WIKING RUF Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS

 
  Recruitment Training Replacements Officer Corps  
.:: Wiking Ruf - Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS ::.

 


RECRUITMENT

General.
In principle, no new members were accepted for the SS after 1933 except from selected graduates of the Hitler Youth. The creation of the Waffen-SS and its rapid growth have caused the partial suspension of this rule, although service in the Waffen-SS does not necessarily entail membership in the General SS.

 Pre-war recruitment.
Suitable SS candidates were singled out while still in the Hitler Youth. In particular boys who had proved themselves, often under SS leadership, in the HJ patrol service (HJ-Streifendienst) were welcomed as future SS men. If the candidate satisfied SS requirements with respect to political reliability, racial purity, and physique, he was accepted at the age of 18 as a candidate (Bewerber). On the occasion of the annual Party Congress (Reichspartei) in September of the same year, he was accepted as an aspirant (Anwärter), received an SS certificate (SS-Ausweis), and was enrolled in the ranks of the SS.

Wartime recruitment.
Recruitment and enrollment of new members for the SS have become of particular importance in view of the great expansion of the Waffen-SS during the war. The SS Central Department (SS-Hauptamt) is responsible for recruiting and registration of Germans and of "Germanic" and "non-Germanic" foreigners for the Waffen-SS. It exercises such functions for German and "Germanic" personnel through the Recruiting and Registration Group (Amtsgruppe B), and for "non-Germanic" foreigners through Group D—Germanic SS
(Amtsgruppe D).
The SS Main Operational Department (SS-Führungshauptamt—SS-FHA), which is responsible for the operational control of the Waffen-SS, lays down the general policy on recruiting and notifies its special requirements from time to time. The SS Central Department, however, remains responsible for the whole recruiting system of both the General SS and the Waffen-SS. Recruiting for the General SS, now almost at a standstill as a result of the war, is carried out through its own local units.
Service in the Waffen-SS is, at least officially, voluntary. The Waffen-SS claims priority over all other branches of the Armed Forces in the selection of recruits. To meet the high rate of casualties and the expansion of Waffen-SS field divisions, service in the Waffen-SS was made compulsory for all members of the General SS and voluntary transfer of personnel after being inducted into any of the other branches of the Armed Forces was permitted. Since 1943 a great amount of pressure has been exerted on members of the Hitler Youth to "volunteer" for the Waffen-SS. Still more recently, complete Army, Navy, and Air Force units were taken over by the Waffen-SS, given SS training, and incorporated into its field units.

Recruitment machinery within Germany.
The enlistment drives of the Waffen-SS within Germany, at first occurring at irregular intervals, are now practically continuous, indicating the great need for replacements. The SS-Standarte "Kurt Eggers", through its various agencies is the most successful propaganda machinery for the Waffen-SS.
Through its war reporter battalion (Kriegsberichter Abteilung) it publicizes the important role of the Waffen-SS in the German press. Recruitment for the Waffen-SS is regionally organized and controlled by the recruiting office 7 (Ergänzungsamt—Amt I), which is subordinate to the Recruiting and Registration Group. The regional organization consists of recruiting centers (Ergänzungsstellen), which are named in accordance with the SS districts (SS-Oberabschnitte) in which they are located. They also carry the Roman numeral of the Wehrkreis and are always located at the Wehrkreis headquarters city, except in SS district "Mitte", where the recruiting center is at Braunschweig instead of Hannover, and SS district "Weichsel", where it is at Gotenhafen instead of Danzig. Some of these recruiting centers also maintain branch offices outside Germany for the recruitment of racial Germans (Volksdeutsche). The recruiting centers, in cooperation with various State and military authorities effect the release of the examined and accepted applicants by the Reich Labor Service and by the recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando). The recruits are then sent to a specific training and replacement unit or maneuver area of the Waffen-SS.
In January 1945, the recruiting centers for the Waffen-SS were combined with those of the Army for its volunteers for the officer and non-commissioned officer careers and for Volks Grenadier divisions. Under Himmler's orders "combined recruiting centers of the Army and Waffen-SS" (Ergänzungsstellen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS) were set up in each Wehrkreis, with branch offices in all major cities.

