Helmut Kohl Visits the Federal Armed Forces in Koblenz (1982)
Koblenz’s long tradition as a garrison town dates back to 1815, when a Prussian general command unit was established there under August Neidhardt von Gneisenau. As part of the rearmament process that followed the Federal Republic’s admission into NATO in 1955, a garrison was stationed in Koblenz once again. Beginning in March 1957, the Command Unit of the III Corps of the Bundeswehr [federal armed forces] was posted there. Additionally, in the 1980s, Tank Brigade 15 of the 5th Tank Division and Tank Brigade 34 of the 12th Tank Division were stationed directly in Koblenz. At this time, the III Corps had a total peacetime strength of approximately 70,000 soldiers, who were stationed at various Bundeswehr posts; the peacetime strength of the entire Bundeswehr was 495,000 soldiers. This photograph shows newly elected chancellor Helmut Kohl visiting troops stationed in Koblenz on November 29, 1982.