Orders of Battle – Early SS Units – Battalions of the SS – Foreign Units of the SS / Schlachtaufträge – Frühe SS-Einheiten – Bataillone der SS – Ausländische Einheiten der SS

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Early Units of the SS

SS-Verfügungstruppe

The SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) (English: SS Dispositional Troops) was formed in 1934 as combat troops for the NSDAP. By 1940 these military SS units had become the nucleus of the Waffen-SS.

On 17 August 1938 Adolf Hitler decreed that the SS-VT was neither a part of the police nor the German Wehrmacht, but military-trained men at the disposal of the Führer in war or peace. The men were to be trained in accordance with the rules of the SS and manned by volunteers who had completed their service in the Reichsarbeitsdienst (or RAD, Reich Labour Service).

SS Heimwehr Danzig

SS Heimwehr “Danzig” was an SS unit established in the Free City of Danzig (today Gdańsk and environs, Poland) before the Second World War. It fought with the German Army against the Polish Army during the invasion of Poland, and some of its members committed a massacre of Polish civilians. After this, it became part of the 3rd SS Totenkopf Division and ceased to exist as an independent unit.

Also known as Heimwehr Danzig (Danzig Home Defense), it was officially established on 20 June 1939, when the Danzig senate under Albert Forster decided to set up its own armed force; a cadre of this new unit primarily formed the Danzig SS Wachsturmbann “Eimann”.

SS Cavalry Brigade

The SS Cavalry Brigade (SS-Kavallerie-Brigade) was a unit of the German Waffen-SS during World War II. Operating under the control of the Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS, it initially performed rear security duties in German-occupied Poland. During the Invasion of the Soviet Union, the brigade operated in the rear of the German forces, in the Army Group Rear Area Command. It engaged bypassed Red Army units and murdered Jews, Communists, and so-called partisans. In 1942, the brigade was disbanded and its personnel was transferred to the newly formed SS Division Florian Geyer.


Battalions of the SS

500th SS Parachute Battalion

The 500th SS-Parachute Battalion (German: SS-Fallschirmjägerbataillon 500) was the parachute unit of the Waffen-SS. The idea to form a paratrooper unit within the Waffen-SS allegedly came directly from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.


Foreign Units of the SS

Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS

The Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS (German: Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS) was a motorized infantry battalion of the Nazi German Waffen-SS. It was formed from Finnish volunteers and fought on the Eastern Front during World War II. For most of its existence, it was attached to SS-Regiment Nordland of the SS Division Wiking. The battalion participated in the Battle of the Caucasus in mid-1942 and the subsequent Third Battle of Kharkov in early 1943, after the German defeat during the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 forced the Germans to evacuate the Caucasus. It was disbanded in mid-1943 as the two-year commitment of the volunteers had expired and the Finnish Government was unwilling to allow more men to volunteer.

3rd Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade

The 3rd Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade (German: 3. Estnische SS Freiwilligen Brigade) was a formation of the German Waffen SS during World War II. It was formed in May 1943, when the Estonian SS Legion (Estnische SS Legion) was upgraded. The first name chosen for the brigade was the Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade, until October 1943, when all SS brigades were numbered so it finally became the 3rd Estonian Volunteer Brigade. The brigade was expanded to a division and renamed on January 23, 1944.

1st SS-Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division

The 1st Cossack Cavalry Division (German: 1. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division) was a Russian Cossack division of the German Army that served during World War II. It was created on the Eastern Front mostly out of Don Cossacks already serving in the Wehrmacht, those who escaped from the advancing Red Army and Soviet POWs. In 1945, the division was transferred to the Waffen SS, becoming the 1st SS Cossack Cavalry Division (1. SS-Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division). At the end of the war, the unit ceased to exist.

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