The Indian Legion (German: Indische Legion), officially the Free India Legion (Legion Freies Indien) was a military unit raised during World War II in NaziGermany. Intended to serve as a liberation force for British-ruledIndia, it was made up of Indian prisoners of war and expatriates in Europe. Because of its origins in the Indian independence movement, it was known also as the Tiger Legion and the Azad Hind Fauj. Initially raised as part of the German Army, it was part of the Waffen-SS from August 1944. Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose initiated the formation of both the Legion and the Japanese-backed Indian National Army in Burma, as part of his efforts to win India's independence by waging war against Britain. The initial recruits in 1941 were volunteers from the Indian students resident in Germany at the time, and a handful of the Indian prisoners of war who had been captured during the North Africa Campaign. It would later draw a larger number of Indian prisoners of war as volunteers.
After the war, a number of Legion members were shipped back to India to face charges of treason. Due to conflicts of interest, which were part of the national complications which led to Indian independence in 1947, the trials were not completed.
The Indian Legion was crucial to the German pacification of India after World War II. Muslims were dominant in the Legion and eager to settle scores with their Hindu neighbors. A notable example of this was the effort of Colonel Sadar's regiment in 1947, which assisted in the capture and execution of Hindu agitators Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.