armed forces

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Flag of GermanyFlag of Germany armed forces
National emblem of the Bundeswehr
Commander in Chief : Federal Minister of Defense ,
Federal Chancellor  (in  case of defense )
Defense Minister: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
(since July 2019)
Military leadership: Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Eberhard Zorn with the ministerial departments of planning, management of the armed forces, and strategy and operations
Headquarters: First office: Hardthöhe ( Bonn ),
Second office: Bendlerblock ( Berlin )
Military strength
Active soldiers: 183,885 (April 2021) of
which female soldiers: 23,279
Reservists: 30,000
Conscription: suspended since 2011
Resilient population: approx. 33.63 million (men and women, ages 16–49; 2014)
Eligibility for military service: Age 17 and over
Share of soldiers in the total population: 0.22% (2020)
Military budget: 46.93 billion euros (2021)
Share of expenses from tax revenue: 6.7% (2020)
Share of gross domestic product : 1.40% (2020)
Founding: 1955
Factual foundation: November 12, 1955
Highest manpower: nearly 600,000 (October 3, 1990)
Highest budget: 46.93 billion euros (2021)

The Bundeswehr is the military of the Federal Republic of Germany .

In general, the term refers to the subordinate division of the German Federal Ministry of Defense . This consists of the actual armed forces (military organizational areas), the civilian organizational areas as well as directly subordinate agencies that do not belong to an organizational area. The armed forces consist of the army , air force and navy ( armed forces ), the armed forces base , the central medical service of the Bundeswehr and the organizational area of cyber and information space . The civil organizational areas are equipment, information technology and use , infrastructure, environmental protection and services and personnel (together they form the Bundeswehr administration ), military pastoral care and administration of justice .

The Federal Minister of Defense is a member of the Federal Government and, in times of peace, holds the authority of command and command (IBuK) over the armed forces. In the event of a defense, it passes to the Federal Chancellor .

Foreign missions of the Bundeswehr take place in the framework of NATO , EU and UN . The members of the Bundeswehr are soldiers , but also civil servants , employees (collective bargaining employees ), military chaplains and judges .

History and Development

History until 1990

Defense Minister Theodor Blank founded the Bundeswehr on November 12, 1955

On May 24, 1950, the former general Gerhard Graf von Schwerin became Konrad Adenauer's "advisor in technical security issues" to secretly prepare for the establishment of West German armed forces. On October 26, 1950, Konrad Adenauer appointed Theodor Blank as the “Commissioner of the Federal Chancellor for questions related to the increase in Allied troops”. This " Amt Blank " became the nucleus of the later Federal Ministry of Defense. In the Himmeroder memorandum of October 1950, experts, including Wolf von Baudissin , provided key ideas for the conception and development of the Bundeswehr. The seven officers of the 15-strong Himmeroder group of experts who were accepted into the German Armed Forces, some of whom achieved the highest positions in the German Armed Forces (inspector general, inspectors of the armed forces) and in NATO (chairman of the military committee, high commanders), shaped the concepts developed in Himmerod the young Bundeswehr.

The declaration of honor for the soldiers of the German Wehrmacht by the then Commander-in-Chief of the NATO forces, Dwight D. Eisenhower , to Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was important for the establishment of a new army . The declaration of honor enabled former members of the armed forces to be reintegrated. This was followed by the formation of defense forces, which were initially held in the partially armed service groups and, from March 16, 1951, were trained in the paramilitary Federal Border Police (BGS).

The establishment of the Bundeswehr and the rearmament of the Federal Republic on May 5, 1955 led to considerable internal political disputes. Mainly between SPD and CDU was discussed the question whether it was morally responsible that Germany after Hitler - dictatorship and a structurally distinct inner German militarism ever should have armed forces again. The KPD was a vehement opponent of rearmament. Finally, on June 7, 1955, the military administration was founded, and the first 101 volunteers were sworn in on November 12, 1955  .

The name "Bundeswehr" goes back to the FDP Bundestag member Hasso von Manteuffel , a former general in the Wehrmacht, and was proposed by Richard Jaeger as part of a motion during a meeting of the security committee of the German Bundestag . The new name has officially been in effect since April 1, 1956. Before that, the as yet unnamed armed forces of the Federal Republic were often called the "New Wehrmacht".

On July 24, 1955, the Volunteers Act came into force, which allowed up to 6,000 volunteers to be recruited into the Federal German Army ( Act on the Provisional Status of Volunteers in the Armed Forces of July 23, 1955), the first on November 12, 1955 appointed volunteer soldiers. On March 22, 1956, the military constitution passed by a large majority (amendment to the Basic Law Art. 87a GG) and on April 1, 1956 the Law on the Legal Status of Soldiers (Soldiers Act) of March 19, 1956 came into force. A little later, when it came into force on July 25, the Conscription Act of July 21, 1956, which provided for conscription for all male German citizens aged 18 and over, was issued.

In order to ensure an accelerated development of the Bundeswehr, the Second Law on the Federal Border Guard of May 30, 1956 came into force on June 1, 1956 . With this law, the Federal Minister of Defense was empowered to set up Bundeswehr associations from voluntary associations of the BGS. In the period from June 1 to 30, 1956, BGS officials had the opportunity to submit a declaration as to whether they wanted to remain in the Federal Border Police. Anyone who did not do this was automatically transferred to the Bundeswehr on July 1, 1956. The former BGS officials were given the next higher rank and opportunities for faster promotion. In particular, former members of the Wehrmacht in the BGS took advantage of this, as they have so far often served three ranks lower in the Federal Border Police than in the Wehrmacht, while in the Bundeswehr they were judged according to their last rank in the Wehrmacht.

The formation of seven divisions ordered by the federal government at the beginning of November 1956 therefore initially consisted of former BGS officials and volunteers, some of whom had served in various Allied service groups . From 1957 the first conscripts joined the group. The BGS formed the basis for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grenadier divisions, three music corps and the management level of the Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 5 and the Armored Telecommunications Battalion 3. Due to a lack of Bundeswehr uniforms and accommodation, the former Federal Border Guard initially kept their previous equipment and stayed in the BGS barracks . All you had to do was cut off the badge with the federal eagle from the left upper sleeve.

When the Bundeswehr was founded, its officers and NCOs came almost without exception from the Wehrmacht - sometimes also from the Waffen SS . In 1959, 12,360 of the 14,900 Bundeswehr officers had already been appointed officers in the Reichswehr or Wehrmacht, 300 officers were from the Waffen SS. All officers from the Colonel upward were checked by the Personnel Appraisal Committee. This body consisted of 38 public figures who had been appointed by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Government and after confirmation by the Bundestag. In response to the accusation that all senior officers had served in the Wehrmacht, Chancellor Adenauer replied that NATO did not take 18-year-old generals from him.

Development since 1990

Federal Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg (center) takes over the command of the former NVA armed forces on October 3, 1990 in Strausberg from the former GDR Minister for Disarmament and Defense , Rainer Eppelmann (left). Right in the picture: Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm , Commander of the Bundeswehr Command East

After reunification , the Bundeswehr took over around 20,000 soldiers from the National People's Army of the former GDR . In addition, a small part of the material of the NVA, z. B. MiG-29 aircraft of the air force, taken over until 2004 and is still used in some cases to this day. Large amounts of armament and equipment, however, were scrapped, sold or given away, e.g. B. Tanks to Turkey. Indonesia bought 39 warships from the People's Navy . The sale of tanks to Turkey is a frequent criticism, as these tanks were used to combat minorities such as the Kurds.

The Bundeswehr has had to adapt to changing conditions over and over again in its history. During the East-West conflict, the Warsaw Pact's potential threat was decisive for its structure.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc made a fundamental reform of the Bundeswehr necessary. In the beginning, the possible residual threats from Eastern Europe and the new tasks that were initially only vaguely apparent had to be reconciled. The out-of-area debate that took place in the 1990s is characteristic of the domestic political discussion in Germany. It stood in the way of rapid and thorough reform. It was only after the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of July 12, 1994 on the Bundeswehr's missions abroad that the prerequisites were met to orient the Bundeswehr specifically towards such tasks. However, primarily for domestic political reasons, changes were initially made in small steps.

After the change of government in 1998 and the recommendations of the Weizsäcker Commission , the reconstruction was accelerated considerably under Federal Minister Scharping . However, not all reform approaches have proven to be practicable and affordable. The beginning of the military war on terror as a reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001 has led to further revisions of the reforms.

As part of previous reforms, under the almost static conditions of the Cold War , it was possible to define a target state. In the meantime the realization has grown that this is no longer possible. A thorough reform that some hoped for, which would solve all the problems of the Bundeswehr at once, therefore cannot exist. The new security environment is subject to rapid changes. According to the new concept, these challenges are to be met with a continuous adjustment process, which is referred to as “transformation”.

In this process, through constant analysis and evaluation of all decisive parameters, a possibility is to be created to establish and maintain the operational capability of the Bundeswehr in a rapidly changing environment. The Center for Transformation of the Bundeswehr (ZTransfBw) set up in 2004 supported the BMVg in the transformation of the Bundeswehr.

After the Federal Cabinet decided in December 2010 to suspend compulsory military service from 2011, the realignment of the Bundeswehr began in 2012 .


Gerhard David von Scharnhorst
Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

The Bundeswehr draws its tradition from three sources: the Prussian reforms from 1807–1813, the resistance of July 20, 1944, and its own history . According to the traditional decree, the Wehrmacht and the National People's Army do not establish any lines of tradition. Exceptions for individual members of both armed forces with special merits for justice and freedom are permitted.

