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1979 GSFG- tanks and afvs in the 8th Gds Army


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#1 zaevor2000

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 2217 PM

Just wanted to ask those in the know what was the composition of the 8th Gds Army facing V Corps in the 1979 timeframe.

What I have is:

20th Gds Motorized Rifle Division:
55th MRR- BMP1 w/ T62 tank bn, 2S1 SP
57th MRR- BTR-60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
60th MRR- BTR60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
20th TR- T62
20th Ind Tk Bn- T62

39th Gds Motorized Rifle Division:
112th MRR- BMP1 w/ T62 tank bn, 2S1 SP
117th MRR- BTR-60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
120th MRR- BTR60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
39th TR- T62
39th Ind Tk Bn- T62

57th Gds Motorized Rifle Division:
170th MRR- BMP1 w/ T62 tank bn, 2S1 SP
172nd MRR- BTR-60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
174th MRR- BTR60 w/ T62 tank bn, D30 How
57th TR- T62
57th Ind Tk Bn- T62

79th Gds Tank Division:
216th TR- T62 w/ BMP1 MRR co, 2S1 SP
220th TR- T62 w/ BMP1 MRR co, 2S1 SP
227th TR- T62 w/ BMP1 MRR co, 2S1 SP
20th MRR- BMP1 w/ T62 tank bn, 2S1 SP

and...assuming the East German 4th Mechanized Division was made part of 8th Gds Army:
East German 4th Mechanized Division:
22nd Reg- BMP1 w/ T55 tank bn, 2S1 SP
23rd Reg- BTR-60 w/ T55 tank bn, D30 How
24th Reg- BTR60 w/ T55 tank bn, D30 How
25th Tk Reg- T55

For US Army:

basically M60a1s for the tankers and M113s for the Mech Inf?
Is M60a1 and M113 correct for 11th ACR in 79?

For the German army:
Leo 1a4's and Marders for the German PzGren and Leo 2 for the Pz Bns for the 14th Pz Bde of the 5th Pz Div.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

We are having a large event here in Dallas in April w/ people coming from Houston and other places to game out a 1979 Warsaw Pact invasion as a result of the Afghanistan conflict triggering a rapid sequence of events which leads to the Warsaw Pact invasion. We are gaming out the V corps area, using the old SPI Central Front series game for moving the regiments on the map and then fighting out the significant battles with GHQ microarmor.

We did this back in 2008 and had a blast.

Looking to see if my OOB and TOE are accurate for this timeframe. Please let me know of any changes that have to be made to make this event more accurate for everyone. Since some are traveling for hundreds of miles I feel obligated to give them the best, most accurate depiction possible.

Thanks to everyone in advance for the help!

Frank

Edited by zaevor2000, 14 January 2011 - 2348 PM.


#2 Harkonnen

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1044 AM

T-64a started to be delievered to GsVG from 1976, why are not in the list?

#3 zaevor2000

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1108 AM

Thanks for the reply Harkonnen!

That's what I'm trying to find out... what each unit had in 79...

Which units in 8th Gds army had T-64s in 1979?

Did the 79th Tk Div have them? and did the Motorized Rifle division have them in their Tank Regiments, BMP Regiments or Independent Tank Battalions? If so, which ones?

I am trying to get a clearer picture of that area in 1979.

Thanks for your help!

Frank

#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1300 PM

I have done a distillation of the USMLM reports some years ago that might prove useful. They are hardly extensive, but they do provide some indications of what unit was using what, and when important items of equipment were first sighted. I can email to you, but it will probably be in Word format. That ok?

#5 zaevor2000

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1320 PM

I would really appreciate that Stuart!

All I know is that just because something has been introduced doesn't mean it's in widespread service... when I got to 2nd ACR in Sept 85 I was shocked that they didn't have Bradleys and the 120mm M1s. In fact we only had the M1 improved with the 105 the whole time I was there and we Scouts were in M113s/M901s until we went into Bradley transition in Feb 87. I am wondering if the Soviets had T62s in units when the T64 was available. Takes awhile to pump out enough tanks from the factory to equip the entire army (several years). If we take a production rate of 1000 T64s a yr, and there are roughly 300 tanks per tank division that means they can roughly equip 3 new divisions each year...just going through the math...

I know that the T64 was around...but I am curious which units had them in 79...

I believe a lot of the general consensus was that the T64s were sent north to counter the Chieftains w/ their 120s and thick armored hide and didn't trickle down into the 8th Gds Army, but instead the 8th Gds Army went straight from T62s to T80s in around the 83/84 timeframe.

I am interested in gaining a greater understanding.


Frank

#6 LeoTanker

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1612 PM

So all the motor rifle divisions of the corpse were equipped with MBTs? I would have imagined they had only lighter armour. What sets them apart from the "regular" tank divisions only seem to be the AFVs (less capable) and the artillery (less manouverable) -or? What about their support structures like AA, C&C and engeneering batallions etc, where they simmilar too?

Very nice OOB table zaevor, good work.

#7 Lieste

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1715 PM

So all the motor rifle divisions of the corpse were equipped with MBTs? I would have imagined they had only lighter armour. What sets them apart from the "regular" tank divisions only seem to be the AFVs (less capable) and the artillery (less manouverable) -or? What about their support structures like AA, C&C and engeneering batallions etc, where they simmilar too?

Very nice OOB table zaevor, good work.


As I understood it, the 'traditional' OOB for a MRD, was:
3xMRR (93 IFV or 100+ APC (including the Regt AT battery)), with each supported by 1 Tank Bn (40 tanks), and an Independent Tank Bn (51 tanks), plus Divisional Artillery, Engineers, AAA etc.

The TD had:
3xTR (93 Tanks) each supported by 1 MR Company (10 IFV), plus Divisional Artillery, Engineers, AAA etc.

Later evolutions were supposed to get additional MR troops in the tank division (up to 1 Bn per Regt), and improved logistic support (the original TD was rather leaner than the MRD, and possibly not suited to sustained operations).

#8 zaevor2000

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 1715 PM

So all the motor rifle divisions of the corpse were equipped with MBTs? I would have imagined they had only lighter armour. What sets them apart from the "regular" tank divisions only seem to be the AFVs (less capable) and the artillery (less manouverable) -or? What about their support structures like AA, C&C and engeneering batallions etc, where they simmilar too?

Very nice OOB table zaevor, good work.


Thank you.

Excellent questions.

My understanding is that the structure of the Motorized Rifle Divisions was 1 Tk Regiment and 3 Motor Rifle Regiments (originally it was 1 BMP reg/2 BTR reg mix, but after the BMPs became more numerous, it changed to a 2 BMP reg/1 BTR reg mix). Each Motor Rifle regiment had a tank battalion of 2nd line tanks that were split up 1 tank company per infantry battalion, and was further divided to 1 tank platoon preceeding 1 infantry company in the advance. This enabled the tanks to somewhat shield the vulnerable APCs behind them, as well as provide excellent direct fire HE suppression at infantry, ATGM crews and other soft targets, and also gave them the ability to engage any armor short of the latest design Western tanks.

Since the BTR's were so vulnerable, they dismounted their infantry quite a distance away from the shooting, and had a much slower rate of advance as a result. This is also probably a contributing factor as to why the BTR regiments maintained their towed artillery D-30s when the Tank and BMP regiments were operating the SP 2S1's...
all the SPs were the only artillery that could keep up with the tank and BMPs...

From what I have seen, most of the other support elements were almost identical.

Some key differences were:

1) first and foremost, in the motor rifle units, their assigned tanks operated in 4 tank platoons, whereas in the tank units, the tanks were in 3 tank platoons.

2) Motor Rifle units had anti-tank and ATGM companies that were not needed in the tank units.

3) Motor Rifle divisions had an independent tank battalion, but tank divisions did not have an independent tank battalion.

Those are the MAJOR differences...

Thanks everyone for the feedback, be interested in seeing what else we can turn up...

Frank

Edited by zaevor2000, 15 January 2011 - 1821 PM.


#9 RETAC21

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 0416 AM

Estimated Soviet tank inventory as of mid-1979 according to the '81 edition of Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army:

GSFG: 4025 T-64/T-72*; 2030 T-62, 2040 T-54/55**
NGF: 650 T-62
CGF: some T-64/72; 1150 T-62; 180 T-54/55
SGF: some T-64/72; 1140 T-62; 170 T-54/55

* we now know there were no T-72s, so all of them would be T-64s. IIRC the USMLM reports estate that deployment of the T-64 started with the divisions in the North (evidently to counter the Chieftain) and then moved on South, with the last T-62s replaced by T-80s in the 80s.
** T-55 evidently.

#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 0418 AM

Alright, this is the whole thing. I hope the moderators dont object to the size of the post, apologies to them if they do.


Group of soviet forces Germany Order of battle and equipment Chronology


Unless otherwise stated, this consists largely of quotes from
USMLM (US Military Liaison mission) yearly reports. Other
sources include Tony Geraghtys ‘Beyond the Front Line’ and ‘The last mission. Any other sources or suggestions will be gratefully received and added. This presently omits any reference to observations of the Pact Airforces in East Germany due to size considerations.

Many may find this layout confusing and difficult to make use of. I agree. Unfortunately the manner of the material (observation and occasional rumour) make it necessary to mention how the observation was made, and occasionally how tenuous it was. In this way, I can leave it to the reader on how reliable the information was. In many case, I have cited sites on the web, who appear on these subjects to be reliable sources. Again, the reader must make up his own mind how reliable they are.

To ease finding particular sections, all unit names and numbers ought to coloured in green, major exercises in red, interesting but indefinable events in blue. Equipment and OOB changes remain in black.

It is worth pointing out here for the uninitiated, what many of the terms in the text refer to. PRA is Permanently restricted area, usually barracks or training areas, and off limits to mission personnel (and presumably anyone who isn’t soviet!). TRA is Temporarily restricted area, usually put up to cover exercises or classified troop movements. These were posted in advance, which was sometimes apparently an advantage to the missions..
Sanddune appears to be the USMLM reference to rummaging through rubbish dumps in search of classified documents and material. (Known, I gather, to Brixmis as ‘Tamarisk’), though interestingly they appeared to put less priority to it than Brixmis.

Larkspur was overflight imagery taken in the Berlin control zone, similar to that undertaken by the Brixmis Chipmunk flight. According to David Clark

‘Larkspur was flown using a Pilatus Porter aircraft. I don't know, but imagine it was flown by army pilots as the US Army had fixed wing assets (eg GUARDRAIL).’

Other areas I would like to clear up are the grid references given in the report. They make no reference to the map used. I am assuming that they are probably East German Military issue maps, but a clarification on this (particularly scale used) would be useful. (or even better, you can tell me where I can get some from!)



Many thanks are due to Vasiliy Fofanov, and to Nils Hinrichsen. Thanks also to David Clark. Any faults therein are mine and not theirs.
Whilst I am at it, I would like to thank the United states army military liaison mission, without whose fascinating reports all of this would have been impossible (or at least a great deal shorter!). Credit must also go to Brixmis and the FMLM, both of whom provided, and took risks, as the USMLM. Thanks to all you gentlemen, you are not appreciated enough.

Suffice to say, If anyone can clear up any mysteries or inaccuracies contained in this document, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
Stuart.Galbraith@virgin.net


1955
No USMLM report this year, all observations are by Brixmis.

First T55 tanks photographed in East Germany.

First AK47 seen. (1)

1962

No USMLM report this year, all observations are by Brixmis.

Photographs taken of the first Sam2 missile in East Germany.(1)

First photographs obtained of the T62 Tank.(1)

Photographs taken of the ‘Big Mesh’ radar.(1)



1964

USMLM report this year states that ‘The year saw a reorganization of
GSFG armies and accompanying adjustments in troop dispositions.. A new pattern of Soviet vehicle and aircraft numbers made it difficult to determine the exact charges in Order of battle which resulted from the reorganization.’
Notes that newly developed equipment such as the ‘mule’ (?) and the scissors bridge (Brixmis photos shows what appears to be a TMM KrAZ launched Bridge) was received in limited amounts for field testing. Further introduction of T62, 122mm Gun howitzer m1963 (D30) reported on a larger scale. Sightings also reported of the scud end tray radar, and BMD20 atomic capable warhead reported.

March
Rocket launcher m1962 ’Blunderbuss’ photographed in GSFG hands. (This, from a photograph of a recovered dummy warhead, appears to be almost certainly RPG7). Indications received of Frogs in the hands of East German troops. (7)

April
Snapper, swatter and Baby carriage observed in the hands of the EGA. (7)

October
Scud A and Frog 4 observed on parade in EGA hands, unit unknown. (7)

1965

The report this year makes a number of general observations, unfortunately most undated:-

The number of T62s observed this year was approximately twice that noted in 1964.

122mm Howitzer M1963 was noted in increasing numbers.

Sagger ATGM appeared late in the year.

FMLM photographs a new 40 round 115mm rocket launcher mounted on a Ural 375 and a train carrying Kennel cruise missile launchers.

The expected quantity introduction of the BTR60P APC did not materialise.

New East German equipment noted, included the Zsu23 anti aircraft gun, the ATS-59 prime mover and the Zil-130 decontamination truck. In addition, T34 continued to be replaced by T54’s.
(7)

June
Soviet T-54's seen undergoing snorkelling training at Leissnitz. (7)

July
Artillery tractor ATS-59 was photographed in East Germany for the first time. (7)

September
Late in the month, the training area of Gross Behnitz was penetrated and the first ground observation of FROG training vas made. (7)

Scud B Missile observed in Germany for the first time. (1)

122mm Artillery piece ‘The Halle gun‘, observed for the first time (My comment, I assume this is a reference to the 122mm D30 Howitzer). (1)

Exercises this year

USMLM observes vehicles leaving Jueterbog, and conduct an exercise, night crossing of the Elbe at Elster-Gallin. Over 1000 vehicles take part.

