German-Helmets.com - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945
|Wehrmachtsgefolge: Auxiliary Forces|
Photo: Members of the NSKK were often issued standard Luftwaffe helmets as depicted in this photo. Reader's will note that these helmets are most noticeably single decal Luftwaffe helmets.
During World War II the German military relied on an extensive network of auxiliary organizations (Wehrmachtsgefolge) to provide ancillary services to support the war effort. Activities done by auxiliary organizations were those that normally fell outside the immediate auspices of the Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS. Organizations officially considered Wehrmachtsgefolge included the Air Protection Warning Service (Luftschutzwarendienst - LSW), the National Air Raid Protection League (Reichsluftschutzbund - RLB), and the Security and Assistance Service (Sicherheits und Hilfdienst). As with many complex organizations there were in some cases obvious overlaps in responsibilities.
In addition to these organizations, others that can also be categorized as auxiliary in nature include those formed from a combination of political and state sponsored groups or activities. These include labor organizations such as the German National Work Service (Reichsarbeitdienst - RAD), motor organizations such as the National Socialist Motor Corps (Nazional Sozialistisch Kraftfahr Korps - NSKK), and the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rote Kreuz - DRK) just to name a few. Activities of Wehrmachtsgefolge organizations generally took place on Germany's home front, although in some cases auxiliary personnel clearly worked within or close to combat zones.
Depending on the organization, auxiliary personnel were assigned a variety of duties including security, fire-fighting, munitions distribution, transportation, construction, air raid defense, and any number of complex duties typically done during wartime. Many of these organizations also included women who served as anti-aircraft support personnel, communication specialists, red cross workers, and civil defense volunteers. As the war continued to drain resources, many Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend - HJ) members were employed in various support roles. These fell within and under the direct supervision of organizations categorized as auxiliary in nature.
In the last days of World War
II, the Wehrmacht often pressed members of auxiliary organizations into
serving as active combatants. Germany's famed "Peoples'
Army" (Volkssturm) was a last ditch effort to fill the ranks of a
devastated and nearly beaten army. Given the responsibilities of
these organizations, it is clear that many different helmet styles were worn
in conjunction with the typical duties expected of Wehrmachtsgefolge
members. Various types include a large selection of light-weight and
medium duty protective helmets, and in some cases combat helmets depending
on the task at hand.
Each section of German-Helmets.com is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.
Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related. Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.
This Information Track provides historical
facts pertaining to steel helmets worn by the Auxiliary Forces
from 1933-1945. Individual links related to this subject are
The following related topics are helpful when examining the history and
characteristics of Wehrmachtsgefolge helmets.
The following related topics are helpful when examining the history and characteristics of Wehrmachtsgefolge helmets.
|German-Helmets.com - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945|
Reichswehr | Heer |
Luftwaffe | SS