Above Left a Luger armed soldier being awarded the Iron Cross. Above Right: A recruiting post for the Waffen-SS.
In contrast to the black-uniformed Allgemeine-SS, the political wing of the SS, the military wing, the Waffen-SS evolved into a second German army aside the regular one, the Wehrmacht, operating in tandem with them. Upon mobilization its tactical control was given to the High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht). The Waffen-SS were encouraged to use confiscated weapons and individual initiative was rewarded. These were committed troops with high loyalty and honor.