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German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945

Axis Powers in WWII

WW2 Axis Powers Soldiers Marching
Much like the foreign volunteers that fought as an internal part of the German Wehrmacht during WWII, a great number of Axis Allied units fought along side Germany between 1939 and 1945. Some Axis Nations were reluctant partners, such as the Bulgarians, while others, such as the Slovaks and Italians, initially took up arms very willingly and fought well at the side of Germany. As the war played itself out and Axis fortunes began to make a turn for the worse, many former enthusiastic Allies began to opt out of the Axis camp. Before the end of WWII, all the major Axis Allies either capitulated to the Allies or actively surrendered and changed sides. This interesting paradox doesn't obscure the fact that initially, many Axis Allies fought well along side their German partner. The distinction between "foreign volunteers" and "Axis Allies" was that foreign volunteers actually joined the German military - either alone or in large groups - and became an internal part of Germany's fighting forces, while Axis Allies were distinct independent Countries who joined the Axis cause and mustered their forces to fight along side Germany. America had its Allies during WWII - Britian, France, the Soviet Union, etc. Germany, too, had its share of Allied Nations - their unique and often neglected stories will be told within this section.

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