Prussian reforms

The Prussian reforms from 1807–1813 fundamentally renewed the military system in the German states. The defeat of the Prussian mercenary army in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt against Napoleon in 1806 gave rise to the insight that only a citizen with rights in his country is prepared to defend it at the risk of his life. The reforms by Gerhard David von Scharnhorst , August Neidhardt von Gneisenau and Karl August von Hardenberg included laws for peasant liberation, the introduction of civil freedom and the abolition of military penalties. They were a forerunner of the idea of ​​the “ citizen in uniform ”, in which free and politically involved citizens should become soldiers. Not all of the reforms could be implemented at the time, but their progressive ideas are still anchored in the Innereführung to this day .

Military resistance against the Nazi regime

After Adolf Hitler was sworn in by the Reichswehr in 1934, individual officers were critical of the development, but various assassination attempts failed. It was not until 1944 that the military resistance formed again around Ludwig Beck , Henning von Tresckow and Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg . On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg carried out an assassination attempt on Hitler, who survived and had the conspirators executed. They too had taken the Fuehrer's oath, but thought the Second World War had been lost and hoped for a ceasefire. They knew the destruction of the war and wanted to protect the population from further suffering. Convinced that they were doing the right thing, the resistance fighters of July 20, 1944 put their conscience above their obedience. This resulted in "conscientious obedience", which is still a model of Inner Guidance to this day.

Own story

When the Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, global developments could not yet be foreseen. In order to avoid going it alone in the Cold War , it was conceived as a NATO alliance army . Since then there have been many changes that were important for the new Bundeswehr: the takeover of NVA soldiers after reunification in 1990, the change to the Einsatzarmee (the first military deployment of German soldiers after 1945 took place as part of the NATO air raids on Serbia in March 1999 instead), the opening up to women and the suspension of compulsory military service. They show the adaptability of the Bundeswehr without losing its values. This flexibility forms the basis of Inner Leadership.

Mission, tasks, international involvement and assignments

Bundeswehr soldiers during the KFOR Sharp Griffin maneuver in Kosovo in May 2016


According to Article 87a, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the Basic Law, the Federation has the mandate to set up armed forces for defense (“The Federation sets up armed forces for defense”). The Bundeswehr's tasks and orders resulting from this mandate are conceptually written down in the white paper and are subject to constant change to the same extent as the geopolitical security situation changes over time. The conception of the Federal Armed Forces (KdB) from 2018, derived from the White Paper, as an umbrella document, determines the basic lines of Germany's military defense in the long term. The Defense Policy Guidelines (VPR) of 2011 describe the strategic framework for the mandate and tasks of the Bundeswehr as follows:

  • the Bundeswehr protects Germany and its citizens
  • ensures Germany's ability to act in foreign policy
  • contributes to the defense of the allies
  • contributes to stability and partnership in an international context
  • promotes multinational cooperation and European integration

During the East-West conflict , repelling an attack from the east was the main task of the Bundeswehr. Since 1990, their range of tasks has shifted significantly: in addition to traditional national defense, participation in foreign missions on a global scale has come to the fore. The Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany is based on the words of former Defense Minister Peter Struck "not only in Hindelang , but also in the Hindu Kush " .

According to the 2016 White Paper , the Bundeswehr has the mandate within the framework of the nationwide approach:

  • Defend Germany's sovereignty and territorial integrity and protect its citizens;
  • to contribute to the resilience of the state and society against external threats;
  • to support and secure Germany's ability to act in terms of foreign and security policy;
  • to contribute, together with partners and allies, to countering security threats to an open society and free and safe world trade and supply routes;
  • to contribute to the defense of Germany's allies and to the protection of their citizens;
  • To promote security and stability in an international context;
  • to strengthen European integration, transatlantic partnership and multinational cooperation.


Derived from its mandate, the Bundeswehr performs the following tasks in a nationwide approach:

  • National and Alliance Defense (LV / BV) within the framework of NATO and the European Union (EU)
  • Homeland Security, National Risk and Crisis Management to Protect German Citizens Abroad (NatRKM) and subsidiary support services in Germany
  • International crisis management including active military and civil-military contributions
  • Partnership and cooperation beyond the EU and NATO
  • Humanitarian emergency and disaster relief to help take responsibility for overcoming humanitarian challenges.

In addition, there are tasks to be performed throughout:

  • Defense aspects of nationwide cybersecurity, contributions to the nationwide picture of the situation in the cyber and information space within the framework of national and multinational security precautions as well as ensuring cybersecurity in the federal defense networks;
  • Support services for the maintenance and further development of national key technology fields as well as for the promotion of partnership, in particular European and Atlantic approaches in research, development and use of skills;
  • all measures to maintain operations in Germany including the performance of official duties, qualification, training, further education and training, training and exercise support and military security and order.

International alliances and organizations

According to Art. 24 GG, the federation can place itself in a system of mutual collective security in order to maintain peace and thereby consent to the restrictions of its sovereign rights in order to bring about and secure a peaceful and lasting order in Europe and between the peoples of the world.


The Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO on May 6, 1955 , and on May 9 the official admission and the first NATO ministerial meeting with German participation took place. Your armed forces were firmly anchored in the structure of NATO during the East-West conflict. After 1990, this firm link between parts of the Allies' national armed forces and certain structural elements of the NATO command structure was broken. At the same time, the German armed forces remain involved in NATO's force planning process. The display of forces to NATO is a self-commitment, NATO cannot force the member states to maintain certain forces. As a contribution to the NATO Response Force , the Bundeswehr is prepared to keep up to 5,000 soldiers on standby at all times.

With the alliance case , the NATO treaty regulates in Art. 5 in conjunction with Art. 115a GG another possibility of deployment of the Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr can also be deployed when a NATO ally is attacked. The alliance case was declared for the first time since September 11, 2001 since it was established . This alliance case has not yet been canceled.

European Union

With the development of its own European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), the EU has acquired its own military capacity to act. According to the European Headline Goal of 1999 (EHG), the member states should have 60,000 soldiers ready for a European reaction force that can be deployed within 60 days for a year. Germany intended to provide up to 18,000 soldiers for this. As part of the adjusted Headline Goal 2010, the Bundeswehr is participating in EU battlegroups with different approaches .

United Nations

In order to be able to fall back on troops as quickly as possible, the UN has concluded so-called “standby arrangements” with various states. In 1999 Germany agreed to provide around 1,000 soldiers for the UN.

Defense case

In times of peace, the Federal Minister of Defense is in charge of command and control . In the event of a defense , this function is transferred to the incumbent Federal Chancellor in accordance with Art. 115b of the Basic Law .

The Bundeswehr is a parliamentary army whose armed deployment requires a resolution by the German Bundestag . If the situation inevitably requires immediate action, the case of defense can be determined by the Joint Committee as a prerequisite for the deployment of the armed forces in accordance with the special regulation of Article 115a, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law . Under the narrower prerequisites of an armed attack on federal territory specified in Art. 115a (4) of the Basic Law and only if the federal bodies responsible for establishing a state of defense are incapable of action, the state of defense is already deemed to have been made.

Assignments abroad

The Bundeswehr can deploy up to 10,000 soldiers for missions abroad ( United Nations peacekeeping forces , humanitarian missions , aid in the event of natural disasters).

As a result of the security situation that has changed since 1990, the Bundeswehr is also used for peacekeeping and security measures outside of the Federal Republic of Germany. Immediately after reunification, a heated debate began about the use of the Bundeswehr outside the NATO treaty area ( out-of-area debate ). The first such missions were Operation South Flank in 1991 , a mine clearance operation by the Navy after the Second Gulf War in the Persian Gulf, and in 1993 the deployment of a field hospital to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) as part of the UN missions UNAMIC and UNTAC . This was followed by missions in the Adriatic ( SHARP GUARD 1992–1996), in Somalia ( UNOSOM II ) and in the Balkans as part of the IFOR and SFOR missions . The constitutional admissibility of the missions in accordance with Article 24 (2) of the Basic Law (i.e. within NATO or UN mandates) was clarified by the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of July 12, 1994. In addition, this judgment is the basis of the parliamentary reservation for the deployment of armed German armed forces abroad, which was laid down in legal form in 2005 by the Parliamentary Participation Act. In the literature it is disputed whether this reservation was only made explicitly clear by the judgment or whether it was first “introduced” by the court in an extensive interpretation of the constitution.

Important ongoing missions are:

commitment description operation area First mandate Mandate upper limit current strength
KFOR Kosovo Force KosovoKosovo Kosovo 06/12/99 1,350 635
UNIFIL United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon LebanonLebanon Lebanon 09/20/06 300 124
NAVFOR Atalanta Atalanta European Union Naval Force - Operation Atalanta Horn of Africa and adjacent sea areas 12/19/08 600 87
EUTM Mali Mali European Union Training Mission in Mali MaliMali Mali 02/28/13 300 143
MINUSMA United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali SenegalSenegal Senegal / MaliMaliMali  02/28/13 1000 879
RSM Resolute support mission AfghanistanAfghanistan Afghanistan 01/01/15 980 991
Training support in Iraq
(replaced by "Combat and Stabilization Mission")
Training support for the Bw in Iraq Kurdistan Autonomous RegionKurdistan Autonomous Region Kurdistan Autonomous Region 01/29/15 150 125
EUNAVFOR MED IRINI Operation Irini Mediterranean Sea 03/31/20
Operation Counter Daesh Support the anti-IS coalition Middle East ( Syria ) SyriaSyria  04.12.15 1,200 277

On May 31, 2017, 3,457 soldiers were deployed abroad.

