Military Review

Sixty Years Since the Formation of the National People’s Army of the GDR

49
Exactly sixty years ago, on January 18 1956, it was decided to establish the National People’s Army of the German Democratic Republic (NNA GDR). Although 1 was officially celebrated on March 9 as the Day of the National People’s Army, since it was on that day that the first military units of the GDR took the oath in 1956, in fact history The NNA can be counted from January 18, when the People's Chamber of the GDR adopted the Law on the National People’s Army of the GDR. Having existed 34 of the year, before the unification of Germany in 1990, the National People’s Army of the GDR went down in history as one of the most efficient armies of post-war Europe. Among the socialist countries, it was the second after the Soviet Army in terms of training and was considered the most reliable among the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries.


Actually, the history of the National People’s Army of the GDR began after West Germany began to form its own armed forces. In the post-war years, the Soviet Union pursued a much more peaceful policy than its Western opponents. Therefore, for a long time, the USSR sought to comply with the agreement and was in no hurry with the armament of East Germany. As it is known, according to the decision of the Conference of the Heads of Government of Great Britain, the USSR and the USA, which took place on July 17 - August 2 1945 in Potsdam, Germany was forbidden to have its own armed forces. But after the end of World War II, relations between yesterday’s allies — the USSR, on the one hand, and the United States and Great Britain, on the other, quickly deteriorated and soon became extremely tense. The capitalist countries and the socialist camp were on the verge of an armed confrontation, which in fact gave rise to the violation of the agreements that were reached in the process of victory over Nazi Germany. By 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was established on the territory of the American, British and French occupation zones, and the German Democratic Republic was established on the territory of the Soviet occupation zone. The first to militarize "their" part of Germany — the FRG — began the United Kingdom, the United States and France.

In 1954, the Paris Agreements were concluded, the secret part of which provided for the creation by West Germany of its own armed forces. Despite the protests of the West German population, which saw in the re-establishment of the country's armed forces the growth of revanchist and militarist sentiment and feared a new war, November 12, 12, the government of Germany announced the creation of the Bundeswehr. Thus began the history of the West German army and the history of the almost undisguised confrontation of the "two Germany" in the sphere of defense and armaments. After the decision to create the Bundeswehr, the Soviet Union had no choice but to “give the go-ahead” to form its own army and the German Democratic Republic. The history of the National People's Army of the GDR has become a unique example of a strong military community of the Russian and German armies, which in the past fought more with each other than cooperated. Do not forget that the high combat capability of the NNA was explained by the entry of Prussia and Saxony into the GDR, the lands from which the main body of the German officers came from. It turns out that the NNA, and not the Bundeswehr, largely inherited the historical traditions of the German armies, but this experience was put at the service of military cooperation between the GDR and the Soviet Union.

Sixty Years Since the Formation of the National People’s Army of the GDR


The barracks folk police - the predecessor of the NNA

It should be noted that in fact the creation of armed units, whose service was based on military discipline, began even earlier in the GDR. In 1950, the People’s Police was established as part of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR, as well as two main divisions - the General Directorate of the Air Police and the General Directorate of the Maritime Police. In 1952, on the basis of the Main Directorate of Combat Training of the People's Police of the GDR, the Barracks People's Police was created, which was an analogue of the internal forces of the Soviet Union. Naturally, the KNP could not conduct combat operations against modern armies and was called upon to perform purely police functions - to fight sabotage and bandit groups, to disperse riots, to protect public order. This was confirmed by the decision of the 2 Party Conference of the Socialist United Party of Germany. The barracks people's police was subordinated to the Minister of Internal Affairs of the GDR, Willy Shtof, and the direct leadership of the Barracks People's Police was carried out by the KNP chief. Lieutenant General Heinz Hoffman was appointed to this post. The personnel of the Barracks People's Police were recruited from among volunteers who signed a contract for a period of at least three years. In May, 1952 took charge of the Barracks People's Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR and took the Union of Free German Youth, which contributed to a more active influx of volunteers into the ranks of the barracks police and the improvement of the rear infrastructure of this service. In August, 1952 was a part of the Barracks People's Police of the GDR, which included the first independent Maritime People’s Police and the Air People’s Police. In September, the National Airborne Police of 1953 was transformed into the Aero Club Directorate of the KNP. She had two airfields Kamenz and Bautzen, training aircraft Yak-18 and Yak-11. The maritime police force had patrol boats and small minesweepers.



In the summer of 1953, it was the Barracks People’s Police, along with the Soviet troops, that played one of the main roles in suppressing the riots organized by the US-British agents. After this, the internal structure of the Barracks People’s Police of the GDR was strengthened and its military component strengthened. Further reorganization of the KNP on a military model continued, in particular, the Main Headquarters of the Barracks People’s Police of the GDR was created, headed by Lieutenant General Vincenz Müller, a former Wehrmacht general. The Sever Territorial Administration, headed by Major General German Rentsch, and the South Territorial Administration, headed by Major General Fritz Jone, were also created. Each territorial administration had three operational units subordinate, and a mechanized operational unit was subordinate to the General Staff, and even 40 units of armored vehicles were armed with them, including Tanks T-34. The operational units of the Barracks People’s Police consisted of reinforced motorized infantry battalions with up to 1800 personnel. The structure of the operational detachment included: 1) the headquarters of the operational detachment; 2) a mechanized company on armored vehicles BA-64 and SM-1 and motorcycles (in the same company armored SM-2 armored water tankers were armed); 3) three motorized infantry companies (on trucks); 4) a fire support company (field artillery platoon with three ZIS-3 guns; anti-tank artillery platoon with three 45 mm or 57 mm anti-tank guns; mortar platoon with three 82 mm mortars); 5) headquarters company (communications platoon, sapper platoon, chemical platoon, reconnaissance platoon, transport platoon, supply platoon, management department, medical department). Military ranks were established in the Barracks People’s Police and a military uniform was introduced that was different from the People’s Police uniform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR (if the people’s police officers wore a dark blue uniform, then the barracks police officers received a more “paramilitary” protective color). The military ranks in the Barracks People’s Police were established as follows: 1) soldier, 2) corporal, 3) non-commissioned officer, 4) headquarters non-commissioned officer, 5) sergeant major, 6) sergeant sergeant major, 7) non-commissioned lieutenant, 8) lieutenant, 9) lieutenant, 10) captain, 11) major, 12) lieutenant colonel, 13) colonel, 14) major general, 15) lieutenant general. When the decision was made to create the National People’s Army of the GDR, thousands of employees of the Barracks People’s Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR expressed a desire to join the National People’s Army and continue their service there. Moreover, in fact it was precisely in the structure of the Barracks People’s Police that the “skeleton” of the NNA — ground, air and sea units — was created, and the command staff of the Barracks People’s Police, including top commanders, almost completely became part of the NNA. The employees remaining in the Barracks People’s Police continued to carry out the functions of protecting public order and combating crime, that is, they retained the functionality of the internal troops.

