Begleitkommando-SS

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Begleitkommando-SS
Active 1932 - 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Allegiance Axis
Branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Role Body guards

Begleitkommando-SS were elite SS bodyguards created to provide close security protection for Adolf Hitler, high-ranking members of the Nazi Party and visiting state dignitories.

Formation[edit]

The Begleitkommando-SS was formed in February 1932 to provide general protection to Hitler and other party functionaries. Twelve SS members were selected by Sepp Dietrich to present to Hitler. From the twelve, a smaller eight-man team called the SS-Begleitkommando des Führers was chosen to protect Hitler as he travelled around Germany.[1] The Begleitkommando-SS, cooperated with other agencies providing security, such as the Ordnungspolizei (uniformed order police) and Gestapo, and handled all inner security requirements whereas outer protection was handled by general SS units.

In 1934 the Führerschutzkommando (FSK) replaced the Begleitkommando-SS for protection throughout Germany.[2] The FSK was also responsible for general security measures, preventive measures and prosecution of assassination attempts.[3] The Führerschutzkommando was officially renamed the Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service; RSD) on 1 August 1935.[4]

Thereafter, the Begleitkommando des Führers was expanded and became known as the Führerbegleitkommando (Escort Command of the Führer; FBK).[5] The FBK continued under separate command and to provide the close, personal security for Hitler, alone.[6] For trips and public events the RSD and FBK would work together in units of between five and eleven members each.[7] They still operated as two groups and used separate vehicles for these activities. Johann Rattenhuber chief of the RSD would be in overall command and the FBK chief, at the time, would act as his deputy.[8] By March 1938, both units wore the standard field grey uniform of the SS. The RSD members uniform had the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) diamond on their sleeve.[7] Both units were under the control of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and both units were made up of SS members.[9] The RSD and FBK units together would at times be generally referred to as the Begleitkommando-SS. Also, the term SS-Begleitkommando or Begleit-Kommando were used at times when referring to the Führerbegleitkommando.[10]

Commanders[edit]

RSD Commander:

Begleitkommando (later known as: FBK) Commanders:

  • Bodo Gelzenleuchter: March to autumn 1932
  • Willy Herzberger: Fall of 1932 to 11 April 1933
  • Kurt Gildisch: 11 April 1933 to 15 June 1934
  • Bruno Gesche: 15 June 1934-December 1944
  • Franz Schädle: January-April 1945

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hoffmann 2000, p. 48.
  2. ^ Felton 2014, p. 17.
  3. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 287, 288.
  4. ^ Hoffmann 2000, p. 36.
  5. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 16, 287.
  6. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 16, 287, 293.
  7. ^ a b Felton 2014, p. 33.
  8. ^ Felton 2014, pp. 32, 33.
  9. ^ Hoffmann 2000, pp. 36, 48.
  10. ^ Hoffmann 2000, pp. 48, 54, 57.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Felton, Mark (2014). Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer. London: Pen and Sword Military. ISBN 978-1-78159-305-9. 
  • Hoffmann, Peter (2000) [1979]. Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921-1945. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-30680-947-7. 
  • Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999) [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, the Evidence, the Truth. Trans. Helmut Bögler. London: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 978-1-86019-902-8.