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Hitler's Indian army Legion Free India

During the Second world war, 4000 Indian soldiers fought on the side of Nazi Germany. The "Legion Free India" was hoping for German support in the fight for India's independence - in vain.

The "Legion Free India" was a unit consisting of around 4000 Indian soldiers who fought in the Second world war on the side of Nazi Germany - a Regime that she looked at people as inferior.

That there was this Legion, however, was mainly due to one man: Chandra Bose, Indian Nationalist and freedom fighter. Together with Mahatma Gandhi, he rebelled against the British colonial rule over India. However, unlike the pacifist Gandhi violence came in for Bose as a means out of the question.

Nazi leadership should be convinced

As in Europe, the Second world war broke out and Britain under German attack suffered, saw Chandra Bose came to the hour in India. On Indian websites today recordings are disseminated, showing how Bose wanted to at the time, the Nazi Elite for his cause to convince. "In this battle for India, a battle to be or not to Be, there can be only one common output, which is Our common victory", propagated by Bose.

Chandra Bose with Heinrich Himmler in 1941.

in 1941, met Chandra Bose in Berlin, with the Nazi Elite. He convinced the Germans to form a fighting force from the Indians. They recruited mainly from the Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British.

The Indian historian Anirudh Desphande studied with the Motivation of Chandra Bose and his Legion. According to his assessment, many of the Indian legionaries were from the victory of Germany is convinced. "You wanted to stand on the side of the winner."

majority refused to allow the Legion

The most Indian-origin soldiers in German captivity refused, however, to the Nazis. Only about one in five had Chandra Bose's Vision convince. With the Nazi regime, he agreed that the Indian Legion should be deployed to the Front. Bose had a different idea: The Legion should lead the advance of the Wehrmacht to India.

On web sites of Indian nationalists, Nazi-Propaganda Videos circulating. They show how the third Reich knew how to use the Indian Legion for his purposes. Adolf Hitler, however, was never convinced supporters of the Indian Legion. "In one of his Speeches he called the Legion a joke. As a racist, he was generally not impressed with the fighting abilities of Non-Europeans," says the historian Anirudh Desphande

Erwin Rommel during the inspection of a unit of the Indian Legion in France, 1944. The Nazi leadership used the Legion for their own purposes.

escape via U-boat

Bose's dream of an invasion of India ended abruptly, as the Wehrmacht was in the Stalingrad reamed. The fight of the Germans on the Eastern front seemed to be having a not very promising for the Indian thing. In a secret operation, he was, therefore, by U-boat back to Asia to smuggle to the freedom struggle from there to continue.

The 4000 soldiers of the Indian Legion remained in the German Reich. They had lost their ideological leader, were now to Keep guard at the Atlantic wall and later on the southern coast of France are used.

As the war drew to its end, the Legion of the SS. On the side of German troops, it came to retreating battles in France. The Legion suffered the first losses. She was also in war crimes, complicit, says historian Anirudh Deshpande. "It is documented that parts of the Legion is extremely cruel to resistance fighters have behavior."

towards the end of the war, the Indian Legion was part of the Waffen-SS.

- free spells

The end of the Legion's little honor was shooting full. The soldiers were made by the allied troops, as they were just about to escape on lake Constance, in the direction of Switzerland. The French are some of the Indians out of revenge, shot. The rest of the men were handed over to the British. This shipped the prisoners back to India.

There they were all before the court, but were acquitted, or received lenient sentences. "The Indian army didn't want them and so they merged and with the civil society," says Desphande.

In India, the presence of nationalists always try to glorify the Legion as a heroic unit. With moderate success. In their home country, hardly anyone today remembers the story of the 4000 soldiers who had vainly hoped, to the top of the Wehrmacht in India to invade.

the Legion Free India
Sebastian Manz, NDR,
06.06.2019 19:56 PM

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Legion Free India, Sebastian Manz, NDR |audio news Atlas |India |New-Delhi


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