ϟϟ-Verfügungstruppen - The Praetorian Guard

Commander of the Leibstandarte SS Sepp Dietrich
Guard at SS-Nachrichtenschule
On March 17 1933, SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Josef "Sepp" Dietrich was instructed to collect 117 reliable young SS men into a militarized SS bodyguard for Hitler. It was the origin of what became the Leibstandarte SS. Eight of these 117 men went on to become regimental commanders in the Waffen-SS, and three attained division command. The Schutzstaffel, abbreviated SS – or ϟϟ with stylized Armanen sig runes, now began to grow rapidly and were set up in major cities to act in the event of a Communist strike. On October 1 1934, the term SS-Verfügungstruppen, SS Dispositional Troops, or SS-VT replaced the former “Protection Squadron” label. The SS-VT received military – rather than political – training. Its units would spearhead some of the most crucial battles of World War II while its men would shoulder some of the most difficult and daunting combat operations of all the units in the German military. According to their enemy´s opinion and those of Wehrmacht´s own commanders-in-chief the Panzergrenadiers of the Waffen-SS ranged among the most effective and professional soldiers of all. Top image: Commander of the Leibstandarte SS Sepp Dietrich here photographed wearing the early style of gorget patches for SS-Obergruppenführer. He was promoted SS-Obergruppenführer on July 1 1934. Public domain. Bottom image: An unidentified Leibstandarte SS guard at SS-Nachrichtenschule in Metz. Public domain.

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