An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Jan 2022 22:21

Volkssturm in Magdeburg

The Volkssturm

"When in 1944, after the landing of the enemies of the West in France and the advance of the Russians from the east, the threat to the Reich
became ever greater and the number of operational crews became ever smaller, in the eastern areas probably a little earlier, on 18 October
1944 by radio the call of the Volkssturm to participate in the defense of the Reich took place. The appeal bears the date of 25 September 1944, as well as other newspapers under No. 47a to d. On 26, until 28 October, the Volkssturmmänner were enrolled here in Magdeburg in various restaurants with simultaneous division into 1. up to 4th squad.

The 1st contingent includes the immediately operational, The 2nd contingent includes the fit, but for professional reasons not immediately operational The 3rd contingent includes the years 1927 to 1929 The 4th squad includes all non-operational, e.B. sick, injured, etc.
Every adult male German who was not with the Wehrmacht belonged to the Volkssturm. On Tuesday, November 1, 1944 at 8 p.m., the first race will take place on the Schützenplatz. Departure with music (chapel of the Replacement Battalion I. R. 191) to Paradeplatz. There even
speech of the district school council Biallas with singing of a verse "O Germany high to honor". Over 2000 participants.

Then, on Sunday, November 12, 1944, at 9 a.m., the individual battalions were precisely divided into various squares in the city. In the afternoon
at 3 p.m. there was a solemn swearing-in ceremony on the parade ground for the flags of the party – local groups. There were 2697 men, plus 1 company Wehrmacht with the chapel Ers. Begged. 191. Address of the district leader of Genthin and singing of a verse: "God, who made iron grow, did not want servants." Then march to Bahnhofsstraße and march past the district leader of Genthin. (On behalf of Kreisleiter Lange). The first division of the Volkssturm was as follows:

Leaders for the entire district including burg Hauptmann a. D. Urban (Rector) A total of 13 Volkssturm-Battaliones were set up. The 4 Magdeburger Volkssturm-Battaliones were led by Studienrat Niemann Rector Urban each battalion to 4 companies Postal Secretary Wucknitz Manufacturer Steinbecher To battalion Dietrich (motorized) to 2 companies.

The 4th contingent, which had only competed for defense, led trade senior teacher Berkling. A short time later, the major of the reserve Ulrich German, merchant, took over the overall management. Now the practical work began, that is, every Sunday morning is training and shooting. In addition to the soldiers of 1914/18, there were also unserved people in these battalions who had never had a rifle in their hands. Until now, the Volkssturm did not have its own weapons, but this training was incumbent on the Ers. Begged. I. R. 191.

In his barracks, leadership courses were also held and individual people were familiarized with the latest weapon, the "Panzerfaust". This was a handgun that was used to fight tanks and had great penetration. In addition to the training of its people, the Volkssturm was also
responsible for participating in the construction of defensive works, rifle holes, tank barriers and tank traps ordered in the spring of 1945.

The training of the Leaders down to the train – and Gruppenführer was continued by the Wehrmacht. Major German, who saw his task as training
his troops as a supply force, not as a combat force, believing that the active force deserved the fight, gave received tank fists to the 191s, who gladly accepted them. He also handed over 25 received Italian carabiners in the last few days to the auxiliary police set up here (Führer Finanzamtmann Emil Burghardt). He was always of the opinion that the arming of the Volkssturm was unnecessary.

When on 11.4.1945 in the afternoon the news of the surprising arrival of the Americans on the western bank of the Elbe near Rogätz arrived here, parts of the Volkssturm were also used for the redoubt. It was entrenched at Lostau – Hohenwarthe with front to the west, elbewards to
Blumenthal, Parchau on the canal, the various bridges were prepared by the Wehrmacht for demolition. But it was also secured east of Burg;
it was entrenched at the edges of the forest and paths for the front to the east, as danger was therefore also imminent. The motorized parts of
the Volkssturm were deployed, had to provide vehicles for the Wehrmacht, but mainly provided the services that Major German had recognized as the most important: they ensured the supply of food and other needs to the city. Oil was brought in from Magdeburg and sugar
from Gommern, etc. The Kreisleiter agreed with this view of the tasks of the Volkssturm.

It should be added that on 18.2.1945 a reformation of the Volkssturm took place, but this did not become quite clear to me. All I know is
that in the Urban Battalion all the immediately operational people of the 1st contingent were united. The Volkssturm did not have
These should possibly be issued during use. It is known, however, that there were no stocks in it at all. Individual deployed crews wore red
armbands and had ID cards to mark them as members of the Wehrmacht in accordance with international regulations.

In pursuit of the negotiations, which were held in the city in the days from 30 April, since it was understood that a defense of the city was
pointless in the threat to East and West and the war was lost anyway, the former commander dissolved the Volkssturm on 2 May German.
This was done out of his own perfection of power. German asked that the associations should also be active on a private basis for the supply in
the coming difficult days.

In his last announcement of his escape, the Kreisleiter Lange, when he said goodbye to the burger population, ordered the dissolution of the Volkssturm again on his own; Burger Tageblatt of 4 May 1945, the first and last issue of this newspaper, when the "Mitteldeutsche" had
ceased publication.

And yet the Volkssturm was finally dead. With the invasion of the Red Army on the night of 5 May 1945, all activities of German offices
came to an end. The Kreisleiter as supreme leader in Magdeburg fled at the moment of the arrival of the Red Army and ended up by suicide in
Möser. The upper leaders of the Volkssturm were continued captive by the Russians. Some of them died in the camp, the others were
released after about 3 to 4 years.

True to his view of the tasks of the Magdeburger Volkssturm, Major German rejected the required position of 2 companies to Stendal
for the formation of combat troops, with the excuse that the people were not yet fully trained. Even when Magdeburg demanded the provision
of [/u]Volkssturmmännern[/u] from Magdeburg, the application is said to have been rejected".

Magado-2 Unless otherwise indicated,then Collection/Ownership Magado Images/Contributions may be used "non-commercially". ... urg-4.html

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Jan 2022 22:45

"Volkssturm" in Klötze

The German "Volkssturm", in Klötze there were, according to Bettinghausen, "five companies with almost 500 older men who were no longer
fit for military service or young people who were not yet conscripted", had no longer engaged in combat. ... sende.html

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Jan 2022 22:51

Havelberg End of the War

30 April The hitherto scarcely existing Wehrmacht in the Elbe-Havel region was strengthened on 30 April: The 3rd Marine Infantry Division, V-weapon units of Colonel Gerlach von Gaudecker's division, Volkssturm units and the 1st PanzerVernichtungsbrigade "Hitlerjugend" were transferred to the area between Havelberg and Schollene and were to establish themselves on the right bank of the Havel. The command posts were located on the Schönhauser Damm (Panzervernichtungsbrigade) and in a forest near Havelberg (Gaudecker Division). ... sende.html

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 09 Jan 2022 07:56

A most detailed observation on the insanity of the last months of the The Third Reich

Michel No. 908 - Stamp commemorative issue for the Volksturm issue in February 1945


The value of the 908 is 12 Rpfg and would therefore be the long-distance postage for the first postage level.

The surcharge of 8 Rpfg, relatively low at the end of the war, did not go to the Volkssturm.

The Volkssturm would have urgently needed this money. On the motif, three Volkssturm men of different ages can be seen in front of a
forward-storming eagle. The middle man wears an MG and the two outer men carry a rifle with a bayonet attached.

The Volksturm was the last contingent of the Nazi dictatorship to take action against the Allies. By decree of Adolf Hitler of 25 September 1944,
the formation of the German Volkssturm was ordered. In the Volkssturm, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 who had not yet been drafted
were to be called up. About 6 million people were recorded, how many of them were actually used is not determinable. The tracing services had registered 175,000 missing persons after the war. The Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, as commander of the replacement army, was responsible
for the military organization, training, armament and equipment of the German Volkssturm. In most cases, the Volkssturm was insufficiently

The armament consisted of loot weapons for which there was often no or only little ammunition. The Volksturm did not have heavy weapons
such as tanks or artillery. The heaviest weapon was, when it came up, the Panzerfaust. The combat mission of the German Volkssturm takes
place according to the instructions of Adolf Hitler and by the Reichsführer SS as commander of the replacement army. Himmler was hopelessly overwhelmed with this task and completely failed as an army leader.

This stamp shows how inhuman the Nazi regime and its leadership was towards the German people. So that Adolf Hitler and his vassals could
live longer, because everyone knew as early as 1942 that they were war criminals and that the Allies would lead them to the scaffold or to the gallows, so that the criminals could live longer, thousands of young and old men were consecrated to death. The use of the Volksturm was of no
use to anyone. Inexperienced, poorly trained and super poorly equipped, the Volksturm was only suitable as cannon fodder for the cannons of
the Allies.

The Volkssturm was not a partisan army, an armband with the inscription "Deutscher Volkssturm – Wehrmacht" identified his relatives as
combatants, even if they fought in the uniform of the Hitler Youth or in civilian clothes. In the confusion of the end of the war and the shortage
of materials, it was not always possible to distribute the armband. Scandalous was the handling of questions of the legal status of the Volkssturm practiced by the Reich leadership. The Federal Foreign Office drew attention to the fact that in order to obtain combatant status for this militia
in accordance with the Hague Land War Regulations (HLKO), the Volkssturm must be reported to the warring parties. Because only as combatants
did the Volkssturmmänner enjoy the protection under international law as prisoners of war. If Volkssturm men were captured by the German opponents, there was a danger that the members of the Volkssturm would be treated as partisans. They were judged and immediately shot.

From a legal point of view, the German Foreign Office saw paragraph 1 of the Volkssturm Decree as an extremely problematic case. Here it was
said that "the Volksturm will defend the homeland not only with the weapons, but with all means suitable for it." This formulation clearly contradicted the Hague Land War Order, which precisely prohibited certain means of warfare. Because SS Leader Heinrich Himmler did not
react to these repeatedly expressed indications, the Federal Foreign Office finally indicated on its own authority through the Protecting Powers (Switzerland, Sweden) the formation of the Volkssturm against the Allies. France, England and the USA then declared that they would treat the Volkssturm units fighting on the Western Front without acknowledging a legal obligation under the international law of war, insofar as they were uniformly marked, would carry their weapons openly and comply with the provisions of martial law. The Soviet Union rejected this because of
the status of the Volkssturm, which was questionable under international law. This was all the worse because thousands of people's storms died in the fighting with the Russians in Berlin. According to the Volkssturm decree, the members of the Volkssturm would have had to wear uniforms
within the unit and officially stamped armbands with the inscription.

And the Volksturm should have been equipped with combatant badges. But even with the armbands some things were wrong, largely self-made,
they were often not uniform. There were only four different ranks in the Volkssturm:Gruppenführer, Zugführer, Kompanieführer and

Since the Wehrmacht could not provide sufficient uniforms, many Volkssturm members wore "fantasy uniforms", such as those of the Reichsbahn, recolored party or HJ uniforms, old uniforms of the imperial army or ordinary civilian suits. The Volkssturm could have used the surcharge of
8 Rpfg well. This would not have changed the course of the war.

It only shows that Adolf Hitler wanted to dispose of considerable sums of money until his end. The 8 Rpfg went in favor of the Führer's cultural
fund, which Adolf Hitler could dispose of uncontrollably by the state. The Reichspost has concealed the edition of these stamps. It can be
assumed that the circulation of Michel No. 908 went into the millions.


Kołberg - Film

Goebbels had a monumental film Kolberg shot in color as a propaganda film. The film Kolberg by director Veit Harlan premiered simultaneously in Berlin and in the embattled Atlantic fortress of La Rochelle (submarine port) on 30 January 1945, the 12th anniversary of the National Socialist "seizure of power".

Some historical sources claim that the film was no longer shown.

Berlin had already been too much destroyed.

Except in Goebbels' private apartment, the film was shown in front of a select audience.

As early as 1943, Dr. Joseph Goebbels commissioned the director Veit Harlan for his major film Kolberg - Quote Goebbels' letter: "I hereby commission you to produce a major film "Kolberg". The task of this film is to use the example of the city that gives the film its title to show
that a people united in homeland and front overcomes every opponent. I authorize you to ask all departments of the Wehrmacht, the State
and the Party, if necessary, for their help and support, invoking that the film I hereby order is in the service of our spiritual warfare.

UFA's Agfacolor film is based on the play Kolberg Paul Heyses and the autobiography of Joachim Nettelbeck. In the last phase of the Second World War, kolberg's propaganda film was intended to strengthen the Germans' will to persevere. The film was about the siege of Kołobrzeg by
Napoleon's French troops. In order to interpret the siege of Kolberg as a historical example of a successful final battle, a framework plot
(at the beginning and at the end of the film) was placed in the year 1813. In it, Gneisenau convinces the Prussian King Frederick William III
by describing the rescue of Kolberg to call on his people to fight against Napoleon in the sense of the unity of the people and the army.

The song in the film with the lyrics "Volk steh auf, [A people stands up] Sturm brich los" was intended to move the German people to the
last uprising against the Allied superiority.

Dr. Joseph Goebbels used this sentence in one of his infamous propaganda speeches and is also printed on this stamp: "A people stands up.
Anyone who watches the film with historical knowledge automatically gets goose bumps".

As if the film is a memento to the downfall on May 2, 1945 of Berlin.

With 8.8 million Reichsmarks or 110 million euros in production costs, the colour film became the most expensive film in the National Socialist

Thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers worked as extras and more than a thousand horses. In view of the difficult war situation, the film
Kolberg was a huge effort. In order to make it possible to shoot snow scenes in summer, 100 railway cars with salt were once brought to the
filming location in Pomerania.

Goebbels shortened the film considerably after completion. In view of the devastating bombing raids on German cities, Goebbels did not want to expect the German spectator to accept the elaborate scenes in which Kolberg citizens are slaughtered by Napoleon's all-powerful artillery.
The death scene of Prince Louis Ferdinand also fell victim to the cut.

For those interested in viewing the full film. It can be located here. ... ORM=VDRVRV


This is an excert of the film
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Last edited by Germanicus on 09 Jan 2022 20:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 09 Jan 2022 08:26

Additional information.

"THE LAST THING Germany’s dazed and weary masses wanted or needed in early 1945 was a movie — let a lone a war film.

Despite being billed by Goebbels as the “greatest film of all time,” few Germans ever got the chance to take in the eye-popping pageantry
that was Kolberg.

But that’s just what Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels had in mind when on Jan. 30 of that year, the big-budget cinematic extravaganza Kolberg premiered in the bombed out ruins of Berlin.

One of the last major releases of the Third Reich’s prolific movie industry, the 111-minute feature film was a dramatization of the historic 1807 battle fought by Prussia to defend Pomerania’s last un-conquered city from the armies of Napoleon. The aim of the picture was to link the
nation’s historic resistance to Bonaparte with Nazi Germany’s own forlorn fight against the Allies. So, how did that work out?

It quickly becomes evident that Kolberg is a cinematic microcosm for the Fatherland itself. As the story plays out, the filmmakers ham-handedly evoke the plight of Nazi Germany through a raft of scenes with which audiences could surely identify: civilian homes and shops burn, stoic
townsfolk rally by the thousands to dig earthworks and fortifications while Nettelbeck raises a citizen army to take to the barricades –
a Napoleonic equivalent of the Volkssturm. Predictably, the protagonists defy the odds and crush Bonaparte’s troops in glorious battle.


Germans digging tank traps along the Oder? Nope. It’s a scene from Kolberg — a case of art imitating life. ... swan-song/

Kołberg - Film 1945 was meant to inspire the German People and the Volkssturm to defend Germany, except it is about the Volkssturm 1807
version and if you watch the Movie it's similar to Germany 1945 [especially the destruction of Kolberg].

The film is based on the 1823 edition of the autobiography of Joachim Nettelbeck, mayor of Kolberg, and on the 1865 play drawn from the
book by Nobel laureate Paul Heyse. No reference was made to the latter as the author was Jewish.

Great Movie though. Beautiful colour and great acting. It probably helped in the Downfall.

It is considered one of the few films that had a larger number of actors than a cinema audience.

Kolberg is known for having the second largest movie cast in history, behind Gandhi (1982). **

The film was finally completed at the Babelsberg Film Studio (German: Filmstudio Babelsberg, FWB: BG1), located in Potsdam-Babelsberg
outside Berlin, Germany, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, producing films since 1912. With a total area of about
460,000 square metres (5,000,000 sq ft) and a studio area of about 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft) it is Europe's largest film studio.

Kolberg itself was subjected to a siege a few weeks after the premiere and fell to the Red Army shortly afterwards in the spring,
something that Goebbels noted as a threat to "his" film's reputation.

It was conceived as a German response to the well-known US hit 'Gone with the Wind'.


The opening scenes

kolberg5 (1).jpg
The scene shows marching people who, based on the poem Men and Boys by Theodor Körner, sing: “The people stand up, the storm breaks!”
Goebbels used almost the same words at the end of his Sportpalast speech in February 1943 : “Well, People, get up, and storm, break loose! ”.

Goebbels ordered the film in a letter to film director Veit Harlan dated June 1, 1943 and carried out the desired propaganda function of the film:

“I am hereby commissioning you to produce a large-scale film 'Kolberg' . The aim of this film is to use the example of the city that gives the film
its title to show that a people united in home and front overcomes every enemy. I authorize you to ask all departments of the armed forces, the state and the party, if necessary, for their help and support and to refer to the fact that the film I have ordered is in the service of our
intellectual warfare." The film was supposed to inspire Germans to continue the struggle by any means necessary.

The film was shot from October 22, 1943 to August 1944 in the Ufast city of Babelsberg . The outdoor shots were taken in Kolberg, Königsberg,
Berlin and the surrounding area.

When it comes to means of production, film director Veit Harlan lacked for nothing. While German society was completely dominated by
war production and incidental frugality, Harlan had everything he thought he needed to make his film. In a decree of 4 July 1943, Goebbels had promised him a production budget of four million Reichsmarks. That would be far exceeded, by some counts as high as RM 8.8 million [Todays equivalent = 100 million Euro].

Kolberg, started in 1943, was shot in Agfacolor [the equivalent of the legendary American Technicolor] and it was the most expensive film of the
Nazi era. In the middle of the war, 15,000-20,000 soldiers were employed as extras in the film **, some even diverted from the front here, by
bringing them at great expense from the units where they were engaged. For the film scenes shot in summer and which were to show snow, 100 wagons brought salt on site. The film was finished at the Babelsberg studios in Potsdam, when the neighboring city of Berlin was bombarded.

"For one scene, Charlemagne's Imperial Crown was used."

Film Director Harlan recalls that he had 10,000 uniforms made and that he used 6,000 horses; 187,000 soldiers (!), according to Harlan's own estimate, were withdrawn from active service." ... aylor.html

The number of extras was greater than that of the troops who fought in the real battle

The taste of the Third Reich for making everything bigger, better, led the film to incur a paradox. And is that “Kolberg” is one of those rare
films that had more troops in their cast than those who fought in real events. If the actual battle had faced some 6,000 Prussian soldiers in
1806 against some 14,000 Frenchmen and allies, the Nazi film had 187,000 supporting actors, including 50,000 soldiers and 4,000 sailors.
Already only in the military, the production of the UFA almost multiplied by three the number of soldiers of the real battle. To this we must
add 6,000 horses. Imagine for a moment not only the logistical challenge – food, lodging, costumes, makeup, etc. – of employing all these
people in a film, but an even more incomprehensible fact: in the middle of war, and with Germany on the defensive, “Kolberg” grouped a
number of extras that duplicated the current staff of the Spanish Army. To this day, “Kolberg” remains the second film with the greatest cast
in the history of cinema. ... ird-reich/

The film was shot as well as in the Pomeranian town of Kolberg, in Königsberg , in Breslau and in the district of Staaken in Berlin.

This was the thirteenth German color film was also the only "thoroughly propagandistic feature film" and, at 8.8 million Reichsmarks in production
costs, the most expensive produced by the National Socialist film policy . Thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers worked as extras and thousands of horses, which in view of the difficult war situation meant a huge effort. Exactly at a time when German army found it increasingly difficult to rebuild its numbers.

In order to enable the shooting of snow scenes in the summer, 100 railway wagons with salt were brought to the shooting locations in Pomerania.
As of this film as assistant director and cutter participated Wolfgang Schleif in 1979 reported in a television interview that Erwin Lange , who
worked as a pyrotechnician at Kolberg , had a budget of 400,000 RM for the pyrotechnics alone.

