German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Wehrmachtsgefolfe:  Luftschutzwarndienst - Air Protection Warning Service

The Insignia of the Air Raid Warning Service

Air Raid Warning Service

The Air Protection Warning Service (Luftschutzwarndienst-LSW) was a civilian organization whose purpose it was to alert the population of impending air raid attacks.  In fulfilling this role, members were required to interpret various communication reports regarding bomber formations flying over Germany, operate search lights, observe bomber formations, help keep order among civilians affected by bombing raids, and to utilize air raid sirens before and after attacks. 

Members of the Luftschutzwarndienst (Luftschutz) were typically volunteers assembled into area units within cities and towns that held the highest risk of being bombed. Many population centers were divided into area “blocks” with unit leaders assigned to each individual section of a city.  Volunteer teams were expected to rotate shifts and sleep in large concrete bunkers that held all the provisions and amenities of a regular fortification.  These also included the immense “flak towers” built around German cities upon which anti-aircraft batteries were stationed.

On 2 April 1943 Hermann Göring mandated compulsory service in the Luftschutz for all German civilians.  For the first time this order included women.  Members of the Luftschutz were expected to supply their own helmets as part of the contribution to the German war effort.  A variety of helmets were available for 5 Reich Marks each, but many volunteers chose to scavenge captured helmets of Czech, Polish, Dutch, French, and Russian origin.

The most common helmet used by Luftschutz members was the “gladiator” model so named for its ancient appearance and Roman looking profile.  Also available were the more substantial M1935, M1940, and M1942 “beaded” combat helmets.  Along the center line of these helmets was a beaded protrusion denoting their purpose as civilian use only.

Overview

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 helmets of the Air Protection Warning Service from 1938-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Primary Topics

Helmet Types

Helmet Insignia

Helmet Photos

Period Photos

    Auxiliary Organizations

Deutsches Rote Kreuz (DRK)

Hitler Jungend (HJ)

Luftschutzwarndienst (LSW)

NS Kraftfahr Korps (NSKK)

Organization Todt (OT)

Reichsarbeitsdients (RAD)

Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB)

Sicherheits-Hilfdienst (SHD)

Volksstrum-Saurland

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