History of the Bundeswehr

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Logo of the Bundeswehr

After the Second World War , due to the negative experiences with militarism in Germany, there was initially resistance to the establishment of new German armed forces - both on the part of the occupying powers and from the vast majority of the population. In the following years, however, the number of votes calling for the Federal Republic of Germany , founded in 1949, to be armed increased . The Bundeswehr itself was finally born on November 12, 1955, when the first soldiers were presented with their certificates of appointment in the Ermekeil barracks .

Former armed forces in what is now Germany (selection)

For the history of the following former armed forces on the territory of present-day Germany, see the associated main articles:

The first years of the Bundeswehr - years of development

On the military situation in the Federal Republic of Germany in the early 1950s, see the article Himmeroder memorandum .

The "Office Blank"

Employees of the Blank office in front of the Ermekeil barracks . From left to right: Gerhard Loosch , Ernst Wirmer , Theodor Blank , Wolfgang Holtz , Adolf Heusinger .

After the Second World War, the allied occupying powers USA , Great Britain , France and the Soviet Union decided among other things in the Potsdam Agreement to completely demilitarize the former German Reich. The Wehrmacht was officially dissolved by the Allies with Control Council Act No. 34 on August 20, 1946.

As early as March 1949, the President of the Parliamentary Council Konrad Adenauer ( CDU ) described the full accession of a West German state to NATO as an urgent task of the first West German government and, as Federal Chancellor , spoke publicly in an interview on November 30, 1949 about the willingness to take a position a German contingent for a European army and the associated rearmament. In its first foreign policy debate on November 24 and 25, 1949, a majority of the German Bundestag rejected national rearmament. At the beginning of the 1950s, the East-West conflict increasingly became the focus of the German government. On March 16, 1950, the British opposition leader Winston Churchill spoke out in favor of a German defense contribution.

On May 24, 1950, Adenauer appointed former tank general Gerhard Graf von Schwerin as his advisor on technical security issues . He was supposed to make preparations in secret to set up a “mobile federal gendarmerie” as a counterweight to the barracked readiness of the GDR . In particular, the Korean War , which began on June 25, 1950, intensified efforts in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in western Europe and the USA to set up German armed forces to defend against a threat from the east, then known as the "West German defense contribution". Adenauer was of the opinion that a new German army was necessary to protect the West and its democracy and thereby achieve more stability and strength of democracy. In this way, western democracy in the Federal Republic could defend itself against the eastern anti-democratic system of the GDR. The American High Commissioner, John J. McCloy , declared on July 6, 1950 in Frankfurt am Main that the Western powers would regard an attack on West Germany as an attack on themselves.

For Adenauer, the achievement of the extensive sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was still severely restricted by the occupation statute, also played an important role. In the negotiations with the Allies, the principle applied to him was: rearmament against sovereignty.

On July 26, 1950, the majority of the German Bundestag announced its readiness to conclude a European federal pact and to create supranational federal authority.

On August 11, 1950, the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe approved with a majority the proposal of the British opposition leader, Winston Churchill , to create a European army with German contingents.

On August 18, 1950, in an interview with the US newspaper New York Times , Chancellor Adenauer called for the Allied forces in Europe to be strengthened and, as a counterweight to the barracked People's Police in the Soviet zone, their own defense troops in the Federal Republic of Germany.

From October 5th to 9th, 1950 a commission of former high armed forces members met in the Eifel monastery in Himmerod . They wrote a "memorandum on the establishment of a West German contingent as part of an international armed force to defend Western Europe", in which the structures and scope of new West German armed forces were described for the first time, the so-called Himmeroder memorandum . It also contained initial reflections on the internal order of the Bundeswehr, later known as the Inner Leadership . Federal Interior Minister Gustav Heinemann (CDU) resigned on October 9, 1950 in protest against the rearmament policy .

On October 24, 1950, the French Prime Minister René Pleven presented a Pleven Plan named after him for a European army as a prerequisite for Germany's contribution to the defense of Europe.

On October 26, 1950, Adenauer appointed Theodor Blank as the Federal Chancellor's representative for questions related to the increase in Allied troops . The Federal Ministry of Defense , which was housed in the Ermekeil barracks in Bonn , later emerged from this so-called Amt Blank . The work of the Blank Office, which served to prepare for rearmament, actually contradicted the Allied provisions, according to which the states of Germany should remain demilitarized in the long term; however, it was known to the Western Allies and, in view of the looming Cold War, was tolerated and even promoted by them.

Rearmament discussion and Pleven plan

In the German Bundestag on November 8, 1950, the governing parties CDU , CSU , FDP and DP approved the German defense contribution on the basis of the French Pleven Plan . On December 19, 1950, the NATO defense ministers approved the participation of German contingents in a European army. It remained open, however, whether this should take place within the framework of the Pleven Plan or in the form of German divisions in the Atlantic Alliance system.

