Germans who Fought for Britain in WW2


“Freedom! Out of the clutches of the Nazis, I might yet live to fight them…”

The compelling story of 10,000 Germans and Austrians who fled Nazi persecution and joined the British forces in the Second World War. Having escaped Nazi Germany with their lives, this was their chance to fight back. They served in all theatres of war, including dangerous operations behind enemy lines and the D-Day landings. Now they faced their former countrymen on the beaches of Normandy and the battlefields of Europe. But ‘Churchill’s refugee soldiers’ did not feel they were betraying the country of their birth. Rather, they felt that Germany had betrayed them. Some were hunted for special duties behind enemy lines with the Commandos, special Raiding Forces, SAS and SOE. Others were involved in the battles at sea, top secret intelligence duties, and elite infantry regiments. They fought, and many died, fighting on the front line for the country that had saved them from Hitler’s tyranny. With one or two exceptions, these refugees in uniform did not receive British nationality until 1946-47. At the end of the War, they returned in their thousands in British army uniform to Germany and Austria to begin the reconstruction of post-war Europe and the hunt for Nazi war criminals. Based on eye-witness accounts and interviews with veterans, Helen Fry pieces together their extraordinary story and their sacrifice. The book is the unique story of the Germans who fought for King and adopted country, and sheds light on this little-known aspect of British wartime history.

“I joined the British Forces because I wanted to give something back to Britain for saving my life,” Willy Field (Willy Hirschfeld), Royal Armoured Corps 

“We did what we thought we had to do. We tried to fight for the redemption of the human race and to give history another chance,” Ernest Goodman (Ernst Guttmann), Coldstream Guards

            “…a fascinating story, well told”


“Vital reading to understand … the bravery of those who returned to fight against the system which had rejected them”   


The book has been the subject of a worldwide distributed documentary called “Churchill’s German Army”, shown on the National Geographic Channel (2010), featuring veterans and Helen Fry.

Amongst the hundreds of veterans who Helen has interviewed and worked closely with for over a decade are: Sir Ken Adam who became the only German fighter pilot in the RAF, Geoffrey Perry who shot Lord Haw Haw, John Langford who became Churchill’s bodyguard at Potsdam, Hans Alexander who captured Rudolf Hoess the Commandant of Auschwitz, Sigmund Freud’s grandsons who fought for Britain (Walter Freud, Stephan and Clement Freud), Willy Field who served for 11 months on the frontline as a tank driver after the D-Day landings, Colin Anson who joined 3 Troop as part of the elite British Commandos, and Alice Anson who worked for Bomber Command on top secret photographic material from RAF reconnaissance missions.



Also read the accompanying article on Telgraph logo

Published by Thistle Publishing, Churchill’s German Army is available in paperback or as an e-book.

Helen with Sir Ken Adam, RAF fighter pilot in WW2, later creator of the iconic set-designs in 7 James Bond films, also Chitty Chitty Bang Band, and The Madness of King George. Twice Oscar winner (one Oscar in the background):

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