Flag of the Legion (and Azad Hind)
|Nickname||"Tiger Legion", "Azad Hind Fauj"|
The Indian Legion (German: Indische Legion), officially the Free India Legion (German: Legion Freies Indien) or Infantry Regiment 950 (Indian) (German: Infanterie-Regiment 950 (indisches)) and later the Indian Volunteer Legion of the Waffen-SS (German: Indische Freiwilligen Legion der Waffen-SS), was a military unit raised during World War II in Germany, which was intended to serve as a liberation force for British-ruled India. It was also variously known also as the "Tiger Legion", and the "Azad Hind Fauj", because it was established by Subhas Chandra Bose as part of his efforts to win Indian independence by fighting on the side of the Axis powers. It was initially raised in 1941 and attached to the German Army, and from August 1944 was attached to the Waffen-SS. Bose, onetime chairman of the Indian National Congress and a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement, co-founded the legion when he came to Berlin in 1941 seeking German aid to bring down British rule in India. The initial recruits were volunteers from the Indian students resident in Germany at the time, and a handful of the Indian prisoners of war (POWs) who had been captured by Erwin Rommel during his North Africa Campaign. It would later draw a larger number of Indian POWs as volunteers.
Though it was initially raised as an assault group that would form a pathfinder to a German-Indian joint invasion of the western frontiers of British India, only a small contingent was ever put to its original intended purpose. A hundred of the legionnaires were parachuted into eastern Iran in Operation Bajadere and infiltrated into India through Baluchistan to commence sabotage operations against the British in preparation for an anticipated national revolt. The majority of the troops of the Indian Legion were only ever stationed in Europe – mostly in non-combat duties – from the Netherlands, to Atlantic Wall duties in France until the Allied invasion of France. A small contingent, including much of the leadership and the officer corps, was transferred to the Indian National Army, which worked with the Japanese, and fought in the Burma Campaign. In Italy in 1944, some troops of the legion saw action against British and Polish troops and undertook anti-partisan operations.
At the time of the surrender of the Third Reich in 1945, the remaining troops of the Indian Legion made efforts to march to neutral Switzerland over the Alps, but these efforts proved futile as they were captured by American and French troops and eventually shipped back to India to face charges of treason. Because of the uproar the trials of Indians who served with the Axis caused among civilians and the military of British India, the legion members' trials were not completed. The Legion was even less successful than Bose's Indian National Army in Burma and eastern India in military terms; however, Bose's volunteers and the uproar that their trials caused forced the British to reconsider whether the Indian military would remain loyal to their rulers, so many historians give them some credit for India's independence after World War II.
- 1 Background
- 2 Origin
- 3 Organization
- 4 The Legion in operation
- 5 End of the Legion
- 6 Legacy
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Works cited
- 10 External links
The idea of raising an armed force that would fight its way into India to bring down the Raj goes back to World War I, when the Ghadar Party and the nascent embryo of the Indian Independence League formulated plans to initiate rebellion in the British Indian Army from Punjab to Hong Kong with German support. This plan failed after the information was leaked to British intelligence, but only after the Hong Kong garrison had rebelled. During World War II, all the three major Axis Powers, at some stage of their campaign against Britain, sought to support the armed revolutionary activities within India and aided the recruitment of a military force from disaffected Indian POWs captured while serving with the British Commonwealth forces, and from Indian expatriates.
The most famous and successful Indian force to fight with the Axis was the Indian National Army (INA) that came into being with the support of the Japanese Empire in the Far East. By 1942, Fascist Italy had created the Battaglione Azad Hindoustan (Azad Hindustan Battalion). This unit was formed from Indian POWs from their Centro I POW camp, and Italians previously resident in India and Persia, and ultimately served under the Military Regrouping Center (Ragruppamento Centri Militari). However, the effort had little acceptance from the Indians in the unit, who refused to serve under Italian officers. After the Italian loss at the battle of El Alamein, the Indians mutinied when told to fight in Libya. Consequently, the battalion was disbanded in November 1942.
