Germany to expand global military missions


The German government wants to extend six military missions, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen pushed for more Bundeswehr interventions, but not everyone backs the move.


Peshmerga soldiers came to Hannover in 2016 to receive military training.

The German government wants to expand and adapt its foreign military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Mali, Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed on Wednesday. The German parliament will have the final say, as it does on all of Germany’s military operations.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told public broadcaster ARD on Wednesday morning that the Bundeswehr needs to redirect its efforts in Iraq after the successful defeat of the Islamic State (IS) militia in the country. The focus would now be supporting Iraq’s reconstruction efforts.

“It’s in our interests that it becomes a stable country over the years,” she said.

Von der Leyen claimed that the Bundeswehr mission to train the Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, which is due to end at the end of April, had been “a great success,” and pushed to expand it. In the future, the Bundeswehr would also maintain a presence in Baghdad and Irbil, where it would advise on building ministries and providing soldiers with medical supplies, the defense minister said.

Germany would also continue to fly reconnaissance missions with its Tornado fighters and keep refuelling planes in Iraq. The total number of troops involved in the Iraq mission would drop to a maximum of 800.

Neu was critical of von der Leyen’s interview and of German military policy in the Middle East

MP questions Germany’s motivation

The Bundestag will now have to vote on the proposed Bundeswehr extensions and expansions. While approval is likely due to support from CDU and Social Democratic (SPD) politicians, the two parties that will make up Germany’s long-awaited government, the measure will not be without dissent.

Alexander Neu, security policy spokesman for the Left party, expressed skepticism about the underlying purpose of Germany’s planned capacity-building mission in Iraq.

“Beneath the cipher of reconstruction and strengthening security forces, of course it’s about the politics of influence,” Neu told DW. “Anyone who builds up security forces of course has a significant influence on the political direction of the country. In Iraq it’s about limiting the influence of Iran on the Iraqi army. That’s the reason behind the German engagement,” he argued.

He also criticized why Germany was involved in Iraq in the first place. “Who expects us to take part? The US? It is completely irrelevant what the US wants,” Neu said. “Germany has its own sovereign interests.” Since December 2015, German Tornados have been flying reconnaissance missions to support the US military operation against Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, known as Operation Inherent Resolve.

“When it comes to Iraq, one could say that the Iraqi government has made this invitation — but in Syria it is not at all clear that there is a basis under international law, and, of course, the Bundeswehr is operating in Syria with the deployment of Tornados over Syrian territory,” Neu added. “That definitely does not conform to international law.”

His words took aim at Defense Minister von der Leyen’s interview, in which she had underlined the international legal basis as it pertained to Germany’s mission in Iraq. “We have the invitation of the [Iraqi] prime minister, and we are there shoulder to shoulder with the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, and many other countries,” the defense minister said. Syria was not discussed in the interview.

The German Embassy in Kabul was bombed in June 2017.

The never-ending Afghanistan mission

Von der Leyen also used Wednesday’s interview to call for an expansion of the Bundeswehr’s mission in Afghanistan, where Germany has contributed to NATO missions for the past 17 years.

Von der Leyen described the Bundeswehr’s contribution to NATO’s two missions (ISAF from 2001 to 2014; Resolute Support since 2015) as a “story of progress on the one side, but of course also setbacks.”

The defense minister argued that the educational opportunities for children, the status of women, health care and infrastructure in Afghanistan had all improved over the years, but that Afghanistan’s own army, now comprising some 350,000 soldiers, was still struggling to keep the country safe. The Afghan military controls around 60 percent of the country, though Taliban fighters still have managed to carry out attacks on government facilities — as well as on the German Embassy in Kabul.

Up until now, the Bundeswehr has kept a maximum of 980 troops in the country, though von der Leyen wants to raise that limit to 1,300.

German soldiers have been stationed in Mali since 2013.

Mali: the most dangerous mission

Meanwhile, the Bundeswehr is to send an extra 100 soldiers to join the United Nations’ mission in Mali, increasing the German contribution in the western African nation to a maximum of 1,100 officers. The proposal came in a joint letter to the Cabinet from von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel seen by news agency dpa.

