"This is a soldier from the Volkssturm. They are poorly trained draftees and have a very low moral."— Official game quote
The statistics (made up) are as follows:
|Action||Percentage of Volkssturm who complete this action|
|Die while running away||35%|
|Die fighting like men||8.5%|
|Die by friendly fire||0.5%|
|Catch a crate...then die||0.5%|
|Get to the bottom||0.5%|
Volkssturm, or Volk, are the most undisciplined, worthless, unskilled, and cowardly Germans soldier that can be deployed on the battlefield. None of the Volkssturm have backpacks, instead they bear just a red armband. They are really proud of running away (funny, right?), and most of time they will die by either running or advancing. They are the equivalent of your Frenchie, so sometimes shooting at them just once makes them run away. When added to the effect of the Assault Expert Award they will be far more likely to run away.
When one of these guys appeared on the battlefield, usually someone died - it was usually him.
These little people even have their own blitz, which is usually free TP for any good anti-infantry setup. However, in masses of 20+, these little soldiers can wreak havoc on a position lacking a decent Anti Infantry defense.
The Volkssturm (lit. "folk storm", "people's assault"; "People's" or "National Militia") was a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was founded on Adolf Hitler's orders on October 18, 1944 and conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard. Because the Wehrmacht was lacking manpower to stop the Soviet advance, men in jobs not deemed necessary or previously deemed unfit for military service were now called under arms. The Volkssturm had existed, on paper, since approximately 1925, however it was only after Hitler ordered Martin Bormann to recruit six million men for this militia that the group became a physical reality. The intended strength of six million was never attained.
Typically, members of the Volkssturm received only very basic military training. It included a brief indoctrination and training on the use of basic weapons such as the Karabiner 98k rifle and Panzerfaust. Because of continuous fighting and weapon shortages, weapon training was often very minimal. There was also a lack of instructors, meaning that weapons training was sometimes done by WW1-veterans drafted into service themselves. Often Volkssturm members had to familiarize themselves with their weapons when in actual combat. Volkssturm units were supposed to be used only in their own districts, but many were sent directly to the front lines.
Initially, they were a complete failure and were worthless to the German armed forced in their first deployments. However by 1945, with the allied pushing deeper into Germany, they started to fight valiantly. However, for Germany, the war was already over. Their most extensive use was during the Battle of Berlin, during which Volkssturm units fought in many parts of the city. This battle was particularly devastating to its formations, since many members fought to the death out of fear of being captured by the Soviets.