Yes, indeed Sondereinheiten was used in SS documents to originally describe just the the signals, cavalry, motor, pioneer units of the Allgemeine-SS. It was being used in the sense of 'specialized units' I presume. You will often see a document headed: Abzeichen fuer Sondereinheiten, and it will refer specifically to those four branches.
The usage seemed to change around the beginning of 1937. At that point documents start to use to the term to describe a different set of offices.
In 1937 and 1938 the branches referred to as Sondereinheiten no longer refer to the ones listed above but now include:
RFSS Stab, SS-Hauptamt, SD-Hauptamt, RuS-Hauptamt, Sondersturmbann, Komm. Ub.Lager Dachau, Motorschule Berne and several other branches.
03-09-2014 04:16 AM
Thank you. Your help here is always of the finest quality. Your acute reading of the primary sources is a great help to us all here, who have no such experience.
My thanks to you as well, d'Alquen.
In the interest of getting a clearer picture of the rank structure of the Stammabteilung organization (or at least of its officer corps), I've had a look at the SS-Dienstalterliste [SS officers's seniority list] of 1 December 1938 to see how many of the officers contained therein were assigned to the Stammabteilungen.
You will forgive me for not going through the hundreds of pages covering the Obersturmführer/Untersturmführer [1st and 2nd Lieutenant] ranks; I only counted the ranks of Hauptsturmführer or higher.
Hoping I didn't miscount too badly, I came up with these figures:
Obergruppenführer - Total: 16; Stammabteilungen: 0
Gruppenführer - Total: 51; Stammabteilungen: 0
Brigadeführer - Total: 49; Stammabteilungen: 0
Oberführer - Total: 217; Stammabteilungen: 6* [2.76 %]
Standartenführer - Total: 305; Stammabteilungen: 17** [5.57 %]
Obersturmbannführer - Total: 383; Stammabteilungen: 31*** [8.09 %]
Sturmbannführer - Total: 894; Stammabteilungen: 93**** [10.40 %]
Hauptsturmführer - Total: 1,820; Stammabteilungen: 247 [13.57 %]
*) Including the 4 inspectors for the Stammabteilungen Fulda-Werra, Südwest, Mitte and Elbe.
**) Including the 3 inspectors for the Stammabteilungen Nord, Nordwest and Süd.
***) Including the 3 inspectors for the Stammabteilungen Ost, Main and Rhein.
****) Including the 2 inspectors for the Stammabteilungen Nordost and Südost.
Bravo. A valuable reference from our fine member and source of so many important facts and pleasing knowledge.
I thought I would just double check in the Statistical Yearbooks of the SS. Fortunately the Stammabteilung and Sondereinheiten were separated in the 1937 edition. So, for those who love the minutiae, here are the membership figures for 1937 together with the percentage of Stammabteilung members within the total Allgemeine-SS on the right.
In that year they actually had a very healthy growth rate compared to everyone else. Although 'healthy growth rate' is slightly contradictory as the increase in figures was due in no small part to the aging of the members.
I am reminded upon revisiting this material that for some reason I never did quite work out how the methodology whereby the bulk of the Allgemeine-SS was divided into SS=I and SS=II. Suggestions or solutions would be more than welcome.
Very interesting source. I have never seen the "SSI," and "SSII" nomenclature before. We learn something every day.