Recruitment machinery outside Germany.
The original decision to enlist "Germanic" and "non-Germanic" foreigners to serve with the Waffen-SS was based on the propaganda rather than on the fighting value of these volunteers. No doubt for this reason the men were mostly organized in small independent national legions.
The whole of this foreign recruiting organization is controlled by the Germanic recruiting office (Germanisches Ergänzungsamt—Amt II) in the Germanic SS group (Amtsgruppe D—Ag D). Orginally this recruiting organization consisted of a number of recruiting commands (Ersatzkommandos) established in the principal cities of the occupied countries. Subsequently these were reorganized as SS recruiting inspectorates (SS-Ersatzinspektionen) responsible for recruiting over a wide area, e.g. SS recruiting inspectorate Südostraum at Vienna for the whole of the Balkans. Such inspectorates control a number of recruiting commands covering smaller areas, which again are subdivided into branch offices (Nebenstellen); finally, there are various enlistment centers (Werbestellen) under each branch office.


TOP

 

TRAINING

General.
Propaganda on behalf of the SS, political education, physical training, pre-military and technical training, as well as training within the SS, are the responsibility of the SS Central Department. However, the responsibility for the military training of Waffen-SS units devolves entirely on the SS Main Operational Department.
Before the war the SS aspirant in his first year of service trained for the SA Defense Training Badge (SA-Wehrabzeichen) and the Reich Sports Badge in bronze (bronzenes Reichssportabzeichen). He was then called up first for six months of service in the Reich Labor Service, and then for his term of duty in the German Army. After two and a half years, he returned to the SS to receive further intensive training and indoctrination. Finally, on the ninth of November following his return to civil life, he was inducted into the SS as a full SS man. The outbreak of the war and the creation of the Waffen-SS interrupted this training schedule.

Propaganda and political education.
The Office for Political Education (Amt Weltanschauliche Erziehung—Amt I) in the Education and Physical Training Group (Amtsgruppe C—Ag C) is responsible for propaganda and the political education of German personnel. This is carried out mainly in two ways. In the first place this office supervises the issuance of a number of propaganda publications, such as the Waffen-SS recruiting handbook "Dich ruft die Waffen-SS", the series of SS educational booklets (SS-Schulungshefte), a news magazine for SS and Police (SS-Informationsdienst), and an illustrated magazine with stories and articles for more general consumption (SS-Leitheft). Secondly, this office holds political education courses for SS officers and enlisted personnel in SS training camps (SS-Ausbildungslager) and in addition is responsible for the appointment of education officers (Schulungsoffiziere) to the staffs of the SS training schools. Political and propaganda directives for the Waffen-SS also emanate from this office.

General.
Propaganda on behalf of the SS, political education, physical training, pre-military and technical training, as well as training within the SS, are the responsibility of the SS Central Department. However, the responsibility for the military training of Waffen-SS units devolves entirely on the SS Main Operational Department.
Before the war the SS aspirant in his first year of service trained for the SA Defense Training Badge (SA-Wehrabzeichen) and the Reich Sports Badge in bronze (bronzenes Reichssportabzeichen). He was then called up first for six months of service in the Reich Labor Service, and then for his term of duty in the German Army. After two and a half years, he returned to the SS to receive further intensive training and indoctrination. Finally, on the ninth of November following his return to civil life, he was inducted into the SS as a full SS man. The outbreak of the war and the creation of the Waffen-SS interrupted this training schedule.

