An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 07:38

Schirachs Wiener Hitler-Jugend – „Treu bis zum Ende“ - Autor: Markus Reisner [Part E]

To the bitter end

The remains of the two Wiener HJ-Bataillone collected in Flansdorf were transferred to the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf summarized and in the
strength of six to seven Companies (600 to 700 Hitler boys and leadership personnel) from 11 April as a reserve of the II. SS Panzer Corps divided.
Parts of the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ were found in the depths in a security line on the heights northeast of Korneuburg, from Flansdorf to
Manhartsbrunn and Schleindorf. Further to the east, near German-Wagram, were in the days before already Hitler boys of an HJ-Volkssturm-Kompanie des Gebiets 28 (Niederdonau) in battle. On April 13, the Soviet Troops the line Hagenbrunn to Enzersfeld. Between the declining
German Associations now created ever larger gaps. Thus, a new alarm of theHJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“. Lieutenant Ralf Ringler, now moved
with three companies of the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ eastwards from Manhartsbrunn a defensive position.

Only with difficulty could the remaining units of the II SS Panzer Corps finally be able to south of Flansdorf and partly cross the Bisamberg in the direction of Klosterneuburg. In the early hours of April 15, Russian troops attacked the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ eastwards from
Manhartsbrunn. In fact, the Hitler boys once again to repel a Russian infantry regiment attacking from the direction of Pfösing. In the afternoon
they were finally replaced by a battalion of the Waffen-SS and relocated again. Schirach, on the other hand, released his Staff and went to the command post of the 6th Panzer Army in Grünbichl Castle in Kilb near St. Pölten.

The remains of the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ were built on April 17, 1945 in Ruppersthal collected. Here they were praised by the commander
of the II SS Panzer Corps, SS-Obergruppenführer Bittrich for their commitment in a speech. Several Hitler boys received awards. Subsequently, the marching order was given in the direction of West. Over the next few days, the Hitler boys marched on foot to Linz and from there continue in the direction of Ennstal. In the course of the marching movement, the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ again divided into two battalions of three
companies each. This I. and II. Battalion of the HJ-Kampfgruppe „Werwolf“ finally reached the room on May 3 Tamsweg.

https://www.ns-pressearchiv.at/sites/de ... gend_0.pdf
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 07:43

Schirachs Wiener Hitler-Jugend – „Treu bis zum Ende“ - Autor: Markus Reisner [Part F]

HJ p.JPG
HJ q.JPG
HJ r.JPG

https://www.ns-pressearchiv.at/sites/de ... gend_0.pdf
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 07:53

Schirachs Wiener Hitler-Jugend – „Treu bis zum Ende“ - Autor: Markus Reisner [Part F]

Summary

The battle for Vienna claimed heavy victims on both sides. Above all, the Civilians were caught between the fronts and many innocent people lost
their lives. In the literature, the losses on the German side are estimated at 19,000 and on the Russian side with 18,000 dead soldiers. In addition, there are several thousand killed Viennese Civilians. While the number of Russian deaths seems quite understandable and If it also coincides with Russian sources, the number of German soldiers killed is likely to be too be highly grasped. Especially if you consider the deployed units of the 6th Panzer Army of the Army Group South and its actual strengths. According to an overview of the Austrian Black Cross (ÖSK) about 5,000 German
soldiers were transferred to buried in the war in the graves of soldiers in Vienna.

The city of Vienna was lucky in April 1945. It remained a long time for her Siege and a large-scale destruction, as Budapest had to experience,
spared. Due to the rapid advance of the Soviet troops into the west of Vienna, a defense of the city by the imminent danger of encirclement
essential abbreviated. But in the battle for Vienna there was a senseless use of a large number of various alarm units and among them was also the Vienna Hitler Youth, which, not least on the direct order of the Reichsleiter Baldur von Schirach, in the Deployment has been sent. Statements
about those suffered by the Vienna Hitler Youth However, making losses is difficult these days. The contemporary witness Ralf Ringler described in his book, in his function as liaison officer of the Vienna HJ to the combat commander of Vienna, the losses of the Vienna Hitler Youth in Pressburg
and Vienna as small.

However, Ringler's statement appears to be made in view of the fact that the Vienna Hitler Youth was used almost exclusively at the focal points,
improbable. However, the exact number of killed Viennese HJ members is difficult to fathom. But it should have been at least three-digit.
However, it should also be It is mentioned that quite a few air force helpers of the Viennese anti-aircraft batteries in the Battles for Vienna were killed. There are plenty of traditional examples of this. And despite their use in the Luftwaffe, they were still members of the HJ. The Vienna
Hitler Youth fought until the end in complete conviction and with fanatical enthusiasm and usually only retreated on explicit orders.

