Spaniards in French Service During WW2

A lot of Spaniards fought in French Service in WW2. Both as complete units and as individuals. On the outbreak of WWII the French recruited heavily from Republican refugees of the recently ended Spanish Civil War. The choice for these men was remain in French internment camps or join the French army. During the course of the war these Republicans fought in most theatres, for example at Narvik, in the raid on Brest, with the Long Range Desert Group, Leclerc’s 2nd Armoured Division, the British SAS, and the French resistance. Spanish fought with the Free French Troops and in the F.F.I.

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Spanish Involvement in World War II

Most people don’t realise that although officially neutral Spain had an active part in WW2 in the form of the Blue Division, otherwise known as the Spanish Volunteer Division, Division Azul, or by its official German title of the 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht. Individual Spaniards were also involved on both sides during WWII, often in quite large numbers. In a few cases these individuals were collected into units.

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Rommel Crosses the Meuse, Belgium – May 1940

In 2000 I was staying with friends at a place called Houx on the River Meuse. Houx has quite a distinctive weir across the river. At one point we ventured into the nearby town of Dinant. All of this was terribly familiar somehow but I couldn’t for the life of me remember why. I took some photos on the off chance and sent them to my friend Chris Harrod who I knew was interested in the Meuse Crossings.

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