Comparative military ranks of World War II
The following table shows comparative officer ranks of major Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 and Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. For modern ranks refer to Comparative military ranks
Comparative military ranks
This article is a list of various states' armed forces ranking designations. Comparisons are made between the different systems used by nations to categorize the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another. Several of these lists mention NATO reference codes. These are the NATO rank reference...


Air Force
Waffen-SS/Allgemeine SS
Generic ranks not specific to any service

British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

Kingdom of Greece
The Kingdom of Greece was a state established in 1832 in the Convention of London by the Great Powers...

Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

Free French
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

Yugoslav Partisans
- - - Генерали́ссимус Сове́тского Сою́за (Generalissimus of the Soviet Union) 特級上將 T'e-chi Shang-chiang (General Special Class
Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal and other five-star ranks.-Usage:...

- - - Primo Maresciallo dell'Impero
First Marshal of the Empire
First marshal of the empire was a military rank established by the Italian Parliament on March 30, 1938. The highest rank in the Italian Military, it was only granted to Benito Mussolini and King Victor Emmanuel III...

- Dai-Gensui - -
- - Admiral of the Navy
General of the Armies
Ма́ршал Сове́тского Сою́за (Marshal of the Soviet Union) - Marszałek Polski - Reichsmarschall des Großdeutschen Reiches
Reichsmarschall literally in ; was the highest rank in the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II after the position of Supreme Commander held by Adolf Hitler....

 {"ReichMarshall of the Greater German Reich"}

was a special SS rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945. Reichsführer-SS was a title from 1925 to 1933 and, after 1934, the highest rank of the German Schutzstaffel .-Definition:...

- Suomen marsalkka
Marshal of Finland
Marshal of Finland was the title awarded to the Finnish Commander-in-Chief Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim on his 75th birthday on June 4, 1942. The fully honorary rank was specially created for Mannerheim...

 {"Marshal of Finland"}
- Maréchal de France

Amiral de France
Maršal Jugoslavije (Маршал Југославије)
OF-10 Admiral of the Fleet
Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force is the highest rank in the Royal Air Force. In peacetime it was granted to RAF officers in the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff, and to retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, who were promoted to it on their last day of service. Promotions to the rank have ceased...

Fleet Admiral
General of the Army
Главный маршал (Chief Marshal
Chief Marshal
The ranks of Marshal of a branch and Chief Marshal of a branch were senior military ranks of the Soviet Armed Forces. Immediately above the rank "Marshal of a branch" is the rank "Chief Marshal of a branch". Both ranks are immediately above the rank "Colonel General" and equal to Soviet General...

一級上將 I-chi Shang-chiang (General 1st Class) - Αρχιναύαρχος (Admiral of the Fleet)
Στρατάρχης (Field Marshal)
Field Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall in German, was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire; in the Austrian Empire, the rank Feldmarschall was used...

Maresciallo d'Italia
Maresciallo dell'Aria
Sotamarsalkka {"War Marshal"} Gensui Amiral de la flotte General armije (Генерал армије)
Адмирал флота (Admiral of the Fleet)
Генерал армии
(General of the Army)
Маршал (Marshal)
OF-9 Admiral
Air Chief Marshal
Air Chief Marshal
Air chief marshal is a senior 4-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

Адмира́л (Admiral)
Генера́л-полко́вник (General-Colonel)
二級上將 Ehr-chi Shang-chiang (General 2nd Class) Admirał
Generał broni
Ναύαρχος (Admiral)
Στρατηγός (General)
Πτέραρχος (Air Chief Marshal)
Oberst-Gruppenführer was the highest commissioned SS rank with the exception of Reichsführer-SS, which was a special rank held by Heinrich Himmler...

Ammiraglio di Armata
Generale d'Armata
Taishō Général d'armée
Général d'armée aérienne
General-pukovnik (Генерал-пуковник)
OF-8 Vice-Admiral
Air Marshal
Air Marshal
Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

Vice Admiral
Lieutenant General
Ви́це-адмира́л (Vice-Admiral)
Генера́л-лейтена́нт (General-Lieutenant)
中將 Chung-chiang (Lieut.-General) Wiceadmirał
Generał dywizji
Αντιναύαρχος (Vice-Admiral)
Αντιστράτηγος (Lieutenant General)
Αντιπτέραρχος (Air Marshal)
General (Germany)
General is presently the highest rank of the German Army and Luftwaffe . It is the equivalent to the rank of Admiral in the German Navy .-Early history:...

Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

Ammiraglio di Squadra
Generale di Corpo d'Armata
Chūjō Général de corps d'armée
Vice-amiral d'escadre
Général de corps d'armée aérienne
General-lajtnant (Генерал-лајтнант)
OF-7 Rear-Admiral
Air Vice-Marshal
Air Vice-Marshal
Air vice-marshal is a two-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in...

Rear Admiral
Major General
Ко́нтр-адмира́л (Counter-Admiral)
Генера́л-майо́р (General-Major)
少將 Shao-chiang (Major-General) Kontradmirał
Generał brygady
Υποναύαρχος (Rear Admiral)
Υποστράτηγος (Major General)
Υποπτέραρχος (Air Vice-Marshal)
Gruppenführer was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party, first created in 1925 as a senior rank of the SA.-SS rank:...

Ammiraglio di Divisione
Generale di Divisione
Shōshō Général de division
Général de division aérienne
General-major (Генерал-мајор)
OF-6 Commodore
Air Commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

Brigadier General
- - - Αρχιπλοίαρχος (Commodore)
Ταξίαρχος (Brigadier)
Ταξίαρχος Αεροπορίας (Air Commodore)
SS-Brigadeführer was an SS rank that was used in Nazi Germany between the years of 1932 and 1945. Brigadeführer was also an SA rank....

Generale di Brigata
- - Général de brigade
capitaine de vaisseau chef de division
Général de brigade aérienne
Oberführer was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party dating back to 1921. Translated as “Senior Leader”, an Oberführer was typically a Nazi Party member in charge of a group of paramilitary units in a particular geographical region...

OF-5 Captain
Group Captain
Group Captain
Group captain is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks above wing commander and immediately below air commodore...

Капита́н 1-го ра́нга (Captain 1st rank)
Полко́вник (Polkovnik)
上校 Shang-hsiao (Colonel) Komandor
Πλοίαρχος (Captain)
Συνταγματάρχης (Colonel)
Σμήναρχος (Group Captain)
Kapitän zur See
Oberst is a military rank in several German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, equivalent to Colonel. It is currently used by both the ground and air forces of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. The Swedish rank överste is a direct translation, as are the Finnish rank eversti...

Standartenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was used in the so-called Nazi combat-organisations: SA, SS, NSKK and the NSFK...

Capitano di Vascello
Taisa Colonel
capitaine de vaisseau
Pukovnik (Пуковник)
OF-4 Commander
Wing Commander
Wing Commander (rank)
Wing commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries...

Lieutenant Colonel
Капита́н 2-го ра́нга (Captain 2nd rank)
Подполко́вник (Podpolkovnik)
中校 Chung-hsiao (Lieutenant-Colonel) Komandor porucznik
Αντιπλοίαρχος (Commander)
Αντισυνταγματάρχης (Lieutenant Colonel)
Αντισμήναρχος (Wing Commander)
Oberstleutnant is a German Army and Air Force rank equal to Lieutenant Colonel, above Major, and below Oberst.There are two paygrade associated to the rank of Oberstleutnant...

Obersturmbannführer was a paramilitary Nazi Party rank used by both the SA and the SS. It was created in May 1933 to fill the need for an additional field grade officer rank above Sturmbannführer as the SA expanded. It became an SS rank at the same time...

Capitano di Fregata
Tenente Colonnello
Chūsa Lieutenant-colonel
capitaine de frégate
Potpukovnik (Потпуковник)
OF-3 Lieutenant-Commander
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these...

Lieutenant Commander
Капита́н 3-го ра́нга (Captain 3rd rank)
Майо́р (Major)
少校 Shao-hsiao (Major) Komandor podporucznik
Πλωτάρχης (Lieutenant Commander)
Ταγματάρχης (Major)
Επισμηναγός (Squadron Leader)
Major (Germany)
Major is a rank of the German military which dates back to the Middle Ages.It equates to Major in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-3 in NATO.During World War II, the SS equivalent was Sturmbannführer....

