III. Corps (Bundeswehr)

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III. Corps


Association badge

Association badge
active Apr 6, 1957 to Mar 31 1994
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Armed forces armed forces
Armed forces army army
Type corps
Strength ~ 70,000
former seat of the staff Koblenz
last commanding general Lieutenant General Klaus Reinhardt
last chief of staff Brigadier General Klaus Frühhaber

The III. Corps to seat the rod in Koblenz was one of the three corps of the army of the Bundeswehr . It existed from 1957 to 1994. It was the only Bundeswehr corps that was not converted into a multinational corps after the end of the Cold War . Parts of the corps staff were used in 1994 to set up the Army Command .

Association badge

Except for corps number III, the association badge is the same as the association badge of the other two corps. It shows the federal eagle as the German sovereign symbol . The color scheme is based on that of the flag of Germany . The badge was worn by the soldiers of the corps troops and the staff of the corps on the left sleeve of the service suit. The braided black / yellow (black / gold) edge testifies to the position as a corps.


Army structure I

From March 16, 1957, preparations were made for the formation of the corps staff in the Gneisenau barracks in Koblenz, which took place on April 6, 1957. Initially, the 2nd Grenadier Division and the 5th Panzer Division were subordinated, which in 1957 from II. Corps to III. Corps changed. In the case of defense, the corps had been part of the NATO command structure since mid-1957 and was part of the 7th US Army . The area of ​​operation would have been the German-German and German-Czechoslovak borders in Hesse and Franconia. On December 1, 1958, the 7th Panzer Division was assigned to the III. Corps transferred from I. Corps. The first corps troops included u. a. the Feldzeugregiment 504 (formation May 16, 1957 in Diez , from January 1958 Koblenz), and the Corpsartillery Command 403 (formation on July 1, 1957 in Munster , from August 1957 in Koblenz). A rocket artillery battalion, a supply battalion, topography units and a geophysical measurement train were under the command.

Army structure II

In Army Structure II from 1959, the corps were:

The corps troops were expanded to include the following newly established units:

The field equipment regiment 504 was renamed in April 1959 in repair regiment 3, 1967 again in repair command 3.

Army structure III

The association badge had already been approved, but the 300 Panzer Regiment was never set up

On January 1, 1970, the 7th Panzer Grenadier Division moved to the 1st Corps . For this, the III. Corps subordinated to the 12th Panzer Division . In Army Structure III from 1970, the corps was accordingly divided into the following units:

The reclassification of the 2nd Division and its units into a Jägerdivision and Jägerbrigaden was supposed to create smaller, more agile and nevertheless strong anti-tank units that could fight in the unfavorable terrain of the German low mountain range even under the conditions of nuclear war . As a "compensation" for the reclassified tank units, a tank regiment was initially planned as a tactical reserve as corps troops . In contrast to the corresponding tank regiments of the other two corps, however, the formation was never ordered. An airborne brigade of the 1st Airborne Division was assigned to the corps as a reserve in the event of a defense . In addition, the previous Army Aviation Battalion was reclassified into a light and a medium Army Aviation Transport Regiment at the level of corps troops. Corps artillery command 403 was renamed Artillery Command 3 according to the nomenclature of the other corps commands , and medical command 253 was renamed Medical Command 3 . In January 1977 all three divisions of the III. Corps has grown to include the three subordinate brigades that have been targeted since the Bundeswehr was founded. Since 1981 these brigades have been named according to the usual numbering.

Army structure IV

Parts of the commandos of the division troops were housed in the Boelcke barracks (Koblenz)

After a few reclassifications and relocations, the corps were subordinate to:

With its nine brigades and corps troops, the corps had grown to around 70,000 men in the mid-1980s. The associations were deployed to over 50 locations in the states of Hesse , Baden-Württemberg , Rhineland-Palatinate , Bavaria , Lower Saxony , Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia . The corps had around 2,000 battle tanks, tank destroyers and armored personnel carriers, more than 350 artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers, as well as around 20,000 wheeled vehicles and around 200 helicopters. The corps troops had grown to their historical maximum size. These included:

The corps staff moved in 1987 from the wing buildings on Mainzer Tor in Koblenz, Mainzer Strasse into the previously from the Federal Archives used Provincial House, On Wöllershof in Koblenz in order.

