You’ve been warned.
DrDissent | July 30, 2010
The Sturmabteilung, abbreviated SA (German for “Storm detachment” or “Assault detachment” or “Assault section”, usually translated as “stormtroop(er)s”), functioned as a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.
SA men were often called “brownshirts” for the color of their uniforms; this distinguished them from the Schutzstaffel (SS), who wore black and brown uniforms (in comparison to Benito Mussolini’s blackshirts). Brown-colored shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large batch of them was cheaply available after World War I, having originally been ordered for German troops serving in Africa.
The SA was also the first Nazi paramilitary group to develop pseudo-military titles for bestowal upon its members. The SA ranks would be adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief among them the SS. The SA was very important to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, but was largely irrelevant after he took control of Germany in 1933; it was effectively superseded by the SS after the Night of the Long Knives.