The Hitler boys even attacked places where regular Wehrmacht units had already withdrawn. It was also one of their units that was the last to
FloridsdorferBrücke in the direction of the north bank of the Danube. These Hitler boys became Significantly, led by a member of the 12th SS
Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend". He had previously been recruited from a Viennese military hospital for the second Viennese HJ Battalion. North
of the Danube, the Vienna Hitler Youth then fought again against the Russian troops before finally withdrawing towards the west Were. The deployment of the Vienna Hitler Youth is still today an example of how a misguided ideologized and fanatical education, young people up to unconditional Self-abandonment and self-sacrifice can drive. The fate of these Viennese Young people in April 1945 should therefore still be a reminder to us today.

https://www.ns-pressearchiv.at/sites/de ... gend_0.pdf

[END]
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 08:25

"Preliminary stage of recruit training" - The military training camps of the Hitler Youth during the war

HJ s.JPG

The military training of the HJ was restructured during the war years. Due to the enormous lack of leaders, the training could no longer be carried out to the extent desired by the Wehrmacht and Reich youth leadership in the individual units. Therefore, in 1942, in cooperation with the Wehrmacht, so-called military training camps were set up as a "preliminary step for recruit training". Here, for the first time, all young people, i.e. not just HJ leaders and trainers for the HJ, were sent to a three-week camp All members of the group born in 1924 were initially affected, regardless of whether they were members of the HJ or not.The regulation generally applied to all male youths from the age of 16 and a half.

The camps, which mostly took place in empty RAD accommodation, were run by officers who had "proven at the front" but were no longer "fit for war service", who were HJ leaders and were assigned by the Wehrmacht to the leadership of the Reich youth. In the camps they were subordinate
to the Reich Youth Leadership, did their service as HJ leaders with the appropriate uniform, but continued to receive their military pay and their activity with the HJ was counted as service time. They could be recalled by the Wehrmacht at any time, which usually happened when they were
"fit for war" again.

The same applied to the trainers in the camps. These "front-experienced", wounded soldiers and non-commissioned officers were either detached from the Wehrmacht or, to a lesser extent, from the Waffen-SS. They did their service in the military training camps in Wehrmacht or SS uniforms. They, too, received theirs in the meantime Military pay and the service in the camps was counted as military service time. Technically, they
reported to the camp manager, disciplinary to the spatially responsible general command.In the beginning, these trainers were often HJ leaders,
but later, due to the great losses at the front, also soldiers without appropriate training suitable for young people.

Both camp directors and trainers had to go through induction courses from the Reich Youth Leadership to carry out military training before they could be deployed. Nevertheless, in the first six months after the introduction of the military training camps, complaints increased that the
training was often anything but youthful and that the "drag" of the boys and the use of the meanest and most rude expressions on the part of the trainers were common despite all indications " was . Although the Reich Youth Leadership attempted to take action against these grievances,
among other things, pointing to the damage to the "idealistic view" of the young people, they could not completely eliminate the grievances complained of.

The camps were rated as successful and positive by the instructors, the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS because they gave the boys a "tight attitude" and represented a "time benefit" for later military training. However, complaints were raised from rural areas when the service led to cuts in the much-needed work in the parental business, especially during harvest times.

With the intensification of the war and the exorbitant loss of life, the demands of the Wehrmacht for military training for young people that was completely suitable for the troops and was close to reality continued to increase. In the course of the "Ordinance on the Extension of
Conscription" of August 12, 1943, 17-year-old boys were already being drafted into military service and went directly from the military training camps to the Wehrmacht. Training in the camps was therefore supposed to anticipate more and more parts of recruit training ss part of the Volkssturm, which was "called" on September 25, 1944 by Hitler's decree as a last attempt to change the hopeless German situation, it
was decreed, among other things, that shooting training for 16 and 17-year-olds From now on the Hitler Youth had to use Wehrmacht weapons.

In addition, it was now planned to train the 15-year-old boys in military training camps and to intensify the training of the 16-year-olds. Younger
and younger people should now be made fit to fight in the shortest possible time in order to compensate for the losses at the front and maintain
the illusion that the long-lost war can still be won - a cynical game with the lives of young, idealistic people who do not have the slightest had a chance of holding out militarily against the overpowering opponents of the war.

https://jugend1918-1945.de/portal/Jugen ... rettyPhoto
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 08:43

For those interested, most of the laws and decrees issued by the NSDAP in relation to the Volkssturm and Hitlerjugend [war involvement]
can be found here in PDF


This is an OCR version. There is 420 pages in the document. [click on the link and download from Google Books for free]

To search just type in Volkssturm or Hitlerjugend where you would usually search.


Verfügungen, Anordnungen, Bekanntgaben By Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei

Volkssturm Decrees.JPG
NSDAP.JPG
DV a.JPG
HJ t.JPG

https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... =en&gbpv=0
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 09:08

BRITISCHES FREI-KORPS and The VOLKSSTURM [nearly] [an interesting foot note]

On March 22, 1945 the 11.SS-Pz.Gr.Div Nordland was given a respite from the Russian Front and Oder River and sent to regroup at Schwedt-Angermunde. It was there that the BFC joined the 11.SS-Pz.Aufklärungs-Abteilungunder command of SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Saalbach. Half
of the Britons were attached to the 1.Kompanie of the Aufklärungs-Abteilungin Schoenberg, Brandenburg, just north of Berlin, and the others
were attached near Angermunde to the newly deployed 3.Kompanie – the Schwedenzug orSwedish Platoon, under command of Swedish SS-Hauptstrumführer Hans-Gosta Pehrsson.

With the advent of the last battle on the Oder on April 16, 1945, Nordland was called into action to stem the Soviet offensive. At the last minute, before their OKW ordered deployment into the Berlin salient, Divisionalcommander SS-Gruppenführer Ziegler decided to leave the Britons in Angermunde camp while Nordland headed toward Berlin. It is not known forcertain if members entered Berlin with Nordland or not, as some accounts claim yes, others claim no.

