Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
Komi
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Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Komi » 15 Apr 2021 12:29

My understanding is that many of the recruits for the British Free Corps came from POWs, as well as sympathisers/members of the British Union of Fascists. Germany certainly captured its share of Americans during the war, and the US had its own pre-war fascist movement in the Silvershirts, so why did no American equivalent to the British Free Corps exist?

I know the British Free Corps was a minuscule unit overall, and I also know there were some Americans who ended up in the Wehrmacht or SS (mostly those of German descent) ... but my point is that there seems to have been no foreign-volunteer unit composed of Americans as there was for British/Commonwealth citizens. Why was this?

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by LineDoggie » 28 Apr 2021 01:44

They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 28 Apr 2021 05:01

Komi wrote:
15 Apr 2021 12:29
My understanding is that many of the recruits for the British Free Corps came from POWs, as well as sympathisers/members of the British Union of Fascists. Germany certainly captured its share of Americans during the war, and the US had its own pre-war fascist movement in the Silvershirts, so why did no American equivalent to the British Free Corps exist?

I know the British Free Corps was a minuscule unit overall, and I also know there were some Americans who ended up in the Wehrmacht or SS (mostly those of German descent) ... but my point is that there seems to have been no foreign-volunteer unit composed of Americans as there was for British/Commonwealth citizens. Why was this?
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Komi » 28 Apr 2021 11:04

LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 05:01
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?
And the men who joined the British Free Corps in 1943 didn't?

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by LineDoggie » 28 Apr 2021 16:32

Komi wrote:
28 Apr 2021 11:04
LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.



I had a neighbor who was of German heritage. His father born in Brooklyn, served in the imperial german army as a maxim gunner during ww1 and then the friekorps before coming home. The father sent him to Germany in 38. He wound up in the Luftwaffe as anti aircraft crew before becoming a field division infantryman. He said he was given every crap detail (digging latrines) as he wasnt trusted much because he was Amerikaner, never got higher than Flieger. Captured at Normandy by the 5th division, after release joined the USAAF and stayed until 1955 with the USAF. Tour in Korea as a crew chief, left a master sergeant.

Not a fan of Goering as you can imagine.
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Sheldrake
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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Apr 2021 17:40

how about William Joyce? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joyce

A major contribution to the psychological war against Britain

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Apr 2021 17:48

Hi komi,

I suspect because Americans are not a race and race was a central Nazi fixation.

German Americans were considered recoverable German ethnic stock and so did not merit or require their own unit. They could serve in the Wehrmacht, as some did: https://www.axishistory.com/books/137-g ... -waffen-ss

Other Americans of European stock fitted into existing European ethnicities, for most of which the German Army or Waffen-SS had units.

African Americans were never going to be recruited by the Nazis on racial grounds and I doubt there were significant numbers of native Americans captured anyway. I doubt the Nazis even had a policy regarding the latter.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Komi » 28 Apr 2021 19:12

Sheldrake wrote:
28 Apr 2021 17:40
how about William Joyce? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joyce

A major contribution to the psychological war against Britain
Sure, but one man does not make a unit. I was referring to the lack of a collaborationist unit of Americans as there was for British/Dominion turncoats with the British Free Corps (even if that "unit" was barely platoon sized).
Sid Guttridge wrote:
28 Apr 2021 17:48
Hi komi,

I suspect because Americans are not a race and race was a central Nazi fixation.

German Americans were considered recoverable German ethnic stock and so did not merit or require their own unit. They could serve in the Wehrmacht, as some did: https://www.axishistory.com/books/137-g ... -waffen-ss

Other Americans of European stock fitted into existing European ethnicities, for most of which the German Army or Waffen-SS had units.

African Americans were never going to be recruited by the Nazis on racial grounds and I doubt there were significant numbers of native Americans captured anyway. I doubt the Nazis even had a policy regarding the latter.

Cheers,

Sid.
Interesting theory. Regarding Native-Americans I've heard that the Nazis sent spies disguised as anthropologists to reservations in the 1930s to suss out potential anti-USA collaborators, and there's also a claim thrown around on the internet that at least one tribe (the Sioux) were declared "honorary Aryans". But I dunno how much of that is true. And in any case, as you say, I doubt there were sufficient numbers of Native-American POWs who would have been willing to form a "Free Corps". Although there is an interesting story of a Native-American activist in the Pacific-Northwest before the war who was vocally pro-Nazi: https://crosscut.com/2016/12/native-ame ... ood-tanner

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Sheldrake
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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Apr 2021 21:12

Hitler was a big Western fan and may have bought into the Ayran Injuns idea - its the same concept that permitted Native Americans to serve in white units of the US Army.