1st-3rd April
Joint EGA-GSFG exercises ‘centred in the area between Berlin and Helmstedt and apparently was planned as a joint exercise directed against a possible avenue of attack by Nato forces along the Helmstedt autobahn‘. Elements of 8 GSFG and 1 EGA Divisions and Airborne Units from the Soviet Union. At least one Division observed by Brixmis was the 19th Motor Rifle Division. Claims exercises held as harassment as retaliation for holding the 7th April West German Bundestag in West Berlin. (My comments, according to (23) the exercise actually took place on 5-9thApril 1965, and confirms that Airborne units were used as a rapid means of reinforcement, something increasingly emphasised in exercises at the time.(7) (23)

20th September
10th Guards Tank Division observed by Brixmis USMLM and FMLM on exercise in Letzlinger Heide. Assembled near Potsdam, before entering the Altengrabow PRA on night of 20th-21st September and Letzlinger Heide on 21st. Despite security, the division was tracked throughout the exercise. (7)

16th-22nd October
Warsaw pact exercise ‘October Storm’ takes place at Letzlinger Heide. Little activity enter or leaving the area, leads USMLM to conclude ‘..that ‘October Storm’ was more of an exercise in political propaganda than in combat training.’ However ‘The Soviet Second Guards Army conducted a large scale exercise in the Letzlinger Heide area concurrent with ’October Storm‘. ‘This exercise was exceptionally well covered by BRIXMIS and FMLM, who bad responsibility for that area under the coordinated tri-Mission operational plan. The collection of technical information continued unabated, in spite of the exercise activity, and excellent photographs were taken of BIG MESH, FLATFACE and SPOON REST radars.’ (My Comments. According to (23) this exercise involved 50000 troops, 800 tanks, 1000 armoured personnel carriers and 400 aircraft and Helicopters. The exercise involved Soviet, GDR, Polish (including 2 regiments of an airborne division) and Czechoslovak troops and was directed by GSFG commander PK Koshevoi. It was considered by the Soviets as a seminal moment in pact exercises and as late as 10 years later, was still regarded as constituting ‘ the culmination stage in the training of the troops of the four brother armies and showed an improved level of training and combat readiness‘. Again, nuclear exchanges were simulated.(7) (23)

1966

Few new observations this year, none of which unfortunately were dated. The main things of note were ;-

Number of T62s in GSFG continued to rise, though not as steeply as in 1965.

The 122mm Howitzer D30 was seen in increasing numbers, and at least one battalion of 152mm Howitzer D1 was replaced by a battalion of 152mm Howitzer D20 in an army level artillery unit.

Maz503 truck noted in several configuration, as was the Maz527, which is associated with number of missile systems, including the Frog7.

Sagger ATGM noted with increasing frequency with the units of GSFG.

New version of the PK 7.62mm machine gun noted. (My comments, I assume they are referring to the RPK here.)

2 new bridging boats observed in numbers in the fall (my comments, presumably in the Vltava exercise), the BMK-130 (Noted earlier in small numbers) and the BMK90 modified.

In conclusion, USMLM said that the ‘status of GSFG as an elite, formidable, mobile combat ready force ready to fight either a conventional or nuclear war was not altered’.(7)

Exercises this year


20th-25th September
Highly publicised Warsaw pact exercise in Czechoslovakia, called ‘Vltava’. Coordinated Tri mission observation of road and railinks to Czech border, codenamed ‘La Ronde. According to (23) the exercise included Czech, Soviet GDR and Hungarian troops in the largest exercise to date. Soviet transports provided reinforcement directly to the combat zone, and Czechoslovak airborne troops took part in an airdrop with Soviet troops. According to the source, the exercise was nuclear from the start, and billed as the ’largest training operation of this size since ww2’. (7) (23)

1967

May

East German Mayday parade in East Berlin revealed 100mm Field Guns (In the report this is called the M55. Looking at (6) it is called M1955 and it is almost certainly the T12 100mm Antitank gun) and the Military district Artillery units had received 130mm Field Guns(m46).Units taking part in the parade included 2nd Scud Brigade, 18th Sam Regiment, 9th Tank Division and Military District V Artillery Regiment. (6) (7)

First sighting of the Frog 7 in the DDR. In late November a number of them were seen on a train at Wildpark near Potsdam. At least one of these units was later seen enter Krampnitz, installation 261. Speculation that all Divisions will receive this weapon, which ultimately proved correct. (7)

July

‘The only parachute unit in East Germany, the EGA 5th Battalion, was observed jumping near Barth in early July’.
Also in early July, a single T62 was observed on a siding north of Neustrelitz. Speculation that 9th Guards Tank Division may have been reequipped with this tank. (My comment. Seems tenuous! However interesting in that it indicates that 9th Guards Tank Division was garrisoned at Neustrelitz, and not in Zeithain as it was at the end of the cold war.)
(7)

Fall
Appearance of Sam3 Goa missile, presumably observed for the first time in East Germany.(7)

Deployment of extensive numbers of Flatface and Squat eye radars around DDR periphery. (7)

Unconfirmed observations of the Wheeled scud carrier (Maz543). (7)

Other events this year


February
USMLM observes new state POL depot at Zirtow, and a new tank range at Goldberg, and reports on training areas near Brandenburg and Gardelegen. (7)

1968
No USMLM report this year, all observations are by Brixmis.

During Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, new radar systems which included the Long Track surveillance radar and Think Skin B height finding radar.(1)

Electronic equipment noted fitted to the T62. (My comments, night vision searchlight?) (1)


1969

27th January
Complete 3 battery orbat of S60 Antiaircraft Battalion from 1st EGA Motor Rifle Division is observed, an increase of 1 battery. Notes that one battery HAD been observed with the ZSU57-2 in previous manoeuvres. Flat wheel radar observed with Battalion. (7)

March
T54 and T55 are seen replacing the T34 in the EGA Motor Rifle Divisions. ”numbers of the T-54 were observed in the regiments, probably of the 1st MRD, deployed during the "autobahn manoeuvres" of March 1969. On 30 April 1, T-54's were observed in the Brandenburg installation housing the 3rd Motorized Rifle Regiment, 1st EGA MRD“. (7)

July
Major changes in the orbat of Soviet Motor rifle regiments. A probable column of 10th Guards Tank Division was observed near Krampnitz with “…6 122mm howitzers (M-30) and eighteen 120mm mortars. Typical of numerous other sightings, it is indicated that the mortar company of the motorized rifle battalion has increased firepower to a total of six 120mm mortars and that the tubes of the 120mm mortar battery of the regiment has been replaced by six 122mm howitzers“. (7)

August
Observed this month was BM21s introduction into separate MRL battalions in Soviet Motor Rifle Divisions. ‘An illustration of this was a column sighting by USMLM in August containing twelve BM-24, and five BM-21 The unit was a probable element of the 10th Guards Tank Division. ‘ Further observes that Battalions are of 18 firing Units. (7)

Date Unknown
Soviet Frog launcher Divisional batteries are observed as obtaining a 4th firing unit. Frog7 observed in Use by the 9th EGA Tank Division and the 8th EGA MRD, also of 4 Launchers. (7)

Date Unknown
Changes noted to the Antitank battery of the Soviet Motor rifle divisions. “It is probable that the Antitank Battery, Division Artillery, has been replaced by a battalion size unit of four batteries composed of mixed 100mm field gun and SWATTER antitank guided missiles. Formerly held with a strength of six tubes, Allied Military Mission sightings would now indicate a probable weapons density of eighteen 100mm field guns and nine SWATTER“. (7)

Date Unknown
Continued introduction of the SPG-9 is observed. USMLM speculates it replaces the 57mm Zis2 Antitank gun in the Antitank Platoon of the Motor Rifle Battalion. Report observes that the latter weapon is rarely seen in GSFG now. (7)

Date Unknown
Continued introduction of the ZSU23/4 into GSFG. Interestingly says that the weapon is only seen in Tank Divisions, and unlike later orbats, appears in groups of 8 weapons. (My comments. As we see in later Orbats from the 70s and 80s, 4 of these vehicles would be replaced by SAM9, and later Sam13.)
(7)

Date Unknown
EGA Reconnaissance elements now stronger due to increased delivery of BRDM2.(7)

Date Unknown
Scud B observed in EGA Army hands for the First time. “This unit may constitute an addition to the holdings of the 2d Artillery (SCUD) Brigade, MD V, the only confirmed SCUD unit in the EGA. This unit currently holds the tracked SCUD-A and SCUD-B. Based on previous sightings of the tracked equipment, it is possible that a total of 12 launchers are now included in the EGA inventory. The possibility also exists that this new equipment was on loan from GSFG for display during the parade.” (My Comment. Someone is very cynical!) (7)

Date Unknown
ZSU23/4 observed in EGA hands for the first time during the 7th October parade. (7)

1970
No USMLM report this year, all observations by Brixmis.

Spg-9 Recoilless gun seen being fired for the first time.

Frog-7 missile seen with new warhead fitted.

Sam4 and Fan Song radar photographed.

East German Tank observed undertaking river crossings at night using snorkels, and whilst fitted with mineplows. (!!)(1)

1971

February
Mi8C photographed at the Soviet airfield of Cochstedt. (7)

28th February
Two military trains carrying T62A were observed at the Wustermark railroad siding. Photography shows an ’anti aircraft machine gun’ mounted on the roof of the T62. (My comment USMLM call this T62A,known by the Soviets apparently as T62 Model 1972.) (7)

15th March
Tour penetrates Sam 2 support facility at Parchim. Evidence that the East Germans are hardening their Sam facilities with construction of bunkers. (7)

24th March
Detailed photography of IR devices of a T62 obtained. Tank belonged to 7th Guards Tank Division. (7)

25th March
Soviet chemical warfare training observed at Cottbus, with Soldiers seen fitting and clearing gas masks. Note in report that Chemical training is much emphasised in the Soviet army, troops are ‘Frequently seen wearing protective clothing while performing routine tasks such as laying wire or driving trucks.’ (7)


2nd April
New BRDM without normal turret observed at Potsdam Wildpark railroad siding. Presumed to have command or electronic functions. (My comments, almost certainly an early reference to BRDM2U, which was correctly assumed to have command functions for a whole variety of units.) (7)

28th April
ZSU23/4 and ZSU57/2 observed together on a railway flatcar at Priort siding. This appeared to indicate to USMLM that the ZSU57/2 was not being replaced by ZSU23/4, but was perhaps being used at the same time. (My Comment, It may be worth further investigation to discover if that prior to introduction of Sam9, the Regimental anti aircraft company had 4 ZSU23/4 and 4 ZSU57/2. At present however, there is no evidence of this.) (7)

1st May
After penetration of a number of Sam 2 sites on this date (locations sadly not given) 2 locations had Fan song B, 2 Fan song E and 2 with Fan song F, the latter being the first time the new radar system had been see in East Germany. (7)

14th June
NZhM-56 Heavy Railway floating bridge seen being constructed at the engineer river crossing site at Prettin on the Elbe. The equipment was first seen in 1965, but this was the first time that it had been seen being assembled. (7)

July
Pipeline construction, see April other events this year. (7)

2nd July
First observation of ‘Long Track’ radar system in East German hands at Schwerin. Possibly located near Neu Brandenberg. (7)

12th July
First technical quality photography of FLAP WHEEL fire control system for the S60 Anti Aircraft Gun obtained at an East German deployment site at Potsdam/Neu Fahrland. (7)

18th July
Significant Divisional Manoeuvres. TRA 11-71 is put in place south of Berlin, as a holding area for units moving into the Letzlinger Heide training area. Observation revealed a column of 700 vehicles crossing the Helmstedt Autobahn. As some units were observed later exiting the autobahn near Bernau, it was concluded that elements of 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 20th Guards Army had taken part. (My Comments, the TRA list also indicates 71st Guards Artillery Brigade also took part). Equipment observed taking part (My comments, not necessarily for the first time) included SA4, Frog7 TEL, and a complete battalion of T55s being lifted by Maz 537 transporters from Burg to Dallgow-Doberitz. (7)

10th August
Sam2 training dome erected at Sam training school at Kamenz airfield. (7)

13th August
Fan song F tracking and guidance missile radar sighted at Gross Dobbern SA-2 launch site. Evidence that there is only two ‘F’ radars in East Germany that are being rotated among East German Sam regiments, presumably for training (7) purposes.

24th August
Long track radar sighted at Wittstock/Biesen radar site. (7)

23rd September
Tour observes a type 60 PMP bridging unit being built at the Sandau crossing site on the Elbe river. Note on amazing rapidity of its construction. This occurred during TRA 19-71 when 9th Guards Tank Division, Second Guards Army and 10th Guards Tank Division, 3rd Shock Army both undertook river crossing operations. (7)

29th September
Hungarian built Fug armoured car confirmed in holdings of East German Border Command. Observed in increasing numbers with Border Command units in the Potsdam area. Note in following years report that it replaces BTR40. (7)

1st November
Apparent confirmation of establishment of regimental level AAA defences, when 8 ZSU23/4 seen being moved by rail. (My Comment, apparently tenuous, but probably accurate. Sightings like this, as units were almost always moved together, tended to show the equipment in typical groupings, like this regimental level AA battery. It also confirms observations as far back as 1969.) (7)

9th November
First observation of SA6 equipment in East Germany, when Zil131 transloaders are observed being offloaded at a railway siding at Halle/Schlettau. (My comments, report the following year claims all components of the system were in GSFG by May 1972.) (7)

29th November
Presence of SA4 and presence of T62 (and turret numbers) reveal the likely presence of a Tank Division at Saalfeld installation 282, where previously a Motor Rifle Division was believed to be based. (7)

19th December
At the Dallgow-Doeberitz railway siding, 88 Zil-164 trucks were seen in ‘Strakes’ (My Comment, parked ‘piggy back’ fashion to create more room) on railway flatbeds. Due to the increased numbers of Zil-130 in GSFG, highly probable these were being returned to the Soviet Union. (7)





Other events this year

23rd February
Photographic coverage of East German army engineer depot at Kirchain. Previously listed only as a training area, it now has numerous scrapers, crane shovels and heavy duty crawler tractors. (My comments, possible construction of a major barracks?) (7)

24th February
Existence of an East German Sam support facility at Bernsdorf/Strassgraebchen was confirmed. Photographic evidence also proves that this facility houses the Headquarters of the 14th East German Air force Sam Regiment. (7)

April
Soviet pipeline units active during early part of the month laying pipeline in the southeast quadrant of East Germany. Pipeline observed to be 4 to 6 inches in diameter and probably intended to carry pol stocks in support of field armies. (My Comments. Report makes no comment on where the pipeline was laid! Whether there is any connection to the pipeline laid in June and July between Luebben and Jueterbog by 56th Transportation Regiment (For exercises involving 3rd Shock Army and 1st Guards Tank Army) is unknown. In that particular case a branch ran south towards Rochau, interestingly with stocks of pipes being held at Kleinbahren, which served 24th Tactical Air Army.
It would be interesting to know if these pipelines were removed after the exercises, or were semi permanent. Looking at the USMLM reports there appeared to be a number of logistical movements noted during the various exercises this year, perhaps indicating greater emphasis from the Soviets in this area? ) (7)