"The founding fathers" of the army of the GDR

1 March 1956. The Ministry of National Defense of the GDR began its work. He was led by Colonel-General Willy Shtof (1914-1999), in 1952-1955. Minister of the Interior. A pre-war communist, Willy Stoph joined the Communist Party of Germany at the age of 17. As an underground worker, he nevertheless could not avoid service in the Wehrmacht and in 1935-1937. served in an artillery regiment. Then he was demobilized, worked as an engineer. During the Second World War, Willy Shtof was again called up for military service, participated in battles on the territory of the USSR, was injured, and was awarded the Iron Cross for displaying prowess. He went through the entire war and was captured in 1945. While in the Soviet prison camp, he completed a special training course in the anti-fascist school for prisoners of war. The Soviet command was preparing from among the prisoners of war future personnel for administrative positions in the zone of Soviet occupation. Willy Shtof, who had not previously held prominent positions in the German communist movement, made a dizzying career in several post-war years. After being released from captivity, he was appointed head of the industrial and construction department, then he headed the Economic Policy Directorate of the SED apparatus. In 1950-1952 Willy Shtof served as director of the economic administration of the Council of Ministers of the GDR, and then was appointed Minister of the Interior of the GDR. From 1950, he was also a member of the SED Central Committee - and this despite his young age - thirty-five years. In 1955, as Minister of the Interior of the GDR, Willy Shtof received the military rank of colonel general. Given the leadership experience of the power ministry, in 1956, it was decided to appoint Willy Shtof to the post of Minister of National Defense of the German Democratic Republic. In 1959, he received the next military rank of army general. From the Ministry of Internal Affairs he moved to the Ministry of National Defense of the GDR and Lieutenant General Heinz Hoffman, who held the post of the head of the Kazarmenny People's Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Heinz Hoffman (1910-1985) can be called the second “founding father” of the National People's Army of the GDR, in addition to Willi Shtof. Coming from a working-class family, Hoffmann joined the Communist Youth League of Germany at the age of sixteen, and at the age of twenty became a member of the German Communist Party. In 1935, the underground fighter Heinz Hoffmann was forced to leave Germany and flee to the USSR. Here he was selected for education - first political in the Lenin International School in Moscow, and then the military. From November 1936 to February 1837 Hoffman took special courses in Ryazan at the Military Academy. Mv Frunze. After completing the course, he received the rank of lieutenant and already 17 March 1937 was sent to Spain, where at that time there was a civil war between Republicans and Franco. Lieutenant Hoffman received an appointment as an instructor for handling the Soviet weapons to the training battalion of the 11 International Brigade. 27 May 1937. He was appointed military commissar of the battalion "Hans Beymler" as part of the same 11-th International Brigade, and 7 July took command of the battalion. The next day, Hoffmann was wounded in the face, and July 24 - in the legs and stomach. In June, 1938, Hoffmann, previously treated in Barcelona hospitals, was exported from Spain, first to France and then to the USSR. After the beginning of the war, he worked as a translator in prisoner of war camps, then became chief political officer in the Savior and Factory Camp for prisoners of war in the territory of the Kazakh SSR. From April 1942 to April 1945 Hoffmann served as political instructor and teacher at the Central Anti-Fascist School. From April to December at 1945, he was an instructor, and then head of the 12 Party School of the Communist Party of Germany in Skhodnya.

After returning to Eastern Germany in January 1946, Hoffmann worked in various positions in the SED. 1 July 1949 in the rank of Inspector General, he became Vice President of the German Department of Internal Affairs, and from April 1950 to June 1952 Heinz Hoffmann served as Chief of the Main Directorate of Combat Training of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR. 1 July 1952. He was appointed Chief of the Barracks People’s Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR and Deputy Minister of the Interior of the country. Heinz Hoffman, for obvious reasons, also made a choice when he was included in the leadership of the emerging Ministry of National Defense of the GDR in 1956. This was facilitated by the fact that from December 1955 to November 1957. Hoffman completed a course of study at the Military Academy of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces. Returning to his homeland, 1 December 1957 Mr. Hoffmann was appointed First Deputy Minister of National Defense of the GDR, and 1 March 1958 was also appointed Chief of the General Staff of the National People’s Army of the GDR. Subsequently, on July 14 1960, Colonel-General Heinz Hoffman replaced Willy Shtof as Minister of National Defense of the GDR. The army department of the German Democratic Republic, Army General (since 1961), Heinz Hoffmann headed until his death in the 1985 year — twenty-five years.

