Click on this text to watch Secret WW2 History - Minorities in the German Army.

A full 40% of the Waffen SS was made up of non-German nationalities.
Waffen SS volunteers came from Denmark, Norway, Switzerland,
Finland, Croatia, Ukraine, Latvia, Hungary, Spain, and Sweden
and from Russians and Cossacks. One force was formed into
Der Britisches Freikorps otherwise known as The British Free Corps (BFC).

Swiss, Swedish and Danish men who volunteered for the Waffen-SS

were highly intelligent and ambitious individuals, another study says.


In an article published in the journal Contemporary European History, Dr Martin Gutmann

argues that men from the neutral countries of Scandinavia and Switzerland who offered

their services “left for Germany with an active interest in contributing both physically

and intellectually to the NS project”. Gutmann challenges ‘the myth of the volunteers’ – namely,

that they were uneducated social ‘losers’ and deviants, drawn by naivety or greed.


Instead, he argues, most were well-travelled, well-educated, and of a middle or

upper-class upbringing. By examining documents detailing the lives of a number of

volunteers, such as journals and school records, Gutmann

concludes volunteers “were not weak followers, but confident leaders”.


Gutmann also found that volunteers were, with very few exceptions, convinced nationalists,

who had a “sense of impending demographic and racial degradation”,

and were fearful of both Bolshevism and liberal capitalism.


They were “at best ambivalent towards the German National Socialist party”, but had

“an ideological inclination towards fascism”, and were

keen to “reclaim the ‘purity’ of [their] nation[s]”, he found.


And from reading volunteers’ military evaluations, Gutmann surmised that many

of the men had an inclination towards “viewing violence as having personal and

socially redemptive qualities”.


While acknowledging that each volunteer had personal reasons for joining the Nazi regime,

Gutmann concludes it was “a profound decision taken only by confident and ambitious

individuals who were well aware of its potential consequences but willing to gamble for the sake of an ideal”.


Gutmann told historyextra: “There are already some excellent national studies that look at

the various motivations and experiences among SS volunteers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden separately.


“But the transnational approach of my study offers some unique insights. By placing

the more intellectual and influential volunteers from various countries side-by-side,

I uncovered surprising similarities in the types of men from the smaller European

peripheral countries who were attracted to the National Socialist ideology and project.


“I was motivated to conduct this study because my maternal grandfather served in the

Swedish military during the war and my paternal in the Swiss. Both of them had vivid and

patriotic memories of this time, and they often told me about the few ‘mentally

deranged traitors’, as they called them – Swedish and Swiss who helped the Germans.

“So I decided to look into this issue more closely.


“It's easy and perhaps more convenient to lay the blame for this murderous ideology

completely with Germans, and to some extent Italians, and to see other

western Europeans as victims. Of course, the truth is rarely this straightforward.”


Dr Nir Arielli, a lecturer in international history at the University of Leeds, told historyextra:

“Martin Gutmann makes an important contribution to the study of transnational volunteering

by applying the dispassionate approach to foreigners who joined the

Waffen-SS during the early stages of the Second World War.


“His very thorough analysis, which draws on material from 19 archives

in seven countries, sheds new light on the motivations of these men.


“The German war effort offered individuals whose armies did not take part in the fighting

a blend of adventure, a test to affirm their worthiness and the opportunity

to fight for a cause – or parts of a cause – they believed in.


“Much like other transnational volunteers in the modern era, foreigners in the Waffen-SS

wanted to add meaning to their lives, and chose to seek it in very dangerous and controversial settings.”




The 33rd Waffen-Grenadier-Division

of the SS Charlemagne (French No.1)

Click on this text to watch a 4 and a half minute video:Berlin 1945: French Division Charlemagne (Fenet , De la Mazière)...

One of the last Waffen-SS units to hold out defending Adolf Hitler’s bunker in Berlin was comprised entirely of Frenchmen.



The 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French) and Charlemagne Regiment are collective names used for units of French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II.


From estimates of 7,400 to 11,000 at its peak in 1944, the strength of the division fell to just sixty men in May 1945. They were one of the last German units to see action in a pitched battle during World War II, where they held central Berlin and the Führerbunker against the onslaught of Soviet infantry and armor. Knowing that they would not survive should Germany be defeated, they were among the last to surrender in the brutal house-to-house and street-to-street fighting during the final days of the Battle in Berlin.


Its crest is a representation of the dual empire of Charlemagne, which united the Franks in what would become France and Germany. The Imperial eagle on the dexter side represents East Francia (Germany) and the fleurs-de-lys on the sinister side represents West Francia (France).




In September 1944, a new unit, the Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS “Charlemagne” (französische Nr.1), also known as the Französische Brigade der SS was formed out of the remnants of the LVF and French Sturmbrigade, both of which were disbanded.