Although the Indian National Congress, the organisation leading the struggle for Indian independence, had passed resolutions conditionally supporting the fight against fascism, some Indian public opinion was more hostile at Britain's unilateral decision to declare India a belligerent on the side of the Allies. Among the more rebellious amongst Indian political leaders of the time was Subhas Chandra Bose, who was viewed as a sufficiently potent threat that when the war started the Raj government put him under arrest, and later under house arrest. Bose escaped from his house arrest in Calcutta on 19 January 1941 and made his way through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union, with the help of family members, members of his Forward Bloc party, and later Germany's military intelligence, the Abwehr. Once in Russia, the NKVD transported Bose to Moscow, where he hoped that Russia's traditional enmity to British rule in India would result in support for his plans for a popular rising in India. However, Bose found the Soviets' response disappointing and rapidly passed over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenberg, who arranged for Bose to be sent to Berlin.
Bose reached Berlin at the beginning of April 1941 where he met foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and later Hitler. In Berlin, Bose set up the Azad Hind Radio and the Free India Centre which commenced broadcasting to Indians on shortwave frequencies. The Azad Hind Radio broadcasts were estimated to have been regularly received by 30,000 Indians who possessed the requisite receiver. Soon Bose's aim became to raise an army, which he imagined would march to India's North-West Frontier Province with German forces through the Caucasus and trigger the downfall of the Raj.
The first troops of the Indian Legion were recruited from Indian POWs captured at El Mekili, Libya during the battles for Tobruk. The German forces in the Western Desert selected a core group of 27 POWs as potential officers and they were flown to Berlin in May 1941, to be followed, after the Centro I experiment, by POWs being transferred from the Italian forces to Germany. The number of POWs transferred to Germany grew to about 10,000 who were eventually housed at Annaberg camp, where Bose first met with them. A first group of 300 volunteers from the POWs and Indians expatriates in Germany were sent to Frankenberg camp near Chemnitz, to train and convince arriving POWs to join the legion. As the numbers of POWs joining the legion swelled, the legion was moved to Königsbrück for further training. It was at Königsbrück that uniforms were first issued, in German feldgrau with the badge of the leaping tiger of Azad Hind. The formation of the Indian National Army was announced by the German Propaganda Ministry in January 1942. It did not, however, take oath until 26 August 1942, as the Legion Freies Indien of the German Army. By May 1943, the numbers had swelled, aided by the enlistment as volunteers of Indian expatriates.
The British Indian Army organized regiments and units on the basis of religion and regional identity. Bose, from very early on, sought to end this practice and build up one unified Indian identity. Consequently, the Indian Legion was organized as mixed units so that Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jats, Rajputs, Marathas, Kumaonis and Garhwalis all served side-by-side. Approximately 59% were Hindu, 25% Muslim and 14% Sikh (rising to 20% later) and 14% other groups such as the Gurkhas, although some sources claim that they were majority Sikh. That Bose's idea of developing a unified racial-nationalist identity was successful was evident when Himmler proposed in late 1943 (after Bose's departure to the Far East) that the Muslim soldiers of the I.R. 950 be recruited into the SS Handschar Division that was formed at the time. The commander of the SS Head Office, Gottlob Berger, was obliged to point out that while the Bosnians perceived themselves as people of a European identity, the Indian Muslims perceived themselves as Indians. Hitler, however, showed little enthusiasm for the I.R. 950, at one stage insisting that their weapons be handed over to the newly created 18th SS Horst Wessel Division, exclaiming that "…the Indian Legion is a joke!"
Uniform and standard
The uniform issued to the Indian Legion were the standard German Army uniform of feldgrau in winter and khaki in summer. Additionally, the troops wore on their right upper arm a specially designed arm badge in the shape of the shield with three horizontal stripes of the saffron, white and green and featuring a leaping tiger on the white middle band. The legend Freies Indien was inscribed in black featured on a white background above the tricolor. A saffron, white, and green transfer was also worn on the left side of their steel helmets, similar to the black, white, and red decal German soldiers wore on their helmets. Sikhs in the legion were permitted to wear a turban as dictated by their religion instead of the usual peaked field cap, of a color appropriate to their uniform.
