By 1923, the Nazi Party had over 70,000 members and was a significant force in Bavarian politics. • Included in this were the 15,000 member of the Sturm-Abteilung or SA.
The SA • Private army of the Nazi Party, attracted ex-Freikorps members. • Many members were basically thugs and street bullies. • They wore distinctive brown shirts and swastika armbands. They were also known as storm troopers. • Violent street battles between SA and supporters of other political groups became a feature of German life in the 1920’s.
In 1923, following the year of crisis and hyperinflation, Hitler planned a “March on Berlin” with Kahr, the head of the Bavarian state government, and Lossow, the head of the Bavarian section of the German army (the Reichswehr) • At the last minute, Kahr and Lossow got cold feet and pulled out. Hitler went ahead anyway.