Bundeswehr and NVA!

Discussions on other historical eras.
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Postby soldat_m56 » 18 Aug 2006 21:17

nondescript handle wrote:
Nick89 wrote:[...] Notice the standard-bearer in front of the formation.

That isn't a standard, it is a Schellenbaum (bell tree). These bell trees are used by German armies since 1815.

A Third Reich Schellenbaum (source: http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=130940)


I knew it wasn' t really a standard - I just couldn't remember the German name, and did not want to use the English nickname "Jingling Johnny". I just thought I would mention the Schellenbaum in the Luftwaffe photo because some people earlier in the thread posted pics of East German soldiers carrying them to prove how "authentic" the NVA was.

In regards to the quote about the NVA, it is cited from a book about cufftitles, something the German army still uses (the Berlin Wachtbataillon at least).

As I mentioned earlier, the Bundeswehr is in my opinion the successor of the Wehrmacht because, whether the NVA was or not, the BW is the only German army left.

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Postby Gerst » 25 Aug 2006 23:02

Correct! Whatever the past, there is only one German Army now. The East Germans did the best with what they had. Half my family stayed there after the war while the rest of us abandoned Germany for Canada and the States. At 6, I didn't have much to say about it but my heart never left. My great uncle Fritz was in the Kaiser's Garde. I have a photo of him at the Neue Wache. I am glad that the area has been rebuilt and when I return to Berlin next year (I was born there on 22 December 1944), that will be one of my first stops after the Tor!

Yes, the two-tone Bundeswehr uniforms leave a lot to be desired and the Kevlar helmet looks a bit too small, but that's alright. Germany and the German Army are unified and they never had to fire a shot at each other and I am thankful for that.

The Zapfenstreich at the Reichstag was great. The musik is still the same. My father would have had tears in his eyes!

All the best, my friends.

Arnim Gerstenmeier
Texas, USA

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Postby PJF » 25 Aug 2006 23:28


I was a bit taken aback by the cuff titles the first time I saw the Berlin Wachtbattallion at a cermony at Plotzensee. Initially I thought to too close a connection with the SS. A conversation later that night with some german friends helped me to understand the broader historical context.

The principle of "Innere Führung" is closer to inner guidance/personal conscience/individual responsibility.

Gerst - enjoy your trip...if you can, walk from the Tor to Neue Wache and then continue on to Alex... if you know your history it is an incredible experience. Even though I've done it numerous times it still send a chill down my spine

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Postby soldat_m56 » 26 Aug 2006 20:49

Gerst wrote:Yes, the two-tone Bundeswehr uniforms leave a lot to be desired...

I don't see much wrong with the two tone light grey tunic and dark grey Hosen. It hearkens back to the Imperial German Army during WWI with the feldgrau tunic and steingrau Hosen. It would be better that they wore jackboots witht the parade uniform instead of combat boots though. They also should bring back the rank of Feldmarschall :D

I want see the Wachtbataillon, but I haven't been to Germany yet :cry: Not enough money, under 18, but many family from there. Have to go there soon!

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Postby OvD » 30 Sep 2006 20:24

Hi , my name is Jens , I served in the NVA and was a "Leutnant".

My family has a brandenburg/prussian/german army tradition back to the 13th century.

I would like to count all the things , in my opinion showing that the NVA was more closer to the Wehrmacht and prussian traditions:

military parades ( BRD ?????????)

"Stechschritt" in NVA :"Exerzierschritt"

Officers : breeches, riding boots, officers belt , sabre (very close to Wehrmacht) and so the dagger ; "Feldbinde" , and note : the shoulder straps for officers ! (Bundeswehr?)

note : it is not common to compare the camouflage uniforms , because the NVA normally wears the "Dienstuniform" and that was very close to Wehrmacht.

but I agree that the "Flecktarn" is more closer to SS camouflage,

The NVA-helmet was a created for the wehrmacht , is not soviet influenced.

The Bundeswehr first uniforms are very "american" they changed later to an more "german" style , the NVA uniform was "german" from the first day.

Bundeswehr :barret is not really german tradition

both armies very strong influenced by their "big brothers" , weapons , etc.

note some other details : loosing the regimental flag, was punished with dissolving
the regiment ( and old prussian tradition)

eastgerman soldier swear an oath on the regimental flag , westgermans give an vow (solemn promise ? dont know the right word for "Gelöbnis") this is an very important difference.

see also "Wachregiment" , real german soldies wear marching boots!

some smaller details : see "Eichenlaub" on visor hat , is same as wehrmacht bundeswehr ("Heer") wears to sabres in it -- this is american style.

bundeswehr has NO "Paradeuniform". NVA has : complete with breeches,riding boots ,sabre , "feldbinde" etc like wehrmacht and imperial army.

both big brothers (USA and Sovietunion) declared the german armies for the best armies in the NATO / Warsaw Pakt.

the Bundeswehr wears some years ago an american style helmet , the new one is not "german" inspired. It is an modern helmet : "form follows function"

I am not a communist , but I served in the spirit of my family tradition and the tradition
of a brave and faithful german officer.

Sorry for bad english, but my school time is 22 years ago.

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Postby soldat_m56 » 30 Sep 2006 21:44

It would be great to see the Bundeswehr revive some Prussian-Imperial German military traditions and get better uniforms, insignia and boots.

