Information on the SS source of ammunition

I understood from comments on this Forum and other sources that the German Army did not supply the SS with small arms ammunition and that the NSDAP (Nazi Party) had to equip them. That is why much of the SS was armed with Czech Small Arms in the early years of WWII. I also understood that it wasn’t until 1943 that the SS received full Army support.

I have been checking sources to find references for the sources of the Small Arms Ammunition (SAA) used by the SS. The sources i have found indicate that the role of the SS evolved over the years, but it’s really rapid growth as military combat forces began about 1937. There is little actual information on the source of the SAA used by the SS units in combat, but on a number of history forums apparently knowledgeable people make a strong argument that, beginning with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 the SS units in combat were supplied by the Army just like other Army combat units. This makes excellent sense to me since, when I understood that the SS had a seperate supply system for SAA until 1943, I had a hard time conceiving how the SS would run a parallel ammunition supply system with the Army given the logistics issues faced in the Soviet Union.

I believe the History Forum experts got this correct for SS units in combat, but no mention was made of SAA supply for the units in training and those units that were not actually in combat such as concentration camp guards (which the Army didn’t want to have anything to do with). Perhaps these troops were supplied by the SS into 1943???

I have a number of questions, that perhaps Forum members can answer or at least express opinions on.

  1. Is there a book or a website that discusses the SS supply of SAA???

  2. Is there a reference for the 1943 SS conversion to Army supplied ammunition??? I have seen reference to Hitler personally directing the Army to supply tanks and/or artillery to the SS well earlier than this date.

  3. Does anyone have information, with or without references, for where the SS obtained its SAA before WWII, and how it obtained both combat and non-combat SAA during WWII???

Any help appreciated.



I write as my breakfast porridge cools before heading off for a couple of days work … I believe from much general reading on this period that it was the system and supply rationalisations enforced by Speer and Milch that led to the Army being the supplier for the Waffen SS

A very hurried Google search turned up this, I’m sure there’s more.


This is supported by my father in law, fighting in a Waffen SS artillery unit on the eastern front from 1941 to the bitter end.


It is my understanding that those elements of the SS which were intended for a military role alongside Wehrmacht (SS-Verfügungstruppe, later Waffen-SS) from the very beginning were to be equipped by the Wehrmacht. This started already in 1934 with official plans for three SS regiments, while Himmler inofficially planned for three divisions in case of war. Wehrmacht was not pleased and the squabbling did not end until July 1944, when Himmler, in the wake of the assassination attempt on Hitler, became Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres.
Baseline: weapons and ammuniton for SS military units were supplied by the Wehrmacht from the start in 1934. (see the biography on Friedrich Fromm by Bernhard R. Kroener, p. 229ff)

Alas, I do not know any source about how the paramilitary core of the SS obtained its small arms. There was an SS-Waffenamt and the small arms branch of it located at Sagan (now Poland) but I know no details. It also has to be kept in mind that Himmler was chief of the German police and every policeman had an SS rank. It will be quite difficult to separate police procurement from SS procurement.