german antinazis in french army

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german antinazis in french army

Post by Mannet » 06 Mar 2020 09:59

hi, I'm searching informations about Germans and Austrians (former members of Schutzbund, Reichsbanner Schwarz Rot Gold), that were serving in French army, foreign legion or resistance.

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Re: german antinazis in french army

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2020 17:48

Cant answer that directly. What I can say is the French separated the German nationals, & former German nationals and confined them to separate units restricted to non combat roles & placed well away from the front. German nationals not in the French military were rounded up and confined to internment camps. Some in the same camps refugees from Spain were being sent to. There were exceptions & it would be interesting knowing some statistics on this subject.

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Re: german antinazis in french army

Post by Mannet » 09 Mar 2020 08:34

but what with French Foreign Legion? I heared, that there were many ex- Thälemann Brigade members, and other resistance volunteers. Is it known, how many Germans served in FFL on allied side?

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Re: German antinazis in French Army

Post by Loïc » 09 Mar 2020 17:47

There is already a thread opened concerning your query about German Legionnaries in the usual overestimated-romanticized-hollywoodian-telenovela-beau geste-myths-and-legends folkore about the Foreign Legion, was very far to be a place for antinazis and antifascists only

Germans in the Foreign Legion:
viewtopic.php?f=112&t=87447

now for the rest :

For very obvious reasons the French authorities and military, then French Resistance and the French people as a whole were very reluctant to see Germans in their soil or in the ranks of their Army, and even until the labour prestataires companies raised for all foreign refugees in 1939

it is estimated that around 50 000 Germans and Austrians refugees (mostly jews) were in France c.1939, the exact number remained unknown because many Austrians jews entered clandestinely by the Italian border, and add to that the may 1940 major Exodus taking place in Northern France, as from Netherlands and Belgium came an other flow of refugees from both countries, e.g. of the 13 500 interned German from Belgium (from 25 000 living there) crossing the French border, the half has evaporated on the way

their status was different from Spanish republicans refugees, first because these ones were not at all mainly in the wartime camps, they have been largely evacuated (except brigadistes and others anarcho-syndicalists) at this time joining the labour companies or simply having a job in the French economy, agriculture, industry... and second - abyssal difference - unlike the Germans and Austrians the Spanish-Republicans were not considered as enemy aliens even if their country was perceveid as hostile and allied to the nazis

About the ~50 000 Austro-Germans, in september 1939 were interned around 12 to 14 000 Germans and 5000 Austrians as belonging to an enemy nationality, not counting 1200 brigadists already interned,
a great number remained free (e.g. Dept. of Maritimes Alpes : 500 to 800 interned vs 1500 remaining frees) and actually many of the interned were totally released in the following weeks and months

the French Army didn't wish them in the ranks as the Foreign Legion had enough germans (9 000), and can't or didn't want to use germans against germans, even the Compagnies de Travailleurs Etrangers (CTE) of the Army didn't admit them in their ranks as enemy aliens

however there were volunteers in the newly raised RMVE and REI like the 12e REI said to have around 30% of german-speaking jews (see above mentionned thread)

in May 1940 with their compatriots invading France and fifth column paranoia, the 12th may it was decided in emergency to intern or re-intern them (as they have been largely released during the phoney war)
this time the French authorities considered enough possible to put (part of) them in the labour prestataires companies, new Compagnies de Travailleurs Etrangers of the French Army were raised for around 5300 men of the 46 000 planned until july1940 (I have identified around 18 companies numbered in the serie 300, including german-speaking brigadists in the 258th coy) as some further foreign labour companies for the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps of the British Expeditionnary Force

in july 1940 inspecting the camps in southern free zone the germans commissions found around only 7500 interned germans (of which 5000 jews) but it seems there was concealment from French military or civilian authorities as many were antinazis jews, however some of them asked help, preferring to back home rather than remain in the camps or in the chaos

