French SS Troops

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by comiso90, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #1 comiso90, Jun 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    Axis History Factbook: Waffen SS-Grenadier-Sturmbrigade Brigade Frankreich - French Volunteers and Collaborationist Forces
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33rd_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS_Charlemagne_(1st_French)
    33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)


    General Leclerc was famously 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 unwisely 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 then promptly executed without any form of military tribunal procedure.
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  2. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I always find it hugely ironic that the final resistance around the bunker in Berlin was carried out by troops from the foreign SS divisions, including Charlemagne. Some of these units, despite their Nazi ideology, had ferocious and excellent combat records - Wiking is one that immediately springs to mind. Perhaps the ongoing historical fascination with the Waffen-SS stems from the fact that such undoubtedly valiant and skilled soldiers could deploy thier talents in the service of one of the most depraved regimes ever to blight our planet?
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    You also had 11th SS Divison Nordland making its final stand around the Reichstag (spelling?)... Which as with Wiking had Swedes in its ranks. :oops:
     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    yeah me too... It would make a great mini-series..

    they chose the wrong side and watched their world crumble around them.. they fought for their lives!

    .
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    They sure did! They what was coming if captured....
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    is there a book about the subject?

    .
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    After 1940 France was in an impossible position. Metropolitan France was partially occupied by Germany. The RN sank part of the French navy and had the rest bottled up. Britain and the USA jointly seized all the French overseas colonies except Indochina, which was occupied by Japan. French war material ordered from the USA prior to June 1940 was diverted to their British enemies. British and American aircraft were bombing French industry and the French rail network, crippling the economy. France did not have a dependable friend in the world. Under such circumstances the "right side" was not obvious.
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #8 comiso90, Jun 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    IMO "The right side" is the country that does not invade and occupy your land.
    Only a coward would choose sides based solely on who they think will win.



    .
     
  9. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same thing! These were men without countries, fighting for an obviously dying cause, I guess this was all they could do by then. Sad... I guess a mans convictions are stronger if they have to activelly seek out a like minded organization, in this case say Anti-Communism. I wonder if I believe in anything as strongly, for right or wrong, to do as they did and be sustained on a concept alone?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That rules out Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA. :cry:
     
  11. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    :rolleyes:

    You are right we invaded and occupied France and England in the same manner as the Nazi's...

    I assume you're making a joke... or perhaps i misunderstand you.



    /
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #12 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Jun 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    Huh?

    I do not think we can hold a whole country responsible for that. There were plenty of foreign units that fought for the Germans. I believe the people may have held the same ideals as the Nazi's and that is why they did it. It certainly does not speak for a whole country though.

    Here is an incomplete list:

    Country/Ethnicity - Estimated # of volunteers- Name of Waffen-SS Units

    Albanian - 3,000 -21st SS Division

    Belgian/ Flemish - 23,000 -5th SS Div., 27th SS Div.

    Belgium/Walloon - 15,000 -5th SS Div., 28th SS Div.

    British Commonwealth (English) - 50 -The British Freikorps

    Bulgaria - 1,000 in the Bulgarisches Reg.

    Croatia (includes Bosnian Muslims) - 30,000 7th SS Div., 13th SS Hanshar Div.23rd SS Div.

    Denmark - 10,000 in Freikorps Danemark, 11th SS Div.

    India - 3,500 in the Volunteer Legion

    Estonia - 20,000 in the 20th SS Div.

    Finland - 1,000 in a Volunteer Battalion.

    Hungarians - 15,000 in the 25th SS Div., 26th SS Div. 33rd SS Div.

    Latvia - 39,000 in the 15th SS Div., 19th SS Div.

    Netherlands - 50,000 in the 23rd SS Div., 34th SS Div.

    Norway - 6,000 in the 5th SS Div., 6th SS Div.11th SS Div., .

    France - 8,000 33rd SS Div.

    Italy - 20,000

    Poland/Ukraine - 25,000 14th SS Div.

    Russian - (Belorussia) 12,000 29th SS Div., 30th SS Div.

    Russian - (Cossack) 40,000 XV SS Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps

    Russian - (Turkic) 8,000 Ostürkische SS, Tatarishe SS

    Rumania - 3,000 Waffen-Grenadierregiment der SS (rumänisches 1)

    Serbia - 15,000 Volunteer Corps

    Spain - 1,000 Spanische-Freiwilligen-Kompanie der SS 101

    Sweden, Switzerland Luxemburg 3,000 5th SS Div., 11th SS Div.

    United States - 8 to 50 (Various units including the proposed but never really built American Free Corps)
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #13 comiso90, Jun 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    i think we agree.

    I would never disparage France or the people of France for what happen to them. They were bested by a much superior force with more determined and talented leadership. They just simply got their ass kicked.

    Yes, there are those that sympathized with the fascists and welcomed the Germans seeing them as liberators. These people are very courageous for sticking to their ideals even though they are twisted.

    I will piss on the mindless lackeys that joined the German cause because they were afraid or because they thought Germany would win and ignored a sense of duty and honor to their homeland.

    .
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    We certainly agree! Especially on the last part...
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What about the 10s of thousands of French military personnel who fought bravely against unprovoked Anglo-American attacks on the French Navy and French colonial empire? These people fought for neither Germany nor Britain. They were simply fighting to defend France.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #16 comiso90, Jun 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    What about them? Start a thread, post information and discuss it.
    Your question sounds rhetorical... elaborate.. post info.
    .
     
  17. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    The foreign volunteers of the SS were indeed in a predicament. Being squeezed on both the East and West fronts, they had little choice but to fight, sometimes with the utmost savagery. Their home countries having been liberated, these foreign volunteers represented the worst of the worst of collaborators: the ones who wore the enemy's uniform, and not that of the Wermacht but that of the SS. So it's no surprise that of the Berlin defenders there could be found many SS foreign volunteers, the last remnants of their original units.

    As for their motivation for joining, I would have to say that for the majority, the prospect of joining the SS as a foreign volunteer was due mostly as a desire to defeat Bolchevism, rather than any anti-semitic indoctrination. That's not to say some or more may have been virulently anti-semetic, but from what I've read many of these volunteers had family backgrounds that were very anti-communists. Since joining the foreign SS units was seen as fighting the communists, many of them probably felt that by being in the SS on the Russian front, they thus were also able to serve their own countries by extension.

    As for Gen. Leclerc's actions, he was within his right to do what he did, regardless of what verbal exchange may have taken place.
     
  18. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    They did, at Dakar. Later, during Torch, they defended Oran and even took US troops prisoners there. Keeping in mind however, they took orders from a high command which was detached from the situation and was pro-Vichy....a collaborationist puippet-government which maintained diplomatic relations with the US at the beheast of FDR, C. Hull, and Leahy. It's no wonder the French troops in N. Africa were so confused at the beginning. A third of officers probably being pro-Vichy, another third being pro-de Gaulle, and the last third being completely afraid of doing anything for fear of breaking somebody's unseen/unheard orders.


    A good read of this topic is Rick Atkinson's excellent book: Army at Dawn
     
  19. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Anytime a thread starts about the SS it gets sidetracked. It would be interesting to learn more about them without the political posts about how evil they were etc, etc.
     
  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree, it would be nice to discuss something just based off of historical aspects.
     
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