The SS-Standarte Der Führer was formed in March 1938 in Vienna as SS-Standarte 3 following the German annexation of Austria and it was made up Austrian volunteers around a cadre from SS-Standarte Deutschland. It was renamed SS-Standarte Der Führer at the Parteitag in Nuremberg 1938 when it also received its Deutschland Erwache standard.
It took part in the occupation of Czechoslovakia and later served as a guard regiment in Prague, as Wach-Regiment des Reichsprotektors von Böhmen und Mähren.
It did not take part in the invasion of Poland as it was not yet fully trained and was instead stationed at the West Wall under the command of 7. Armee.
Following the campaign in Poland it was used to form SS-Division Verfügungstruppe (later renamed Das Reich).

SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Bittrich, who would end the war as a SS-Obergruppenführer, was sent to Vienna in April 1938 to help raise the new unit. He was allowed to live off-base with his wife and accepted the fully furnished apartment offered by the Gestapo. The apartment was seized from the Jew Dr. Benno Schwoner who were only allowed to take what he could carry. In July 1942 RFSS Heinrich Himmler orders that all the items left by Dr. Schwoner be sold on auction and after the strong objections of Bittrich that "his" items are to be sold he is allowed to keep some of the items. Dr. Schwoner died in the Maly Trostenets camp near Minsk in 1942. (1)

Commanders

SS-Oberführer Georg Keppler

Manpower strength

Dec 1938 2.418

Order of battle (Sep 1939)

Regiment Stab
I. Infanterie-Bataillon (mot)
II. Infanterie-Bataillon (mot)
III. Infanterie-Bataillon (mot)
13. Infanterie-Geschütz-Kompanie (mot)
14. Panzerabwehr-Kompanie (mot)
15. Kradschützen-Kompanie
Nachrichten-Zug
Kradschützen-Zug
Musikkorps

Insignia

A special collar tab with the SS runes and the number 3 in the lower right corner was used by ranks up to SS-Obersturmbannführer.
A cuff-title with the text "Der Führer" was also authorized.

Footnotes

1. "Top Nazi: SS General Karl Wolff, The Man Between Hitler and Himmler" by Jochen von Lang.

Sources used

John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SS
Jochen von Lang - Top Nazi: SS General Karl Wolff, The Man Between Hitler and Himmler
Andrew Mollo - Uniforms of the SS: Collected Edition
Michael Sharpe & Brian L Davis - Das Reich
Jacek Solarz - SS Verfügungstruppen 1939
Ulrich of England & Otto Spronk - Deutschland Erwache: History & Development of the Nazi Party and the "Germany Awake" Standards
Otto Weidinger - Das Reich I

Reference material on this unit

Otto Weidinger - Das Reich I

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