Then came the period of Nazi German occupation, and for some of them the Resistance in a country occupied by their compatriots, in such complicated position it is estimated that around 1000 participated in the Resistance

under PCF - MOI was organized the «T.A.» Travail Allemand or Travail Antifasciste/Antinazi Allemand (Otto Niebergal of the Freies Deutschland CALPO/KFDW, Artur London, Langer) with antinazi propaganda and demoralisation of the Occupation troops, periodicals Soldat im Western and Soldat am Mittelmeer (Hans Zipper, and the Austrians Franz Marek, Oskar Grossmann as chief editors) as well as use groups of youngs girls to do any antinazi infiltration
there is also the tragic case of Austrians volunteers to be free workers under a false nationality to back home in Austria in order to organize the Resistance there, they were nearly all identified and killed

The T.A. had established regular contacts with 70 units or services of the Wehrmacht in France,
the T.A. was for the Austrians in particular their most important underground network, and their antinazi undermining judged so serious that a specialized team was sent from Vienna to Paris to identify them

in the southern, former free, zone after november 1942 came the time of the Maquis,
it existed one group of 25 to 30 Freies Österreich with the Maquis of the Armagnac,
but most known it is the case of Otto Künhe's Brigade Montaigne topic of a book Un Maquis d'Antifascistes Allemands en France 1942-1944 in the Maquis of Lozère with around 30 Austro-Germans partisans
also individual cases such as two Austrian interpreters, Roger Kerber of the Saint Cloud Kommandantur, informing the Resistance, or Fritz Meznik in Etampes passing to the Resistance after two years of regulars contacts with it
in 1944 there was an aborted attempt to raise a german regiment Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill

Regards
Loïc L.

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Re: german antinazis in french army

Post by Mannet » 29 Mar 2020 13:05

and how about Germans in french Resistance? I've read, that there were quite a lot of them...

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Re: German antinazis in French Army

Post by Loïc » 29 Mar 2020 13:59

A lot...??....do you have read above and below
Loïc wrote:
09 Mar 2020 17:47
the period of Nazi German occupation, and for some of them the Resistance in a country occupied by their compatriots, in such complicated position it is estimated that around 1000 participated in the Resistance

under PCF - MOI was organized the «T.A.» Travail Allemand or Travail Antifasciste/Antinazi Allemand (Otto Niebergal of the Freies Deutschland CALPO/KFDW, Artur London, Langer) with antinazi propaganda and demoralisation of the Occupation troops, periodicals Soldat im Western and Soldat am Mittelmeer (Hans Zipper, and the Austrians Franz Marek, Oskar Grossmann as chief editors) as well as use groups of youngs girls to do any antinazi infiltration
there is also the tragic case of Austrians volunteers to be free workers under a false nationality to back home in Austria in order to organize the Resistance there, they were nearly all identified and killed

The T.A. had established regular contacts with 70 units or services of the Wehrmacht in France,
the T.A. was for the Austrians in particular their most important underground network, and their antinazi undermining judged so serious that a specialized team was sent from Vienna to Paris to identify them

in the southern, former free, zone after november 1942 came the time of the Maquis,
it existed one group of 25 to 30 Freies Österreich with the Maquis of the Armagnac,
but most known it is the case of Otto Künhe's Brigade Montaigne topic of a book Un Maquis d'Antifascistes Allemands en France 1942-1944 in the Maquis of Lozère with around 30 Austro-Germans partisans
also individual cases such as two Austrian interpreters, Roger Kerber of the Saint Cloud Kommandantur, informing the Resistance, or Fritz Meznik in Etampes passing to the Resistance after two years of regulars contacts with it
in 1944 there was an aborted attempt to raise a german regiment Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill

Regards
Loïc L.

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Re: German antinazis in French Army

Post by daveshoup2MD » 03 Apr 2021 23:50

Loïc wrote:
09 Mar 2020 17:47
There is already a thread opened concerning your query about German Legionnaries in the usual overestimated-romanticized-hollywoodian-telenovela-beau geste-myths-and-legends folkore about the Foreign Legion, was very far to be a place for antinazis and antifascists only

Germans in the Foreign Legion:
viewtopic.php?f=112&t=87447

now for the rest :

