The all-volunteer 'Blue Division' was a formation that allowed Franco's technically neutral Spain to support Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. Following initial training in Germany, the Blue Division's units were sent to the Eastern Front in August 1941, where, after a 40-day march to the front, the Division fought in several major actions including Leningrad. In 1943, with the tide turning against the Axis forces in Russia, the Division was ordered to be withdrawn, yet many men chose to stay on and serve with the Volunteer Legion. Even after the collapse in the East, some volunteered to serve with Waffen-SS units through to the fall of Berlin in 1945. This book narrates the experiences of the common soldier, exploring his motivation for serving the Wehrmacht, and detailing his dramatic experiences in a brutal and hostile theatre of World War II.
Read an extract of Blue Division Soldier 1941–45
Table of Contents
Introduction Chronology Recruitment/ Enlistment Training Appearance Equipment Conditions of Service On Campaign Belief and Belonging Experience of Battle After the Battle Collecting/Museums/Re-enactment Bibliography Glossary Index