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at the other. In 1944, for example, the age limit for "volunteers" for the ranks was dropped to sixteen years and party pressure applied conducive to volunteering. At the same time the older conscription classes were combed through and, in 1944, registration was carried back to include males born in 1884.


Another and extremely important manpower acquisition, made for the first time on any scale in the late summer of 1944, came from the Navy and Air Force. Neither of these establishments remained in any position, at this stage of the war, to justify the relatively large numbers still carried on their rosters. While it is true that transferring air force ground crews to rifle companies would not change the numerical strength of the armed forces by jot or tittle, such practice would produce new infantry or armored divisions bearing new and, in most cases, high numbers.


In spite of party propaganda that the Third Reich was full mobilized behind the Fuehrer and notwithstanding the constant and slavish mouthing of the phrase "total war," Germany had not in five years of struggle, completely utilized its manpower-and equally important, womanpower-in prosecuting the war. [4] Approximately four million public servants and individuals deferred from military service for other reasons constituted a reserve as yet hardly touched. And, despite claims to the contrary, no thorough or rational scheme had been adopted to comb all able-bodied men out of the factories and from the fields for service in uniform. In five years only a million German men and women had been mobilized for the labor force. Indeed, it may be concluded that the bulk of industrial and agrarian replacements for men drafted into the armed services was supplied by some seven million foreign workers and prisoners of war slaving for the conqueror.


Hitler hoped to lay his hands on those of his faithful followers who thus far had escaped the rigors of the soldier life by enfolding themselves in the uniform of the party functionary. The task of defining the nonessential and making the new order palatable was given to Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels, who on 24 August 1944 announced the new mobilization scheme: schools and theaters to be closed down, a 60-hour week to be introduced and holidays temporarily abolished, most types of publications to be suspended (with the notable exception of "standard political works," Mein Kampf, for one), small shops of many types to be closed, the staffs of governmental bureaus to be denuded, and similar belt tightening. By 1 September this drastic comb-out was in full swing and accompanied within the uniformed forces by measures designed to reduce the headquarters staffs and shake loose the "rear area swine," in the Fuehrer's contemptuous phrase. [5]


This new flow of manpower would give Hitler the comforting illusion of combat strength, an illusion risen from his indulgence in what may be identified to the American reader as "the numbers


[4] B. H. Klein in his Germany's Economic Preparations for War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959) advances the thesis that, contrary to Nazi propaganda, the Third Reich never went over to an allout industrial and economic effort until the war was lost.


[5] For a detailed description of the Goebbels comb-out see the manuscript study prepared by Charles V. P. von Luttichau entitled The Ardennes Offensive, Germany's Situation in the Fall of 1944, Part II, The Economic Situation (195). OCMH.