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 East Germany

Soviet Union &          Warsaw Pact

West Germany &          Other Countries

Seppi
Koenig Seppi

Gowen Militaria
1404 Ragsdale Road
Greenville, NC 27858
ph: 252-830-5353
fax: 252-830-0122

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East German Police Units



NOTE: Tunics and trousers worn by police of all types
are normally stamped "MdI": Ministry of the Interior.

PEOPLE'S POLICE: VOLKSPOLIZEI
Abbreviated name: VOPO
Mission: to enforce East German Communist law and protect domestic peace and internal security.
Organization: 12,000 male and female professional force. Armed with AK-47 and AK-74 assault rifles, and various pistols such as the Tokarev and Makarov.
Uniforms: Uniforms varied by period. Older uniforms were unpiped. From the late 1970's to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: green tunic and trousers. Color of piping (if any): medium green. Color of collar tabs: dark green.

BARRACKS POLICE: KASERNIERTE EINHEITEN
Abbreviated name: BEPO
Other names: Garrisoned Police, Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP); also (loosely) Volkspolizei Bereitschaften.
Mission: Rapid response unit to quell any civil uprising, to provide People's Police with a SWAT/riot control element, and to assist the people during natural disasters. This group fell under the administrative auspices of the People's Police, but was combat-trained same as the NVA and wore unit-distinctive insignia.
Organization: 12,000 troops, garrisoned throughout the country. Armed with light infantry weapons from the AK series assault rifles to the 82-mm mortar. Also equipped with armored personnel carriers. Stationed in rural areas in military style barracks like an army infantry unit, but kept in constant state of readiness.
Uniforms: Same as the People's Police, with variations of insignia. Barracks Police could wear NVA decorations, including parade cuff bars. Color of piping (if any): medium green, same as VOPO Police. Color of collar tabs: light green.

TRANSPORTATION POLICE: TRANSPORTPOLIZEI
Abbreviated name: TRAPO
Mission: to protect East German rail lines against mishaps and saboteurs.
Organization: 8,500 troops armed with AK series assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Uniforms: Uniforms varied by period. Older uniforms were unpiped. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: dark blue tunics and trousers. Color of piping (if any): light blue.
Special units:
  • Kompanien der Transportpolizei: Rapid response unit for protecting rail lines in emergencies. Uniform: Similar to TRAPO, but with slight variations in tunic design and insignia.
FIRE POLICE: FEUERWEHR
Mission: to fight fires, inspect buildings for fire hazards, investigate arson and suspicious activities.
Organization: Number of troops is uncertain.
Uniforms: Varied by period. Older uniforms were unpiped. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: dark blue tunics and trousers. Color of piping (if any): violet

PRISON POLICE: STRAFVOLLZUG
Mission: to serve as prison guards and administer the East German prison system.
Organization: Number of troops is uncertain.
Uniforms: Varied by period. Older uniforms were unpiped. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: dark blue tunics and trousers. Color of piping (if any): grey.

AVIATION/HELICOPTER POLICE: HUBSCHRAUBEREINHEIT
Mission: to assist police with operational air support: spotting, marking overtly hostile targets, riot control.
Organization: Number of troops is uncertain. Unit equipment consisted of attack and transport helicopters.
Uniforms: Varied by period. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: dark blue tunics and trousers, with Air Force insignia. Color of piping: blue.

HARBOR POLICE/WATER POLICE: HAFENPOLIZEI AND WASSERSCHUTZPOLIZEI
Mission: to patrol harbors and major waterways as an adjunct of the People's Police.
Organization: Information on both units is scarce. Number of troops small but uncertain.
Uniforms: Varied by period. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: dark blue tunics and trousers, similar to the Navy, but stamped "MdI." Cuff titles were worn on two types of tunics, both unpiped:
  • Hafenpolizei/Harbor Police: gold letters on dark blue base.
  • Bootsführer/Boat Commander: gold letters on dark blue base.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND WATER CONSERVATION POLICE: UNWELTSCHUTZ UND WASSERWIRTSCHAFT
Mission: to protect against gross mistreatment of the environment and water quality.
Organization: Functioned under auspices of an independent agency: Ministerium für Umweltschutz und Wasserwirtschaft, about which little is known.
Uniforms: Grey uniforms with variety of unit-distinctive insignia. Color of piping: blue.

CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION: ZOLLVERWALTUNG
Mission: to collect customs duties while protecting the country against subversive influences and illicit goods.
Organization: A small but active independent agency with police-like functions, including inspecting cars, trucks and ships. Size of unit is uncertain.
Uniforms: Varied by period. From the late 1970s to 1990, all ranks wore the same basic uniform: blue-grey tunics and trousers. Color of piping (if any): green.
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