In an effort to relieve pressure from Hitler for Spain to join the war, Generalissimo Francisco Franco called for volunteers to punish the Soviet Union for their assistance to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. Following a long tradition dating back to the year 1212 when the Spanish monarch called for a crusade against the Muslims, hundred of thousands Spaniards answered the call in such great numbers that many had to be turned away. In July 1941, the 18,693 man strong volunteer force under command of General Agustin MuŅoz Grandes was formed and sent to Germany. The division, consisting of many Civil War veterans and professional soldiers were officially designated the 262nd, 263rd and 269th Regiments, part of the XXXVIII Corps of Army Group North. After training in Germany, the Blue Division, as they became known, moved into the front lines on the night of October 11th to relieve the German 18.Division outside of Leningrad. Within twenty-four hours the 2nd Battalion of the 269th was engaged in action with Russian troops. On October 20th they crossed the River Volkhov at Udarnik as part of a German offensive and occupied the hamlets of Russa, Smeisko and Sitno.
Attacker: German (Spanish) (Elements of Division Azul)