In addition to a gigantic budget, Harlan via Goebbels was also given the power of attorney to deploy military personnel. Wehrmacht, state and
party departments had to help him. Thousands of soldiers were deployed as extras at a time when every healthy adult man (and woman) had to
be deployed in favor of the war effort, or the Total War. It did not stop at manpower alone, because two to three thousand horses were also used.

Outdoor shots took place not only in Kolberg, but also in Treptow, thirty kilometers to the west and a little further inland. In addition, Harlan had
a part of the old town of Kolberg rebuilt in Gross-Glienicke near Berlin.

Ten months of filming had yielded 90 hours of footage. For the celluloid film rolls, cellulose nitrate was the main ingredient and it was also used
by the arms industry. There was also a shortage of iodine, necessary for the production of film negatives, due to the high demand from the war

The film was screened for the first time at the beginning of December in front of Goebbels, strongly impressed by the pre-editing which was
then offered to him; the January 30, 1945, simultaneously in Berlin and in the naval base of La Rochelle [A copy of the film had been dropped
from a plane over La Rochelle]., the final version is shown for the first time to the public. It was also screened in the Reich Chancellery after the broadcast of Hitler's last radio message on January 30.

Several months passed before the film was finished and reduced to a running time of 111 minutes. Goebbels was not satisfied with the first
version of the film. He found it too pacifistic and actively interfered with editing the montage.

Goebbels had the film shortened considerably after its completion because, in view of the devastating bombing raids on German cities, he
did not want to expose the German viewer to the lavish scenes in which Kolberg citizens are slaughtered by Napoleon's overpowering artillery.
The death scene of Prince Louis Ferdinand fell victim to the editing , which was not taken into account in the printed program booklet;
there the figure and the actor Jaspar von Oertzen are still mentioned.

Goebbels noted in his diaries: " 1st December 1944, Kolberg is finally finished, the German people will have much needed". Indeed, in his diary,
he places high hopes in this film, comparing the effect of the film to that of the announcement of a victory, even if it does not seem to relate to
the reality of the situation of the Reich in December 1944.

The film was intended to galvanize German morale during the final phase of World War II. The film's leitmotif: “das Volk steht auf, der Sturm
bricht los ” ( the people rise, the storm is unleashed ) directly takes up one of Goebbels' propaganda slogans . The latter wanted to believe
against all evidence in a surge of the people to save the Hitler regime from sinking. Children, women and the elderly brigaded in the Volkssturm were to find an example.

The film clearly showed the role that the Volkssturm troops should play in defending the Reich .

The film came much too late to achieve the desired propaganda effect. Many performance halls all over Germany had already been destroyed.

In March 1945, when the town of Kolberg is threatened by the Red Army , the heroic defense model proposed by the film is not adopted by the commander of the stronghold, who resists the time to evacuate as many civilians as possible before withdrawing by sea the troops defending the


The premiere took place on January 30, 1945 at the same time in the La Rochelle submarine harbor, which was enclosed by the Allies, and in
the Tauentzienpalast in Berlin. The film later hit cinemas in the enclosed cities of Koenigsberg, Breslau, Danzig and other major cities. It was
also shown in the youth film hours of the Hitler Youth and in front of Wehrmacht and Waffen SS recruits . The film ran in Berlin, as well as the film 'Münchhausen', until April in two large cinemas with over 2000 seats, but the number of visitors decreased: In March 1945, in the 1053 seat Berlin Tauentzien-Palast, only 91 visitors came to the morning show and only 204 in the afternoon during each show, although 'Münchhausen' was sold

The audience did not care about the content of the film. Kolberg apparently came too late to achieve the propaganda effect he had hoped for.
When Soviet and Polish troops conquered Kolberg on March 18, 1945, Goebbels forbade mentioning this in the Wehrmacht report.

Premiere in a temporary cinema (UT Alexanderplatz) and at the Tauenzien-Palast in Berlin. The French city of La Rochelle with its German naval
base was then - like Kolberg in the film - exposed to a long siege. The film copy must have been delivered there by parachute and shown to strengthen the German troops who fought for the city.

Due to the shortage of cellulose nitrate, it was not possible to make more than fifty copies of the film. It is unknown whether all copies arrived
at their destination. Apart from thirteen cinemas in Berlin, 'Kolberg' is said to have been shown in the German Empire in: Breslau, Königsberg, Danzig, Neisse, Munich , Vienna and Hamburg . American media historian David Culbert estimates that only a few thousand Germans saw the
film during the war.

'Kolberg' was put on the list of banned films by the Allied occupation authorities after the war. While Kolberg was banned in Germany, the film
was shot shortly after the war in some countries that had remained neutral or had not played a major role during World War II, including Switzerland, Sweden and Argentina.

Many of whom were thousands of soldiers stationed at the fronts who were called home to take part in the filming. This odd decision in the
middle of a burning world war has been the subject of most documentaries about the production. It is known that Goebbels and the regime's propaganda ministry at the beginning trusted the goal of the film: That the whole people would flock to screenings and that the film would strengthen the people's morale and fighting spirit through propaganda and with newfound fighting spirit they would be able to repel the Allied advance. Goebbels put enormous trust in the film's intended effect.

But production was hampered and the film was severely delayed while Germany was increasingly bombed into ruins, and at the premiere, as
late as January 1945, only a few cinemas remained in the country and these screenings were often disrupted by frequent air raids.
The planned propaganda effect did not materialize at all, the film failed became a fact and the project became an expensive, lavish failure for
the Nazi regime. A large part of the people were so late in the war war-weary, in starvation, homelessness and general despair, with the exception
of unrealistic fanatics and members of the party leadership. Kristina Söderbaum * suggested that the thousands of soldiers who were called in to
take part in the film "were happy that they were then not sent to the bloody front", and further that it may have contributed to "at least some soldiers escaping death unnecessarily" in it already lost the war.

Much of the land at this time lay in ruins and the goals of the film; to become a unifying battle cry that would raise the campaign of the whole people, failed, despite the enormous production.

* [The female lead in the film was played by Kristina Söderbaum , a Swedish-German actress and married to director Harlan. Söderbaum was one
of the most popular female actresses in Hitler's Germany and was often seen in the role of the typical young "Aryan" woman.]

Director Harlan was charged after the end of the war with complicity in the Nazi regime and crimes against humanity, but was acquitted in controversial verdicts.

In the post-war period, director Harlan was indicted for his anti-Semitic propaganda and support for Nazism. However, he managed to convince
the judges that it was the regime that wrote his films, and thus escaped justice. In 1949 he was prosecuted again, for crimes against humanity
with the infamous Nazi film Jud Süß , but in yet another controversial verdict he was acquitted in Hamburg. The acquittal was upheld by the
British occupation zone. Harlan's two acquittals remain controversial and criticized as other similar distributors or creators of anti-Semitic propaganda were convicted after the war of the same kind of crime.

Kolberg was the last film to be awarded the title “Film der Nation”, the highest award for films in National Socialist Germany .

Final scene:

The last words belong again to Gneisenau, who harassed his king in Breslau: “And when today, in 1813, six years later, the citizen rises again, the people rise, your Majesty, then they are inspired by that mysterious power and example that the Kolbergers once gave him. They strive to be like
the citizens of Kolberg, they want to finally shake off their chains. The people stand up for the coming battle of nations, your Majesty.
The storm is breaking! "As at the beginning, thousands of people are walking through the streets of Breslau and singing fiercely:"
The people are getting up ... "

Adapted from the autobiography of the Mayor of Kolberg, Joachim Nettelbeck, and a previous stage adaptation by Paul Heyse, it aimed to
inspire the German people by showing how the embattled citizens triumphed over the Napoleonic hordes.

Of course accuracy was not Goebbels’ primary concern. In the actual siege, Napoleon took the city, but why let the facts get in the way of a
good story? This also applied to the writers. Paul Heyse was a Nobel Prize-winner but because he was Jewish all references to him and his play
were removed.

The film makes no mention of the fact that the British came to the town's help.

Counter Point.

Author Frank Noack states:

It cost 7.6 million Reichsmarks, not 8.5 million as is often stated. The film's extra cast accounted perhaps 5,000 soldiers and hundreds of
Kolberg people participated for a daily fee of 5 Reichsmarks. The number of extras is commonly exaggerated at 187,000 and claims of entire divisions of troops taking part are completely false.

Principal cinematography took place from 22 October 1943 to August 1944. The exteriors were shot in and around the cities of Kolberg,
Königsberg, Berlin, Seeburg, and Neustettin.

[1] Noack, Frank (2016) [2000]. Veit Harlan: "des Teufels Regisser" [Veit Harlan: The Life and Work of a Nazi Filmmaker]. Lexington:
University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813167008.

However In his memoirs Harlan claimed to have used a total of 187,000 extras.

"The expenditure lavished on Kolberg assumed grotesque proportions. Veit Harlan had more troops at his disposal for his war games than did both sides put together during the actual battle for Kolberg (!). In spite of the enormous supply problems, no expense was spared as far as Kolberg was concerned. Press reports on the shooting were vetoed---the enormous amounts spent on the film might well have provoked a public reaction.

"For one scene, Charlemagne's Imperial Crown was used."

Continues Leiser, "Harlan recalls that he had 10,000 uniforms made and that he used 6,000 horses; 187,000 soldiers (!), according to
Harlan's own estimate, were withdrawn from active service."

Continues Leiser, "For the sequence of the French attack across flooded fields, Harlan asked for 4,000 sailors. The Admiralty refused, but
he got them after an appeal to the Propaganda Ministry."

"In retrospect, Harlan admitted that a 'law of madness' prevailed, and everyone submitted to it though they knew it was madness (!). Hitler as
well as Gobbels must have been obsessed by the idea that a film like this could be more useful to them than even a victory in Russia. Maybe they, too, were now just waiting for a miracle because they no longer believed in victory in any rational way. In the cinema's dream factory, miracles happened at home quicker than they did at the front.'"

