|Lineup||2nd January 1956|
|Armed forces||armed forces|
( naval forces )
|Strength||16,620 (June 2020) of
which women: 1,689
|Insinuation||General Inspector of the Bundeswehr|
|Headquarters naval command||Rostock|
|Navy inspector||Vice Admiral Andreas Krause|
The German Navy is with about 17,000 soldiers , the smallest of the three branches of the armed forces of the Bundeswehr . Its official name is Marine (until 1995 unofficial Federal Navy ), but the Navy has been using the also unofficial term German Navy since 1995 . It is led by the inspector of the navy .
Former German naval forces
Individual former German states had their own naval forces, mostly small by international standards. Examples were the Prussian , Austrian or Schleswig-Holstein navies . The first steps in building up joint naval forces were the Reichsflotte (from 1848) and the Navy of the North German Confederation (from 1867). After the founding of the empire , the latter became the Imperial Navy in 1872 . After the revolution , in which German sailors were actively involved, the German naval forces were referred to as the Reichsmarine ( provisional Reichsmarine until 1921 ) and from 1935 as the Kriegsmarine in National Socialist Germany . After World War II , the naval forces were almost completely destroyed. The German Democratic Republic began to build up the People's Police See in 1952 , which was transferred to the People's Navy in 1956 (until 1960 referred to as the NVA naval forces ). In the Federal Republic of preliminary planning began about the same time for the Navy of the Armed Forces .
Today's navy was rebuilt after the Second World War as part of the rearmament of Germany as part of the Bundeswehr. It differs from the traditions of former German naval forces. Until 1995, the unofficial designation of the Federal Navy was common for them . Officially, the name was simply marine without any additions. During the East-West conflict , it had the following main tasks, which it had to fulfill together with the NATO allies and above all with the Danish Navy : It was supposed to protect the accesses to the Baltic Sea against the occupation by the Warsaw Pact and thereby those in the Baltic Sea include existing Warsaw Pact naval forces . In the North Sea and the North Atlantic , it was supposed to protect Allied reinforcement transports to Europe.
Reorganization after reunification
In the legal sense, German unification in 1990 was not achieved through the unification of two states, but through the accession of the five new states and the reunified Berlin to the Federal Republic of Germany . Therefore, personnel and, to a lesser extent, material from the disbanded Volksmarine were transferred to the Bundeswehr. Despite the institutional continuity, the leadership of the navy decided in 1995 to no longer use the previous term “ Bundesmarine ”, but to use the term “ navy ” from now on. In contrast to navies in the international area, the term German Navy is also used .
After 1990, the navy had essentially retained its previous structure, but, like the entire Bundeswehr, had been gradually reduced in size. Until the end of 1994, the provisions of the Two-Plus-Four Treaty did not allow armed forces assigned to NATO to be stationed on the territory of the former GDR. Therefore, the parts of the former People's Navy, which were initially to be kept in service, were combined in a separate Rostock naval command , which was initially subordinate to the Bundeswehr Command East in Strausberg .
From 1995 a uniform naval structure could be created and the NATO forces stationed in the accession area could be assigned (for example: 'indicated as available'). The Naval Command East was dissolved, instead some new offices were set up in the accession area (Naval Section Command East, Naval Engineering School), others were relocated there from the west ( Schnellbootflotille , Naval Office ).
It was not until the Bundeswehr reform initiated by Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping in 2000 that the naval organization began to fundamentally change. In the meantime, the step-by-step Bundeswehr reforms that have been common up to now have been replaced by a continuous transformation of the Bundeswehr , in which the Navy is involved.
The number of smaller ships and boats specifically intended for the Baltic Sea warfare before 1990 will be further reduced. For this purpose, a smaller number of larger vehicles of various types are procured. At the same time, the number of marines will be reduced to around 25,000. In relation to the other branches of the armed forces, however, the proportion of marines in the Bundeswehr has grown from around 7.7% before 1990 to around 10% in the future.
In order to be able to better bring the experiences and ideas for operations close to the coast into NATO and to be able to further develop them together, the Center of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters was set up at the Einsatzflotilla 1 in Kiel and officially accredited by NATO in 2009.
