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Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-026-43, Kapp-Putsch, München.jpg
Stoßtrupp men embark for a rally in September 1923[1]
Allegiance Nazi Party
PatronAdolf Hitler
Julius Schreck
Joseph Berchtold

Stoßtrupp-Hitler or Stosstrupp-Hitler ("Shock Troop-Hitler") was a small short-lived bodyguard unit set up specifically for Adolf Hitler in 1923.[2] Notable members included Rudolf Hess, Julius Schreck, Joseph Berchtold, Emil Maurice, Erhard Heiden, Ulrich Graf, and Bruno Gesche.


In the earliest days of the Nazi Party, the leadership realized that a bodyguard unit composed of zealous and reliable men was needed. Ernst Röhm formed a guard formation from the 19.Granatwerfer-Kompanie; from this formation the Sturmabteilung (SA) soon evolved. In early 1923, Hitler ordered a separate small bodyguard unit formed. It was dedicated to his service rather than "a suspect mass" of the party, such as the SA.[3] Originally the unit was composed of only eight men, commanded by Julius Schreck and Joseph Berchtold.[4] It was designated the Stabswache (staff guard).[5] The Stabswache were issued unique badges, but at this point the Stabswache was still under overall SA control. Schreck resurrected the use of the Totenkopf (i.e. skull) as the unit's insignia, a symbol various elite forces had used throughout the Prussian kingdom and the later German Empire.[6]

The defendants in the trial against 40 members of the "Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler".

In May 1923, the unit was renamed Stoßtrupp–Hitler.[4] The unit numbered no more than 20 members at that time.[7] All were considered Hitler loyalists.[6] According to the Historical Lexicon of Bavaria the unit later had around 100 members.[8] On 9 November 1923, the Stoßtrupp, along with the SA and several other Nazi paramilitary units, took part in the abortive Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. In the aftermath, Hitler was imprisoned and his party and all associated formations, including the Stoßtrupp, were disbanded.[9]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Flaherty 2004, p. 20.
  2. ^ Mitchell 2008, p. 55.
  3. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 14, 16.
  4. ^ a b Weale 2010, p. 16.
  5. ^ McNab 2009, p. 14.
  6. ^ a b McNab 2009, p. 16.
  7. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 10, 16.
  8. ^ Stoßtrupp Hitler, 1923, Paul Hoser.
  9. ^ Wegner 1990, p. 62.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McNab 2009, pp. 10, 11.
  11. ^ Helge Dvorak: Biographisches Lexikon der Deutschen Burschenschaft. Vol I Politiker, Teilband 3: I–L. Winter, Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-8253-0865-0, p. 218.
  12. ^ Andreas Schulz / Dieter Zinke: Die Generale der Waffen-SS und der Polizei. Vol. 3. Biblio-Verlag, Bissendorf 2008, ISBN 3-7648-2375-5, p. 354.
  13. ^ Elke Fröhlich: Die Herausforderung des Einzelnen. Geschichten über Widerstand und Verfolgung. In: Martin Broszat, Elke Fröhlich (Hrsg.): Bayern in der NS-Zeit. 6. Oldenbourg, Munich, Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-486-42411-4, pp. 76–114.
  14. ^ Heinz Höhne: Mordsache Röhm. Hitlers Durchbruch zur totalen Macht, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1984.
  15. ^ Reinhard Weber: Das Schicksal der jüdischen Rechtsanwälte in Bayern nach 1933, pp. 128–129, Oldenbourg Wissenschaft Verlag, 2006.
  16. ^ Heinz Höhne: Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf, 1967, p. 83.