For very obvious reasons the French authorities and military, then French Resistance and the French people as a whole were very reluctant to see Germans in their soil or in the ranks of their Army, and even until the labour prestataires companies raised for all foreign refugees in 1939

it is estimated that around 50 000 Germans and Austrians refugees (mostly jews) were in France c.1939, the exact number remained unknown because many Austrians jews entered clandestinely by the Italian border, and add to that the may 1940 major Exodus taking place in Northern France, as from Netherlands and Belgium came an other flow of refugees from both countries, e.g. of the 13 500 interned German from Belgium (from 25 000 living there) crossing the French border, the half has evaporated on the way

their status was different from Spanish republicans refugees, first because these ones were not at all mainly in the wartime camps, they have been largely evacuated (except brigadistes and others anarcho-syndicalists) at this time joining the labour companies or simply having a job in the French economy, agriculture, industry... and second - abyssal difference - unlike the Germans and Austrians the Spanish-Republicans were not considered as enemy aliens even if their country was perceveid as hostile and allied to the nazis

About the ~50 000 Austro-Germans, in september 1939 were interned around 12 to 14 000 Germans and 5000 Austrians as belonging to an enemy nationality, not counting 1200 brigadists already interned,
a great number remained free (e.g. Dept. of Maritimes Alpes : 500 to 800 interned vs 1500 remaining frees) and actually many of the interned were totally released in the following weeks and months

the French Army didn't wish them in the ranks as the Foreign Legion had enough germans (9 000), and can't or didn't want to use germans against germans, even the Compagnies de Travailleurs Etrangers (CTE) of the Army didn't admit them in their ranks as enemy aliens

however there were volunteers in the newly raised RMVE and REI like the 12e REI said to have around 30% of german-speaking jews (see above mentionned thread)

in May 1940 with their compatriots invading France and fifth column paranoia, the 12th may it was decided in emergency to intern or re-intern them (as they have been largely released during the phoney war)
this time the French authorities considered enough possible to put (part of) them in the labour prestataires companies, new Compagnies de Travailleurs Etrangers of the French Army were raised for around 5300 men of the 46 000 planned until july1940 (I have identified around 18 companies numbered in the serie 300, including german-speaking brigadists in the 258th coy) as some further foreign labour companies for the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps of the British Expeditionnary Force

in july 1940 inspecting the camps in southern free zone the germans commissions found around only 7500 interned germans (of which 5000 jews) but it seems there was concealment from French military or civilian authorities as many were antinazis jews, however some of them asked help, preferring to back home rather than remain in the camps or in the chaos

Then came the period of Nazi German occupation, and for some of them the Resistance in a country occupied by their compatriots, in such complicated position it is estimated that around 1000 participated in the Resistance

under PCF - MOI was organized the «T.A.» Travail Allemand or Travail Antifasciste/Antinazi Allemand (Otto Niebergal of the Freies Deutschland CALPO/KFDW, Artur London, Langer) with antinazi propaganda and demoralisation of the Occupation troops, periodicals Soldat im Western and Soldat am Mittelmeer (Hans Zipper, and the Austrians Franz Marek, Oskar Grossmann as chief editors) as well as use groups of youngs girls to do any antinazi infiltration
there is also the tragic case of Austrians volunteers to be free workers under a false nationality to back home in Austria in order to organize the Resistance there, they were nearly all identified and killed

The T.A. had established regular contacts with 70 units or services of the Wehrmacht in France,
the T.A. was for the Austrians in particular their most important underground network, and their antinazi undermining judged so serious that a specialized team was sent from Vienna to Paris to identify them

in the southern, former free, zone after november 1942 came the time of the Maquis,
it existed one group of 25 to 30 Freies Österreich with the Maquis of the Armagnac,
but most known it is the case of Otto Künhe's Brigade Montaigne topic of a book Un Maquis d'Antifascistes Allemands en France 1942-1944 in the Maquis of Lozère with around 30 Austro-Germans partisans
also individual cases such as two Austrian interpreters, Roger Kerber of the Saint Cloud Kommandantur, informing the Resistance, or Fritz Meznik in Etampes passing to the Resistance after two years of regulars contacts with it
in 1944 there was an aborted attempt to raise a german regiment Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill

Regards
Loïc L.
Loic - Given the need of the French forces re-organized/equipped as a result of the ANFA agreement in 1943-44 (1st, 2nd, 5th armored divisions; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 9th infantry divisions, plus corps and army troops). was there any serious thought given in that period - meaning, before the liberation of France) to either:

a) widened recruiting of (otherwise) stateless but anti-fascist Germans and Austrians (or, for that matter, Italians before the Cassibile Armistice) with "French" identities? and/or
b) organization of identifiable "emigre" or "exile" units from any of the same populations? including, for example,
c) the Axis POW populations in Allied hands? or
d) from the population of neutral nations in Europe (Ireland, Portugal), or
e) Allied nations in the Americas that did not deploy significant ground forces overseas? Mexico and Cuba, for example, had both joind the Allies in 1942...

Just curious if the French, who definitely could have used the manpower (Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny being an obvious example of how far they went in reality). looked farther afield than their own territories' populations at a point - early 1943, after ANFA - where they had a secure base (North Africa) and a reasonable supply chain of new equipment.

Merci

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Re:

Post by Loïc » 04 Apr 2021 15:30

In 1943-1944 all these nationalities had only the choice to be mainly mixed in the Foreign Legion (or Corps Franc d'Afrique, some foreigners can be also seen in French units) if they wanted to join the fight under the French flag, and even the Germans Austrians already under french uniform were sent away to Sahara or Indochina

for the particular case of Germans and Italians I think strongly it was no question for the French Authorities to organize specific national units from both ennemies countries occupying France,

last time France had organized specific Italian exiled (not concerning the long-time Italians residents of France, first foreign community of the country) and German "units" in 1939-1940 the failed attempt of the Garibaldian Legion of France ended as auxiliary pioneers in few labour companies of the British Army in France
viewtopic.php?f=114&t=252105
and France was very reluctant to organize the Germans Austrians into companies even for unarmed Labour companies at such point that a part of them was given also to the British Army in France
viewtopic.php?f=114&t=247561

I have read somewhere in the forum in a thread about the Italian cobelligerence in 1943-1945 that someone would imagine that the French Army also present in Italy could raise further Italian cobelligerants units in Italy or something like that...but such idea is totally ignoring the awfull state of the French Italian relationships throughout the years 40' since the 10th june 1940

The CFLN was not at all associated with the Italian Armistice of september 1943 with the 3 allied powers United States Great Britain Soviet Union,
so the French diplomatic military position of that time (also followed by Free Greece and Yugoslavia the 3 countries occupied by Italy) didn't recognize this armistice nor the Italian cobelligerence nor Italian units as cobeligerant allied and remained still at war with Italy until 1947

this leads to great differences of treatment about the status of the 100 000 Italian POW's in French North Africa and many difficulties troubles and incidents between the Angloamericans and their Italian prisoners with the French authorities, French military and French civilian population of North Africa who didn't forget and forgive the 10th june 1940 stab in the back and subsequent Italian occupation of France then Tunisia, in the camps of French North the Italians POW's from the angloamerican camps received a better treatment and had the possiblity to join the cobelligerence, while the 40 000 others in the french camps remained POW's perceveid and treated as ennemies and were released in 1945-1947

From memory there was the case of the Slovenians/Yugoslavians from the Italian Army passing in the Corps Franc d'Afrique as others foreigners before they were claimed by Free Yugoslavia

after the Liberation of Tunisia in 1943-1945 not from Italian POW's but from the numerous local Italian community were raised two and further companies equivalent of a third Labour Italian Battalions

it was not before the context of occupation of Germany and Austria the 1st may 1945 that were raised 3 late german-speaking short-lived battalions
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=251351
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Rhénans disbanded 12th november 1945
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Sarrois disbanded 16th december 1945
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Autrichiens disbanded 31st december 1945




Regards
Loïc L.

