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.
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’ –
that they were uneducated social ‘losers’ and deviants, drawn by naivety
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
volunteers, such as journals and school records, Gutmann
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
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,
concludes it was “a profound decision taken only by confident and ambitious
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
the various motivations and experiences among SS volunteers from Denmark, Norway and
“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:
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
“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
“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
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.”
course of his three and a half years of combat, Degrelle was wounded
seven times and earned 22 military decorations.
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,
Paul Briffaut in army uniform and Waffen-Untersturmführer
The divisional archives had previously
been piled onto trucks and destroyed in
late April by
the Bavarian peasant with whom they had been hidden,
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
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
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
regiments were formed, with two battalions each comprised of four companies.
57th Regiment was predominantly composed of former members of the
on the orders of Paul Gamory-Dubourdeau. The 58th Regiment was
headed by Commander
Eugéne Bridoux and contained the ex-Legionnaires. Either
reasons (the perceived paganism of the SS), years of combat fatigue,
they felt the war was definitively lost, a few dozen men categorically
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
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
nearby camp. Sent to the frontlines without any armoured support, heavy
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
a frontline regiment with the freshest and most experienced soldiers, and a
regiment with a reduced combat role, due to the fatigue amongst the men.
were sent to protect the retreat of the German troops at the port of Kolberg.
more the French faced fierce fighting trying to defend the city, forcing them to
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
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
were awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
THE LITTLE-KNOWN WWII ANTI-SOVIET
'RUSSIAN LIBERATION ARMY'
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
by former Soviet General Andrei Vlasov, who also headed the German-backed
anti-Stalinist "Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of
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
with which he brainwashes the heads of Russian citizens, who now think
Ukrainians are evil and who gladly send their sons to die in Ukraine
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
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.
SECRET INDIAN ARMY
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
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'
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.
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
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
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.
World War II numerous Waffen SS volunteer units were formed from the
Nordic countries. This
strategy was encouraged by the Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler
“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
to fellow prisoners of war. The Wehrmacht High Command insisted on the
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
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
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
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.”
officer said that had SS Unterscharfuher Cornfield and a soldier identified
Pleed been fighting the Germans; they would have deserved the Victoria Cross (VC).
told me: “I hope the British invented a good story for their families,
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
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
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
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
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
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
was something that concerned the German High Command right.
That these volunteers were found guilty of treason despite never
taken up arms against their fellow countrymen is surely a travesty of
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.”
of the Blue Division (250. Infanterie-Division of Wehrmacht),
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
18 Feb, 2019
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
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.
‘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
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
of Stalin,” as the article puts it.
The Spaniards managed to resist the
assault, despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered. The Division,
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.
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.
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 –
merely swept under the rug just a bit after the defeat of the Nazism.
of the Division have enjoyed successful careers with the Spanish Army and held top posts
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
In the closing stages of World War II, as Allied and French resistance forces
driving Hitler's now demoralised forces from France,
three senior German officers defected.
information they gave British intelligence was considered so sensitive
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.
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
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".
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 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.
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,
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
and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan.
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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
the SS Gömbös (2nd Hungarian)
The name comes from
an Hungarian statesman and soldier Gyula Gömbös
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.
name of the division could have also been Hungaria.
64th Waffen Grenadier Regiment
65th Waffen Grenadier Regiment
Waffen Grenadier Regiment (?)
SS-Sturmbannführer Rolf Tiemann
SS-Standartenführer Laszlo Deak
SS-Oberführer Berthold Maack
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.
of this unit was Generaloberst Jenö vitez Ruszkay-Ranzengerger.
On May 4, 1945 the division was on a defensive position between Vöcklabruck
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
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.)
Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals