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German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945

German Auxiliary Forces in WWII

WW2 German Soldier Red Cross
Deutsche Rote Kreuz

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.

Main Topics
Air Organizations
  • N.S.Fliegerkorps+
ARP* Organizations
Defense Organizations
  • Deutscher Volksturm+
  • Deutscher Werewolf
Labor Organizations
Motor Organizations
  • N.S.Kraftfahrkorps+
State Organizations
Welfare Organizations
  • Deutsche Rote Kreuz
  • NS-Volkswohlfahrt
Youth Organizations
+ = Wehrmachtsgefolge
* = Air Raid Protection