The standard of the Indian Legion, presented as the unit's colours in late 1942 or early 1943, featured the same design as the arm badge previously issued to the men of the Legion. It consisted of saffron, white and green horizontal bands, from top to bottom, the white middle band was approximately three times the width of the colored bands. The words "Azad" and "Hind" in white were inscribed over the saffron and green bands respectively, and over the white middle band was a leaping tiger. This is essentially the same design that the Azad Hind Government later adopted as their flag, although photographic evidence shows that the later Indian National Army, at least during the Burma Campaign, may not have carried it as their battle standard, opting for the flag of the Congress instead.
In 1942 Bose instituted several medals and orders for service to Azad Hind. As was typical for German decorations, crossed swords were added when they were issued for action in combat. How many, if any, actual medals were issued remains uncertain.
Structure and units
The Indian Legion was organized as a standard German army infantry regiment of three battalions of four companies each, at least initially with exclusively German commissioned officers. It has been later referred to as Panzergrenadier Regiment 950 (indische), indicating the unit was partially motorized. It was equipped with 81 motor vehicles and 700 horses. In this structure, the legion came to consist of:
- I. Bataillon – infantry companies 1 to 4
- II. Bataillon – infantry companies 5 to 8
- III. Bataillon – infantry companies 9 to 12
- 13th Infanteriegeschütz Kompanie (infantry-gun company – consisting of six 7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18)
- 14th Panzerjäger Kompanie (anti-tank company – consisting of six panzerabwehrkanone)
- 15th Pionier Kompanie (engineer company)
- Ehrenwachkompanie (honour guard company)
It also included hospital staff, and training and maintenance staff.
The Legion in operation
It is doubtful that Subhas Chandra Bose envisaged the Free India Legion as an army sufficient or strong enough to conduct a campaign across Persia into India on its own. Instead, most historians accept that the IR 950 was to become the pathfinder, and would precede a much larger Indo-German force in a Caucasian campaign into the western frontiers of British India, that would encourage public resentment of the Raj and incite the British Indian Army into revolt.
To this end, Operation Bajadere was launched in January 1942 when a detachment of the Freies Indien were paradropped into Eastern Persia tasked to infiltrate into India through Baluchistan. They numbered about one hundred and had trained with the German Brandenburgers (the special forces of the Wehrmacht).They were tasked to commence sabotage operations in preparation for the anticipated national revolt. Information passed on to Abwehr headquarters in Berlin from their office in Kabul indicate that they were successful.
Following German defeat in Europe at Stalingrad and in North Africa at El Alamein it became clear that an Axis assault through Persia or even the Soviet Union was unlikely. Bose had in the mean time travelled to the Far East where the Japanese troops were threatening India. Bose's army in South Asia, the Indian National Army, successfully engaged the allies along with the Japanese 15th Army in Burma and ultimately entered India through Moirang to lay siege on Imphal. The German Naval High Command at this time made the decision to transfer the leadership and a segment of the Freies Indien to the Azad Hind Government in South Asia and on 21 January, it was formally made a part of the Indian National Army. A majority of the troops of the Indian Legion, however, were to remain in Europe through the war and were never utilized in their originally planned role in Persia and Central Asia.
Netherlands and France
The legion was transferred to Zeeland in the Netherlands in April 1943 as part of the Atlantic Wall and later to France in September 1943, attached to 344 Infanterie-Division, and later the 159 Infanterie-Division of the Wehrmacht. From Beverloo in Belgium, I. Battalion was reassigned to Zandvoort in May 1943 where they stayed until relieved by the Georgian Legion in August. In September 1943, the battalion was deployed on the Atlantic coast of Bordeaux on the Bay of Biscay. II. Battalion moved from Beverloo to the island of Texel in May 1943 and stayed there until relieved in September of that year. From here, it was deployed to Les Sables-d'Olonne in France. III. Battalion remained at Oldebroek as Corps Reserve until the end of September 1943, where they gained a "wild and loathsome" reputation amongst the locals.
