Flemish Legion Military and Feldpost History

    Freiwilligen Legion Flandern

    Belgium is a divided country, with two different social classes.
    One class, Flemish, is racially and linguistically Germanic. The other class, Wallonien, is French speaking and racially mixed Celtic and Roman origin.
    Both are united by their strong catholic faith. The Flemings, like the Wallonies, had their own pro-Nazi parties.

    In May 1940, the Lowlands were invaded by the Germans. Immediately recruiting centers were set up in the occupied countries. The response was favorable, two SS regiments "Westland" and "Nordland" were created.

    These regiments contained Germanic volunteers but with 50% German composition. The "Westland" and "Nordland" Regiments were incorporated into the SS "Wiking" Division. The first regiment composed in it´s entirely of Dutch, Dane and Flemish personnel was designated as the "6. SS Nordwest Regiment."
    This 600 men regiment was formed in June 1941, and comprised of three companies. The members of the Nordwest Regiment were still in training at Hamburg-Langehorn, when Germany invaded Russia.

    There was a widespread desire among the volunteers to participate actively in the campaign. Especially these men who were members of pro-Nazi Parties and wanted their political affiliation represented in the Eastern Front. Shortly afterwards a Flemish Legion was announced and immediately Flemish personnel from the Nordwest Regiment were transfer into the new Legion.

    It was deemed necessary for the legion to receive proper SS combat training. On July 14, the three Flemish companies were shipped to the east by rail to Poland. While in Radom training camp, the Flemish formation was upgraded to the "SS Infantry Battalion Flandern."
    The 1st, 6th and 8th companies from the Nordwest were converted to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd companies of the Legion. In early August a draft of 405 young Flemings enlisted into the Legion along with the other volunteers who were quartered at Grafenwohr, Bavaria. These troops were used to form a fourth unit. By the end of August there were 875 Flemings in the Legion not taking into account the 696 Flemings already in service with the "WIKING" Division.

    Flemish personnel wore Waffen-SS uniforms. A three legged sun-wheel insignia was worn on the right collar-patch. The Flemish wore an arm-shield on their left sleeve showing the national crest, a black lion on a gold field. A cuff title bearing the words "Legioen Vlaanderen" was issued and worn on their lower left sleeve.

    Flemish Insignia

    Flemish Legion Insignia

    The battalion "Flandern" received orders transfering it to the Heidelager training camp near Debica, Poland. At the Debica SS camp, the legionnaires were soon join by the rest of the Flemish personnel. The Flemish Legion was joined with the Dutch Legion for combat training. On early September, the Flemish Battalion left for the SS Camp at Arys in East Prussia.

    On 24 September the SS headquarters in Berlin officially bestowed the title "SS Freiwilligen Legion Flandern." On 6 November the Legion was deemed ready for service and was placed under the command of a German Officer Michael Lippert. The Legion was sent to Novgorod where it was engaged in heavy defensive fighting. The Legion was subordinated to the 2nd SS (motorized) Infantry-Brigade.

    The 2nd SS Brigade was an international unit composed of Dutch, Norwegians and Latvians.

    The Legion was then moved to the northern front of Leningrad where it remained for six months of constant fighting. The Legion fought with distinction on the Volkhov Front, there the commander was severely wounded. In June 1942 the Legion was pulled out of the Russian front and sent home for rest and recuperation. It returned to action in August 1942 and remained there until February 1943. It was then withdrawn from the battlefront in May 1943 and sent to the training camp at Bohemia.

    Flemish Feldpost

    Flemish Legion Feldpost

    Very rare and interesting feldpost cover mailed in April 1943 by Flemish female volunteer who was by the railroad station in Berlin Zehlendorf and shows postal cancel from Berlin-Lichtenberg railroad station. Cover has been sent to family member in Berchem, a southern district of the municipality and city of Antwerp It has been censored and has sealing tape. The sender could be the Flemish artist Mya Struyf probably doing propaganda service for the Flemish Legion or Germans.

    6. SS Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade Langemarck

    Langemarck Insignia

    Flemish Legion Feldpost

    On 20 April 1942, former members of the "4. SS Infanterie Standarte Totenkopf" were awarded the honorary title of "Langemarck." Because of the constant battles during the winter of 1941/1942, only 180 men out of 3000 remained! By the end of May 1943, the decimated unit was rebuilt from German and Flemish volunteers. Members from the Flemish Legion who were on training in Debica, (Poland) were incorporated into the newly formed Langemarck Brigade.

