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Nationale Volksarmee

DDR Armed Force

Grenztruppen der DDR

The border troops of the GDR were established as military units to the supervision of the state border of the GDR as German border police on December 1 1946.

This "armed force" consisted 54.000 border soldiers of maximum. This troop strength was especially therefore required in order to prevent the own "citizens" from the resettlement or escape to West Germany over the inner-German border (also Berlin wall). Still, they guarded the border to Poland, the border to the Czechoslovakia and the border to the Baltic sea. Primarily "politically reliable" soldiers served in the border troops.

The reason for it was because of the order to fire to prevent fleeting at the border with all means, therefore also with force of arms and under acceptance of the death of refugees.

In accordance with the Socialist Unity party propaganda and the code of the GDR, a refugee was to be treated as class enemy and criminal. Todesschützen were marked by the state, otherwise these "border incidents" were held secretly.

Organization: 50,000 troops, 50% draftees. Three command centers: Command North, Command Central, and Command South. Troops were arranged in regiments around these centers with armament of a motorized rifles regiment, complete with some artillery and helicopter support. Also had a water-borne group for Command North.

Special units: Border Guard Air Patrol.
Mission: to assist Border Guard ground units with air support, especially fly-over surveillance. Organization: Small