German Sturmmann

  • World War I
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The ''Storm Man'' (as they were properly known), were also Imperial German ''Shock Troops'' that developed late in World War I. Their deployment into Infantry Troops gave them the identification of ''Sturm Truppen'', which would later be translated into ''Storm Trooper'' (hence their iconic and well known name.



Used as Rapid Attack Forces which (''struck as suddenly as a Summer Storm''), their origins are often traced to tactics developed during The Boer Wars of South Africa (1899-1902). The Dutch (Germanic) ''Boers'' (as they identified themselves), fielded light infantry assault Forces known as ''Kommandos''. These Units used ''unorthodox'' tactics which relied heavily on speed. Others cite The Austro-Prussian War of 1866 as the origin point for The Sturmmann tactics, with several Prussian Light Infantry adopting these tactics.



Known in World War I officially as ''Assault Detachments'' they were first used in 1915 by The Imperial German Army. The Force adopted the early Trench Body Armor (iron plating) and Mobile Field Shields (WWI versions of The Medieval Mantlet). The Sturmmann also had Machine Gun Companies assigned and made use of the recent development of The Flamethrower weapon. Towards the end of World War I, most Sturmmann Units had abandoned most of their Body Armor, finding mobility more important.



The uniform of The Sturmmann was the same as all other Imperial Army Units, save the addition of specially designed field gear. Slender carry-all pouches – which allowed for The Sturmmann to carried far more ammunition than the standard Infantryman, was standard issue. Later in The War, modified field coats with reinforced leather patches were used (seen as ways of protecting the soldier who often crawled through debris). Additionally, lighter combat boots were experimented with (as opposed to the heavy infantry field boot, made of thick leather). These boots would evolve into the infamous calf boots seen in use by the WWII ''version'' of The Sturmmann.



In addition to basic Infantry weapons, The Sturmman used trench clubs knifes and a variety of handguns, as they were deployed as ''Hand to Hand'' Combat Troops. The Imperial German Army's Allies, The Ottoman-Turks also created a form of Sturm Truppen late in The War.



Largely abandoned in name and use, The Sturmman would be recreated by the later German Third Reich in the 1930s, as part of the para-military Arm of the infamous Sturmabteilung (''Storm Detachment''). Used in Hitler's ''strong arm tactics'' in his and The Nazi Party's rise to power, The later named SS, would also field specialized Military Units who adopted similar WWI tactics on the battlefield.