Belgian Waffen-SS Legions & Brigades, 1941–1944

Belgian Waffen-SS Legions & Brigades, 1941–1944

Wallonie, Wallonien, Flandern & Langemarck

Men-at-Arms 539
  • Author: Massimiliano Afiero
  • Illustrator: Ramiro Bujeiro
  • Short code: MAA 539
  • Publication Date: 27 May 2021
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9781472844316
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About this Product

From the German occupation of Belgium in May 1940, Flemish recruits from northern Belgium - considered by the Nazis to be 'Germanic' - were accepted individually into Waffen-SS units. From Hitler's invasion of the USSR in June 1941, additional recruits from the French-speaking south (Wallonia) were drafted. Both communities formed volunteer 'Legions', to fight (according to Goebbels' propaganda machine) 'for European civilization against the Bolshevik threat'; these were a Flemish Legion in the Waffen-SS and a Walloon Legion in the German Army. Both served on the Russian Front in 1942-43; the Walloon Legion was then also transferred into the Waffen-SS, and the decorated Walloon officer Leon Degrelle became a publicized 'poster boy' for foreign SS volunteers. Both Legions were then redesignated as SS Assault Brigades, and thereafter saw extremely hard fighting in the Ukraine and on the Baltic front. In autumn 1944, their survivors were withdrawn from the front and incorporated into two new understrength SS Divisions, 27. 'Langemarck' and 28. 'Wallonien'.

This new account, featuring detailed colour plates of uniform and insignia, recounts the battle history of the French and Flemish-speaking Belgian SS, up to their final transformation into full divisions in the winter of 1944/45.

Biographical Note

Massimiliano Afiero has been interested in military history since his youth, specializing in the history of Axis units during the Second World War and particularly in the Waffen-SS. He has contributed extensively to principal Italian-language history magazines including Seconda Guerra Mondiale, Volontari (Marvia Edizioni), and The European Volunteer (L'Assalto Edizioni) as well as many military history websites. He is one of the few Italian historical researchers to have personally interviewed many veterans of the Waffen-SS, publishing their previously unpublished stories. He has written numerous books dealing with foreign volunteers in the German armed forces during the Second World War.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
Belgian fascist movements
After German occupation
LÉGION WALLONIE
Formation and training
Eastern Front, 1941-42
SS-STURMBRIGADE ‘WALLONIEN', 1943-44
The Dnieper front, winter 1943
44
SS-FREIWILLIGEN LEGION FLANDERN
Formation and training
Order of battle, October 1941
Eastern Front, 1941-43
SS-FREIWILLIGEN STURMBRIGADE ‘LANGEMARCK'
Training and organization
Order of battle, July 1943
The Ukrainian front
The Estonian front
Aftermath
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
PLATE COMMENTARIES
INDEX


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