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THE SA Germany WW2

Here is a picture of an SA Dagger from World War 2

SA Dagger

Introduced in 1933 it was the first of the many daggers adopted by the Third Reich, for their respective Nazi organisations.

The early production models had high quality nickel silver fittings and a brown oxide finished scabbard. Later examples used zinc fittings that were plated with nickel or chrome, the scabbards being painted.

All these daggers will ever exhibit a manufacturer’s mark, manufacturers mark with an RZM reference; or just an RZM number.

Again these daggers will exhibit the motto “Alles Fur Deutschland” – All For Germany.

Normally each dagger would come with a short brown leather hanger, and then attached to a belt.

Although a very common dagger, there are still collectable as each dagger, particularly  the pre-RZM manufactured pieces display differences in grip style and even length of blade.

The SA (Sturmabteilung)

The Sturmabteilung or Storm Detachment, was abbreviated SA and usually translated as stormtroopers and functioned as a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.

Germany Logo SA World War two

SA members were often called “brownshirts” for the colour of their uniforms. Brown coloured shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large batch of them were cheaply available after World War I. They had originally been ordered during the war for colonial troops posted to Germany’s former African colonies.

The SA was the first Nazi paramilitary group to develop pseudo-military titles for its members. The SA ranks were adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief amongst them the SS, itself originally a branch of the SA. The SA became largely irrelevant after Adolf Hitler ordered the “Blood Purge” of 1934. This event became known as the Night of the Long Knives. After it occurred, the SA was effectively superseded by the SS, though never formally dissolved.

Here is a picture of Hitler with some SA members saluting WW2

Under their popular leader, Stabschef Ernst Röhm, the SA grew in importance within the Nazi power structure, initially growing in size to thousands of members. In 1922, the Nazi Party created a youth section, the Jugendbund, for young men between the ages of 14 and 18 years. Its successor, the Hitler Youth, remained under SA command until May 1932.

As the Nazis evolved from an extremist political party to the unquestioned leaders of the government, the SA was no longer needed for its original purpose. The SA also posed a threat to the Nazi leadership and to Hitler’s goal of co-opting the Reichswehr to his ends, as Röhm’s ideal was to incorporate the “antiquated” German army into a new “people’s army”: the SA. The younger SS was more suited to this task and began to take over the previously held roles of the SA.

World War I flying ace Hermann Göring was one of the first leaders of the SA. Göring was later one of the architects of the Night of the Long Knives meant to neutralize the organization.

After Hitler took power in 1933, the SA became increasingly eager for power and saw themselves as the replacement for the German army, then limited by law to no more than 100,000 men. This angered the regular army, which already resented the Nazis. It also led to tension with other leaders within the party, who saw Röhm’s increasingly powerful SA as a threat to their own personal ambitions. The SS was then placed under the direct control of Heinrich Himmler in part to restrict the power of the SA and their leaders.

Although some of these conflicts were based on personal rivalries, there were also key socioeconomic conflicts between the SS and SA. SS members generally came from the middle class, while the SA had its base among the unemployed and working class. Politically speaking, the SA were more radical than the SS, with its leaders arguing the Nazi revolution had not ended when Hitler achieved power, but rather needed to implement socialism in Germany.

Blomberg and von Reichenau began to conspire with Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler against Röhm and the SA. Himmler asked Reinhard Heydrich to assemble a dossier on Röhm. Heydrich recognized that in order for the SS to fully gain national power the SA had to be broken.

He manufactured evidence that suggested that Röhm had been paid 12 million marks by the French to overthrow Hitler.

Hitler liked Ernst Röhm and initially refused to believe the dossier provided by Heydrich. Röhm had been one of his first supporters and, without his ability to obtain army funds in the early days of the movement; it is unlikely that the Nazis would have ever become established. The SA under Röhm’s leadership had also played a vital role in destroying the opposition during the elections of 1932 and 1933.

However, Adolf Hitler had his own reasons for wanting Röhm removed. Powerful supporters of Hitler had been complaining about Röhm for some time. The generals were fearful due to knowing Röhm’s desire to have the SA, a force of over 3 million men, absorb the much smaller German Army into its ranks under his leadership. Further, reports of a huge cache of weapons in the hands of SA members, gave the army commanders even more concern. Industrialists, who had provided the funds for the Nazi victory, were unhappy with Röhm’s socialistic views on the economy and his claims that the real revolution had still to take place. Matters came to a head in June 1934 when President von Hindenburg, who had the complete loyalty of the Army, informed Hitler that if he didn’t move to curb the SA then Hindenburg would dissolve the Government and declare martial law.

Adolf Hitler was also concerned that Röhm and the SA had the power to remove him as leader. Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler played on this fear by constantly feeding him with new information on Röhm’s proposed coup. With this news Hitler ordered all the SA leaders to attend a meeting in the Hanselbauer Hotel in Wiesse.

On 29th June, 1934. Hitler, accompanied by the Schutzstaffel (SS), arrived at Wiesse, where he personally placed Ernst Röhm and other high-ranking SA leaders under arrest. During the next 24 hours 200 other senior SA officers were arrested on the way to Wiesse. Many were shot as soon as they were captured but Hitler decided to pardon Röhm because of his past services to the movement. On 1 July after much pressure from Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, Hitler agreed that Röhm should die. Hitler insisted that Röhm should first be allowed to commit suicide. However, when Röhm refused, he was killed by two SS officers,

Organization

The SA was organized throughout Germany into several large formations known as Gruppen. Within each Gruppe, there existed subordinate Brigaden and in turn existed regiment sized Standarten. SA-Standarten operated out of every major German city and were split into even smaller units, known as Sturmbanne and Stürme.

The command nexus for the entire SA operated out of Stuttgart and was known as the Oberste SA-Führung. The SA supreme command had many sub-offices to handle supply, finance, and recruiting. Unlike the SS, however, the SA did not have a medical corps nor did it establish itself outside of Germany, in occupied territories, once World War II began.

The SA also had several military training units, the largest of which was the SA-Marine which served as an auxiliary to the Kriegsmarine.

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