Osprey Men-at-Arms 238 : Foreign Volunteers of the Allied Forces 1939-1945
In a period of just over two years, from 15 March 1939 to 30 April 1941, ten countries - Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia and Greece - were defeated in campaigns in which Nazi Germany deployed revolutionary techniques of mobile warfare, confirming it as the predominant European military power. The breakneck speed of German victories allowed some defeated troops to escape prisoner-of-war cages and set up guerrilla units in rural areas, or to escape to friendly countries, principally France, Great Britain, British-occupied Palestine and Egypt, and the Soviet Union, where their political leaders established governments-in-exile and formed them into military units to continue the struggle against Nazi tyranny. The hard-pressed Western Allies welcomed this well-motivated manpower with open arms. Naval and merchant ships were immediately assigned new duties, and aircrew formed into new squadrons or absorbed into existing ones. Army units, requiring greater personnel and equipment investment, developed more slowly. Other emigré servicemen, fanatically anti-German and with priceless 'in-country' knowledge, were valuable recruits for unconventional and clandestine warfare being developed by the British. Nigel Thomas investigates the foreign volunteers of the Western Allies backed by contemporary photographs and eight full page colour plates by Simon McCouaig.
- The Netherlands
- The Plates