Propaganda and political education.
The Office for Political Education (Amt Weltanschauliche Erziehung—Amt I) in the Education and Physical Training Group (Amtsgruppe C—Ag C) is responsible for propaganda and the political education of German personnel. This is carried out mainly in two ways. In the first place this office supervises the issuance of a number of propaganda publications, such as the Waffen-SS recruiting handbook "Dich ruft die Waffen-SS", the series of SS educational booklets (SS-Schulungshefte), a news magazine for SS and Police (SS-Informationsdienst), and an illustrated magazine with stories and articles for more general consumption (SS-Leitheft). Secondly, this office holds political education courses for SS officers and enlisted personnel in SS training camps (SS-Ausbildungslager) and in addition is responsible for the appointment of education officers (Schulungsoffiziere) to the staffs of the SS training schools. Political and propaganda directives for the Waffen-SS also emanate from this office.

The foreign recruits often require special indoctrination before they can be handed over to the Waffen-SS as fit for its military training. To meet this need special training camps (Ausbildungslager) were established. Such camps and the whole political education of foreign volunteers are under the control and supervision of the Office for Germanic Training (Germanische Erziehung—Amt III) in the Germanic SS group. This office issues a number of propaganda publications for foreign volunteers, including a magazine for each nationality in its own language and also a number of newspapers.

Physical and preliminary training.
The Office for Physical Training (Amt für Leibeserziehung—Amt II) in the Education and Physical Training Group is charged with the responsibility for physical training of all branches of the SS. The SS instructors in athletics and physical culture are trained at the SS Central School for Physical Training (SS-Reichsschule für Leibesubungen), and special SS manuals on the subject are issued. In addition the Office for Physical Training has set up special physical training camps for the Germanic SS outside the Reich. The SS has for some time taken a very active interest in the premilitary training programs of the Hitler Youth and other Party organizations.

Technical training.
As part of the general program of training and preparation for the Waffen-SS, special SS Higher Vocational Schools (SS-Berufsoberschulen) have been set up under the control and direction of the Education and Physical Training Group for giving higher technical training to candidates for the Waffen-SS. All German boys who are apprentices or students in business, trade, or agriculture, and are attending a trade or technical school may apply for entry into such a school as officer applicants of the Waffen-SS. The wartime course is limited to 1 1/2 years and is free to the selected candidates.
The Vocational Schools of the Waffen-SS (Berufsschulen der Waffen-SS) give similar training, though of a lower standard.

Military training.
The military training of the Waffen-SS is controlled entirely by the SS Main Operational Department, which exercises this function through three main agencies:
The Training Branch (Abt 1 d) in the Headquarters Office of the Waffen-SS (Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS—Amt II) supervises and coordinates the whole sphere of training in the Waffen-SS. This branch is divided into a number of sections, each of which is responsible for a certain type of training. Its mission includes close cooperation with all other offices and inspectorates concerned with military training, liaison with the training agencies of the German Army, and issuance and control of all instructional material. It also registers and controls the training of future SS staff officers, providing courses for supply officers (1 b-Lehrgänge) and for intelligence officers (1 c-Lehrgänge).

The SS inspectorates (SS-Inspektionen), which are combined into an inspectorate group (Amtsgruppe C—Ag C), are responsible for the technical and unit training within the various branches of service. There are ten such inspectorates, numbered in a broken series from one to 13. Each one is headed by an Inspector (Inspekteur), who is directly responsible to the Chief of the SS Main Operational Department. It may control experimental and demonstration units and staffs, and it usually works in close liaison with the corresponding inspectorate in the OKH.
The Training Group (Amtsgruppe B—Ag B) is responsible for individual officer and noncommissioned officer training. It exercises these functions through the Office for Officer Training (Amt Führerausbildung—Amt XI), which controls all officer candidate schools (SS-Junkerschulen) and courses, and the Office for Noncommissioned Officer Training (Amt Unterführerausbildung), which controls all noncommissioned officer schools and courses.

