The German army remains one of the largest in Europe, but it is no longer the main striking force of NATO
One of the main goals of the creation of NATO’s bloc in 1949 was control over Germany, at that time only Western. At the same time, the FRG turned out to be on a potential front line, moreover on the main line of the failed attack of the Warsaw Pact troops. Therefore, the Bundeswehr became the main striking force of NATO in Europe, in addition, powerful contingents of armed forces (AF) of the USA, Great Britain, France, Canada, Holland and Belgium were deployed on German territory. These forces were combined into two groups of army armies and two air armies.
Pacifism led to the disintegration of the troops
After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Bundeswehr achieved enormous combat power - seven thousand tanks, 8,9 thousand infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 4,6 thousand guns, mortars and MLRS, one thousand combat aircraft. In addition, 5,9 thousand American tanks, 5,7 thousand infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 2,6 thousand artillery systems, and more than 300 aircraft were in German territory. Even up to 1,5 tanks, the same number of infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, and at least 500 artillery systems had other NATO countries here.
All this remains in the distant past. Army groups and air armies are disbanded. The French, the Dutch, the Belgians and the Canadians left Germany long ago. In the 2015, the British contingent will also leave. In the spring and summer of the 2013, the last Abrams American tanks and A-10 attack aircraft went home.
The Bundeswehr itself has been reduced many times. First, he sold the equipment of the former GDR, and then - most of the West German, including quite modern. The federal government put the most powerful German military industrial complex in a very difficult position, not only not providing it with a sufficient volume of domestic orders, but also creating competition for it in the external market by selling off quite modern weapons from the presence of the Bundeswehr.
At the same time, in the 1999 year, the Bundeswehr (represented by the Luftwaffe) joined the battle for the first time since 1945 in the Balkans during the NATO aggression against Serbia. Then the German contingents were stationed in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, they also took a limited part in some peacekeeping operations in Tropical Africa. In the course of these wars, it became clear that the pacifist anti-fascist psychological pressure, which the German society underwent after the defeat of Nazi Germany, was not in vain. If from the middle of the 19th century to the mid-20th century, the German servicemen were distinguished by exceptional courage and the highest level of combat training, now it is the Germans who have become the vanguard of European corruption and pacifism. Today they show only exceptional cowardice.
Luftwaffe fighter during battles in the Balkans. Photo: Luca Bruno / AP
It is quite logical that after the abolition of universal conscription in 2010, the Bundeswehr is experiencing an acute shortage of personnel. However, the abolition of the call was inevitable because at least two thirds of the draftees went to alternative service, and their share was constantly growing. Now Berlin is rapidly closing its presence in Afghanistan, Germany did not take any part in the Libyan campaign of NATO and in every way impeded any military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
What is the German army
Today the composition of the Armed Forces of Germany is as follows.
Ground forces include five divisions. These are the 1-I tank division (it consists of two tank brigades: 9-I and 21-I), 10-I tank division (12-I tank and 23-I mine brigades), 13-I infantry division (37-I) I and the 41-i motorized infantry brigade), airmobile division (1-I air-mechanized brigade, combat support brigade, three helicopter regiments) and special operations division (26-I and 31-I airborne brigade).
The tank fleet includes 668 "Leopard-2" (20 years ago there were more than two thousand) and 147 "Leopard-1". The first ones are gradually sold out, the second ones are trimmed into metal and shot at the landfills.
The number of Marder BMPs was reduced to 1315, they should be replaced by the Puma BMP in the amount of approximately 400 (for now, however, there is not a single machine).
The dominant class of armored vehicles in the German army are armored personnel carriers and armored cars. Today, the Bundeswehr has 434 TpZ-1 Fuchs, 97 Boxer, 336 Wiesel (this machine is sometimes classified as BMD), 81 BV206S, 221 Fenech.
Artillery includes the newest PzH174 2000 self-propelled guns, 124 XTUMELLA 120 self-propelled mortar and 97 MLRS MLRS.
The troop defense consists of the 50 SAM “Ocelot”, also known as ASRAD (these are four Stinger MANPADS on the chassis of the Wiesel), and the 835 Stinger MANPADS in the “original” figurative version.
