Czechoslovakia Table of Contents
Another militarized security force subordinated to the Ministry of Interior is the Border Guard (Pohranicni Straz), which was established in 1951 as a separate agency under the then-existing Ministry of National Security. In 1987 the Border Guard, whose strength was estimated at 11,000, was commanded by General Anton Nemek, whose headquarters was in Prague. The Border Guard is an armed force subject to the same military regulations that govern the CSLA. In mid-1987, in addition to the individual small arms carried by its personnel, the Border Guard also had some armored vehicles, antitank guns, and machine guns.
The main strength of the Border Guard has been deployed along the West German border since 1950. Smaller units patrolled the Austrian frontier as well as the borders with East Germany and Poland. Only a few units were stationed on the Hungarian and Soviet borders. The basic operational unit was the battalion, which was divided into companies and platoons and could be grouped into brigades for administrative purposes. The federal minister of interior could call the Border Guard to supplement security forces if necessary, and in wartime it could be assigned to the army either to serve specialized guard functions or to fight as infantry. Members of the Antiaircraft Defense (Protivzdusna Obrana) helped the Border Guard by instituting air patrols. The portion of the border with Hungary formed by the Danube River was patrolled by the Border Guard, which used launches and patrol boats equipped with radar and infrared sighting devices.
Data as of August 1987