Joining them were French collaborators fleeing the Allied advance in the west, as well as Frenchmen from the German Navy, the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK), the Organisation Todt, a construction unit and the Vichy French Milice. Some sources claim that the unit also included volunteers from some French colonies and Switzerland. SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg took actual command with Puaud (now an SS-Oberführer), as nominal French commander.


Defence of Berlin


In early April 1945, Krukenberg now commanded only about 700 men organized into a single infantry regiment with two battalions (Battalions 57 and 58) and one heavy support battalion without equipment. He released about 400 men to serve in a construction battalion; the remainder, numbering about 350, had chosen to go to Berlin and conduct a delaying action against the approaching Soviet Army.


On 23 April the Reich Chancellery in Berlin ordered Krukenberg to proceed to the capital with his men, who were reorganized as Sturmbataillon (“assault battalion”) “Charlemagne”. Between 320 and 330 French troops arrived in Berlin on 24 April after a long detour to avoid Soviet advance columns. (The French SS men had been attempting to cross the Falkenrehde canal bridge which was blown up under them by men of the Volkssturm who thought they were a Soviet column). Sturmbataillon “Charlemagne” was attached to the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division “Nordland”.


The arrival of the French SS men bolstered the Nordland Division whose “Norge” and “Danmark” Panzergrenadier regiments had been decimated in the fighting. Both equaled roughly a battalion. SS-Brigadeführer Krukenberg was appointed the commander of (Berlin) Defence Sector C on 25 April. This command included the Nordland Division, following the dismissal of its previous commander, SS-Brigadeführer Joachim Ziegler on the same day.


The soldiers noted that the first night in Berlin was unnaturally quiet. They heard people dancing and laughing, but no sounds of fighting were audible except for the occasional distant sound of Soviet artillery.They walked from West to East Berlin, to a brewery near the Hermannplatz. Here the fighting began, with Hitler Youth firing Panzerfausts at Soviet tanks belonging to advance guards near the Tempelhof Aerodrome. Soon some members of the Sturmbataillon joined the Hitler Youth in tank hunting sorties.


Supported by Tiger II tanks and the 11th SS Panzer-Battalion “Hermann von Salza”, the Sturmbataillon took part in a counterattack on the morning of 26 April in Neukölln, a district in southeastern Berlin near the Sonnenallee. The counterattack ran into an ambush by Soviet troops using a captured German Panther tank. The regiment lost half of the available troops in Neukölln on the first day. It later defended Neukölln’s Town Hall.


Given that Neukölln was heavily penetrated by Soviet combat groups, Krukenberg prepared fallback positions for Sector C defenders around Hermannplatz. He moved his headquarters into the opera house. As the Nordland Division withdrew towards Hermannplatz the French SS and one-hundred Hitler Youth attached to their group destroyed 14 Soviet tanks with panzerfausts; one machine gun position by the Halensee bridge managed to hold up any Soviet advance in that area for 48 hours.


The Soviet advance into Berlin followed a pattern of massive shelling followed by assaults using battle groups of about 80 men in each, with tank escorts and close artillery support. On 27 April, after a spirited but futile defence, the remnants of Nordland were pushed back into the central government district (Zitadelle sector) in Defence sector Z.


There, Krukenberg’s Nordland headquarters was a carriage in the Stadtmitte U-Bahn station. Fighting was very heavy and by 28 April, approximately 108 Soviet tanks had been destroyed in the southeast of Berlin within the S-Bahn. Sixty-two of those were destroyed by the efforts of the Charlemagne Sturmbataillon alone, which was now under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Henri Joseph Fenet. Fenet and his battalion were given the area of Neukölln, Belle Alliance Platz, Wilhelmstrasse and the Friedrichstrasse to defend.


Fenet, who was now wounded in the foot, remained with his battalion as they withdrew to the vicinity of the Reich Aviation Ministry in the central government district under the command of SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke. For the success of the battalion during the Battle in Berlin, Mohnke awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Fenet on 29 April 1945.


On 28 April, the Red Army started a full-scale offensive into the central sector. Fighting was intense, the Sturmbataillon Charlemagne was in the center of the battle zone around the Reich Chancellery. SS-Unterscharführer Eugene Vaulot, who had destroyed two tanks in Neukölln, used his Panzerfausts to claim six more near the Führerbunker. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross by Krukenberg during a candlelight ceremony on the Stadtmitte U-Bahn station platform on 29 April. Vaulot did not survive the battle being killed three days later.


The French Charlemagne SS were the last defenders of Hitler’s Führerbunker, remaining there until 2 May to prevent the Soviets from capturing it on May Day.


