RLB, Luftschutz, Volkssturm, Fire & Red Cross (DRK)

The RLB (Reichsluftschutzbund) formed in 1933. There were two main divisions within the RLB. The Luftschutz and the Warndienst. To further complicate matters, the Luftwaffe and Orpo Police both got their hands into the Luftschutz pot as the war progressed. In the In the Hobby, we tend to identify Luftschutz labeled items as just Luftschutz and everything else as just RLB. There is clearly lots of overlap and re-organization dates what would make most peoples head spin.

The Volkssturm or "peoples army" was formed during the last half of 1944 in a last ditch effort to turn the tide of the war. It was comprised of kids and old men, Basically anyone who was not already in some form of the military. To help organize and motivate the rag tag units, they were lead by the local NSDAP officers. There were no uniforms and they had to supply all of their own gear. They were supplied with whatever firearms were available, from antiques to captured soviet weapons.
Their main identification was the common Volkssturm armband. When engaged in action, the German army gave them commands. The formation of the Volkssturm made the war last a little longer then it should have and many lives were lost in vain.

There were various fire departments organized similarly to the police under Nazi rule. Just as today in the United States, there were professional and volunteer organizations. In 1939 existing large fire departments were changed over to fire protection police or "Feuerschutzpolizei".

The DRK (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz) was the national disaster relief organization similar to to the Red Cross of today. The DRK was mostly volunteer, however, they had a uniformed and paid officer or supervisor structure. They did the heavy lifting along with the RLB during the bombing of greater Germany, but also provided medical assistance behind the front lines in direct military support. As the war progressed, the DRK became a completely Nazi indoctrinated organization.