Corps colours of the Sturmabteilung

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Corps colours, or troop-function colours (ge: "Waffenfarbe(n)") were traditional worn in the German Wehrmacht from 1935 until 1945 as discrimination criteria between several branches, special services, corps, rank groups and appointments of the ministerial area, general staff, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, up to the military branches Heer, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. With the formation of the Waffen-SS (Armed Schutzstaffel) and so-called Gesamt-SA (Common Sturmabteilung) by simultaneous new-structuring in line with military principles, corps coloures were introduced to these organizations as well.

Corps colours of the SA[edit]

After incorporation of the SA-Obergruppe Ostmark to the main SA-organisation in March 1938, the formation of Gesamt-SA began in January 1939. The new sub-division structure was as follows:

  • Allgemeine SA (General SA) with Active SA-I (between 18 and 35 years) and Active SA-II (between 35 and 45 years)
  • SA-Reserve (above 45 years), and
  • SA-Wehrmannschaften (en: SA-Defence crews).

However, two former SA branches converted to other paramilitary organizations. So the previous Motor-SA was transferred to the National Socialist Motor Corps – NSMC (Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrerkorps – NSKK), and the Flieger-SA together with the Flieger-SS formed the new Nation Socialist Flyers Corps – NSFC (Nationalsozialistisches Fliegererkorps – NSFK).

In line with new subdivision to branches and service areas corps colours were introduced. The former so-called SA-group colours were abolished. The systematic of corps colours was introduced to NSMC and NSFC as well. The new introduced SA-corps colours were almost identically to these of the Wehrmacht.

SA-Corps colours[edit]

The synoptic table below contains some corps colours and examples used by the SA from 1939–45.[1]

Troops, unit, appointment Corps colour Example Remark
Supreme SA-Command & Control (German: Oberste SA-Fuehrung) carmine-red
    SA-Obergruppenfuerer (OF-8)[2]
  • SA-Chief of Staff (German: Chef des Stabes der SA)
  • SA-Group Staffs (German: SA-Gruppenstaebe)
SpecialSAinsignia.jpg SA rank insignias (SA Chief of Staff (OF-9)) worn by Ernst Rohm in 1933
SA-Signals (German: Nachrichten-SA) lemon yellow
SA-Sturmfuehrer (OF-1b)
identical corps colour to Heer and Waffen-SS
Mounted-SA (German: Reiter-SA) golden-yellow
identical corps colour to the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS
SA-Hunters/SA-Infantry units
(German: SA-Jäger/SA-Schuetzen)
SA-Mann (OR-1)

* Storm (company) 12
* Standard (battalion) 85

Medical-SA (German: Sanitaets-SA) royal-blue
SA-Obersturmbannführer (OF-4)
Navy-SA (German: Marine-SA) navy-blue
SA-Oberfuerer (OF-5a)
SA-Food standartes (German: SA-Fußstandarten) grey
SA-Gruppenfuerer (OF-7)
Engineer-SA (German: SA-Pioniere) black
NSKK-Brigadeführer.svg SA-Brigadefuerer (OF-6)
identical corps colour to Heer and Waffen-SS

Right collar patch contains the number and type of unit (ascending up to "Obersturmbannführer" (OF4) in SA and SS, and "Oberstaffelfuehrer" (OF4) in NSMC): … Left collar patch contain the rank insignias (from ascending "Standartenfuehrer" (OF5) both sides).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Schlag nach!, Bibliographisches Institut AG., Leipzig, 1938, Anhang; Quotation: "The color to the Kragenspiegel of the Sturmabteilung (SA)
  2. ^ The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"