Munster Town Plan Large Map Map Boar British Army 1950s Map Germany

Munster Town Plan Large Map Map Boar British Army 1950s Map Germany

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Munster town plan large map map BOAR British Army 1950s map Germany

There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.


The second British Army on the Rhine was formed on 25 August 1945 from 21st Army Group. Its original function was to control the corps districts which were running the military government of the British zone of occupied Germany. After the assumption of government by civilians, it became the command formation for the troops in Germany only, rather than being responsible for administration as well.

As the potential threat of Soviet invasion across the North German Plain into West Germany increased, BAOR became more responsible for the defence of West Germany than its occupation. It became the primary formation controlling the British contribution to NATO after the formation of the alliance in 1949. Its primary combat formation was British I Corps. From 1952 the commander-in-chief of the BAOR was also the commander of NATO's Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) in the event of a general war with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The BAOR was formerly armed with tactical nuclear weapons.

The 1993 Options for Change defence cuts resulted in BAOR being replaced by the 25,000 strong British Forces Germany (BFG) in 1994.

British Army of the Rhine

BAOR was the main peacetime element of the British Army from the end of the Second World War until 1994, with the bulk of the Army based in Germany prepared to counter aggressive Soviet armoured attacks. After the end of the Second World War the British Army was drastically reduced in manpower to such an extent that the former British Rhine Army consisted of only two British divisions, the 7th Armoured Division and the 2nd Infantry Division. These were based in various former German Army barracks in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westfalia.

In 1950 these two divisions were reinforced by the 11th Armoured Division and in 1952 by the 6th Armoured Division. Together they formed I British Corps, which was part of NATO and subordinate to NORTHAG (NATO's Northern Army Group). During the Cold War and the subsequent disarmament the four Divisions of BAOR were continually reduced, restructured and reequipped with new weapons.

BAOR consisted of three main elements:
The main force of I (BR)Corps with its headquarters at Bielefeld.
The British Rear Combat Zone with its headquarters in Dusseldorf, responsible for the resupply of the fighting formations.
The British Communications Zone ,with its headquarters at Emblem in Belgium, was tasked to receive reinforcements from Great Britain into the ports and canals and to co-ordinate their onward movement to I (BR) Corps.

The fourth and final element was the Berlin Infantry brigade, which was 3,000 strong and not subordinated to NORTHAG but under the control of the Allied Control Council in Berlin.

The BAOR varied in strength during its existence between sixty and twenty-five thousand troops. The troops of the British Rhine Army were commanded by a four-star general from Headquarters at Rheindahlen, which also housed the headquarters of RAF Germany, NORTHAG and 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force.

I (BR) Corps consisted of Corps troops and four divisions. The 2nd Infantry Division was one of these and was stationed at Catterick, to be summoned in time of need. 24 Airmobile Brigade also belonged to this division. It was fully air portable and capable of being transported by helicopter with all its equipment. The main task of the three infantry battalions of this Brigade was anti-tank defence and they were equipped with more than 50 Milan anti-tank weapons systems.

The other two brigades were of Territorial Army units, highly trained and motivated, with their senior ranks including many ex-regulars. The three other divisions were armoured divisions and with the Corps troops were stationed in 20 areas in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westfalia. The divisions had three brigades each, differing in strengths of armour, infantry, artillery and engineers. Long range reconnaissance, signals, pioneer and artillery regiment formed the divisional troops. Each division could call on air support from an Army Air Corps Regiment equipped with Gazelle and Lynx helicopters.

BAOR was constantly exercised to ensure its readiness in time of a crisis. The units of the Territorial Army also carried out exercises in Germany, with the battalion and brigade scale exercises carried out in NATO areas. Live ammunition exercises at battle-group level were carried out in Canada at the BATUS training area, to enable a three-day exercises without having to use the same area twice.

Elements of BAOR were despatched to operate under UN command as part of BATT and UN peacekeeping operations and they also took part in regular deployments to Northern Ireland for tours of three or six months.

BAOR was disbanded on 28th October 1994 with the Prince of Wales paying final tribute to the Army, as a parade of soldiers from the Queen's Dragoon Guards and the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment lifted their caps and roared three cheers for the Prince as he took the last salute from the troops. The Prince said:

"The momentous events in Russia, Central Europe and Germany have brought changes for all of us in Western Europe, almost all for the better. Here today we draw together one of the consequences of these events with the disbandment of the British Army of the Rhine."