20th October
Announcement of Soviet conscription for this year. Actual sighting of first ‘Pendal’ trains in sidings (trains to carry in new conscripts from the Soviet Union) was on 16th November at Pasewalk. Note that this year there were fewer trains observed, indicating greater use of aircraft in flying in new conscripts (There being a minimum of 40 flights into Gross Dolln and Grossenhain airfields). Rotation lasted approx 6 weeks. (7)

9th December
‘Visit’ to SIGINT collection site at Zella Mehlis. Evidence of fluctuation in type and number of equipment at the site, inventory being rather fluid. Over 1971, there was presence at the site of Bar Brick, Swing Box, Squat Eye, Big Ear, Grid Shield, Front Plate, Fold Plate, Sprag Star (!!), Discone, 4 large and 7 small parabola, and several unidentified antenna. At the end of the year, there was reported to be new buildings under construction at the west of the site.
At the same time, there was a visit to the East German site at Bienstaedt. 9 different antenna noted, Capable of operating in UHF, VHF and HF frequency ranges. Site reported to give the East Germans an important ability to monitor allied radio traffic. (7)

1972

25th January
First BMP sighting of the year (My Comment, the report entry notes that the machine was first sighted in GSFG the previous year) when 8 belonging to 19th Motor Rifle Division were see entering Dallgow Doeberitz training area, and in June 3 in Ohrdruf PRA. (7)

11th March
Observation of a Frog 5 in EGA hands, by a USMLM on a railway siding in Karl Marx Stadt.(7)


10th-17th March
First sighting of T62 in East German hands. See exercise section for this year.(7)


29th March
Observation on this date of Frog7 in EGA hands. A military train carrying 2 Frog resupply, 3 Frog7 TEL, 2 Breadbin was photographed in Wustermark siding.(7)

14 April
39 Vehicle East German column containing 6 Frog Tel and 6 Frog resupply was photographed leaving the west ring (Berlin?) after a probable practices for the May Day parade.(7)

16th June
Sighting of BTR60PA command vehicle (My Comment, report notes probably fitted with R102 radio). 2 Vehicles seen on the Cottbus-Finsterwalde railway line in company with 30 other BTR60. Vehicles first seen in Spring 1971, with increasing numbers seen during 1972. Side numbers indicate vehicles belonged to 69th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division.(7)

22nd June
MTU55 seen ‘with increasing frequency’ throughout 1972. On this date, technical quality imagery of one near Halle.(7)

11th August
Observation of a regiment size T62 movement by night through ‘night vision device’ made possible the identification of the unit as 52nd Guards Tank Regiment of 6th Guard Tank Division. Equipment included 79 T62, 4 ZSU23/4, 3 ZSU57/2, 2 PT76,2 MTU,1 SKP-5, 1 BLG60 and one Bat-m. Unit proceeded to Altengrabow training area.(7)

10th July
First sighting of prototype on test of East German W50 truck. (My comment, as we shall see, this handsome truck became common in the NVA)(7)

21st July
First observation of D30 Howitzer being used by the East German Army.6 seen being used on an artillery range near Rostock. Subsequent sighting on the Pritzwalk-Rostock railway proved it to be greater than battalion strength. Markings indicated use by East German Army 16 Artillery Regiment, 8th Motor Rifle Division, Military District V.(7)

11th September
Probable first sighting of the Sam9 ‘Gaskin’ at Barleben. 6 observed at this time. (my comments, the report the following year confirms that this was Sam9, and that observation had become frequent In major columns during exercise periods. Interestingly they also confirm that batteries were composed of 1 ‘Brdm2a [1]’ and 3, ‘Brdm2a [2]’. According to (24) the Brdm2a[1], or Sam9A, was fitted with ‘Flat box A’ passive radar detection antennas. Brdm2a [2], or Sam9 B, was not fitted with this equipment.
(7)

28th September
First USMLM sighting of the Zil135 8x8 heavy load carrier on the Dresden Autobahn. This vehicle also formed the chassis for the Frog7.(7)


Other events this year
5th September
Sighting of Pak 200 Zil131 field kitchen trucks at Satzkorn railway siding. Note in report that this replaces Pak170 Zil157 field kitchen trucks.(7)

3rd November
45 vehicle convoy including 30 Maz500 vans, sighted near Wittenberg. Speculation in report that this may be a possible missile support column. (7)

Exercises this year

4th January
During TRA 1-72 Soviet 10th Guards Tank Division deploys into Lehnin PRA for field training exercises. At least 2 Tank regiments, motor rifle regiment elements and units of the divisions decontamination units and artillery regiment were identified. Impending deployment predicted and coverage by three missions coordinated. (7)

20th January
During TRA 3-72 57thGuards Motor Rifle Division was noted returning to garrison in Zeitz and Baumburg from the exercise location in Weimar. Elements of at least one motor rifle regiment, artillery regiment and communications and logistics elements identified as taking part. (7)

10th-17th March
A large scale ‘probable’ joint exercise between Soviet and East German units was observed in south-eastern Germany (Koenigsbrueck PRA). Unusually this was not screened by a TRA. Units involved were 6th Guards Tank Division, 7th Guards Tank Division and ‘probably 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division, all belonging to 1st Guards Tank Army. East German units involved were 11th Tank Regiment (of 11th Motor Rifle Division, Military District III) and ‘probably’ elements of 9th Panzer Division (Military District V). Large numbers of T62s seen near Bernsdorf on March 15th. Among T55s sighted was sighted ‘the first T62 in East German hands’. (My Comments, either a misidentification, or possibly an operational trial of the tank for possible future purchase? As we now know, the EGA never had any!) (7)

11th April
Major elements of 19th Motor Rifle Division observed on route 2 during PRA 7-72. Possibly a logistical exercise, since the logistics elements appear to have had full equipment. Portions of 19th MRR and 83rd MRR (including chemical company, full compliment of rocket launchers, most of the division artillery mortars, d30s for one motor rifle regiment and antiaircraft guns for two regiments were also observed. 19 ARS-12 decontamination vehicles observed, 16 only previously seen with this unit.

25th -25th July
Large scale exercise by elements of 20th Guards Tank Division observed in Weimar Saalfeld Stadtilm area. T62 Tanks of the Divisions 27th Tank Regiment took part, along with 66th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment (my comments, was this organic to this division?) D30s, S60s decontamination and coms equipment also observed.

22nd-23rd September
Large scale exercise by East German units from Military District V, in connection with TRA 12-72. 446 vehicle column observed on Prenzlau autobahn.

25th November
Tour observes at Halle tank-infantry training by elements of EGA 11th Motor Rifle Division, involving T55 and BTR60PB personnel carriers. (7)





1973


1st March
Observation of a military type scissors type bridge carried by a civilian plated Tatra 813 chassis at Nuernburg. No indication of how bridge is to be launched, but considered probably a reload carrier. (7)

23rd April
Zil131 Railway bridge pontoon carrier (first sighting?) replace the Zil157 pontoon carriers, formerly at Annaburg installation 501.(7)

21st May
First photography of an operational SA6 site at Burg. Site had originally housed Sam 2. Sites also become operational at Perleburg, Halle and Ohrdruf during 1973.On 7th October, 12 vehicles ‘in a mobile configuration‘ were noted as part of a 208 vehicle column proceeding towards Altengrabow training area during an unidentified training exercise. (My comments, interesting in that most of the time these weapons were set up in near permanent fire positions in peacetime. Is this unusual for what was supposed to be a divisional level weapon?)(7)

4th July
Frog 7 appears to have almost totally supplanted Frog3,4 and 5. There was only one sighting this year of the latter, on a train near Schlieben apparently used by an East German army unit. Frog 7 has been seen this year with the FROG battalion of 10th Guards Tank Division and with East German army units.(7)

19th May
Sightings of a possible 20 new MBT or Sp gun being transported on the Gueterglueck - Gommern rail line. (my Comments. Photographs show a heavily tarped vehicle, but possibly this is a very early sighting of the 2s3 152mm self propelled gun. See August 1974)(7)

22nd June
First sighting of UAZ469B with the GSFG. Photographed in Potsdam, it undoubtedly was a new arrival as it still had the shipping label still on it!(7)

25th July
Unstated sources (My comments, Sanddune?) indicate the Snar2 artillery radar has been replaced by the Snar6 in ‘Pork Trough’. Close up photography of one is obtained at Neustrelitz to confirm whether it is true.(7)

20th September
First sighting of Maz543 cargo carrier noted in Berlin on May 30th and again on September 20th. (My Comments, MAZ543 was developed from the Scud TEL which along with the Zil135 cargo carrier the previous year, points to serious attempt during this period to upgrade the GSFG logistics capability) (7)

26th September
Presence of first Mi24A Hind in GSFG confirmed at Stendal when 2 aircraft were seen performing training flights with a number of Hip C. Hind also noted at Parchim airfield.(7)

Other events this year

Increase in Tank holdings in GSFG
In the report this year, there is an observation that with the continuing replacement of T55 with T62, the disposition of the replaced T55 is becoming a serious problem. So great was the concern over the disappearance of equipment, USMLM undertook a study of significant WW2 underground installations in the DDR to see if they were being used for storage of equipment. All appeared to be unused. Part of the solution is the realisation that GSFG divisions are newly forming independent tank battalions with 31 tanks each. Tank divisions also appear to have had their holdings of tanks increased. (7)

VRN numbers
GSFG changes over this month to a new vehicle registration system. Whereas attempts toward understanding of the previous system appeared to meet with limited success, the new one appears to be a lot easier when registered in a indexed with a computer, allowing for more TOE analysis of soviet units.










1974

2nd August
Confirmation of BMP in use in significant numbers with the East German army. 23 on this date seen departing Letzlinger Heide by train. On 14-15 September 51 were seen moving by rail. Evidence indicates that these are in use by the East German Army’s 9th Panzer Division.(7)

15th August
A coordinated Tri-Mission operation (Operation Pinocchio) is undertaken to discover the identity of a new type Soviet SP gun seen in the Letzlinger Heide PRA. Photography of the gun is obtained when the unit departed from the PRA by rail, and was revealed to be the M1974 2s3 Self propelled howitzer. (My Comments, see 19th May 1973) (7)

Other events this year

Vehicle registration numbers
Despite changing the VRN (again!) in November, with the new systems in place (including cataloguing through a USAEUR computer) significant discoveries are still being made. Of interest is the fact that GSFG has far more vehicles than originally estimated, which causes a revision of estimated GSFG logistics capabilities. (my comments, also perhaps a further indication that GSFG had upgraded its logistic capabilities?) (7)


1975

5th March
USMLM confirms presence of SA4 in East German army use, when it witnesses an SA4 transloaders in the vicinity of the new Stavenhagen EGA installation. An associated LONG TRACK radar and target acquisition vehicle were noted in the same area on the 21st March. (7)


10th April
Observation of a vehicle column leads to the conclusion that M46 130mm gun is in service with the East German Army. (My comments, this weapon was often used in the counter battery role, which suggest that the weapon was being used in an army level artillery brigade.)

10th May
Confirmation of the presence of an airborne unit in the GSFG. A soldier wearing airborne accoutrements was noted at an installation in Neustrelitz. A blue beret was also recovered, along with notebook detailed the behind the lines role of the soviet airborne unit giving much detail on the training of the unit.(7)

July
Documents found on the rubbish dump at Neustrelitz reveal personnel rosters for 9th Motor Transport Company, 1952 Transportation Battalion, 9 Guards Tank Division. (7)

14th September
Information posters found at Gardelegen gunnery range indicates that the PSZH armoured car is now also being used by Border Command North as well as Border Command Central. The posters also show that guards are not trained to fire at border violators from moving vehicles now, as well rather than from fixed positions only.

1st and 11th October
Observation of Military District III AAA regiment deploying from garrison at Leipzig to the local training area. Not only did they display high professionalism, but were training in full NBC kit. Interestingly the Ks19 was seen with wider tyres than normal, which it was noted, would improve cross country mobility.

Other events this year

26th February
First clear photography by USMLM of NBC filtration system fitted to the zil131 truck (My comments, box bodied so possibly a command vehicle?) (7)

1976
Date Unknown
“Interest, understandably, was the introduction into GSFG of the new
T-72 main battle tank. The acquisition of the T-72 by the 6 Guards Motor Rifle Division and 35 MRD was closely monitored by Tri-Mission assets and high quality technical Photography was expedited to numerous Intelligence agencies“. (My Comments. See September 14th for a fuller description) (7)

20th February
Careful observation of 118 Artillery Regiment ,34 Guards Artillery Division returning from FTX at Letzlinger Heide, reveals upgrade of a battalion of M46 artillery pieces. Conclusion that the regiment must have been upgraded to a brigade. (7)

15th March
First Photography of Hind A. Aircraft seen at Reinsdorf, and fitted with Swatter ATGM. (7)

25th March
First photography of the M1975 ‘Fred’ (My Comment. Probably the SNAR10 Artillery Location Radar Vehicle) battlefield surveillance radar taken at Werder. Observed in company of BMP Variant 1975 (PRP 3) suggesting probably link between the two. (7)(5)

7th April
First photography (and observation) of the SA4 TEL in use by the East German Army. (7)

June 28th
Photography of Installation 208 at Dresden revealed at least one battery of 27 Guards Motor Rifle Regiment , 11 Guards Tank Division is equipped with 122mm SP m1974 (2s1). (7)

10th August
Photographic coverage of SA6 deployment site at Neustrelitz. Confirmation that the unit is subordinate to 16 Guards Tank Division, 2nd Guards Tank Army. (Unit is presumably 66 Anti Aircraft Regiment.) (7)

September 14th
First indications of T72 introduced into GSFG, when 30 arrive on Flatcar at Neustrelitz. All vehicles heavily tarped. (My Comment Location would seem to indicate they are destined for 16 Guards Tank Division, largely garrisoned at Neustrelitz.)(2) (7)

(My Comments. After posting up an early draft of this on the net, David Clark offered me his perspective on the incident.
‘’Now we come to the conundrum of 1976/77 and the introduction of T72s into GSFG! As we now know (what price hindsight!) these were T64s. However at that time neither ourselves at HQ BAOR nor HQ USAREUR knew of the existence of T64s. All the material we had seen referred to T72. As I recall it, the big re-equipment thrust was around Easter. We came back off the long weekend to discover 600 new tanks milling around GSFG and the missions throwing a collective wobbler. It wasn't until the November 1977 parade in Moscow that we realised that there were 2 different tanks out there and that "our" T72 was actually the T64.”

