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Oberführer ([ˈoːbɐ.fyːʀɐ], "senior leader") was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) dating back to 1921. Translated as "senior leader", an Oberführer was typically a NSDAP member in charge of a group of paramilitary units in a particular geographical region.[1] From 1921 to 1925, the phrase Oberführer was used as a title in the Sturmabteilung (SA), but became an actual SA rank after 1926.

Oberführer
SS-Oberführer Collar Rank.svg
Gorget patch
Heer-Oberst h.svg SS-Oberführer-camo.svg
Shoulder and camo insignia
Country Nazi Germany
Service branch Schutzstaffel
Sturmabteilung
National Socialist Motor Corps
National Socialist Flyers Corps
AbbreviationOberf
NATO rankOF-5
Formation1921
Abolished1945
Next higher rankBrigadeführer
Next lower rankStandartenführer
Equivalent ranksOberst

Oberführer was also a rank of the Schutzstaffel (SS, at that time a branch of the SA), established in 1925 as Gauführer, a rank for SS officers in charge of SS personnel in the several Gaue throughout Germany; in 1928 the rank was renamed Oberführer, and used of the commanders of the three regional SS-Oberführerbereiche. In 1930, the SS was reorganized into SS-Gruppen and Brigaden, at which time Oberführer became subordinate to the higher rank of Brigadeführer. By 1932, Oberführer was an established rank of the SA, SS and NSKK.[1][2]

Oberführer wore two oak leaves on the uniform collar rank patch, along with the shoulder boards and lapels of a general officer.[3] In 1938, the status of SS-Oberführer began to change with the rise of the SS-Verfügungstruppe which would later become the Waffen-SS. Since Brigadeführer was rated equal to a Generalmajor, and Standartenführer to an Oberst, Oberführer had no military equivalent and quickly became regarded as a senior colonel rank.[4] This distinction continues in historical circles with most texts referring to Oberführer as a senior colonel rank[4][5] while some others state it has a military equivalent to a British Army brigadier.[6]

InsigniaEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b McNab 2009b, p. 15.
  2. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 29, 30.
  3. ^ Flaherty 2004, p. 148.
  4. ^ a b Yerger 1997, p. 235.
  5. ^ Miller 2006, p. 521.
  6. ^ McNab 2009, p. 186.

BibliographyEdit

  • Flaherty, T. H. (2004) [1988]. The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life Books, Inc. ISBN 1-84447-073-3.
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5.
  • McNab, Chris (2009b). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-51-8.
  • Miller, Michael (2006). Leaders of the SS and German Police, Vol. 1. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 93-297-0037-3.
  • Yerger, Mark C. (1997). Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units and Leaders of the General SS. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7643-0145-4.