During World War II, a number of Frenchmen volunteered for service in the Wehrmacht. For the purposes of this question, these men came from two sources: 1) genuine volunteers (freiwillige or "free willed individuals), and 2) former prisoners of war, who saw service in the Wehrmacht as a "lesser evil" than captivity.

Of the Frenchmen who served in the Wehrmacht,* how many were former POWs who only "volunteered" to escape captivity? The reason for the question is that the Germans were quite successful in getting former Soviet POWs (Hiwis)to enlist. How successful were they with Frenchmen who were under similar duress?

*Many of these went into the so-called Legion_of_French_Volunteers_Against_Bolshevism, but some went directly into the Waffen SS. (I'm not talking about the Milice or other anti-partisan groups.)

  • This is no longer a duplicate. I have reworded the question to focus on the success of the Germans in recruiting former French POWs, not "volunteers" generally.
    – Tom Au
    Jul 28, 2021 at 23:14
  • If you consider only Wehrmacht and Waffen SS, number could not be more than 10 000. I doubt anyone volunteered for Eastern Front just to avoid POW camps. Vichy troops are something entirely different, but their loyalty was divided.
    – rs.29
    Jul 29, 2021 at 9:07


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