The Bundeswehr has been part of the Mali mission since 2013, when the UN sent troops to help maintain a peace agreement that was set in place after a French military operation against Islamist rebel groups in the north of the country. There are a total of 12,000 UN soldiers in the country, as well as 1,700 UN police officers. Some 100 soldiers have been killed in Mali so far, with hundreds more seriously injured.

Neu argued that the Germany was allowing itself to be dragged into the conflict without properly reflecting on its origins. “These are conflicts that the West also has to take some of the responsibility for,” he said. “The situation in Mali can’t be explained without talking about NATO’s toppling of the regime in Libya. It was only after that the problems in Mali began. For me it doesn’t seem credible to send more troops there without even mentioning the fall of [Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi and drawing the consequences from that.”

Germany also is planning for a year-long extension of the Bundeswehr’s contribution to the UN mission in Darfur, South Sudan, and its contribution to the NATO Sea Guardian mission in the Mediterranean, which is supposed to secure shipping routes.

Germany currently has a total of 3,900 soldiers in active operations around the world.

Can the Bundeswehr manage?

In recent months, the German military has been dogged by stories of equipment shortages and underfunding, leading to a general perception that the Bundeswehr is under-prepared in Europe. Some soldiers have already criticized von der Leyen’s new ambitions.

The Darmstädter Signal, a “critical forum of citizens in uniform” that views itself as a military watchdog organization, said the army would struggle to fulfill the extra commitments. “No, it won’t manage it,” spokesman Florian Kling told broadcaster SWR. “We don’t even have the planes to get our soldiers to the foreign missions. The situation with personnel and equipment is so tight that the Bundeswehr is actually close to collapse.”

Kling also said that expanding the mission in Iraq would make it more dangerous for German soldiers. “Where troops are in movement, they will be in danger of touching mines and being attacked by terrorists,” he said. “It can really only end badly.”


1941 British forces arrive in Greece

On this day, a British expeditionary force from North Africa lands in Greece.

In October 1940, Mussolini’s army, already occupying Albania, invaded Greece in what proved to be a disastrous military campaign for the Duce’s forces. Mussolini surprised everyone with this move against Greece, but he was not to be upstaged by recent Nazi conquests. According to Hitler, who was stunned by a move that he knew would be a strategic blunder, Mussolini should have concentrated on North Africa by continuing the advance into Egypt. The Italians paid for Mussolini’s hubris, as the Greeks succeeded in pushing the Italian invaders back into Albania after just one week, and the Axis power spent the next three months fighting for its life in a series of defensive battles.

Mussolini’s precipitate maneuver frustrated Hitler because it opened an opportunity for the British to enter Greece and establish an airbase in Athens, putting the Brits within striking distance of valuable oil reserves in Romania, which Hitler relied upon for his war machine. It also meant that Hitler would have to divert forces from North Africa, a high strategic priority, to bail Mussolini out of Greece-and postpone Hitler’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union.

The Brits indeed saw an opening in Greece, and on March 7, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill diverted troops from Egypt and sent 58,000 British and Aussie troops to occupy the Olympus-Vermion line. But the Brits would be blown out of the Pelopponesus Peninsula when Hitler’s forces invaded on the ground and from the air in April. Thousands of British and Australian forces were captured there and on Crete, where German paratroopers landed in May.


1918 Finland signs treaty with Germany

Four days after Russia signs a humiliating peace treaty with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk, the newly declared independent state of Finland reaches a formal peace settlement with Germany.

Though Finland—a former Swedish duchy ceded to Russian control in 1809, when Russia’s Czar Alexander I attacked and occupied it—did not participate directly in the First World War, Russian troops were garrisoned in the country from the beginning of the conflict. For Finland, the war provided the ultimate opportunity for an emerging nation: independence.

In 1917, with Russia struggling on the battlefield against Germany and in the throes of internal revolution, Finland saw its chance. On November 15, 1917, a newly elected Finnish parliament announced it was assuming all powers formerly held by the Czar-Grand Duke—Nicholas II, who had abdicated the previous March. On December 6, barely a month after Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd (later St. Petersburg), the parliament voted to make Finland an independent republic.

