[Daily article] August 15: 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Karstjäger

The 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Karstjäger was a German
mountain infantry division of the Waffen-SS during World War II. Formed
in July 1944 from the SS Volunteer Karstwehr Battalion, it was a
division in name only, and was soon reduced to a brigade. Built around a
company in existence since 1942, the unit consisted mainly of Yugoslav
Volksdeutsche and recruits from South Tyrol. It was primarily involved
in fighting partisans in the Karst Plateau on the frontiers of
Yugoslavia, Italy, and Austria; the mountainous terrain required
specialized mountain troops and equipment. It also saw action in the
wake of the Italian surrender when it moved to disarm Italian troops and
protect ethnic German communities in Italy. At the end of the war it
successfully fought to keep passes into Austria open, allowing German
units to escape the Balkans and surrender to British forces. The
remnants of the unit became some of the last Germans to lay down their
arms when they surrendered on 9 May 1945.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

778:

A Frankish army led by Roland was defeated by the Basques at
Roncevaux Pass in the Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain.

1261:

Michael VIII Palaiologos was crowned Byzantine emperor in
Constantinople.

1812:

War of 1812: Potawatomi warriors destroyed the United States
Army’s Fort Dearborn in what is now Chicago, Illinois, and captured the
survivors.

1941:

Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower
of London for espionage, making him the last person to be executed at
the Tower.

2005:

The Helsinki Agreement between the Free Aceh Movement and the
Government of Indonesia was signed, ending 28 years of fighting.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

sais:
1. (India) A groom, or servant with responsibility for the horses.
2. (Malaya, dated) usually syce: chauffeur, driver.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  All religions have some truth in them, but none has the whole
truth; all are created in time and finally decline and perish. Mahomed
himself never pretended that the Koran was the last message of God and
there would be no other. God and Truth outlast these religions and
manifest themselves anew in whatever way or form the Divine Wisdom
chooses. You cannot shut up God in the limitations of your own narrow
brain or dictate to the Divine Power and Consciousness how or where or
through whom it shall manifest; you cannot put up your puny barriers
against the divine Omnipotence. These again are simple truths which are
now being recognised all over the world; only the childish in mind or
those who vegetate in some formula of the past deny them.  
–Sri Aurobindo

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