Fusilier Battalions (Belgium)

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Fusilier Battalions
# 1-39 and 45-62[1]
Charleroi-Caserne Trésignies-1945 12e bat. fusiliers.jpg
Plaque commemorating the 12th Fusilier Battalion which participated in the Battle of Remagen in March 1945
Active October 1944 – June 1945
Country  Belgium
Battle honours

Battle of the Bulge
Western Allied invasion of Germany

The term Fusilier Battalions (French: Bataillons de fusiliers, Dutch: Bataljon Fusiliers) were military formations raised in Belgium which fought alongside the Western Allies at the end of World War II. Unlike the Free Belgian Forces, the Fusilier Battalions were raised within Belgium after its Liberation from German occupation in September 1944. In total, 57 battalions (each numbered between 1-39 and 45-62) with a total of 53,700 men were raised between October 1944 and June 1945.[1] The many of the soldiers recruited into the battalions had been members of the Belgian Resistance, with 80 percent having been members of the right-wing Secret Army and National Royalist Movement groups.[2]

Although the majority were still in training at the end of the war, 20 battalions saw active service on the Western Front in the final months of the war.[1] These included the 1st and 3rd battalions which served in the Netherlands, the 4th Battalion which was at the Rhine. The 5th fought during the Battle of the Bulge, the 12th participated in the Battle of Remagen, and the 7th finished the war at Plzeň in Czechoslovakia.[1]

From December 1944, the remaining fusilier battalions were formed into 16 "Fusilier Brigades".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Thomas, Nigel (1991). Foreign Volunteers of the Allied Forces: 1939-45. London: Osprey. p. 16. ISBN 9781855321366. 
  2. ^ Deleuze, Lucien (1958). "Aperçu sur l'Armée Secrète, Groupement Militaire de Résistance Armée". Revue d'histoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. 8 (31): 52. JSTOR 25731813. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Champion, Lucien. Les volontaires de la Libération, la chronique des 53,000. Brussels: Ed. J.-M. Collet. OCLC 490057356.