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Hitler's secret Indian army

Discussion in 'Military History' started by tunguska, Apr 16, 2012.

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  1. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    I found one interesting Articles in BBC documentry.[/B]

    In the closing stages of World War II, as Allied and French resistance forces were driving Hitler's now demoralised forces from France, three senior German officers defected.

    The information they gave British intelligence was considered so sensitive that in 1945 it was locked away, not due to be released until the year 2021.
    Now, 17 years early, the BBC's Document programme has been given special access to this secret file.

    It reveals how thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against fascism swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing tale of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British rule in India, known as the Raj.

    The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on 3 April 1941. This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, arrived in the German capital.

    Bose, who had been arrested 11 times by the British in India, had fled the Raj with one mission in mind. That was to seek Hitler's help in pushing the British out of India.

    Six months later, with the help of the German foreign ministry, he had set up what he called "The Free India Centre", from where he published leaflets, wrote speeches and organised broadcasts in support of his cause.
    By the end of 1941, Hitler's regime officially recognised his provisional "Free India Government" in exile, and even agreed to help Chandra Bose raise an army to fight for his cause. It was to be called "The Free India Legion".

    Bose hoped to raise a force of about 100,000 men which, when armed and kitted out by the Germans, could be used to invade British India.

    He decided to raise them by going on recruiting visits to Prisoner-of-War camps in Germany which, at that time, were home to tens of thousands of Indian soldiers captured by Rommel in North Africa.

    Volunteers


    Finally, by August 1942, Bose's recruitment drive got fully into swing. Mass ceremonies were held in which dozens of Indian POWs joined in mass oaths of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.


    These are the words that were used by men that had formally sworn an oath to the British king: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose."
    I managed to track down one of Bose's former recruits, Lieutenant Barwant Singh, who can still remember the Indian revolutionary arriving at his prisoner of war camp.

    "He was introduced to us as a leader from our country who wanted to talk to us," he said.

    "He wanted 500 volunteers who would be trained in Germany and then parachuted into India. Everyone raised their hands. Thousands of us volunteered."Lieutenant Barwant Singh

    Demoralised

    In all 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion.

    But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border.

    Matters were made even worse by the fact that after Stalingrad it became clear that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer Bose help in driving the British from faraway India.

    When the Indian revolutionary met Hitler in May 1942 his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones.

    So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan.

    There, with Japanese help, he was to raise a force of 60,000 men to march on India.
    Back in Germany the men he had recruited were left leaderless and demoralised. After much dissent and even a mutiny, the German High Command despatched them first to Holland and then south-west France, where they were told to help fortify the coast for an expected allied landing.

    After D-Day, the Free India Legion, which had now been drafted into Himmler's Waffen SS, were in headlong retreat through France, along with regular German units.

    It was during this time that they gained a wild and loathsome reputation amongst the civilian population.

    The former French Resistance fighter, Henri Gendreaux, remembers the Legion passing through his home town of Ruffec: "I do remember several cases of rape. A lady and her two daughters were raped and in another case they even shot dead a little two-year-old girl."

    Finally, instead of driving the British from India, the Free India Legion were themselves driven from France and then Germany.

    Their German military translator at the time was Private Rudolf Hartog, who is now 80.

    "The last day we were together an armoured tank appeared. I thought, my goodness, what can I do? I'm finished," he said.

    "But he only wanted to collect the Indians. We embraced each other and cried. You see that was the end."

    Mutinies

    A year later the Indian legionnaires were sent back to India, where all were released after short jail sentences.

    But when the British put three of their senior officers on trial near Delhi there were mutinies in the army and protests on the streets.

    With the British now aware that the Indian army could no longer be relied upon by the Raj to do its bidding, independence followed soon after.

    Not that Subhas Chandra Bose was to see the day he had fought so hard for. He died in 1945.

    Since then little has been heard of Lieutenant Barwant Singh and his fellow legionnaires.

    At the end of the war the BBC was forbidden from broadcasting their story and this remarkable saga was locked away in the archives, until now. Not that Lieutenant Singh has ever forgotten those dramatic days.

    "In front of my eyes I can see how we all looked, how we would all sing and how we all talked about what eventually would happen to us all," he said.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
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  2. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Defeating the british by all means necessary but siding with Jew killer Hitler?
     
  3. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Netaji is my all time favorite war hero.
     
  4. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    so what netaji do in those day in that circumstances?
     
  5. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    i dont think its a big secret ... Subhas Chandra Bose relationship with hitler is well known ... he sought his support to end british rule in India ...

    big deal ... enemy's enemy is a friend ... straight forward logic ...
     
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  6. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Stick to the Japanese not Hitler.
     
  7. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    No need to praise Hitler on an Indian forum we must stand with our Israeli brothers specially now that people like Kazmi are being freed by the pseudos.
     
  8. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    He thought Germany is more powerful than Japan at that time. so netaji was interested in Nazi. If this is case then we should never allow the any point regarding britisher on this forum as they are the mass killer of indian.
     
  9. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    yaar why u bringing IRAN and ISrael here.
     
  10. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    fcuk hitler ... no one is praising or fan of Hitler here ... our Israeli brothers r not angels ... they know how to take care of themselves ... stop worrying mate ...
     
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  11. booo

    booo Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    you guys forgetting one thing that the stories of holocaust etc... came into light only after the WW2 ended. probably very few knew about holocaust before the end of ww2.
     
  12. tilopa

    tilopa Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Here are some points which come into account:

    Holocaust was not a known phenomenon when WW2 was going on.Infact German peoples and Nazi officers even didn't knew it was going on.Only Hitler and some top officials knew about this and whoever dared to leak would have been killed.
    Chances are highly unlikely that Netaji would have known about it.

    Netaji was scouting the world for allies to fight the british occupants of India,Hitler was a possible alternative.
    The Indian Army/Netaji's fight against the british had a very significant impact on India's Independence.
    But because of Nehru rule after independence it was not given much recognition and only the contribution of Gandhi and Congress party were celebrated.
    WW2 weakened Britain from inside and then there were 1000's of trained Indian soldiers who were ready to fight.There was also a possibility of rebellion in Indian troops under the british crown.
    Considering this Clement Atlee thought it is better to give independence to India as war torn britain was unable to fight another war in Indian subcontinent.

    All these points were significant in india achieving independence and only the contribution of Gandhi had no value,infact it had very less value as British were good negotiators and they would have continued to fool gandhi and indian peoples for more time to come.They did it for almost 30 years so they could have easily done for more.

    But atlast it was WW2,Indian army rebellion and pressure from the United States which led India to independence.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  13. rcscwc

    rcscwc Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Even the then pope had very cordial relationships with the jew killer Hitler.

    Tung, loyality to whom, betrayal of whom, oaths to whom? British Monarch? An usurper himself?

    But it was of course a warning signal to the British, They could no longer take the Indian soldiery for granted.
     
  14. Pagan666!

    Pagan666! 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I was a German Army Captain in my previous birth! M name was Hauptmann Nibir Hermann Langke! The Brits, more often than not, always downplay our contribution in WW2!
     
  15. true

    true 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Sir,
    What.... we are talking about the ww2 or else subject ?

    Jai Hind.:india:
     
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