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Bundeswehr trains for a new deployment in the Baltics

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6 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Sign of experienced combat soldiers imo.

No, its sign of sloppy discipline and lax grooming standards. There are no 'experienced combat soldiers' in the Bundeswehr; just some geared-up fellows from one of the quietest areas of Afghanistan. 

The Bundeswehr is a mess, and has been for a long time. On the one hand its a good sign of a healthy pacifist movement in Germany, on the other hand its a worrying sign about funding problems (beyond the usual) for the military and for piss-poor retention rates for enlisted men. They are dealing with less of what they should be dealing with materially and in terms of manpower; and they aren't getting the pick of the litter. 

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18 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Sign of experienced combat soldiers imo.

God help us all if those "experienced combat soldiers" ever have to deal with an actual Russian force, Russia will be at the Rhine in 72 hours. 

As @Rinaldi has said, most NATO forces are in pitiful states, but Germany is singled out for being in an especially poor state. I'm pretty sure the spinning corpses of Frederick and Blucher could power all of Europe if they were to see the state of today's German "army."

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Posted (edited)

 Lax grooming standards don't mean that the army is ineffective or the other way around. I'd expect less superficial comments on this forum. Or maybe not. They look the way they do, because it's a company sized unit, but it comprises of platoons from mechanized infantry battalion and from a paratrooper unit. It's the same with all the NATO contingents during those mini deployments in the Baltics. Overall Bundeswehr is not in a great shape, but for sure they able able to deploy a well trained company.

Edited by Ivanov

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ivanov said:

 Lax grooming standards don't mean that the army is ineffective or the other way around. I'd expect less superficial comments on this forum. Or maybe not. They look the way they do, because it's a company sized unit, but it comprises of platoons from mechanized infantry battalion and from a paratrooper unit. It's the same with all the NATO contingents during those mini deployments in the Baltics. Overall Bundeswehr is not in a great shape, but for sure they able able to deploy a well trained company.


How can they be well-trained when the Bundeswehr quite literally can't even afford to keep its vehicles functional or its guns shooting?
 

A few years ago, one of the Germans' highest readiness units literally showed up to a massive joint international training exercise with broomsticks painted black strapped to their vehicles because they didn't have enough machine guns that worked.

This is the culmination of German training. Going "bang bang" with broomsticks at a massive pan-European defense exercise because they can't afford real guns.
Now, to be honest, going "bang bang" is fine in something like in-unit exercises, even the Americans probably do it to save money. But while the Americans then go to train for real at the NTC with main battle tanks and IFVs and helicopters and fighter jets... the Germans still train with broomsticks at international NATO exercises. Because they can't afford to do better.

Because the American battalion is backed by the DOD, which keeps enough money around that when necessary, the Americans can get the spare parts and ammunition and fuel to get all their equipment in action and ready to go. Which is how the National Guard can go from "we drive half our tanks" to "YEE-HAW BOYS LET'S GO" in so many months.

The Germans can't even do that with their highest-readiness units. They ran out of money in the spare parts budget, and had to strip the rest of the army for spare parts to rush to PzGrenBtl 371 (the German contribution to NATO's VHRJTF) for NATO exercises a few years back. They still couldn't manage to get the battalion to its paper strength.
180,000 personnel and a budget of 40 billion euros a year, and they can't even manage to field one battalion at full strength despite borrowing equipment from the entire rest of the army. Like @Rinaldi said, the Bundeswehr is an utter mess. Even the SPD acknowledges it, and they're the people who complain about "NATO saber rattling" and see the BW's budget as a piggy bank to be hacked away.

Edited by Saint_Fuller

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1 hour ago, Saint_Fuller said:

A few years ago, one of the Germans' highest readiness units literally showed up to a massive joint international training exercise with broomsticks painted black strapped to their vehicles because they didn't have enough machine guns that worked.

I see that you really believe that. Below some vehicles with the broomsticks attached instead of machine guns.
 


BTW, low equipment readiness is problem of all NATO armies nowadays. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ivanov said:

Overall Bundeswehr is not in a great shape, but for sure they able able to deploy a well trained company.

If I have to explain the irony of this statement to you - one of NATO's ostensibly senior partners can deploy a well trained company;  I really have nothing left to say.

