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Guest WAR LORD

The Unit definitly went to sea. But this was transportation, the ships were lost in the Indian Ocean, having left Hamburg. A just by the way, the shield is extreemly rare.

Edited by WAR LORD
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Guest WAR LORD

It is possible that the man was on one of the three ships used by the Indian legion. The ships could have been under the controle of the Free Indian authorities and thus would wear the unit shield.

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:speechless1:

Once again Gordon finds a gobsmacker-

Given my almost complete ignorance of this subject area (I have read a few secondary books) I would guess that either:

(a) the man was an "ethnic Indian" (Aryan: in NAZI parlance) who had German citizenship and served in the Kreigsmarine after possibly a merchant seaman's' career.....or/and....

(b) a German W/O (Sonderfuhrer) or officer who was attached to the FreiesIndien unit as a liaison/interpreter for some length of time.....possibly part of the navy staff at Toulon?

Just a guess.

I can not wait to see the answer (and see an article on this piece, perhaps Gordon and Ed could collaborate in such scholarship?). :cheers:

Edited by Ulsterman
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:speechless1:

(b) a German W/O (Sonderfuhrer) or officer who was attached to the FreiesIndien unit as a liaison/interpreter for some length of time.....possibly part of the navy staff at Toulon?

Close, but not quite.

The patch belonged to a naval officer Horst Albinus serving in France. After the invasion when many of the naval ports were in danger of being cut off, their occupants were order to form a "fortress" and hold out to the last bullet.

There was an exception however, trained U-Boat personnel who were still desperately needed. As Albinus had just completed a U-Boat Watch Officer's course he was ordered to make all possible efforts to reach safe German held territory and issued with the usual letter requiring all/any military units to assist him.

Albinus, wearing field grey naval uniform set off and found the nearest Wehrmacht unit which could offer assistance was Infanterie Regiment 950, the "Indian Legion". Albinus was temporarily attached to it whilst it moved through France and told to wear the unit sleeve patch which he did until reaching safe territory at Belfort.

He is the only known Kriegsmarine officer to have worn the Freies Indien sleeve patch.

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They were used to transport the Indians. They were diguised as nutural shiping. German and Indian crew.

Do you have additional information or evidence for this? I'd be very interested.

But transport the Indians where? Most POWs had already been shipped across the Med by the Italians anyway before the Germans talked their way into custody of many of them. The AHF veterans I have interviewed went by train wherever they went (and then at the end of the war walked toward Switzerland until they were captured). The plan was to shift them by air from Europe to Afghanistan (have seen some of the airstrips) and then para-drop them into India. But then Stalingrad happened.

(Bose and Rahman going to Singapore don't count, but they went by submarine anyway, half German half Japanese.)

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The patch in post #1 is the actual piece worn by Albinus and donated by him to the Archiv. I only came across it on the last night I was there, along with his letter decribing the circumstances. There may well be a photo of him in the Archiv somewhere but sadly I didn't have time to do a search.

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