6941st Guard Battalion - 6941st Guard Battalion

Coat of arms 6941st Gd Bn. Motto: On Guard!

The 6941st Guard Battalion in Berlin was a paramilitary unit set up by the US armed forces during the occupation of Berlin by the Allied forces after World War II and during the Cold War , which from 1950 to 1993 mainly comprised all US facilities guarded in divided Berlin . The members of this unit were mainly recruited from German nationals and members of the NATO countries .

The 6941st Gd Bn was with a few administrative exceptions in the personnel, training and logistics area part of the CS organization (Civilian Support Organization) with headquarters in Heidelberg . [1] Compared to the CS units in West Germany, the leadership style of the "civilian employees" of the 6941st Gd Bn was strictly subject to military guidelines.

history

Wappen CSG

The 6941st Guard Battalion was founded in September 1950 under the name 6901st Labor Service Area. In 1952, after the unit was reorganized, it became the 6941st Labor Service Center. In 1969 the 6941st Gd Bn was given its final name with the addition "(LS)" for Labor Service, which was omitted in the early 1980s, in accordance with the military structure and mission.

The 6941st Gd Bn arose from German nationals who were obliged to serve in the US armed forces in Berlin and who guarded economic goods such as building materials and coal before and during the “ Berlin Airlift ”, initially as “Civillian Guards” and later as “Industrial Police”.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent withdrawal of the Allied forces from Berlin, the basic tasks for the 6941st Gd Bn ceased to exist and was consequently dissolved on September 30, 1993, almost three years after the reunification of Germany .

The 248 German Security Unit in the British sector of Berlin was considered a counterpart of the 6941st Guard Battalion .

Unity and strength


Unit Crest 6941st Gd Bn

The 6941st Gd Bn reached a strength of approx. 850 "civilian employees" at its best and was divided into five companies, each consisting of four platoons . The four Guard Companies, 4012th Gd Co, 4014th Gd Co, 4077th Gd Co and 4078th Gd Co, carried out their work in the guard and security service, the fifth company, the HHC (Headquarters and Headquarters Company - staff / staff company) was responsible for administration and supply. The 6941st Gd Bn recruited and administered its "civilian employees" through its own personnel department. Human resources were monitored and supervised by the CPD (Civilian Personal Division) of the US armed forces in Berlin and the Labor Services Agency (management and administration of the Civilian Support Organization) in Heidelberg. Due to its structural orientation, the 6941st Gd Bn had its own transport facilities with attached workshops, its own supply for 24-hour catering for employees, its own logistics department for supplying equipment and consumables, and its own communications department.

The service of the "civilian workers" was provided in uniform , similar to older uniforms of the US armed forces, and with appropriate armament. The Berlin bear , uniform badges and badges of rank corresponding to the ranks of the US Army, in a different form, were worn on the uniform. The uniformed "civilian workers" of the 6941st Gd Bn were part of the Berlin cityscape during the occupation, like the US soldiers themselves and were gladly equated with them by the civilian population , resp. mistaken. It was customary for the "civilian workers" to address each other by their ranks and officer rankswere greeted militarily. There was an obligation to greet officers as well as the flag at roll calls. Because of this strong military orientation, the 6941st Gd Bn took a special position within the CS organization.

This was possible because the restrictions of the NATO Stationing Agreement (NATO-SOFA) did not apply to the employment of national civilians in Berlin. The US troops in Berlin were not part of NATO, but rather occupation forces as a result of the Second World War. West German units were subject to the restrictions, which were initially interpreted so generously in terms of a military orientation that these units also made a “tight” military impression. For some, this was almost unavoidable and sensible, as they were purely military orders (smoke launchers, military bridge building, pioneering work, Telecommunications, etc.) carried out hand in hand with US units. In the course of the late 1970s and 1980s, however, the restrictions were largely enforced as the activities of all armed forces were critically observed by the growing peace movement and a critical press (e.g. Der Spiegel).

Due to constant training, field exercises, qualified training and constant monitoring of the regulations and standards, the 6941st Gd Bn was considered to be particularly well trained and qualified for its service. The guides of the 6941st Gd Bn were particularly proud of the fact that in the 43-year history of the unit there has not been a single use of firearms against potential attackers on US facilities and thus the professionalism in the performance of the service of this unit could be expressed.

badge


In addition to the CS patch (Civilian Support Badge) worn on the left shoulder, the so-called cognac patch, because of the three stars, the unit patch (unit badge) of the respective Civilian Support Group (sub-unit) was carried on the right shoulder , in the case of the 6941st Gd Bn, the coat of arms with the Berlin bear.

There have been a few variations of the CS patch over the years. There were shapes with a curved upper edge, and instead of the stars there were variants with the lettering "German" and for the 6941st Gd Bn variants with the lettering "Berlin" and in camouflage (camouflage version - green / black). The current uniform badges were used according to the uniform worn, Class A (office staff, back office, etc.) in the early years khaki and variations of blue-gray, later different variations of blue / gray, Class C (security personnel, workers, field service etc.) ) in the very early years black drill, hence the common name "Black Guard" or "Black Guards", later different variants of drill, also drill "hot weather" (US-Vietnam uniform).

Personal awards and badges


The members of the 6941st Gd Bn received individual awards for good service and leadership with the “Commemorative Badge” (visible to the uniform) as a service award after 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years. The CS commanders were entitled to award this award as an honorary award to members of the US Army. The basic award was given, sometimes with an oak leaf.

In addition to this visible award, the relatives were also able to receive the “Sustained Superior Performance” award for particularly good performance over a period of at least 12 months. It consisted of a certificate and a cash reward.

There was also the “Guard of the Month” award (visible on the uniform during the month of selection).