Army structure V / V (N)

As of 1992, the changed situation in Europe began a process of major reclassification and downsizing of the Bundeswehr, which also included the III. Corps touched and ultimately resulted in its dissolution.

The planned Army Aviation Brigade was no longer set up and the only remaining division force for the corps was the anti-tank helicopter regiment. The III. Corps was tasked with preparing, planning and conducting a deployment of the crisis reaction forces. The staffs of the 4th and 11th divisions were to be converted into command authorities, which were to be capable of leading the crisis reaction forces. However, the 11th Division was prematurely dissolved. The staff of the 4th Division became Command Air Mobile Forces / 4. Division reclassified. Shortly before it was dissolved at the end of 1993, the III. Corps only had around 44,000 men, around 14,000 wheeled vehicles and more than 1,800 tracked vehicles. In contrast to the other two original corps of the Army, the corps was not converted into a multinational corps, but dissolved on April 1, 1994. Parts of the corps staff were used to set up the Army Command .


In the course of its existence, the corps has been involved in the following missions:

  • 1957: Clearance by pioneers after a landslide below the Ehrenbreitstein fortress
  • 1957, 1961: Flood control on the Rhine and Moselle by pioneer associations
  • 1959: Help with fighting forest fires near St. Goarshausen
  • 1960: Disaster relief after the earthquake in Agadir ( Morocco ) by NBC and medical personnel
  • 1960: Disease control by eliminating dead fish stocks in the Lower Moselle by ABC and pioneer units
  • 1962: Flood control in Hamburg (→ storm surge 1962 )
  • 1963: Disaster relief in the event of a snow disaster by pioneers
  • 1965: Flood control in North Hesse and Lower Saxony, as well as on the Rhine and Moselle
  • 1970: Flood control on the Middle Rhine by Transport Battalion 370 and the Technical Battalion Special Weapons 360
  • 1971: Rescue operation by pioneers when the south bridge in Koblenz collapsed
  • 1975: Disaster relief during the drought in the summer of 1975
  • 1975: Fighting forest fires in Lower Saxony by Army Aviation Regiment 35 and units of Pioneer Command 3
  • 1978: Flood control in the Mainfranken area
  • 1979: Disaster relief during the snow disaster in Northern Germany by Army Aviation Regiment 35
  • 1980/83: Flood control on the Rhine, Moselle and Lahn by pioneers
  • 1980: Disaster relief for earthquakes in southern Italy
  • 1990: From March onwards, more than 10,000 soldiers of the corps helped to repair the forest damage caused by the hurricane storms Daria, Vivian and Wiebke between Kassel, Würzburg, Fulda and Koblenz

Commanding generals

No. Surname Beginning of the appointment End of appointment
13 Lieutenant General Klaus Reinhardt July 1, 1993 March 31, 1994
12 Lieutenant General Peter Heinrich Carstens October 1, 1991 June 30, 1993
11 Major General Anton Steer October 1, 1990 September 30, 1991
10 Lieutenant General Helge Hansen 1st October 1987 September 30, 1990
9 Lieutenant General Karl Erich Diedrichs April 1, 1984 September 30, 1987
8th Lieutenant General Hans-Joachim Mack April 1, 1983 March 31, 1984
7th Lieutenant General Wolfgang Altenburg October 1, 1980 March 31, 1983
6th Lieutenant General Paul-Georg Kleffel April 1, 1978 September 30, 1980
5 Lieutenant General Franz Pöschl 1st October 1972 March 31, 1978
4th Lieutenant General Gerd Niepold 1st October 1968 September 30, 1972
3 Lieutenant General Albert Schnez April 1, 1965 September 30, 1968
2 Lieutenant General Heinz Gaedcke January 1, 1961 March 31, 1965
1 Lieutenant General Smilo von Lüttwitz June 1, 1957 December 31, 1960


  • III. Corps (Ed.), Peter Bolte (Red.): Soldat im III. Corps. Photo documents of a large unit of the army. Rhenania Fachverlag, Koblenz 1982.
  • Corps Command III. Corps (ed.), Lieutenant Colonel Armin Meyer-Detring: 175 years of Koblenz Corps Command. Koblenz 1990.

Web links

Coordinates: 50 ° 21 ′ 28 ″  N , 7 ° 34 ′ 54 ″  E