OKH publishes briefing on the Home Guard

Troop Observations

For local security services, particularly against paratroops and airborne forces, the 'Home Guards', formerly 'Local Defence Volunteers', have been formed in addition to the territorial defence forces. They consist of an auxiliary volunteer force without any military training. Instead of a uniform, sweaters and civilian trousers are being worn, apparently as standard dress. Equipment with steel helmets is probable. The units of the Home Guard are part of the traditional infantry regiments and wear their badges. Arming them with guns, including sports guns, and hand grenades is intended, but has apparently only been partially carried out. Their assignment, in addition to combat, consists of controlling traffic, particularly with a view to movements by refugees; it is obviously the intention to prevent the flight of the population from combat areas by all possible means. The total strength of the forces deployable at home at this time, including coastal defence forces but excluding anti-aircraft units is assumed to be 230,000 men. Adding the five active divisions that escaped from France, this number is increased to around 320,000 men.


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