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Original East German PPK holster(.32 caliber)

Original East German PPK holster(.32 caliber)

The National People's Army (German: Nationale Volksarmee, pronounced [ˌnat͡si̯oˈnaːlə ˈfɔlksʔaʁˌmeː] (About this soundlisten), NVA, German: [ɛn faʊ̯ ˈʔaː] (About this soundlisten)) was the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1956 to 1990. The NVA was organized into four branches: the Landstreitkräfte (Ground Forces), the Volksmarine (Navy), the Luftstreitkräfte (Air Force), and the Grenztruppen (Border Troops). The NVA belonged to the Ministry of National Defence and commanded by the National Defense Council of East Germany, headquartered in Strausberg 30 kilometers (19 mi) east of East Berlin. From 1962, conscription was mandatory for all GDR males aged between 18 and 60 requiring an 18-month service, and it was the only Warsaw Pact military to offer non-combat roles to conscientious objectors, known as "construction soldiers" (Bausoldat). The NVA reached 175,300 personnel at its peak in 1987. The NVA was formed on 1 March 1956 to succeed the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (Barracked People's Police) and under the influence of the Soviet Army became of the Warsaw Pact militaries opposing NATO during the Cold War. The majority of NATO officers rated the NVA the best military in the Warsaw Pact based on discipline, thoroughness of training, and the quality of officer leadership.[2] The NVA did not see significant combat but participated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, deployed military advisors to communist governments in other countries, and manned the Berlin Wall where they were responsible for numerous deaths. The NVA was dissolved on 2 October 1990 with the GDR before German reunification, and its facilities and equipment were handed over to the Bundeswehr (the armed forces of West Germany), which also absorbed most of its personnel below the rank of non-commissioned officer.

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