German Legion des Voluntaires

french-soldiers-of-the-german-legion-des-voluntaires-unit

The Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism was a militia of Vichy France founded on 8 July 1941. It volunteered to fight against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. It was officially known by its German designation, the 638th Infantry Regiment (Infanterieregiment 638).

By October 1941, there were two battalions of 2,271 men which had 181 officers and an additional staff of 35 German officers. They fought the Soviet Union Red Army as part of the foreign contingent of the German Army. They were sent into combat near Moscow in November 1941 as part of the 7th Infantry Division. The LVF lost half their numbers in action or through frostbite. In 1942 the men were assigned to anti-partisan duties in the Byelorussian SSR (Belarus). At the same time, another unit was formed in France, La Légion Tricolore (Tricolor Regiment) but this unit was absorbed into the LVF six months later.

LVF

During the spring of 1942, the LVF was reorganized with only the 1st and 3rd battalions. The LVF’s French commander, Colonel Roger Labonne, was relieved in mid-1942, and the unit was attached to various German divisions until June 1943 when Colonel Edgar Puaud took command. The two independent battalions were again united in a single regiment and continued fighting partisans in Ukraine. In early 1944, the unit again took part in anti-partisan duties. In June 1944, the LVF was called into action when Army Group Centre‘s front collapsed under the Red Army‘s summer offensive. The LVF was attached to the 4th SS Police Regiment and fought in a delaying action.

64c99ebe79712c1bdaeedcc907ecbe72

A new recruiting drive in Vichy France attracted 3,000 applicants, mostly members of the militia and university students. The new formation was known as the 8th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade France. On 1 September 1944, the Legion of French Volunteers was officially disbanded. A new unit, the Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS “Charlemagne”, was formed out of the remnants of the LVF and French Sturmbrigade, which was also disbanded. In February 1945, the Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade was officially upgraded to a division and became the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French). At that time it had a strength of 7,340 men.

 

 

Advertisements
Published in: on October 26, 2018 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://americannationalsocialist.com/2018/10/26/german-legion-des-voluntaires/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s