NVA Jargon and Terms

NVA Order of Battle Condensed

Oath of the Nationale Volksarmee

Ich schwöre:
Der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, meinem Vaterland, allzeit treu zu dienen und sie auf Befehl der Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Regierung gegen jeden Feind zu schützen.

Ich schwöre:
An der Seite der Sowjetarmee und der Armeen der mit uns verbündeten sozialistischen Länder als Soldat der Nationalen Volksarmee jederzeit bereit zu sein, den Sozialismus gegen alle Feinde zu verteidigen und mein Leben zur Erringung des Sieges einzusetzen.

Ich schwöre:
Ein ehrlicher, tapferer, disziplinierter und wachsamer Soldat zu sein, den militärischen Vorgesetzten unbedingten Gehorsam zu leisten, die Befehle mit aller Entschlossenheit zu erfüllen und die militärischen und staatlichen Geheimnisse immer streng zu wahren.

Ich schwöre:
Die militärischen Kenntnisse gewissenhaft zu erwerben, die militärischen Vorschriften zu erfüllen und immer und überall die Ehre unserer Republik und ihrer Nationalen Volksarmee zu wahren.
Sollte ich jemals diesen meinen feierlichen Fahneneid verletzen, so möge mich die harte Strafe des Gesetzes unserer Republik und die Verachtung des werktätigen Volkes treffen.

NVA Small Arms and Armored Vehicles - Active information links



Re-Printed from “Die Nationale Volksarmee –

Journal for the Society of East German Militaria Collectors, # 6, Winter 1994-95


by Bill Thompson and Lee Stewart

The EGA East German Army Dictionary defines Order of Battle as "The formation and grouping of units and formations prior to an engagement, usually through gradual deployment. The services and each arm of the service have their particular order of the battle, which depends upon the tactical conditions dictated by the terrain, the strength, armament, and equipment of the forces, and their tactical purpose in the engagement. The operational order of the battle of the land forces takes the form of the 1st and 2nd echelon and encompasses cooperation with elements of the artillery/missile troops, the engineers, and the land forces air defense units (Truppenluftabwehr)..."



By comparison, Order of Battle is defined in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dictionary of Military Terms as "The identification, strength, command structure, and disposition of the personnel, units and equipment of any military force." This is the macro or 'big picture' view and the one which we will use in this article for laying out the structure of the NVA. Under this view, how a nations forces are organized and deployed within the home country may provide some indications of how the country intends to defend itself, i.e.;, emphasis on forward defense with most forces deployed forward along the frontiers, or defense in depth with the forces deployed in echelons from the frontiers to a greater depth inland. However, peacetime deployments may not provide a true picture of defense planning because they may be driven by factors other than military considerations, such as politics, economics, availability of training areas, etc.



At the start of 1989 the East German Armed Forces or Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) totaled approximately 173,000 personnel and had begun a unilateral force reduction of approximately 10,000, to be completed by the end of 1990.


In 1989, the DDR national defense establishment was organized into the Ministry of National Defense, three force commands for ground, naval, and air/air defense forces, and three military districts. I. III. and V, which controlled the Ground Forces (Landstreitkrafte).


Until the mid-1970s, the Navy (Volksmarine) had constituted Military District IV, while the Air Force/Air Defense Force (Luftstreitkrafte/ Luftverteidigung) had constituted Military District II These two districts were abolished and in 1989 the naval and air/air defense forces were under control of their respective commands.


The Border Troops, although under the Ministry of National Defense, were separated from the NVA in 1974 and will not be addressed in this article The military districts were separate from the civil administration districts and from the Warsaw Pact air defense districts.

Military District I was headquartered at Strausberg, near Brandenburg and was essentially the capital district. It included the Ministry of Defense, the Border Troops and Civil Defense.


Military District III was headquartered in Leipzig and was responsible for the southern half of the country It was subordinate to the Ground Forces Command in Potsdam and was comprised of the 7th Tank Division and the 4th and 11th Motorized Rifle Divisions and supporting forces. 


Military District V was headquartered in Neubrandenburg and was responsible for the northern half of the country. It was also subordinate to the Ground Forces Command in Potsdam and was comprised of the 9th Tank division and the 1st and 8th Motorized Rifle Divisions.

The Ground Forces comprised 68 percent of the total force structure, approximately 118,000 troops, 60 percent of which were conscripts. The ground forces were organized into two tank divisions and four motorized rifle divisions.


