Pink And Green Uniform Army

The first military units of the Main Training Administration (HVA) were dressed in police blue. With the reorganization into the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP) in 1952, khaki uniforms were introduced that strongly resembled those of the Soviet army in cut and hue. In search of its own “German” and “socialist” military tradition, however, the state leadership soon decreed a change in appearance. Accordingly, with the founding of the NVA in 1956, new uniforms were again introduced. These strongly resembled those of the Wehrmacht. They were made of stone-grey cloth and were of similar cut, but from 1974/79 onwards, high-collared dark collars were dispensed with (except on the overcoats). The peculiarly flattened NVA helmet corresponded to the German Wehrmacht’s “B/II” experimental design developed by Fry and his colleague Hänsel of the Institut für Wehrtechnische Werkstoffkunde, Berlin, which had been in testing since 1943 but was no longer introduced. The GDR magazine “NBI” wrote in 1956 about the newly introduced steel helmet: “The members of the National People’s Army of our GDR are better protected by the new steel helmet made of first-class material with the superior shape. It was created after the former German steel helmet under consideration of the newest experiences and guarantees observation and freedom of movement”. According to Willi Stoph and Walter Ulbricht, the traditional appearance, which critics complained was also close to that of the Wehrmacht, was intended to emphasize the German “national character” of the NVA. The NVA was to consciously distinguish itself in appearance from the “U.S. mercenaries” of the Bundeswehr, whose uniforms initially closely resembled the appearance of U.S. troops since their founding in 1955, which Stoph described as “over-hung capitalist costume” and a “surrender of patriotic honor.”

Service Badges

The design of the rank insignia was traditional (according to Walter Ulbricht’s instruction: “… the rank is still to be recognized exclusively by the shoulder pieces…”), but with some modifications. For example, the arm angles of the corporal and staff corporal were replaced by one or two cross braids on the armpit flaps. The braid trim on the collars and epaulettes of NCOs and sergeants, on the other hand, remained unchanged compared to the last use in the Wehrmacht, as did the sterndistinctions for sergeants, first sergeants, and staff sergeants. The officers’ shoulder boards represented a compromise solution. The basic shape, made of flat cord or wickerwork, and the shape of the rank stars matched those of the Reichswehr. However, the arrangement of the rank stars followed the pattern of the Soviet Army – as in all other Warsaw Pact countries. With the introduction of the Soviet rank structure for officers, the rank of second lieutenant was also reintroduced. In Germany, the designation of sublieutenant had fallen into disuse after 1898. In turn, the rank of general of the branch of arms (general of infantry, artillery, etc.), which had hitherto been the next higher above lieutenant general, was dropped. This was now immediately followed by the colonel general, followed by the army general. Also following the Soviet pattern was the introduction of the rank group of midshipmen in 1974, expanded in 1979 to include the ranks of midshipman, staff midshipman and staff midshipman. These ranked between the sergeants and the officers. Their rank insignia consisted of a clasp of silver plate cord applied to the ground cloth of the epaulets. One to four vertically superimposed rank stars served to distinguish them, initially silver, but gold since 1979. As a special marking, the ensigns wore a sleeve badge on the left upper arm of the uniform. In the beginning, stars were depicted on it for each completed five years of service. With the introduction of the ranks of Oberfähnrich and Stabsfähnrich these were dropped. The ensigns wore the uniform and equipment of the officers, but the silver sash, the honor dagger and, from 1977, the armpit lanyard were reserved for them. The shoulder boards of the lieutenants and captains were made of simple silver plate cord. The sub-lieutenant was distinguished by a rank star, the lieutenant by two rank stars placed side by side, the first lieutenant by three rank stars formed into an even triangle. The captain had another rank star above the triangle formation. Staff officers had silver braided shoulder boards with one rank star for the major, two stars for the lieutenant colonel, three stars for the colonel. On the gold-colored general’s insignia, consisting of two gold cords on the outside and one silver cord on the inside, for the major general, lieutenant general, colonel general, and army general, the rank stars were placed vertically one above the other. In contrast to the stars of the lower rank groups, the general’s stars were pentagonal and had a diameter of 15 mm. The appointment of a Marshal of the GDR would have been made only in case of defense or for special military achievements. The rank of Marshal of the GDR was never awarded. His rank star would have been a five-pointed medal star with ruby inlay. The military service wore the characteristic swallow’s nests on both sleeve attachments in the old Prussian tradition. Shoulder boards were not used on aviator and technician suits in the Air Forces for occupational safety reasons. The rank was identified by a stripe code on the left side of the chest, beginning with the rank of NCO with a seven-millimeter-wide stripe on a gray or blue background. Beginning in 1984, the officer stripe code corresponded to the Navy sleeve stripes.

