The Forstschutzkommando des Reichsforstmeisters was ordered to be formed in February 1940 and tasked with carrying out and protecting forestry works in occupied Poland. It was manned with German forestry officials and wood-workers and also ethnic Germans from Poland. Apart from their experiences with wood working they also received some military training and from 1943 onwards their work was heavily affected by partisan activities. As the German withdrawals continued some elements of the FSK also saw front line service. It was also involved in the capture of Jews hiding in the forests.
The average strength of the organization was about 2000 men. The uniforms were provided by the Luftwaffe and those with a leadership function wore a cuff-title with the text "Forstschutzkommando".
It was renamed the Forstschutzkorps in September 1943.
There is not much more information known about this organisation.
Landsforstmeister Ernst Boden
Ranks of the non-forestry service officials:
A group of foresters along with members of the Forstschutzkommando. Notice the little difference in rank tabs and schoulderboards. Also look at the eagle on their sleeve.
Forstschutzkommando enjoining a little break from their work at the forest.
A very rare Erkennungsmarke (dog-tag) from the Forstschutzkorps. In september 1943 the forstschutzkommando was renamed to the Forstschutzkorps. This one has number 55, so it has to be assigned to someone between oktober - december 1943. Forstschutzkommando are more common to find, but Forstschutzkorps is rarely seen! This one is a metal detector find, to bad i don't know where.
Deathcard of Franz Einsle, rottenführer in the forstschutzkommando.
Forstschutzkommando, rank rottenführer, date unknown.
Two dog-tags of the Forstschutzkommando.
Death card of Rottenführer Anton Steinberger from the Forstschutzkommando.
Death card of Oberrottenführer Josef Murr from the Forstschutzkommando.
Two photos of two different uniforms. The right one wears the regulated uniform, the left one still wears his forestry rang tabs, rank Revierförster.
A postcard size portrait of a rottenführer of the forstschutzkommando. Notice the part of the patch on his sleeve, the typical forstschutzkommando side-cap and the 'F' on his schoulderboards.
Deathcard of a higher rank (Scharführer) of the fordtschutzkommando.
A postcard size photo of a member of the forstschutzkommando, rank rottenführer.
The death card of Rottenführer Ludwig Hilgart of the forstschutzkorps. Died 31th of march 1945 after 'heavy fighting' at Freistadt in Austria, next to the border of the Czech Republic. (He probably worked in the woods of the Czech Republic before his death, the forstschutzkorps was very active in that area) Looking at his rank and where he died, he probably was pushed in a 'make shift' regiment at the end of the war and deployed in an area he knew from his time in the FSK.
A postcard size photo of a luftwaffe soldier and a member of the forstschutzkommando. Notice the side cap and the 'f' on his shoulderboards. This photo is widely spread on the internet, but was finally able to buy it!
A wehrpas from Reinhold Rist, a World War 1 veteran who enlisted in 1939, but immediately discharged (probably his age has something to do with it). But in 1943 we see some new stamps of the Wehrmeldeamt untill late 1944, but no further details why and where he was enlisted. But the interesting thing, is the marschbefehl tucked away in his wehpas! Here we see he was a Obertruppführer (the highest rank in the forstschutzkorps) and he had to report before 22/04/1945 to the forstmeister of the forstamt in Kohlstetten. The document is dated 15/04/1945. Why he had to do so, is not know. I'm very happy to obtained this super rare document from the very end of the war.
The following article was written in 2007 by Wilhelm Saris, who was assisted by Mathieu de Wolf.
It was published in spring 2008 in the “Military Advisor”-magazine from Bender Publications. In the years thereafter new information on behalf of the organization, uniforms and ranking-system came to the attention of the authors. This however is not upgraded.
The article, as it was, is allowed to be included with this website by the authors. Please do not copy without permission of the authors!