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18 May 2016


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For what its worth, the Bundeswehr is currently in a pretty dismal state.

We are down to just 2 Panzerdivisions, which is basically a joke. Training in anything larger then Batallion sized units has become incredibly rare, and the pov. from my contacts still in the army is that the Russians would eat us for lunch.

Current challenges:

1: How to increase the Bundeswehr towards a sane level, without making the American powers that be go "oh, the Bundeswehr is back! lets piss of the Russians even more for no reason because one of our little vasalls got a real army now!"

2: Bundeswehr is hugely deficient in cyber capabilities, attracting appropriate specialists is so far really hard, since the pay isnt great. Especially because big brother demands that we randomly participate in the pretty senseless blowing up of random third world nations (our politicans can refuse in theory, but it may cost them their career because the US lobby in Germany makes Aipac look like a Kindergarten).

3: How to install a modicum of common sense in the leaders of our new Ukrainian dependency. The problem is that the very very legitimatly pissed Russian bear may well see any attempts to rein Kiev in as weakness and pounce. And well, the problem is that the "sane" Maidanites now how fucked up their political position actually is, and that peace could well kill them, while a perpetual continuation of the war in Donbass mostly kills other people. One way to solve the impasse would be to offer Ukraine a deal that a non puppet government would accept, but that would get really expensive and our supreme leadership apperantly saw it fit to disappear our reserves in greece (for noones benefit) until they magically reappeared in the coffers of some well connected (generally not greek) people.


"We are down to just 2 Panzerdivisions, which is basically a joke. "

If these six brigades were well equipped and had money for realistic training, these 6 brigades would be more than sufficient. Please check the number of Russian brigades against central Europe or against Turkey.

The reality is that the maximum size of the German army according to treaties is around 300.000 men, not more. This prevents the reintroduction of the draft.

OTOH the Bundeswehr has in times when the economy is humming difficulties to attract more than 150.000 men.

We do not need more men, we need a concept how to spend the money in a more efficient way. E.g. providing high end hardware for Poland would be a more attractive way IMHO.


Thing is, the 2 are basically Panzerdivisions in name only.

Lord Curzon

You should see the state of the Royal Armoured Corps in the British Army. Appalling isn't the word...


Lord Curzon

The RAC must be very small these days. pl

Lord Curzon


It is. Eleven regiments were cut down to nine, as a result there are only 227 tanks left. There's currently an upgrade programme (Life Extension Project) to keep the Challenger 2 going but we have more horses in the Army than tanks.

The MoD simply doesn't have the cash to spend on a new tank, which is what's really needed. Nor, as I understand, is the kind of ammo the Chally 2 uses, being a rifled gun rather than a smoothbore like other MBTs being produced any more. Once stocks are used up, a decision will have to be made to go over to a smoothbore barrel.

For once-proud Regiments to have been treated in this fashion is appallingly short-sighted, as once you lose the capacity/capability, it's incredibly difficult to get it back.


Funny, I seem to remember this happening back in 1969, during my first tour in Germany. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it didn't start happening until 1979, my second tour. The Germans consistently beat the U.S. Technical evaluations of the Leopard consistently showed it was better than the Abrams. I just assumed this was continuous. It's a feature, not a bug. It provides more profits for the contractors.

Lack of historical knowledge is not new. There were widespread complaints during the Vietnam excursion that generals had become managers, not warriors. Anybody who thought Gen. Westmoreland's "strategy" of fighting a war of attrition at the end of a 10,000 mioe supply line in the enemy's home country was a good idea could not have been very knowledgeable. I've never read Xenophon's Anabasis, but I know what lessons it taught.


There was no shortage of anything in VN. Nothing. Were you there? The French ran their war on a shoestring. We did not. People like Morley Safer won the war for the communists. pl


Errr... we don't spend 60% of our GDP on "Defense." Total tax revenues are only 16% of GDP (used to be 18% but Obama has brought it down by increasing GDP). It's hard to guess what percentage of that is spent on "Defense" if you try to include the security/intelligence classified black budget, but there's no way it's 60% of GDP.


I was at Pleiku from '69-'71, but I was a Personnel Sergeant in a Signal Battalion so I don't know how things were with the combat units. I came from Germany, and I do know that there were lots of shortages there because everything was going to Vietnam. The Armored Infantry battalion I was with couldn't even get blank cartridges -- they were doing field exercises shouting "bang bang." I'll agree the long supply line problem was overcome, but at a cost.

"I have been bleating for at least a decade that the organizational skills needed by an army to fight an actual war have atrophied to the point of disappearance in the US Army."
Not only in the US Army. It's all about eating capital.


Please have a think about Bob Murphy's "sushi model" of an economy, and the similarities with our modern predicament. Remember, capital includes human capital, organizational capital, trust, and other things.



Oh, yes, the situation in USAREUR was terrible in every way but all that went to VN and we really were short of nothing. pl



OMB must have add a zero to the end of the number. I think the number is more like 6%. pl


"Thing is, the 2 are basically Panzerdivisions in name only."

Sorry, they still have much more tanks than a German Panzerdivision in WWII.

You assume that the tank heavy NATO division is good and up to the task, actaully that is debatable.

I do not like the situation of the Bundeswehr, but much more tanks are not the solution IMHO.


Qual meraviglia . . . richiesto tal uno delle cose necessarie alia guerra, egli rispondesse, tre esser quelle : Danaro, danaro, danaro!

Raimondo of Montecúccoli

What wonder that a certain person, being asked what were the things necessary for war, should reply that there were three, to wit, money, money and money.

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