Participation of Germany in UN missions at the end of May 2017
UN mission soldiers Military observer police officers
UNAMA ( Afghanistan ) AfghanistanAfghanistan  - 1 -
UNAMID ( Darfur , Sudan ) SudanSudan  7th - -
UNIFIL ( Lebanon ) LebanonLebanon  124 - -
MINUSMA ( Mali / Senegal ) MaliMali SenegalSenegal  929 - -
MINURSO ( Western Sahara ) 5 - -
UNMISS ( South Sudan ) South SudanSouth Sudan  - 17th -

Since 1992, a total of 106 soldiers have been killed on missions abroad, 37 soldiers have died as a result of outside influences, and 69 died as a result of other circumstances. A total of 22 members of the Bundeswehr took their own lives on missions abroad. (As of October 2, 2015)

According to the Defense Ministry, the foreign missions of the Bundeswehr cost almost 21 billion euros from 1992 to August 2017 in an answer to a small question from the left. Since 1991 there have been around 410,000 soldiers in 52 international deployments. During this period, 108 soldiers were killed.

Since the Bundeswehr has been actively involved in the war in Afghanistan with the army, air force and special units as part of the war on terror in 2001, discussions have flared up again and again about the usefulness and purpose of the mission. A vast majority of the population now rejects the deployment and the soldiers want more recognition from German society.

Use inside

On the basis of Article 35 (2) and (3) and Article 87a (4) of the Basic Law, the Federal Government can, under strict conditions (“ ultima ratio ”, “ state emergency as a particularly dangerous situation of internal emergency”) deploy the Bundeswehr in particular Serious accidents, natural disasters, organized and militarily armed uprisings as well as the threat of terrorism decide to also use their military weapons in proportion, but not against demonstrating crowds.

The Basic Law provides for the use of the Bundeswehr for the external defense of the Federal Republic of Germany. For all other forms of deployment, including the deployment of the Bundeswehr on or over German territory, the authorities are bound by constitutional regulations under Article 87a, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law. If the constitutional requirements are met, the Bundeswehr can take on supporting functions with regard to ongoing police security measures.

Cologne / Bonn hub arrival area for refugees, October 5, 2015
  • In the context of administrative assistance and lending of organs (principle of subsidiarity) it is permissible according to Article 35, Paragraph 2, Sentence 2 of the Basic Law for a country to request “forces and facilities” from the armed forces “to help in the event of a natural disaster or a particularly serious accident”. According to the current case law of the Federal Constitutional Court, the term “accident” can be interpreted broadly according to the meaning and purpose of the Federal Armed Forces deployment, namely effective disaster control. These constitutional exceptions to the deployment of the armed forces in the interior were introduced with the “Seventeenth Act to Supplement the Basic Law” of 1968 (see German Emergency Laws) and the “Thirty-first Act to Amend the Basic Law” of 1972. Art. 9 GG stipulates that such Measures may not be directed against (further qualified) labor disputes .
  • "Urgent emergency aid" may be provided in emergencies that are not natural disasters and accidents, provided that it is necessary to save human life or to avoid serious damage to health, significant damage to the environment and the loss of material that is valuable to the general public. It is permissible as long as suitable auxiliaries and suitable material from the responsible authorities or aid organizations are not available sufficiently or not in good time and the aid is limited to a few members of the Bundeswehr. It can be done by any local guide.
  • Another possibility for the internal use of the Bundeswehr arises according to Article 87a (4) GG in conjunction with Article 91 (2) GG from the threat to the existence of the Federal Republic in the context of the Basic Law through the emergency constitution and the emergency laws provide. This includes, on the one hand, a threat to the existence of the federal government or a state, but also to the free democratic basic order . In any case , the provisions of Article 91.2 of the Basic Law must be fulfilled, according to which the threatened country may either not be able or unwilling to safeguard its existence or the free-democratic basic order, so that the deployment of armed forces within the country is constitutional.
  • On August 17, 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in a plenary decision that the use of military means by the Bundeswehr in Germany was permissible in “exceptional situations of catastrophic proportions”. This should only be done as a last resort , but not against demonstrating crowds or hijacked passenger planes (see also Aviation Security Act ), both of which are still unconstitutional .
  • From June 2015, the Bundeswehr performed its longest and most labor-intensive domestic deployment during the refugee crisis, following requests for aid from federal states and municipalities.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the Bundeswehr again provided extensive and varied support measures at the request of municipalities and states. For this purpose, it set up a "Corona aid contingent" with 15,000 soldiers, to whom another 17,000 civilians from the medical sector came.

Organization and structure

Management organization

The Bundeswehr is managed by the Federal Minister of Defense as the holder of command and command authority (IBuK). The Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) as the highest federal authority supports him in this task. Two civil servants and two parliamentary state secretaries are assigned to the minister . The minister, the state secretaries and the general inspector together form the management of the ministry. The area subordinate to the ministry is divided into military and civil organizational areas, each of which is subordinate to the relevant department heads of the BMVg. The BMVg itself is not assigned to the Bundeswehr - the official name for the entire legislative and executive part of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMVg and Bundeswehr) is the BMVg division.

Troop service leadership

Military organizational areas

Civil organization areas

Directly subordinate departments In addition to these organizational areas, there are six departments that report directly to the Inspector General:

With the exception of the Federal Office for Military Counterintelligence, which is a civil higher federal authority , these departments belong to the armed forces.

General Inspector

Stand of the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr

The inspector general of the Bundeswehr with the rank of general or admiral is the highest military advisor to the federal government. He is a member of the Federal Ministry of Defense and the superior superior of all soldiers in the armed forces. He is subordinate to the Federal Minister (in peacetime) or the Federal Chancellor (in case of defense) and the State Secretaries of the Ministry of Defense ( primacy of politics ). The Inspector General is responsible for the overall conception of the military defense. In addition to planning the armed forces, this includes, above all, the management of operations for which he is personally responsible to the minister.

Operations management

The Federal Minister of Defense is responsible for leading all operations as long as the command and control authority has not passed to the Federal Chancellor in the event of a defense. The command line for tasks remaining in national responsibility runs from the Inspector General, who is supported in operational issues by the Strategy and Operations Department in the Federal Ministry of Defense , via the Bundeswehr operations command in Schwielowsee near Potsdam to the respective contingent leader in the area of ​​operation . As the operational management level, the operational command basically plans and leads all national or multinational missions abroad.


The Bundeswehr is one of the largest employers and training companies in Germany and, according to the trend report by the market research company trendence, is the third most popular employer among schoolchildren. From around 120,000 military and civilian applications, approx. 25,000 recruitments per year for military and civilian purposes throughout the Bundeswehr are realized.

Civil personnel strength and structure

Civilian employees are deployed in various areas of responsibility - including in the armed forces - and play an essential role in supporting the Bundeswehr, particularly in administrative tasks. The civilian parts of the Bundeswehr include the Bundeswehr administration with the organizational areas

  • Equipment, Information Technology and Usage (AIN)
  • Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services (IUD)
  • Personnel (P)

as well as the organizational areas of justice and military chaplaincy . Until 2012, the Bundeswehr Administration was divided into the Territorial Defense Administration and the Armaments Department.

A total of 80,674 civilian employees are employed in the Federal Ministry of Defense and in the Federal Armed Forces. They are distributed as follows:

  • Federal Ministry of Defense: 1,662
  • Bundeswehr administration (AIN, IUD and P), administration of justice, military pastoral care and other civil service departments: 55,963
  • Armed forces and departments attributable to the military sector: 23,049

30,760 women (38.1%) of the civilian workers in the armed forces are active in all areas of the armed forces.

Military personnel strength and structure

Distribution of military personnel in the Bundeswehr (%)

The Bundeswehr comprises a total of 183,885 active soldiers. They are distributed as follows:

  • Federal Ministry of Defense: 1,147
  • departments directly subordinate to this: 3,285
  • Force Base: 27,659
  • Central medical service: 19.807
  • Army: 63,002
  • Air Force: 27,392
  • Navy: 16.306
  • CIR: 14.303
  • Infrastructure, environmental protection, services: 955
  • Equipment, information technology, use: 1,756
  • Personnel area: 8,273, including up to 5,400 students at the Bw universities

The Bundeswehr currently comprises 53,113 professional and 121,194 regular soldiers (total: 174,307) as well as 9,326 voluntary military service and 252 voluntary military service in homeland security.

The Bundeswehr has 23,279 women soldiers. (See also section women )

Personnel strength of the Bundeswehr (annual averages)

The personnel structure of the Bundeswehr has been adapted to the changed requirements in several steps since 1990. During the Cold War , the Bundeswehr had a nominal strength of around 495,000 soldiers. For this purpose, around half a million Bundeswehr reservists were planned for the non-active units that were to grow up in the event of a defense. After reunification , an upper limit of 370,000 soldiers was set for the Bundeswehr as part of the two-plus-four treaty . This stipulation is still binding under international law today . According to the personnel structure model (PSM 2010), in 2010 the Bundeswehr still had a peacekeeping strength of around 250,000 soldiers and 75,000 civilian employees. About 20% of the soldiers were still conscripts , the rest were professional and temporary soldiers .

