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

    Wehrmachtsgefolge: Organization Todt (OT)

The OT Cipher

Organization Todt

In June 1938 a civilian workforce under the leadership of Doctor Fritz Todt was established by the German government.  Its purpose was to provide construction labor and technical assistance to a number of engineering projects that helped develop Germany’s basic infrastructure.  The Organization Todt (OT) was responsible for a variety of projects including military buildings and fortifications, railroad bridges, roadways, and civilian air raid shelters just to name a few.  

Members of the OT consisted of engineers, bricklayers, carpenters, and industrial machinists all of whom wore standard uniforms specifically designed to denote OT affiliation. Construction projects of notable interest included Germany’s famed “West Wall” located along the French border, the concrete bunkers scattered across the Atlantic coast, and a good percentage of the underground bunkers designed to protect Germany’s civilian population during bombing raids.  Some foreign nationals were also drafted into the OT to include both Dutch and French citizens.  These were skilled laborers who worked under German authority.

Until September 1939 the Organization Todt (OT) workforce consisted mainly of civilian contractors who wore standard construction clothing and equipment.  Leadership in the field was provided by a combination of uniformed military personnel which included members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD), Army, Navy, or Luftwaffe depending on the nature of the construction project. Following the invasion of Poland OT members were militarized and given special uniforms to denote their status within the National Socialist system.

In March 1940 Fritz Todt was appointed Reichsminister for armaments and munitions while continuing his role as head of the OT.  In effect, his appointment was an effort to increase the flow of arms and equipment to the Wehrmacht through improved industrial coordination.  Members of the OT continued to serve in construction related projects but were now involved in the engineering and construction support of weapons manufacturing facilities.

Following a meeting with Adolf Hitler, Fritz Todt was killed in February 1942 when his plane crashed on takeoff in East Prussia.  After Todt’s death Adolf Hitler appointed Albert Speer head of all industrial manufacturing within Germany to include leadership of the OT.  Under Albert Speer’s guidance the German industrial system was completely overhauled resulting in a more efficient distribution of arms and material to the Wehrmacht.


Each section of 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 Organization Todt 1938-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Primary Topics

Helmet Types

Helmet Insignia

Period Photos

    Auxiliary Organizations

Deutsches Rote Kreuz (DRK)

Hitler Jungend (HJ)

Luftschutzwarndienst (LSW)

NS Kraftfahr Korps (NSKK)

Organization Todt (OT)

Reichsarbeitsdients (RAD)

Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB)

Sicherheits-Hilfdienst (SHD)

Volksstrum-Sauerland  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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