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The Feldjäger is the name given to the military police of the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces. Their emblem is the historic Order of the Black Eagle which has as its motto Suum Cuique (Latin meaning “To each his own,” a phrase derived from Cicero). The term Feldjäger, literally meaning field huntsmen or field Jäger, has a long tradition and dates back to the mid-17th century.
KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command, KSK) is an elite special forces military unit composed of special operations soldiers handpicked from the ranks of Germany’s Bundeswehr and organized under the Rapid Forces Division. KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the United States and its affiliates and KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East.
Rockensussra’s German Tank Graveyard & Dismantling Facility
These scenes of withdrawn armoured vehicles, lined up row upon row in a scrapyard immediately west of Rockensussra, Germany, are almost surreal to behold. At a glance the infantry fighting vehicle appear to be in reasonable condition – certainly by comparison to the decaying Soviet hulks of the Kharkov tank graveyard in Ukraine – though their days are likely numbered.
Situated 186 miles southwest of Berlin, the abandoned combat vehicles line the compound of the Koch Battle Tank Dismantling Firm, which specialises in the recycling of obsolete military equipment. The company, which is managed by Peter Koch, employs around 35 specialists at its 125,000 square metre site.
According to the Telegraph, around five vehicles arrive daily in a dismantling process which takes up to three days. The site has witnessed up to 500 withdrawn battle tanks awaiting recycling at any one time, lined up in seemingly endless rows which almost appear to have been photoshopped.
Founded in 1991 as the Cold War drew to a close, the Koch Battle Tank Dismantling Firm processes withdrawn military tech from across the world, though most of the abandoned tanks and infantry combat vehicles passing through the facility are veterans of the German armed forces, such as the Marder 1 A3.
In addition to the large numbers of battle vehicles silently awaiting their fates, rows of engines already removed from recycled vehicles are also stored on site. Useful parts are salvaged for reuse on the country’s operational fighting fleet, while the remainder is sold as scrap.
The process began in earnest with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and some 16,000 tanks and armoured vehicles are understood to have been dismantled on the outskirts of Rockensussra by 2012.
The Wachbataillon (full name: Wachbataillon beim Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (WachBtl BMVg) (Guard battalion at the Ministry of Defence)) is the German Bundeswehr’s elite drill unit. The Wachbataillon is the largest battalion of the German forces with about 1,000 soldiers in Berlin. It consists of seven active companies (see list below) and belongs to the Streitkräftebasis (Joint Service Support Command) of the Bundeswehr. The soldiers of the Wachbataillon often refer to themselves as Protter or Protokollsoldaten, meaning protocol soldiers.