In Nazi Germany, the Standarte (pl. Standarten) was a paramilitary unit of NSDAP, Sturmabteilung, NSKK, NSFK, and Schutzstaffeln. Translated literally as "Regimental standard", the name refers to the flag paramilitary formations carried in formations and parades.
The Sturmabteilung was organized into several large regional Groups (Gruppen). Each Gruppe had subordinate Brigades (Brigaden). From 1934 until 11945, subordinate to each Brigade were 3 to 9 smaller regiment-sized units called Standarten. SA-Standarten operated in every major German city and were split into even smaller units, known as Sturmbanne (3 to 5 Sturmbanne per Standarte) and Stürme.
After the death of Ernst Röhm in 1934, new SA-Stabschef Viktor Lutze reorganized the SA to include the creation of an SA-Standarte, consisting of six battalions of volunteers that were headquartered in different locations throughout Germany: it guarded sensitive SA, state and NSDAP offices in Berlin, Hannover, Hattingen, Krefeld, Munich, Ruhr, Stetten and Stuttgart. After the annexation of Austria in 1938, a seventh battalion was established in Vienna, Austria.
In September 1936 the SA-Standarte was given the honorary title “Feldherrenhalle” to commemorate the Beer Hall Putsch. On Hermann Göring’s birthday on 12 January 1937, Lutze made Göring honorary Commander of the SA-Standarte "Feldherrnhalle", who transferred control of the unit to the Luftwaffe. Members were now required to undergo military training as well as instruction as parachutists. In 1938 the Regiment was mobilized for use in the occupation of Sudetenland.
When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, members of the SA-Standarte were transferred to the newly formed Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2, while other members were transferred to the Infantry Battalion “Feldherrnhalle” which was part of the German Army’s Infantry Regiment 271. A detachment of SA-Standarte "Feldherrnhalle" members continued to serve under the SA until May 1945.
National Socialist Motor Corps
Similarly to the Sturmabteilung, each NSKK Motorbrigade included 3-5 Motorstandarten. A NSKK Transportstandarte Speer existed from May 1940 to June 1941 (later upgraded to a NSKK Transportbrigade), while a NSKK Transportstandarte Todt existed from September 1939 to May 1940 (later elevated to a NSKK Transportbrigade).
The SS-Standarte was the primary unit of the Allegemeine-SS, named after the term for a "Regimental Standard", or flag. The Standarten were organized into regimental-sized formations each with its own number, but also were referred to by other names, such as location, a popular name, or an honorary title; generally SS or NSDAP members killed before the Nazis obtained national power. For example, the 18th SS-Standarte in Königsberg was named "Ostpreußen" while the 6th SS-Standarte of Berlin was named "Graham Kämmer". There were 127 SS-Standarten. The standard rank for the Standarte Leader was that of Standartenführer (colonel).
The SS-Standarte was usually led an SS-Standartenführer, it included 3-4 Sturmbanne and had a normal personnel strength of 1,000-3,000 men. The SS-Standarte corresponded to the Army Regiment. The Sturmbanne I-III were formed from the active members, while the Sturmbann IV was considered a reserve unit.
All SS organizations - such as the Allegemeine-SS and the Reiter-SS, but also the SS-Totenkopfverbände and the SS-Verfügungstruppe - were divided into Standarten. From 1935 onwards, much to the displeasure of Heinrich Himmler, this designation was replaced by the corresponding military term, Regiment.
After World War II began, the paramilitary Standarten began to shrink in size, some becoming the size of small companies. As of 1945, the foot Standarten of the Allegemeine-SS formally comprised 127 Standarten, most of which, however, only existed on paper and had not even reached the nominal strength prescribed by Himmler.
The SS-Standarten of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-St./VT) emerged in the autumn of 1934, when the SS-Standarte "Deutschland" and the SS-Standarte "Germania" were established.
