W FFEN- __ 1' __ CLOTHI .. G

AND EQU_PMEN- 193,9-119,45

Andrew IMoilio


Publisher's 1Il01l:e

for technlcsl reasons it has 110lt proved possible to reproduce the colour Illustrations which appeared on p, 40 ot the first edition in their original position. Additionel monochrome photographs hove been provided 'on p. 40 of this edition, and the colour itlustrations will be found on thE! Tsar endpaper.

Second edition

e , 992 Historical Research Uni1

Designed and illustrated by Ma~colm McGre.gor

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or tnnsmitted in ,any form or by any means" e!ec~i'onic or mecnanlcal. indudrng photocopy. recording. or in any information storage and retrieval $,ystem. witlio!.J~ the prior written consent ot 'the publishers,

Published in Great Britain 199Q by Windrow & Greene t.td.

5 Gerrard Street

London W1V 71LJ

Printed in Singapore by Craft Pwint Pte ltd

A CIP catallogue record Tor this book is a,vai~.a;ble from the British Libfary.

ISBN 1-872004-&7-9


T',o expansion of the 5S at the end of 1939,. from an armed political POliCH force, to what was in reality to become a fourth branch of lhe armed toroes was achieved ag a i J1S t the resistance not 0 nlv of the conservative and wellet;lJblisl1ed armed forces, but Hitler and his Party as well. Both camps had reLlsons to fear a powerful, Independent. and expenenced armed force in (heir midst. But the SS had its own mtsrnsi problems to overcome before it could have presented any sort of threat. Prrimarily a political organisation. it Ill( ked fundamental military experience, despite the fact that many 01 its ssruor leaders, like Dietrich, Berger. and Pohl. had First World Walr military e x penence. lts rrulnsrv commanders -lilke Hausser. who had actually been a general officer in the Rek:hs.wehr before jO~l1ing the SS - were fsw and lar between. Despilte an efficient otticerrraininq programme 'the 55 was sull. at the outbreak of war. desperately short of field commanders and staft ofhcers,

The SS expressed disdain and even ddicul'B for the German army and II S conservatism. but was nevertheless forced to calion it not only tor Its heavy weapons and specialised trail'l~ng, but also for its clorhinq and! personal equipment. The pre-war SS Clothing Works and Depots. together with the RZM. were quite capable of supplying an Allgemeine-SS unit with a few pairs of black breeches or twentY pairs of collar patches for newly enrolled members. but was unable to supply the SS- Totenkopl-Divislon with 15>000 5Gb of clothinq and equipment.

Tlus disdain WaS not shered by the officer corps of the embryo Waften-SS. many of whom h,ad jolned only because prospects or promotion Were better In Ihe SS. Their reliance on army know-how had the Opposite effect of f")t;tenng an insidious process of millllUlSal.loll. They prefered to use army rank utles (Leu trran t instead of ss- U nterstinrnfuhrer). the army salute instead ot tha German 'deutscher Gruss', and finally they afie'cted army style of dress. Hlrnm~er was obliged to point out that:

274. The field-grey unfform of the Wa,ffen-,s"SI.

The manulactura and method of wearing the field-grey field blouse, fJreatcoat and field cap 0-1 the Weffen-SS, differ widely from army regula-

IOns, They belong to the SS. as laid down by [he RFSS orders of 12 December 1939 and! 10 May 19140.

he collected orders in the H eeresverord nungsbl attern and the Allgeme I nen Heeresmittellungen (see H.v.B1.Tei'l C,. Blatt 26, Zlft.l007) are Il1vallld for lho Waflen-SS.I/3 1501.

and <1.g3in lin 1 941 :

344. Clot'lI'iing and eQjuipment.·~

Regulalions oi the OKH concermnq cl'oth~ng and equipment (introduction and alteration etc.) which appear in the HVBL and AHM. or in separate published orders. are invalid for the Wallen-SS.

These orders are issued 10 the w'affen-SS by the SS-Fuhrun shauptamr. Kornrnandoamt der Waffen -SS.

Kdo.d. W. 5511 a.

Bur however much Himmler resented and resisted failling in step with the army. practical considerations prevailed, For the rest of the war, this sort of announcement regularly appeared in the SS-Verordnungsb,alt:

434. Ilr.ie:ld-'grey field unjtormfor 'C,li'ews of-anti-tank guns (self pWiPelled).3

The order anna unced ~n the A H M 1942, page 464. No. a93" is also val id for the Waiten-SS.

SS.FHA,jla!i V.

But lack of experience and tradrtion also had its benerits. Many 55 officers urunlubired by precedent Set about expedmenting not onlv With new tactics, but with suitable modern clothing and equipment with which 10 execute them, The German army field un if 011111', as worn at the beginning 'Of the war. was, onlv a development of that worn 70 years earlier during the Franco- Plru5sian war. The Waffen-SS. with their camouflage jackets and webbing squpiment, would riot look 0 u I of plate I n a, modern NATO manoeuvre,


1. V.Bld!'W_-SS .. NrJ 1.15 October 1940, z.n. 274_

2. Ibid. Nr,lB. 1 September 1941.Zlff. 344.

3. Ibid, Nr.23. 1 December 1942,. Zift, 434.

Main ufacture

Once a design Of prototvpe had been approved, of len by Hirnmler himself. it would be put into mass production, Manufacture would be undeetaken by a private firm or aile of the SS-owned economic enterprises, The first clothing works of the Wafferl-SS (SS- Bekleid,ungswerke) was established in Dacheu.' where almost frOIl1 the beg'inoing the S5 -Verwaltunqsamt had its main clothll'lg depot (Bekteidungslager). In 1939 a works had been established in the women's concentrarion camp at Havensbriick. On 1 July 1940 both these works, employ i ng approximately 141 in rna tes, became part 0 f the SS-owned company, Society tor the Expi.oitation of Textile and Lealhe:!r Goods Ltd (Gesellschalr fur Textil-und l.ederverwertunq GmbH - Texled).2


Typical scena in5id~ all SS ccneennasicn camp c~othUig works 31 the beginning of the waw.


$0011 new weeks for knitwear and straw cvesbeots, a weaving mill. and a trai n i ng schoo I tor ~·a,i ~ors was established in RavJensbruck. 8y 1943 the clothing works in Dachau and RavernsDrLick had achieved a W'JJy hi:gll standard. and ,apart from manufacturing clothing for inmates, were prodiucing some 20% oW the WaH'en -58 cloth iflg needs. Items of do rh ing manufactured by the S5 clothing works usually bore the stamp

55 BW

Another firm. German Equipment W(l~ks Ltd (Deutsche Ausrustungswerke GmbH - OAW) was formed In May 1940. and operated a number of factories which ursdertook minor economic enterprises, including the sword smithy run by Paul Muller in Dschsu from October '19:39. J

After the occupaslon of Poland and parts of RUSSIa. Eastern IndlJstr~es Ltd (Ostindustrie GmbH ~ Osti] used Jewish inmates from eonoentratson and labour-camps to make winter uniforms and various Items of equtprnentfrom property and raw materiels seized by the Germans. I n October 1943 Ost i took over the fur wmking factorv attached 10 the torcsd labour camp at Trawruki. where. under the management of Hm German service firm of Schulz &. Co. 6.000 Jews manufactured and maintained h.Jf eaps. coats, and gloves for the Waffen-SS and armed force's.

BV use of KL inmates. the 5S was never short of labour although increasinglv short ot raw materials, wh,icll necassit:@ted restricrion on the issue of mew clothing and re-issue of renovated used clothing, By 1943 the shortage had become critical and jll1 January Pohl reported to the Rek;hsfuhrew-SS: 'I n tile past y.ear the S ituation In the field of texti Ie and leather goods has worsened cons idera . .b 1'1.' He went on to blame th is. all 'the abssnceofsu pplies from abroad, the continu ing expans ion of the armed forces. the increase In the requirement tor worl:cloth.ing for foreign workers ilJnd Ihe needs of the


1. NO·678. This included a small tailors' shop established in August 1949. transferred to DAWon 1 Jianuary 1941_

2, NO-l 043. The SS economic enterprises in Dachsu were incorporated In OAW from 1 .Januarv 1940.

3,. NO·67a. The plant was opened in Dachau in February 1940. and transferred to Taxied on 3, June 1940.


Allhough this volume deals with the clothing and equipment of the WaHenS5 it sJlghtly overlaps Volurne 3 in the present series, since much that was worn by the SS-VertGgungstruppe remained in use. and the change-ovef

rom 55-VT to Waifen-SS was a gradual process. First oWcial use of the title Waffen-SS appeared ,in an order dated 1 December 1939 .. ' but i was not until 2.2 April 1941 that the earlier titles (SS-Verfugungstn.lppe anc SSTotenkopflle,bande) were 'finally abandoned." When the first volume was published in October 1968 it was the first and only book davoted entirely to 55 uniform. Four other works on the subject appeared in 1'971. of which two may be claimed to be of some Importance and two culled from arguable and already published sources.

With the lattar works in rmnd it was decided to translateand collate the chronology of Sill avail'able orders embracing Waffen-SS clothing, standero Ii1s1gnia. rank badges. and personal equipment. Access to a complete record of he orders Willi enable the reader to assess reasons tor the Introduction and withdrawal of a particular item indecendent ot an author's interpretation. Original rnernoranda and conversations, between Hirnrnler and his staff concerning the development of Waffen-SS uniform during and at er the war will it is hoped enliven the otherwise dry matter.

The orde 5 are complemented by three modes of illusrratlons: carefuUy selected photograp'hs of clothing and equipment worn by seNing personnel ~s.howing as faw as possible the complete uniforrnl, sspar .. te Items of head-dress, insignia and personal equipment lrorn the author's and other collections: and, detailed technical drawings emphasising cut and details to facilitate identification of surviving examples. II could be argued! that all thrs Information will enable the less-scrupulous dealers to make better copies. Be tl1au es it may: the more accurate and detailed the irrtarrnsticn availab~ to the ccnsctor. [he more difficult it becomes to deceive' him.

A common QUibble from 'pseudo experts' IS that the orders don't matter because the S5 men disregarded the regulations and wore what they pleased, but [his is not entirely true. Until the final stages of the war the German army presented a rem~r~ab!y uniform aopsarance. The apparent vanetv of dress WI msrw photographs is not plimanlv due to the arbitrary chores of non-regulation Items but to the ever Increas.ing number of regulations items which could be worn concurronuv. Most introductory orders end up by stating that the old pettern may be worn out This does not mean that non-requlanon urutorrns were nor worn. and whe~e ,6 nonstandalrd article persists it has been Included. However, Isolated examples of pe sonal vanity have not been metlcul~Ulsly noted. for they were not typical of he Waffen-SS as a whole.

Those drsappointad by the ornlssion of such items as fezzes, Italian steel

helmets, etc. must bear in mind that they do not constrtute standard Waffen-SS Clothing, bl:!lng peculiar to national Icrmeticns. They will be discusseo in Volume 7 in chapters dealing exclusively With the appropriate formations. The following . rlends have gr.eatly contributed to, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of this work by their knowledge, patience and skill: Colonel C. M. Dodkms and Philip Buss BA(Hons.1 for advice. criticism and correction; Friedheim Ollenschlag:er for aclv~ce and proof-reading; Malcolm McGregor for the illustrations; and Andrew S. Walker for the photography.

I am equally grateful for the qenerous ce-coerauon of David L. Delkh, James van Fleet, Richard Deeter. Roger Harle, and Colonel e. M. DodkHis wno grallted me access '10 their private collections and from wh~ch items loaned for use lin preparing: this book: have proved of inestimable value .. The following museums, archives and collections have· supplied photographic illustrations: imperial War Museum, London: Wiener Ubrary, london; Bundesarchiv. Koblem:; Suddsutscher Verlag, 'Germany; EGV Ardw .. €l. ltaly: Jost Schneider Arch~\Je; Dedkms Collection,

AUilihor's note to second ediliiion

lin the: twenty years since the appearance ot the firs1 edition of this volume verv little new information has come to light whi!dl obliges me to revise or correct the contents.

Whereas- the pioneering research on Waffen-SS uniform was undertaken in the United! Kingdom, With generous hejp trom American collectors. today it tS the French who seem to be produdng the most interesting work Ar icles on various aspects of SS clothing and equjprnent, with special emphasis on items worn in the various camp,lIgns In France, appear regularly in Mil!rana magazine. Delailed w()rik has been done on Wa'ffen·SS camouflage cJothing which suggests that the. difference in c-amQuifage patterns reflected the da e of rnanutecnne: whereas one lead'mg French expert on camouflage clothing IS of the opunon that the patterns pnnted on waterproo cucx were produced concurrenHy by different factories. Since no documentary evidence has been produced to support either hypothesis we do not ver kn-ow the answer.

While going through my correction CODY I was reminded of the' meticulous edi ing wor carried OUi by Alan Kent who - when asked to cast hcs highly protessional eye over a copy of hIS volume ~ pointed out more battered lette~s. filoating Icotnotas and typographical errors 'than II wish to br;ingl to the attention of readers of this revised edition.

I,n conclusion. I would like to point out that Hugh Page Taylor wrote the introduction and the unit histories tor Volume 3' of this series, a fact Inadvertently omrtted from the revised edition due to a punter's error,

And~ew Mollo SagonneJH92

G~Jrman civilian population aSH result of general wear and tear'. After calculatm9 the SUPD~Y of raw rnstetials evailable. Pohl estimated that the needs of lhe Waffen-SSfor the year Hl43 could onlv be met up rn the fOlrowing percentages:



Synthetic wool and ravon

26% 15% 25%

Linen 30%

Leather for footwear and equipment 50%

Pohl commented, This msans that the we,aringl time of most articles must be oxtendsd by four and more": adding. ' .. _ that ~1: is only possible to ensure supplIes ~n the Iiong term if one exercises the utmost economy. and defers allllvou:lable claims from the troops. Itt is known. and stressed time and lime agalll In drscussions with the OKW. that compared to tile army the Walfen-SS is sull considerably better clothed and equipped, Our troop commanders (Truppanfuhrer) must realise that itt the fourth y,ea, of war it is no longe~ possible to g,et excepnonal treatment.'

OM outcome of Pchl's gloomy forecast. was Himrnler's recommendation thar a look out be kept for suitable 'IorelQn unrtorrns. but once again tbe 55 mel. resistance from the army, In Apri111943, SS-GruL Berger reported that in Denmark stocks of Danish uniforms could only be utilised (for the Gerrnan army) uv Commanding General von Hannecken - who was also findilng difflc.IJlty in obtaininq enough uniforms 'lor German and ethnic-Gerrnen conscripts. The situation was no different if") Decemlber 1943" when the Hochste SS - und Po~izeli -F uhrer in Italy attempted to extract 100,000 sets of captured 'Italian uniforms and equipment out of the army, tor use by the repmlv expanding. ltalian volunteer units. Although 'the Waf1fen-SS was unab Ie to clothe 1 00.000 IH1~ fans from its own Slacks, the army quartermaster. OberstintendatTt Nierhoff at OKW/VA, played for time by say~ng. that 'there sti II had not been a ny exact survey of aval lable booty. and that the armcdtorces requirements are also very great', He went on, 'tit is therefore up to 'the Wehrmarchl-Fuhrrungsstab to decide', and that ',01 decision in writing is not to be expected before the end of the month'.

In 1943. the OKW, Iacsd with simi'lar problems, embarked On "1118 next !nevltable step - the standardisation of the uniform of: the armed forces and organisations connected with it. lin September 1940 it ~lJg'gested 'that the shade and manufacture 0'1 the uniform of the Wehrmacht and 'the organisations ~onnected with it should be standardised .especiallves the supply situation In the field of raw material's, particularly textiles. make ~u increasingiv difficult to keep sufficient stocks of the various colours in use. and also to further ease

Relchsfuhrer-S$ Himmler and Generaloberst Mod!::! H'lspec\ Ihe 't3lh S5 Volunteer' Moumam iDlv's'on (Croatian) en 12 Janu"ry 1944. On the flgtlt IS SS·OgII,lI.Puhl. and behind Himrnler, SS- Brigaf.IFn.zhum. They all wear tailor-made g~ealco,us, W'lh siive'l grey I~p."s arid collar patches. Hirnmlsr has a detacllable fur collar,

the 'labour situstion'. The sample of the material they sent fen inspection was similar to the earth-grey that the S3-\IT had used unnl 1937 - 8. and Pohl could no! resist rem i ndi 119 H irnrn ler that 'we realised eigh'tt vears ago th at this s hade was undoubtedly more practical and acted accord ingly. At the beginning of the war on the intervention of the OKW. we had '10 depart from this colour. although we Were convinced that II was beuer'.

The OKW had 10 decree 'what ~tem5 of uniform are [a be maoein future, and




P-r6tace Contents Introduction

Manuf.ach.Jre, issue and replacement of clothing

The standard field uniform '10

Camouflage clothing 37

Variations 011 the standard field uniform for cavalry, artitlerv etc. 4'5

Special black clothinq for tan k. crews 53

Special field-grey clotnil1.g for se I'f-propel led andassault gun crews. 58

Special parachute cloth ing 61

Winter clothing 64

Tropical clothing 71

Standard insignia 74

Rank des;~gnations n

Bad.ges of rank 84

Waffenfarben '102

Standard personal equ ipment i 01

Variations 'On atandard personal equipment tor esvatrv, artillerv etc, H 9

Side arm'S 122

Append toes 125

Bib~iog~aphy 132

Errata &. Addenda 134


in what finish. Except for naval crews. who retain their blue clothing, all units of the armed 'forces. \Naftern-SS" Tcdt Org,anis<ltian. Labour Corps and IRed Cross. are to receive a standard uniform, identical ill cut and colour.' 'The Expert Committee of the clothing industry suggests that the important requirements are introduction of a standard quality and colour of materiel. standard cut. standard underwear. and equipment. The rernaminq badges 0'1 mnk and accoutrements will serve to distinguish the Individual formations', Although discussi'ons concerning the standardisation of uniform had taken place before the war. it was only now. in the fourth year of war. and as a result of Armament Minister Speer's pressure. that something was 'finally being done about ,it Pohl was lin favour. but doubtful of the outcome of these discussions, not knowing how the armed forces would react. He thcuqht a decision would only be reached I'f Speer issued a definite order. Pohl went On to the question of the uniform of the German police, before concluding. 'we must all acknowledcge that In peacetime we can have as many uniforms as we wish, but in time of war. indeedtotal war, we must fina.lly and radicallv dispense with all our eccentricities'.

On 18th October 1 943 H irnrnler replied that both the Watfen- SS and no I ice endorse the standardisatron of uniforms. but that he required acceptance of the earth-grey colour of our fanner uniforms. 'which we had to give up because of tile narrow rnindedness of the competent experts at the 0 KW', He asked Pohl 10 let him know 'if my wrs h canoe taken Into accou nt, because if n can't. I don't intend to let the matter rest there'> It was not until B July il944 that Hitler inspected and finally approved the new field uniform. and authorised Speer to co-ordinate all the agencies involved In its rapid production. In fact the new fl!?ld uniform arrived too I(He in 'the war ro raoicallv alter the appearance of the German soldier.


Once manufacture had been underta en and completion could be scheduled. an announcement appeared! in the SS-Verordnungsblatt describing the article and for whom I r Was. ~ rnencec, and instr ucted the field units to indent via lha usual clotihing channels which initially ended up at the SS-Verwaltungsarnt and, after 30 January 11'942 at the SS-Wirtschah und Verwaltunps Hauptarrtt. Dept.B; which dealt with economic details directly related to person nel, I n ~,942 D,ept. B was organ ~sed as foHows.:1

'ThiS correspondence ls interestl'ng since it 'fails to refer to a Jetter {rom Hirnrnler's adjutant. SS-Ostubaf. Brandt to Pohl' dated 14 October 1943" which informed him that Hitler had 'forbidden the alteration of the uniform material used hitherto'.


Amtsqrupps B: Truppenwirtschaft

Amt IB ~ Verpflegungswirtschaft

Amt IS II Bekleldungswir'lscha'lt

1, Bekl.u.Ausr. fur MaiM u. Fuhr,er 2, Bekfe i d ungswerke

3, Klelderkasse~SS

U nterkunftswi rtschat l Rohstoffe und Beschaffunq

Arnt B III Arnt B IV

In principle every Waffen -$5 recruit was supposed to, receive a complete set of clothing and personal equipment 015 llsted in the wartime issue schedule ~AlIssta'ltungsso ~I (K)). wh ieh termed part of Lila overall war equipment schedule (Klriegsausrustungsnachweisung - KAN), The early schedules were quire lavish, but soon proved am unnecessary €xtravaganc,e In wartime, and first to suffer reductio ns i 1"1 basic issue, 0 r race ive inferior s ubsti tu tes, were members of the Ersatz units. (Sele part 1(1)

The foillowing schedules for September 1940 and July 1941 list the basic issue of clothing and equipment to N,C,O:s and men in fiel'd Units,


Further 10 the order In tile Verordnunqsblatr dsr lnspektion (E}der SS-VT Nr. 2" and the summary 0 r the releva nt provisions or the H auptarnres H aush att und Bauten.and in order to eliminate any confusion that may 811i'1 e ist, we aglain list below articles of clothing and equipment included in the issue to N,C>O:s and men In Ihe event of posting 10 field, units or transfer from one replacement uni I to another:

Oblligatory So,lldii,er:s.' Cllothing and Equilpmefllt


Cloth b*ouse. field -grey· Ciotti trousers, field-qrev Cloth grealtcoat field-grey· Field cap. field-grey Orillor fatigue blouse

Dr i II or fatig'ue trousers Man::hing boots

Lace-up shoes

Shirt: white lor brown trikot) Underpants

Woo~len pullover

Balaclava helmet (Kopfschutler):!

Socks, (or 2 prs, socks and 1 pro tootwraps) Tie (only Wli,th brown trikot shirt)'~ Neckcloth or collar liner



Overcoat straps Mess-tin straps" GrQurnd:shee~ Groundsheet pol!e Groundsheet pegs Groundsheet cord Water-bottle and cup Mess-tin

Eating utensils

Haversack IH avessack strap

Clottling bag ~

Handksrch isf 4

Steel helmet grey

Steel helmet chin strap

Waist belt, Waist belt buckle

Bayonet frog

Ammunition pouches

Helmet cover, camouflage 4 Woollen blanket (pack blanket) g Carl'ymg straps for tunic

Steel belt hooks

Quaflltity 1







































1. With appropriate insiqnia.

2. Only in winter.

3. Only w~th the old pack.

4. Only fodront-line troops (Feldtruppe). if and when available.

Drivers are also to be issued' with appropriate special clothing if avaHable (except winter clothing,). In the event of posting compl!€!i€l units to other gar!' isons, Sill ctothi ng a nd equipment must accornpenv them,

.348. Obligato,I'V Clo,thiing anfil IE,quipnlsrnlt for a Soldier.'

Articlel Q'uantlty Aema.rks

Cloth blouse. 'field-,g~,ey if Whh insignia

Cloth trousers, 101l''IQ1. field grey 1

(breeches for mounted personnel)

Cloth greatcoat field-grey 1 With insignia

Field cap. field-grey 1.

Drili jacket 1

Drilfl trousers 1

Marching boots (riding boots for

mounted personnel) Lace-up shoes

Sports. shoes 1 Only for mounted

Brown, sh irt. mkot! 3

Underpants 2

Wooillen pull lover 1

Balsclsva helmet 1 Only in winter

Socks (or 2 prs. socks and 1 pr, tootwraps) 3

Tie. black 2 Only with brown shirt

Cellar lin,er2


1,J,loves, woollen 1

Braces 1

H andkerchiets 3

Sewing bag 1

Cleaning brushes (set) = (cleaning brush, 1

polishing brush. elothss brush, nail

brush, polish brush)

Pack Model 34 with straps (or Pack. 1

Model 39, or combat pack with carrvinq straps)

Greatcoat straps 3

Only when absolutelv necessary

Not for mounted.

M.39 only when issuedto units tor mounted 11 onlv

Mess-tin straps Wooillen blanket Groundsheet Grounds.llee,t pole Groundsheet pegs Groundsheet line Water-bottle with C'UP Mess-till

Eating utensils Haversack

Haversack strap CI'othing bag


Steel helmet

Steel h,elmet chin strap Waist belt

Waist belt buckle B,ayonel frog Ammunition pouch

Onlly with Pack Model 34

:2 1 ,

1 2

1 1 1 1 1 1i 1, 1 ~ 1 1 1 2

For those' equipped With a rifle .. Those with small requirement. 1 pouch

Identity disc with cord

Steel helmet cover. carnouttaqe Camouflage iacket

Iron ration, bag in doth Saddle-bagls., complete

Straps supporting for arrrnunition

pouches Spurs

Spur straps

Carrying straps for tunic Steel side hooks


1 On:~y for held units

1 Only for field units


1 Only for rnountsc

1 Only fm mounted

1 Only for mounted

1 Only for mounted




1. If a soldier is onlv issued with white undershirt in place of the brown trikotsttirt, he should have 2 undershirts. The undershirts are to be worn out. During the change-over from white undershirts to brown triikot shirts. brown shirts. will be alloceted accordiing to the stocks of the V'erwal'tungsamt-SS.


2. Only with drill uniform. [See V.B1.d.W'.-SS 1940 .• Zift402_) Existing neckcloths (Halsblnden) are to be included in the requirements. III the case of issue of white undershirts. the collar liner Or neckcloth is to be worn with the 'field blouse. Neckcloths are to worn out

Special clothing and individual articles are to be issued according Ito tlhe appropriate war equipment lnsrructions.

Tne sotdiers' cl'othing and equipment requirement as listed i~ the V.B Ld.w. -55 .. Nr.B .• 5.9.40.Ziff. 45 is hereby declared invalid.

Kdo.dW.-SS. 1 va

II n January 1 '943 a clerificaticn to the above order stated that:

Iron ration bag (Zwiebaekbeutel) Art. No. 10392. and Fat container (Fettbuchso) Art. No. 10442,

also constituted pelt of the obligatolty clothing and equipment of a soldler. (3 The economic situation in Septembe~1943 made it necessary so issue a newly formulated four-part schedule:

370. CllDthing ECDnomy of tile 'Waff'elll,-SS. ~

The stock situation in the field of textiles and leather requires not onlv the most carstul attentlcn and maineenanceot individual articles, but. also ~igr;ifiCant resnlctio ns,

For the duration of the war, therefore. a wartime issuing schedule in four pans has been established forihe clothing, and equipment oftheWaffen·SS. The four parts of the schedule are as follows:

Part A for field units.

Part is for all units and offices 01111 ~he home front Part C for tropical dothing

Part D for additicnal winter clothingl for units 011 the eastern front In-

cluding Lapland and northern Norway,

Units and offices will be altocated the corresponding part of the issuing schedule.

The following is ordered for the prosecution of these rnsasures :

1. All articies ill excess of requirements are to be noulied to the main office dealing with clothing economy.

2. Units and offices. which because of their special duties, are allocated two sets of elothinq (blouse and trousers). shall note that those articles that are suitable for field service use, are issued onlv lin Ihe .eIJen[ of posting or for special occasions. The trousers and blouse that are not suitable for field service use. constitute training clothing (UbUlnQsgarnirur). Usability will be determined according to strict criteria, in relation to the: raw material situation.

3. lin the case of Ersatz. units articles of equipment are to be used only when absolutely necessary.

4. The care. completeness and proper maintenance of articles is to be

supervised by the unit officers by constant clothing inspections.

5 Alii rules and regu'lations to the contrary are to be reqarded ascancelled. These orders do not constitute anvarbitrarv action. but ere meesures taken In everyone's interests. and are therefore to be strictly observed.


As availabil i'ly of cloth ing an.d eq IJ ipmen I worse ned, Ersatz urn IS began to send replacements to the front with interior or insutlieient cl'othing and equipment which impaired their fighting efficiency and imposed an added strarn on he alreadv overloaded supply situation at the front. lt meant that dericlency had to be made good from unlt stocks, which were never la!Fg-8 enough to COver losses.