Edited by Rinaldi

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rinaldi said:

If I have to explain the irony of this statement to you - one of NATO's ostensibly senior partners can deploy a well trained company;  I really have nothing left to say.

In your first post you were commenting about the state of the troops on the video, not Bundeswehr overall. I'm not disputing the fact, that presently German armed forces are in a pretty bad shape. I also think the stories are slightly exaggerated and it also makes sense to me ( remember the "they must pay rhetoric" ).  I'm just not agreeing with the grooming criteria and some other anecdotal, fun, little stuff about the broomsticks. I know it feels nice and warm to hear that kind of stories from like minded people, but it shouldn't prevent you from the independent thinking.

Edited by Ivanov

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Uh...k. I speak from experience; this isn't any of us being a bot. At the risk of sounding like my old RSM, the enforcement of basic stuff like that imparts the kind of skills and habits that are desirable. It's emblematic of the whole.

It always amazes me the wee little hills members of this forum choose to die on, and this one was by far the strangest and smallest of them all yet. 

If following evidence (yes, even anecdotal evidence) is "close-minded" to you, I'm not sure I want to be your version of open minded. :rolleyes:

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, sid_burn said:

God help us all if those "experienced combat soldiers" ever have to deal with an actual Russian force, Russia will be at the Rhine in 72 hours. 

As @Rinaldi has said, most NATO forces are in pitiful states, but Germany is singled out for being in an especially poor state. I'm pretty sure the spinning corpses of Frederick and Blucher could power all of Europe if they were to see the state of today's German "army."

You can say that again. Europe has turned it's armies into an army of Salvation. Let's hope there's still time and willingness to change that. Stop playing police in the Middle East and Africa and concentrate on our own safety. In my own country they finally seem to understand that more money is needed to protect our freedom and that of our allies.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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Posted (edited)

Hold on.....Over in the CM:SF forum you lot were telling me there was no problem whatsoever with NATO readiness.....Make your bloody minds up!  :lol:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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In NATO circles, Germany is especially noted for being in poor shape.  If I had to summarize:

1. The German Government's lack of will to do anything military means that if Germans show up to a NATO deployment, it's going to be either very small, a support element, or it's going to have ROE that involves not being within the line of fire.

2. Germany's military equipment readiness is notably poor.

3. Culturally the German military is not a good spot, it has a problem attracting talent, and also attracting the sorts of Germans we might find objectionable from time to time.

Basically if there's a nadir to NATO's large partners, it's present in the Germans.

There's some question to if this is changing however.   The Russian threat has caused some reversals in course and provided a realistic reason for the German military to have a conventional mission.  There's a lot of institutional inertia, and the German Government's official policy is just short of openly being "American blood for German soil" in the event of external threats (to be fair, this is partly something America signed up to with the Truman doctrine, and there's a number of other nation's conventional warplans that are literally "our military exists long enough to hold on for the Americans to show up, and then to support them once they've shown up").

With that said, we're missing the forest for the trees in a lot of ways.  We have a bit of a bias for conventional force on force given the game we play/tanks and bombs are likely more our area of interest.

In talking about the value of NATO it's to impose sufficient cost or risk to an aggressor's actions as to make hostile action against NATO states unfeasible.  The Russians would really like to have the Baltic states back because for a variety of reasons they do not recognize the people's of those countries as having a right to their own independence (as history shows on a few tragic occasions).  NATO's mission in the Baltic countries could be best described as:

1. Prevent a "green man" invasion.  Continued NATO presence, and the fact the Baltic states now know what "Russian Aid Convoys" are, and awareness of Russian info warfare tactics means there'd be no practical deniability to using "green men."   I mean, it was blatantly, stupidly obvious the first time,  but there's no longer the ambiguous legal nature to it,  it's simply an unprovoked Russian invasion in need of proper military response. 

2. Prevent conventional Russian invasion.  In this regard it may not be possible to hold the Baltic states on a short notice (or sufficient time to deploy significant NATO ground forces to the region).  However, by demonstrating NATO commitment to the Baltic states, that forces will be deployed, all demonstrate that while taking Estonia might happen, it might be at an unacceptable cost going in, and holding it might be beyond Russian resolve, resources, or capabilities.

