SS Police Insignia

 

The Polizei Division was in existence from 1939 until the end of the war, being absorbed into the SS in February of 1942.  Police Generals wore armed forces style insignia and uniforms, including the trousers with Police green lampassen (broad General’s stripes).  Once absorbed into the SS, the collar tab design for General officers mirrored that of the SS, though rendered on Police green underlay.  Because the Police General’s held dual rank in the SS they more often wore SS style collar tabs on black, making the later style Police tabs on green very rare and hard to find for the collector.

 

Note: Some of the insignia photographs below are graphic photo illustrations, using actual pieces but altering branch color or pips by retouching. This was done because actual samples of some of the individual ranks were not available for inclusion.  If you are a Polizei collector, have specimens of these ranks and would like to share the images with fellow collectors, please contact me as I welcome any and all contributions in the goal of making this website all encompassing in regards to high ranks.

 

 

Shoulderboards

 

 

SS Brigadefuhrer und Generalmajor der Polizei

General’s shoulderboard in matte celleon, and aluminum inner cords, with no rank pips over a green underlay.

(Costello collection)

 

 

SS Gruppenfurher und Generalleutnant der Polizei

General’s shoulderboard in gold bullion, aluminum inner cords, with a single rank pip over a green underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

SS Obergruppenfuhrer und General der Polizei

General’s shoulderboard in matte celleon and aluminum inner cords, with two rank pips over a green underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

SS Oberst-gruppenfuhrer und Generaloberst der Polizei

General’s shoulderboard in gold bullion and aluminum inner cords, with three rank pips over a green underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

 

 

Collar Tabs

 

General der Polizei

SS Police General’s collar insignia pattern (for all General officer ranks) prior to the change to Waffen SS style Generals collar tabs in February 1942.

(Holzauge Historical collection)

 

SS Brigadefuhrer und Generalmajor der Polizei

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold wire over police green underlay, with gold bullion piping (often seen in celleon).

(private collection)

 

SS Gruppenfuhrer und Generalleutnant der Polizei

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold wire over police green underlay, with gold bullion piping (often seen in celleon) and a single rank pip.

(private collection)

 

SS Obergruppenfuhrer und General der Polizei

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold wire over police green underlay, with gold bullion piping (often seen in celleon) and a two rank pips.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

SS Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer und Generaloberst der Polizei

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold wire over police green underlay, with gold bullion piping (often seen in celleon) and three rank pips.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

NEW! Click here for a Guide to Original vs. Reproduction SS Generals Collar Tabs

 

 

 

Administrative Police Generals

 

 

Administrative officers in the Police who held General Officer rank wore a different branch color backing on their insignia, using a light gray color underlay on both their shoulderboards and the collar tabs.

 

 

Administrative General der Polizei

General’s shoulderboard in matte gold bullion, and aluminum inner cords, with no rank pips over a light gray underlay.

(private collection)

 

 

Administrative General der Polizei

SS Police General’s collar insignia pattern (for all Administrative General officer ranks) prior to the change to Waffen SS style Generals collar tabs in February 1942.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

 

Administrative General der Polizei

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold wire over light gray underlay, with gold bullion piping.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

The Rank of Oberfuhrer

 

The SS had a unique rank called the Oberfuhrer, which had no equivalent in any of the other armed forces.  It was in essence, a senior Colonel (Oberst), with the entitlements of a General officer.  While the shoulderboard was identical to that of an Oberst, the collar patches were unique and the only identifier of the rank, as far as insignia.  In the SS, an Oberfuhrer was entitled to wear the same accoutrements of a General officer, ie; silver piping on their visors, light gray lapel facings on their greatcoats.  Little is known about the use of the rank insignia for Oberfuhrer in the Police, except for the fact that the insignia was introduced for those Police officials who held Oberfuhrer rank in the SS.

 

SS Oberfuhrer der Polizei

Brite silver aluminum cords over police green underlay, with two gold pips.

(private collection)

 

 

 

SS Oberfuhrer der Polizei

1942-1945 SS pattern rendered in aluminum wire over police green underlay, with aluminum piping.

