The SS Colonel Group Leader (short: Oberstgruf; speech: Colonel Group Leader ) was in the German Empire from 1942 to 1945, the highest rank of general of the Schutzstaffel (SS) under the Reichsführer SS, which would be comparable to today's four- star general. To avoid confusion with the lower a star SS - Obergruppenführer rank, was deliberately chosen in June 1942, the specific notation Colonel -group leader. The rank was awarded only four times.
Introduction and Awards 1942-1944
On April 7, 1942 Adolf Hitler approved the introduction of a new SS service degree. This was known as the SS - Oberst- group leader and the first promotion was dated 20 April 1942 ( Hitler's birthday ), than this rank Josef Dietrich was awarded as commanding Panzer - General of the Waffen -SS. Next to him this rank to Franz Xaver Schwarz ( rank honorary ) and Kurt Daluege was awarded ( as a police rank ). The former, the honor grade was awarded for his services as Treasurer of the NSDAP and as head of the Reichszeugmeisterei. The latter was the only police officer who reached that rank ( SS -group leader Colonel and Colonel-General of Police ). The last promotion was made on 1 August 1944, when Paul Hausser was promoted to SS -group leader Colonel and Colonel-General of the Waffen- SS. Dietrich itself did not begin until August 23, 1944, the rank insignia of a Colonel - group leader to carry.
The collar patches with the insignia of rank Colonel - group leaders were worn on the field gray uniform jacket of the Waffen- SS or the gray field jacket, or in the case of Daluege on the uniform jacket of the police. On the other hand, there are no visual documents on the wearing of insignia on the black SS uniform, which was already worn in the time when the grade was awarded increasingly less.
Special features and notes
In 1944, Heinrich Himmler proposed to appoint Albert Speer honorary colonel -group leader. Speer refused on the grounds of being not formally subordinated to Himmler.
Hermann Goering was also plotted an appointment in 1945. He refused on the grounds of dislike of Himmler.
The rank of General Colonel - group leaders after 1945 was partly in the literature use. For example, in Robert Harris 's novel Fatherland. It takes place in a kind of parallel history around 1960, after Germany had won the Second World War. In this novella Arthur Nebe occurs as SS Colonel -group leader and chief of the Criminal Investigation Department in appearance.
List of SS Colonel Group Leader
The table below contains all the four persons who were promoted or appointed SS Colonel -group leader.
Ranking and insignia
This SS - rank corresponded to the then Colonel-General of the Wehrmacht. According to today's NATO rank codes SS Colonel -group leader and Colonel-General of the Armed Forces with OF- 9 (four- star general ) would be comparable. The base of the shoulder pieces was kept in the usual manner for all general ranks of the Waffen- SS weapons color " silver - gray ".
- Rank insignia SS Colonel -group leader and Colonel General of the Waffen -SS
Lapels ( 1942-45 )
Sleeve insignia camouflage
In the images of the insignia or badges of rank are shown that were worn as a shoulder boards and collar patches, as well as sleeve badges from 1942 to Tarn or special suits. The mirror-like collar insignia of rank badges were worn on the field gray uniform jacket of the Waffen- SS or the gray tunic.