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Osprey Men-at-Arms 266 : The Allgemeine-SS
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Osprey Men-at-Arms 266 : The Allgemeine-SS

The SS, an offshoot of the SA [Men-at-Arms 220], originated as Hitler's personal bodyguard, and after the Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 began to develop rapidly. Firstly, the bodyguard section grew to regimental strength and became the elite unit of the entire organisation, assuming the title Leibstandarte-SS 'Adolf Hitler'. Secondly, the SS-Verfügungstruppe were formed as barracked quasi-military forces to bolster the new regime in the event of political turmoil or counter-revolution. Finally, the SS-Totenkopfverbände were recruited to guard the growing number of concentration camp inmates. These three groupings of the SS were amalgamated to a certain extent during the war, becoming the first three divisions of the Waffen-SS [Men-at-Arms 34], which expanded as a fourth branch of the Wehrmacht to encompass almost 40 field divisions by 1945. The rest of the SS: those men and women who came to be known by the blanket [and somewhat disparaging] term Allgemeine-SS, or 'General SS', are examined in this book. Some had tried, and failed, to gain entry to the Leibstandarte, Verfügungstruppe or Totenkopfverbände. Others, for whatever personal reasons, chose to remain with the largely part-time and usually unpaid local units. In any event, while the more visible armed SS combat units naturally received all the publicity, especially during the war, it was the rather faceless Allgemeine-SS which wielded the real power. Robin Lumsden explores their history, organisation and uniforms backed by plenty of photographs and eight full page colour plates by Paul Hannon.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Early History
  • Role of the SS
  • Organisation
  • SS Symbolism
  • Uniforms and Insignia
  • SS-Police
  • The Germanic-SS
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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