    The Flemish Assault Brigade was established on 31 May as the "6. SS Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade Langemarck" (SS Volunteer Assault Brigade LANGEMARCK).

    By end of July personnel was sent to a spacious camp at Milovice, Bohemia,. In summer of 1943, this brigade had 2,022 men. The Flemish Assault Brigade was deployed to Army Group South, under the command of SS-Obersturmbanführer Konrad Schellong.

    By 26 December 1943, the brigade was sent to the front in Chudniv, Ukraine. In early 1944, the brigade took heavy losses while fighting heroically in Yampil, South Ukraine. By early March the brigade´s strength stood at 400 men, it was sent backed to Bohemia for rest and refit. The brigade was regrouped with 1731 men. The I Battalion of the Langemarck Brigade was sent to northern Russia where in July it took part in the celebrated Battle of the European SS at Narva, Estonia. Again decimated from the battlefield the remaining survivors were shipped to Swinemunde, Hammerstein for rest and recuperation in September 1944.

    Flemish Card

    Flemish Propaganda Postcard

    27. Freiwilligen Grenadier Division der SS Langemarck

    By late September 1944 most of Belgium had been liberated. Many Flemish collaborators accompanied the retreating Germans. These collaborators now found themselves deprived of their citizenship and unemployed in Germany. On 30 October 1944, the 6th Brigade was sent to Luneburger Heath, Germany. The physically fit were drafted into the new designated Waffen-SS division, the "27. Freiwilligen-Grenadier Division der SS Langemarck."

    The new division that consisted of the original 3000 men was under strength but was augmented by incorporating former Flemish Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, NSKK and Organization Todt personnel, totaling 15,000 men.

    This division was originally placed under SS-Ostubf. Konrad Schellog who oversaw the Division's development but he was soon replaced by Standartenführer Thomas Muller, who had temporarily commanded the 17th SS Pz-Gren Div. "Gotz von Berlichingen."

    Because of the collapsing eastern front a special Battle-Group was assembled near Luneburger Heath on the 24 December 1944. The Battle-Group, which was under the command of Ostufbaf. Schellong consisted of the following: I Battalion of SS Rgt 66, I Batalion of SS Rgt 67 and SS Anti-tank Detachment 27. Part of the Divisional Staff was also attached to the group. By early February 1945 a 2000 men battlegroup was in the Pomerania defensive front where it was virtually annihilated in the closing months of the war. They continued fighting defensive actions around the Stettin region. After pulling out of Stettin the Battle-Group was rebuilt near the villages of Brussow and Retzin. Replacements came from the divisional training camp, the bulk of SS Rgt 68 plus the original three battalions formed a 4000 men Battle-Group. The refitted Battle-Group Schellong entered the frontlines along the west bank of the northern Oder River. After constant defensive battles some remnants of the division and battle-group ended at Macklenburg surrendering to the Russians in May 1945. The Flemish volunteers wore the cuff band "LANGEMARCK." In addition, they also wore on their left shoulder the German made cloth shield showing a black lion on a yellow background.

    Flemish Postal History

    Postal History: During late May 1941, free postal privileges for mail weighing up to 250gms, were given to Belgian nationals while serving in the German armed forces. A fee of 3 Francs was charged in Belgium for mail weighing 250 to 1000gms. A 20Rpf for mail posted by Germans nationals.

    Feldpost numbers assigned to the Flemish Legion

    From July 1941 to April 1943, Flemish personnel serving in the Waffen-SS Legion received following Feldpost unit numbers:

    Reserve Staff-------------- 44853A

    1st. Rifle Co. -------------- 44853B

    2nd. Rifle Co.-------------- 44853C

    3rd. Heavy Inf. Co.------- 44853D

    4th. Heavy Mortar Co.-- 44853E

    5th. Anti-tank Co.---------- 44853F

    On May 31, 1943, the Flemish Legion was reformed as "6th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade Langemarck." New Feldpost numbers were assigned as follows:

    Brigade Staff------------------- 44853

    1st. Btl. (1-4 Co.)--------------------- 34695A-D

    2nd. Btl. (5-8 Co.)-------------------- 17662A-D

    Administrative Company----- 37892

    8.8cm. Anti-aircraft Battery-- 45214

    2.2cm Anti-aircraft Battery-- 45840

    Field Reserve Co.------------- 56414

    Assault-gun Battery 56.----- 40035

    Anti-tank Company------------ 21836

    Transport Column-------------- 32401


    6th SS Assault Brigade Langemarck Feldpost

    Rare "Luftfeldpost" cover mailed by a member in the 6th SS Assault Brigade Langemarck. The feldpost cancel although not clear shows the postal cancel dated July 1943 and it was mailed to Gent, Flanders. In addition, it shows the unit seal of the SS-Brigade Staff personnel.