401. completeness of equipment and clothing of dra~ts .. G

The order SS- FHA. Kdo, Amt der Waffen-SS la or 29 January 1 942 is hereby suspended.

Drafts being sent to Wield units are to be checked before their departure bv [he cnmpeterrtccmmanders and company commanders. as to the cornplateness of their olothinq and equipment. If the required clothing and equipment cannot be issued, ilt ~s to be reponed to the 5S-FHA/la.


In November 1944, further economies were effected by ceasing to issue items of rlo1hing and equipment which could not be used during the' winter months.

650." E'qui'pping ·01 troops witlil groundisheet,s and accesseries as well 3.S camo'U~laged dr-illl unitorms dilLirill,g the winter 'months,,; From now until 15 Malfen 1945 replacements posted to field and other units will not be equipped with groundsheets. accessories and carnounagad drill uniforms, in order to avoid the intolerable losses of these expensive items during the winter months. (See notices on the clothing economy of the Waffen-SS of the SS-\NVHA - B/H - 010 qeh, 113.kr.Nr.4/44. 25 September 1944 (only received by field unitsj.)

Replacem nt units and schools etc, are to use any stocks hey may have for training purposes only.

Froid units (divisions, brigades etc.) arato call in these items before the beginning of winter and report by telex the' Quantity collected jo the S-WVHA - Amt 8jH - Berlin, - Lichterlel West, Unter de Eichen 135.

If the unit concerned is not able to preserve and store them due to local conditions cr the situation. these articles are to be sent to the Waffen-SS

Clothing Depot at ArolsenjWaldeck o:r Lisberosa iibsr Kottbus/Nl.,

Heissue will take place in the course of the spring of 1.945. S5-FHA/la

Chain of siupply

A unit indents on FHA for trs specific requirements. iIf approved FHA instructs WVHA 10 make the necessarv issue. WVHA will then either dispatch the material direct to the unit from one of its central depots {HWL) or from the factory. or arrange for it to be made avai labile to, the un it at the nearest convenient sub-depot (TWL) ,

Where field torrnatlcna of the Waffen-SS were likelv to operate in a parrtcular area for a conslderabls period, spacial ad hoc supply bases (Stutz:punkte) were usually established at convenient points, These were small and of a temporary nature,

011 the eastern front S5 Supply Commands (Naehschubkommandantur) " were established as the primary link between the Hauptamter ,and HWLs in Germany and the SUb-depots (lWL) and units in its area. A Supply Command consisted of an important group of depots administrative offices which served both as a supply base and distribution centre. It was usually commanded by an officer with the rank of SS -Oberfuhrsr. I t CN.!~d. subject to the approval o·r the loca I SS EcoMm ic Adviser (SS -Wi rtsch after). pl:ace co ntrsots w~th. or make purehases from private firms ~n its area. B

* Duringl the planning stages the first three commands;

Nordabschnltt Riga (Latvia)

Siidabschnitt Krirn {Crimea)

Mittelabschnitt MQgi!ew (We1;tern Russia)

were known as versorqunqsstutzpunkte dar Watfen-SS und Polizei. Those in Latvia and Crirnee were to have a clothing depot with stocks of winter and summer d othi ng for three d ivisi ons (30.000 men) and! 10.000 policemen, The central Russian depot was to provide for two divisions ,and 20,000 policemen. 0


1. Soldaten wie andere auch, dole 34, pp, 342,4.

2. Handbook of German Administration and Supply. 1944. PD- 73·80.

3. V. BI. Insp. (El' 5S-TV .. Nr. 3. 1 May 1940. Zift. 45.

4. Ibid .. Nr. 16. 1 September ~ 941, Ziff. 348. 4a. Ibid" Nr. 2.1 '5 January 1943. Zrtf. 30.

5., Ibid .. Nr. 19. 1 October 1943. Zift 370.

6,. lbid., Nr. 21, 1 November 1943, .z~fff. 401. 7. lbid. Nr. 21' .• 1 November 1944. Zift6.50.

B. Handbook o~ German Administration and SuPP~V. HJ44, pp, 73~80. 9. 'RF-SS Tgb,Nr.8/42. g.Kdos.





~ I

UNIT ~ ~- - - - - - - DELIVEFlY TIME - _._._ - - - - UNIT

SS chain of supply.



In Germany, as in most European countries during the war, clothing was rationed. A newlly commissioned Waffen-SS officer on 'le,1!vilng cadet school as either an SS-Standartenoberjunker or SS-·UstuL received a grant towards the cost of purchasing his uOliform. Before and dudng the first two years of th wa r the regular Waffen- S5 officer had quite an extensrve wardrobe. but later In the war most young oiticers purchased extra cloth ing only tor best wear. This usuallv included an extra peaked and field cap, blouse. breeches, long trousers, greatcoat. gloves, belts, pisto: 1101s1er. pistol and OJI trrunk (Mobilmachll.mgskiste/Kleidlerkoffer) the size of which varied according 0 ra Ilk.

Towards the cost of these items. a Waffen-SS, officer received a single clot'iling grant (eine einmaliqe Ba!kleidungsbeihllfe) of between 350-800 RM. and the correspondinq number of coupons (Uniiorm-Bezugscheinel. Civiuans entering till Waffen-SS as specialists (Fachfuhrer) received only 2'50 RM, AlI'geme~ne-SS leaders, police and off,ieers of the armed forces received 350 RM.l Smaller amounts were gliven in the case of alteration of ex:istilng uniform. necessitated by chanqes in regulations. t

Once In possession of hrs clothing gran!. a Wafien-SS officer was supposed to purchase his uniform requirements from 'one of the SS clothing counters (Kleiderkasse -SS) . The SS -0 0 thl ng Counter was 'fillst establ ished III M un ich, Karlstrasse 10, in 1936, for the salle of regulation 58 cloth ingland equipment. and in order to prevent members of the SS from having to obtain credit from their tailor for the purchase of uniforms. After the beginning of the war, the rapid provision of WaffeD1-SS officers with regulation clothing and equipment was also transferredto the 55-CIQthing Counter, The organisation in Municll was 100 small for such a task. unsuitably sited. and in 1940 a bigg'er central sales office was opened in Berlin. although the Munich office was retained 'During the war sales ouueis wereestablished i,no the 'General Government and oecupred territories in order to reduce the burden on the central office. making it possrble and easier far S5 oftlcers In newly occumec territories to make purchases. a

Use of the SS-Clathing Counter was restricted during th,€! war to Waff,en-SS. SS etfieers in Legions and 5S formations {SS-VerbandeL and to officers OT th Order Police. To becorna a member costf IRMto cover administrative expenses: onethen moe ived a, numbered rnernbersh ip card and a n account nu rnber with 'entitlement to buy qoods against payment. or arrange to have them sent C.O.D. A. wartime member acquired only the righUQ purchase. with no further rights or obligations. 4

The SS-CIOlhing Counter was administered by Hauptahteitunq 3 of Amt Bill In the SS-WVHA. at Barlln-Wilrnersdorf Kaisorallee 42_. where its malin sales outlet also was aitueted. The Forw6rdlng Department was in Schlacksnwerth b. Karlsbad. Sudetenland, but did no:tfunction during the war. There were eight sal<l's points: £

, Munich 33. Kartstrssse 10

2 Oslo. Ronald-Aml1ndsen-Gate 23 3_ Warsaw C I. Siegesstras.se 5

4 _ Lublin. Piisudskistrasse Ba

5. R1ga. Adoll-Hitter-Strasse 23

6. Kiev. Hors -Wessel-Strasse. 20 7 Pragl I, Nurnberger Strasse 27

8 Paris. RUle' de G'enerai Apper Nr.6

The 55-Clothing Counter published its own 'thIrty-page illustrated caratopue. A<; In most arrnies dudng wartime. both ms means and opporumirv tor frontline officers to kh themselves with expensive tailor-made uniforms were somewhat limited, and most relied on their unit stores to provide. against payment, issue clothing andequtprnertt 'for wear iln 'the fJeld.llssue uniforms were worn unaltered by officers (except of course for badges of rank) or modified to suit individual taste- The most common atterauons were to the general fit and the collar. the latter often replaced by "<.1 smarter one. But LlOlhing stores and unit stocks were also subject to restrictions and nondelivery due to over-extended lines o.W supply. and it became il'lcreaslngly d,ffoicult to supply other ranks besides officers. In Au.gus! 1943; both the army <md Waf'len-SS took steps to Improve the situation by arranging for bener quality second-hand or tailor-made articles, 0 be collected and resold to se If - providers at ih rea times rile Hstftd price of an issue item, 6 and ill exchange tor ;;J uniform voucher (Un iltorrfl- Bezugschein) .


1 Handbuch fur den 5S -Fuhrer des Verwaltunqsdienstes der Waffen-SS .. 194"3 .. D II a') Bekleidungswesen im Kriege b) Kleiderkesse., pp. 1-3.

2. See fo:r I"l>mmpi'e v. B l.d .W. - SS .. N r. l t 1 June '1942. Ziff ,1 82. Be ill ilte fUr die Uniformandewng der Polizei-Dffiziere bei Obemahmewr 3 Waffen-SS.

Handbuch "fur den SS-Fuhrer des Verwaltunqsdienstes der Waffen· S5. 4 Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6, V.BLd_W.-SS .. Nr.16. 15 August 1943. Ziff.298.


428 .. Carel and replacernerrt of clothing}

In view of the supply situation on the textile and leather market ifl is the duty 0'1 every commander to make his officers and men ecpreciate the need to take the utmost cam of equipment

Those guilty of careless Or neglIgent loss shall. besides being punished, replace in full I he articles th at 'they have lost.

Every unnecessary loss of clothing and eq,uipment must be severely, punished by commanders.

.1 have ordered that. as in army. replacement un its will in future be equ ~pped with only face-up ankle boots and gaiters; Marchmg boots (Knobelbecher) willI now only be available to soldiers of the field army.

The corresponding orders will be issued by the chief ofthe VerwaltungsamtSS.

There is rio and of complaints from $traul:JilllQ Prison (Collecting point for old rnateriai) concerning he deliberate and senseless damage to articles of' service' clothing.

I have instructed the' Chief of the Verwaltungsamt-SS to make in future [he guilty persons pay for anv damage caused. in addition to any punlshmem imposed.

Moreover. I shall make he atlocatron of replacement clothing dependent on the condition of the old articles of clothing surrendered.

lin the Interests of the adequate eouioment of the Watfen-SS II. expect all oliioers to appreciate fully the supply situaticn and to act accordingly,

J uttner SS-Gruppenfuhrer und Generalleutnant dar Waff,ell~5S

In order to maintain a glood eppaarance and not prejudice the reputation of the Waffen-SS. soldiers OF) leaveor detached from units in the field. were to exchange their bad uniforms for better ones at their nearest S5 Garrison Headquarters (SS -Stendortkomrnandantur). ~

From 16 June until If July 1943 the S5 Garnson He-adqualrters in Berliin and Vienna were responsrbleicr replacing the bad clothing of SS soldiers aH~vil"lg from the eastern front. n


1. V.Bl.d.w.-SS. Nr_20. 1 Novem'ber1941, Zift. 428.

2. I bid Nr.3, 1 February 1 9142, Ziff.43.

3. Ibid N~, 12. 15 June 1943, Zi·ff.218.

R.eturn and displQsal

On completion of ills term of service every Waffen-SS soldier was, instructed to return to his unit all articles of clothinq and equipment with which 'he had been issued. There were obviously many cases of soldiers acting dishonestly and from September 1940 soldiers were not re~eased until everything had been handed in. Needy so Id iers withe utthe meansto purch ase a set of civili an clothing could apply for one at the Winter Welfare Service competent at their place of discharqe.'

Once used clcthlnq had been handed in it was sorted and those articles still suitable for furil1el' use were retained intact Worn out c'lollilng was dismantled and the CID h used for repairinq other uniforms or as rags.

120. Old material.2

Further to various. inquiries i{ is again pointed out that requirernenrs of repair materials (patellas. 'buttons. badges and rags etc.) have to be covered as far as possible by taking them from old articles of clothing, As evidence of the-removal 0 I repa i r materials one shall surrender - in the csseofblo uses. greatcoa[s and shirts - the collar and band, and - in the case of trousers and underpants: - the waistband. togelher with the rest of the old material.

V 3/031/2.41_ 121. Earth-grey clothing,,3

As from the 11 April 194-1 earth-grey clothing will be issued as working clothing lin civilian work camps. rom this date onwards. therefore. the wearing of earth-qrev clothinq III the Waffen-SS is forbidden" All articles of earth-grey clothinn (tunics. trousers, greatcoats. freld caps. surcoats, drill uniforms and ski clothing) still in the possession of units are to be surrendered at once ito Straubinq Prison Old Mamrial Utilisation Office (AltmaterialVerwertunqsstelle). On8 shall remove all insignia from the articles 10 be surrendered tor use on the field-grey training (Exerzlerqarmtur) clothing. Notification of the surrender of the above clothing is to be given by means of a !,ist of the articles surrendered, to the Verwaltunqsarnt-S'S by the 31 Marcn 1941.

I n the case of need an application may be made for the replacement of earth-qrsv by f.iel1d-grey clothing,

V 3/341{2.41.

As from October 1943 all old clothlnq belonging to units in the Reich, Czechoslovakia. the Gen.eral Government and occupied Western Europe was Collected and sent quarterly to the Admirustrative Section of Straubing Prison. All articles collected 011 the eastern front were sent (depending on the availability 0"1 empty transport) to clothing depots at: ~


ouu (Flnnland)

Riga (Nordaoschnitt)

Bobruisk (Mittelabschnitt) Dnjepropetrowsk (Sudabschn itt) Betscherek (SiJdoSl)

Old clothing was issued to concentration camp inmates or foreign workers. or pulped down for re-workinq. Metal articles were dlsmantled. the metals separated and used by the armament industry. As the raw materia! sltuatfo worsened the importance of this scrap was nOI underestimated.


Feldmutz,e (Schiffchel1)a.A. Field cap (boat-shaped) old pattern

With the introd uctio n of 1 he field -grey field service UUl itorm in 1 '937. the earth grey field cap (Vol. 3. p, 38) was also manufactured in Held-grey materlal, *' I ns;ignia remained the same. and consisted ofa whit·€.' melal neath's head button in front (later painted field-grey)" and the SS national emblem machine embroidered in whita silk on a black triangular ground on the left side of the flap, In 193.9 an inverted chevron (Soutache) in Waff.enfarbe was authorised for wear on the front of the Cl;IP; above the button. army style. This practice was offici.alily discontinued in July 1942.

F,eldmytze fur Unterful:u'e:r N.C.O.'s field cap

Continuing a practice borrowed from the army. N.C.O:s ln the SS-Vl wore their service caps on all occasions when 81 steel helmet was not sped led In 1938. this practice W2]IS, recognised by the intrcducticn of a special N,C.O:s peaked fieldl ceo.

'" The black version tor wear with the black service uniform was retained for personnel lin armoured units,


1. SS-.Befehls-BlaI1 .. Nr.8. 5 September 1940, Ziff.25,

2. V.Bl.d.W.-SS,. Nr.4. 1 March 19'40. zm.rzo. 3.. Ibid.Ziff.121.

<1. ibid, Nr.16., 15 Augus't 1943 .. Zm.29B.

Zilff.115; Subject. SS field-grey1iie,ld cap for N"C .. Q:S.l

II h as been ordered th at the' SS field cap, without chin strap Of w he st iffs ner (Mutzendraht). is to be worrn. It must be- borne in mmd.rhat itis not to be wo rn as a serv ice ca p, but as afield cap. and lh ls fac t h as been taken into IlCCQum when designing the cap. All caps curren11y in use must have the chin strap and stiffener removed,

Allllough ~niUally Introduced as, an N.C.O.'s G8p, it contmued 10 be worn well on into tile war bV N.LO:s and officers {many of whom were former NC.Oslin the Field. The cap had OJ field-grey lop. and. sotr field-grey cloth cnvered peak. black band, and whits piping. 8:adges were origina!ly ill while metal, but either metal, machine-embroidered (from Panzer beret) Or woven patterns were used, The December 1939 order laid down that In the \ unity of the barracks, senior N.C.O.s, (Portepee-Unterful1rer} could wear the ! elu·grey service Gap with field-grey uniform. On all other occasions. when a elBol helmet was not speclfied. the other ranks' field cap (Schifkhen) should be wom. However, amendments 'to the order permitted the wearing QLJt of the Did pattern N.C.O.'s·fleld cap."

Dienstmi.hze S,'rvtce cap

rfilcers were the first to receive an eanh·grey peaked service cap In 19.35. anc by 1937 it was being manufactured with a field"grey top. II was WOrn by cornrnissioned ranks"'''* on duW. an all occasions when 13: steel helmet was nut specified. Aitew the introduction of an officer's lietd cap in 1939. the peaked cap was worn with service dress. ana, after ·the outbreak of war, with wcllklng-oLiL dress.

0ffi cars' caps were made of fie,ld-grey cloth, With black velvet band and V.,lme pIping for all officers up to and mcludlno S5-Surl, Seruor officers Illilth the rank of SS-OberIuhrer and above and alumin ium piping_ The peak 'v"Yas made of lacquered black fibre (Vulk<lnfiber), although softer lacquered I"cllhsf peaks were also worn, albeit unotflelallv. Chin cords were made of ~WQ twisted aluminium cords, and were fastened to the cap with two 13 mm white metal buttons, Badqes on the field-grey peaked cap were supposed to have been in aluminium finish, but silver plated ones were also worn, as

H The Qrr,icers cap was also worn by graduate officer cadets (S5-Stand_ Ob.Ju.) awaiting promotion to SS-Ustuf" .a,fldi by SS-HauptscharfUhr*,r d.Res. in the medical mV81"n-inary services, S Far the various requlations governing the weariFt1g of coloured piping on the peaked cap. see the section deaJing with WaHen'farben.

Top 10 boltom : O~d pattern flold C(lP for other ranks and N .C.O.'s held capwrth cloth peak.


Top 10 bottom' 1938 model army officers heldcap convened fo, SS use. New pattern Ireld cap for other ranks. 1940 model Wa.ffen-SS officers held cap.


were woven I ernbroroered badges In June 1940. wearrng ot til wlu topped summer peaked cap by Wa-He:n-SS officers was fmbldden J

The ether ranks' version of the cap was first mtroducec iii 1939. for wear tl\ sanror N.C O.S In the vicinrtv of the barracks. and I was ontv after the bl,ac~ uniform had ceased 10 be worn as a walking-out dress tha other ranks were issued with, or aillowed 10 purchase. the field-grey peaked cap for WEH;![ wh n walking out. It had a fll~ld,·gr V tnkot top. black cloth band, and whue piping The dun strap was black leathar. and thE! peak was black fibre. Badges wen· whue or malt-grey rnetat,

Contrary to regulations obsolete patterns of SS cap badges were WOrn 011 both officers' and other ranks' service caps. Durmg the War the difficulty 111 obtaining S5 Insignia meant thai nauonal emblems of the army and othepclitrcal crpamsatrcns were worn Instead of the legulallon SS pattern I rn i tiflll~y, rna nutacture and retai I rng of fie'ld -grey 58 peaked caps Was can trolled by the I1ZM, but In February 1941 hey were treed from RZM control. and from til 1'1 on were obtainable trorn private hatters and uniform outfuts . although tha rnsrqrua was stili only obtarnable from the RZM. or one of Its outis s. ~ As a result of the difficulty of obtamlllQ SS caps and insiqma. marr, officers purchased army caps. had <I black vervet band fitted over the dark green One. and wore the national emblems of the army (or other pouncal orqamsancna) Instead of the regulation emblem (See. for example, the illustrati on on p. 91.)

The following unusual and unofficial pracuces regardmg wearing of the service cap have been noted:

1. Wearing of the cap without chin cords or strap,

2. A photograph shows an officer in Hussie wearing what appears to be a field-grey doth cover over hrs service cap.

FeldlMutze (Schif'fcnen} fUr 'Fuhrer Officer's 'field cap (boat-shaped)

The December 1939 order required that officers obtain the new field cap (b at-shaped In the air-force cut) by 1 Januarv 1940. Prior to this date there had no! been a regulatfon officer's field cap. Many officers had uno iciatlv purchased the 193B model army officera held cap, I'll black or field-grey, and replaced or covered the national cockade With either the metal 5S daath's head, or the small white metal one from the army Panzer troops collar patch There IS at least one recorded instance of an SS officer wearing the army 'jfileld cap with army InSlgma with Waffen-SS uruform."

The 1939-model officer's 'held cap was made of field-grey trikot wuhaluminrum piping around ths lOP 01 LI!e flap. In November 19-40" however. Hlrnrnler

amended his earlier order, and restricted (he wearing of alumiruum ,pIping to s~nlor officers with the rank of SS-OberfUhre and above All other officers wale to wear white piping. This order may nave been rescinded. but rn any ~ ase nobody appears to have taken any notice of II "

I 'YII(Jnia on an officer's field cap consisted of the national emblem and daath's naad, both 01 which were worn In front Thev were rnachlne woven in ,Iumlnlurn thread on a black ground. A Soutache in Waffenfarbe was also 1 be worn In front. Accordlllg to regulations the correct distance between tile emJ", of he Soutache Was 9 em.

Feldmi.irtze (Schiffchen) n.A.

Field cap (boat-shaped) new pausrn

I November 1940 a new style fie~d-grey cloth (black for Panzer troops) l eld rap 111 the air-force cut was introduced." Insmgni<1 on caps tor other ranks was basicallv the same as for officers. but woven In a Silver grey (later rnaugrey) arnhcral silk thread AI first the Soutachs In Walfenfarbe was sewn 10 u e lron! of Ihe' nap of t.he cap, but In order to facilitate the changmg of the Sl utache dnd cut down on make-up lime. il was decided to pass the Sf urache throuqh a loop at ItS apex and sew It at both ends only 1 II Weanng Ii· ,> Soutache was discontinued I'n September 1942.111

Einheitsfe'ldmjjtze Modell 1943

Srandard field cap, Model 1943

B 1943 practrcal experience at the front had shown the boat-shaped field can to be Impractical. as it afforded msut ic.ent shading from 1 I1l glare of t e sun. and rnsuflicient protection to the ears and back of the neck In cold wen h I' Since ~t could be worn In many different ways it also tended to uostrov the uniform appearance oi a UI111 'The mountain cap, which had been ISSll'30 In hrnued numbers bslore the war for halnlng In rnountamous regioll1s, was srna: t, practical" and popular.

35!5 .. lFj,eld cap.' ~

lnsteed of Um eXisting field cap[s] (boa -sheped). al new held cap In the same cut and manufacture as '[he mountain cap is to be Introduced on practical ground's. The field cap is black for Panzer troops. 8l1dfleid·grev lor all other units. Designation and arucle number remains unchanged The field capj s] (boat-shaped) mav be worn out.


It was impractical in the sense that crews of enclosed armoured vehicles were permuted to wear it back to ironto since tile large peak made it d~ mel! ltto use opuca: aqu i prnent.

Top !O bottom: 1943 rnodsl Iield cap for oiher ranks and orlieers. 1943 modol liald cap or late rna nutaeiu re \I"lIllh [mal pattern cap badge.


The issue standard field cap was made of field -grey cloth, ** and was similar in cut to the mountain cap, with large cloth covered peak and flap that fastened in front. with at first two and then one button, which could be lowered ~o cover ears, side and back 01 the head, and chm. Officers had aluminium piping around the crown Ol the cap.

At first the same insignia was worn as on the new pattern field cap. The deeth's head was worn in fron , and the ne ional emblem on the left side ot the flap, 1 n order to save time the width ot the flap In front wassHgh11y reduced and both badges worn In front Since it was qurcker and easier tD sew one badue, a new pattern, incorporatinq the national emblem and the deeth's head on a triangular base was In reduced later in 1943. The new insignia was produced in two patterns. The first was machine-embroidered in m It grey and black artificial silk on a triangular field-grey or bijack (for the black cap) cloth ground. The second pattern was rnachme-woven In a contrnuous su i p, a I though the desi g n rernamed basicallv s i rrular. There was no offi car's version of [his insilgnia, Although primarily dasrqned for the M.l 943 cap, thrs insiqma aiso appeared on other patterns of fi,ald cap, which remained in service until the end of the war.

The following unofficial practices ~egarding wearing the standard field cap have been noted:

1_ Wearing of metal cap tnsigni~ lin place of the woven pattern, 2_ Wearing of a combination of woven and cloth insiglnia_

3 Wearing of the arrnv M.43 field cap complete with army insignia, but the n anona I cockade el'li1er replaced or covered by a metal or woven deeth's head.

4. Wearing of M.43 caps made of white material with winter clothing.

5. Wearingr of M.43 caps made of right coloured lightweight matenals,

6. Wearing of M.43 caps with the flaps covered with fur.

7. Wearing of ski caps of civilian manufacture either wHh or without SS insiqrua,

Top (Q bottom: Peaked service cap for senior officers, otncsrs and other ranks.

Stahlhelm Steel helmet

lnitiallv the SS-VT hed been issued with a modified version of the 1 g~ 6 model steel helmet. or SS/ R:ZM model. r( See Vol. 3. pp.39 - 41 ,) 011 1 November 193.5 the chief of the SS-Hauptamt. notified all units of the SS-VT that since delivsnes of the Iield-qrev Wehrmacht helmet from the Reich War Ministry were expected before the end of the year, the introduction of the grey-green canvas GOller liar rhe black one was no lonper necessarv .. The black helmet in the possession of tile SS-VT was to be used for rparades.13 This


no Ice does not specify which model helmer was to be delivered, but most probably it was the Heichswshr model, which was, III [he time, being replaced bV the 1935 model in tile armed forces,

The c mailer 1 935 mode i steel helmet was fi rst issued to the SS - VI in 1 936, and hy the beginning of the war had been issued In both field-grey and black finishes. The obsolete 1916 model and RZM helmets continued in use with S£'L"lJJlty and Ersatz units until withdrawn in Ma,rch 1941,.14 The 1935 model Wd made m five basic sizes, we~ghi(lg from 681 -1.200 grrns, The lining was ot I I.l LU 181 coloured leather {perforated for verrnletlon) which could be adJusrr>d to fit the head by means of a drawstnnp and was attached to and stJsponded from an aluminium band Iixsd to the shell of the helmet by lhree cotter pins. The two-piece black leather chin strap was fastened on both side" to rings on the band, and buckled on the left side by a singile pronged W1111~ metal buckle. In Hl43, both cost lsctor and production speed were improved when 'Ihe helmet wag modified With an uncrirnped brim.


Be r.re the war the steel hetrnet had a smooth surface With a semi-matt fwl d grey fi n Ish .. It was forb idden to alter this finish either by pol ish ~ng or grf'inng. In Mardl 1940 it was decided .. for carnouflaqe reasons, 10 apply a new slightly rough finish (schieferqrau). Until supp-lies of this new paint w r€ made available helmets were to be camouflaged ternporarilv with earth Of clav, Duringl the war many different finishes were applied: although too Varied and numerous to listfully, mention "must be made otthe Use of common Wi Ilewash when 'the flsld' was a snow covered landscape ~


E :utcheons

FrtJm September 1935 the standard escutcheons of the SS were worn on the Slel'll helmet {Vol, 3, p. 41). These were- normally applied by transfer, alHmugh sume were hand painted. In March 1940. it was decided. for camouflage roasons, to omit or remove the national escutcheon. whi h was worn on he let Ide of the helmet In November 1943, the SS runes, worn on the right s~d~, was also discontinued. although it continued [0 appear until the end of Lhe war.l!i


Tile question of camouflaging steel helme s was never as important in [he W,rffr:ln-SS. as it was in the army, since tile W.affen-SS had been issued wllh a ca rnouf age cover as early as 1938. (See secnon on camouflage ClothIng.) I n addition to the cover, WaFfen-SS personnel used various ~ypes

Top to bouorn: , 935 model steel helmet Wllll s ml- matt field-gmy rinish om!!' na lonal colours. , 935 model Wiih matt rouqhtinish l st pattern steel helrnat cover,


Members of 5S OSllth's Head lntantrv Regiment 2 during winlenralinlng <II MUl1smgen rnenouvre ground, winter 1,939·40. They wear Ihe first pattern field-grey gre.ucoal wlih colmar pIping and ha,ve painted their helmets wnh whitewash.


of adrustebie straps fitted to th€l helmet so that foliage and other camouflage material's could be held in place." Carnoutlaae netting in string Of wire was also used,


1. SS-Befellls-81Iltt, Nr.2, 25 Februarv 1939, Z~U.15,

2. See Appendix I.

3, V.BI.'d.W.-SS .. Nir.2. 15 June 1940. ZiIHA6.