In the event of a war, the BAOR would come under NATO command. BAOR as 1 (BR) Corps would defend a sector of the North German Plain as part of Armed Forces Central Europe. BAOR forms part of Northern Army Group as part of AF CENT and NORTHAG is partnered by the Central Army Group. NORTHAG's operational area extends from Hamburg down to Kassel and from the Netherlands border to the inner German border.

In NORTHAG, BAOR was flanked by 1 (NL) Corps to the far north, 1 (GE) Corps to the immediate north, and 1 (BE) Corps in the southern most position. The 1 (BR) Corps area extended from a line just north of Hanover down to a line just north of Kassel, and extended from the inner German border to a line just west of Soest but the BAOR boundary itself extended right back to Antwerp. In the event of war, BAOR would become British Support Command, which would supply 1 (BR) Corps and guard the rear areas.

It was planned that if the area of responsibility of I (BR) Corps came under threat the Corps would fight with two of it s armoured divisions forward and one in reserve. The 2nd Infantry Division, after its arrival, was to defend vital military targets in the Corps rear and with 24 Airmobile Brigade to be ready to guard against any rapid enemy tank thrust which might develop.

BAOR has now been succeeded by British Forces Germany, which also incorporates RAF Germany.

Munster, Lower Saxony From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Not to be confused with Münster in North Rhine-Westphalia. Munster Water mill in Munster Munster Location of the town of Munster within Heidekreis district[show] Coordinates 52°59′19″N 10°05′28″ECoordinates: 52°59′19″N 10°05′28″E Administration Country Germany State Lower Saxony District Heidekreis Mayor Adolf Köthe(CDU) Basic statistics Area 193.42km2 (74.68sqmi) Elevation 73m (240ft) Population 14,688 (31 December 2011)[1] - Density 76 /km2(197/sqmi) Other information Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) Licence plate SFA Postal code 29633 Area code 05192 Website

Munster, also called Munster (Örtze), is a small town in the district of Heidekreis, in Lower Saxony, Germany almost equidistant from Hamburg and Hanover. The town is home to the German Army's largest garrison and is situated between the two training areas of Munster North and Munster South. It is also the fourth largest garrison in the German Armed Forces . The Bundeswehr's Research Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare Defence is located in Munster.

The town's make up is shaped by the soldiers and other government employees who make up the majority of its population, and the surrounding military zones restrict the Munster's growth retaining its rural character.

  • 1 Geography
  • 2 History
  • 3 Politics
    • 3.1 Town council
    • 3.2 Coat of arms
  • 4 Twin towns — sister cities
  • 5 Main sights
  • 6 Economy
  • 7 Education
  • 8 Military
  • 9 Chemical contamination
  • 10 Personalities
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Munster is situated in the central Lüneburg Heath region along the river Örtze between the towns of Soltau and Uelzen. The Munster military training areas, representing nearly 50% of the city's total area, are reserved for military use. Due to the restricted areas, many rare species and habitats can be found in this region. The region's populations of rare species have been previously drawn upon to restore populations in other regions where such species are endangered.


The first recorded mention of Munster was in 1252. An Imperial German battalion under the command of future President of the German Reich Paul von Hindenburg started the use of this area as a training ground in 1893. The Bundeswehr re-opened its garrison in Munster in 1956 which was expanded in 1990, and again during the transformation process of the Bundeswehr. Today, Munster is the largest garrison of the German Army.

In 1916, the German Empire opened Gasplatz Breloh ("Breloh Gas Facility"), an area dedicated to research in and production of chemical weapons. After World War I, the site was closed and the ammunition stored there was removed. In the process of this removal, a whole train of chemical munitions blew up in 1919, the reasons for this disaster never being uncovered. In 1935, the Third Reich reopened the site as an experimental research and production area as well as a bombing range for chemical ammunitions under the name Heeresnebelfüllstelle Raubkammer ("Army fog-filling plant, Raubkammer"), "fog" being used as a synonym for chemical agents. Over the course of World War II, large quantities of sulphur mustard gas and the new nerve agent, GA, were produced here. At the end of the war, Germany had a continuous production line for GB ready to go online; this plant was dismantled by the British Occupation Forces and later shipped to Porton Down, Great Britain.

In 1958, the German Bundeswehr again started using the area by founding an agency dedicated to the defence against NBC weapons. As of 2009, this agency has the name "Wehrwissenschaftliches Institut für Schutztechnologien - ABC-Schutz" (WIS)("Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection")


Munster is traditionally held by a CDU majority.

