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Osprey Men-at-Arms 147 : Foreign Volunteers of the Wehrmacht 1941-1945

When one speaks of the units of foreign volunteers integrated into the German forces during the Second World War, one thinks automatically of the Waffen-SS - indeed, few military corps have been so international in composition as the Waffen-SS. However, in absolute numbers, more foreigners served with the other three branches of the Wehrmacht - army, navy and air force - than in the Waffen-SS. As to the reasons which induced so many tens of thousands to volunteer to wear the German uniform, we must conclude that anti-Communism was the most significant. This sentiment was common to Dutch sailors and Italian flak crews, to Cossack cavalry and Croatian pilots; and it is emphasised by the enormous increase in volunteers following the German invasion of Russia, from a basis of practically nothing before that date. All over Western Europe, 'Legions' of volunteers for the Eastern Front were formed. Eventually the Waffen-SS would absorb the personnel from 'Germanic' countries - Norway, Denmark, Holland, and the Flemish region of Belgium - while the Army took the remainder from France, Walloon Belgium and Croatia. And it was from this period, obviously, that the progressively larger flow of Soviet citizens to the German colours began. Text by Carlos Caballero Jurado, plates by Kevin Lyles. This book examines the foreign volunteers who fought for the Wehrmacht, taking a close look at their uniforms, organisation and distinctive insignia. Among those covered are the Legion Wallanie, LVF, Ostlegionen, Balkan volunteers, Hiwis, Kalmucks, Cossacks, Baltic, Russian and Ukranian volunteers.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Western European Volunteers
  • Balkan Volunteers
  • The Eastern Volunteers
  • The Plates

 

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