9th Panzerlehr Brigade (Bundeswehr)

Coordinates: 52°59′06″N 10°04′18″E / 52.985108°N 10.071745°E / 52.985108; 10.071745

The 9th Panzerlehr Brigade is a formation of about 5,000 men strong within the German Armed Forces or Bundeswehr, which is subordinated to the 1st Panzer Division in Hanover. The bulk of the brigade is stationed in Munster. Two battalions are based in Neustadt am Rübenberge. The brigade has become the "showcase of the German Army" as a result of its German Army Combat Vehicle and Aircraft Demonstration Exercises (German: Informationslehrübung Gefechts- und Luftfahrzeuge des Deutschen Heeres) which it has conducted for decades. These exercises demonstrate the capability of the Army's fighting vehicles and aircraft and how they operate jointly in various scenarios. The formation is classified as an armoured brigade within the Bundeswehr's intervention forces.

9th Panzerlehr Brigade
Panzerlehrbrigade 9
Panzerlehrbrigade 9 (Bundeswehr).svg
Coat of Arms
Active1 June 1958 – present
Country Germany
BranchGerman Army
RoleIntervention forces
Size~5,000 men
Part of1. Panzerdivision (Bundeswehr).svg 1st Panzer Division
LocationsMunster (HQ location)
Neustadt am Rübenberge
Commanders
Current
commander
Oberst Ulrich Spannuth

MissionEdit

As part of the intervention forces the brigade plans and carries out missions involving networked, multinational, combined arms, high intensity warfare operations. In addition it plans, prepares and executes tasks in the low to medium intensity part of the spectrum of operations i.e. it provides and reinforces stabilisation forces. The brigade is capable of leading combined arms operations in a multinational and joint environment under the direction of a divisional command, in mobile and networked operations. To do so its main weapon systems are the Leopard 2 Mark A6, main battle tank, the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and the PzH 2000 howitzer. The Marders will soon be replaced by the Puma which is already being put through its paces in the 92nd Panzergrenadier (Lehr) Battalion, which forms part of the brigade.

Aa a training force, the brigade supports the career-linked training associated with the leadership development of armoured combat units through numerous training exercises, as well as training the Bundeswehr's Staff College, the Army Officer Training School and other arms schools. The brigade demonstrates the appropriate official procedures in a rigorous and methodical way, from the handling of combat materiel to the combined arms live-firing at reinforced battle group level. As well as supporting the Armoured Warfare School with demonstration exercises, 9th Panzerlehr Brigade is also involved in the development of armoured warfare concepts and tries out new weapons systems, equipment and tactics as a trials brigade.

Formation sign and shoulder flashesEdit

The brigade's formation sign displays the white Saxon stallion on a red background mounted on the white-bordered, yellow and white coat of arms. The horse recalls the dukes of the House of Welf and the Kingdom of Hanover. The original Saxon emblem was adopted by the Welf dukes, from 1235 titled the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, as an additional coat of arms. As a result of the unification of part of the Lüneburg-Brunswick region with the principality and, later, Kingdom of Hanover, the Saxon stallion was adopted in 1705 by the kingdom on its inescutcheon, the main shield being divided vertically into yellow and white halves. With the founding of Lower Saxony the Saxon stallion on a red shield has been the insignia of the state since 1952. Not until 2006 did the brigade adopt this coat of arms for reasons of tradition. It was the insignia of the 1st Panzergrenadier Brigade which was taken out of service at the end of 2007, and whose former subordinate units, 33rd Panzer Battalion and 141st Logistic Battalion, joined the 9th Panzerlehr Brigade. In addition the shield is identical with the formation sign of the 1st Panzer Division apart from the white border. The old formation sign until 2006 displayed two crossed swords and an L for Lehrbrigade on a red background with a red border. This was identical with the sign of the Armoured Corps Training Centre apart from the substitution of the letter "S" with the letter "L". The President of Germany conferred the arm band of 9th Panzerlehr Brigade on 24 September 1987 as a visible sign of the recognition it was due.

