The Freikorps Danmark (called Frikorps Danmark by the Danes, sometimes listed as SS-Freiwilligen-Verband Dänemark) was founded in 1941 on the request of the Danish Nazi-party (Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejder Parti (DNSAP)) and with the approval of the Danish government. There were some trouble with recruiting officers until it was decided that they would keep their Danish rank (and pension) when they joined the Waffen-SS. The Danish soldiers swore an oath to the commander of the Wehrmacht and not the usual oath to Adolf Hitler.
Christian Peder Kryssing became the first commander of the unit even though he was not a member (or even supporter) of the DNSAP. Kryssing was soon replaced by pro-Nazi Christian Frederick von Schalburg (who at the time was attached to Wiking division) who finished their training.
Freikorps Danmark was transfered to the Eastern front in May 1942 and were attached to the Totenkopf division. They fought in the savage battles of the Demjansk-pocket and lost 78% of it's manpower (including Christian Frederick von Schalburg and his successor Hans von Lettow-Vorbeck).

Freikorps Danmark was sent back to Denmark in August 1942 on leave. They returned to the Eastern front in October (with Knud Børge-Martinsen as the new commander) and was stationed near Nevel.
The unit was withdraw from the front in March 1943 and sent to the Grafenwöhr camp (near Nuremberg). It was disbanded 20 May and most of the Danes were transfered to SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 24 Danmark (of the Nordland division).

Known war crimes

According to letters written by Danish volunteers no prisoners were taken after Christian Frederick von Schalburg was killed in action 2 June 1942.

Commanders   

Christian Peder Kryssing (19 July 1941 - 23 Feb 1942)
Knud Børge-Martinsen (23 Feb 1942 - 1 Mar 1942)
Christian Frederick von Schalburg (1 Mar 1942 - 2 June 1942)
Knud Børge-Martinsen (2 June 1942 - 9 June 1942)
Hans von Lettow-Vorbeck (9 June 1942 - 11 June 1942)
Knud Børge-Martinsen (11 June 1942 - 20 May 1943)

Manpower strength

31 Mar 1942 900
May 1942 1.386
Nov 1942 1.800

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (1)
- Nielsen, Johannes Just, 15.07.1942, Legions-Untersturmführer, Freikorps Danmark

Notable members

Christian Peder Kryssing (Danish officer who reached the highest Waffen-SS rank of any non-German, SS-Brigadeführer)
Christian Frederick von Schalburg (Landsungdomsfører, youth leader, of Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejderparti (DNSAP), the Danish Nazi Party, KIA 1 March 1942 as commander of Freikorps Danmark. The Schalburg Cross was created and the Danish SS was named the Schalburgkorpset in his honour)

Insignia

The "Freikorps Danmark" cuff title was authorized for this unit.
A collar insignia with the Danish flag was briefly used in 1942 and when the unit was formed many members who transferred from SS-Freiwilligen-Standarte Nordwest continued to wear the trifos (three legged swastika) collar tabs.
A Danish flag with the text "Frikorps Danmark" in the upper right corner was used as unit flag.

Danish national sleeve shield
sleeve-foreign-dk
(Courtesy of N & T Global Trading)

Christian Peder Kryssing wearing the trifos collar tabs
kryssing-christian-peder
(Courtesy of Hans)

Danish volunteer with the Danish flag collar tabs
wss-freikorps-danmark-portrait
(Courtesy of Peder)

Freikorps Danmark uniform on display at Frihedsmuseet in Copenhagen, Denmark
museum-frihed-15

Danish volunteers in front of recruitment posters
wss-freikorps-danmark-posters
(Courtesy of Peder)

Freikorps Danmark recieves its flag in 1941
freikorps-dk-flag
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Oath taking ceremony
wss-freikorps-danmark-oath
(Courtesy of Die Deutsche Wochenschau/Ivan)

Recruitment poster
("For Denmark! Against Bolshevism! Sign up at...")
propaganda-frikorps-dk
(Courtesy of Ola)

Sources used

Christopher Ailsby - Hitler's Renegades: Foreign nationals in the service of the Third Reich
John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SS
Claus Bundgård Christensen, Niels Bo Poulsen & Peter Scharff Smith - Under hagekors og danneborg: Danskere i Waffen SS 1940-1945
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
George H. Stein - The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939-1945
Frank Thayer - SS Foreign volunteer collar insignia and their reporductions (in The Military Advisor, Vol 4 No 2)
Gordon Williamson & Thomas McGuirl - German military cuffbands 1784-present

Reference material on this unit

Frank Bøgh - Krigeren: K.B. Martinsen, Officer og landsforraeder
Claus Bundgård Christensen, Niels Bo Poulsen & Peter Scharff Smith - Under hagekors og danneborg: Danskere i Waffen SS 1940-1945
Mikkel Kirkebæk - Schalburg: En patriotisk landsforræder
Steffen Werther - Dänische Freiwillige in der Waffen-SS

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.