Légion Belge (resistance)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the regular army units of the same name, see Belgian Legion.
Belgian Legion
Légion Belge
Participant in Second World War
Active Spring 1941-1943
Ideology Various; including Fascism and Paternalism
Leaders Charles Claser (1941-1942)
Jules Bastin (1942~).[1]
Headquarters Ghent
Brussels
Namur
Area of
operations
Across Belgium
Originated as Armée Belge Reconstituée (from June 1941)
Became Armée de Belgique, eventually Armée Secrète
Opponents Nazi Germany German Occupying Forces

The Belgian Legion (French: Légion Belge) was a group of the Belgian resistance during World War II and one of the predecessors of the Armée Secrète.

History[edit]

The group was established by Belgian army officers and originally led by Charles Claser. In July 1941 another resistance group, the Armée Belge Reconstituée (ABR) joined the organization and took its name.[2] The group experienced a recruitment boom in October 1942 when number of people conscripted by the Germans for forced labour rose.[2] Between 1941 and 1942, the group tried to establish contact with the Government in Exile and SOE in London but the support and resources promised to the Légion were not forthcoming.[3]

Many members of the group had a far-right political ideology and included the notable fascist Paul Hoornaert who was arrested by the Germans for his involvement with the group[4] and members of his National Legion. It included a number of Rexists who, although fascist by inclination, supported an independent fascist Belgium under the rule of Leopold III, rather than a German-occupied satellite state.[5]

The organization received all its funding from private sources in occupied Belgium.[6]

In 1943, the group changed its name to the Armée de Belgique. Eventually, it would become the Armée secrète in 1944.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jurado, Carlos (1992). Resistance Warfare 1940-45. p. 15. 
  2. ^ a b De Vidts, Kim. "Belgium: A small yet significant resistance force during World War II" (PDF). Doctoral Thesis. Hawaii. pp. 83–4. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  3. ^ De Vidts, Kim. "Belgium: A small yet significant resistance force during World War II" (PDF). Doctoral Thesis. Hawaii. p. 85. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Blamires, Cyprian (2006). World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia 2. p. 323. 
  5. ^ R.J.B. Bosworth, The Oxford Handbook of Fascism, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 482
  6. ^ De Vidts, Kim. "Belgium: A small yet significant resistance force during World War II" (PDF). Doctoral Thesis. Hawaii. p. 89. Retrieved 10 February 2013.