Schools and courses.
During 1943 and 1944 the Waffen-SS established schools and courses for almost all branches of military affairs needed by a complete and well balanced military organization. As a result, it is now thoroughly equipped with schooling facilities of its own, although certain highly specialized types of personnel are still trained in special SS courses at regular Army schools.
The SS schools may be divided into four categories: special service schools, officer candidate schools, noncommissioned officer schools, and specialist training establishments.
Almost all the schools of the Waffen-SS have certain basic elements of organization in common, which are analogous to those of Army schools. They are headed by a commander who is assisted by a headquarters staff (Kommandostab). Under this they have instruction groups (Lehrgruppen) of battalion status and inspectorates (Inspektionen) of company status.
Special-service schools (Waffenschulen) have the function of providing specialized and advanced training for officers and enlisted personnel in their particular branch of service (Waffengattung). The Waffen-SS has special-service schools for mountain infantry, cavalry, Panzer Grenadiers, and Panzer troops, but not for ordinary infantry; this is explained by the fact that all Waffen-SS field divisions except some of those which are composed principally of non-German personnel are either Panzer, Panzer Grenadier, cavalry, or mountain divisions.
The courses at the special-service schools may be divided into three main categories: reserve officer candidate courses (Reserve-Junker-Lehrgänge—RJL); preparatory courses (Vorbereitungs-Lehrgänge) for officer applicants (Führer-Bewerber—FB) and reserve officer applicants (Reserve-Führer-Bewerber—RFB); and courses for technicians, which are found mainly at the special-service schools of the signal troops and artillery and which use special technical equipment peculiar to their respective arms.
Most of the Waffen-SS special-service schools have demonstration regiments (Lehrregimenter) attached to them for demonstrating and instructing and also for experimenting with new weapons and tactics.

Officer candidate schools are discussed in the separate section on the officer corps below.

The two basic types of establishments for the training of noncommissioned officers for the Waffen-SS are the noncommissioned officer schools and separate noncommissioned officer courses. The former are for professional non-commissioned officers and the latter for reserve noncommissioned officers.
The SS noncommissioned officer schools (SS-Unterführer-Schulen), which train German and "Germanic" personnel, and the SS and foreign personnel noncommissioned officer schools (SS- und Waffen-Unterführer-Schulen), which train German and "non-Germanic" personnel, are organized into either one or two battalions, a battalion consisting of a headquarters and four companies. Each company usually trains noncommissioned officers for a different branch of service. On completing the course an SS noncom missioned officer applicant (SS-Unterführer-Bewerber) is appointed SS noncommissioned officer candidate (SS-Unterführer-Anwarter); he may become a sergeant (SS-Unterscharführer) only after demonstrating his abilities in a troop unit. Besides the courses for professional noncommissioned officers held at the noncommissioned officer schools, the Waffen-SS conducts short-term noncommissioned officer courses (Unterführer-Lehrgänge) for reserve noncommissioned officers. These are usually held in the field divisions during quiet periods.

Specialist training establishments have the mission of training of officer technicians (Technische Führer der Sonderlaufbahnen) and particularly noncommissioned officer technicians (Unterführer der Sonderlaufbahnen). Specialist training establishments include the Motor Technical School of the Waffen-SS (Kraftfahrtechnische Lehranstalt der Waffen-SS) at Vienna, the Ordnance Technical School of the Waffen-SS (Waffentechnische Lehranstalt der Waffen-SS) at Dachau, riding and driving schools, motor transport supply-troop schools, and a number of other types.


OFFICER CORPS OF THE WAFFEN SS

General.
The SS Main Department for Personnel (SS-Personal-Hauptamt—SS-Pers HA) keeps a central card file on all officers of the SS. The original officer corps of the SS comprised a number of different categories, mainly dependent upon the nature of their employment. The creation of the Waffen-SS and its employment as a powerful military force necessitated the formation of a separate officer corps for the Waffen-SS. An officer may, and often does, have different ranks in the two corps.

