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British Free Corps

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by SMJ, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. SMJ

    SMJ Member

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    Hi again

    Is any of the members in the British Free Corps still alive?

    If so, does any one have any adresses to them?

    Thanks;
    SMJ
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I've heard there were a few still living, including Chapman, the only Brit to be decorated with the Iron Cross in ww2. Last I heard on him was that he was living somewhere in Jersey and was very ill and he might have passed away by now.

    I don't have any addresses for any of them either. :(
     
  3. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    On the off-chance of sounding ignorant; The Chapman mentioned here, is that Eddie Chapman, who wrote the book I KILLED TO LIVE, the story of Eric Pleasants?
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    It is Eddie Chapman. I had not known there was a book? im going to have to search for a copy. Thanks for the info ;)
     
  5. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    I bought a copy last year for $20-30 if I remember correctly. This is a Cassel Ltd.(london) production from 1957. It sometimes read as a adventure boy story. Interesting though. Don't expect an in-depth thesis on the British Free Corps. This is more a memoirs, which seems sometimes romanticized, but in all honesty I couldn't substanciate that with facts.

    Check www.abebooks.com They have a few copies available for $15-20.

    [ 17 January 2002: Message edited by: Stevin Oudshoorn ]</p>
     
  6. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    To be honest I am afraid the British Free Corps (if you are referring to the SS unit) is the only group in the Waffen SS I have anything against (with the exception of those who committed atrocities obviously). Dont know why, I suppose it is because they betrayed their country. Then again why dont I have any similar problems with other volunteer units? They did the same thing. Maybe the fact it is my country, I know many europeans who feel the same about their respective volunteer units. I think maybe much of it is to do with the fact that they were not actualy in Europe, they left the UK to join the SS. Anyway, enough of that, I am just proud their numbers were always small.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Believe it or not but, there could have also been an American Freikorps SS unit too.

    In SS Sturmbrigade Langemarck, there were several Americans serving in that unit according to that units only Knights Cross Recipient, when I visited him in Hagen in Sept 2000.

    For a unit the "smaller" size of Langemarck, to have had several Americans in it makes it very possible that at least a few other Waffen SS units had Americans as well.

    If the numbers of several in a smaller unit could be translated into larger Division-sized units could mean that there could have been enough Americans to possibly make a few Platoons or maybe a Company sized unit.
     
  8. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    As for Americans in the SS; I think the estimate I have seen ranges from 5 to 12, no more, and they never served as a 'US' unit as such. I wish I had the two links where this was discussed, but since my server-crash I never tried to look up these pages again. Sorry I cannot substanciate this by any links or facts. Apparantly the 'introduction' of British and US citizens into the SS was no succes, except for inividual cases. Might I suggest the book RENEGADES by Adrian Weale. I believe this book is under some critizism, but so far the best study I have found on the BFC. Mr. Weale used to be a frequent visitor to the feldgrau.com bullitinboard. That is also where I found the links to the above mentioned pages, I guess. Otherwise, go to www.google.com and type in British Free Corps and that should give you a listing of the pages I mentioned.

    As for the joining of over 20,000 Dutchmen into the Waffen SS; Of course there is controversy regarding this. Here the SS is seen as the epitamy of Nazi cruelty and therefor all those who joined the SS must have been hardened Nazi criminals. Studying the Dutch involvement in the SS, I have found, like so many things, things are just not as black and white as that. Sure, people joined for ideology reasons, but others did join with 'adventure' in mind, or to fight communism, without being so much politaclly inclined. Certainly later in the war that was the case. That however doesn't take away the fact that many of these men fought heroic battles in Russia and in defense of Germany in the Wiking, Nordland and later the 23rd SS 'Nederland' divisions and therefor their worth as military divisions. As for myself, I find it interesting as to why many decided to join the SS, while others joined the resistance against the German occupation forces.
     

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