Soldiers from India fought bravely for Britain, a country it owed nothing, during the second world war. While I didn’t know this, it’s not too surprising that there was a subset of Indian soldiers who allied themselves with the Japanese in an attempt to drive the British out of India. I say this isn’t surprising for a few reasons. With something like a billion people, you can find a large number who would be willing to support almost anything. A dislike of an occupying force leads to sometimes unpalatable alliances. Finally, if you’re a prisoner of war of the Japanese, or trapped in Japanese-controlled Asia, then fighting a battle outside of the main thrust of the war might have seemed a pretty decent option, whoever it may have appeared to help.
What’s new to this (so new I can’t find a reference in Wikipedia, which almost means it didn’t happen) is that as well as the ‘Indian National Army’ in Asia there was the ‘Free India Legion‘ in Europe, made up of Indian soldiers captured by the Germans. They fought briefly in Holland and France, before being captured and sent back to India. The FIL was founded by Subhas Chandra Bose, who, after seeing that Hitler really wasn’t a stand-up kind of guy, went to Japan to found the INA.
Indian Nazis – sounds like a bad science fiction comic, don’t you think?