Flak v-Soldaten

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by JDKR, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Can anyone provide a simple description of this category of Flak personnel, which I gather was different to the category Flakhelfer. I have a hunch that Hitler Youth were given this title to allow them to be legally (a pretty elastic concept in the Third Reich) given a more active role in operating the guns, and to fight if necessary. It was therefore a consequence of the increasingly desperate manpower situation faced by all parts of the Wehrmacht. Best. John
     
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  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Your hunch is correct. The 'V' stood for Verwendungsfähig which basically meant that youngsters were fit to be used in flak batteries in the homeland rather than given the fitness category 'KV' - Kriegsverwendungsfähig - which was fit for front line service.
     
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  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    There are examples of kids as young as 14 serving flak batteries after school.(In Britain one had to be 16 before one could serve in a HG AA battery).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  4. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Many thanks Hucks216 and that makes sense but what made the Flak v-Soldaten different from a Flakhelfer?
     
  5. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Not entirely sure but it might be down to the age limits involved. I'll see if it says anything in Defending The Reich.
     
  6. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The above mentioned book states that service for Flakhelfer was originally part-time (approx 18 hours per week) but gradually became full-time and had to be carried out between one's 15th & 18th birthdays. This still at school were allowed to carry on their studies, situation dependant, and in some batteries they would set up a blackboard next to the guns and take lessons on site. Their official title is Luftwaffenhelfer Hitlerjugend.
     
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  7. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Again, many thanks. Does the book give a similar description for a v-Soldat?
     
  8. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    It doesn't name them as such but it just states basically what is mentioned above.
     
  9. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Really helpful and my thanks for your help. I will keep digging!
     
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  10. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    For the sake of completeness, this is what my research (and the words I will use in my book) has thrown up on this category of Flak personnel...

    Flak-v. Soldaten
    were 17-year-olds called up in the last months of the war directly into Flak batteries from civilian life, without any form of artillery training. The Flak-v. system was introduced as an emergency measure to replace experienced gunners sent to the front in Flak Sturm regiments, which formed part of Flak-Korps mentioned in Chapter 2. ‘v.’ was a manning category standing for Verwendungsfähig (‘employable’) as opposed to Kriegsverwendungsfähig (‘front line employable’).
     

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