With the realignment of the Bundeswehr , a new target (PSM 185) has been set since 2011. According to this, a total of up to 185,000 soldiers is planned, made up of 170,000 professional and temporary soldiers, 2,500 reservists and 5,000 to 12,500 voluntary military service. The number of civilian posts in the armed forces (i.e. not in the Bundeswehr administration) is said to amount to 18,700. As part of the so-called "Trendwende Personnel" initiated by Ursula von der Leyen, the number of professional soldiers and soldiers is to be increased from 170,000 to at least 177,000 between 2016 and 2021; a total of around 14,300 additional posts are to be created by 2023. The first goal was to achieve a total of 170,000 professional and temporary soldiers as part of the trend reversal at the end of 2016, but this did not succeed with 168,342 professional and temporary soldiers. In November 2019, however, around 175,000 professional and temporary soldiers were already serving in the Bundeswehr. Including those doing voluntary military service, the armed forces currently have more than 183,000 members. According to the Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr, the long-term goal is to increase the Bundeswehr further to 203,000 soldiers in 2025.


Around 90,000 reservists are planned as:

  • Troop reserve: It comprises individual service posts and supplementary troop units that are activated when necessary. There is a need for reservists with special civilian qualifications, which the armed forces structurally do not have in sufficient numbers. They are required for the operational readiness of supplementary troops and agencies in peace and for the preparation of the defense readiness . This also includes the so-called "mirrored posts" so that they can be filled when the active soldier is absent.
  • Territorial reserve: It consists of the liaison commands to the counties and districts in Germany, the bases for civil-military cooperation in Germany (ZMZ-I) and the new regional security and support forces . A total of 30 companies of these forces are subordinate to all state commandos of the individual federal states .
  • General reserve: It includes all other reservists and is available for a possible, long-term expansion of the Bundeswehr.

Reservists - especially those with special civilian knowledge - are also deployed on missions abroad. This applies, for example, to specialists such as gynecologists or paediatricians who are not on active service in the Bundeswehr, but whose knowledge is particularly needed for humanitarian missions.


In 2018, the Ministry of Defense, the German Federal Armed Forces Association and the Association of Reservists of the German Federal Armed Forces agreed on a broad concept of veterans . According to this, every soldier who does active service in the Bundeswehr or who has honorably resigned (without losing his rank) is a veteran. Since then there have been more than ten million veterans in Germany. The Bund Deutscher EinsatzVeteranen had demanded that veterans should only be soldiers who actually took part in Bundeswehr missions abroad . The veteran's badge was awarded for the first time on June 15, 2019 . A veterans day is also required.

Rank structure


Distribution of female soldiers by organizational area (%), as of April 2021

In the Bundeswehr, 23,279 women serve as soldiers in the Bundeswehr, 8,126 in the medical service, 3,059 in the armed forces base, 4,485 in the army, 2,444 in the air force, 1,703 in the navy, 1,399 in the CIR and 2,063 in the ministry and other areas. The proportion of women among all soldiers is 12.7%. In the next few years, according to the Bundeswehr plans, the Bundeswehr expects 15% women in the troop service and 50% in the medical service, which has already been achieved in the recruitment cohorts.

The proportions of women in the armed forces / organizational areas are as follows (April 2021) :

  • Army: 7.1%
  • Air Force: 8.9%
  • Navy: 10.4%
  • Force base: 11.1%
  • Central medical service: 41.0%
  • Cyber ​​and information space: 9.8%

The opening of the Bundeswehr to women for voluntary service as professional or temporary soldiers in all areas of the armed forces took place in 2001 after the so-called Kreil decision of the European Court of Justice . The Bundeswehr was opened to women as early as 1975, but initially limited to medical and military music services . Since then, women have been able to work in the medical service as licensed doctors, dentists, veterinarians or pharmacists. The first medical officer candidates came in 1989, the career groups for NCOs and men in the medical and military music service were opened to women in 1991. A few years ago, the first female pilots piloting Transall transport aircraft and the first female fighter pilot completed their training the Bundeswehr. Soldiers take part in all Bundeswehr missions abroad in a wide variety of areas.

The same minimum physical performance requirements apply to women soldiers as to men in the basic fitness test , which must be completed when hiring and then annually. However, you will receive a gender bonus for the sprint test and 1,000 m run of 15% and for the Klimmhang 40% of the performance. If the performance falls short of the minimum, the test will be rated as failed.


Logos of the staff element Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion of the Bundeswehr

Homosexual soldiers are legally equal in the Bundeswehr. The Soldiers' Equal Treatment Act ( SoldGG ) aims to prevent or eliminate discrimination, among other things on grounds of sexual identity, for service as a soldier.


On the basis of the Transsexual Act of September 10, 1980, changing sex in the Bundeswehr is possible and practice. One case that received a lot of media attention is that of Lieutenant Colonel (Air Force) Anastasia Biefang .

People with a migration background

There is different information about the exact number of soldiers with a migrant family history. These are between 13% and 26%. The majority of soldiers with a migration background come from Russian-German families.

Diversity Charter

In February 2012 the Bundeswehr signed the Diversity Charter . In April 2015, the staff element “Equal Opportunities” was set up in the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) and, with effect from May 1, 2016, expanded to include “Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion”.


After the suspension of general conscription in 2011, the Bundeswehr is a volunteer army and also recruits only 17-year-old applicants as volunteer soldiers with the consent of the legal representatives. In 2019 there were 1,706 soldiers who were not of legal age when they took up their duties.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
689 1,202 1,152 1,463 1,515 1,907 2.126 1,679 1,706 1,148


Y magazine logo

The Bundeswehr has its own television and radio station. The Center for Operative Communication (ZOpKomBw) in Mayen operates both the TV station Bundeswehr TV and the radio station Radio Andernach . Both channels are aimed exclusively at soldiers and civilian employees of the Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr also maintains a YouTube channel on which insights into the work of the Bundeswehr as well as equipment and operations are regularly uploaded.

In addition, various print media appear in the Bundeswehr, including the official "aktuell" published by the Federal Ministry of Defense as a weekly newspaper for the Bundeswehr and the magazine "Y" . There are also the magazines "if - magazine for inner leadership" and "military history - magazine for historical education". The Bundeswehr also has its own Facebook presence:

Independent of the Federal Ministry of Defense, the German Federal Armed Forces Association e. V., chaired by Lieutenant Colonel André Wüstner, also published its own magazine, “Die Bundeswehr”.

Involvement in the state

When the Bundeswehr was founded, care was taken to ensure that the new armed forces could neither achieve a socially and politically dominant position like in the Empire , nor could the Reichswehr, which had its own jurisdiction and which was directly subordinate to the Reich President , form a state within a state Number of instruments created for political and social control of the armed forces. Special emphasis was placed on the "inner structure", which should be based on the new principles of " inner guidance ". The legal status of soldiers has also been redefined in accordance with the values ​​of the democratic constitutional state.

Parliamentary control

The Bundeswehr is subject to control by the German Parliament.

The Federal Minister of Defense , a civilian member of the German Bundestag supported the Federal Government has to Art. 65a para. 1 GG , the command authority over the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is at the head of the ministry and, in accordance with the departmental principle ( Art. 65, sentence 2 of the Basic Law ) , manages his business area independently and on his own responsibility and thus has the authority to issue instructions to all soldiers and civilians in the Bundeswehr. This ensures the "primacy of politics", that is, the primacy of politics over the military.

According to Article 80a, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law and Article 115a, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law of the Basic Law, parliamentary bodies decide on the occurrence of a state of tension and a state of defense.

The Bundeswehr is part of the executive branch . The Bundestag has particularly significant rights to control this armed institution comprehensively. Parliament's reservation applies ; The Federal Government must obtain the approval of the Bundestag for the deployment of armed forces, and this must be done before they are deployed, unless imminent danger requires immediate action . The Bundestag has regulated its participation in the issue of the deployment of the Bundeswehr in the Parliamentary Participation Act. The Bundeswehr is thus considered a parliamentary army . Parliament has control instruments with far more extensive rights vis-à-vis the Bundeswehr than are available for other areas of the executive such as the federal police , the financial administration or the embassies. These are the special rights of the Defense Committee as a committee of inquiry , the Defense Commissioner of the German Bundestag , the special regulations in budget law and the unrestricted access rights of the Member of the Bundestag to the properties.

The Defense Committee

While only the Bundestag can set up a committee of inquiry in all other matters ( Art. 44 GG), the Defense Committee can declare itself to be a committee of inquiry ( Art. 45a GG). This allows the committee to review any internal armed forces issue by a committee of inquiry, similar to a public prosecutor's investigation. Since the Bundestag plenum does not have to be involved, the U Committee can more easily control the Bundeswehr without endangering the necessary secrecy.

Defense Commissioner of the German Bundestag

The office of the Defense Commissioner of the German Bundestag in Berlin-Mitte.

Art. 45b GG stipulates thata defense commissioner of the German Bundestag is appointedto protect fundamental rights and as an auxiliary body of the Bundestag when exercising parliamentary control. The Armed Forces Commissioner is therefore an organ of the Bundestag, not the Bundeswehr or the Federal Government. He investigates possible violations of the basic rights of soldiers and violations of the principles of Innereführung and reports to the Bundestag. He is also the petition authority for all soldiers who are allowed to contact him directly without having to comply with official channels, even while protecting their identity.

