Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gruppenführer was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party, first created in 1925 as a senior rank of the SA. Translated as “Group Leader”, a Gruppenführer was typically in charge of large numbers of SA units (known as Standarten) which were formed into SA-Gruppen.
In 1930, Gruppenführer became an SS rank and was originally bestowed upon those officers who commanded SS-Gruppen and also upon senior officers of the SS command staff. In 1932, the SS was reorganized and the SS-Gruppen were reformed into SS-Abschnitt. Gruppenführers commanded the SS-Abschnitt while a new rank, that of Obergruppenführer, oversaw the SS-Oberabschnitts which were the largest SS units in Germany.
Upon its original conception, Gruppenführer was considered equivalent to a full General, but became regarded as equivalent to Generalleutnant after 1934. During the Second World War, when the Waffen-SS began using the rank, an SS-Gruppenführer was considered equal to a Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht and was typically referred to as SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS.
The insignia for Gruppenführer consisted of three oak leaves centered on both collars of an SA/SS uniform. From 1930 to 1942, the SA and SS insignia was identical; however the SS modified the Gruppenführer insignia slightly, to include a collar pip, upon the creation of the rank Oberstgruppenführer. Waffen-SS Gruppenführers also displayed the shoulder boards of a Wehrmacht Generalleutnant.
|SS rank and SA rank|
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