3. Given sufficient warning, defeat Russian forces in open battle without loss of terrain.  This would require some advanced notice, but once you start talking about US ABCTs, MEBS, and other BCTs, French, UK, Polish and other major forces, rounded out with the lower tier NATO forces, you're not going to get into the Baltic states without resorting to CBRN type assets, and that imposes a cost well beyond what anyone is willing to pay.  

None of these hinge on German readiness.  It'd be nice if they lived up to their commitments considering how many thousands of NATO soldiers put their lives on the line to protect West Germany 1945 (I know, pre-NATO, but same players)-1990 though.

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How many troops does the US have deployed in Germany?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments

That's 35k total troops, 20k of them being land Army. Which is the biggest external deployment of the U.S. Army, more U.S. Army personnel than in all of Asia. I am guessing the U.S. would deploy even more troops, should something occur. 

I think the Bundswehr, from its conception, always relies on foreign troops, in case of fire. 

No more Wikipedia, let's get some real data. Here's Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2010-2017):

https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2017_06/20170629_170629-pr2017-111-en.pdf

Fancy that! In 2017, Germany spent 1.22 percent of its GDP on military. Estonia spent 2.14, Latvia spent 1.7 and Lithuania spent 1.77 percent. Canada spent 1.31. That's right. Canada. We only share our borders with the U.S.

If you're curious what the broomsticks are doing there. Well... check out Graph 4. Their equipment expenditures, relative to their total military expenditure, is 14.8%. Which is below the guideline of 20% and less than many smaller countries in Europe.

Bundswehr's a parade army. They're quite insignificant in comparison to the U.S. and U.K.'s commitment to regional security. I don't know why anyone is surprised.

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2 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Fancy that! In 2017, Germany spent 1.22 percent of its GDP on military. Estonia spent 2.14, Latvia spent 1.7 and Lithuania spent 1.77 percent. Canada spent 1.31. That's right. Canada. We only share our borders with the U.S.

If you're curious what the broomsticks are doing there. Well... check out Graph 4. Their equipment expenditures, relative to their total military expenditure, is 14.8%. Which is below the guideline of 20% and less than many smaller countries in Europe.

Ah the magic of statistics... With the massive GDP Germans don't need to spend 2% on the defence. Even with their 1.3%, they spend little less than UK and only 30% less than Russia, which  is suffocating itself with an unsustainable military expenditure. Also keep in mind, that unlike those two countries, Germans don't need to maintain nuclear forces or a big navy. Sure Federal Republic could spend a little more, but IMO their current problems don't originate from an insufficient military budget. As to the equipment expenditure, they spend less because unlike the Baltic states they have the equipment. If you compare German APC's, tanks or helicopters to what Poland has ( 2% of GDP spending on the defence ), it's like comparing modern army to a museum exhibition. I'm not saying that Bundeswehr is in a great shape, but you have to look a little further than the raw statistics or press articles with a clear political aim. 

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18 minutes ago, Ivanov said:

Ah the magic of statistics... With the massive GDP Germans don't need to spend 2% on the defence. Even with their 1.3%, they spend little less than UK and only 30% less than Russia, which  is suffocating itself with an unsustainable military expenditure. Also keep in mind, that unlike those two countries, Germans don't need to maintain nuclear forces or a big navy. Sure Federal Republic could spend a little more, but IMO their current problems don't originate from an insufficient military budget. As to the equipment expenditure, they spend less because unlike the Baltic states they have the equipment. If you compare German APC's, tanks or helicopters to what Poland has ( 2% of GDP spending on the defence ), it's like comparing modern army to a museum exhibition. I'm not saying that Bundeswehr is in a great shape, but you have to look a little further than the raw statistics or press articles with a clear political aim. 

And you need to look at the posts and evidence that keep getting posted instead of glancing over them and ignoring them.  It would also help if you bothered to post any info or evidence outside of saying other people are wrong.

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21 minutes ago, Sulomon said:

And you need to look at the posts and evidence that keep getting posted instead of glancing over them and ignoring them.  It would also help if you bothered to post any info or evidence outside of saying other people are wrong.

Be specific. What info are you looking for?

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Ivanov said:

Be specific. What info are you looking for?

