What was the National Service Act 1948 (UK)?

Introduction The National Service Act 1948 was an Act of Parliament which extended the British conscription of the Second World War long after the war-time need for it had expired, in the form of “National Service”. After a bill with the same purpose had been approved in 1947, expected to be implemented 01 January 1949,… Read More


What was the Military Training Act 1939 (UK)?

Introduction The Military Training Act 1939 was an Act of Parliament passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 26 May 1939, in a period of international tension that led to World War II. Outline The Act applied to males aged 20 and 21 years old who were to be called up for six… Read More

An Overview of Opposition to World War I

Introduction Opposition to World War I included socialist, anarchist, syndicalist, and Marxist groups on the left, as well as Christian pacifists, Canadian and Irish nationalists, women’s groups, intellectuals, and rural folk. The socialist movements had declared before the war their opposition to a war which they said could only mean workers killing each other in… Read More

What was the Military Service Act 1917 (Canada)?

Introduction The Military Service Act, 1917 was an Act of the Parliament of Canada which introduced conscription in the midst of the First World War. It was passed due to a shortage of volunteers and was an effort to recruit more soldiers. Background Following the outbreak of the First World War, the Canadian Expeditionary Force… Read More

What is Discharge by Purchase?

Introduction Discharge by purchase, colloquially called buying oneself out of service, is the obtaining of a military discharge by payment. Outline The purchase price is in effect a fine for leaving military service earlier than the date contracted for when enlisting. Pertains to voluntary enlistment; “exemption by purchase” is a similar privilege pertaining to conscription.… Read More

An Overview of Waffen-SS Foreign Volunteers and Conscripts during World War II

Introduction During World War II, the Waffen-SS recruited significant numbers of non-Germans, both as volunteers and conscripts. In total some 500,000 non-Germans and ethnic Germans from outside Germany, mostly from German-occupied Europe, were recruited between 1940 and 1945. The units were under the control of the SS Führungshauptamt (SS Command Main Office) beneath Reichsführer-SS Heinrich… Read More

An Overview of Wehrmacht Foreign Volunteers and Conscripts during World War II

Introduction Among the approximately one million foreign volunteers and conscripts who served in the Wehrmacht during World War II were ethnic Belgians, Czechs, Dutch, Finns, Danes, French, Hungarians, Norwegians, Poles, Portuguese, Swedes, along with people from Great Britain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Balkans. At least 47,000 Spaniards served in the Blue Division. Some estimates… Read More