Chief of the General Staff of NNA from 1967 to 1985 there remained Colonel General (with 1985 - Army General) Heinz Kessler (born 1920). Coming from a family of communist workers, Kessler in his youth took part in the activities of the youth organization of the Communist Party of Germany, however, like the overwhelming majority of his peers, did not escape the call in the Wehrmacht. As an assistant machine gunner, he was sent to the Eastern Front and on July 15 1941 rushed to the side of the Red Army. In 1941-1945 Kessler was in Soviet captivity. At the end of 1941, he entered the courses of the Anti-Fascist school, then engaged in propaganda activities among prisoners of war and made appeals to the soldiers of the Wehrmacht armies. In 1943-1945 was a member of the Free Germany National Committee. After being released from captivity and returning to Germany, Kessler in 1946, at 26, became a member of the SED Central Committee and in 1946-1948. headed the organization of the Free German Youth in Berlin. In 1950, he was appointed Head of the Main Directorate of the Air Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR with the rank of Inspector-General and remained in that post until 1952, when he was appointed Head of the Air People’s Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR (from 1953) MIA GDR). The rank of Major General Kessler was awarded in 1952 with the appointment of the Chief of the Air People’s Police. From September 1955 to August 1956, he studied at the Military Academy of the Air Force in Moscow. After completing his studies, Kessler returned to Germany and was 1 on September 1956 was appointed Deputy Minister of National Defense of the GDR - Commander of the Air Force National Air Force. October 1 1959. He was given the military rank of Lieutenant General. Kessler was in this position 11 for years - until his appointment as Chief of the General Staff of the National Independent Universality. 3 December 1985 after the unexpected death of Army General Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, Colonel-General Heinz Kessler was appointed Minister of National Defense of the GDR and was at that post until 1989. After the collapse of Germany, on September 16, a Berlin court sentenced Heinz Kessler to seven years half a year in prison.

Under the leadership of Willy Shtof, Heinz Hoffman, other generals and officers, with the active participation of the Soviet military command, construction and development of the National People’s Army of the GDR began, quickly becoming the most capable after the Soviet armed forces among the armies of the Warsaw Pact. All those who had to do with service in Eastern Europe in the 1960-1980-s, noted a significantly higher level of training, and most importantly, the fighting spirit of the NNA servicemen compared with their counterparts from the armies of other socialist states. Although initially many Wehrmacht officers and even Wehrmacht generals, who were the only military specialists in the country at that time, were brought into the National People’s Army of the GDR, the NNA officer corps was significantly different from the Bundeswehr officer corps. The former Hitler generals were not so numerous in its composition and, most importantly, they were not in key positions. A military education system was created, thanks to which, fairly quickly, new officers were trained, up to 90% of whom came from working and peasant families.



In the event of an armed confrontation of the "Soviet Bloc" with Western countries, the national people's army of the GDR was assigned an important and difficult task. It was the NNA that was to directly engage in hostilities with the units of the Bundeswehr and, together with the units of the Soviet Army, to ensure the advancement into the territory of West Germany. It is not by chance that NATO considered the NNA as one of the key and very dangerous opponents. Hatred of the National People's Army of the GDR subsequently affected the attitude towards its former generals and officers already in united Germany.

The most efficient army in Eastern Europe

The German Democratic Republic was divided into two military districts - the Southern Military District (MB-III) with headquarters in Leipzig, and the Northern Military District (MB-V) with headquarters in Neubrandenburg. In addition, one artillery brigade of central subordination was part of the National People’s Army of the GDR. Each military district consisted of two motorized divisions, one armored division and one rocket brigade. The NDA GDR motorized division included: the 3 motorized regiment, the 1 armored regiment, the 1 artillery regiment, the 1 anti-aircraft missile regiment, the 1 missile department, the 1 engineering battalion, the 1 material support battalion, the -14MAT-92MAT-92 -MAT-Ny-ZT-9-9-9 The armored division included the 1 armored regiment, the 1 motorized regiment, the clerks, the artillery regiments, the 3 artillery regiments, the 1 air defense missile regiments, the 1 engineering battalion, the 1 material support battalion, the 1 chemical protection battalion, the martial brass department, the martial brass department, the martial The rocket crew included 1-1 missile department, 1 engineering company, 1 supply company, 1 meteorological battery, 2 repair company. The artillery brigade included 3 artillery units, 1 repair company and 1 supply company. The NNA Air Force included 1 air divisions, each of which included 1-4 attack squadrons, 1 anti-aircraft missile brigade, 1 anti-aircraft missile regiment, 2-2 radio battalion.



Naval history fleet The GDR began in 1952, when units of the Maritime People’s Police were created as part of the GDR Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1956, the ships and personnel of the Naval People’s Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR were included in the created National People’s Army and until 1960 were called the Naval Forces of the GDR. The first commander of the Navy of the GDR was Rear Admiral Felix Scheffler (1915-1986). A former merchant sailor, he served in the Wehrmacht from 1937, but almost immediately, in 1941, he was captured by the Soviet Union, where he remained until 1947. He joined the Free Germany National Committee. After returning from captivity, he worked as secretary of the rector of the Higher Party School named after Karl Marx, then joined the naval police, where he was appointed chief of staff of the Main Directorate of the Naval Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR. October 1, 1952, he received the title of Rear Admiral, from 1955 to 1956. served as commander of the Maritime People's Police. After the creation of the Ministry of National Defense of the GDR on March 1, 1956, he transferred to the post of commander of the GDR Navy and held this post until December 31, 1956. Later, he held a number of important posts in the naval command, was responsible for combat training of personnel, then equipment and weapons, and retired in 1975 from the post of deputy fleet commander for logistics. On the post of commander of the Navy of the GDR, Felix Scheffler was replaced by Vice Admiral Waldemar Ferner (1914-1982) - a former communist underground who left Hitler Germany in 1935, and after returning to the GDR he headed the Main Directorate of the Naval Police. From 1952 to 1955 Ferner served as commander of the Naval People’s Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR, into which the General Directorate of the Naval Police was transformed. From January 1, 1957 to July 31, 1959, he commanded the Navy of the GDR, after which from 1959 to 1978. served as head of the Main Political Directorate of the National People's Army of the GDR. In 1961, it was Waldemar Ferner who was the first in the GDR who was awarded the title of admiral - the highest rank of the country's naval forces. For the longest time, Rear Admiral (then Vice Admiral and Admiral) Wilhelm Aime (1960-1918) was at the post of commander of the People’s Navy of the GDR (the so-called Navy of the GDR since 2009). A former prisoner of war who sided with the USSR, Aim returned to post-war Germany and quickly made a party career. In 1950, he began serving in the Main Directorate of the Naval Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR - first as a liaison officer, and then as deputy chief of staff and head of the organizational department. In 1958-1959 Wilhelm Aime led the rear services of the Navy of the GDR. On August 1, 1959, he was appointed to the post of commander of the Navy of the GDR, but from 1961 to 1963. studied at the Naval Academy in the USSR. Upon returning from the Soviet Union, Acting Commander Rear Admiral Heinz Norkirchen again gave way to Wilhelm Eym. Aime served as commander until 1987.