Rejoins Harlan, "Gobbels was not pleased with Kolberg's sentimental, romanticized 'drawing-room scenes---to which Harlan still referred with
pride in his autobiography---nor with the way the film depicted the horrors of war. He was uncertain how the population would react to a
realistic presentation of their own situation dressed up as history. The film was not meant to encourage defeatism, so Gobbels ordered cuts
involving sequences which in Harlan's own words described 'For two million Reichsmarks the horrors of total war.' A memorandum to Gobbels from the-then State script supervisor, Hinkel, dated Dec. 6, 1944, includes a list of the changes ordered by Gobbels and approved by Harlan.

"He promises to deal with them quickly:

'1) Cut all the mass battle and street scenes and replace with scenes featuring the familiar characters,
2) Delete the birth scene from the moment when the pregnant woman is brought into the town councillor's house up to the scene following
the birth of the child and the removal of mother and child from the house,
3) Cut the hysterical outburst by the brother Klaus,
4) Cut the Queen Luise audience scene by removing one or two close-ups of Frau von Meyendorff and Frau Soderbaum
(the two actresses involved.)
"5) Cut the argument between Gneisenau and Nettelbeck about the command at Kolberg.

Delete the sentence about him (Gneisenau) having sole responsibility.'

Hinkel also mentions in this memorandum a scene which in his opinion is 'An even more effective passage from Gneisenau's speech on the marketplace' which 'for obvious reasons could be put to excellent use,'

and which includes among other things, sentences like

'You have lost everything, but you have also won everything...Germans of every region, take your cue from Kolberg...I see the dawn of German freedom rising.

"As the Red Army marched into Guben and Babelsberg, work was still being done on the editing of the second negative. In Breslau, and Danzig,
the film was sent into action, as it were; it was shown to the fighting units and the people of the beleaguered cities. Goring, Himmler, Donitz, a
nd Guderian were given copies. The Volkischer Beobachter/People's Observor correspondent saw the film's version of Kolberg in 1807
'As if it were part of ourselves,' referring to 'its uncanny relevance to our times,' but the catastrophe could not be halted by the film.

On Apr. 17, 1945, a few days before his death, Gobbels told his colleagues at the Propaganda Ministry: 'Gentleman, in a hundred years' time, they will be showing a fine color film of the terrible days we are living through. Wouldn't you like to play a part in that film? Hold out now, so that a hundred years hence the audience will not hoot and whistle when you appear on the screen.'...

Which is covered in detail in the following:-

According to Stephen Brockmann in “A critical history of German film” (2010), Goebbels saw the film for the last time on April 17, in a
private pass with his staff. After the viewing, he affirmed with solemnity: “Gentlemen, in a hundred years time they will be showing another
fine colour film describing the terrible days we are living through. Don’t you want to play a part in this film, to be brought back to life in a
hundred years time? Everybody now has a chance to choose the part that he will play in the film a hundred years hence. I can assure you that
it will be a fine and elevating picture.“ It does not seem that the film was very stimulating for Goebbels himself in regard to the idea of ​​resisting
to death: two weeks later, on May 1, the propaganda minister committed suicide with his wife, after having poisoned to his six children. ... ird-reich/

Such diversion of precious resources and men from the war was, frankly, insane. Harlan would later write: “Hitler and Goebbels must have been possessed by the thought that such a film might do them more good than, for instance, a victory in Russia.” ... -audience/

Final Entries, 1945: The Diaries of Josef Gobbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment makes several notations regarding
the real Kolberg. For instance, on March 5th, he writes, "The enemy has captured Belgard and Koslin. The Military Commandant of Kolberg---
if he can be so-called---made a proposition to the Fuhrer that the town be surrendered (!) without a fight. The Fuhrer immediately removed him
and put a younger officer in his place. Have these degenerate generals no sense of history or of responsibility? Does a present-day Military Commandant of Kolberg nurture the ambition to emulate a Loucadou rather than a Gneisenau?" he asked himself.

The very next day he noted that "Soviet assaults on Kolberg and Belgard were repulsed..." and on the 8th that "...Attacks on the southern edge of Kolberg were defeated..." and on the 9th, "In Kolberg the situation is unchanged."

Gobbels later scribbled, "Heavy attacks on Kolberg from all directions were repulsed, but with fairly heavy losses to the garrison..." and a later
entry for the same day added, "The garrison of Kolberg has beaten off all enemy attacks with severe losses." This continued on into March 13th,
and on the following day, he wrote, "Only at Kolberg did the enemy attack fairly strongly yesterday," but by the 16th stated, "The enemy has forced his way into Kolberg and fierce street fighting had flared up. By the day before yesterday (the 14th), a total of 40,000 out of the 50,000 refugees assembled in Kolberg had been evacuated..." ** [see below]

Later that same day, Dr. Gobbels added that, "In Kolberg the final battles are apparently taking place. Our men are no longer in a position to
offer coordinated resistance to the enemy." On the 18th he noted, "We have now had to evacuate Kolberg. The town, which had been defended
with such extraordinary heroism, could no longer be held. I will ensure that the evacuation of Kolberg is not mention in the OKW (High Command
of the Armed Forces) report. In view of the severe psychological repercussions on the Kolberg film, we could do without that at the moment." ... aylor.html

Operation Hannibal 1945: the Germany evacuation that dwarfed the ‘miracle of Dunkirk’ **

In early 1945, the German navy rescued up to 2 million people from advancing Soviet troops in a desperate bid to stay in the war.
Nick Hewitt tells the story of an operation that dwarfed the Allied evacuation from France in 1940, both in scale – and loss of life.

This was the desperate effort made by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, the Kriegsmarine’s chief and later Nazi Germany’s last führer, to evacuate
German soldiers and civilians from under the guns of the advancing Red Army in the east and transport them to safety in the west. It was arguably the greatest evacuation in history although, like the far smaller but much better-known evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940, this was not an exercise motivated by simple humanity, whatever Dönitz may have claimed in his self-serving memoirs after the war. Like Adolf Hitler, and like Churchill in 1940, Dönitz wanted the army back so that it could continue to fight. At his regular naval conference with Hitler on 28 January 1945, the grand admiral informed the führer that “refugees can be evacuated by sea only insofar as this operation does not affect the transfer of fighting forces”.

Ludicrous as it may seem with the benefit of hindsight, the Third Reich’s leaders still believed victory, or at least a negotiated peace, was achievable.

Operation Hannibal (January–May 1945)

How long did it last? 115 days

How many were evacuated? c2 million

Greatest single loss: Wilhelm Gustloff, c9,600 dead

History’s greatest maritime tragedy. On 30 January, the former Nazi party ‘Strength Through Joy’ holiday cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff left Gotenhafen for Flensburg. The 26,000-ton liner was so rammed with refugees that sources rarely agree about just how many people it was
carrying, but the total was possibly as high as 10,600, including 5,000 children. She was built to carry just 1,463 passengers, so the conditions
aboard can barely be imagined.

Wilhelm Gustloff was steaming slowly, nursing her unreliable engines, and had just one escort, the ex-Norwegian torpedo boat Löwe.
At 9.08pm, three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S13 slammed into her side and the great liner heeled over. Although it took over
an hour for her to sink, the crowded conditions aboard, the totally inadequate lifesaving gear, and the freezing water made heavy loss of life
almost inevitable. There were fewer than 1,000 survivors. It’s impossible to say with any accuracy even today precisely how many died,
although the total included well over 4,000 children.

Wilhelm Gustloff was one of a staggering four sinkings during Operation Hannibal in which the loss of life greatly exceeded the estimated
1,500 who perished during the loss of the Titanic in 1912. (These terrible statistics provide a dramatic example of how the mass evacuation
has been largely overlooked in popular memory.
) Ten days later S13 sank a second ship, the Steuben, which went down with the loss
of an estimated 4,000 crew and passengers.

On 23 January, as the Soviet advance into East Prussia gathered momentum, Dönitz ordered Rear Admiral Konrad Engelhardt, head of the Kriegsmarine’s Transport Service and an experienced former merchant marine skipper, to launch a Rettungsaktion (rescue operation)
codenamed Operation Hannibal to ferry troops and refugees west.

Engelhardt faced formidable challenges. At Dunkirk in 1940, the Royal Navy had still been the world’s most powerful navy, but the Kriegsmarine
was never large to start with, and had been eviscerated by 1945. What ships remained were rusty and poorly maintained; they suffered from mechanical problems and fuel shortages, and experienced sailors had been stripped out to fight on land. Merchant shipping was in an even worse state, and many of the great liners on which the evacuation depended had not been to sea since the war began. The Allies had total control of the air, the Baltic was heavily mined, and Soviet submarines were becoming bolder, penetrating deep into the western Baltic. It was a brutally cold winter, and many voyages were plagued by ice. The risks were huge.

To carry out Hannibal, Engelhardt had 13 big liners, 25 medium-sized freighters, and hundreds of smaller merchant vessels, including coastal
traders, barges and fishing boats. He also had access to most of the Kriegsmarine’s remaining warships, including the heavy cruisers Prinz Eugen
and Admiral Hipper, the famous ‘pocket battleships’ Admiral Scheer and Lützow, a handful of destroyers and large torpedo boats, several flotillas of minesweepers, and countless smaller auxiliaries and patrol boats.

The first extraction took place on 23 January, when 3,000 refugees were brought safely out of Königsberg and Pillau. Generally, the procedure
was to first bring in supplies and ammunition for the armies still fighting in the pockets, a sop to Hitler’s orders for everyone to fight to the last. Accompanying warships then expended their ammunition bombarding targets ashore in support of the troops before the force embarked as many refugees as possible and left for the west. This went on consistently for a staggering 115 days, the last evacuations taking place on 9/10 May
when the war was technically over.

By the end of February, some 250 east-west voyages had taken place, with perhaps 300,000 refugees being successfully evacuated.
Conditions ashore for the refugees awaiting salvation were desperate.

By now the Kriegsmarine’s weary ships were starting to fail. On 9 March half of them were reported unserviceable due to mechanical defects or
lack of fuel. Despite this attrition, Hannibal continued. Over the night of 4/5 April, German warships managed to extract 8,000 men of 7 Panzer Corps from Oxhöft near Gotenhafen, remarkably bringing out a significant proportion of their equipment as well.

Less than two weeks later a Soviet submarine torpedoed another liner, the Goya, drowning up to 7,000 people. The great liners
were slow, vulnerable and unreliable, but the situation was desperate, and they could carry huge numbers of people, so Engelhardt had
little choice but to keep using them.

