Once the historic settlement of the factories of the famous German engineer Bücker, Rangsdorf, located south of Berlin, housed the 83nd Separate Signal and Automatic Control Systems Regiment (OPS ASU) and the 825th Aviation Repair Plant (ARZ), a helicopter maintenance unit that specialized in Level 2 maintenance (or intermediate periodic maintenance) of Mil' Design Bureau Mi-2 'Hoplite' and Mi-8 'Hip' helicopters. The airfield sometimes was used by other units. Thus, a witness declared that Mi-4 helicopters of the third helicopter squadron from the 226.OSAP based at Sperenberg conducted autorotation training sessions at Rangsdorf. Incidentally, this base also was a storage site for all the machines destroyed in accidents or doomed to extinction by obsolescence. The wrecks and pieces of various aircraft and helicopters that operated during the heyday of Soviet aviation in the GDR or that were used as targets on the firing ranges of East Germany, were rotting in this open dump. Aircraft types like Yak-27 'Mangrove', Yak-28 'Brewer', Il-28 'Beagle', MiG-17, -23, -25, -27, an Il-14 'Crate ' nose or ground-to-air missiles of the S-75 or SA-75 (SA-2 'Guideline') SAM systems were waiting for the Russian scrap dealers. The helicopters were not spared, as some Mi-2 'Hoplite' and old Mi-8T 'Hip-C' and Mi-8TV 'Hip-E' were also reduced to pieces at Rangsdorf.
From 1991 on, aircraft that clearly had been withdrawn from active duty in the VVS already a long time ago, began to appear in considerable numbers at Rangsdorf. The arrival of these aircraft was not accidental. In order to improve the realism of the Soviet firing ranges in the GDR, decommissioned aircraft, trucks or missiles were scattered on the ranges. Some aircraft could have come directly from USSR by rail, but that remain to be confirmed. An airfield mockup with a hard sand track was reproduced at Wittstock-Forst on the huge training and firing range near Wittstock. Several decommissioned aircraft were standing in dispersals to be used as targets. Rumors even have implied that some aircraft made their final landing on the firing range runway itself (See pages 1 and 2). When the great Russian evacuation of Germany began in 1991, Rangsdorf had the dubious honor of becoming the gathering place of all the aircraft and missile wrecks doomed for destruction that were scattered up to then on the soil of East Germany.
Moreover, other dismantling sites were discovered here and there.
A great deal of practice ammunition as well as many older first-generation RS-2US air-to-air missiles were seen at the 3125th Aviation
Rocket Armament and Ammunition Depot at Biesenthal. A small dump with simulated tactical nuclear bombs used in training was even found
there by chance!
We do not know however if other scrap metal storage and destruction sites existed elsewhere on the territory of the former GDR.