Ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS

This table contains the final ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS, which were in use from April 1942–45, in comparison to the Wehrmacht. The highest rank of the combined SS (Gesamt-SS) was that of Reichsführer-SS; however, there was no Waffen-SS equivalent to this position.

TableEdit

Rank insignia Designation
German / (English)
Equivalent to the Wehrmacht
(Heer)
Collar badge Shoulder strap and sleeve Sleeve
(parka)
General ranks
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS
(SS-Supreme group leader and colonel general of the Waffen-SS)
Generaloberst
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS
(SS-Senior group leader and general of the Waffen-SS)
General ...
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
(SS-Group leader and lieutenant general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalleutnant
SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
(SS-Brigadier leader and major general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalmajor
Officer ranks
SS-Oberführer
(SS-Senior leader of the Waffen-SS)
No equivalent.
SS-Standartenführer
(SS-Standard leader (regiment sized unit))
Oberst
SS-Obersturmbannführer
(SS-Senior assault unit leader (battalion sized unit))
Oberstleutnant
SS-Sturmbannführer
(SS-Assault unit leader)
Major
SS-Hauptsturmführer
(SS-Head assault leader (company sized sub unit))
Hauptmann/Rittmeister
SS-Obersturmführer
(SS-Senior assault leader)
Oberleutnant
SS-Untersturmführer
(SS-Second/Junior assault leader)
Leutnant
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
SS-Sturmscharführer
(SS-Assault platoon leader)
Stabsfeldwebel
SS-Stabsscharführer was a specific appointment, comparable to "Company Sergeant Major". This position, usually nicknamed "Spiess" in the German armed forces, was held by experienced senior NCOs who had already reached the rank of SS-Hauptscharführer (OR-7) or SS-Oberscharführer (OR-6), rarely SS-Scharführer (OR-5). Appointment insignia: so-called "double piston rings" on both cuffs (of sleeves) on the uniform jacket and the overcoat. SS-Stabsscharführer
(SS-Staff squad leader; senior NCO, e.g. Hauptscharführer or Oberscharführer, seldom Scharführer)
Hauptfeldwebel
(senior NCO e.g., Oberfeldwebel or Feldwebel, seldom Unterfeldwebel)
SS-Hauptscharführer
(SS-Chief platoon leader)
(SS-Standartenoberjunker OA / Officer Aspirant)
Oberfeldwebel
Fahnenjunker Oberfeldwebel OA / (Officer Aspirant)
SS-Oberscharführer
(SS-Senior platoon leader)

(SS-Standartenjunker OA/ Officer Aspirant)

Feldwebel
Fahnenjunker Feldwebel OA / (Officer Aspirant)
SS-Scharführer
(SS-Section leader)
(SS-Oberjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
Unterfeldwebel
Fahnenjunker Unterfeldwebel OA / (Officer Aspirant)
SS-Unterscharführer
(SS-Junior section leader)
(SS-Junker OA/ Officer Aspirant)
Unteroffizier
Fahnenjunker Unteroffizier OA/ (Officer Aspirant)
Enlisted men
No equivalent Stabsgefreiter  
 
  SS-Rottenführer
(SS-Squad leader)
Obergefreiter  

   

  SS-Sturmmann
(SS-Assault man/Storm trooper)
Gefreiter  
 
SS-Oberschütze
(SS-Senior rifleman)
Oberschütze  
 
no sleeve insignia SS-Schütze
(SS-Rifleman)
Soldat, Schütze, Grenadier
Volunteer to the service of the Waffen-SS Conscript or military volunteer who enlists and may become an NCO or Officer of the Wehrmacht
Remarks
  • The color of the Kragenspiegel (collar badge) is  schwarz (black) in SS and NSKK,  cinnabar-red in the staff headquarters of the so-called "Motorobergruppen" (en: Senior motor groups) and independent groups,  carmine-red in higher staff headquarters of the NSKK.[1]
  • Details, conditions, and prerequisites for SS-Candidates, aspirant or volunteers for full membership to the Allgemeine SS (general SS) are described in the main articles SS-Bewerber (SS-applicant) and SS-Anwärter (SS-aspirant).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Quotation as to: "Schlag nach!, Bibliographisches Institut AG., Leipzig, 1938, S.203"

SourcesEdit

  • Bedurftig, Friedemann, and Zenter, Christian. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. 1985.
  • Cook, Stan and Bender, R. James. Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler – Volume One: Uniforms, Organization, & History. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing, 1994. ISBN 978-0-912138-55-8
  • Mollo, Andrew. Uniforms of the SS, Collected Edition Vol. 1–6. Motorbooks Intl. 1997. ISBN 978-1-85915-048-1
  • Personnel Service Records of the S.S., National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland

External linksEdit