Indian Legion in Europe during WWII

Wed Nov 10 05:00:59 UTC 1993

With regard to your query on material regarding the Indian Legion in Europe
during WW II: 

Like many of my generation of Indologists I am fairly familiar with this 
as several of my by now octogenarian teachers were sent to the Legion as
translators -- which in fact saved many of them for post-war Indology. 

The legion was, for the longest period, stationed near Bordeaux - "watching
the Atlantic" for an Allied invasion, while our Indological colleagues
practised their Hindi -- or in one case, gave a rousing speech at an
inspection tour by visiting German general -- in fluent Turkish. He was

For the rest, there is a lively oral tradition circulating among
German Indologists regarding their exploits, such as visiting a French colleague and forgetting the gun when leaving, reading Sanskrit
in the office (one of them had "always loved the Jaiminiya Brahmana",
even before it was discovered by O'Flaherty!), shooting pigeons in the
dunes, etc. 

But little on military engagements: there were none.

Here are the two books I found:

Azad Hind : ein europaisches Inder-Marchen oder die 1299 Tage
der Indischen Legion in Europa : eine Chronik der "Indischen
Legion", des (Indischen) Infanterie-Regiments 950 in der
Deutschen Wehrmacht, nach Tagebucheintragungen eines
Stabdolmetschers / hrsg. von Eugen Rose.
Wuppertal : Bhaiband-Verl., 1989. 240 p.

that is:
"Azad Hind. A European Indian Fairy Tale or the 1299 days
of the Indian Legion in Europe: a chronicle of the "Indian Legion", 
the (Indian) Infantry Regiment 950 of the German Armed Forces, according
to diary notes of a staff translator / ed. by Eugen Rose"

Hartog, Rudolf, 1924-
Im Zeichen des Tigers : die Indische Legion auf deutscher Seite,
Herford : Busse Seewald, 1991.  232 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

= "Under the Sign of the Tiger: The Indian Legion [fighting]
on the German side, 1941-1945". 

For the rest, you can of course write to the Armed Forces Archives,
which are, I believe, located at Koblenz, Germany, -- or just write to 
the Ministry of Defense = Bundesverteidigungsministerium, Bonn, and ask
for information. They should have the staff and the leisure to help you. 
Good Luck. -- M. Witzel


> From KHARE at 10 93 Nov EST 01:18:00
Date: 10 Nov 93 01:18:00 EST
From: Jitendra Khare <KHARE at>
Subject: RE: Indian Legion in Europe during WWII

Herr M. Witzel- That's terrific! Just what i needed . Thank you very much!
Jitendra Khare


> From magier at Wed Novermber 10 09:28:24 1993
Date: Wed, 10 Novermber 1993 09:28:24 -0500
From: David Magier <magier at>
Subject: Jain commercial life
Content-Type: TEXT/plain; charset=US-ASCII

A librarian colleague and I are intrigued by a comment in Tod's ANNALS AND 
ANTIQUITIES OF RAJASTHAN, which leads us to question the veracity of Tod 
with regard to details like this. In C. A. Bayly's RULERS, TOWNSMEN, AND
(p.141), Bayly reports:

 "Jains were another sect which had an impact on town and commercial life
  quite out of proportion to their numbers - a mere 3-5 per cent in the 
  towns of the west, dwindling to under 1 per cent in the east.  Tod's Jain 
  clerk estimated that Jain businessmen commanded half of the total 
  commercial wealth which circulated between Rajasthan and the Bay of 

Bayly cites ANNALS AND ANTIQUITIES . . .  (London, 1920) II, pp. 603-4 for
this. My colleague and I find the assertion of Tod's Jain clerk highly 
improbable. Does anyone on the net have any insights to this question? Other 
sources we should consult? Many thanks.

    ____________________________       304 International Affairs
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