Service career badge

Members of the NVA who had completed special training during their period of service or alternatively belonged to a special unit and did not wear its weapon color were entitled to wear a service career badge on their uniform in accordance with their special training. The service career badge was attached to the left jacket sleeve, 12 cm from the sleeve hem. However, the right to wear the badge was only valid for the duration of the respective career. Furthermore, only one badge could be worn at a time. This badge had to reflect the current main function of the wearer, even if the person had the qualification of several trainings. From Hauptinspekteur der Nationalen Volksarmee – Handbuch Militärisches Grundwissen (NVA-Ausgabe 1980) Official training material for officers of the NVA, CC0, Link”>

Weapon colors

Weapon colors were indicated on the carpet pad of the epaulettes and, until 1974/79, on the cantillas of the collar patches, as well as, in the case of the air forces and the border troops, on colored piping. The land forces were uniformly white piped since 1961. Prior to that, the piping here was also in weapon color. The weapon colors were originally also shown on the collar patches. Later, there were only collar patch variants for the Land Forces, the Air Forces/Air Defense, the Paratroopers, and the Border Troops. For all units of the Land Forces, the collar patches showed two narrow bar braids for enlisted men or wide bar braids for officers, made of gauze, later for officers also made of metal, which were filled with the respective weapon color, if applicable. Until 1981, two similarly designed sleeve patches were also attached to the sleeve lapels. The collar patches of the LSK/LV and the paratroopers were designed differently. The former had a simple wing on blue cloth for the enlisted men, for the officers this cloth was surrounded by a silver braid and the wing was surrounded by a half oak leaf wreath, for the paratroopers the cloth was orange-red. Shown was a wing on an open parachute. The collar of ensigns and officers was surrounded by a silver braid. The colors of the individual branches of the armed forces were:

  • Blue: People’s Navy
  • Dark green: rear services (supplies)
  • Yellow: Intelligence
  • Gray: Air defense
  • Green: Border troops (including Border Brigade Coast)
  • Light blue: Air forces
  • Orange: Paratroopers
  • Pink: Tanks
  • Black: Engineer troops, (military transport, technical units, chemical services)
  • Purple: Civil defense
  • White: Motorized riflemen
  • Brick red: Artillery (missile troops/artillery, missile and weapons technical services, troop air defense)

The naval forces, from 1960 with the name Volksmarine, used uniforms since their foundation that were based on those of the former German Kriegsmarine, namely made of dark blue cloth with a golden double row of buttons, without collar patches, the color of the weapons was also dark blue. The naval aviators were an exception, as they had light blue collar patches and light blue piped shoulder pieces on the dark blue naval uniform coat. The border troops wore uniforms that matched those of the NVA since the time they were part of the NVA. The cap band and the piping of the uniform were kept green according to the weapon color. Correspondingly, the piping and cap band of the members of the air force were blue. There were also unique combinations of uniform parts, for example the airmen of the Border Brigade Coast. These had light green collar patches with the insignia of the air forces on the conventional naval uniforms. The members of the Ministry of State Security, especially the Guard Regiment, wore uniforms corresponding to the NVA. The color of the arms was bordeaux red. Source Wikipedia Pink And Green Uniform Army.

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