An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

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Germanicus
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Joined: 04 Jun 2009 13:26
Location: Shell Cove NSW Australia

Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 28 Jan 2022 05:01

Dear Sid

Thank you very much for asking. I will rehash some of my previous posts to answer your questions. Living in Australia and being so far away leads
to frustration as I can't just go to Germany and get stuck into real research. Everything I do is via the internet or by buying books.

In order to answer your question I will use expert observations as well as previous correspondence in relation to this very topic you ask.

I posted :-

One point that keeps coming back to me, was in my earlier correspondence with Dr David Yelton [Hitler’s Home Guard: Volkssturmmann Western Front, 1944-45] [Hitler’s Volkssturm: The Nazi Militia and the Fall of Germany, 1944-1945] who stated that there is no one source for the
Volkssturm and that records are scattered all over Germany. The Post therefore expanded into something else at times and after nearly 10 years,
it is what it is before the reader.

My reasoning initially, when I started this post, was to compile a complete order of battle of the Volkssturm or to find a complete order of battle. Hence the title, [An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?]. In essence I was begging the question 'is there a complete' order of battle. I did think
that those who saw my post would share their finds and in next to no time there would be such a list. Well as Dr Yelton found out and I have done
so [not that I would compare myself to Dr Yelton] this was alot tougher than I imagined.


Why is it so difficult to establish a definitive list of Volkssturm battalions?


Dr David Yelton stated, had he known how tough the subject of research he may have reassessed attempting such a project.

As the Volkssturm, was an NSDAP creation and not Wehrmacht, the information at hand is scattered all over the place. Czech and Polish
research is coming to light, as well as access to Russian archives, is slowly coming forth

Anyone researching the Volkssturm quickly encounters a discouraging fact—its primary sources are scattered and fragmentary. This resulted from several historical factors. Volkssturm administration had national, regional, and local branches; therefore, the remaining documentary evidence is housed in the numerous German archives that serve these levels. Volkssturm records typically reside in the collections of other agencies, largely because the militia’s officials held positions in other organizations and kept their Volkssturm files in the offices of these other groups.

Moreover, the Volkssturm’s scope—it included all men aged sixteen to sixty—touched every public and private entity in Germany, and all
generated some paperwork on some aspect of the force. Therefore, Volkssturm primary sources are frequently located in obscure places.


Is it because some or many local or national records were destroyed?


Further complicating research is the fact that German record keeping in late 1944 and early 1945 was poor and uneven. Time and
supplies were short, and Volkssturm officials typically had many other duties to perform. Furthermore, much of the paper actually
generated on the Volkssturm fell victim to intentional or accidental destruction during the war’s closing phase.

After the war, the stock of documents continued to decline, since neither the Germans nor the Allied Military Government placed high priority
on preserving the full range of Volkssturm records. Fortunately, however, the Volkssturm’s national scope created a duplication of effort that
helped ensure the survival of primary evidence on virtually every aspect of the force.

On the other hand, no single set of Volkssturm documents is comprehensive. Virtually every archive that contains Nazi era materials has some fragmentary files, and relevant material may appear in the collections from almost any agency. This necessitates probing many different
archives’ holdings and looking in rather unlikely places.

For example, perusal of the National Socialist Teachers’ Union files led to the discovery of the largest and richest single folder of Volkssturm documents.

[Dr Yelton told me that it was the size of a shoe box!!]

Ultimately, the most effective approach was simply to examine any documentary collection—NSDAP, military, governmental, or
otherwise—dating from the period between the fall of 1944 and the end of the war.

Assembling such a mosaic of sources produced a sufficient evidentiary base but created a rather patchwork appearance for the
bibliography and notes. In addition, citations may appear excessive in number or somewhat bloated in specific cases, although they
have been rigorously pruned both collectively and individually.

Two factors create these impressions.

First, information presented in the text is frequently a conclusion pieced together from several sources.

Second, labeling a trend as typical or widespread often required citing documents from various individual units or specific localities.

Likewise, showing how a national directive was ignored, altered, or implemented at the regional or local level similarly required citing
several documents from separate areas or entities. Thus, the nature of the sources tended to mandate dense and frequent citations.



Is it because they were organised on a Gau level outside the normal military hierarchy and OKW never received status reports centrally?


Dr Yelton stated further:-

A few months after my dissertation defense in 1990, the two Germanies united.

This effectively opened former East German archival collections and necessitated a second archival tour that

Aside from proving that historians are indeed profoundly affected by history, I mention this as a caveat in connection with using the citations.

The notes and bibliography give the preunification locations of documents in the German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) because that is where I consulted them.

Today much of what I cite as holdings of the Bundesarchiv Koblenz is no longer there. Berlin-Lichterfeld has the NS-and most R-prefixed
collections, Lastenausgleichsarchiv Bayreuth has the OstDok collections, and Koblenz has photographs. Thus unification further dispersed the Volkssturm’s primary source base.

In spite of the national scope and sheer size of the Volkssturm—it sought to enroll all German civilian males between the ages of
sixteen and sixty—scholars, especially in the English-speaking world, have largely ignored this force. One reason for this neglect is
that historians have tended to view German resistance after the summer of 1944 as nothing more than incoherent and hopeless
efforts to protract the death throes of a criminal regime.