Like the Volkssturm Battalions and HJ units assigned by OKW to his weak Panzerkorps for last-ditch offensives in late April 1945 –
Korps Commander Steiner also felt that the BFC was of very negligible combat value at best, and wanted nothing to do with their haphazard
deployment and sure destruction in the Berlin Kessel. He left them to retreat westward to Templin, in Mecklenburg in late April 1945, where
British forces were waiting on the other side of the Elbe.

Because of the BFC’s brief association with the SS-Nordland division on the Oder front in late March 1945, it is commonly assumed that they went into Berlin and fought a last-gasp defensive battle against the Russians. The fact is that there is no conclusive proof that any Englishman fought
the Russians in Berlin wearing a German SS uniform, and there seem to be no Russian accounts of the Battle that detail such accounts, so this
fact can not be readily accepted or denied at this time.

https://www.feldgrau.com/WW2-Waffen-SS- ... ree-Corps/

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 23 Apr 2022 22:47

New find

Volkssturm-Bataillon 31/2

https://www.polizei.gv.at/stmk/files_st ... 58_WEB.pdf

Volkssturm-Bataillon Dietmov - Kreis Rothenburg (Oberlausitz) Gau Niederschlesien

Dietmov.JPG

https://www.evangelische-kirche-niesky. ... eitung.pdf

Volkssturm-Bataillon Elchniederung II - Kreis Elchniederung Gau Ostpreußen

https://docplayer.org/63995079-W-ftpr-u ... ieden.html

Volkssturm-Bataillon Erwitte - Kreis Lippstadt Gau Westfalen-Süd

[3 x Kompanies]

https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/view ... sertations

Volkssturm-Bataillon Limbach - [Volkssturm-Bataillon-Führer Dr. Jokesch] Kreis Chemnitz Gau Sachsen

https://www.limbach-oberfrohna.de/de/da ... _11_21.pdf

Volkssturm-Bataillon Trentschin [Trenczin] - Slovakia

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Steinhauser

Volkssturm-Bataillon Welschensteinach - Kreis Wolfach Gau Baden

http://dl.ub.uni-freiburg.de/diglit/ort ... e037ef9480

Volkssturmeinheit Kampfgruppe Murach [Kompanie Baldus Königsberg]

https://docplayer.org/63995079-W-ftpr-u ... ieden.html
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 24 Apr 2022 09:50

Konteradmiral Karl-Jesko von Puttkamer [was naval adjutant to Adolf Hitler during World War II]

At the end of January 1945 a Pomeranian Volkssturm battalion was commanded by Baron von Puttkamer. This force was commanded by officers in
their World War I uniforms and old service pistols with farmers without weapons, only armed with their Volkssturm armbands. After the unit was
unable to reach the city of Schneidemuhl to obtain arms and when their train took Soviet tank fire, Puttkamer returned his men to their village and determined that they were not going to throw lives away and "put away the old uniform, which become dishonored 'under these Hitlers and
Himmlers'"


Beevor, Antony (2002). The Fall of Berlin 1945.

Later in September 1943 he was promoted to Konteradmiral. Puttkamer was injured on 20 July 1944 when the bomb exploded during the
20 July plot attempt to kill Hitler and was awarded the 20 July Wound Badge.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl-Jesko_von_Puttkamer

General der Infanterie Gustav Anton von Wietersheim [Kommandierender General des XIV. Panzerkorps] Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Discharged for apparent errors early in the Battle of Stalingrad

Historian Alan Clark reported that Wietersheim returned to Germany after his dismissal, only reappearing in any military context in 1945
Volunteered as a private in a Pomeranian Volkssturm unit.

https://www.stalingrad.net/german-hq/si ... rsheim.htm

Germany’s last-ditch militia

There is a great presentation on the Volkssturm in this PDF document which includes the following: -

Von Wietersheim was a veteran of World War I where he won both the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class.

During World War II he was a general and commanded XIV Panzer Corps.

During the early part of the Battle of Stalingrad he suggested a partial withdrawal to the Don River, due to high casualties among his troops in the salient north of Stalingrad.

Hitler accused him of incompetence and defeatism and fired him on the spot. In 1945 von Wietersheim served in the Volkssturm as a mere private.

http://www.militarydespatches.co.za/Vol ... 202020.pdf
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 24 Apr 2022 19:55

Battle of Memel

Volkssturm-Bataillon Hartung (1., 2., 3. Kompanies c. 350 men Kustenhilfswehr). It seems to be renamed as Volkssturm-Bataillon 25/5.

607. z.b.V. Division

Volkssturm-Bataillon Roller (arrived 11th December 1944 on Kurische Nehrung - c. 370 men). Known as Volkssturm-Bataillon Memel-II.
It seems to be renamed as Volkssturm Battlion 25/2.

Volkssturm-Bataillon Schulze (1., 2., 3., 4. arrived 16th December 1944 on Kurische Nehrung - c. 500 men. A 5. Kompanie formed on January).
Because of coincidence of comander's name and place, it seems that this unit is Volkssturm-Bataillon 25/39.

