40. Artillery Brigade - 40. Artilleriebrigade

40. Artillery Brigade
- X -

active 1986 to 1990
State Germany Democratic Republic 1949DDR German Democratic Republic
Armed forces National Peoples Army
Armed forces Emblem of the Ground Forces of NVA (East Germany).svg Armed Forces
Branch of service Missile troops and artillery
Type Artillery
Insinuation Kdo. Armed Forces
Last deployment Blankenfelde ()
Origin of the soldiers DDR

The 40th Artillery Brigade (abbreviated 40th ABR) was an association of rocket troops and artillery of the National People's Army of the GDR which was directly subordinate to the Land Forces Command . The brigade stationed in Blankenfelde south of Berlin was to form the main firepower of the Special Grouping Berlin in the event of war .


The brigade was formed in 1986 from artillery units from the border troops of the GDR . As the only tactical artillery unit of the NVA, it was placed directly under the command of the Land Forces in Peace. It was subdivided into the reconnaissance battery-26, the projectile launcher department -26 Bruno Kühn equipped with 18 missile launchers RM-70 and the one erected in 1971 in Berlin-Johannisthal with 18 122-mm howitzer D-30 (2A18) and 130-mm cannon each M-46 equipped Artillery Regiment-26 Otto Nelte . Because against the background of the Four Power Agreement on Berlinthe stationing of NVA units in Berlin was problematic - the Western powers had regularly reacted with diplomatic protest notes because of the GDR military parades in Berlin - the brigade was relocated to Blankenfelde. However, the barracks there was only ready for occupancy in 1988.

Structure and equipment

Structure of the 40th Artillery Brigade

The brigade was already fully staffed and materially replenished in peace. The brigade consisted of:

In the course of the GDR's disarmament measures from spring 1989 and the shortening of basic military service, the brigade was restructured in 1989. The 3rd division was dissolved, the 4th division was reduced to two batteries with twelve RM-70 missile launchers.

As a result of the political change in 1989 , the brigade and the entire NVA were disbanded on October 2, 1990.


The plans for the event of war provided for the capture of West Berlin , which was an island in the state territory of the GDR . The plans were called Operation Center , Operation Shock or Operation Center . From the mid-1980s they envisaged a strong grouping of around 32,000 soldiers, 400 main battle tanks, 400 armored personnel carriers and 450 artillery pieces and grenade launchers against the US, British and French troops stationed in West Berlin . The core of the group was formed by the 1st motorized rifle division of the NVA and the 6th independent motorized rifle brigade of theGroup of the Soviet Armed Forces in Germany and nine regiments of the border troops of the GDR . The 40th Artillery Brigade had the same strength as the Artillery Regiment-1 and the Missile-Launcher Division -1 of the 1st Motorized Rifle Division and could be used as a division artillery group. The special importance of the 40th artillery brigade is underlined by the fact that the brigade was already fully deployed in peacetime, while the artillery regiments of the military districts would only have grown into artillery brigades in the event of war.

During the training, special emphasis was placed on the use as a reconnaissance / fire complex. Such a complex included reconnaissance equipment and artillery weapons. The aim was to shorten the reaction times in order to enable the combat against masses of forces, artillery, command posts and radio-electronic means of the enemy in mobile combat. In addition, reconnaissance and fire control helicopters were used by the 40th Artillery Brigade.