Transfer to the Waffen-SS
The legion was stationed in the Lacanau (near Bordeaux) at the time of the Normandy landings, and remained there for up to two months after D-Day. On 8 August 1944 Himmler authorized its control to be transferred to the Waffen-SS, as was that of every other foreign volunteer unit of the German Army. The unit was renamed the Indische Freiwilligen Legion der Waffen-SS. Command of the legion was very shortly transferred from Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Krapp to Oberführer Heinz Bertling. The Indian personnel noticed a change of command was at hand and started to complain. Noting he wasn't "wanted" Bertling soon agreed to be relieved of command. On 15 August, the unit pulled out of Lacanau to make its way back to Germany. It was in the second leg of this journey, from Poitiers to Chatrou that it suffered its first combat casualty (Lieutenant Ali Khan) while engaging French regular forces in the town of Dun. The unit also engaged with allied armour at Nuits St. Georges while retreating across the Loire to Dijon. It was regularly harassed by the French Resistance, suffering two more casualties (Lieutenant Kalu Ram and Captain Mela Ram). The unit moved from Remiremont through Alsace to Camp Heuberg in Germany in the winter of 1944, where it stayed until March 1945.
II. Battalion, 9th Company, of the legion also saw action in Italy. Having been deployed in the spring of 1944, it faced the British 5th Corps and the Polish 2nd Corps before it was withdrawn from the front to be used in anti-partisan operations. It surrendered to the Allied forces in April 1945, still in Italy.
End of the Legion
With the defeat of the Third Reich imminent in May 1945, the remainder of the Indian Legion stationed in Germany sought sanctuary in neutral Switzerland. They undertook a desperate 2.6-kilometer (1.6 mi) march along the shores of Lake Constance, attempting to enter Switzerland via the alpine passes. This was, however, unsuccessful and the legion was captured by U.S. and French forces and delivered to British and Indian forces in Europe. There is some evidence that some of these Indian troops were shot by French Moroccan troops in the town of Immenstadt after their capture, before they could be delivered to the British forces. The captured troops would later be shipped back to India where a number of the troops would stand trial for treason.
The integral association of the Free India Legion with Nazi Germany and later Japan means its legacy is judged from two distinct viewpoints. Comparisons have been made to the Vlasov movement in Russia. One viewpoint sees it as a collaborationist army of the Third Reich. The other which views it as the realization of a liberation army to fight for independence, against the British Raj in India. The Free India Legion was conceived with the same doctrine as the Indian National Army and the rest of the Azad Hind movement. Unlike the Indian National Army, it has found little exposure since the end of the war even in independent India, perhaps because its fight was far removed from India, unlike Burma, and because the Legion was so much smaller and less successful than the INA. To consider the legacy of Free India Legion, however, one has to consider both the Azad Hind movement's military and political actions (of which the legion was one of the earliest elements, and an integral part of Bose's initial plans) and the indirect effect they had on the era's events, both in and away from the public eye. In German histories of World War II, the Legion is noted less than other foreign volunteer units. Filmmaker Merle Kröger, however, made the 2003 mystery film Cut! about soldiers from the Legion in France. She said she found them an excellent topic for a mystery because most Germans had not heard of the Indians who volunteered for the German Army.
Perceptions as collaborators
In considering the creation and history of the Free India Legion, the most controversial aspect is its integral link to the Nazi Germany, with a widespread perception that they were ideological collaborators of Nazi Germany by the virtue of their uniform, oath, and field of operation. That is to say, that they actively supported the Nazi war effort, principles such as racial supremacy, and atrocities committed against 'inferior' races and occupied people. The views of the founder and leader of the Azad Hind movement, Subhas Chandra Bose, were somewhat more nuanced than straightforward support for the Axis. Bose had organized and led protest marches against the Japanese invasions of Manchuria and China as president of the Indian National Congress during the 1930s. In 1937 he published an article attacking Japanese imperialism, although he had some admiration for other aspects of the Japanese regime. Bose's correspondence prior to 1939 also reflects his deep disapproval of the racist practices and annulment of democratic institutions by the Nazis. He also, however, expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India.