Civic American medals were occasionally awarded to CS members, which could then be worn as a ribbon on the Class A uniform.

German medals and decorations could be worn with prior approval from the Civilian Support Agency. Other badges, such as the German sports badge or awards from the DLRG, could be worn after proof of authorization.

There were also the badges for drivers, also common in the US Army, "Drivers Badge", and the badges for shooting skills with the rifle and pistol, "Marksman Badge", "Sharpshooter Badge" and "Expert Badge" (visible on the uniform guided).

Standard awards

The awards that the 6941st Gd Bn received as unit awards included the USAREUR Sword of Freedom Award for Maintenance Excellence and the USAREUR Sword of Freedom Award for Supply Excellence.

Ranks


The ranks and the rank badges of the US Civilian Support Groups in Germany were very similar to those of the US Army .

On the one hand, the ranks were used to identify members of the military. In the CS organization, i.e. among civilians, it was also common to use the address Mr. Woman to use. At 6941st Gd Bn, under the special legal conditions in West Berlin (NATO-SOFA not valid), attention was paid to a militarily correct address, which included the obligation to greet the officers. Because of the special status of the four-power city Berlin and the presence, resp. the contact with the soldiers of the three Western powers, this external form preservation was entirely appropriate.

From the end of the 1970s, candidates received the original "Certificate of Promotion" from the Department of the Army, United States of America (DA) for promotion.

Mission

Civilian Support Guard Badge
US soldier (middle) with security guards of the 6941st Gd Bn at the Berlin shopping center of the US military personnel "Truman Plaza".

The primary mission of the 6941st Gd Bn was to guard and secure US facilities, barracks and property in the former West Berlin . Thus the US soldiers stationed in Berlin were relieved and released for their primary tasks, regular guard duty in the Spandau war crimes prison and training for military emergencies. Soldiers usually guard themselves, as this is an essential task (self-protection) in an emergency. With the Guard Battalion, however, this could be made more economical and efficient (e.g. no communication difficulties with the German population). The US soldiers had during their regular visits to West German military training areassufficient opportunity to practice self-protection. The personnel specially trained for guard duty, initially composed only of Germans, later also members of the protective powers and citizens from non-communist-ruled countries, carried out this task continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year by.

The 6941st Gd Bn secured, among other things, the US headquarters in Berlin , the American consulate in Berlin, all US barracks areas including all associated outdoor facilities, US ammunition depots, US motor pools, US warehouses, US communication and surveillance facilities , US transportation facilities, US schools, US shopping centers, US banks and US special facilities such as B. the Berlin Document Center , the guest house of the Berlin city commandant, or the officers' casino (Harnack House) of the US armed forces in Berlin, as well as recreational facilities and clubs.

In addition to its use on US installations, i.e. on extra-territorial areas, the 6941st Gd Bn was also used, for As to secure the held annually Allies parade of the three Western powers in the Tiergarten district , or to secure, in closer cooperation than usual with the American and British military police (since 1992 also with the military police of the armed forces ), on the German-American -Folksfest in the Zehlendorf districtused, where in times of increased security levels personal checks were carried out by the members of the 6941st Gd Bn. In times of crisis, the 6941st Gd Bn also proved itself in the extensive external security of US facilities, through patrols between the US facilities in the American sector of Berlin, securing the US housing areas and by supporting communications for the US armed forces.

equipment


The equipment of the Guard Battalion corresponded to that of a light infantry battalion, including NBC protective equipment, light storm baggage, etc. In barracks areas or places with public traffic, the respective Guard Relief (security team) was equipped with pistols and batons (Club, Policeman's, Wood) while on objects with less crowds such as ammunition depots and z. B. Hunting 110 / TeufelsbergFSB (TeuBerg Com Fac) the Guard Relief, with the exception of the relief guide and control staff, who carried pistols, was equipped with the assault rifle. For other security tasks, the armament was arranged according to the task to be performed. In addition, the 6941st Gd Bn had a well-equipped fleet of vehicles as well as all the necessary means of communication, including a mobile command center (Mobile Command Post). The communication corresponded to the NATO standards.

Armament

Members of the 6941st Gd Bn were tested on firearms , Pistol M1911 A1, cal .45 ACP (Colt Government) and Pistol M9, cal 9 mm ( Beretta 92 FS 9mm Para.), As well as the M1 assault rifle, later the M14 and the M16 A1 / A2, cal. 223 Rem. (Colt AR15, 5.56mm) and the legal provisions for the exercise of police violence as well as the provisions on the use of firearms . The service was carried out according to the applicable guidelines of the US Army (ARs, DOD Regs., USAREUR Regs. Etc.) and German law. [2]

Locations

The 6941st Guard Battalion in 1950 and 1958 the renamed to "Roosevelt Barracks" former Guards Rifle barracks housed in Lichterfelde. In 1958 the unit was relocated to the former Prussian main cadet institute , which was the location of the " Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler " in the Third Reich . The cadet institute was called "Andrews Barracks" during its US use. The 6941st Guard Battalion remained stationed there until the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The arrival of American troop reinforcements at the height of the Berlin crisisand their stationing at Andrews Barracks required the Guard Battalion to be relocated to Roosevelt Barracks. In 1991, the 6941st GDBn she might return from Roosevelt Barracks Andrews Barracks around since the Bundeswehr its military police under introduced into the Roosevelt Barracks.

See also

Weblinks

Commons : 6941st Guard Battalion - Album containing pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. official home site of the 6941st Guard Battalion - start. Retrieved November 18, 2018 (German).
  2. USAREUR Reg 600-400 (predecessor of AE Reg 600-400)

Coordinates: 52 ° 26 ' N , 13 ° 18' E