Spanish volunteers of the Blue Division celebrate their departure to Bavaria for training before heading to the Eastern Front. Although Spain officially remained neutral during the war, approximately 47,000 Spaniards would volunteer to fight for Germany. They were awarded both Spanish and German military awards, and were the only division to be awarded a medal of their own (the Spanish Volunteer Medal), commissioned by Adolf Hitler. Madrid, Spain, 1941.
06 Feb 41: Hitler makes one last appeal to the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco to enter the war on the side of the Axis. As before, Franco rather masterfully tap-dances his way around Hitler's demands, keeping Spain neutral throughout the entire war. #WWII #History
Soldiers of the "Free Indians" Legion take the oath to the Fuehrer in 1942. The Legion was eventually assigned to the Waffen SS but saw little action other than marching about. German commanders found the "Free Indians" not fit for serious combat and thus the Legion lingered until the end of the war, when some of the Indian volunteers escaped into Switzerland and the rest taken POW by US and British troops. They were returned to India where a number of them faced charges of collaboration.
Australian Infantrymen of the 2/48th Battalion, 9th Australian Division, leave the port city of Tobruk, Libya with a stray puppy following the Allied success of the Siege of Tobruk, a confrontation that lasted for 241 days between Axis and Allied forces in North Africa during the Western Desert Campaign. The siege began on 11 April 1941, when Tobruk was attacked by an Italo-German force under command of German Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel, and continued for 240 days up to 27 November…