Town council
  • CDU 13 seats
  • SPD 10 seats
  • FDP 1 seat
  • NPD 1 seat
  • Independent 1 seat

(as of September 2011)

Coat of arms

The Oberpräsident of the Province of Hanover awarded the then municipality of Munster, in a decree of 4 March 1937, a coat of arms. The coat of arms displayed on a gold field a blue dragon with red claws breathing red fire; above it lay a horizontal silver sword on a blue field. As a result of a petition by the council of the municipality of Munster of 18 April 1967 the District President (Regierungspräsident) in Lüneburg on 17 May 1967, authorised the field of the 1937 coat of arms to be changed from gold to silver and further authorised a town Flag in the colours blue and white to be used.

Twin towns — sister cities See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany

Munster is twinned with:

  • Radcliff, United States, since 1984
  • Michurinsk, Russia, since 1991
  • Éragny, France, since 1999
Main sights Town hall Wilhelm-Bockelmann-Straße, the main shopping street Millpond on the Örtze near the town centre Munster watermill Main house of the Ollershof farm St.Martin's sheep pen church St.Urban's Church
  • German Tank Museum, (Deutsches Panzermuseum) - Germany's largest armoured fighting vehicle museum
  • St. Urban's Church (St.-Urbani-Kirche) - a 13th century church
  • The Ollershof is a free open-air museum
  • St.Martin's sheep pen church is an old sheep pen that was converted to a church
  • Town library
  • St. Stephen's Military Church (St.-Stephanus-Militärkirche) - the only church allocated to an entirely military parish in Germany and the highest building in Munster
  • Lower Saxony Spring (Niedersachsenbrunnen) - with 8 horses, that symbolise the formerly independent parishes in the borough, by Jos Pirkner (1991)

The largest economic factor and employer in Munster is the Bundeswehr. Firms of trans-regional significance are Meyer Breloh (construction materials and windows) and Abels Consulting and Technology. Munster lies on the B 71 federal road between Soltau and Uelzen, not far from the A 7 motorway. The most important public transport link to Bremen, Hamburg and Hanover is Munster station on the old Uelzen–Langwedel railway, that originally ran as the America Line from Berlin via Uelzen to Bremen and Bremerhaven. Today regional trains work the line from Bremen via Soltau to Uelzen. Long distance trains (IC) trains only run on Fridays and Sundays from Berlin and are geared predominantly to commuting Bundeswehr soldiers. An Intercity link from Magdeburg used to run nightly from Sunday to Monday until the timetable change on 9 Dec 2007.


Since 2008/09 Munster has had 2 primary schools, a special needs school that focusses on learning support, a secondary modern school, a middle school and a grammar school. The old Breloh Primary School (Breloh is a suburb of Munster) has become a satellite of Am Süllberg Primary School in the Örtze valley due to dwindling school numbers.


Munster is the fourth largest garrison in the Bundeswehr. Since 2007, in the wake of the transformation of the Bundeswehr, 6,675 soldiers and their families have been stationed in Munster. Together with the trainees at the training centre there is a total of about 10,000 soldiers. Munster is often called the "showcase of the German Army" due to the training centre, the many training demonstrations - some open to the public - and the testing of new equipment and new tactics.

Since 2006 three battalions of officer cadets have been subordinated to the Munster Training Centre. In the course of Bundeswehr transformation the basic training for all officer cadets was centralised so that one third are now trained in Munster.

Chemical contamination

During the First World War the German military tested chemical warfare agents on the Gasplatz Breloh. These were first deployed operationally in 1915 on the Western Front. In October 1919 during disarmament activity after the end of the war a goods train laden with weapons exploded. With the establishment of the Raubkammer Military Testing Site (Heeresversuchsstelle Raubkammer) at Munster North Training Area, the Wehrmacht started testing chemical weapons again in 1935 and ran a pilot site for the production of tabun and sarin. After the Second World War these facilities were blown up by the British forces; this however led to contamination.[2] After the Bundeswehr took over Munster North Training Area, a testing facility for NBC defence was established from which the Wehrwissenschaftliches Institut für Schutztechnologien – ABC-Schutz emerged. Since 1982 the WWD has operated an incineration site for the disposal of the large amount of contamination that resulted from the work on chemical weapons. Since 17 December 1997 the operation of this and a second incineration site has been organised by Gesellschaft zur Entsorgung chemischer Kampfstoffe und Rüstungs-Altlasten (GEKA mbH), a company under private law that is 100 percent owned by the Federation. These facilities are certified by international arms control treaties.

Photo used in this template courtesy of the USAF.

Munster Town Plan Large Map Map Boar British Army 1950s Map Germany:

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