Perhaps the most appalling tragedy of friendly fire took place on 3 May 1945, when rocket-firing RAF Typhoon fighter-bombers attacked the Cap Arcona north of Lübeck, setting her on fire and eventually sinking her. Unknown to the RAF pilots, Cap Arcona was carrying 5,000 prisoners
evacuated from concentration camps in the east, most of whom died.

By May it was clear that Germany was finished. The northern ports were falling to Montgomery’s advancing British forces, but nevertheless the Kriegsmarine tried desperately to continue the operation with anything that would float. As leading Nazis tried to negotiate a surrender in the
west, in the east, in the words of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, “the struggle continued to rescue as many Germans as possible from
bolshevisation and slavery”.

On 8 May, with the war essentially over, Kriegsmarine ships made their last run into Hela, evacuating up to 20,000 more refugees. They would undoubtedly have returned for more had the British allowed them. Under Dönitz’s leadership, the Kriegsmarine was perhaps the most politicised
and loyal of all the three regular services, maintaining discipline and cohesion to the end. It is perhaps unsurprising that Hitler appointed Dönitz
as his successor.

Nearly 1,000 ships were used, of which 245 were sunk, taking 33,000 evacuees and sailors down with them, mostly on Wilhelm Gustloff, Steuben
and Goya. These losses are shocking, but it is important to remember that the Nazi regime was largely responsible for them, as many refugee
ships were unmarked, and the regime had ordered that military personnel be carried with civilians.

In fact, it can be argued that these desperate efforts to bring Germans to the west unnecessarily prolonged the war.

Nevertheless, Hannibal remains an extraordinary achievement. ... many-died/


This is not a painting. This is a scene from the movie.

"Kolberg" is by no means the last film of the Third Reich. Film production kept on going until April 23 1945 in Berlin-Babelsberg, and as long as
the early days of May 1945 in Prag. The last major colour film shot being "Shiva und die Galgenblume". Until that time there were about 90 films being either completed or shot in the Prag studios. If you want to find out the really "last" film, perhaps you should check out Käutner's absolutely beautiful "Under the Bridges", which didn't pass censorship in March 1945. But I'm not sure even that was the last completed film".

In Kolberg - Every trace of human suffering (aside from the lame love intrigue) was removed, and that's probably what makes this film uneven
and jumpy at times. What the director's cut could have looked like, we can only guess. Over 90 hours of footage taken and that all the negatives
are lost. We will never know what we are missing.

Further to the above:-

“Kolberg” was the last great film production of Nazism, but not his last film. The comedy “Ein Mann wie Maximilian” premiered on March 13,
1945, and the melodrama “Via Mala” was presented on April 7, one month before the German surrender. ... ird-reich/

Films of the Third Reich (1933-1945)

A total of 1,084 feature films were shown in cinemas in Nazi Germany between 1933-1945, 10-15 percent are propaganda."

To the soldiers of the German garrison at La Rochelle the movie Kolberg seemed to have some effect:

It was the last city liberated by the allies, together with the German bases of Royan and Saint-Nazaire, on May 8, 1945, six days after the end of hostilities. ... ird-reich/

Earlier movie which was announced yet never made on this time period and topic is covered in the following:

Unrealised NS propaganda films 1934 – 1945

Die Volkerschlacht bei Leipzig (The Battle of Leipzig) – Hammer Tonfilm 1935/36

Neither the film’s Director nor actors were announced.

The production company was named as Germania–Film.

The 1813 battle which was a turn of fate for the German people was to be re–told in this “monumental historical film – a film document
which not only shows the greatness of that time, but also is a history of our own time.”

The movie Kolberg it could be said also depicted a history of the time, past and at that time present. ... -19341945/
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 02:10

1. Kurhessisches Volkssturm-Bataillon Gudensberg ... 4c00e74386

1 Volkssturm-Bataillon (Götze), 2 Nachschub-Kompanien

Volkssturm-Bataillon Bad Godesberg ... AXoECCsQAw

Stadt Hann Volkssturm-Bataillon III Gau Sachsen ... ?browser=1

Volkssturm in Danzig

75 years ago, on November 12, 1944, the Volkssturm in Danzig solemn oath took place. The rally, which was held in Długi Targ, was attended
by 12,000 members from the city ("Groß Danzig"). In all likelihood, it was the last gathering of people of this scale in the history of Danzig,

The Volkssturm was a formation of a popular move. November and December 1944 in Danzig was spent mainly on training sessions,
consecutive rallies or the collection of military equipment, carried out to a limited extent.

In order to run the Volkssturm more efficiently, all men who were to join its ranks were divided into four mobilization shots. In the 20th
military district - as everything indicates - they were launched relatively late. In mid-January 1945, only 9.5 battalions of this formation
functioned in Pomorze Nadwiślański and Kujawy, while in the 21st military district (Wielkopolska) there were 20, and in the
1st military district (East Prussia) as many as 90. One battalion was formally composed of the staff and 4 companies, altogether
from 360 to 640 people.

To be precise, it should be added that in East Prussia, the Volkssturm units were established even before the formal decree of Adolf Hitler of September 25, 1944, which brought this formation to life. Moreover, from October 7, the first units of the mass German attack were securing
the Klaipeda region, and on October 20, a total of seven different Volkssturm battalions fought on the front lines in East Prussia. Ultimately, the entire Volkssturm in East Prussia reached the number of about 67,000 people organized into 120 battalions. We do not know such precise data
for West Prussia (and Danzig itself).

volkssturm_20191108_1935243652 (Medium).jpg

In the area of ​​"Greater Danzig", a special mobilization ordinance of men aged 16 to 60 was issued only on February 7, 1945. Three
registration points were opened (two in Śródmieście and one in Wrzeszcz), another soon - not by accident - in Nowy Port, where they
gathered people waiting for shipment by sea. Registration in the institutions lasted from 8 to 14 February. Slightly later, on February 15-21,
all men staying in these cities were to report to points in Gdynia and Sopot. Again, the order, apart from the residents, covered the refugees
and evacuees.

On February 16, the first, already formed Volkssturm battalions, assigned to the defense of Danzig, were deployed.

Analyzing the data on their markings and the preserved field mail numbers, their reorganization was most likely in mid-March - e.g. the
existing Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/51 was renamed Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/5, and Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/52 was
Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/6
. It is not known whether this change was dictated by the amalgamation of (partially already broken?)
Units or maybe other reasons.

Picture: one of the Danzig Volkssturm demonstrations in autumn 1944 ( not on November 12). You can see them, among others.
elderly people with shovels. These were people who were simultaneously sent to work on the construction of field fortifications in the
outskirts of the city, as well as in Danzig itself. ... ig-1944-45
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 02:32

Volkssturm in Nordhausen

On October 29, 1944, “men aged 16 to 60 who were capable of weapons” were recorded for the Volkssturm and divided into 29
Volkssturm-Bataillones throughout the Kreisgebiet, 10 of which belonged to the Stadtgebiet Nordhausen. The organization was adjusted
to the territorial division of the party. The registration points for the districts of the nine Nordhäuser Ortsgruppen Bismarck, Finkenburg,
Gustloff, Horst Wessel, Meyenburg, Ostmark, Richthofen, Schlageter, Weddingen had been set beforehand.

The first roll call took place on November 5, 1944. The ceremonial swearing-in of the Nordhäuser Volkssturmes took place just two weeks
later on Neumarkt . The Nordhäuser Volkssturmes consisted of veterans born between 1885 and 1899 and some Hitlerjungen born in 1928/29, numerically more in Zug than battalion strength. Captain d. R. Sigurd Rudloff was the deputy Volkssturm-Kommandeur of the entire
Nordhäuser Bataillones sworn in on Neumarkt.

The 16 Volkssturm-Bataillones in the Landkreis had native names:

Volkssturm-Bataillon Roland von Nordhausen
Volkssturm-Bataillon Altentor
Volkssturm-Bataillon Heinrichsburg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Wiedigsburg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Frauenberg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Geiersberg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Königshof
Volkssturm-Bataillon Töpfertor
Volkssturm-Bataillon Wolkramshausen
Volkssturm-Bataillon Ellrich
Volkssturm-Bataillon Sachsa
Volkssturm-Bataillon Bleicherode
Volkssturm-Bataillon Sollstedt
Volkssturm-Bataillon Ilfeld
Volkssturm-Bataillon Helwig von Harzungen
Volkssturm-Bataillon Salza

About 10 men were posted to guard the fighter planes parked at Fliegerhorst Nordhausen, including several Mistel-Gespanne.

At the age of 73, Carl Parrhysius was the oldest volunteer in the Nordhausen Volkssturm and wrote the
lyrics for the song "Die Volkssturm-Bataillone ".

The Kommandeur des Volkssturmes, school councilor Paul Koch , was injured on the shoulder on April 3 in the basement shelter of the giant
house and on April 4, 1945 appointed Captain d. Reserve Sigurd Rudloff as Kommandeur des Nordhäuser Volkssturme as well as
Kampfkommandanten von Nordhausen. [3] After the air raids on Nordhausen , preparations were made to defend the town and the Harz Gate
on April 6, 1945, on the orders of SS-Obergruppenführer and SS General (Schutz-Staffel) Hans Kammler; so were ditches and holes in the
Stürzetal, at the central cemetery on Leimbacher Strasse , near Wildes Hölzchen, in the Gumpe , on the Holungsbügel and at the city
entrances. On the promenade , in the enclosure and on the Zorge , coverings for a second line of defense were created in places.

The headquarters of the Nordhäuser Volkssturm was located in the former chicory factory on Stolberger Straße. In April 1945 four machine
guns, a few hundred small-bore rifles and carbines (Volkssturmgewehr) and a few dozen bazookas were available. Kammler and part of his
staff left the Mittelwerk on April 7, 1945 in the direction of West Harz. On April 10, 1945, when the US troops entered the Vorharz region, the positions were deserted and empty. In the seizure of the US Army on April 11, 1945, there were no hostilities in Nordhausen. The Volkssturm
was informally disbanded on the same day by the Kampf-Kommandanten, Hauptmann dR Sigurd Rudloff.

