Austrian ss man..
Hi....im new again to this site so I hope I have posted this post in the correct place...Im would like some help with this photo if possible...
The questions im trying to answer are.....What year was this photo taken ? can anybody tell by the uniform that he is wearing...also why would an Austrian man join the SS and not the Heer ?
Any information would be grateful..
Thank you all.
Last edited by baronvonbee; 10-01-2015 at 08:15 AM.
09-30-2015 11:45 AM
He's a member of the Waffen-SS, more specifically one of its mountain troop formations.
His rank is Schütze, i.e. a basic-level private.
The photo is definitely a wartime portrait, but it is not possible to date it more accurately. The field blouse is of pre- or early-war quality (dark green collar, scalloped pocket flaps, pleated pockets) and the Edelweiß badge just visible on the side of his mountain cap is the metal army model worn prior to the introduction of the embroidered SS model, so it is likely an early-war photograph, although this is by no means certain.
As for the question why an Austrian should join the SS rather than the army: For the same reasons as any German. Remember that there was no country of Austria at that time, it had become an integral part of the German Reich in every way.
Thank you for the reply it has helped me out a lot .....Is their a way of dating the ski cap that he's wearing also ?
I believe he died in 1944 in a big battle in Transylvania witch battle I do not know...
The SS mountain cap came about ca. 1940. The very similiar ski cap (I always find it extremely hard to near impossible to tell them apart in photographs) had already been introduced well before the war.
Thus, everything he is wearing was in existence in the early stages of WW2.
Given the fact that older types of kit were issued and worn out for years after the introduction of the newer models and the absence of any visible distinctive unit insignia, decorations etc. that could give us further clues, it is not really possible to narrow down the timeframe much, let alone to date the photograph to a specific year.
(If he wore, say, the model 1944 field uniform or some badge or insigne introduced in 1944 and you know for sure that he was KIA the same year, it would be a different story...)
Hi, baronvonbee !
Why the man on the photograph has supposed to be an "Austrian" ?
Are there any further information´s written upon the back of the photograph ?
Regarding your question, " ... why would an Austrian man join the SS and not the Heer ...":
My answer: "Why not ?" ...
The Grandpa of my "Ex" joined the Schutzstaffel even before the "Anschluss" !
He went to Germany because he get no work in Austria in the late 30´s, (as a lot of other Austrian men also), so ...
Hi, I agree with the other responses that have been given here. A schutze in the waffen SS mountain troop. It has to be a wartime photo, as most mountain div.s were formed from 1941 on. That gives a 4 year span, and most likely '43 or '44, when the largest amount of these div.s were active. Why an Austrian in the SS, well could be one of many reasons. The majority welcomed being part of the reich's greater Germany with open arms, so you can see why a young Austrian fellow, if accepted into the "elite" SS, would aspire to be a member. Its kind of like, Im not just an infantryman in the army, but Im a Ranger. Better status, way cool uniform, better pay, and being recognized as a type of "elite" soldier. If you can, why not?
Just one more interesting note, the Austrian mountain troops and the German alpine corps, share the edelweiss insignia since pre WW1.
By the cut of the SS Tunic and first looks at the Collar Tabs, which I believe are pre-dachau bevo tabs, I am putting the pic at 1941-42. That's just my opinion.
On the back of the card it just has 1944 and regarding being Austrian that's because he's a family member that we have just found out..