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Old 11-18-2008, 07:17 PM
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Question Equipment for a Unified Germany

Perhaps this has been dealt with before on the old forum, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway. Please note that this assumes the v1.0 timeline.

What kinds of uniforms and equipment would former DDR units assimilated into the Bundeswehr use? I'm wondering about uniforms and small arms in particular (big ticket items like Soviet model AFVs and arty would no doubt continue on in use and not be replaced). Would they continue to use their old issue DDR gear? Would they be issued new or cast-off West German gear?

By the mid to late 90's, the RL [unified] German Army was well on its way to replacing its old, 1957 pattern green combat fatigues and old, M1-style steel pot helmets with the current Flektarn [sic] camo pattern fatigues and balistic helmets. Also, the 7.62mm G3 was on its way out, to be replaced with the newer 5.56mm G36. I'm going to assume that this transition would have taken place even had the Cold War continued and reunification not taken place.

On the other side of The Wall, the DDR army, as of around '87, was still using a rather antiquated "Raindrop" pattern camo uni and odd-shaped steel pot helmet. They were equiped with DDR manufactured AKMs, RPKs, and PKMs.

Would the newly absorbed T2K DDR troops receive phased-out 1957 pattern green combat unis from reserve stocks? Would they transition to NATO weapons or keep their perfectly serviceable AKs?

What do ya'll make of the G11? I figure it still wouldn't have been adopted had the Cold War continued, for the same reasons it was passed over in the real time-line. It was still a pretty neat design. Caseless ammo, a 100-round mag, and no muzzle-rise on full auto until the last round left the barrel!
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Last edited by Raellus; 11-18-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:49 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Going Home mentions that former East German units still had their Pact weapons and vehicles. Nothing said about uniforms, though I'd bet that they'd get new cammies ASAP. Their original weapons still work, and there's still a lot of Soviet weapons and ammo in East Germany once it's cleared of Ivan. No sense in letting it go to waste, and it's also appropriate that since Ivan made that stuff, he should have it returned to him-by fire, of course.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
Going Home mentions that former East German units still had their Pact weapons and vehicles. Nothing said about uniforms, though I'd bet that they'd get new cammies ASAP. Their original weapons still work, and there's still a lot of Soviet weapons and ammo in East Germany once it's cleared of Ivan. No sense in letting it go to waste, and it's also appropriate that since Ivan made that stuff, he should have it returned to him-by fire, of course.
As far as the uniforms, there's three ways to look at that.

1) You want them to be wearing the same uniforms as you, to prevent friendly fire due to mistaken identity and to impress on them a sense of unity of purpose.

2) There isn't enough time and uniforms available to actually do that.

This could lead to mixed uniforms as a transitional measure.

BTW, I'm not a big fan of each branch of the US military wearing their own combat uniforms. Not only is it wasteful of funds, but see my note above about mistaken identity and friendly fire.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus

What do ya'll make of the G11? I figure it still wouldn't have been adopted had the Cold War continued, for the same reasons it was passed over in the real time-line. It was still a pretty neat design. Caseless ammo, a 100-round mag, and no muzzle-rise on full auto until the last round left the barrel!
I try not to let too much realism get in the way of my fun so in any stock Twilight 2000 Euro campaign I was running back in the day I always had the G-11 come complete with an integral under-barrel 40mm grenade launcher (like an HK-69) and a starlight scope. Expensive and not necessarily general issue in that configuration, but available nonetheless.

Can't reload the ammo, so it was only ever useful as long as the party's supply of 4.7mm Caseless lasted. Oh, but the damage you could do in the meantime. The ammo scarcity eventually became self-balancing, especially as the campaign moved farther from the Central European starting line.

At some point one of my players made me aware of the LSW version (or the LMG-11) so I statted that out too, but nobody ever used one. I don't recall that any of us ever knew about the supposed PDW variant. In retro, I suppose it's kind of munchy, but - like I said - it's all about having fun.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Eyes
At some point one of my players made me aware of the LSW version (or the LMG-11) so I statted that out too, but nobody ever used one. I don't recall that any of us ever knew about the supposed PDW variant. In retro, I suppose it's kind of munchy, but - like I said - it's all about having fun.
I had an LSW variant turn up in my campaign. The PCs treat it like a relic though and it has only been used in anger once.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:06 AM
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I'd go with the thought that uniforms are way easier to manufacture than weapons, and at least those would change over. Since the soldiers would need to be at least partly re-trained anyway, it would make it easy to keep them out of the line and re-equipped ASAP.
Why would they need re-training? The jargon and doctrine has got to be way different, and the intel guys are going to want to debrief at least the officers and vet them for loyalty. I'm sort of surprised that they divisions weren't broken up and new, integrated, ones formed. Say, using the WG reserve brigades as cadre while the EG leaders are worked over.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:01 PM
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Uniforms and signal gear would be about all I would change.