In 1960, a new name was adopted - the People’s Navy. The Navy of the GDR became the most combat-ready after the Soviet naval forces of the Warsaw Pact countries. They were created taking into account the complex Baltic hydrography - after all, the only sea to which the GDR had access was the Baltic Sea. The small suitability for the actions of large ships was determined by the predominance of high-speed torpedo and missile boats, anti-submarine boats, small missile ships, anti-submarine and anti-mine ships, and landing ships as part of the People’s Navy of the GDR. East Germany had a fairly strong marine Aviationequipped with airplanes and helicopters. The people's navy had to solve, first of all, the tasks of defending the country's coast, fighting submarines and enemy mines, landing tactical assault forces, and supporting land forces on the coast. The staff of the Volksmarine totaled approximately 16 troops. The Navy of the German Democratic Republic was armed with 000 combat and 110 auxiliary ships and vessels, 69 helicopters of naval aviation, (24 Mi-16 and 8 Mi-8), 14 fighter-bombers Su-20. The command of the Navy of the GDR was located in Rostock. The following structural units of the Navy were subordinate to him: 17) a flotilla in Peenemuende, 1) a flotilla in Rostock-Warnemuende, 2) a flotilla in Dransk, 3) a naval school named after Karl Liebknecht in Stralsund, 4) Naval School named after Walter Steffens in Stralsund, 5) coastal missile regiment "Waldemar Werner" in Gelbenzand, 6) naval squadron of combat helicopters "Kurt Barthel" in Parow, 7) naval air squadron "Paul Wieszorek" in Lag, 8) communication regiment "Johan in Bölendorf, 9) a communications and flight support battalion in Lag, 10) a number of other units and service units.



Until Mr. 1962 The National People's Army of the GDR was recruited by hiring volunteers, the contract was for a period of three years. Thus, for six years, the NNA remained the only professional army among the armies of the socialist countries. It is noteworthy that military conscription was introduced in the GDR five years later than in capitalist Germany (there the army switched from contract to conscription in 1957 year). The number of NNAs was also inferior to the Bundeswehr - by 1990. in the ranks of the NNA, 175 served 000 people. The defense of the GDR was compensated by the presence on the territory of the country of a huge contingent of Soviet troops - ZGV / GSVG (Western Group of Forces / Group of Soviet Forces in Germany). The training of the officers of the NNA was carried out in the Friedrich Engels Military Academy, the Higher Military-Political School named after Wilhelm Pick, specialized military educational institutions of the armed forces. An interesting system of military ranks was introduced in the National People's Army of the GDR, partly duplicating the old ranks of the Wehrmacht, but partly containing explicit borrowings from the system of military ranks of the Soviet Union. The hierarchy of military ranks in the GDR looked like this (in parentheses are analogous titles in the "Volksmarine" - the People's Navy): I. Generals (Admirals): 1) Marshal of the GDR - the title was never assigned in practice; 2) Army General (Admiral of the Fleet) - in the Army the title was given to senior officials, in the Navy the title was never given because of the small number of Volksmarine; 3) Colonel-General (Admiral); 4) Lieutenant General (Vice Admiral); 5) Major General (Rear Admiral); Ii. Officers: 6) Colonel (Captain zur Zee); 7) Lieutenant Colonel (Fregatien-Captain); 8) Major (Corveten Captain); 9) Captain (Lieutenant Captain); 10) Chief Lieutenant (Chief Lieutenant Zur Zee); 11) Lieutenant (Lieutenant zur Zee); 12) Non-Lieutenant (Non-Lieutenant Zur Zee); Iii. Fenrihs (similar to Russian ensigns): 13) Ober-Staff-Fenrich (Ober-Staff-Fenrich); 14) Headquarters Fenrich (Headquarters Fenrich); 15) Auber-fenrich (Auber-fenrich); 16) Fenrich (Fenrich); IV Sergeants: 17) Headquarters Feldwebel (Heads Obermeister); 18) Auber-sergeant-major (Ober-meister); 19) Feldwebel (Meister); 20) Unter Feldwebel (Obermat); 21) Non-commissioned officer (Mat); V. Soldiers / sailors: 22) Headquarters corporal (Headquarters sailor); 23) Corporal (Ober Sailor); 24) Soldier (Sailor). Each branch of the military corresponded to its own specific color edging shoulder straps. The generals of all combat arms were scarlet, motorized infantry units — white, artillery, rocket troops and air defense units — brick, armored troops — pink, airborne troops — orange, communications troops — yellow, military construction troops — olive, engineering troops, chemical troops; topographic and motor transport services — black; rear units; military justice and medicine — dark green; the air force (aviation) is blue; the air force anti-missile forces are light gray; the navy is blue; the border guards are green.



The sad fate of the NNA and its military

The German Democratic Republic can rightfully be called the most loyal ally of the USSR in Eastern Europe. The National People's Army of the GDR remained the most efficient after the Soviet army of the Warsaw Pact countries until the end of the 1980. Unfortunately, the fate of both the GDR and its army was bad. East Germany ceased to exist as a result of the policy of "unification of Germany" and the corresponding actions of the Soviet side. In fact, the GDR was simply given to the Federal Republic of Germany. The last Minister of National Defense of the GDR was Admiral Theodor Hoffman (born 1935). It already belongs to the new generation of GDR officers, who received military education in military schools of the republic. 12 May 1952, Hoffman entered the sea as a sailor in the GDR Marine People’s Police. In 1952 — 1955 he studied at the Officers School of the Maritime People’s Police in Stralsund, after which he was assigned to the position of combat training officer in the 7 fleet of the Navy GDR, then served as commander of a torpedo boat, studied at the Naval Academy in the USSR. After returning from the Soviet Union, he held a number of command positions in Volksmarin: deputy commander and chief of staff of the 6 flotilla, commander of the 6 flotilla, deputy chief of staff of the Navy in operational work, deputy commander of the Navy and chief of combat training. 1985 to 1987 Rear Admiral Hoffman served as Chief of Staff of the Navy of the GDR, and in 1987-1989. - Commander of the NDR of the GDR and Deputy Minister of Defense of the GDR. In 1987, Mr. Hofmann was given the military rank of vice-admiral, in 1989 g, with the appointment to the post of Minister of National Defense of the GDR - the admiral. After 18 on April 1990, the Ministry of National Defense of the GDR was abolished and replaced by the Ministry of Defense and Disarmament, which was headed by democratic politician Rainer Eppelman, Admiral Hoffman even before September 1990, served as Assistant Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the GDR National Army . After the dissolution, the NNA was dismissed from military service.

The Ministry of Defense and Disarmament was created after in the GDR, under pressure from the Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachev had been in power for a long time, reforms began that also affected the military sphere. 18 March 1990 was appointed Minister of Defense and Disarmament - 47-year-old Rainer Eppelman, a dissident and pastor in one of the evangelical parishes in Berlin. In his youth, Eppelman served 8 months of imprisonment for refusing to serve in the National People’s Army of the GDR, then received a spiritual education from 1975 to 1990. served as a pastor. In 1990, he became chairman of the Democratic Breakthrough Party and as such was elected to the People's Chamber of the GDR, and also appointed Minister of Defense and Disarmament.

3 October 1990 a historic event occurred - the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were reunited. However, in fact, it was not reunification, but simply the inclusion of the territories of the GDR in the Federal Republic of Germany, with the destruction of the administrative system and its own armed forces that existed in the socialist period. The National People's Army of the GDR, despite its high level of training, was not included in the Bundeswehr. The FRG authorities feared that the generals and officers of the National Independent Unity National Agency maintained communist sentiment, so it was decided to actually disband the National People’s Army of the GDR. Only ordinary soldiers and non-commissioned non-commissioned officers were sent to serve in the Bundeswehr. Staff soldiers were much less fortunate. All the generals, admirals, officers, fenrihs and non-commissioned officers of the personnel were dismissed from military service. The total number of laid-off officers is 23155 officers and 22549 non-commissioned officers. Virtually none of them managed to recuperate in the service in the Bundeswehr, the overwhelming majority were simply dismissed - and the military service was not counted in them either as military service or even as civil service. Only 2,7% of the officers and non-commissioned officers of the NNA could continue to serve in the Bundeswehr (mostly technical specialists who were able to serve the Soviet equipment, which was redeemed by the Federal Republic of Germany after German reunification), but they received ranks lower than those they wore in the National People's Army - Germany refused to recognize the military ranks of the NNA.

Veterans of the National People’s Army of the GDR, left without pensions and without military service, were forced to seek low-paid and low-skilled work. The right-wing parties of the FRG came out against their right to put on the military uniform of the National People’s Army - the armed forces of the “totalitarian state”, as the GDR assessed in modern Germany. As for military equipment, the overwhelming majority were either disposed of or sold to third countries. For example, combat boats and Volksmarine ships were sold to Indonesia and Poland, some transferred to Latvia, Estonia, Tunisia, Malta, Guinea-Bissau. The reunification of Germany did not lead to its demilitarization. Until now, American troops are stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany, and Bundeswehr units now take part in armed conflicts around the world - ostensibly as peacekeeping forces, and in fact - defending US interests.

Currently, many former servicemen of the National People’s Army of the GDR are part of the public veteran organizations involved in protecting the rights of former officers and noncommissioned officers of the National Independent Army, as well as in the fight against the discredit and denigration of the history of the GDR and the National People’s Army. In the spring of 2015, in honor of the seventieth anniversary of the Great Victory, over 100 generals, admirals and senior officers of the National People’s Army of the GDR signed a letter - the appeal "Soldiers for Peace", in which they warned Western countries against the policy of escalating conflicts in the modern world and confrontation with Russia . “We do not need military agitation against Russia, but mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We need not military dependence on the United States, but our own responsibility for peace, ”the message says. The appeal was one of the first to be signed by the last ministers of the national defense of the GDR - Army General Heinz Kessler and Admiral Theodor Hoffman.
Author:
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  1. valokordin
    valokordin 18 January 2016 07: 27 New
    34
    In 1965-1967, he met with the GDR helicopter pilots in Syzran in 1981 in Kopyar with anti-aircraft gunners. All the officers spoke good Russian, and the specialists were also at their best. The GDR army was our real ally and its soldiers and officers were meanly betrayed by Soviet traitors led by Gorbachev. Now I often watch on television one of the chiefs of the traitors Tsipko and cannot find the words how everything turned upside down: microscopic nits became fat lice and gnaw Russians with pleasure and drink their blood.
  2. Приговор
    Приговор 18 January 2016 07: 30 New
    22
    The army of the GDR was the most combat-ready and motivated after the army of the USSR. It is a pity that because of the betrayal of Gorbachev and the top of the USSR, we actually threw our friends to their fate.
    1. Owl
      Owl 18 January 2016 08: 59 New
      +8
      NATO troops recognized the danger of the German Democratic Army. While the Soviet Army would make a breakthrough to the English Channel, the army and police of the German Democratic Republic would “clean up” the FRG and ensure a relatively safe rear.
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 18 January 2016 08: 11 New
    12
    I handed over .. Hunchback, I handed over everyone ..
    Thank you, Ilya ...
    1. PHANTOM-AS
      PHANTOM-AS 18 January 2016 15: 08 New
      10
      Quote: parusnik
      I handed over .. Hunchback, I handed over everyone ..

