BRITISH FREIKORPS (FORMERLY LEGION OF ST GEORGE)

FASCISM IN BRITAIN 

HITLER’S BRITISH SS UNIT

A SUBJECT MATTER  THAT HAS BEEN SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET IN BRITISH HISTORY LESSONS BY ALL BRITISH GOVERNMENTS SINCE THE WAR .IN REALITY A VERY INTERESTING , INTRIGUING, EDUCATIONAL AND OF HISTORIC INTEREST THAT SHOULD BE KEPT AS PART OF THE HISTORY THE BRITISH INVOLVEMENT WITH HITLER DURING  WORLD WAR 2 .

AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HOUSED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL YOU CAN SEE VARIOUS EXHIBIT ITEMS ….. TOUCHING UPON THE BRITISH FREIKORPS , JOHN AMERY , ARNOLD LEESE, LORD HAW HAW , SIR OSWALD MOSLEY AND THE BLACK SHIRTS …. COME  VISIT  AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES.

REPRODUCTION BRITISH FREIKORPS AND NAZI SS INSIGNIA .

COME TO LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND SEE OUR COLLECTION OF AUTHENTIC INSIGNIA ,A RARE ORIGINAL  BRITISH FRIEKORP TUNIC, REGALIA ETC.

OSWALD MOSLEY’S BLACKSHIRTS UNIFORMS, HANDWRITTEN LETTERS FROM MOSLEY , LORD HAW HAW (WILLIAM JOYCE) AND MANY OTHER INTERESTING HISTORICAL ITEMS ….

The British Free Corps was formed in January of 1944 from a group of British and Commonwealth volunteers under German control known as the Legion of St. George. Technically this formation had been a part of the Waffen-SS ever since its original creation, but it was formally accepted into the Waffen-SS upon being named the British Free Corps.

Upon acceptance into the Waffen-SS, the BFC was given German uniforms and a number of unique and colorful insignia. The insignia included a Union Jack shield that was worn on the left arm, a Lion of St. George collar patch, and later towards the end of the war, a British Free Corps cuff title. Without a doubt such elaborate insignia was designed and issued to the BFC for propaganda purposes.

The first commander of the BFK was Hauptsturmführer Johannes Roggenfeld, formerly of the 5.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking and a decorated veteran of the Eastern Front. It is reported that he had lived in the United States before WWII and spoke fluent English. Another English speaking German SS-Hauptsturmührer named Roepke apparently shared administrative duties with the BFC at this time also.

In September of 1944, the BFC was moved to Dresden to the Pioneer Barracks located in the city which was the home of an SS Combat Engineer Training School and Replacement Battalion. While there it began its first real combat drill and training.

In October of 1944 the BFC was slated to be assigned to the III.SS-Panzer-Korps (Germanic) upon completion of its training. In February of 1945 it was deemed finished and began preperation for combat assignments within the III.SS-Panzer-Korps. Soon after the BFC had finished training, an Allied firebomb attack on Dresden took place in which tens of thousands of Germans were killed. It was felt that the BFC presented a burden to the local population who knew of the units location at the Pioneer Barracks, so it was therefore transfered from Dresden and sent north to the Stettin area to meet up with the 11.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland. At Stettin the unit was finally attached to the III.SS-Germanische Panzerkorps.

On March 22, 1945 the 11.SS-Pz.Gr.Div Nordland was given a respite from the Russian Front and Oder River and sent to regroup at Schwedt-Angermunde. It was there that the BFC joined the 11.SS-Pz.Aufklärungs-Abteilung under command of SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Saalbach. Half of the Britons were attached to the 1.Kompanie of the Aufklärungs-Abteilung in Schoenberg, Brandenburg, just north of Berlin, and the others were attached near Angermunde to the newly deployed 3.Kompanie – the Schwedenzug or Swedish Platoon, under command of Swedish SS-Hauptstrumführer Hans-Gosta Pehrsson. With the advent of the last battle on the Oder on April 16, 1945, Nordland was called into action to stem the Soviet offensive. At the last minute, before their OKW ordered deployment into the Berlin salient, Divisional commander SS-Gruppenführer Ziegler decided to leave the Britons in Angermunde camp while Nordland headed toward Berlin. It is not known for certain if members entered Berlin with Nordland or not, as some accounts claim yes, others claim no.