4, Mittellungsblatt der RZM. Nr.2. 25 Januarv 1941. p. 10. 5, V,Sl.dlW_-SS .. Nr.23, 15 December 1941. ZifTA87.

6. See Appendix L

7. Bender/Taylor, Vol. 1. p, 85 with illustrauon,

8. Dar Reichsfli hrer- Ss., SS - Be{eh I (Abscnrift). Selr, : Fe Idgraue Uniform dar Waffen-SS. Sicherheitspolizei und des SO, Bezug Main Be'fehl vom 10 May 1940, Berlin. den 5 November 1940,

9 V.BI.d.W.-SS., Nr.21. 1 November 1940. Ziff. 10. Ibid .. 'Nr,20. 15 October 1940. Ziff. 269.

1 i. Ibid .. INr,17, 1 September 1942. Ziff,309_

12. Ibid .• NrJ 9, 1 October 1943. ZIH.355.

13. Dar Chef des SS-l-!auptamtes,I/U 1 INr,Q14481,/35 Betr.: Ube,rzug

Fur Stahlhelrne. Berlin den 1 November 1935.

14. V.BI.d.W.-SS .. Nr.B, 1 April 1941 , Ziff" 59. 15" Ibid., Nr.21, 1 November 1943. Ziff.402, 16. See page 113.

BEKLEIICIUNG Clothing Feldbluse

F lelt! blouse

In n37 a new Ile~d-grey field blouse and long grey trousers began to replace LI e I del earth-grey s rVII::e uniform. The new field blouse was based on the 1 93~ army mode' but renamed certain SS features, such as the coller. whieh Wd~ lilt" same colour as the blouse, designed to be worn pnrnanlv open but eastl . losed It had slan'lng slash side pockets with buttoned tlap instead 01 II If! pleated army patch pockets. The cellar (and roller patches flfld same pan I 5 of shoulder strap) was piped In black and alurruruurn twisted cord unt I August 1940 when it was rnsconunued.'

rm Ion r the SS-Totenkop and SS-PO[lzel drvisrons at the close of 1939 nWf's<,tt8red the supply, by the army, of sufficient quanuues of army field urn urns to equrp them 2 The December 1939 Older described the ietd blou o as being of army CUI With dark green collar, bunon-on collar lmer. and pat oockets, The blouse was to be worn open Wlih brown shirt and black ne. W~lon traminq. on manoeuvres, or 0'1 special occasions It could be worn closed by order of the commander. Amendments to this order stated that the olr! sf» le SS blouse (with the same colour collar) was to be worn QUI, and th<lt alterations to the lield blouse were forbrdden ~ If the war conunued for an" IEH'lqth of time, the field blouse would again be supplied WI h the same cclou. collar, Tile amendment went on to state that the blouse was to be WOIIl dosed ilt the neck, and only opened by order The May 1940 order d srnbed the field blouse as being basicallv Ihe same for officers and men. and that In prinCiple It was to be worn open With shirt and tie and only closed by specral order."

Tbe Of's u Its 01 these centrad ictorv orders ca n be dearly seen I n any Waffen -5 S or up photo, where some of the men are wearing the blouse with the collar o pon at the neck. whilst 0 (hers wear j L closed. I! was just th IS 50r1 of lack of UI rlorrmtv tha Hirnrnler was trying to prevent

B\ LIe nrne of the campaigns III France and the Low Countries. personnel of 'he SS-Verfugungs-Truppe-Division were mostly strll wearing the 55 fielrl blouse, wrth just a few army patterns beqmrunq to appear. The' bulk of the SS- Totenkopt and SS- Polizei divisions on the other hand, were equipped With army field uniforms. In 1940. the field blouse collar began, as predicted in lhe December 1939 order. to be made 0'1 the same rnatenal asthe rest of the blouse, instead of dark green, The next modifications to the field blouse taok place step by step throughout the war. for the purpose of economising: on mater'ja'l and labour. From 1942. patch pockets were made without pleats.

One 01 a series, 01 photoqraphs enmled 'a day In the I~fe of Ihe Lerbstandarte SS Adolf Hitler' 22 N10vember 1938. showing a sotdrerleerrnnq finng posurons under 'the wa ichlu I eye' of an SS-Umerscl1arlLiitJrer who we~rs 'M;)ical everyday dress consiSlinlJ ~;rl an army runic, obsolete eallh·grey b'reecl'1ll's. and the M38 N,C_O.'s Fkeld cap with chin strap,


Typical training uniform being wom by leibs-talfldanl'! 55 Adolf Hitler I£lcruilS en 2Z November 1 !13K Tne helmet is Ihe old black 1916 rnedet and the army field blouse IS being worn Wllh the first pa'lI(l'1r1 nauonal emb~em sod '10 cuff-nand, The rapered uousers (Slll"delhose) and illgh boots are In the proc $5 of being worn out,


and later the lower edge of the flaps was straightened. Since wartime materials had less tsnsile strength than in peace time, it was necessary to increase the five front buttons to six, Other modifications and simplifications were made 1.0 the' lining and manufacture of the field b~ou5e. bot none of them altered its outward appearance.

After extensive field trials with army' units. a new field uniform (Feldunilorrn 1944), began to appear in late 1 944. but never In sufficient numbers to radicailv alter the appearance of he Waifen-SS. ~ The new field blouse bore certain similarities, '10 the Brl tlsh batlledress, and consisted of a short blouse with wide waistband and patch pockets, and long taperinq trousers which were deSigned 10 be worn either inside the gaiter or marching boot. The uniform required considerably less cloth than the earlier models. and was speciaHv designed to facilitate rapid manufacture by semi-skilled labour: the MJ 944 field blouse insignia was unchanged. The colour of the uniform was stso changed from field-grey to Fel,dgrau 44 (the offiCial designation for the new greybrown colour). Existing stocks oUnald-grey and foreigl1 materials W81e madeup 11'1to the new field U nitorm, thus marly d~fferent shades of field-grey emerqad. S,eitenhaken

Belt hooks

Each field blouse was usually issued with four field-grey painted steal or alurniruurn hooks O'f special design, These hooks were attached 10 a fabric str';I'D which formed part of the blouse lining. The 'Strap was designed to take the weiglht of a fully loaded. waist belt. supported by a metal hook,


Field trousers

The 1937 model, SS fleld trousers were identical to the 1935 army model. Both had long streight legs. two side pockets and a watch pocket in front Thev could be adjusted at the waist by means of a buckled strap and were designed to be worn with braces.

At first trousers were rnenufactured In new-grey cloth, but from 1 939 onwards they Were 'to match the blouse In fl-e~d-grey, n ln Julv 1942 new standard trousers (Keilhose) were iruroduced."

221m. IntrodllJctlj,on of new items of clo1i:,hing.

For the Waffen-SS a new standard lace-up ankle boot. and field-grey Keilhose. wi'il replace the cld marching boot and long cloth trousers. With the Kellhose, cloth galtel's or puttees (in the summer) or canvas gaiters (in winter) will be worn. Motor-evclets and officiel pillion passengers (but not sidecar passengers) N_C'o_s and men in ,sngineer unlts and gU(.Ird battalions. will retain marching boots.

Kdo.d oW. -S5/1 a

In September H.l43 an attempt was made to standardise the various differElflt types ottrousers and breeches in use in the Waffen-SS,

357. Intr,oduction of new ,~nd al.t:eration of existing c~othin9.' For the rest 0 the War the following 8f>e introduced or altered:

1. Riding breeches In drill with cloth belt. side and hip pockets with buttons. fob pocket with trap. and four loops at the waist for the belt. Designation and article number:

Riding breeches, drul. Article No. B/173.

2. Instead of the existing riding breeches, breeches win be manufactured as 1 above.

Des iqnation and article number:

Riding breeches. grey. Article No, 8/54_

3_ Instead of the existing drill trousers. a dnll trousers With cloth belt, button fastening at ankle. pockets. and loops are 1 above wll,l be introduced.

Designation and erncls nurnber :

Drill trousers. undyed or rusl1 green ... Article No, B/171,

"1. The expected issue of CIOlh rrousers (Keilschnitt) '" to replace the long trousers and ski trousers remains unchanqed. Trousers dest:r'ibed III 1 and 4 above may be worn with Or without braces,

New trousers Will be issued In relation to production.

Existing patterns may be worn OUI.

New trousers (Feldhose 44) were introduced with the new Fteld Uniform ·14. They had a built-in cloth belt. side .. fob and two hip pockets. (one was Intended for atreld dressing pack) all with buttoned flaps. The bottom of the trouser ~eg had a drawstring so that It could be fastened tiQh11y around the ankle for wear with ga'iters or puttees, 8

.... The trousers with a built-in cloth belt were introduced because the wearing of braces was impractical in the fie~d and impossible with shirt-sleeve order. The naw trousers were known also as Rundbundhose.


1. V.Bl.d.w.-SS .. Nt-5, 3 August 1'940. Ziff.

2. Soldaten wie andere auch, pp. 268 and 274.

3. See Appendix L

4. Die Deu ache Wehrmach 1934·bis 1945. Heft 1 With illustration. 5_ See Appendix I.

6. V.bl.d.W.-SS .• Nr.13. 1, July 1942, Zift. 220_

7. Ibid .• Nr.19. 1 October 1943, Zitt 357.

8. Die o.eutsche Welumacht 1934-bis 1945. Heft 33 wirh illustration.

Memue,$ of SS Regiment DeulSchland wearing the M1937 FlaM blouse Fran~9 1940. Thev have rerncvad thair couar patches to ~void POSIt.",", klenlifiCil'lIOn c>r 111t1m unit by lhe enernv,



A group 01 N.C.O"s Irom the 14111 Company SS· Pz. Gren. Agi. 38 (I 7.SS-Pz. Glen. Dill. G0l2 von '8erlicfli'~gen) weahng typical service dress vvrth v.wol!s patterns 01 held blouse "no footwear then in us ... fr?lIlCe 1944.

TI115 r -roq!8pll of wo VOlmg 5S men captured by HIe Arnencens dunng the battle of B~S\,-" w' shows the general shoddiness J no srate 01 netenoraucn ct uruforrn at the end of II" v. ar

German pnsoners rounded up by the U.S. Seventh A my ar!! conlronted y freed Inmates of Dachau concenuauon came, April 19.44, The SS mOI.mtain troopsi wears the SS VCISlon of HM'l edelwlll.l!S on tus standard [ueld cap. and the short M44 !ield blouse.


An SS -Oberscharlutusr wear in tI pnvale"" purchased officers' ql.Ja~HV service dress lor w~lkll1g-aui,

Nee: clorh and collar liner.





S3 hDld ~elVicfi uniform, Modal 193.7 •

, \ I



Field scrvtco uniform wi!h 'KeilhOSG' 1942-3,

Fjeld uniform 1944,


SS·O$lubaf Kllngenbelg wearmg an unusual version '01 the pre-war tunic wilh closed collar. Anothl<lr Iphotograph of the slime" officer shows theturrle Wllh side patch pockets and buttoned flaps ilnd p~e!l's.

R,ock Tunic

Until 1939. officers in the SS-Verfugungsuuppe had only one lield-grey tunic (Rock)., which was made of field-grey trikot, and was identical in cut to the black SS service turuc. It was worn On all cccasicns with OJ brown shirt and black tie, After the generallntroduct'lOn of Ihe fi,eld blouse, officers were permitted to contmue weillrlng the tunic on all oceastcns when i was coovenlent to do 50. such as In the offic.a Of off duty, The commander specrlred which should be worn so that the officers' corps Was uniformly dressed,' The tunic was also made of iigll'tweigllt iield-grey gabardine or moleskin with matching breeches for wear during summer. ~

At the beg,inning of the war. (he more impecunious SS officers avoided he expense of having to buy an extra army f~eld blouse by having their tunics converted into field blouses by the addition of a dark bh,IISh -qreen stand andfall collar.J Others had tailored alterations so thai the couar could be wom closed at he' neck. Some, however, had turucs specrallv made with dark green collars, although this was expressly forbidden, ,r Wa.fien-SS officers continued to wear their tunics. in regLI!ation cut or with [he above modifications. as an undress or walkinq-out unrtorrn throvqhout the war. Weliss'eI'S,ommenroe:k

White summer tunic

On 27 June 1939. Himmler authorised the wesnn~ of a white summer tunic by 5S officers between 1 Apr~1 and 30 September. ~ It could be worn ss an undress. uniform with long biad: (occasionally while) trousers and slrher black or white topped peaked cap. On 15 June 1940. and for the durauon of the war. the authorisation was withdrawn,~ but It ls almost certain that the comparatively few officers equipped with the while turuc had it dyed fieldgrey. and continued to wear It during the war.

A nurnhar of officers continueo to wear lightweight field blouses In various kinds of washable white materials. The cut and InSIgnia worn on these unofficial extra blouses varied constdersblv. j

Another type of washable white jacket W,1S worn by orcierHes (Ordonnanzen) while serving at table.


1. See Appendix L

'2. Original example in gabardine ill the author's eouecucn. 3. Original example in author's collection.

4~ See B.ender/Tavlor, Vol, 1, p. 41 with illustration.

5. Der Re~chsfOlirer-SS. Betr: Weisser Scmmsrrock, Berlj,n, 27 June 1939. 6, V.BLD.W.-SS" Nr.2, 15 June 1940, 2.ifi.4B.

7. See B ende'r/Ta.y lor. Vol. 1, pp. 42 & 7'6, With illustrations.


Feldblus,e (Fuhrer) (FIPli blouse (officers))

l1l~ RSlch5wehr pattern officer's field' blouse had been adopted bv <it least 011 .:1 rcer 1[1 ~he l.eibstanderte Adol Hitler as earivas 1935. but It was not unUI 1939 tha officers throuqhout the armed 5S beqan equrpom themselves WI <I field-grey field blouse fOI wear on active duty_ During hrs transinona! per rld a number 0 stop-gap measures were aksn b'l! officers, who either rno fll:d tl1811 tun ics, 0 r obrained a 11 issue field blouse from s teres,

The iocernbee 1 9:3 9 ruder, concerrunq the llsld -grev u 111 form of the W,affen- 5S ~ .pulated that an officer's blouse was to' be rdenucal In cut to that of the mel I e. the ISsue blouse). and worn open at the neck with brown shirt and blac! tie, It could be worn closed only if men had been ordered to closetheirs. We .nt q the dark hluish-qreen stand-and-fall collar (army officer's field blouse cuILI!) wasforbrdden.1 This IS Inttl,estlng. because it shows Hunrnler's latent dlsM ,~ of the stiff-necked PrUS51dll junker look. which he drd not want eOlltlilted by hrs "classless' 55 This order had no sooner been typed au when ltv"",; amended by he SS-Haup1iamt In future, wearmg the blouse open With Shill ctnd tie was to be drecontinued for t'he duration of the war. It was now to be IJ', un dosed. opened only by speciai order, as In the army. ~ Waffen-SS OffiLl r" now began to order army Held blouses, bu Himmler Insisted that the stan. I ano -Ia!l collar was to be fastened with one hook, not two 13

Bu )1') 10 May 1940. Hrmrnlar amended his December 1939 field blouse order stipulating once again (and contradlcunq the previous amendment), that tile field blouse for officers and men was to. be identical in an respects, and In principle was to be worn open with shirt and tiel. Only on special occasrcns (rain. storm. or cold etc.) could he blouse be closed over shirt and tie. Tile order went on to say ha the blouse be altered to close lightly and con Iorrablv over the He. t, Few officers had either time 0Ir inclinauon to observe such subtuities,

Throughout the war. ~hen. Waffen-SS officers. wore either a privately lailorr;d iield blouse in army officer's CiJI. or with slight differences. such as sian Illq slash side pockets with buttoned flaps. as on the S5 tunic, or with a s\anJ and -Ia!l cellar made of tile same material as [he blouse. During the COIJrse of the war the buttons on the front of some tailor-made blouses were red U led from six 10 five. I n action (JUicers tended to wear the issue field Ii)llouse. Freld blouses for summer wear were aliso made of lightweight gabardine, moleskin. or drill in various shades of grey or field-grey. Captured Soviet grOundsheets were in plentiful supplV on the eastern front. and Hie olive gb·reen waterproof cotton duck was often made Lip into lightweight field


SS-Oyruf, 'Sepp' Dietrich and membses of Ilis s[·"I1 neal Char ov in April 1943. I.-A. SSM:mur Mobius wearing issue uniform witi1 officer's badge ,of rank. Dietrich lor once wearing a reasonably reglJl'ation officer's service dress. SS-S\1.Jbaf. and DiviSional Operaiions Officer (1al Lehrmanll in regulal10n offlcer's fieid service 'Uniform, end SS-Stuoai. Meyer in a pre-war tunic: which has been converted mto: a field blouse by t.,e eddition of a siand-amHali collar ,and still retains I~Ei e'<llr1yiorm 'Of' national embl·em. .


An unidenlified SS·Qbe'fSllJrml'ilhr'!!r from the 55 Death's Head D~vision. photographed sometime atter June 1 942. wearing a rallor-made lightweight 'I~eld blouse for summer wear.


Generally speaking all insignia could be worn on, both tunic and field blous, . On the' tunic and tailor-rnaoe field blous , insignia tended to be ot oflkcr quality. Collar patch emblems. nationai emblem. and cuff-band inscrlpti. -n were usually hand-embroidered. I n fact. the May 1940 order actually gOf', SD far as to stijjulam- that onlv on [he tUl1IlC were hand-embroidered irarte badges TO be wo rn, On the field blouse. officers were to wear the mach i n~embroidered pattern. In 1940. officers' insignia began to be machine WOVt!) in aluminium thread, and by the end of the war it had mostly replaced lll'3 hand-embroidered pattern Oil most officers' uniforms,

Officers usually wore the field blouse with insignia as issued. Since brig aluminium embroidery was dangerously conspicuous in action otticors retained the issue insiqnia only addinq their rsnk badges. often omillin"lg llre twisted aluminium cord from the collar oatcbcs.

St,iefelhose (Breecnes) und la,nge Hose

Breeches and long trousers

Thaotticer's tunic was worn with tailor-made new-grey (neugrau) trik.n breeches without pipin . Rlcilng breeches were made 0 a special heavy new-grey trikot. and were usua.'lly reinforced w~th grey buckskin on rhe seat and inside leg. or just st the knee.1 With 1 e lightweight summer tun-c, breeches were made of matching field-grey gabardine Or moleskin,

Off-duty officers could wear long new-Q,re'l uousers with white pi II irrespective of branch of service. 2 Pip~flg 111 WaHenferbe was introduced hul discontinued aft€?f 31 December 1940. a Both breeches and trousers hold similar pocket fittings -twO slanting slash packets fastened wHh a butte 11. a watch pocket in front. and a straight slash pocket With button on he Ir-h hip, Trousers were fitted wilh either leather orelastlc fcotstraos (Stege), Trousers and breeches described above continued to be worn with the turuc and field otouse throughout the war. but tront-lme officers tended to Wedl' long field-grey issue trousers. or cavalry breeches with the field blouse III other ranks. ln August 1944 officers were ordered to wear long trousers wnh corresponding footwear (when their men had been ordered to turn out n long trousers wirhout gaiters). They were also to wear lang trousers (instefld of breeches and boots) with in10rmal service dress (Kleiner Dienstanzuu) and reporting dress (M eldeanzuq) .


1. SS-1<Jeiderkasse Katalog' .. pp. 5, 18, 25 with illustration.

2. See Appendix II.

3. Dar Heichsfuhrer-Sb., SS-Befehl: Betrifft: Fe1dgraue Uniform dar Waffen·SS.Sid,erheitspolizei und des SO .. Berlin.den 5 November 194 '


S5 medical offi';:I:us Wfl0 volunteered For rnanical duties at the liberated concenuerlon 'C<lmp <'II Nauengamme. MW 194·5. The SS·Ustul. 011 ihe left wears Ihe 1944 model 'fle!d urnlorm. The officer in thecernrs (whose badges of rank on Ih·e collar POlich and shoulner snsos d!o not match) wears the 1943 model ~iekd b kHI SOl. 'trousers and matchmg boats. The SS-OSII.II. em Ihe rrgh! we~rs standard iH~ld cap, tailor-made field blouse from issue qUlli,ity cIOI~i. and officer's breeches and boots,


SS-Os1ut Bohmer weilflng ether ranks uniform congllllulales members 01 rns I:lanalion. The SS-Stabsscharfulucr (Spiess) wears a most unusual wlnte~ headdress. while the rest QI [he men W9aI both patterns of the field cap. and greatcoats whh either the dark gfeen Or field-grey collar.


Ilvh~lli1tell Greatcoat

The angmal earth-grey greatcoat was identical in cu to the black one, and had an earth-grey cellar which was piped in black and aluminium twisted cord until August 1940. Shoulder straps and collar patches were always warn. but not the national emblem.

Introduction of the field-grey uni~orm was accompanied by a rnatchinq requtarion army 9'f'ea coat With dark bluistl-green collar. This is confirmed by the December 1939 dress regulations which stated that the Waften-SS 9r'eatcoat was to retain its existing CUt but have a dark green collar} Both the S5 and army pattern greatcoats were worn sioa by side. with Dr Without cellar cord and patches, until the old e,arltl-grey model was recalled in March 1941.11 For [he rest of the war, and until the Introduction of the standard greatcoat. the Waffen-SS wore the army panern greatcoat which at finn had! a dark: green and later a -fie'ld-grey collar.

2.8. Standard g reatco at. 3

In order to continue the standardisation of the uniforms of the armed forces. a standard qrestccat 15 hereby introduced.

Designation and article number

Cloth greatcoat .. ,Artic'le No, 8/87.

The' old su rcoat (Uberrna nlIel) for drivers, 8 nd the old pattern cloth g:reatcoat Willi continue to be worn. EXlstinQl stocks will be used lip.


Fuline'rmantel Officer's greatcoat

BV July 1935. the Lelbstandane Adolf Hiller had been issued with eanh-g;rev uniforms. which included an earth-grey greatcoat With matchmp collar, While certain officers drew issue greatcoat from regimental stocks, others wore privately tailored army patterns. with collar of slightly darker Iace cloth (Abzeichentuch) _ Both issue and privately made greatcoats had collar patchea, shoulder straps. and cuff-band. bul at first the national emblem appeared onlv on private coats. At this Lime the greatcoat collar Was nOI p ipad in twisted co rd. Fo Illowlng army regula lion-s; the co lour ohhe greatcoat collar gradually became darker. until it was a dark bluish-green

The next step lin theoeveloornent of the i)f'iicer's greatcoat came in 1937, wi~:h the introduction of Iield-qrev. Once a,gain officers wore either issue Notes:

1. See Appendix I,

2. V.BI.d.W,-SS .. Nr.4. 1 March 1940. 2if1.121.

3. Ibid. Nr.2, 15 January 1944, Z~ft28.

greatroats with appropriate insIgnia, or had them tailor made. The tailormade field-gr'ey S5 officer's greatcoa s drffered from that of the army only in ,ls hal1 belt. The S5 design was Identical to thin on the black grea coatbelnJ 5 em wide and buttoning a each end The army half belt jomed in the rnldcJl~ where It was fastened with two buttons.' The issue fiel1d-grey SS greilT! oat was Identical to the army pattern, Collar patches, shoulder straps, and cLlff·band was almost Invariably worn, whereas the national emblem app,,<lred on1y on some coats,

With 1~1e rrufitarv development of the armed SS. there was a tendency 10 follllw arrnv fashions in matters of dress, which led to the removal of collar patcl es from the greatcoat. 8y the outbreak of war, the situation was prertv ml.ldrll€l(l. with officers weanngfield·grey greatcoats with either matching or dark green collarS,eilher with or without collar patches, so that a number of orders had to be issued throughout the course of the war' 0 clanfv the silu,llion (See section on issue qreatcoats.)

Sentur officers With the rank of SS-Oberflihrer and 'above waf9 allowed to we"l the greatcoat with the top three hutrons undone. thus exposing silver grey ~dpels.ln February 1941. holders of the Knight's Cross ot the Iron Cross or War !)ervice Cross were also allowed to wear the top two buttons undone and T,~ fold back the lapels so that any decoration - which was worn at the neck - was viaible. Z A comparatively common, bUI urrofficial pracnce. was the ,"""iHln af twrstedalurruniurn cord on the dark green grreatcoat collar, Acccrdlf1 to Waffen-SS regulations all msiqma could be worn on the greatCoal allhough. for reasons atreadv Slated, there was a tendencv 10 forlow arm) practice, and limo the insignia to shoulder straps. national emblem, and cull-Land In addmon to the regulation cloth greatcoat. officers were allowed to \l\f"! H the fOllowing extra coats:

R,egen -Wettermantel Raln( oat

Thrs held-grey r a III co-at was first in traduced in 1 938. 3 and could be pu rchased and worn bV officers and senior N.C.O.s. The Oh~y inSignia officially worn on tl .s coat Were shoulder straps, During the war otfrcers of len unoftrcrallv Wore tho motor-cyclist's coat as a ramcoa .


LealtlC!r greatcoat

The 1lCld-grey learher greatcoat was an extremely expensrve extra Item of clothing. which was purchased by the wearer. lit was supposed to conform to l,egulatlOJl greatcoat cut. but many vanatioos in colour and cut were worn. Again, shoulder straps only wero:- offlcially acceptable. bU1 some officers Ware all insignia.

SS-OgllJl. u. Gen. d. W.-SS Dietrich WIII1 officers 01 the 1 zsS-P, .. DIY, Hillerjugend. sprjng 1944_ Die!m:h wears a mgulalRon gr9'.alcollll wi Ih .sllve-r grey lapels and dark gwen Coller. MOS.l oj tne other offJl::els appear 10 be we.aring issue grealtCo.a1S. while one has added a hJW conar,


I 1 t

Standard gmatc:mn.


Tr.a'g~;m dar Sipiegel auf dem Mantelllkr.agen Wea~ing ol collar patches 0'0 the greatcoat collar

The wearing of collar patches on the qreatccat was nev@,'~ very uniform and thefoliowing four orders were Issued In an attempt to raquianse the situation.

231. Collar patches on the gnl'atco'iU coillar. ~

The Reichsilihrer-SS has ordered that collar patches will be worn on me greatcoat collar. as well as on the blouse. by all units of the Wal1en-SS. Collar patches must be put on immediatetv The removal or collar parches for reasons of camouilaqe may only be authorised by the Reichsfuhlrer-SS.

Kdo.d.W-SS IVa 169. The· wearing of collar patches on the 'greatcoat. ~

Wit~l ~mmediate effect. and by order of the IRFSS. the weannq of collar patches on the greatcoal must cease until further notice because of shortage of raw materials.

For the sake of unrtormitv. this order does not only applv '10 the manufacture of new collar patches for greatcoats, but : hose atreadv on greatcoats must be removed and used elsewhere.

Sgd. Jurtner SS-Gmf.u.G1en.l1. dar Waffen·5S

3'1. The we8rif'llg of collar patches on the greatcoat collar. ~ The Reichsfuhrer-SS has ordered;

Followrng the published order in the V.BI.d.W.-SS. No. 11 of l June 1942 .. concerning Itle wearing of collar patches on the greatcoat. It rs ordered that collar patches will be worn:

1. By the Allgerneine-SS on al~ greatcoats

2. BV (he Waffen-SS on all greatcoats with the exception of:

(s) Leather greatco.at (grey)

(b) Raincoat (rubberised or impregnated fabric) (c) Surccat (for drivers)

(d) GUMd coat (fur)

(e) Motor-cyClists coat (rubberised)

(f) field greatcoat (Feldrnantel)


2. The we,81:ring of collar patches on the gr,e,a:tcoat.,7

1 ltern (ZiUer) 37 of he V BLd,W.-SS., No.3 of 1 February 1943,s hereby amended.

2. On the grounds of (shortage of) raw rnatenals collar parches and the cufl-band will not in future be worn On issue greatcoats (truppeneigenen Mamcln)"

3. Collar patches andcutt-bands may continue to be worn on all pnvate grea1coa1s wuh the e ceptron of:

(a) Leather g~·eatcoa'l (grev}

(b) Raincoat (rubberised Q{ impreg;nated fabric) (c) Surccat (for drivers)

(d) Motor-cyclists coat (rubberised) (e) Field greatcoat (Feldrnantel)

4. 111'1 he Allgemeine-55, collar patches and cuff-bands wtll coruinue to be worn on all greatcoats.



To summarise. those possessing then own private qreatcoa s could continue wearing collar patches. but issue grea1coats were to have the collar patches removed prior to issue. and were 1.0 be worn wi thout I'nSIQTHB. wi th the exception of shoulder straps. In this connection it IS linteresting '10 note that ellen the S5 Guard Battalion. which was drawn from the Leibstandsrte-Sf "Adolf Hitler", and which carneo out guard duties at the Heichs Chancellory In Berlin, wore ttle greatcoat without collar patches . .9


1. Unrtormen-Merkt. Nr.4. 1940, p. 27 with IlIus~f1H1oJ1.

2. V.Bl.d.W.-SS .• NF.1. 15 January 1941. Zift.5.

3. SS- Selehls- Blatt., Ni.3. March 1938. ZifU 1.

4. V. BJ.d.W. - SS .. Nr.lO. 1 October 1 940. lrft .231 . 5·. Ibid. Nr.J 1,1 June 1942. Ziff.169,

6. Ibid. NT .. , 3. 1 February 1943. Zl'ff.37.

7. Ibid.Nr .. 1. 1 January 1945. Zlff.2.

8. Hamburger lllustrierta Nr.16. 17 April 194i3. pp .. 4-5 wiU, illustrations.

Ae9utal~on lu~!d-greV raincoat berng worn by an ortrcer and seruer N.C,O.

IJ NTERKLEIDIJING/WAS.f::HE (U rrderclorh ingl)

Issue lInderc'o~hirlg consisted "ot the following i ems: 1, B·rown shirt

2. Neckcloth or collar liner 3, Black tie

4 White undershirt

5. White underpants (long-Johns)

6. Braces 7 Pullover

S_ Handkerchiefs 9,. Socks

10 Footwraps

L Brown tnkot collas-attached shin wi~houl pockets. Replaced. tog{Hf1er with white undershirt, by the new standard shirt in 1943.

1. The neckcloth was made of earth-grey or black cotton and was fastened around the neck by a tie-stnnq. 1.1 was designed to be wom In conjunction with he collarless white undershirt and LO give a neat appearance when worn with the closed field blouse.

The collar Iiner was Issued Instead of the collar-attached shrrt or neckcloth. II was attached to the msrde of the field blouse collar by five small buttons Sr?wn there for tnls purpose and embling easy removal, for washing. The liner was white on the msioe (next to the neck) and fieldg~·ey(jJf rusrrqreen on the outside. Wh·en (he field blouse was worn open ill the neck. the liner was buttoned sothat il followed the line of the opening. Both neckclo h and liner were drscorulnued after he lntroducnon or the standard cellar-attacned shirt,

3. The standard SS tie was of black artihcial Silk as wOl'n with the black service.unitorrn. 11'1 was only issued together with the brown shirt.

4. The' standard, army issue natural coloured aertex undershirt was Impractical in the front-line because of Its conspicuous colour and was sometimes dyed gree-n. kt, too. was replaced by the standard shirt.

5. Long-Johns (or underpants} were made of natural coloured wool or cotton, three-quarter leng~h .. and tied at the rear of the waist and at the legs with drawstrings. Thev did not stand up very wall 10 the rlqours ofeontinuous marching, so in Septemb,sr 1'941 a specJallining was made available 'for the 'speedy and durable Improvement of underpants'.

6,. field- rey elasnc braces With metal fittings and leather straps were not issued after the introduction af trousers wlrh built-In belt. Other ranks were entitled to a pan per year.


Tvplcal issue grey weoilen socks. and wrist Warmers, From one (0 lour ~ij)gs denOled 'Ihe srze of the arHcle. One ring was the smatlest.


7 Fi€"~d-grev knitted woollen pullover w~tl1 long sleeves and V-neck Pullovers with turtle necks were also issued later In the war'.

9_ The grey knitted woollen socks had 1-4 bands at the top. During ths second ha ~f of the war there was a iendencv to wear the tapered trousers (Ke ilhose) ms ide socks and roll them over lila top of an kle boots. Th IS practice was forbidden rn August 1 944.

10 In the Russian army Ioctwrap cloths we~e. and stili are. corrsldered 10 be a highly important part .of an it'rI.llntryman"s kit and. far- superior to socks. but rn the German army and WaHen-SS. they were onlv Issued If sucks were not available. The footwrap cloth was square and fo'ided around the foot Its advantages WeJ8 that 'It didn ~ slip down the foot as sOCKS tended' to do. and could be rs-posinoned so thai the 50~e of the foot was always wrapped in a fresh and drv part of the cloth. Cloths were aasier to wash. dried qu.cker, and lasted lonqer than socks


1 Otlrcers' brown shirts for wear wuh the tunic Wlilif€ made of poplin With

detached collar. Wh~te shirts were MVer worn With ths Iield-grev tunic. 4 Oflice,rs" vests were made of natural coloured wool. cotton. or aertax, and usuallv had short sleeves, For the winter there were ~ong-s~eeved srurts wrth lined fronts.

o Underpants Were also made 01 wool or cotton. wrth ·iili1 elestic waist.

Special re-inforced short- or long-Johns. In silher liglht Or he-avywE~ght materials were worn for riding(.

Tne above items were recommended by Ihe SS omceus CIDlhing Counter. bu I officers could purchase clvthsn underclothino If they wished. Later In the It; ar shuts of almost any co ~OUf could be worn u nder the ~Ield blouse. Frn<llly. In Augusl 1943, a standard freld-qrev shirt was ordered 10 reelacethe V(IrJIJUS types of shirt in use" The new pattern shi rt Was rna nufactured ill liar nus materials and colours. but the most typical were field-grey triket or aertex. A1[hough the tnrroouctorv orders ctearlv state Ihal the special badges 01 r.mk wen, for wear on clothing without shoulder straps, some shins were m,lnufactured Wltll loops for the shoulder straps. (lnd shoulder straps were curet commonly worn On [he' shirt

335" Shirt with collar at:t:a,ched}2

1 lnstead of rhe brown tnkot shirt, and white undershrrts. a grey-green collar- attached s h i n wi II be i ntroduced.

Designation and article nurnbsr :

Collar-attached shirt _ . , Article No B/415,

This shin. will be supplied as and when ready. There IS 110 pomt tr. making applications tor preferentlal del~\iery. Other tvpes of shlrtar€ 10 he worn out-

Top lssue cellar attached brown woollen shut. l3ollom . lssue collar attached fie~d-grey aertex shirt:


2. Method '01 wearing:

(a) When Iteld blouse collar IS closed, the shirt collar may protrude 2 em above that of the blouse at the point where the collar fastens, o~!1erwise 0.5 em only should be visible.

(b) When the blouse collaris worn undone, the shirt collar and top shirt button are to be undone, and turned down. corresponding to Lhe opening of the field-blouse. or the shirt collar may be placed over the blouse collar.

(c) In warm weather the shirt may be worn without a field blouse:

(i') By the field army outside Heich borders an any duty. Off duty it rnav only be worn by those troops already issued with the belted trousers, in accordance with he order of the terntoriai commander.

(ii) On home tarrrtorv within the confines of the. barracks, On duty outside the barracks, the field blouse or drill jacket, and off duty the field blouse or tunic, must be worn. The I ield blouse may only be worn open on Reich territory by closed formations.

(iii) The wearing of badges of rank on the shin are subject to the provisions according to the V.Bl.d.W.-SS,NrA, 15 February 1943'. Ziff.63, and attached appendix,


Handlbekleidung Gloves

Other ranks wer,s only allowed to wear field-grey knitted woollen glloves !1'1 winter. Officers and N.C.O.s were to wear grey-green suede, buckskin. artificial or rea! pdgskin or N·O!IDPar gloves with various kinds of fastellin.gs, usually press stud or snap. on all occasions. During the war as raw materials became scarce and gl{)ves more difficult to obtain all ~l1e open market requlations govern~ng the wearlngl of; gloves were relaxed. By the end of the warthsv were only ob~igatory far officers when reporting or on other special occasions. For winter wear they were often lined with fur. wool, Or sheepskin. There were a~so specia I reinforced gloves [:0 r riding d. dr ivi ng.


1. V.8I.d,W,-SS .. NrOO. 15 August 1943 .. Z·iff.335.

5. Ibid. Nr_21 , 1 September 1941, ZiffA47.

6. VM_-SS .. Nr.135. 1940, Nt199.

9. V_8Ld W.-SS .. Nr.1.S. 1 August 1944. Ziff.433.

11. SS-Kleiderkass-e. Preisliste. Gultig ab 1 November 1940..

12. V_Bl.d.w.-SS., Nr.18. 15 August 1943. Ziff.335.


Fussbekl.ei:duflQ Footwear

The s·ta ndard footwear of the SS- VT consisted of MO pa i I"S of high rnarchin J boots, one of which was for everyday use and other tor best wear. The higll boots were WOrn with tapered 'trousers (Stiefelhosej. Begillning inl 93'i. 'the LAH received, In addition to the' wo pairs of igh boots. a pair of tace-un ankle boots .. and a pair of army marching boots (Knobelbscher Dr dice boxes! 'for field service. The tapered trousers and high boots continued to be Worn for training long after the Introduenon of marching boots and Iiong trousers. Ankle boots were worn with long! trousers in barracks.

The first wartime economy measure was the reduction in November 1939 of the heighNfthe shaft of msrchmq boots from 32 Alto 29-35 em accordll1IJ to size, In November 1940 the ioUow;llg restricricns were placed on 11'1" issue of marching boots:

33'5. Equipping of' unmounted rep,I.~.cement persQnnel with mard"llingl footwear. 1

For economy reasons unmounted personnel i 1 replacement units, except engineers. motorcycle urnts and motorcyclists. are 'IQ be Issued SOD I With a short cloth gaiter to be worn with fhe existinq lace-up ankle boo I instead of the marchinq boot

The exact date of Introduction will be announced later.

The required quantitv of qsiters and second pair of ankle boots must first be reported to the Verwaltunqsarnt dar Waffel1-SS by 1 December 1940 Allocation will be made according to available stocks,

After allocation of the reponed requirement of cloth gaiters .. rnarchmq boots will onlv form part 01 the field equipment (Feldqarrntur). and will only be issued to units of the field army as well as eng'il'leers and Elil kind; ot rnotorcvcliat replacements.

To what extent field units will be equipped with marching footwear I) nOI vet cartai n but will be notified In due course.

Riding boots will be retained by mounted personnel in all units of the field arid replacerneru army as hitherto,

Kd1o,d.W-SS/IVa In Julv 1942 standard laos-up ankle length marching boots were Introduced ~

220. Iintroduotiollil of !nIew Items of clothing ..

For the Walien-SS, a standard lace-up shoe has been introduced mstead of the marching boot. and field-grey Keilhose rnsteadof the !ang CIOlh trousers.

In summer. cl(J1hg:ai\efS or puttees, and in winter canvas gaiters will be worn with the Kei,lhose,

Motor·cyclists, official pillion, but not sidecar passengers. and N.C.O.s and men in engineer units and guard battalions will retain their marching boots.

Kdo,d.W.·SS/la N early all new footwear was issued in its natural 'leather co i ou r. and was then SlJII1ed and polished by tlhg recipient ln peacetime all~V the best pair of bOOLS WaS actually polished. wh~le 'field boots were Just blackened and left wnh a dull tinish. In 1944. the blacking D'ff issue footwear was forbidden."


WIth service dress (i.e. breeches) officers wore high black riding-type boots. wi ich were privately purchased and thus not or standard pattern, Some had plain tops. others had various kinds of straps and buckles around the 'lop to prevent the boot slilPping down the calf; boots were either stiff o~ soft." L ke every tiling else during the war. boots became il'1creas~ngly scarce. so thai regulations governin.g the wearing of boots were gene'fally rerexed, In August 1943 Waffen· S S officers Were ordered to wear .Iong trO users a rid ar.kle boots at all eccasions attended by other ranks. With undress uniform (I e. lang trousers) officers woreeltner black or lacquered leather tace-up or clastic sided ankle boots or shoes. ~ 'I n action and as war pmg~essed. issue rr archinq footwear wes increasin{Jly worn with iong field-gmytrousers bV company and held officers.


Officers wore various types ot spurs Win~l different orders of dress. With service dress. officers withlhe rank ot SS- Hauptsturrnfunrer and above wore rust-proof. nickel plated spurs with straps find buckles. with either a straiqht Or Slfghtly curved neck and either a sharp or dumb (non-spiked) rowel .(I With undress Uniform they could Wear special screw spurs with straiqht neck and dumb rowel or plain (hunting) neck For dancing there were special Screw danclngl spurs nanzsporen):5

* Although the high black boor (conremptuouslv misnamed 'jackboot' by the enemies of Germany) became one of the hated symbols of Nazi rnilitarism, there is a touch of i ronv in the .susp icion that the Germans would themselves have held the' boot In disrepute after the war on the grm.llHJls that Its stiff shaft caused varicose veins!

Top: Standard m.an::lling boot (Knobslbecher or 'dice sI1aker') wIth l1'gn shaft

Bcuorn: Standard lace-up nnkl~ bool whichgladuaHy replaced the COSIly 'dice shaker",


Canvas and luther g,3l1er 'for wea~ wltl'1 the !tr1kle boot.


It was obvious that many S8 officers clanked around In spurs and leather nosterior reinforcement to their breeches with no espirarions in horsernanshq.. nevenheless, throughout Its, short history there were many SS orders COI·cerninq the wearing IOf spurs. FinaUv, In June 1.943, Hnnrnler Issued the Following order:

,217. The we,B'ring of ~spurs.' The IRel~ch5fiJhrer has ordered:

That In the whole SS - Allgememe. Waffen. and Pelizei - only members of mounted or horse drawn Units may wear spurs if ~hev are authcriseo to co so 111 [he relevant regulations.

All other members of the. SS and ,oolic€:. officers, N.C,O.s and men of lI'j1 Aligeme'llle-SS. Waffen-SS. Order and Security Police may only we"" spurs when g,o.ing to ride. while riding. and-on returning imm riding.


I n add~tion to sou 1'$, them wasen adJusta b Ie black leather strap (M arschr ile-men l [hat fitted under the mstep, and aroundthe ankle; it prevented movement of the fool lnstde the boot when marching ..



When leather became scarce 10 November 1939 the marching boot had to . e replaced 'for economic masons. In July 1942. a standanj lace-up ankle boot was issued in place of the matching boot to be worn with canvas gaiters in winter and puttees in summer. The gaiters. made of field-grev or olive green canvas with either black or brown leather riUings :and binding. were almost identical to those issued to the BritIsh armv. The gaiter WaS not . popular Innovation and Was. gIven a number ol disparaqinq name's. such as 'dog blanks;' and 'retrea~ gaiters' : With utmost cunning the German soldi r tried to retain his marching boots for as, long as possible.

In summer 1943 there wasa correspondencs between Himrnler's adjutan and the head of Department B. SS-Brigaf. Lamer concerning Stvrian gaiter" (Stsmsche OtJergamaschen). Hirnmler had approved of them. and wanted [hem tested in the field by SS-Gebirgs- Division Nordl. It i'S notclear from the correspondence if they were for 'the exclusive use of moun ain troops. or [he whole SS. nor IS there any descnpnnn Of lllustretion of the gaiters in question, but It IS thoughl that they are the ones illustrated on p. 511. which appear in many Wafife'll - 55 photographs.



German puttees were mads of an elastica ed doth and were 73 em long and 8 em wide with a 20 x 2., em strap and patent buckle.


• Weidinger in his history of the D,es Reich division attributes the initiative for the design and development of camouflage clothinq and equiornent to the commander of the AUlik1ikul1gs-Abtsilung/SS-VT. SS~Stubaf. Dr.'InQ.Brandr.!l Responsibility "lor 1he manufacture of prototypes and initial deliveries rested with Otto Schidk. and it was proposed that he and his assistant should be found a post in the inspectorate ofthe SS-VT. Hausser pointed out that it was unlikely that the army (OKH) would agree, since it was workillg on standard camouflage' clothing for the ,army and air-terce. Hausser thought it would be sasierlt Schick and his assistant were g'iven <in S8 post outside the inspectorate. 2

Wealriilillig of gaiters Bind puttees

Gaiters were worn over the top of the ankle or ski boot and bottom of the trousers and fastened by two leather straps and metal buckles on the outside so that the straps faced the rear. The correct method of folding the Houser leg' was to grasp the back and 'fold it to the front on the inside. This was to prevent the insides of the trouser legs rubbing together and wearing 0ILJ"t.

A popular habit was the' rollino of socks outside the trouser leg and over the tap of the an kle or ski boot but this was fin-a lily forbidden ill August 1 944. ~ Notes:

1. V.Bl.d,W,-SSu Nr.13, 15 November 1940. Ziff. 335.

2. Ibid. Nd 3. 1 JulV 1942, ZiH.220. 3, lbid. N~.110, 15 May 11944, Ziff.233,.

4. ss- Pralsllsre. GOllig ab 1 November 1940, p. 41 with illustrations.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. V.BLd.W.-SS,. Nr.12. 15 .June 1943. Ziff.217.

8. Ibid. Nr_15. 1 August 19144. Ziff.433.

TARNBE.KLEIDUNGi Camouflage clothing

The desiqn, development. and manufacture of clothinq made from a fabric on which a camouflage pattern had been printed was the most original of all SS innovations in tile field of uniform and equicrnent. and was to have an enormous influence on wartime and post-war uniform development. Today most arm ies in the world wear some torrn of carnoutlaqe clothrng." Camouflage clothing was tested in the field by SS-S·tandarte Deutschland in December 1937 and JlanLJary1938, and in June 1938., after further investigation by the' Reich Patent Otfice. a patent in respect of each item of clouhing was gramed to the NSDAP ReichsfUhret-SS. By 1 November 1938

The first pattern Ss. camouflage jacket and l1elmet cover beinq worn in France. -1940.

5S camouflage smock 1 SI pat ern.

quantity reduction of camouflaged groundsheets. steel helmet covers and face masks WIliS al'Feady under way 1

On 27 Januerv 1939. SS-Brlgaf. Hausser reported to the chief of the SSHauptarnt '(hat despite great difficultIes in obtaining sufficient quam mes r f waterproof cotton duck, and the tact that pf'lntmg on the material had to b", carried OU'l by hand. 8,400 camouflage groundsheets and 16.800 helm~l covers had already been supplied to the SS-VerfUgungSl!uppe. It was hoped that the remainder would be supplied by Aprill 1939. Hausser added that he 'thought it advisable to issue 2.0 camoufleqe Jackets per company fo r assaulr troop training. Tile face masks he found unusable. ~

Camouflaqe clothing was used sparingly during the PDItS" campaign, and. probably due 10 Hausser's suggestion. was on~y issued 10 assaut: troops. but this new SS innovatron did not go unnoticed by tlhe army, Ap . parentlv Generalmsior Werner Kempf. in a report to the Oberkornrnanon des Haeres. praised the camouflage groundsheets and helmet covers used bv SS-Standarte Deutschland While under his command. At Ille request of Ihe OKH the 55 agreed to send a sample of the groundsheet and helmet cover OKH Sacunn in.6, at the l3end1erstr::Jsse. Berlin, ~ The army" however. did not introduce camouflage clothmg until 1 942/3, and he only other branch of til.:! armed farces 10 make e tensive use of S.s camoultlagl€ clothing was the air-force General Gonng Hegimellt (later, Hermann Goring Division),

By June' 1 '940 the tedium of hand! printing had been superseded by the roller printing press. and the follOWing quantities of camouflage jackets had been delivered:

SS-VerfUgungs- DiVision '10,900

teibstenderte S5 Adolf H'IIIJer 3.000

SS- Totenkopt-Dlvislon 9.000

SS-PD~izel-Division 9,500

By September delivery of a further 30,000 jackets was anticipated, but thiS would use up the peacetime stock of material. The required quantity lJr camoullagl€ jackets had been determined by the fact 'that onlv 'field units (divrsions] were 'to be equipped with them, but it was then ordered that the 58 De,ath's, Head regiments were also to receive them. It was hoped. however. that 75% 01 the Death's Head regiments' requirements could be SUIJP'lled from the 30.000 jackets deltvered by September 1940.,

Tile big problem, even at this early date. was raw material supply. Apparentlv the SS war requirement for watsrproot cotton duck had been fi,xed by (IH:) OKH at 42.300 metres per month. but this was, 01l11y sufficient for B.!500 groundsheets, 6.000 camouflage jackets, and a 4.000 s1891 helmet cover. If groundsheets were not included. then 18.300. sets of Jackets and helmet


rovers could be produced: Pohl hoped to overcome this deficit by geninQ il I~rger alloca IOn out 0-1 the raw material office at the OKH, and he was confident that if he had sufficient material. any Quantity of carnoufleqe Items tOU Id be manu lectured because printing and make-up presen ed no problems. I The original helmet cover, Jacket, and face mask were followed, In June 1942,:by a camouflage peaked mid cap, aha in January 1943 by a carnouliaqe cornhmanon for armoured vehicle, crews. On 9' January P{ltll reponed [hat rt was now no longer possible to use the hlQlh qualrtv cotton duck for camcufluqe uniforms. and in future the Waffef\·SS would have LO make do With dull matenal. wtuch had no waterproctmp queunes As II happened, even dnll malarial was in short supply. and althouqh sufficient for the manufacture of camouflage Jackets or the combat strenqth or exis.ttng drv.slons. no raw rna erials of a,ny kind would be available for other kinds of camouflage clothing f, In Iact 'the jacket was also manutactorad from drill rnatenal from 1 944 unul [he end 01 the war

Camou1!fage pat1l:erl'i.s Isee' rea:r end pape:rll

As alr,eady described. the camoufla e pattern was first hand pruned, then roller pnnted iil average tour colours. The des~gn varied considerably and the general tandencv during the war was for an increasingly spotted design rn lighter shades. Earlier carnoutlsqe uniforms tended to be much darker than latsr ones.

Most camouflage ga~ments made from waterproof hnen duck were pflflled on both sides, and the articles made Irom thrs material were reversible, which was not the case With uniforms made from drill rnaterist. On one Side the desiqn was predornmanttv green for wear during the season of maximum ioliauon. whilst on the reverse il was in various shades of brown for use In autumn. WInter. and early spring. There was no sig1ilihcant reason for [he difference between onecarnoutlace pattern and another. To suggest as do sorne POS1-WiJf publications, thai certain units had special designs, N that specrat patterns were designed to blend with specific regions in which operations were 10 take place - or as two British writers suggested 10 ·EI recent publication on Wa'ffen - SS unltorrn. that 'there was a specral "brick" pattern lor wear in predorninantlv built-up areas' - attributes almost superhuman org,anisatlOn a I ab iI!lty to the supply ssrvi cas of the Waffen -SS.


The Jacket was ill smock-like. reversible, pultover garment It had no collar, and was gathered at {he neck. wrists, and waist With elastic The first pattern had no packets. but two vertical openings nn front. above the waist which gave the we a rsr access 10 his field blouse, which was worn underneath, WartIme modifications to the smock w€re to sew loops In threes [0 the fron

ss c.o. w~aflng a stQel nelrnat with c1!mf,lui1age COver.

Group of WaJierl-SS officerscontsrrmq in [he field; they wearirst pe!1em camouflage. helmsflr covers and smocks. At rrgh1. no~e the appNed lWo,bar sleeve f,ank badge, danoMg a. company officer.

A Waifen-$S gren3"her wearing the hemngbone lwlli camo~flag8 drill uniform: Hlloga,)" August '194"1. t8undesarclllv),

of lh@ shoulder and upper outside sleeve. and replace the vertical openings with two side pockets with buttoned flaps, below the waist Some photo@raphs taken towards -the end of the war show what appears to be a smock wnh a collar, but this was in fact the collar 011 the camoutleqe field blouse warn undernaeth the smock during rhe s-ummer.

T e jacket was worn in many ddferent ways. Some personnel tucked the cuffs and skirt of the jacket inside rhe elastic at the wrist and waist, but in cold weather it was often worn on top of the greatcoat. The jacket appears 10 have been the cnlvcarnouftaqa uniform which seems never to have been worn with insignia. An example in the lrnperial War Museum. 'london. is rrHlue of camouf:lage ddll material and modified by a zip fastener fitted in front and the cuffs. removed just below the elastic. lit ceased 10 be manufactured in January 19'44 with the introduction of tha camouflage drlll blouse.

Steel helmet cover

The reversible steel helmet cover in camouflage material for wear on tile' 935 model steel helmet began to be imroduced in 1 939. ~ It was attached 10 the helr iet by three rust-proof. sprinq-loaded, double-sided metal dips. Helmet covers made from 1942 onwards often had loops sewn ont-o the from. rap. and back of the cover. to hold foliage. The cover was sometimes worn om its Own as an improvised camouflage head-dress.

Face mask

Th face mask was one of the original items 01 camouflage equipment which had undergone trials Defore the war and was pronounced usalsss by Hausser in 1939.2 Since quantities had already been manufactured It was decided to issue th-em in April 1 942.

134. New il'lltrodUictiQo of the camouflaged face mask. 6

In order to complete ins camouflage of men, and in addrtion to the e:x!sting camouflag,e clothing (jacket and helmet cover) a camoutlaqe face mask Will be imroduced,

Delivery to the divisions and brigades. etc. of the Waf1el1i-SS wlll foHoW_ Indents. from these units for up to 30% of the fig htil1Q stre nqth, for the time being. must be sent to the SS-Wlrtschafts-Verwahungs-Hauptamt Rerlfh-Lich1e.rfelde-West. Unter den Eichen 129.

r or training purposes each company of Ersatz unlts willi be entitled to two face masks. SS- FHA/AlTIl IV

The face mask was basically a series of strings which were fitted to an elasticaled strao. At the bottom the strings were woven together, so that they formed a C:lJrrain which hung in front of lha face. The mask was usually worn Oil 'the steel helmet, and when not ,in use was either thrown back over the hellmet or hUhg round the neck.



Top: Ftrs'l pauern camouflage [If/'Id: cap.

BaHom: C:amoullage fie'ld cap with regula'llon Ins.gnH!.

'P.anzer-Mevel as SS-Standartenfi.lhrer and cornrnander of tl1e 1 2,SS·P.i"_ - DI HllhmugeM, w afln!;; a field cap lind blouse mad from Italian call1,ouflage mater "I.


Field c:ap

In June 1942. a camouflaged field cap was inn oduced."

170. Introdueltion of a c:amoUlfllaged field cap fQr troolP.s.

H16 Heichsfuhrer-Sf has ordered til introduction of a camouflaged field rap tor field units. Tile cao IS 10 be worn without insignia.

LJelivery can begin at the end of May. Kdo.d.W.-SS/lla

TI8 cap was made of waterproof duck. and could be worn with either the autumn or summer pattern 01"1 the outside. although the sweat band ot the cap was sewn on the autumn side.

432. CamouflaQed ;Ii:ield C!'IJp .• 8

I'y order of the RelchsfUllrer-SS. the field cap will in future be worn with Insignia. EXisting caps without insignia must be worn Out.


Tlus necessitated the manufacture of spacial Insignia which were woven in brown artificial silk thread for the autumn and bright green thread 'for the summer pattern. The background of the Insignia remained black. There were other rterns of clothing and equipment made from carnoutlaqs materials. bU1 these will be dealt with under 1l'ieir respective sections as follows:

Gr .undsbeet, Equipment

C{ rnbination for tank crews. Tank uniform

Dnll uniform. Drill uniform

Drill uniform for tank crews. Tank uniform

Wlnielf uniform, Parachute smock.

Wirlllsr uniform Parachute uniform

Non-regulation camoufl.age uniforms

There are a few recorded instances of Waffen-SS troops wsarinq earnouflaqe LJllIforms, other than the standard Waffen-SS patteen, In June 1944 Hirnrnler visrted SS·Freiwilligen·Divi:sion Gali;zien in training at He~dela:ger. Photogr.:Jphs of this visit show Ukraiman volunteers. wearingl army camouflage smocks and SS camouf age helmet covers. 8 In 1944 large quantities 0 I C8mOu. flage urnforms in German cui, but msnutactureo hom Italian camouflage rnaleri II. appeared in Normandy. There were also isolated cases of Waffen-SS personnel wearing United States camouflage suits in Normandy.


1. J. G. Otto Schick en den Reichs'fllhr·er-SS.Betr.: Abschluss der Arlbeiten fUr die' Tamausrustunq .. Mi.lnchen, d9r'11 November 1938.

2. Daf I nspekteur cer SS -VT .• SS- 8~ig.alf. Hausser an den Chef Ides SS-HI(luptamtes. lnspektion dar SS-VT.8etr.: Tarnausrusumo Z:U

Members of tne SS-HEtimwet,r DarllPg wearing the natural coloured herringbonE! tWill drrU Uniform. Note abo the special 55 pattern webbing straps supportmq, August 1939.

Dar Reichsfijr.rer-SS. Perscnlicher Stab Tgb.Nr.AR/1938/1 Wa./Lu VOm 13.12.38. Berlin, den 27 Jalnuarv 1939

3. Der Chef des Beschaffulngsamtes-SS, SS-Obed. Gartner an SS-Staili.

Diesterweg, Hauptabtsilunq IX/2 .. Berlin, den 8 November 1939.

4. SS-Gruf. Pohl. Chef dies V,u.W.-Hallptamtes an den R,eicl1sruhreL Bstr.: Tarniaeken. Tarnsehirrne und Trippelwagen.. Berlin. den (?)I June 1939.

5. SS-Ogruf.u,Gen.d.w.-SS Oswald Pohl an den ReichsWhre:r=SS Betr.: Bericht uber die Hohstofftaqa auf dem Spinnstotl-und Ledergebiet., 8erlill1. den 9 January 1943.

6, V.BLdW.·SS .. Nr.S. '15 April 1942 •. Ziff.134.

7. ~bid .. Nr.11. '1 .June 1942, .zrff.170.

8. ~bid .. Nr.2.3, 1 December 1942. Ziff.432. 91• Die Woche .• Nlr.23. 7 June" 944., p. 15.


The !\.Ish !;Ire-en drill uniform being worn by Bosnian volurueers 111 the Waflen-S5. J.anuary 1944.


AR BEITSANZUG/C RIIILLICHI (Working and drill uniform)

At. the outbreak of war the armed SS had two basic patterns of drill unr orn The first was the SS-Verfugun struppe one consisting at d field blouse an: long trousers, identica~ in cut to the fle~d-grey SS field blouse and trousers but made of a cement coloured herring-bone twill (Drillichstotf The tiet blouse was fltled wllh detachable buttons, shoulder strap ioops. and Wa worn with shoulder straps. nanonal emblem, and collar patches Atter tho beglnnlngl of the war, this blouse was often worn during the summer as summer urnforrn.

With uie very rapid expansion 0 the Waffen-SS In 1939-40 it was nscessar: 10 Issue large uuantities of unbleached na ural coloured linen hernnq-bontwill, (IS used In tile German arrnv. The Jacket had five detachable buttons In trent and two Hapless side parch pockets. No Insignia was intended to Iw worn on this [acket The trousers were the same as their cloth counrerpar During the war the unbleached drill Uniform was considered totally imnracnc, because of its colour, and It was either dyed rush green or replaced by all ' made of rush green linen herrin -bone twtll. Thrs wartime working unifonIncluded either the Waffen SS pattern Schifichen or lht;! standard field car made 01 the same material Thev differed from cloth models Insofar as nerthu cap had a separate flap which could be lowered. The standard field cap IN<:/. idenucal 10 the one made 01 camouflaqe material.

Wanime experience and the need to standardise Waffen-SS Uniform brouql : abou ·lhe Introduction of a combined summer field service and workm uniform,

99. Camouflaged drill uniform.!

To utilise front-line experience, a carnoutlaqed drill uniform consisting 01 Drill blouse ... Article No. 8/40

Drill trousers .. , Article No. 8/171

is introduced as a carnoufla eo and working umlorrn.

On those drill blouses in the same CUT as the doth field blouse, the rani b.adgesfor Items of clothinq without shoulder straps (according to V.BLd.W.-SS., NrA, 15 FebrlJary 1943. Dff.63.) are to be worn 0,5 ern under the national emblem.

Collar patches are not to be worn.

Existing type's ofd,rill uniform as well as 'the carnoutlaqe jacket are to be discontinued. Ex~stlng stocks may be used up.

SS-FHA/la This unilorm was madie of unbleached tWill on which the camouflage patte-n had been printed on one side only. and was therefore not reversible, ~llsiglrniB.

other than the nationalernblern and special rank badges, were 110t intended to be WOrn on the blouse. but there were instances of shoulder straps and other insiqnia appearing.

1. V.Bl.d.W.-SS., Nr,5, 1 March 1944, Zift,99.


Sports clothes were purchased from the RZMI bela rs the war. but S(lQ1n after the outbreak of war stocks were reserved tor officers and units of the WaffenS5. who held stocks of sports clothing which was issued as and when required and returned after use. These members of the Watlen·SS who had been issued with sports, cia thin,g before 'the war continued '10 use it. I in 1 941. Waffen-$S troops in Greece used sports clothing as tropical dress. instead of their held-grey fiel,d uniform

5S sports dothing consisted of The fOllowing iterns :' Shorts. satin. black

Vest. with S5 badge. white

Training jacket. with 55 badge, black Training trousers" black

SS badge for Fencing jacket

Sports shoes. natural colour. leather

The same items are I isred ill the March 19.11 S5 price I~ist, but the training jacket and trousers are described as blue. 2 Sports shoes were included as part of [he warume issue scnedulein September 1940.3


1. S$- Pre~sliste, Apri I 1939. p. 3.

2. lbid.. p. 3.

3- V.Bl.d,W-SS" Nr.8, 5 September 1940. Zm'A5,


1. cavalrv or horse drawn units.

In addition to long trousers, mounted personnel were issued with iii pair OT field,grey cloth breeches with seat and ins ide ,leg reinforced with grey leather, In place 01 drill trousers. they received drill breeches. I n October 1943l standard riding breeches in both cloth and twrll were introduced. which had a built-In cloth bell. side (lind hip pockets with buttons and a fob pocl<et with flap, and four belt loops at the waist. lnsteadof marching boots. mounted personnel received a pair of r~ding boots complete with spurs. Later in the

The 1944 camouflage dritll andl summer field service uniform.


58 cavahymen In Russia 1942. It was common practice to luck the cu rs and skut of ItT!! camou'Flage 'smack under il1e elasuc at the WltS1 and waist

81 ecnes fm mounted personnel,


war mounted personnel made rncreaslnQ' use of ankle boots with puttees or gaiters {or training on fOD'I.

2.. Artill'ety and Fllak I(e,xcl. Pal'!llz:erjager' (anti-tank) and StlurmgEls,clil,utz (se'II'H>ropellll:,ed gun) persoanel).

Arti Ilery men Wore sta ndard field- grey uniform of the Waiffen· 58. or with variations for mounted personnel'. if they were ~erving in horse drawnumts. During' the course of the war varlousklnds of overalls we~e worn in action and on rni:i~n[emmce work. In September t 942 anti-aircraft gun crews were Issued with black overalls, ~

:308. Pro~ective c!lo,tI!.ning f,or Bnti-ait'craftgun cr,eWs.

For anti -ali rcraft gun crews ssrvinq with field un its a two-piece overall cons~stlng off -

Protective jacket. black, drill 1M anufacturar's code B/307) Protective trousers. biack, dril: (Manufactt)re(s cede B.;3.08) IS to be mtroduced.

Flield unit requirements must be forwarded via ClclUling channels.

Kdo.d.W.-SS/la 3. Engineers

En,gineers also WOH1 standard field-grey uniform (BI~c~ special clothing If crews oi armoured vehicles in Panzer-Picniere units). but because of their specialised tasks they wore many kinds of protective clothing and equipment such as rubber waders 'uor bridge building and life [aekarsfnrerossmq rivers; ~heseartides Were neither clothmq or personal equipment but technical apparatus issued for the task in hand.

4. Moulltaii'!I'! U fi'!litrs,

Before the war great importance was attached to the train! ng of SS personne I I!l mountainous regions and winter sports, for which purpose the foHDwing black, (for Alllgemeine-SS) and earth-grey (for SS-VerfiJglungstruppe) ski clotihing had been introduced in 1938::~

Ski cap, gabardine, black or earth-grey

Ski blouse, gabardine. black or ea~th-grey Ski trousers, g'aba,rdine, black or earth grey Puttees

Before the war ski cio,thing was issued to personnel only "for the duration 0'1 training. then returned to stores, but lin 194(1 Waften-SS units serving in NOlrway were already bein.g issued with suilab·le' dothing endequipment for wear in mountainous regions.


8ekielduI'ng und Au'slfustun9 deli' IEinhe'iten im Gebirgsdienst. C.lo~lhin.g and equipment of units in mountain service

418. Clothin'g and equipment o~ units ill moufIl,tain service. ~

1. 'Following the order of the SS- FuhnJln9Sha1.Jp~amt - IVa/14a/l 0.40- of 23 October 1940, units of tlf,e WaHen-SS stationed in Norway and! issued with mountain equipment. are to receive the foillowing new nerns:

(a) Clothingl

1. Mountain blouse. 'Q1r'ey .2.. Mountain cap, {J]l'~y

3. Mountain cap COV9'r

4. Wind cheater 5. 6. 7. 8. 9'.

10. 11. 12. 13, (b) 14. 15.


Mounta,in trousers, grey Snow smock

Pullover for mountain troops Mittens (to go over gloves) Mountain boots

Wrist warmers Winter undervsst Winter underpants Woollen scarf


RUck.sack with ca'rrying straps Waler-boule, large capacity

For units in mountain service" the fiolllowhlga,tte:rat10ns are to be made to meorder of the Hauptamt 'fUr Haushalt und 8,aulen. Arnt KJ 1/3 M

204/3 of 11 November 1939. and the following obligatory clothing and equipment is laid down:

Article 5. MOllln'tain trousers, grey

1. Mountain blouse, grey Cloth trousers. long. glrey Greatcoat. grey

Mountain cap. grey Mountain cap cover

Field cap

116, 17. 2, 3. 18.

Quantity 1






"'During the first disastrous Russian winter (1941-2) all avaj,Jable mountain twop wirrter clothing was issued to f~e'd units, this applied p,articulalrly to the Snow smock,


19, Drilll btouse 20. Drmll trousers

9. Mountain boots

21. Ank'ie boots. lace-up 4. Wind cheater

6. Snow smock 10% of strength 22, Undershlrt


23. Brown shirt, trikot

24. Gonar liner


25. Blacktie

26. Un.derp,ants

12. Winter underpants

7. Pullover for rno untain troops 13, WooHen. scarf

2.7, Socks. thick (Oberstrumplfe). pro 28. Knitted head defender

8. Mrt.tens (to QO over gdOV8S) 29. Gloves. wool

30.. Socks. prs.

3~. Body belt (every third man) 32. Braces

.33" Handkerchiefs

110. Wrist warmers. pro Eqll.lip,ment

1-4. Rucks,ack with carrying straps

34. Greatcoat straps

35. Groundsheet and accessories consisting of:

11 groundsheet

1 line

1 peg

2 poles

36. Steel helmet, comp'Ie1e

37. Clothing, bag 38.. Waist belt

39'. Waist belt bllCk'~ 40_ Bay,onet. frog

41. Ammuribtioll pouches

1 1, 1 1


3 2

2 2

2 (W)I 1(W) 1 (W) 11 (W) 1 (W) 1 (W,l 1 (W) 3


3 1

1 3

1 1 1 ~ Z



42_ Bread bag

43_ Bread bag strap 44, Mess-trn

45. E at~rlg irn clements

46. Identity disc with cord

47. Oust- and sun-classes

48. Towel

49, Carrying straps for blouse 50. Steel side hooks

5.1. Sew; ng bag

52_ Cleaning' brushes. set

(W) = Issued only In winter

1 1 1 1

2 4

II ~s not i ntendsd here to descr i be the exact fu ncnon 13 nd manufacture of every arricle listed above. since this would require a manual on mountaineering. so it is onlv possible to describe those Items of clothing which differed considerably from standard pattern. Equipment wl~1 be covered In the section dealing wl~h that subject

2, In Ihe above listing. the mountain cap is included In addition to til€; field cap (Schrffcllsn). because at the time It WBS still classified as an item of specie I clot h i ng for wea r whe n rno untai neeri n . I thad nat vet become a distinctive head-dress, Being an issue item it was identical for all ranks. although officers could buy extra caps of superior quality. often with aluminium piping around the Crown and on the front of the flap. The field cap was worn in barracks and on field training when the steel helmet was, not specitied.In March 1941 the mountain cap was offic~ally recognised as a dlstlnctivs head-dress. 6

a06. SS, Mountain ,e,alP.

The Reichsflihrer-SS has, euthorised all members, of SS·Gebirgs-Division Nord and SS-Fre~wliligen-Divi-Sion Prinz Eugen to wear the mountain cap.

T116' Fieichsfiihrer-SS has forbidden all officers. N.C.O.s, and men in other units from we,aring the mountain cap.


Mountain troop 0 fleers .n l'yplcal service dress 1943, Three of the oftrcers wear ski trousers. whll'e the one In the mIddle wears plus four, and knitted woa,llen socks. h- IS mtarestmq 'IQ note ~hai illl leur ski caps bear dlri6fcni rnsrqma : L-R woven nauonal emblem and deeth's tleadl m front and SS edelweiss On Ih'li! ~ell; metal death's hell'o 11"1 ItOI'll and meral army edel'AiO'sS on leh : metal death's hei!d rn Iront, woven death's head In front and national embtern on the relt


S5 mOUfllilin troops with heavily loaded rucksacks anc] 'ihe speciijl ~arge c~pachy water lI:Iol1le.


But 1n September 1943 it was decided 10 introduce a standard field cap fOT the whole Walffen-SS. to be modelled on the mountain cap. and it was therefore necessary to preserve the special identity of Waffen-SS mountain troops by the introduction. in October 194:3. of the c!ot:h edelweiss For wear on the left side of the standard tleld: cap and mountain cap". (For details oflhe insignia" and method of wearingl see Vol. 7 of the present series.)

3. I n winter a white knlued wcojlen cover was wor:n over the rnountain cap. and in the lO'rlests of Lappland the steel helmet cover was worn either 01[) top of the mountain cap or em us own as carnoutlaqe headdress, and this practice rnsv well have been responsible for the introduction of a camoutlaqad field cap 'later in the war. B

4. The armv pattern wind cheater is included in the above list,ing. although photog,raphs of it being worn by Waffen-SS personnel have not so far come to I ig ht. This daub 1'8- breasted. 10 -hu rton, (I I ive green calico jacket. hsd two slanting pockets with buttoned flaps above the waist, and two patch side pockets With centre pteats and buttoned flaps. It had a half belt at the back with two buttons, and the cuffs could be fastened Ughdy around line wrist bv means of ill tab and Dutton. All buttons. except those for tile shoulder straps. which were ln metal, Were' either horn or plastic. Only insigo1a norrnallv worn on thisglarment were the shoulder straps.

5. field-grey mountain trousers were cut wider in the leg than standard long trousers, and were reenforced in the seat. The trouser 'legs were fastened a~ the ankle bv draw-string:s and held inside the mountain boot by foot straps, In 1943 mountain trousers were gradually replaced by the new Keithose.? Popular with mountaineers Were the nonregulation climbin.g trousers or knickerbcckers, which were buckled just under the knee and worn with long woollen socks.

6. The snow smock or shirt was a loose fining singlle-breasted undyed cotton smock, designed to be worn over the normal unitosm and equipment as camouflage in snowy terrain. It was fitted with ahood and collar. and had two vertical silts above the waist to enable the wearer to reach his blouse pockets or ammunition pouches. 8,LJttons were standard metal pattern wlith matt-white finish.

8. Canvas mittens: with leather palms and wrist straps were used in conjunction with woollen gloves to improve insulation and keep the gloves dry,

9. Boots had a specially designed lace-up ankle and thick studded safes for cllmblnn and sliding. Many officers and mountaineers wore their own

privately purchased mountain footwear, whkh did not conform to any standard pattern. Mountaineers alse wme. special rock climbinq canvas ankje boots with rope orfelt soles.

10. Wris.t warmers were made of fi6~d-gfey, bottle green Of grey knitted wool. and were 10 em long and open at botih ends, They were desiglned to seal off the sleeve at the wrist to exclude draughts and protect the wrist where the sleeve and glove joined,

49. On the outside of the field blouse at waist level. four sets of three (later two} holes can be seen in front and at the back. These were desrgned to take a metal hook of special desrqn, which on the Inside was attached to a fabncstrap which formed part of the blouse lining;. The strap was designed to take a hook. and distribute thefullv loaded weighu of the waist bah uhmughout the shoulders of the fie~d blouse.

50. Mountain troops were often cailed upon to carry conslderabte weights and it was found necessarv to reinforce these fabric straps by two 9.4 em long webbing ones (T.ragegur1e). The metal hooks were attached to the ends of the straps. which were then worn over the shoulder inside the blouse, BV supporting the hooks the stracs transferred ·the burden to the wearer's shoulders and thus relieved the strain on the btouse ..

The fo~IQwing items are known to have Ibsen issued, subsequent to these lists. At the end ,of 1942 a Ilew anorak and overalls began to replace the wind cheater in the army. and was soon issued to Waffen-SS personnel. The anorak and overalls were made ofa specral reversible rayon. white on one side and tan Or rush green on the other, which had ,exce'llen! waterproo'Hng qualities when wet and good insulation when dry

lnltiallv neither put-lees nor gaiters appear to have been worn by Waffen·SS mountain troops. and the trousers Were held inside the mountain boot by a lcotstrsp. Ew~ntuaUy short. elasticsted arrnv-stvle puttees (Wickelgarna5cl"len) were issued (measuring 73 x Scm, with a 20; x 2~ em strap) which secured trousers and top 0'1 the boot and gave added ankle support. Meanwhile the \NaHen-58 was developing Its OWr'1 type, of gaiters based on theold Austrian army 'Stvrian' pattern. ~n June 1943 Himmler requested that tel'! pairs of Tour dlrferent eatrerns be sent to SS-Gebirgs-Di,vi:sion N-ord for field evaluation. ~ The gaiters. made from various types and cclours of canvas. covered the top of the boot and laced on the outside. Straps and binding were made of webb~f1,g A combined webbing and metal footstrap, is one feature whit:ch suggests that. these gaiters were primarily designedffoir use by mountain troops. S i nee a webb i ng or leather strap WO uld have been severed by the metal studs and nails affixed to the soles 0'[ mountain boots.

Top: Sta ndard issue mountain boot,

Bottorn r Moun1am boot wilh ·Sfyriangailer'.


.f;. Bn~n.ien Moslem being rssued witih arand - new mountain !1iQ:Q.p clothing. 1 942.



L V. BI.d.W.-SS. Nr.19, 1 October 1943., ZiH.357. 2_ I bid. N,r.17, 1 September 1842., 2m.30B.

3, SS-Preisli·ste .. Nr.3. 1 January 19~38.

4. V.Bl.d.W.-SS" Nr.14. 1 Dec€mbe-~ 1940. Zift418.

5. I bid. Nr.17, 1 Septernber l 942. 2m. 3006.

6. Kampf unter diem Nord he ht. III u strat Ion between pp. 176 and1177.

7. V.Bl.d,W.-SS" NI'.19. 1 October 1943, Zlff.357.

S. D~r Chef des Armes BII. 55· Wi rtschatts uno Verwaltunqshauptamt SS·Brigsf.Lorner an SS·Ost'ubatDr.Brandl (Pers.Stab, RF-SS)., Berlin 28 June 1 943.

5. llraining and replacement Wlnits.

Before l~e war II was normal practice to ISS·UE; a new recrui t wllh one complete held service unllorm tor wear during basic n.ain~ng, 011 cornplenon 0-' which he was issued with a second set. The- tirst, now somewhat wom and often stripped of Insignia was relegated for wear in barracks. while the new uniform was reserved lor wear onsxercrses ~nd manoeuvres outside barracks.

Even before the war and the rapid expansion of the WaHennSS, the first everyday un ifo rrn. or pan a f it. COilS isted of odd rterns of the old sarth - grey servms un iform, unti If i nallv wuherawn in March 194P Already by H!39 training, and replacement units were being issued with the most unusual se lection off un ltorms fa" therrbastc m31 n InQ _ Members of [he 55 - T otenkoptErgari.z:ungssturmbann HI in Breslau, tor example, were weafing Fi~st World War tunics 01 the t.eib-Kuressier-Heqt. Nr.l. with black collar and white I itzen. Jo r S table d II ty and training, without SS i nsignli'l. Our i ng the Pol.sh campaign they were referred to by the, German iJrmy as the "stranqs guards".2. By 19'40 most training and replacement personnel were b€I!'!glssued with tWO field·grev fje~'d uniforms and a set of dnll, As raw materials became scarce and SlOCKS depleted, Ersatz unus were ~!he fi rst to suffer; i h 1941 thev were no long'er issued with marching boots but two pairs. of ankle boots." By the end of the wa~ the Waffen-S5 Was not even able to issue the two basic MIS of He~d and one set of d:rlll uniform. and were torced to requisition stocks of rmscetlsneous uniforms. or manufacture new sets OU't(Ff whatever materials were available. In 1944-5 members of Ihe Feldersatz battalions oi' the TO'!€!nkopl and Wiklng divisions III Schrcttersburq (WelcI1sel) were wearing field blouses made au t of two different kinds and colours, of material, The brea5~ and back portions (above the waist) were- made of dark d~iU material, while 1M lower part of the front and back portions (below iI'he waist). collar and sleeves, were made of the rJormalfll~ld"grev rnateria], The glreatcoats were

earth-brown. ~ MarlY a young 58 recruit attracted bvthe glamou:r and appeal df the SS u nitorm, must have suffered severe dis ill usionment as he stared at the motley col iection of 'ha no-me-downs' with which he was iss ued on reporti ng: for service.


1, V.Bl.d.W.-SS. Nr.4. 1 March 1941, Zift. 121.

2. Der Frei;wiillge- Nr.l. January 1970, 'Pp_16- 1:7-

3. V.Bl.d.W.·SS .. NIf.20. 1 November 1941. Ziff.4ZB 4.. FeldgraL!., Nr.1. .Januarv 1956. p. 19.

BEKLEIDUNGi DER: PANZEREINHIEITIEN C I othlrtg of armoured units

The German definition of the term armouredtroops for the purpose ·o·u issuing the special tank black uniform. was the crew and exchange· crew o.f ranks. armoured cars, and raoio vehicles' with enclosed superstructures. All other personnel [1'1 armoured units wore the standard fie,ld-grey uniform. I awards the end of the war there was a tendencv to issue the special black uniform to aH personnel in an armoured unit.

The spacial blac.k uniform was first introduced in 1938fm wear when on duty with an armoured vehicle, since dirt and {:jlreas·e marks would 1101 show up. With other orders of dress the standard field-grey uniform W8.S normally worn. l.ater in the war the black uniform was proudly w,om at every opportunity. even when walking-out On Reich terri11ory. ln fact this was due to field-grey uniforms being no Ioneer issued m addition tOI the black. At first the special black SS uniform was manufactured by the S5 Clothjnq Works and differed sl ight~y from i IS army counterpart but Q nce again rapidexpansion 'lecessitated the issue of army uniform. In complete contrast to the situation wruch came about wtrh lh€ fj€ld-gn~y SS field uniform, the SS managed to maintain the slJPp~ies ()T its own special black uniform. and It is thereiore rare to see the arrnv pattern bemg worn alter 1942. As in the army, there was rio special black greatcoat to go With this uniform. and srandard fie~d-grey was ssued

Scli"lutzmOtze/,Bask,en mutze Crash helmet

This special head-dress was designed to act both as Oill protective head-dress and a smart item of mi~itary uniform. It consisted of a round black cloth headpiece, * padded with rubber and lined with Arnedcan cloth. with four rubber ventilation hojas. Over the headpiece fittsd a lia.rge black felt beret.

Snow smock with det!llJI of collar.


Armoured car crews from the S:S Reconnaissance' Ballaltol1 in the SS version of the specral black doth mg. France " 940


On the front of the beret were worn special versions of the national srnblem and dsath's head. both of which were machine-embroicered in silver grey silk thread on a black groluncJ. This issue item of head-dress was identical tor all ranks. However. the beret was withdrawnafter proving impractical dudllg combat experience; in its place. either the Schiffchen. standard freld cap in black cloth (see section on head-dress). or the steel helmet were worn.


Field jacket

This was a shari double-breasted black jacket fastens . with seven black plastic buttons, with collar worn open or dosed with brown shirt (later greygreen) and black tie. ltd iffered from its army CQ unterpart insofar as the front was cut venleallv instead of slanting. and had much shorter lapels. Jackets were also priva.lsly made from 'Various lightweight or carnouttaoe rnaterials.' The collar of the black jacket was sometimes piped .0 pink for other ranks. and either pmk piping or twisted aluminium cord for officers, It has been suggested that pink piping was only worn by members ot the 5S Pz.Regl.5 (Wiking D1V.). ~ but this is not confirmed by photographic evidence. 3 It is more li'ke!y that early in the war army field jackets With pink piping were in fact worn by both officers and men without regard [0 the urut. Alummium twisted cord on the collar was traditionally worn by 5S officers, and appears to have been worm by mosten the black field jacket

Collar patches for other ranks were also piped In pink, but again photographic evidence does not !Imi t it to members of AufkLAbt.5, as photooraphs of it worn by members of the AlIfkl.Abt.LSSAH.1 do exist. It .15 most likelv that pink piping was cmginally intended to identlify members of reconnaissance battalions from those in Panzer regiments. but this 'fine distinetion. ~i'ke many others. became blurred in wartime,

N.C.O.s (with i.he possible exception of those ill Pz,RgtLSSAH1.) did n01 wear lace on the collar of the black field jacket

"The base <of the Panzer berst had a second lease of Ilife when 'existing stocks were covered with tan material and, fined wuh rabbit fur flaps, Issued as winter head-dress.



1. Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1934 bis 1945. Heft12 with rllustration,

2. The Waffen-SS. its divisional insignia, p. 22.

3. See for example the photo of Max WUl'lsche BIS, SS-Stubaf.. and Chef I. fSS.P4. Rgt.lS SAH.1 ., ~ n Bender-Taylor Va I. 1, p. 44.