The US and German kevlar helmets are slightly different. The US has a more rounded helmet with a larger "bulge" on the sides over the ears. The German is a little more like the stahlhelm since it slopes a little more in the front and the bulge is not as prominent. The Bundesgrenzschutz had a Wehrmacht-style stahlhelm for a little while and once I saw a picture of a Wehrmacht-style stahlhelm in service with the bayerische Polizei from the 1970s.

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Postby iannima » 30 Sep 2006 21:47

thank you for your thoughts on this matter. As I have had occasion to remark before: I agree wholeheartedly with you!!! :) But then I suppose I could be a trifle biased.
Out of interest in which regiment did you serve? a Mot Schützen one? Please tells us more about your service days :) And if you have the time check out these other two NVA -DDR dedicated forums:
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... y.php?f=64
We absolutely LOVE NVA veterans who can solve many of our doubts...

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Postby peter_suciu » 30 Oct 2006 19:56

Nick89 wrote:Military Collection of Peter Suciu website:
The current issue Kevlar helmet of the Bundeswehr. This helmet retains the basic shape of the German Model 1935 steel helmet.

Thanks for asking permission first! :x

Could you remove the photo of MY helmet please.

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Postby soldat_m56 » 03 Nov 2006 17:15

I the removed the post, including the pics of YOUR helmets. Happy now?

You don't have to get so mad. You could have asked politely months ago when it was put up :roll: . I thought citing the source was enough on AHF

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Postby hughdotoh » 17 Nov 2006 15:07

a comment on the "German-shaped" helmet:

the US Army experimented on a similar shape around WW1, but didn't adapt it because the shape too closly resembled the German M16 and could likely have caused fratricide. Why the resemblance? because both countries used the same statistical and medical information on head wounds. It is pretty much the same information that got into designing the late Wehrmacht/East German B-II, taking advantage of the qualities (vis-a-vis economy of manufacture) of steel sheet; and the same information that was used in the GI K-Pot, this time with synthetic materials.

Maybe national pride got in the way in the design of helmets, but if steel were the way to go, the B-II design is the best as far as steel is concerned, just as the K-Pot is the best in the way of Kevlar.

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Postby Candide » 18 Nov 2006 22:54

I think it is definitely good idea to compare Bundeswehr and NVA and to look for similarities with Wehrmacht. However after some research everybody has to agree with the fact that NVA was by its spirit, apperance and rituals much closer to Wehrmacht and Prussian Army than Bundeswehr.
NVA was undoubtly strongly influenced by Soviet Army, but we shouldn't forget that some of Russian army's traditions (taken over later by Red/Soviet Army) were actually inspired by Prussian Army. So that they actually made a circle from Prussia via Russia/Soviet Union back to post war East Germany!
One more remark concerning uniforms. It's very interesting that as for Warsaw Pact battle dresses and their rain drop pattern, it's very hard for non - "insiders" to distinguish between NVA and CSLA (Czechoslovak People's Army) pattern. Whereas Russians used still the same WW2 style pattern for their battle dresses.
It points to some small level of independence even in the Warsaw Pact framework and to cooperation among most developed WP armies: NVA, CSLA and partially also LWP (Polish People's Army).

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Re: bundeswehr and nva!

Postby Yuri » 31 Dec 2006 10:24

leibestandarte-landser wrote:hello gentlemen!
i want to know your opinion about witch from the both post war german armies (bundeswehr and nva) would be regarded as the continuation of the reichwehr and wehrmacht,witch army had kept some basic german army traditions to be the daughter of prussian armies? as far as i know the nva kept just the parade uniform (wachregiment friedrich engels) and the NEUE WACHE ceremonial,but the bundeswehr was formed by wehrmacht veterans!
greetings to all!

Some instants of everyday lives Wermacht and NVA
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Postby Yuri » 31 Dec 2006 10:38

And one more interesting photo
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Postby Yuri » 31 Dec 2006 11:42

Episode of fighting study.

In the autumn (August – September) 1972 in territory of Czechoslovakia there were large army Maneuvers «the Board - 72» («Ùèò-72» - «Shchit-72»). On these Maneuvers units of armies of the states of the Warsaw Pact took part. From NVA participated, apparently, 7th Panzer Regiment (however, I was possible has already overlooked (forgotten)). Except for units of the SA (Soviet Army) and NVA, there there were units of the Wojsko Polsko and, certainly, units CSLA
I at that time was the senior riflemen of 9-th company 210th MSP Motor-Rifle Regiment 48th Motor-Rifle Division.

In last photo the author of these lines stands near to the BTR-152. Area of the city of Heb, border Czech/Western Germany.
Taking a case, I betray greetings and congratulations happy New Year to fighting comrades from NVA, WP and CSLA with which it was possible to be on these Maneuvers.
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Postby soldat_m56 » 02 Jan 2007 19:54

hughdotoh wrote:a comment on the "German-shaped" helmet:

the US Army experimented on a similar shape around WW1...

The picture I saw of one of the experimental models resembled the Swiss M18.

I keep hearing that East German helmets are based on the WH prototype M45. Is the M54 used by the KVP prior to 1956 or the later M56 closer to the M45?

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