Archive Documents and Sidebar Essays


Sidebar Essays


SS Units

Army Units

Other Units

Archive Documents

Chapter 2

Himmler busies himself on 29 June 1941 with details worked out with Hitler for the employment of the volunteers for the Norwegian Legion, their uniforms, oath, transport, etc. NARA T175/106/2629090-91.

Berger reports to Himmler over developments since the Hitler decree over the use of foreign volunteers: the Army will not permit any combination of French and Walloon Belgian units, just as the SS wish to keep Flemings and Dutch separate; the Swedish interest in sending a military commission is not desired, etc. NARA T175/106/2629026-27.

SS Major Dr. Franz Riedweg, later chief of the Germanic Directorate, reports on a 7 July 1941 conference among various departments and ministries on the formation of volunteer units from occupied and neutral states. The Foreign Office made the request that the Waffen-SS take responsibility for the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish [did not materialize], Dutch and Flemish, and the Wehrmacht [i.e. Army] the other nationalities. NARA T175/106/26290229-32.

The commander of the Danish Freikorps, Major von Schalburg's Order of the Day, No. 70 of 22 May 1942. NARA T580/71/Orden335.

Army staff note citing organization of French Infantry Regiment 638 [LVF], note at end of second of three paragraphs below schematic cites transfer to Waffen-SS effective 19 August 1944. NARA T78/412/6380726.

The commander of the French Legion, Edgar Puaud, sent year's end 1943 greetings to Marshal Petain, in this telegram from the "... Frenchmen fighting on the Eastern Front for the Fatherland and a New Europe ....". NARA T77/833/5571642.

Army staff note citing organization of Walloon Battalion 373. NARA T78/412/6380731.

Chapter 3

A memo from the Army High Command Staff, quoting a December 31, 1941 report from the East Prussia-Königsberg sector on the conduct of Spanish officers and troops, emphasizing the unbridled nocturnal revelling of the officers and the shabby deportment of the troops in public, among other heinous activities! NARA OKH files.

Chapter 4

These former French officers and cadets reported to the 1st Special Course 10 January - 11March 1944 convened by the SS Cadet School, Bad Tölz. From Cance File, BDC [author copy].

The first page of Pierre Cance's personnel file as a French volunteer in the Waffen-SS, shows his vital statistics and promotions through the grade of major. BDC copy in author's possession.

Army staff note citing the transfer of Walloon Battalion 373 to the Waffen-SS on 1 June 1943. NARA T78/412/6380730.

Chapter 5

An exasperated letter from the rear area security commander of Army Group North to the army group commander, pleading that the Spanish Legion, now arriving in the Taps region of Estonia, be ordered out of his area, as he has already endured two years of the undisciplined Spaniards and their uncivilized behavior. NARA T77/833/5571642.

Memo in OKW Foreign Units Command 10 May 1944: notes to date 60 Spanish recruited in France, sent to Königsberg. These men wished to serve in the German forces under German, not Spanish leadership. T77/885/5634630.

OKW Foreign Units Command Telegram 16 May 1944 stating only 1 Spaniard remains in Versailles [where recruits crossing the Pyrenees to join the German forces were to be collected]; 1 officer and 10 men sent May 11 to Königsberg. NARA T77/885/5634629.

OKW Foreign Unit Command, file note 16 Dec. 1944: notes the disbanding of a Spanish company in Army Group South, further orders disbanded the Spanish Training Battalion, including the liaison personnel formerly with the Spanish Legion, also the Spanish Volunteer Replacement Battalion in Military District XVII (Vienna), personnel to be sent to the SS. Thus all Spanish volunteers to be absorbed by the SS. NARA T77/885/5634561.

Military District XVII (Vienna) establishes the Spanish Volunteer Companies 101 and 102 upon disbanding the Volunteer Training and Replacement Battalions, Stockerau and Hollabrunn (Austria) on 26 January 1945. The companies, with German liaison personnel attached, were assigned to the 357th Infantry Division. Unsuitable Spanish personnel were to be used as laborers. NARA T79/94/672-3.

Handwritten note in Army Staff files on Spanish volunteer formations: notes attachment of the 101st /102nd Spanish Volunteer Companies to the 357th Infantry Division; further recruitment of Spanish volunteers to cease, all Spaniards of no further use to be sent to labor units, authorized on 24 January 1945, effective 30 January 1945. NARA T78/412/6380884.

Chapter 6

By the summer, 1943, the statistics of recruitment for the legions program could be compared to the regular Waffen-SS recruiting, supporting Himmler's decision to merge the two into a new series of formations. T175/59/2574714.


The formulation of "Guidelines for the employment of foreign volunteers in the struggle against the Soviet Union" was entrusted to General Keitel's OKW staff, produced here in a cable to foreign missions. The cable and two annexes detailed matters of uniform, equipment, administrative, logistic, and legal procedures, etc. NARA T175/106/2629033-40.


A European Anabasis — Western European Volunteers
in the German Army and SS, 1940-1945