This view originated in Allied perceptions at the time; one of the charges levied against Nazi defendants at Nuremberg was unnecessarily
prolonging the war via the Volkssturm and other measures.

Dr David Yelton
Hitler's Volkssturm: The Nazi Militia and the Fall of Germany, 1944-1945.



In Berlin Volkssturm ... at last ! the following was written

Postby lutrebois » 05 Jul 2017, 22:22
on Axis History Forum as well as other sites

Over the years, it became clear that in deep and exact information relating to the Berlin Volkssturm is very rare: diaries, Soldbücher, some
surviving documents … provide, at its best, limited info. The book written by Hans KISSEL, former chief of staff of the Volkssturm, provides
correct and very high level information related to the organization of the Volkssturm. Comprehensive lists of units, commanders, dates etc …
are not enclosed, and IMHO do not exist.

The German Red Cross Vermisstenbildlisten do list a lot of VS-men but the exact unit they went missing in, is rarely mentioned or even, if given,
is not correct.

This lack of exact data is very understandable in the light of those final days; a lot of paperwork went lost or was destroyed.

While researching recently in 300 surviving (digitized) documents of the Verteidigungsbereich Berlin – Abschnitt Kommandeur A (also known as Kampfgruppe Bärenfänger) I found 5 extensive documents written by a staff member of NSDAP-Kreis Berlin Pankow-Weißensee wherein the
changes in the VS-Battalions, drafted in that Kreis, are communicated. Abschnitt A was an addressee because some VS-units of
Pankow-Weißensee were subordinated to the Kampfgruppe Bärenfänger.

These documents, written between February 2nd and April 12th 1945 (thus covering the whole preparation phase for the final battle), provide a relatively clear and complete picture of the existing Pankow-Weißensee VS-units, when and how those were (re)organized, who were the commanders etc …

The Kreis “Pankow-Weißensee” is the smallest (in numbers of Ortschaften) of the 10 Berlin NSDAP-Kreise. Nevertheless, this Kreis drafted 17
Combat Kompanies next to 13 other VS-units, the latter in general used as labour force units for construction of “fortifications”.


I wrote:

The best bet for researching the Volkssturm in relation to certain or specific matters you could possibly contact the local authorities in the towns/cities themselves, where the Volkssturm were located. Sadly in most cases when looking through documents, the writer touches on the Volkssturm by stating comments such as 'several battalions of the Volkssturm'. It would be great if the initial writer wrote as to what were the
actual Bataillons. I say this because they must have seen from the research that they know there were several units.



When you began your researches, roughly how many Volkssturm battalions were you aware of?


The answer being....

Of the planned 10,180 battalions only a third of these were ever raised. Of these at least 700 battalions saw combat – mostly on the Eastern
front. Danzig-West Prussia, Mark Brandenburg, Lower and Upper Silesia, East Prussia, Pomerania etc. In the West the only notable numbers of
VSt to be raised were in Essen and Westmark.

Of the 3,000+ Battalions raised only those of the 1st and 2nd levies were issued with arms and clothing. The 3rd Levy was not armed and the
4th Levy was expected to manage with hunting rifles, shotguns and captured firearms. Note that the 4th Levy were never sent into combat.
In the few recorded instances were this happened the local Wehrmacht Kampfkommanduer disbanded the units before they could fight.


More about the above

The Germans hoped to get 6 million men or 10,180 batallions.

The first levy would deliver 1,2 million of men between 20 and 60, including the members of the NSDAP, the Allgemeine SS, the SA, the NSKK
and the NSFK what gave 1850 batallions of which 400 were placed on the front lines.

The second levy would get 2,8 million or 4860 batallions (of which 1050 in frontline service). This group mainly came from men working in
factories, and they were not intended to be full-time soldiers, but more as worker-soldiers defending their own factories and cities.

The third levy were the young ones, from 16 to 19 but also 15 year olds who volunteered : 600,000 boys or 1040 batallions.

The fourth and final levy for 1,4 million men or 2430 batallions was to be taken from those unfit for duty and volunteers older than 60.
These were meant to be used for surveillance and guarding of camps.

Commander of the Volkssturm was Martin Bormann assisted by Stabsführer and Oberbefehlsleiter Helmut Friedrichs and SS-Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger. As I already said, every Gau had a Gauleiter. The Gauleiter was assisted by a Gaustabführer. The Gau was divided into several
Kreis (circles) under a Kreisleiter assisted by - you guessed it - a Kreisstabsführer. Every Kreis would be composed of roughly 12 batallions.


I I coresponded with Dr Yelton and put forward the following:

#55Post by Germanicus » 23 Feb 2014, 12:30

I am fairly certain by now that I have found the 700 known Volkssturm-Bataillones that were known to have fought in combat plus
those noted in various books that I have in my possession. I know the exercise is difficult and I would say that few have attempted to record
such a list, however my curiosity was fueled by the very fact, that there was little out their on what units were created, were designated to
be created etc and that it was about time that there was a list created which could assist people to see what was the Volkssturm-Bataillones.