The Air/Air Defense Forces constituted 23 percent of the total force structure, approximately 39,000 personnel, 38 percent of whom were conscripts (This reflects the higher percentage of officers and NCOs in the air force). The Air/Air Defense Forces had two fighter bomber wings, six air defense fighter wings, a reconnaissance squadron, a fixed wing transport wing, three helicopter wings, seven surface-to-air missile regiments, and two radar regiments.


The Navy constituted nine percent of the total force structure, approximately 16,000 personnel, 50 percent of whom were conscripts. The Navy had three flotillas, a fighter regiment, a helicopter squadron, and a combat swimmer company. Its largest ships were three Soviet Koni-class frigates.



The following tables represent, to our best knowledge, the NVA force structure/order of battle in 1989:





ui Pipe Laying Battalion Prezlau



Ground Forces



Ground Forces Command Potsdam/Geltow



Military District I Strausberg

• 40th Air Assault Regt. 'Willi Sanger' Potsdam/Geltow

• ui Guard Regiment 'Friedrich Engels' Berlin/Potsdam

• 1st Artillery Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Artillery Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn Potsdam

• ui Engineer Regt. Potsdam

• ui Engineer Regt Potsdam

• ui Engineer Construction Regt. Potsdam

• ui Engineer Construction Regt Potsdam

• ui Engineer Construction Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Signals Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Radio Relay Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Radio Reconnaissance Regt Potsdam

• 2nd Motor Transport Regt Potsdam

• ui Railway Regt Potsdam

• ui Reservist Training Regt. Potsdam

• ui Reservist Training Regt. Potsdam

• ui Reservist Training Regt Potsdam

• ui Guard Bn. Arthur Woelk' Potsdam/Geltow



Military District V Neubrandenburg

• 5th Signals Regt. 'Horst Jonas' Neubrandenburg

• 5th SCUD Bde. 'Bruno Leuschner Demen

• 5th Artillery Regt 'Paul Sasnowski' Dabel

• 5th Bridging/ Assault Crossing Regt. 'Kurt Romling' Havelburg

• 5th SA-4 Bde. 'Bernhard Bastlein' Basepohl

• 5th Antitank Bn. 'Hermann Falke' unk

• 5th Reconnaissance Bn. Neubrandenburg

• 5th Air Defense Rocket Bn Neubrandenburg

• 5th Engineer Pontoon Regt. Neubrandenburg

• 5th Chemical Defense Bn. Neubrandenburg



1st Motorized Rifle Division Potsdam

• ui Motor Rifle Regt 'Hans Beimler' Oranienburg

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Arthur Ludvvig' Stahnsdorf

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Paul Hegenbarth' Brandenburg

• ui Tank Regt. 'Friedrich Wolf’ Beelitz

• ui Artillery Regt 'Rudolf Gyptner' Oranienburg/Lehnitz

• ui SA-6 Regt. 'Anton Fischer' unk

• 1st Reconnaissance Bn. unk

• 'Dr. Richard Sorge'

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn. unk

• ui Engineer Bn. 'Willi Becker' unk

• ui Signals Bn. unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn' Hermann Rentzsch' unk



8th Motorized Rifle Division Schwerin

• 28th Motor Rifle Regt. 'Wilhelm Florin1 Rostock

• 29th Motor Rifle Regt. 'Ernst Moritz Arndt' Hagenow

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Hans Kahle Schwerin

• ui Tank Regt. 'Artur Becker' Goldberg

• ui Artillery Regt. 'Erich Muehsam' Rostock

• ui SA-8 Regt. 'Willi Schroeder' unk

• ui Reconnaissance Bn unk

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn unk

• ui Engineer Bn. unk

• ui Signals Bn. unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn. unk



9th Tank Division "Heinz Hoffmann' Eggesin

• ui Tank Regt. 'Soja Kosmodemjanska' Torgelow

• ui Tank Regt. 'Soja Kosmodemjanska' Stallberg

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Rudolf Renner' Torgelow

• ui Artillery Regt. 'Hans Fischer' Torgelow

• ui SA-6 Regt. Eggesin

• ui Reconnaissance Bn. unk

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn. unk

• ui Engineer Bn unk

• ui Signals Bn 'Adolf Bystick' unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn unk



