Notebook

Early on, Bose had seen the potential of propaganda directed at British troops fighting with the British – particularly those who were now prisoners of war. With the propaganda literature being churned out by Trott’s department he hoped to bring over whole divisions to the cause… The training took place in East Prussia. The soldiers swore an oath to both Hitler and Bose, who stipulated that they should never be used on the Eastern front – only against the British. The strength of this Indian Legion was fixed at 3,000 men, equipped and largely staffed by Wehrmacht officers, in addition to which there was formed a reserve division of a further 7,000. Recruits were drawn from among prisoners of war. The fascist-style trimmings so dear to Bose were also worked into the decoration of his army. A flag was created with a leaping tiger superimposed on a tricolour. A hymn by Tagore became the regimental song and national anthem. “Heil Hitler!” was echoed in the greeting “Jai Hind”.

Giles MacDonogh, “A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz”.

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