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Fusion of Waffen-SS and SS in 1941

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Kai-Petri, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting info on the Waffen-SS and SS from Heinz Höhne "The order of the death´s head"

    " On 22nd April 1941 Himmler laid down the units which he intended to regard as part of Waffen-SS. Hitherto he had accepted OKW´s decision that the Waffen-SS consisted only of the fighting formations, their replacement units, the Totenkopf standarten and the three cadet schools in Brunswick,Bad Tölz and Klagenfurt. But now, on the eve of Barbarossa, and in control of the four divisions, Himmler felt himself strong enough arbitrarily to extend the meaning of "Waffen-SS". In a Führungshauptamt directive he set out 179 units and agencies all now to be considered an integral part of the Waffen-SS- and they included the concentration camps, their adminstrative staffs and the Totenkopd guard units, in other words all those organisations that had been formed in 1939 when Eicke´s Totenkopfverbände were relieved from concentration-camp duty;their personnel consisted of men unfit for service from the Allgemeine-SS, the Kyffhäuserbund and the SA.

    From now on the concentration-camp guards ranked as members of Waffen-SS. They carried the same pay-books, they wore the same uniform..."
     
  2. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    Until Feb. 1, 1942, Waffen-SS was responsible for the concentration camps, IIRC.

    The seperation between SS and their armed branch is deliberately and misleading, however a lot of apologists tend to do it.

    However, as the W-SS went trough a transition from a voluntary political elite force (during the first 3-4 years of the war) to a partly non-voluntary, at best mediocore mass army in the last year of WW II, it's somewhat oversimplifying to make a valid call covering the entire area of the war.

    Einsatzgruppe A consisted by more than 1/5th of Waffen-SS men, the rest being drivers and translators, SD, Crminal-, State- and Auxiliary-Police.

    Cheers,
     

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