SS-Division Charlemagne

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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GeneralFeldMarschall_List
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SS-Division Charlemagne

Post by GeneralFeldMarschall_List » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:09 am

Hello,

I am doing some research on French collaboration during WWII, and from previously reading about the Battle of Berlin, the Charlemagne division pops up frequently in accounts of the battle. My understanding is that it was formed mainly of die-hard anti-Communists and French nationalists from the far-right but beyond this I know very little. Is there anyone out there that can help?

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croat
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Charlemagne

Post by croat » Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:01 am

Please see this page of the Feldgrau site:

http://www.feldgrau.com/33ss.html
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Edelweiss.
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Post by Edelweiss. » Mon Oct 13, 2003 2:55 pm

The Waffen Grenadier der SS Division "Charlemagne" was formed in August 1944 (it was designated as 33rd SS Division "Charlemagne" in February 1945), when the Légion des Volontaires Français merged with the SS Sturmbrigade Frankreich to transfer the French volunteers over from the Heer, and into the Waffen SS. Previously, the LVF had been formed as early as June 1941, and fought on the Eastern Front, where it was engaged in bitter fighting during the Soviet winter offensive.

Approximately 8,000 Frenchmen volunteered for service either with the Heer, or the Waffen SS.

Image

Frenchmen of the LVF.

Marhsal Henri Phillipe-Petain, the Vichy Chief of State was a man with an impressive military record, who had served his nation with great distinction at Verdun, in 1916. He was known as the "Saviour of Verdun", and his arrival on the political scene was greeted with relief by much of the populace in June 1940.

The other chief collaborators were Pierre Laval (Vichy Prime Minister) and Joseph Darnand, member of the pro-Royalist, anti-Republican group, Action Français. Darnand was given the rank of SS-Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) and formed the Vichy French police force, the Milice Français.

Image

Joseph Darnand in French Army uniform.

The unit's history can be found at:
http://www.wssob.com/033divchl.html

Regards,
Edelweiss

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lato716
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Books about french and foreign volunteers in the german army

Post by lato716 » Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:25 am

You'll find somme books about the Charlemagne division here :
http://site.voila.fr/livrescharlemagne/
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Post by GeneralFeldMarschall_List » Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:18 am

Thanks very much.

Regards,

List

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Edelweiss.
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Post by Edelweiss. » Wed Oct 15, 2003 7:54 am

Image

Image showing General Joseph Darnand (Vichy Chief of Police/Secretary General) introducing new Charlemagne recruits to the German authorities.

Caption (roughly translated) reads: "6th January, 2035. Vichy General Secretary/Chief of Police Joseph Darnand visiting French Waffen SS volunteers of the 1st Regiment before departing to the Eastern Front."

Regards,
Edelweiss

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Post by Renech » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:16 am

Hi Edelweiss,

That picture shown above belongs to me and it is posted in my web site. I would appreciate it you asked permission to post stuff from my web site. I don't mind if I am asked? :evil:

Rene Chavez
Http://axis101.bizland.com

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Edelweiss.
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Post by Edelweiss. » Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:49 pm

That picture shown above belongs to me and it is posted in my web site. I would appreciate it you asked permission to post stuff from my web site. I don't mind if I am asked?
Of course, I should have asked you and I am sorry. It came up on a Google Image Search, and I didn't pay particular attention to the address before I clicked the "copy" option. I shall be more careful in the future. You have my apologies.

Regards,
Edelweiss

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Post by Renech » Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:40 pm

Hi Edelweiss,
Apologie accepted no hard feelings. For those that have not visited my site I have the picture posted in my web page relating to Charlemagne as well other legion stuff.

http://axis101.bizland.com/GermanInsignias1.htm
http://axis101.bizland.com/Charlemagne1.htm


Rene Chavez

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Post by Edelweiss. » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:48 pm

Great sites by the way! The Waffen SS (especially the foreign volunteers) are of particular interest to me.

Regards,
Edelweiss

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Post by Tom Houlihan » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:25 pm

Renech,

Where did you get that map???? :shock: That is sharp! Where can I get one?
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Post by Renech » Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:49 pm

Hi Tom,
I found this SS map from a back issue of Siegrunen no. 70 unfortunately is a small picture of the SS map. In Littlejohns book on Foreign Legions of the Third Reich you can find I believe a 1943 SS map. I am also looking for one, it would be neat to have a poster of the map. Perhaps somebody here knows where you can find one.

Rene
Http://axis101.bizland.com

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Post by Howard » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:21 am

Herr GeneralFeldMarschall,

you could also take a look at http://www.wssob.com/033divchl.html. This page gives a brief history of the unit and the whole site is dedicated to potted histories of SS units and provides many useful links for further research.
Regards

Howard

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Post by sid guttridge » Wed Nov 12, 2003 4:58 am

Hi List,

From memory, the Charlemagne Division was far from monolithic. Its senior infantry regiment was created around a cadre of anti-Comunist Frenchman who had served on the Eastern Front in the LVF since 1941-42. These veterans reportedly despised the junior infantry regiment, which was largely composed of Milice who had been the hard core of the Vichy French security services which had helped the Germans inside France in 1943-44.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Post by panzermahn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:36 am

i would like to know whether the rumour of a Japanese volunteer in Charlemagne division is true or not

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