      I wonder when this reptile will die anyway, will he have the same "serpentarium" as he will build ebna for the people's money?
      they need an aspen stake!
      1. afdjhbn67
        afdjhbn67 18 January 2016 15: 12 New
        +5
        Quote: PHANTOM-AS
        I wonder when this reptile still dies

        Che, accordion at the wake - hunting break?))))
      2. goblin xnumx
        goblin xnumx 18 January 2016 16: 54 New
        +1
        most likely - they will build
  4. Shiva83483
    Shiva83483 18 January 2016 08: 12 New
    +6
    I didn’t expect such meanness from the Germans in relation to the military, because the Hans are paying pension to the military of the Wehrmacht ... or is this a break in the mentality of the decent? Tady oh ...
  5. colotun
    colotun 18 January 2016 08: 44 New
    11
    STAZI was a diamond in the KGB crown
    1. alexej123
      alexej123 18 January 2016 10: 48 New
      +8
      Yes, it would be nice to have a detailed article about Marcus Wolf on the VO.
  6. vladimirvn
    vladimirvn 18 January 2016 09: 22 New
    +9
    The army was good. Reliable ally lost.
  7. drop
    drop 18 January 2016 09: 33 New
    12
    And all this at one time was ruined by Gorbachev and his company.
    I met with children from the German Democratic Republic in practice at the Ural mine layer in the 1956 year, when we were still cadets. Then, already, the head of the Main Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Radioprom with a group of leading specialists from LNIRTI (now it is RIRV JSC) and specialists from the USSR Ministry of Defense deployed Tropic RSDN reference stations on the territory of the German Democratic Republic. After a personal conversation with H. Hoffmann, his special train from 4 cars was allocated to us, and our group, accompanied by guards, traveled all over the GDR with the goal of choosing sites. Loved the mountainous area of ​​Zul. The system worked for several years. I have the honor.
  8. Slug_BDMP
    Slug_BDMP 18 January 2016 09: 43 New
    +7
    "The barracks folk police" - a literal translation is not always needed.
    the German name Kasernierte Volkspolizei adequately translates as "paramilitary police"
    1. ilyaros
      18 January 2016 10: 34 New
      +1
      In most sources, passes as the barracks People's Police. For example: “Then I was again given great confidence: in August 1952, I was assigned to Berlin, to the headquarters of the barracks people's police. Here I worked for a year and three months” (Adam V. Disaster on the Volga. Memoirs of adjutant F. Paulus. - Smolensk: Rusich, 2001).
      Or: “The EOS Treaty is almost ready, so the GDR should quietly immediately begin to strengthen the barracks of the people's police” (Platoshkin NN The hot summer of the 1953 of the year in Germany. M., 2004., Platoshkin - doctor of historical sciences, diplomat, From 1987 to 2006, he worked in Russian diplomatic missions in Germany and the United States).
      1. Slug_BDMP
        Slug_BDMP 18 January 2016 11: 17 New
        +4
        Quote: ilyaros
        In most sources, passes as the barracks People's Police. .


        possibly. but I say this is an illiterate translation.
        1. ilyaros
          18 January 2016 11: 43 New
          +1
          Thank you, it is quite possible, but the people are used to Kazarmennaya)))) Let's write "Militarized" - there will be readers right there who will note "what kind of militarized? It is customary to write Barracks")))
  9. elenagromova
    elenagromova 18 January 2016 10: 05 New
    11
    Of course, it’s a pity that they lost the GDR, and it’s doubly a pity that this happened because of the betrayal. But the very experience of the existence of the GDR suggests that true socialism is possible in Western Europe. Someone, of course, will say that people fled to Germany. Well, yes, capitalism can create an attractive wrapper. But it was also attractive only to a minority of the population of the GDR.
    1. Doctorleg
      Doctorleg 18 January 2016 12: 43 New
      +2
      Quote: elenagromova
      Of course, it’s a pity that they lost the GDR, and it’s doubly a pity that this happened because of the betrayal. But the very experience of the existence of the GDR suggests that true socialism is possible in Western Europe. Someone, of course, will say that people fled to Germany. Well, yes, capitalism can create an attractive wrapper. But it was also attractive only to a minority of the population of the GDR.

      It is doubtful for a minority. The leadership of the GDR was seriously afraid that while maintaining the free border crossing, they would not have citizens left. Please note that in Germany there was no problem of free exit from the country.
      1. Alf
        Alf 18 January 2016 22: 09 New
        +2
        Quote: DoctorOleg
        Please note that in Germany there was no problem of free exit from the country.

