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Rhine Army Ranges (Hohne) map with overprinting, acquired by an American soldier stationed in Germany during the 1980s

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, in the aftermath of World War II. Originally an alliance of 12 Western European and North American countries, the alliance has expanded to 29 member states. The alliance was created for the collective defense of member states from attack through political and military means. The political headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium. The military command structure is headed by two Strategic Commands: the Allied Command Operations (ACO), based in Mons, Belgium, and the Allied Command Transformation (ACT), based in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. The British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) was a British occupation force stationed in Germany after both the First and Second World Wars; the second incarnation was formed on August 25, 1945. During the Cold War, the BAOR helped defend West Germany against communism and the Soviet Union. The BAOR had several garrisons in West Germany, including one at Bergen-Hohne, near the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In November 1952, NATO created the Headquarters of Northern Army Group (NORTHAG), which incorporated the BAOR. In 1954, the headquarters of the BAOR moved from Bad Oeynhausen to Rheindalen in East Germany. In 1957, the force reduced its size to 64,000. BAOR was disbanded in 1994.
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