*

The 33rd Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne (französische Nr. 1) and Charlemagne Regiment are collective names provided for systems of French volunteer in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during the world War II.

The Charlemagne division was not a single military unit but succession of teams of collaborating French volunteer (though the exact nature of "volunteering" has actually been disputed). The very first unit to be the Légion des Volontaires Français (Legion the French volunteers or LVF), greatly composed that right-wing Frenchmen and released French soldiers who wanted fighting to required labour in Germany. It battled near Moscow in November 1941 yet its commander, Colonel i get it Balonne, was later relieved the his duties and in 1942 the men were assigned come anti-partisan duties in the Byelorussian SSR (Belarus). They were briefly join by La Légion Tricolore (Tricolor Regiment) but this unit lasted only six month in 1942 and also was later took in into the LVF.

You are watching: 33rd waffen grenadier division of the ss charlemagne

The unit (without a French commander) to be attached to miscellaneous German divisions until June 1943 when Colonel Edgard Puaud took command. The LVF dealt with on the Ukraine front against the Soviets in 1944.

In the meantime, in July 1943, a new recruiting drive had begun in Vichy France. It attractive 3000 applicants, mainly members the collaborating militias and university students. This unit (Französische SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade) was sent to Galicia to fight the Soviet development and suffered heavy casualties. It to be later absorbed into the LVF. In so late 1943 the enduring LVF/Sturmbrigade volunteers were inducted right into the Waffen-SS Französische SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Regiment (Waffen-SS French SS-Volunteer Grenadier Regiment.)

In September 1944 this unit was renamed Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS Charlemagne, v the enhancement of French collaborators fleeing the Allied development in the west, and also Frenchmen indigenous the Horst Wessel brigade and also Organisation Todt. Others came from the Vichy French Milice and other collaborationist organizations. Some sources claim that the unit included additionally volunteers from French colonies and also Switzerland. SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg take it actual command with Edgard Puaud (now Oberführer der SS) as nominal French commander.

In February 1945 the unit to be officially upgraded come a department and renamed 33.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne. However, the unit to be severely undermanned with just 7340 men. The division was sent by train come fight versus the Red military in Poland, yet on 25 February the was attacked while deploying native the railhead by troops of the Soviet first Belorussian Front and also was damaged into 3 battlegroups. Just the units with Krukenberg survived, together they retreated to the Baltic coast, to be evacuated through sea to Denmark and also later sent to Neutrelitz because that refitting.

In beforehand April 1945, Krukenberg, currently commanding only 1100 men, released those that were disillusioned indigenous combat service; about 700 men determined to remain. The other 400 men were formed into a construction battalion.

See more: The Baroque Era: Leda And The Swan Peter Paul Rubens, Peter Paul

On 24-25 April 1945 aspects of the unit to be ordered to Berlin and also placed under the command that SS-Standartenführer Walter Zimmermann, reaching the city before the Soviet encirclement. They battled in the battle of Berlin until 2 might 1945, as soon as thirty survivors surrendered come the Russians.