Yeah I thought from just a number standpoint that saying 1point whatever only mattered in context. If you and I each kick in 50% to pay for a meal together and you make a million dollars a minute and I make $50 dollars a week I am gonna be kind of put off.  But if you kick in 50% of your income and I kick in 50% of mine I’ll feel pretty damn good.  Ratios matter. 

That being said Ukraine’s army would likely kick the bundeswehr’s ass right now. 

Edited by sburke

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7 minutes ago, Ivanov said:

I'm not saying that Bundeswehr is in a great shape, but you have to look a little further than the raw statistics or press articles with a clear political aim. 

:rolleyes:


http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-lack-of-military-readiness-dramatic-says-bundeswehr-commissioner/a-42663215
https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article144983577/Muessen-uns-fragen-ob-wir-im-Ernstfall-abwehrfaehig-sind.html
http://www.dw.com/en/german-military-short-on-tanks-for-nato-mission/a-42603112
http://www.dw.com/en/1-in-10-german-military-pilots-lost-helicopter-licenses-for-lack-of-flight-time/a-43646369

The statistics agree. So do the various anecdotal stories leaking from the Bundeswehr about the systemic issues plaguing them. Even the German government itself admits there's huge problems: indeed, they have been wringing their hands over the fact that the Bundeswehr is a trainwreck for years.

In other words, all the evidence is broadly in agreement: the Bundeswehr is a mess that can't afford to keep its own equipment functional, and it can't train its people properly because it doesn't have enough functional equipment.

What evidence do you have to offer to counter this?

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6 minutes ago, sburke said:

Yeah I thought from just a number standpoint that saying 1point whatever only mattered in context. If you and I each kick in 50% to pay for a meal together and you make a million dollars a minute and I make $50 dollars a week I am gonna be kind of put off.  But if you kick in 50% of your income and I kick in 50% of mine I’ll feel pretty damn good.  Ratios matter. 

In your meal example the ratio matters. But in the world military expenditure the hard currency is more important. Modern military equipment cost the same for Germany and for Baltic States. That's why Germans have combat aircraft, tanks and air defence and the Balts don't. The problem with Bundeswehr, is not that it has obsolete equipment but it's low readiness. And this is mostly a matter of bad management.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Saint_Fuller said:

:rolleyes:


http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-lack-of-military-readiness-dramatic-says-bundeswehr-commissioner/a-42663215
https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article144983577/Muessen-uns-fragen-ob-wir-im-Ernstfall-abwehrfaehig-sind.html
http://www.dw.com/en/german-military-short-on-tanks-for-nato-mission/a-42603112
http://www.dw.com/en/1-in-10-german-military-pilots-lost-helicopter-licenses-for-lack-of-flight-time/a-43646369

The statistics agree. So do the various anecdotal stories leaking from the Bundeswehr about the systemic issues plaguing them. Even the German government itself admits there's huge problems: indeed, they have been wringing their hands over the fact that the Bundeswehr is a trainwreck for years.

In other words, all the evidence is broadly in agreement: the Bundeswehr is a mess that can't afford to keep its own equipment functional, and it can't train its people properly because it doesn't have enough functional equipment.

What evidence do you have to offer to counter this?

Where did I say something contrary to your statement? According to what is leaking to the media, the main issue is the low readiness of the equipment. The most important question is what caused this situation? Some here have been arguing, that it's because of too low military expenditure. What I've been saying, is that given the size and it's mission, the German military budget is not too small. This issue have been puzzling me, that with a military budget a little smaller than the one of UK, the German army is in such a poor state. Also it's worth reminding my American friends here, that not every problem can be solved just by throwing cash at it. In case of Germans, it has to be due to the bad management of available resources. Give those 40 billion euros from German budget to the Baltic States or Czech Republic and apart from conventional the forces, they'll manage to build Death Star from it.

Edited by Ivanov

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1 hour ago, Ivanov said:

In your meal example the ratio matters. But in the world military expenditure the hard currency is more important. Modern military equipment cost the same for Germany and for Baltic States. That's why Germans have combat aircraft, tanks and air defence and the Balts don't. The problem with Bundeswehr, is not that it has obsolete equipment but it's low readiness. And this is mostly a matter of bad management.

I was agreeing with you ;)

 

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