So it appears certain that these were in fact a first sighting of T64A.) (21)

3rd December
First Hind D seen at Parchim and Stendal airfields. (7)


Other events this year

February 27th
First photography of the SA4 site at Aiperstedt. (7)

June 1st
Note of a modified ‘Bar Brick’ radar observed at the Radar site at Ludwigslust. (7)

June19th
Litter recovery reveals the presence of a KGB/UPS signal regiment at Cottbus, installation 281. (7)

Lug SA2 acquisition site reported being hardened. Note of an earlier modification to similar site at Beetz. (7)

1977
03 June
26 New 26 BRDM2 mounting Sagger missiles seen at Beelitz with the East German Army (probably East German 1st Motor Rifle Division). Proof the EGA received new equipment, and not just outdated Soviet equipment. Observation of EGA 8th MRD confirms introduction of MTLB into East German Army (7)(13)

7th October
As a result of Tri-mission coverage of the East German armed forces parade in Berlin, equipment taking part was monitored returning to barracks. Noted that the Scud Brigade/MDV had relocated. (editors note, the report does not say where. As this would appear to be 5 Rocket Brigade ‘Bruno Leuschner’, possibly this may be at the location it was at in 1989, Demen.) (7)(11)(12)

13th October
Observation of railway siding at Gross Ammensleben reveals 2 tarped T64’s. Subsequent confirmation that T64 is in service with 47 Guards Tank Division. Further study of the units location reveals T62s being shipped out, before being lost at Altengrabow PRA. There ultimate destination was unknown. (7)

19th December
USMLM tour at Bad Salzungen Training area 401, reveals MTLB in use as a tractor unit for T12, for 4th Anti Tank Battalion, 4th Motor Rifle Division. Also confirms unit is barracked at Bad Salzungen installation 001.(7)

27th December
7 SA8 observed returning from Doeberitz from Jueterbog PRA. First observation of unit out of garrison training since arrival at 35 MRD. (My Comment, Possibly 200 Anti Aircraft Regiment?)(7)


1978

Date Unknown
T64 is confirmed being used by 25th Tank Division, and 21st Motor Rifle Division. Additionally conversion of all Divisional Air defence regiments from S60 to SA8 Gecko reported to be continuing.
(7)

12th January
Larkspur imagery reveals 6 Gaz66 based intercept vehicles (My Comment. Known to the US army as USAEUR as Type 4090) in service with 57th Recon Battalion, 35thMRD. (7)

14th January
Recovered letter reveals probable conversion of AA regiment in 94th Guards Motor Rifle Division to SA8. Rail watch on line into Schwerin confirmed that this was the
case. (My comment, possibly this was 896 SAM Regiment?) (2)(7)

17th January
Larkspur reveals presence of ‘Sage Gloss’ (My Comment. I am guessing another D/F Vehicle, or possibly even a coms vehicle) in service with 113 Guards Artillery Regiment, 20th Guards Army. (7)

30th January
Larkspur confirms ‘Sage Gloss’ (?!!) in service with 299th Artillery, 10th Guards Tank Division.

17th February
First observation of AT5 Spandrel armed BRDM2 in GSFG. (7)

18th March
Larkspur provides imagery of SA8 Calibrator/ Collimator at Doberitz training area 460. (My Comment. Probable association here with air defence training at this location?) (7)

29th March
Larkspur provides photographs of previously unseen BMP variant, M1978 at Doberitz. Appears after research to be the BMP1KSH, a command vehicle for Motor rifle regiments. (5) (7)

29th March
Larkspur shows what is presumably a typical 37 round loadout for T64 in this period.19 HE, 12AP, 6 HVAPDS. (7)

6th April
First Photography of MRL1977 (BM27 220mm MRL) obtained ‘over the wall’ at Karl Marx Stadt Installation 241-242. Notes in the report that this weapon first arrived in GSFG ‘early 1977’. (possibly the installation reveals that it belonged to 307 Rocket Artillery Brigade). (7)(17)

30th May
Larkspur shows a modified ZSU23-4 (M?) at Krampnitz. (7)

3rd August
Larkspur confirmation of BRDM 2 Sagger in use by 1st East German Army Motor Rifle Division. (7)

1st and 2nd September
Larkspur confirms Flat Face B, Thin Skin and spoon rest, present at Bernau Army Barracks (My Comment. Called Panzer241? Presumably a supplementary designation of the installation). Indicates imminent conversion of 6 Guards Motor Rifle Division’s AAA Regiment to Sam. According to the report, It subsequently received SAM 8. (7)

20th September
Larkspur observes 9 unnumbered 152mm 2s3 on sidings at Satzkorn RR yards (Occupied by 10th Guards Tank Division). On 24th October 6 more seen at Potsdam Army Barracks, Kriegschule 288, home of 10th GTD’s 299 Artillery Regiment. On 27th October, 11 more sighted. Report concludes 2s3 greater than battery strength in this unit. (7)

June
Conversion of 10th Guards Tank Division at Potsdam to the T64, and concurrent retrograde of T62. Confirms Larkspur imagery showing retrograde of T62 on March 9-12th. (7)

June
T64 Tanks at Hagenow Installation 261 (283 MRR?) , Perleberg Installation 241 (239 MRR?) , and the Ludwigslust (240 MRR?) , Jaennersdorf and Parchim (18 Tank Battalion?) training areas confirmed 21st MRD had reequipped with that tank (and neatly summarise that divisions barracks and training areas!) (2)(7)

June
East German Air force receives its first Hind D. 4 D’s are delivered to Hubschraubergeschwader 54, at Basepohl airbase near Stavenhagen in Neubrandenburg. Another sources puts the arrival of these aircraft in August. USMLM report also notes presence of Hip F. (9)(10)

21 July
4th Anti Tank Battalion, 4th Motor Rifle Division Confirmed (again!) at Bad Salzungen installation 001. Additional presence of ZSU 23/4. (7)


Date unknown
Presence of a ‘Hind D’ at Parchim fitted with AT6 Spiral. Presumably an early reference to Hind ‘E’ (Mi24V). This variant also spotted at Retzow on 6th September.
(7)

17th September
First photographic evidence of ‘Spoon Rest D’ radar in East German service.
(7)

17-21st September
Observation of exercise reveals SAM9 In service with East German 7th Tank Division. (see exercise section). (7)

12th October
Larkspur provides evidence that BMP1976/2 (which appears to be BRM1K) in the inventory of 10th Guards Tank Division, 3rd Shock Army. Report also notes presence of this machine in service with 35th Motor Rifle Division, and 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 20th Guards Army at a later date. (5) (7)

27th October
‘Over the wall’ observation of barracks at Prenzlau Installation 242 (probably either 175 or 335 Tank Regiment) revealing T64 in service with 25th Tank Division. 2 days later T62s were observed on the rail line to Frankfurt/Oder , presumably being returned to the Soviet union (and appears to put paid to any ‘mobilisation stocks in East Germany’ claims, at least in this particular case) (7)(15)

21st November
Long Track A being replaced by Long Track D at Soviet radar sites along inner German border.
(7)

22nd November
New East German truck based decontamination vehicle, Tz-74, seen for the first time at Bad Dueben (presumably Chemical Defence Battalion 3, ‘Rudolf Rotkegel’, the Military region 3 Chemical warfare defence unit).
(7) (16)

26th November
152mm 2s3 sighted at Neustrelitz rail siding. Suggests 16 Guard Tank Division converting its artillery regiment (My Comments, possibly 724 Artillery?) to Self Propelled. (7)

4th December
Larkspur observes 5 Btr60 CMD present at Schonow Training area, Berlin 455. Training area used by 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division, and BTR variant used by SAM and SPAA Regiments. (7)

14th December
Confirmation ‘By other sources’ of 2 SA8 batteries, likely assets of 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division, present at Werneuchen Airfield.(7)

January-December 78
Various intelligence sources suggest that Motor Rifle Battalions in the Berlin Control zone, now have a minimum of 11 BTR60PB in each MR company, instead of the 10 they previously had. Report speculations (citing Sanddune) that it is a carrier for an unknown weapon system. (Automatic Grenade Launcher? It is possible that this may also be due to the introduction of AT4 spigot. David Isby refers to 2 BTRs forming a weapons platoon which included this weapon, forming in the late 70s in Germany. He possibly is referring to this.) Similar changes were observed at ;-

68th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 27thGuards Motor Rifle Division, 1st Guards Tank Army, garrisoned Halle.

1st Battalion, 64th Motor Rifle Regiment, 35th MRD observed at Doeberitz Army Barracks.

19th Motor Rifle Regiment, 35th Motor Rifle Division.

82nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division.
(7)(18)




Other Events this Year
05 January
Larkspur imagery reveals what appears to be an underground storage site at
Werneuchen airfield. Interestingly, 2 Mi6 ‘Hook’ Helicopters are present and appear to have been carrying heavy loads. (7)



March
Construction of East German Army tunnel at Blankenburg, near the inner German border. Apparently an old tunnel belonging to the SS (and related to the better known DORA complex) the EGA obtained it in 1975, and reopened it in 1980 apparently having made it 4 times larger(!). It now appears that it was for stowage of EGA ammunition stocks, and interestingly now appears to still be in use as late as 2001 by the Bundeswehr for stowage of medical supplies. (7)(14)

24th March
‘Sanddune’ documents reveal details of GSFG ethnic breakdown.
72% Russian, Byelorussian or Ukrainian decent. 24% made up of other ethnic groups, not including Germans, Jews, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians which are excluded. Officers Praporshchik and NCOs are predominantly Ukrainian and Russian.
(7)

6th June
Confirmation that Soviet units occasionally exchange Vehicle registration numbers to confuse mission teams. Not only is one soviet unit ‘caught in the act’ exchanging numbers, but Sand dune documents reveal that all units have their own numbers, and an alternate set.
(7)

22-23rd June
USMLM team ‘visits’ Haufield Training area 401, which from the D30 Howitzer training boards would appear to be an artillery training range. Interestingly however there are also training boards displayed for the RPK and AK74, the earliest reference to them being present in GSFG.
(7)


Exercises this year

17-21st September
2 division exercise involving Soviet and East German units. Soviet 16th Guards Tank Division and East German 7 Tank Division take part in exercise from Jueterbog PRA, through Altengrabow PRA and Letzlinger-Heide PRA. Best insights into Soviet-East German Interoperability to date (or lack thereof!). (7)


1979

Date Unknown
2 New attack helicopter regiments formed. One with Hind D at Weimar Nohra, the other with Hind E at Mahlwinkel.(7)

Date Unknown
East German Air force receives 4 more Hind D.
(9)(10)

Date Unknown
Thin Skin radar and SA8 missile container transporters presumed to indicate imminent introduction of SA8 Gecko into 6 Guards Motor Rifle Division. (7)

1980
Date Unknown
First BTR70’s noted in GSFG this year.
(1)

Date Unknown
New variant of BM-21 seen in service with new formation, the 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade at Cottbus (almost certainly the BM-21V, fitted to the Gaz66B light truck) (1)(5)


parate Guards Helicopter Belgorod Red Banner Regiment (Oranienburg)

#11 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 0423 AM

1981
Of interest was a report found on the Brixmis website:-

report to the GDR National Defence Council by the commander of the NVA, Colonel-General STRELITZ, on incursions by western missions into Restricted Areas in 1981; reveals that allied military missions accredited to GSFG entered Restricted Areas illegally on 77 occasions, an increase of 31% over the 1980 figures.
The report states that BRIXMIS was involved 46 times (59%) USMLM 22 times (29%) and FMLM 9 times (12%). He states that facilities belonging to ground and air forces were primarily affected, in particular in the Magdeburg, Frankfurt/Oder and Cottbus districts.
The main incursions recorded concerned:
SAM battalion 311, which was setting up firing positions.
SigInt battalion 61, for which a Command Post was being set up.
Pontoon regiment 5, which was involved in a joint NVA / GSFG exercise on the Elbe
Armoured Regiment 14, where a new type of tank was suspected. [!?]
Artillery regiment 7, where artillery pieces were being converted to SP equipment.
STRELITZ considered it essential that a greater effort should be made to co-ordinate checks on the movements of the western military missions in the GDR.
[Originally Submitted to the Brixmis website by Bob Hamilton]
(22)

29th January
68th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division returning to barracks from training observed to be equipped with SA13, having replaced the Regiments previous equipment, SA9. (7)

29th January
8 D30’s seen at Prenzlau. First evidence that 175th Tank Regiment, 25th Tank Division’s artillery battery had been reorganised into a battalion. (7)

16th February
94th Guard Motor Rifle Division observed during a Divisional FTX at Havelburg/Sandau seen to have a reconnaissance battalion part equipped with T64. Later observation of this unit on the 26th July gave the first detail breakdown of this type of unit. (7)

27th February
First technical quality photography of Twin Ear B taken at Niederdodlieben. (7)

6th March
At Satzkorn, all three missions acquired photography of the soviets new 152mm SP howitzer. Assumed to have gone to 34 Guards Artillery Division to replace the 130mm Howitzer. (7)

16th March
At4 Spigot seen in the hands of air assault troops at Cottbus (almost certainly 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade. However Sanddune mentions that 41Guards Motor Rifle Regiment had received Airborne training, so possibly this was the designation before It became 35GAAB). (7)

20th-26th May
Extensive GSFG CPX moving between Letzlinger Heide PRA and Jueterbog PRA. New command variants of BTR70 seen, along with new BTR60 variants, which included one fitted with AGS17 grenade launcher.(7)

20th June
9 Tank Regiment, 9th Panzer Division seen during a rail move into Rathenow PRA to now be equipped with 2s1 122mm Howitzers. The rest of the Division now has T72, SA6, 2s3 152mm Howitzer. USMLM observes that this Division appears to be the trend setter among all the Warsaw pact armies. (7)

23rd June
2 of 25th Tank Divisions Regiments (83 Tank Regiment and 175 Tank Regiment) were observed in Battalion strength (I assume they mean 18 each, or 2 Battalions worth) at their local training area, equipped with the D30 122mm with newly seen muzzle brake. (see 29th January) (7)

24th June
Convoy elements of 16th Guards Tank Division returning to garrison at Neustrelitz lead USMLM to conclude (My Comments, from VRN and later Sanddune) that the Divisions MRL Battalion has been subordinated to the Division Artillery Regiment. (7)