As you experienced in writing your books, what a monumental undertaking compiling records on the Volkssturm was a super effort. I am yet to
find anything of substance on the Volkssturm from Gau 28 Salzburg, Gau 29 Schlezwig-Holstein, Gau 30 Schwaben as well as a number of Gau's
and hopefully what I have compiled of late will shed some light on the Gau's with limited information. I have further extended my listing of late
and I am persevering as I believe the Volkssturm is the least known of the German Forces of World War 2.

David you state [Bormann’s guidelines on unit designations were general, explaining how Gauleiters (and their Volkssturm Stabschefs) should
issue numbers. There were no national master lists of unit designations as numbers would have been assigned at the Gau level. At the Gau level
lists may have been created based on the number of battalions there. These lists would not have been created until after the Kreis level officials
got their units organized (or estimated) on paper. In my recollection of the documents, such lists were very rare as a numeric designation was not viewed as a priority; organizing units was. A number could always be added to the unit title. And, as with everything Volkssturm, things varied amongst the 43 Gaue and the over 800 individual Kreise and it is at this level where master lists might have existed.]

David Keith Yelton responded

What you are investigating is complex, as you are obviously aware. What you are seeking is the full listing of Volkssturm battalion
designations as decreed by Martin Bormann in the fall of 1944. So yes, there were battalion designations that existed on paper for each Gau
running from 1 through the total number of battalions that the regional authorities expected to raise in that Gau. Thus there may well have been 903 (or more) Volkssturm Battalion designations laid out for use in Gau Berlin. But what if numbers 327-568 were never assigned to an
actual unit?

Or what if 45%, in no specific order, were never assigned to an actual unit? Or Battalions 3/415, 432 and 456 received their numbers but had 2/3
of their originally assigned personnel reclassified as a different Levy, moved due to an air raid, were drafted into the army, died, etc and the
entire group combined into a similarly understrength Battalion 3/412? Why would anyone want to know that 3/899 was a potential designation
for a Volkssturm battalion but we don’t know anything other than it was possible since there were battalions with higher numbers? Wouldn’t it
make as much sense to dig through all the various records on the Volkssturm (and they are very scattered… the largest single collection—from
Gau Bayreuth’s Volkssturm Gaustabsfuehrer—is in the National Socialist Teachers Union files in the Bundesarchiv) and decide how many
battalions each Gau planned to create?

And I doubt even is possible, the historical record is that fragmentary.

David Keith Yelton wrote back to me with this:

I think what you’ve done so far is a better approach; you’re trying to find out how many battalions actually existed based on reliable
records.

What does it matter that the Nazis intended for there to be a VSBtn 3/723 but it apparently never existed? Wouldn’t it be more valuable to know that Btn 3/17 was a Levy I unit from Kreis Lichterfeld (a hypothetical example)?

As to help, I’m not sure what you expect me to provide. I suggested the two richest sources of actual units (the DRK Vermisstenbildliste and
the lists of Field Post Numbers) with which you’re already familiar. I have a thorough bibliography in my Kansas monograph that lists the sources
I’ve used. My dissertation is a somewhat less processed (and longer) version of the monograph and it’s available from University Microfilms and
ILL if you’d like to consult it. I have about six linear feet of 3x5 note cards on all aspects of the Volkssturm (organized by source, not topic), but
no trove of lists of battalion numbers. I don’t recall that being a common item in the records and, as I’ve tried to make clear, was not an
important issue to me in my research. I was more interested in the units that actually came into being than in the designation system. I don’t
recall a single Gau listing of all numbers assigned… though they might exist somewhere in the various regional archives that contain regional
records from the Third Reich era.

I’m not trying to discourage you in your efforts, but I really don’t think that I can offer a great deal of assistance. I’ll be glad to address questions and even look for specific source materials, but the kind of complete information you’re after just doesn’t, in my estimation, exist.

I find the following most interesting:-

Hans Kissel is probably the best to answer that question. This is a compilation by Hans Kissel that probably best answers your question.

The number of Volkssturm battalions actually formed as opposed to How many Volkssturm-Bataillones actually saw combat?

Thus, based on an instruction issued by the Wehrmacht Command Staff, the Oberbefehlshaber West issued the following order on 30 September 1944:

“In every place on German soil which becomes involved in combat operations, all men capable of bearing arms, irrespective of their age, will be subject to the command of the local military commander for the purpose of reinforcing the defensive forces. If it is not possible to provide them with Wehrmacht uniform, they will be provided with a yellow armband bearing the inscription ‘Deutsche Wehrmacht’ and a military pass.”
Only if orders were given to evacuate the population of a district would the men capable of bearing arms not be retained. The formation of the Volkssturm brought to an end all measures of this kind and superseded the orders issued by the Wehrmacht authorities.

By far the largest number of all men liable for service in the Volkssturm belonged to the second levy.

Volkssturm battalions from the second levy could only be deployed in combat if the enemy was actually standing ‘at the gates’, and therefore
could only be deployed on a local basis. Generally, deployment on a local basis meant deployment within an individual district or Kreis.

Volkssturm battalions from the first and second levy were available for service with the Wehrmacht. The battalions of the first levy could be deployed over a wider area than their immediate home locality, which generally meant that they could be deployed anywhere within their
respective Gau or even further such as the initial Volkssturm-Bataillones z.b.V. The battalions of the second levy, because of the importance
for the war effort of the civilian work carried out by their members, could only be provided in circumstances of the highest emergency and
could generally only be deployed within their home district.

