Welcome to DECODED, a blog site for those interested in the period of history between the end of the Second World War and the final reunification of Berlin, Germany. This site is maintained by a Cold War history enthusiast, for other Cold War history enthusiasts and will be a source of information from both sides of the Cold War for history enthusiasts, political science fans, researchers, military history collectors and military veterans alike. Please visit the site regularly for updates. This site by no means is to represent or endorse any political agenda or ideology, information contained within is strictly used for the purpose of education and preservation of history for future generations. Thank you for visiting my blog, and welcome to the brink...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gefreiter Panzeraufklärungstruppe Uniform - Federal Republic of Germany

The uniform displayed above is the Bundeswehr designated Grunduniform for the Heer. It bears the golden yellow waffenfarbe branch of service designation for the Panzeraufklärungstruppe or Armored Reconnaissance Corps.As with all Heer uniforms it consists of a dark grey stone colored service tunic and a pair of black trousers. All service dress uniforms are worn with a black belt with a ceremonial buckle (not shown) on the front bearing the federal eagle or Bundesadler.

The belt consisting of a Koppelschloss (buckle) und Hosengurtel (belt) is very similar in design and appearance to belts worn by soldiers of the German Wehrmacht throughout Second World War. The German logo and Eagle was retained, instead using the Imperial style Prussian heraldry eagle rather than the outlawed Nazi Eagle & swastika and instead of Gott Mit Uns (God's With Us) which was also associated with the previous regime it has been replaced with the motto of the Bundeswehr taken from the German National Anthem "Einigkeit, Recht, Freiheit", or "Unity, Justice, Freedom".

Again the black service trousers are worn with the service dress uniform.

The shoulder epaulettes of the service tunic are bordered with the yellow gold coloring known as waffenfarbe for the Panzeraufklärungstruppe or Armored Reconnaissance Corps. It bears no rank insignia so the soldier wearing this uniform would be designated the title of Schütze or Rifleman. The lack of rank in the enlisted corps generally denotes a limited time soldier or a soldier serving his national service commitment.

The Heer collar bars rest against the yellow gold backing of the Panzeraufklärungstruppe  waffenfarbe.

On the right side of the tunic is the Schützenschnur in Gold award. The award was first reinstated in its existing form in 196h. The presentation of the award is based on one of three grades reflecting the soldiers competency in marksmanship. The award is a matt aluminum colored design which is worn by both Heer & Luftwaffe personnel with the federal eagle over oak leaves.

The patch on the left shoulder of the service tunic is the patch insignia of the Heer 6 Panzergrenadierdivision or 6th Mechanized Infantry Division stationed in Neumünster in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The unit insignia depicts a white nettle leaf against a red background with a yellow shield and two blue heraldry lions. The white nettle leaf on the red background is the family crest of the Counts of Schaumberg that was adopted as the coat of arms for Schleswig-Holstein. The blue lions on a yellow shield associate the region of Schleswig-Holstein's ties to the German emperor and a Danish fief. The coat of arms belonged to Adolf of Schaumberg and his lion coat of arms replaced the coat of arms of Denmark on the crest of Schleswig-Holstein. The white and black braiding along the border of the patch signifies the unit status of being a division.

A white border signifies the first brigade, with the 16th and 17th brigades using a red border and the 18th Brigade of the Division utilizing a yellow border.

Soldiers assigned to the Heer's Panzeraufklärungstruppe would wear either a visor cap with yellow gold waffenfarbe piping or a black beret complete with the Panzeraufklärungstruppe  beret crest depicting a wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicle surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves against two crossed cavalry lances alluding to the reconnaissance troops ties to scout cavalry units.

The Panzeraufklärungstruppe of the modern Bundeswehr is deeply tied to tradition related to the mounted cavalry force. The Panzeraufklärungstruppe worked alongside the forces of the Panzertruppe serving as armored scouts advancing ahead of the main armored force to locate and monitor enemy positions before reporting back to advancing maneuver forces for engagements. The main weapon of the Panzeraufklärungstruppe was the eight wheeled Luchs armored scout car during the Cold War. The vehicle armed with a 20mm cannon for light reconnaissance and for heavier engagements the Panzeraufklärungstruppe employed the Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Fighting Vehicles of the Cold War Panzeraufklärungstruppe:

Spähpanzer Luchs

Type: Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle
Country of Origin: West Germany
Introduced into Service: 1975


Weight: 19.5 tonnes
Length: 7.74 m
Width: 2.98 m
Height: 2.84 m
Crew: 4
Main Armament: A single 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 automatic cannon
Secondary Armament: A single 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun
Engine: DaimlerBenz OM 403A 10-cylinder 4-stroke, turbocharged. 300 HP with petrol, 390 HP with diesel
Suspension: Hydraulic all (8) wheel drive
Operational Range: 730 km
Speed: 90 km/h on roads, 10 km/h swimming in water

Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Type: Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Country of Origin: West Germany
Introduced into Service: May 1971


Weight: 28.5 t (31.4 short tons)
Length: 6.79 m (22 ft 3 in)
Width: 3.24 m (10 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.98 m (9 ft 9 in)
Crew: 3 (Commander, Gunner & Driver) Plus seating for six fully equipped combat soldiers in the rear hull
Armor: Welded steel, protection up to 20 mm APDS DM43 from 0 m and 25 mm APDS from 200 m (220 yd)
Main Armament: 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 automatic cannon & MILAN anti tank guided missile launcher
Secondary Armament: 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun
Engine: MTU MB 833 Ea-500 diesel engine 600 hp (441 kW)
Power/Weight: 21.1 hp/tonne
Transmission: RENK HSWL 194
Suspension: Torsion bar
Ground Clearance: 0.45 m (18 in)
Fuel Capacity: 652 L (143 imp gal)
Operational Range: 520 km
Speed: 75 km/h (47 mph)

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