Waffen-SS

Leibstandarte SS
SS-Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich
The term Waffen-SS became official during the spring of 1940, and it indicated those units concerned with frontline military duty. The men of the Waffen-SS had considered themselves as elite soldiers since well before World War II. This was because of the teachings of their officers, inspired by SS-Brigadeführer Paul Hausser and SS-Standartenführer Felix Steiner, and a logical consequence of their rigorous military training. Numerous Waffen-SS men who only attained junior officer rank during the 1930´s become effective division commanders during World War II, including Theodor Wisch, Werner Ostendorff, Hermann Priess, Karl Ullrich, Otto Kumm, Sylvester Stadler, Heinz Harmel, Fritz von Scholz, Fritz Witt, Georg Bochmann, Bruno Streckenbach, Franz Augsberger and Jürgen Wagner. Augsburger earned the Knight's Cross, and all others attained the Oakleaves or higher to that decoration. Credit: Marc Rikmenspoel. Images: SS-Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, commander of the Leibstandarte SS, decorating his men in Metz 1940. Commons Bundesarchiv.

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