At the head of the navy was the inspector of the navy in the Federal Ministry of Defense . As the superior of his armed forces on duty, he was directly subordinate to the Federal Minister of Defense. The inspector was supported by the naval command , a department of the ministry in Bonn. The Marine armed forces consisted of two command areas, the fleet and the naval office.
As before 1990, the Navy remains integrated into the NATO command structure, which in turn has adapted to the changes following the end of the East-West conflict . Ships and boats participate in the permanent NATO task forces, which are also led by German naval officers in alternation with other nations.
Realignment of the Bundeswehr
The realignment of the Bundeswehr , which was initiated in 2010, is leading to fundamental changes in the Navy. This becomes particularly clear in the complete restructuring of the management organization with the elimination of the naval command staff in the Federal Ministry of Defense . On October 1, 2012 , the naval command staff , the fleet command and the naval office were dissolved. At the same time the naval command was reorganized. The official assembly roll call took place on October 9, 2012 in Rostock .
On September 27, 2016, the 5th minesweeping squadron was decommissioned and the support squadron was put into service in Kiel . On November 16, 2016, the last speedboat squadron in Warnemünde was decommissioned.
"The Bundeswehr, as an instrument of a comprehensive security and defense policy, fulfills its mandate:
- 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 framework and
- promotes multinational cooperation and European integration.
Against this background, the Bundeswehr performs the following interrelated tasks:
- National defense as an alliance defense within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance;
- international conflict prevention and crisis management - including the fight against international terrorism;
- Participation in military tasks within the framework of the common security and defense policy of the EU;
- Homeland security contributions, d. H. Defense tasks on German territory as well as administrative assistance in cases of natural disasters and serious accidents, for the protection of critical infrastructure and in the event of an internal emergency;
- Rescue and evacuation as well as hostage rescue abroad;
- Partnership and cooperation as part of a multinational integration and global security cooperation in the understanding of modern defense diplomacy;
- humanitarian aid abroad. "
After 1990, the tasks of the Bundeswehr shifted from national defense in the “Cold War” to international conflict prevention and crisis management operations outside of Germany (“Army in Action”).
The inspector of the Navy determines in his annual instructions how these orders are implemented in the Navy.
According to this, the Navy is to take part in operations abroad with a focus on joint armed forces. In accordance with the “Basis See” concept, it is intended to support other armed forces with its resources from the sea, so that the high seas can be used as a base for military operations. For example, the air defense frigates of the Saxony class can protect land units deployed near the coast against air attacks.
In addition, as part of the task of “protecting Germany and its citizens”, the navy should protect the sea routes against asymmetrical threats and thus contribute to the security of German sea trade .
As a contribution to the task of “homeland security”, the Navy participates in the permanent SAR service in the German coastal area.
Organization and leadership
At the head of the navy is the naval inspector in the naval command . As the superior of his armed forces on duty, he reports to the inspector general of the Bundeswehr. His deputy has the designation of Deputy Inspector of the Navy and Commander of the Fleet and Support Forces .
