Waffen SS General Officer Ranks

 

The Waffen SS wore armed forces style General officer shoulderboards using the same style pip arrangements to indicate rank, yet much like the Luftwaffe, had their own style of collartabs which reflected the individual rank of the wearer.  This collar rank system followed that of the shoulderboards in using a base pattern of three oakleaves to indicate General officer rank and the addition of pips to indicate the higher grades.  The examples shown below are of the late war, second pattern, which went into effect in April of 1942 and remained until the end of the war.  Construction was that of aluminm thread wire on a black velvet background.

 

Shoulderboards

 

In 1940 Waffen SS General officers were given a dual rank title (SS rank/Army equivalent rank) and allowed to wear army style General officer shoulderboards (a few W-SS Generals actually wore these before they were officially permitted).  These boards were of the same style and construction as that of the other branches of service consisting of interwoven gold bullion and silver cords (or gold colored celleon and aluminum cords).  The underlay for all Waffen SS General officers was a mouse gray color.

 

 

SS-Brigadefuhrer/Generalmajor der Waffen SS

Gold bullion outer cords with inner silver braided cord over mouse gray underlay, with no rank pips.

 

 

 

SS- Gruppenfuhrer/Generalleutnant der Waffen SS

Gold bullion outer cords with inner silver braided cord on a gray underlay, with a single, silver rank pip.

This particular specimen is on the field uniform of General Fritz von Scholz and exhibits much wear from his  days on the front lines of the battles at Narva as divisional commander of “Nordland”.

(Courtesy Holzauge Historical collection)

 

 

 

SS-OberGruppenfuhrer/General der Waffen SS

Gold celleon outer cords with inner silver aluminum braided cord on a gray underlay, with two silver washed rank pips. This example is attributed to Karl Wolff.

(Costello collection)

 

 

SS-Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer/Generaloberst der Waffen SS

Gold bullion outer cords with inner silver braided cord, with three pips arranged in a triangle.  This particular example is from the leather overcoat of Sepp Dietrich (available in For Sale section)

Only Paul Hausser and Sepp Dietrich held this rank in the Waffen SS.

(private collection.)

 

 

Reichsfuhrer SS

Standard Allgemeine SS General’s shoulderboard with the addition of a rank device consisting of three oakleaves (as in the RFSS collar tab).  This device was colored silver from 1934 until December of 1939 at which time it was changed to bronze. April of 1942 found another regulation changing it back again to silver.

(private collection) 

 

 

Collar Tabs

 

SS-Brigadefuhrer/Generalmajor der Waffen SS

The base rank is signified by three oakleaves

 

 

 

SS-Gruppenfuhrer/Generalleutnant der Waffen SS

The base rank is signified by three oakleaves, with the addition of one pip.

 

 

 

SS-Obergruppenfuhrer/General der Infantrie, etc., Waffen SS

The base rank is signified by three oakleaves, with the addition of two pips.

 

SS-Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer/Generaloberst der Waffen SS

The base rank is signified by three oakleaves, with the addition of three pips.

 

 

Reichsfuhrer SS

Cluster of three oakleaves surrounded by a laurel wreath.

 (private collection)

Click here for a study of Pre-1942 SS General rank insignia

 

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

 

Click here for an expanded page showing additional Examples of Waffen SS Generals Insignia & Personality Groupings