Almost immediately, however, conflict broke out within the nascent nation between the radical socialists—supporters of the Bolsheviks in Russia—and non-socialists. With government forces working to disarm and expel the remaining Russian troops stationed in Finland, the radical socialist Red Guard rebelled in late January 1918, terrorizing and killing civilians in their attempt to spark a Bolshevik-style revolution. The clash between the Reds and the Whites, as Finnish government troops were known, ended in victory by the government, due in part to the assistance of German troops sent by the kaiser to southern Finland.

On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was concluded, depriving Lenin’s new Soviet state of no less than 1 million square miles of territory that had been part of imperial Russia, including Finland, which was recognized in the treaty by both Russia and the Central Powers as an independent republic. As stated in the treaty, Finlandwill immediately be cleared of Russian troops and the Russian Red Guard, and the Finnish ports of the Russian fleet and of the Russian naval forces.Russia is to put an end to all agitation or propaganda against the Government or the public institutions of Finland. Four days later, the Finnish government signed a separate treaty with Germany, confirming its independence but also solidifying a close relationship and promising German support for Finland to help the new state preserve order.

That close relationship was confirmed the following October, when conservative forces in Finland decided to establish monarchal rule in the country, giving the throne to Frederick, a German prince. One month later, however, when the war ended in the defeat of the Central Powers, it no longer seemed a viable choice: Germany itself was no longer a monarchy, Kaiser Wilhelm having abdicated on November 9, and it was certain that the victorious Allies would not look kindly upon a German prince on the Finnish throne. Frederick abdicated on December 14. The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919, recognized Finland’s hard-won independence; that July, the Finnish parliament adopted a new republican constitution and Kaarlo J. Stahlberg, a liberal, was elected as the country’s first president.


1936 Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact by sending German military forces into the Rhineland, a demilitarized zone along the Rhine River in western Germany.

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in July 1919–eight months after the guns fell silent in World War I–called for stiff war reparation payments and other punishing peace terms for defeated Germany. Having been forced to sign the treaty, the German delegation to the peace conference indicated its attitude by breaking the ceremonial pen. As dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s military forces were reduced to insignificance and the Rhineland was to be demilitarized.

In 1925, at the conclusion of a European peace conference held in Switzerland, the Locarno Pact was signed, reaffirming the national boundaries decided by the Treaty of Versailles and approving the German entry into the League of Nations. The so-called “spirit of Locarno” symbolized hopes for an era of European peace and goodwill, and by 1930 German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann had negotiated the removal of the last Allied troops in the demilitarized Rhineland.

However, just four years later, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party seized full power in Germany, promising vengeance against the Allied nations that had forced the Treaty of Versailles on the German people. In 1935, Hitler unilaterally canceled the military clauses of the treaty and in March 1936 denounced the Locarno Pact and began remilitarizing of the Rhineland. Two years later, Nazi Germany burst out of its territories, absorbing Austria and portions of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.


History Lesson to Help Stupidity

By HWB von Richter, Chancellor of the Society

History Lesson to Help Stupidity: We are going to give people who lack any understanding of history or think they have an understand of history on this Page, Website, and Historical Society’s Mission. 
People come here in support of Nazism and Racism, state the ‘Nazi’ army, think we support Nazism, and think every German Soldat is a Nazi due to the emblem or awards on his uniform.

Most of the German Wehrmacht and German Volk were not Nazis. 7.85% of the population were registered National Socialists at the height of the party. If you were a Teacher, Lawyer, Doctor, you had to register to continue your occupation. This does not include the other occupations also. With this in thinking, this will cut down the amount of true Nazis. Then you have people who want to advance, are worried about power, or want prominence. This reduces the number. I’m not going to give numbers I cannot provide so lets stick with 8% then go back to 1933. 

In 1933 Elections, Hitler and the National Socialists had polled over 11 million votes but was still behind Hindenburg. The second and final round took place on 10 April: Hitler (36.8% 13,418,547) lost out to Paul von Hindenburg (53.0% 19,359,983) whilst KPD candidate Thälmann gained a meagre percentage of the vote (10.2% 3,706,759). Now the Nazi lovers are going to come along and state that the 8% is not correct. It must be 36-37%. This is not accurate due to more ignorance of history. The German state is still in the Great Depression as is also the world. Hitler made many promises and did act on them which rose Germany from the chaos of this. As a politician, we give him credit. So many parts of the population want a better Germany as in the 36%. Hitler of course only gained 2nd most votes so in time (after political maneuvering) became Chancellor (2nd in power) to Hinderburg being number one in power. Then of course when Hindenburg passed from the earth, Hitler illegally seized power by also taking the office of President thus making himself Fuhrer. That is another story for another day.

Many conservative Nationalists voted for Hitler. Being only Nationalists, no they were not Nazis. They believed in the support of the country and having it grow strong again. Hitler and his group was a means to the end. Unfortunately they did not see how much power Hitler was to gain and the consequences of the future with the extermination camps. Many highly doubt that most would have not voted for Hitler with hindsight.

Nationalism is a love and support of your country. Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Of course Socialism sounds like Communism, but it is not. It is a step towards it if nations make the mistake. Socialism is about your basic needs being met and provided to by the government/people. Gas, Water, Electricity, Healthcare provided at low cost to no cost to the people. National Socialism in Hitler’s form provides these elements.

National Socialism in the purest form was perverted by Hitler and his elite. Nazism is a characterized as a form of fascism that incorporates scientific racism and antisemitism. Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and Social Darwinism, identifying the Germans as a part of what the Nazis regarded as an Aryan or Nordic master race. It aimed to overcome social divisions and create a German homogeneous society based on racial purity which represented a people’s community. So both words together are forever linked  to the regime.  Before this, both words could be used together to promote love of the country and providing services to the people.

National Socialism is dead. Yes there are Facists, Nazis, Neo-Nazis, Far Right who still think that it will make a comeback. This is impossible. Due to German culture and the guilt due to the ‘brown-shirted’ regime, this is dead in Germany. Due to the lessons of the Holocaust and World War Two, it is dead around the world. No one will support it in any form of a majority.

Neo-Nazism is an even more perverted form of National Socialism. ‘New’ National Socialism is a bunch of racists and bigots coming under one banner of Nazism thinking they are the new movement. They try to use the National Socialists of Germany (1923-1945) as their beacon and thing they most look up to. I hate to let them know that Nazi Germany had every color, race, religion serving in the Wehrmacht (please do not correct me, yes there were Jews in the armed forces, a small minority). The SS added what was called Divisions of the SS. This is non-aryan/partial Germanic divisions of the SS to fight in World War Two. Does everyone think that they would exterminate the other races on the planet after the war was won? More stupidity from a class of people who are on the level of gutter rats.

So back to the ‘Nazi’ army. Yes the Wehrmacht was created under the Third Reich and the National Socialist regime. The armed forces were not allowed to be registered Nazis. While some generals supported Nazism also including parts of the rank and file, most were good men who served their country in a time of need. Even ones who signed up for the Waffen-SS (military formations of the SS) were also good men. They were card carrying Nazi’s and prescribed to the virtues of the Nazi Party, but also good Germans who believed in the country and the German Volk. Does that make all SS men and Wehrmacht personnel good men in our opinions? No. There were formations under order who committed war time massacres which did come from superiors with evil or warped intentions. But for the overall German majority in the all the armed forces, most served with discipline, honor, distinction and the will to see the German Fatherland great again.

So for the ‘Nazi’ army or the website and historic society supporting Nazism, please take yourself to some obscure place or corner of the internet to enjoy your fantasies and stupidity. This was the armed forces of the Third Reich in which we honor the German man and woman who served the Fatherland.

After My Main Purpose, This Website Honors All German Soldiers. – “No Matter What has been Done in the Past or Present, We Honor the German Soldier with His Sacrifice and Dedication to Fatherland!”

Nach Mein Hauptzweck, Diese Website Ehrungen Alle Deutschen Soldaten. – “Egal, was in der Vergangenheit oder Gegenwart getan wurde, wir ehren den deutschen Soldaten mit seinem Opfer und seiner Hingabe an das Vaterland!”