Important for the development of new defense forces, which were initially trained in the paramilitary organized Federal Border Guard (BGS; today Federal Police ) from March 16, 1951 , was the declaration of honor for the soldiers of the Wehrmacht on January 23, 1951 by the then commander-in-chief of the NATO armed forces, Dwight D. Eisenhower to Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. This made the reintegration of former Wehrmacht cadres and men possible in the first place, since at that time only a few post-war cohorts and almost no officers were available. Therefore, the first soldiers in the Bundeswehr were officers and NCOs who had served in the Wehrmacht. On April 5, 1951, the Federal Chancellor made a declaration of honor for the German soldiers before the German Bundestag.

The BGS, equipped with infantry weapons and armored personnel carriers, is in its former form the forerunner organization of the Bundeswehr and represented the counterpart to the barracked units of the German People's Police of the GDR.

At the Foreign Ministers' Conference from December 27 to 30, 1951, with participation from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany, the Ministers and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was also Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs , decided to approve the adoption of the Pleven Plan and set up a European army by June 30, 1954.

The domestic political resistance to rearmament was enormous. Especially the two major parties SPD and CDU were completely opposing views on the question whether it was morally responsible that the new Federal Republic of Germany after Hitler - dictatorship should have in the previous German Reich of an army. Nevertheless, the debate about arming led to the establishment of peace movements such as the Without Me movement . On February 8, 1952, the German Bundestag basically approves a German defense contribution against the votes of the SPD.

On March 10, 1952, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR , Josef Stalin , offered the Western powers ( France , Great Britain , USA ) in a note negotiations on the reunification and neutralization of Germany . This note and Stalin's replies to the Western powers' responses are known as the Stalin Notes .

On May 26, 1952, the Germany Treaty, Treaty on Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Three Powers, also known as the General Treaty, was concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and the western victorious powers ( France , Great Britain , USA ), but it was not concluded until May 5 1955 entered into force in a slightly modified version at the same time as joining NATO. It regulated the end of the occupation statute in the Federal Republic of Germany and in this context gave it the rights of a sovereign state . From then on, the right of foreign troops to stay on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany was subject to their consent.

On May 27, 1952, the treaty for the European Defense Community (EDC) was signed and the Western powers made a guarantee for the EDC and Berlin and assured the stationing of troops.

On April 25, 1953, an agreement was reached between the Federal Republic of Germany, the other members of the EVG as well as Great Britain and the USA on the amount of the German defense contribution for 1953/54. This amounted to DM 950 million per month.

On March 18, 1954, the Blank Office published plans for a German defense contribution. According to this, six infantry divisions, four armored divisions, two armored infantry divisions, a tactical air force with 1,400 aircraft and ships up to 1,500 tons were planned for coastal protection.

EVG contracts

On February 26, 1954, a “German military contribution” was debated in the German Bundestag. This had become necessary because the treaties on the European Defense Community (EDC), also adopted by the Federal Republic, provided for the creation of a common army in Western Europe. Finally, after the third reading, the 1st amendment to the defense (“Law to Supplement the Basic Law”) was adopted with a 2/3 majority (mainly by members of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group). The Federal Council also agreed, so that the law could come into force when it was signed by Federal President Theodor Heuss on March 26, 1954. The Basic Law was changed in three points:

  • Article 73 : The federal government now also receives the exclusive legislation on the "defense including the military service of men from the age of 18 and the protection of the civilian population"
  • Article 79 Paragraph 1 : The constitutional amendment procedure is facilitated for international treaties that "have as their object a peace settlement [...] or are intended to serve the defense of the Federal Republic"
  • Article 142a : The newly created article declares “The provisions of this Basic Law are not in conflict” with the TOE contract.

As soon as the constitutional amendment came into force, the recruiting of volunteers for the new European army, which was provided for in the EDC contracts, began. However, when the French National Assembly postponed the adoption of the EDC Treaty on August 31, 1954, this army had failed. A new option had to be found for a Federal German military contribution.

Accession to NATO

From the beginning, the Bundeswehr was planned as an army in an international context. Thus (as with the EVG contracts) the Federal Republic of Germany should be prevented from going it alone. As early as March 1949, the future Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer spoke of Germany joining NATO as an urgent task for a German government.

The London Nine Powers Conference from September 28 to October 3, 1954 with the participating states Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the USA resolved the sovereignty of the Federal Republic, the accession of the Federal Republic to the Brussels Pact (WEU) and to NATO and provides assurances from the USA, Great Britain and Canada that they will keep their troops on the European continent.

On October 23, 1954, Chancellor Adenauer issued a declaration on arms restrictions. In it, the Federal Republic renounces the production of atomic, chemical and biological weapons. With regard to the West German defense contribution, the Paris Treaties stipulated a list of twelve divisions, with a maximum strength of around 500,000 soldiers not to be exceeded. The German soldiers should be placed under the command of the integrated NATO staffs and the integration should take place as a rule at the level of the army groups.

On December 18, 1954, the NATO Council, amending the Lisbon resolutions, set the target strength of NATO forces in Central Europe at 30 divisions. Compensation for this decrease in conventional strength was the increase in the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

The Soviet Union declared on January 25, 1955 the state of war with Germany was over. However, it continued to reserve all rights and obligations arising from the Allied treaties on Germany as a whole. The Eastern European countries followed this step.

On February 27, 1955, the German Bundestag ratified the Paris Treaties, making the Federal Republic a member of NATO . The treaties came into force on May 5, 1955. The accession of the Federal Republic was completed with a ceremony on May 9, 1955 in Paris .

On April 20, 1955, the USA and the Federal Republic deposited the ratification documents for the protocol on the end of the occupation regime (Germany Treaty) and for the contracts on the stay of foreign armed forces in the Federal Republic (troop, finance and tax treaties). Great Britain and France deposited their instruments of ratification on May 5th. A Mutual Defense Treaty was also signed with the United States on December 27, 1955.

On May 14, 1955, the Warsaw Pact between Albania, Bulgaria, GDR, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, CSR and Hungary established a counter-alliance to NATO. The "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" signed in Warsaw is the reaction of the Eastern Bloc to the ratified Paris Treaties.

In July 1956, the first NATO maneuver with German participation by units of the 2nd Grenadier Division from Kassel took place in the Göttingen area .

NATO troop statute

The Federal Republic of Germany signed the NATO troop statute with the member states Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the USA on June 19, 1951 (Federal Law Gazette 1961 II 1120) with additional agreements of June 3, 1951 August 1959 (Federal Law Gazette 1961 II 1218).

Foundation of the Bundeswehr

Adolf Heusinger , Theodor Blank and Hans Speidel in front of the Ermekeil barracks in Bonn in 1955

In the following, the actual establishment of the Bundeswehr began, which, however, had not yet had a name and was referred to in contemporary documents as the "Federal German Wehrmacht". On June 7, 1955, the former "Amt Blank" was renamed. With Theodor Blank as the first defense minister, it was now the "Federal Ministry of Defense".

On June 30, 1955, US Ambassador James B. Conant and Foreign Minister Heinrich von Brentano signed an agreement on mutual defense aid between the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany. In this contract, the USA assured the newly formed armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany extensive arms deliveries.

On July 13, 1955, US Ambassador Conant and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer agreed to hand over semi-automatic assault rifles, tanks, artillery pieces, field howitzers and fighter planes. In return, West Germany was obliged to use the weapons only for defense purposes within the framework of the NATO alliance and not to sell or surrender them to third parties. The SPD opposition in the German Bundestag only approved the treaty at the third reading, which came into force on December 14, 1955.

On July 15 and 16, 1955, against the votes of the SPD, the German Bundestag passed the Volunteers Act , which allowed 6,000 volunteers to be employed in the Bundeswehr. The Bundestag unanimously approved the law on the personnel appraisal committee, which was to decide on the reuse of former officers of the old Wehrmacht from the colonel upwards. Just ten days later, the first officers of the new Bundeswehr - before their official appointment - were sent to the Supreme Headquarters of NATO ( SHAPE ) to familiarize themselves there. At the same time, the training of jet pilots began in the USA and Great Britain. By August 1, 1955, 150,000 citizens volunteered for the armed forces.

Installation plan

The deployment plan announced by the federal government on September 21, 1955, provided that the establishment of the army with twelve divisions and the establishment of the air force and navy should be completed by January 1960 . The estimated total costs of this plan were put at 51 billion DM (approx. 25 billion €). A shipbuilding plan approved by Parliament also provided for the construction of the following units: twelve destroyers, six escort boats, 40 speedboats, 24 coast minesweepers, 30 speed minesweepers, twelve submarines, 36 landing craft, two mine ships, ten coast guard boats, eleven tenders for small boats, one training ship Sailing training ship, 65 aircraft, various auxiliary, test and training vehicles.

On October 10, 1955, Federal President Theodor Heuss appointed the first soldiers of the new German armed forces.

On November 12, 1955, Theodor Blank presented the first 101 volunteer soldiers with their certificates of appointment in the Ermekeil barracks in Bonn. At the beginning of 1956 the first three locations were put into operation and a total of 1,000 soldiers were stationed there:

November 12, 1955 was the 200th birthday of the Prussian general Gerhard von Scharnhorst , who had rendered outstanding services to the Prussian army reform from 1807 to 1813. With this election of the founding day of the new Federal German Armed Forces, it was already clear in which tradition the Bundeswehr should be. A reservist and conscription system was created.

National emblem of the Bundeswehr from October 1956 (version since 1984)
Chancellor Adenauer visits the soldiers of the newly founded Bundeswehr in Andernach in 1956

On January 20, 1956, Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer visited the first 1,500 volunteer soldiers of the Bundeswehr in Andernach.

On August 21, 1956, the staffs of the 3rd and 5th Panzer Divisions and the 1st, 2nd and 4th Panzer Grenadier Divisions, as well as one airborne and one mountain infantry brigade each, are set up. The strength of the Bundeswehr is around 47,000 soldiers.

On September 24, 1956, Federal President Theodor Heuss designated a black cross ( iron cross ) with a white border as an identification mark for the Bundeswehr's air and combat vehicles.

In October 1956, according to an Allensbach survey, 38% of German citizens supported the Bundeswehr. After the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, this figure rose to 60%.

In December 1956 the German Navy had 65 units and 7657 soldiers.

The first general inspector of the Bundeswehr was General Adolf Heusinger on June 1, 1957 .

Naming "Bundeswehr"

Bundeswehr logo lettering until the 1960s

During the founding period, the terms " Wehrmacht " and "Bundeswehr" were the most popular names for the new German army . While the term “Wehrmacht” was heavily burdened by the National Socialist regime , the name “Bundeswehr” seemed more appropriate to the security committee of the German Bundestag . He leaned on the designation " Reichswehr " for the armed forces of the Weimar Republic . During the debate on the Soldiers Act on February 22, 1956, Chairman Richard Jaeger's motion to name the new armed forces “Bundeswehr” was granted. Jaeger himself named the former general and former FDP deputy Hasso von Manteuffel as the actual namesake .

The term "Bundeswehr" goes back to the suggestion of the MP and Major Daniel Friedrich Gottlob Teichert about a concept for the formation of a people's armed forces by merging vigilante groups on the occasion of a negotiation of the Frankfurt National Assembly on March 5, 1849.

Personnel Expert Committee and the National Socialist Past

The hiring of new officers of higher ranks was particularly problematic in the early years of the Bundeswehr. A “clean” filling of these posts was hardly possible, since almost all militarily trained citizens had a troubled past during the National Socialist dictatorship , but such persons were absolutely necessary for the creation of a management structure. In order to minimize the risk of hiring the “wrong” soldiers, all officers from the Colonel upwards were checked by the Personnel Appraisal Committee, a committee made up 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 . This committee examined a total of 600 applicants by November 25, 1957, accepted 486 and rejected 53.

In response to the accusation that all high officers served in the Wehrmacht , Chancellor Adenauer replied that NATO did not take 18-year-old generals from him.

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 came from the Waffen SS .

Takeover of staff from the BGS and allied service groups

Three speedboats built for maritime border protection after being taken over by the German Navy in 1956

In order to ensure an accelerated development of the Bundeswehr, the 2nd law on the Federal Border Guard came into force on May 30, 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 make a declaration that they wanted to remain in the Federal Border Police. Anyone who did not do this was 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 German Armed Forces in the BGS took advantage of this, as they were often three ranks lower in the Federal Border Guard than in the Wehrmacht, but were judged by their last rank in the Wehrmacht in the German Armed Forces.

Initially, the mass of the new German armed forces consisted of 9,572 former BGS officials and volunteers, some of whom had served in various Allied service groups . On August 21, 1956, the strength of the Bundeswehr was given as 47,000 soldiers. First, the staffs of the 3rd and 5th Panzer Divisions, the 1st, 2nd and 4th Grenadier Divisions as well as one airborne and one mountain infantry brigade each were set up. From April 1, 1957, the first draftsmen of the 1937 class joined them. 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. The German navy was also mainly recruited from members of the maritime border protection and other sea ​​units under Allied control . 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 remove the badge with the federal eagle from the left upper sleeve. As early as December 1957, the Bundeswehr had around 118,000 soldiers.

Basic Law 1949 and Bundeswehr

When the Basic Law came into force on May 23, 1949, there were no German armed forces. Nevertheless, the Basic Law already contained a number of provisions relating to them at that time:

  • In the basic rights section, Art. 4, Paragraph 3: “No one may be forced to do military service with a weapon against their conscience” .
  • Article 24, Paragraph 2 stipulates that the Federation can transfer sovereign rights to intergovernmental institutions “to maintain peace in a system of mutual collective security” .
  • Art. 26, Para. 1 prohibits the preparation of a war of aggression
  • Art. 26, para. 2 states that "certain warfare weapons," "made only with the approval of the Federal Government, transported and placed on the market" must

Defense constitution and defense laws after 1955

On March 22, 1956, the military constitution passed by a large majority in the German Bundestag came into force. By supplementing the Basic Law with Article 87a, it was determined that the federal government should set up armed forces for defense.

On April 1, 1956, the Law on the Status of Soldiers ( Soldiers Act ) came into force.

On July 21, the conscription law followed , which provided for compulsory military service for men between the ages of 18 and 45.

With the adoption of the Law on Military Complaints Regulations (WBO) on 14 December 1956, the Law on the Military Commissioner on 11 April 1957, the Office of was Defense Commissioner of the Bundestag created. It was not until February 19, 1959, that the Bundestag elected Helmuth von Grolman as the first official.

On February 21, 1957, the Defense Disciplinary Act (WDO) and on April 12, the Soldiers Supply Act (SVG) are passed by the Bundestag.


Soldiers with anti-aircraft tank M42 Duster during autumn maneuvers 1958
Bundeswehr soldiers during a maneuver, 1960
Destroyer 1 , the first German Navy destroyer to be taken over by the USA in 1960

Even before the founding of the Bundeswehr, the Himmeroder memorandum proposed a conscription system, as this was the only way to achieve an adequate troop strength. In addition, conscription should be a close link between the state or citizens and the army. In this way, the formation of a “state within a state”, as it developed with the Reichswehr in the Weimar Republic after the Treaty of Versailles, should be avoided. Conscription is an integral part of the idea of ​​the “ citizen in uniform ”.