        Angela Merkel’s father just flew from Germany to the GDR.
  10. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 18 January 2016 10: 09 New
    11
    After the dismantling of the NNA GDR, part of its armament dispersed, including and in NATO countries (Greece and Turkey in particular), and the field form - the famous "barcode" (aka "rain" - rain) could be found in various parts of the globe (from Europe - ex-Yugoslavia to Africa). In the first half of the 90s, this form was also delivered to us in Kazakhstan. Back in 1997, I happened to see a soldier from the ground forces of Kazakhstan in the "barcode" (moreover, if the uniform was both old and new, then only caps were used as hats).
    From the officers who served in the GSVG, I heard the following opinion: the NNA of the GDR is the only reliable ally of all the armies of the ATS countries that you can rely on in everything. With regard to the Polish Army and the Czechoslovak Army, from former SA officers who served there, I heard only scornful comments - in the sense that in the event of a war with NATO, the Poles and Czechs would be happy to hide behind the backs of Soviet soldiers, not showing much desire to fight, and the “allies” they didn’t even think of hiding such an attitude towards the fulfillment of their obligations under the internal affairs bodies.
    I have the honor.
    1. cobalt
      cobalt 18 January 2016 12: 45 New
      +2
      And I have such a winter and summer uniform. My father’s summer gift was given by his acquaintance sergeant major from the NNA German Democratic Republic combat engineer battalion, who was standing in Burg, where my father served in the 200th motorized rifle regiment of the SA. And he bought the winter himself at the Trophy store last year. I always liked their shape, quite practical and made of good material.
    2. alexej123
      alexej123 19 January 2016 16: 10 New
      +3
      The older brother served in the army in the early 80's. Officer participating in Prague events 1968 he was told that they were introduced into Czechoslovakia and parts of the NNA of the GDR. It was hard to wish for a better ally. If a German, one spoke to the crowd, stop - everyone stopped. The German patrol, walking through the streets and hearing a shot from someone's window, sent a "hello" from the RPG there and calmly moved on.
  11. Bosk
    Bosk 18 January 2016 11: 15 New
    +8
    My friend told me when the “wall” was dismantled; a part of it stood near the town in a forest with practically “uncovered” guns and next to them were German Democratic self-propelled guns with “uncovered” cannons and while this “perestroika” was ongoing, not a single GDR soldier left the unit. ..
  12. valken
    valken 18 January 2016 12: 02 New
    +1
    in the GDR, almost everything was good except for good cars. 1989 sunset in Warnemunde
  13. iouris
    iouris 18 January 2016 12: 38 New
    +2
    They betrayed us.
  14. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 18 January 2016 14: 50 New
    +8
    Always felt sympathy for the GDR and its army. At one time in the early 70's, his father was on a business trip to the GDR. And the older brother corresponded with a German guy, either a pioneer, or a Komsomol member. He even received a blue tie and an FDJ badge (union of free German youth). By the way, this same FDJ was once headed by Merkel. And now it is fighting with Russia through sanctions! S .... ka !!
  15. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 18 January 2016 14: 53 New
    +4
    Wow, great! I am now speaking under a pindoflag from the Kaluga region!
    This is when our province was given to the states?
  16. sevtrash
    sevtrash 18 January 2016 14: 55 New
    11
    Gorbachev surrendered everything, it’s hard to imagine a bigger idiot, got at his disposal a country with a working state apparatus, an army, working law enforcement agencies, yes - with problems in the economy, but they could be solved. And in the end - to what brought. But - not just one, the system of power and its transfer turned out to be untenable if such dumbasses came to power.
    1. Rastas
      Rastas 18 January 2016 20: 09 New
      +4
      Gorbachev, of course, betrayed the country. But the question is, where was our KGB, party apparatus, society in the end? Why allowed to break apart? Both the party and the special services have degenerated (I mean the top leadership), they wanted Western nishtyaks in the form of property, and society infected these ideas. But society did not understand that a minority would win. I remember that time. It must be admitted that the majority, at least active, applauded both the fall of the Warsaw Pact and the fall of the GDR.
  17. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 18 January 2016 14: 55 New
    0
    And where is my first post doing? Once you think to write and it disappears somewhere!
  18. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 18 January 2016 14: 56 New
    0
    And where is my first post doing? Once you think to write and it disappears somewhere!
  19. The comment was deleted.
  20. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 18 January 2016 15: 17 New
    0
    Well, okay, I repeat. Always sympathetic to the GDR and its army. And the relationship between the Soviet and the Gdrovites was always good! And they shared different experiences, not just military ones. In the early 70's, his father was on a business trip to the GDR (mining). The experience of the German took over! And the older brother corresponded either with a German pioneer, or with their Komsomol member (FDJ). A blue tie was sent to him and the FDJ badge. Gorbach surrendered the GDR and the USSR, and the former main Komsomol member of the GDR Merkel is now fighting Russia through sanctions!
    And further! For some reason, the pondoflag got out! Why is Kaluga province now in the states?
  21. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 18 January 2016 15: 43 New
    +1
    Quote: Sentence
    The army of the GDR was the most combat-ready and motivated after the army of the USSR. It is a pity that because of the betrayal of Gorbachev and the top of the USSR, we actually threw our friends to their fate.