Update 3-3-2018 : New Pictures Added to the Website

New Pictures have been added to the Website:

  • Battle of Greece
  • Eastern Front
  • Operation Barbarossa – Invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Other World War 2 Battles/ Major Events
  • Orders of Battle – Panzer Divisions
  • Orders of Battle – Gebirgsjäger – Mountain Troops plus Ski Division – Skijäger-Division
  • Afrika Korps
  • Foreign Troops in the Wehrmacht
  • Luftwaffe 1933-1946
  • Luftwaffe Varied Plane Types
  • World War 2 Field Marshalls
  • Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model
  • Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel
  • Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
  • World War 2 Generals – I thru O
  • World War 2 Generals – V thru Von K
  • World War 2 Generals – Von L thru Vz
  • Luftwaffe Generals
  • Luftwaffe Officers – Non-Pilots
  • Luftwaffe Pilots & Airmen – N thru S
  • Foreign Officers and Men Serving in the Wehrmacht
  • Memorials & Grave Sites
  • WW2 Allies – Italy
  • Bundeswehr Vehicles & Equipment
  • Bundeswehr Information and Facts
  • Bundeswehr Officers from the Wehrmacht
  • Fuhrer Adolf Hitler
  • People Close to Adolf Hitler in Minor Roles
  • Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler
  • Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels
  • SS – Schutzstaffel
  • Order of Battle – Waffen-SS Divisions
  • Orders of Battle – SS Heavy Panzer Battalions & SS Panzer Korps
  • SS Officers, NCOs, and Men – H thru K
  • SS Officers, NCOs, and Men – L thru T
  • German Life Under the Third Reich



1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk concluded

On March 3, 1918, in the city of Brest-Litovsk, located in modern-day Belarus near the Polish border, Russia signs a treaty with the Central Powers ending its participation in World War I.

Russia’s involvement in World War I alongside its allies, France and Britain, had resulted in a number of heavy losses against Germany, offset only partially by consistent victories against Austria-Hungary. Defeat on the battlefield fed the growing discontent among the bulk of Russia’s population, especially the poverty-stricken workers and peasants, and its hostility towards the imperial regime, led by the ineffectual Czar Nicholas II. This discontent strengthened the cause of the Bolsheviks, a radical socialist group led by Vladimir Lenin that was working to harness opposition to the czar and turn it into a sweeping revolution that would begin in Russia and later, he hoped, spread to the rest of the world.

The February Revolution broke out in early March 1917 (or February, according to the Julian calendar, which the Russians used at the time); Nicholas abdicated later that month. After Lenin’s return from exile (aided by the Germans) in mid-April, he and his fellow Bolsheviks worked quickly to seize power from the provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky, Russia’s minister of war. On November 6, aided by the Russian military, they were successful. One of Lenin’s first actions as leader was to call a halt to Russian participation in the war.

An armistice was reached in early December 1917 and a formal cease-fire was declared December 15, but determining the terms of peace between Russia and the Central Powers proved to be far more complicated. Negotiations began at Brest-Litovsk on December 22. Leading their respective delegations were Foreign Ministers Leon Trotsky of Russia, Baron Richard von Kuhlmann of Germany and Count Ottokar Czernin of Austria.

In mid-February, the talks broke down when an angry Trotsky deemed the Central Powers’ terms too harsh and their demands for territory unacceptable. Fighting resumed briefly on the Eastern Front, but the German armies advanced quickly, and both Lenin and Trotsky soon realized that Russia, in its weakened state, would be forced to give in to the enemy terms. Negotiations resumed later that month and the final treaty was signed on March 3.

By the terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Russia recognized the independence of Ukraine, Georgia and Finland; gave up Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to Germany and Austria-Hungary; and ceded Kars, Ardahan and Batum to Turkey. The total losses constituted 1 million square miles of Russia’s former territory; a third of its population or 55 million people; a majority of its coal, oil and iron stores; and much of its industry. Lenin, who bitterly called the settlement that abyss of defeat, dismemberment, enslavement and humiliation, was forced to hope that the spread of world revolution—his greatest dream—would eventually right the wrongs done at Brest-Litovsk.


German Military History with a focus on World War II History including other areas of German History