Current structureEdit

 
9th Panzerlehr Brigade Graphic.

In fall 2015 the brigade began to raise the 414th Panzer Battalion, which includes a Dutch tank company and joined the Royal Netherlands Army's 43rd Mechanized Brigade in 2018.

Former unitsEdit

  • 96th Logistic Battalion (disbanded 31 March 1971)
  • 91st and 94th Panzerlehr Battalions (disbanded 30 October 1992)
  • 332nd Panzergrenadier (Lehr) Battalion (transferred 31 December 1996, disbanded 30 June 2006)
  • 11th Panzer Reconnaissance (Lehr) Battalion (disbanded 31 March 1997)
  • 95th Panzerartillerie (Lehr) Battalion (disbanded 30 September 2002)
  • 3rd Panzer Reconnaissance (Lehr) Battalion (transferred 30 June 2003)
  • 6th Panzer Mortar Company/92nd Panzergrenadier (Lehr) Battalion (disbanded 21 October 2005)
  • 334th "Celle" Panzerlehr Battalion (disbanded 30 June 2006)
  • 90th Panzerjäger (Lehr) Company (disbanded 30 September 1996)
  • 90th Logistic (Lehr) Company
  • 90th Maintenance (Lehr) Company (disbanded 31 March 1994)
  • 90th Medical (Lehr) Company, later 4th Company/3rd Medical Battalion (disbanded)
  • 90th NBC (Lehr) Company (disbanded)

HistoryEdit

BeginningsEdit

The first demonstration battalion in the Bundeswehr was established in Munster Camp in 1956. The district administrator, Karl-Theodor Molinari, and a doctor, Dr. Hermann Wulf, gave up their professions to serve as commanders of the new tank (Panzerlehrbataillon) and armoured infantry (Panzergrenadierlehrbataillon) demonstration battalions. A total of 71 volunteers, mostly World War II veterans, were stationed in the main camp of what is now Hindenburg Barracks. In 1958, the battalions, which were part of "Army Structure 1", consisted of four fighting companies, a HQ company and a supply company. The armoured infantry battalion was subordinated to the armoured infantry school (Panzergrenadierschule) and the tank battalion to the armoured corps school (Panzertruppenschule).

In accordance with the implementation order of 1 July 1958, the staff and headquarters company of the armoured demonstration battle group (Panzerlehrkampfgruppe) in Munster was established in the firing camp (today Örtzetal Barracks) with immediate effect and subordinated to the armoured corps school. In 1958 the demonstration units led the three-week demonstration and trial exercise ("LV 58"). This exercise tested the future organization of the Army from an organizational and strategic perspective. It concluded in Bergen-Hohne with demonstrations of the various weapon systems and their performance under the eyes of the Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. In 1959 the two demonstration battalions were grouped into the newly formed brigade, 9th Panzerlehr Brigade. The brigade was initially part of 3rd Panzer Division in Buxtehude and its first commander was Brigadier General Wilhelm von Roeder.

At the end of 1959 ("Army Structure 2") the brigade incorporated a headquarters company, 11th Panzer Reconnaissance (Lehr) Battalion, 92nd Panzergrenadier (Lehr) Battalion, 93rd Panzerlehr Battalion, 95th Panzerartillerie (Lehr) Battalion, 96th Logistic (Lehr) Battalion (established 1 February 1959), 90 Panzerpionier (Lehr) Company and 20th Infantry (Lehr) Company. In 1960 the HS 30 infantry fighting vehicle replaced the 1960 M39 armoured utility vehicle, the artillery were given the new M109G howitzer and the 4th Company of 93rd Panzerlehr Battalion became the first in the German Army to receive the Leopard 1 main battle tank.