Reduced to approximately thirty able men, most members of the Sturmbataillon had been captured or escaped Berlin on their own, or in small groups. Most of those who made it to France were denounced and sent to Allied prisons and camps. For example, Fenet was sentenced to 20 years of forced labour, but was released from prison in 1959. Others were shot upon capture by the French authorities. General Philip Leclerc, the French divisional commander who had served under the Americans, was presented with a defiant group of 11-12 captured Charlemagne Division men. The Free French General immediately asked them why they wore a German uniform, to which one of them replied by asking the General why he wore an American one (the Free French wore modified US army uniforms). The group of French Waffen-SS men was later executed by the "victorius allies" without any form of military tribunal procedure.



Léon Degrelle: “We Dreamed Of Something Marvelous”

Degrelle was a charismatic Belgian political leader during the 1930s,
a legendary combat hero duirng the Second World War, and a prolific author.

In the wake of Germany’s 1941 attack against the Soviet Union, he joined what he and
many millions of oth­ers regarded as a pan-European crusade. In Belgium, he helped
raise a volunteer battalion of fellow French-speaking Walloons to ensure a place of honor
for his country in the “new Europe.” He rose through the ranks to become commander
of the unit that finally came to be known as the 28th SS Division “Wall­onie.” During the
course of his three and a half years of combat, Degrelle was wounded
seven times and earned 22 military decorations. 














 Prisoners of the Charlemagne Division who were executed on 8 May 1945 at Karlstein

by their fellow Frenchmen from the 2nd Armoured Division, commanded by

General Leclerc, in American uniform and under orders from Paris. In the

foreground from left to right are Waffen-Unterscharführer Jean Robert, then

Waffen-Obersturmführer Serge Krotoff (of 2nd Bataillon, 57th Regiment),

Paul Briffaut in army uniform and Waffen-Untersturmführer Raymond Daffas.

The divisional archives had previously been piled onto trucks and destroyed in

late April by the Bavarian peasant with whom they had been hidden,

as a result of the American advance.


In the spring of 1944 a command was issued from the OKW to transfer all foreigners

serving in the German Army to the Waffen SS. The attack against Hitler on 20 July

accelerated this movement, particularly concerning the French. German high command

decided to regroup the volunteers into a new SS French brigade, under the command of

Colonel Edgard Puaud. The SS-Hauptamt [the administrative office of the SS] decided

to bring the 638 French infantry regiment back from Russia. It was disbanded on

10 August 1944 and its members transferred to the Waffen SS. The LVF headquarters

at Greifenberg now became the new brigade’s headquarters as well as the

Französische SS-Grenadier Ausbildungs und Ersatz-Bataillon (French SS Grenadier

training and reserve Battalion), commanded by SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinrich Hersche

who had arrived from Sennheim. The Sturmbrigade, whose 1st Battalion had proved

itself so valiantly in Galicia, arrived on 5 September and joined 2nd Battalion for training

at the ‘West-Prussian’ SS-Trüppenbüngsplatz. Alongside them, 2,000-2,100

political soldiers were finishing their basic training there, under the command of

SS-Oberstumbannführer Paul Gamory-Dubourdeau. In addition there were also men

from the SS-Französische Flakbaterrie, who had not joined the Sturmbrigade in the

fighting in Poland, 1,000-1,200 sailors from the Kriegsmarine and Kriegsmarinewerftpolizei

who had landed at Greifenberg in mid-September, and around 2,000 men who were

involved in the Schutzcommando and Todt Organisation, the NSKK, the Speer Legion

and the Technische Nothilfe, which was part of the German Police. There were also

other general German paramilitary units, although some had remained

at their original training grounds with the permission of their leaders.


Two regiments were formed, with two battalions each comprised of four companies.

The 57th Regiment was predominantly composed of former members of the

Sturmbrigade, on the orders of Paul Gamory-Dubourdeau. The 58th Regiment was

headed by Commander Eugéne Bridoux and contained the ex-Legionnaires. Either

for religious reasons (the perceived paganism of the SS), years of combat fatigue,

or because they felt the war was definitively lost, a few dozen men categorically

refused to be transferred. Taking advantage of this opportunity to start on a clean

slate, a purge took place removing 180 of these ‘undesirables’. In order to learn

the fighting methods of the SS, a number of LVF officers and soldiers were sent on

training courses. During their absence, the brigade left its quarters and headed for the

SS-Truppenübungsplatz at Wildflecken. On 5 November, part of the French state

militia had to withdraw from Germany and found itself also being incorporated into the

brigade. During the winter of 1944-45, the Waffen-Grenadier (no longer the SS-Grenadier

as those of the Sturmbrigade had been called) had to endure particularly harsh training

as a result of the snow, the freezing temperatures, lack of equipment and clothes and

poor diet. Desertions among the prestigious SS units, such as the Walloon or the Wiking

divisions were very common, because their members wanted to join

the fighting as soon as possible.