Special regulations in budget law

Article 87a, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law provides: “The Federation sets up armed forces for defense. Their numerical strength and the main features of their organization must result from the budget. ”The total strength and organization of the armed forces must therefore be determined every year by the Bundestag ( legislature ) in the budget law . H. be approved. This serves to improve the transparency of changes in the structure of the armed forces. There is no such regulation for any other area of ​​the executive branch .

All procurement orders from the Ministry of Defense with a value of more than EUR 25 million must be approved separately by the Budget Committee before the contract is concluded, in addition to the budget estimate and approval and advice in the Defense Committee . This so-called “25 million euro bill”, formerly the “50 million DM bill”, was introduced by the Budget Committee in 1981 by means of a decision of principle. Apart from the changeover to the euro, the amount has not been adjusted since then. The process often leads to delays in procurements.

Inner guidance

Inner leadership is called the complex leadership concept of the Bundeswehr, which is based on the model of the citizen in uniform . This means that the soldier's basic rights may only be restricted to the extent required by the military mission. So z. B. the basic right to freedom of expression is only partially restricted by the principle of command and obedience ( see: Superiors Ordinance ). In particular, the German soldiers, unlike the soldiers have Reichswehr , the army and soldiers of many other countries, the active and passive voting rights , the right to party membership and the right to organize. In this way, they can participate politically in all areas of society and at all levels, including in state parliaments and in the Bundestag.

The Inner Leadership is supposed to ensure the integration of the Bundeswehr into society. It was developed, among others, by the later General Graf Baudissin and marks a significant difference to all earlier German armies. The Inner Leadership Center is responsible for teaching, external communication and further development .

Legal status of soldiers

As citizens in uniform , soldiers basically enjoy the same rights as other citizens. Article 17a (1) of the Basic Law regulates the extent to which soldiers have to accept restrictions on their basic rights . The official duties of German citizens are  laid down in Article 12a of the Basic Law, which forms the legal basis for conscription . You are in a military service under public law , which is aimed at ensuring constant readiness for defense against attacks from outside. The soldiers' official duties result from the Soldiers Act , and the right to practice religion is guaranteed.

The Military Complaint Regulations allow every soldier to complain on official, disciplinary and administrative issues through official channels , without incurring any disadvantages. The complaint procedure opens up legal recourse for the soldier .

The punishment of service offenses is regulated in the military disciplinary code. It determines the measures that disciplinary superiors and troop service courts may impose against soldiers who have violated their duties under the Soldiers Act. From a legal point of view, these measures are not penalties , but legal sanctions that are not registered as a criminal record . The most difficult measure that can only be imposed by a troop service court is removal from employment. The troop service courts consist of civil professional judges , who, however, belong to the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense, and military assessors . The second and final instance of military disciplinary jurisdiction is the 2nd Military Service Senate of the Federal Administrative Court .

The Military Penal Act defines the offenses that are punishable as military offenses. Military offenses that are to be submitted to the public prosecutor are regulated by decree . These include desertion and disobedience , among other things . In principle, the law only applies to soldiers in the Bundeswehr and is applied through the ordinary courts .

Military tribunals for the armed forces may according to Art. 96 para. 2 GG built are. You can only exercise criminal jurisdiction in a case of defense and against members of the armed forces who are posted abroad or embarked on board of warships . The details are governed by a federal law. These courts belong to the remit of the Federal Minister of Justice . Your full-time judges must be qualified to serve as judges . So far, military criminal courts have not been set up and a more detailed federal law has not been passed.

Since January 1, 2016, the EU Working Time Directive in conjunction with the Soldiers' Working Time Ordinance ( SAZV ) has also applied to the Bundeswehr and has been implemented with an amendment to the Soldiers Act. According to this, regular weekly working hours of 41 hours without breaks apply to the basic operations of the Bundeswehr . For day trips by sea-going units of the Navy, long-haul flights by aircraft crews, security, special and security services and parts of the general basic training, however, deviations for rest breaks, weekly rest periods and night work are possible.

Military chaplaincy

The military chaplaincy, which is independent of instructions, is responsible for the active soldiers and their family members. It offers them basic accessibility and also has access to all members of the Bundeswehr. Similar to the Armed Forces Commissioner, she receives among other things. so knowledge of the state and development of the Bundeswehr. Legally, it is based on the 1933 Reich Concordat.

Survivor's pension

In recent years, the regulations to be applied in the event of death or service injuries to members of the armed forces in action have been changed significantly to the benefit of those affected and their families. The surviving dependents of a temporary soldier who has died in an accident are entitled to transitional allowances , death grants , benefits from the injured person's pension , compensation payments, compensation of 60,000 euros and a survivor's pension from the statutory pension insurance . All accidents during deployment count, as well as illnesses that can be traced back to the special conditions in the country of deployment.

The financial support for the widow or widower of a professional soldier who died in an accident is 60% ( orphans 30%) of the increased accident pension. This is based on a salary group that is two levels higher than that of the deceased, and a flat-rate pension rate of 80% of the pensionable salary.


The law regulating further use after an accident ( Einsatz-Weiterverwendungsgesetz , EinsatzWVG) guarantees the right to continued employment of soldiers and civilians who have been seriously wounded during an international deployment of the Bundeswehr.

If a soldier is released temporarily incapacitated, his financial security is made up of the injured person and period of service, a compensation payment and a pension from the German Pension Insurance . In addition, there is compensation of 80,000 euros. In the event of incapacity for work due to an accident, professional soldiers receive an increased accident pension in addition to the one-off compensation. This amounts to 80% of the respective pensionable salary from the next but one salary group or a statutory minimum salary group.

Radiation victims from radar systems

Since around the year 2000, the Bundeswehr has been confronted with several thousand applications from former soldiers and civilian employees who have suffered damage to health from military radar systems. They were exposed to X-rays from radar equipment from the 1950s to the 1980s, and many of them developed cancer as a result . In 2003, a commission of experts ( Radar Commission ) made recommendations for compensation, which also affects former NVA soldiers. Many of those affected complain that the Bundeswehr is using delaying tactics.


The conscript Uwe Mundlos received no entry in his personnel file in 1994/95 despite the intervention of the Military Shield Service (MAD) and evidently right-wing extremist sentiments and was promoted. He received a decent certificate on his dismissal. He was right-wing terrorist and one of the founders of the legal terrorist organization " National Socialist Underground " (NSU).

According to a cabinet decision from August 2016, applicants for service in the German Armed Forces are to be checked by the MAD for their risk of extremism from July 2017 before they are hired. From 2007 to April 2016, the Bundeswehr classified 22 active soldiers as " Islamists "; 17 were fired; the remaining five had already left the service; According to the Federal Ministry of Defense, 18 soldiers were dismissed between 2012 and 2016 for right-wing extremist behavior. At the time the law was changed, the MAD was pursuing over 300 suspected cases, according to the BMVg: 268 suspected right-wing extremists , 64 possible Islamists and six suspected left-wing extremists .

In spring 2017, according to the federal government, 275 suspected right-wing extremist offenses were examined in the armed forces.

After the discovery of a pistol hidden in a toilet at Vienna Airport , the German first lieutenant Franco A. was temporarily arrested by the Austrian authorities on February 3, 2017. This subsequently triggered the terrorist investigations against Bundeswehr soldiers from 2017 . Franco A had in 2014 for a training NCO in the army one - as of völkischem influenced ideas and " racist " judged, as extremist and incompatible from the corresponding French professors with the free democratic basic order classified and French from your local General Antoine Windeck rejected - Master's thesis given the title Political Change and Subversion Strategy ; he graduated with a new job. After checking and comparing the data of the man stationed at the Jägerbataillon 291 of the Franco-German brigade in Illkirch near Strasbourg, it turned out that he had registered as a Syrian refugee under a different identity in Bavaria at the end of 2015 Arrested April 2017 on suspicion of terrorism. Among other things, a list of possible attack victims was found on him, including Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas and the left-wing politician and member of the Bundestag (MdB) Anne Helm . Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen criticized the failure of control and supervisory mechanisms for the “wrongly understood corps spirit ” and further said “The Bundeswehr has a problem with its attitude, and it obviously has weak leadership on various levels.” After finding Wehrmacht devotional items in the Fürstenberg -Baserne in Donaueschingen on May 7, 2017, the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Volker Wieker ordered the corresponding investigation of all Bundeswehr barracks with a report by mid-May.

External markings

Logo of the Bundeswehr
Army flag of the Bundeswehr


The national emblem of the Bundeswehr is the Iron Cross , which is used as a military identification symbol of the Bundeswehr, especially on air and armored wheeled and tracked vehicles. The civil vehicles of the BwFuhrparkService GmbH, however, have the logo of the Bundeswehr in blue / gray and the words "Bundeswehr" on the front doors. After the Bundeswehr initially waived such a label when it was founded, Federal President Heinrich Lübke donated troop flags to all “battalions and corresponding associations” as an “outward sign of the common fulfillment of duties for the people and the state”. They are uniformly designed in black, red and gold , with a fringed border and with the federal eagle in the version of the federal shield reserved for state purposes .

The Bundeswehr hoists the official flag of the federal authorities on its service buildings . The service flag of the naval forces is flown on warships , while the civilian auxiliary ships of the Bundeswehr fly the federal service flag. Supervisors in command functions use certain command signs such as the inspector general's stand, command flags , command stands and pennants . All Bundeswehr vehicles have the letter “Y” on their license plate instead of the abbreviation for the corresponding city.


