From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SS Gorget patch
SS-Oberscharführer h.svg Fw Oscha OR6 cam slv 1945.svg
SS Shoulder and camo insignia
Country Nazi Germany
Service branch Schutzstaffel
Next higher rankHauptscharführer (SS)
Truppführer (SA)
Next lower rankScharführer
Equivalent ranksFeldwebel
Oberscharführer of the Waffen-SS (Kurt Sametreiter)

Oberscharführer ([ˈoːbɐʃaːɐ̯fyːʁɐ], lit.'Senior squad leader') was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that existed between 1932 and 1945.[1] Oberscharführer was first used as a rank of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and was created due to an expansion of the enlisted positions required by growing SA membership in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The SA rank of Oberscharführer was senior to Scharführer and junior to the rank of Truppführer.[2]

Since early ranks of the Schutzstaffel (SS) were identical to the ranks of SA, Oberscharführer was created as an SS rank at the same time the position was created within the SA. Initially, the rank of SS-Oberscharführer was equal to its SA counterpart; however, this changed in 1934 following the Night of the Long Knives.[1]

At that time, the SS rank system was reorganized and several new ranks established with older SA titles discontinued. The rank of SS-Oberscharführer was therefore "bumped up" and became equal to an SA-Truppführer. The insignia for the SS rank was changed, as well, becoming two silver collar pips in contrast to the SA insignia for Oberscharführer, which was a single collar pip with silver stripe.[3]

Within the SA, an Oberscharführer was typically a squad leader, answering to a platoon non-commissioned officer. The responsibilities varied across a wider range in the SS, in particular between an Oberscharführer in the Allgemeine SS (general SS) and one holding the same position in the Waffen-SS (armed SS).

After 1938, when the SS adopted field grey uniforms as the standard duty attire, SS-Oberscharführer displayed the shoulder insignia of a Wehrmacht Feldwebel. The rank of SS-Oberscharführer was junior to SS-Hauptscharführer.[4]

Various Waffen SS units composed of foreign recruits were considered distinct from the German SS, and thus they were not permitted to wear SS runes on their collar tabs but had their unit symbol instead. Their ranks was also prepended with "Waffen" instead of "SS", as in, Waffen-Oberscharführer.[citation needed].


Junior rank
SS rank
Senior rank
Junior rank
SA rank
Senior rank

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McNab 2009, pp. 29, 30.
  2. ^ McNab 2009, p. 29.
  3. ^ Flaherty 2004, p. 148.
  4. ^ McNab 2009, p. 30.


  • Flaherty, T. H. (2004) [1988]. The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life Books, Inc. ISBN 1-84447-073-3.
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5.