Volkssturm-Bataillon Grau (Projected on 5th November and 5 companies (1. to 4. & 5. reserve Kompanie, respectively Barning, Jahn, Boisen,
Lange & Riesel - 5 Kompanies arrived 17th December 1944). Known as Volkssturm-Bataillon Memel-I. It seems to be renamed as
Volkssturm-Bataillon 25/1 Sudau (on 7th January 1945)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Memel

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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 24 Apr 2022 20:19

Festungs-Division "Frankfurt/Oder"

FO.JPG

http://www.diedeutschewehrmacht.de/Fest ... rtOder.htm

Volksstrum Battalion 15/1 - [Volkssturm-Bataillon-Führer Lorenz Junker] Kreis Aschaffenburg Gau Mainfranken

Aschaffenburg Volkssturm organized as Volksstrum Battalion 15/1 with seven companies

For a detailed description of the Aschaffenburg Volkssturm see 'Aschaffenburg Im Zweiten Weltkrieg' , 307-313

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA212023.pdf

After both American and Soviet troops had crossed the borders of the Reich in autumn 1944, the Volkssturm was set up in Aschaffenburg as a
last resort and sworn in on November 12, 1944. The newly formed Volkssturm Battalion 15/1 was put under the command of the tax inspector
Lorenz Junker and subsequently trained by the personnel of the Grenadier Replacement and Training Battalion 106 in the Bois Brûlé barracks.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlacht_ ... nburg_1945

New finds

Volkssturm-Bataillon 15/142 - Unterleinach Kreis Würzburg Gau Mainfranken

15 142.JPG

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_Unterleinachs

Volkssturm-Bataillon Elchesheim - Kreis Rastatt Gau Baden-Elsaß
Volkssturm-Bataillon Leopoldshafen - Kreis Karlsruhe Gau Baden-Elsaß

https://www.cambridgescholars.com/resou ... sample.pdf

Volkssturm-Bataillon Könnern - Kreis Saalkreis Gau Halle-Merseburg

https://www.strickland3ad.com/unit-hist ... to-end.pdf

VS VD.JPG

http://www.marshallfoundation.org/wp-co ... nemies.pdf

What of the other NSDAP Paramilitary Organisations and the Volkssturm.

NSKK

By 1945 NSKK personnel were being drafted into Volkssturm-Bataillones and NSKK Kampfgruppen.

RAD - REICHSARBEITSDIENST

Col. Konstantin Hierl head of the RAD. ln 1945 the Labour Service period was reduced to six-eight weeks, now devoted exclusively to infantry
basic training. In September Hierl had successfully resisted pressure to integrate the RAD into the Home Guard (Deutscher Volkssturm)
'as this would prejudice its non-military status; Hierl however accepted joint tactical operations.

Organisation Todt

To prevent conscription into the Volkssturm of OT personnel from Korps areas now in Allied hands, Speer established on 13. October 1944
the mobile, militarily organised Front-OT. Nine brigades - 'Nord', 1 to 8 were formcd. Each brigade had about five regiments; each regiment,
four to five battalions; each battalion, four to five companies; each company, about 150 men.

https://pdfcoffee.com/qdownload/osprey- ... -free.html
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 25 Apr 2022 00:26

The following is a brilliant analysis not only of the Volkssturm however on the TOTAL WAR Concept and the militaries role in it!!


Violence.JPG

I have taken some initial extracts that relate to the Volkssturm. The writings about the Volkssturm is extensive.

There is 236 pages in this OCR PDF document. The link is below.

The Book IS SUPERB. I have read this book and it is breathtaking in my opinion.

The author writes the dissertation’s findings contribute to four themes within the historiography of the Second World War.

First, it contributes to the recent debate surrounding the German Volksgemeinschaft by drawing attention to the limits of loyalty to the regime,
and the actors and events that prompted this fidelity to shift.

Secondly, by analysing a large number of unused archival sources, it provides the first in-depth urban history of everyday life in Königsberg during
its 1945 siege.

Thirdly, it challenges the conventional historiographical view in which fanatical Party officials were the main perpetrators of latewar violence by emphasising the significance of the Wehrmacht as a key actor.

Fourthly Even though large numbers of German troops operated in close proximity to German civilians, their conduct has hardly been considered
as an explanation of the events of 1945.

Violence in Defeat: The Wehrmacht and Late-War Society in East Prussia, 1944-1945 - Bastiaan Willems

1. Regionality and Total War in East Prussia

Introduction
I. East Prussia’s path to 1945
II. Total War in East Prussia
III. Cities at Total War
IV. Cities as ‘fortresses’: strategy and conjecture
V. The struggle for final authority in Germany’s defence
VI. Towards a new community
Conclusion


2. Redefining Königsberg: historical continuity in praxis

Introduction
I. Visions of the East Prussian community in late 1944
II. Towards a closer collaboration
III. Abandoning the greater good
IV. The search for continuity
V. Losing faith in the Führer, gaining local heroes
VI. The NSFO and the Mundpropaganda in Königsberg
[NSFO, the ‘Nationalsozialistischer Führungsoffizier’, or National Socialist Leadership Officer]
VII. Atrocity propaganda
Conclusion

3. The East Prussian civilian between local self-interest and strategy

Introduction
I. Wehrmacht treatment of property in evacuated areas
II. Evacuation measures between the Party and the Army
III. The question of German refugees within German strategy
IV. Evacuation policy in Königsberg
V. The inability to surrender
Conclusion

4. Königsberg as a community of violence

Introduction
I. The German soldier returns to Germany
II. Upholding military law in Königsberg
III. Königsberg under siege
IV. Festungsdienst in Königsberg
V. The Volkssturm in Königsberg
VI. Radicalisation through the pretext of law
Conclusion

