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Waffen SS
Of all the German organizations during WWII, the SS is by far the most infamous - and the least understood amongst average historians. The SS was in fact not a monolithic "Black Corps" of goose stepping Gestapo men, as is often depicted in popular media and in many third rate historical works. The SS was in reality a complex political and military organization made up of three separate and distinct branches, all related but equally unique in their functions and goals. The Allgemeine-SS (General SS) was the main branch of this overwhelmingly complex organization, and it served a politicial and administrative role. The SS-Totenkopfverbande (SS Deaths Head Organization) and later, the Waffen-SS (Armed SS), were the other two branches that made up the structure of the SS. The Waffen-SS, formed in 1940, was the true military formation of the larger SS, and as such, it is the main focus of this section. Formed from the SS-Verfungstruppe after the Campaign in France in 1940, the Waffen-SS would become an elite military formation of nearly 600,000 men by the time WWII was over. Its units would spearhead some of the most crucial battles of WWII while its men would shoulder some of the most difficult and daunting combat opertations of all the units in the German military.

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