Men at arms

Young stormtrooper

There are many posts on the site that depict members of the Sturmtruppe. We usually see them with equipment, helmets, grenades, and short carbines on their backs. This picture is very different. The young lieutenant can only be considered a member of the assault troop because of his helmet, and perhaps because of his age. The one-year volunteers who graduated took part in officer training. At first, they were assigned as NCO ensigns in the crew, and later many reached the rank of lieutenant. This was already towards the end of the war, they could have been 20-22 years old. Most of them, as platoon commanders, were entrusted with the execution of the roughest operational tasks.

The young lieutenant in the picture is almost a child. The bulky pioneer boots on his feet and the helmet on his head seem not to be tailored to his body size. What is most striking and tragic in the picture, however, is the gaze. As a youngster, he could go through terrible shocks as the commander of the assault platoon. I have already written about the thousand yards stare here once. This picture is even sadder, as it reflects the suffering of an extremely young person.

For the post, in connection with the helmet, I uploaded the general Sturmtruppe badge, the main motif of which is the helmet. But it also includes the skull and leg bone that express the horrors.

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