From very early on the Nazi party had men whose job it was to disrupt the meetings of rivals and protect those of its own. In 1921 this unit was named the Sturmabteilung (the SA), and in 1925 the men began wearing brown shirts, thus giving the unit its nickname. In 1923 Hitler formed a much smaller unit which was to act as his personal bodyguard, and at first this was under the SA High Command. In 1925 it took the title of Schutzstaffel, commonly abbreviated to SS, and was recognisable by the black kepis, ties and breeches that the men wore, though they retained the tan shirts of the proper SA. As the Nazi party grew, so too did these organisations, and during the 1920s and 30s these men participated in many spectacular parades, deliberately using pageantry to attract recruits and declare their political viewpoint.
Unlike some of the other sets in the Atlantic Revolutions series, this set is well focused, and clearly shows a parade in progress, thus avoiding the much more violent activities of these men. Naturally the main figure is Hitler himself, giving the usual Nazi salute, and all the other figures are marching past, carrying banners, drums, arms or simply empty-handed. Though it would seem reasonable to have these men marching past Hitler, he can be incorporated into the parade as his figure can be tucked into the back of the car. Another possibility is that he is taking the salute while standing in the car. The poses are of course stiff and formal, which is as it should be, and are a fair representation, though from 1925 Hitler forbad the SA from carrying arms.
As already mentioned, the SA adopted its familiar brown-shirt uniform in 1925, and the uniform of the SS was almost identical apart from colour, so the figures in this set represent both organisations, as the title suggests. This uniform became known as the Traditional Uniform, and though it was superseded in later years, it was still occasionally seen late on in the period, normally worn by veterans of the early years. It has been fairly well sculpted here, though detail is not all that it might be. We felt the boots, which should reach to just below the knee, were a little too short here, though in the early days uniforms were less consistent and sometimes even home-made. All the men wear ties, though this is outside the chest belt whereas most photographs show the tie tucked behind the belt for obvious reasons. The classic peaked kepi of the SA and SS is fairly well done, and all wear the compulsory armband on the left arm. Hitler is shown bareheaded, which is correct as he hated the SA kepi, but he is otherwise in SA uniform.
Though the Nazis loved uniforms, they also loved banners and flags, which were always in abundance at parades. One of the figures here carries a flag which simply bears a swastika, though its shape is not convincing. The other banner seems to be an invention of the sculptor, and is presumably very loosely based on the usual SA standard but lacking the cloth banner, crossbar, eagle etc., such that it looks very little like a proper standard.
The car is a classic Atlantic model - more a suggestion of the article than an accurate depiction of a period item. Greatly simplified, it bears little resemblance to any vehicle of the time, and certainly nothing like the official Mercedes Hitler used once he became Chancellor. Though the driver fits behind the wheel, his arms are stuck out well above it, and the whole affair is absolutely tiny. The windscreen is separate, and fits very insecurely to the model.
The quality of the sculpting is the same as for the rest of this range, with thin figures, fairly poor detail and plenty of flash. Several of the figures have mould marks on their backs, and the drummer also has several lumps there, at least on our example. The only assembly required is the car, but both the driver of the car and the motorbike rider fit their vehicles poorly. The man carrying the rifle has an extremely short example on his shoulder, or to be more precise perched unnaturally on his upper arm. The Hitler figure bears a passable likeness to the original, given the obvious limitations imposed by the size, but has a bigger head than the rest, perhaps to give the sculptor more room to work.
By choosing a parade the makers kept politics out of this set as much as possible, which is understandable, yet on a sprue there is only one or two of each marching figure, plus one of Hitler. To build a convincing parade would leave the poor customer with dozens of Hitler figures! Perhaps most surprising of all is that the set appears under the revolutionary banner. Hitler came to power through democratic elections, and the closest thing to a revolution in the traditional sense was the failed 'Beer Hall Putsch' of 1923. Still, with tunics being the norm on parade later in the period, this set is of early Nazis, when there were those who advocated revolution as a means of gaining power.