Japanese volunteer in Normandy

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.
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Daniel L
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Japanese volunteer in Normandy

Post by Daniel L » 24 Aug 2003 17:59

I found this picture on corbis.com. I thought some members might be interested in seeing this 'exotic' photo, the soldier is being iterrogated by an American officer. I'm not certain that this soldier is Japanese but atleast that's what the text said. I recall reading about a Korean soldier who found his way to Normandy, perhaps this is him?

Best regards/ Daniel
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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 24 Aug 2003 19:38

Could he not be a Russian from one that countries far eastern provinces, captured by the Germans and serving in either an Ost-Btn or as a Hiwi?, then again he could be Japanese or Korean.

Andy H

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 24 Aug 2003 19:43

Well he looks more like coming from Japan or Korea to me. Perhaps any of our Asian members can help us?

Best regards/ Daniel

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 24 Aug 2003 20:00

I agree with Andy. There were several Ost-Bataillonen in Normandy and he can well be a "volunteer" ex-Soviet soldier. I can't say if that guy looks Japanese, Korean or Mongol but for sure he is Asian.

But if the US war correspondents have done good job and wrote that this guy is Japanese then he probably is.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 24 Aug 2003 20:32

I just looked over some of the photos of Kalmuck & Turkestani volunteers in "The East came West: Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist volunteers in the German Armed Forces" by Antonio J. Munoz and I must say that these volunteers could easily be mistaken for Japanese.

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/Marcus

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madplan
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Post by madplan » 25 Aug 2003 01:42

I've seen that photo before, in the subtitle they say he was an korean, but can tell if it's true but some of the russians sure look alot like asian to me...

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Post by Panzermahn » 25 Aug 2003 03:30

Marcus,

can you scanned some of those pictures for me. Please PM me because i'm helping out my friend to regarding asian volunteers in wehrmacht and Waffen SS 1941-1945


D. Lowenhamm,

please go to my friend's Alvin's webpage if you want more pictures of asian volunteers

http://www.geocities.com/alvinlee_81/WarPics1.jpg


That guy most probably chinese or japanese but i had to said it is a japanese

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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » 25 Aug 2003 03:39

Harri wrote:But if the US war correspondents have done good job and wrote that this guy is Japanese then he probably is.


Harri, I've been to Japan, Korea, the P.I., and Hong Kong. I am well aware that there are distinct ways to determine some people's ethnicity by looking at certain physical features. I still don't get it right all the time!!! To most Occidentals, who have never experienced the Orient first hand, all Asians look alike!

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Post by varjag » 25 Aug 2003 11:53

Forgot where I read it - but the US Troops did capture a couple of Tibetan shepherds in Wehrmacht uniforms that puzzled their interrogators for quite some time before their origins was established. There was a long and complex story about how they ended up in the Wehrmacht - but given they spoke a lingo nobody could understand - but with bellies that followed the kitchen-smells - it did make sense. Could it be one of them?

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Post by Windward » 25 Aug 2003 12:18

Korea was one part of Japanese Empire from 1910 to 1945, all Korean living there became Japanese citizens, so a Korean could also be called as "Japanese" de jure. I think this boy could not be a real Japanese, more likely Korean. I can identify them roughly, for they have difference facial features. But I think this guy maybe not a Japanese/Korean immigration or volunteer, for Japan itself was lacking of soldiers too. You know there were millions of Korean immigrations living in Manchuria and Far East Russia before WW2, and those Korean people who live in Russia were exiled to central Asia in 1938/1939. Some of them joined the red army and were captured by Wehrmacht, then some of them joined German military force. Those Korean captives were treated better than Russian captives, for they were ill-treated by Stalin and were considered as an enemy of the Soviet government. 30 million brethrens of them were citizen of allied Japan, German must consider this fact.

I discussed this picture with some Chinese friends living abroad, one in Japan and one in UK. Both of them said that boy's appearance like a Korean.

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 25 Aug 2003 14:12

Thanks for the inputs, interesting. The site on geocities can't be viewed at the moment.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 25 Aug 2003 15:02

That man looks very Mongolian to me. I suspect he could be a Soviet national from Siberia...

FB
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Post by FB » 25 Aug 2003 15:39

I really don't remeber where I read about it but there were Koreans in the German Army that ended up their odissey in USA hands in France.

To cut the long story short this is how it happened.

They were enlisted in the Japanese Army, when their Country was (as already mentioned) part of the Japanese Empire.

They were involved in the fightings between the Japanese and the Russian Army during the thirties and fell prisoners of the Russians. The were then transferred westwards in some Russian prisoners camp.

Then Russia was invaded by Germany and eventually their prisoners camp was liberated by the Germans and the Koreans were freed and enlisted in the German Army. Their Unit was one of those that were deploied in order to defend tha continent against the Allied invasion.

They (finally) surrendered to the Americans.

I don't know what happened of them afterwards nor I do know if this incredible story is really true.

Best regards

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EER
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Post by EER » 28 Aug 2003 00:10

If you go to ww2.masterzen.net and look under the "facts" section, it tells about a Korean captured by the Russians then drafted into the German army, then captured at Normandy.

Here's something related: according to the site [link removed by moderator], a Japanese man served in the Charlemagne SS division.

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 28 Aug 2003 09:37

EER, plase don't post links to that kind of sites.

Here's the qoute.

masterzen.net wrote:A man of Korean descent in German uniform was captured by Allied forces during the Normandy campaign. He apparently had been drafted into the Japanese Army before the war, captured by the Soviets during the Khalkhin-Gol incident in 1939, drafted into the Red Army, later captured by the Germans in the Eastern Front, drafted into the German Army and transferred to France.


Best regards/ Daniel

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