Given the title of ‘Division’, despite its reduced capacity (more than 7,300 men), the

orders to depart for the East by train arrived on 16 February. Integrated with the 11th Army,

the first men arrived on 22 February at Hammerstein in Pomerania and gathered in a

nearby camp. Sent to the frontlines without any armoured support, heavy weaponry

or radio equipment, and with all their assault rifles having been hijacked by another unit,

the division’s casualties began to pile up. Different companies broke off to fight in isolated

groups, with no communication with the rear lines as they were pushed backwards.

The survivors retreated to Szczecinek and after this initial engagement, the division

had lost around one third of its troops, most of whom were either wounded or evacuated.

Five hundred were dead. After regrouping at Białogard, the units were merged together

to form a frontline regiment with the freshest and most experienced soldiers, and a

reserve regiment with a reduced combat role, due to the fatigue amongst the men.

They were sent to protect the retreat of the German troops at the port of Kolberg.

Once more the French faced fierce fighting trying to defend the city, forcing them to

consider pulling back towards Białogard, which was still held by the Germans. Trapped

on a plain south-west of the city, the 3,000 men of the reserve regiment were massacred

by Soviet tanks. A few survivors were captured, while others took refuge in the

nearby woods. Surrounded for days, the exhausted soldiers now had to finish their war

as prisoners, having failed to cross the River Oder. Arriving in Międzyrzecz, in western

Poland after a long and painful march, the men of 1st Battalion, who were the only ones

left unscathed, managed to succeed in breaking the encirclement of Pomerania. The

French regrouped on the outskirts of Anklam and waited for other survivors of the Division.


Stationed at Carpin, the combat units were once more reorganised and resumed

their training. On 24 April SS-Brigadeführer Krukenberg, who was now in charge of

the French, received a telegram from Hitler’s bunker announcing that he was to take

up a new position in Berlin and must get there with a French assault battalion as

quickly as possible. Having lost three vehicles en route, a French detachment arrived

in Berlin, which by now was virtually surrounded by the Red Army. They were attached

to the SS Nordland Division, commanded by Waffen-Haupsturmführer Henri Fenet.

This division had distinguished itself in urban combat, repulsing many large-scale

armoured vehicle attacks using the Panzerfaüst [German anti-tank weapon]. The very

experienced French soldiers managed to officially take out sixty-two tanks as they

gradually retreated to the ever-decreasing German-held zones. On the morning of

2 May, Fenet and his men finally reached Hitler’s bunker. They were hoping to find the

last kernel of resistance, but instead realised that the battle was all but over. More fighting

now commenced in order to avoid being taken prisoner, but one by one the men

were arrested by the victorious Soviets, before resistance finally ceased at 3pm.


The remaining men who were still at the barracks at Greifenberg left and joined

those at Wildflecken. Here they were divided into various units and separately

retreated westwards, where some were subordinated into the 38th SS-Grenadier-Division

Nibelungen. In the end, four members of the division

were awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.



A look at the "Russian Liberation Army," a little-known World War II military force made
up of Russian soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Germans and then volunteered
to fight the Soviet regime. This ten-minute Russian-language video, with English subtitles,
includes wartime footage of a swearing-in ceremony of RLA soldiers. The RLA was
commanded by former Soviet General Andrei Vlasov, who also headed the German-backed
anti-Stalinist "Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia,
" a provisional "government-in-exile." 

Click on this text to see video describing how 800,000 Russians were fighting on the German side during WW2. (English)....

Russian government calls Ukrainians “fascists” referring to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army,
members of which fought for Ukraine’s independence against Soviet Bolsheviks during
the Second World War. In fact, “fascists in Ukraine” is the main argument of Putin’s
propaganda, with which he brainwashes the heads of Russian citizens, who now think
that Ukrainians are evil and who gladly send their sons to die in Ukraine
fighting with so-called “fascists”.

It is interesting, though, that Russians somehow “forget” to mention its own
Russian Liberation Army, members of which fought against Bolsheviks on the side
of the Nazi Germany. In fact, Bolsheviks were very unpopular on the territories of the
Soviet Union: Bolsheviks killed tens of millions of people after they came to power.
That was the reason why there were so many Soviet deserters during the first years
after Germany attacked Soviet Union –
people did not want to die for JEW Bolsheviks.

These people joined armies, such as the Russian Liberation Army, which fought
AGAINST Bolsheviks on the side of Germany. During 1943 the number of volunteers
in the Russian Liberation Army (ROA) was close to 800,000 (!).
Russian Cossacks constituted the major part of ROA.

