In the early 1920s, a tiny group was formed within the SA to serve as Hitler's personal bodyguard. Originally labelled the "Stosstruppe Adolf Hitler," they later became known as the SS – Schutz Staffeln, or "protection squads." From these humble beginnings, the SS rose to a nominal strength of 38 divisions of over 800,000 men by 1945, representing a sizeable portion of Germany's land forces and more importantly a quarter of her tank forces and a third of her mechanised infantry. Martin Windrow provides a splendid in-depth review of the history, uniforms and insignia of the infamous Waffen-SS of World War II.
About the Author
Martin Windrow is series editor at Osprey and an authority on the post-war French army, particularly the Foreign Legion. He is the author of the very successful MAA 300 French Foreign Legion since 1945 and the recent MAA 322 The French War in Indochina 1946-54.