Sturmbannführer was a paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party equivalent to major, used both in the Sturmabteilung and the Schutzstaffel...

Capitano di Corvetta
Shōsa Commandant
capitaine de corvette
Major (Maјор)
OF-2 Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant
Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. It ranks above flying officer and immediately below squadron leader. The name of the rank is the complete phrase; it is never shortened to "lieutenant"...

Капита́н-лейтена́нт (Captain-Lieutenant)
Капита́н (Captain)
上尉 Shang-wei (Captain) Kapitan marynarki
Υποπλοίαρχος (Lieutenant)
Λοχαγός (Captain)
Σμηναγός (Flight Lieutenant)
Hauptmann is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officer's rank in the German, Austrian and Swiss armies. While "haupt" in contemporary German means "main", it also has the dated meaning of "head", i.e...

Hauptsturmführer was a Nazi rank of the SS which was used between the years of 1934 and 1945. The rank of Hauptsturmführer was a mid-grade company level officer and was the equivalent of a Captain in the German Army and also the equivalent of captain in foreign armies...

Primo Capitano Kapteeniluutnantti
Taii Capitaine
Lieutenant de vaisseau
Kapetan (Капетaн)
Tenente di Vascello
OF-1 Sub-Lieutenant
Flying Officer
Flying Officer
Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence...

Lieutenant Junior Grade
First Lieutenant
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior Lieutenant)
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior Lieutenant)
中尉 Chung-wei (Lieutenant) Porucznik marynarki
Ανθυποπλοίαρχος (Sub-Lieutenant)
Υπολοχαγός (Lieutenant)
Υποσμηναγός (Flying Officer)
Oberleutnant zur See
Oberleutnant is a junior officer rank in the militaries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In the German Army, it dates from the early 19th century. Translated as "Senior Lieutenant", the rank is typically bestowed upon commissioned officers after five to six years of active duty...

Obersturmführer was a paramilitary rank of the Nazi party that was used by the SS and also as a rank of the SA. Translated as “Senior Assault Leader”, the rank of Obersturmführer was first created in 1932 as the result of an expansion of the Sturmabteilung and the need for an additional rank in...

Sottotenente di Vascello
Primo Tenente
Luutnantti Chūi Lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe
Poručnik (Пοручник)
Commissioned Warrant Officer
Second Lieutenant
Pilot Officer
Pilot Officer
Pilot officer is the lowest commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks immediately below flying officer...

Second Lieutenant
Лейтена́нт (Lieutenant)
Лейтена́нт (Lieutenant)
少尉 Shao-wei (2nd Lieutenant) Podporucznik marynarki
Σημαιοφόρος (Ensign)
Ανθυπολοχαγός (Second Lieutenant)
Ανθυποσμηναγός (Pilot Officer)
Leutnant zur See
Untersturmführer was a paramilitary rank of the German Schutzstaffel first created in July 1934. The rank can trace its origins to the older SA rank of Sturmführer which had existed since the founding of the SA in 1921...

Shōi Sous-lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2nde classe
Potporučnik (Потпоручник)
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior Lieutenant)
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior Lieutenant)
准尉 Chun-wei (Warrant Officer) Chorąży marynarki
Sottotenente Aspirant

See also

  • Comparative military ranks of World War I
    Comparative military ranks of World War I
    The following table shows comparative officer ranks of the principal Allied and Central powers during World War I. For modern ranks refer to Comparative military ranks.See also: Comparative military ranks of World War IIMajor participants not shown:...

  • List of comparative military ranks
  • United States Army enlisted rank insignia of World War II
    United States Army enlisted rank insignia of World War II
    The U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War II differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron design was defined as either silver grey on dark blue, olive drab on dark blue, or khaki on dark blue . This scheme of rank insignia was...

  • Ranks and insignia of the Schutzstaffel
    Ranks and insignia of the Schutzstaffel
    The uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel were paramilitary ranks and uniforms used by the SS between 1925 and 1945 to differentiate that organization from the regular German armed forces, the German state, and the Nazi Party....

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