Vehicles and heavy weapons - too much to replace during an active war, too much retraining required.

Small arms - Muscle memory among your infantrymen is invaluable. Maybe train new recruits on G-3, G-36 or G-11, but what do they do when they get assigned to a squad that has all AK's? (Either way, replacement training will be complicated - the Germans would have to run a regional-based training system like WWII, where units were fed from dedicated unit replacement depots back home that drew from a certain region).

Uniforms - no big deal.

Communications and electronic gear - whenever possible, I'd replace. The Russians might have built "back doors" in, they have better knowledge of how they work and how to spoof them, and spare parts are going to be hard to find. Assigning Bundeswehr communications specialists to NVA formations would be a good way to ensure loyalty or at least watch over what was going on in those units - certainly not iron-clad, but useful, and can be done under the cover of providing trained signallers to service/operate NATO-standard communications equipment.

Munitions - send 'em back to the Russians, one round at a time.

As the war goes on, you'd probably see recovery teams following the front lines to salvage parts from or return to service damaged Pact vehicles, collect & sort small arms, ammunition and other supplies needed to keep the NVA (and other allied forces equipped with Pact gear, like the Egyptian army, the Polish Free Legions and some IPA units) in operation. As former NVA units are brought off the line for rest & refit they might be re-equipped with NATO standard gear as it becomes available. They might compress former NVA units (i.e. reform a NVA battalion, at half strength, into 2 companies of NVA vets with Pact gear and 2 companies of new replacements with NATO gear), which, while disruptive, maintains some unit cohesion and avoids having a mix of systems within a smaller unit.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:57 PM
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You're going to at least want to give the East Germans the same helmet as the West Germans. Seeing a head pop up with an enemy-style helmet is likely to get you dead real quick, especially if it's dark.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
I'd go with the thought that uniforms are way easier to manufacture than weapons, and at least those would change over. Since the soldiers would need to be at least partly re-trained anyway, it would make it easy to keep them out of the line and re-equipped ASAP.
Why would they need re-training? The jargon and doctrine has got to be way different, and the intel guys are going to want to debrief at least the officers and vet them for loyalty. I'm sort of surprised that they divisions weren't broken up and new, integrated, ones formed. Say, using the WG reserve brigades as cadre while the EG leaders are worked over.
Well at the time in v1 background, the Germans were fighting the Pact forces and needed everyone in the field regardless of their background. Now in real life this is basically what happen. With anyone the rank of Colonel or higher given their walking papers as they were debriefed.

The simple answer why the Division weren't broken up, is no matter what, these units had trained together. You don't want to totally alienated them, since most of the command structure I am sure during the opening hours/days was change for a variety of reason anyway, regardless if they were fighting the same enemy or not.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:24 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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As for weapons, the East German units would fight with what they had. Of course, as the fighting continued and MRD and TDs of the NVA were moved from the line for refit and much needed re-organization, this is why by 2000 they are called Panzer and Panzergrendier units. This could be done by several ways, pulling an entire Division from the line which I can see happening to a couple of them. While others would find themselves sending a Regiment here and Regiment there while they receive fresh Brigades that themselves had been refitted for duty since I am sure West German Divisions needed to be pulled from the line too. In general the MRR and TR would be converted to PzG Brigades and Pz Brigades with little effort to consolidate them, as equipment losses mount up.

New troops entering their ranks would be issue standard West German Equipment.

The overall changing of equipment wouldn't be much of a problem. The former NVA units would use up their supplies, and all capture supplies would be turned over to them for their use. This would work fairly well since the NVA units would be spread along the front. By late 1998 and early 1999 is when the snags of this would show as units that capture equipment/arms would want to keep to use for it own purposes.
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