With the enactment of the conscription law of July 7, 1956, the proposal of the Himmeroder memorandum was implemented and an initially 12-month basic military service was introduced for men. In 1956 the first regular soldiers received their certificates of appointment. On April 1, 1957, the first 10,000 conscripts began their service. On January 16, 1958, 7,600 conscripts entered the Air Force and Navy for the first time. By 1960, in addition to regular and professional soldiers, there were already 268,629 basic military service members in the Bundeswehr. In addition, it was also possible to do his military service with the Federal Border Police. By 2010, over eight million young men in Germany had done their military service. The legal duration of basic military service changed several times. She cheated:

  • from January 1, 1957 to March 31, 1962: 12 months
  • from April 1, 1962 to June 30, 1962: 15 months
  • from July 1, 1962 to December 31, 1972: 18 months
  • from January 1, 1973 to September 30, 1990: 15 months
  • from October 1, 1990 to December 31, 1995: 12 months
  • from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2001: 10 months
  • from January 1, 2002 to June 30, 2010: 9 months
  • from December 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011: 6 months (practically from July 1)
  • from March 1, 2011: only voluntary.

From June 1, 1989, after the lower birth cohorts had to do basic military service from the end of the 1960s, a renewed extension of the service period to 18 months was planned. In April 1989, the federal government initially decided to postpone it until the summer of 1992. Due to the influx of young emigrants and the analysis of the census, the required number of personnel (495,000 peacekeeping soldiers, 1,340,000 defensive soldiers) could be maintained. With the end of the Cold War, which was formally resolved on November 21, 1990, an extension of the basic military service to 18 months followed.

Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) announced in August 2010 the suspension of compulsory military service and the introduction of voluntary military service, which should last twelve to 23 months. At the same time, he also announced a reduction in the Bundeswehr to 163,500 soldiers in Germany. In the meantime, however, it is assumed that the armed forces will have up to 185,000 soldiers. On July 1, 2011, conscription was suspended. The 2011 deployment concept was announced on October 26, 2011 .

Military order according to the Basic Law

Air Force
F-84F Thunderstreak around 1960

The military mandate of the Bundeswehr was only included in the Basic Law in 1968. Establishment and deployment are formulated in Art. 87a: The Confederation sets up armed forces for defense . This provision in the Basic Law has the following four dimensions:

  1. Defense against armed forces from outside
  2. preparatory measures for defense in the event of tension and defense
  3. Use to establish and maintain internal security (see emergency laws )
  4. Use in the event of natural disasters and accidents.

Conscientious objection

The legal basis of compulsory military service was Article 12a of the Basic Law as early as 1956, in which it says in paragraph 1: "Men can be obliged to serve in the armed forces from the age of eighteen onwards". However, Article 4 paragraph 3 regulates: "No one may be forced to do military service with a weapon against their conscience".

Even in the early days of compulsory military service, conscripts referred to this passage in the Basic Law. However, in the first ten years the number of conscientious objectors remained low. The catchphrase “ Ohnemichel ” was used to denote conscientious objectors. It was not until 1967 that their number rose significantly as a result of the then burgeoning demonstrations against the Vietnam War , so that one could speak of a social phenomenon. Until 1983, an oral "hearing" was customary in order to be recognized as a conscientious objector, in which the objector had to give a detailed account of the reasons of conscience for which he refused the service. Due to various reasons, including the reduced need for military service, this test is no longer carried out. Recognized conscientious objectors are not used for military service according to Section 1 of the Conscientious Objection Act, but for community service outside the Bundeswehr.

The concept of "Inner Leadership"

The term Inner Leadership , which was officially adopted on March 5, 1953 for the "inner structure" of the troops, initially by the Blank Office, describes the complex leadership concept of the Bundeswehr, closely linked to the model of the citizen in uniform . The Inner Leadership's task is to alleviate the tensions that arise from the individual rights of the free citizen on the one hand and the military duties of the soldier on the other. On October 28, 1956, the Bundeswehr School for Inner Guidance was officially founded in Cologne and relocated to Koblenz on February 1, 1957 .

The concept of Inner Guidance has to fulfill three tasks which can be described with the terms legitimation , integration and identity .

After 1945 the first question arose as to the legitimacy of the soldier: could one still be a soldier after what had happened and in view of what a nuclear war would entail? The use of armed forces could only be justified as a last resort , for defense and crisis management. Human rights and international law were binding in any case. It had to be the task of the soldiers to secure and shape the peace. As Gustav Heinemann later said, peace was the real thing.

The armed forces had to be integrated into the democratic structures of society and subject to parliamentary control. The soldier is a citizen with the same rights, which are only restricted in exceptional military cases. The internal order and the role of the armed forces in the state must be compatible with democracy. This leads to the model of the “ citizen in uniform ”.

The soldiers' self-image, their identity , is derived from this. Soldiers are citizens who serve the state in their profession. You take part in the social and political discussion in the country. This not only means that - unlike the soldiers of the Reichswehr in the Weimar Republic - they have the right to vote and to stand as a candidate . They can and should express themselves as experts in the discussion on military and security issues. These rights find their limits in the duty of loyalty , the duty of restraint and confidentiality in confidential matters. As a citizen, the soldier is a political actor who has to endure the constant tension between the roles of civil servant and citizen.

Problems of the first few years

The Inner Leadership had to prove itself in the early years, especially in a daily training routine in which methods adopted from the Wehrmacht were still in use. Two incidents resulting in death, which can be traced back to management behavior that was no longer accepted, led to heated discussions about the new management concept that lasted for decades.

On June 3, 1957, 15 conscripts drowned during an exercise when a non-commissioned officer of the 2nd Company of Airborne Infantry Battalion 19 near Kempten ordered his subordinates to cross the Iller unsecured . This action had been banned in advance, but was carried out anyway. As a result of the Iller disaster, the Bundeswehr soldiers' relief organization was founded to support soldiers and their relatives in need.

On July 25, 1963, the 19-year-old recruit Gert Trimborn collapsed from the heat on a baggage march of the training company 6/9 from Nagold and died a week later in the hospital. It became known that in the paratrooper training company 6/9 non-compliant training methods were the order of the day, whereupon the superior general disbanded the company completely. Those responsible, one of whom came to be known as the “ Nagold Grinder ”, were brought to justice in several lawsuits.

Both incidents triggered both in the armed forces and the public from the discussion about whether the soldiers involved as citizens in uniform did not have the unlawful orders must disagree and in particular, the principle of how internal leadership may have failed. In summary, it can be said that in the early 1960s a number of Wehrmacht soldiers who had been taken over feared the "softening" of their subordinates as a result of the new concept of Innere Leben and did not fulfill their duty of care.

Building schools

On April 1, 1956, the establishment of twelve army schools with teaching units begins .

On January 1, 1957, the command academy of the German Armed Forces was established in Bad Ems and the first course began on April 1. The official inauguration took place on May 15, 1957.

Upgrading with equipment and weapon systems

Bundeswehr tank of the type M47 Patton, 1960
The clearing boat Algol and the 1st minesweeping squadron were placed under NATO control on April 1, 1957
Submarine aircraft Fairey Gannet of the German Navy 1958

For the development of the Bundeswehr, the US provided the BMVg with defense material worth around DM 3.8 billion free of charge as part of the so-called " Nash List " (for example the M41 and M47 battle tanks ). On site, a US military organization , the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), supported the introduction and training of the incoming initial equipment. In addition, were in particular to balance the foreign trade surplus earned from new allies armaments (for example, armored personnel from Switzerland and France ( HS 30 and armored personnel carriers shortly ), ships and planes from Britain, handguns from Belgium, mortar from Israel and ammunition from Turkey) . Federal German companies only built individual weapon systems under license and built the infrastructure for the young Bundeswehr. During these years of the economic miracle , German industry was too busy building up and expanding civil production to have a great interest in the production of financially less lucrative armaments. That changed with the end of the boom in the early 1960s. As early as the end of the 1950s, the Bundeswehr command was planning to award contracts for the development of new weapon systems to German companies.

Overview 1956–1960

Air Force
  • March 3, 1956 : Arrival of M 47 Patton main battle tanks in Andernach. From 1956 the anti-aircraft tank M42 Duster was also used
  • May 29, 1956 to July 1, 1956 : Commissioning of five torpedo speedboats of the herring gull class in Kiel
  • June 5, 1956 : Four former navy clearing boats put into service after being taken over by the US Navy
  • January 21, 1957 : Takeover of the fleet service boat Oste
  • April 1, 1957 : Subordination of the 1st mine sweeping squadron to NATO as the first association of the German Navy
  • June 20, 1957 : Arrival of the first F-84F Thunderstreak fighter aircraft from the USA in Bremerhaven
  • August 24, 1957 : Lufttransportgeschwader 61 is set up in Erding as the first flying unit of the Air Force.
  • November 16, 1957 : The Jaguar speedboat is the first German ship to be launched.
  • January 17, 1958 : The first US-borrowed destroyer USS Anthony is taken over by the German Navy as Destroyer 1 .
  • Spring 1958 : 1800 of the planned 10,680 armored personnel carriers of the type HS 30 are ordered.
  • August 1, 1958 : Two naval squadrons with aircraft of the type Fairey Gannet and Hawker Sea Hawk begin flight operations at Schleswig Air Base near Jagel
  • November 6, 1958 : An extensive aircraft procurement program is approved. This provides for the procurement of 300 Lockheed F-104 “Starfighter” aircraft, 200 Fiat G.91 fighter-bombers and 60 “ Alouette ” helicopters .
  • December 17, 1958 : Commissioning of the training ship Gorch Fock
  • March 26, 1960 : Launch of the destroyer Hamburg (D 181) , type ship of class 101

HS-30 scandal

The first major arms scandal broke out when the new army bought weapons for the first time. Several million D-Marks are said to have been paid as a bribe when buying almost 4,500 HS 30 armored personnel carriers. An investigative committee of the Bundestag could neither confirm nor refute these allegations.

Integration into NATO

After Germany joined NATO in May 1955, then Lieutenant General Hans Speidel became Commander-in-Chief of NATO's Land Forces in Central Europe (COMLANDCENT) in April 1957. In this capacity he was instrumental in the integration of the German armed forces into NATO.

On April 1, 1957, two minesweeping squadrons were the first Bundeswehr units to be subordinated to NATO. In December 1957 the Bundeswehr had 118,000 soldiers.

In May 1957 the German Bundestag discussed the issue of nuclear armament in the Bundeswehr. Against this, there were strong protests, including from left-wing political forces, from the brotherhoods of the Confessing Church (BK) and the “ Göttinger Eighteen ”. At the 1st meeting of the international Christian Peace Conference (CFK) in June 1958 in Prague , the theologian Heinrich Vogel declared in his lecture:

If I open the map and consult common sense, I have to say that the nuclear armament of a German army in my divided fatherland is pure madness. "

In May 1958, the SPD party executive passed a draft resolution on defense policy. National defense is affirmed, conscription and nuclear weapons of the Bundeswehr are rejected. The incompatibility between reunification and NATO membership is emphasized.

On July 27, 1959, an agreement on nuclear cooperation was signed with the United States.

On October 1, 1960, the Federal Republic of Germany joins the Italian-Canadian agreement on the use of the Decimomannu air base in Sardinia .

On October 25, 1960, a Franco-German contract was agreed on the establishment of German depots in France and the use of French military training areas (including in Mourmelon-le-Grand) by the Bundeswehr.

Finally, with the NATO maneuver "Hold Fast", which took place in Germany, the firm connection between the German armed forces and NATO became clear. In the fall of 1960, the German Armed Forces with the 6th Panzer Grenadier Division , which practiced together with British, Canadian and Danish soldiers, provided the majority of the participants.

As of January 8, 1961, the German Armed Forces deployed a paratrooper battalion to the mobile NATO intervention force AMF .

General Adolf Heusinger was founded in 1961 as Chairman of the Military Committee (Military Committee) of NATO in Washington DC, USA, was appointed. In December 1961, the federal government decided to extend compulsory military service from twelve to 18 months.

On May 25, 1961, a German-British agreement on the use of the Castlemartin military training area in the county of Pembrokeshire by the German Armed Forces was signed.

On June 22nd, 1963 an air force training regiment was stationed in Budel in the Netherlands. From October 15, 1963, Portugal provided the Bundeswehr with training areas, supply facilities and the air force base in Beja .

In 1966 the Air Force Missile School (RakSLw) was relocated from Aachen to El Paso , USA, and is now known as the Tactical Training and Advanced Training Center FlaRakLw USA .

In January 1967 around 60,000 Bundeswehr soldiers of the III. Corps participated in the major NATO maneuver "Panthersprung" in Hesse (including the Odenwald area ).

Almost at all times from its inception to the present day, the Bundeswehr has suffered from a lack of qualified personnel, especially in the middle grade groups. In 1969 the Ministry of Defense reported that 32,000 NCOs were missing. In 1981 that figure was still 19,000.

Berlin crisis

Humanitarian aid in Morocco and Algeria

The Bundeswehr's first foreign mission was a humanitarian aid mission. After the city of Agadir in Morocco was shaken by an earthquake on February 29, 1960 , in which well over 10,000 people were killed, the Bundeswehr provided disaster relief from March 2, 1960. Mainly members of the medical service, the NBC defense force and the air force (transport) were involved.

The first major relief mission abroad took place in January 1965 when an earthquake struck Algeria. The Bundeswehr took part in the international relief effort with a total of twelve Noratlas aircraft from Air Transport Squadrons 62 and 63, which flew relief supplies to the disaster region.

The flood disaster in Hamburg

On the night of February 16-17, 1962, a storm surge occurred in northern Germany, which had particularly disastrous effects in Hamburg . The then Interior Senator and later Chancellor Helmut Schmidt made use of contacts with the military that he had made during his time as a member of the Bundestag, and asked both NATO military forces and units of the Bundeswehr to support the rescue operations. He did this in disregard of the applicable laws: The Basic Law stipulated that the Bundeswehr must under no circumstances be active within the Federal Republic. It was not until 1968, with the possibility of similar catastrophes in mind, that the emergency laws created the possibility of deploying the Bundeswehr inside.

The operation of a total of 40,000 soldiers, nine of whom were killed during the operation, saved the lives of 1,117 people. It also meant an enormous gain in prestige for the still young army, the livelihood of which had been judged very critically by many citizens up until then. After the successful rescue operations, people now proudly spoke of "our Bundeswehr", the helicopters used became known as "flying angels".

Fallex 62

The military NATO simulation game Fallex 62 (fall exercise '62) in 1962, in which the Bundeswehr also took part, was intended to simulate a first nuclear strike and a subsequent large-scale Soviet offensive on Western Europe .

The so-called Spiegel Affair developed from the publication of information on the military maneuver .

