TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. Uniforms

The Armed Elite Guard (Waffen-SS) has followed the Army closely in the provision of uniform clothing. When first sent into the field, Waffen-SS units were distinguished in part by the type of roll-collar V-neck coat shown in Plate XVIII. Also distinctive were their camouflage jacket (Plate XVIII), and their brown shirts with black ties. For some time stocks of the SS coat have been practically exhausted, and Army coats have been used. Army shirts also are issued. There remain slight differences between the high grade shelter-duck, water-repellent, windproof SS camouflage jacket and the similar Army jacket; the SS jacket has two slant, buttoned pockets at its side in later versions, and a different camouflage pattern.

A new Waffen-SS uniform is a linen-cotton, herringbone twill, two-piece suit (Plate XIX). SS regulations forbid wearing insignia on the collar of this uniform, but troops have shown an increasing tendency to include all possible insignia devices. However, no insignia are worn on the one-piece tank coverall (Plate XVIII). In general, Waffen-SS uniform clothing differs from that of the Army only in respect to the above items, and in the more complete authorized issue to Waffen-SS troops. Moreover, when complete issue cannot be made, the Waffen-SS troops always receive fuller issue than their Army neighbors. Waffen-SS troops now also receive the army winter uniform, which replaces the special SS pullover parka illustrated in Plate XIX.

2. Insignia

Waffen-SS troops wear shoulder insignia of rank similar to those of the Army, but wear collar patches of the General-SS. The sleeve insignia of rank, worn on camouflage jackets, coveralls, and similar clothing, is the same as that worn by corresponding Army grades. The grades of snipers' badges, shown in color plates, are issued to Waffen-SS as well as to Army personnel. Rifle regiments of SS-Police divisions wear collar patches similar to those worn by officers and men of the Army. The distinctive insignia of the Waffen-SS is the SS national emblem worn on the upper left sleeve. Noncommissioned officers wear silver braid along the edge of the collar in the manner of Army noncommissioned officers.

3. Uniforms and Insignia of the Security Service of the Waffen-SS

This uniform consists of the ordinary SS field uniform with Police shoulder straps to indicate rank, SS collar patches, and an SD badge (for Sicherheitsdienst) on the lower left sleeve.


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