Luftwaffenhelfer

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by von Poop, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Interesting memoir of life as a 16 year old Luftwaffenhelfer, good stuff about life in a FlaK battery, and on a FlaK tower in Hamburg.
    Homepage of Gustave H. Roosen

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
    canuck likes this.
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Heres some info about the Flak Towers

    Flak tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bunker in Hamburg This site has one or two pictures of the relevant Tower in Hamburg.

    These structures were designed not only as Flak Towers but also as massive air raid shelters for up to 10, 000 people. They had well-equipped facilities too.

    Although a Tallboy Bomb would have penetrated (it seems) nobody seems to have attacked any of them!
     
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Gotthard,

    It is not surprising that the Allies left them alone and tried to steer away from them.

    The firepower was tremendous with 12.8 cm Twin mounted FlaK 40 that could fire 20 rpm, plus the famous 88mms.

    The Russians found them hard to crack in Berlin.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Gotthard,

    It is not surprising that the Allies left them alone and tried to steer away from them.

    The firepower was tremendous with 12.8 cm Twin mounted FlaK 40 that could fire 20 rpm, plus the famous 88mms.

    The Russians found them hard to crack in Berlin.

    Regards

    Tom
    They are fairly sizable affairs arent they??? I wonder did the Russians actually storm them or just bypassed them on the way to the Reichstag?
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Chap on Twitter just shared pics of this Cologne memorial to some very young Flak chaps.
    What a time to be born under that government...
    Marc on Twitter
     
  6. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I read once that towards the end of the war Germany was running out of servicemen due to them being killed or taken prisoner. So they had to conscript younger men and also those originally considered too old to serve. No choice about it.
    The young ones were from the Hitler Youth movement.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    From the outbreak of war,it became increasingly obvious that the Third Reich would require extra manpower to maintain its war economy output.First it was the retention of French POWs for work in Germany,then as they overran further territories,manpower was deported to Germany for forced labour.

    However after Stalingrad the likelihood of a German victory ebbed away and the Wehrmacht were gradually pushed back by the Russians on the Eastern Front,the Third Reich maintained an unsatisfying thirst for manpower, already stretched with shortages due to Wehrmacht losses on the Eastern Front and later after the invasion of Europe.

    As the Allied air offence, built up from mid 1942, became more effective against German targets,the Kammhuber Line,the early warning system backed by Searchlight and 88 mm Flak Batteries became more important to withstand the tide of Allied air power. The transfer of manpower from these units to man front line units,the Luftwaffe had to resort to resourcing replacement personnel to maintain their air defence system.

    Already elements of the Hitler Youth and young single woman of the Bund Deutscher Madel...League of German Girls,a parallel organisation to the Hitler Youth were serving in Luftwaffe Searchlight and Flak batteries.To maintain the staffing level of these units a further source of manpower was utilised from volunteer Russian POWs in the category of HIWIs....100.000 HIWIs are recorded to have served as auxiliaries in German military service.

    Interesting to note that the Third Reich that never mobilised married women for the war economy or for auxiliary service,it being a philosophy of Hitler, as the realm of married women should be "Kitchen Church and Children".Hitler remained retractable on the subject of conscripting any women for military service.

    Frau Erna Tietz relates her service in the Bund Deutscher Madel and her transfer to the Luftwaffe as a Flakaffenhelferin in Alison Owings "Frauen..... German Women Recall the Third Reich"....a good book to read and see the ideological stance of some,a considerable time after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

    Amidst the death throes of the Third Reich,Erna Tietz was still being sent on courses in April 1945...a special course recorded at Leipzig on 2 April 1945....she had graduated from being on searchlight duties to being a 88 mm Flak gunner.She records meeting retreating Wehrmacht soldiers from the Eastern Front "who always called us children"
     
    canuck, 4jonboy and TriciaF like this.
  8. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    You've jogged my memory, HarryRee. That's where i read it, in "Frauen."
     
  9. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  10. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Very heavy work by the look of it.
    I also read about conscription in a book called "Not I" by Joachim Fest, whose family was antiNazi but was forced to serve when in his late teens (born 1926.)
     

Share This Page