During the Cold War the Bundeswehr was the backbone of NATO's conventional defence in Central Europe. It had a strength of 495,000 military and 170,000 civilian personnel. Although Germany had smaller armed forces than France and the United States, Cold War Historian John Lewis Gaddis assesses the Bundeswehr as "perhaps world's best army".  The Army consisted of three corps with 12 divisions, most of them heavily armed with tanks and APCs. The Luftwaffe owned significant numbers of tactical combat aircraft and took part in NATO's integrated air defence (NATINAD) . The Navy was tasked and equipped to defend the Baltic Approaches , to provide escort reinforcement and resupply shipping in the North Sea and to contain the Soviet Baltic Fleet.