The highest military ceremony in the Bundeswehr is the Great Zap , which is only held on special occasions. Its current form goes back to the Wars of Liberation 1813–1815 and the military musician Wilhelm Wieprecht . There is also the solemn pledge , which z. B. takes place regularly on the anniversary of the assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 in Berlin.

In contrast to other armed forces, the Bundeswehr does not hold military parades or watch lifts . Honorary posts are only raised in front of the Neue Wache , the central memorial site of the Federal Republic of Germany, on special occasions . Honor formations march past not in the traditional parade step , but in lockstep .


There are a large number of different uniforms for soldiers in the Bundeswehr. In addition to the service suits of the armed forces, there are various types of work and combat suits and special clothing for certain climatic conditions, such as protective clothing against the cold. The uniforms of the Bundeswehr are subject to approval by the Federal President ( Section 4 (3 ) of the Soldiers Act ). The individual provisions are set out in General Regulation A-2630/1. The ZDv 37/10 “Dress code for soldiers in the Bundeswehr” is no longer in force.

The uniform of the Bundeswehr has some special features. The berets and shoulder pieces do not correspond to the German military tradition , but were adopted by the British or the planned EVG army. Instead of the saber customary in other armed forces , officers only wear the pistol as a side weapon .


Due to the different requirements in different missions, the previous categorization of the armed forces into intervention, stabilization and support forces and due to the rapid technical progress, the equipment is less homogeneous today than in the past. The switch from purely national defense to missions abroad has sparked a debate about the procurement policy of the Federal Ministry of Defense, as it has also  arisen in other Western countries - above all in the United States . Above all, a budget that is too low and the purchase of equipment that is only used in symmetrical disputes are criticized by the journalists.

Ongoing procurements

The most important equipment programs of the Bundeswehr, some of which will run until 2030, include the procurement of:

Arms projects and planned procurements

For the armaments projects mentioned below, there are either already specific plans or at least notifications of requirements, but they have not yet been approved by the budget committee of the Bundestag or the Ministry of Defense; some of them are only project studies. The majority of the systems listed here - if actually procured - should be in use until well into the second half of the 21st century:

Equipment according to the armed forces

At the end of 2017, the Bundeswehr had the following main weapon systems:

Leopard 2 A7

Force Base


see also equipment of the army

Eurofighter Typhoon

air force

see also Air Force equipment (as of December 2019)


Frigate Hessen (F 221)

see also equipment of the navy

See also

Equipment problems

The Bundeswehr is repeatedly in the media because of material problems, some of which are not insignificant. Examples from the 1960s are the HS-30 scandal about the procurement of a defective armored personnel carrier with bribe payments and the Starfighter affair about the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, which led to long-term problems with numerous dead pilots.

After the long-term shrinking and restructuring of the Bundeswehr following the end of the Cold War and reunification with simultaneous stress from foreign missions to be completed, the Ministry of Defense under Ursula von der Leyen prepared an annual report on the material situation of the Bundeswehr for the first time in 2014 , which was initially classified as " classified information - only for official use (VS-NfD) "was only available to members of the Bundestag, but was also made available to the public for 2016 and 2017. The reports revealed the low level of operational readiness of both old and newly procured weapons systems, which parliamentarians saw as alarming and which was often scandalized in the media. The report for 2018 was classified as "VS Secret", which again led to criticism. According to the Bundeswehr, the operational readiness of the almost 10,000 individual systems averaged around 70 percent in 2018. The operational readiness was extremely different, so in the meantime no German submarine was operational, only 105 of 244 Leopard 2 battle tanks and 34 of 128 Eurofighters.

Nuclear weapons

Today there are an estimated 20 US nuclear weapons in Germany . They are stored under American guard on the inside and under German guard on the outside in bunkers of a special ammunition dump at the Luftwaffe air base in Büchel in Rhineland-Palatinate . This guard and other regulations ensure that the weapons remain in US sovereignty until they are used. At the time of the Cold War, there were numerous corresponding special ammunition depots in Bundeswehr properties. The approximately 130 nuclear weapons at the US Air Force Base Ramstein were withdrawn in 2005, according to experts. Today, the Air Force only trains in Büchel as part of nuclear participation in the use of nuclear weapons by Tornado- type fighter-bombers , although training is only carried out with dummies. The nuclear weapons are subordinate to the American armed forces and must first be released by the President of the United States in the event of war . Germany has no nuclear power of disposal.


As part of the Bundeswehr reform and transformation, various attempts have been made to have equipment procured and maintained by private companies. This also includes most of the Bundeswehr's fleet. Vehicle models for everyday use for troops and administration, largely comparable to civilian vehicles, have been managed by BwFuhrparkService GmbH since 2002 .

Furthermore, the troops are supplied with uniform parts and a large part of their personal equipment by the military service provider LHBw Bekleidungsgesellschaft mbH , which, however, is solely owned by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The same applies to the properties of the Bundeswehr. These were handed over to the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (BImA) and will be rented back as required. In the course of the reduction to 392 locations, numerous properties were cleared for another use ( conversion ) and marketed by BImA.

On December 28, 2006, the German Armed Forces founded the joint venture BWI Informationstechnik GmbH together with Siemens Business Services GmbH & Co. OHG and IBM Deutschland GmbH . Together with the companies BWI Systeme GmbH and BWI Services GmbH, it forms the BWI service network for the implementation of Herkules , the largest public-private partnership in Europe. The aim of this project is to renew the information and communication technology of the Bundeswehr in close cooperation with industry. Among other things, 140,000 computer workstations, 300,000 telephones and the data centers are affected. The articles of association were limited to ten years. BWI has been a wholly-owned company of the Federal Republic of Germany since December 28, 2016.

With regard to developments in these areas, the Federal Audit Office has repeatedly pointed out undesirable developments in its reports and given its assessments and recommendations.

Career groups

The ranks in the Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr offers applicants employment in different career groups and careers depending on their level of education, previous professional training and individual interests . A change is basically possible. Newly recruited soldiers are initially candidates , unless they belong to the career group of the teams or, due to relevant previous knowledge, they are recruited with a higher rank .

In principle, all soldiers first go through a three-month basic training course , the content of which is largely harmonized between the armed forces . In the medical service, basic military training comprises two months, followed by four weeks of medical-specific training. Reservists and personnel in the Bundeswehr administration who are deployed to military posts may under certain circumstances undergo shortened military training.

Soldiers of all careers are mostly reservists after their service time . You can actively serve as part of services in the reserve , including on missions abroad.

Around 85 percent of the temporary soldiers do not change to the employment relationship as professional soldiers, but return to civilian employment after the end of their service.


After their basic training, soldiers in the crew's career group usually go through special basic training (SGA) / post training (DPA), which lasts one to six months and may include various courses in order to be able to work effectively in the home unit . The type and scope of the SGA as well as the additional courses are strongly based on the needs of the core unit, the requirements of the respective service post and the period of engagement of the soldier.

In the case of soldiers in the career group of the teams, one can distinguish between

  • Voluntary military service (FWD): Period of service between 7 and 23 months of service. Graduations in between take place on a monthly basis.
  • Temporary soldiers (SaZ): Since a new regulation in 2011, the period of service ends between 2 and 15 years, depending on the commitment period, whereby the commitment periods are flexible in this range (in exceptional cases in monthly steps, e.g. 8 years and 6 months).
  • Reservists


NCOs of the general specialist service

NCOs of the general technical service are employed as specialists and have at least a secondary school certificate and, if possible, a corresponding professional qualification. If this is not the case, they may take part in civil vocational training and further education (ZAW).

Sergeant of the general technical service

In the career of sergeants in general technical service, the soldier, as a specialist, assumes responsibility for a specialist area, for example in the technical area. The activities correspond to the civil master . This career path is intended for soldiers who are primarily interested in technical, administrative or operational activities. The applicant requires a secondary school leaving certificate or a secondary school leaving certificate with a vocational training that can be used.

Sergeant of the troop service

For this career, at least a secondary school diploma or a secondary school diploma with completed vocational training is required. The training of sergeant candidates usually lasts three years and differs considerably between the armed forces.


Troop service officers and medical officers

Visor caps for army officers

Officers form the military command corps of the Bundeswehr. After 12 to 15 months of basic and leadership training, officer candidates usually begin a four-year course at one of the Bundeswehr universities with the aim of obtaining a master’s degree. After graduation, military training is continued at the officers and troop schools.

The doctors (with various approvals) and pharmacists in the Bundeswehr are officers. These medical officers were often hired as medical officer trainees .

Officers on duty ratio soldier on time can apply for transfer to the appointment of a professional soldier or are proposed by appropriate manager for it.

Applicants who have completed their studies can be hired with a higher rank if they are suitable and if there is a need.

At the end of their active service, officers can serve as “ reserve officers ” in the context of reserve services, including on missions abroad.

For assignments with a higher level of responsibility or special areas of responsibility, officers are usually prepared for appropriate courses. Particularly suitable officers are given the opportunity to take part in the general staff / admiralty staff course at the command academy of the Bundeswehr or similar institutions in other countries.

Officers of the military technical service

Non-commissioned officer ranks who have distinguished themselves through special performance can switch to the career of officers in the military-technical service . If they have been selected, they attend special courses at technical and officer schools . The highest rank of this career is the staff captain or staff captain lieutenant in the salary group A 13. At the age of 40 and in the rank staff captain, captain or first lieutenant, the application for a change in the career officer of the troop service can be made.