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Re: Re: Potential manpower pools for French in 1943-45

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 Apr 2021 02:12

Loïc wrote:
04 Apr 2021 15:30
In 1943-1944 all these nationalities had only the choice to be mainly mixed in the Foreign Legion (or Corps Franc d'Afrique, some foreigners can be also seen in French units) if they wanted to join the fight under the French flag, and even the Germans Austrians already under french uniform were sent away to Sahara or Indochina

for the particular case of Germans and Italians I think strongly it was no question for the French Authorities to organize specific national units from both ennemies countries occupying France,

last time France had organized specific Italian exiled (not concerning the long-time Italians residents of France, first foreign community of the country) and German "units" in 1939-1940 the failed attempt of the Garibaldian Legion of France ended as auxiliary pioneers in few labour companies of the British Army in France
viewtopic.php?f=114&t=252105
and France was very reluctant to organize the Germans Austrians into companies even for unarmed Labour companies at such point that a part of them was given also to the British Army in France
viewtopic.php?f=114&t=247561

I have read somewhere in the forum in a thread about the Italian cobelligerence in 1943-1945 that someone would imagine that the French Army also present in Italy could raise further Italian cobelligerants units in Italy or something like that...but such idea is totally ignoring the awfull state of the French Italian relationships throughout the years 40' since the 10th june 1940

The CFLN was not at all associated with the Italian Armistice of september 1943 with the 3 allied powers United States Great Britain Soviet Union,
so the French diplomatic military position of that time (also followed by Free Greece and Yugoslavia the 3 countries occupied by Italy) didn't recognize this armistice nor the Italian cobelligerence nor Italian units as cobeligerant allied and remained still at war with Italy until 1947

this leads to great differences of treatment about the status of the 100 000 Italian POW's in French North Africa and many difficulties troubles and incidents between the Angloamericans and their Italian prisoners with the French authorities, French military and French civilian population of North Africa who didn't forget and forgive the 10th june 1940 stab in the back and subsequent Italian occupation of France then Tunisia, in the camps of French North the Italians POW's from the angloamerican camps received a better treatment and had the possiblity to join the cobelligerence, while the 40 000 others in the french camps remained POW's perceveid and treated as ennemies and were released in 1945-1947

From memory there was the case of the Slovenians/Yugoslavians from the Italian Army passing in the Corps Franc d'Afrique as others foreigners before they were claimed by Free Yugoslavia

after the Liberation of Tunisia in 1943-1945 not from Italian POW's but from the numerous local Italian community were raised two and further companies equivalent of a third Labour Italian Battalions

it was not before the context of occupation of Germany and Austria the 1st may 1945 that were raised 3 late german-speaking short-lived battalions
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=251351
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Rhénans disbanded 12th november 1945
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Sarrois disbanded 16th december 1945
1er Bataillon de Volontaires Autrichiens disbanded 31st december 1945




Regards
Loïc L.
Loic - Many thanks; appreciate the background. Interesting the three "German" battalions were raised in 1945 and lasted until the end of the year. Suggests the French saw a potential use for this manpower, at least in 1945.

The approach is an interesting contrast with the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Régiments de Marche de Volontaires Étrangers (RMVEs), which - as I understand it - were recruited in 1939-40 from foreign volunteers who wanted (essentially) to fight the Germans in Europe, not to serve in French overseas garrisons. I have seen figures which suggest these volunteers were largely either anti-fascist Spaniards and/or "foreign" volunteers of Jewish ancestry, so - presumably - including men of German and Austrian ancestry.

Given that, it doesn't seem like a "re-organized" 21st RMVE of Germans/Austrians, and a 22nd RMVE of Italians/etc., and (perhaps) a 23rd RMVE to follow, beginning in 1943, would be impossible. Given von Golssenau (aka Renn) and Pacciardi as regimental commanders (professionally trained soldiers with combat experience in WW I and Spain) and clearly anti-Fascist records, seems like it could have been done. Both were at large and in the West at the time, after all. Start with anti-fascists and, depending upon events, try recruiting POWs under noms de guerre.

There's also Hans Kahle, for that matter, which suggests a path toward furthering the relationship between the French and the Soviets; sort of a reverse version of the deployment of the Régiment de Chasse Normandie-Niémen

Given the French were recruiting 17-year-olds for active service, it doesn't seem that outlandish a policy to consider...

