The "Ic-Dienst" was founded as a security organisation of the SS in 1931, in 1932 it was renamed "PI-Dienst" (Presse- und Informationsdienst), after that it got its well known name SD ("Sicherheitsdienst").

Unfortunately I cannot find any information about the first name. So what does "Ic" stand for?


2 Answers 2


I found a hit in http://www.documentarchiv.de/fs/ns_abkuerzungen.html:

Ic Offizier für Feindnachrichten

(English: Officer for enemy messages). There are some other websites with similar information.

The German Wikipedia has an article https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dritter_Generalstabsoffizier:

Der Dritte Generalstabsoffizier oder Ic war in höheren Stäben des preußisch-deutschen Heeres und der Wehrmacht für die Feindlage und das militärische Nachrichtenwesen zuständig. Dem Dritten Generalstabsoffizier unterstand zu diesem Zweck die Feindnachrichtenabteilung, die durch Aufklärung und Kriegsgefangenenbefragung versuchte, die militärische Lage zu erkunden. Zur Spionageabwehr wurde ihm oft eine Gruppe Geheimer Feldpolizei unterstellt. Voraussetzung für die Verwendung als Generalstabsoffizier war der erfolgreiche Abschluss der Kriegsakademie. Als Gehilfe und Stellvertreter war dem Ic der Dritte Ordonnanzoffizier, in der Regel im Rang eines Oberleutnants zur Seite gestellt.

English translation:

The Third General Staff Officer or Ic was responsible for the enemy situation and the military communications in higher staffs of the Prussian-German army and the armed forces. The Third General Staff Officer was subordinate to this end, the military intelligence department, which tried through education and POWs survey to explore the military situation. [...]

In https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erster_Generalstabsoffizier is an explanation for the Ic:

Der Erste Generalstabsoffizier oder Ia ("römisch eins a")


The first general staff officer or Ia ("Roman one a")

So it seems the I stands for Generalstab (sorry, I found no source), the c stands for a 3rd (the first officer is Ia, the second officer is Ib.

  • 4
    The point is: it is not "lc"; it is "1 c". Unlike typewriters, computers can distinguish between the letter "l" and the number "1".
    – fdb
    Sep 27, 2016 at 22:17
  • 1
    @fdb I thought is was a roman numeral.
    – testman
    Sep 27, 2016 at 22:42
  • Sorry, you are right. It is does say "römisch",
    – fdb
    Sep 27, 2016 at 22:44
  • 2
    well, the Roman numeral I is equivalent to 1, just different notation :) Such indications for ranks are normal in military units, they're used to this day.
    – jwenting
    Sep 28, 2016 at 6:22

There's a decent glossary of German military terms here. The 1a is the operations officer on a staff, the 1b is the supply officer and the 1c is the intelligence officer.

Those terms had been in use in the German Army for a long time, and had acquired some life of their own. In an organisation like the SS of the early 1930s, where everyone had served in WWI, or wished they had, using such terminology would have been a natural way to try label the organisation as serious and professional, irrespective of how capable it actually was.

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