Waffenamt (WaA) was the German Army Weapons Agency. It was the centre for research and development of the Weimar Republic and later the Third Reich for weapons, ammunition and army equipment to the German Reichswehr and then Wehrmacht. It was founded 8 November 1919 as Reichwaffenamt (RWA), and 5 May 1922 the name was changed to Heereswaffenamt (HWA).

Former Heereswaffenamt, Jebensstraße corner Hertz Avenue, Berlin
Former Army Ordnance Department (courtyard), Jebensstraße corner Hertz Avenue

The task of overseeing Germany's gigantic pre-World War II rearmament program was given to the Heeresabnahmestelle (the Army Acceptance Organization, commonly referred to as the Abnahme), a subsidiary of the Heereswaffenamt.

By 1940 the Abnahme consisted of 25,000 men in five departments in 16 inspection areas, augmented by specially selected plant personnel who were assigned to assist the Waffenamt inspectors in each manufacturing facility. Later, in the middle of 1944, approximately 8,000 of these Abnahme inspectors were "freed for service at the front".

The Heeres-Abnahmewesen was responsible for the testing and acceptance of all weapons, equipment and ammunition before delivery to the Wehrmacht. Inspections were carried out according to detailed guidelines called "Technische Lieferbedingungen" (TLs) prepared by the various Waffenprüfämter (WaPrüf) departments

When the rearmament program began, Waffenamt inspection departments were established in each factory and armourers were encouraged to apply for positions there. In preparation for their new duties they were given a four-week course at the Heereswaffenmeisterschule (Army Armourers School). The course ended with a test for Technical Inspector which raised the rank of each successful applicant to that of Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant). At the beginning of 1935, all inspection officials in the newly created program started on an equal footing as Technical Inspectors, but by the start of the war in 1939 nearly all of them had been promoted to Technical Inspector First Class with a rank of Hauptmann (Captain).

Waffenamt code (WaA) is the German inspection proof mark and can be found on firearms and equipment.

An example of a Waffenamt stamp.

Chiefs of the WaffenamtEdit

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Wurtzbacher, LudwigGeneralleutnant
Ludwig Wurtzbacher [de]
1 June 19201 March 19254 years, 273 days
2Botzheim, ErichGeneralmajor
Erich von Botzheim [de]
1 March 192528 February 1926364 days
3Botzheim, ErichGeneralleutnant
Max Ludwig [de]
1 March 192630 May 19293 years, 90 days
4Botzheim, ErichGeneralleutnant
Alfred von Vollard-Bockelberg [de]
1 June 192930 November 19334 years, 182 days
5Liese, KurtGeneralleutnant
Kurt Liese [de]
1 December 193328 February 19384 years, 89 days
6Becker, KarlGeneral der Artillerie
Karl Heinrich Emil Becker
1 March 19388 April 1940 †2 years, 38 days
7Leeb, EmilGeneral der Artillerie
Emil Leeb
16 April 19401 February 19454 years, 291 days
8Leeb, EmilGeneral der Infanterie
Walther Buhle
1 February 19458 May 194596 days