Subordinate forces of the Navy
The the Marine command subordinate forces are subordinate troops on duty individual department heads of the naval commandos. There are assigned:
- Flotilla 1 (EinsFltl 1) in Kiel
- Flotilla 2 (EinsFltl 2) in Wilhelmshaven
- Naval Aviation Command (MFlgKdo) in Nordholz
- Operations training center for marine damage defense (EAZS) in Neustadt in Holstein
- Naval shipping control center (MSLtSt) in Hamburg
Head of Human Resources, Training, Organization
- Marine School Mürwik (MSM) in Flensburg - Mürwik
- Naval NCO School (MUS) in Plön
- Naval Operations School (MOS) in Bremerhaven
- Marine technology school (MTS) in Parow
Head of Mission Support
- Naval Support Command (MUKdo) in Wilhelmshaven
Head of Marine Medical Department and Admiralty of the Navy
Ships and boats
- 10 frigates
- Braunschweig- Class (130) (5 more ordered, target size ten units)
- 6 submarines
- 12 anti-mine vehicles
23 auxiliary ships
- Sail training ship "Gorch Fock"
- 3 task force provider Berlin class (702)
- 2 fuel transporters Rhön class (704)
- 6 Tender Elbe class (404)
- 2 sea tugs Wangerooge class (722B)
- 1 rescue tug Fehmarn class (720)
- 1 multi-purpose landing craft Barbe class (520)
- 3 Oste- class fleet service boats (423)
- 2 oil collecting vessels "Bottsand" class (738)
- 1 research vessel "Planet" class (751)
Wilhelmshaven ( naval base Heppenser Groden )
- Frigates, supply ships
Eckernförde ( naval base Eckernförde )
- Submarines, fleet service boats, supply ships, command of special forces navy, sea battalion
Kiel ( naval base Kiel )
- Supply ships, anti-mine units, sailing training ship Gorch Fock
Rostock ( naval base Warnemünde )
- Corvettes, supply ships
Nordholz ( Naval Aviation Command )
- Helicopters and propeller planes
- Rhauderfehn marine radio station in Rhauderfehn / Saterland
- Marlow naval radio station in Marlow
- Naval radio station Neuharlingersiel in Neuharlingersiel
- Hürup marine radio station in Hürup
In Berlin , the Navy maintains a launch called Marine 1 for the representation of the Federal Ministry of Defense . The 4th company of the guard battalion at the Federal Ministry of Defense at the Federal Ministry of Defense is provided by the Navy.
Around 16,000 soldiers are active in the navy itself, other navy uniform wearers in the Federal Ministry of Defense and in the other organizational areas of the Bundeswehr , especially in the armed forces base and the central medical service . Some of the soldiers serve permanently on sea-going units. There are professional soldiers , temporary soldiers and volunteers in the navy .
The rank designations in the Navy differ from those of the other branches of the Bundeswehr, but follow the same system. The teams and non-commissioned officers are trained in different roles at schools of the Navy and in some cases in other parts of the Bundeswehr. High-performing NCOs can be trained to become officers of the military technical service and in individual cases to become officers of the troop service . All officers receive training at the Mürwik Naval School . With a few exceptions, the officers of the troop service receive a degree at a university of the Bundeswehr .
The maintenance of tradition and customs of the Navy gives the relatives a special feeling of belonging to their armed forces.
The most important associations of naval personnel and alumni are
As part of the realignment of the Bundeswehr , the Federal Ministry of Defense is planning to reduce the number of active soldiers in the Navy to a maximum of 13,850. Of these, 12,550 are said to be professional / temporary soldiers and between 500 and 1250 volunteer military service (FWD).
The German Navy is currently pursuing the following major armaments projects:
- 18 NTH "Sea Lion" marine transport helicopters (as successor to the 21 Sea King Mk 41 , addition from 2019)
- 4 frigates of class 125 (addition from 2019 to 2020) They will replace the ships of the Bremen class .
- 5 additional Corvette of the class 130 (feed from 2023 to 2025)
- 2 fuel transporters class 707 (replacement Rhön class from 2024)
- 31 multi-role frigate helicopters (MRFH) "Sea Tiger" (as successor to the 22 Sea Lynx MK 88A , to be added from 2025)
- 4 multi-purpose combat ships of class 180 (multi-purpose frigate, delivery from 2027)
- 2 additional submarines whose capabilities are based on class 212A (until 2030)
Navy operations since 1990
As early as the First Gulf War in 1987, the German Navy operated regularly in the Mediterranean to support the allies in this region , which is becoming more important in terms of security policy. Immediately after reunification, an intensive debate began in Germany about the use of the Bundeswehr outside the NATO treaty area (“out-of-area debate”). It was inspired by the deployment of German armed forces during the Gulf conflict that followed the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The Navy was heavily involved in these operations ( see below ).
The legal questions of armed missions abroad were largely clarified by a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on July 12, 1994, thus ending the out-of-area debate. However, there is still no provision for the use of the navy to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking , human trafficking and piracy on the high seas . Due to the domestic legal situation, the German Navy can only participate in such operations in allied states with restrictions.
