WW2 images

French "volunteers" in German service
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It's doubtful these are genuine volunteers. It could well have been the choice of fight or be sent to a German labor battalion. On the Russian site where I lifted the pic, these men were captioned as being posted to the Smolensk region.
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The Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (French: Légion des volontaires français contre le bolchévisme, or simply Légion des volontaires français, LVF) was a collaborationist militia of Vichy France founded on 8 July 1941. It gathered various collaborationist parties, including Marcel Bucard's Mouvement Franciste, Marcel Déat's National Popular Rally, Jacques Doriot's French Popular Party, Eugène Deloncle's Social Revolutionary Movement, Pierre Clémenti's French National-Collectivist Party and Pierre Costantini's French League. It had no formal link with the Vichy regime, even though it was recognized as an "association of public usefulness" by Pierre Laval's government in February 1943. Philippe Pétain, head of state of Vichy France, personally disapproved of Frenchmen wearing German uniforms and never went beyond individual and informal words of support to some specific officers.

It volunteered to fight against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. It was officially known by its German designation, the 638th Infantry Regiment (Infanterieregiment 638).

The Legion of French Volunteers was mainly made up of right-wing Frenchmen and French prisoners of war; the latter who preferred fighting to forced labour in Nazi Germany. Many Russians who fled the Bolshevik Revolution (1917–1922) and who were enrolled in the Légion étrangère (Foreign Legion) joined the LVF. Created in 1941, the LVF received 13,400 applicants, but many were weeded out and 5,800 were placed on the rolls.

The LVF while in France wore a French army style khaki uniform, while outside France they wore the standard German Army uniform with an LVF shield on the right upper arm with the colours of the French flag with the word France or LVF. Both German and French decorations were worn.


French soldiers in Russia, November 1941

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