Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP, German for Barracked People's Police) were the military units of the Volkspolizei (police) in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). These units were highly motorized and kept public order
In October 1948 the Soviet Military Administration in Germany formed the Alert Police (Bereitschaftspolizei), a force of armed units housed in barracks and trained in military fashion. The force consisted of forty units with 100 - 250 men each, the units were subordinated to provincial authorities. Many of the officers and men were recruited among German POWs held in the Soviet Union.
In November 1948 the German Interior Administration (Deutschen Verwaltung des Innern, DVdI) took responsibility over the force (and the border troops) and included them in section named Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei und Bereitschaften (HA GP/B). The section was renamed to Verwaltung für Schulung (VfS) on August 25, 1949, to Hauptverwaltung für Ausbildung (HVA) on October 15, 1949 and to Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP) on June 1, 1952
In addition to ground troops HVA and KVP also included a separate naval and air arm. In December 1952 KVP membership was up to 90,250. The communist party and Soviet military authorities exercised strict ideological control over the force.
On March 1, 1956 the KVP units were transferred into the newly established army of East Germany, the National People's Army (NVA).
The East German Ministry of the Interior maintained, since 1960, an independent Department of the Alert Units of the Volkspolizei known as the Volkspolizei-Bereitschaften (VPB). It consisted of between 12,000 and 15,000 men (sources disagree) in 21 Volkspolizei Alert Units of battalion strength. There was usually one unit per district of East Germany but the key districts of Halle, Leipzig and Magdeburg, with their large working class populations, and Potsdam all had two units. The Presidium of the People's Police in East Berlin had three units located in Basdorf.
Each Alert unit was organized as follows:
- Headquarters section
- Four alert companies:
- One mechanized company in wheeled armored personnel carriers
- Three motorized companies in trucks
- Support company
- Headquarters and staff company with:
- signals platoon
- engineer platoon
- chemical platoon
- reconnaissance platoon
- transport platoon
- supply platoon
- control section
- medical section
These units were equipped with light and medium infantry weapons, SK-1 wheeled armoured personnel carriers, SK-2 water cannon (both armoured and unarmoured versions) and buses. Their uniform was the standard Volkspolizei grey-green. The political reliability of the Alert Units was of particular importance to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) as they would be used against the population in the event of social disorders such as the popular uprisings of 17 June 1953 in the industrial areas of East Germany.
- Bohannon, Shawn. "Nationale Volksarmee - Verwaltung für Schulung". Axis History.
- "Nationale Volksarmee - Hauptverwaltung für Ausbildung". Axis History.
- "Nationale Volksarmee - Kasernierte Volkspolizei". Axis History.
- Forester, Thomas M., The East German Army; Second in the Warsaw Pact, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1980
See also 
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