|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|
|“||If the enemies of the SA are hoping that the SA will not return from leave, we are ready to let them enjoy the hope for a short time. The SA is, and remains, Germany's destiny.||„|
|~ Ernst Röhm|
The SA was the first Nazi paramilitary group to develop pseudo-military titles for bestowal upon its members. The SA ranks were adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief amongst them the SS, itself originally a branch of the SA. SA men were often called "brownshirts" for the colour of their uniforms (similar to Benito Mussolini's blackshirts). Brown-coloured shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large batch of them were cheaply available after World War I, having originally been ordered during the war for colonial troops posted to Germany's former African colonies.
The SA became disempowered after Adolf Hitler ordered the "Blood purge" of 1934. This event became known as the Night of the Long Knives. The SA was effectively superseded by the Schutzstaffel, although it was not formally dissolved and banned until after the Third Reich's downfall at the end of World War II; they notably were the main perpetrators of the Kristallnacht pogrom that effectively began the Holocaust in 1938.
The SA was banned by the Allied Control Council shortly after Germany's capitulation. In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg formally judged the SA to be a criminal organization. Several of its members were tried and hanged for war crimes at Nuremberg.
- Emil Maurice (1920–1921)
- Hans Ulrich Klintzsche (1921–1923)
- Hermann Göring (1923)
- None (1923–1925)The NSDAP and its organs and instruments (including the Völkischer Beobachter and the SA) were banned in Bavaria (and other parts of Germany) following Hitler's abortive attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic in the Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. The Bavarian ban was lifted in February 1925 after Hitler pledged to adhere to legal and constitutional means in his quest for political power. See Verbotzeit.
- Franz Pfeffer von Salomon (1926–1930)
- Adolf Hitler (1930–1945)
In September 1930, to quell the Stennes Revolt and to try to ensure the personal loyalty of the SA to himself, Hitler assumed command of the entire organization and remained Oberster SA-Führer for the remainder of the group's existence to 1945. The day-to-day running of the SA was conducted by the Stabschef-SA (SA Chief of Staff). After Hitler's assumption of the supreme command of the SA, it was the Stabschef-SA who was generally accepted as the Commander of the SA, acting in Hitler's name. The following personnel held the position of Stabschef-SA: