Organisation Todt

Organisation Todt (OT) was founded in May 1938. Its name can be traced to Fritz Todt, who had been employed by Adolf Hitler as the construction supervisor for various projects, for example the construction of the Siegfried Line on the Franco-German border. Soon the NS construction battalion had established itself as an indispensable actor in the war effort alongside the Wehrmacht and SS.

Albert Speer, Reichsminister for Armaments and Munitions, receives from Adolf Hitler (left) the "Fritz Todt Ring of German Technology" in "Recognition of his Unparalleled Services to German Technology" Source:Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1979-026-22 / Hoffmann, Heinrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The OT was organised on military lines and was responsible for several construction projects in Germany and Europe, including the construction of bridges and streets as well as defence works. On the appointment of Fritz Todt in 1940 to the post of Reichsminister for Armaments and Munitions the OT gained even more influence. The construction battalion’s area of responsibility now also included submarine bases and military bunker complexes. Albert Speer, Fritz Todt’s successor further strengthened the position of the OT.

Organisation Todt was responsible, inter alia, for the construction projects for the armaments bunkers. An OT man in uniform guards the work, here building a road in the Soviet Union. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2004-1216-501 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

In April 1944 Hitler ordered the OT to undertake the vast bunker project, designed to relocate the German aircraft industry underground. For the work the “Jägerstab” [Fighter Staff] used several tens of thousands of concentration prisoners, supplied by the SS.

At the end of the war in 1945 Organisation Todt was prohibited by the Allies.