Allgemeine SS Mann Collar Tabs (post-1940 version)
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
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In 1929, the SS introduced collar tabs that denoted the rank and formation of the wearer. The SS rank system used a combination of oak leaves, pips, and stripes to indicate the status of the wearer.
Individuals with the rank of SS-Standartenführer and above wore rank badges on both the left and right side of the collar. SS-Administrative officials also followed this practice. Lower ranks wore a rank collar tab on the left and a unit-specific collar tab on the right side.
The design of the collar tabs remained largely unchanged until 1942 when the rank of SS-Oberstgruppenführer was introduced. As a result, the collar tabs for the ranks of SS-Standartenführer to SS-Obergruppenführer changed to a second design pattern.
SS collar tabs were manufactured by covering a parallelogram shaped piece of buckram with black fabric. Black cloth or felt was used to cover the collar tabs for the ranks of SS-Mann up to and including SS-Obersturmbannführer. The collar tabs for the ranks of SS-Standartenführer to SS-Oberstgruppenführer were covered with black velvet.
White or silver-grey thread was used to embroider collar tabs for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Enlisted Men (EMs) (ranks up to and including Sturmscharführer). Collar tabs for Officers were embroidered with aluminium wire.
The earliest pattern of NCO/EM collar tabs was piped in white. This was changed in October of 1934 to piping made of alternating black and aluminum twist cord. In 1940, it was decided to discontinue the piping altogether.
Collar tabs for the ranks of Untersturmführer, Obersturmführer, and Hauptsturmführer were initially piped with alternating black and aluminum twist cord piping, however in October of 1934 this was changed to just aluminum twist cord piping.
The ranks of Sturmbannführer and above consistently used aluminum twist cord piping between 1929 and 1945.
The SS-Mann collar tab is blank.
It is worth noting that the rank of SS-Anwärter (candidate on initial probation) also used a blank collar tab, however, between 1929 and 1945 it was always without piping.
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