Bose's view was not necessarily shared by the men of the Free India Legion, and they were not wholly party to Nazi ideology or in collaboration with the Nazi machinery. Although the Nazis regarded Indians as members of the Aryan race, the small number of Indians and their particular lack of usefulness in Germany's situation resulted in Indians not receiving the best treatment. It would be fallacious to say that the soldiers of the Free India Legion were mere mercenaries who volunteered for money and to escape imprisonment. Indeed, when the first POWs were brought to Annaburg camp and met by Subhas Chandra Bose, there was marked and open hostility towards him as a Nazi propaganda puppet. Subsequently, once Bose's efforts and views had gained more sympathy, a persistent query among the (then) POWs was 'How would the legionary stand in relation to the German soldier?' The Indians were not prepared to fight Germany's war for Germany's interests, having already abandoned their oath to the King-Emperor. The Italian Battaglione Azad Hindoustan had been of dubious loyalty to the Axis cause—it was disbanded after a mutiny. In one instance, immediately prior to the first deployment of the Legion in the Netherlands in April 1943, after departure of I. Battalion from Königsbrück, two companies within the II. Battalion refused to move.
The Free India Centre – in charge of the legion after the departure of Bose – came to face a number of grievances from legionaries. The foremost were a rumour that Netaji had abandoned them and had gone off leaving them entirely in German hands, and a perception that the Wehrmacht was now going to use them in the Western Front instead of sending them to fight for India's independence. Even in Asia, where the Indian National Army was much larger and fought the British directly, Bose initially faced similar obstacles. All of this goes to show that many of the men never possessed loyalty to the Nazi cause or ideology; the motivation of the Legion's men was to fight for India' independence, as pioneers for a larger uprising.
Bose sought and obtained agreement from the Germans that the Wehrmacht would train the Indians in the strictest military discipline; that they were to be trained in all branches of infantry in using weapons and motorized units the same way a German formation was trained; that the Indian legionaries were not to be mixed up with any of the German formations; that they were not to be sent to any front other than in India for fighting against the British, but would be allowed to fight in self-defence at any other place if surprised by any enemy formation; and nonetheless that in all other respects the legion members would enjoy the same facilities and amenities regarding pay, clothing, food, leave, etc., as a German unit. As for the unit's deployments in the Netherlands and France, they were ostensibly for training purposes, according to Bose's plans for the unit to be trained in some aspects of coastal defence. Bose had also had the German High Command committed to not deploying the unit for purposes of German military interests and strategy. Indeed, after the invasion of France by the Allies, the unit was ordered back to Germany. The unit did allegedly participate in atrocities, especially in the Médoc region in July 1944, and in the region of Ruffec and the department of Indre during their retreat, and in addition, some elements of the unit undertook anti-partisan operations in Italy.
Role in Indian independence
The Free India Legion did not engage in its original conceived role in British India, so it is not possible to ask whether it fulfilled the aim for which it was intended. Bose's plans for the Legion were too grandiose for its military capability. Furthermore, the fate of the Free India Legion and even the INA was tied to that of the Axis powers. But in political terms, the Legion might not have been a paper tiger, owing to events that occurred within India after the war.
The stories of the INA and Free India Legion were seen as so inflammatory that fearing mass revolts and uprisings across the empire, the British government forbade the BBC from broadcasting their story after the war. The Raj also brought to trial soldiers and officers of the INA as well as the Free India Legion (though not much is known of the latter). However, the stories of the trials at the Red Fort filtered through, and authorities observed with alarm the turnaround in the perception of Azad Hind movement from traitors and collaborators to patriots. Although the authorities expected to improve the morale of their troops by prosecuting the Azad Hind volunteers, they only contributed to the sentiment among many members of the military that they had been on the wrong side during the war. The trials overshadowed talks between Indian leaders that would lead to the independence of India and Pakistan, also held at the Red Fort.
Inspired to a large extent by the stories of the soldiers then at trial, mutiny broke out in the Royal Indian Navy, and received widespread public support. As the troops who fought for the Allies were being demobilised, the Navy mutiny was followed up by smaller mutinies in the Royal Indian Air Force, and a mutiny in the Army that was suppressed by force. In the aftermath of the mutinies, the weekly intelligence summary issued on 25 March 1946 admitted that the Indian military was no longer trustworthy, and, for the Army, "only day to day estimates of steadiness could be made". It was decided that the armed forces could not be relied upon to suppress unrest as they had before, and drawing from experiences of the Free India Legion and INA, their actions could not be predicted from their oath to the King-Emperor. Reflecting on the factors that guided the British decision to relinquish their rule in India, Clement Attlee, then the British Prime Minster, cited as the most important reason the realisation that the Indian armed forces might not prop up the Raj. Although Britain made a commitment to grant dominion status to India at the end of the war following Cripps' mission in 1942, the views held in 1946 by the administrators of the Raj would suggest that, contrary to the usual narrative of India's independence struggle (which generally focuses on the Congress and Mahatma Gandhi), the Indians who fought for the Axis were one factor in the withdrawal of the British from India. Although militarily a failure, the Azad Hind movement's effects on Indian public opinion and the Raj's armed forces meant that it still was a significant, historic success.
