When you read about the ranks of SS officers or policemen, you usually have little idea of them. Yet the SS was strongly oriented towards the military hierarchy of the Wehrmacht. Officers of the Wehrmacht and police, especially the higher officers, were almost all also members of the SS: at each step of their career, after a short time their ranks in the SS were aligned with their rank in the military or police.

It is also helpful to compare the ranks with those of other armies, especially the USA and Poland, which we have presented in a table. NATO has developed a set of rules specifically for such a comparison, STANAG 2116, which is used as the basis for this table. It defines ten levels of officer ranks and nine levels of other ranks (from common soldier to sergeant).

The ranks of the Wehrmacht, SS and police as well as the Polish Army (1919-1939) refer to the period of the Second World War, while the columns on the US. Army, the Polish Army ( since 2004) and the NATO code show current ranks.

This table must of course be read with caution: 1. it refers to different rank systems in different periods, during which there have also occurred organisational changes.2. in the literature used, there are different assignments between which it was necessary to choose. And 3rd: the table can of course be faulty.

Nevertheless, this comparison table will hopefully be of help to you.

comparison chart