On the other hand, the Navy was commissioned with armed operations within the meaning of the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court from the start. As part of NATO's permanent task force, the Navy also carries out surveillance and presence tasks in important sea areas that do not fall under the formal concept of armed deployment. In addition, marines are involved in almost all other Bundeswehr missions who serve in the Bundeswehr Central Medical Service and the armed forces base or who are assigned to special tasks by the Navy.
The operations confronted the Navy, like other parts of the Bundeswehr, with new challenges. One of the reasons for this is that the existing ships are designed for the tasks of the Cold War. The new tasks required new equipment (e.g. small-caliber machine weapons on frigates) and new procedures. The hot climate in the Horn of Africa led z. B. to technical problems with the cooling of the living rooms and the ship's diesel. In this respect, the missions are associated with high physical loads for the crews. The new procedures included transporting smaller vehicles, in this case speedboats, not on their own keel, but on board a dock ship to the area of operation in order to protect the material. The operational experience flows into the designs for new ships.
Before the start of the Lebanon mission, the Navy routinely had three frigates, two anti-mine vehicles, a submarine, one or two auxiliary ships and parts of the naval aviators with about 1000 soldiers in missions including participation in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups / NRF. With the deployment of Lebanon, the number of personnel involved has temporarily risen to around 1,700.
In recent years, operational stress and deficiencies in the financial resources have led to limitations in clarity, especially in the area of naval aviation, so that not enough helicopters are available for ongoing missions. The availability of the floating units is also limited by these circumstances.
The Operational and Training Association (EAV) serves as an operational reserve for unforeseen missions, and its primary task is to train officer candidates . The SAB has already been used on several occasions.
Operations in connection with the Gulf War 1990–1991
After the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2, 1990, forces of the German armed forces were transferred to the Mediterranean and Turkey to reinforce the southern flank of NATO . The Navy participated with a mine defense association ( Operation South Flank ), with destroyers , frigates , auxiliary ships and some aircraft. At times there were up to 20 ships and boats in the Mediterranean. After the fighting ended in the spring of 1991, the anti-mine association took part in mine clearance in the Persian Gulf , which is considered to be the Bundeswehr's first out-of-area deployment.
Operations in the Adriatic since 1992
After the outbreak of the first armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia as a result of the declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia on June 25, 1991 and the subsequent 10-day war in Slovenia, NATO began surveillance operations in the Adriatic in 1992 . Ships and aircraft of the German Navy were also involved. The first ship of the German Navy in the Adriatic was the destroyer Bavaria . On the basis of various United Nations resolutions , the surveillance operation became Operation Sharp Guard . The German participation in it was one of the subjects of the aforementioned proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court. Only after its completion in 1994 was the German Navy able to fully participate in the Adriatic operations. The operation served on the one hand to prevent arms deliveries to the entire former Yugoslavia, on the other hand a trade embargo was to be enforced against the rest of Yugoslavia in order to force it to resolve the conflict peacefully in Bosnia and Herzegovina .
On June 30, 1995, the German government decided to take part in Operation Deliberate Force with units from all branches of the armed forces to protect UNPROFOR troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina . In addition to two Bréguet Atlantic reconnaissance aircraft, the Navy should send a mine defense and a speedboat association to the Adriatic. Of these forces, only the two maritime patrols were activated.
Even after the end of Operation SHARP GUARD in 1996, the Navy - mostly as part of NATO forces - remained present in the Adriatic with ships and aircraft. In March 1997, for example, she took part in the German Operation Libelle to evacuate German citizens from Albania . Ship patrols in the Adriatic continued during the Kosovo War, and after the conflict ended in 1999, the German Navy took part in the removal of ammunition sunk in the Adriatic.
In December 1993 the Federal Cabinet decided to end the support mission of the German Army in Somalia , which had been ongoing since July, by the end of March 1994. Because of the rapidly deteriorating security situation, it was decided not to return the army contingent by air transport. By February 1994, the Navy evacuated the approximately 1700 soldiers with frigates and supply ships in several transports from Mogadishu to Mombasa and Djibouti as part of Operation Southern Cross .
