Your detailed information
is new to me, Mark. Thanks very much. So much to learn, so little time...
A double-check so that I don't assume
something just because it seems obvious. You say,
33,192 : Recruited from D-Day to end
15,439 : 1st Jan. 1944 to End April
My assumption is a typo, and that the
second line was meant to read "1st Jan. 1945".
I had no inkling the numbers of
recruits from the German forces were so high. There is occasional
brief mention of such recruitment in histories I have read to date,
but it appears the information suppression efforts you describe were
overall very successful to this day.
This is also very helpful: "Although
some non-German army Polish troops may have harboured secret
resentments, there is no evidence to say that this was either open or
widespread. It was generally understood that conscription to the
German army was unavoidable."
On reflection, I wonder if this ready
acceptance might be partly explained by more than a century of
partition and subjugation recently ended. Many Polish soldiers would
have examples in their own family (perhaps even their own fathers)
who wore uniforms of the foreign occupiers. For example, my
grandfathers were both in the military during the First World War
before Poland regained independence - one fighting for the Austrians
who ruled his home territory and the other for the Russians who ruled
Still, I would be grateful for any
personal or family lore on the topic of rank-and-file attitudes
towards "new" comrades who crossed over from the enemy
Many thanks for your
Sault Ste Marie, Canada