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This table contains the final ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS, which were in use from 1942-1945, in comparison to the German Wehrmacht Heer. 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

Flag of NATO.svg
rank
Rank insignia Designation
German / (English)
Equivalent to the Wehrmacht
(Heer)
Collar badge Shoulder strap and sleeve Sleeve
(parka)
General ranks
OF-9
HH-SS-Oberstgruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF9 OberstGruf.jpg
Genob-obrstgrf.png
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS
(SS-Supreme group leader and colonel general of the Waffen-SS)
Generaloberst
Rank insignia of Generaloberst of the Wehrmacht.svg
OF-8
HH-SS-Obergruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF8 Gruf.jpg
Gend-obgf.png
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS
(SS-Senior group leader and general of the Waffen-SS)
General ...
Rank insignia of General of the Wehrmacht.svg
OF-7
HH-SS-Gruppenfuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF Gruf.jpg
Genl-grpf.png
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
(SS-Group leader and lieutenant general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalleutnant
Rank insignia of Generalleutnant of the Wehrmacht.svg
OF-6
HH-SS-Brigadefuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF6 Brif.jpg
Genm-brgf.png
SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
(SS-Brigadier leader and major general of the Waffen-SS)
Generalmajor
Rank insignia of Generalmajor of the Wehrmacht.svg
Officer ranks
OF-5
HH-SS-Oberfuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF5 Staf-Oberf-Infantry.jpg
Oberfuehrer.png
SS-Oberführer
(SS-Senior leader of the Waffen-SS)
Heer - decal for helmet 1942.svg No equivalent.
HH-SS-Standartenfuhrer-Collar.png
Oberst-standf.png
SS-Standartenführer
(SS-Standard leader (regiment sized unit))
Oberst
Oberst Epaulette.jpg
OF-4
HH-SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer-Collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-obersturmbannf.jpg
Oberstleu-oberstbnf.png
SS-Obersturmbannführer
(SS-Senior storm unit leader (battalion sized unit))
Oberstleutnant
Oberstleutnant Epaulette.jpg
OF-3
SS-Sturmbannfuehrer,collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-sturmbannf.jpg
Major-sturmb.png
SS-Sturmbannführer
(SS-Storm unit leader)
Major
Major Epaulette.jpg
OF-2
HH-SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer-Collar.png
WSS OF2 HSturmf-Supply.jpg
Hauptm-hauptstf.png
SS-Hauptsturmführer
(SS-Head storm leader (company sized sub unit))
Hauptmann/Rittmeister
Hauptmann Epaulette.jpg
OF-1a
HH-SS-Obersturmfuhrer-Collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-obersturmf.jpg
Oberleut-oberstf.png
SS-Obersturmführer
(SS-Senior storm leader)
Oberleutnant
Oberleutnant Epaulette.jpg
OF-1b
SS-Untersturmfuehrer collar.png
Shoulder-wss-ill-untersturmf.jpg
Leutn-unterstf.png
SS-Untersturmführer
(SS-Second/Junior storm leader)
Leutnant
Leutnant Epaulette.jpg
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
OR-8
SS-Sturmscharführer.svg
SS OR8 StuScharf-SD.jpg
StFW cam slv.gif
SS-Sturmscharführer
(SS-Storm platoon leader)
Stabsfeldwebel
StabsFWEpaulette.jpg
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. SS-Stabsscharführer
(senior NCO, e.g. Hauptscharführer or Oberscharführer, seldom Scharführer)
Hauptfeldwebel
(senior NCO e.g., Oberfeldwebel or Feldwebel, seldom Unterfeldwebel)
OR-7
SS-Hauptscharführer.svg
WSS OR7 HScharf-SSTV.jpg
ObFW cam slv.gif
SS-Hauptscharführer
(SS-Chief platoon leader)
(SS-Standartenoberjunker OA / Officer Aspiant)
Oberfeldwebel
(Oberfähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberfeldwebel.svg
OR-6
SS-Oberscharführer.svg
WSS OR6 OScharf1-Fm.jpg
FW cam slv.gif
SS-Oberscharführer
(SS-Senior platoon leader)

(SS-Standartenjunker OA/ Officer Aspirant)

Feldwebel
(Fähnrich OA/ Offiziersanwärter)
FeldwebelEpaulette.jpg
OR-5
SS-Scharführer.svg
WSS OR5 Scharführer-Panzer.jpg
UFW cam slv.gif
SS-Scharführer
(SS-Section leader)
(SS-Oberjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
Unterfeldwebel
Luftwaffe epaulette Unterfeldwebel.svg
OR-4
SS-Unterscharführer.svg
WSS OR4 Unterscharführer-MP.jpg
UO Cam Slv.gif
SS-Unterscharführer
(SS-Junior section leader)
(SS-Junker OA/ Officer Aspirant)
Unteroffizier
(Fahnenjunker / Offiziersanwärter)
UnteroffEpaulette.jpg
Enlisted men
No equivalent Stabsgefreiter (OR-3) Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Stabsgefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
OR-3 center‎
WSS OR1-3 Mannschaft2.jpg
SS-Rottenfuehrer sleeve.gif
SS-Rottenführer
(SS-Squad leader)
Obergefreiter Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg

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

OR-2 center‎
WSS OR1-3 Mannschaft2.jpg
SS-Sturmmann sleeve.gif
SS-Sturmmann
(SS-Storm man/Storm trooper)
Gefreiter Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Gefreiter of the Wehrmacht.svg
OR-1
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
WSS OR1-3 Mannschaft2.jpg
SSpfcsldr.gif
SS-Oberschütze
(SS-Senior rifleman)
Oberschütze Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
Rank insignia of Oberschütze of the Wehrmacht.svg
SS-Mann, SS-Schuetze, SS-Oberschuetze collar.svg
WSS OR1-3 Mannschaft2.jpg
SS-Schütze
(SS-Rifleman)
Soldat, Schütze, Grenadier
Mannschaft Epaulette 1938.jpg
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 c o l o r of the Kragenspiegel is  schwarz 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 are described in the main articles SS-Bewerber and SS-Anwärter.

See also

References

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

External links

Sources

  • 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
  • Hayes, A. SS Uniforms, Insignia and Accoutrements. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 2000. ISBN 978-0-7643-0046-2
  • Lumsden, Robin. A Collector's Guide To: The Allgemeine - SS, Ian Allan Publishing, Inc. 2002. ISBN 0-7110-2905-9
  • 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

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