The topic of WWII German auxiliary forces is a complex one. These organizations
were by very nature not regular armed forces but auxiliaries to them. In fact,
the only true auxiliary forces were the Wehrmachtsgefolge, or armed forces auxiliaries,
which were those formations or organizations that were not a part of the armed forces, but
which served such an important support role that they were given protection
under the Geneva Convention and/or militarizied. The armed forces auxiliaries
consisted in part of the Reicharbeitsdienst, NSKK, Organization Todt, and the Deutscher
Volksturm. Although some of the armed forces auxiliaries were militarizied, it was
specifically decreed that they not achieve armed forces status on par with
the likes of the Heer, Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine. Wehrmachtsgefolge provided all
manner of support to the Wehrmacht in the form
of added transportation, construction help, garrision and security work, combat engineering,
railway repair, anti-aircraft defense, air raid protection and early warning services, and in the end, even
frontline combat duty. The other forms of auxiliary formations, although not
specifically known as Wehrmachtsgefolge, such as the Hitler Jugend, Kraft durch
Freude, Deutsche Reichsbahn, and Deutsche Rote Kreuz, also provided invaluable support to the Wehrmacht.
Those listed here at left are by no means all such organizations that
existed during WWII, but they are those that most directly supported
the Wehrmacht or the war in general during and prior to WWII.
Many of the auxiliary organizations were thrown into the
last ditch attempt at preventing total defeat as WWII came to a close, many
members being used in direct combat roles as the fronts collapsed. In the
end all formations, armed forces auxiliaries or not, were disbanded
and declared illegal with the fall of the Third Reich.