German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Deutsche Polizei: Feldpolizei - Field Police

The Insignia of the German Police

Military Field Police

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.

The complexity 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:

  • Bahnhofswache:  German Army troops assigned as auxiliary police working with railroads and railroad police forces.

  • Feldgendarmerie des Heers: Field police assigned to German Army military units.

  • Feldjägerkorps: An elite German Army police combat organization launched in November 1943.

  • Feldpolizei:  Combat 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.

  • Heeresstreifendienst:  The German Army police group responsible for patrolling garrisoned areas.

  • Kommandatur:  German Army headquarters guards.

  • Luftwaffe Feldgendarmerie:  The German Air Force's equivalent of the Army's field police units.

  • Marine Kustenpolizei:  The German Navy's equivalent of the Army's field police units.

  • SS-Polizei Division:  Units of Waffen-SS fighting troops consisting of the 4th and 35th SS Polizei Grendadier Divisions.

  • Waffen-SS Feldgendarmerie:  The Waffen-SS equivalent of the German Army's field police units.

  • Zugwache:  German Army military police assigned to troop centers at critical railroad junctions.

The helmets 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 any kind.

Many 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.

Overview

Each section of German-Helmets.com is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides historical facts pertaining to helmets of the Military Field Police (Feldpolizei-Wehrmacht) from 1939-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

     Primary Topics

Helmet Types

Helmet Insignia

Period Photos

    Deutsche Polizei

Bahnschutzpolizei

Feldpolizei-Wehrmacht

Feuerwehren

Feuerschutzpolizei (FSP)

Gendarmerie

Hilfspolizeien

Kasernierte Polizei

Landespolizei-Ordnungspolizei

Landespolizeigruppe General Göring

Luftschutzpolizei (LSP)

Schutzpolizei (Schupo)

Technische Nothilfe (TeNo)

Wasserschutzpolizei

 

 

An M1940 Feldpolizei Combat Helmet.

 

 

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