By Christophe Leguerandais
From 1941 to 1945, a large number of foreign soldiers were incorporated into the ranks of the German army in order to compensate for the enormous losses suffered by the Wehrmacht, including thousands of French. Whether fighting against the Soviets on the Eastern Front, with the Afrika-Korps in Tunisia or fighting with the occupying army in France, these volunteers generally took the plunge to join the Germans with the authorization of their own government, even though there was never any 'formal link' to the Vichy regime. For the first time in the English language, this book provides details of the units' various insignias, along with rare and previously unpublished and personal photographs of the few surviving members interviewed by the author. As a result, a new vision of these collaborators emerges, allowing them to be regarded as adventurers or even nationalists. After all, despite being clothed in the "enemy's" uniform, the majority of these soldiers respected their oath of allegiance, often giving their lives in return.
I bought this at a greatly reduced sale price. I would guess that it is a recent translation of an existing French book? Light(ish) on text, but with a lot of photos that I have never seen before, it shines a light on an area that probably doesn’t receive much air time, Frenchmen fighting for the Nazis. Interesting book at the price I paid, but missing any analysis or personal recollections as to these men’s’ motivations for donning German uniform - perhaps unsurprising, given the casualty rates of their units, harsh reprisals after the war, and the probability that these men did all they could to surpress their past if they managed to survive combat or capture.