5. CONCLUSION

Appendix 1: Manpower in Festung Glogau, 20 February 1945.
Appendix 2: Number of civilians in Königsberg, January to April 1945.
Appendix 3: Strength of Garrison Festung Königsberg immediately prior to the final storming, April 6, 1945.
Appendix 4: The capitulation of Königsberg

Bibliography

The author writes: -

"This dissertation will focus on the considerations that underpinned the different evacuation measures in East Prussia, expanding on the research
of Heinrich Schwendemann, who examined the motivations behind strategic and tactical decisions taken by Wehrmacht commanders during the
final months of the war.14 It will closely link it to the research of David Yelton, who examined the establishment and deployment of the
Volkssturm militia during the final year of the war. These two scholars both established that the military was much more closely involved in
decisions that directly impacted the German civilian population.

Chapter 1 starts with an analysis of the relationship between the Volksgemeinschaft and Total War in East Prussia. Establishing the native
population’s mentality towards the war teaches us about those people who would become the main victims of late-war violence. Subsequently,
we will determine what impact the Party and the Wehrmacht had on their behaviour, using the construction of the Ostwall and the establishment
of the Volkssturm as ‘stress-tests’.

II. Total War in East Prussia

This section reconstructs the dialogue that underpinned Germany’s Total War efforts. It first considers the importance of analysing Total War on a local level, after which it will move toward a discussion of two case studies, the construction of the Ostwall around the borders of East Prussia,
and the formation of the East Prussian Volkssturm

In the summer of 1944 East Prussia’s population got its first sense of what it was like to be part of a Total War, as large parts of the province were mobilised to assist in the construction of the Ostwall defences. Farmers lamented their deployment during the harvest time, while many positions were dug through fields, which significantly diminished the crop yields for the years ahead. Eventually, work on the Ostwall continued until the
start of the Soviet offensive in January 1945. Extensive indoctrination through Party outlets assured that civilians interpreted the efforts as Party led, which, since the army’s involvement was simultaneously downplayed, cemented the Party’s status as the most prominent proponent of
Total War. However, we should not confuse the Wehrmacht’s limited presence in the national media with an unwillingness on its part to deploy civilians. This preparedness becomes particularly clear when analysing the Volkssturm, whose establishment we will now examine.

The Volkssturm, Nazi-Germany’s last-ditch militia, has been subjected to more comprehensive research than the Ostwall. We will therefore divide our examination of the Volkssturm into two parts: this section will examine the period from its establishment in lateSeptember 1944 until the
initial defence of Festung Königsberg in late January 1945, in order to determine how the Party-Wehrmacht relations shaped the militia. In
Chapter 4 we will return to the Volkssturm, and analyse its deployment during Königsberg’s siege (late January 1945 – early April 1945).

As with the Ostwall, the Volkssturm is traditionally presented as a brainchild of the Party, although the research of David Yelton has shown that
it was the Wehrmacht that spearheaded its creation, by measures to include elements of the German home front in the defence of Germany
from 1941 onwards. By August 1943 all men born after 1884 (i.e. fiftynine years or younger at the time) were registered by orders of the Chief
of the OKW, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, although they were not yet to be called up. The Party, on the other hand, initially opposed the creation
of a militia, mainly driven by the notion that its creation would negatively impact home front morale. However, while in August and early
September 1944 Guderian gave shape to the new militia, by mid-September the final responsibility was definitively shifted to the Party. That it
was thus the Party that came to oversee the Volkssturm was largely due to the lack of confidence Hitler had in the military after 20 July, as we
have seen above.

On 25 September 1944 Hitler issued the ‘Führer decree concerning the formation of the German Volkssturm’ to his Gauleiters. The scope of the Volkssturm was to be allembracing: on 18 October a national call-up made clear that it was to include ‘all able-bodied men from 16 to 60 years.’
The higher age groups, the East Prussian propaganda office maintained, would provide steel to the force: ‘The soldier of the First World War can weather a storm (‘ist Sturmerprobt’), is steadfast and he does not lose his nerves.’ Nevertheless, the age of the recruits became the focal point
of widespread scorn: ‘It is a stew, consisting of young vegetables and old bones!’ Since participation was obligatory, mocking the Volkssturm was
perhaps the most effective way to express disagreement with the course the regime was now taking, as well as a way to channel some of the anxieties that arose as a result of the call up. In East Prussia, where the Volkssturm was mustered with great zeal and almost immediately
deployed, ridicule was rife, and, as a result, was closely monitored and reported on.

It was again the Party that took the initial lead in East Prussia. Gauleiter Koch even outdid his Führer and ordered the creation of the East
Prussian Volkssturm two days before the rest of Germany. According to Wenzel the idea for the Volkssturm originated here from the experiences
of the mobilisation for the Ostwall and it is not hard to see why he thought so.

While explaining the validity of the Party’s role in the establishment of the Volkssturm to his Kreisleiters in early October, Koch recalled ‘How in
a few hours [after the call for the construction of the Ostwall] the first ground was moved, and how from these humble beginnings already in
eighty-two days a gigantic defensive work has risen. At the time, I only relied on ourselves and on the force of our province.’ Koch noted that
the Ostwall had been dug in a National Socialist spirit; now it was time to man it as such. It was also apparent that the raising of the Volkssturm again allowed him to take his spot in the limelight in the Party’s Total War efforts.

