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It was formed in March 1933 and was extinct in 1945

They were designed for common military operations. They were German special and alien units of the Nazi army. Their members were specialists with light firearms. They had better training than most of the German army, but they were getting worse armor. Waffen-SS units also had much better access to soldiers than most German armies. That is why, in these units, the regime was somewhat looser than it used to be in the German army. Waffen-SS had better food rations and better conditions. There was rather a friendly atmosphere between the commanders and soldiers. In Waffen-SS units, for example, it was customary for the superior to hang. At the end of the war there were approximately 950,000 (mostly volunteers).

Characterizing quote (Heinz Höhne wrote in his work Der Orden Totenkopf)

"... it can be said that with their success the Waffen SS has been honored. In particular, it is appreciated by friendship and good relations between officers, noncommissioned officers and men ... Unfortunately, voices can not be heard about Waffen lacking experienced officers, and SS soldiers are recklessly sacrificed for it ... Critical voices claim that the Waffen SS are a sort of military watchdog. SS members are trained to brutality and recklessness, perhaps to be used against other German formations if necessary ... The Waffen SS are the most conspicuous military force. "