Interestingly, Cossacks were defending their territories from Bolsheviks just in the
same way Ukrainians defended their regions in western Ukraine. It’s ironic that Russian
Cossacks are fighting now in Eastern Ukraine against whom they
call “fascists”, although they were fighting FOR fascists during the WW2.

The number of soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army was almost an order of
magnitude bigger than the number of people ever involved in
the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Russians seem to forget their history.

Here is Wikipedia info about the Wehrmacht foreign volunteers:

Here you can find very detailed information about the Russian Liberation Army:
BBC News

... Thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against fascism
swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing tale
of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British rule in India, known as
the Raj. The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on
3 April 1941. This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader,
Subhas Chandra Bose, arrived in the German capital ... By the end of 1941, Hitler's
regime officially recognised his provisional "Free India Government" in exile,
and even agreed to help Chandra Bose raise an army to fight for his cause.


Mass Rally and Parade for the Ukrainian SS Division 'Galicia'      
Video - 1943

Contemporary film report on a mass rally in Lviv (Lemberg), Ukraine, July 18, 1943,
for the newly formed SS Division "Galicia." Ukrainian-language narration. Runtime: 2:45 mins.
Ceremonies begin with an outdoor religious service. Ukrainians greet the German Governor,
Otto Wächter, who then addresses the large, joyful crowd. Taking part in the parade
are many young men who have volunteered for service in the new military formation,
as well as young women in traditional dress. Many carry the symbol of the "Galicia"
Division, a yellow stylized lion on a blue background - the Ukrainian national colors.

The first recruits to the Corps came from a group of prisoners of war (POWs)

at a "holiday camp" set up by the Germans in Genshagen, a suburb of Berlin, in August 1943.

During World War II numerous Waffen SS volunteer units were formed from the

Nordic countries. This strategy was encouraged by the Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler

who stated, “We must attract all the Nordic blood in the world to us, and so deprive

our enemies of it so that never again will Nordic or Germanic blood fight against us.”

 Over half the Waffen SS was made up of non-German nationality. Waffen SS

volunteers came from Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Croatia, Ukraine,

Latvia, Hungary, Spain, and Sweden and from Russians and Cossacks. One force

was formed into Der Britisches Freikorps otherwise known as The British Free Corps (BFC).

The BFC was the brainchild of John Amery, eldest son of Secretary for India of the

British Government, the Rt. Hon. Leopold Stennett Amery, MP. His son, John Amery,

had fought against Communism in the Spanish Civil War where he gained Spanish

citizenship. In 1939 Amery moved to France and subsequently to Germany in 1942.

From Germany, he broadcast radio messages to Britain calling for peace

between Britain and Germany.



Amery founded The League of St. George. The unit was intended to be a non-combat

unit made up of British prisoners of war prepared to spread the National Socialist message

to fellow prisoners of war. The Wehrmacht High Command insisted on the Legion being

a combat unit. On January 1, 1944, the BFC was officially formed. Volunteers signed a

pledge, which read:“I, (name of the volunteer) being a British subject, consider it my duty

to offer my services in the common European struggle against Communism,

and hereby apply to enlist in the British Free Corps.”



Interestingly, before the BFC came into being, a number of British volunteers had

fought in some Totenkopf units. In May 1940, a Waffen SS manpower report

mentions British volunteers serving in the SS Totenkopf Division and Standarten units.


Amery soon resigned from the Corps as he wanted the volunteers to wear British

uniforms. However, the SS insisted on the wearing of the SS uniforms with British

insignia (Union Flag arm shields and the Three Lions collar patches).

Amery moved to Italy where he became an advisor to Italian leader Benito Mussolini.


SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Hans Roebke then took command of the British Free Corps.

The Hauptsturmfuhrer was replaced in November 1944 by Obersturmfuhrer Dr. Kuehlich.

By 1945 Captain Webster, a British Army Officer was also involved in the

leadership of the British Free Corps.


By spring 1945 the British Free Corps was sent to Steinhoefel where the III SS Panzer Corps

(Germanic) Headquarters was situated under the leadership of Ogrusturmfuhrer Felix Steiner.

The British volunteers were assigned to the Nordland Division. It was within this Division that

many of them saw action in the defence of Berlin although many

Britons otherwise saw service with the Leibstandarte SS.


Palace writers hostile to the BFC claim its members never saw active service;

this is not the case. Reproduced is a letter from Anthony Byers

of Effingham, Surrey that was printed in the Daily Express.


Antony Beevor (Inside Hitler’s Concrete Tomb, last week) mentions the foreign SS troops

who helped to defend Berlin. Among them were soldiers of the British Free Corps, who

were released from a prisoner of war camps in return for donning German SS uniforms,

with the understanding that they would not be asked to fight their own countrymen.

