Ranks and Insignia of the Nazi Party
Ranks and insignia of the Nazi Party were paramilitary titles used by the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) between approximately 1928 and the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. Such ranks were held within the political leadership corps of the Nazi Party, charged with the overseeing the regular Nazi Party members.
The first purpose of the Nazi party political ranks was to provide election district leadership positions during the years where the Nazis were attempting to come to power in Germany. After 1933, when the Third Reich had been established, Nazi Party ranks played a much more important role existing as a political chain of command operating side by side with the German government.
Contrary to modern day cinema and layman perceptions regarding the Nazi Party, which often portrays all Nazis as wearing brown shirts with swastika armbands, Nazi ranks and titles were only used by a small minority within the Party, this being the political leadership corps. Regular Nazi Party members, unconnected with the political leadership, often wore no uniforms at all except for a standard Nazi Party Badge issued to all members (a golden version of this badge also existed for early Nazi Party members).
The history of Nazi Party ranks and insignia can be divided into the ranks used during several different time periods as well as the positions held by senior Nazis who were, by default, the supreme leaders of the Party regardless of what title they choose to call themselves by.