Restructuring and deployments abroadEdit

The 9th Panzerlehr Brigade was temporarily subordinated to 7th Panzer Division in Düsseldorf on the disbandment of the 3rd Panzer Division in 1994, but transferred in 1996 to the 1st Panzer Division in Hanover. In the reorganisation known as Heeresstruktur 5 the following units were placed under the Brigade: 92nd Panzergrenadier (Lehr) Battalion, 93rd Panzerlehr Battalion and 334th "Celle" Panzerlehr Battalion, 95th Panzerartillerie (Lehr) Battalion and 325th and 95th Panzerartillerie (Lehr) Battalions, 3rd Panzer Reconnaissance (Lehr) Battalion, 90th Panzer Reconnaissance (Lehr) Company and 90th Panzerpionier (Lehr) Company.

In 2002 elements of the brigade deployed as part of the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR) and in 2004/2005 was part of the 10th Kosovo Force (KFOR) deployment in Kosovo. In addition, elements of the brigade formed part of the 15th KFOR operational deployment and the 12th International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deployment in Afghanistan. In order to be self-contained, the brigade was reinforced in July 2006 by the 33rd Panzer Battalion and 141st Logistic Battalion from Luttmersen as well as the 90th Reconnaissance Company from Munster. The actual strength of the brigade is around 4,700 soldiers, of which around 3,000 are based in Munster. In 2006, the 325th Panzerartillerie (Lehr) Battalion from Schwanewede moved to Munster to optimise the cohesion of the brigade's combat troops. As a result of the inclusion of the brigade in the Bundeswehr's overseas deployments, its demonstration activity had to be reduced. Until the end of the Cold War the brigade laid on about 50 demonstrations per year for national and international audiences in order to demonstrate the reliability and capability of the German Army.

The Bundeswehr has turned into a deployable armed force. From September 2006 to May 2007 about 1,400 soldiers of the formations and independent units of the brigade were deployed in Kosovo and Afghanistan. A particular highlight was the deployment of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Feyzabad, in North Afghanistan, who contributed to the reconstruction of the country. During that time, they succeeded in building kindergartens financed by donations from Germany, offering Afghan children the opportunity of playing and being cared for in permanent accommodation.

In mid May 2008 about 1,500 soldiers of the brigade were deployed as part of the 20th German deployment to the Balkans or were held in readiness as RRF forces. Following the end of the deployment, the brigade had to complete its regrouping of intervention forces, conducting further training in order to make its soldiers ready for further potential operations as part of 1st Panzer Division.

CommandersEdit

The following officers have commanded the Brigade:

No. Name Start of appointment End of appointment
22 BrigGen Gunther Schneider 9 March 2014
21 BrigGen Norbert Wagner 30 March 2012 9 May 2014
20 BrigGen Bernd Schütt 17 September 2010 30 March 2012
19 BrigGen Wilhelm Grün 18 July 2007 17 September 2010
18 BrigGen Carsten Jacobson 25 February 2005 18 July 2007
17 BrigGen Richard Roßmanith 2003 2005
16 Oberst Gerhard Stelz 2001 2003
15 BrigGen Wolf-Joachim Clauß 1999 2001
14 Oberst Wolfgang Korte 1996 1999
13 BrigGen Erich Becker 1 October 1990 1996
12 Oberst Joachim Spiering 1 October 1987 30 September 1990
11 BrigGen Georg-Heinrich Roth 11 October 1982 30 September 1987
10 BrigGen Helge Hansen 26 September 1980 11 October 1982
9 BrigGen Franz Uhle-Wettler 1 April 1978 25 September 1980
8 BrigGen Franz-Joachim Freiherr von Rodde 1 October 1974 31 March 1978
7 BrigGen Gottfried Ewert 1 October 1970 30 September 1974
6 BrigGen Alfred Müller 1 October 1968 30 September 1970
5 BrigGen Karl Deichen 1 October 1966 30 September 1968
4 BrigGen Karl-Reinhard von Schultzendorff 1 October 1964 30 September 1966
3 BrigGen Ernst Philipp 1 October 1962 30 September 1964
2 BrigGen Wilhelm Voß 1 June 1961 30 September 1962
1 BrigGen Wilhelm von Roeder 1 April 1958 31 May 1961

