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SS collar patches
Country Nazi Germany
Service branch Schutzstaffel
National Socialist Motor Corps
National Socialist Flyers Corps
NATO rankOF-1
Next higher rankHauptsturmführer
Next lower rankUntersturmführer
Equivalent ranksOberleutnant

Obersturmführer (short: Ostuf; [ˈoːbɐ.ʃtʊʁm.fyːʀɐ], lit. 'Senior storm leader'[1][2]) was a Nazi Germany paramilitary rank that was used in several Nazi organisations, such as the SA, SS, NSKK and the NSFK.

The rank of Obersturmführer was first created in 1932 as the result of an expansion of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the need for an additional rank in the officer corps. Obersturmführer also became an SS rank at that same time.[3]

An SA-Obersturmführer was typically a junior company commander in charge of fifty to a hundred men. Within the SS, the rank of Obersturmführer carried a wider range of occupations including staff aide, Gestapo officer, concentration camp supervisor, and Waffen-SS platoon commander. Within both the SS and SA, the rank of Obersturmführer was considered the equivalent of an Oberleutnant in the German Wehrmacht.[4]

The insignia for Obersturmführer was three silver pips and a silver stripe centered on a uniform collar patch. The rank was senior to an Untersturmführer (or Sturmführer in the SA[1]) and junior to the rank of Hauptsturmführer.[4]

Rank insignia[edit]

Oberststurmführer SS, SA, NSKK, and NSFK
Rank insignia

Schutzstaffel (SS)

Sturmabteilung (SA)

NS Motor Corps (NSSKK)

NS Flyers Corps (NSFK)
WSS Pi OF1a Ostuf 1945.png OLt Ostuf OF1a cam slv 1945.svg SS-Obersturmführer.svg SA-Obersturmführer.svg NSKK-Obersturmführer.svg NSFK-Obersturmführer.svg
only Waffen-SS collar insignia
Sequence of ranks in comparison with Wehrmacht
junior rank
SS Rank
Obersturmführer - Ostuf
              senior rank

SA Rank
Obersturmführer - Ostuf

Leutnant (OF-1b)
Balkenkreuz.svg Wehrmacht rank
Oberleutnant (OF-1a)[5]

Hauptmann / Rittmeister (OF-2)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McNab 2009b, p. 15.
  2. ^ Stein 1984, p. 297.
  3. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 29, 30.
  4. ^ a b Flaherty 2004, p. 148.
  5. ^ The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер".


  • Flaherty, T. H. (2004) [1988]. The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life Books, Inc. ISBN 1 84447 073 3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McNab, Chris (2009b). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-51-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Stein, George (1984) [1966]. The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939–1945. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9275-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)