Which combatant forces brought teenagers to battle in WWII?

Jul 2017
334
Argentina
#1
Hi members.
After a couple of movies like The bridge or Napola, I started to think about children involved in battle situations in WWII.
There are some stories of boys lying to be enlisted. Some received award medals. I only found these stories in the allied side. But I'm thinking there could also be some of these chilfren heroes in Germany or Japan.
I found out that in certain point, Germany started to take napola students to direct combat situations. In Japan they were ready to a
Perform as kamikaze pilots.
What do you know about this??

¡¡aguanTe Talleres!!!
 
Oct 2018
110
Sweden
#4
Weren't members of the Hitler Youth depending Berlin at the end of the War? Many of them were as 14-15 I believe
yes but i didnt mention them because they werent really teenage soldiers in a real formation and instead they were at the end in the city fighting where anything goes.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,142
#5
The Hitler Youth were also present in France in 1944. However, there is newsreel footage of Hitler inspecting his teenage warriors in Berlin, and very nervous they look. The Luftwaffe, desperately short of personnel in the late war, evolved a plan to use teenagers and old men to fly the 'People's Fighter' (Heinkel 162 Salamander) with only a few hours glider training. Captain Eric Brown, the celebrated British test pilot flew a 162 at the end of the war and rather liked it, but he was an expert. The 162 was an aeroplane that demanded careful handling and really wasn't the aeroplane for poorly trained recruits.
 
Oct 2018
26
Belgium
#6
I'm surprised that nobody has brought up the teenage sailors of the Royal Navy yet. The lowest rank in the Navy was "boy", of which there were various grades, and they were aged between 14 and 18. At 18, a "boy" automically became an "ordinary seaman". Although it was primarily meant as a training rank, and the legal combat age was supposed to be 18, many of them saw action in WWII, and quite a few died. I quote from Royal Navy Boy Seamen in World War II:

"During World War II, 534 boy seamen were killed in action, and a further 24 died of other causes."

Of course, since they turned ordinary seaman at 18, there were also many teenaged ordinary seamen.

It wasn't as bad as during WWI, though, when teenagers under 18 made up an estimated one-third of all volunteer recruits to the Royal Navy. In the British armed forces as a whole, it's estimated at one in ten. Many of them lied about their age. In an age when birth certificates weren't required and few people had them, and recruiting officers were paid for each man they signed on, that wasn't difficult to do. It also explains something many pathologists who have been involved in examining remains of soldiers found long after the war. They often seem extremely underdeveloped for their age, and often so slightly built they could easily be misidentified as young women rather than men, if one didn't know they were soldiers. This has often been attributed to extremely bad nutrition among the working classes. But knowing about one tenth of them actually weren't 18 yet, and some documented cases were as young as 14, puts a different slant on things.
 
Nov 2018
170
Wales
#7
Hi members.
After a couple of movies like The bridge or Napola, I started to think about children involved in battle situations in WWII.
There are some stories of boys lying to be enlisted. Some received award medals. I only found these stories in the allied side. But I'm thinking there could also be some of these chilfren heroes in Germany or Japan.
I found out that in certain point, Germany started to take napola students to direct combat situations. In Japan they were ready to a
Perform as kamikaze pilots.
What do you know about this??

¡¡aguanTe Talleres!!!
All of them, if you count 19 as a teenager.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,243
South of the barcodes
#8
Its kind of in the name, nineteen is a teen.

Britsh army took you at eighteen but you werent allowed to go on foreign ie war service until you were nineteen and had passed a good bit of service.