21st -25 June
During a FTX near Havelburg/Sandau, 21st Motor Rifle Division USMLM confirms T64 in the Divisions Recon Battalion. (This looks like a new trend, see 16th February). Divisions 33rd Tank Regiment seen to have SA13, again a growing trend. (7)

31st July
Study of vehicle registration numbers reveals that 1st Guards Tank Army has moved its communication elements form Dresden to Meissen. (7)

12 September
New Satcom vehicle ‘woodbine’ sighted on the south ring Autobahn (presumably Berlin) Note in ‘Beyond the Front line‘ that it replaced ‘Park Drive‘. (7) (1)

13th September
‘Technical quality’ of T72(M1980-1) obtained on a railway flatcar at Gross Kreuz. (My comments. a discussion that I had with an Ex US army intelligence officer from this period would seem to suggest that T72s were rarely, If ever, used in GSFG. The fact that this tank was seen not far from the barracks of East German 1st Motor Rifle Division in Potsdam may mean it was intended for them. Unfortunately they appear to have kept T55s until at least 1987! The likelihood remains however, that it is was intended for GDR stocks.) (7)

22nd September
WSB16 prefabricated Railway Bridge observed being constructed at Storkow. East German and Paramilitary units. (according to the last mission, this location was commonly used by the East German engineers for training, particularly amphibious). First observation of propositioned equipment being used. (7)(4)

22nd September
A military train at Satzkorn delivered 2 batteries of apparently new 122mm SP Howitzers (2s1). Probable conversion of a Tank regiments artillery Battalion to Self Propelled. Unit unknown. (7)

2-3rd October
USMLM tasked with reconnaissance of a 25 Kilometre section of the Werra river between Hildburghausen and Meiningen. For what reason is unstated. (7)

3rd October
After a tip-off, a Soviet General Staff Command train is observed in Halle. (7)

17th December
Detailed Photography of SS21 obtained in the Haufeld training area. Note that this marks the first deployment of SS21 into forward areas. (7)

21st December
During training in the Euper training area, 79 Guards Tank Regiment, 7th Guards Tank Division was observed to have 9 D30 Howitzer. Note that this is first evidence of this Regiment obtaining an artillery battalion. (7)

29th December
70th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 27 Guards Motor Rifle Division has upgraded from SA9 to SA13. Second AAA Battery in the Division to do so.(7)


Date Unknown
East German Air force receives 18 more Hind D. This appears to brings the total up to 26, barring training accidents. It would appear that all these subsequent aircraft were also delivered to Hubschraubergeschwader 54 at Basepohl airbase. From 1st December, the Unit was apparently called KHG57, and had since the previous march, also had the sub name ‘Adolf Von Luetzow‘ (9)(10)

Other events this year

May 1st
First internal photography obtained of the T64A when Captain McLeod and Sergeant Haw of Brixmis break into a Tank barracks at Parchim (presumably a Tank belonging to 21 Motor Rifle Division, 2nd Guards Tank Army). Using a prefabricated Key, McLeod photographed the interior of the turret, a T64 simulator, and Soviet training boards inside a barracks. At least one of these images may be in the 1982 USMLM report. Undoubtedly of massive significance at the time in gauging the T64s capabilities. (1) (7)

Date Unknown
A ‘Tamarisk’ (British equivalent of Sanddune) operation on the rubbish dump at Neustrelitz (16 Guards Tank Division) by Sergeant Major Ken Connor of Brixmis reveals a notebook. Detailed examination reveals technical information on the composition of the T64 (and the later T80’s) armour. It appears likely this allowed the British MOD to develop a new APFSDS round (L23) to defeat it. Also of interest is information on Soviet Mine-plows. (An Ex Soviet T64 Crewman expressed surprise that such a document existed, such was the classification on armour composition. The function of the notebook, or its ultimate origin is therefore a mystery.) (1)(19)(20)(21)

1982

Date Unknown
Report states that there is continued introduction of 2s1 into Tank Regiments. Tank Regiments originally had no artillery, though reorganised regiments originally received Towed 122mm D30. A photograph notes 2s1 with the 17th Guards Tank Regiment, 79 Guards Tank Division. (7)

Date Unknown
Upgrade of Non divisional artillery in Military District III by acquisition of at least one battery of D20.(7)

Date Unknown
Collection of East German T34s noted in a reserve depot at Burg. (7)

Date Unknown
Confirmation of AT4 Spigot in use by units of the East German army. May have been in service before this time, but only noted in publications previously. (7)

Date Unknown
Unidentified unit at Cottbus (almost certainly the 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade) now wearing Guards Air Assault Brigade tabs, instead of Motor rifle tabs as seen previously. Speculation that there has been a change of status. (7)

Date Unknown
At7 missile recovered by Brixmis, and returned for analysis.(!!) (1)

19 June
East German Airforce KHG67 receives first Hind D at Brandenburg - Briest. There appears to have been 6 aircraft delivered this month, possibly more were received from KHG57. In November the KHG67 moved to Cottbus.
Forward operating bases (to support border units and border operations) were:-
Steinheid
Kreuzebra
Meinigen

Similarly, KHG 57 had operating bases at :-
Altensalzwedel
Athenstedt / Harz
Groß Moltzahn
(9)(10)

2nd-3rd Week July
Disruptively painted T62 in use by 7 Guards Tank Division, noted during exercise Main Thrust 82. Disruptive painting before had only been seen upon communications and control vehicles, self propelled artillery and SSM. (This appears to be similar to that painted to a T62 BDD in Steve Zaloga ‘Tank war, Central Front’. It is impossible to tell from the photograph whether these are BDD however). (7)(8)

Exercises this year

The 1982 USMLM report was interesting, in that it gave a complete indication of the exercises that year, even command post exercises. This was due to a number of changes after the arrival of the new commander of GSFG, Army General Zaytsev.
by mid-Jan large-scale driver training exercise.
(200 vehicles) by 56 Motor Transport Brigade and Divisions.
2nd week Jan First division-level FTX
Mid Jan departure of Potsdam SP How Bde for
service practice
1st week, Feb First 2 Guards Tank Army large-scale exercise at
Northern Elbe crossing sites
2d week, Feb First major front CPX with army and
division player participation; all armies in Front wide CPX play (8 Guards Army staggered?)
mid-Feb movement of regimental air defence batteries to Baltic ranges
mid-Mar 2d departure of Potsdam SP How Bde
1st week, April major army FTX within front CPX (TRA 1-82)
mid- Apr End-of-cycle testing within front CPX
15 April airlift phase, semi-annual troop rotation
4th week, Apr Final out-of-garrison movement, winter
Phase.
2d week, May Establishment of harvest support camps.
4tn week, May First front CPX/signal field training,
summer phase.
by mid Jun large-scale driver training.
2d week, Jun First Division-level FTX, summer phase.
3rd week, Jun 1st departure of Potsdam SP Howitzer Brigade,
summer phase.
26 Jun First departure of Harvest support units.
2nd Week July first activity at northern Elbe crossing sites, Summer phase.
2nd-3rd Week July Warsaw Pact exercise Main Thrust 82, including front, army and division participation.
3rd Week July Movement of regimental air defence batteries to Baltic ranges.

Mid August Departure of Potsdam SP How Bde.
Mid August Army FTX within front CPX (TRA 2-82).
4th week, August LOC bridging at Dommitzsch.
Mid October end-of-cycle test within front CPX.
15th October-1st November airlift phase, semi annual troop rotation.
3rd Week October, Final out-of-garrison moment, summer phase.
7th November First return of harvest support units.
Mid December First front CPX/signal field training, winter phase. (7)

Movements of the East German army in the same period were somewhat simpler to trace.

Mid-January first winter FTX/CPX.
Mid Jun Loc Bridging at Dommitzsch.
12-17 September EGA parade practice on East Ring Autobahn.
September mobilization exercise (call-up of civilian trucks, drivers). (7)

Main Thrust 82 included elements of East German 7 Tank Division, Soviet 7 Guards Tank Division and Polish 20th Tank Division. Polish Troops arrived by 14th July. EGA and GSFG units moved into Altengrabow PRA on 19th-21st July and began to return from garrison from the Letzlinger Heide PRA 23rd-24th July. The last Polish train left GDR on 26th July. (7)



1983

February
USMLM notices different numbering of AFVs of what was previously thought to be 14th Guards Motor Rifle Division garrisoned at Jueterbog PRA. Vehicle registration numbers (presumably soft skin) were still consistent with 14th Guards Motor Rifle Division, so it was concluded that it had been converted into a tank division. (Editors note. ‘Beyond the front line’ lists 32nd Guards Motor Rifle Division in this location). (1)(7)

24th February
Further evidence obtained that 3rd Motor Rifle Regiment of 1st (DDR) Motor Rifle Division was converting from D30 122mm gun (Towed) to 122mm 2s1(self propelled). The missions noticed 4 different DDR regiments equipped with 2s1 this year. (7)

12 March 1983
First Photography of ‘Dog Ear’ air defence radar system. Associated with Unknown air defence regiment of 47 Guards Tank Division, 3rd Shock Army. (My comment; Strong possibility that this could have been 1009 Air defence Regiment ) (7) (3)


20th to 26th March
A major FTX (name unknown) including elements of 20th Guards Army Units and 25th Tank Division, which previously was subordinate to 2nd Guards Tank Army. Concluded that 25TD had been re-subordinated to 20th Guards Army. (7)

5th April
USMLM obtains the first ground photography of SMT1983/1 (T80?) (Beyond the front line claims Brixmis noticed more on Rail Transport near Halle) On the 28th April, more SMT1983/1 were noticed being carried by MAZ537s, proving there were at least 10 MAZ per heavy lift regiment. Other sightings of the vehicle at divisional level, proving a doubling of GSFG lift capacity. (7)

Early may
10th Guards Tank Division (3rd Shock Army) relocates 100km closer to the IGB (to a PRA, Altengrabow and Shoenebeck.), from its previous garrison near Potsdam (Krampnitz/Potsdam). 35th Motor Rifle Division moves into one of its 2 garrisons. 2 Training regiments (number unknown) take over the garrison where most of the Division was located (Krampnitz PRA). Report Concluded that it locates most of GSFG 40Kms from Berlin, and moved one of 10th Guards Tank Division’s regiments west of the Elbe. (7)

10th June
Probable Air assault Battalion attached to 20th Guards Army observed near Dallgow/Doberitz by USMLM. (7)

13th June
Photography obtained of BAT M1983 arriving at Brandenburg by railcar. (7)

22nd June
T62s observed by USMLM in Unknown Independent Tank regiment attached to 2nd Guards Tank Army. (7)

Spring
Relocation of elements of the East German Army.1 Chemical defence battalion moved from its home near burg to a location closer to Berlin in Beelitz. The 1st Tank Regiment from 1 EGA Motor Rifle Division moved to the same location. USMLM speculates it is moved to accommodate another soviet shift, or a DDR attempt at consolidation. (7)

July
Vehicle registration/side number anomalies noticed in 27Guards Motor Rifle Division and 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division . Concluded that they swapped armies, with 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division ending up in 1 GTA and the 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division ending up in 8th Guards Army. ‘This move makes sense geographically, since each unit is now closer to its respective army headquarters.’ (7)

Other OOB changes were;

7th Guards Tank Division re-subordinated from 1 Guards Tank Army to 3 Shock Army. (7)
207th Motor Rifle Division re-subordinated from 3rd Shock Army to 2 Guards Tank Army. (7)


1984

Date Unknown
A new radar known as Tin shield (Towed by KrAZ truck) spotted being deployed among Soviet and East German armies. (My comments, this was known by the Soviets as 36D6 and had a detection range between 48 and 80kilometres.)
(1)(25)

11-18 February
Possible TOE changes to 10th Guards Tank Division. (editors note, See exercises 1984). (7)

22 February 1984
T80 was observed untarped by USMLM for the first time. ‘Vehicle registration number from the transporter were from the 23rd Tank Regiment , 9 Tank Division which established that T-80 had been deployed with units in the 1st Guards Tank Army.’ (7)(1)

01 March
East German Army Airforce formed. Prior to this time all Helicopters belonged to the East German Airforce. On 30 November 1984, KHG57 and KHG67 both handed over to the Army Airforce. (10)

09 April
USMLM tour observed the AKS-74 M1984rifle with elements of the 9th Tank Division, 1st Guards Tank Army. This was the first observation of the AKMS-74 M1984 with GSFG. (7)

1st May
22 152m Field Gun M1976 (2A36) were observed in a compound on Jaennersdorf Training Area 401. This was the first solid evidence of a 24 gun battalion in the 2nd Guards Tank Army’s Artillery Brigade. (7)

17th May
USMLM observed and photographed a new Unit Vehicle Identifier (UVI) on an EGA truck in the vicinity of Retzow592/Anklam501. This suggested the existence of a new reserve manoeuvre Division subordinate to Military District V. (7)

Summer 1984
Increasingly, T64B supplants the A model. ’Among the units to receive the T-64 in this period was the 35th Motor Rifle Division garrisoned in Dallgow-Doeberitz. USMLM photography of these tanks showed that additional armor had been placed on the side and top of the turret, possibly to protect against top-attack weapons.’ (an obvious reference to reactive armour.)
Additionally, probable changes in Orbat to T64 Regiments, see Exercise Yug, 26 Mar - 1 Apr. (7)

September 1984
Brixmis observes 100 T80s on Flatcars. ‘Side numbers of associated
vehicles were from two tank regiments of 9 TD, thus indicating a complete conversion to T-80 in these units.’ Additionally, it was pointed out that;-
‘The T64A, deployed in 2 Guards Tank Army, 3rd Shock Army and 20 Guards Army , had been almost fully exploited. The missile firing T-64B continued to be deployed or the basis of one company per tank battalion in units holding T-64A.’(editors note, see exercises this year YUG 84 for further discussion of this) (7)

‘T-80 was being introduced into 1st Guards Tank Army, and 8th Guards Tank Army, and although a complete battalion complement had not been observed they appeared to he replacing the T-62 on a one for one basis‘. (according to American members of Tanknet, many motor rifle regiments in this area were equipped with T62 around this period) (7)

December 1984
‘FMLM as a result of a very patient stake-out of a tactical route obtained the first daylight photography of the elusive T-80 as it moved north from the Koenigsbrueck PRA. Side numbers identified the T-80 as coming from the 40 Guards Tank Regiment ,11 Guards Tank Division. This was the first solid association of T-80 with 11 Guards Tank Division.’ (7)