By the time the East Prussian Volkssturm was decreed, two Soviet Fronts (the equivalents of Army Groups) were already threatening East Prussia.
One of them, the First Baltic Front headed by Army General Ivan Bagramyan, stood in central Lithuania, only 150 kilometres from the East Prussian borders. On 5 October, it started its push to the Baltic with the port city of Memel, the northernmost East Prussian city, as its strategic goal.
Already four days later, on 9 October, it had reached the Baltic at Heydekrug, south of Memel, thereby cutting the city off. Memel’s Volkssturm
men – completely unprepared – were immediately deployed in its defence and suffered heavy casualties. The neighbouring Third Belorussian
Front under Army General Ivan Chernyakhovsky launched an operation towards the heart of East Prussia on 16 October, known in German historiography as the ‘Gumbinnen Operation’.

Volkssturm units were again deployed and, together with the divisions of the Third Panzer Army, they halted the thrust before Gumbinnen, a city
in the East of the province, after which the Soviet troops were pushed back. By the end of the month the offensive had been repelled
and the Volkssturm, according to the East Prussian propaganda office, could proudly look back on its baptism of fire. Moreover, ‘except for
isolated and unimportant misunderstandings the cooperation [with the Wehrmacht] is outstanding.’ Privately, however, Gauleiter Koch took
another line, and, on 25 October, he sent a telegram to Reichsleiter Martin Bormann to highlight the performance of the Volkssturm during the
last days, while simultaneously accusing the army leadership of poor performance.

Notwithstanding, during the final months of 1944 the Party and the Wehrmacht in East Prussia established close liaisons to improve relations. Although Gauleiter Koch continued to oppose these efforts, most Kreisleiters, who in many cases headed the Volkssturm battalions, were open
to a closer collaboration. Initially, the Wehrmacht used the Volkssturm to perform a string of semi-military tasks, such as organising the
evacuation of goods and civilians, and digging defensive positions. Yet, by December army commanders treated the Volkssturm virtually the
same as other units.

In the north of East Prussia, near Tilsit, for example, six Volkssturm battalions (mostly mustered in nearby Ragnit and Tilsit and numbering
around 240 on average; barely half of the regular battalion strength) were to man positions close behind the front line in anticipation of the
Soviet offensive. By the end of 1944 Volkssturm units were fully incorporated into the military chain of command, and, as Yelton found,
‘army and corps commanders had full tactical and logistical control over every Volkssturm battalion engaged in Eastern security occupations.’

When the Soviet offensive into East Prussia finally commenced in January 1945, Volkssturm battalions were fully deployed in its defence, often
with little regard to their fighting value. In some cases, such as during counterattacks on the town of Schlossberg, near the province’s eastern border, a Volkssturm battalion was wiped out due to a lack of cooperation with the nearby 1st infantry division. Yet, closer cooperation with
the army did not necessarily lead to a better chance of survival for Volkssturm units.

At the village Nautzken, near Königsberg, the commander of the 286th division dismissed the concerns of the commander of a Volkssturm ‘Standbattiallon’ (a type of unit meant for rear area work) that his men would be completely useless in battle. The battalion was ordered to
defend positions against the mainstay of the Soviet Thirty-third Army, with predictably devastating results.

It needs to be pointed out, however, that there were certainly instances when the Volkssturm performed well beyond expectation, and
that they were not mere cannon fodder.


Indeed, as Yelton found, ‘the army rated the Volkssturm units as adequate, despite its high casualties.’

Some 10,000 Volkssturm men defended Königsberg during the initial fighting for the city in late-January 1945, many of whom had earlier
defended their own towns and villages closer to the East Prussian border, and in some cases had thus been fighting for over two weeks.
Especially in the northern and eastern sectors of Königsberg they were able to fight off sustained Soviet attacks, initially virtually on their own,
later with the help of newly-arrived German units.

Germany’s geopolitical position by mid-1944, with the Allies poised to invade from both the east and the west, forced Party and Wehrmacht to
work closely together. By analysing Total War on a provincial level, this section has managed to move away from the persistent focus on a select
Nazi elite, and instead reconstructed its impact on the lives of civilians.

In East Prussia, the construction of the Ostwall and the establishment of the Volkssturm involved a previously unknown, virtually ‘total’ scale of mobilisation. The two efforts share important similarities: they were openly championed by the Party, who took up the propagandist lead as
well, even though it had been the army that initially conceived these measures and had pushed for them. German propaganda consistently highlighted the close cooperation between the army and the Party, particularly focusing on the latter’s role in these projects.

This aimed to sustain morale, as too large an emphasis on the army would have increased the anxiety of the German population that the battle
front was approaching their homes. The army nevertheless assumed ‘total command of operations’ by organising the digging efforts and gradually taking control over the deployment of Volkssturm units. As historians have indicated, the resulting friction should largely be traced back to the unwillingness of men like Koch to relinquish power in their provinces to the army. Nevertheless, with the Wehrmacht on German territory these
inroads were inevitable.

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

The struggle for final authority in Germany’s defence

It is here that we turn to the legislation concerning fortress cities, as they offer the clearest example of bridging this divide at a local level: the
level at which the interaction between most Party officials and Wehrmacht officers actually took place. In late 1944, a fair number of Eastern Germany’s larger cities were declared fortresses, among them Danzig, Königsberg, Lötzen, Gotenhafen, Thorn, Graudenz, Oppeln, Breslau,
Glogau, Posen, Schneidemühl and Pressburg. More would be later added to the list, such as Frankfurt am Oder and Berlin.

