Ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS

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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.

Table[edit]

Rank insignia Designation
German / (English)
Equivalent to the Wehrmacht
(Heer)
Collar badge Shoulder strap and sleeve Sleeve
(parka)
General ranks
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer collar.svg
SS Oberst-Gruppenführer h.svg
Generaloberst-camo.svg
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS
(SS-Supreme group leader and colonel general of the Waffen-SS)
Generaloberst
Generaloberst (Wehrmacht) 8.svg
SS-Obergruppenführer Collar Rank.svg
SS Obergruppenführer h.svg
General der Waffengattung-camo.svg
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS
(SS-Senior group leader and general of the Waffen-SS)
General ...
General (Wehrmacht) 1.svg
SS-Gruppenführer Collar Rank.svg
SS-Gruppenführer h.svg
Generalleutnant-camo.svg
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
(SS-Group leader and lieutenant general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalleutnant
Generalleutnant (Wehrmacht).svg
SS-Brigadeführer Collar Rank.svg
SS-Brigadeführer h.svg
Generalmajor-camo.svg
SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
(SS-Brigadier leader and major general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalmajor
Generalmajor (Wehrmacht).svg
Officer ranks
SS-Oberführer Collar Rank.svg
Heer-Oberst h.svg
SS-Oberführer-camo.svg
SS-Oberführer
(SS-Senior leader of the Waffen-SS)
No equivalent.
SS-Standartenführer Collar Rank.svg
SS-Standartenführer-camo.svg
SS-Standartenführer
(SS-Standard leader (regiment sized unit))
Oberst
Heer-Oberst h.svg
SS-Obersturmbannführer.svg
Heer-Oberstleutnant h.svg
SS-Obersturmbannführer-camo.svg
SS-Obersturmbannführer
(SS-Senior assault unit leader (battalion sized unit))
Oberstleutnant
Heer-Oberstleutnant h.svg
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer collar.svg
Heer-Major h.svg
SS-Sturmbannführer-camo.svg
SS-Sturmbannführer
(SS-Assault unit leader)
Major
Heer-Major h.svg
SS-Hauptsturmführer collar.svg
SS-Hauptsturmführer h.svg
SS-Hauptsturmführer-camo.svg
SS-Hauptsturmführer
(SS-Head assault leader (company sized sub unit))
Hauptmann/Rittmeister
Hauptmann Epaulette.jpg
SS-Obersturmführer.svg
SS-Obersturmführer h.svg
SS-Obersturmführer-camo.svg
SS-Obersturmführer
(SS-Senior assault leader)
Oberleutnant
Oberleutnant Epaulette.jpg
SS-Untersturmführer.svg
SS-Untersturmführer h.svg
SS-Untersturmführer-camo.svg
SS-Untersturmführer
(SS-Second/Junior assault leader)
Leutnant
Leutnant Epaulette.jpg
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
SS-Sturmscharführer.svg
SS-Sturmscharführer h.svg
SS-Sturmscharführer-camo.svg
SS-Sturmscharführer
(SS-Assault platoon leader)
Stabsfeldwebel
Heer-Stabsfeldwebel h.svg
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.
Heer-Hauptfeldwebel.svg
SS-Stabsscharführer
(senior NCO, e.g. Hauptscharführer or Oberscharführer, seldom Scharführer)
Hauptfeldwebel
(senior NCO e.g., Oberfeldwebel or Feldwebel, seldom Unterfeldwebel)
Heer-Hauptfeldwebel.svg
SS-Hauptscharführer.svg
SS-Hauptscharführer h.svg
SS-Hauptscharführer-camo.svg
SS-Hauptscharführer
(SS-Chief platoon leader)
(SS-Standartenoberjunker OA / Officer Aspirant)
Oberfeldwebel
(Oberfähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
Heer-Oberfeldwebel h.svg
SS-Oberscharführer.svg
SS-Oberscharführer h.svg
SS-Oberscharführer-camo.svg
SS-Oberscharführer
(SS-Senior platoon leader)

(SS-Standartenjunker OA/ Officer Aspirant)

Feldwebel
(Fähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
Heer-Feldwebel h.svg
SS-Scharführer.svg
SS-Scharführer h.svg
SS-Scharführer-camo.svg
SS-Scharführer
(SS-Section leader)
(SS-Oberjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
Unterfeldwebel
Heer-Unterfeldwebel h.svg
SS-Unterscharführer.svg
SS-Unterscharführer h.svg
SS-Unterscharführer-camo.svg
SS-Unterscharführer
(SS-Junior section leader)
(SS-Junker OA/ Officer Aspirant)
Unteroffizier
(Fahnenjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
Heer-Unteroffizier h.svg
Enlisted men
No equivalent Stabsgefreiter Mannschaften Epaulette 1940.svg
Rank insignia of Stabsgefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
SS-Rottenführer.svg
SS-Mannschaft.svg
Rank insignia of SS-Rottenführer of the Waffen-SS.svg
Rank insignia of SS-Rottenführer of the Waffen-SS.svg
SS-Rottenführer
(SS-Squad leader)
Obergefreiter Mannschaften Epaulette 1940.svg

Rank insignia of Obergefreiter (over 6 years of service) of the Wehrmacht.svg Rank insignia of Obergefreiter (under 6 years of service) of the Wehrmacht.svg

SS-Sturmmann.svg
SS-Mannschaft.svg
Rank insignia of SS-Sturmmann of the Waffen-SS.svg
Rank insignia of SS-Sturmmann of the Waffen-SS.svg
SS-Sturmmann
(SS-Assault man/Storm trooper)
Gefreiter Mannschaften Epaulette 1940.svg
Rank insignia of Gefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
SS-Mannschaft.svg
Rank insignia of Oberschütze of the Waffen-SS.svg
Rank insignia of Oberschütze of the Waffen-SS.svg
SS-Oberschütze
(SS-Senior rifleman)
Oberschütze Mannschaften Epaulette 1940.svg
Rank insignia of Oberschütze of the Wehrmacht.svg
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
SS-Mannschaft.svg
no sleeve insignia SS-Schütze
(SS-Rifleman)
Soldat, Schütze, Grenadier
Mannschaften Epaulette 1940.svg
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 also[edit]

References[edit]

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

Sources[edit]

  • 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 links[edit]