How many French citizens served in the German forces?

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Peter T Davis, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    Does anyone know how many people from France served for Germany during the Second World War? I seem to recall seeing some statistics that broke it down by how many served in the Wehrmacht, how many served in the Luftwaffe, how many served in the SS, and so on. I can't seem to find that source now though.
  2. Steed

    Steed Member

    The 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division, SS Charlemagne was made up of some 7300 French fascists who decided it would be a wonderful idea to betray their country.

    I'll look for the figures on the Luftwaffe and other services.
    The whole issue of collaboration with the occupying Nazis and the Vichy regime is an intensely sensitive subject still today in France 70 years on.

    On a lighter note, I heard a nice story the other day. When the British invaded Vichy held Madagascar in May 1942, one of the British officers had the satisfaction of capturing his old French teacher at junior school in bed with two local girls.
    Revenge is sweet!
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  3. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I am more interested in what happened to the traitors after the war. Every country had their fair share of traitors or collaborators during WWII.

    Local girls? I hope they are not the junior school girls.
    What did he do with that French teacher?
  4. Steed

    Steed Member

    Of course he captured his former French teacher who then spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. What happened to him on his return to France I don't know, but I imagine that together with many other Vichy collaborators he would have faced a French court and sentenced accordingly.

    The local girls weren't from the junior school, no no. What I'm saying is that the officer, when he was a boy, had a French teacher, ok? And 10 years or so later, in the invasion of Madagascar he slams open the door of a hut, gun ready to fire at the enemy, and finds that enemy to be 1) his old teacher and 2) fast asleep with two ladies. Obviously he didn't favour the prisoner for that, probably quite the opposite when you find someone you previously respected has now turned traitor.

    Collaborators in France were executed, sent to prison, or publicly humiliated. The problem was not so much in identifying the Vichy French collaborators in uniform or known girlfriends of the occupying Nazis, but the secret civilian Gestapo informers. Even today there are still some people under a cloud of suspicion that has never been settled.
  5. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I'm sure there was a huge backlash for traitors who served the Germans. A lot of people thought Germany could not be stopped. They were extremely powerful, and had a very good chance of taking over all of Europe. Fortunately for us, Hitler was too greedy and his forces became too thin to continue taking over the world.

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