There is evidence to support Sid's "theory". Bruno Frieser was a Canadian German veteran of 7th Panzer Division. In his memoirs, "Panzer Gunner", he describes how his father relocated his family of Volga German origin from Canada to Germany in 1938-9 in response to the offers to welcome all ethnic Germans to the Reich. If you were an American or Canadian GERMAN it was the latter that mattered.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 28 Apr 2021 22:58

Komi wrote:
28 Apr 2021 11:04
LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 05:01
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?
And the men who joined the British Free Corps in 1943 didn't?
Perhaps not, given your own post.

Not to single out Lindbergh, but even he tried to join up, and ended up overseas as a civilian contractor and flew multiple combat missions. Mosley was interned until 1943 and then under house arrest; interesting contrast.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Apr 2021 23:24

Hi daveshoup,

Mosley and Lindbergh were rather different. Mosley was the leader of a Fascist party. Lindbergh was a private , though prominent individual who was a high profile neutralist and isolationist.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 28 Apr 2021 23:30

Sid Guttridge wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:24
Hi daveshoup,

Mosley and Lindbergh were rather different. Mosley was the leader of a Fascist party. Lindbergh was a private , though prominent individual who was a high profile neutralist and isolationist.

Cheers,

Sid.
Lindbergh was the most prominent ex-military officer in the US who advocated publicly, and had a public following, for an accommodation with Germany before the war broke out; Mosley was the same in the UK. The parallels are pretty clear.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by LineDoggie » 29 Apr 2021 00:04

daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 22:58
Komi wrote:
28 Apr 2021 11:04
LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 05:01
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?
And the men who joined the British Free Corps in 1943 didn't?
Perhaps not, given your own post.

Not to single out Lindbergh, but even he tried to join up, and ended up overseas as a civilian contractor and flew multiple combat missions. Mosley was interned until 1943 and then under house arrest; interesting contrast.
Mosley's son won the MC in Italy with the Rifle Brigade
Col Lindbergh still held a reserve commission and hard for some to remember but JFK & Gerry Ford were both America Firster's
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Takao
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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by Takao » 29 Apr 2021 21:25

LineDoggie wrote:
29 Apr 2021 00:04
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 22:58
Komi wrote:
28 Apr 2021 11:04
LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 05:01
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?
And the men who joined the British Free Corps in 1943 didn't?
Perhaps not, given your own post.

Not to single out Lindbergh, but even he tried to join up, and ended up overseas as a civilian contractor and flew multiple combat missions. Mosley was interned until 1943 and then under house arrest; interesting contrast.
Mosley's son won the MC in Italy with the Rifle Brigade
Col Lindbergh still held a reserve commission and hard for some to remember but JFK & Gerry Ford were both America Firster's
America First was not a pro-Nazi group, and their members joined for a variety of reasons.

The American pro-Nazis joined the Bund.

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Re: Why was there no American equivalent to the British Free Corps?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 30 Apr 2021 05:28

LineDoggie wrote:
29 Apr 2021 00:04
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 22:58
Komi wrote:
28 Apr 2021 11:04
LineDoggie wrote:
28 Apr 2021 01:44
They had the traitor Martin James Monti a Defecting USAAF pilot who became a Waffen-SS Untersturmführer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_James_Monti
Yes I've heard of him. As I mentioned there were American individuals who ended up in the German armed forces, but there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to recruit a unit of them, even a minuscule one like the British Free Corps. I was curious why that was the case.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 05:01
Because even the most deluded bundist in 1939 knew the odds in 1942 and afterwards?
And the men who joined the British Free Corps in 1943 didn't?
Perhaps not, given your own post.

Not to single out Lindbergh, but even he tried to join up, and ended up overseas as a civilian contractor and flew multiple combat missions. Mosley was interned until 1943 and then under house arrest; interesting contrast.
Mosley's son won the MC in Italy with the Rifle Brigade
Col Lindbergh still held a reserve commission and hard for some to remember but JFK & Gerry Ford were both America Firster's
Mosley's son was, presumably, an honorable individual. Lindbergh, albeit a fellow traveler in the 1930s, was decent enough to offer his services against the Axis. He was also a generation older than Ford and JFK; presumably he should have known better. Mosley certainly should have.

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