Bezen Perrot

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Flag of the Bezen Perrot (Perrot Unit)

The Bezen Perrot (formerly Bezen Kadoudal) was a Breton collaborationist force during the Nazi occupation of France that grew from the earlier Lu Brezhon militia. It was led by Célestin Lainé and Alan Heusaff. As many as 70 to 80 people joined the ranks of the Bezen Perrot, also known as the "Perrot Unit", at one point or another. They fought, in German uniforms and under German command, as the Bretonische Waffenverband der SS.

Before the war Lainé had created the organization Gwenn ha du, a Breton nationalist "direct action" unit modelled on the IRA. The activists in this unit were defined as members of a group called the Service Spécial. This unit formed the basis of an elite militant group affiliated to the nationalist militia Bagadou Stourm.

In the later stages of World War II, in the face of the assassination of several leading figures in the Breton cultural movement, Lainé decided to separate from Bagadoù Stourm and integrate with the SS. One of those assassinated was the priest and Breton language defender Abbé Perrot, who was killed by the French Resistance in 1943. The militia had originally been named Bezen Kadoudal, after the anti-Jacobin Breton rebel Georges Cadoudal, but the assassination of the priest prompted Lainé to change the name in December that year.

It had already been envisaged by German strategists that in the event of an Allied invasion the Breton nationalists would form a rearguard and that other nationalist troops could be parachuted into Brittany.[1] However, the rapid American advance from Normandy into Brittany forced the group to retreat along with the German forces. In Tübingen many members were provided with false papers by Leo Weisgerber.[2] Following the war many of the organization's members, including Lainé, Heusaff and the nationalist poet Fant Rozec, fled to the Republic of Ireland.

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