German military set to be rebuilt around national security: report

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen plans a fundamental reorganization of the Bundeswehr, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper says. A policy paper calls for national security to be prioritized.

Ursula von der Leyen is planning to completely remake the Bundeswehr to strengthen its focus on national as well as international defense, daily newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

The paper cited a draft copy of a policy paper titled “Concepts for the Bundeswehr,” which recommends a fundamental reorganization of the German military to ensure it “makes its contribution to national security provision.”

For more than a decade, the Bundeswehr has focused mainly on overseas deployments, including peacekeeping duties in several conflict zones. But in future, national and international alliance defense should be put on an equal footing, the report said.

New security situation

The plans will entail the spending of billions of euros, according to the paper, which will be used to rebuild military structures, some of which have been completely lost.

The paper highlighted several security developments in Europe over the past five years, including the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea had also showed that more than 70 years of European peace could be endangered, it said.

Germany’s grand coalition has been arguing over plans to increase the federal defense budget. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have called for defense spending to rise to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2021, well above the 1.27 percent proposed for this year.

€49 billion to spend

That would allow spending of around €49 billion ($59 billion), which several reports have suggested is urgently needed to upgrade equipment and transportation, as well as enhance training for military personnel.

But the proposal would still leave Germany far short of a NATO target of 2 percent of GDP, which has been demanded by US President Donald Trump.

The center-left Social Democrats have so far rejected the spending plans, which must be decided by July 4, when the German Cabinet is due to consider longer-term expenditure.

As a legacy of World War II, Germany has restrictive guidelines for its military activity, leading some to question whether spending 2 percent of GDP would make sense, given the limitations on what kind of missions the Bundeswehr can participate in.


Update 4-24-2018 : New Pictures Added to the Website

New Pictures have been added to the Website:

  • Veteran Soldaten Past and Present
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  • Yugoslav Front
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  • German Heer – Army
  • Afrika Korps
  • Kfz. 2 – Kettenkrad
  • Pak Anti-Tank Guns
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  • Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel
  • World War 2 Generals – P thru U
  • World War 2 Heer Officers, NCO’s, Etc. – A thru F
  • Kriegsmarine Officers – Ship Captains – Offiziere der Kriegsmarine – Schiffskapitäne
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  • Other Museums, Artifacts, and Vehicles M thru Z – Andere Museen, Artefakte und Fahrzeuge M bis Z
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  • Heavy Cruiser Admiral Scheer – Schwerer Kreuzer Admiral Scheer
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German military draws up 450-million-euro wish list

by DW

Germany’s under-equipped military, the Bundeswehr, wants to spend hundreds of millions on new weapons. Some of the money will go toward leasing drones from Israel, but first the government needs a new budget.

Amidst criticism that the Germany’s military hardware is fast becoming obsolete, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will ask the government for a massive cash injection to update its equipment.

According to a list obtained by two German newspapers, von der Leyen is requesting 450 million euros ($553 million) for 18 separate items. A defense ministry spokesman said the Bundeswehr would present its procurement requests to the Bundestag “soon.”

“We hope that the material situation of the Bundeswehr will be improved,” Defense Ministry spokesman Holger Neumann said at the government’s Monday press conference.

Part of the money is intended for upgrades to Germany’s Puma tanks and maintenance of its NH90 helicopters. Money would also go toward a nine-year contract to lease Heron TP drones capable of carrying arms — all in all the cost of this deal will be one billion euros.

Plans for the future

The coalition agreement signed between the conservatives and the Social Democrats in March sanctions the leasing of the Israeli drones as a stop-gap measure until the development of a European drone within the framework of the European Defense Union.

The coalition agreement foresees investments of 10 billion euros to modernize the Bundeswehr, but von der Leyen has said she doesn’t think that sum will be sufficient. The latest request for funds will have to be approved by the government when it draws up its budget for 2018.

Earlier this year, an internal Bundeswehr document that was leaked to the press questioned whether the German military was well enough equipped to fulfill its duties — a situation termed “scandalous” by members of the opposition.

Germany spent around 37 billion euros on defense in 2017 — the ninth highest defense budget in the world. That sum is scheduled to increase to 39 billion euros in 2018. But German military spending falls far short of the 2 percent of national GDP targeted by NATO.


1876 Erich Raeder, commander in chief of the German navy, is born on this day

On this day in 1876, Erich Raeder, proponent of an aggressive naval strategy and the man who convinced Adolf Hitler to invade Norway, is born.

Raeder began his career by violating the terms of the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles, advocating the construction of submarines in 1928 to strengthen the German navy. He was made grand admiral during World War II and executed the invasion of Norway and Denmark. He fell out with Hitler over strategy and was ultimately removed from his command. He would end his career before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Sentenced to life imprisonment for “instigation of the navy to violate the rules of war,” he was released because of ill health in 1955.


1942 Germans begin “Baedeker Raids” on England

On this day in 1942, in retaliation for the British raid on Lubeck, German bombers strike Exeter and later Bath, Norwick, York, and other “medieval-city centres.” Almost 1,000 English civilians are killed in the bombing attacks nicknamed “Baedeker Raids.”

On March 28 of the same year, 234 British bombers struck the German port of Lubeck, an industrial town of only “moderate importance.” The attack was ordered (according to Sir Arthur Harris, head of British Bomber Command) as more of a morale booster for British flyers than anything else, but the destruction wreaked on Lubeck was significant: Two thousand buildings were totaled, 312 German civilians were killed, and 15,000 Germans were left homeless.

As an act of reprisal, the Germans attacked cathedral cities of great historical significance. The 15th-century Guildhall, in York, as an example, was destroyed. The Germans called their air attacks “Baedeker Raids,” named for the German publishing company famous for guidebooks popular with tourists. The Luftwaffe vowed to bomb every building in Britain that the Baedeker guide had awarded “three stars.”


1945 Hitler admits defeat

On this day in 1945, Adolf Hitler, learning from one of his generals that no German defense was offered to the Russian assault at Eberswalde, admits to all in his underground bunker that the war is lost and that suicide is his only recourse. Almost as confirmation of Hitler’s assessment, a Soviet mechanized corps reaches Treuenbrietzen, 40 miles southwest of Berlin, liberates a POW camp and releases, among others, Norwegian Commander in Chief Otto Ruge.


Update 4-21-2018 : New Pictures Added to the Website

New Pictures have been added to the Website:

  • Veteran Soldaten Past and Present
  • Eastern Front
  • Operation Barbarossa – Invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Battle of Stalingrad
  • Destruction of Germany During and After the War
  • German Heer – Army
  • Destroyed or Left Over Vehicles & Equipment from War
  • Tiger 1
  • Specialized Vehicles
  • Luftwaffe 1933-1946
  • Messerschmitt Bf 110
  • Flak Guns
  • Kreigsmarine – Navy
  • Battleship Bismarck
  • Battleship Tirpitz
  • Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee – Heavy Cruiser – Pocket Battleship
  • World War 2 Generals – P thru U
  • General Heinz Guderian
  • Third Reich Era War Medals and Decorations – Wehrmacht (Combined Armed Forces) – A thru N
  • Paintings & Art
  • German Empire 1871-1918
  • Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II
  • Fuhrer Adolf Hitler
  • Order of Battle – Waffen-SS Divisions & Other Units
  • SS Officers, NCOs, and Men – H thru K
  • Nazi German Organizations
  • Third Reich Flags and Symbols 1933-1945

New Pages have been added to the Website:

  • SS Panzer Division – Das Reich
  • Last battle of the Battleship Bismarck
  • National People’s Army – Nationale Volksarmee – NVA
  • German Military Administration and Occupation of France during World War II – Deutsch militärische Verwaltung und Besatzung von Frankreich während Zweiten Weltkrieg
  • Huis Doorn – Haus Doorn – House Doorn




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