As a National Serviceman stationed in Berlin, I met a Russian Red Army officer

who was impressed by the fighting spirit of eight misguided British soldiers.


“They (British troops) held up an entire Russian regiment for almost two days until

they ran out of ammunition. Only two survived to surrender and were promptly shot

by the understandably irritated Russians, who had lost almost 100 men and three tanks.”


“The Russian officer said that had SS Unterscharfuher Cornfield and a soldier identified

as Pleed been fighting the Germans; they would have deserved the Victoria Cross (VC).

He told me: “I hope the British invented a good story for their families,

for a brave soldier is still a brave soldier even when a traitor to his country.”


Siegrunen 63 has this to say of Reginald Leslie Cornfield. “Reginald Cornfield is thought

to be the only British Free Corps member to be killed in action. On 27 April 1945, during

the battle for Berlin, Cornfield disabled a Soviet tank with a Panzerfaust. The tank

crew then tracked him down and shot him. Due to his unusual BFC uniform, his Soldbuch

(Identity Book) was taken and kept by the Russian officer. Nothing is recorded of Pleed.


John Amery’s book England and Europe were distributed to British prisoners of war

from April 21, 1943, in the hope that they would join the Legion of St. George.

The book is vehemently anti-Communist. The unique work details such things as

what happens to the general population of countries when Communism (Bolshevism)

takes over; who instigated the war and who was likely to profit from such a war.

England and Europe also warn that Britain would lose her empire to the

benefit of both Russia and the USA.


One of the first to volunteer was ‘Frank Wood’ (many members used pseudonyms) who

drafted a recruitment leaflet for the BFC, which was dropped by the Luftwaffe to

British front-line troops fighting in Italy.


Fellow Countrymen! We of the BRITISH FREE CORPS are fighting for you. We are

fighting with the best of Europe’s youth to preserve our European civilisation and our

common cultural heritage from the menace of Jewish Communism. MAKE NO MISTAKE

ABOUT IT! Europe includes England. Should Soviet Russia overcome Germany and other

European countries fighting with her, nothing on this earth would save the Continent from

Communism, and our own country sooner or later would eventually succumb. We are British.

We love England and all it stands for. Most of us have fought on the battlefields of France,

of Libya, Greece, and Italy, and many of our best comrades-in-arms are lying

there ~ sacrificed in this war of Jewish revenge. We felt then that we were being lied to

and betrayed. Now we know it for certain. This conflict between England and Germany is

racial SUICIDE. We must UNITE and take up arms against the common enemy.

We ask you to join us in our struggle. We ask you to come into our ranks and fight shoulder

to shoulder with us for Europe and for England. ~ Published by the British Free Corp.


John Amery was arrested in Italy. Despite having taken Spanish citizenship prior to

World War Two the martyr for a free Europe was

hanged at Wandsworth Prison on December 9, 1945.


A similar fate also befell Irish-American William Joyce. He had implored British prisoners

of war to enlist in the British Free Corps. Despite being born in New York in 1906

and being of Irish parentage Joyce was controversially found guilty of treason.


The problem British Free Corp volunteers was that, unlike the other European volunteers,

Britain was still at war with Germany. Other European countries had surrendered to

Germany or were allies of Germany. The legality of the British Free

Corp was something that concerned the German High Command right.


That these volunteers were found guilty of treason despite never having

taken up arms against their fellow countrymen is surely a travesty of justice.


As early as 1941, after Japan entered the war,

the Fuhrer told Walter Hewel, one of his staff members:


“Strange, that we are destroying the positions of the White Race in East Asia with

the help of Japan, while Britain has joined the Bolshevik swine in the fight against Europe.”





 Vault of the Blue Division (250. Infanterie-Division of Wehrmacht),

in La Almudena Cemetery (Madrid, Nowadays)



The Blue Division (Spanish: División Azul, German: Blaue Division), officially designated as

División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the

German Army was a unit of Spanish volunteers and conscripts who

served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.




No remorse? Spanish media still nostalgic

over volunteers who fought for Hitler

No remorse? Spanish media still nostalgic over volunteers who fought for Hitler
A Spanish newspaper has published an article lauding the “heroism” of volunteers who fought for Hitler against
the Soviet Union. The piece highlights only the hardships they faced – and doesn’t bother to tell the whole story.

The article was published by one of the country’s major newspapers – the ABC – early in February. It came just

ahead of the anniversary of Spain’s main WWII battle. No, Spain did not partake in it – but its volunteers did.

Read more

The Blue Division – named after blue shirts of Francisco Franco’s Falangist movement – was officially known

as the 250th Infantry Division of Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht. It was created in 1941 as a volunteer

unit, to show Spain’s devotion to Hitler’s cause without openly drawing the country into the war.


