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In Germany, as the Nazis rose to power, the Sturmabteilung (SA), also known as the Brownshirts[1] or Stormtroopers, were their first uniformed force. While they were uniformed and had ranks, they were never a serious military force, although Ernst Roehm, their commander, saw them as a "revolutionary" alternative to the regular Army.

While the SA stayed in existence until the end of the war, Rohm and his immediate circle were purged in 1934, and the SS, once a small unit within the SA, became the primary Party force. As opposed to the SA, the SS did develop true military units as well as security forces.


  1. Actually tan/khaki