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Re: german antinazis in french army

Post by Loïc » 05 Apr 2021 03:51

The 12e REI is said to have one third of Austro-Germans jews but it is not representative of all the newly-raised foreign regiments in 1940, actually many Germans legionaries remained far from the battlefield in Africa to not be exposed to the reprisals of their compatriots if they were taken,
in 1940 it was planned to raise also a 24e and 25e RMVE and there were 3 Foreign Volunteers Pioneers Battalions, so equivalent of a further regiment,

but despite it existed exceptions of the rule in the History of the Legion (as the Garibaldian 4e Régt de Marche in 1915 until Italy remained neutral)
first, it would be totally against the French traditional organization policy of the Forein Legion/RMVE to separate the nationalities like that into specific national regiments instead of being mixed, last time the Legion had organized battalions by nationalities took place when it was raised in 1831 and not retained as a good experience for the future of the corps
and second the French didn't want to see at all in 1943 specific German or Italian units in their ranks, even in 1944-1945 until the Italian Partisan groups if they crossed the French-Italian border they had to be disarmed or interned, if they wished to continue the fight they had no others choice than the Foreign Legion

There were Soviet detachments in France and a 1st Partisan Soviet Regiment but this took place mainly after the Liberation of France in 1944 from Soviet under german uniforms

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Re: german antinazis in french army

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 Apr 2021 04:22

Loïc wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:51
The 12e REI is said to have one third of Austro-Germans jews but it is not representative of all the newly-raised foreign regiments in 1940, actually many Germans legionaries remained far from the battlefield in Africa to not be exposed to the reprisals of their compatriots if they were taken,
in 1940 it was planned to raise also a 24e and 25e RMVE and there were 3 Foreign Volunteers Pioneers Battalions, so equivalent of a further regiment,

but despite it existed exceptions of the rule in the History of the Legion (as the Garibaldian 4e Régt de Marche in 1915 until Italy remained neutral)
first, it would be totally against the French traditional organization policy of the Forein Legion/RMVE to separate the nationalities like that into specific national regiments instead of being mixed, last time the Legion had organized battalions by nationalities took place when it was raised in 1831 and not retained as a good experience for the future of the corps
and second the French didn't want to see at all in 1943 specific German or Italian units in their ranks, even in 1944-1945 until the Italian Partisan groups if they crossed the French-Italian border they had to be disarmed or interned, if they wished to continue the fight they had no others choice than the Foreign Legion

There were Soviet detachments in France and a 1st Partisan Soviet Regiment but this took place mainly after the Liberation of France in 1944 from Soviet under german uniforms
Appreciate the background; again, my thinking here is simply that the French had a long tradition of recruiting foreigners (whether neutrals or "enemies") in wartime into specialized units, AND a long tradition of supporting exile or Allied formations of various stripes, including (for example) the Poles in France in 1939-40, and in 1940-45, the constant battle of the Allied French was to assemble enough manpower to warrant the Allies equipping them, and then using the result in action to gain political, diplomatic, and economic support from the same Allies.

Given the above, raising 3-9 battalions worth of "free" volunteers, in return for "not" absorbing them as individuals into the standard REI, seems like it would be worth considering ... certainly in the realm of the possible.

Perhaps Koenig could have been the French liaison officer for the "Germans" and a Bonaparte or Murat for the "Italians"?

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Régiment Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill

Post by Loïc » 06 Apr 2021 22:09

hello

a long tradition certainly...indeed, but modern Germany and its nationals were certainly not old Polish ally from a French perspective

one thing is the long multi-secular special relationship with Poland since King Henri III fled the Polish crown, the Polish Legions raised under the Revolutionary Napoleonic period and subsequent ressurection of the Great Duchy of Warsaw, again revival of a national Polish Army in 1917-1918, 1939-1940, at lesser degree in 1944-1945, on the french soil
and an other the "particular" relationship with the German nation since 1871, where even for a time the Foreign Legion was forbidden to germans after the war, and the French perspective was not really to see, other than mixed in the multinational Foreign Legion, any rearming of germans urbi et orbi in 1920 nor in 1930 nor 1935 nor 1940-1944, even for exiled and émigrés, nor 1954, and without the Soviet threat and US-OTAN/NATO who knows if the Bundeswehr would exist today...

