Why the Waffen-SS

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
User avatar
Der Rittmeister
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: 12 Jan 2020 16:55
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 28 May 2021 17:46

I advise you Sir Guttridge and Aida1 to keep the discussion civilized to prevent this good topic to be taken down. Its not worth attacking each other personally. The discussion and debate you are having are at the end of the day contributing to finding a reasonable explanation based on facts. Debate and good discussion backed by facts should contribute to eliminating different hypothesis/explanations and eventually come to a conclusion. Just identify simply what you disagree on, show the facts and come to a common agreement and move on. Toxic discussion will only damage the very purpose of this forum.

Cheers, Wittich :thumbsup:

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9280
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 May 2021 18:07

Hi Der Rittmeister,

What, specifically, are you referring to in writing, "I advise you Sir Guttridge and Aida1 to keep the discussion civilized to prevent this good topic to be taken down. Its not worth attacking each other personally."?

Aida's last post to me kindly answered some questions I asked and I replied "Thanks". It looks pretty civilized to me.

Cheers,

Sid.

User avatar
Der Rittmeister
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: 12 Jan 2020 16:55
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 28 May 2021 18:11

Hi Sir Guttridge,

I am referring to older posts, i still think it is worth reminding.

Cheers

User avatar
mft004
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 May 2021 18:15
Location: England

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by mft004 » 28 May 2021 18:35

I'd say the answer to the forum question is pretty simple: it's the camo uniforms, or at least what the uniforms represent - effective but unadulterated adaptation.
We respect the Wehrmacht's ability to take on basically the rest of the world and nearly pull the feat off. But the camo uniforms largely used by the W-SS was an act of putting aside traditional ideas for a military force and working with the surrounding situation to achieve victory. The camo patterns weren't as smart or dashing as Feldgrau covered in medals and shoulderboards... but staying alive and unseen got the job done.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9280
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 May 2021 19:14

Hi mft400,

We have discussed the camouflage uniform myth earlier.

Firstly, it is worth pointing out that all countries were completely in camouflage by mid-WWI, let alone WWII. Khaki, olive drab, feldgrau and bleu horizon were all examples of camouflage colours.

Secondly, the Waffen-SS did not invent multi-coloured camouflage, even in Germany. The German Army experimented with it in the mid 1930s, but decided it was prohibitively expensive at a time when it was expanding the Army massively due to conscription and needed as many uniforms as possible as fast as possible.

It appears that Italian colonial troops in Libya were the first to use multi-coloured camouflage in action in the 1930s.

There is also the question of whether multi-coloured camouflage confers any real advantage over a single colour camouflage. It seems that the key thing is to have the right base colour for the environment one is operating in, not how many colours one wears. Single colours are far from undifferentiated anyway, as they are broken up by creasing, folding, fading, shadow, mud, dust, etc., etc.

One has to wonder whether the real purpose of multi-coloured camouflage isn't heraldic rather than practical - to differentiate "us" from allies and enemies alike at press conferences! The more minutely detailed it is, the more suspicious I am of this.

In any event, the Waffen-SS certainly won the PR stakes by its early mass adoption of multi-coloured camouflage uniforms.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9280
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 May 2021 19:19

Hi Der Rittmeister,

I am still unclear as to what you are referring specifically, but your point is well made.

Thanks for conferring a knighthood on me, but my name is "Sid" not "Sir"!

All the best,

Sid.

User avatar
Der Rittmeister
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: 12 Jan 2020 16:55
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 28 May 2021 19:35

mft004 wrote:
28 May 2021 18:35
I'd say the answer to the forum question is pretty simple: it's the camo uniforms, or at least what the uniforms represent - effective but unadulterated adaptation.
We respect the Wehrmacht's ability to take on basically the rest of the world and nearly pull the feat off. But the camo uniforms largely used by the W-SS was an act of putting aside traditional ideas for a military force and working with the surrounding situation to achieve victory. The camo patterns weren't as smart or dashing as Feldgrau covered in medals and shoulderboards... but staying alive and unseen got the job done.
I would say that the explanation is a bit broader than just uniforms

Mystique and myths around the performance by the Waffen-SS overall. The general public does not have enough knowledge on the Waffen-SS, visual documentaries have contributed greatly to creating this impression as it draws most of the general public, compared to other literature etc. But we have also seen examples of bad literature (Kurowski) :? . As you mentioned with uniforms, symbols, history and mystique, they were very appealing for general public, and it is easy for the general public to put a “elite” tag on them.

