Portal:Military of Germany
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Portal:Military of Germany
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While German-speaking people have a long history, Germany as a nation state dates only from 1871. Earlier periods are subject to definition debates. The Franks, for instance, were a union of Germanic tribes; nevertheless, some of the Franks later identified themselves as Dutch, Flemish, French and again others as Germans. The capital of medieval ruler Charlemagne's empire was the city of Aachen, now part of Germany, yet he was a Frank. France was named after the Franks and the Dutch and Flemish people are the only ones to speak a language that descends from Frankish (the language of the Franks). Hence nearly all continental Western European historians can claim his victories as their heritage. The Holy Roman Empire he founded was largely but far from entirely German speaking. The Kingdom of Prussia, which unified Germany in the 19th century, had significant territory in what is now Poland. In the early 19th century, the philosopher Schlegel referred to Germany as a Kulturnation, a nation of shared culture and political disunity, analogous to ancient Greece. Until the unification of 1871, Austria was considered a part of Germany even though much of its empire was not in the Holy Roman Empire and was non-German.
The National People's Army (NPA) (German: Nationale Volksarmee - NVA) was the name used for the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic.
The NVA was established in 1956 and disbanded in 1990. It did not see any significant combat. Its participation with the Soviet Armed Forces against the Czechoslovak interim government during the Prague Spring of 1968 was cancelled at the last minute. There were frequent reports of East German advisors working with communist African governments during the Cold War.
The National People's Army was created on March 1 1956, six months after the formation of the West German Bundeswehr, from the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (Barracked People's Police). It was preceded by years of preparation during which former Wehrmacht officers and communist veterans of the Spanish Civil War helped organize and train paramilitary units of the People's Police. With its German appearance--including uniforms and ceremonies patterned after older German military traditions--the doctrine and structure of the NVA were strongly influenced by the Soviet Armed Forces.
The NVA described itself as the "instrument of power of the working class". According to its doctrine, the NVA protected peace and secured the achievements of socialism by maintaining a convincing deterrent to imperialist aggression. The NVA's motto, inscribed on its flag, was "For the Protection of the Workers' and Farmers' Power." (Read more)
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (16 February 1922 - 15 July 1950) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter pilot and is the highest scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during combat. All of his 121 victories were claimed during World War II at night, mostly against British four-engine bombers, for which he was awarded the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten) on 16 October 1944, Germany's highest military decoration at the time. He was nicknamed "The Spook of St. Trond", from the location of his unit's base in occupied Belgium.
Born in Calw, Schnaufer grew up in the Weimar Republic and Third Reich as the first of four children of Alfred Schnaufer and his wife Martha. The family owned and operated a winery business. Schnaufer, a good student and already a glider pilot at school, began military service in the Wehrmacht by joining the Luftwaffe in 1939. After training at various pilot and fighter-pilot schools, he was posted to Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1--1st Night Fighter Wing), operating on the Western Front, in November 1941. He flew his first combat sorties in support of Operation Cerberus, the breakout of the German ships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen from Brest. Schnaufer participated in the Defence of the Reich campaign from 1942 onwards, in which he would achieve most of his success. He claimed his first aerial victory on the night of 1/2 June 1942. As the war progressed, he accumulated further victories and he later became a squadron leader and group commander. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 December 1943 for reaching 42 aerial victories.
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