How many non-Jewish German citizens fought on the Allied side during the war?

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Adonnus
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How many non-Jewish German citizens fought on the Allied side during the war?

Post by Adonnus » 02 Jul 2023 21:27

Remembering the German participants of the International Brigades the thought struck me that although there were some millions of German captured during the war, I couldn't recall any units of them forming to fight on the Allied side. Nor many reports of German citizens (apart from Jewish Germans who obviously had a reason to dislike the regime) joining up.

Were there any organised military formations of any size formed of German volunteers during the war?

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Sheldrake
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Re: How many non-Jewish German citizens fought on the Allied side during the war?

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Jul 2023 23:51

There are three obvious groupings, one of which is mythical

#1 By the end of the war there were plenty of former German PW in the Free Polish Army. The Germans set an inconsistent bar to classifying Polish citizens as German or Polish. Many Poles recruited or conscripted into the Wehrmacht were happy to serve Free Poland.

#2 The British recruited 10,000 men from German internees from mid war. Most were jews, but some were political refugees including Richard Lehrniger who was killed on Op Aquatint and is buried in St Laurent sur Mer cemetery on Omaha Beach. His gravestone is blank which indicates an atheist. The remarks on it suggest he was a communist.

#3 Towards the end of the war German troops on the East Front reported and beleived in attacks by German troops in the Red Army - Seydlitz troops. There is no documentary evidence for any German units raised by the Red Army.

Art
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Re: How many non-Jewish German citizens fought on the Allied side during the war?

Post by Art » 04 Jul 2023 19:41

Sheldrake wrote:
02 Jul 2023 23:51
#3 Towards the end of the war German troops on the East Front reported and beleived in attacks by German troops in the Red Army - Seydlitz troops. There is no documentary evidence for any German units raised by the Red Army.
There were cases of combat emplyment, yet small and isolated.
viewtopic.php?p=2473968#p2473968

In much larger number of cases "Free Germany" was employed in propaganda and intelligence.

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