The measures taken for the fortress cities offer us the clearest indication of the interaction between Wehrmacht and Party in Germany’s cities.
In particular, the problem of ultimate authority needed to be solved. The most comprehensive attempts to tackle this came from the
Oberkommando des Heeres, led by Generaloberst Heinz Guderian. In mid-December 1944 Guderian proposed the establishment of a Gemeinsamer Arbeitsstab in every fortress.

Under this system, Gauleiters would designate a Festungsbeauftragte der NSDAP (Fortresscommissioner of the NSDAP) for every fortress, who
would be responsible for its political matters, as well as the care of civilians:

In case of an encirclement this commissioner stays in the fortress and is subordinate to the fortress commander. From then on, he will be
particularly tasked to do everything to strengthen the indomitable will to resist of the troops (in cooperation with the NSFO) and to deploy
the Volkssturm units present in the fortress.


The RVK, at the same time, would appoint a Referent (consultant) for ‘all civilian Reich defence measures, particularly supply and
ARLZ-measures’. [ARLZ-Arbeitsstäben (Auflockerung, Räumung, Lähmung und Zerstörung or Task Forces for Breaking-down, Evacuation, Paralysing
and Destruction)].

The Leiter der Gemeindeverwaltung (head of local government, normally the Oberbürgemeister – mayor) was also to find a place on the combined staff, but all the civilian officials were to be subordinated to the fortress commander. The proposal fitted into Guderian’s belief that a fortress
commander should be ‘master over life and death of all persons present in the fortress.’

However, the Party disagreed with this scheme, arguing that in Germany fortress commanders should merely have ‘the right to give instructions,
but no subordination structure which grants the rights to judge about life and death of all persons in the fortress. That was true for fortresses
abroad, but not for Germany.’ What the army demanded was thus a much greater degree of autonomy than the Party was willing to allow.

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

The defence of Germany in 1945 was built around its cities, and local dynamics would determine how its population would experience the final months of the war. During the previous years of Total War, Germany had already had increasingly centrifugal tendencies that assured that the Volksgemeinschaft came to be defined on a local level, while wartime circumstances themselves – notably the availability of food and the
frequency of bombing raids – contributed to the further retreat of local populations from the German community at large.

For East Prussians, the impact of Total War was only really felt when they were called up to construct the Ostwall during the summer of 1944.
The army, which had taken up positions around the East Prussian border, oversaw most of the efforts, showing that despite the constraints that
were imposed at a national level, it still managed to exert significant influence at a local level. A similar tendency was seen with the East
Prussian Volkssturm. By the end of 1944 Army and Corps commanders had gained full control over the militia’s deployment, even though the Party was technically in charge. Meanwhile, up to the autumn of 1944, the Wehrmacht had largely been absent from Germans’ Total War experience,
yet as the number of troops that moved into Germany increased, so did the Wehrmacht’s influence over everyday life.

The clearest harbingers that Total War was about to impact on the population’s immediate environment were the efforts to bring cities and their urban areas into the defensive schemes. Urban areas were incorporated into larger defensive systems, with key cities being designated
‘fortresses’. The defence of cities themselves was new in modern German history, but as the country was highly urbanised there were no other
valid options. Moreover, since both the General Staff and the members of Hitler’s intimate circle ruled in favour of an active involvement of
civilians in the defence of their Heimat, they pushed forward with the strategy.

The decision to defend German cities was almost universally negatively received further down the chain of command. Troops had long dreaded fighting in cities and equated them with military setbacks, with Stalingrad as the most obvious example, a notion that was only confirmed during Operation Bagration in the summer of 1944. Local Party elites, in turn, saw their authority being challenged by the increasing powers the military was granted to organise the defence of cities.

To prevent further inroads into their power, Party members repeatedly questioned the Wehrmacht’s loyalty to the Volksgemeinschaft. This
constant hammering of reliability linked actual authority over cities to the issue of ‘moral authority’. Yet when in January 1945 the fighting for ‘fortress Königsberg’ was about to commence, numerous Wehrmacht staffs and significant elements of the Party elite, including Gauleiter Koch,
left the city. Those who remained only concerned themselves with immediate civic problems, and sought to find common ground in the mutual determination to keep the city out of Soviet hands.

The next chapter will examine the language that was used in the fortress, to determine the extent to which Königsberg’s garrison broke with
the Volksgemeinschaft, and what motivations lay behind that process.

Redefining Königsberg: historical continuity in praxis

By late January 1945 the Soviet offensive into East Prussia had successfully managed to cut off Königsberg and its wider environs from the rest of Germany. As noted above, this caused a brief power vacuum, but governance soon returned. After these turbulent days, the local administration resumed and would remain firmly in place until Festung Königsberg fell on 10 April 1945.

Significant energy was expended to propagate the ‘new’ values of Festung Königsberg. On 31 January 1945, within a few days of Königsberg’s encirclement, Die Festung Königsberg, the ‘battle-paper for labourers, soldiers and men of the Volkssturm’, was published for the first
time. That tagline hinted a search for identity. Indeed, a week later this message had been altered, while the official Party newspaper of East Prussia’s NSDAP branch, the Preußische Zeitung presented itself as a ‘Paper for the entire Volksgemeinschaft’, which was explained as
‘Wehrmacht, Volkssturm and population’.

