INFORMATION AND HISTORY
What was the German Brigade?
From 13.01.1947 - 30.04.53
(when the last crews arrived in Norway, official command closure was 16.04) was a Norwegian brigade stationed in Germany. during these years the brigade was located in several places and it also varied somewhat in setup, but the total strength including the Tysklandskommandoen (German command) never exceeded 4,400 men. The background for such a brigade was an agreement that had been concluded between the Norwegian government in London and the British, where the British originally wanted Norway to provide 12,000 men as part of the occupation force in Germany
All the soldiers were set up and received their basic education in Norway in several different places, depending on which department they belonged to. It was only a limited part of the conscripts who were sent to Germany and it varied which forming departments sent soldiers from Germany from one contingent to the next. which, for example, was the Reconnaissance Squadron in 471 from Dragoon Regiment No. 1, while the Reconnaissance Squadron in 472 was Dragoon Regiment No. 2.
The vast majority of the material, both for individuals and the departments, was made available by the British and was therefore formally British property in the early days. The agreement between the British and Norwegian authorities was set up so that the equipment was paid off and therefore became Norwegian property over time.
Vehicles were part of this deal and most were British and Canadian types, but there were also some jeeps. some vehicles were also brought from Norway, including the 3 m8 greyhound that came down in 1949, and a number of administrative vehicles of German origin were also allocated from the British.
The brigade mainly operated in 2 different areas during the time it existed. both of these areas were within the British occupation zone since the bridge was ceded to the British. from January 1947 to autumn 1948, the brigade was stationed in the Hartz region of Germany, which is located in Lower Saxony. The Norwegian operational area was along the zone border between the British and Soviet zones. this area was chosen because it reminded a lot of Norway with mountains and valleys and partly a lot of snow in winter. nevertheless, a desire was expressed early on from the Norwegian political side to move the brigade to another area. This was rooted both in a desire to have the brigade closer to Norway so that it could be easier to withdraw it home if the need arose and to move it away from the zone border where it would be in the front line from day one if a war or conflict with the Soviet Union were to occur break out. from the autumn of 1948 the brigade was transferred to Schelswig-Holstein, the main part of the brigade was in place in September, but the last elements did not arrive until November 1948. this area was very different from the Hartz with a flat landscape and therefore bore little resemblance to Norway. the main task of the brigade here became the defense of northern Germany and Denmark in the event of a Soviet attack. The brigade remained in this area until it was withdrawn in 1953
The marking system used in the brigade was the British system, this was natural since the brigade first operated as part of the British occupation force and then as part of the British force for the defense of Germany
During the years the brigade was in Germany it used several different brigade badges. The marks varied depending on who it was subject to and in which area it was located.
in brigades 471, 472 and partly in 481 the brigades were subordinate to 5 Yorkshire Division and used their badge which was a white Y on a round black background.
In parts of brigades 481 and 482 the mark was a white Hanoverian horse on a red shield-shaped background, this mark came into use from 1 May 1948.
The background for this change from the Y to 5 Yorkshire Divison was that this division was disbanded at the turn of the year 1947-48 and the brigade therefore needed a new badge. The Hanoverian horse was chosen as it was marked for the Hanover District to which the brigade was assigned
from 8 November 1948, brigade 482 replaced the Hanoverian horse with the badge of the Hamburger district to which the brigade was subject after the move to Schleswig-Holstein. this badge was a blue cross on a yellow shield
In May 1952, brigade 521 replaced the Hamburger District badge with the Norwegian flag in shield form and this badge was then used for the rest of the time the German brigade existed. this mark was introduced to mark that after this date the vehicles had been taken over from the British and were now Norwegian property
for most of the time that the German Brigade existed, the German Command used the same marking as the brigade, but on 1 February 1953 the German Command received its own mark. this was a white reindeer on a red shield-shaped background.
This badge was later taken over by the 6 th Division, but then in a red square. here it was used from 1955 to 1985
These marks were placed on the left side front and rear (as seen from the driver’s seat), the location varied on different vehicle types