9th Panzer Division (NVA) - 9. Panzerdivision (NVA)

9. Panzerdivision (9. PD)
— XXX —

active September 15, 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 Armored force
Type Armored Division
structure structure
Strength 12,369 (war) ; 8,750 (peace)
Insinuation Military District V (Peace)

5th Army (war)

headquarters Eggsin ( Low )
equipment equipment
list of Commanders

The 9th Panzer Division "Heinz Hoffmann" was a large unit of the National People's Army of the GDR .


T-72 of the 9th PD 1988 in Berlin

Already when the barracked people's police were set up, plans were made to set up tank divisions. The decisive demand for this finally came from the Soviet Union .

The 9th Panzer Division was created in September 1956 from the Mechanized People's Police Readiness Eggesin in the V military district . Their structure largely corresponded to that of the armored divisions of the Soviet Army , which meant a workforce of 8,750 men in peacetime. In contrast to the Soviet Army, the NVA tank divisions had no combat helicopters and reduced motorized rifle units . [1] The GDR's land forces were divided into the two military districts V North and III South, each of which had to provide an army in the event of war. From 1972 the command was land forcesformed, which replaced the military districts as a training command, including the 9th Panzer Division. [2]

When the situation in Poland worsened in 1980 due to strikes and supply shortages and the Warsaw Pact was preparing a military intervention in the country, the GDR leadership designated the 9th Panzer Division to be ready for an invasion of Poland. For this purpose, she was transferred to the combat readiness level in the event of war threat; detailed planning for the invasion began. This order was not lifted until 1982 after martial law had meanwhile been imposed in Poland . [3]

In honor of the late Minister of National Defense , the division was given the honorary name Heinz Hoffmann on February 24, 1986 . On October 2, 1990, the NVA was dissolved and the individual units of the 9th Division placed under the command of the Bundeswehr Command East .




T-55 tanks of the NVA
SS-21 Scarab (9P129 Totschka)

The division was equipped with brand-new T-54 tanks when it was set up , but also with T-34 tanks, and it was not until 1964 that it was fully equipped. [4] In the spring of 1978, 35 T-72 tanks were procured, mainly of the T-72M and T-72M1 types (two pieces). A 4th tank battalion (superstructure) was formed with 31 tanks in the 23rd tank regiment "Julian Marchlewski" in Stallberg; One tank went to Grossenhain and three tanks were used by the Karpin NCO School for training commanders and drivers.

When they were set up, the division's motorized rifle associations were equipped with BTR-40 (SPW-40) and BTR-152 (SPW-152) armored personnel carriers. In the mid-1960s, BTR-60 (SPW-60) and from 1978 BTR-70 (SPW-70) and BMP-1 were delivered. The BMP 2 was only introduced in the 9th motorized rifle regiment “Rudolf Renner”. Here the 3rd and 6th motorized rifle companies were each equipped with ten BMP 2, these were the only BMP 2 in the entire NVA that came into the force. Two further BMP 2 belonged to the specialty 2 motor riflemen at training center 20.

The actual stock in 1990 included:

  • 4 Startrampen SS-21 Scarab
  • 322 T-72
  • 146 BMP
  • 42 BTR
  • 349 guns and projectiles
  • 15 MT-55 bridge laying tanks based on the T-55 [5]


Rank at that time Name Period
Oberst Reinhold Tappert September 15, 1956–15. October 1959
Oberst Erich Peter October 15, 1959–14. May 1960
Lieutenant colonel Kurt Lange July 14, 1960–31. July 1964
Lieutenant colonel Rolf Kappis August 1, 1964-31. August 1968
Oberst Walter Krysmann September 1, 1968-31. August 1973
Oberst Manfred Gehmert 1. September 1973–20. October 1977
Oberst Horst Sylla October 1977–31. August 1982
Major general Franz Erdmann 1. September 1982–31. October 1987
Major general Hans-Christian Reiche 1. November 1987–31. October 1989
Oberst Karl-Heinz Marschner November 1, 1989–2. October 1990 (dissolution)



Individual evidence

  1. Wilfried Copenhagen: The land forces of the NVA. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-613-02297-4 , p. 40.
  2. Wilfried Copenhagen, S. 41
  3. ^ Henry Koehler: Panzer against Poland. Honecker's secret plan against Solidarnosc. MDR , Germany 2010
  4. Wilfried Copenhagen, S. 33
  5. Wilfried Copenhagen, S. 179