Selection of prospective officers.
The selection, registration, and training of prospective officers for the Waffen-SS is the responsibility of the SS Main Operational Department, which exercises this function through the Office for Officer Training (Amt Führerausbildung—Amt XI) in the Training Group (Amtsgruppe B). At the time of induction the recruiting center reports officer material to this office. Every volunteer has the opportunity to enter the officer career of the Waffen-SS, depending upon three qualifications, namely, his character as a German, his performance as a National Socialist and a member of the SS, and his qualifications as a soldier and leader.
Men selected as prospective officer candidates proceed to a training and replacement unit or training camp of the Waffen-SS. The unit commander concerned decides whether a candidate is fit or unfit for the officer career of the Waffen-SS after he has completed his basic training. The branch of service to which an approved candidate is to be allotted is then determined by the Office for Officer Training in consultation with the various offices and inspectorates of the SS Main Operational Department.

The officer corps of the Waffen-SS comprises three categories:
(a) Active officers of the Waffen-SS (Aktive Führer der Waffen-SS), those who adopt the career of SS officer. The elite of this category includes all pre-war graduates of the SS officer candidate schools.
(b) Reserve officers of the Waffen-SS (Reserve-Führer der Waffen-SS).
(c) Foreign officers of the SS (Waffen-Führer der SS). This category includes all active and reserve officers of "non-Germanic" nationalities. Those eligible include men who previously held a commission in their own armies and those who show leadership qualifications in the ranks of the Waffen-SS. This category, however, does not include officers coming from "Germanic" countries, who may become full-fledged officers (SS-Führer) of either the active or reserve category.

Officer candidate schools
Waffen-SS schools designed to train and provide officer material are of two basic types: SS officer candidate schools (SS-Junkerschulen), which train German and "Germanic" officers; and SS and foreign personnel officer candidate schools (SS- und Waffen-Junkerschulen), which train both German personnel and "non-Germanic" foreigners. The courses last about 6 months and are differentiated as either war-officer-candidate courses (Kriegsjunker-Lehrgänge) or war-officer-candidate courses for foreign personnel (Kriegs-Waffenjunker-Lehrgänge).

(a) Active officers. The active officer candidates of the Waffen-SS attend the war-officer-candidate courses (Kriegjunker-Lehrgänge) held at the officer candidate schools. These candidates must have previously completed a preparatory course (Vorbereitungs-Lehrgäng) held either at a special-service school or at a training and replacement unit of the Waffen-SS. They start this course as active officer applicants (Führer-Bewerber—FB) and subsequently receive the title of SS-Junker and the equivalent rank of the lowest grade of sergeant (Unterscharführer). After the mid-term examinations at the officer candidate school they become Standartenjunker with the equivalent rank of Scharführer, and after the final examination Standartenoberjunker (equivalent to Hauptscharführer). Candidates then return to their units and, after a minimum of two months, are appointed 2d Lieutenant (Untersturmführer) by the RF-SS upon the recommendation of their regimental commanders.
(b) Reserve officers. Reserve officer candidates of the Waffen-SS, after taking a preparatory course as Reserve-Führer-Bewerber—RFB, become SS-Junker der Reserve and then attend a reserve officer candidate course (Reserve-Junker-Lehrgang), held at a special-service school of the Waffen-SS and lasting about 4 months. After the mid-term examinations they become Standartenjunker der Reserve, and after the final examinations Standartenoberjunker der Reserve. Foreign officers of the reserve (Waffen-Führer der Reserve) also attend the reserve officer candidate courses.
Like active officer candidates, the graduates become officers only after at least 2 months of service with a unit.
(c) Foreign officers of the SS. "Non-Germanic" officer candidates attend a war officer candidate course for foreign personnel (Kriegs-Waffenjunker-Lehrgang) held at the SS and foreign personnel officer-candidate schools (SS- und Waffenjunker-Schulen). After its completion they return to their units and after a period of 2 months are appointed Waffen-Untersturmführer by the RF-SS upon the recommendation of their regimental commander.

Officer candidate courses.
Apart from the regular courses at the officer-candidate schools described above, the Waffen-SS conducts the following special officer-candidate courses:
Courses for partly disabled SS officer candidates (Lehrgänge für versehrte SS-Junker) held at the officer-candidate schools.
Special course for Panzer officer candidates (Panzer-Junker-Sonderlehrgang).