HJ-Volkssturm-Bataillon Roßlau ... ge-3152918

Volkssturm-Bataillon V Göppingen

As part of the defense of the city of Geislingen and the surrounding area was for the section Tegelberg, Siechenbrücke and
Michelberg the 9th, 10th and 11th companies of the Volkssturm-Bataillon V Göppingen with works leader Ranz von Altenstadt as
battalion leader chosen. With the leadership of the section, the senior soldier and major a. D. Main teacher Maurer von Altenstadt
commissioned. ... adt/t1.pdf
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 06:08

A most interesting post in Polish Volkssturm-Bataillones Reichsgau Wartheland from

Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71

Aufstellungsort: Reichsgau Wartheland, Kolmar
Aufstellungszeitpunkt oder -raum: 18/01/1945 Vor
Einheitsführer: known
Einsatz: wurde am 18.01.1945, 10:00, auf Züge Bahnhof them Kolmar geladen. Anschließender Einsatz bis dato unbekannt.
Besonderheiten / Vermerk:.
) Bewaffnung / Ausrüstung laut Kreisgeschäftsführer Schäfer: 520 russ. Gewehre, 48 russ. machine. Gewehre, 30 russ. MG, 45 Panzerfäuste,
~ 20 Stielgranaten, 85,000 Schuss Munition. 5 Fahrzeuge, 10 Zugpferde, 2 Reitpferde
.) Keine FPN bacannt.
.) In der VBL nicht genannt.
Verbleib: unbekannt.

Let us not forget that, in addition, about 20 foreign Volkssturm-Bataillones from the central part of the Reich were brought to
Warthegau due to the lack of weapons, ammunition and equipment as well as training of local battalions. They wore an accessory: zbV

With the passage listed in the attached documents submitted battalions under the command of the Wehrmacht on 20 January 1945:

- Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/15 in Poznan was the only one created from here and took part in the defense of the fortress on the western stretch
of Festung Posen (Junikowo, Ławica and Marcelin, fort VIIa), in practice dispersed until January 31, 1945, when about 1,000 soldiers grouped
in Junikowo and Marcelin, together with the officers, decided to break west from Poznań towards the front line, and only a small part of this
The cast broke through the city to the Citadel. His history was described in his memoirs by a second lieutenant from the 5th School of Infantry Cadets in Poznań, assigned as the only (!!!) specialist officer to this battalion, these memoirs were published by Wyd. BRIDGE: Herbert Döllner,
Fort VIIa Strotha. Fighting on the Section "West" and the escape from the fortress , series Festung Posen 1945 No. 20, Wyd. POMOST, Poznań

- the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/155 was evacuated from Środa to Mosina (with at least 2 companies) and took part in the fighting for Mosina
on January 24/25 (theoretically defending the "c" line on the Warta River, although it had already been broken south of Poznań in Czapury and
north of Poznań in Czerwonak), then he evacuated and fought in the Trzciel position at the end of January. At the moment,
the battalion's combat route is being searched for by the Historical Research Institute Poznań 1945 (POMOST Publishing).

Most of the Volkssturm-Bataillones from Poznań were deployed on the "b" line near Koło - around January 20, these forces were completely
defeated by the 1st Belorussian Front. A similar fate befell several other battalions from the 21st OW (Wartheland), which were ready
before January 20, 1945. They were sent to the "b" line sections located in the 21st OW near Koło, or Sieradz.

I will ask my colleagues from "Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/45" about the other battalions mentioned here, because I do not deal with it
personally ...

Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/45
Aufstellungsort: Reichsgau Wartheland, Gostingen
Aufstellungszeitpunkt: vor 01.1945
Einheitsführer: unbekannt
Einsatz: geplante Abkommandierung in die Warthe-Stellung zum "Kampfkommandeur (heute 3" in Schadzier).

Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/45

The commander of the battalion was SA-Strumbannführer Friedrich Stolpe.Mobilized on January 16, 1945, it had 280 people formed in two companies. The armaments consisted of Italian rifles with 70 ammunition each. 60 panzerfausts and each platoon had 3 Soviet LMGs.
They fought in the vicinity of Sieradz and then retreated through Koźmin Wlkp., Gostyń, Leszno and Wschowa. From January 26, retreat via
Głogów, Żagań, Forst, Cottbus to Luckau, where the battalion arrived on February 1.

The description of the destruction of the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/57 from Jarotschina is quite interesting.
Let me remind you that the Russians, in most cases, treated the Volkssturm as partisans, destroying them on the spot.

Grzegorz Urbanek, The Volkssturm Organization and the expansion of fortifications in the Wartheland in 1944 - two documents, (in :)
Society and fortifications. Formerly and Today , ed.: Grzegorz Urbanek, Wyd. POMOST, Poznań 2016, pp. 87-94.

These are actually two Petzel reports dated June 15, 1949:

1) Military preparations for the defense of the Wartheland.

2) Fortifications in the Warta Country.

Several pages long, rather disappointing.

With reference to the discussion undertaken here:

I. Petzel actually complains that the conditions for creating the Volkssturm in the Warta Region were worse than in the Old Reich,
because only 23% of the population was German. (p. 89)

II. The chief of the Volkssturm of the Volkssturm of the Watheland was chosen by Greiser, the Higher SS and Police Commander of
Gruppenführer Reinefarth himself, who actually did not deal with this topic at all, but some Greiser adjutant (p. 89). Szumowski claimed that
on January 14, 1945, Reinefarth flew from the Western Front to Poznań to liquidate his affairs, including the formal surrender of the command
over the Volkssturm of the Warta Region, which formally ceased on December 30, 1944, when Reinefarth was removed from his post Higher SS
and Police Commander in this area.

III. Petzel reports that on January 18, 1945, about 30 battalions were "established" (that is, mobilized) "(...) They were used either for local
defense or for individual sectional headquarters on the B1 line (...) so only two battalions were sent to fight in the fortifications, which were
also decimated. Six more battalions were caught and defeated during the march to the west. . Many Volkssturmists, caught by the Russians,
were taken for partisans and shot. " (p. 90) That's all - unfortunately.

IV. On the other hand, Szumowski reported that Uniejów on the Warta River (line b) was defended by the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/9 from
Poznań and the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/137 from Obornik. On the other hand, the Wheels defended: Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/41. from
Gniezno, Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/81.from Kościan and Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/161. from Koła.

KTB XXI OW about the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71. So I think it was created in Czarnków - despite the fact that someone
here said that it is not on the lists of those 30 Volkssturm-Bataillones from the Land of Warta ...

I will not repeat the initial information - because it is presented above (about the composition and weapons): with the
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 Battalion from Chodzież, it was supposed to hit one place: on the "B" line between Sieradz and Kalisz.

Where ultimately only the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 from Chodzież ended up and was involved in fighting near Błaszki ( Schwarzau ).

KTB XXI OW contains a fairly detailed description of what happened to the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 Błaszki Battalion and very
laconically mentions the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 :

1) loaded onto a railway depot on January 19, 1945 at 15:00 at the station in Czarnków;
2) it turned out to be impossible to operate (join) the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69;
3) to the south of Inowrocław (certainly also to the "B" position);
4) it should be in action near Kostrzyn (literally: "should be used").

I do not know the date of the report (so I do not know what day it is when the term "now" is used), information about the
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 Battalion is given on the basis of a note from the district chief of the NSDAP from Chodzież
( Notiz des Abschnittleiters der NSDAP, Kreis Kolmar ).

It should therefore be assumed that for some communication reasons (it was on the "tracks" 29 hours later than the battalion
from Chodzież) the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 could not keep up with the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 sent to the south-east near Sieradz
- no wonder, since in the evening of January 19 1945, the Red Army occupied Łódź. So it was about the few hours of delay, as a result of
which the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 could only be directed to the east - to Inowrocław. And from there he was withdrawn to Kostrzyn.
The Red Army appeared near Inowrocław on January 22, 1945.

If in the future I get information about the route of this Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 by MRU to Kostrzyn or about its further fate,
I will not hesitate to post ...

I think this does not exclude the fact that the Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 withdrew from Inowrocław after January 22, 1945,
exactly on the
same (railway) road that it arrived there and maybe passed back west through Czarnków ...


A scan was cited showing the armament of Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 and Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71.

520 Soviet rifles, 48 ​​Soviet automatic rifles ("pepeshe" semi-automatic rifles), 30 Soviet machine guns (Diegtarev ??),
45 panzerfausts and grenades.And the ammunition.

Respectively: Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 - 115,000 rounds, Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 battalion - 85,000 rounds.

And the last one is interesting. Assuming about 600 firearms per battalion we get the number
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69 - 191.6 rounds per barrel
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71 - 141.6 rounds per barrel

If this is true - what about the stories about "5 rounds per rifle" ?? Could Kreisgeschäftsführer Schäfer exaggerate when
talking about the arming of these battalions ?? Or did they have "better" equipment ??

Volkssturm-Bataillones identified in the forum.

Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/9
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/15
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/41
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/45
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/57
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/69
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/71
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/81
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/137
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/155
Volkssturm-Bataillon 36/161 ... &start=100
Last edited by Germanicus on 11 Jan 2022 09:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 06:46

The Volkssturm Bataillones in Schönlanke region.

The Volkssturm Bataillon from the areas north of the Noteć (from Trzcianka - German Schönlanke 14 km from Czarnków) is mentioned in the composition of the Piła crew. And I don't know anything about the other Volkssturm units in this region.

- 2 Apr 2013, 2013 17:17 -

Fighting units (taken in emergency mode) in the region I describe based on "Pommern 1945" by Helmut Lindenblatt:

1. Alarm-Kompanie der Kraftfahr-Ersatz- Abteilung 2 (Stettin)
2 I. Bataillon des Wehrkreis-Unterführer-Lehrgangs (WUL Neustettin) (maybe also II. Battalion - although the content shows that it was directed south - to Wronki)
3. Teile des Alarm-Bataillons 4 (Kolberg)
4. die Alarm -Gruppe der HUS Arnswalde - 2 Kompanien Panzergrenadiere in Schützenpanzerwagen (NCO school)
5. 2 Batterien der I./ALR l (Groß Born)
6. Volkssturm Bataillon Stolp

There was definitely a Schonlanke Battalion as you have already noticed. I don't have much information about him except that he existed.
At least 3 battalions were created in the Piła poviat. For some they numbered about 400 people, so more or less the total forces of the
Volkssturm units in Piła could be about 1000 - 1200 people.

