Book Review
NVA volume 3
NVA: Vehicles and weapons of the The People’s Army and the paramilitary organizations of East Germany, volume 03
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by: Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]


Tankograd NVA is a magazine, dedicated to the military and paramilitary of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). According to the editors it is a more narrowly-targeted publication, so to keep costs down the main text is in German, with English text limited to less than two pages and the photograph captions.

The review

The following topics are discussed in the third volume:

• Edith ammunition carriers
• MTU 54 bridge layer
• Dreilinden Tank Monument
• NVA sniper rifles
• EMW cars and light utility vehicles
• 120mm mortars GW 38/43

The magazine has 32 pages, on which 20 color photographs and 100 black-and-white photographs are printed.

The British Universal Carrier turns out to be the only vehicle that has served simultaneously in both Germany’s armed forces. It has been purchased those in quantity for the newly-formed Bundeswehr, and GDR received 26 vehicles from the USSR. These survivors from the land-lease served as ammunition carriers “Edith” in the police and later NVA artillery school in Dresden by the late 1950s. Images of vehicles in British, Wehrmacht, Soviet, Bundeswehr and East German services illustrate the article.

MTU-12 was a Soviet-designed bridge layer tank. Based off the T-54 MBT’s chassis it carried a single-section 12-meter long bridge. A dozen of these served in the NVA from 1962 to the early 70s. It was replaced by the much more capable, wider and safer BLG-60 – a GDR-Polish joint venture. 10 pictures of the vehicle “in action” are included.

The third feature is about the Tank Memorial at Dreilinden. This actually is the third location of the monument, the two previous found unsuitable due to political reasons and constant damage dealt to the memorial. Black-and-white images illustrate all the reincarnations of the monument – including the 2009 graffiti-ridden one with the snowplough at the top.

The use of marksman and sniper rifles in NVA and the East German Ministry of Internal Security (Stasi) is discussed in the next article. The sharpshooters started off with the Mosin-Nagant M91/30 and SVT scoped rifles, which were later replaced by the Dragunov SVD, the AKS-74N with PSO-1 scope and the specially designed SSG 82 (which is obviously based off a small-calibre competition rifle).

A former BMW factory in Eisenach was one of the mainstays of GDR’s automobile industry. Starting in October 1945 the plant produced BMW 321s and later – several variants of the 326. Designated the EMW 340 it later became the basis for the P.240 top brass staff car. The EMW 325-3 light utility vehicle is also discussed.

The final article is about the 120mm Granatwerfer 38 and 43. Originally a Soviet design, this 120mm mortar was used by the Wehrmacht in quantity after being captured and was even produced in Germany during the war along with a full complement of ammunition. Some Soviet originals and war-time German copies later soldiered on with the NVA, the KVP (a paramilitary police force) and even the Border Troops until 1987. The newer 2B11 is also featured, together with its GDR-designed transport trailer.
Highs: Discusses an overlooked topic, contains many authentic photographs with informative captions.
Lows: English summary limited to mainly technical details.
Verdict: Anyone who is into history and equipment would appreciate the “sneak peek” in the colourful armory of the GDR. Hopefully the English text will be expanded in the future.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: NVA-03
  Suggested Retail: 9.90 Euro
  PUBLISHED: Oct 06, 2011

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Peter Ganchev (pgp000)

I bought and built my first kit in 1989. Since then it's been on and off until about 4 years ago, when modelling became the main stress-relief technique. Starting with 1/72 aviation I've diversified into armor, trucks, artillery and figures, as well as a number of other scales.

Copyright ©2021 text by Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]. All rights reserved.


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