Thus, a typical title would be Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS. At about this same time, for similar reasons, the military SS formations (the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the SS-Verfügungstruppe) adopted a service uniform in what was termed "earth-gray" (erdgrau). The SS also, by this time, had created a private first class position known as Oberschütze, denoted by a silver pip worn on the sleeve of the SS uniform. This situation was another reflection of the SS' rapid expansion: Oberführers now commanded the three newly created SS-Oberführerbereiche, east, west and south; and so a senior Standartenführer was promoted to command each SS-Brigade. By this time, with influences from the Stahlhelm, the SA leadership adopted its first collar insignia and also added a new SA rank of Standartenführer ("standard leader") in charge of regiment-sized Standarten (incorporating the company sized Staffeln); the SS at this time adopted the same rank as well. Size: 46 x 36 cm. Uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel. Personnel in combat conditions, away from stable supply lines would combine uniform parts and insignia depending on what uniform parts were available. In February 1934, the Anschluss, it was also authorized for Austrians who had joined the DNSAP prior to 18 February 1938. While a multitude of uniforms existed for the SS, often depending on the theatre of war where they were stationed, the all black SS uniform is the most well known. [12] Dietrich even went so far as to forbid entrance of Himmler into the Berlin Leibstandarte barracks and, for a brief few months in 1933, ordered his Leibstandarte soldiers to wear the black uniform without a swastika armband in order to differentate the bodyguard unit from the rank and file of the Allgemeine-SS ("General SS") units throughout Germany. -FleetCaptain 22:45, 1 January 2008 (UTC) Support. Several of the rank titles were renamed to completely separate the SS from its SA origins. Note the unauthorized Heer (army) style eagle together with SS Totenkopf on the peaked cap, the Sigrunen and rank tabs on the closed collar, and the shoulderboards similar to a Wehrmacht Oberstleutnant, A concentration camp SS-Scharführer wearing a gray-green field uniform. Contents. The titles of the remaining ranks remained unchanged. The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the Schutzstaffel (SS) between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party The ancient jawless Danziger style of Totenkopf was gradually replaced by the 'classic' SS skull, a naturalistic design with grinning jaws; the old form was taken up by the army's newly formed Panzerwaffe. LSSAH guard detail, Berlin 1938; note sig-runes insignia. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, for instance, was listed on the SS rolls in 1945 as Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS. Excerpt: The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the SS between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. In addition, for a brief period in 1929, the rank of Standartenführer was divided into two separate grades, known as Standartenführer (I) and Standartenführer (II); the insignia of one oak leaf was used for both positions. The black-white-red color scheme was characteristic of the German Empire, and was later adopted by the Nazi Party. The full-time Allgemeine-SS cadres, especially Reichssicherheitshauptamt personnel, continued to wear the earth-grey service-dress uniform. To separate these new military formations from the main Leibstandarte regiment under Dietrich, the SS runes worn by the Verfügungstruppe displayed a small number corresponding to the particular SS-VT regiment of the bearer. The first major change was the addition of new ranks modeled on the original titles created in 1928 but with the addition of "senior" and "head" designators (ober and haupt): these were Oberscharführer, Obertruppführer and Sturmhauptführer. Branches with personnel that normally would wear civilian attire in the Reich (such as the Gestapo and Kripo) were issued grey-green SS uniforms in occupied territory to avoid being mistaken for civilians. As a result of Allgemeine-SS members transferring into the Waffen-SS, a situation arose where an SS member would actually hold two separate ranks - one in the Allgemeine-SS and another in the Waffen-SS; it was further possible to hold a reserve commission in the regular German military (Klaus Barbie, who was a reserve Feldwebel ("sergeant") is one such example). A waist-length white "waiter's jacket" with collar tabs was issued to those SS men who served as Hitler's domestic staff. With this policy, it was very common for SS members in the Waffen-SS to hold drastically different titles from their Allgemeine-SS duties; a Standartenführer in the regular SS could, for instance, serve as a Rottenführer (lance corporal) in a front line Waffen-SS company. Waffen-SS Panzer troops wore a double-breasted black uniform similar to the Army model but somewhat different in cut; the SS also made extensive use of camouflage clothing as the war progressed. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier division. (Standarte) would be worn opposite the badge of rank while the higher SS leaders would continue to wear oakleaf insignia on both collars. Subsequently, Meine Ehre heißt Treue ("My honour is called loyalty") was adopted by the SS as its motto. For instance, an Untersturmführer in the foreign legions would be referred to as Waffen-Untersturmführer whereas a regular SS member would be addressed as SS-Untersturmführer. A basic squad unit, the 10-man Schar, was grouped into platoon-sized Truppen, and these into company-sized Stürme which in turn made up battalion-sized Sturmbanne. The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the Schutzstaffel (SS) between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. The expanded rank system of 1932 still used the same collar pip method to denote position paired with a corresponding shoulder board, but added two new junior positions known as Sturmmann and Rottenführer. Germanic-SS uniforms were modified versions of the original black Allgemeine-SS uniforms and were used strictly by the Germanic-SS in occupied countries. In addition to the rank titles used by the SS, the following titles were frequently interchanged when addressing SS personnel in certain positions of authority. SS-Gruppenführer Hans Heinrich Lammers in black Allgemeine-SS uniform 1938. Are you certain this article is inappropriate? The formal uniform was not unlike U.S. or UK dinner-dress uniforms, cut like a civilian tailcoat without the tails, and worn with white or black bowtie and waistcoat. While Hitler thought that this would bind the SA more firmly to him, Röhm had other ambitions, including the conversion of the paramilitary Sturmabteilung into an army. During the 1930s, the SS displayed itself at Nazi rallies in the black uniform; one such rally was seen through the Guardian of Forever in 2267. Except that SD/SiPo shoulderboards used black where the. The security forces of the SS, such as SD troops which were part of the Einsatzgruppen, were also all considered part of the Allgemeine-SS, even though many of these persons (especially in the field) wore uniforms nearly identical to the Waffen-SS; to further the confusion, many agents of the security police (SiPo) in such "field" roles wore Waffen-SS uniform even though they were not ex officio members of any branch of the SS. It was not until late 1944 that regulations specified that all grey-green SS uniforms should only display Wehrmacht-style shoulder boards, with the exception of SD and uniformed SiPo personnel who wore police-pattern shoulderboards with giftgrün ("poison green") underlay. These cuffbands were black and displayed the bearer's Sturm number together with color-coded edges indicating the Sturmbann, which in conjunction with the collar insignia showed regiment, battalion and company affiliation. Leaders above the company level did not at this time use the cuffband system. The sole exception was Heinrich Himmler who continued to wear the silver braided shoulderboard with oak leaves of his rank as Reichsführer-SS. While the unit collar patch displayed the wearer's Standarte (regiment) number, the number denoted on the cuffband indicated the Sturm, or company, while collared piping along the cuffband further denoted in which battalion (Sturmbann) a member served. SS rank insignia for enlisted personnel and officers, SS senior and general officer rank insignia, before (top row) and after (bottom row) April 1942, Various unit insignia collar patches worn during World War II, Obersturmbannführer Otto Kumm in Waffen-SS uniform. This position, equivalent to an army Hauptfeldwebel, was denoted by a special sleeve insignia and was not an actual rank, but rather a title for the head SS non-commissioned officer of a particular combat unit. The collar patches of the SA were color-coded: each Gruppe had its own distinctive color. By 1943, a special staff non-commissioned officer position, known as Stabsscharführer had been adopted by the Waffen-SS. Another uniform insignia change occurred in April 1942 with the creation of the rank SS-Oberstgruppenführer. In addition to the collar unit insignia, the SS now created a cuffband system which was worn on the lower left sleeve. It was at this time that the Leibstandarte moved from being a "paramilitary" formation armed with pistols and truncheons to "military", equipped with rifles, bayonets, and steel helmets. Other unit insignia collar patches included a Standarte-number patch for most of the Allgemeine-SS, a blank collar patch worn by SS main office staffs and Sicherheitsdienst (and some SiPo) personnel, the sig-runes Waffen-SS patch (adopted after 1943 as the standard unit collar patch for most of the SS), and a numbered skull patch which was used by personnel serving in field units of the Totenkopfverbaende; the three senior Totenkopfstandarten, formed into the Totenkopf division, would retain these collar patches throughout the war, but the remaining TK-Standarten were redesignated SS-Regimenter and switched to sig-runes in February 1941. Added officer's belt buckles. [citation needed], The traditional "Danziger" Totenkopf worn by the SS 1923–34. The ordinary uniformed police were called the Ordnungspolizei ("order police"). The formal uniform was not unlike U.S. or UK dinner-dress uniforms, cut like a civilian tailcoat without the tails, and worn with white or black bowtie and waistcoat. In 1933, after Hitler had become Chancellor, the SS began to make more of a distinction between 'officers' and 'enlisted men;' an SS man could now only be promoted to Sturmführer with Himmler's approval, based upon the Reichsführer’s personal review of the candidate's application including his career resume or lebenslauf and recommendations from current and former superior officers. SS officers had the option of purchasing formal-dress and mess-dress uniforms. [lower-alpha 1] As with many more formal military uniforms, these SS uniforms were tailored to project authority, and foster fear and respect. Uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel, This same tradition in its 'cavalry' aspect would also manifest itself in the black uniforms and, The regulation boot was by now the standard army-style, Ironically, the iconic black uniform was brought out during a short-lived legal prohibition on political party uniforms. In 1943, the SS created still a further entry rank with the position of Bewerber ("applicant") which was the lowest possible position in the SS; it had no rank insignia. By the middle of World War II, a wide variety of uniforms could be observed, even within the same unit, and standardization was never complete as previous stocks were issued or recycled. This position, equivalent to an army Hauptfeldwebel, was denoted by a special sleeve insignia and was not an actual rank, but rather a title for the head SS non-commissioned officer of a particular combat unit. Daluege was the SS leader of Northern Germany while Himmler controlled southern SS units out of Munich while serving as the National Leader for the SS; this move had the effect of rendering the loyal SS practically independent of the suspect SA, since Himmler and Daluege now outranked all SA commanders. This feldanzug was very similar to the Model 1936 Army field uniform; however, the SS version had a somewhat wider collar in feldgrau (grey-green) rather than Heer bottle-green,[lower-alpha 6] the lower pockets were of the SS angled slash type, and the second button was placed lower to permit the collar optionally to be worn open with a necktie like the service-dress uniforms. On the right collar of SA uniforms was worn a patch with two numbers indicating Standarte and Sturmbann affiliation. At the same time Dietrich and his Leibstandarte adopted the SS runes as their unit insignia, the full-time SS headquarters and command staffs began using a blank collar patch, without a unit number, to differentiate themselves from the "rank and file" SS units in Germany which were still using regiment Standarten numbers as their unit insignia. p. 29. Another uniform insignia change occurred in April 1942 with the creation of the rank SS-Oberstgruppenführer. [lower-alpha 5] This also was based on the black uniform, but without the red Hakenkreuz armband, its place on the left sleeve being taken by an eagle-and-swastika patch, and worn with trousers and shoes or calf-high jackboots. This helped to indicate non-native volunteers, or to separate Germanic individuals in the divisions composed primarily of non-Germans. The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the SS between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. The most coveted of these was the "Adolf Hitler" cuffband, carrying the Führer’s name in Sütterlin script, which was worn solely by members of the Leibstandarte. Hitler's supreme SA rank, when the SS was still under the authority of the SA, was seen as a rank superior to that of Reichsführer-SS. One oak leaf signified a Standartenführer, two a Gauführer, and three oak leaves were worn by Reichsführer-SS Berchtold and his successor Erhard Heiden, who reported directly to the Oberste SA-Führer. Early SS armband using the rank stripe system. The titles and phrases used by the SA were the basis for paramilitary titles used by several other Nazi paramilitary groups, among them the Schutzstaffel (SS). ("SS soldier, your honour is called loyalty!"). Uniform design and function; Uniforms designs and styles; Early SS uniforms (1925–1928) SS Brownshirts (1929–1932) SS black uniforms … In 1934, with the rise of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT), the SS runes unit insignia was expanded to these other formatations of the then fledgling military arm of the SS (later to become known as the Waffen-SS).          Sexual Content By the end of 1938, the SS had also adopted a new insignia feature of sleeve diamonds worn on the bottom of the left sleeve. The early rank system of 1926 consisted of a swastika armband worn with white stripes, with the number of stripes determining the rank of the bearer. That same year, the Schutzkommando was expanded to a national level. The security forces of the SS, such as SD troops which were part of the Einsatzgruppen, were also all considered part of the Allgemeine-SS, even though many of these persons (especially in the field) wore uniforms nearly identical to the Waffen-SS; to further the confusion, many agents of the security police (SiPo) in such "field" roles wore Waffen-SS uniform even though they were not ex officio members of any branch of the SS. Just as the Prussian kings' and emperors' life-guard cavalry (Leibhusaren) had worn black uniforms with skull-and-crossbones badges, so would the Führer‍ '​s bodyguard unit. As a result of SS participation in the purge and execution of the SA leadership, the SS was declared an independent formation of the Nazi Party that answered only to Hitler. On the right collar of SA uniforms was worn a patch with two numbers indicating Standarte and Sturmbann affiliation. The SS also, by this time, had created a private first class position known as Oberschütze, denoted by a silver pip worn on the sleeve of the SS uniform. In addition to Himmler’s new rank, several of the original SS rank titles were renamed (although retained the same insignia), bringing about the final nomenclature of SS ranks which would be used until the conclusion of World War II and the fall of the SS in 1945. The Stennes Revolt of August 1930, in which members of the SA attacked the Berlin party Gau headquarters which was defended by the SS, had profound consequences for the SA and its relationship to its subordinate organization. By 1927, the Sturmabteilung had greatly increased its numbers and had standardized the "brown shirt" uniform which would thereafter be permanently associated with that group: shirt, tie, breeches, boots, and cylindrical kepi, all brown. The only insignia was the swastika armband, usually homemade, except for the handful of men constituting the Stosstrupp's successor, the Schutzkommando ("protection command"), who continued the use of the Totenkopf pinned to cap or collar. In late 1939, Orpo personnel were formed into a combat division, recognizable by its use of police insignia; in 1942, this formation was absorbed into the Waffen-SS to become the 4. Due to most Germanic-SS members being considered traitors to their countries, Germanic-SS uniforms were often destroyed by their owners to prevent identification as a German collaborator. SS uniforms used a variety of insignia, the most standard of which were collar patches to denote rank and shoulder boards to denote rank and position, along with sleeve cuffbands and "sleeve diamond" patches to indicate membership in specific branches of the SS. Further, black was popular with fascist movements: a black uniform was introduced by the blackshirts in Italy before the creation of the SS. Waffen-SS troops were also pioneering among the German forces in the use of camouflage clothing and wore it extensively during the war. Reichsführer was merely a title and not a rank prior to 1934, though Himmler preferred to use his title more than his rank. At about this same time, for similar reasons, the military SS formations (the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the SS-Verfügungstruppe) adopted a service uniform in what was termed "earth-grey" (erdgrau). Thus, the very first SS rank system was as follows: Under the above system, basic SS troopers were organized into 10-man Staffeln, each under the authority of a Staffelführer. In all, there were three possible numbers: 1 for members of the Deutschland Regiment, 2 for Germania personnel, and (from 1938) 3 for members of the Der Führer Regiment. The only insignia was the swastika armband, usually homemade, except for the handful of men constituting the Stosstrupp's successor, the Schutzkommando ("protection command"), who continued the use of the Totenkopf pinned to cap or collar. The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the SS between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. In