Volkssturm Bataillon 26/17
Volkssturm Bataillon Eibel
Volkssturm Bataillon Ollenforst

It is difficult to assess the losses of the Volkssturm from Kreis Schneidemühl during the fights and after them (captivity, etc.) in the dead.
Certainly they were significant. Especially that they were poorly trained and armed, and sometimes their age or health was also not the best. However, there are data on missing members of these three battalions. Which, according to the German Red Cross, amounts to 224 missing
persons, most of the missing have the town of Schneidemühl (Piła) entered. But there are other places, some quite distant, such as Poznań, Kostrzyn, Szczecin and many others. The place where a given person is missing is only the place where he was last seen alive or where his unit
was stationed.Czarnków Poviat (Scharnikau) also set up Volkssturm troops, however, how many of them were unknown to me. There was definitely the 1st battalion. The battalion numbering is not given in the source.

This correlates with the data of Lindemann ("Pommern 1945"). He even specifies these units - the list goes down to company level.

1. Battalion from Trzcianka and Piła - rather were destroyed in Piła.
2. As Piła was quite a large city - so the population of the Volkssturm must have been quite large there
3. As for Kreis Scharnikau - unlike Netze Kreis - it was an area largely inhabited by the Polish population - hence the possible battalions
(taking into account the earlier drainage of German conscripts for the Wehrmacht) - you would have to be relatively weak.
4. I was interested in the data on the losses of VS units from Kreis Scharnikau. The losses of the Germans in the area near the Noteć River
(from Ujście to Wieleń) are very little known. As for Czarnków himself - completely unknown. From the villages of the Czarnków Commune
(on both sides of the Noteć) - about 40-50 burials of German soldiers are known (in single and collective graves). From the area of ​​the town of Czarnków - none. Taking into account the losses of the Russians - there should be some 200 more. That is why I was interested in the fragment
about 10 Volkssturmists from the town of Czarnków.

I also glanced at the Volkssturm Kreis Stolp. At least 3 battalions with numbers were created in this Kreis.

Volkssturm Bataillon 26/4
Volkssturm Bataillon Lutz
Volkssturm Bataillon Lietz

Ollenforst Einheit des Volkssturm Kreis Schneidemühl / Piła 1945 ... m#p1635740

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 09:58

German stamp Deutscher Volkssturm 1. Kompanie Gau 12/123. Bataillon

Capture.JPG ... re_el_lote
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 10:19

I was once asked to write and discuss on the following : Performance of the Volkssturm?

This was my response for those who maybe interested on my view, on the topic Volkssturm, rather than the purpose of this post which is to track down Volkssturm-Bataillones.

Most respectfully



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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 11 Jan 2022 10:34

Deutscher Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/233 Badischer

95369e54-00dc-4043-8e5d-3566e6a56044.jpg ... olid=10050

Volkssturm-Bataillon Martin 36/169 ... hof-halbe/
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 12 Jan 2022 01:25

Reich: World War II Through German Eyes By James Lucas


The Volkssturm

A new spirit would infuse the German soldier – a revolutionary one. Behind that wall of inflamed Nazi warriors would stand a second line of
Party-raised troops, the Volkssturm, and those in that organization who were veterans of former wars would be infected by the revolutionary
spirit of their youthful comrades, boys who had not yet reached military age. Together youth and maturity would form a second National
Socialist bulwark against which the enemy hordes would fling themselves in vain. Then, too, in those areas of the Fatherland into which the depraved Bolsheviks or the forces of the plutocratic Anglo-Americans had already penetrated, a new, secret Party organization, a partisan
force, the Wehrwolf, would rise. It would strike terror into the hearts of the enemy as well as into the hearts of those German traitors who
were collaborating with the foe. The most ruthless measures would be employed against those who betrayed the Volksgemeinschaft.

To strengthen the moral fibre of the people, each Gau was to provide a team of first-class speakers who would undertake a fast lecture tour.
They would also talk to front-line formations, reinforcing the political lines set out by the National Socialist leadership officers in military units.
It is perhaps a comment on how close were the tactics of the dictatorships of Russia and Germany that the Nazis introduced into the German
Army leadership officers who were a combination of political agitator and commissar.

Then came a hammer blow to Hitler’s hopes. Speer, his Armaments Minister, advised the Führer on 14 March that Germany’s economic decline
was so advanced that within a few weeks the war must end. Speer’s was the voice of doom for he alone, of all the hierarchy, knew the true
picture. Desperate not to believe him and confident still that the Fatherland could win at least a compromise peace if it held out long
enough, the most fanatical orders were issued from the Party Chancery.

A memorandum written by General Heusinger in 1943 had proposed a Home Defence Force, an idea which had been rejected as unnecessary at
that time by Hitler. The proposal was raised again in July 1944, in the light of experience gained by those Gauleiters who had raised civilian
labour forces to dig defences along the Reichs frontiers. Out of that successful application of Reichs Defence Commissar powers, which
Hitler had given to the Gauleiters, evolved the concept of a military force raised by the Party, and, therefore, free from negative, reactionary influences. The leadership of the organization would be that of the Party at every level – national, regional and unit. The only part that the
Regular Army would play would be in arming and equipping the new force. Even at that level the influence of the Party would be strong, because Himmler, in his new role as Commander of Replacement Armies, was responsible for the supply of weapons.

At that period of the war there was no uncommitted manpower source from which a new, full-time military force might be obtained.
The wave of soldiers who might have been used had already been called to the colours and posted to their units. The next call-up was months
away and time could not wait until the next class of conscripted men came of age. The need for a great mass of men was now urgent. Those who would make up the new force would need to be in reasonably good health, not too old and based locally. The only body which met these requirements and which was not already in the armed forces or registered for military service was the work-force in the factories. It was obvious that among the 13 million men in industry there would be many who met the criteria demanded.

The standard procedure to call up men to the colours was slow and cumbersome. A newer method needed to be found. The solution lay in the
Party’s own organization. The Gauleiters could establish from Party records which men in the factories were available for local defence service
and under their authority as Reichs Commissars could conscript the factory workers as temporary soldiers to defend the factories and their own homes. That was the original intention; for the Volkssturm to be a local unit defending its own area for a limited period of time.

The tactical unit would be a battalion and this would be activated by the Gauleiter under his Reichs Defence Commissar powers. The men
of the battalion, now armed and equipped as soldiers, would occupy the trenches which another directed body of workers would have already
dug. The Volkssturm men would hold those field fortifications until the well-armed and better-trained Regular Army arrived to relieve them.
The Volkssturm battalion would then be stood down and its men would go back to work in the factories until some new crisis caused them to be reactivated.

In German history there had been many instances of local men being called up to guard or, if necessary, to fight in defence of their own areas.
From the earliest days of the Prussian Army the Landsturm, as such a body was named, had formed a part of the military establishment. What
was unique was that the new force would be totally outside the control of the Army until the time came for the battalions to go into action.
Hitler, acting through the Party Chancery, would advise the Gauleiter to activate the battalions within his Gau. His units would take post and only then would they come under military control.

The proposal made in 1943 by General Heusinger was warmly received in Berlin in 1944, and on 6 September Hitler directed Martin Bormann to undertake the raising of a National Socialist military militia to which he gave the name ‘Volkssturm’. Within three weeks the basic organization
had been completed. Hitler’s Decree of 25 September, which formally raised the new body, is interesting reading. It opens with a blazing condemnation of Germany’s allies for having failed her but claims that the situation in September 1944 was similar to that which had faced
Germany in 1939, when she had stood alone against her enemies. At that time, by a first ruthless application of the Reich’s potential, difficult military problems had been solved and Germany’s future, as indeed that of the whole of Europe, had been assured. These enemies of the
Reich who were now approaching the Reich’s frontiers would be met by a second massive effort of the German people. This would not only
fling back the enemy but would hold him at bay until the future of Germany and all Europe could be guaranteed. Against the nihilistic plan of
Jewish international interests Germany would set the assault of the whole German people.

The Führer’s Decree ordered that all men between the ages of 16 and 60, who were capable of bearing arms, were to be enlisted into the Volkssturm. Each Gauleiter was made responsible for raising and commanding the Volkssturm battalions within his Gau and he was to use every
Party organization to enable him to carry out the task. The Chief of Staff of the SA, Schepmann, was named as the Volkssturm’s
Inspector-General, responsible for training, and Kraus, leader of the NSKK (National Sozialistisch Kraftfahr Korps, the Nazi Motorized Corps) was given the post of Inspector-General of Transport and was to ensure the mobility of the Volkssturm.

The future warriors were assured that during the period of their service they would be soldiers as that term was understood in military law.
Himmler, in his capacity as Commander of the Replacement Army, was not only responsible for the arming and equipping of the entire
organization, but was also the channel through which Hitler’s orders concerning Volkssturm operations were to be passed.

To conclude his proclamation Hitler declared that the National Socialist Party was fulfilling its duty by using its own organization to bear the
main burden of the battle. The Volkssturm Decree was made public on 18 October and promulgated in the official Gazette two days later.
A special postage stamp was also issued bearing the motto, ‘A people arises’, and a new film, Kolberg, showing the heroism of the citizens of a beleaguered city, was released.

The Party’s plan was for four waves of the Volkssturm to be raised. The men of the first wave could be called up as long as their conscription did
not prejudice the national war effort, and only battalions from that wave might, with authority, be used outside their local territorial areas.
The second wave would not be activated until the imminent approach of the enemy whereupon they would be mustered and go into action.
The men of the second wave were, generally, younger than those in the first wave, and were without military training. The average age of the
men of the first wave was 52 and many would have seen service during the First World War. The third and fourth waves were made up of
practically every other reasonably fit male person. Fit was a relative term to some dedicated Gauleiters who did not scruple to enrol cripples
or amputees and then not only for simple guard duties, but also for active service.

The problem of arming the six million men who, theoretically, might be liable for Volkssturm service was not easily resolved. The first wave
alone, comprising 30 per cent of the whole, would provide 1.2 million men who would be formed into 1,850 battalions. These first-wave men
had to be armed, but there was a crisis in the production of the German Army’s standard infantry rifle. Not only had production declined to
200,000 pieces per month, but the Army had to replace the 3,500,000 rifles which had been lost between April and August 1944.