The negotiations with the many civilian authorities lasted from the beginning of November 1944 until the beginning of March 1945. It was
therefore not possible before the war ended to enlist all those liable for service in the Volkssturm into formations formed within the
framework of the first and second levies.

The following figures give more indications. On 30 September 1944 there were, not taking into account women and foreign workers, a total of
13.5 million German men registered as civilian workers. One “Statement of Weapons Requirements” prepared by the Chief of Staff in the office
of the Reichsführer-SS on 30 November 1944 and available among the documents, estimates, on the basis of the reports made by the Gaue and
an extremely careful enquiry into the number of men potentially available in the various age groups, that around 6 million men were available
for service in the Volkssturm. Of these 6 million men, 4 million were in the first and second levies, from which no fewer than 6,710 Volkssturm battalions could have been formed. And one final figure: in the city of Stuttgart, more than 35,000 men were registered as liable for service in
the Volkssturm.

In 1944 alone there were over 5 million men with dates of birth between 1895 and 1925 who were registered as exempt from
military service
.

On 20 October, in Upper Silesia, some 60 Volkssturm battalions were in the process of being formed. In Danzig-West Prussia,
on 24 October, “432 companies with 7,344 NCOs and 70,474 other ranks” had been called up to registration parades.

One month later, on 21 November, according to a report made by the East Prussian Volkssturm command, “almost 90 combat ready battalions
with 80,000 men were standing under arms, or rather, under spades.”

The search lists for the missing at the German Red Cross contain a total of 29,687 names of members of the Volkssturm, 11,182 of them with photographs, who are still registered as missing. But this number of the missing may be far too low, because it must be assumed that the
relatives of many former members of the Volkssturm who were living in the Soviet occupied zone and in Austria have not submitted any
requests for searches. Also, there are no requests for searches on the part of relatives of missing men whose place of residence was east
of the Oder-Neisse line.

On 12 January 1945 the large-scale Soviet attacks began and on 14 January the entire Volkssturm within Eastern Germany was called up for deployment alongside the Wehrmacht on the request of the Army Chief of General Staff.

According to the registers of the missing, the 29,687 missing members of the Volkssturm belonged to about 700 different Volkssturm battalions
which are designated by their battalion numbers or by the names of their commanders. But because missing members of the Volkssturm are
also recorded under the Volkssturm designation of their home Kreis -without any Battalion details – and also because details of the men recorded
as missing in the ‘fortresses’ of Königsberg and Breslau are not shown within the context of their battalions.

The overall number of Volkssturm battalions which were in contact with the enemy and suffered casualties is likely to be
higher than 700.
- Generalmajor Hans Kissel Chef des Führungsstabes des Volkssturms

Der Deutsche Volkssturm 1944/45: Eine territoriale Miliz im Rahmen der Landesverteidigung - Hans Kissel

Dr David Yelton wrote:

Statistical Appendix

Like all evidence on the Volkssturm, statistical data are often fragmentary, scattered, skewed, and/or incomplete. The most detailed, broad,
and accessible information on Volkssturm members is the German Red Cross’s Vermißtenbild liste (Pictorial Lists of the Missing in Action).

The Red Cross compiled these after the war from information provided by missing individuals’ relatives, friends, and unit comrades as a means of helping locate MIAs.1 Arranged roughly by Gau and Kreis or unit, the Red Cross lists provide the name, 1939 town of residence, job, rank, and
place and date where last reported of just under 31,000 Volkssturm men who were formally listed as missing in action. Unfortunately, Levy
assignments are not included, although it is safe to assume a preponderance of Levy I men, since these were the first units armed and mobilized.

A second problem is that the vast majority of MIAs were from eastern Gaue, which might tend to skew results toward rural occupations (e.g., agriculture and crafts), although the presence of significant numbers of men from cites such as Berlin, Breslau, Danzig, and Königsberg offsets
this.

While by no means perfect, the Red Cross Vermißtenbild liste comprise the best available source on the Volkssturm’s age and occupational
profile, especially when the lists are used in conjunction with the few extant complete unit rosters or Levy assignment lists for an Ortsgruppe
or a factory.

Furthermore, because MIAs were by definition men on active duty and therefore away from their regular occupations, the Red Cross
Vermißtenbild liste enable us to view more accurately the human composition of Volkssturm mobilizations and thereby gauge their impact
on Germany’s faltering war economy.

An interesting quote in the following

THE FALL OF HITLER'S FORTRESS CITY - The Battle for Königsberg 1945, ISABEL DENNY Greenhill Books, London MBI Publishing, St Paul

The Reich was now forced to rely for its final defence on young members of the Hitler Youth who had been trained to prepare for self-sacrifice
for the Führer and would now be conscripted into the Volkssturm.

The plan was that a 6-million-strong force would have 19,180 battalions.

Source [Matthew Hughes and Chris Mann, Inside Hitler's Germany, London, 2004, p. 170]


An interesting comment by author Stephan Hamilton 'Bloody Streets' on Feldgrau.net Thu Aug 05, 2010

So I know this thread was supposed to be about the NARA, but I do have a comment/question about the BAMA. When I was doing research on
Bloody Streets, I was told by the BAMA that significant documents on Volkssturm operations were housed in an Annex in Postdam (I think this
was the location). Even though they offered to arrange a visit for me when I was in Berlin, I unfortunately didn't have time to visit. Anyone else
been there? Any feedback on what they house in their archives? I haven't found anyone who has been there yet.

RH 59 Verbände und Einheiten des Volkssturms

The actual Bundesarchiv Folder for the Volkssturm is RH 59 - [Associations and units of the Volkssturm]

The regional archives are responsible for the records of individual Volkssturm units.

The military archive department has copies of files from the Staufen / Breisgau city archive as well as two microfilms of documents from the
officer in charge of arming and equipping the Volkssturm and from Volkssturm units in the Hamburg, Ruhr area and south-west Germany.

The above has only one file on the https://invenio.bundesarchiv.de/invenio/login.xhtml

I wrote to AHF own Larry D

Larry, It probably would have been easier for me to email to every Kreis and Government Archive in Germany, as well as Archives in Poland,
Russia and Czech territories and said, can you please send me what you have on the Volkssturm and waited for their response. The actual Bundesarchiv Folder for the Volkssturm is RH 59 - [Associations and units of the Volkssturm] and none of that has been digitally compiled and
readily available.

Dr David Yelton wrote:

Although precise determination of the total number of Volkssturm men who actually served is impossible, evidence suggests substantial
mobilizations in the east. Approximately 175,000 Volkssturm men nationwide served long enough under army command for their personnel
records to be deposited at the Wehrmacht Information Bureau.

Moreover, at least 139 eastern Volkssturm battalions (approximately 70,000 men) received Field Postal Numbers, indicating long-term service
and full incorporation into the Wehrmacht administrative structure.

Red Cross MIA lists mention Volkssturm formations from nearly 3,000 eastern communities, suggesting extensive short-term employment of the
area’s Volkssturm. With East Prussians constituting 30 percent of all eastern Volkssturm MIAs and an estimated 200,000 men serving in
East Prussia in January 1945, one can estimate that upwards of 650,000 Volkssturm men saw action on the Eastern Front.

On the Western Front, the Allies took, however briefly, upwards of 1 million Volkssturm men prisoner by the war’s end.

Only a small proportion of them actually fought, though. MIA lists show only nineteen battalions (fewer than 12,000 men) served long
enough to acquire Field Postal Numbers
; and the lists name only 590 men from thirty-four battalions and 246 communities as having
ended up as MIAs.


Thus, it would be surprising if the total number of Volkssturm men committed to combat for an extended period of time in the west exceeded
150,000 —although this is little more than a guess.

[See Günther Bischof and Stephen E. Ambrose, eds., Eisenhower and the German POWs: Facts Against Falsehood (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1992). Page 24 reproduces an August 1945 report showing that 663,576 men, mainly Volkssturm
members, had already been released from POW camps.]

[ DRK, Vermißtenbildliste and Leitverzeichnis nach Einheiten, 226–280. The figure is arrived at assuming each of the 246 communities,
mainly Kreise, mobilized a 500-man battalion and estimating the thirty-four battalions mentioned at 500 men each.]

Western Volkssturm troops also tended to fight better in urban areas (e.g., Nuremberg, Cologne, Würzburg, Aschaffenburg, Bonn),
although not on the scale seen in eastern Fortresses.

Among the most extensive, bitter, and surprising instances of Volkssturm resistance against the Western Allies occurred in April in
Halle, Merseburg, Leipzig, Greiz, Zwickau, and other central German cities.

Hitler's Volkssturm: The Nazi Militia and the Fall of Germany, 1944-1945
University Press of Kansas
David K. Yelton


How many are you currently aware of?


The following is what I have recorded as per my last update. I have found more since.

As per my last update 7,654 Volkssturm-Bataillones [not doubled up] have been identified not including Hitler-Jugend.

Numbered Volkssturm-Bataillones 3,147.

Named Volkssturm-Bataillones [no number and not doubled up] 4,507

It is the numbered Volkssturm-Bataillones that is of interest to me as they comply with Bormans original plan.

However their is proof that named units were identified without a number.

The named Volkssturm-Bataillones that I have discovered may have a number ie

Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/262 // II. Volkssturm-Bataillon Kreis Sinsheim (II. Aufgebot) // Volkssturm-Bataillon Eppingen (II. Aufgebot)

yet were recorded in local records by the locality or the Kreis or both.

Or the named unit was known by different names ie; Volkssturm-Bataillon Brünn VI // Volkssturm-Bataillon Wischau.


Could you take a rough guess as to how many there may have been in total, at least on paper?


10,180 Volkssturm-Bataillones I hope or I will be searching forever.


Will you be publishing the results in print?


As in on this forum yes. I will be doing a major update soon.

As for a book. Happy to be involed or credited yet not at this moment My Dear Friend.


Most respectfully

Germanicus
Last edited by Germanicus on 29 Jan 2022 02:08, edited 2 times in total.