Fight against international terrorism since 2001
The Bundeswehr has been deployed in the fight against international terrorism since 2001 . From the beginning of 2002 to summer 2010, a naval contingent monitored the sea area in the Horn of Africa from bases in Djibouti as part of the international Operation Enduring Freedom . In the initial phase, three frigates, five speedboats, several auxiliary ships, maritime patrols and helicopters with around 1,500 soldiers were involved. This was the Navy’s largest mission since 1990. The scope was later reduced considerably. The naval contingent then consisted of a frigate, temporarily a supply ship and a small base in Djibouti, which continues and supports the units of Operation Atalanta .
Lebanon since 2006
After the end of the Lebanon War in 2006, a naval association belonging to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was set up, in which the German Navy has been participating since October 2006. From October 2006 to February 2008 this association was led by a German admiral . The German part initially consisted of two frigates, four speedboats and two auxiliary ships. Since the handover of the command task it has been reduced to a frigate, two boats ( speed boats or minesweepers) and a tender.
Combating piracy since 2008
Since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2002, German warships have been confronted several times with pirate attacks on merchant ships. She was not tasked with fighting piracy, but in many cases the appearance of a warship was enough to cause the pirates to abandon their attack. The threat to shipping from piracy off the Somali coast, which has grown by leaps and bounds since the beginning of 2008, is now to be combated in a targeted manner through various military operations by NATO, the EU and individual states. The German Navy initially provided the Karlsruhe frigate for use in the EU Operation Atalanta . The maximum mandate, including forces deployed to combat piracy within Operation Enduring, is 1,400 soldiers. The mission started on December 19, 2008.
Evacuation operation off Libya in 2011
At the end of February 2011, the Federal Ministry of Defense sent the frigates Brandenburg , Rhineland-Palatinate and the task force supply company Berlin with two SeaKing helicopters off the coast of Libya in order to be ready for the evacuation of foreign citizens who were to be brought to safety because of the uprising there . The ships with around 600 soldiers on board belong to the naval operations and training association and have already been in the Mediterranean region. On March 7, 2011, around 450 refugees were taken on board and transported from Tunisia to Egypt.
Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean from 2014 to 2015
On April 9, 2014, the Bundestag gave the mandate to protect the US special ship Cape Ray in the eastern Mediterranean, on which Syrian chemical weapons were to be destroyed. The frigates Augsburg , Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein were used one after the other for this task . The mission ended at the end of April 2015.
Rescuing refugees and fighting smugglers in the Mediterranean since April 2015
The Navy has been helping to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean since April 2015. Two larger naval units such as frigates and supply ships are used for this purpose. The first two ships were the frigate Hessen and the task force supply Berlin . Since June 2015, the deployed forces have been participating in the fight against human smugglers as part of the European Union Naval Force - Mediterranean .
From February to June 2016, the Navy also participated in the maritime surveillance in the Aegean Sea as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under the leadership of German Admiral Jörg Klein and later on board the task force supplier Bonn . In doing so, it supported the European border agency Frontex in combating human smuggling in this sea area.
Support for the French Navy in the Persian Gulf January to March 2016
As the Bundestag decided on December 4, 2015, the frigate Augsburg will be stationed in the Persian Gulf to protect the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle . This in turn offers a mobile air force base in the fight against the terrorist militia “ Islamic State ”. The mission ended in March 2016.
Operation Sea Guardian
The Operation Sea Guardian is an operation of NATO in the Mediterranean . It was decided at the NATO summit in Warsaw in June 2016 as a follow-up operation to Operation Active Endeavor and began on November 9, 2016. The German Bundestag approved the involvement of the Bundeswehr on September 29, 2016 and extended it several times, most recently on March 22, 2018 until March 31, 2019.
- List of German admirals
- List of associations and offices of the German Navy
- List of Bundeswehr submarines
- Mine diving company
- Combat swimmers
- List of naval forces
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