Hitler’s Armed Forces Auxiliaries

An Illustrated History of the Wehrmachtsgefolge, 1933–1945


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About the Book

The story of Hitler’s Wehrmachtsgefolge (armed forces auxiliaries) is less well known than that of Germany’s other armed forces in World War II, such as the panzer divisions, the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine. The Organization Todt (construction company), Reichsarbeitsdienst (labor service), Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahrer Korps (driver’s corp) and Volkssturm (people’s militia) were given the status of armed forces auxiliaries to protect their members under the Geneva Conventions should they be taken prisoner. By 1944, the Wehrmachtsgefolge comprised 40 percent of the German armed forces, and their contribution to the war effort was far from negligible. This illustrated history documents the development, structure and organization, uniforms, regalia and technical data of these units and discusses their role in the war and during the prewar period.

About the Author(s)

Historian, writer and illustrator Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage is the author of numerous books. His interests include World War II and medieval and French history. He lives in Groningen, Netherlands.

Bibliographic Details

Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 237 photos, chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9745-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2088-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   v

Introduction   1

Chapter 1: Organisation Todt   5

Fritz Todt   5

Autobahns (Motorways)   6

The West Wall   9

Fritz Todt’s Mysterious Death   13

Albert Speer and Xaver Dorsch   16

The OT During the War   20

Structure of the OT   21

OT-Militia (OT-SK)   25

Ranks of the OT   26

Uniforms and Insignia   27

Cadres and Slave Labor   33

Fortifications   38

U–Boat Pens   43

Protection of Industry   48

Revenge Weapons   49

Hitler’s HQ Bunkers   52

Public Shelters and ­Anti-aircraft Towers   54

Aftermath   57

Chapter 2: Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) and Reicharbeitsdienst (RAD)—German Labor Front and National Work Service   59

Creation and Purposes of the DAF   59

Robert Ley   60

Organization of the DAF   62

DAF Werkscharen   67

Schönheit der Arbeit   68

Kraft durch Freude (KdF)   68

Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD)   73

Women’s Labor Service   77

Structure of the RAD   78

Prewar Tasks of the RAD   81

The RAD at War   84

Pro-Nazi Foreign Labor Services   86

Militarization of the RAD   87

Ranks of the RAD   89

Uniforms of the RAD   91

Insignia, Flags and Dagger of the RAD   100

Chapter 3: Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrer Korps (NSKK)   104

Origins of the Motorized Corps   104

Structure of the NSKK   107

Prewar Tasks of the NSKK   108

Marine-NSKK   114

NSKK and Organisation Todt   114

The NSKK at War   115

Foreign Volunteers   117

Transportkorps Speer   120

Militarization of the NSKK   122

Ranks   123

Insignia   124

Uniforms   129

Aftermath   136

Chapter 4: Deutscher Volkssturm (German Popular Home Guard)   138

Situation in the Winter of 1944–45    138

Creation of the Volkssturm   138

Command   141

Organization   142

Uniforms   144

Ranks   149

Weapons   149

The Volkssturm at War   154

Aftermath   156

Chapter 5: Other Military Affiliated Units   158

Sturm Abteilung (SA)   159

Waffen SS   162

Hitler Youth (HJ)   168

Nazi Flyers Corps (NSFK)   170

National German Railway Company (DRG)   178

Ordnungspolizei (Orpo)   182

German Postal Service   185

Conclusion   189

Appendix: World War II Chronology   193

Bibliography   201

Index   203