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French naval volunteers in the Kriegsmarine

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    French naval volunteers
    "In February 1944, the German Navy began to appeal for French volunteers, the main recruiting office being at Caen in Normandy. But, as with other branches of the German armed forces, individual enlistment had certainly taken place before that late date, especially in the traditional coastal regions of Brittany and Normandy. Up to 2000 Frenchmen served in the German Kriegsmarine in World War II. In France, the German Navy also raised an indigenous naval police known as the Kriegsmarine Wehrmänner.
    Another separate naval police unit of French volunteers was the Kriegswerftpolizei. This unit consisted of some 259-300 Frenchmen who assisted in guarding the important U-Boat base at La Pallice near La Rochelle in the Bay of Biscay. The Allied invasion of France in June 1944 does not appear to have deterred the German Navy from continuing its attempts to recruit Frenchmen. For example, the Journal de Rouen dated 29 June 1944, three weeks after the Allied landings, carried an advertisement urging young Frenchmen to join the Kriegsmarine. It stated: "To be a sailor is to have a trade, enlist today in the German Navy."

    German War Machine : : infoDetails
     
  2. Herr

    Herr Member

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    Interesting,the Kriegsmarine had many foreign volunteers, from Croations, to Dutchmen, however many did not have their national shield on the uniform I read.
    Thanks for sharing

    Herr
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Most interesting Falk, this is the first time I hear about this. I will try to find out if there are French sources for this too.
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks Skipper I would appreciate the extra info :).
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    after questioning some vets. I learned that the 1940 armistice allowed some French Marine firemen to wear their uniforms in the city of Nantes . The Germans would salute them and when there were fights in bars, it would not be the French against the Germans but sailors against infantery! These men were however non combat units (they were firemen)
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Found this in another thread I made awhile back,

    "6) Kriegsmarine (1943-1945).
    93 officers
    3000 NCOs and men
    160 engineers
    680 technicians
    served on ships and in coastal batteries as normal "Matrose" and "Gefreiter".

    7) Kriegsmarinewerftpolizei "La Pallice" in La Rochelle and Kriegsmarinewehrmänner.
    about 200 French men protecting the naval installations in La Rochelle.
    Possible same kind of units in Saint Nazaire and Bordeaux."
     
  7. Jan7

    Jan7 Member

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    Any of these persons are enlisted in the U-Boote?



    Jan.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I don't have that info. There may have been as individuals.
     
  9. Ripvulcan

    Ripvulcan Member

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    I remember seeing a photograph of a Norwegian sailor in the Kriegsmarine and a crewman in the Ubootwaffe. On his left sleeve he wore the shield insignia of the Norwegian Frikorps/Freikorps, or some similar device, which incorporated the Norwegian flag, if my memory is correct. I am sure there were foreign volunteers in the Kriegsmarine and he Ubootwaffe, but clearly not on the same scale as the Waffen-SS or even perhaps the army. Danes and Norwegians I think were eligible to join the German army and perhaps the other German armed forces in the 1930s. Conceivably before the war, there would have a been a sizeable number of eligible Danes and Norwegians in the German armed forces as they would have joined the German armed forces to escape the effects of the Depression which were still being felt in Denmark and Norway.
     

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