    Well, where is this your army ?? 7 Why didn’t it defend itself and its Fatherland ??? It is not necessary to idealize. As soon as the opportunity turned up to dump in the Western brilliant world, they rushed in dense columns. Then it turned out to be out of work, they started to create all kinds of parties there and movements. And in 1990 they fled to Germany in front of their own screech.
    1. Robert Nevsky
      Robert Nevsky 18 January 2016 17: 51 New
      0
      There is truth in your words.
    2. Army soldier2
      Army soldier2 18 January 2016 19: 33 New
      +9
      You are wrong, dear. All this bacchanalia with the unification took place before my eyes (he served as chief of staff of the ORB on the border with Germany). And the Western Group of Forces and the NNA were ready to intervene, plans were developed, but there was no political solution. GDR personally surrendered Gorbachev.
      I’ll tell you about an interesting case. Our ORB had facilities at the border. They were on duty periodically. In between, they were reliably guarded by the seals of the Grenztruppen der National Volks Armee (border troops). Not a single civilian German came close. When the democratic coven began, Democratic activists damaged objects. It was decided to restore the facilities, to introduce round-the-clock duty.
      Previously, only radio was used. In the current difficult conditions, I decided to duplicate it with a wired connection. The solution is to throw a kilometer and a half cable from the nearest border crossing of the GDR (an analogue of our outpost). I went to the frontier, in five minutes with her commander major we resolved all the technical issues. In the end, he told me: "What are you Russians doing? We treated you better than the West Germans, but we are one people. And you are betraying us."
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. iouris
      iouris 18 January 2016 23: 53 New
      +2
      In the GDR, they just completed a team from Moscow.
      In general, the army does not solve political problems, at least until the Minister of Defense decides on a military coup. A military coup in the GDR would be an adventure that the SA would suppress.
      East Germany and the USSR have always been controlled by special services, we know what they were called. So, I think, the destruction of the USSR and the system of socialism began precisely from there.
      Now we can look at the history of the downed Boeing 747 and Rust, as the history of the struggle of the special services for power, during which the leadership of the USSR Armed Forces was discredited and lost political influence in the power system.
  22. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 18 January 2016 17: 52 New
    +3
    Thanks to the author for the article!
  23. Yak28
    Yak28 18 January 2016 19: 22 New
    0
    Yes, there was such a country of the GDR
    1. Rastas
      Rastas 18 January 2016 20: 50 New
      0
      It had a fairly good economy, given that before the collapse of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, East Germany had weak production, because the entire German economy was in the western part of the country.
  24. ALEA IACTA EST
    ALEA IACTA EST 18 January 2016 20: 51 New
    +1
    The history of the German army ended (temporarily interrupted?) With the dissolution of the NNA. The Bundeswehr is an American circus.
  25. sichevik
    sichevik 18 January 2016 21: 03 New
    +1
    In 1983-1985 he served in the GSVG in the city of Jena. Very often met with Germans from NNA. Indeed, the soldiers they were good, reliable. And they treated us very well. I recall those times with warmth.
  26. Alf
    Alf 18 January 2016 22: 19 New
    +4
    There is a gorgeous film Offiziere produced by the GDR. The film is about tankers and about life in the GDR. So many little things of life come up in him. I recommend to everyone. There is on rutrekkere.
    It is no accident that NATO considered the NNA as one of the key and very dangerous adversaries.

    In one book, GG asked the hiding Nazis — Why are you doing business with the GDR, not the FRG? To which he replied, the banners changed, the spirit remained.
  27. Aryan
    Aryan 18 January 2016 23: 39 New
    0
    I’m wondering where did the Wehrmacht form after the war?
    I look GDR is very similar ...
    1. iouris
      iouris 19 January 2016 11: 59 New
      +4
      The form of NNA corresponded to the national tradition, which was formed before Hitler came to power. The form of the Bundeswehr was "Americanized." By the way, the same thing happened in our country after 1991, because the form is informative, and the content is framed.
      It must be remembered that Germany is still occupied. The winner in the second world war left, but the winner in the third world war remained.
    2. Alf
      Alf 19 January 2016 22: 50 New
      +2
      Quote: Aryan
      I’m wondering where did the Wehrmacht form after the war?
      I look GDR is very similar ...
      1. Type 63
        Type 63 22 January 2016 01: 09 New
        0
        German WWII helmets surfaced in Pakistan. Saw in photos on the web.
  28. Aljavad
    Aljavad 20 January 2016 04: 03 New
    +1
    Cool guys were .... soldier
  29. Type 63
    Type 63 22 January 2016 01: 08 New
    +1
    The article is good, but there is an inaccuracy. The armored vehicles produced in the GDR were designated SK-1, as far as I know.
  30. den-protector
    den-protector 25 November 2016 20: 24 New
    +2
    Humpback-tagged betrayed one of the few reliable allies of the Soviet Union. Burn him in hell, if on earth his authorities are afraid to touch.
  31. ccsr
    ccsr 25 January 2018 20: 45 New
    0
    Quote: Aleksandr72
    From the officers serving in the GSVG, I heard the following opinion: the NNA of the GDR is the only reliable ally of all the armies of the ATS countries that you can rely on in everything.

    Yes, that was exactly so - we really believed them as ourselves. By the way, many senior NNA officers not only studied at the USSR Higher Education Institutions, but some even married our women and brought them to Germany, where they received citizenship, but tried not to lose touch with relatives in the Union. Repeatedly met with NNA officers both in a working and friendly environment - they were very decent and competent people. It is unfortunate that we betrayed them.
  32. ccsr
    ccsr 25 January 2018 20: 55 New
    +1
    Quote: Army 2
    When the democratic coven began, Democratic activists damaged objects. It was decided to restore the facilities, to introduce round-the-clock duty.

    This was an order for the group - reconnaissance battalions of 3, 8 and 20 armies were required to participate in the organization of round-the-clock duty on the border, in order to reveal the preparation of NATO troops for a surprise attack and provocations, because then the mess began and our command was seriously worried about the safety of our units leaving Germany.
  33. ccsr
    ccsr 25 January 2018 20: 58 New
    +1
    Quote: Dimon19661
    As soon as the opportunity turned upside down in the western brilliant world, they rushed into dense columns.

    This is a lie - the officers of the NNA of the GDR did not flee anywhere, and for the most part they perfectly understood that they had a bleak future, but nevertheless remained to live in Germany. By the way, half of the working population of the GDR lost their jobs in the first two years after the merger - this is so for information.
  34. The comment was deleted.