Company Grades

The collar patches for the three company grade officer ranks followed the same basic pattern for that of the lower ranks, using a series of aluminium pips and silver tresse. They were edged with a fine border made of fine aluminium wire, unlike those of the lower ranks which were unbordered. All company grade officers wore three aluminium pips on the left collar patch, with those for SS-Obersturmführer and Hauptsturmführer adorned with one and two lengths of aluminium tresse respectively.

The shoulder bars for company grade officers were made of aluminium wire adorned with 20mm pips to signify the rank of the wearer, with the edge piped in the appropriate Waffenfarbe. From 1942 the pips were made of white metal, although the older gilt and bronze versions contiunued to be worn. An SS-Untersturmführer wore no pips, while an SS-Obersturmführer one and SS-Hauptsturmführer wore one and two respectively.

The camouflage sleeve patches for company grade officers introduced during the war all consisted of a single oakleaf device in green material, with one, two and three bars for the ranks of SS-Untersturmführer, SS-Obersturmführer and SS-Hauptsturmführer.

Waffen-SS RankHeer Equiv.CollarShoulderArm

Company grade officers of the Leibstandarte all wore a metal “LAH” cypher device on the shoulder bars, with a number of variations. Both silver gilt and bronze designs were produced, with later examples made of white metal.

Shoulder bar for the rank of SS-Obersturmführer, with silver gilt metal 'LAH' cypher
Shoulder bar for the rank of SS-Obersturmführer, with silver gilt metal ‘LAH’ cypher

* The rank of SS-Untersturmführer replaced the orginal 1929 rank of SS-Sturmführer which had been introduced with the formation of the SS in 1929.

** Originally given the designation SS-Sturmhauptführer, a rank which had been originally inaugurated the previous year.

The Story of Michael Wittmann