The ‘division’ designation is quite misleading and downplays the scale of Spain’s participation. At least

47,000 Spaniards served in it over the years as the unit had numerous rotations and reinforcements.


ABC’s article focuses on the Battle for Krasny Bor, an episode from the largely unsuccessful Operation Polar

Star, when the Soviet Army tried to push the occupying forces away from besieged Leningrad early in 1943.


While the attack failed in most directions, on one of them the Soviet soldiers faced the Blue Division. The article lauds

the “heroism” of the Division, highlighting the harsh weather conditions and bad logistics the Spaniards had to endure

while “defending” the settlement of Krasny Bor on the outskirts of the city of Leningrad and stopping

“38 battalions of Stalin,” as the article puts it.


The Spaniards managed to resist the assault, despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered. The Division,

however, ultimately lost the settlement of Krasny Bor and sustained heavy casualties, yet this did not help the

Soviet offensive which had stalled.

The Soviet Polar Star Operation was largely a failure and the Siege of Leningrad continued for another year.

Overall, the siege claimed the lives of at least 650 thousand civilians, yet some historians believe the figure could be twice as large.

None of these facts are even merely mentioned in the article.



Read more

The Spanish volunteer unit was eventually disbanded in 1943. The most hardcore Falangists, however, were

eager to continue fighting and a smaller group of volunteers, Blue Legion, was formed instead of the Division.

The last Spaniards among the German ranks fought until the end of the war and took part in the Battle for Berlin.


Such one-sided approach to the Blue Division is nothing new in Spain. The story of Spanish participation in Hitler’s

war against the Soviet Union was not forgotten or condemned by any means –

just merely swept under the rug just a bit after the defeat of the Nazism.


Many veterans of the Division have enjoyed successful careers with the Spanish Army and held top posts

with the country’s military – and some even enjoyed pensions from non-Nazi Germany long after the war.


The monuments for the fallen of the Blue Division stand tall, streets in many cities bear its name, last surviving

members proudly give interviews – and media goes all nostalgic about it, focusing on the hardships the brave

Spaniards faced in snowy and distant Russia.





Hitler's secret Indian army
By Mike Thomson
BBC News

In the closing stages of World War II, as Allied and French resistance forces were
driving Hitler's now demoralised forces from France, three senior German officers defected.


The information they gave British intelligence was considered so sensitive
that in 1945 it was locked away, not due to be released until the year 2021.

Now, 17 years early, the BBC's Document programme

has been given special access to this secret file.


It reveals how thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against

fascism swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing

tale of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British

rule in India, known as the Raj.


Members of the Free India Legion
Legionnaires were recruited from German POW camps



The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on 3 April 1941.

This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader, Subhas Chandra Bose,

arrived in the German capital.


Bose, who had been arrested 11 times by the British in India, had fled the Raj with

one mission in mind. That was to seek Hitler's help in pushing the British out of India.


Six months later, with the help of the German foreign ministry, he had set up what he
called "The Free India Centre", from where he published leaflets,
wrote speeches and organised broadcasts in support of his cause.

By the end of 1941, Hitler's regime officially recognised his provisional "Free India

Government" in exile, and even agreed to help Chandra Bose raise an

army to fight for his cause. It was to be called "The Free India Legion".


Bose hoped to raise a force of about 100,000 men which, when armed

and kitted out by the Germans, could be used to invade British India.


He decided to raise them by going on recruiting visits to Prisoner-of-War camps in

Germany which, at that time, were home to tens of thousands of Indian soldiers

captured by Rommel in North Africa.




Finally, by August 1942, Bose's recruitment drive got fully into swing. Mass ceremonies

were held in which dozens of Indian POWs joined in mass oaths of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.



Chandra Bose is garlanded by members of the Free India Legion
Chandra Bose did not live to see Indian independence
These are the words that were used by men that had formally sworn an oath to the
British king: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German
race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces
in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose."

I managed to track down one of Bose's former recruits, Lieutenant Barwant Singh,

who can still remember the Indian revolutionary arriving at his prisoner of war camp.


"He was introduced to us as a leader from our country who wanted to talk to us," he said.


"He wanted 500 volunteers who would be trained in Germany and then

parachuted into India. Everyone raised their hands. Thousands of us volunteered."



In all 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion.


But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia,

he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border.


Matters were made even worse by the fact that after Stalingrad it became clear that

the now-retreating German army would be in no position

to offer Bose help in driving the British from faraway India.


When the Indian revolutionary met Hitler in May 1942 his suspicions were confirmed,

and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his

men to win propaganda victories than military ones.


So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires

and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan.


Rudolf Hartog, former translator for the Free India Legion
Rudolf Hartog remembers parting with his Indian friends
There, with Japanese help, he was to raise a force of 60,000 men to march on India.

Back in Germany the men he had recruited were left leaderless and demoralised.

After much dissent and even a mutiny, the German High Command despatched them

first to Holland and then south-west France, where they were told to

help fortify the coast for an expected allied landing.


After D-Day, the Free India Legion, which had now been drafted into Himmler's Waffen SS,

were in headlong retreat through France, along with regular German units.


It was during this time that they gained a wild and

loathsome reputation amongst the civilian population.


The former French Resistance fighter, Henri Gendreaux, remembers the Legion passing

through his home town of Ruffec: "I do remember several cases of rape. A lady and her

two daughters were raped and in another case they even shot dead a little two-year-old girl."


Finally, instead of driving the British from India, the Free India Legion

were themselves driven from France and then Germany.


Their German military translator at the time was Private Rudolf Hartog, who is now 80.


"The last day we were together an armoured tank appeared.

I thought, my goodness, what can I do? I'm finished," he said.


"But he only wanted to collect the Indians. We embraced each other and cried.

You see that was the end."





A year later the Indian legionnaires were sent back to India,

where all were released after short jail sentences.


But when the British put three of their senior officers on trial near

Delhi there were mutinies in the army and protests on the streets.


With the British now aware that the Indian army could no longer be

relied upon by the Raj to do its bidding, independence followed soon after.


Not that Subhas Chandra Bose was to see the day he had

fought so hard for. He died in 1945.


Since then little has been heard of Lieutenant Barwant Singh

and his fellow legionnaires.


At the end of the war the BBC was forbidden from broadcasting their story and this

remarkable saga was locked away in the archives, until now.

Not that Lieutenant Singh has ever forgotten those dramatic days.


"In front of my eyes I can see how we all looked, how we would all sing
and how we all talked about what eventually would happen to us all," he said.




26th Waffen Grenadier Division

of the SS Gömbös (2nd Hungarian)




The name comes from an Hungarian statesman and soldier Gyula Gömbös

de Jákfa (December 26, 1886 until October 6, 1936), who was the war minister

and also the prime minister, he was in favor of bringing Hungary closer to Germany.


(Eesti Leegion)


The name of the division could have also been Hungaria.


64th Waffen Grenadier Regiment
65th Waffen Grenadier Regiment
66th Waffen Grenadier Regiment (?)



Division Leaders:
SS-Sturmbannführer Rolf Tiemann
SS-Standartenführer Zoltan Pisky
SS-Standartenführer Laszlo Deak
SS-Oberführer Berthold Maack
SS-Brigadeführer Josef Grassy



The division was formed in March 1945 in Neuhammer and Bavaria. From there

they retreated with the 25th SS Division Hunyadi to Austria. The XVII Waffen

SS Corps was formed from the two Hungarian SS Divisions.

The leader of this unit was Generaloberst Jenö vitez Ruszkay-Ranzengerger.


On May 4, 1945 the division was on a defensive position between Vöcklabruck and

Timelkam. The Hungarians refused to fight the US troops and retreated arbitrarily

to the Ried-Mond Lake-Gmunden line, where they merged with the 25th SS Division.



May 5, 1945 they surrendered to the US units near Ternberg.


(NB: In the summer of 1944 the 49th SS Panzer Brigade sent a letter from Denmark

to France, where they announce that the new 26th SS Panzer Division will be formed,

but this division only existed on paper for a short period of time.


In spring 1944 the 49th SS Panzergrenadier Brigade was formed in the additional units'

training camp in Königsbrück, which was supposed to be the core of

the 26th SS Panzer Division.


SS Junkerschule Tölz gave the headquarters, the Unterführerschule in Laibach gave

the 1st battalion with four companies; a reserve battalion in Arolsen gave the 2nd

battalion with four companies; the Dresden police school made up the 3rd battalion.

The additional units in Ellwangen made up the motorcyclists-reconnaissance company;

liaison, training and supplementary regiment in Nuremberg gave the liaison company.

The SS Artillerieschule Beneschau gave the artillery unit (Abteilung). The brigade was sent to

defend thecoast south of Esbjerg (Denmark) after training.


After the allies broke through the German front in Normandy, the brigade was quickly

sent to France. During August 16 and 17, 1944 the brigade was unloaded in Compiegne-Meauy

area and then it was sent to battle. The unit had rough battles while retreating until

Chalon sur Marne and in the Province area they suffered great losses. The remains of

the brigade were merged with the 17th SS Division Götz von Berlichingen. (The artillery unit was given

back to the SS-school Beneschau.)









Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals