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Uniforms of the Waffen-SS

Uniforms of the Waffen-SS

Some people consider the SS uniforms the most striking and impressive (or oppressive) uniforms ever created.  However, the all-black uniforms of the Allgemeine-SS should not be confused with the uniforms of the Waffen-SS.  In fact, the Waffen-SS uniforms more closely resemble the uniforms of the German army.

Sometime in 1937-38, most of the SS organization traded in their impressive black uniforms with the red, white and black swastika armband for the gray-green uniform of the German Army. You can see photographs of many of the SS departments like the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), SS-Führungs (HQ), Hitler's bodyguard unit (LSSAH) and the Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) all changing uniforms. However, all of the SS formations retained their insignia including their shoulder boards, now worn on both shoulders, except for The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT).

These units converted over to the military styled shoulder boards and shoulder straps. The last pictures of SS men wearing their black uniforms is the 1940 victory parade in Berlin when Hitler returns from the completed Western campaign against France and the Low Countries. After that, the only black uniforms seen will be those of the panzer crews. Here are images and descriptions of the various uniforms worn by the Waffen-SS.

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