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February 17 , 2009

Hitler's Gauls

The History of the 33rd Waffen-SS Division Charlemagne


The divisions of the Waffen-SS were among the elite of Hitler's armies in the Second World War. But alongside the Germans in the Waffen-SS, fought an astonishingly high number of volunteers from other countries. By the end of the Second World War these foreign volunteers comprised half of all Hitler's Waffen-SS, and filled the ranks of over twenty-four of the nominal thirty-eight Waffen-SS divisions. So during the most brutal war that mankind has ever known, hundreds of thousands of men flocked to fight for a country that was not theirs, and for a cause that was one of the most monstrous and barbaric in history. Who were these men, and why did they fight? Hitler's Gauls is an in-depth examination of one of these legions of foreign volunteers, the Charlemagne divions, who were recruited entirely from conquered France. The men in Charlemagne, often motivated by an extreme anti-communist zeal, fought hard on the Eastern Front including battles of near annihilation in the snows of Pomerania and the final stand in the ruins of Berlin. This definitive history, illustrated with rare photographs, explores the background, training, key figures and full combat record of one of Hitler's lesser known foreign units of the Second World War.
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