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

    Wehrmachtsgefolge: Deutsche Volkssturm und Volkssturm Sauerland

Deutsche Volkssturm

In order to supplement the defense of Germany during the last days of World War II, Adolf Hitler proclaimed the creation of the "People's Army" (Volkssturm) on 18 October 1944.  As head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler was made the overall commander of the Volkssturm and its related functions. The Volkssturm consisted of all able-bodied men (and some women) between the ages of 16 and 60 who were not already employed in the defense of the Fatherland.  In essence, the Volkssturm was an ad hoc and ill-equipped national militia organized under the authority of the General-SS (Allgemeine-SS).  Members of the Volkssturm were supported by all relevant National Socialist Party organizations to include the Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung-SA), the Hitler Youth (Hitler Jungend-HJ), the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei) and many others capable of providing training to civilians armed for combat.

Civilians serving in the Volkssturm were treated under the same military code as soldiers of the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht).  Leadership and recruitment of Volkssturm units was directly under the control of local National Socialist Party leaders in each town and district.  Members were drawn into service based on political pressure by their local area leaders and the threat of punishment employed by the SS or Ordnungspolizei.  Morale within the ranks of the Volkssturm was extremely low and many chose to desert or surrender when the time came.  The most fanatical members of the Volkssturm were young members of the Hitler Youth who had been trained to a fervor regarding the National Socialist cause.  Duties of those who served included surrounding and containing enemy forces during invasion, eliminating agents and defending against sabotage, reinforcing depleted German Army (Heer) units, and provide auxiliary police and security duties.

Those who served in the Volkssturm were required to supply their own uniforms and equipment save for the weapons supplied to them during times of combat.  Uniforms were often of vintage World War I or Reichswehr style although many Volkssturm members simply wore civilian clothing.  Helmets worn by Volkssturm members were drawn up from any supply source that could be found.  This often included vintage World War I era helmets and many civic model police and Air Protection Warning Service (Luftschutzwarndienst) helmets.  Larger units were sometimes provided standard combat helmets including the M1935, M1940 and M1942 patterns.  Nearly 6 Million people served in the Volkssturm from its inception until May 1945. 

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 People's Army (Volkssturm) Sauerland Region circa 1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Primary Topics

Volksturm Sauerland History

Helmet Types

Helmet Photos

Helmet Insignia

    Auxiliary Forces

Deutsches Rote Kreuz (DRK)

Hitler Jungend (HJ)

Luftschutzwarndienst (LSW)

Nazional Sozialistisch Kraftfahr Korps (NSKK)

Organization Todt (OT)

Reichsarbeitsdients (RAD)

Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB)

Sicherheits-Hilfdienst

Volkssturm-Sauerland

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