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SchutzStaffel (SS) Collar Tab and Shoulder Board Identification Guide

This is an identification guide for the many different collar tabs and shoulder boards worn during the 3rd Reich period by the SS. To the best of our knowledge, all the examples shown are original pre-1945 manufacture. If anyone has questions or suggestions, please contact Vern@GermanDaggers.com.

© 2000, 2010, 2013 by GermanDaggers.com

SS Rank Collar Tabs

SS rank is displayed on the left collar tab (both tabs for ranks Standartenführer and above) and show several changes over time. Design changes are listed as "Versions". Piping changes are listed by "Type". The titles for various ranks varied depending on the branch of the SS. Standard names are used in here to prevent confusion. Note that the piping for enlisted and NCO tabs changed from white (prior to 1934) to black/white (1934-40) and was then eliminated (1940-45). Junior officer's piping (Sturmführer to Hauptsturmführer) changed from black/silver (prior to 1934) to silver (1934-1945). Higher ranking officers always used silver (aluminum) piping. Not all piping versions are shown.





Reichsführer SS
1934-45



Oberstgruppenführer
1942-45



Obergruppenführer
Version 1 - 1929-42



Obergruppenführer
Version 2 - 1942-45



Gruppenführer
Version 1 - 1929-42



Gruppenführer
Version 2 - 1942-45



Brigadeführer
Version 1 - 1933-42



Brigadeführer
Version 2 - 1942-45



Oberführer
Version 1 - 1929-42



Oberführer
Version 2 - 1942-45



Standartenführer
Version 1 - 1929-34



Standartenführer
Version 2 - 1934-42



Standartenführer
Version 3 - 1942-45



Obersturmbannführer
1933-45



Sturmbannführer
1929-45



Hauptsturmführer
Type 2 - 1934-45



Obersturmführer
Type 2 - 1934-45



Sturmfuhrer
Type 2 - 1934-45



Sturmtscharführer
Type 3 - 1940-45



Hauptscharführer
Type 3 - 1940-45



Oberscharführer
Type 1 - 1933-34



Scharführer
Type 1 - 1933-34



Unterscharführer
Type 3 - 1940-45



Rottenführer
Type 3 - 1940-45



Sturmmann
Type 3 - 1940-45



SS Mann
Type 1 - 1929-34



SS Mann
Type 2 - 1934-40



SS Mann
Type 3 - 1940-45

SS Rank Shoulder Boards

The following standard shoulder boards were worn by most units of the SS. The Sicherheitdienst, Totenkopfverbande, Waffen SS, and Sonderführers had seperate designs which are shown with the appropriate collar tabs.





Reichsführer SS
1934-45



Brigadeführer to Obergruppenführer



Sturmbannführer to Standartenführer



Untersturmführer to Hauptsturmführer



SS Mann to Hauptscharführer








Allgemeine-SS Collar Tabs

The Allgemeine-SS displays function or assignment on the right collar tab, rank on the left collar tab.





SS-Oberabschnitt Staff (blank)
23 SS Districts



SS-Oberabschnitt Staff (District Name)
Ost 1st pattern example



SS-Oberabschnitt Staff (District Name)
Ost 2nd pattern example



SS-Oberabschnitt Medical Staff



SS-Abschnitt
45 SS Sub-districts



SS-Abschnitt 36 - Innsbruck



SS-Abschnitt Medical Staff



2nd SS-Fuss Standarten
125 SS Foot Regiments



10th SS-Reiterstandarten
23 SS Cavalry Regiments



SS-Reiterstandarten Staff



4th SS-Nachrichteneinheiten
14 SS Signal Battalions



SS-Nachrichteneinheiten Staff



5th SS-Pioniereinheiten
15 SS Engineer Companies



SS-Pioniereinheiten Staff



8th SS-Motoreinheiten
15 Motorized Battalions



SS-Fliegersturm
SS Flying Company



SS-Stammabteilung
SS Reserve Unit



SS-Stammabteilung
SS Regiment Reserve Unit



SS-Stammabteilung
SS Reserve Unit - rank tab



SS-Stammabteilung
SS Regiment Reserve Unit



SS Ehrenführer
SS Honor Leader



SS Brigade Ehrhardt



SS-Adjutant




SS-Verfügungstruppe Collar Tabs

The SS-Verfügungstruppe displays function or assignment on the right collar tab, rank on the left collar tab.





SS-Standarte No. 1
3 Political Readiness Detachments



SS-Standarte 1/VT - Deutschland
Officer



SS-Standarte 1/VT - Deutschland
Enlisted



SS-Standarte 2/VT - Germania
Enlisted



SS-Standarte 3/VT - Der Führer
Enlisted



SS-Sanitatsabteilung SS-VT
Medical Detachment



SS-Sturmbann Nurnberg
Party Rally Security



SS-Nachrichtensturmbann
SS-VT Signal Unit



SS-Pioniersturmbann
SS-VT Engineer Unit



SS-Schule - Bad Tolz
1st pattern



SS-Schule - Bad Tolz
2nd pattern



SS-Schule - Braunschweig
1st pattern



SS-Schule - Braunschweig
2nd pattern



SS-Führerschule - Dachau



SS-Musikschule - Braunschweig





SS gothic P
Unknown



SS gothic J
Unknown



SS ordnance symbol
Unknown












SS-Totenkopfverbande Collar Tabs

The SS-Totenkopfverbande displays function or assignment on the right collar tab, rank on the left collar tab.

The SS-Sicherheitsdienst used a plain right collar tab with rank shown on the left collar tab.





SS-Totenkopfverbande
1st pattern



SS-Totenkopfverbande
2nd pattern



SS-Totenkopfverbande
1st Sturmbann



SS-Totenkopfverbande
4th Sturm



SS-Totenkopfverbande
23rd Sturm - alternate pattern



SS-Totenkopfverbande
Camp Commadant Staff



SS-Totenkopfverbande
SS-Training Camp Dachau



SS-Totenkopfverbande
SS-Sturmbann Dachau



SS-Totenkopfverbande
Camp Commadant Staff



SS-Totenkopfverbande
Sanitats-Abteilung
Medical Detachment



Military on Temporary Assignment
as Concentration Camp Guards







SS-Sicherheitsdienst - SIPO or SD




SS-Totenkopfverbande Shoulder Boards

Officers wore the standard SS shoulder boards, as did enlisted personnel. With the change of uniforms in 1936, new shoulder boards were issued for NCOs and enlisted. Not all ranks are shown.





SS-Mann
2nd pattern



SS-Sturmann
3rd pattern



SS-Mann
3rd pattern



SS-Hauptscharführer
4th pattern



SS-Mann
4th pattern








SS-Sicherheitsdienst Shoulder Boards

SS-Sicherheitsdienst shoulder boards use the police design with a black underlay





Standartenführer



Obersturmbannführer



Sturmbannführer



Hauptsturmführer



Obersturmführer



Untersturmführer



Sturmscharführer



Hauptscharführer



Oberscharführer



Scharführer



Unterscharführer



Rottenfuhrer



Sturmmann



Mann






Waffen-SS Collar Tabs

The Waffen-SS displays function or assignment on the right collar tab, rank on the left collar tab. Shown are tabs for Divisions with distinctive collar tabs issued and worn. Collar tabs have been identified on original uniforms and/or in period photographs.





SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment - Deutschland



SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment - Germania



SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment - Der Führer



3 SS Panzer Division - Totenkopf
Horizontal pattern



3 SS Panzer Division - Totenkopf
Vertical pattern



5 SS Panzer Division - Wiking
Officer pattern



5 SS Panzer Division - Wiking
Enlisted pattern



Freiwilligen-Legion Norwegen



7 SS Freiwilligen Gebrigs Division Prinz Eugen



11 SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division Nordland



13 Waffen Gebrigs Division der SS - Handschar
Kroatische Nr. 1



14 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS - Galizien
Ukrainische Nr. 1
1st pattern



14 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS - Galizien
Ukrainische Nr. 1
2nd pattern



15 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Lettische Nr. 1
1st pattern
Also worn by the 19/Lettische Nr. 2



15 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Lettische Nr. 1
2nd pattern



20 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Estnische Nr. 1
1st pattern



20 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Estnische Nr. 1
2nd pattern



22 SS Freiwilligen Kavallerie Division Maria Theresia



23 SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland
1st pattern



23 SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland
2nd pattern



24 Waffen Gebrigs Division der SS - Karsthager



25 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS Hunyadi



27 SS Freiwilligen Grenadier Division Langemarck



29 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Italienische Nr. 1
1st pattern



29 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Italienische Nr. 1
2nd pattern



34 SS Freiwilligen Grenadier Division Landstorm Nederland
1st pattern



34 SS Freiwilligen Grenadier Division Landstorm Nederland
2nd pattern



29 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS Dirlewanger



Britisches Freikorps



SS Freikorps Danmark



Indische Freiwilligen Legion der Waffen SS



Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS
Rumanische Nr. 1

Divisions with distinctive collar tabs produced but not issued.





18 SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division Horst Wessel



21 Waffen Gebrigs Division der SS - Skanderbeg
Albanische Nr. 1



27 SS Freiwilligen Grenadier Division Wallonien



29 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Russische Nr. 1



30 Waffen Grenadier Division der SS
Weissruthenische Nr. 1



Ostturkische Verband der SS



Kaukasischar Waffenverband der SS




Waffen-SS Shoulder Boards

The Waffen-SS displays rank and unit type on the shoulder boards. The boards underlay identifies the type of unit.





OberstGruppenführer
Generals & General Staff



Obergruppenführer
Generals & General Staff



Gruppenführer
Generals & General Staff



Brigadeführer
Generals & General Staff



Standartenführer
Infantry



Obersturmbannführer
Panzer



Sturmbannführer
Jager



Hauptsturmführer
Artillery



Obersturmführer
Medical



Untersturmführer
Chemical Warfare



Sturmscharführer
Reccon



Hauptscharführer
Artillery



Oberscharführer
Jager



Scharführer
Signals



Unterscharführer
Panzer



Schutze
Infantry


Waffen SS Shoulder Board Cyphers

Different numbers, letters, and cyphers could be added to the shoulder board to identify unit/organization assignment, or speciality. A few cyphers are identified below.





SS Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler



SS Standarte Deutschland



SS Standarte Deutschland



SS Standarte Germania



SS Standarte Der Fuhrer



SS Standarte Der Fuhrer



SS-TV Standarte Oberbayern



Unterfuhrerschule Radolfzell



Unterfuhrerschule Lauenburg



Junkerschule Tolz



Junkerschule Braunschweig



Haupt Reiter Schule



Musik Schule



Lehr



Flak-MG antiaircraft



Panzerjager



Standortkommantandur Dauchu



Standortkommantandur Prag



Medical Personnel



Veternarian



Kraftfahr Technische Lehranstalt



Technischer Dienst






SS-Sonderführer/Fachführer Shoulder Boards

In 1941, the SS created the SS-Sonderführer ranks. Five Stellengruppes were created whereby the person performing duties could be given SS ranks. Once the person completed military training, they joined the SS at their current rank. The Stellengruppes were "B", "K", "Z", "O", and "G". In 1942, the name was changed from Sonderführer to Fachführer and a new design for the shoulder boards was issued.





Sonderführer - Sturmbannführer
Stellengruppe "B"



Sonderführer - Hauptsturmführer
Stellengruppe "K"



Sonderführer - Untersturmführer
Stellengruppe "Z"



Sonderführer - Hauptscharführer
Stellengruppe "O"



Sonderführer - Unterscharführer
Stellengruppe "G"









Fachführer - Sturmbannführer
Stellengruppe "B"



Fachführer - Hauptsturmführer
Stellengruppe "K"



Fachführer - Untersturmführer
Stellengruppe "Z"



Fachführer - Hauptscharführer
Stellengruppe "O"



Fachführer - Unterscharführer
Stellengruppe "G"