SS Uniforms & Tunics

German SS Uniforms and TunicsOne of the points of pride of a SS (Schutzstaffel) officer was his uniform – owing in no small part to its ability to command respect as well as instill fear in the German population. The SS tunic, and SS uniform in general, saw various changes over the life of the Third Reich. In 1929 in an effort to introduce a more consistent appearance among SS officers, a new style of uniform was introduced which incorporated black pants and boots. Patches and insignia varied depending on one’s rank in the SS. These new uniforms remained relatively unchanged (other than a few minor details) until 1932 when the most notorious SS uniforms were introduced – the dreaded black SS uniforms. While retaining the trademark brown shirts from earlier ensembles these new uniforms were black in nearly every other respect except for the red armband which contained the trademark Nazi swastika. Utilized from 1932–1934 they are perhaps the SS garb most indelibly burned upon our collective consciousness. This version of the SS uniform introduced the peaked SS visor cap, which was jet black in keeping with the prevailing theme. Additionally in 1933 the SS runes insignia was added which later became the defacto symbol for the feared Schutzstaffel. This SS insignia was incorporated into the SS tunic collar. In 1934, after the Night of the Long Knives, the SS altered their insignia and replaced the traditional danziger totenkopf with the classic death’s head with a grinning jaw, or more commonly referred to these days as simple the “SS skull“. During World War II the SS switched to military-style field grey uniforms and black SS uniforms were rarely seen throughout the remainder of the war.

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  • German Uniforms & Tunics

    SS Tunic — 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division, Götz von Berlichingen


    A very nice M42 Panzer SS Tunic here from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division, Götz von Berlichingen. All of the sewn insignia are original to this tunic, with no signs of post-war application or repair. As I sometimes do with SS items (especially cloth) I sought a second, and even a third opinion on this one from the most respected SS cloth collectors in the industry. After an in-hand inspection all are in agreement that everything about this SS tunic is genuine and period applied, with no signs of post-war application or modification…

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