Halfdan S.
Member
Posts: 2475
Joined: 08 Oct 2007 02:02
Location: Copenhagen

Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Halfdan S. » 28 Jan 2022 20:42

Germanicus wrote:
28 Jan 2022 05:01
An interesting comment by author Stephan Hamilton 'Bloody Streets' on Feldgrau.net Thu Aug 05, 2010

So I know this thread was supposed to be about the NARA, but I do have a comment/question about the BAMA. When I was doing research on Bloody Streets, I was told by the BAMA that significant documents on Volkssturm operations were housed in an Annex in Postdam (I think this was the location). Even though they offered to arrange a visit for me when I was in Berlin, I unfortunately didn't have time to visit. Anyone else been there? Any feedback on what they house in their archives? I haven't found anyone who has been there yet.
Thank you, very interesting indeed!

Regards
Halfdan S.

Germanicus
Member
Posts: 2184
Joined: 04 Jun 2009 13:26
Location: Shell Cove NSW Australia

Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 28 Jan 2022 21:06

Halfdan S. wrote:
28 Jan 2022 20:42
Germanicus wrote:
28 Jan 2022 05:01
An interesting comment by author Stephan Hamilton 'Bloody Streets' on Feldgrau.net Thu Aug 05, 2010

So I know this thread was supposed to be about the NARA, but I do have a comment/question about the BAMA. When I was doing research on Bloody Streets, I was told by the BAMA that significant documents on Volkssturm operations were housed in an Annex in Postdam (I think this was the location). Even though they offered to arrange a visit for me when I was in Berlin, I unfortunately didn't have time to visit. Anyone else been there? Any feedback on what they house in their archives? I haven't found anyone who has been there yet.
Thank you, very interesting indeed!

Regards
Halfdan S.
Dear Halfdan S

Yes I also found that to be interesting. I found that post by chance.

I have a tendancy to try and read everything about the Volkssturm and was surprised by this.

The post is here.

https://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopi ... rm#p228011

Most respectfully

Mark

Germanicus
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Posts: 2184
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 28 Jan 2022 22:09

ANDREW TULLY - BERLIN : STORY OF A BATTLE

SIMON AND SCHUSTER NEW YORK 1963

Head quarters staff of a Hitler Youth battalion called Festung Pak Kampfgruppe III , an antitank unit . His commanding officer was an Army
Major named Bechtle , who had been a peacetime Evan gelical minister and who treated his young soldiers with fatherly beneficence .
Loewe kept his rank of Fähnleinführer and was put in charge of the food supply at the battalion's headquarters at Tempelhof Airport . But he
also was given daily drills in the use of small arms and the Panzerfaust . Because of a shortage , live ammunition was used in target practice
only once a week .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally one of the S.S. officers asked a woman what she was grinning about.

“I've been doing some figuring” she told him . “I've decided that the Russians will take exactly two hours and five minutes to get over these barricades."

The S.S. man seemed pleased. But why exactly two hours and five minutes, he inquired.

The woman laughed. “Because for two hours they won't do anything at all, they'll be so busy laughing. And when they have finished laughing it
will take them only five minutes to knock down the barricades."

Some of the civilians pressed into military service were not as exhilarated by the prospect of battle as were the S.S . Four hundred men of the
42nd Volkssturm Battalion were ordered to go into the line in their civilian clothes . Their commanding officer told the sectional party
leader he could not accept the responsibility of leading men into battle without uniforms, and the party leader hurriedly arranged for the
requisition of 180 Danish rifles — but with no ammunition . The battalion also had four machine guns and a hundred bazookas . None of the men
had received any training in firing a machine gun , and almost all of them were afraid of handling the bazooka. They bade their commander
goodbye and went home , with his blessing . In this case the party leader was a man of some understanding; he did not report the mass
desertion to higher authority.

If he had, the four hundred men would have been tracked down and hanged publicly. By order of Keitel and Bormann, even civilians in the
Oder front sector who put out white flags “prematurely” at the approach of enemy troops were liable to execution.

----------------------------------------------
Sixteen - year - old Lothar Loewe, staff officer at the Hitler Youth antitank battalion headquarters at Tempelhof Airport, gave little thought to
Adolf Hitler's birthday as he caught an elevated train at the Tempelhof station. His mind was too full of visions of his mother's table and the
meal that was awaiting him when he reached Potsdam.

With his father in the Volkssturm , young Loewe's mother had been unable to stand the constant air raids in Lichtenrade and had moved a
month earlier to an apartment in an attractive villa in Potsdam , which had been spared the fury of Allied bombers. Now Lothar Loewe had a
pass to go to Potsdam, to carry a message to a military detachment there, and, not so incidentally, to spend the night with his mother .

The war had been brought home to him the day before, when an advance Russian spearhead overran a Hitler Youth battery a few miles east of
the capital . A counterattack by infantry troops had recaptured the position, but when they reached the wrecked battery they had found the
bodies of twenty of the Hitler Youth detachment ; all had been shot through the back of the head as partisans , despite the fact that they had
worn their uniforms of brown or black shirts and Hitler Youth armbands . Today, Loewe had lost some of his illusions about the kind of war he
was engaged in.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... Volkssturm

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 29 Jan 2022 20:24

So much for the find myth that the HJ boys were treated as indulgently as just boys by the enemy...

Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 29 Jan 2022 21:37

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
29 Jan 2022 20:24
So much for the find myth that the HJ boys were treated as indulgently as just boys by the enemy...
Hello Sandeep

If you wish to find out more on this subject one should do research on what happened to the Hitler-Jugend when captured in Prague,
after the end of hostilities by the locals.