Description of selected brigade unitsEdit

33 Armoured Battalion (Panzerbataillon 33)Edit

Mission and organisationEdit

The battalion is capable of deploying within 20 days and carrying out operational tasks in high intensity conflict as part of a multinational operation or, after a short period of mission-specific training, a range of other tasks. In peacetime it prepares for this through training and exercising its personnel and equipment. The battalion is divided into the following companies:

  • 1st/ PzBtl 33: HQ and supply company
  • 2nd/ PzBtl 33: tank company with Leopard 2
  • 3rd/ PzBtl 33: tank company with Leopard 2
  • 4th/ PzBtl 33: tank company with Leopard 2
  • 5th/ PzBtl 33: operational support company

Insignia and historyEdit

The background of its coat of arms is in Prussian black and white, as on the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Bundeswehr itself. The banners on the spears of the old Prussian-German cavalry since the wars of liberation were also black and white and have thus become the symbol of the armoured corps as well, which is seen as the successor to the heavy cavalry. The palm tree inside the escutcheon has been battalion symbol since 1958 and recalls that of the World War II Afrika Korps, part of the Wehrmacht.

In 1958 the first two tank companies in the battalion in Munster was established with M47 tanks. In 1960 the unit was given M48 main battle tanks. In 1965 the unit moved from Barme to Neustadt am Rübenberge. In 1966 it was given the first Leopard 1 main battle tanks. In 1981 the battalion received its first Leopard 2 battle tanks. In 1992 after the end of the Cold War the battalion was transferred from 3rd Panzer Brigade, in Nienburg and subordinated to 21st Panzer Brigade, in Augustdorf. In 1999 the battalion deployed to Albania and Kosovo, then in 2001 to Kosovo and Macedonia. In 2002 it was transferred first to the 1st Panzergrenadier Brigade, in Hildesheim and then to the 9th Panzerlehr Brigade in July 2006. From October 2006 to February 2007 elements of the 33rd Panzer Battalion were used as the operational battalion within Multinational Task Force South/PRIZREN as part of KFOR mission. The battalion then deployed in the first half of 2009 as the ORF (Operational Reserve Force) Battalion for EUFOR and KFOR.

93 Armoured Demonstration Battalion (Panzerlehrbataillon 93)Edit

 
Leopard 2 battle tank

Mission and organisationEdit

As one of three armoured battalions in the intervention forces of the Germany Army its main task is training for and participating in the peace enforcement and peacekeeping operations of the Bundeswehr. 93 Armoured Demonstration Battalion supports Panzerlehrbrigade 9 and the Munster Training School in the basic and continuation training of military leaders of armoured fighting troops. The battalion is divided into:

  • 1st HQ and Supply Company
  • 2nd Company with Leopard 2
  • 3rd Company with Leopard 2
  • 4th Company with Leopard 2
  • 5th Company (operational support company)

Coat of arms and historyEdit

The insignia of the 93rd Panzerlehr Battalion was designed at the end of the 1960s. Its background is Panzerrot ("armour red"), the colour of the armoured troops, "L" means Lehrtruppe or "demonstration troops", the number 93 is the battalion's number and the iron cross is that of the Bundeswehr. On 1 April 1956 the battalion was formed in Munster, the first armoured battalion in the Bundeswehr. In 1959 it was given its present designation. In 1997 it moved within Munster from Schulz Barracks to Freiherr von Boeselager Barracks (its present location). 93rd Panzerlehr Battalion has proved its capability especially in recent years by inter alia carrying out exercises entitled "Combat and Air Vehicles of the German Army" and "Capability of the German Army across the Entire Mission Spectrum". For several years soldiers of the battalion have been deployed on international operations by the Bundeswehr with SFOR, EUFOR, KFOR and ISAF.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit