November 11 in German History

November 11, 1050

Birth of Holy Roman emperor Heinrich IV in Saxony. Heinrich became the German King in 1054 (at the age of 4) and the Holy Roman Emperor in 1084. His reign was marked by a heated struggle with Pope Gregory VII on the question of lay investiture. Heinrich was at one point excommunicated and forced to do penance at Canossa (1077).

November 11, 1914

The battle of Lodz begins in WWI. German forces attack the Russian armies. By November 25 Russian forces have halted the German advance but the Russian army has lost an estimated 100,000 troops and the planned Russian offensive has again been disrupted.

November 11, 1918

The armistice to end WWI is signed. On this date in a train car in Compiègne agreement is reached between German civilian negotiator Matthias Erzberger and a French representative Marshal Ferdinand Foch at 5:00 AM. Hostilities cease at 11:00 AM. The actual terms, largely written by Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice.

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Germany opens new military camp in Niger

The German defense minister has called Niger a strategic partner “in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration.” Nearly 900 German troops are deployed in the Sahel region, including 40 in Niger.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday opened a new Bundeswehr camp in the Niger capital of Niamey.

“Niger, like Mali and the other countries of the Sahel region, is part of the European neighborhood, a neighborhood facing unending challenges,” von der Leyen said. Niger “is a valuable, reliable and determined partner in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration in the region.”

During her visit, von der Leyen handed over 53 military transport vehicles to Niger Defense Minister Kalla Moutari as part of an “upgrade initiative” aimed at bolstering the country’s military capabilities.

Germany is also developing other defense-related projects in Niger, including building an officer training school and expanding the military section of the capital’s airport.

Niger forms part of the G5 Sahel group (G5S), a regional security initiative that includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania. The initiative was born out of regional instability triggered by an Islamist insurgency and coup in Mali in 2012.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen made clear Niger is a strategic partner for Berlin, especially when it comes to regional challenges that pose a threat to Europe.

Strategic deployment

Germany’s 40 Bundeswehr soldiers stationed in Niger’s capital, Niamey, comprise part of the country’s contingent for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The deployment in Niamey mainly consists of troops from the air force and medical service. More than 13,000 peacekeepers have been deployed as part of the UN mission.

About 1,000 German soldiers are deployed for the mission, with some working on intelligence gathering and support in the region.

In March, Berlin signaled its intention to bolster its contingent in the peacekeeping mission and further support France’s counterterrorism force operating the region.

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