Königsberg would be defined by a set of values on which those in the city could agree, rather than by values imposed on them by Berlin."

I recommend to anyone interested in this period of the war that they read the whole document.

https://era.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1 ... sequence=1
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Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 25 Apr 2022 01:17

Battle of Bautzen (or Battle of Budziszyn, April 1945) - Last German Victory of the War.

The German operation successfully recaptured Bautzen and its surroundings, which were held until the end of the war.

In the village of Niederkaina, today a part of Bautzen, between 196 and 300 captured German members of the Volkssturm were locked in a barn
which was set on fire by retreating Polish or Soviet troops.

2 Kompanie Volkssturm-Bataillon 27/33 - Kreis Bautzen Gau Sachsen

mbx4w6te8jfv3nn35d81wx8g151ksb3o.jpg

Berndt, Eberhardt (1995). Kriegsschauplatz Sachsen 1945; Die Kämpfe um Bautzen 18. bis 27. April 1945 (Battleground Saxony 1945; The battles around Bautzen 18-27 August) (in German). Wölfersheim-Berstadt. pp. 53–67.

Hans Ahlfen (1977). Der Kampf um Schlesien 1944/1945 (The Battle of Silesia 1944/1945) (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 207–208.

Bautzen 1945: The last victory of the Third Reich By Eduardo Manuel Gil Martínez

Other Volkssturm Units identified in the book above are

Volkssturm-Bataillon 21/128 - Gau Niederschlesien
Volkssturm-Bataillon 27/32 - [Volkssturm-Bataillon-Führer Major Schober] Kreis Bautzen Gau Sachsen


https://codenames.info/operation/spremb ... ---copy-1/

Niederkaina.JPG

Delnja Kina. "Gedenken an Kriegsgräuel von Niederkaina - Bautzner Anzeiger (Remembrance of the wartime atrocities of Niederkaina)"

https://www.bautzen-anzeiger.de/bautzen ... kaina.html

On April 19, 1945, Niederkaina was captured by Soviet troops. Three days later, around the time of the Battle of Bautzen, one of the many war crimes committed on both sides took place here, involving 195 soldiers of a Volkssturm company.were part of a Soviet SMERSCH special command , according to the memorial plaque members of the 1st Ukrainian Front , according to other information from relatives of the 2nd Polish Army ,
burned barn on fire. Another 181 German POWs are said to have died on the firing range grounds. A memorial plaque in the village
commemorates this, which was destroyed on the night of April 21, 2018 and was renewed in October of the same year.

686px-Niederkaina_Gedenktafel.jpg

https://no-regime.com/ru-denl/wiki/Niederkaina

On April 22 in Niederkaina near Bautzen, a barn was burned down by Polish and Soviet troops with about 200 German POWs in it. All of them died.

On the same day in Guttau, northeast of Bautzen, German troops executed all personnel and the wounded of a Polish field hospital.

https://www.reddit.com/r/wwiipics/comme ... uring_the/
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Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 25 Apr 2022 03:49

The Landwacht and the Volkssturm

The Impact of Nazism New Perspectives on the Third Reich and Its Legacy - Editors: Daniel E. Rogers, Alan E. Steinweis

Landwacht.JPG
Landwacht a.JPG
Landwacht b.JPG
Landwacht c.JPG
Landwacht d.JPG
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Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 25 Apr 2022 03:51

The Landwacht and the Volkssturm [Part 2]

The Impact of Nazism New Perspectives on the Third Reich and Its Legacy - Editors: Daniel E. Rogers, Alan E. Steinweis

Landwacht e.JPG
Landwacht f.JPG
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Germanicus
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Re: An extensive list of Volkssturm-Bataillons?

Post by Germanicus » 25 Apr 2022 21:38

New find - with substance

Marine-Volkssturm-Regiment 6 mit 10 Bataillonen [Volkssturm-Führer Standartenführer Zirbis] Gau Hamburg

Marine.JPG

https://opus.ub.hsu-hh.de/volltexte/201 ... amburg.pdf

Volkssturm-Bataillon 8/3 - Dölau Kreis Saalkreis Gau Halle-Merseburg

8 3 z.JPG
8 3.JPG

Die sowjetischen Geheimdienste in der SBZ/DDR von 1945 bis 1953 By Jan Foitzik, Nikita W. Petrow


Volkssturm-Pionier-Bataillon Augsburg - [Volkssturm-Führer-Bataillon Fritz Kempf] Kreis Augsburg Gau Schwaben

Augsburg.JPG

Nationalsozialistische Kommunalpolitik Administrative Normalität und Systemstabilisierung durch die Augsburger Stadtverwaltung 1933-1945
By Bernhard Gotto



Correction

Change

Volkssturm-Bataillon Zellingen - From Kreis Markheidefeld Gau Main-Franken to - Kreis Karlstadt Gau Main-Franken

Die amerikanische Besetzung Deutschlands By Klaus-Dietmar Henke

https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... =en&gbpv=0


Bibiliography -

Freikorps "Sauerland" im deutschen Volkssturm: Südwestfalens letztes Aufgebot, 1944/45
(Schriftenreihe zur Geschichte Unnas und der Grafschaft Mark) by Willy Timm

41y-T3abwPL._SX283_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
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