Marshal of the German Democratic Republic
Marshal of the German Democratic Republic , was the highest rank in the National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

 of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). It has never been held and was abolished in 1989.


The rank of Marschall der DDR was established on 25 March 1982 by decree of the Staatsrat
In the German Democratic Republic , the State Council was the collective head of state from 1960 to 1990.-Origins:...

 der DDR
(State Council of the GDR), but never bestowed. The Staatsrat could promote a general to this rank for exceptional military achievement. The rank was an imitation of the supreme Soviet rank, that of Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....


Some believe that this rank would only have been granted in wartime and was created as a result of changes in Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 military planning. During wartime, a Marschall der DDR was to command an operational Army group that included all East German forces to include Police
The Volkspolizei , or VP, were the national police of the German Democratic Republic . The Volkspolizei were responsible for most law enforcement in East Germany, but its organisation and structure were such that it could be considered a paramilitary force as well...

 and Stasi
The Ministry for State Security The Ministry for State Security The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi (abbreviation , literally State Security), was the official state security service of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered...

 troops. Prior to this change all East German forces were under the direct control of the Soviet military command.

In November 1989 the acting Minister for National Defense (amtierender Minister für Nationale Verteidigung), Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 Theodor Hoffmann
Theodor Hoffmann (admiral)
Theodor Hoffmann East German Admiral who served as the head of the People's Navy and as the last Minister of National Defense of the Germany Democratic Republic and head of the National People's Army.-Early life:Hoffmann worked from 1949 to 1951 in agriculture...

, abolished this rank.


Several designs were considered for the Marschall shoulder board. The final design was a shoulder board 118 mm long and 48 mm wide consisting of interlaced gold and silver cord backed by a red cloth material on which was placed a five-pointed, gilded star with a red ruby in the center. According to Klaus Wather's Uniformeffekten der bewaffneten Organe der DDR Band II, 12 pairs of these shoulder boards were made.

Drawings were also made of a Soviet-style "Marshal's star" to be worn on a red neck ribbon but this item was never produced.

Also planned were Marschall rank insignia for the new field uniform. This consisted of a 90 x 60 mm rectangular badge of stone-grey cloth for mounting on the upper uniform sleeve. On this badge was woven a large five-pointed gold colored star with a red center over a 20 mm long horizontal gold bar. For the cap there was an oval badge 50 x 30 mm with the same design as the sleeve insignia.
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