Sturmbannführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank equivalent to major that was used in several Nazi organizations, such as the SA, SS, and the NSFK. Translated as “assault (or storm) unit leader” (Sturmbann being the SA and early SS equivalent to a battalion), the rank originated from German shock troop units of the First World War where the title of Sturmbannführer would occasionally be held by the battalion commander.
The SA title of Sturmbannführer was first established in 1921. In 1928, the title became an actual rank and was also one of the first established SS ranks. The insignia of a Sturmbannführer was four silver pips centered on a collar patch.
The rank rated below Standartenführer until 1932, when Sturmbannführer became subordinate to the new rank of Obersturmbannführer. In the Waffen-SS, Sturmbannführer was considered equivalent to a major in the German Wehrmacht.
One of the most notable recipients was Wernher von Braun, who developed the V-2 rocket, and later designed the Saturn V rocket for the U.S. space program. Also, Eberhard Heder, Otto Günsche and war criminals, such as Otto Förschner.
In the TV series Hogan's Heroes, Wolfgang Hochstetter, though called "Major" for simplicity, is a Sturmbannführer. There is no explanation for Hochstetter's wearing the insignia of a Standartenfuehrer for the entire series when he is always referred to as Major Hochstetter.
In The Hiding Place, an SS-Sturmbannführer is portrayed as the officer who arrests the ten Boom family.
Moreover, in the Medal of Honor videogame series, Sturmbannführer Ratter is a recurring antagonist; once, in a secret level in Medal of Honor: Underground, once at Dorne Manor, in Holland, in Medal of Honor: Frontline, and once at the Steinberg salt mine in Alt Aussee, Austria, in the original Medal of Honor game.
In 2008 Success SRPG Operation Darkness, the main villain Alexander Vlado carries the rank of Sturmbannführer.
In a season 9 episode of Bones, the murder case revolves around a victim who was a Sturmbannfuhrer, escaped justice, and became a citizen of Argentina.
- Insignia of rank of Sturmbannführer of the Waffen-SS
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