Date Unknown
BMP2 seen fitted with Appliqué armour, perhaps based upon afghan experience. (1)

Date Unknown
Photography of the VASILEK 82m automatic mortar in its GAZ-66
Carrier. The mortar was with elements of the 207th Motor Rifle Division. (7)

Date Unknown
GSFG Tanks spotted for the first time with attachment points for Explosive Reactive Armour. Tanks so fitted outside barracks were thought to indicate possible hostilities. (1)

Date Unknown
Nuclear warfare detection vehicle (K-611) photographed at Magdeburg by Brixmis. Unstated vehicle it was fitted upon, perhaps MTLB? (1)

Other events this year
Date Unknown
Photography obtained of construction work at SA5 missile sites at Kraatz and Grubkow. (1)


Exercises this year

07-15 Jan.
The 47 Guards Tank Division,3rd Shock Army conducted a major river crossing exercise at the northern Elbe crossing sites near Sandau (UUC153) supported by other 3 SA elements. The 47 Guards Tank Division’s three tank regiments, the MRR and Arty Regiment participated, 3 SA support included the pontoon Bridge Regiment, Signal Regiment, and Arty Regiment. This was the last USMLM coverage of a full-scale river crossing on the northern Elbe prior to the imposition of the new PRA in May which closed off this area. (7)

11-18 Feb.
10 Guards Tank Division, 3 Shock Army conducted its first divisional exercise since relocation to the Altengrabow PRA from Potsdam. USMLM coverage of the exercise revealed numerous equipment upgrades and organisational anomalies which indicate a possible reconfiguration of 61Guards Tank Regiment and 248 Guards Motor Rifle Regiment to a brigade structure. (7)

26 Mar - 1 Apr,
Elements of six GSFG , East German and Polish divisions participated in Warsaw Pact Exercise YUG [SOUTH] 84. The exercise involved large scale road, rail and tactical movement from the Jueterbog PRA through the Altengrabow PRA into the Letzlinger Heide PRA, culminating in a river crossing. Of special interest was the short notice mobilization of civilian East German
vehicles and personnel to support military units.
‘Observations by the NAVREP during Warsaw Pact Exercise YUG 84
corroborated information previously acquired by Sanddune regarding
The distribution of the T-64B. He followed the move of 16 Guards Tank Regiment, 207 Motor Rifle Division during the exercise. Each tank battalion within the regiment had 2 companies of T-64A and one company of T-64B, exactly what had been reflected in SANDDUNE documents‘. (and is reflected in an interview Vasiliy Fofanov conducted with a ex Soviet 10th Guards Tank Division crewman) (7)(20)



28 June - 04 July.
A major TVD level exercise, ZAPAD (WEST) -84, took place in East Germany. The exercise involved Front, Army and Divisional level coms units from GSFG as well as non-GSFG signal units. USMLM tours provided extensive coverage of the exercise to Include the tactical play by elements of 6 Guards Motor Rifle Division, 20th Guards Army and CPX play by elements of 3 Shock Army. The cover name of the exercise was revealed first by a Soviet officer at the annual USMLM 4th of July picnic at Potsdam. (7)




1985

January
T80s belonging to 79 Guards Tank Division, 8th Guards Army, seen to be fitted with studs for mounting reactive armour. First time this has been seen on T80. It is apparent from studying later photos of the year, these T80s were equipped with a number of different configurations of this armour. (7)

January March and September
Major improvement in East German and Soviet heavy lift capability with the introduction of the Maz537 and associated CHMZAP9990 transporter trailer. (My Comment, Trailer first in January, tractor unit first seen in September.) Believed to be used by 56 Motor transport brigade. (7)

23rd January
Serial numbers and scrapings obtained from glacis of T64A by USMLM. (My comment. The USMLM report describes this as ‘exclusively, despite the fact that Brixmis had obtained samples with a hacksaw, apparently as early as 1981) (7)

January 30th
T72 seen with Polish 4th Mechanised Division. (Silesian District.) See ‘Exercises’ 1985. (7)

19th February
USMLM witnesses a large scale SS21 exercise. Along with other sources, this provides evidence that the SS21s had been formed into a Brigade under 1st Guards Tank Army. Entirely new type of formation. (7)

June
Photographs acquired of ‘Brass neck’, a Zil131 box bodied vehicle, associated with Border command MFS/RECS units. (My comment. No, I don’t know what that means either!) (7)

4th-14th July
During Major exercise (see ‘Exercises 1985) first decent photographs of 2s5 taken. Weapon associated with 113 Guards Artillery Brigade, 20th Guards Army. ((7)
Returning from the same exercise, USMLM noted reactive armour studs welded to the turret of T64B’s belonging to 35th Motor Rifle Division, 20th Guards Army. (7)

1st August
At least 23 2s3 and 29 2s1 delivered to Potsdam installation 292, which had been empty since its previously based unit (Probably 10th Guards Tank Division) had moved to Altengrabow in 1983.Unknown if the equipment is part of a unit subordinate to 34 Guards Artillery Division, or another formation.
(7)

29th August
USMLM notes SA-14 in service, by the rather simple expedient of sighting its presence in a picture of ‘Red Star’. (My comment. If only all intelligence operations were that easy!)(7)

11th September
First ground imagery of the MTLB based R-330B Jammer (ACV M-1984) in East Germany. Believed association with East German Military District III.
(7)


15th September, 15th October
Major exercise (see exercises 1985).Elements of 11th Guards Tank Division, 1st Guards Tank Army took part with their T80s. Reactive Armour noted fitted to the T80s for the first time. (7)

30th - 31st December
At least 33 152mm field guns m1976 delivered to Potsdam installation 292.(My Comment, see 1st August). Guns presumed to represent a new Brigade to 34th Artillery Division. Guns previously noted (in 1983) in the artillery brigades of 2nd Guards Tank Army and 8th Guards Army. (7)

Date unknown
The report also notes the increased numbers of T80s in GSFG. Much photo and Video coverage was gained of environmental containers of a type known to contain T80, being shipped to 8th Guards Army and 1st Guards Tank Army. Report notes that all 7 divisions in GSFG’s 2 southern armies have been equipped with this tank. 17 of 28 manoeuvre regiments in these divisions have the tank, whilst 5 of the 17 mount reactive armour. Note that since first sighted in March 1983, at least 1200 have been introduced as replacements for T62. (7)


Date unknown
New lowbed trailer acquired by East German border guards. Type unknown. (My Comments, does this indicate an intent to provide heavier equipment for border guards?) (7)

Other events this Year
Major Nicholson shot and killed attempting a reconnaissance of a Tank training range at Tetchentin, near Ludwigslust. (My Comment, Described by the USMLM report for 1985 as ’Ludwigslust ‘subcaliber’ range 475’, by which I take to mean a tank firing range with the 14mm machinegun fitted in the barrel. A presumed grid reference gives its location as PE675081) Apparent target was probably T80, though the report makes no reference to this.
This was in the 2nd Guards Tank army area, Ludwigslust by 1989 being the home of 240 Motor Rifle Regiment from 21st Motor Rifle Division However the report states that the unit occupying the site was the ‘Independent Tank Regiment of 2nd Guards Tank Army‘. There is no numerical designation for this unit given, and I have found no other reference to its existence. (2) (7)

December 84- January 85
USMLM observes spetsnaz laying cable at Wernigerode near the inner German border.40 Km of cable laid. (My comment. Did this have some special forces function, or were they just being used as available labour? If the latter, does not speak highly of how the Soviets thought of these people.) (7)

22nd February
Soil samples from training areas prove that that GSFG have been ‘training in the use of chemical simulants’. (My comment, presumably a typo, that they HAVE been training with the aid of chemical simulants.) Location not given. (7)

12th June
Brixmis acquires imagery of R-416 special purpose radio communications relay system. Replacement for R-405 mercury plate system, it was believed to operated by 6th Signals Brigade, a GSFG General staff subordinate unit. Despite being spotted in June, it took till the Front level exercise in September-October before USMLM could determine what it was. (My comment, presumably signals intelligence played some part in determining its identity.) (7)

31st October
Unidentified Material Support Battalion of 35 Motor Rifle Division observed carrying potatoes in the north central area of East Germany. Fuel attendant claimed they all carried ‘K’ (Kartoffel) , and were carrying home crops to help out with the poor harvest this year. (7)


Exercises this year

30th January - 7th February
Major Pact exercise involving Polish, East German and GSFG forces. Units included Silesian District from the Polish Army, Military District V, East German Army, and 2nd Guards Tank Army. These were the same units that took part in exercise Yug-84, which the USMLM report suggests that they all had an interrelated wartime role. (My Comment, Schleswig Holstein perhaps?). Interestingly the same exercise exhibited (on 3rd-4th Feb) a large scale refuelling exercise. First time an exercise of this scale had been seen and ‘represented an effort to practice more sophisticated methods of forward resupply by non divisional logistics elements. (My comment, this sounds very much like a potential front in wartime.) (7)

End of May - End of June
Largest East German army mobilisation exercise record to date. Several new EGA reserve divisions added to the EGA TOE. Regularly EGA forces seen to use reservists to supplement their regular troops. Mustering points set up, and reservists seen to be integrated into the exercise. (7)

4th - 14th July
This further led on to a major exercise included the East German Army (including reservists and ‘Kampfgruppen‘) and 20th Guards Army. Interestingly this included the 6th Independent Motor Rifle Brigade. Speculation in the report that this may have meant that this unit was NOT a front level formation, but part of 20th Guards Army. Also possible mobilisation of Soviet reservists taking part (including women) from GSFG in support of 20th Guards Army. Stated under Helsinki accords that troop levels reached 25,000 men. (7)

15th September-15th October
Major front level command post exercise and Divisional level Field training exercise. Report comments on its similarity to Zapad 84.(See July 1984) Among units taking part were front level signal battalions, the KGB/UPS signal regiment, and independent radio relay and signal and signal regiments from 1st Guards Tank Army, 3rd Shock Army, 2nd Guards Tank Army and 20th Guards Army. Another (!!) East German mobilisation exercise took place as well (My Comment, presumably the other units that did not take part in the earlier one).Elements of 11th Guards Tank Division, 1st Guards Tank Army took part with their T80s. Reactive Armour noted fitted to the T80s for the first time, previously with units with T64B, all boxes had been removed before leaving barracks. Exercise started in Jueterbog PRA, and terminated in the Letzlinger Heide PRA. (7)

1986

Developments this year appeared to be slower, either due to slowdowns in fielding new equipment, or perhaps instructions not to be too aggressive Touring, after the tragic death of Major Nicholson with the USMLM the previous year. The report for this year noted that,

‘During the past year, other modifications to the
Soviet force structure were noted. These Included;
a) Addition of a third 2S3 battalion to the divisional
artillery regiment of motorized rifle divisions only. (All except 90 Guards Motor Rifle Division) . (7)

(B) Confirmation that Manoeuvre regiments in 9 Tank Division,
27 Guards Motor Rifle Division , and 79 Guards Tank Division have retained their D30 subsequent to the arrival of 2S1. (Editors note, possible training equipment?) (7)

C) Identification of Army-level CBR Battalions with
Every GSFG army with the exception of 20 Guards Army. These battalions are of two types: a Chemical Protection Battalion and an Intersection
and Reconnaissance (Nuclear Burst Detection) Battalion. (7)

(d) Formation of Bmp-2 and T64B battalions in 35 MRD
which reflects an alteration in the previous practice of one BMP-2
or T 64B Company per battalion. (7)

(e) Arrival of two new artillery units in Potsdam: an
artillery training regiment and a 152mm Field Gun M-1976 Brigade,
probably assigned to the 34 Artillery Division. (7)
Creation of a second Ss21 Brigade in GSFG, assigned to 3SA. (7)

(g) Major revaluation of Soviet radio electronic Combat
(REC) units. This detailed analysis resulted in the isolation of
Army level REC Battalion with four of the five GSFG Armies as well
as a significant alteration in previous assessments of front-level
REC organizations.’ (7)

Additionally the USMLM report for this year stated that within the past year, KMT6 mine plows had been observed fitted to the bow of T80 Tanks (and showed a photograph of one operating at the Naumburg/Freyburg Training Area 401 (PB9275) ) Whether this was the first time these plows had been fitted in GSFG or just the first time observed is
unknown. (7)

December 1st
East German Airforce KHG54 ‘Adolf von Luetzow’ now re-designated
Kampfhubschraubergeschwader 5 ‘Adolf von Lutzow’, or KHG5.

