WWII German Police eagle visor hat insignia metal
There were three police forces in the Third Reich under the Chef der Deutschen Polizei und Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler:
Ordnungspolizei (orpo) “regular police”
Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) “security police”
Sicherheitsdienst (SD) “security service”
In 1939 the Sipo and SD were combined to form the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA).
The leadership of the German police was formally vested in the Ministry of Interior, under Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior 1933-1943 (when he was replaced by Heinrich Himmler). Already before the Nazi Machtübernahme, Himmler was chief of the SS and the SD. In 1936 he became secretary of state of the interior, as well as chief of the German police. As Germany’s most senior policeman, Himmler had two goals; first the official goal of centralization and Gleichschaltung: reforming the German police forces after Nazi ideals and Prussian models; secondly, the unofficial goal of making the German police an adjunct of the SS, thereby improving his standing among Hitler’s vassals.
Command and control of the Ordnungspolizei was exerted through Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei, founded in 1936, under the successive leadership of Kurt Daluege (1936-1943) and Alfred Wünnenberg (1943-1945). Command and control of the Gestapo and the Kripo were since 1936 exerted through Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei, and since 1939 through the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) – also controlling the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) – under Reinhardt Heydrich (1936-1942) and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945). Both the Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei and the RSHA were simultaneously government agencies and administrative divisions of the SS. Regionally the police and the SS were integrated through common higher regional commanders, Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer, and common lower regional commanders, SS- und Polizeiführer.