Not a happy read.

Most respectfully

Mark
Last edited by Germanicus on 29 Jan 2022 21:51, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 29 Jan 2022 21:42

Update - Sid's questions inspired me to see what was there.

Thank you Sid.

I have undertaken an audit of of the numbered Volkssturm-Bataillones since my last major update.

There has been 89 additional numbered Volkssturm-Bataillones recorded.

Numbered Volkssturm-Bataillones 3236

Below is the additional Units

Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/41
Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/126 Radolfzell [Gau Baden]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/145 [Gerlachsheim, Reichsgau Baden-Eslass]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 1/233
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/208
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/218
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/269
Volkssturm-Bataillon 3/277
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/16
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/41 Erkelenz / Reichsgau Düsseldorf
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/65 Kempen
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/151 Neuss / Reichsgau Düsseldorf
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/152
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/181
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/183
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/201 Viersen / Reichsgau Düsseldorf
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/225 Krefeld / Reichsgau Düsseldorf
Volkssturm-Bataillon 5/231
Volkssturm-Bataillon 10/23 (Zeh)
Volkssturm-Bataillon 10/30 (Deltau)
Volkssturm-Bataillon 12/10 Wunnestein
Volkssturm-Bataillon 12/26
Volkssturm-Bataillon 12/113 // Volkssturm-Bataillon 113 ​Leverkusen
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/42 [Bunzlau, Kreis Bunzlau / Reichsgau Niederschlesien]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/297 - Perleberg
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/301 - Zapel
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/303 - Putlitz
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/305 - Havelberg
Volkssturm-Battalion 16/307
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/331 Sagan-Land
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/408
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/410
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/412
Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/414
Volkssturm-Bataillon 19/232
Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/14
Volkssturm-Bataillon 20/57
Volkssturm-Bataillon 21/171
Volkssturm-Bataillon 21/172
Volkssturm-Bataillon 21/628
Volkssturm Bataillon 26/6
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/18
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/19
Volkssturm Bataillon 26/20
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/21
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/31
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/32
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/36
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/47
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/48
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/53
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/56
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/58
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/59
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/60
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/61
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/74
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/75
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/76
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/77
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/78
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/79
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/81
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/83
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/84
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/85
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/86
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/87
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/88
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/89
Volkssturm-Bataillon 26/90
Volkssturm-Bataillon 27/52 // Volkssturm-Bataillon 52
Volkssturm-Bataillon 27/269 Leipzig, Kreis Leipzig / Reichsgau Sachsen
Volkssturm-Bataillon 27/281 Leipzig, Kreis Leipzig / Reichsgau Sachsen
Volkssturm-Bataillon 29/412
Volkssturm-Bataillon 32/27 (Eger)
Volkssturm-Bataillon 32/166 Granzondorf
Volkssturm-Bataillon 32/383 [Liberec]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 34/478
Volkssturm-Bataillon 37/115 Varel - Land
Volkssturm-Bataillon 38/1 [Gronau / Reichsgau Westfalen-Nord]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 38/4 [Landkreis Borken / Reichsgau Westfalen-Nord]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 38/6
Volkssturm-Feld-Bataillon 38/7 [attached to the 6.Fallschirmjäger-Division]
Volkssturm-Bataillon 38/10 Mettingen
Volkssturm-Bataillon 38/477
Volkssturm-Bataillon 40/40 // Volkssturm-Bataillon 40
Volkssturm-Bataillon 41/51
Volkssturm-Bataillon 43/1 Krakau

Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 29 Jan 2022 22:00

11 Volkssturm-Bataillones are recorded here

Zusammenstellung der der Heeresgruppe „Weichsel“ unterstehenden Verbände, Truppenteile, Einheiten und Kampfgruppen samt Aufstellung
der zur Verfügung stehenden Panzerkräfte für den 25. April 1945


2654b6f4eea02ab59b8beca05774e7cb7a330e86.jpg


https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/pages/313681/map

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... post755549
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 05 Feb 2022 23:12

New find and additional information

Volkssturm-Bataillon 16/302

Aufstellungsort:

Rathenow, Kreis Rathenow-Westhavelland / Reichsgau Mark Brandenburg

There is a possible connection to the Volkssturm Battalion Rathenow.

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... on-16-302/

Volkssturm-Bataillon von Engeln - Kreis Danzig / Reichsgau Ostpreußen

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... on-engeln/

Volkssturm-Bataillon Swinemünde - Kreis Usedom / Reichsgau Pommern

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... %C3%BCnde/

Volkssturm-Bataillon Brieg 1 - Kreis Brieg / Reichsgau Niederschlesien
Volkssturm-Bataillon Brieg 2 - Kreis Brieg / Reichsgau Niederschlesien

"... The troops located in Brieg at the beginning of the war went into the field in August 1939. Replacement troops were deployed in the barracks.
In addition, entire troops were deployed here. The 360th Infantry Regiment and the 68th Pioneer Battalion were deployed The 360th Infantry Regiment under Colonel KLOCKENBRING was primarily made up of border guards from the districts of Reichenbach, Strehlen, Oels and Brieg.