In Berlin and the surrounding area the "Stabswache Berlin" and the SS-Sonderkommando Crossen and Jüterbog got the name "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler" in 1937. After the annexation of Austria, the new SS-Standarte "Der Führer" arose from the merger of the Austro-German SS and parts of the SS-Standarten "Deutschland" and of the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler.
From March 1935, the term "SS-Standarte" began to be replaced by that of the "Regiment" within the SS-Verfügungstruppe; from October 1938 onwards, these units were no longer officially called SS-Standarten of the SS-Verfügungstruppe, but SS-Regiments.
The SS-Standarte "Deutschland" was formed in 1934 as SS-Standarte 2/VT from formation units Politischen Bereitschaften "Munich" (based in Ellwangen) and "Württemberg" (based in Jagst) and Austrian volunteers. When Hitler excluded the SS-Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" from the numering sequence, the unit was renamed SS-Standarte 1/VT and, in 1935, it was renamed SS-Standarte "Deutschland" and it also received its Deutschland Erwache standard.
The SS-Standarte "Germania" was established in 1934 as SS-Standarte 3/VT around from the formation unit Politische Bereitschaft "Hamburg". When Hitler excluded the SS-Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" from the numering sequence, the unit was renamed SS-Standarte 2/VT and, in 1935, it was renamed SS-Standarte "Germania". It was renamed SS-Standarte "Germania" in 1936 and it also received its Deutschland Erwache standard.
The unit took part in the annexation of Austria and was responsible for the security during the Benito Mussolini's visit to Germany. It took part in the annexation of Sudetenland attached to army units. It later served as a guard regiment in Prague until July 1939. It took part in the invasion of Poland attached to the 14th Army and following that campaign it was used to form SS-Division Verfügungstruppe (later renamed Das Reich).
The SS-Standarten of the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-T-St./WV) included the guards of the concentration camps. As early as January 1933, selected SS men under the command of SS-Sturmbannführer Hilmar Wäckerle were assigned to inspect the concentration camps. Under their future commander Theodor Eicke, these SS were excluded from the Schutzstaffel as such. In 1934, a concentration camp guard group supported the Leibstandarte during the Night of Long Knives.
The SS-Wachverbände popularly received in 1936 the title Totenkopf-SS, when they were allowed to wear on the right collar mirror a skull symbol. They were considered brutal, mysterious and loyal to their camp commandant. On 29 March 1936, Eicke's men were officially named SS-Totenkopfstandarten/Wachverbände. Theodor Eicke formed from the guards of the concentration camps independent SS-Sturmbanne, but he escaped the control of the SS leadership.
In April 1937, Theodor Eicke summed up the five SS-Sturmbanne to three independent "SS-Totenkopfstandarten", since he now had control of 3,500 men. The permanent staff in Dachau became the 1st SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Upper Bavaria", the staff of Sachsenhausen concentration camp became the 2nd SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Brandenburg" and the permanent staff of Buchenwald became the 3rd SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Thuringia". After the annexation of Austria in 1938, a 4th SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Ostmark" was established in Mauthausen.
- 1st SS Standarte: First SS regiment of the Allgemeine-SS Order of Battle
- SA-Standarte Feldherrnhalle: An elite SA unit that guarded various Nazi headquarters office, including the supreme headquarters of the Sturmabteilung itself.
- Yerger, Mark C. Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units, and Leaders of the General SS, Schiffer Publishing (1997). ISBN 0-7643-0145-4
- "SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle". German-Helmets. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- "SA-Standarte Feldherrnhalle". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- "Organization of the NSKK". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Wendel, Marcus. "NSKK Transportstandarte Speer". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Wendel, Marcus. "NSKK Transportstandarte Todt". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Yerger 1997, p. 169.
- Yerger 1997, pp. 169, 172, 178.
- Yerger 1997, pp. 169-213.
- "SS-Standarte Deutschland". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- "SS-Standarte Germania". Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2018.