They were used by German occupation troops, support units and training depots, while some showed up in the hands of the Volkssturm
in the last desperate days of the Third Reich.
The Home Guard, or Volkssturm
, needed guns, and German small arms engineers worked hard to meet those needs.
were conscripting every man and boy regardless of age or condition.
Desperate Measures: The Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm
Men from the Volkssturm
militia, police officers, soldiers from a paratrooper division barracked nearby, guards and civilians helped drive the doomed prisoners into the barn.
They stand at the top of hundreds of Mennonites who joined the German Army, the Volkssturm
, or worked for the Ostmininisterium, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, the Organisation Todt, the Hitler Youth, Sonderkommando Stumpp, Sonderkommando Rufiland and a host of the other German-Nazi agencies.
There was speculation in the British press as to whether the weakened German forces would follow Doenitz or Heinrich Himmler, head of the home army, the Volkssturm
, the SS and the Gestapo.
Hans Kissel's HITLER'S LAST LEVY: THE VOLKSSTURM
1944-45 (1874622515, $59.
The penetrative effect of the hollow (shaped) charge had been known since the 1860's where it was used to effect in demolition and mining work, but the earliest mass-produced of these weapons was the German Panzerfaust antitank grenade launcher (Figure 1) which was first fielded in 1943 and saw service with Wehrmacht and Volkssturm
organizations during the later years of World War II.
Even more desperate was the proposal to quickly train Hitler Youth boys on gliders and send them immediately into combat in the Heinkel 162 "people's fighter"--an aerial manifestation of the Volkssturm
, the "people's militia," with which Germany hoped to create a Nazi "levee en masse.
German units, consisting increasingly of 14- and 15-year-olds in the Hitler Youth and 60-year-olds in the Volkssturm
, were pushed back into the city center.
1944, it was decided to call this home guard the Deutsche Volkssturm
(German People's Assault).