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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

The most elite unit of the "Stasi" was the guard regiment "Felix Dzierzynski" ("Felix Dzierzynski Wach Regiment der MfS"), actually it was an analog of the Soviet Internal Forces Division named after Dzierzynski. However, the number of this East German division personnel exceeded the usual regiment, counting more than seven thousand people and formed in three battle groups (one training unit and two combat groups of three mechanized infantry battalions).

In general, the equipment and uniforms of the East German state security and army paratroopers were more or less similar, but their jump boots were different. An interesting fact: the jump boots were called differently in the East and the West parts of Germany. If the West German boots were called "Springerstiefel", the East Germans preferred the name "Sprungstiefel".

Among the early jump boots one should mention the so-called "KVP stiefel"-type boots , as they usually had marking with this abbreviation.

"KVP" means "Kasernierte VolksPolizei", i.e. "Barracked People's Police". This structure was the forerunner of the NVA (National People's Army of the GDR). Since October 1948, they performed police functions, and the names of these units were different. They received the most famous name "KVP" on June 1, 1952. From the very beginning, this police unit, which was formed by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany, got the name "Bereitschaftspolizei" ("Police of readiness"). They used to recruit the volunteers - the former soldiers of the Wehrmacht, mainly from the number of German prisoners of war, selected in the P.O.W. camps on the territory of the USSR. They lived in barracks, having got military training and rigorous indoctrination in the spirit of communism. First, there were forty units of 100 - 250 people in each, but by December 1952 the structure of "KVP" numbered about 90,250 men.

After 1956 and the establishment of the West German Bundeswehr, the leaders of GDR symmetrically created their own Ministry of National Defense, and "KVP" ceased to exist: on March 1, 1956 the "KVP" units were converted to the newly formed National People's Army of the GDR (NVA der DDR). Shortly after that, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the GDR formed its own paramilitary police forces instead of "KVP", the so-called "Volkspolizei-Bereitschaften", equipped with equipment and weapons on the level of the Army infantry troops. These units are very often confused with "KVP", despite of the fact that the units of the People's Police were mostly engaged in ensuring public order and internal security.

Nowadays there are almost no photos of the earliest GDR jump boots unrelated to the "KVP"-type jump-boots. The images which could be found across the Internet, are very often of quite poor quality. It is even harder to find these boots as they had been produced in small batches, and almost did not survive after all these years. They look approximately as the III Reich Luftwaffe paratrooper boots, with the addition of fastening straps with buckles. At the lower part of the lacing represented by itself the pairs of simple round eyelets, on the upper part there were hooks lacing. Additionally, three leather straps with buckles were used: one on the instep (as on modern biker boots), and two other stripes - at the top, fixing the top lacing. These boots can be considered as prototypes for subsequent models.

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