5. Rocket Brigade - 5. Raketenbrigade

The fifth missile brigade (abbreviated 5. KBr) was the Military District V imputed military unit of missile troops and artillery of the National People's Army of the GDR . The brigade last stationed in Demen was equipped with operational-tactical missiles.


Launch vehicle 8U218 of the operational-tactical missile complex R-11M
Launch pad 2P19 of the operational-tactical missile complex 9K72M

The rocket brigade was set up as an independent artillery brigade-2 (sABr-2) in 1962 in Stallberg . In September of this year, the brigade received the first three launch pads 8U218 of the R-11M missile complex. This weapon system, designated Scud-1a by the Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) of NATO , was the first Soviet missile complex of operational and tactical designation. The Soviet employment principles distinguish ground-ground missile strategic, operational-tactical and tactical missiles. Missile systems of strategic importance were in the Strategic Missile Forcessummarized. Units that were equipped with operational-tactical missile complexes with ranges of several hundred kilometers were assigned to the corps and armies (military districts in peacetime). Tactical missile complexes were assigned to the motorized rifle and tank divisions. Operational-tactical missiles are supposed to be used for nuclear weapons, their stores; Command centers, traffic hubs, airfields, harbors bases and concentration areas are fought by enemy troops. After the R-11M missile complex was included in the armament of the Soviet Army from 1955 , the deployment of missile troops in the states allied with the USSR began in the early 1960s.

With the three launch ramps supplied, a missile department was initially set up. In December 1962, the artillery brigade received three more launch ramps, with which a second division was put into service. In addition to a stick battery and a technical battery, both missile departments comprised three starter batteries. Each starting battery had a fire train with a launch ramp, so the total number of launch ramps is six. On August 10, 1963, the unit's first rocket was launched on the Soviet state polygon in Kapustin Yar [1] . The brigade was initially the chief missile forces and artillery in the Ministry of National Defensedirectly subordinated to the GDR. This was justified with the lack of trained specialists at the command of Military District V , who would have been able to lead, train and supply. [2] The fact that the GDR was initially unable to set up a second department in Military District III , however, may also have played a role.

In 1964, the brigade received the first launch pads 2P19 of the operational-tactical missile complex 9K72M. This weapon system, designated by the ASSC as Scud-1b , replaced the R-11M missile complex in the missile brigade. In autumn of this year, the missile brigade took part in the military parade for the GDR's national holiday in Berlin for the first time. This was also the first public demonstration of these weapons in the holdings of the NVA. On May 1 of the following year, the independent Artillery Brigade-2 was subordinated to the head of rocket troops and artillery in the command of Military District V. In 1967 it was renamed the 5th Missile Brigade. Starting in 1968, the launch ramps of the type 2P19 were also replaced by launch ramps 9P117M / 9P117M1 in the NVA. In 1971 the missile brigade was given the honorary name Bruno Leuschner .

In 1968 the III. Missile Department of the Missile Brigade set up. In 1975 this unit was subordinated to the Chief of Military District III and served as the basic structure for the establishment of the 3rd Missile Brigade in Tautenhain . In 1977 the 5th Missile Brigade was relocated to Demen (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

Destruction of a transport loading vehicle and a launch unit from the 9K714 Oka missile complex in Demen, March 1990

In September 1985, equipment began with the operational-tactical missile complex 9K714 Oka . With the weapon system designated as SS-23 by the ASSC , the III. Missile Division equipped, while the I. and II. Missile Division kept the 9K72M missile complex. Even after the INF Treaty came into force in 1987, the 9K714 missile complex remained in the 5th Missile Brigade. Among other things, the treaty provided for the destruction of land-based nuclear missiles with a short range (500 to 1000 km). However, the GDR was not included in the text of the treaty. It was not until December 14, 1989, that the then Prime Minister of the GDR, Hans Modrow , decided on the 9K714 Oka missile complexto take from the arming of the NVA. On March 16, 1990, the 9K714 Oka missile complex was presented to the GDR press for the first time.

