The East German regime provided extensive military assistance to developing countries and armed guerrilla movements in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. In the 1980s, the pro-Soviet Marxist government in Nicaragua was one of the major recipients of East German military assistance. This article focuses on contacts at the level of the ministries of defense, on Nicaraguan requests to the East German military command, and on political and military decision-making processes in East Germany. The article examines the provision of weaponry and training as well as other forms of cooperation and support. Research for the article was conducted in the formerly closed archives of the East German Ministry for National Defense regarding military supplies to the Third World as well as the voluminous declassified files of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the ruling Communist party).

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