Like the Volkssturm Battalions and HJ units assigned by OKW to his weak Panzerkorps for last-ditch offensives in late April 1945 – Korps Commander Steiner also felt that the BFC was of very negligible combat value at best, and wanted nothing to do with their haphazard deployment and sure destruction in the Berlin Kessel. He left them to retreat westward to Templin, in Mecklenburg in late April 1945, where British forces were waiting on the other side of the Elbe.

Because of the BFC’s brief association with the SS-Nordland division on the Oder front in late March 1945, it is commonly assumed that they went into Berlin and fought a last-gasp defensive battle against the Russians. The fact is that there is no conclusive proof that any Englishman fought the Russians in Berlin wearing a German SS uniform, and there seem to be no Russian accounts of the Battle that detail such accounts, so this fact can not be readily accepted or denied at this time.

A BRITISH FREIKORPS PROPAGANDA  POSTER

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John Amery

John Amery (14 March 1912 ChelseaLondon [1] – 19 December 1945) was a British fascist who proposed to the Wehrmacht the formation of a British volunteer force (that subsequently became the British Free Corps) and made recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. He was executed for treason after the war having pleaded guilty.

Early life

John Amery was the son of Leo Amery and brother of Julian Amery, both Members of Parliament and Conservative cabinet ministers.

Amery was a problem child who ran through a succession of private tutors.[2] Like his father, he was sent to Harrow, but left after only a year, being described by his housemaster as “without doubt, the most difficult boy I have ever tried to manage”. Living in his father’s shadow, he strove to make his own way by embarking on a career in film production. Over a period, he set up a number of independent companies, all of which failed; these endeavours rapidly led to bankruptcy.

At the age of 21, Amery married Una Wing, a former prostitute, but was never able to earn enough to keep her or himself, and was constantly appealing to his father for money.[2] A staunch anti-Communist, he came to embrace the fascist National Socialist doctrines of Nazi Germany on the grounds that they were the only alternative to Bolshevism. He left Britain permanently to live in France after being declared bankrupt in 1936. In Paris, he met the Frenchfascist leader Jacques Doriot, with whom he travelled to AustriaItaly, and Germany to witness the effects of fascism in those countries.

Amery claimed to his family that he joined Francisco Franco‘s Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and was awarded a medal of honour while serving as an intelligence officer with Italian volunteer forces. This was untrue although the lie achieved wide circulation. In fact Amery first visited Spain in 1939 after the civil war had ended and only stayed for a few weeks before returning to France, where he remained even after the German invasion and the creation of Vichy rule.

In Europe during World War II

Amery soon fell foul of the Vichy government and made several attempts to leave the area but was rebuffed. German armistice commissioner Graf Ceschi offered Amery the chance to leave France and go to Germany to work in the political arena, but Ceschi was unable to get Amery out of France.

In September 1942, Hauptmann Werner Plack got Amery what he wanted and in October, Plack and Amery went to Berlin to speak to the German English Committee. It was at this time that Amery suggested that the Germans consider forming a British anti-Bolshevik legion. Adolf Hitler was impressed by Amery and allowed him to remain in Germany as a guest of the Reich. In this period, Amery made a series of pro-German propaganda broadcasts over the radio, attempting to appeal to Britons.

The British Free Corps

The idea of a British force to fight the communists languished until Amery encountered Jacques Doriot during a visit to France in January 1943. Doriot was part of the LVF (Légion des Volontaires Français), a French volunteer force fighting with the Germans on the eastern front. Amery rekindled his idea of a British unit and aimed to recruit 50 to 100 men for propaganda purposes, and also to establish a core of men with which to attract additional members from British prisoners of war. He also suggested that such a unit could provide more recruits for the other military units made up of foreign nationals.