As part of the army aviation there are 37 UHT Tiger attack helicopters (there will be about 20 more) and 115 VO-105 (another 24 in storage), 93 multi-purpose UH-1Ds, 40 EU-135s, 78 latest NH-90s.
The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) includes the Operational Command and the Central Command (both are in Cologne). The operational command includes three air divisions (1-I, 2-I, 4-I).
The basis of the combat power of the Luftwaffe are European (German-English-Spanish-Italian) Typhoon fighter-bombers. According to the initial plans of 1986, the German Air Force intended to acquire 250 "Typhoon", in 1998, this plan was reduced to 180 machines, in 2003-m - to 143. Today put 104 "Typhoon" (including 25 training and combat). Remain in service with the Tornado bomber 132, another 37 machines are in storage in Germany itself, one is in storage in the US at the Davis-Montan base. 50 "Tornado" is expected to be written off in the near future. Accordingly, after the delivery of the "Typhoon" in the Luftwaffe will be about 230 combat aircraft. Old F-48F fighters (4 in Germany, 33 in the USA) are in storage, but they will be disposed of. At the military airbase Büchel are placed 15 of US nuclear bombs B-20, which in case of war will be used by Tornado planes of the German Air Force itself.
Transport aviation includes two A-319, two A-340, six A-310 (including four tankers), 72 C-160 (two more in storage), and 93 helicopters - 90 CH-53G, three AS532. The Luftwaffe training aviation does not have, pilots are trained in the United States on American aircraft.
Ground defense includes 18 batteries of the Patriot air defense missile system (eight PUs each, four missiles on PUs).
The German Navy (Bundesmarine) has fewer than 50 combat units. The submarine fleet includes four submarines of the 212 project (two more are under construction), which became the first submarines in the world with an air-independent power plant (VNEU). Because of this, the traditional term “diesel (diesel-electric) submarines” has become incorrect, now it has been replaced by the term “non-nuclear submarines”. In addition to being considered the best in the world in its class "212-x", there are five decommissioned submarines of the 206 Ave.
Frigates today the Germans have 12 - three new types of Sachsen, four modern types of Brandenburg and five old types of Bremen. Three more "Bremen" withdrawn from the Navy and may be sold, followed by the rest of the ships of this type. It is interesting that recently Ukraine was seriously considered as a potential buyer of these frigates, but now this issue is removed from the agenda due to a total lack of money from Kiev (unless Berlin decides to donate them to Kiev).
In addition, the Bundesmarin has five Braunschweig corvettes, eight Cheetah type missile boats (two older Albatross boats) and 20 minesweepers (ten 332 ave., Five 333 ave., Five 352 ave. ).
Naval aviation includes eight anti-submarine aircraft R-3 "Orion", three patrol Do-228, 43 helicopters (21 "Sea King", 22 "Super Links").
Submarine "U 23" class 206 (left) and submarine "U 34" class 212. Photo: Heribert Proepper / AP
As mentioned above, the grouping of foreign troops in Germany has radically declined over the last 20 years. It now includes remnants of the British and American contingents.
The British 1 Armored Division (headquartered in Herford) incorporates the 7 and 20 armored brigades, the 1 army army regiment, and the 28 engineering regiment. The division will be returned to British territory in 2015.
The US 7 Field Army (headquarters in Wiesbaden) has the 2 Cavalry Regiment (equivalent to the Stryker Brigade), the 12 Brigade of the Army Aviation, the 7 Brigade, the 18 X Brigade, the 16 Brigade, the 18 Brigade. XUUMX Brigade; 66 Brigade of the Military Police; 2 Brigade of Reconnaissance Brigade; 7 and XNUMX Brigade of Communications. As you can see, these are mainly auxiliary and rear formations that do not have tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, SAU and MLRS.
The 3 Air Force, the US Air Force (Ramstein) in Germany, includes the 52 air wing (Spangdahl) with F-16 fighter jets (roughly 50 units) and the 86 air wing (Ramstein) with C-130, C-20 aircraft, C-21A, C-37A.
On the whole, having decreased by several decades or even by several orders of magnitude in all classes of military equipment, the Bundeswehr remains one of the largest European armies, since the rest have declined almost as radically. However, the German army is no longer the main NATO strike force in Europe.