- Littlejohn 1994, p. 127.
- Lundari 1989, p. 90.
- Public Relations Office, London. War Office. 208/761A
- James 1997, p. 598.
- "The Congress and the Freedom Movement: World War II and the Congress". AICC.org.in. Indian National Congress. Archived from the original on 7 May 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
- Kurowski 1997, p. 136.
- James 1997, p. 555.
- "Axis War Makes Easier Task of Indians. Chandra Bose's Berlin Speech.". Syonan Sinbun. 26 January 1943.
- Weale 1994, p. 213.
- Davis 1994, pp. 21–22.
- (Hartog 2001, p. 7) "Compared to the distribution in the Indian Army in the Classification Lists, where the Muslims were 34 per cent, the Hindus 41 per cent, the Sikhs 11 per cent and the Gurkhas and other races 14 per cent, this points to the fact that in the Indian Legion there were most Hindus and Sikhs and fewer Muslims than in the Indian Army."
- Houterman 1997, p. 63.
- Sharma 2012, p. 102.
- Lepre 1997, p. 117.
- Davis 1994, p. 42.
- "Indian Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht".
- Meerschaert, Hendrik. "1939–1945 India". Medals of the Second World War.
- Davis 1994, p. 22.
- Caballero Jurado 1983, p. 31.
- Weale 1994, pp. 137–138.
- Thomson, Mike (23 September 2004). "Hitler's Secret Indian Army". BBC News. BBC.
- Munoz 2002.
- "Subhas Chandra Bose: Er wollte Freiheit für Indien". Augsburger Zeitung (in German). 19 August 2000.
- Goel, Urmila (2003). "Die indische Legion – Ein Stück Deutsche Geschichte". Südasien (in German) (4): 27–30.
- Bose, Subhas (October 1937). "Japan's Role in the Far East". Modern Review. "Japan has done great things for herself and for Asia. Her reawakening at the dawn of the present century sent a thrill throughout our Continent. Japan has shattered the white man's prestige in the Far East and has put all the Western imperialist powers on the defensive – not only in the military but also in the economic sphere. She is extremely sensitive – and rightly so – about her self-respect as an Asiatic race. She is determined to drive out the Western powers from the Far East. But could not all this have been achieved without Imperialism, without dismembering the Chinese Republic, without humiliating another proud, cultured and ancient race? No, with all our admiration for Japan, where such admiration is due, our whole heart goes out to China in her hour of trial.", cited in Bose, Sisir K., and Bose, Sugata, ed. (1997). The Essential Writings of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 190.
- Bose to Dr. Thierfelder of the Deutsche Academie, Kurhaus Hochland, Badgastein, 25 March 1936 "Today I regret that I have to return to India with the conviction that the new nationalism of Germany is not only narrow and selfish but arrogant. The recent speech of Herr Hitler in Munich gives the essence of Nazi philosophy…The new racial philosophy which has a very weak scientific foundation stands for the glorification of the white races in general and the German race in particular. Herr Hitler has talked of the destiny of white races to rule over the rest of the world. But the historical fact is that up till now the Asiatics have dominated Europe more than have the Europeans dominated Asia. One only has to consider the repeated invasions of Europe by Mongols, the Turks, the Arabs (Moors), the Huns, and other Asiatic races to understand the strength of my argument…" Bose, Sisir K., and Bose, Sugata, ed. (1997). The Essential Writings of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 155.
- Sen 1999.
- Toye 1959, p. 63.
- James 1997, p. 553.
- Ganpuley 1959, p. 153.
- Lormier 1998, pp. 35–36.