contrast to the army, the black SS uniform included riding boots and breeches for enlisted men as well as officers. This consisted of a Sahariana-style tunic with shoulder yokes based on Italian tropical uniforms, long-sleeved field shirt, and trousers. As the SS was at this time a small unit within the SA, SS personnel during this period likewise wore brown shirt uniforms but distinguished themselves as an elite among the SA by wearing black neckties and black kepis with Totenkopf and Party eagle badges. Hitler's personal guard, known at this stage by the original SS name of Stabswache (later to be known as the "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler"), was also expressing its independence and increasing its size under the leadership of Sepp Dietrich. Leaders above the company level did not at this time use the cuffband system. Officers could also wear a white cotton walking-out blouse, cut like the black service blouse, between April and September. Dark subject matter to be sure, but very comprehensive and worthy of featured article status. Based on the seniority system of SS membership numbers, this made Hitler senior in the SS to all other members. Heinrich Himmler's insignia for Reichsführer-SS. These formations wore, in place of the sig-runes, distinctive unit collar patches identifying them as Freiwilligen (foreign volunteers). Unlike the foreign legions of the Waffen-SS, who wore the standard field gray (grey-green) SS uniform to conform with the rest of the Waffen-SS, the Germanic-SS was concerned solely with homeland duties and therefore were provided with surplus black uniforms upon which were displayed country specific insignia. At this time, the SS also began to revamp its unit collar insignia, shoulderboards, and sleeve cuffband system. In addition to the expansion of the collar unit insignia system, the SS by 1934 had also greatly expanded the system of sleeve cuffbands which were now a standard part of the black uniform, worn on the lower left sleeve. Numbers below 500 were considered the original cadre of the SS, while any number below fifty denoted an original founder and, in most cases, a personal associate of Hitler. The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the Schutzstaffel (SS) between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. In the last days of World War II, the SS also created a twin swastika collar patch which was used by the "auxiliary SS" which were non-SS members conscripted to serve in concentration camp positions. For the lower ranks, the SS also specified that a patch showing the wearer's regiment (Standarte) would be worn opposite the badge of rank while the higher SS leaders would continue to wear oakleaf insignia on both collars. Insignia was similar to that of standard SS-uniforms but in tan thread on black backing. As Himmler put it, "I know there are many people who fall ill when they see this black uniform; we understand that and don't expect that we will be loved by many people. "The Third Reich: A New History". In addition to the collar unit insignia, the SS now created a cuffband system which was worn on the lower left sleeve. Additionally, in March 1936, Hitler approved a new art deco eagle with staggered wingtips for the SS, which was worn through the end of the war as a cap badge and on the sleeve. In addition, for a brief period in 1929, the rank of Standartenführer was divided into two separate grades, known as Standartenführer (I) and Standartenführer (II); the insignia of one oak leaf was used for both positions. Uniforms and Insignia of The Schutzstaffel - Uniforms Designs and Styles - SS Pre-war Uniforms (1934–1938) SS Pre-war Uniforms (1934–1938) An event which significantly altered the SS rank and insignia structure was the Night of the Long Knives which occurred in June 1934. Formal dress uniform jacket of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Werner Lorenz. In February 1934, the Ehrenwinkel für Alte Kämpfer ("honor chevron for old campaigners") was introduced for all SS men who had joined the Nazi Party or a Party-affiliated organization prior to January 30, 1933; after the Anschluss, it was also authorized for Austrians who had joined the DNSAP prior to 18 February 1938. As with the senior SS titles, volunteers of non-Germanic countries had the title "Waffen" prefixed to their rank. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization. Reproduction Date: The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party. The collar patches of the SA were color-coded: each Gruppe had its own distinctive color. The early rank system of 1926 consisted of a swastika armband worn with white stripes, with the number of stripes determining the rank of the bearer. 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