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Stabschef SA
Reichsadler Deutsches Reich (1935–1945).svg
Stabschef SA Version 2.svg Stabschef SA Version 3.svg
Earlier (left) and later (right) command flag
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-15282A, Ernst Röhm.jpg
Best known officeholder
Ernst Röhm
5 January 1931 – 1 July 1934
StatusCommanding officer of a paramilitary organization
Member ofOberste SA-Führung
Reports toOberste SA-Führer
AppointerAdolf Hitler
FormationOctober 1929
First holderOtto Wagener
Final holderWilhelm Schepmann
Abolished5 May 1945
Deputy Stabsführer

Stabschef ([ʃtaːps.ʃɛf], "Chief of Staff") was an office and paramilitary rank in the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary stormtroopers associated with the Nazi Party. It was a rank and position held by the operating chief of the SA. The rank is equivalent to the rank of Generaloberst in the German Army and to General in the US Army.[1]


The position of SA-Stabschef, not yet a rank, was established in 1929 to assist the Oberste SA-Führer (Supreme SA Leader)[2] with the administration of the fast-growing organization. Otto Wagener held the office under Oberste SA-Führer Franz Pfeffer von Salomon from 1928-1930, and effectively headed the SA from Hitler's assumption of the title Oberste SA-Führer in August until Ernst Röhm replaced him in January 1931.[3]

The actual SA rank of Stabschef was created by Röhm for himself in 1933 after Hitler became Chancellor. Although Hitler became the supreme commander of the SA in 1930, the day-to-day running of the organization was left to the Chief of Staff. Thus, the men who held the rank of Stabschef after 1930 were the actual leaders of the SA.[4]

Office holders

The office of Stabschef was held by four different people between 1929 and 1945 and was, in each case of succession, inherited due to the death of a predecessor. The following SA officers held the office of Stabschef:

No. Stabschef Took office Left office Time in office Party Ref
Otto Wagener
Wagener, OttoOtto Wagener
October 192931 December 19301 year, 2 monthsNSDAP[3]
Ernst Röhm
Röhm, ErnstErnst Röhm
5 January 19311 July 1934[a] †3 years, 5 monthsNSDAP[5]
Viktor Lutze
Lutze, ViktorViktor Lutze
1 July 19342 May 1943[b] †8 years, 10 monthsNSDAP[6]
Max Jüttner [de]
Jüttner, MaxMax Jüttner [de]
2 May 1943August 19432 monthsNSDAP[7]
Wilhelm Schepmann
Schepmann, WilhelmWilhelm Schepmann
August 19435 May 19451 year, 9 monthsNSDAP[8]


Early insignia for Stabschef consisted of an oak leaf patch worn on the collar of the stormtrooper uniform. Photographic evidence shows Ernst Röhm wearing such an insignia in his early days as the SA Chief of Staff. As Röhm's authority increased, so did his insignia and by mid 1931 photographic evidence shows him wearing wreathed star that was designed after that of a Bolivian General's collar, due to Röhm’s previous military experience as a military adviser in Bolivia.

After 1933, the insignia for Stabschef consisted of a "crossed lances" pattern, wreathed by a half oak leaf circle. After 1934, the insignia was changed to a wreathed tri-foil oak leaf pattern similar to the SS rank insignia of Reichsführer-SS.[9] With the fall of Nazi Germany, the Sturmabteilung ceased to exist and with it the Stabschef.

Junior Rank
SA rank
Senior Rank
Oberster SA-Führer


  1. ^ Executed during the Night of the Long Knives.
  2. ^ Died in a car accident.

See also


  1. ^ Campbell 1998, p. 163.
  2. ^ McNab 2009, p. 15.
  3. ^ a b McNab 2009, pp. 14, 15.
  4. ^ Zentner & Bedürftig 1991, p. 937.
  5. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 16, 18, 19.
  6. ^ Hamilton 1984, p. 312.
  7. ^ Orlow, Dietrich (2010-06-23). The Nazi Party 1919-1945: A Complete History. ISBN 9780982491195.
  8. ^ McNab 2009, p. 14.
  9. ^ Flaherty 2004, p. 148.