One of the
most important parts of an efficient military organization is
the ability to maintain order within the ranks. The
German military had a long history with internal police units
dating back to the days of Napoleon. During the Third
Reich each branch of the German Armed Forces (Deutsche
Wehrmacht) had its own internal police force. In many
cases each organization had multiple police organizations each
assigned their respective duties. In addition to these
military police forces, the Armed-SS (Waffen-SS) also
maintained internal police as well as an entire Division of
fighting personnel made up of policemen drafted from civilian
duties but loyal to the National Socialist cause.
Likewise the German Order Police (Ordnungspolizei) also
fielded combat troops that worked closely with military police
within each branch of the Wehrmacht.
of the German military police system is often a barrier to
understanding the association between the type of helmets worn
by standard civilian police and those assigned to the various
military police units that existed. While complex
overall, a simple classification of military police can be
categorized as follows:
German Army troops assigned as auxiliary police working with
railroads and railroad police
Feldgendarmerie des Heers:
Field police assigned to German Army military units.
elite German Army police combat organization launched in
units of the Order Police comprised of military trained
policemen who worked in conjunction with units of the
Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht in the field.
Geheime Feldpolizei (GFP):
Plain clothes military police within the German Army.
The German Army police group responsible for patrolling
Army headquarters guards.
The German Air Force's equivalent of the Army's field police
The German Navy's equivalent of the Army's field police units.
Units of Waffen-SS fighting troops consisting of the 4th and
35th SS Polizei Grendadier Divisions.
The Waffen-SS equivalent of the German Army's field police
Army military police assigned to troop centers at critical
worn by all military police units consisted of the standard
M1935, M1940, and M1942 combat models. This section of
the German-Helmets.com website deals specifically with those
helmets worn by the Feldpolizei. The reason for this is
quite simple. The helmets worn by military police forces
within the Wehrmacht were standard types that bore the
insignia of their respective branches. In other words,
military police in the Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS, Kriegsmarine, and
German Army were issued the same helmets that were issued to
all combat troops. These bore the insignia common to
each of the branches and did not possess police insignia of
collectors become confused with this concept and make the
natural assumption that helmets worn by military police bore
police decals regardless of the branch of service to which
they were assigned. However this is only true of those
men assigned to the SS-Polizei Divisions to include those of
the Feldpolizei. In both cases these groups were closely
tied to the Waffen-SS in assignments and organizational
hierarchy. While the SS-Polizei Divisions fought as
field combat troops, the Feldpolizei worked with all Wehrmacht
units to maintain order in the field. Their
responsibilities were similar if not identical to that of the
Feldgendarmerie, although they were often more ruthless in
their behaviors with regards to keeping order. As field
police, their role often included direct front line combat as
well as rear area partisan control. Many Feldpolizei
were also directly involved in the efforts associated with the
mass destruction of prisoners and people deemed undesirable by
the Third Reich.