This. quite clearly shows pink piping.

feldlho'se Field trousers

Thes_€ were similar to the army pattern, having slant:ing side pockets with flap and button (tater two buttons), watch pocket, and buttoned hip pocket. They were baggy and cut like ski trousers. the bottoms fastened around the ankie bV draw-strings and foetstraps.

'Fussbeklei dung Footwear

Originally both marching and lace-up ankle boots were issued with the black un iforrn. but '!rom 19411, ankle boots and ga iters oruv were to be worn, although it appears this; order was disregarded and those In possession of marching boots continued to wear them.

In AugusL1' 941 the need for a practical wmkfng and summer uniform. andl he necessity to provide reconnaissance personnel with a Jess consmcucus

uniform when operating on foot broug:ht about the introduction of the reed green drill uniform.

355. PiI'ot,ectilve clothing for personnel in arrneured reconnaissance units. Z

1. Crews of armoured cars are to be issued with protective clcthinq m the same cut and make-up as the black field uniform. This protective clothinq is to be worn as camouflage over the black uniform. or on its own in summer. and also to protect the blac~ uniform.

Designation and arncte nurnber :

field jacket, drill. reed green,

for tanks ... Article No. 309 ; Field trousers, drill. reed-green, forranks ... Article No. 310.

2. The drill uniform tor these units IS disoontinued.

3. Divisional requirements must be sent to the SS-Verwaltungsamt with the next clothing indent.


Although the basic cut of the jacket and trousers remained unchanged. there were minor modifications. such as a lar'ge patch pocket with f~ap and button added to the left front of the jacket and left thigh of the trousers. ln Jenuarv 1943. the reed green drill unitorrn was replaced by a new onepiece reversible camouflage combination. The old ~€edgre"en drill unltorm continued to be worn, and was still in use in Normandy in June 1944.

Machine embroldered badges lor tha Panzer beret, TI19 national emblem 15 chen rnrstal en for the slleeve emblem but was of spacral desIgn,



2,6,. Camoufla,ge combination for tank crews.s V.Bl.d.W-SS., Nr.16,. 1 September 1941, Ziff.355

1. The crews, and exchange crews OT tanks, armoured cars, and radio vehicles with enclosed armoured superstructures are to be issued with a camouflage combination instead 0'1 the protective clothing, drill. reed green.

2. Designatio n and article Number:

Combination, camouflaged, tor tanks ... Article No. 306.

3. Field unit requirements must be forwarded to the VWHA.

- SS-FHA./a/Amt IV.

The combination was made of water repallsnt cotton duck with autumn and summer shade camouflage patterns. It was usually issued with the natlona: emblem on the left s~eeve. shoulder strap loops and detachable metall shouldev strap burro s. Later models had a Ilarge patch peeker with flap and button 011 the front of the left thigh. Nevel'theless, the need to provide Cf'6WS with barter winter clothing was snticipated.

27. W'inter combinationl for t,ank 'cr'8WS" 4

In order to lmprove the winter clothing of tank crews arid exchahge crews, a new combination is introduced.

Desiqnatlon and erticle number:

Winter combination for tanks, .. Anicle No. 396 ..

Fh~~d unit requirements must be forwarded to the \llJVHA.

ss- F HA./'la/Amt. IV) The winter cornbinetion was basicallv the same cut as the camouflaged one. but was made of two thicknesses ot cloth, white' on one side, and ield-gr€'v on the other.

Because of the odifficullty Ing'euing in and out of a combination. it was never very popular. and so lin January 1 944. it was decided to re-issue thetwo-ptece dri'll uniform in camouflage material instead of reed-preen, This was atso done to coincide with the introduction in the rest of the WaffeD-S8 of the camoutlaqe working and summer field service uniform. 5

Ulnofficii.'1 uniforms

On the whole the clothing of armoured personnel appears to have been fajr1.y standard" but there were two major changes at divisional level. both of wh[cih took place in Normandy i111, 944,. The first was the weaning of various items of camoutleqe clothinq, iiieid caps, jackets" and combinations by members of the H'itle,rjugend and its parent Adolf Hitler Division. which were made from Italian camouflage rnaterlel." The Adolf Hitler Divisionarrived ,il'1

.speci,a~ black clothmg 'for arrncured vehkle crews,

SS -Slubaf, Muhlenkilmp (Kdl. 5S· Pz, Rgl. 5) afrar jhe aw~rd of the Kmght's ClOSS. Russia. Sllpt~mber 1 '943. This Sl10WS a good crcss-sectlon of Parl.zer 'troop CloIIiin~.


Captured SS men wearing rhe lush green dull umrorrn IQr armoured vehicle crews, Normandy June 1944.


France In December 1943 after hel'ping disarm the Italian armed forces and fighting partisans in northern Ila~.y. and provided a cadre fer the formation of the Hnlerjuqend Division. Larg(~' quantities of ltatian motor transport and other mated als were used to rep lace disastrous German shortages. ~ ~ n I tahan naval depots large quantities of Getman leather u-boat clothing (origrnall\ supplied by Germany to I ta!y) were discovered, reqursltioned. and issued tc German tank crews in Normandy. 8


1 V.Bl.d'w,,-SS .. Nr.13, 1 July 19. Zift.220. 2 Ibid .. Nr.16. 11 September 1 g.41, Ziff.355.

3. Ibid." Nr.2. 15 January 1943, Ziff.26.

4. Ibid.

S. lid .. Nr5. 1 March 1944, Zrrf, 99_ ei. Seeillustra1tion on p, 42.

7. Die Waffen-SS" pp, 181-3.

,8. Verbal conversation wi1n 'the former d~vislonal Ordnance Officer february 1972.

FEILDIIGIRAUE. ,S'OND'EFtBEIKLEIDUNG Field - qrev spec ial cloth ing

The spacial field-grey clothinq was 'first issued to members of the Sturrngesctuitz- B !lIUerie lSS,AH m time fa r the campaign in the Balkans in the summer of 1941, but It was not until August 1942 that it was issued to crews of $elf propelled guns (Sturrnqeschutze] .

. 283. Special c:lothing for assault. 91unl anlts.'

Assault gun crews will be equipped with the newly introduced special dothing.

Field jacket. field-qrev (Prod. code 3H. subject B) and

Field trousers. field-grey {Prod. code 314. subject 8)1

Existing field blouses and trousers will be WOHl out. In accordance With thf' published order (V.Bid.W.-SS.. Nr.16.. 1 September 1941. Ziff.348) non-mounted personnel are issued with one pair of ankle boots instead of the marching boots with ordinarv uniform.


I n December 194~ the wearinu of the fie'ld grey special cloth [ng was also extended 10 self-propelled anti-tank gun units (Panzerja.g,ereinhei"[en.(Sill.). ~ The uniform consisted of a field~greV jacket and long trousers, brown shirt

TI~e carnoutlaqa Panzer ccmbinauon. Fl'ussia summer 1943.

"Panzermevar' weari(;lg the reversible winter combtnerlon for tank crews, during the batl~.e of Ch.arkov. Februllrr!March 1943.


ss· Panz8as.chull.e dunng [fill oarrts of NOrl11a,rldv Wearing the camDuHage drill uni orrn for lanl<,; crews.


Black Ieatner u-coat -=10 IW'Ig being Io/IIOm bV members of he 2/Pz. Reg!. 12 (Hltlerjugend Division) near Hhejrns, Noyember 1943.

(later field-grey) and black ie Ahhough not mentioned In the above orde 8 h!Jld-grey version ofthe black beret was also produced." but It was not worn un!11 the intrcducnon In 1943 01 a self-propelled rocket launcher with snc tosed superstructure (M sulner Sd. Ktz.3) 0 fllcers usually wore the Issue held uruforrn with their badges of rank, N.C.O.s (with the exceptron of ]nose in .. ~ Slurmgesch.Ab. and SS PZ.Jag,Abt LSSAH.l.) did no wear lace 0(1 t~ e "Ir ket coila'! ~ Pmk prprn was worn on the collar bV certain members of pz ag battalions, and a ew officers WOre IWj'sted alurruruurn cord. but reel. Ided cases of these practices are rare:


1 V BLd W.-SS" NrJ fl. 15 AuglJSl 1942 Zi' '.283.

I id . Nr 23. 1 December 1942. Ziff 434

'1 There IS an e arnote of a field-grey beret will, msiqma 111 the collection of Oavld Delich. Kansas C ,ty. Ohio. U ,5 ,A.


Of wilihe branches of" the SS.least 15 known about he clorhmq and equipment of SS parachutists, SS troops look pan In two well-known auacrna operationstl,I'llberalion 0' Muss-olini and the attempted capture of Trw In rus mountain HO In Yuqoslavra. Despite these events there IS little or no reference to the clc tiling and equlpnH:mt of the troops. who participated 1111 the operauons.'

It ppears that [he air-force assumed responsibrlrtv not only for their parachute tr':J1I!lng and transportatlon by air • but also the equipPing of SS parschunsts Witt speci,~J air-tome clorhmg and equipment. ormallv then S5 parachutrsts wore standard field-grev uniform with the paracttutrsr helmet Instead 0 the standard 1935 model The best method of ascerrammq exactly what they ...... lIe is 10 analyse eXisting photographs of them.

Liberati(m ,of M ussoli n i,. G ra n Sasso, Iitally, 1:2 Septem ber 19'4,3.

S5 Sturmbannluhrer Skcrzenv and his small glider-borne SOS commando wore German air-force tropical clothing wuh air-force national emblem On tile head-dress, shm, and 'field blouse. and Waffen-SS shoulder straps, Skorzen .... himself wore a Waffen-SS steel helmet Leather equipment such as the sub rnachine-qun pouches appear 0 have been theearlv SS leather p;allern. At a rallv In the Berlin Sports Palace after the rescue. cnc Skarzeny and members of his commando wore lield-91rev W,affen-SS service dress,

IRaid on Tlto'e IHeadquarters, IDrv.ar, Yugloslaviia. 25 Ma1Y 1944.

On this operation (R6sselsprung) two companies of S5 parachutists. from SS· f allschiirm]ager -Batai II on 500. were' dropped bV par-achute. and two la nded by glider. The parae: hutists under the command oi S S - H auptsturrn -

Three N,C_O 's from the SS-Pz, Jag, Abt, ·LSSAJi'. Spring 1943 If) Russia They are all weaflng tne special lielcl-grey dothmg~ Only N.C.O.s In his o1ivis,kln were permil1ed to lI'I{ear lace On ~he cellar oj this Jacket, The 'Spiess' in rhe cenu!'i W!'j<'lfS 61l army 11<lilional emblem and iank IJ'OOp des's heae 01\ his field cap,

SS peratrocoera durlnQ H1!i1 raid on Tuo's HO. Drvar, Yugols.avia Mi:I¥ 1944.


fuhrer Rybka. wore air-force clothing and equipment. I t consisted of Heel helmet (with or without. camouflage nst). geometric pattern cam.outl::lge smock. complete with an-force national emblem on the right breast." flp1d_ grey trousers with the side opening lhigh pockets. canvas gaiters, and clf1k1~ boots. S5 uruforrn was represented by the field cap (Sch~ffchen) witl Ss insign I a and t he belt buckle.

Towards the end of the war. SS, hkeair-force perachutlsts. wet~ thrown mt;o acuon 3$ mfantry.and conunusd 10 wear standard field-grey clothing and the parachutists helmet.

Recently a batch of brand new (one only worn) parachutists smocks, made of SS camouflage drill material With the SS national emblem on the nght breast turned up In America. Accmdll"lQ 1.0 w'lconfip-'-,ed reports these we-refound by Amencllfl troops In the SS Clothing DCflOt at Dachau In April 1945. They were broueht back tn America. Ilk" so much S5 camouflage clothing. because they were thought to be Ideal for duck shoouna. This IS the onlv recorded Instance of the SS natlorral emblem sewn on Ille right breast. and may have had something to do With the status of SS paracnuusts under au-terce operational command,

SCIHI UTZAN:Z.IJG Protec'l ive cloth i Ilg

Protective clotll,ing was issued to Waffen-SS personnel, irrespective of their branch of service, to protect their ordlnarv clothinq and person from severe chmatic and physical CQI10IV0J'1S. but which cannot be classified as wrr ter clo~hjng.


Moio, -cvel i st' 5 coat

This was firs! introduced 'for ar'my dispatch riders and personnel in uruts equipped with motor-cycles. and later adopted by the SS, and worn by all branches of Ihe armed forces. W,llffen-SS and police UI1.!.I~ the end of the war. The coat was made ofa rubtJertsed fabric. but like the greatcoat also !lad at first a dark green cloth colla r. but a Iready in i 939 coats with field -grey cloth collars were II'! usa.' The coat was double breasted with wk:fe sleeves thai


1. In AI)fil 1944 it was announced that only those who were physically suitable.cou ld wear perach uts cloth il1g. This excluded those with li3fgethighs and thick torsos. V.BLd.W.-SS., Nr.8, ~5 April 1944, Zrff,189.

...... ~ ..

- .........

_---.-.--- ·--1

---- ~ _ ........ --r-.._"'-

. ,

. ,





~ t •• ..--- ........ _~- ...... I

-- - .. _-. H...-_-- ....... ~- ... --

- ... _ ............. _

ta~e version of the au-force carachunst's steel helmet. as issued 10 5S paratroopers.

5S paratroopers smOCK.


Dispa,lch rider wearing the rubbensed motor cyclist's coal. and brown liealh~r gauntlets wilh seperllled thumb and forefmger,

could be fastened l! hHV around the wnst. The skirt of the coa could be divided and buttoned around the legs, Although origirlally intended as a motor-cvclinc coat rt proved popular as a raincoat and often WOrn <IS such by Waffel1l'SS personnel. The rubberised material was not very strong and did not stand up well to the ngolllrs oi front-hne use, so h following order was issued:

21,6. Motor-cydiist's eeat.'

The motor-cvcfist's coat may only be worn on duty by members ot the Waftell-SS. who have been offictaltv issued wllh it. The motor-cyclist's coat must be worn over the equipment Only when action IS Imminent may the belt be worn over the coat.

SS-FHA/la In addition to the coat. overalls were made of the, same material and desjQlnerl to be worn over both the ordinary trousers and footWEar during wet or muddy condnrons. Other specialised protective clothing 'for motor-cyclists were various types 0'. goggles with either normal or smoked: anti-glare and sun lenses, and either gAuntlets or mittens In canvas or leather. The gauntl~lS were made of a dark brown leather and had a separate thumb and foref~nger, and could be !astened at tho wrist with an adJustab'le strap and press studs.


1. V.BLd.W.-SS" Nr.3, 1 February 1943, Zift.216,

WIIN'ERBI~KLEIDU NG Wllnter c~othing

It is wen known that th,e Germans honed to defeat Russi'S before the coming of winter. and therefore made tittle or no preparations for wag'ing winter warfare. Failure to provide troops with adequate warm clothinq resulted In dis-aster. For the ave~agB German winter, a pullover. knitted woollen gloves, greatcoat. and toque were considered sufficient additional clothing for troops able to return and sleep IJ1I modern quarters: after the campaigns of 1940. extra winter clothinq had to be provided tor HOOPS, serving in Norway,

4119. Special clothirng for especiallY' cold zones}

1 _ The followihg items are introduced asadduional winter clothing 'fOf especially cold zones:

Anorak with hood, fur lined. Fur waistcoat.

These articles will only be considered for units quartered in former POllish territory and Norway, The anorak, 15 not suitable for cavalry units. and so is not provided. These units will be Issued with sheepskins.

2. The enntlernent IS:

Anorak with hood. fur li ned fm 1 0% of the 1ighljng s!f€ng.th fur waistcoat one per man.

Th·s anorak with hood IS to be usedtor patrols over fa~Fly long distances, The guard coat fur. is intended forstationarv or walking guard duty with In the area o'f the barracks.

Allocation will be made on procurement; and Becoming to available stocks by application tothe Verwaltunqsarnt dar Waffen-SS.

Units in Norway wirl be given priority !Il supplies.

V /3 431/ December 1 940

Pelz:weste, Fur waistcoat

This was a shari (just below the waist) sleeveless waistcoat des~.gned tor wear under the greatcoat for additional. warmth. and Was mace from any available types of fur and to no standard pattern.

Windibluse mit lKapuz6" .pel.z.-gefuttert

Fur linea anorak

It is not known whether this was the same as the g.arment Ihat appeared during the wi nrer ot '1 842-3, lout it IS considered u h Ilkehr So far it has nQI been possible to identify this item. in photoqraphs.



The version intended for use by mounted units was a three-cuaeter lenglh double-breasted sheepskin coat with lamb's wool COIlM_


Guard coat

This 'Was a traditional garment for sentries on static guard dury in extreme cold. The coat was made of sheepskin with lamb's wool collar. and was very long - almost touching the ground, It was usually worn together with straw over boots

Duri ng the first R'ussiall winter 01 1941-2 German troops Were forced to aUQlmem their meagre winter dothm9 with whatever 'they could lay their hands on, and improvise as best they could. The items listed above were made available whenever possible. and ohen DNO greatooa1s- were issued. worn one on top of the other. BUI the greatcoat and surceat W.ere not very practical for wear inacti'on.a:nd we~ght atone imposedquite a burden on the wearer. Stocks of <Clothing .originallv intended for mountain troops, such as woollen Scarves. mittens, winter underwear, and most important of all. the snow smock, were issued to the ·fig.hting, troops whenever possible. Wh.ere shortages

Winter clothing IS5IJed to Estonian volunteers near lemngrad. Decflmberr 1 942. The hooded white cotton ~mock: was plifnanly fer carnouftage, and was WQrn over other types 01 Warm WHlIerr cIO·ll1ing .. The boots were made of' whi,je carr v as with leather i:lind1ng and fubbar soles,


An unidentined 5S officer wearlligone 01 the many dltfer·entpaUerns of sheepskin cap and corat which were made IQr the SS in POI-and ,and RU5Sia.


were still apparent. captured R:ussian winter clothing. particularly ceps, were' issued. Sheepskin clothing. '[he traditional Russian peasa n1 wi nter clothing, was either requisitioned frorn Q( manufactured by the Russians themselves. and either sold or bartered to the Germans.

In Germany (?I massive collection of winter ci!octhing was instituted, and thousands of ladies' old fur 00.H5. rusty skis .. and old toboggans wele rushed 10 the front ohsn without repair or alteration. Neverthetess. the wretched supp~V situation at the front was not alleviated until winter had brouglll much suffer~ng, hardship, and death to many ill-equipped troops,

In Apri~ 1942 winter clothinq was re-collected for repair and storage until turther lIleed. \t Throughout 1 942 '~he Waffen·SS developed and manutactured its own winter combat clothing independent of the army. It consisted of a fur-fined pullover anorak in a water repellent, cement coloured gabardine, lined with vanous kinds of black brown. or white fum. Of sheepskin, Overalls were unlined and unquilted, and des~gned to be worn over ordinary trcusers The bottoms of the trousers 'fmished in a gaiter. which hUed over the top or the boot withlaces and tootsnans: by this time the lace-up ankle boot was 111 genera! use, and the gaiter prevented melted snow from enter.jog the boor When snow lay on the ground. an undyed cotton overall, consisting of iI separate smock with hood a nd trousers {spec iaHy desmned jo go over anorak and trousers) was lssued. The advantage of this arr~ngement was thill the white over garments tended to get very dirtv but being separable could be €as.~ly cleaned or replaced.

Head-dress consisted of a fur cap, based roughly 'On the Husshm model, w~th ear flaps. The head piece was uSlJaHy made of leather. sheepskin. field-grey doth, or the same material as the anorak. AnoUher pattern utilised existing stocks of Panzer berets by covering the black head piece wah cement coloured cloth and fittlng rabbit lur [0 the front and ear Haps. Tlus rnav have been origim:l~ly intended for crews of armoured vehicles. as photographs 01 it being, worn are very rare.

330'. Issue' of winter cl:othin'!3.3

From 11 5 September 1 9142 all urnts must be Issued with articles of Winter cloth ifig :

Woollen gloves

Balaclave helmet Surcoat

Gauntlets or mittens Pullover

Over socks


For drivers onlv

Requirements of these articles are to be forwarded to the competent service offices,

Fur clothing and other special winter darhing· is not issued to Ersatz units. The provision of the 'field reserve (Feldersatz) with these articles will be undertaken in due course through collec ing points. poss bly FHga. Stettin. Warschau and Kracau, There will be further instructions. Ex~s,tilig stocks from the fur and textile collections by the German people a,re to be issued on transfer to the Iront as addiuonal clothino, and a simultaneous entry to that effect is to be made in the pay book.

The additional issue of a second ,army blanket or great'coat is not perrrussible. Flleld units willi be supplied WiUl winter clothlnq by a speerai regulallon of the SS -W~rtschafts- Verwaltunqsha uptarnt.


Kopfschutzer Balaclsva helmet/toque

This was basicallv an open ended cylinder o~ knitted wool (measuring 33 x 2'9 em) which could be worn in a number of different ways ~ round the neck like a scarf, on the head like a cap comforter, or round the neck and purled up over the back of the head, covering the ears, lib~ a 8alaclava helmet.

"The term 'special winter cloth-ing' (Wirm:::r-Sonderbekleidung) was reserved for the special winter combat clothing suitable for wear in action. as opposed to other types ot Winter cl'oth~ng worn bV personnel behind tile front.

Oibermantell SUfCO.at

This garment. introduced as eady as 1937. was a lonq.Ieose filtling and heavily lined version of the greateo.at. designed to be worn over the ordinary greatcoat. or sheepskin or fur waistcoat by drivers of open motor vehicles. Early models had black and aluminium twisted cord around the collar. the same colour as the coat and the nanonal emblem on the lett sleeve. Basic cut was, identical to that of the qreatccat.

During tile war many different patterns of this coal were issued. and In addi ion to the norma' side pockets they were equipped WIth two vertical pockets above the waist. which were so placed and sufficiently large to convenien IV take a gloved or rnittened hand. The surcoat was lined with dark grey blanketmq or brown fur; som€' had field-grey leather patches on ths shoulders.

Issue field,ogre,\! knille.d woollen tO~U!J (Kcpfschutzer) and wrist wa~mers .. Tvpical ear-defenders made from flekJ-gl'ey cloth lined w,il!; lamb's wool, II covered '!h~ ears and was lied ullderl!he chh



... .-r ... .._ ... -_ ..... ,. ....... - -- - - - - -_..--" _ ... -,-

Surcoal, eeverse and reverse aCId aerO'll,1 of raised hood.


Wadimanu:1 Guard cost

This was a tradltional garment (surcoat) lor sentries on static guard duty In extreme cold, If was usual IV made of sheepskin and worn toge'lher wnh straw over boots.

I n January 1 943> Poh I reported that 'thanks to supp] ies obreined in the Balkans, and by the change of domicile of the Jews, the Waffen-SS was !'Ilble to cbtain sutticient stocks, and was able also this year to line anoraks with fur. Next year, hOW€IIN, we must a.150 change over to the wHiter clcthrnq introduced in the army', ,I

Following a crash pmo,amme, the ,army succeeded in issuing its new winter combat uniform to field units in time for the winter of 1942-3, bun apart 'from odd sets obtained from the army by the Waffen-SS, its own version of this clothmg did not enter service until the winter of' 1943-4, The clothing consisted of a hood, iacker, trousers, and mittens, mad~e 'from IwO layers of wind proof material. with wool-raven interlining, It was reversible, being whirte on one side and SS autumn carnouflaqe on the other. and was designed either to be worn over the ordinary field uniform or in conjunction with special quilted under garments. The white Side of this unrform tended to get ~~lthy, which defeated Its purpose as camouflage in a snowy landscape. So troops behind the front were ordered to wear it wsth the camouflage side out.


Because of basic similarity in shape (or shapelessness) and colovr of winter c~'othil1g, a system of markings h~d to be introduced to identify one side tram the other. On the RUSSian 'front a strip of black cloth was worn 011 the upper left CH riQlht arrn. and changed daily. so that it could not be Imitated by the enemy: the 1943 pattern wlnter combat ja.cl,(et was provided with buttons 'On the sleeves. 50 that the ship could easily be changed. Waffell-SS personnel also wore the death's head on the 'front of the fur cap. sometimes accompanied by the national emblem.


1, V, B I.d, W.' SS .. Nr.I4,. 1 Decem ber 1 940, Zift41 8. 2. Ibid" Nr.8, 15 April 1942, ZitU311 .

3, Ibid" Nr.l S, 15 September l 942, Zift 330.

4. S.S-Ogmf.u.Gen.d.W.-SS Oswald Pohl an den Rf·SS, Bett:Bericht Ober die RohstaUlage au'f dern Spinnstolt-unn Lei.dergebieL Bertin, den 9 January 1943.

';-GruL u_ Gan.l,t, d. W--SS Fehx Sleinel wearing an i5~ue surccat I'ml1leatner shoulder path. Tt ~ S5 Oscha. wears the s1andard iteld-Qrey grel!IC031_

The 1942 SS w~nler cornbat lmi"orm. TI'Ie soldier QII the Ilghr wears a 'IOQUI!'.


G~oup of .sS g,l>rI<ldl\JfS in 1944. wear';ng the r1ew pattern licld cap. whlle one we'~ts a captured Soviet winter CaD wilh 55 insiqnia. Same ·Ollhe men wear Hl·e SS version or the special army winter comber uniform.

S5 reversible winter combat uniform consisting of jacket. trousers. hood and rrnnans introduced 111 1943.

TAOPENBEIKLEIDUNG, Tropical clo~l1ing

Tropical dothing caine rather late to the Waff.en-SS " and is believed to have been first issued to members of the Sturmbriqade Reichsfuhrer-SS on their arrival on Corsica tn September 1 943_ Although tJhere was talk of sendinq the Waffen-SS 10 north Africa. the clothing was desiqned primarilv for wear in southern Europe. the Balkans. Adlriatic. and soufhern Russia_ and consisted 'If the following items;

1 Sun helmet

2 Field cap (Schrttchsn) 3" Standard f.ield cap

4 Filsld blouse

5 Shirt

6: Field trousers 7. Shorts

All the above items were basically the same in cut and manufacture as their !L(:!ld-gray counterparts. but all were made out of a sand coloured cotton dnl].

Tr openhelm Tropical helmet

1 he shape was the same as that issued to German troops in North Alrica, end Nas made of cork covered with ohv€ green cotton dn'l, All external leather r ~mming was in tield-qrev. and the helmet had oil red lming. The' SS runes and national colours were the same as, those worn on the steel helmet bu

Were detachable white metal shields.'

IFeldimutze (Schiflfehen) i ield cap

I dentical in cut LO the new pattern field "grey field ca p. (See p, 73,)

EinheitsfeldmOtze Stand,ard field cap

The same shape 85 its field -glre'v counterpart. bu t without separate flap and billions in front, The same insiqnia wss worn on both caps. and consisted oi a national emblem and death's head. machine-woven m sand coloured <II tr[icial silk thread on a black ground.

*' The first mention of tropical e,lothing in the SS·Veronlnungsbma1t is in Nr.19" ~ October "9143. Ziff.370_


lmprovisad tropical clo!.hrng in Gr,eece 19tn. conslSlIng 01 sports clothes and capllUred Brlli~h sum helmets.


SS-OherSlllJmbanntuhrer Gesete. commander of the Slunnbr~9ade Reu::hsluhrer-$S. soon aller hu. 1.1011 had been Issued wrth lroplcal clo~hlng. Corsrea, September 18.43_


F·eldbluse Field blouse

There were two basic pauerns ot troprcal fie~d blouse, as well <IS all mber (If minor vanants, The first was Identical In cut to Lhe 1940 model arrnv flelll blow; , tile second was based on the very efflc-rent Italian bu. h Jack, t (Sal1ariana).

Normally only badge'S 01 rank and the national emblem were warn on lh. rcercsl fj Id blouse. although O1h r In5lgnla. such as ccilar patches ann nauonalitv b'adges. were also worn by mOI\lIdllals.2 The 1131100031 smblern

was machine-woven In sand coloured fliruflCI<11 sdk on a black qround, and N. COs la e, wh ierl <l ppeared on the collar arid sleeve chevrons was als . woven In sand coloured artihcial Silk,

Hlemd Shirl

The slurt was also manufactured In the same way as he italian Sahenar-a. with two breast patch pockets.

FeldEiJo.se Field trousers

These woere 111 Ihe standard HO user cut. with bu ilt - In clo rh be II. two slannnn Side pock lS with flaps and buttons, wa ell pocket. and hi~ ock t with button The bottom of the tro user ~eg tapered an d was fas erred ':HOI.! nd the a nkla WI til a draw-string and Ioctstrap.

'Kutzn.ose Shorts

Pos"SlblV not official issue, bUI cer 'ainly worn by certain Waffen SS personnel Same cloth belt and pocket arrangement as the field trousers.


1. This is .OJ descnonon of the helmet Illustrated (onlv s.urvlvinQ exarnpl known CIt time or writing) from the collection of Mr James van Fleet, Stanhope. New Jersey. U~S.A.

2. See the Waffen-SS. Its Divislonal lnsiqnia., p. 63. with Illustration

SS tropical helmet,

Two Roma!"li<ir1 Volksdeutsche m rhe Wiklr1g DIvIsion, wearln.g trtlplcal urulorrn and mcuntarn boots.


Nallonal emblems :101 wear on the sleev , L R: hand embroidered arid rnactune woven pauern for offtcer6. Bottom row. L·A machine embroidered and machme woven psuern for other ranss,


.A.RMELHOHEITSABZEIICHEN Natl'onal emblem for the sleeve

The national emblem first 'began 10 be wornon the upper left sleeve of the earth- rev SS uniform In the summer of 1935 Contrary to popular beliet It was not generally warn by all rilnks on the field-grey tunic. blouse. and greatcoat until 1938, Prior LO that year officers usually wore a hand-ernbroid erco version. other ra Ilks a machine - embroidered versio n I f the field blouse or g,reatcoat had been issued with il on.

In 1938 the second and final pattern of the SS national emblem in aluminium hand ernbroiderv tor officers. and machine embroidered In silver gmy Silk thread tor other ranks, began to be generally issued, and were listed in the SS price list issued by the RZM.I Photographic evidenc suggests. however. that the onqinal pattern was still in use in November 193·8.;] In 1939 the: national emblem began [0 be woven in aluminium thread for officers and sHver grey thread 'for other ranks. Trus pattern was to remain In 'use until the end of the war.

A. common habit (open to iii number of mterpretancns) was the wearing by Waffen-SS officers of nanonal emblems other than that of the 5S on both [11 head-dress and sleeve, Most common were ~hose of the army. a~thoug;h national 'emblems of the NS DAP were also worn. This practice, which was ot course, unofficial. was most common between 1939-40, when lht> SS-VT became the Waffen-S5.

During this pedod of rapid expansion, 5S Insignia for the 'field grey uniform were still controlled by the RZM. who gave priority to clothing depots. so that RZMoutlets had diUkultv in oDlainmg stocks. Armv insl.gnia on the other hand were in plentiful supply and available. over the counter, In military out fitters throuqhout the country. The appearance of army national emblems on SS uniforms later in ahe war was due to the fact that those who had earlier purchased army emblems contmued to wear them, and army InsilQ'nia remained easier to obtain at the front and in occupied tsmtorles than that of the 55. Throughout the war the nauonal emblem continued to be worn an the upper left arm of nearlv all Waffen-SS uniforms and dothing (in doth, colton driB and Camouflage material) a.lthough officially ~u was not to be worn on camouflage clothing. ,I

The wartime pattern was in fact the woven type, manufactured IF) aluminium thread for officers and silver grey silk for other ranks. ThiS shade of the thread used tor t,he national emblems of other ranks vaned considerably indudlng white. matt-grey. and beige. added to which fading and $lirt tended 10 alter the colours. However. the followlllg dlHerent coloured threeds were used fOI specific types of uniform:

Aluminium wire on black' ground tor officers. Sliver grey thread on black ground for other ranks.

LIght khaki (sand coloured) thread on black 9round for wea,r on tropical uniforms.

Brown on black ground for camouflage uniforms (autumn), ~ Bright green on bllack gfound for camouflage uniforms (spdng). &


At first the'SA and 58 shared the same' small while meta II (tin} national emblem, which was worn on from of the service cap. above the SA button. or SS deeth's head. In the summer ot 1935 he Leibs andarte-Sf Adolf Hitler was, equipped with earth-grey, and a photogreph of seven officers In brand new ear~ll-grev uniforms shows IwO wearing the Heichswehr national emblem on their service caps, It 'fMY be assumed 111at this was just another case of '[;1 enrnachtiqkeit' (personal vanlty}. or that certain LAH officers wished to emphasise their milrtarv standilng by wearing army as opposed to politicat Insignia. In F,ebwary 1936, Hitler inspected and approved a new S.s version ()1 the national emblem for the service cap. The badqs was made otsrlvered l.upal (synthetic alloy) for the black extra cap. and matt aluminium foI' the black, ssnh-qrev or fieldqrev service cap."

This national emblem rem au . ed In U,S€! until the end of the war as the standard pattern metal SS national emblem. although both types ofmetal and finish used vaeieo consideraolv Hand-embroidered versions ot the SS naticnal emblem were very rare, and most of those In private collections Were made after the war for use in theatricel productions, Certain officers wore either the hand-embroidered or woven arrny national emblem all. their field service caps, while others wore the 5S s~eeve version. but none of these unofficial modes had any s.ignificll,nce whatsoever,


1. SS·Pr,eisliste Nr,3. 1 .Januarv 193,8. 2, See photograph on p. 1 B

3, 55- Preisliste Nr.4. March 1939.

4, See orders quoted in section on camouflage' clothi mg.

5. See source of this Information In footnotes tOI section dealing with carnounaoe clothinq.

6. Adj,utant des Hihmrs, Hplm.a.O.wI'edermmm An die HeichsfuhrunqSS.Betlr,Hohei1:sabzeichen fur dill SS-Mutze, Ber~in. dan 3 February 1936,.

Top to bottom L· A : Badges far the old Olnd new pattern field cap. Combined badge 'for the slan~~N:j li.;ila cap, machrne embroidered and m~chijl'1e woven patterns 'lor wear on field !:ll'ev head-dress, Machloe embroidered <lila machine WOI;Cetl patterns 'IOf wear On b!ac head-dress.


Siandard metal cap insignia.


TOTE.NKOPfAB,Z,EIICHIENI (STOFf) Deeth's head badges (cloth)

The first doth version of the death's head badge was not made for the S5 Panzer beret.

In 1939, SS death's heads began to be machine woven in aluminium thread for the new pattern SS officers' field cap.' With the introduction" in November 194{). of the new style S.S field cap, the deeth's head began to be machine woven in silver grey silk thread for other ranks, in addition to the pattern If1 alurmniurn thread. This pattern was manufactured until la1e Iii the war, when it ibegan to be replaced by the new combined dsath's head and national smblern tor wear on the M.H~43 standard field cap." Tile machine woven death's head was manufactured in a standard size for wear on alii (he' various kinds of field cap, and was even worn by some personnel on the service COl A slightly !arger version was, however, produced 10r wear on the Fez, (See Vol. 7: section on the 13th SS Div.) The same colour threads were used for the rnanutecture of dsath's heads as were used 'fur national emblems.


The deeth's head was worn on nearly all items of 55 head-dress beneath the national emblem, The neath's head was ·adopted. by Hitler's Stosstrupp I" 1 '923, and was to remain the symbo I of the S S unt'~1 the end of the war The first pattern was identical to that worn bv 'the Prussian We Hussar Regimen.t Nos. 1 and 2, and was made of silvered tin. In 1934 it was replaced by a specially designed 5S model. 80th old and new badges were worn conourrentiv, but by the outbreak of war 0 nly a f.ew WaHen -S S officers continued to weat the old pattern.!

like the national emblem, ~he deeth's head was manufactured first in silvered tin, and then in an aHoy. The deeth's head for wear On the grey service cap was to be in matt alumlinilL1m" and silver plated air the' black walkmq-out cap. Although intended for wear only 0111 the service cap and the N.C.O.s held cap, the metal dearh's head was worn on other types of' head-dress such as the fi€lld cap, standard field and ski cap, and ,0'11 various kinds of fur cap-'


1. SS-Prei$liste, Nr.4, April 1939, with hand-wrltten amendments.

2. See' section on head-dress.

3. See illustration 'on p, 58. 4., See illustration On p. 70,

55- DIIENISTIGRA,DE i(ACTIV) 55 Regular ranks

II. SS-Mii,l'1Inet (Men) (non-55 members) 1, SS - Bewerber

2. Stattel-Anwsrter 3, StaFrel-1v1 ann

4 Staffel-Sturrnrnarm 5.


1'938-1941 (SS,-IM'ElmbeJs)


SS-Anwart@r 58-Mann SS-Stmmmann SS-Aottenfuhr,er

SS-Schutze u.s.w, SS-Oberschutze u.s.w. SS-Sturmmarnn

S S -Bortenfuhrsr

5S - Hottenfuhrer

(2, Gehaltsszute)

IIa. SS,-iUnterfiilhmr ohne Por"te'pe.e (Ju,lilioll' N.C"O.s)

7 S S - Unterscharff hrer

8, SS-Scharfuhrer

s s - U nterscharfu hrer SS-Schariuhrer

lib. SS-Ul1terfOhrer mit PI),rtepee (Senior N.C.O.s/Warrant officers)

9. SS· Obsrschartuh rer

10, .sS-H auptscharfu hrer

11 SS-ShJl'tflSch,arfuhrer

S5- Oberschartu hrsr 5S- H suptscharfuhrar SS-Sturmsch.;lrflulirer

Ilia. S5-Fuhrer (Company offlcers) 12.



ss - U nterstu rrnfuhrer 5S -Obersturmtirh rer SS-HauptsturmfUhrer

ss - U ntersturmfu hrer 5S - Obersturrnff hrer SS - HauptstUlfrnmQh re·r

1111b. SS~Funlll'ef (Fi,e.ld officers) 15




5S -Sturrnban nfuhrer

S$- Obersturmban niU 11 rer S5· Stsndartenff h rer SS-Oberf.(jihrer

S S -Sturrnba nntuh rer

55 - Obersturrnbannfu hrer SS-Standar!enfQhrer SS-Oberfu hrsr

IV. Honere SS-FiJhrer (Genetal officare) 19.




5S - BrigadetuhrsI SS-Gruppenfilhr,er SS-Obergruppenfwlhrer

SS - B,ri'gaf.u .Gen. M aj.d,W, - SS u.s, w, SS-Gruf.llI.Gen.Lt.d.W,-SS LiS.W .. SS-Ogruf.u.Gen,d,W.-SS 1I.S.W, SS-Obersl-Gruppenfuhrer u. Gen.Obst.d.w.-SS·.

*Introduced on 7 April 19.42.


Explanat.o,·y gluidie to regular ira 11k. Hsting I.

t , A suitable member of the Hitler Youth who warned to join the S8, became an SS-lEIewerber at the age of eighteen. On the Heich Party Day of the same year he was accepted as a Statfel-Anwsrter 1

2. SS-Anwi=lrter was the collective desiqnatton for all 5S men dunng their , irst three years .of service. and who. according to Order NO.A/9434 oi 9 November 1935. had not yel. been accepted as full SS members. W~th effect lrorn 1 June 1936 the rank desiqnaticns for SS-Anwarter were;2

Stafiel-Anwa Iter Staffel- Mann Staffel-Sunrnmenn etc.

3" S5·Mann wasthe collective dasicnanon for all fully entitled 53 members up to and mcludrnq the ReichsfOhrer-SS. who had been finally accepted rn the SS. or who were 51111 to be fiMlly accepted, The rank designations for SS men were ."

S5- Stu rmrnann

SS - RQUenfGhrer etc-

III 1941 the traditional party ranks of SS-Anwarter end SS-Mann were changed to the 81rmy ranks of Schurze and Oberscbutze. ~ These ranks varied accorcmn to the type of unit In which the holder served. By March 1943 the following (Illes were in use In the' Waffen-SS Ii

SS- Panzsr-Hqt. SS-Panzerschu,tze SS-Panzeroberscl1utze

SS-Pz,-Gren.-Rgt. SS-PanzergreniJI:dier SS-Pz.Oberg'renadiiel·

SS-Gnw,-Rgt. 55-Grenadier SS-Oberg.mnadier

SS- Geb.-Jager- Rgr. 55-Jager SS-Oberschurze'*

SS-Rener-Rgt, 5S-Reiter SS-Oberre1tm

S S - ArL- Rgt. 55· Kanan ier 5S- Oberkancnier

SS-Geb.-Art.~Rgt. SS-Kanonim SS·Oberkanonler

55-Stu rrnqesch. -.E1I1h. 55 - Ka non ier S S -Oberkanoruer

SS-Panzer-Ji:ig.-Elnh. SS-Schutza S5-0berschutze

SS-Kradsch.-Einh. SS-Schutze S5-0berschutz€

SS-Panzer-Spah-Einh, SS-Flak-Emh. SS-Piollier- Einh.

s s - Panzeroberschu tze 5S·0berkanonmr SS-Oben;)iorlHlr

SS-Panzerschlitze SS- Kanonier SS-Pionklr

"In thrs particular case there was no change to avoid confusion wuhthe traditional rnountarn and perarroop rank ObeqagtlI which corresponded to U me roffiz ier.


55- Nachr,- Eil1h. SS-Werfer-Einh. SS- R:aclfahr-Elrlh. 55- Nachschub-Ernh,

(tJ9SP.) ss- Nachschub- Einh,

(mot) 55- Kraftfahrer

55· San i tats- Emh, 55 -Schutze

SS· Veterlnar- E mh. SS- Reiter

SS -Werkst.nt-Einh. 5S-Schulze

SS -Feldqand-Emh. SS- Feldgendarm

SS-Karstwellr-Btl. 5S-Jager SS-Oberschutze

SS-Wehrgeologen- Btl. S5-Schulze SS-Oberschutze

SS-Krle.gsbEmcht,Abt SS-Scllutze SS-Oberschulze

SS-8ewahnun.gls- SS-8ewahrungs- SS-Bewahr(j qs-

Einh, sehuue QberschutmG

Promotion to SS·Oberschutze u.s.w. took ptaoe alter at least SIX month service 1f1 the field or replacement afmy. The weafing of the Oberschutzen star (0 n the left sleeve) bV 55 men withonlv G ix weeks or thre~ months service was not authonsed."



SS-Kanonier SS-Schutze

SS·OberkanOl1ler SS-Oberscllutze



ss - Oberkratttahrer S5 - Ohersch utze

S S -0 berreiter


4 &5, The rank utles S5 Sturmrnann and SS Botrenfuhrer remained un changed irrespective of the type of unit.

6. In .Januarv 1942 the army re-rnrroduced a new rank, Stebsqefreiter nsuer An, bu It was decided not to follow sun In Ihe Waffen-SS. Instead ar SS-Rouel"ltuhrer wuh at least five years service (including two months in ~ho field) or SIX vears service could be proposed tor promotion b'l the i r balta lion commander to a newly Introduced pay grade S S- Honen fuhrer (2. Gehalrsswre) wruch corresponded [0 the new arrny rank, ~

58 -,FHA/ Kdo. W. - SS /II bll V.


SS-1lJ frter~i.llhlr'er. Anv su i tabla S S man Irrespective 01 rank cou Id be appo inted SS-Srabsscharfuhrer by his unit after a three year probationary period. After a further three months, and on the application of his commander. he was entitled to wealf an aluminium chevron on the lower nght sleeve, On relmql!lshil1g thrs office the chevron was to be removed. to DUring he war N.C.O.s With 'the ranc of SS-HauptscharfOhrer anti SS-Sturmscharh:illrer could be appointed SS-Stabsscharfuhrer and could wear two rows of N,C.O.s lace. 0.5 em apart and approxirnatelv 13 ern hom the bottom ofthe sleeve. and above the cuff' band. N.C.O.s w]th the renk of

SS-UnterscharfGhrer up to and including SS-Oberscharluhrer holding this apPointment could also wear the I'ace Om the cuff and were know as S$-Stabsschaduhr,erdiensttuer (acting Stabsscharflihrer). See page 20.

11 Introduced on the 23 .Januarv 1938 to correspond to the army rank of Stabsf.eldwebel. Senior N,C.O.s at the beginning of their thirteenth year of serv ice were ,el igllJllefor promotion by the I nspektsu r dar S S . Verlugu ngstru ppe.' D


18 55 - Oberff hrer was the only SS rank wh i ch did not have an army equivalent, but which Was In fact a senior Colonel He was en uled to wear U1e silver grey lapels and aluminium cap !pIping of <J ,general officer, but only the shoulder straps of an 5S - Standartenfuhrer.


20 On 14 November 1939 the first two 55 divisional commanders, SS~ Gruppenfuhrer Paul Hausser and Theodor Eicke were given the appomtrnent and badges of rank (shoulder streps) of a Generalleutnant.P

19 21, DlJring ths co ursa of 1 940 sill Wailen -S'S general officers were 9'iven

corresponding army titles :12

SS-IBrigadefU:hrer und Generalrnajor dar Wa.ffen-SS SS· G ruppenfiihrer u nd Genera Ileutn an t. der Watfen - SS SS-Obergruppenfi.ihrer lind General dar Waffen-SS

In 1943 general officers in the police (Ordnunqspolizai) who had commanded Waflien-SS formations in the field we're given correspondIn Waffen-SS ranks:u

SS-Obergruppenfullrer und General dar Pohzei und der Watfen-SS

On tho 1 July 1944 seventeen senior SS Sind police leaders (H6here-SS und Pclizeituhrer) were taken into the WafFen-SS and awarded the designation :l~

SS-ObergruppenfCrhrer lind General der Pohzei und der Waifen-SS

22 On 7 April 1942 Hitler approved the introduction of a MW 55 rank.

SS-Oberstlgruppenfuhrer.LB The first promotion to this rank was dated 20 April 1942, when the commander of the LSSAH. Joseph 'Sepp' Dietrich. became the first SS-Obenltgruppenfuhrer und Panzer Generaloberst der Waffen-SS." For some reason he was not actuallv informed

tAt first this new rank was written M one word, but In order to avoid confusion With the rank SS-ObergmppenfOI'Her it was ordered to be written with a hyphen.~ ~

of his promotion, end did not begin to wear the badges of rank of an SS-Oberst-GruppenfGhrer until 23 August 1944. Panzer-Generalcberst dar Waffen-SS was I;H'i honorary trtle to commemorate h'IS service in the embryo tank arm durmg the First World War. On 1 Augus( 1944 the Commander-In-Chief of the 7th Army, Paul Hausser, was promoted SS-Oberst·Gruppenfuhrer und Generaloberst dar Watfefl-SS. This was the second and possibly last promotion to this rank in the Waffen-SS.17


Dming the course of the war there was an enormous increase in the number of 53 men with special Qualifications III 'Various different careers (Sanderlaufbahnen): On completion of their training they were euthorised to add an abbreviated ~orm. of their career to their rank tatle as follows:


1. Die o8S .• pp. 18-19,

2. Dew IAeichsfiihrer-SS. Dar Chef des, SS-Hauptamtes Z,k.Tgb,Nr.

Ch.l 003/36" Betr. : Dienstgrad~bzeichon In dar S S.. Bewg.: .Befehl RFSS Tgb.A!9434. 9 November 1935. Berl~n, oen 25 May 19'36.

3. Ibid,

4. V.BI.d.W.·SS" r,14. i 5 July 1941.

5. V.Bl.d.W.-SS .. Nr.5, 1 March 1943, 2iff.94.

6. Sonderanhanq zum V.81.d..w,-SS .. Nr.21, 1 November 1944. Zitf.l10.

7. Ibid .. Nr.

8. Ibid .. INr,17.1 September 1942. Zif.317.

9. Der Chef des, SS-Ha!,Uplamtes lAIC Az_B. 23d./lil.2,38 .. Betr.: Wink.el fUr Stabsschartuhrer., BezuQI.; RFSS Az.fl 23 d/1 B June 1937, Berlin. den 11 February 1938.


1 L Die Waffen·SS sine Dokurnentation., pp. 489-94.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid. 14 Ibid. 15. Ibid..

16., V.Bl.d.W.-SS .• Nr. 13, 15 June 1942. Ziff.192.

17. The Dienstalterliste der SS dar NSDAP, Stand vern 30 .Ianuar 1944, lists two SS - Obers 1- G ruppenfuhrar. I'le i thsr of whom were members of the Waften-SS. Dietrich is listed as an SS-Obergruppenflihrer u.Kom. G en, i .sS.· Pz.Kor:ps,


Caree.r Abbr,ev~altion


t. Docmr, Dentist

Chemist San. 2. VeterinaiFV Surgeon Vet.

13 .. Specialist S

N.C:,.'!O.s 4. Vet.

S. Technical Quarre·~

Master Se~gea.nt

6. Farrier

7. Artificer

S. Technical N,C,Q.

9 .. Foreman of signaJs 10. Mus~ctan~

111 .. Cook"

112' .. Medical Orderlv"

*A!so for other ranks,



Schirrrrr.K. F or

P ,etc.

Hur'beschL Feuerw .. TUFW fkmst Mus.



55- Ulnte~sturmfu hrer (San.) SS-Obemturmfu h rer (Vel.)< S3 - SturmbannfDh!r,er (5) 55 - Sturrnbarmfuhrer (F)

S5 - Obersc'harfuhrer (Vet J.

s s - Oberscharfuhrer {Sen irrm.P) S8 - Unterscharfuhrer (H ufbesch I'.) SS- Obef'Scharflih rar (Feuerw.)

S3 -Hauptsc:harHi hrer (TU FW) . SS- H auptscharfu hrer (Fkrnst.) SS~Obe~scharluhf(!r (Mus.)

S S - Untersc h a rfuh we r (Koch)

85 - Unterschartuhrer (San.)


The expansion of the Waffgn-SS and; the acceptance in its ranks of those, who, according to ·ffi.,mdamennai SS racist princioles could not be accepted! as TUU members 01 the 88, ~roufJ ilt abo lit the development of 55 fa nk titles to include the character of Waffen-SS personnel, Non-Gierman nationals from Germanic ccontries ssrvinq in legions wer-e to replace the pre-fix SS by leg;iol1 or Leg" l.e. Leg.,-Schutze or Leg~on.-S~urmb!lnnfCjhrer. To identify personnel serv~ng in units of the Waffen-SS recruited from ne~ther German nationals nor Germanic countries, the prefix Waften was added both to the formation designation, l.e., 13. Waffen -Gebirgs-Divi~~on, der 58 Hendschar (kroeusche Nr.1). andrhe rank. i.e •. Wllffen-Un1ersturmffGhrer dsr SSetc.


1. V.Bl.d.W-SS., N:r.16. 15 March 1943. Z~flJ 12.

3. Der 'ReichsfUhr,sr·SS, SS-BefehL. Betr. :Fachfuhrsr und Fachuntertuhrer dsr Waffen-SS· .. Abschrift, B·erl in. den 21 J une 1942.

7. l!:lid .. Nr.22. 115 November 1943.Zlff.449' ..

8. Prior to the 1 November 1944 the d,es~'gi18tion) was Unterrlihrer im Wafcientechn.D,iel1st i.e. SS-Ullwscharflihrer (UiwDL


IFu luerna:chwuchs Officer cadets

With the official openrnq of the first SS officers' school in B(lQ TO~l on 1 October 1934 four new ranks for oflrcer cadets were mtrcduced.!

C. 'Fuhll"emach,wuchs

ss- Fllilreranwikier

SS-S [andartenjunker S5-Hlhi'llrich (SS--ScharfuhrerJ

SS -Oberifahnrich (55 - HaupischarfUhr~rl

SS-Fu'nreranwar1er are those SS men who have been assembled on orders of the Rekhs:fOhrung - SSfar later Ha,i n i ng at SS- ScM ule T olz. SS-Stand.artenjunker are rhoss SS men undergoingl training at Fuhrrr. schule HHz.

Promotion to SS-Fahndch is bv order of the Fuhrers:chule T61z. following the successfu I completion of the R F-SS exam i nation, and on the reCOIIIrnendation of the school commander.

Promotion to SS-Oberfahmicn follows the successful completion of the final sxemination at 'the FiJhrerschule To I.!'!. and on the recornrnendanon of the Commander of Fo-rwerschule T,61z to the RF-SS.

Further regulations concerning the above will be issued by the Chiel ')f Abt.P I.

Der Re'ichsifOihrer-SS H. Hirnrnler

lin Ma.rch1935 the titles crf SS officer cadets were altered.

NI!I".16: 'Organisation and r,~nks iin the, SS.~·

Ziffer 5 C. fuhrernachwuchs, on the SS~Befehl's·Blatt 15 October 1934. f\:Jo. 10, is hereby amended:

C. Fuhr,ernachwuchs 8 S - Fuhr,eranwarter 55-Junker

SS - Standartenjunker (55 ~ Scharfu hrar)

S 5.- Srandartenoberjun ker (SS - Hauptsch arfuhi'er~

SS-Fuhreranwarter ere those SS men assembled by the Reichsfuhrung·5-S for later training' at SS schools in Tolz and B~aunschweig.

SS-Juflker are those 5S men uoderg:oing 1rain,ing at SS schools in Tbll or Braunschweig.

Promotion to SS.Srand-anenjunker fOl,lOW3 the successful completion of the prel,lminary examination of the Reichsfuhrer-SS. and on [he' recommendation of the school cornmander.

Promotion to SS-StandilHenoI:JG(junkl'3ruQ~loW5 the successful completion of rne linalexarnination and on the recommendation of' the school comn lander to the Reichsfu hrer-SS.

SS-F\jhreranwarler. etc. Wear the badges 01 their r<lnk and the insignia of th9i~ fanner unit.

SS-Hauplamt. Flihrung5amt

IFl.lhrel!'bewerber lPolentlai officers

In December 1940 the ReichsfUhrer-SSappwved the introduction of the deslQ na iion Potential officer (SS- Fi.lhrerbewe~ber) ill ordsrto prevent valuable human material from being pushed into 'he baekgrcund, and thus IOS1 in UOIts, 11 they war'e oors idmed !O be su itable [0 succeed lhe present Waffen -SS offlr ers, The following caueQories of persons were to be recruited as potential officers. and promoted (dependinq of course on ability) as quicklv a5 possible to F uhreranwarter and oHicer OJ reserve officer of the Wa:tfen-SS:

Members of NAPOLA'" Po~i (ical leaders

1 I uler Youth leaders with ths rankef BannWhreI and above, Those with rnatriculetion ~Abituri:enten)

The desig natloll Fll hrerbewerbef was to be entered in the personal documen (S of those accepted as such, and the SS- Pef50nalha.uptamL was to be not~fied (via ihe Kornrnanco der Waff$:n-SSJ. so that it could pursue their promotion." In March 1942 it was decided to hold speciat courses for SS-FOnrerbewerber z V. (zur Veriugung,J who. becauseof injuries sustained in the field. could no lcnue r participate lin !he courses for SS-J unker or Reserve - Fu hrer-Anwsrter (SS-JLlnker-resp. Reserve-rGlhrer-Anwarter- Lehwgalnge), On cornpletron of rite course the SS- Bewerbar zV would be promoted to' SS-OberscharfiJhre~ dsr Resarve. and after satisfactory service In one of the SS offices. he COuld be promoted to SS· UnitersturmfUh~er d.Bss.z.V. etc. ~ The same order ir1Lre:lsed the sphere of those members o~ the Waiifen-SS who were to be considered as potential oH~c€rs.

leaders 01 the AUg;emeine-SS

H Iller Youth leaders with [he rankot Starnmfuhrer and above. Political leaders (Hoheitstrsqer der Pertsi)

Tnose with matriculation,

Graduates of NAPOLA

"N ational Political Tram ing Establishments.