Military music

Military music also has a long tradition in Germany. The Bundeswehr currently has 15 music corps.

  • Training music corps of the Bundeswehr
  • Big Band of the Bundeswehr
  • Mountain Music Corps of the Bundeswehr
  • Army Music Corps Hanover
  • Army Music Corps Kassel
  • Army Music Corps Koblenz
  • Army Music Corps Neubrandenburg
  • Army Music Corps Ulm
  • Army Music Corps Veitshöchheim
  • Air Force Music Corps Erfurt
  • Air Force Music Corps Münster
  • Marinemusikkorps Kiel
  • Naval Music Corps Wilhelmshaven
  • Music Corps of the German Armed Forces
  • Staff music corps of the Bundeswehr

Vocational Promotion Service

Logo of the career advancement service

The educational and professional advancement of soldiers is determined by the second part of the Soldiers Supply Act . According to these regulations, the Bundeswehr enables soldiers (both temporary and voluntary military service and in certain cases professional soldiers) to gain higher qualifications for the civilian labor market or to refresh their existing knowledge during, at the end and after the end of their service life. The Vocational Promotion Service (BFD) financially supports education and training when visiting external measures and, with its cooperation partners, also conducts its own courses (internal measures) free of charge for soldiers. The duration of the BFD entitlement and the associated financial entitlement of a soldier essentially depends on the duration of the commitment in the Bundeswehr.

As part of school and professional support, it is possible, for example, to catch up on the Abitur, to reorientate yourself professionally or to have your studies financed. The Vocational Promotion Service also supports soldiers in their search for a suitable employer. Under certain circumstances, he will also provide financial support, such as the induction grant.

In 2018, the BFD spent around EUR 108.2 million on vocational support.

public perception

The Bundeswehr has been closely monitored by a critical public since it was founded. It was about individual misconduct on the one hand, and the Bundeswehr as a whole on the other. Wrong developments were often discussed by politics and the press with a great response from the population. The political debate in the early years revolved around rearmament itself, the non-military development of the Bundeswehr administration ( Ernst Wirmer's two-pillar concept, which was reflected in the Basic Law) and - from 1990 onwards - above all foreign deployments.

The ministers Franz Josef Strauss , Georg Leber , Gerhard Stoltenberg , Rudolf Scharping and Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg each lost their office through affairs; and Manfred Wörner was about to resign. The ministers Theodor Blank and Rupert Scholz only held office for a short time. Franz Josef Jung resigned in the following office as Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs. That is why the office of the Federal Minister of Defense is considered an “ejection seat for politicians”.

In the 1950s to 1970s there was a broad discussion about the relationship between the Bundeswehr and society. Aspects of the discussion were the origins of many superiors from the Wehrmacht, the use of internal leadership and the relationship between the Bundeswehr and the unions. In connection with the trade union decree, for example, the then general inspector , General Heinz Trettner , asked for his dismissal in 1966.

According to a study from 2013, 77% of the population have a positive attitude towards the Bundeswehr, whereas 20% would have a negative attitude towards it. Overall, the Bundeswehr is most often perceived through the media, with the individual assessment being partly positive and partly negative. When it comes to perception at events and in public spaces, the positive portion predominates.


Bundeswehr advertising on a Dresden tram

Since the suspension of compulsory military service in 2011, the Bundeswehr has been recruiting more and more young people. One example is the YouTube series The Recruits from 2016, which is intended to appeal to the 17 to 25 age group. The series has been criticized from various quarters. The production and advertising costs of 7.9 million euros were viewed by Tobias Lindner , the defense policy spokesman for Alliance 90 / The Greens , as disproportionately high. He also called for a more differentiated representation of the soldier's profession.

In October 2017, the second Youtube series started under the name Bundeswehr Exclusive , which is intended to illustrate the everyday life of soldiers in Camp Castor in Gao , Mali .

Protests at the opening of the Bundeswehr showroom

Another concept is the showroom of the Bundeswehr career center in Berlin-Mitte. In the shop, there is advertising for voluntary military service. When it opened in 2014, there were protests against this type of recruiting from military opponents.

The presence of the Bundeswehr in schools and day-care centers is criticized by the Die Linke party and the Education and Science Union . These are advertising measures that the Bundeswehr is supposed to present as a “normal” employer.

Name of barracks, ships and other facilities

The naming of barracks and streets within barracks, units and ships after historically burdened military personnel repeatedly led to discussions in the public and among the troops. At the initiative of various citizens and politicians, a number of renaming took place, such as in the case of the former Generaloberst Dietl barracks (1995) or the former Fighter Wing 74 Werner Mölders (2005). In order to justify renaming, reference was made to the misconduct of the previous namesake and the commitment to values ​​of the new namesake.

Extremism, especially right-wing extremism and the Nazi past

After reports of "special incidents" with a right-wing extremist background within the Bundeswehr in 1998, criticism was expressed that the Federal Ministry of Defense had always refused to officially open the discussion except for the general formula that the Wehrmacht as an institution for the Bundeswehr was not traditional to put responsibility and guilt of the armed forces and to formulate a demarcation of the armed forces from the armed forces and their democratic bases. As a result, the legends and the arguments of yesterday's history were neglected.

A democratic self-image of the Bundeswehr is also detrimental, so it is criticized that the "Aids for combat service" published by the Army Office oriented the training of combat troops on case studies from the Second World War by including sources from the former press chief in the Nazi foreign ministry Paul Karl Schmidt , specifically from his bestseller “Scorched Earth”, which he wrote under his post-war pseudonym Paul Carell .

Right-wing extremist suspected cases are documented by the Ministry of Defense, provided they are on record. In the course of investigations by the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) into potential extremists in the Bundeswehr in 2016, right-wing extremist incidents became known again. Including showing the Hitler salute , wearing Wehrmacht uniforms and xenophobic agitation in a WhatsApp group. Media reported 12 early dismissals of soldiers in 2015 due to the incidents; Others reported that 19 soldiers had to prematurely retire from the Bundeswehr as a result of such incidents in 2015. A total of 149 new reports of right-wing extremists, racists and anti-Semites were reported in 2015. In March 2016, the Ministry of Defense announced that the MAD was processing a total of 230 right-wing extremist suspected cases within the German military. The numbers were published after a small request by the Bundestag member Ulla Jelpke (Die Linke). According to the MAD, 550 suspected cases were under investigation at the beginning of 2020, including 360 cases from 2019.

According to the MAD's annual report published in June 2020, a total of 14 extremists in the Bundeswehr were identified and released in 2019. Among them were eight right-wing extremists, four Islamists and two so-called Reich citizens . The MAD found “lack of constitutional loyalty” in another 38 members of the Bundeswehr. Among these people were 27 right-wing extremists, four Islamists, three Reich citizens, one left-wing extremist and three people from the field of foreign extremism .

Since 2017, extremists in the special forces command have been identified again and again by the MAD.

See also: Terrorist investigations against Bundeswehr soldiers from 2017 , Hannibal (network) and Nordkreuz

Misconduct by soldiers

Some cases of serious misconduct by individual superiors and soldiers caused a stir in the press. These include the training accident on the Iller on June 3, 1957, the so-called Nagold affair on July 25, 1963, the mistreatment of soldiers in Coesfeld (2004) and controversial statements by a superior about the residents of the Bronx during their basic training (GA) .

In 2006 , soldiers of the German Armed Forces desecrated a human skull and took photos of it during their deployment in Afghanistan.

In September 2009, 142 people were killed, including children , in the air strike near Kunduz on two tank trucks hijacked by the Taliban . Georg Klein , the colonel in command at the time, was accused of having ordered the bombardment without clarifying the situation and thus violating NATO rules of engagement. However, this allegation was neither confirmed by the report of the Defense Committee as the 1st committee of inquiry nor legally.

In February 2010, humiliating initiation rituals were within the Gebirgsjägertruppe public after a former conscript of itself Mountaineer Battalion 233 at the Military Commissioner of the Bundestag had turned. Thus, in the Hochgebirgsjägerzug captured soldiers, among others, in the so-called Fux test obliged , raw pork liver and Rollmöpse with fresh yeast to vomiting to eat.

In November 2010, a candidate officer on the Gorch Fock died of a fall from the rigging after she was allegedly urged by her instructor to climb, despite being too exhausted. However, according to the report by the Bundestag's defense commissioner in 2011, the public prosecutor's office was unable to determine “any individual culpable action directly attributable to the death of the cadet”.

In January 2017 it became known that recruits were systematically sexually abused by the trainers in the Special Operations Training Center in Pfullendorf, Baden-Württemberg. The soldiers had to undress and insert a tamponade into the anus, and they were also filmed. There is also said to have been evidence of misogynistic behavior in the barracks since 2014. However, the Hechingen public prosecutor did not see sufficient initial suspicion for the allegations and closed the proceedings. Another preliminary investigation against seven soldiers from Pfullendorf, who are said to have forced comrades into inappropriate admission rituals, was not yet completed in May 2017.

On February 17, 2017, the Frankfurt / Main public prosecutor's office opened an investigation into the preparation of a state-endangering act of violence against Lieutenant Franco A. At the end of 2015 in Bavaria, he claimed to be a Syrian refugee, was registered as such and was granted asylum by the BAMF, although he spoke no Arabic and only broken French. Until his arrest, he was receiving a good 400 euros in social benefits per month and had a room in a collective accommodation facility. At the same time, he was still in service with the Bundeswehr and is said to have planned an attack.