John Amery shortly after his arrest by Italian partisans at Milan

Amery’s first recruiting drive for what was initially to be called the British Legion of St. George took him to the Saint-Denis POW camp outside Paris. Amery addressed between 40 and 50 inmates from various British Commonwealth countries and handed out recruiting material. This first effort at recruitment was a complete failure, but he persisted. Amery ended up with two men, of whom only one, Kenneth Berry, joined what was later called the BFC. Amery’s link to the unit ended in October 1943, when the Waffen SS decided Amery’s services were no longer needed and it was officially renamed the British Free Corps. Amery continued to broadcast and write propaganda in Berlin until late 1944 when he travelled to Northern Italy to lend support to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini‘s Salò Republic. Amery was captured by Italian partisans in the last weeks of the war, who handed him over to the British authorities. The British army officer sent to take him into custody was Captain Alan Whicker.

Trial

After the war, Amery was tried for treason; in a preliminary hearing, he argued that he had never attacked Britain and was an anti-Communist, not a Nazi. At the same time, his brother Julian Amery attempted (by producing fraudulent documents) to show that he had become a Spanish citizen, and therefore would have been technically incapable of committing treason against the UK. His counsel, meanwhile, tried to show that the accused wasmentally ill.

However, these attempts at a defence were suddenly abandoned on the first day of his trial, 28 November 1945, when to general astonishment Amery pleaded guilty to eight charges of treason and was immediately sentenced to death. The entire proceedings lasted just eight minutes.

Before accepting Amery’s guilty plea the judge, Mr Justice Humphreys, made certain that Amery realised what the consequences would be, i.e. it guaranteed that he would immediately be sentenced to death by hanging, because there was no other permissible penalty. After satisfying himself that Amery fully understood the consequences of pleading guilty, the judge announced this verdict:

John Amery …, I am satisfied that you knew what you did and that you did it intentionally and deliberately after you had received warning from … your fellow countrymen that the course you were pursuing amounted to high treason. They called you a traitor and you heard them; but in spite of that you continued in that course. You now stand a self-confessed traitor to your King and country, and you have forfeited your right to live.

This is believed to be one of only two cases of a man pleading guilty to a charge of treason in the UK, the other being Summerset Fox in May 1654. After the discovery of fresh documentary evidence, the playwright Ronald Harwood concluded that Amery’s family would have been embarrassed because his father had hidden the fact that Leo Amery’s mother was Jewish (antisemitism was strong in Britain during the 1930s) in order to advance in the Conservative Party.[3]

Execution

Amery was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint, assisted by Henry Critchell, in Wandsworth Prison on 19 December 1945. In an article which was to be published in the Empire News and Sunday Chronicle, but which was suppressed as the result of pressure from the Home Office, Pierrepoint described him as “the bravest man I ever hanged”. Greeting the hangman at the appointed hour, Amery reportedly quipped: “Mr Pierrepoint, I’ve always wanted to meet you, but not, of course, under these circumstances…”. A proof copy of this article is in the Prison Commission files at the United Kingdom National Archives, but it is contradicted by another archive file: the Prison Commission official who wrote this stated that “Amery did extend his hand and said ‘Oh! Pierrepoint.’ Upon which Pierrepoint took his hand and placed it behind his back for pinioning and that the conversation was entirely limited to that remark”.[4] However Albert Pierrepoint himself described the meeting in a filmed interview he gave and admitted that he did shake Amery’s hand and did indeed like him; in fact, he said he spoke to Amery at length and felt “as if I had known him all my life”.[citation needed]

An epitaph written by his father appears The Empire At Bay (Barnes and Nicholson):

At end of wayward days he found a cause
“Twas not his Country’s” – Only time can tell
If that defiance of our ancient laws
Was treason or foreknowledge. He sleeps well. “

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