Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauß during a Bundeswehr Maneuver in Lüneburg Heath (September 1958)
In September 1958, 12,000 soldiers and about 3,700 vehicles participated in the Bundeswehr's “Training and Trial Exercise 58” on the Lüneburg Heath. The goal of the maneuver was to test a new organization of the divisions into two to four motorized brigades of about 3,000 men apiece. (The introduction of this reorganization was planned for 1959.) Each of the new divisions was supposed to be capable of doing battle on its own for four days at a time. The maneuver included a jump by a company of paratroopers (which was marred by a few injuries resulting from strong winds), as well as two simulated atomic attacks and a simulated tank assault. Here, we see Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauß (middle of picture, with field glasses) on an American M39 armed personnel carrier. Chancellor Adenauer, General Inspector Lieutenant General Adolf Heusinger, and the inspector of the army, Lieutenant General Hans Röttiger, also took part in the maneuvers as observers. Photo by Hanns Hubmann.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Hanns Hubmann