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Throughout the war years a vast number of personnel was needed to support the Wehrmacht on its conquests. These organizations included the Reichsarbeitdienst (RAD), Hitler Jugend, and Deutche Rote Kreuz (Red Cross), as well as various police units. The work provided by these organizations was crucial to the advance and function of the Armed Forces as they built roads, bridges, and care for the wounded. In addition, they provided vital air defense and performed important policing activities.

In the last days of the Reich, an increasing number of these forces were armed and used in the form of the Deutcher Volksturm, a “peoples militia” that was staffed by under trained but often determined individuals. Their mission to avoid invasion and defeat was unsuccessful but it is not true, as often suggested, that Volksturm units saw no serious action. In fact, they were relatively efficient in defensive action and many of its members distinguished themselves and were decorated with the Knights Cross. Here are some of these decorated soldiers, as more comes to light about this subject these pages will be updated.

Günther Nowak; Hitler Youth in the 1./ Volkssturm Battalion 301. Won the Knights Cross on 14 February 1945 when his unit was part of Kampfgruppe Trettin. He won the award for the destruction of 9 Russian tanks by use of Panzerfaust. He was later captured by the Russians and died in captivity in 1945.

Jakob Hoffend; Volkssturmmann in the Cologne area. He won his Knights Cross on 18 February 1945. He was a Feuerwerker (rough translation: ordnance technician) and Bombenraümer (bomb-clearer) in Luftgau VI, Köln (Cologne).

Jakob Hoffend

Iburg, first name unknown; SA - Sturmfuhrer. Believed to be part of the Volksturm. Knights Cross awarded on January 1945.

Pakebush, Karl; Battalion Furher, Volksturm Berlin, unit "Flensburger Nachrichten." Knights Cross awarded April 27th, 1945.

Sitt,Wilhem; Battalion Fuhrer, Sprengemilster d.pol Volksturm Kolm, Knights Cross date February 18th, 1945. Fallen in Koln on 3/7/45.

Tiburzy, Ernst; Volksturm Batallion Fuhrer, Knights Cross awarded on February 10th, 1945.

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