KHG67 ‘Ferdinand von Schill’ becomes KHG 3 ‘Ferdinand von Schill’. (10)

Date Unknown
2s6 noted in GSFG shortly after arrival. Brixmis first to note that it had cannons as well as missiles. (my comments, and later with a specialised microphone, were first to provide enough information to work out its rate of fire.) (1)






1987

Date Unknown
Brixmis steals a section of reactive armour from a T80 parked in a railway siding.(!!) (1)

Date Unknown
First Photography of the SS-23 in the DDR. (7)

Date Unknown
Confirmation of SS21 with Army missile Brigades, as opposed to Divisional level. (Editors note ;According to Steve Zaloga, this was probably a response to the withdrawal of SS23 due to the INF treaty. SS21 replaced both it and the SS-1c Scud B (and presumably SS12 also). However, he places it ‘since 1989’.) (1)(5) (7)



1988

Perhaps the most significant change this year was the withdrawal of the SS12 Surface to Surface missile. The USMLM report this year says ‘After the signing of the INF Treaty
in November 1987, the Soviet Government announced that, as an act of faith, all Ss-12 missiles would be withdrawn from the GER ahead of schedule (Editors note, it was being replaced by SS23). Capitalizing on Mission access to the GDR, USMMLM organized a series of road and rail watches in an effort to provide coverage of the went independent of that provided by the Soviet and East German news media. Results included the 25 February confirmation of 27 departing SS-12 TEL and the first ground level photography of SSL2 associated support vehicle, such as the C2 vehicle, generator vehicle, and SS12 associated crane. (Editors Note; SS-23 conversion was never completed, see below). (7)

However the T80 was still exercising great interest. The long process of upgrading tank holdings throughout GSFG also continued in 1988 with USMLM coverage of T80 fielding in 3rd Shock Army and 2nd Guards Tank Army. (My comments, though regrettably, formations and numbers are not included). (7)

Date Unknown
Unstated source (but probably Sanddune) reveals ‘minimum number of rounds provided annually for major weapon systems’.T80 15-24 rounds, or 8-12 rounds per 2s3.(7)

4 April
near Cottbus (VT5434), a USMLM reconnaissance team sighted 19 T-80 associated environmental containers moving into the GDR by rail. (7)

10th August
observation of a T80® on the on the training area at Granzin(Uv6020). Report concludes T80 was now in service with at least elements of 16 Guards Tank Division, of 2nd Guards Tank army. Other interesting aspects of this sighting were the fitting of reactive armour studs (was this not noted before on other T80s?) and skirting mounted under the front glacis. (7)

21st December
Variants of ‘Silver Box’ command vehicles spotted. Imagery of Soviet ‘Copper Log’ computer vehicle obtained. According to Steve Gibson’s book ‘The last Mission’ the vehicle is a variant of the Silver Box, and was a computerised army level command and control vehicle, that coordinated ground based air defence and communications. It appears to be based upon a MAZ chassis, perhaps related to that used for the SS21.(4) (7)

Date Unknown
Brixmis also confirms withdrawal of the SS-23 from Jena and Weissenfels, without a public announcement from the soviets. (1)

Date Unknown
Brixmis gains first ground Photography of the 2A-65 (152-M-1987), a 152mm towed artillery piece at Marienburg. This was presumed to be a direct replacement for the 152mm D20.(Steve Gibson appears to place this event in 1989. Tony Geraghty places it in 1988. (4)

Date Unknown
First observation of T80 Snorkelling. (1)




1989

18th September
First observation of SA10B in the DDR at Storkow NVA Engineer camp. Hasty revision of Natos air warplans to take this powerful system into account. (4)

December 15th
East German Airforce (KHG5) takes delivery of its first Hind P (or Hind F in Nato parlance). These appear to have been fitted out similarly to soviet ones, including ESM, GUV Gun pods, KMGU dispensers, and exhaust suppressors. (though whether the latter were fitted in peacetime is unknown).Unit was also operating Mi8TB ‘Hip E‘. By the following September the unit had 10 Mi-8TB, 20 Mi-24D,12 Mi-24P and an Unarmed Mi8 for Relay. (7)

By the following September, KHG3 had 16 Mi-8TB and 19 Mi-24D, and an unarmed MI8 for relay.
(9)(10)







Sources

(1) Beyond the Front Line by Tony Geraghty, Harper Collins 1996.

(2) http://www.samberg.d...turen/2wgt.html

(3) http://www.samberg.d...turen/3wgt.html

(4) The Last Mission by Steve Gibson, Sutton Publishing 1997.

(5) Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices: 1945 to the present. Andrew W Hull, David R. Markov and Steve Zaloga, Darlington Productions 1997.

(6) Handbook on the Soviet Army. Department of the army Pamphlet 30-50-1 31 July 1958

(7) USMLM yearly reports. http://www.history.h.../uslmannual.htm

(8) Tank War - Central Front, Nato vs. Warsaw pact. Steve Zaloga, Simon McCouaig, Osprey Military 1998.

(9) World Airpower Journal Volume 37 Summer 1999 ‘Mi24 Hind Combat Crocodile’, page 86.

(10) http://home.snafu.de/veith/khgs.htm

(11) http://www.samberg.d...ren/untmbv.html

(12) Die Landstreitkrafte der NVA, Wilfried Kopenhagen, 2003

(13) http://www.samberg.d...turen/1msd.html

(14) http://www.bunkertou...report_2001.htm

(15) http://www.samberg.d...uren/20wgt.html

(16) http://www.samberg.d...n/untmbiii.html

(17) http://www.samberg.d...unterstwgt.html

(18) Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, David C Isby, Janes 1988
ISBN 0 7106 0352 5

(19) Conversation with John Gillman, Tanknet thread ‘Rifled’, Sun 6 Feb 2005
http://www.tank-net.org/

(20) Conversation with Vasiliy Fofanov.

(21) Tank, Combat, 120mm Gun, Chieftain Marks 5-12 User Handbook. ’Emergency operational round installation‘, page 4.

(21) Conversation with David Clark 10.2.2005

(22) http://www.brixmis.co.uk

(23) Warsaw Pact Forces, problems of command and control. Jeffrey Simon 1985

(24) Janes Land based air defence by Tony Cullen and Christopher Foss 1996-97.

(25) http://www.globalsec.../tin-shield.htm




This particular OOB has been listed with numerous sources online. (Which probably means most people copied it off the USMLM website!) Whilst I suspect it is accurate for 1989, I’ve my doubts how accurate it is for earlier years. For instance, some Divisions are displaying 4 motor rifle regiments, which is deeply suspect! It is probably due to OOB changes post 1988 in line with Gorbachovs defensive policy. Additionally, Recon units are not even shown. (possibly these may have been withdrawn by 1989) I’ve attempted to fit in regiments noted from earlier years, to give a complete list of Regiments that served with Divisions, but bear in mind, its slow work!

To show the dates that the units were present in the parent formation AT LEAST until (in many cases perhaps slightly later) I have colour coordinated them to make it clearer.

1970s in Green

1980-1988 Blue

1989 Black




2nd Guards Tank Red Banner Army ( Fuerstenberg )

9th Guards Tank Division (1971 [7] )

21st Motorized Rifle Division (Taganrog Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Perleburg)

239th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Perleberg)

240th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Red Banner) (Ludwigslust)

283rd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Berlin Red Banner Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Hagenow)

568th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Parchim)

1054th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Rathenow)

1079th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Perleberg)

94th Guards Motorized Rifle Division Zvenigorod-Berlin Order of Suvorov (Schwerin)

204th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Uman’-Berlin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Schwerin)

286th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Brandenburg Red Banner) (Schwerin)

288th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Kishinev Red Banner) (Wismar)

74th Guards Tank Regiment (Valga Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Schwerin)

199th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Brandenburg Red Banner) (Wismar)

896th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Demblin Order of A. Nevskiy) (Schwerin)

207th Motorized Rifle Division (Pomeranian Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Stendal)

33rd Motorized Rifle Berlin Regiment (Stendal)

41st Motorized Rifle Berlin Regiment (Gardelegen)

400th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Mahlwinkel)

591st Motorized Rifle Regiment (Rechitsa Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Staate) ??

693rd Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Red Banner) (Stendal)

75th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Demblin-Pomeranian Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Stendal)

16th Guards Tank Division Uman’ Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov Tank (Neustrelitz)

47th Guards Tank Regiment (Uman’-Pomeranian Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Neustrelitz)

65th Guards Tank Regiment (Sevsk-Pomeranian Order of Lenin Twice Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Neustrelitz)

60th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Red Banner Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Ravensbrueck)

723rd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Rathenow)

724th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Warsaw Order of A. Nevskiy) (Neustrelitz)

66th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Lublin Orders of Kutuzov and A. Nevskiy) (Neustrelitz)

Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army :-

172nd Separate Helicopter Regiment (Damm)
439th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Damm)
290th Artillery Brigade (Schweinrich)
112th Missile Brigade (Genzroede) ??
458th Missile Brigade (Neustrelitz)
61st Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Staate) ??
118th Logistics Support Brigade (Ravensbrueck)
250th Separate Radio technical Regiment (Stendal)
69th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Rathenow)
5th Separate Communications Regiment (Ravensbrueck)


3rd Combined-Arms Army (Red Banner) (Magdeburg) (previously known as 3rd Shock Army)

7th Guards Tank Division (Kiev-Berlin Order of Lenin Twice Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Rosslau)

55th Guards Tank Regiment (Vasil’kov Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Lutherstadt-Wittenberg)

56th Guards Tank Regiment (Vasil’kov-Shepetovka Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Zerbst)

79th Guards Tank Regiment (Bobruysk Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Rosslau)

40th Motorized Rifle Regiment (‘Berlin’) (Bernburg)

670th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (L’vov Order of the Red Star) (Cochstedt)

287th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (L’vov Order of the Red Star) (Rosslau)

10th Guards Tank Division (Ural-L’vov Order of the October Revolution Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Voluntary Marshal of the Soviet Union R. A. Malinovskiy) (Altengrabow)


61st Guards Tank Regiment ( Sverdlovsk-L’vov Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Altengrabow)

62nd Guards Tank Regiment (Perm’-Keletsk Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Altengrabow)

63rd Guards Tank Regiment (Chelyabinsk-Petrokovskiy Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Altengrabow)

248th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Unecha Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, and A. Nevskiy) (Schoenebeck)

744th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Ternopol’ Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, A. Nevskiy, and the Red Star) (Altengrabow)

359th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (L’vov Orders of Kutuzov, A. Nevskiy, and the Red Star (Altengrabow)

12th Guards Tank Division (Uman’ Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov (Neuruppin)

48th Guards Tank Regiment( Vapnyarka-Warsaw Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Neuruppin)

332nd Guards Tank Regiment ( Warsaw Red Banner Order of A. Nevskiy) (Neuruppin)

353rd Guards Tank Regiment (Vapnyarka-Berlin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Neuruppin)

200th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment ( Fastov Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Burg)

117th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Mahlwinkel)

933rd Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Verkhnedneprovsk Red Banner Order of A. Nevskiy) (Burg)

Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army :-

178th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Borstel)
440th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Borstel)
36th Missile Brigade (Altengrabow)
448th Missile Brigade (Born)
49th Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Plancken)
385th Artillery Brigade (Plancken)
42nd Logistics Support Brigade (Magdeburg)
254th Separate Radio technical Regiment [location not specified]
36th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Magdeburg)
105th Separate Communications Regiment (Orders of A. Nevskiy and the Red Star) (Magdeburg)


20th Guards Combined-Arms Red Banner Army (Eberswalde-Finow)

6th Guards Motor Rifle Division (1971 Bernau? [7] )

82nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment. Listed as BTR 60 equipped in 1978 [7]

32nd Guards Tank Division Jueterbog 1988 [18] )


25 Tank Division (Ubungsplatz-Vogelslang 1988 [18] )


35th Motorized Rifle Krasnograd Red Banner Division (Krampnitz)

19th Motorized Rifle Regiment (with the Division in 1978, equipped with BTR60)

62nd Motorized Rifle Regiment (Slonim-Pomeranian Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Potsdam) 1989

64th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Slotsk-Pomeranian Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Potsdam) 1989 (Barracked at Doeberitz with BTR 60in 1978)

69th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Proskurovsk Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Wuensdorf) 1989

83rd Motorized Rifle Regiment (Nezhin Order of the Red Star) (Krampnitz) 1989

219th Tank Regiment (Kremenchug-Berlin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Olympiches Dorf) 1989

283rd Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Warsaw Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Elstal) 1989

200th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Brest Red Banner Order of A. Nevskiy) (Krampnitz) 1989

90th Guards Tank Division (L’vov Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Bernau)

6th Guards Tank Regiment ( L’vov Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Bad Freienwalde)

68th Guards Tank Regiment (Zhitomir-Berlin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, and A. Nevskiy Regiment)(Bernau)

215th Guards Tank Regiment (Kamenets-Podol’sk Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Bernau)

81st Guards Tank Regiment (Petrokovskiy Twice Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Eberswalde-Finow)

400th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Transylvanian Red Banner Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Bernau)

288th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Bernau)


Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army :-

6th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Berlin Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy Brigade (Berlin-Karlshorst)
Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army.
337th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Mahlwinkel).
487th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Preslau).
27th Missile Brigade (Jueterbog)
464th Missile Brigade (Fuerstenwalde)
67th Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Elstal)
117th Logistics Support Brigade (Eberswalde-Finow)
387th Artillery Brigade (Altes Lager)
264th Separate Radio technical Regiment (Neudenbritz)
44th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Frankfurt am Oder)
6th Separate Communications Regiment (Eberswalde)

1st Guards Tank Army (Red Banner) (Dresden)

27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division
Departed to 8th Guards army after July 1983

20th Guards Motorized Rifle Division (Precarpathian-Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Grimma)

Arrived from 8th Guards Army in July 1983. Swapped armies with 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division [7]

29th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Lublin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Plauen)

67th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Yaroslavl’ Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Grimma)

242nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Zaleshchiki Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Wuerzen)

576th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Bobruysk Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Glauchau)

944th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Chernovtsy-Gniezno Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Leisnig)

358th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Carpathian-Gniezno Red Banner Orders of Kutuzov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, and the Red Star) (Leisnig)

2nd Tank Division (Bobruysk-Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Riesa)

1st Guards Tank Regiment (Chertkovo Twice Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy Marshal of Tank Troops M. Ye. Katukov) (Zeithain)

1321st Motorized Rifle Regiment (Glukhov-Rechitsa Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Jueterbog)

70th Guards Tank Regiment (Proskurovsk-Berlin Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Kutuzov G. I. Kotovskiy) (Zeithain)

302nd Motorized Rifle Regiment (Riesa)

96th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Borna)

11th Guards Tank Carpathian-Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division (Dresden)

7th Guards Tank Regiment (Novgorod-Berlin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and the Red Star) (Meissen)

40th Guards Tank Regiment (Chertkovo Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, and the Red Star) (Koenigsbrueck)

44th Guards Tank Regiment (Berdichev Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmel’nitskiy, the Red Star, Sukhe-Bator, and Combat Red Banner of the Mongolian Peoples’ Republic Sukhe-Bator) (Koenigsbrueck)

249 Guards Motorized Rifle (Chernovtsy Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy Regiment) (Dresden)

841 Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Chernovtsy Red Banner Orders of B. Khmel’nitskiy and the Red Star) (Chemnitz)

1018th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Yaroslavl’ Red Banner Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Meissen)

Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army :-

225th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Allstedt)
485th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Brandis)
181st Missile Brigade (Cochstedt)
432nd Missile Brigade (Wuerzen)
308th Artillery Brigade (Zeithain)
53rd Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Altenburg)
41st Logistics Support Brigade (Dresden)
253rd Separate Radiotechnical Regiment (Merseburg)
68th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Dresden)
3rd Separate Communications Regiment (Dresden)

8th Guards Combined-Arms Army Order of Lenin (Nohra)

27th Guards Motorized Rifle Division (Omsk-Novobugskiy Red Banner Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) Halle

Arrived from 1st GTA in 1983. Swapped with 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division which went to 1st GTA [7]

68th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Poznan Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Halle)

243rd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Berlin Red Banner Order of Kutuzov) (Halle)

244th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Schlotheim)

28th Tank Regiment (Brest Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Halle)

54th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Poznan Red Banner Order of Kutuzov) (Halle)

286th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Peremyshl’ Order of the Red Star) (Halle)

