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Forum LockedSS in Vietnam

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DukeC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: SS in Vietnam
    Posted: 19-May-2006 at 14:25
I remember reading that the French hired a battalion of former German SS soldiers to fight in Vietnam in the early 1950s. They operated for for about 3 years and virtually shut down travel on what would become the Ho Chi Minh trail. They were know as the Battalion of the Damned.
 
Does anyone have any more information on this unit?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aghart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 14:40
I once read a book written my a member of that force.  They were all French Foreign Legion and worked with the French Para's. 
 
I recall clearly one episode in the book where they had identified the location of a Viet minh regiment in the jungle and then positioned  a heavy machine gun at each of 3 positons around them.  They then called in a French air strike at night, at the correct time each MG opened fire with 100% tracer ammunition in the direction of one their own guns!!
 
The result was a "triangle" of tracer fire easily visable to the approaching French aircraft who simply had to drop their bombs and rockets within the marked target area!!


Edited by aghart - 25-May-2006 at 09:28
Former Tank Commander (Chieftain)& remember, Change is inevitable!!! except from vending machines
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 14:53
many Wehrmacht and probably Waffen SS soldiers as well were "unemployed" after the end of WW2 and joined ranks with the French Foreign Legion, this is a well known fact.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 14:55
 
Do you remember the name of the book?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote machine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2006 at 11:03

I read that the SS men had the choice of prison or service.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dampier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2006 at 18:00
Yeah they had to join or prison, hence why the French Foreign legion was so tough in Indo China. Its a great story and I may suggest it next time I meet a friend who makes documentaries.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2006 at 13:55
well this was a win-win situation, after ww2 the german army had to be dissolved while the french army had to be rebuild.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2006 at 14:10
Originally posted by Temujin

well this was a win-win situation, after ww2 the german army had to be dissolved while the french army had to be rebuild.
 
Win-win for the French and Germans but not the Viet Minh. The battalion killed 7,466 guerrillas, destroyed 211 bases and liberated 311 political prisoners.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aghart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2006 at 15:00
Originally posted by DukeC

 
Do you remember the name of the book?
 
"Devil's Guard" by George Robert Elford. 
Former Tank Commander (Chieftain)& remember, Change is inevitable!!! except from vending machines
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2006 at 16:29
Originally posted by aghart

Originally posted by DukeC

 
Do you remember the name of the book?
 
"Devil's Guard" by George Robert Elford. 
 
thanks aghart
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2006 at 08:00
Well,they were for sure experienced.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aghart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2006 at 06:32
Originally posted by DukeC

Originally posted by aghart

Originally posted by DukeC

 
Do you remember the name of the book?
 
"Devil's Guard" by George Robert Elford. 
 
thanks aghart
 
 
The book is no longer in print, it is available used on Amazon in the UK priced between £50-75 and that is for the paperback version.
 
£50 sterling for a second hand paperback!!!!  Can anyone be daft enough to pay that sort of money?   It's a good book, but it's not "that" good.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2006 at 11:51
Originally posted by aghart

Originally posted by DukeC

Originally posted by aghart

Originally posted by DukeC

 
Do you remember the name of the book?
 
"Devil's Guard" by George Robert Elford. 
 
thanks aghart
 
 
The book is no longer in print, it is available used on Amazon in the UK priced between £50-75 and that is for the paperback version.
 
£50 sterling for a second hand paperback!!!!  Can anyone be daft enough to pay that sort of money?   It's a good book, but it's not "that" good.
 
You can probably find as much information on the internet.  The French Foreign Legion has at least one website, and there may be others in re Germans in the Legion, Indochina, etc.  Save your money.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2006 at 12:31
Well, after 1945 the Foreign Legion contracted numerous soldiers "on the dole". Many of them were, of course, ex-Axis POW's like Romanians, Hungarians and Italians but most of them were Germans and some of them were Waffen SS. The French authorities just closed their eyes to that, as long as the recruit hadn't been involved in massacres or in the extermination camps.
They fought from 1946 onwards in Indochina and then in Algeria as well.
 
There is also an interesting anedocte about the recruitment of POW: a French general was in a POW camp recruiting for the FL when he came across with a French soldier in Waffen SS uniform. The General asked in anger "aren't you ashamed of being a French and being dress with another countrie's uniform?!?" but the soldier replied "well, sir, you are also a French and you dress an American uniform..."
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gerghoi zukuf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2006 at 18:42
well ever thoght that they wer nazis and betrayed the frnch in battle
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BlackRaven135 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2006 at 22:37

Many historians feel that the "Devil's Guard" may be fiction. Or, if non-fiction, highly exagerated.  Their reasoning include: highly anti-communist tone, very exagerated triumphs by the unit, and no official records of the main character in the FFL. The only records are those of his SS unit in WWII.

 

Just a thought!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote U100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2007 at 06:55
Hello Temujin
You are right, many SS soldiers of the Waffen SS went to Vietnam. Also keep in mind that many Waffen SS prisoners were given a choice, (1) die in the Eisenhowere death camps or (2) go to French Indo China and take a chance fighting in the Foreign Legion and living.
A good book to read about these Death Camps that the Americans ran is called "Other Losses" by James Bach
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Apr-2007 at 14:07
Originally posted by U100

Hello Temujin
You are right, many SS soldiers of the Waffen SS went to Vietnam. Also keep in mind that many Waffen SS prisoners were given a choice, (1) die in the Eisenhowere death camps or (2) go to French Indo China and take a chance fighting in the Foreign Legion and living.
A good book to read about these Death Camps that the Americans ran is called "Other Losses" by James Bach
 
People died in the internment camps after the war, that doesn't mean they were death camps. They don't even compare to the Nazi camps where people were intentionally starved or worked to death or the extermination camps where people were murdered on an industrial scale.
 
You'd better have more sources than one author before you make claims like that, considering the death toll of so many civilians by the Nazis.
 
And what's with the HUGE script anyway? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Apr-2007 at 18:15
Originally posted by Sikander

 
There is also an interesting anedocte about the recruitment of POW: a French general was in a POW camp recruiting for the FL when he came across with a French soldier in Waffen SS uniform. The General asked in anger "aren't you ashamed of being a French and being dress with another countrie's uniform?!?" but the soldier replied "well, sir, you are also a French and you dress an American uniform..." 
 
I can give ,ore information in regards to the above incident.  The General was French General Leclrec and the soldiers in question were a small group (about 6) of recently captured French members of the Waffen SS Charlemagne Division.   After hearing the remark, Leclrec ordered the prisoners executed.
 
The Charlemagne "Division" was orgainized late in the war and included both a small number of dedicated French Waffen SS volunteers and a far larger number of press ganged and poorly motivated French conscript  laborers, French who had been considered "Germans" for a variety of reasons, and fleeing economic collaborators.  Most of the division melted away, but a small number of the genuine volunteers fought their way into Berlin in 1945 to participate in the  "last stand".
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 28-Apr-2007 at 18:17
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2007 at 02:42
Originally posted by Cryptic

After hearing the remark, Leclrec ordered the prisoners executed.
 
The morale being, never insult a Frenchmans taste in clothing.Wink
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