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The Third Reich developed a large number of organizations to secure power and run the country. Among them were the military groups that caused havoc all over Europe. There was also a large security representation, which helped maintain order and oppressed dissension throughout the country. Civilian groups were created to run public and social services.

The following is a list of some of the military and civilian organizations that served under Hitler's Germany in World War Two.

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The official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1933 and disbanded in 1946.

HEER (Army)

This is the name for the German Army. The Army was made part of the Wehrmacht in May 1935. Between 1935 and 1945 this force grew to consist of hundreds of divisions and thousands of smaller supporting units. Between 1939 and 1945 close to 16 million served in the Army.


The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine, and the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht.


The SS was a major Nazi organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. The SS grew from a small paramilitary unit to a powerful force that served as the Führer's "Praetorian Guard".


The Waffen-SS were elite frontline combat troops trained to fight in Germany's battles during WWII. The Waffen SS took part in some of the most ferocious engagements of the war. In 1941 Himmler announced that additional Waffen-SS Freiwilligen units would be raised from non-German foreign nationals. These were known as foreign volunteers.


The Deutsche Luftsport Verband or DLV was the formation of the clandestine Luftwaffe. The English translation is German Airsports Club. After the end of WWI, Germany was forbidden to develop much of an air force. By creating the DLV they were able to train pilots and keep then abreast of new technology. As Hitler's influence grew this organization was converted into the NSFK.


The National Socialistische Fliegekorps or NSFK came into existance in April 7th 1937. It was formed from the DLV. The NSFK was controlled by the NSDAP. It's mission continued to be the furthering of aviation for the Third Reich. Its membership was voluntary and exclusive. Members were foridden to belong to other organizations other than SA, SS or NSKK.


The Hitler Youth, abbreviated HJ, was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung (SA).


The Nationa Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei was founded in 1919. Known as the Nazi party. Became the center of power and control in Germany under Hitler's direction.

NSKK (The National Socialist motor Corps)

It was established as a separate group of the SA in 1929. It originated from several motor groups of the SA and NSDAP in the 1920's. Even though it was a separate organization it remained very close to the SA, even mimiquin its structure.


This is the National Air Defense League. Enacted on April 29th 1933. Its mission was to develop civil defense forces among the population.


This is the State Labor Service. The original mission was to perform public works. As the war progressed this organization became a back up to the army. As of June of 1935, all males of ages between 18 and 25 are required to perform six months service.

Deutsche Reichsbahn

the Deutsche Reichsbahn The , "German Imperial Railway", was the name of the German national railway created from the railways of the individual states of the German Empire following the end of World War I.

It was founded in 1920 as the Deutsche Reichseisenbahnen when the Weimar Republic, formally Deutsches Reich ("German Empire" – hence the usage of "Reich" in the name of the railway), took national control of the German railways, which had previously been run by the German states.


The German Red Cross was recognized in accordance with the agreement of Geneva dated July 27th 1929. The first formal uniforms were established on August 6th 1935.


The SA functioned as a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Often called "brownshirts" for the colour of their uniforms; this distinguished them from the Schutzstaffel (SS).


The Technical Emergency Assistance (Technische Nothife), Known as TENO was created in September 1919 by officers of the army's engineering branch. Its purpose was to maintain essential social services in the face of social disorder. They were a key organization in keeping gas, water, electricity and railroad service during the allied air attacks.


The Third Reich, under the control of Hitler and his planners, developed a system to divide the greater German Reich into geographical regions. Creating the divisions and sub-division and requiring identification paperwork to move from area to area allowed the government to maintain and exercised better control of the general population, factories and resources.

The following diagram shows the basic radius concept used to create the various groups.

Where the definitions of how the greater German Reich was divided are defined as follows:

REICH = Reich (Total unit)
GAU = Administrative District (Total of 42)
KREISE = Area (total of 920)
ORTSGRUPPEN = Localities
ZELLEN = Cells
BLOCKE = City block

The folloowing map outlines the location of the 42 GAUE. Some of the GAUE cover territory fromCzechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet Union. The data shown here applies to the year of 1939.

The granularity of the divisions employed by the Third Reich were an astonishing accomplishment for 1939. Looking at the map and the explanation of the divisions and subdivisions makes it easier to understand how Hitler was able to exert such total control over the population.

Num GAU Headquarters City # of Blocke # of Zellen # of Orts-gruppen #of Kreise
1 Baden Karlsruhe 15,435 3,265 1.165 27
2 Bayreuth Bayreuth 14,010 2,733 1,676 41
3 Berlin Berlin 33,280 5,105 306 10
4 Danzig-Westpreuben Danzig 10,153 3,022 503 31
5 Dusseldorf Dusseldorf 16,989 2,699 216 7
6 Essen Essen 11,044 2,090 180 0
7 Franken Nurnberg 5,868 1,156 311 11
8 Halle-Merseburg Halle (saale) 10,670 2,390 685 17
9 Hamburg Hamburg 11,293 1,676 160 10
10 Hessen-Nassau Frankfurt (main) 17,896 3,247 1,352 26
11 Karnten Klagenfurt 3,728 945 242 8
12 Koln-Aachen Koln 15,086 3,351 434 20
13 Kurhessen Kassel 5,797 1,322 344 15
14 Magdeburg-Anhalt Dessau 11,800 2,441 747 18
15 Mainfranken Wurzburg 4,497 1,067 322 14
16 Mark Brandenburg Berlin 18,003 3,315 1,730 30
17 Mecklenburg Schwerin 8,008 1,468 627 13
18 Moselland Koblenz 7,632 1,510 735 18
19 Munchen-Oberbayern Munchen 13,621 1,776 616 23
20 Niederdonou Wien 15,491 3,213 794 26
21 Niederschlesien Breslau 21,734 4,806 1,299 35
22 Oberdonau Linz (z.ZT.Wien) 9,424 2,250 481 17
23 Oberschlesien Kattowitz 17,067 3,885 922 24
24 Ost-Hannover Luneburg 6,486 1,513 478 16
25 Ostpreuben Konigsberg 14,230 3,284 643 45
26 Pommern Slettin 14,196 3,288 1,033 31
27 Sachsen Dresden 36,351 7,207 1,492 27
28 Salzburg Salzburg 2,539 635 123 5
29 Schleswig-Holstein Kiel 11,752 2,520 802 21
30 Schwaben Augsburg 5,093 779 630 15
31 Steiermark Graz 7,050 1,557 343 17
32 Sudelenland Reichenberg 23,942 4,797 1,821 45
33 Sud-Hannover-Braunschweig Hannover 13,910 2,969 903 26
34 Thuringen Weimar 14,154 2,557 1,455 20
35 Tirol-Vorarlberg Innsbruck 4,821 813 335 10
36 Wartheland Posen 10,299 2,401 501 41
37 Weser-Ems Oldenburg 12,624 2,679 609 13
38 Westfalen-Nord Munster 17,725 3,331 908 19
39 Westfalen-Sud Bochum 15,856 3,113 627 18
40 Westmark Neustadt 10,010 2,213 529 18
41 Wien Wien 14,501 2,391 315 10
42 Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern Stuttgart 16,748 3,579 1,187 35
43 Auslandsorganisation Berlin n/a n/a n/a n/a

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