    The reverse shows the senders rank and FPN 44853E (4th Heavy Mortar Co.). The cover was censored as shown by the sealing tape and red censor markings.

    By the end of May 1943, the decimated unit was being rebuilt with German and Flemish volunteers. Members from the Flemish Legion who were already in training in Debica, (Poland) were incorporated into the newly formed Langemarck Brigade, which remained there until late summer of 1943 where it was transfered to the spacious camp in Milovice, Bohemia.

    On October 1944, the 6th SS Brigade was reformed as "27th SS Volunteer Infantry Division." New Feldpost numbers were assigned as follows:

    Divisional Staff--------------------------------- 44853

    Military Police Troops and Staff----------- 64116

    SS Volunteer Infantry Regiment 66

    Regimental Staff-------------------------------- 04206

    1st. Btl. (1-4 Co.)------------------------------------- 64485A-D

    2nd. Btl. (5-8 Co.)------------------------------------ 17662A-D

    SS Administrated Co.-------------------------- 37892

    SS Volunteer Infantry Regiment 67:

    Regimental Staff----------------------------------- 05294

    1st. Btl. (1-4 Co.)---------------------------------------- 34695A-D

    2nd. Btl. (5-8 Co.)--------------------------------------- 07073A-D

    Regimental Staff----------------------------------- 64712

    1st. Btl. (1-4 Co.)---------------------------------------- 04336A-D

    2nd. Btl. (5-8 Co.)--------------------------------------- 65078A-D

    SS Rapid-fire Co. 27------------------------------- 05150

    Flemish Feldpost

    Rare Flemish Legion feldpost cover addressed to FPN 44853C, assigned to the 2nd Rifle Co.
    Propaganda labels were purchased by family members and used on German military mail.

    The 2nd Co. was referred as the CIRCUS BREYMANN, after Helmet Breymann, Company commander. There is some information regarding the addressee SS-Sturmmann Jef Verleysen.
    In 1941, he was in Arys east-Pommerania for training. He is also listed in an extensive list of men that served in the 2nd Co. of the Langemarck Brigade till the end of 1945.

    SS Artillery Regiment 37:

    Regimental Staff----------------------------------- 05814

    1st. Battalion (1-3 Battr.)------------------------- 07534

    2nd. Battalion (4-5 Battr.)------------------------ 06939

    3rd. Battalion (7-8 Battr.)------------------------ 66124

    4th. Battalion (10-11 Battr.)--------------------- 07944

    SS Artillery Regiment 27:

    Staff Service Regiment 27. --------------------- 66752

    Service Regiment Unit--------------------------- 32401

    SS Military Police Troop 27.------------------- 64116

    SS Veterinary Co. 27.---------------------------- 06263

    SS Administrated Co. 27. ----------------------- 06588

    SS Engineer Battalion 27. ---------------------- 66467

    SS 8.8cm. Anti-aircraft Battery --------------- 45214

    SS 2.2cm Anti-aircraft Battery ---------------- 45840

    SS Anti-tank Co. 27. ----------------------------- 21836

    SS Signals Unit 27. ------------------------------- 44853

    SS Anti-tank Unit 27.----------------------------- 21836

    SS Field Reserve Battalion 27. ---------------- 65547

    SS Supply Regiment 27.------------------------- 66752

    SS Medical Co. & Ambulance Platoon------- 65902

    SS Field Postoffice 27.---------------------------- 66997

    Langemarck Feldpost

    Flemish Legion Feldpost

    Interesting Flemish Legion SS-Feldpost cover that was mailed to FPN 44853E (4th Heavy Mortar Co.), however, it was returned as indicated by the purple marking. This cover was sent to SS-Unterscharführer Rudolf Eberding who was the oldest of three brothers who joined the Waffen-SS. Eberding was originaly a member of the SS-Freiwilligen-Standarte "Nordwest."
    He was decorated with the Black Wound Badge and the 2nd class Iron Cross.
    Rudolf Eberding was killed in action on the 25 of march 1943 near Krassny Bor, where numerous Flemish and Spanish Volunteers feld in action. The cover has a hand written annotation indicating "Died for the fatherland."

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