The whitewashing of the Waffen-SS by (certain) veterans post-war is also another factor. Something that we might feel the impact of today is the evolution of available information around the Waffen-SS post-war from 1945 until today. This has certainly helped the (certain) veterans with their campaign. Waffen-SS units, specially the three Reich-raised Panzer Divisions was prioritized in equipment, size, and replacements.

User avatar
Der Rittmeister
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: 12 Jan 2020 16:55
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 28 May 2021 19:42

Sid Guttridge wrote:
28 May 2021 19:19
Hi Der Rittmeister,

I am still unclear as to what you are referring specifically, but your point is well made.

Thanks for conferring a knighthood on me, but my name is "Sid" not "Sir"!

All the best,

Sid.
Hehe, sorry. :thumbsup:

I want also to specify more towards the use of vocabulary of Aida1 who i have the impression took some of your views and explanations personal. Since it was a there and then a conversation between you two i mentioned both of you as in meaning the tone of the conversation as a whole.

User avatar
mft004
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 May 2021 18:15
Location: England

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by mft004 » 28 May 2021 19:47

Absolutely agreed that getting the base colour right would be optimal. The idea I was thinking of was that you can't easily have the right base coloured-uniform in any given week of combat, but multiple shades in a deliberate pattern gives you a good chance of breaking the outline in any given turf of Russia or France. The W-SS certainly didn't invent camo, but they took it to a new level.

Kurti
Member
Posts: 41
Joined: 27 Jan 2017 10:51
Location: Germany

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Kurti » 31 May 2021 15:13

Hello guys,

I've got a question about the Waffen-SS and I do not want to create a new thread. I hope I'm right here. :)
Why the Waffen-SS adopt the unit designations of the Wehrmacht in 1940/41?
I mean why they changed from Standarte to Regiment and from Sturmbann to Bataillon?
Somewhere, I do not know where, I read that Himmler did not like that. But why he accepted this and did not cancel it, when that's true?
Next question is, why the Allgemeine-SS and SA did not change that too?


Best regards and thank's for any replies

Kurti

User avatar
Aida1
Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 04 Aug 2019 08:46
Location: Brussels

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 11 Jul 2021 22:40

Der Rittmeister wrote:
28 May 2021 17:46
I advise you Sir Guttridge and Aida1 to keep the discussion civilized to prevent this good topic to be taken down. Its not worth attacking each other personally. The discussion and debate you are having are at the end of the day contributing to finding a reasonable explanation based on facts. Debate and good discussion backed by facts should contribute to eliminating different hypothesis/explanations and eventually come to a conclusion. Just identify simply what you disagree on, show the facts and come to a common agreement and move on. Toxic discussion will only damage the very purpose of this forum.

Cheers, Wittich :thumbsup:
Strange to post this 2 months after the discussion stopped. :roll:

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9280
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 11 Jul 2021 23:31

Hi Aida,

You post, "Strange to post this 2 months after the discussion stopped."

You are aware of the irony that your own post comes two months after the previous one on this thread?

Cheers,

Sid.

sandeepmukherjee196
Financial supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: 07 Aug 2014 05:34

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 18 Jul 2021 08:02

mft004 wrote:
28 May 2021 18:35
I'd say the answer to the forum question is pretty simple: it's the camo uniforms, or at least what the uniforms represent - effective but unadulterated adaptation.
We respect the Wehrmacht's ability to take on basically the rest of the world and nearly pull the feat off. But the camo uniforms largely used by the W-SS was an act of putting aside traditional ideas for a military force and working with the surrounding situation to achieve victory. The camo patterns weren't as smart or dashing as Feldgrau covered in medals and shoulderboards... but staying alive and unseen got the job done.


Though the Waffen SS always had higher casualties than the Heer... right from the start...the Polish campaign! And camo looked more dashing I feel .. :x
Cheers
Sandeep

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9280
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Jul 2021 13:20

Hi Sandeep,

Over all, it doesn't appear to be true that the Waffen-SS had more casualties, certainly in combat units.

Although nearly a third of W-SS men reportedly died, so did about a quarter of Army men. However, as the W-SS largely used Army rear echelons it had a higher proportion of combat troops. There seems no reason to believe Waffen-SS fatalities in combat units were any higher than in Army combat units.

Cheers,

Sid.

User avatar
Aida1
Member
Posts: 1286
Joined: 04 Aug 2019 08:46
Location: Brussels

Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 23 Jul 2021 20:59

Sid Guttridge wrote:
11 Jul 2021 23:31
Hi Aida,

You post, "Strange to post this 2 months after the discussion stopped."

You are aware of the irony that your own post comes two months after the previous one on this thread?

Cheers,

Sid.
Did not come here for a long time. 8-)

Return to “Heer, Waffen-SS & Fallschirmjäger”