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By Nigel Cawthorne

On 1 January 1944, the British Free Corps – which Hitler mistakenly called the British Legion – took its place alongside other foreign Legions as part of the Nazi’s fearsome Waffen-SS. It was the GB’s SS. Its members were odd-balls, misfits, malingers, conmen, saboteurs and men who simply wanted to get out of prisoner-of-war camps so they could have access to beer and women. Suffering more STDs than combat wounds, the BFC was the most ineffective fighting unit in the German war machine. This was Dad’s Army in Nazi uniforms.

In GB-SS, Nigel Cawthorne collaborates with his son Colin, to examine the origins and fate of an organisation which offered gallant Britons the chance to fight for the Fatherland – though undoubtedly they proved to be much more trouble than they were worth. The farce they played out proves conclusively that, in wartime at least, the Germans have no sense of humour.

A writer and editor for over 25 years, Nigel Cawthorne has written, contributed to and edited more than sixty books, including Fighting Them On The Beaches: D-Day, 6 June 1944; The Battle of Britain; Vietnam: A War Lost and Won; Stalin; and The Story of the SS. His work has also appeared in over a hundred and fifty newspapers, magazines and part works on both sides of the Atlantic – from the Sun to the Financial Times.

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