East German Border Guards – Equipment

One of the East German units at East Wind form a unit from the Grenztruppen (Border Guards) of the DDR, specifically, they represent the Ministry of National Defense (MfNV) - East German Border Guards, Border Central Command (GKM), 31 Border Regiment (Gebhard von Blucher), Battalion 1 (MiB-31-1), Frontier Troops Company 4 (GiK). They are the eyes and ears, responsible for protecting the borders of the Deutschland Democratic Republic (DDR) from any NATO aggression, both regulating the flow between the iron curtain and protecting the home front. Like all East German Armed Forces, the Grenztruppen are considered to be the most advanced and well supplied military force in the Warsaw Pact (WARPAC). They were quite literally on the "front line" of what could be a war with NATO should the Cold War "heat up", given their close proximity to the border. They maintained a constant state of combat readiness should war break out.

Grenztruppen der DDR (Border Guards of the German Democratic Republic)

The Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic, "Grenztruppen der DDR", were a military force of the GDR and the primary force guarding the Berlin Wall and the border between East and West Germany. The Grenztruppen Regiment at East Wind is a part of The Grenzkommando Mitte (GKM) (Border Command, Central Region), with headquarters at Berlin-Karlshorst, under the command of Oberst Gunther Leo. These troops manned the crossing points into West Berlin and guarded the entire border perimeter surrounding West Berlin. The GKM consisted of six frontier troops regiments, one border crossing point regiment, two training regiments, an artillery regiment and several smaller support units. You, having joined the Grenztruppen voluntarily, have been assigned to 4th kompanie Grenzregiment 31 "Gebhard von Blucher", GKM.

The units of the Grenztruppen der DDR were organised in the same manner as ordinary NVA army units. Grenztruppen regiments were trained similar to regular infantry, but were much more lightly equipped than comparable NVA infantry formations, with the heaviest weapon being the RPG-7 grenade launcher. To increase their capability to search for persons attempting to flee the DDR, most units had German Shepherd dogs. A regiment consisted of around 1,500 men divided into three battalions of four companies each. These regiments also had an anti-tank battery, a mortar battery and an engineer company. The units of the Grenzkommando Mitte was the command stationed near Berlin and was in control of all crossings and patrols of the perimeter of non-marxist Berlin. They were also partially mechanized, something that the other three Border Guard commands weren't. While not outfitted to take on serious aggressive thrust by NATO, the Grenztruppen der DDR were still a well trained and capable force, able to hold their own until backup arrives. The work of the guards involved carrying out repair work on defences, monitoring the zone from watchtowers and bunkers and patrolling the line several times a day or night.

As East Wind takes place right on the border of East and West Berlin, you will be responsible for controlling checkpoints, observing the border for NATO aggression, and preventing defectors from escaping. You will have access to a wide range of equipment such as armored vehicles, weapons and communications systems in order for you to accomplish your missions. You will be billeted and messed in conjunction with Soviet forces as a symbol of "Fraternal Unity" that the Soviets and Germans were so fond of during the period. However, you will retain your own command structure and carry on your own operations independent of Soviet overwatch and control. You are after all the best that Germany has to offer in the defense of the Fatherland!

Personal Equipment

Each individual attending as an East German Border Guard is required to have all of the equipment listed on this page before they will be allowed entry to the field. Click on the name of each item for more details, and photos. There will be an inspection when you sign in. If you have questions, or are having trouble sourcing some items, please contact us.

While some of the equipment on the list may not seem to have immediate value, it is not just for the sake of realism or re-enacting. All the equipment is designed to work as a system, with other people's gear, and with the heavy equipment we provide. For example, it seems like any cup, bowl or plate would work for eating off. But using the correct mess kit means the serving line runs faster, and your kit fits into the cleaning equipment we provide.

Before being sure you have all of this stuff, be sure to read the list of items that you cannot bring.

Required Items:

Recommended Items:

Grenztruppen der DDR Standing Orders:

  1. No Facial hair. No mustaches, no beards, no goatees! We are not wild animals like our brothers in the Soviet Army! All Grenztruppen will appear clean shaven with no beard growth. Prepare to shave daily. Hair length will be restricted to being a military-style haircut or at least neat in appearance with no hair touching your collar. No pony-tails or shaggy hair will be allowed.
  2. Collar liners are mandatory for all collared uniforms - if it has a collar, it needs a collar liner.
  3. Helmets will be worn during all exercises, when riding in vehicles, or during times of increased hostilities. At all other times, outside of overhead cover, some form of headwear (such as your soft cap) must be worn.
  4. Head covering is required at all times when outside - helmet, caps or ushankas.
  5. Soldiers will have their weapon and at least two loaded magazines on them at all times. This applies to downtime at the HQ camp as well. All parts of the field are in play - you need to be prepared to respond to an attack at anytime.
  6. "Befehl 101" or "Schießbefehl"(order to fire) is in effect. If you encounter persons moving illegally within the border strip. All Grenztruppen must:

    * Call out "Halt, stehenbleiben, oder ich schieße!" ("Stop, stand still or I will shoot").
    * Next, fire a warning shot.
    * Finally, if the fugitive has failed to comply, an aimed shot, preferably at the legs, must be taken to stop the person.

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