- "Le passage des Hindous dans le département de l’Indre (fin août 1944)" (in French). French official public archives, presented and annotated by Jean-Louis Laubry.
- Lebra, Joyce C. Jungle Alliance: Japan and the Indian National Army. Singapore: Asia Pacific Library. pp. pp. 190–191. "When Bose heard the order to retreat he was stunned. He drew himself up and said to Kawabe in ringing tones: 'Though the Japanese Army has given up the operation, we will continue it. We will not repent even if the advance of our revolutionary army to attain independence of our homeland is completely defeated. Increase in casualties, cessation of supplies, and famine are not reasons enough to stop marching. Even if the whole army becomes only spirit we will not stop advancing toward our homeland. This is the spirit of our revolutionary army.'" In an article in Azad Hind on 6 November 1944, after the retreat from Imphal, Bose was reported to have 'reiterated his firm conviction that final victory in this war would belong to Japan and Germany ... that a new phase of war was approaching in which the initiative would again lie in the hands of the Japanese.'"
- Edwardes, Michael (1964). The Last Years of British India. Cleveland: World Publishing Company. p. 93. "The Government of India had hoped, by prosecuting members of the INA, to reinforce the morale of the Indian Army. It succeeded only in creating unease, in making the soldiers feel slightly ashamed that they had supported the British. If Bose and his men had been on the right side – and much of India now believed that they were – then Indians in the Indian Army must have been on the wrong side. It slowly dawned upon the Government of India that the backbone of the British rule, the Indian Army, might now no longer be trustworthy. The INA and Free India Legion thus overshadowed the conference that was to lead to independence, held in the same Red Fort as the trials."
- Unpublished, Public Relations Office, London. War Office. 208/761A
- James 1997, pp. 571, 598.
- Unpublished, Public Relations Office, London. War Office. 208/819A 25C
- Bhat, Dhanjaya (12 February 2006). "Which phase of our freedom struggle won for us Independence?". The Tribune. Retrieved 17 July 2006.
- Brown 1999, pp. 328–330.
- James 1997, p. 557.
- Brown, Judith (1999). Modern India: The Making of an Asian Democracy (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
- Caballero Jurado, Carlos (1983). Foreign Volunteers of the Wehrmacht 1941–45. Osprey. ISBN 0850455243.
- Davis, Brian L. (1994). Flags of the Third Reich 2: Waffen-SS. Osprey.
- Ganpuley, N. G. (1959). Netaji in Germany: A Little-known Chapter. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
- Hartog, Rudolf (2001). The Sign of the Tiger: Subhas Chandra Bose and His Indian Legion in Germany, 1941–45. Rupa & Company. ISBN 978-81-7167-547-0. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Houterman, J. N. (1997). Eastern Troops in Zeeland, The Netherlands, 1943–1945. ISBN 1891227009.
- James, L. (1997). Raj: Making and Unmaking of British India. Abacus.
- Kurowski, F. (1997). The Brandenburgers: Global Mission. trans. D. Johnston. J.J. Fedorowicz. ISBN 092199138X.
- Lepre, George (1997). Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943–1945. Schiffer Military History. ISBN 0764301349.
- Littlejohn, David (1994) . Foreign Legions of the Third Reich. IV: Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Free India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia (2nd ed.). San Jose, California: R. James Bender. ISBN 0-912138-36-X.
- Lormier, Dominique (1998). La poche du Médoc (in French). Éditions CMD.
- Lundari, G. (1989). I Paracadutisti Italiani 1937/45 (in Italian). Milan: Editrice Militare Italiana.
- Munoz, A. J. (2002). The East Came West: Muslim, Hindu & Buddhist Volunteers in the German Armed Forces, 1941–1945. Academic Publishing Books. ISBN 978-1891227394.
- Sen, S. (1999). Subhas Chandra Bose 1897–1945. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005.
- Sharma, Sat D. (2012). India Marching: Reflections from a Nationalistic Perspective. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse. ISBN 978-1-4759-1422-1.
- Toye, Hugh (1959). The Springing Tiger. London: Cassell.
- Weale, Adrian (1994). Renegades: Hitler's Englishmen. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0297814885.
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