Rank Comparison Table

By Christian Ankerstjerne

Because military ranks were not standardized during the Second World War, it is impossible to make a completely accurate rank conversion table. Some ranks did not have equivilants in other armies, or might not exist any longer.

In the table below, the current NATO and the Second World War US rank scales have been used for comparison. The rank of Reichführer-SS has been omitted, as it was not a military rank, but rather an administrative rank created when the SS was still a paramilitary organization.

Heer Waffen-SS NATO Scale US Army
Generalfeldmarschall - OF-10 General of the Army
Generaloberst Oberstgruppenführer OF-9 General
General Obergruppenführer OF-8 Lieutenant General
Generalleutnant Gruppenführer OF-7 Major General
Generalmajor Brigadeführer OF-6 Brigadier General
- Oberführer - -
Oberst Standartenführer OF-5 Colonel
Oberstleutnant Obersturmbannführer OF-4 Lieutenant Colonel
Major Sturmbannführer OF-3 Major
Hauptmann Hauptsturmführer OF-2 Captain
Oberleutnant Obersturmführer OF-1 First Lieutenant
Leutnant Untersturmbührer Second Lieutenant
Stabsfeldwebel Sturmscharführer OR-8 Master Sergeant
Oberfeldwebel Hauptscharführer OR-7 Technical Sergeant
Feldwebel Oberscharführer OR-6 Staff Sergeant
Unterfeldwebel Scharführer OR-5 Sergeant
Unteroffizier Unterscharführer OR-4 Corporal
Stabsgefreiter - - -
Obergefreiter Rotterführer OR-3 Private First Class
Gefreiter Sturmmann OR-2 Private
Oberschütze SS-Oberschütze OR-1
Schütze SS-Schütze


  1. SCHULLZE, Erich. Gesetz zur Befreiung von Nationalsozialismus und Militarismus. Munich : Biederstein Verlag, 1947. 372 p.
  2. THOMAS, Nigel & ANDREW, Stephen. Men-At-Arms 311 - The German Army 1939-45 (I) : Blitzkrieg. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 1997. 56 p. ISBN 1-85532-639-6.