It’s all a matter of perspective


The British Free Corps



During World War II Germany recruited soldiers from a wide variety of nations. Due to the changing fortunes of war and a severe lack of manpower Germany often bent the rules of Nazi ideology by recruiting from surprising places such as India, the Middle East, or Central Asia. One of the most surprising units created was the British Free Corps, a Waffen SS unit composed of British and Commonwealth volunteers.

The British Free Corps was the idea of John Amery, a British fascist who was the son of parliament member Leo Amery. During the Spanish Civil War he worked with Franco as an intelligence analyst and when World War II erupted he sided with Hitler, using his position to broadcast and write pro-Nazi propaganda.


The British Free Corps advertised and recruited from POW camps. As one can imagine, they found few volunteers. Those who did volunteer, mostly pre-war British fascists, were sent to a resort camp where they were indoctrinated in Nazi ideology, they were given basic training. Altogether, 52 British and Commonwealth men served in the British Free Corps throughout its short history, and the unit never exceeded 27 men at any given time.

The British Free Corps was activated and sent to the eastern front for combat in March of 1945 attached to the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, which was an SS unit of Scandinavian volunteers. The Corps saw some combat, however, most of the volunteers were not keen on fighting. By the time they were activated, the Third Reich was entering its total collapse faze, and fighting communism on the eastern front was not as cracked up as Nazi propagandists had led them to believe. Not to mention an undersized platoon of British rookies didn’t quite fit in well with a division of battle-hardened Scandinavian soldiers. Thus the men of the Corps were mostly used as truck drivers behind the lines.

When the war ended with Germany’s defeat the men of the BFC threw away their uniforms and tried to escape, attempting to surrender to Allied forces claiming they were escaped British POWs. However, British M15 had a list of the men who had served in the unit, and one by one they were hunted down and arrested. All were charged with treason and served prison terms of around 5 to 10 years. John Amery was hanged for high treason on December 19th, 1945.





  1. “Dave” is always expendable. The decision to find a replacement needs ten meetings and 100 emails. (In the old days, three reams of paper).

  2. British Free Corp: Another aspect of history that I was ignorant of. Thanks for the information. My reading list is expanding faster than I can read. Oh well, I will have plenty of time next winter sitting by the woodstove next to WSF (if he lets me) to catch up on the reading list.

    The “Daves” are the most important people in the mix of maintaining a civilization and they are going, going, gone. Going to take a lot of hard work for the next generation to get the Daves back in and working again.

  3. Ol’ Shel’s poem is pretty dark for a supposed kids’ book.

    I prefer Tecumseh:
    So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. […] Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. […] When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

    But neither is appropriate for little kids.

    • When you’re raised by elderly grandparents, you always have a sense of time because for them (as for me today) it is in shorter supply.

      I’m not shuffling this mortal coil any time soon, unless the reaper shows up unexpectedly. But that’s a condition of growing up as I did. It’s baked into my psyche – “all glory is fleeting”.

  4. I have been Dave, with over 7 direct-report supervisors and a handful of off-site supervisors. It was a No-Joy time of my life.

    As to the British Friecorps, I read somewhere the Germans were thinking of standing up a Jewish group, Judas Maccabeus, because they were that desperate for soldiers.

    As to Musk, heh, him owning Disney would be interesting.

  5. Years ago I was the general foreman on a large construction project (a jail and court room complex) for the county.
    The county had to saw cut a two foot section out of an existing sidewalk to run an underground computer cable connection to the new facility.
    I came out of the building that was under construction and observed seven orange-clad county employees watching a single county employee on his hands and knees finishing the small concrete patch of the sidewalk. There were three inspectors and four other county employees either leaning on shovels or holding clipboards.
    I beat feet to the job shack to grab a camera to memorialize the incident.
    By the time I secured the camera and got back to the site there were only three county folks standing around and watching the single BLACK guy finishing the concrete.

  6. I’ve seen that last picture a number of times up in Kansas City. Dave sure requires a lot of supervision.

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