I mentionned above that in 1944 there was an aborted attempt to raise a german regiment "Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill" by the KPD German communists and KFDW Komitee Freies Deutschland für den Westen
I didn't precise the explanation
this attempt, like others trying to constitute autonomous units in the maquis of the south, encountered very strong reluctance in the French Resistance at such point that the groups already formed were disarmed...

De l'exil à la Résistance
réfugiés et immigrés d'Europe centrale en France, 1933-1945
colloque international, Centre de recherche de l'Université de Paris VIII, Institut d'histoire du temps présent (CNRS)


Last specific "German" unit of the French Army before the 3 Saar Rhine Austrian battalions raised in may 1945 only for the Occupation was the (Free) Hanoverian Legion raised after the annexation by Prussia, in 1870-1871 it was sent to Algeria for the same problem as in 1940-1945, not to exposed their members to their compatriots

situation less desperate I thought for the Italians soldiers in France despite both non-recognition of the Armistice and the Italian Resistance and the fate of the Italian POW's in North Africa, there were at least 3 small Infantry, Artillery and Engineers "Garibaldian" units from former Italian soldiers and occupiers in the autumn 1944

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Re: Régiment Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 Apr 2021 02:11

Loïc wrote:
06 Apr 2021 22:09
hello

a long tradition certainly...indeed, but modern Germany and its nationals were certainly not old Polish ally from a French perspective

one thing is the long multi-secular special relationship with Poland since King Henri III fled the Polish crown, the Polish Legions raised under the Revolutionary Napoleonic period and subsequent ressurection of the Great Duchy of Warsaw, again revival of a national Polish Army in 1917-1918, 1939-1940, at lesser degree in 1944-1945, on the french soil
and an other the "particular" relationship with the German nation since 1871, where even for a time the Foreign Legion was forbidden to germans after the war, and the French perspective was not really to see, other than mixed in the multinational Foreign Legion, any rearming of germans urbi et orbi in 1920 nor in 1930 nor 1935 nor 1940-1944, even for exiled and émigrés, nor 1954, and without the Soviet threat and US-OTAN/NATO who knows if the Bundeswehr would exist today...

I mentionned above that in 1944 there was an aborted attempt to raise a german regiment "Corps Franc Ferdinand von Schill" by the KPD German communists and KFDW Komitee Freies Deutschland für den Westen
I didn't precise the explanation
this attempt, like others trying to constitute autonomous units in the maquis of the south, encountered very strong reluctance in the French Resistance at such point that the groups already formed were disarmed...

De l'exil à la Résistance
réfugiés et immigrés d'Europe centrale en France, 1933-1945
colloque international, Centre de recherche de l'Université de Paris VIII, Institut d'histoire du temps présent (CNRS)


Last specific "German" unit of the French Army before the 3 Saar Rhine Austrian battalions raised in may 1945 only for the Occupation was the (Free) Hanoverian Legion raised after the annexation by Prussia, in 1870-1871 it was sent to Algeria for the same problem as in 1940-1945, not to exposed their members to their compatriots

situation less desperate I thought for the Italians soldiers in France despite both non-recognition of the Armistice and the Italian Resistance and the fate of the Italian POW's in North Africa, there were at least 3 small Infantry, Artillery and Engineers "Garibaldian" units from former Italian soldiers and occupiers in the autumn 1944
Appreciate the thoughtful replies; interesting that the Soviets (after doing their best to destroy Poland, of course, in 1939-41) realized there were advantages to "allowing" Anders' forces to move south, and then to raise the LPW ("Berling's Army"); same for the Czech "exile" forces in the east, which were all somewhat different in make-up originally than (for example) the two Romanian infantry divisions the Soviets raised in 1943-44 , largely from POWs, but even the Romanian example is instructive ... Makes one wonder if the war had lasted (no idea how) if the Soviets would have raised "German" units for active operations.

So here's a question - did a figure like Pacciardi or von Golssenau (aka Renn), both professionally trained soldiers with combat experience in WW I and Spain, and undeniably anti-Fascist records, ever offer their services to the French, in 1942 or later?

If they (or one or the other) had done so, and offered to try and raise a battalion as pilot project from whatever manpower was available, would the French had said no?

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