Staffelführer was one of the
first paramilitary ranks
used by the German Schutzstaffel
(SS) in the early years of that group’s existence.
The SS rank of Staffelführer traces its origins
to the First
, where the title was used by
commanding officers of German aircraft squadrons, known
The rank of Staffelführer
was first created in September 1925 when
the SS was officially formed along the lines
of the previously disbanded Stosstrupp Adolf
Hitler, which had been a personal Sturmabteilung
(stormtrooper) bodyguard detachment tasked
with the personal protection of Adolf
Hitler at Nazi
Party rallies and meetings.
The early SS was formed
into several Zehnerstaffeln, or “Groups
of Ten.” Each
SS unit comprised no more than ten SS-Mann
under the command of an SS-Staffelführer,
or Squadron Leader. The Staffelführer
in turn answered to a local SS-Gauführer,
or District Leader, who answered to the
National Leader of the SS, known as the Reichsführer-SS.
By April 1926, the basic
SS unit had become the larger SS-Sturm which
comprised as many as fifty SS troopers. The
rank of Staffelführer,
at this point, became known simply as SS-Führer.
In 1929, the rank of SS-Führer was officially renamed
as SS-Sturmführer. By 1930, the rank of SS-Staffelführer
had all but disappeared from the SS. It reappeared the
following year, in 1931, as a rank of the NSKK.
In the early years of its existence,
SS-Staffelführer had no particular insignia and
holders of the rank simply wore paramilitary uniforms
with a variety of Nazi insignia. By 1929, an SS-Staffelführer
could be identified by a swastika armband with a white circular stripe.