Dead and fallen

Since the Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, around 3,200 military and civilian members of the Bundeswehr have lost their lives as a result of their official duties.

Most of the time, accidents were the cause of death; Reasons for this were in some cases inadequate material, poor training, violation of safety regulations or inadequate service regulations. This particularly affected the air force being built in the 1950s and 1960s; In this branch alone there were a total of 813 deaths by 1993. The largest single accidents related to the accident involving a C-160 Transall transport aircraft of the Luftwaffe on February 9, 1975 in Crete with 42 dead soldiers, as well as the submarine Hai of the Navy, which sank on the Dogger Bank on September 14, 1966 Soldiers lost their lives. On September 13, 1997 , the Tupolev Tu-154M "Open Skies" collided with a Lockheed C-141 StarLifter of the US Air Force off Namibia . All 24 people on board the Tupolev and all 9 of the starlifters died.

The Bundeswehr Memorial in Berlin

The Bundeswehr Memorial in Berlin today commemorates the dead . After a long discussion, on November 27, 2008 the foundation stone was laid for the Bundeswehr Memorial on the grounds of the Ministry of Defense in Berlin. The memorial was erected in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock in Berlin based on a design by the Munich architect Andreas Meck . The inauguration took place on September 9, 2009.

The memorial of the German Army was created in 1972 at the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz for the dead of the Army . It commemorates the soldiers who fell in the two world wars and the army soldiers who died in action and in peacekeeping.

The Luftwaffe and Aviation Memorial is located near the former Fürstenfeldbruck air base and was inaugurated on November 18, 1962.

For the dead of the naval armed forces, there is the Laboe naval memorial as a central memorial. In Laboe there are memorial books with the names of the navy dead.

One difficulty is to find an appropriate form of commemoration in what is known as a post - heroic society for soldiers who perished during their service.


In addition, over 3,500 soldiers committed suicide while on duty. They were not mentioned in the memorial of the Bundeswehr, which incidentally also does not mention many other possible names due to an incomplete database. For example, temporary soldiers who only took their lives after the end of their service, but because of their experiences in the service, do not appear in the statistics of the ministry.

Expansion into cyberspace

Cyber ​​command

Since 2017, the Bundeswehr has had its own organizational area for cyber and IT, with over 13,000 soldiers, among others. To ward off attacks from the Internet. On May 5, 2017, the negative Big Brother Award in the authorities category was given to the German Armed Forces and the Federal Minister of Defense as their Commander-in-Chief “for the massive digital armament of the German Armed Forces with the new 'Cyber ​​and Information Room Command' (KdoCIR) ". In his laudation, Rolf Gössner ( International League for Human Rights ) explained the jury's criticism. A variant of the laudation then appeared in the magazine Ossietzky . Those present at the award ceremony also chose this award as the audience award.

Cyber ​​Innovation Hub

The Cyber ​​Innovation Hub , founded in mid-2017, has nothing to do with the cyber army. Under the head of Marcel Yon , 47 soldiers, mainly reservists and company founders, some of whom have no military background, are working on adapting "the speed of change in the Bundeswehr [...] to the speed of change in digital technology". The proportion of women among employees is 40 percent (as of March 2018), which is very high for the military and the internet economy. "The hub identifies innovative technologies in the international startup scene and develops and validates them for the Bundeswehr."

Advocacy groups

Members of the Bundeswehr are essentially organized in the following associations:

Association Members
German Armed Forces Association e. V. - DBwV approx. 200,000
Association of soldiers of the Bundeswehr - VSB unknown
ver.di - united service union (ver.di Bundeswehr) unknown
Association of Federal Armed Forces Workers - VAB approx. 8,000
Association of civil servants and employees of the Bundeswehr - VBB approx. 22,000

See also


  • Donald Abenheim: Bundeswehr and tradition: the search for the valid legacy of the German soldier. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-486-55371-2 .
  • Detlef Bald: The Bundeswehr. A critical story 1955–2005. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 3-406-52792-2 .
  • Detlev Bald: From the Imperial Army to the Federal Armed Forces. Social structure of the military: policy of recruiting officers and NCOs. European university publications. Row XXXI. Political science. Vol. 28 Frankfurt am Main / Bern 1982.
  • Martin Böcker, Larsen Kempf, Felix Springer (eds.): Soldatentum. In search of the identity and vocation of the Bundeswehr today, Olzog, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-7892-8346-8 .
  • Detlef Buch : Bundeswehr 2.0. From conscription to Afghanistan - reduced, ignored, equalized? , Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main [u. a.] 2011, ISBN 978-3-631-61555-3 .
  • Detlef Buch (ed.): The reform of the Bundeswehr. From people for people. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main [a. a.] 2012, ISBN 978-3-631-63197-3 .
  • Rolf Clement and Paul Elmar Jöris : 50 years of the Bundeswehr. 1955-2005. Mittler, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-8132-0839-7 .
  • Angelika Dörfler-Dierken, Gerhard Kümmel (Ed.): Identity, self -image , job description. Implications of the new operational reality for the Bundeswehr. (= Series of publications by the Social Science Institute of the Bundeswehr, Volume 10), VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17518-8 .
  • Decided for peace. 50 years of the Bundeswehr. 1955 to 2005. On behalf of the Military History Research Office, ed. v. Klaus-Jürgen Bremm , Hans-Hubertus Mack and Martin Rink . Rombach Verlag, Freiburg i. Br./ Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-7930-9438-3 .
  • Agilolf Keßelring : The organization Gehlen and the new formation of the military in the Federal Republic , Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86153-967-4
  • Paul Klein, Dieter Walz (Ed.): The Bundeswehr on the threshold of the 21st century . Nomos, Baden-Baden 2000, ISBN 3-7890-7013-0 .
  • Joachim Krause , Jan C. Irlenkaeuser (Ed.): Bundeswehr - the next 50 years. Requirements for German armed forces in the 21st century , Budrich, Opladen 2006, ISBN 3-86649-006-2 .
  • Loretana de Libero : Tradition in times of transformation. On the traditional understanding of the Bundeswehr in the early 21st century , Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 2006, ISBN 978-3-506-76315-0 .
  • The Bundeswehr 1955 to 2005. Flashback-Insights-Perspectives. On behalf of the Military History Research Office, ed. v. Frank Nägler. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-57958-1 .
  • Karl-Volker Neugebauer : Basic Course in German Military History 3. The time after 1945. Armies in Transition , Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58100-3 .
  • Sönke Neitzel : German warriors. From the Empire to the Berlin Republic - a military history , Berlin (Propylaea, 2020), Chapter IV .: Peace Army in the Cold War. The Bundeswehr of the Bonn Republic (1955-1989) , pp. 249-408, Chapter VI .: Between "Peace Dividend " and deployment abroad. The Bundeswehr of the Berlin Republic (1990 to today) , pp. 441–582. ISBN 978-3-549-07647-7
  • Christian Raap: Federal Armed Forces Deployment and Basic Law. In: Deutsche Verwaltungspraxis [DVP] 2002, pp. 282 ff. ISSN  0945-1196
  • Der Reibert - The manual for German soldiers , Mittler, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-8132-0755-2 .
  • Hans-Peter Stein: Symbols and ceremonial in the German armed forces - from the 18th to the 20th century. Mittler Verlag, Bonn 1984, ISBN 978-3-8132-0161-1 .


  • Martin Hochhuth : Federal military intervention in a domestic act of terrorism. In: New magazine for military law. (NZWehrr) 2002, pp. 154 ff., ISSN  0028-3525
  • Dieter Hoffmann: The plight of the Bundeswehr. Marine-Forum 9/2012, p. 41.
  • Franz-Josef Meiers: The transformation of the Bundeswehr. In: Austrian military magazine. Edition 6/2004.
  • Dieter Wiefelspütz: Defense and counter-terrorism by the armed forces. In: New magazine for military law. (NZWehrr) 2007, p. 12 ff., ISSN  0028-3525
  • Reinhard Scholzen : The training in the Bundeswehr. How much hardness is necessary? In: MUT . No. 563 , January 2015, p. 64-79 .

Ministry of Defense documents

  • Defense Policy Guidelines. (PDF; 2.0 MB) Protecting national interests - assuming international responsibility - shaping security together. Federal Ministry of Defense, May 27, 2011.;
  • The realignment of the army. (PDF; 5.9 MB; 75 pages) (No longer available online.) March 2013, archived from the original on September 23, 2015 (brochure on the realignment of the Bundeswehr, 2nd updated edition).;
  • White Paper 2016. (PDF; 4.3 MB) On security policy and the future of the Bundeswehr. July 13, 2016.;

Broadcast reports

Web links

Further content in the
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  1. but not the ministry itself
  2. The compromise formula on July 12, 1955 was to take the working term "armed forces" from the Federal Ministry of Defense until a final legal stipulation was reached.
  3. ^ Quote from the then Federal Defense Minister Peter Struck (2003).
  4. ^ The ratification documents of the other NATO members were deposited on May 6th.
  5. Also colloquially abbreviated as "IBuK". The term “ Commander-in-Chief ” is not used within the Bundeswehr.
  6. The special case of deployment of the Bundeswehr in the interior, as provided for in the Basic Law, is based in particular on the political concept of defensive democracy .
  7. See in particular the actual military dictatorship by the Supreme Army Command at the end of the First World War .
  8. On the implications of the Bundeswehr as a parliamentary army, see The parliamentary control of the executive , p. 13 f. (PDF; 381 kB).

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