Leaders of the Reich labour Corps with the ran Ie 0'1 Feldmeister and' above Staff and cadets of the Ordensburqen of the NSDAP

Leaders of other Pany organisations ..

The outbreak of the war, and the rapid expansion ot the Waffen-SS. saw the intake of those who onlv intended to serve in the Waffell-SS for the duration ofr uhe war. Instead of becoming regu~ar (Activ}, they became reserve eflieers (Fuhrer der Reserve). after undergo,i ng special Reserve Officer Candida te courseat an officers' school. ~

:Fh~9 u til r 6

fuhrerbewerber (FB) was an untrained potential officer on commencement of four mo mils bas ie tr sln i ng (VorbereitunQsleI1rgang).

SS-Junker (equivalent ill rank to an Ss,-UntersoharfCihref') WaS an S8- Flihreranwarter (FA) who, having completed tour months with a basic tra.irling unit. underwent a six-month course IKiiegs-Junker-lehrg,mg) at an officers' school. during which he was required to pass, an i01ermediat€ exrnination. On pm,sing' he was appointed SS-StandartenJunker.

SS -Stand arten]u nker (55 - Scharfii hrer) was an SS·J u nksr who had passed the intermediat€ €)xaminilltiO'n whl~e at officers.' school.

S S - Standartenobequn ker (S S - Hauptschsrfu hrer) was an SS-Standartenjunker who had successfully completed the six-moruh course at officers" school, passed the final exarninaticn. and accepted by [he Chief of ths Department for OHi.cer Training {Chef des Amtes fUr Fuhl'"erausbHdung - AmI X I irn SS - FHA). As a graduate officer cadet. the S S- Stsndartencbcricn ker was sent back to his unit, where after a minimum period of two months he' received promotion to SS-Unuersturmfllhrer. 'etc.

Ae,serva (des Beurla ubtenstandes) ;

:Reserve- F[i hrar - Bewerber (RFB} attended a four months Reserve - FO hrerAnwarter-lehrgang in the troop or admlnistrative service. and on successful ccmpletio n was appo illted Reserve-F iJhrer-Anwi'itver (R FA) and promoted to the rank of 55 -Oberscharfuhrer d. Res.'!' He was then returned 10 his unit. where after a rnlnirnurn period of two months he received promotion 10 SS-Untersturmfljhrer d.R(ls<, e'IC, U

"It was riot necessary for an SS-Oscha. O~ SS-Hscha. to have been a Rss.erve- FiJhrer-Anwarter. since 'he could 'have' been all ordinary N,C.O_. b1J1 if he had it was thought that he was to use the ~etters RFA or RFB after his renk title.

nThis rank could also be attained by bravery in the field,


58-Schutte usw, (FB)

Walffen-SS Pote!ltiaIIRe'Qular officers (Fuhrerbewerber) 1943

SS-SchOtze usw, ,(FB) 55-Schutz€: usw. {FS)

sa-sturrnmerm (FA) SS·Swrmmann (FA)

55 -,$tandarteno berjunker became

SS-Schutze U5,w" SS-Sturmmann

5S _ Unterscharfuhrer


S5 -Standartanlu n kef

SS-Oberscharfuhrer (FA)

SS· 0 berschs rfuhrer S S - H auptsch arfuh rer

s S- S t a nda rte n cbe r j un ka r

SS-lJll~erstuTmHi hrsr

S S- LJ'nmmturmfCi hrer

ss - U nterstu ~mmhrer orr SS-Obersturmf{jhrer Of 5S - H auptsturmfuhrer

S S-U ntersturrnfuh fer"

Career (laufbal!'m)

I a-G' (Truppsndienst)

III (Verwaltul'Igsdie-f1St)

III (Waffen-u.Mun.Dienst) " ..

VII a (Am)

IXa (Zehnarzt)

Xa (Apotheker)

Xlb (Vater/fnar)

Xilia (Richter)

XIV [Sipo u"SD)

XVo (Wehrgeologe),

IVa (Tachn lscher Fuhrer K I) VIle (Arzt) *' V (Techn. S8-Fuhmr (W)) ii<U
IVa (Technischsr Fuhrer K II) IXc (Zahaarzt) XVI (Musikfuhrer)* •
X'ia (veter i nsr) General Nlot'e:

Lallfbahl"l V (Technischer Fu,hrer W u.W{lng.)) were 'commissioned on completing the N.C.O_ Career Course U 16 (Techn. UnterfUhrer) with the rank of' S Hau ptschsrfuhrer.

*Already qualified (mit Studium) before enterinq service either as regular air reserve' officers. nNo FB or FA had officer training on becomina SS-UntersturmfOhmr.

"'·''''1 n 1,945, Laufbahn I ~l was arnalqarnated with Laufbahn V (Techn. fuhrer (W)) in the new t.aufbahn S8-Fuhrer des Felezeuqrtienstes.


W.df,e:n-SS Poteli1ltialResel"ve Officers (FUhrerlbewerber d,elf Beurla!.l!btenst,andes (RFe,))

55-Schulze usw. (RFB) SS-Scnlhze usw, (RFB)

SS Sturrnrnann (RFA)

S5 Unterschaf~uhrer (RFA)

S5 ObBrschariuhrer {RFAi SS-Oberscil.arfGhrer (RFA) SS-Hauptscharfuhrer (RFA)


s.S-Schi.ilze usw, (AFB) 58 -S turrnrnan rn (R'FA}

SS -U nterschartuhrer (R FA) SS-Oberscharfuhn;;lr (R'FA) SS-Hauptscharfunrer (RFA)

55 Unter$tunnfUhrnr c.s

ss. Untersturrntilhrer d.B.

58 -U ntersturrntu hrer d. B.

Cilreer (I_OIufbahn.)

la-e (Truppendienst d. B,)

Vllb (Arzld.B.)

IXb (ZahrilMZt d,S,)

Xb (Apo~heker d_R)

XIG (Veterinar d.R)


(Verw~~tu ngsd ienstd. B_) (Techn. Fuhrer K l'd.S.) (Techn, Fuhrer K H d.B.) (T schn. Fu nrer N)

VHI (San. Techn. Dienst}

XHb (Richter d.S.)

X III (BeurbJit"ndungsHJhrer) '"

)(Vb (Wehrgeologe) >t:

XVl (Wehrge,ologe)"'·'"

XVcJ (Wehrgeologel*'"''*'

Xld (Vetefinar cLR.) .... '"

"Became a regular_ HA1n.lady qualified.

"''''Already qualified in other branches.

• ... • ... U- II ·1 d·

. sua. y onv stue ents,


In February 1944 the somewhat complicated system of titles and ranks was $.implified In order to ensure uniform plannlnq and integration of potential officers in the W.:rf1en-SS.6 With th€ approval of the Reicl1sfuhrer-SS. the fo'llowing it was ordered that as from the 1 Februa,v 1944 alii SS"FD,hrerbewerbsr Will be promoted 10

SS-Standartenoberjunker or SS-St.andarteiloberjuilker der HeseN.e or SS-Ifrw. Standartencherjun ker ;"

before being proposed for promotion to :


55 - U ntersturmtuh rer tier Reserve or SS-Frw. Untersturrnfuhrer

This particularly applied to exceptional cases in which promotion to SSUntersturmfuhrer took place without attendance at a course; Or due [0 the granting of a correspondinq Waffen-SS rank to Germanic volunteer potential officers (germ. Frw. Fuhlrerbewerber) or former officers of ~oN~ign armies."? As before promotion to SS-Standartenoberjunker. etc .. was pronounced bV the Cruef of Amt XI in the 55-FHA, SS-Stafldarterloberjunker who had not: attended a course were to apply via their units for promotion to SS-UstuL aner at least two rnonthstrlal. to the SS-Pewsonallhauptamt via the 55- FHA.Ami V Abt.11 a, This a lsoepplied in cases of special achievement, such as bravery. etc.

As from 1 February 1944 the designation Reserve-Fuhrelr·Anwarter der WaffeJ1-SS (RFA,) was abolished, and In its p!ac€ rhe rollowi,ng were introduced:

55-Junker der Reserve SS-Staru;:lartenJulnk'er der Reserve SS-StandartenoberJunkel cer Heserve

·In this context Frw, of Freiwill.lgen nterally means 'that the person in question was a volunteer from a Gsrrnamc country. II was not an official prefix. See page 80,

*"Officers of' the German army, Reichswehr. Imperial Ausao-Hunqsrian army were eomrnissioned directly into the WafteJ1-SS. and in exceptional cases so were, some foreigners.


AU sxrsnnq Reserve~FOhrer-Anwikter der Waffen-SS (RFA) appointed by S5-FHA Amt XI will, as from 11 February 1944 be re-desiqnated and promoted to .sS-Standarte.nob,erjllnker d.Bes. This also applied to alii SS-UnterfUhrel d.Hes and Resetve-!FGhrer-6ewerber before being proposed lor promotion to 5S- Ustut.d.Res.


1. SS-Bef.ehls-Blatt. Nr.10, ~,5 October 1934. Nr.5,

2. lbid .• Nr.3, 25 March 11935. Nr.16.

3. S5-FHA (az 17!2 December 1 940/j{jjPc,) Ei nfuhru ng dar Bezeichnung Hihrerbewerber OIls SS-Fuhrer-Bewerber z.V., Berlin dan 5 March 1942

5, Reserve officers were ntroduced iii the W,affen-SS in Deoember ~ 939.

see section on shoulder straps.

6. Ibid.

7. lbid ..

8. lbid., Nr.4. 15 February 1944. z: f.SS,


The Waffen-SS Inherited the badges of rank from its predecessors th A~lIgeme~ne-SS and SS-Verfugungstruppa. wMlcn were by tradition those at the SA. On mobitisetion the armed SS had been given a specific (ole alongside the armed forces and It became essential. for practical and disciplmsr, reasons, that 5S ranks shoutd correspond to those in the armed forces, and aasitv recoqnised by armed farces personnel. I n March 1938. just before the German. entry into Austria .. the SS-VerfOgungs.'truppe were ordered to wear .army pattern shoulder straps. This departure from traditional SS badges of rank was as unwelcome 10 Himmler as it was [0 the army. and a 10"1 of thought was given in SS circles to an independent development of SS badges of rank, One written proposal,' suggested that 'since the 5S has acquired such 8 reputation In this war. and its own identity. We can, and indeed must. detach ourselves 'from ihe armed forces in titles and badges of rank".

The armed forces were dismayed by the increasinq numbers of para-rniliterv personnel paradinq in the streets wearingl uniforms and badges 01 rank which could be mis,taken fOI those of the armed forces, After all. the German soldier was at a loss to know who he was supposed to salute .. and. conversely, was not gelting the salutes to which he was entitled .. The OKW attempted to place

restrictiOns on Ihe. wearing of its uniforms and badg,es. of rank. and the SS fuund the reasons rnost interestino 'on one hand it is said that the 111gl, Iloss of OiflCElrs I n action is because they are sti II TOO easily recognised, a nd on the other 1hal the shoulder strap drsoravs the combat badges by which the soldier recognl$,EfS nrs officer in battle' .. "This can easily be refuted tor no one will ClS1fll that the parachutists did not fight as weill as tke arrrrv, and yet they recognised thai leaders andofficers VNV well. by means 01 ~ smatl .srripe on the steeve.'

The proposal conn nued : 'Now I awn of the op in ion thai theSS must take a big step forward here,aodam convinced that in the war of thetuture the leader w, lion Iy be recognised wi th great d iff i Wily. I I !ljll1 k it is right.lhereFore. that we In the S8 should lntroouce ths badges of Hln:k that the parschutist W$O\rS en his jump sm,ock*.lf the German recruit IreCOQntSeS an Oberleutnant of parachutists and salutes him. then It wi II also be easy 1'0 recognise the Obersturrnluhrer of the Waffen-SS weadng, the same badges.'

'These hadg:es would be worn on the un if o I'm shirt field bilouse.g~rea1coat. and camoullaqe jacket. The question nOW arises as to whether or not the SS off cer will continue to wear his badges of rank on the cellar patch. One could answer this in the sffirmetive. because the camouflage jacket. which is part 01 the field uniform, conceals the cottar patches. The held uniform IS in ~tSGlf \Hi'Jry bad, and the retention of the collar patches would rnake it a little smarter when wOrn q'll its Own behind the front, Ifl any case.uhs national emblem Oil the IlIft sleeve, ,and the SS runes collar patchtor men, will remain, If one should not concede that officers continue to wear their badges of ~ank on 111f.' cDI~ ar patch, they then wo uld also wear the 5S runes. or 1f1 ~he case of [lie SS-Totenkopf-Di'vision, the deeth's head on both collar patches." The l) KW was still attempt i ng to restrict the lise of ~U's basic uniform colours and badges oi rank. but it was not until a spectal case arose> that Hider III his capacrtv as Cornmander-tn-Cbiefof the Armed Forces was compelled 'to 'ex~ress his opinion c~early on the wearing 01 m~litary badges of rank .and the unlhrms of the armed forces' a The foHowlng three relevant piHagraphs at,e In tI .. ;'e5 tJ ng_

*TI1IS or I;) sirmler proposal was taken up by the WaUen-SS, but the army was al::;othin'kmgalong Similar lines. and in August 1942 mtroduced a special series of badqes 0'1 rank tor wearon umtorms without shoulder Straps. These same badge-s, were then off'inally adopted by the Waffen-SS In February 1.943, although a, semi-official series had been in use prior CQlila( date.

(1) Mili~ary badges of rank are reserved SDle~y andexclusivelv for bearers of mi,l.itary weapons { M i litarischs WaHel"ltra{jerL ],8., the armed forces. Inc.:luding the Waff18!l-SS,

{3} Military badges of rank may onlv be worn by those who have been through the various stages of military trs in ing withMi tile branches of the armed forces or the. Waffen-SS. These badges of rank establish a supenoflly wh ich authcnsas t he wearer t10exercis€l h 15 authoritv- at all times, but e.specially in action. This authority must be based on mditSJV abihtv, leadership-wise. (e.g .. a dentist is not a colonel. iost as a colonel is not a dentlst I)

(7) With regard to the 58 the Fuhrer has ordered that the basic colour 0·1 the SS uniform In peacetime will, once again. be 6~'ack. The WaHen-SS; as state "lomes (Staatstruppe), will II,]SO wear black on garrison service. field-grey is only to be worn by S:la!e forces an Field service. M~lita!ry badges 0" r.<l111<; are only [0 be worn by thesestate forces, and not !nthe branches of the Allgememe-SS.

The FUlhtel.c.oncluded thatt he 'hopes that there wiH now be oAn end tothe increase in the d isorder reg arding the wearing of rni litarv badges of rank. 1m the duration of the war, and 'has ordered! a radrcal clarification OTI this Question after the war'.


1. Um]oa~ed draft report With pencilled fH1Il€lndments. possibly by Berger, on suggested developrn.ent (If the SS uniiorm, frorn tMe file's o~ the Adlutantur of the SS-HauplaffiL On page 7 rhe strength of the Waff'en- 55 is gIVen as 100.000 (amended 120 .. 000). ThH official stfenglth of tbe Waflen-SS om 4 May 1940 was 124.1991•

2. libid, - This concession appears 10 hevs been granted, then almost rmmed i atelv revoked. The original Ver!ugllmgstW!ppe and T otenkopl units continued to Wear the runes or de,i'llh'.'! head on the riqht and badge of rank 011 the I·eft collar patch, Elements O'f the newly forrnsd divisions Totenkopt and Wlking were issued with (or purchased) collar patches with the runes or deeth's head on both sides. DssiPlile the fact thet numerous and categoric orders wereissued In May 19,,10 forlb'tdding thrs practice; it continued throughout 1942, pcsslblv longer.

a, Adjutantur der Wehrmacht !belrn FuhrN, Oberst d.G.Schmuodtan den Herrn Chef O.K.W. ~a:bschriftlll:;h an S$·Gruf. Wolff, desgl. RF-SSj Belr.: Militsflsche Rangabze~chen und Uniforrnen, Fuhrer~ H auptq uanisr. den '9 November 1941 .



5S G,uPl>cnf\JllIel

II G~I\. 1.-1. 'I, IN ·s~


"Despllil orders 10 the contrary, cellar patches were seldom piped tn black, and alurrumum (wiSHed cord, whereas rhe pIping wns stili HlI<lll'led on the conar Other ranks sh'Oulder 5'1!aDS wltli pomted ends and ""tflce"s WiliiOUl 1I11e blac um:lerlay were sull ille most common In n 940.


ss· fI~U~t,!unrer

.s 8·S tu r r"m.m~

SS:-Milnll SS·Obe!s.ch~"ze u.s.w,


SS·A')W~'!ef SS-Sch~12e u .s, w.



55· Ob~rsl' Gmppenhl!'!'·er u, Gen. O~I. Ii. W,-S'S


s S' Obo'"t"rmh;m~m hrer




Badg,es of rank for offlosr candidates of the Waffen-SS

At fir-st. officer candidates (5S- Fuhreranwarter) wore lile'ir badges of rank 8[11d the insignia of their former units.m but by March 1935. howeve~. ~fficer cadets had been given :specialtitles which corresponded to non-commissioned officer ranks in the SS,= Graduate offlicer cadets (SS-StarllldartenolJerjunker)i awaiting promotinn to SS-lIlnterswrmfUhu~r wo'r,e officer's uniform with the badges, 'of rank (collar patches and shoulder straps) of an SS-HauptscharfOhn~r.

It appears, that officer cadets who had completed a war course at otticers' SC'hOOl1 "Kriegsle,h rgail'1g) with the ran k of SS -Oseha. or SS- H scha, wem wearing officer's cords 0111 their caps, together with NX.O.'s insl9Inia and lace. The SS-FHA. was obli'Q,ed to point out that only those who held completed. a tun course {VoIII-Lehrgang) at officers' school were 0 be promoted to S~Stand.Ob.Ju .. which 6rllitlea them to wear offficer'$ cords and belP This dlstinction between those who intended to make their career in the WaHen-SS and those who had only joined for the duration of the war was 50011 abolished. and all graduates from olficers' school were first made SS-.Standartenoberjunker (o.Bss.) before being promoted to SS-UrrlersturmfOhrer (d.Bes.) etc. The privilege of wearing an officer's cap with N.C.O, badges of milk and lace was extended to Beserve Officet Candidates on promotion to SS-H,alJplscharfunrer der Reserve in the medical or veterinarv service. This compared to lhe armed forces ranks of unterarzt and Unterveterinik -JI When wemirng service dress it was ditfRclJlt to distlncuish an oHlioer cadet from em ordinary N.C.o. .. arid! so in Februalry 19414 It was decided to introduce a new badge for aU potential officers and officer cadets. ~

268. Introduction of a bad 9 E!I for officer candidla,tes in the Waffen-SS. The BeichsHlhrer-SS has ordered:

To lidentify active officer candidates. and reserve officer candidates (des Beurlaubtenstandesj, me following badge is to be introduced fmthV\lith :

Two field-grey artificial silk N.C.O:s lace bars sewn ~ogeLher and wom across the base of the shoulder strap ..

The b,adge is to be made from the stocks of the units concerned.

The following officer applicants (Fuhrerbewerber) are entitled to wear the badge!:

(a) Fuhrerbew9-'rber who have, been ordered to a preparatory course, upon posting to that course.


Fu!hreJbewer'bel who have completed the preparatory course and upon their posting to a War Cadets Course or Waw Reserve Officer Candidates Course .. and until his oromotion to SS-Stand. Ob.Ju,

(c) Hihrerbewarber who have completed 'the Heserve Officer Cand~dal@s course, upon their appointment to Reserve Officer Candidate (He serve-Fuheer-Anwarter), and until their prcrnotion to SS-UstuLd.R .'.


Fuhrerbewerber who are removed from the I ist of Fuhrerbewerber or are discharqed from the preparatory course or Walr Cadet or War Heserve Officf'f Cendkiates course. must remove the adge at once. even if they are proposed to enrol in a course again. The badgiB may be worn ~gain, as and when th~1' are posted to their respective course,

Concerning the entitlement to waar the above-mentioned badge, the Fuhrer bewerber is to be issued witt. a pass, as pa'r 1he following sample. which is to be signed by the commander of the school or unit concerned. or by hi:;; deputy. and bears the service seal.

The , , _,., , .,' , as a Fuhrerbewerber is authorised to wear

the badge oi an officer candidate ot the Waffen-SS

Service seal



An Esten iali 55 -S!:andili1E,moberJlmke,. wearing olficers cap (wlln IIQIl~egul .. non r'l<lfiOl1al emblem) and bell. The badges on his IeI'! breast pocket are EstonIan.

Officer cadets (SS-J LInker) ar ~he funeral 01 S5 - BJigaf. Frlttz Wilt, hll·ed near Caen 0012. June 194-4. Althoug!1 techmcally cadets held N.C.O_ rank they ere not wearHlg glov!ls .. lhey all wear tile cuff-ba.nd or their formee urut. to which they will return. and not that 0'1 the school.



SS-Slin~~"IM"berlun~'" (SS-!~tch",)

Feb. 1,944-lMav 1945

S$ SI","dJ'~ell~be(I"flk~r ISS.H-t~l:h",1


55 SlantlarC~"I,,~ker (55-Srhill

55 St ... nl1i1J;rC .... 'llur ~el ISS-Sll', j

SS,ARW"du (FB)

SS S~hutt~ u ~ 'to If!!)

55 lkhu"," u ow. (FEll

See note at loot of page B6


SS Hauntseha r !uhm'

tI" Fl~s, IR:~AI


s S;. Sl~ ndaltt!no~'j unke I ~. Res.

SS-Ob~r~dm!iii~rer .d, Reo. (ArA)

SS·LJ~~emch~rruh'~1 d, Reo. I ArAI

50S-Junker !I. Res.

SS·SturmmaMi (MEl)

SS·AAwa!t" (IlFB) .'lS-$chWIZO W.$.W. rR~B)


h9rl lW

SS-SIUlmmann and 5S- UnlerltJlm'!ranwart,~r n:2 VIS- ~(H\I~ce~


U NU; R FrO H RER -A.NWARTER~A eZIEI CHI EN Potential N,C.O.s badges

78" ,Potell1ti,al NL.C,Qi.:s badges. 6

lit has been established that the badge for potential N.C.O.s, who have signed on lor twelve vears, is being worn by other ranks not entitledto it The poter1tial N.C.O'·s badge, ia:

(a) For potentiai N.t.O.s who hse signed on for twelve years;

oS O,g em wide. regulation aluminium lace bar across the bottom orr' the shoulder strap,

(b) For potential N.C.O.s who have signed om for less than twelve years: a 0.4 em thick twisted cotton cord in WaifMl.arbe'ac;ross the bottom of the shoulder strap.

Only other ranks who have successfully completed III potenrlel N.C.O.'s course (Untertuhrerenwarterlehrqanq) are entitled to wear this badge, or if. because of their conduct in 'the ranks. they have beerr recornrnended for apaoirnrnent to a potential N.CO. by their company or bananon commander.

If a year after thei~ aUenda,nc€ at the course iii potential N.C.O. has not become a sectto n commander (Gruppenfi.ihrer). he m ust remove the badge.

Kdo.d,W_·SS lib

K.lragensp:le,gel Collar patches

In February 1938 the introduction of army badges 0'1 rank rendered the SS cellar patches. which denoted boththe rank and formation o~ the wearer, s.'Uper'fltuous.1 n the Waffen-SS. badges of rank. 'b-ranch of service, and formation insignia (Cyphers, numerals .. and letters) could all appear on ·Ihe shou lder strap. I n add iticn, the forrnatio n name 0 r desigfl onion ad ready appeared on the CUff-band.

An order of 1'0 May 19~O concerning the Iield -g rev uniform of the Waffen -SS (issued on day Germany mvadeo western Europe) rendered obsolete, for security reasons. alii the pre-war SS-VT and SS-nJ collar patches With the 55 runes or death's head wjth I1IJn1eraisand letters. from that date on. the SS

SS-Siurmmann andl

S S - Un t erfu h re ranwarl"e! (less ,han 1 2: YIS se~ice)


1, SS-Befehls-BIIl!L NrJO, 15. October 1934. Nr.5_ 2. lbld., Nr.3, 25 March 1935, :Nr.1B.

3_ V 81,d.W.-SS_. Nr.12, 1 November 1'940. lilf.29'7. 4. 11b.fd .. Nr.23, 15 December 1941, Zilf.487.

5 Ibid., Nr.4, 15 February 1944. Z~tr,86.

6. Ilbidl __ Nr.24, 15 Oecember ~ 941. Ziff.78.

runes and the death's head became the standard collar patches of the Waffen- 5S! Th,e chance-over from the old pa tern to' the flew could not rake place over night. and as an interim measure units serving in the front-line with old collar patches removed them. Since one collar paten could hardly be worn on Its own. they removed both. 2 To cornphcate matters even further, other units, mainlv those in the Totsnkopf Divrslon, were still wearing the dmJble deeth's head.

Allgeme,ine.SS badges of rank, as WOf[1 in the Waffen-SS. remained 1I1lchanged until April 1942. when the Fi.ihrer approved the introduction of a r1LW rank - SS-Oberst-GrlUppentuhrer - and ccrrespondinq badges of rank. Hils. however, entailed tile altsratlon of the des.lgn of the existmq collar p<llcl,es for the. ranks SS-StaL - SS-Ogruf. There were no further changes to the design of S8 collar patches torthe rest of the war,


SS collar patches were made un the shape of a parallelogram (60 x 40 rnrn) c( nsrstinq of a piece of buckram (or metal for the removable ones). covered in bluck badge cloth orte It tor a II ran ks up to and inc I Ud,fl'lQ SS-Qb~ rsturm bannfuhrer and black v€i~vet tor all ranks from SS-$tandarteflifi.ihrer to SS-OberstGruppenruhrer. The collar p,atch was usuatv sewn to the collar of the tunic, ilf'ld blouse, or greatcoat unless it was the removable pattern with metal base and a screw fitting at each corner, in which case it was screwed to ths collar.

Before the war and until August 1940 the collar patch for other ranks was 'edged in 1!:mm black and aluminium twisted cord.: Officers' collar patches were edged in 1 i mm aluminium twisted cord" althouqh during the War this. was often omitted from the collar patchea on the field uniform. All ranks from S5- U nterscharfu hrer up to and i ndudillg S5 -Obersturrnbanntuhrer were Identified by 12 mm aluminium stars (maximum 4); intermediary ranks had in ;mdltion 6 mm wide aluminium lace with a black stripe (rnaxirnusn 2), Oak leaves for the ranks SS-Standartenfuhrer up to and including SSOberst-Grl.lppenfiJhrer were hand-embroidered in alurninhrrn wire. as were tel em sq. stars. Metal stars were never worn on collar patches by general Officers.


1 V.Bl.d.W.-SS., iNr.23. 15 December 4l. ZIn.482~ 2_ See photcqrephsln Waffen·SS im Westen_

3 Dar Beichsfuhrer-SS, Tgb.N.RF/V,Betr. Dienstgradabzeicl1en dim 5S und PolizeL FGhrer-Hauplquartier, 7 April 1942.

4 V.BLd.W.-SS., Nr,18, ~ 5 August 1940, Ziff. 155,

D.evelopment 01 the SS runes and dsath's head collar patches, l·H: 151 oauern hand embroidered SS runes and dea1h's hl:!ild for officers, This, panern Was worn on both col~'ar patches. 2nd p<)lIem hand '!lrrtbroldared den!! h's head for olfiQQrS; aiso worn i., parrs, Hnal pattern lor officers, Woven In alurnmium ll1fllad.

1 '.It pattern machina@mbroidered SS runes and death's head' or other ranks, The death's he[Jd was worn on both collar patches, 1940 pattern machine embroidered de<l~h's nead which was. also wom In p~IiS. Final rnachme woven pattern for allier ral1'ks.