Nazi military and SS ranks

From Citizendium
(Redirected from Hauptsturmfuhrer)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Before the Nazis took power, Germany had a well-established system of military ranks. The early Sturmabteilung (SA) ("Braunhemden", "brownshirts") saw itself as a revolutionary alternative to the traditional Army, and developed its own rank system. While the SA was a largely irrelevant force after 1934, the successor Schutzstaffel (SS) ("Schwarzhemden", "blackshirts") essentially continued the SA system.

There was not a perfect mapping between SA/SS and military ranks. Complicating the system was that the heads of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, and of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, insisted on having unique ranks senior to all others.

Another confusing factor, not unique to Germany, is that the military (but not the SS) had no rank of brigadier general. In both Germany and the Soviet Union, the "Generalmajor" rank was equivalent to the "one-star" rank, and all the other ranks shifted: "Generalleutnant" was equivalent to two-star, not to lieutenant general.

Naval rank structure differed from Anglo-American usage, but were consistent with other Continental navies, with multiple grades of "captain" rather than having a "commander" rank; the Soviets had "captain first rank" through "captain third rank".

Dienstränge (Offiziere) (Officer ranks)
SS and SS Heer (Army) navy (Navy) Luftwaffe (Air Force) Western ground forces
Reichsfuehrer (Himmler only) Generalfeldmarschall Grossadmiral Reichsmarschall (Göring only); Generalfeldmarschall Field Marshal, General of the Army
Oberstgruppenführer Generaloberst Generaladmiral Generaloberst General, Admiral
Obergruppenführer General [of branch] (e.g., General der Infantrie) Vizeadmiral General [of branch] (e.g., General der Flieger) Lieutenant general
Gruppenführer Generalleutnant Konteradmiral Generalleutnant Major general
Brigadeführer Generalmajor Kommodore Generalmajor Brigadier general
Oberführer - (senior colonel)
Standartenführer Oberst Kapitän zur See Oberst Colonel
Obersturmbannführer Oberstleutnant Korvettenkapitän Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel
Sturmbannführer Major Fregattenkapitän Major Major
Hauptsturmführer Hauptmann Kapitänleutnant Hauptmann Captain
Sturmführer Oberleutnant Oberleutnant zur Zee Oberleutnant First lieutenant
Untersturmführer Leutnant Leutnant zur See Leutnant Second lieutenant