Military District III Leipzig


• 3rd SCUD Bde 'Otto Schwab' Hermsdorf

• 3rd Artillery Regt. "Alfred Frank' Leipzig

• 3rd Bridging/Assault Crossing Regt. 'Johann Philipp Becker' Dessau

• 3rd SA-4 Bde. 'Kurt Kresse' Leipzig

• 3rd Engineer Regt 'Erwin Panndorf Gera

• 3rd Antitank Bn. 'Georg Schwartz' unk

• 3rd Signals Regt. Leipzig

• 3rd Reconnaissance Bn. Leipzig

• 3rd Pontoon Regt. Leipzig

• 3rd Chemical Defense Bn. Leipzig


4th Motorized Rifle Division Erfurt

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Thomas Muentzer' Mulhausen

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Anton Saefkow' Bad Salzungen

• ui Motor Rifle Regt 'John Scheer' Erfurt

• ui Tank Regt. 'August Bebel' Gotha

• ui Artillery Regt. 'Willi Bredel' Erfurt

• ui S.A-6 Regt. 'Hermann Danz' unk

• ui Reconnaissance Bn. 'Todor Zhikov' unk

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn. unk

• ui Signals Bn. 'Wilhelm Liebknecht' unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn. unk


11th Motorized Rifle Division Halle

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Robert Uhrig' Bad Frankenhau

• ui Motor Rifle Regt 'Fritz Weineck' Halle

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Otto Schlag' Weissenfels

• ui Tank Regt 'Otto Buchwitz' Sondershaiisen

• ui Artillery Regt. Wolfen

• ui SA-6 Regt 'Georg Stoeber' unk

• ui Reconnaissance Bn unk

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn 'Magnus Poser' Hermsdorf

• ui Engineer Bn 'Hans Jahn' unk

• ui Signals Bn unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn unk


7th Tank Division 'Listemann' Dresden

• ui Tank Regt 'Karol Swierczewski' Spremberg

• ui Tank Regt 'Paul Hornick' Cottbus

ui Tank Regt. 'Leo Jogiches' Cottbus

• ui Motor Rifle Regt. 'Max Roscher' Marienberg

• ui Artillery Regt unk

• ui SA-6 Regt 'Paul Rockstroh' unk

• ui Reconnaissance Bn 'Ludwig Svoboda' unk

• ui Surface to Surface Missile Bn unk

• ui Engineer Bn. 'Arthur "Hermann' unk

• ui Signals Bn. 'Egon Dreher' unk

• ui Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn unk










































Air Force/Air Defense Command Strausberu, Etuersdorf


• 27th Transport Aircraft Wing 'Arthur Pieck' Dresden-Klotsche


1st Air Defense Division Cottbus

• 1st Fighter Wing ' Fritz Schmenkel' Hotzdorf

• 3rd Fighter Wing 'Wladimir Komarov' Preschen

• 7th Fighter Wing 'Wilhelm Pieck' Drewitz

• 8th Fighter Wing 'Hermann Matern' Marxwalde

• 14th Surface to Air Missile Regt. Strassgraebchen

• 16th Surface to Air Missile Regt Ladeburg

• ui Surface to Air Missile Regt. unk

• ui Radar Regt Cottbus

• 3rd Air Defense Division Neubrandenburg

• 2nd Fighter Wing 'Juri Gargarin' Trollenhagen

• 9th Fighter Wing 'Heinrich Rau' Peenemuende

• 13th Surface to Air Missile Regt. Parchim

• 15th Surface to Air Missile Regt. Trollenhagen

• 17th Surface to Air Missile Regt Uhlenkrug

• 18th Surface to Air Missile Regt


Air Strike Forces

3 1st Fighter Bomber Wing '

Klement Gottwald' Drewitz

32nd Fighter Bomber Wing

'Gebhard Leberecht von Bluecher' Laage

ui Reconnaissance Squadron unk


Army Air Force

57th Combat Helicopter Wing '

Adolf Von Luetzow' Basepohl

67th Combat Helicopter Wing

'Ferdinand V Schill' Cottbus

37th Transport Helicopter Wing

'Werner Seelenbinder' Brandenburg-Briest





Naval Command Rostock/Gehlsdotf


1st Flotilla Peenemunde

 minelaying and minesweeping divisions§

 landing c§raft divisions

 bubniarine chaser division§

 auxiliary vessel division§


4th Flotilla Warnemuende

 coastal defense division§

 minelaying and minesweeping divisions§

 submarine chaser division§


6th Flotilla Dranske-Bug

 missile patrol boats§

 motor torpedo boats§


28th Naval Aircraft Wing Laage

ui Naval Helicopter Wing 'Kurt Barthel' Parow

Minor Base Sassnitz

Minor Base Wolgast