With the order 42/90 [3] of the Minister for National Defense, the two missile brigades were detached from operational readiness with effect from April 1, 1990 . The weapon systems 8K14 of the 5th Missile Brigade were handed over to the group of the Soviet armed forces in Germany , the four systems 9K714 Oka with the exception of a launch pad for the Military History Museum in Dresden were destroyed. The brigade was to be converted into a missile brigade for tactical purposes and equipped with the tactical missile complexes 9K52 Luna-M and 9K79 Totschka . For this purpose, the brigade wereMissile detachments of the 1st and 8th motorized rifle divisions and the 9th Panzer Division . However, these plans were no longer fully implemented. As a result of the political change in 1989 , the brigade and the entire NVA were disbanded on October 2, 1990.

Structure and equipment

Structure of the 5th Missile Brigade, 1989
Launch pad 9P117M of the operational-tactical missile complex 8K14
Launch pad 9P71 of the operational-tactical missile complex 9K714

In 1989 the brigade consisted of: [4]

  • the lead battery
  • the meteorological battery
  • of the I. Missile Department, equipped with operational-tactical missiles 8K14
  • of the II. Missile Department, equipped with operational-tactical missiles 8K14
  • the III. Missile department, equipped with operational-tactical missiles 9K714
  • the pioneer company
  • the repair company
  • material security for the company

In the first and second missile departments, in addition to the command battery, there were two starter batteries with two fire trains each. A 9P117M or 9P117M1 launch vehicle was present in each fire platoon. A total of eight launch vehicles of the 8K14 weapon system belonged to the brigade.

In the III. In addition to the lead battery, there were two starter batteries with two fire trains each. A 9P71 launch vehicle was present in each fire platoon. A total of four launch vehicles of the 9K714 weapon system belonged to the brigade.

The Mobile Rocket Technology Base 5 (BRTB-5) was responsible for supplying the brigade with rocket engines and fuel. This was subordinate to the head of missile and weapons Technical service in command of the Military District V . The NVA had neither conventional nor nuclear warheads for the 8K14 weapon system. Like the nuclear warheads of the 9K714 weapon system, these would have been supplied by Soviet troops in the event of war.

Exercises and use

The 5th Missile Brigade formed the main firepower of the 1st front of the allied troops, acting in the so-called Jutland and coastal operational direction. The brigade should be used to combat NATO position troops, their command and air defense equipment and reserves . Linked to this was the massive use of nuclear weapons. The brigade was supposed to work with the missile detachments of the divisions and the missile units and troop units of the group of Soviet armed forces in Germanytake part in the so-called 1st nuclear strike of the front. By destroying nuclear weapons, groups of opposing units, command posts, airfields and air defense facilities as well as logistical facilities, the Soviet military command believed that favorable conditions were to be created for stopping the attack by NATO troops and their destruction on their own territory. The NVA officers had no influence on target planning. [5]The takeover and assembly of nuclear warheads and the use of missiles equipped with these warheads were therefore regularly practiced by the units of the brigade in peace. It was not until the 1985/87 discussions on the implementation of defense tasks that the operational principles changed. The new defense doctrine published as a result of these discussions in 1988 emphasized the defensive character of the fighting. In exercises North 88 and Friendship 88 in Military District V, details of a persistent defense on a tactical level were practiced for the first time. [6] In the course of this new approach, the use of missiles with conventional warheads was propagated by the planned missile forces of the NVA and practiced.

Exercise launches of operational and tactical missiles were carried out on the Kapustin Yar state polygon. From 1963 the 5th Missile Brigade alternated with the 3rd Missile Brigade. A total of 96 operational-tactical missiles of all types were launched in Kapustin Jar by units of the NVA.


  • May 15, 1962 - Feb. 28, 1967: Lieutenant Colonel Hans Marschner
  • March 1, 1967 - August 31, 1973: Colonel Karl-Heinz Hess
  • Sept. 1, 1973 - Aug. 31, 1976: Colonel Georg Knebel
  • Sept. 1, 1976 - June 30, 1980: Colonel Roland Großer
  • 1 July 1980 - 31 Oct. 1987: Colonel Jürgen Schlase
  • Nov. 1, 1987 - Oct. 2, 1990: Colonel Gerhard Pfützner

Individual evidence

  1. In this article, the place names customary at the time are used
  2. siehe Copenhagen, S. 59
  3. see facsimile ( memento from July 14, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  4. Missile Troops NVA, structure of the leadership of the 5th Missile Brigade
  5. see Lautsch: On the operational planning of the 5th Army in: Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): The armed forces of the GDR and Poland in the operational planning of the Warsaw Pact
  6. siehe u. a. Naumann