Retired General GLOCKENBRING lives in Bad Meinberg, Dr. Dettmerweg 7. Last but not least, the Volkssturm Battalions 1 and 2 were deployed
in the "Bergel" pulled together and set up.[...] The Infantry Replacement Battalion 360was moved near Namslau in mid-January 1945 and Brieg
was declared a fortress. Only wounded companies stood for defense, the Pioneer Replacement Battalion 8and a Hungarian engineer battalion.

On January 19, 1945, the Volkssturm was called up. The entire crew of Brieg amounted to 6,000 men. But it was poorly trained and equipped.
There was only little ammunition available, food was plentiful. The prepared eastern positions were occupied. On January 21, the Russians
entered Scheidelwitz, and the next day the entire right bank of the Oder was occupied. Fierce fighting broke out around Lossen, on the same
day at 3.30 p.m. the first raid on Brieg and the first Russian attempts to cross the Oder took place. The bombardment of the city was now at
close range. Although the Oder Bridge was blown up, it only had a kink and was still passable on foot.

On the night of the 23rd to the 24th On January 1st the crossing of the Oder took place at Linden and Koppen. Village after village fell into
Russian hands. The ring around Brieg began to tighten. In the night from January 25th to 26th, the air base was cleared and the airfield
blown up.

Gradually, a threat of burglary from the south began to emerge. The danger was getting closer and by February 4th the ring around Brieg
was completely closed. In the night of February 4th and 5th, there were fires all over the city, but the roof and towers of the Nikolaikirche were
the worst. The city was brightly illuminated by this firelight. On February 6, 1945, at 7:20 a.m., Brieg’s fate was fulfilled. Brieg was handed
over to the Russians after a hard fight and countless casualties. After a short but hard fight, the old Piast town was about 30% destroyed. ..."

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Brieg_-_St ... ttere_Ende
http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Brieg_-_St ... tadt_Brieg

VBL (Band VC 578)

There is a possible connection to the Volkssturm-Bataillones 21/11, 21/63, 21/75, 21/77 and 21/78 as well as Volkssturm Battalion Gottschalk.

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... n-brieg-1/
https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... n-brieg-2/

Volkssturm-Bataillon Gehlenburg - Gehlenburg bzw. Bialla,Kreis Johannisburg / Reichsgau Ostpreußen

In the district of Johannisburg there were only three Vst.-Btle, but it has not yet been possible to find out whether the above-mentioned
Vst.-Btl. the Volkssturm Battalion 25/42 , Volkssturm Battalion 25/251 or Volkssturm Battalion 25/423 .

The designation Volkssturm Battalion Gehlenburg is not historically secured and only serves to distinguish other Volkssturm units in the area
at the time mentioned above.

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... ehlenburg/

Volkssturm-Bataillon Johannisburg 1 - Kreis Johannisburg / Reichsgau Ostpreußen

In the district of Johannisburg there were only three Vst.-Btle, but it has not yet been possible to find out whether the above-mentioned
Vst.-Btl. the Volkssturm Battalion 25/42 , Volkssturm Battalion 25/251 or Volkssturm Battalion 25/423 .

The designation Volkssturm Battalion Johannisburg 1 indicates that the three Vst.-Btle. from the district of Johannesburg were also
numbered internally within the district.

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... post757182
Last edited by Germanicus on 06 Feb 2022 20:33, edited 1 time in total.

sandeepmukherjee196
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 06 Feb 2022 20:06

Germanicus wrote:
29 Jan 2022 21:37
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
29 Jan 2022 20:24
So much for the find myth that the HJ boys were treated as indulgently as just boys by the enemy...
Hello Sandeep

If you wish to find out more on this subject one should do research on what happened to the Hitler-Jugend when captured in Prague,
after the end of hostilities by the locals.

Not a happy read.

Most respectfully

Mark
Yes Mark. That particular episode is one of the better known instances. However there are others, plenty of them. In the east as well as in the west.

Cheers
Sandeep

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Feb 2022 06:39

a letter from the High Command of the 11th Army to the III SS Panzer Corps dated 08.02.1945.

The letter refers to the use and confiscation of motor vehicles for the Volkssturm. Since most of the vehicles for the Volkssturm come from the civilian sector, the confiscation of vehicles used in the volkssturm must be refrained from, or only used in exceptional cases and returned quickly.

vs1.png


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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Feb 2022 06:42

Telex January 1945, which deals with the incorporation of Volkssturm soldiers into the army.

Bildschirmfoto 2019-03-18 um 22.15.07.png

https://www.wehrmacht-forum.de/index.ph ... /&pageNo=1
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Feb 2022 06:43

Fuehrer order from January 1945. This is about the fact that (if the possibilities are given) mixed combat groups or brigades should be formed.

Bildschirmfoto 2020-06-20 um 03.30.59.png

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Feb 2022 06:45

telex on the combat and training mission of the Volkssturm from February 1945.

Source: Nara

Bildschirmfoto 2019-03-18 um 22.15.00.png

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 08 Feb 2022 06:47

copy of the combat mission of Volkssturm soldiers in fortress units from March 1945.

Source: Nara

Bildschirmfoto 2019-03-18 um 22.14.46.png
Bildschirmfoto 2019-03-18 um 22.14.52.png


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