Other officer training establishments.
The Waffen-SS maintains medical and economic administrative officer training establishments with the function of providing for and supervising the military education of prospective active medical and economic administrative officers of the Waffen-SS during the period of their studies at universities and other institutions.

Specialist careers.
All officer candidates choosing a specialist career (Sonderlaufbahn) must have certain basic qualifications. They must have spent half a year with a field unit and successfully graduated from an officer candidate school of the Waffen-SS.

The following are the various specialist careers of the Waffen-SS:
Medical career. This includes:
Physician (SS-Führer und Arzt)
Medical technician (SS-Führer im Sanitätstechn. Dienst)
Dentist (SS-Führer und Zahnarzt)
Pharmacist (SS-Führer und Apotheker)

The Medical Academy of the Waffen-SS provides for the training of all officers in the medical career.
Besides their formal training students attend lectures and practical demonstrations at various universities.

Veterinary career. This includes:
Veterinary (SS-Führer und Veterinär)
Veterinary technician (SS-Führer im Veterinärtechn. Dienst)
Officers in the veterinary career receive their specialist training in the Blacksmith School as well as in the veterinary training and replacement unit of the Waffen-SS.

Administrative career.
The Officer School of the Economic Administrative Service of the SS gives lectures and provides practical application for officers in the administrative career. Besides lectures at universities, the training includes practical experience and instruction at an administrative office of the Waffen-SS.

Ordnance technician career. This includes:
Ordnance supply officer (SS-Führer im Waffen- und Munitionsdienst)
Ordnance officer technician (Techn.SS-Führer W)
Engineering officer (Techn.SS-Führer W Ing.)
The Ordnance Technical School and the engineering schools of the Waffen-SS provide for the specialized training of these officers. They also attend lectures and receive practical application at technical institutions.

Motor technical career. This includes:
Motor officers (Technische SS-Führer (K) I)
Motor officers (Technische SS-Führer (K) II)
The Motor Technical School of the Waffen-SS provides for and supervises the training of these officers.

Other specialist careers of the Waffen-SS include:
Officer technician (sig) (Technische SS-Führer (N))
Judge advocate (SS-Führer und Richter)
Notary (SS-Führer und Beurkundungsführer)
Water supply officer (SS-Führer und Wehrgeologe)
Bandmaster (SS-Führer und Musikführer)

The officers in these specialist careers, besides their instruction at technical schools and other establishments of the Waffen-SS, receive specialized training at the special-service schools or specialist training schools of the Waffen-SS.

TOP


REPLACEMENTS

Unlike the Army, the Waffen-SS does not decentralize the control of its replacement system to its regional headquarters in Germany. The entire replacement system of the Waffen-SS is administered centrally by the SS Main Operational Department. Replacement requisitions from field units for ordinary personnel are sent through this department direct to the replacement units concerned. Those for officers go to the SS Main Department for Personnel (SS-Personnel Hauptamt), except that for all officers in the economic administrative service the SS Main Economic Administrative Department (SS-Wirtschaft-Verwaltungs-Hauptamt) is the responsible replacement agency.
The entire system of transferring and assigning Waffen-SS personnel to training and replacement units, field units, schools, and headquarters is controlled by the reinforcement branch
(Abt I e) in the Headquarters Office of the Waffen-SS (Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS—Amt II). This branch works in close cooperation with various other agencies regarding the transfer and assignment of specialist personnel. For example, the veterinary troops of the Waffen-SS are supervised by the Veterinary Branch (Abt IV) in the Riding and Driving Office (Amt Reit- und -Fahrwesen—Amt VI), which also conducts their training and courses, while all ordnance troops are controlled by the Ordnance Branch (Abt II) in the office for supply (Nachschubamt—Amt VII). Both these branches maintain personnel assignment sections for their respective specialist personnel. Medical personnel comes under the control of the Administration Office (Amt XIII) in the Medical Group (Sanitätswesen der Waffen-SS-Amtsgruppe D—Ag D).



TOP

       
© 2015 WIKING RUF.com
.:: Wiking Ruf - Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS ::.