8th Motorized Rifle Division - 8. motorisierte Schützendivision

8th Motorized Rifle Division (8th MSD)

active June 30, 1956 to October 2, 1990
State Germany Democratic Republic 1949DDR German Democratic Republic
Armed forces National Peoples Army
Armed forces Land forces of the NVA
Branch of service Mechanized infantry
Type Mechanisierte Infanteriedivision
structure structure
Strength Should war: 14,746

Should peace: 10,954
last: 10,963 [1]

Insinuation Military District V (Peace)

5th Army (war)

headquarters Schwerin ( location )
equipment equipment
list of Commanders

The 8th Motorized Rifle Division (NVA) , or 8th MSD for short , was a large unit of the National People's Army of the GDR .



The division was created on June 30, 1956 as the 8th Infantry Division from the Schwerin Infantry Readiness of the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP) in Military District V and was renamed the 8th Motorized Rifle Division on November 30, 1956.

Their structure largely corresponded to that of the motorized rifle divisions of the Soviet Army . In contrast to these, the divisions of the NVA had no combat helicopters and a smaller battle tank component. [2]

The land forces of the GDR were divided into two military districts, V and III (in the north and south of the country), each of which had to provide an army in the event of a defense . From 1972 it became the Land Forces Command , which replaced the military districts as a training command , including the 8th MSD. [3]

The motorized rifle regiment 28 (MSR-28), which was also trained for sea ​​landings , was detached from the land forces on February 28, 1990 and placed under the People's Navy as Coastal Defense Regiment 18 (KVR-18) .

Construction of the wall

As part of the construction of the Berlin Wall , the 8th MSD was deployed in 1961 together with the 1st MSD and forces from the Group of the Soviet Armed Forces in Germany (GSSD) as a second "security team" at a depth of approx. 1,000 m behind the border. The first security squadron directly at the border consisted of units of the fighting groups of the working class , the border police and the people's police . The forces were formed on the evening of August 12, 1961 by the Minister for National Defense, Army General Heinz HoffmannBriefed in their duties and ordered with order 01/1961 "to secure the sector border and on the outer ring of West Berlin". The 8th MSD was involved in the security measures with 3,150 men, 100 tanks and 120 armored personnel carriers. Division the mot. Rifle Regiments 28 and 29, the 8th Panzer Regiment, the Artillery Battalion 8 and the engineer battalion were deployed from the stock 8. The command post of the 8th MSD was during this mission in Magerviehhof in Berlin-Lichtenberg . The relocation of the bulk of the deployed forces of the division to the locations took place in accordance with the order 03/1961 issued on September 20, 1961 by the Minister for National Defense by September 22, 1961. [4] [5]


On October 3, 1990, the NVA was integrated into the Bundeswehr and the individual units of the 8th MSD were placed under the command of the Bundeswehr Command East .


unit Honorary name deployment
Motorized Rifle Regiment 27 Hans Kahle Schwerin - Sternbuchholz ( location )
Motorized Rifle Regiment 28 Wilhelm Florin Rostock ( location )
Motorized Rifle Regiment 29 Ernst Moritz Arndt Hagenow ( location ) - formerly in Prora on the island of Rügen
8th Panzer Regiment Artur Becker Goldberg ( Lage ) - formerly in Prora on the island of Rügen
Artillerieregiment 8 Erich Mühsam Rostock ( location ) - earlier than AR 16 in Prora on the island of Rügen
Fla Rocket Regiment 8 Willi Schröder Schwerin-Sternbuchholz ( Lage ) - formerly in Prora and Rostock
Missile Division 8 Herman Schult Goldberg ( location )
Missile Launcher Department 8 Mathias theses Schwerin-Sternbuchholz ( location )
Reconnaissance Battalion 8 Otto Moritz Hagenow ( Lage ) (until 1981 Schwerin)
Engineer Battalion 8 Tudor Vladimirescu Hagenow ( Lage ) (until 1982 Goldberg) - formerly in Prora on the island of Rügen
Panzerjägerabteilung 8 Heinrich Dollwetzel Schwerin-Sternbuchholz ( location )
News Battalion 8 Kurt Bürger Schwerin ( location )
Battalion Material Seizure 8 Herbert Tschäpe Karow ( location )
Instandsetzungsbataillon 8 Wilhelm Bick Karow ( Lage ) (until 1989 Stern-Buchholz and Rostock)
Chemical Defense Battalion 8 Erich Siebert Goldberg ( Lage ) (until 1982 Schwerin-Sternbuchholz)
Medical Battalion 8 Hans Rothenberger Karow ( location ) - formerly in Prora on the island of Rügen
Replacement regiment 8


T-55 tanks of the NVA
Luna-M der NVA

The division was equipped with T-34 tanks when it was deployed, and they were used well into the 1960s. On March 1, 1968, of 190 Division 92 tanks were of the type T-34 and only 35 of the type T-54 and 62 of the type T-55 . The conversion continued in the 1970s and 1980s and was completed with the complete equipment with T-55 tanks at the end of the 1980s.

And in establishing the mot. Rifle Associations Division with were BTR-40 (SPW-40) and - BTR-152 - armored personnel carriers (APC-152) equipped. Mid-1960s ran then BTR-60 (SPW-60) and from 1978 BTR-70 (SPW-70) and BMP-1 - infantry fighting vehicle to. [6]

The actual stock in 1990 included:

  • 4 Startrampen Luna-M
  • 214 T-55
  • 137 BMP
  • 271 BTR
  • 126 guns and missile launchers
  • 13 MT-55 bridge laying tanks based on T-55 [1]


Rank at that time Name Period comment
Oberst Karl Nacke June 30, 1956 - January 31, 1959
Oberst Werner Kruger February 1, 1959 - October 31, 1960
Oberst Gerhard Amm November 1, 1960 - December 31, 1962
Oberst Anton Hotzky January 1, 1963 - August 31, 1965
Major general Nikolaus Klenner September 1, 1965 - August 10, 1972
Major general Günther Malewsky August 10, 1972 - September 30, 1976
Oberst Manfred Grätz October 1, 1976 - August 31, 1978 later lieutenant general in the MfNV
Oberst Ulrich Bethmann September 1, 1978 - August 31, 1982 later Lieutenant General a. Kdr. OHS of the LaSK
Major general Hans Unterdörfel September 1, 1982 - August 31, 1986
Major general Manfred Jonischkies September 1, 1986 - August 31, 1990
Oberst Rolf Zander September 1, 1990 - October 2, 1990


Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Wilfried Copenhagen: The land forces of the NVA (= Motorbuch-Verlag special ). Motorbuch, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-613-02297-4 , p. 179.
  2. Kopenhagen 2003, S. 39
  3. Kopenhagen 2003, S. 41
  4. Klaus Naumann (Ed.): NVA - Claim and Reality, according to selected documents . Hamburg / Berlin / Bonn 1996. p. 102
  5. On the combat units from Prora cf. the foreword by Stefan Wolter , In: Wolfgang Repke: Prora, Block V, TH 4. (Series Denk-MAL-Prora, Vol. 5), Projekt-Verlag Halle, 2013, ISBN 978-3-95486-388-4 , Pp. 5-24
  6. Kopenhagen 2003, S. 31–35