(private collection)

 

 

 

 

Additional examples of Police Generals insignia and groupings

 

 

SS Brigadefuhrer und Generalmajor der Polizei

Pair of matching tabs for the left and right collars of a Generalmajor equivalent in the Police (Polizei).

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold over police green underlay, with gold bullion piping (often seen in celleon).

(private collection)

 

SS Gruppenfuhrer und Generalleutnant der Polizei

Pair of matching tabs for the left and right collars of a General in the Police (Polizei).

1942-1945 pattern rendered in gold over police green underlay.

(private collection)

 

SS Police General’s collar insignia pattern (for all General officer ranks) prior to the change to Waffen SS style Generals collar tabs in February 1942.

(Holzauge Historical collection)

 

A matching pair of SS Police General’s collar insignia, pre-February 1942 pattern.

(private collection)

 

Pre-1942 Police General’s tab embroidered in gold wire and bullion.

(private collection)

 

A pair of pre-1942 Police General’s tabs embroidered in gold wire and bullion, over a fine, green velveteen backing.

(Padilla collection)

 

 

 

Police Generals Collar Tabs; Variations, or Reproductions?

 

Much remains unknown about Polizei General Officer rank insignia, and in the world of collecting it makes for vibrant discussion when trying to discern between original and reproduction insignia.  This is particularly the case concerning the SS “style” 1942 - 1945 pattern collar tabs for Polizei Generals.  One would think that, since the Polizei was assimilated into the SS and utilized SS pattern insignia, that the same attention to detail and strict following of patterns would be followed by the Police.  The SS had almost no variation and two particular design styles of their collar tabs have been identified (these are discussed here).  The Police, however, appear to have had other designs, based on examples that have surfaced in the collecting world.  The problem is that many collectors only believe in the strict SS patterns and question variation….and rightly so.  As with the case of SS Generals, one would need clear photographic evidence in period photos to prove that these variations were in existence.  Photos do exist showing possible variation, but none found to date show clear evidence due to focal issues or the subject matter being too far from the camera.  Outlined below are examples of accepted Police General collar tabs which use the two SS patterns, as well as possible variations and questionable pieces.  Also shown are period photos of Police Generals wearing this insignia in which the viewer can come to their own conclusions.  All of these examples have been either shared with me by other collectors, or found on searches of the internet.  If you have additional examples that you would like to share, please contact me.

 

Examples of Police Generals Tabs which are accepted SS patterns

 

 

 

Example of a Possible Variation of Police Generals Tabs

 

This is an example that has been encountered in which the construction, materials and tight embroidery technique all seem to match period examples.  What does not match is the pattern.  The problem is that it also is very similar to known reproduction SS Generals collar tabs produced in the “banana leaf” style shown to the right.

This is an example of a commonly occurring style of reproduction SS Generals tabs that have been around for decades.  Some have a higher level of embroidery quality than others, but all have this “banana leaf” style of three straight, rigid leaves with very soft scallops.

 

 

Period Photos of SS pattern Police Generals Collar Tabs in wear

Shown below are numerous period photos of the SS style, green backed Police Generals collar tabs in wear.  Some of these photos have excellent detail, allowing us to compare them to known SS examples, others are less clear and open the door to possible variation.  Unfortunately, as is often the case in this hobby, the clearest photos support the “known to be good” patterns, while the fuzzier, blurred photos leave us with enticing possibilities of variations.  If you have a good period example clearly showing variations, please contact me for inclusion on this page so that we can expand the realm of knowledge on this insignia.

(Note; these photos were either sent to me by other collectors, or found via web searches.  I have attempted to leave photo credits intact where watermarks were included.  In other cases photos were too large or cropped for better viewing of the insignia.  Photos are displayed here for educational purposes to aid in collector identification of original insignia.  However, if you discover a photo here that is yours and not properly credited, please contact me for either proper credit or removal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW! Click here for a Guide to Original vs. Reproduction SS Generals Collar Tabs

 

 

 

I’m always looking for good photographs of original tabs and other Police General officer insignia.  If you have something to contribute, please visit the submitting photos page.