat troops, but once the tide turned in the east, they didn't really have any hope if captured by Soviets, so there was more incentive to fight.

one of the things i find most interesting is the apparent trust the Germans had for many of these personnel, especially in light of communist partisans and infiltrators.
i would presume many of the hiwis had white russian or kazahk/ethnic minority background which left no love for soviet ideology.

what would be your reaction to a well-done, researched hiwi impression? what would you look for as distinguishing features (armband, uniform or lack thereof, etc.)?

opinions on the following sources?

i suspect the first color photo is hiwis with heer troops:
Matthäus Klieber
97. Jäger-Division
71. Infanterie-Division
5. Gebirgsjäger-Division
T/5 Matthew Cleaver
165th Signal Photo Company
Gott Mit Uns
Hurra die Gams!

Hoffman Grink

Re: HiWis

Post by Hoffman Grink »

HiWis have been portrayed on and off throughout the last ten years at least of the hobby. They have ranged from kids of re-enactors dressed in Soviet kit (a la XoE) to full blown Cossack type chappies with sabres and everything inbetween. Some have been very good and well researched (like Pirkka) and some have been so so.

Usually it's an individual like yourself who develops and interest and sets out to illustrate the HiWi and his contribution to the War. It is universally well received as these fellers were seen as victims rather than aggressors.

I'd say do it but do it well - and if you are going to attach to a unit, make sure it had HiWis or you have negated the whole thing really. This is one thing I don't think has been done properly - Matching the Hi Wi, his uniform etc. to the unit he is with. That in itself could be challenging - Often HiWis wore their own uniform devoid of insignia and as you say, with an armelband or they wore German clothing then even sometimes a mish mash...... it's a complex portrayal - I'd like to see it done properly and in its own right. Good Luck

User avatar
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: Spain

Re: HiWis

Post by Schuller »

I'm interested in that impression as well
I don't know if this was discussed before

Hiwis had no proper "uniform", they just were issued a mixture of clothing and gear, everything that was usable
For example:
If you were a former soviet prisoner you would just use your soviet uniform
If you were a civilian, you would have been issued some german clothing to avoid being mistaken for a partisan

This is what I would choose so far, from the original pics I've seen
Cap: pilotka or schiffchen with no insignia
Tunic: early war M35 gymnastiorka, or m36/m40 german feldbluse with removed shoulder boards, both with no insignia
Trousers: sharovari or civilian
White cotton bracelet with the words "Im Dienst der Deutschen Wehrmacht"
Belt: russian or german for EM
Pouches: German or russian ammo pouches for your rifle
Other equipment: soviet field canteen, etc
Boots: jackboots or lowboots with WWI puttees
Weapon: mosin nagant 1891/30, WWI gewehr 98 or kar98k
Winter clothing: ushanka, prewar soviet greatcoat or soviet padded suit

Some pics
Georgian volunteers
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VsNSi_tHDW4/S ... /2518d.jpg
I know, they are not hiwis, but antisoviet ukranian partisans, but that look could be possible
Or even this one

Hope it helps
Gunther Schuller, Schutze, 136, 1./G.R.914, 352 ID

Post Reply

Return to “Third Reich Foreign volunteers”