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Léon Degrelle
Degrelle
Historical Figure
Nationality: Belgium
Date of Birth: 1906
Date of Death: 1994
Cause of Death: Cardiac Arrest
Occupation: Politician, Soldier
Military Branch: Waffen-SS
Political Party: Rexist Party
Turtledove Appearances:
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Two Fronts;
Last Orders
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Léon Joseph Marie Ignace Degrelle (15 June 1906 – 31 March 1994) was a Walloon Belgian politician, who founded Rexism and later joined the Waffen-SS (becoming a leader of its Walloon contingent) which were front-line troops in the fight against the Soviet Union during World War II. After the war, he was a prominent figure in fascist movements and moved to Francisco Franco's Spain, where he died.

He received the Knight's Cross from Hitler. Degrelle later claimed Hitler told him "If I had a son, I would want him to be like you." Degrelle was later awarded the oakleaves along with two other non-Germans, the Estonian Alfons Rebane and Gen. Agustín Muñoz Grandes, the Spanish commander of the Blue Division. When once asked if he had any regrets about the war, his reply was "Only that we lost!"

Léon Degrelle in The War That Came Early Edit

Despite his country's conquest by Germany in 1939, Léon Degrelle formed the Walloon Legion and fought on behalf of Germany in the Soviet Union until it was transferred back to Belgium to face the invading French and British in the Winter of 1942.[1]

Degrelle had been wounded and won the Knight's Cross. Allegedly, Hitler had said that if he'd had a son, he'd have wanted him to be like Degrelle.[2]

Degrelle and his troops were greatly hated by the British. In some cases, captured Legioneers were executed out of hand, the British considering them to be traitors undeserving of POW status.[3]

After the Nazis were overthrown in Germany in Spring 1944, Germany withdrew from Beligum, and Degrelle was immediately forced into hiding, knowing full well he'd be executed if caught.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Two Fronts, pgs. 222-223.
  2. Ibid., pg. 223.
  3. Ibid., pg 288-289.
  4. Last Orders, pg. 370.

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