114th Recon Battalion


20th Guards Motorized Rifle Division (Precarpathian-Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Grimma)
Departed to 8th Guards Army in July 1983. Swapped armies with 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division [7]
See 1st GTA for OOB details

39th Guards Motorized Rifle Barven’kovo Order of Lenin Twice Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy Division (Ohrdruf)

117th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Poznan Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Meiningen)

120th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Poznan Red Banner Orders of Kutuzov and A. Nevskiy) (Ohrdruf)

172nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Gniezno Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Gotha)

585th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Rechitsa Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Ohrdruf)

915th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Ohrdruf)

87th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Poznan Red Banner Order of Kutuzov) (Gotha)

57th Guards Motorized Rifle Novobugskiy Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy Division (Naumburg)

170th Guards Motorized Rifle Demblin-Berlin Red Banner Order of Suvrov Regiment (Naumburg)

174th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Pomeranian Red Banner Orders of Suvrov and Kutuzov) (Weissenfels)

241st Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Lodz Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvrov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Leipzig)

51st Guards Tank Regiment (Fastovo Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Zeitz)

128th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Demblin-Pomeranian Red Banner Order of Kutuzov) (Zeitz)

901st Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Naumburg)

79th Guards Tank Division (Zaporozh’ye Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Jena)

17th Guards Tank Regiment (Orlov Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Suvorov) (Saalfeld)

45th Guards Tank Regiment (Gusyatin Order of Lenin Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel’nitskiy) Weimar (Another source puts this as 65 Guards Tank regiment, in the same location, during 1988)

211th Tank Regiment (Kalitskovichskiy Red Banner Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Jena)

247th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment (Lodz Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Weimar)

172nd Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Berlin Red Banner) (Rudolstadt)

1075th Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment (Order of B. Khmel’nitskiy) (Weimar)

113th Recon Battalion - Rudolstadt



Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Army :-

336th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Nohra)
486th Separate Helicopter Regiment (Altes Lager)
11th Missile Brigade (Weissenfels)
449th Missile Brigade (Arnstadt)
18th Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Gotha)
116th Logistics Support Brigade (Altenburg)
390th Artillery Brigade (Ohrdruf)
119th Separate Tank Regiment (Bad Langensalza)
65th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Merseburg)
194th Separate Radiotechnical Regiment (Weimar)
91st Separate Communications Regiment (Weimar)


Operational and Tactical Units Subordinate to the Group of Soviet forces Germany

157th Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Primerwalde)
164th Missile Brigade (Drachhausen)
175th Missile Brigade (Oschatz)
133rd Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Jueterbog)
202nd Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Magdeburg)
40th Radiotechnical Order of the Red Star Brigade (Wittstock)
45th Radiotechnical Brigade (Merseburg)
1st Combat Engineer Brigade (Brandenburg)
118th Bobruysk-Berlin Red Banner Order of A. Nevskiy Communications Brigade (Wuensdorf)
119th Communications Brigade (Leipzig)
132nd Communications Brigade (Truenbritzen)
34th Artillery Division (Potsdam)
286th Guards Howitzer Artillery Prague Red Banner Order of Kutuzov and B. Khmel’nitskiy Brigade (Potsdam)
288th Heavy Howitzer Artillery Brigade (Warsaw Red Banner Order of Kutuzov) (Chemnitz) [Karl Marx Stadt]
303rd Guards Cannon Artillery Brigade (Kalinkovichi Twice Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov) (Altengrabow)
307th Multiple Rocket Artillery Brigade (Chemnitz) [Karl Marx Stadt]
122nd Antitank Artillery Brigade (Koenigsbrueck)
64th Motor Vehicle Brigade (Kummersdorf)
65th Motor Vehicle Brigade (Fuerstenwalde)
27th Pontoon Bridge Regiment (Lutherstadt (Wittenberg)
272nd Separate Communications Regiment (Frankfurt am Oder)
29th Separate Electronic Warfare Regiment (Schoenwalde)
67th Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Elstal)
163rd Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Leipzig)
252nd Surface-to-Air Missile Brigade (Gera)
239th Separate Guards Helicopter Belgorod Red Banner Regiment (Oranienburg)



I think thats all of it. Orbat at the end comes from the USMLM site.

#12 zaevor2000

zaevor2000

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 0815 AM

Fantastic posts, Stuart!

Exactly what I was looking for! I have the original, but I really like the notes that you have incorporated as well.

Thank you very much!

So, as I still understand it, in the US sector in 79 it is going to be T62s until 84/85 when they get the T80s, and it is safe to say that 78/79 the Brits up north will be facing T64s. Again, if anyone has evidence to the contrary for this time frame I am very interested!

Even though I was in the Border Cav as part of 2nd ACR, the only Soviet vehicles we saw were the occasional GAZ jeep patrolling the border (border patrols were almost always conducted by the East Germans), Hinds and Hoplites flying parallel to the border (you were not allowed to point any weapons system towards the border- doing so represented a FragRep indicator of imminent hostilities and reported up the chain of command immediately.), along with the Soviet vehicles in the Graf motor park...

Armored vehicles were not allowed close to the border, so the only means we have of info is the intelligence/clandestine info gathering...

So many of us veterans are just as much in the dark as the civilians when it comes to what was in service across the border...

Thank you very much for the help everyone!

Keep it coming...

Frank

Edited by zaevor2000, 16 January 2011 - 0816 AM.


#13 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 0835 AM

Its been a LONG time since I read through the whole thing. But ultimately it gave the impression of being a rolling program. Ive always thought the area opposite NORTHAG got the best kit first, simply because the chance of success was better. But I think by 1985 quite a lot of the stuff opposite the US corps were at least T64A and sometimes T64B. If memory serves, I think the T62s were passed onto Motor Rifle units to build up their tank companies up to Battalion (There may have been a retrograde step here in some units as they handed in newer kit to build the numbers up. Im not sure) T80s were not seen in great numbers till post 87 I get the impression.

I think the Russian contingent on Tanknet have claimed that T80 numbers were not comparable to what the Allied Missions figures said they were (Im pretty sure Yama or someone said there were a lot more than assumed). But bear in mind they are basing their assumptions on Soviet era documents, which are sometimes of questionable reliablity.

One must bear in mind, these are only notes on sightings. its possible the Soviets kept a lot of their best kit parked in the warehouses till WW3 because they didnt want to get it dirty. :)

Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 January 2011 - 0837 AM.


#14 zaevor2000

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 1114 AM

Thank you very much for the reply Stuart!

So when would you put T64s arriving in the units facing the V Corps sector and would there be any there in the 1979 time frame in possibly 1 regiment of a tank division and possibly the independent tank bn of a motorized rifle regiment?

Just trying to reconcile what the Soviet contingent on Tanknet is saying vs. what most of the western intelligence has shown up...

I was working in the Border Operations Center in Camp Hof and right down the road in Plauen we had T80 BVs and BMP2s...this was in the 87-88 timeframe...

For our games I try to get the most probable time frame.

One of the people in our local gaming group, Marshall Gulley, is a Marine veteran late 70s early 80s and he is running the Operational Art of War, Fulda Gap 76 to genenete scenarios for our mini-convention of a 79 invasion... some VERY interesting possible scenario possibilities w/ a Soviet paratroop at the end of the Fulda valley, effectively putting a cork in the bottle (11th ACR) w/ 3rd Armored having to fight their way through the Soviet airborne regiment in the woods and urban area with the 39th MRD and 79th TD trying to muscle their way on the other end of the valley trying to bust through the 11th ACR to link up w/ the airborne.

Also interesting w/ the East German 7th Panzer division hitting around Bad Neustadt...



Also we are using this for inspiration as well.

http://homepages.par...tle/dayone.html

I have the 8th Gds Army down to platoon lvl, along w/ a Bde of the 5th Pz, and the 2nd Sqdn of an ACR (can be used for either 2nd or 11th) along w/the 1st Bde of the 3rd Armored Division that would have been relieving the 11th ACR in the Fulda area.

Will include some pics if desired...

Thank you very much for the help!

Frank

Edited by zaevor2000, 16 January 2011 - 1114 AM.


#15 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 1417 PM

Frank, Ill be honest with you, Ive spent a long time away from this stuff and Ive not refreshed my memory on many of the areas, so you would be better off trying to get Niall Hall, Jim Warford or Dave Clarke to comment on this. But I would suspect that in that time frame, the majority of Tank Regiments of Tank Divisions (perhaps even of Motor Rifle Divisions) would have had, or been transitioning to, T64. But quite a lot of the units attacked to Motor Rifle Regiments (which would have been a not inconsiderable number) would have been with T62s, perhaps even T55s. Thats just my opinion based on a not great memory. Ive been concentrating on steam trains lately to get away from all the thermonuclear stuff. :)

You may find this useful. There are East German estimates of US Army unit Readiness, including the warplan for V Corp (albeit in German, I seem to recall some items were legible). Im not sure quite what level you are going up to, but it did have some detail I recall on some relatively low level units.
http://www.php.isn.e...1&navinfo=15296

There are some US Army estimates on the Soviet capablity in the 1960s on there. Earlier than you wargame, but it may throw up some ideas on reinforcement rates. I cant imagine there had been much infrastructure work in the East since that date, and a lot of their kit still came in by train.

Heinz Hoffman Division eh? I think we have a tankneter on here who may have served in that unit. Reportedly they were quite good, but then 7th Panzer always was....

Let us know what your conclusions from your wargame are. I want to know how long you can put off going nuclear. My money is on a week.

#16 zaevor2000

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 1532 PM

Thank you for the reply, Stuart!

That is one of the reasons that I asked this forum first and foremost, we have a LOT of veterans of different nationalities and different units and I am kind of leaning on them to help fill out the picture as well as armor aficianados that are very well researched such as yourself ;)

Like I said, I've got people coming for hundreds of miles, so I want to give them the most accurate version possible. In fact one of the members of our first game, Rod Collard, died a few months after the game... so who knows when we will have the chance to do this again.

We will probably have LOTS of pics of it, hopefully Rocky Davis will join in on the festivities as a former armor officer... He did a great job of handling a T64 Tank division against the Royal Tank Regiment Chieftains in the 83 time frame, pinned him and very rapidly outflanked him with the BMPs and T64s, those things FLY on the open road!

Would the general recommendation to have T64s for 1 regiment of the 79th Tk Div and 1 independent tank bn of each MRD to have T64s?

Frank

#17 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 1839 PM

Thank you for the reply, Stuart!

That is one of the reasons that I asked this forum first and foremost, we have a LOT of veterans of different nationalities and different units and I am kind of leaning on them to help fill out the picture as well as armor aficianados that are very well researched such as yourself ;)

Like I said, I've got people coming for hundreds of miles, so I want to give them the most accurate version possible. In fact one of the members of our first game, Rod Collard, died a few months after the game... so who knows when we will have the chance to do this again.

We will probably have LOTS of pics of it, hopefully Rocky Davis will join in on the festivities as a former armor officer... He did a great job of handling a T64 Tank division against the Royal Tank Regiment Chieftains in the 83 time frame, pinned him and very rapidly outflanked him with the BMPs and T64s, those things FLY on the open road!

Would the general recommendation to have T64s for 1 regiment of the 79th Tk Div and 1 independent tank bn of each MRD to have T64s?

Frank


OK Rocky, if you read this you are officially on my S@@t list. :D
British Army doctrine was very much in transition in at that point. Previously it was to pick out stop lines, thin red line with Chieftains and Fv432s if you like. So at least in that timeframe im afraid I find that all too likely. You should read of the counter-offensive strategy outlined by Bagnall that slowly altered the strategy from that point on. I feel it could have given the Soviets great problems.

Ill have a look back through my notes tomorrow and see if I can find anything on those points for you. One book I can recommend for you if you havent got it, Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army by David Isby. its pretty much the bible on the Soviet army in that period. I personally think the 1981 edition was more accurate, but the 1988 version had some interesting detail on Soviet helicopter units in light of the Afghan operation.

#18 zaevor2000

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 1855 PM

OK Rocky, if you read this you are officially on my S@@t list. :D
British Army doctrine was very much in transition in at that point. Previously it was to pick out stop lines, thin red line with Chieftains and Fv432s if you like. So at least in that timeframe im afraid I find that all too likely. You should read of the counter-offensive strategy outlined by Bagnall that slowly altered the strategy from that point on. I feel it could have given the Soviets great problems.

Ill have a look back through my notes tomorrow and see if I can find anything on those points for you. One book I can recommend for you if you havent got it, Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army by David Isby. its pretty much the bible on the Soviet army in that period. I personally think the 1981 edition was more accurate, but the 1988 version had some interesting detail on Soviet helicopter units in light of the Afghan operation.


Here's my "Cold War" collection:

Isby, David C. Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, Jane's, 1981. Great book. Pretty much the bible on Soviet Army...

Isby, David C. Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, Jane's, 1988. The most fascinating part of the update was the review of the Soviet Army performance in Afghanistan as well as the updated T64/T72/T80 information and the expanded helicopter section as well...

Isby, David C. and Charles T. Kamps Armies of Nato's Central Front, Jane's, 1985. The best 1 volume of NATO units in this time frame. I like the different chapters for each nationality as well as the general chapters.

Baxter, William P. Lt Col, USA, (ret.) Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics, Presidio, 1986

Peters, Ralph, Red Army

Zaloga, Steven, Tank War-Central Front NATO vs. Warsaw Pact, Osprey, 1988.

and many others...

since I was in high school from 78-82 and then served 83-88, I will always be fascinated by the mid 70s to late 80s time frame...

Frank

#19 Kenneth P. Katz

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 2312 PM

We are the same age and our military service overlaps. The last decade of the Cold War is "my war".

since I was in high school from 78-82 and then served 83-88, I will always be fascinated by the mid 70s to late 80s time frame...



#20 Jim Warford

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 2356 PM

[quote name='Stuart Galbraith' date='16 January 2011 - 0923 AM' timestamp='1295169810' post='835680']

"1985 - 23rd January
Serial numbers and scrapings obtained from glacis of T64A by USMLM. (My comment. The USMLM report describes this as ‘exclusively, despite the fact that Brixmis had obtained samples with a hacksaw, apparently as early as 1981) (7)"

Stuart; first off...you are my hero; thanks. Posts like this one have really saved some of us a lot of time. :) Secondly, I'm very interested in the "who was first..." nature of some of the various Missions' achievements/claims. In some cases, the official USMLM reports are very specific and up-front about giving credit where credit is due. In some other cases, however, things seem to be left unsaid, or in dispute. Have you noticed those same trends as well?

Edited by Jim Warford, 16 January 2011 - 2358 PM.





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