British Volunteers of the Waffen S.S., 1943-1945
The story of the British volunteers of the Waffen-SS has long been treated with scorn and derision by the establishment media. After all there weren’t many of them and their small unit, the British Free Corps, was somewhat comic-opera in nature. This publication at least will try and change that perception. The hard core nucleus of the BFC consisted of serious, committed individuals who deeply believed in what they were doing and stayed on until the end. Therefore they deserve to be treated with respect; they were a part, however minuscule, of the vast Pan-European Army that was the Waffen-SS and no one can take that away from them. In future generations that fact will be treated as a true badge of honor.
The BFC was an effort to navigate “uncharted waters”; no one in the Waffen-SS was quite sure if it was possible or even “legal” to recruit POWs from an active belligerent to use as soldiers of the German Armed Forces, albeit even though their service was to be directed against the Soviet Bolsheviks. That meant that the whole undertaking to recruit British and other Allied soldiers was a tentative one and was never developed as fully as it possibly could have been. The post-war British socialist government made it clear that the Free Corpsmen were to be treated as traitors by executing the founder of the BFC and bringing the rest to trial. They were, in modern day vernacular, “political criminals” or “prisoners of conscience.”
The story of the British volunteers of the Waffen-SS was however a unique and honorable one—if it can be divorced from the travesty of British domestic politics—and it deserves telling in a fair-minded manner.