Foreign Legionaires from Axis countries.

Discussion in 'Allied Units - Others' started by Owen, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just a quickie.
    How many Legionaires were from Axis countries in 1939?
    How many stayed in the Legion and how many returned to their homelands to join their own Armed Forces?

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Some didn't have to leave the legion to fight for their "own" side. Don't forget that there were also Legion units within the Vichy forces.

  3. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    Many Wehrmacht soldaten served in the Foreign Legion after WWII. Many SS and took part in the colonial brush fires of the 50s.

    As for before, that's a good question, it depends on How many heeded the Deutscher Volk call.
  4. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    I understand alot ran away from defeated Germany, particularly those from the SS to join the Legion as then it was the no questions asked approach. Many of the Legion songs now are WW2 German songs.
    Would be interestign to know if any kind of records were kept though
  5. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    In Thompson's Battle for Singapore he refers to rumours that Japanese troops were lead by German officers (partly believed by some because they couldn't believe that Japanese soldiers couldn't fight effectively against Europeans unless they had had help).

    Though this is dismissed it is thought that one or more Foreign Legion soldiers may have joined the Japanese in French IndoChina (with the most lokely candidate being a German).
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'm aware of the split in the Legion between Free-French/Vichy forces and the post-war Legion's recruitment of former Axis Soldiers.
    What I'm want to know is did Legionaires of those countries hold a greater allegiance to their country of birth or The Legion itself?
    I'm sure there are as many answers as their were men involved.
    Just wondered if we had any Legion experts here.
  7. MyIdolRommel

    MyIdolRommel Junior Member

    The 361st Afrika Regiment in Africa was all German Legionnaires

    Most of the Legionnaires tried to fight off the Germans and some went to the vichy forces and some went to Free French. Others just left and rejoined there country or some society.

    I have a book here somewhere
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thanks for that , never heard of the 361st before.
    Welcome to the Forum, by the way.
  9. MyIdolRommel

    MyIdolRommel Junior Member

    Thank You Owen D
    Ill also try to find out the number of Legionnaires from Axis countries for you and if you have further Legion questions you can ask me
  10. gen

    gen Senior Member

    I can remember reading a book called 'The Devil's Gateway' i think where ex Germen soldiers, mainly SS joined the Legion and they were given their own Battalion to fight in what is now Vietnam. They were led by an ex German SS Colonel who had been in command of a Tank unit in Russia. If i remember rightly it was a true story and written by the SS Colonel many years later. Appartently they were the best at fighting against the Vietnamese because they had been fighting this sort of war for the years during WW2. Also they fought in the same way and would give no quarter to the enemy. A very good read, i couldn't put it down once i started it.

  11. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    It was called The Devil's Guard by Robert Elford, and there's considerable debate about the level truth and fiction in the book. However, if you've still got the book you're sitting on a small goldmine - even crap copies go for £25+.

    This is interesting:

    TightRope News - The SS In Vietnam
  12. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

  13. gen

    gen Senior Member

    Your right about the title, its quite a few years since i read it now, thanks for putting me right on that. Sadly i lent the book out and never got it back. Whether or not it was totally accurate, it was a very enjoyable read.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From Fourth Indian Division page 53.
    Chapter 4 Battle of Keren- Conquest of Eritrea.

    Liason with the gallant Frenchmen had it's lighter moments. Both the Lake Chad battalion and the Foreign Legionaries fought with characteristic elan and consumate courage.
    (it is interesting to note that the 9 Italians in the Foreign Legion all fell in this campaign against their countrymen)

    Well that's 9 Italians who had greater allegence to the Legion than their own country's armed forces.
    Can anyone else come up with examples like that?
    I'd like to know about any Germans fighting their own countrymen.
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    A very interesting thread and a good post from Gen. I must look out for that book.

  16. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    I remember reading that book in highschool. Got lost over the years.


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