National Socialist propaganda photo of the ideal “Volkssturmmann”. The Volkssturm was the last ditch “People’s Militia” effort employed by the NSDAP. A militia of old men; ca, December 1, 1944
The original idea for the Volkssturm was something called the Landssturm, which was meant to be an actual paramilitary fighting force, meant to not only supplant the Wehrmacht but to hold its own when things got really bad. It was hijacked by the Party and they turned it into a fanatic show-off ring.
For example, men in the Volkssturm, instead of being taught how to fire a rifle and proper fighting tactics, were taught how to salute properly and how to present arms.
When the Party let the generals who could do the job (Rommel, Hoth, Guderian, Model, Manstein, etc) play their parts, then Germany did very well. A lot of the Wunderwaffen, for instance, that the Germans invented came from the Party, who had an extreme hardon for all things ‘cool.’
The front-line units despised all the new-fangled technology and Guderian stated in his memoirs that, had he been in charge of armaments production, he would’ve stuck to the same reliable technology which had been proven in battle instead of making a new tank model every six months.