The Army Ordnance Depot designed several types of robust, cheap and easily made Volkssturm weapons, relying upon pressed metal and
not precision-ma-chined parts. The weapon finally selected was the VGI-5 of which 10,000 were to be produced each month. It was planned
that production would be carried out in decentralized workshops and that final assembly would be made in centralized factories. Raids by the
RAF halted the flow of weapons parts and local gunsmiths had to be employed on the task of arming the Party’s Army. To cover deficiencies in machine-guns the Luftwaffe was directed to supply such weapons from its stocks. Two consignments, one of 150,000 and one of 180,000 pieces,
were issued for Volkssturm use. The Regular Army intended to stand aloof from the task of arming the Volkssturm, particularly since their
own firearms and supplies position was critical. An Army Order dated 12 December made the point on rations very clear.

‘The equipping … of the Volkssturm is a Party matter … only on active service will their units be fed from Army resources.’

Tactically, each battalion of the Volkssturm would have four companies, each of which was divided into four platoons each of four sections.
Since the units were locally based there was no need for a staff system or for rear echelon detachments. Such liaison officers as would be
needed would be Party members who had had military experience. The Gauleiter chose the battalion commanders who then appointed
company commanders. They in turn selected the platoon commanders who nominated the section leaders. This was in some respects an
excellent system since the men of the smaller detachments – section and platoon – would have usually served together in a Party ‘block’.

To overcome the problem of a Party official expecting to hold rank in the Volkssturm because of his political position, it was ordered that no
major Party formation could join the Volkssturm enbloc.

The clothing of the Volkssturm was as simple as its organization. Under the terms of the Geneva Convention it is not necessary for a combatant
to wear full uniform. So long as he can be recognized as a soldier, that is sufficient, and in that context an armband provides identification. Certainly, Germany in the desperate situation of 1944 could never have supplied uniforms to the new Volkssturm army. The only items on general issue were identity documents, identity tags and the necessary armbands. These carried the words ‘Deutscher Volkssturm – Wehrmacht’
sometimes, but not always, followed by numbers indicating the Gau, battalion and company. Party members wore their usual uniforms from
which the collar patches and shoulder strap insignia consisted of silver stars worn on two black rectangular collar patches; four stars in the
case of a battalion commander, three, two and one for ranks from company commander down to section leader respectively. In an effort to
clothe men with warm garments a final collection was made by the Party’s charity organizations and was very successful. Some Gauleiters
were able to provide from such sources the stout boots, warm clothing and overcoats that each Sturmmann was recommended to wear.
Each man supplied his own equipment: a rucksack, blanket, water-bottle, mug and eating utensils.

The weapons establishment for a first-wave battalion was 649 rifles, 31 light and six heavy machine-guns; for a second-wave unit 576 rifles,
30 light and three heavy machine-guns; while no establishment was laid down for the third and fourth waves for whom, it was anticipated,
shotguns or hunting rifles would be sufficient. Mortars were on establishment but were seldom used as they were often commandeered by
Regular Army units to increase their own establishment of such weapons. The familiar picture of a Volkssturm man is of an elderly gentleman
armed with one or other of the newly introduced types of rocket-launcher, either the Panzerfaust or the Panzerschreck. Six of each of
these were on issue to each battalion. It must be appreciated that these numbers of men and women were the laid-down establishments.

They were seldom met and it was not unusual for the battalion to be issued with fewer weapons than expected or for those weapons to be practically useless. Great numbers of captured enemy guns were issued for which there was little ammunition. The equality of sacrifice
demanded by the National Socialist Party was unusually rigid in the matter of the issue of firearms to the Volkssturm. It might have
been expected that in those Gaus where there was little immediate danger, few weapons would have been distributed to the battalions and
that more lavish supply would have been made to the units in the provinces facing the most immediate danger. This did not happen.

The Volkssturm battalions in the eastern provinces which were activated to face the Red Army received only the same number of weapons as
those battalions in unthreatened areas of central Germany. Thus, in East Prussia, some battalions went into action with its men armed with
foreign rifles and 30 rounds of ammunition and with no prospect of further supplies.

Although the Volkssturm was conceived as an infantry force there were certain anomalies. One Prussian battalion obtained a battery of 75mm
field guns from a museum and soon had them in firing condition, using the artillery pieces to support the attacks launched by their own
infantry companies. Some units with NSKK leaders converted soft skin vehicles to armoured cars for reconnaissance missions. Gauleiter Koch,
always an innovator, formed a night-fighter squadron made up of civilian light aircraft piloted by Volkssturm men who had been trained by the Luftwaffe. Koch’s flying circus never saw action. Lack of petrol grounded the machines.

Although the Volkssturm was conceived as a stop-gap force, whose men would only be called from their factories when the enemy drew near, inevitably there were occasions when the battalions were put into action as front-line troops. One of the Party criticisms concerning Volkssturm
was that the battalions in the west, which had had a longer time to train and to prepare for battle, did not perform so well as the units in the

It says a lot for the morale of the Volkssturm men of the east that they stood firm. Consider how they must have felt as they, armed with a miscellany of firearms and equipped only for a short infantry action, marched towards the front, passing on their march heavily armed panzer
units which were withdrawing in front of the Red Army. The panzers were pulling back, yet they, the Volkssturm, under-trained and poorly
armed, were expected to hold back the Red hordes. The feelings of the Volkssturmmüanner can also be well imagined when the ‘No retreat!’
orders were issued. The author of one report stated how he rang an army unit to ask for permission to withdraw from a village which he and a handful of men were still holding. The officer at the other end of the telephone line was adamant.

‘There will be no withdrawal. Any man leaving his post will be shot.’ To that tirade the writer of the report asked who would form
the firing-squad, for the soldiers had abandoned the place days earlier. The officer hung up.

Inevitably, there were some units which showed incredible bravery and others which broke up leaving the men to return home. Among those
units which demonstrated the devotion to duty for which the Party had hoped were the East Prussian battalions in beleaguered Königsberg.
The Volkssturm there, organized into 11 battalions, fought alongside army units and one Sturmmann won the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross
for his bravery in destroying enemy tanks at close quarters. In Pomerania the Volkssturm destroyed nearly 400 Russian armoured fighting
vehicles using Panzerfaust rocket-launchers. The tank-busting detachments rode around the province on bicycles and one group, having
knocked out 15 tanks during one morning, received an alarm call during the afternoon and promptly smashed a further six enemy machines.

At Kolberg, on the Baltic coast, the scene of action of Goebbels’ propaganda film, the Volkssturm garrison held out for three weeks to cover
the evacuation of 80,000 refugees and wounded. The Berlin Volkssturm was called out during November and was employed in constructing
field defences and minelaying along the Oder river line. Some battalions were then put straight into battle during January and March against
the attacks launched by the 1st Belorussian Front which had broken through the German defences. In the Reichs capital about 30
battalions of Volkssturm saw service and their arms included 15 different types of rifle and ten types of machine-gun. Most men were issued
with only ten rounds and one battalion was disbanded in the Berlin Olympic stadium when the unit ran out of rifle ammunition.

The Volkssturm battalions in Breslau had, perhaps, the most impressive record. The garrison of 35,000 troops, and an SS regiment, together
with some miscellaneous German Army units and the Luftwaffe, was backed by 15,000 Volkssturmmänner. This determined garrison held the
Silesian city from 14 February until 6 May, obstructing the advance of three Soviet Army Corps and tying down the Red divisions until the war’s

An example of the deployment of a Volkssturm battalion outside its own Gau area is that of one from upper Austria which was activated during January 1945. Three days’ training was given, conducted entirely in the open air, and then the unit, 560 men strong, was entrained and sent to
the Oder front. During the first week the battalion not only held its sector in the face of Red Army tank assaults but also launched
counter-attacks, fighting its way forward through massed artillery barrages. Such courage was costly and within that first week half the
battalion had been killed in action. For six weeks the Austrians held the line and their short period out of action was brought to an end
when they were put back in to face the Soviet assault on 16 April. The Austrian battalion held and flung back the assaults of the 362nd
Red Army Infantry Division, but such an unequal contest could have only one result. The Soviets broke through at last and the remnants of he battalion conducted a fighting retreat towards Berlin. In their withdrawal they destroyed a further 17 Russian tanks.

The Austrians were submerged in the fighting to the south-east of Berlin, some of the survivors managing to reach the west and to pass
into American prisoner-of-war camps. The others were taken by the Russians but were not shot as partisans, which had been the fate of those
who had surrendered in Königsberg, in Breslau and in many other places.

In retrospect the idea of a locally based militia defending home and hearth and the factories in which its men worked was a good one.
In practice, however, the concept was seldom met. The fighting capabilities of the battalions depended to a very marked degree upon the
Gauleiter. If he was an anxious man and called them out too early, factory production suffered and the aggressive edge of the men was lost
in the waiting time. Other Gauleiters waited so long to activate their battalions that when they were formed they were untrained and

It is a fact that the greatest number of men who were eligible for Volkssturm service were not called up or saw little or no active service.

As we have seen the battalions differed in quality. Some fought well, others very bravely indeed. There were battalions that dissolved under
fire and not a few that broke up before they ever reached the combat area. In any case, the battalions had only local significance. At a
national level the Volkssturm achieved little and the concept of a people’s militia rising spontaneously and battling with National Socialist
ferocity proved to be just another of the Nazi Party’s unrealized ambitions.
Last edited by Germanicus on 12 Jan 2022 12:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 12 Jan 2022 01:56

Volkssturm-Bataillones identified in The Berlin Operation 1945 By Soviet General Staff

1. Panzervernichtungs-Brigade "Hitlerjugend"

Volkssturm-Bataillon Hamburg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Brandenburg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Greifenhagen
Volkssturm-Bataillon Ostsee
Volkssturm-Bataillon Ladeburg
Volkssturm-Bataillon Buchholz

Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/21
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/208
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/277
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/301
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/305
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/309
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/311
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/312
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/314
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/320 [Hitlerjugend]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/427

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 12 Jan 2022 02:46

The Other Price of Hitler's War - Page 49 and Page 50 by Martin K. Sorge · 1986

The following is noted in relation to the Volkssturm

Capture 1.JPG
Capture 2.JPG
Capture 3.JPG
Capture 4.JPG
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