Bundeswehr units subordinate to NATO in December 1962

  • Army: two armored divisions, seven armored infantry divisions, one mountain infantry division, one airborne division
  • Air Force: five fighter-bomber squadrons, three fighter squadrons, one reconnaissance squadron, one air transport squadron, two anti-aircraft missile battalions
  • Navy: two destroyer squadrons, four speedboat squadrons, six minesweeper squadrons, one landing squadron, one naval aviation squadron

Procurement of equipment for the Bundeswehr 1961–1970

Main battle tank Leopard on a military training area in the Lüneburg Heath, 1965

On October 21, 1961, the first self-made German submarine U 1 was launched after the end of the Second World War . The commissioning took place on March 20, 1962.

On July 25, 1963, the first 1,500 Leopard battle tanks and 700 tank destroyers were commissioned.

On October 23, 1963, the Defense Committee of the Bundestag approves the equipment with the Transall C-160 transport aircraft developed by France and Germany .

From March 1964 to October 1968 four class 101 destroyers (Hamburg class) were put into service by the German Navy.

From February 15, 1968, helicopters of the type Bell UH-1 Huey were equipped ; the Bundestag approved the procurement as early as March 1965.

The destroyer Lütjens (D 185) was put into service on March 22, 1969 .

Understanding of tradition and the first traditional decree in 1965

Since the young army could not look back on its own tradition, and a connection to the tradition of the Wehrmacht was out of the question, it was necessary to work out what traditional understanding the Bundeswehr should have. On July 1, 1965, the “Bundeswehr and Tradition” decree came into force, stating which historical references belong to the official tradition of the Bundeswehr.

As should already be shown with the election of November 12th as the founding day of the Bundeswehr, the Prussian reforms represented a building block in the traditional understanding of the newly founded Bundeswehr. In addition, there is the memory of the military resistance in the Third Reich, especially the men of the 20th July 1944 , and the Bundeswehr's own tradition in the post-war period.

The July 1965 decree was replaced by the second traditional decree of September 20, 1982 with the “Guidelines for Understanding and Maintaining Tradition in the Bundeswehr”.

Issuing of troop flags

When the Bundeswehr was founded, the introduction of troop flags was initially dispensed with . However, this soon proved to be an untenable situation, as all other NATO countries carried troop flags and the Bundeswehr encountered problems in international military ceremonies (alternatively, units used old flags from before 1918 or added simple black, red and gold flags official occasions). In 1965, the guard battalion at the Federal Ministry of Defense was given the first new troop flag. Federal President Heinrich Lübke donated the troop flags to all “battalions and corresponding associations” of the Bundeswehr as an “outward sign of the common fulfillment of duties for the people and the state”.

Later, units above the battalion level were also equipped with troop flags. On July 29, 2009 , the 10th Panzer Division was the first division to receive its own troop flag.

Internal opening, liberalization and reforms

The guiding principle of the “ citizen in uniform ” and the inner leadership have always been in conflict with the command hierarchy as a fundamental component of every army and the tradition of the German military, which is partly shaped by anti-democratic models. Several events in the history of the Bundeswehr illustrate this conflict, including various incidents involving the inhumane treatment of soldiers and political clashes.

After the founding phase of the Bundeswehr, this conflict was expressed, among other things, in the “ trade union decree” (decree on the right of coalition for soldiers and union activity in the barracks) of August 1, 1966. In it soldiers were expressly allowed to join unions. This enabled the German Federal Armed Forces Association (DBwV), founded in 1956, to become fully active as a union, and the ÖTV also began to take on soldiers, but without attaining the importance of the DBwV. As a reaction to the union decree, General Inspector Heinz Trettner and Günther Pape , the commander of Defense Area III, resigned. At the same time, Air Force Inspector Werner Panitzki gave up because he thought the purchase of the Starfighter was a mistake. A study by the Federal Press Office, which tried in vain to keep this under lock and key, also revealed that there was an above-average preference for the right-wing extremist NPD in the Bundeswehr . However, the conservative attitude began to weaken towards the end of the 1960s, as the proportion of former Wehrmacht soldiers declined. In 1960 45.8% of NCOs had already served in the Reichswehr or Wehrmacht, in 1970 it was only 9.6%.

In the 1960s, a strong tendency developed against the "inner leadership" in the generals. For example, Army Inspector General Albert Schnez published his thoughts on improving the internal order of the Army at the end of 1969 , which criticized the “lack of will to defend the people” and called for stricter military discipline, “reform of head and limbs”. As early as June 1969, the newspaper magazine Der Spiegel published an analysis of the culture-critical "training remarks" of the General for Education in the Army, Brigadier General Heinz Karst. His remarks prompted eight lieutenants at the Army Officer's School II in Hamburg to also write theses on a contemporary image of the officer. In the memorandum called Der Leutnant 1970 , the will for political participation and the departure from a traditionalist understanding of the profession of the soldier was emphasized. The press reached a high point when about 30 captains of the 7th Division from Unna put together a list of deficiencies on problems in education and training. At the same time, the number of applications for conscientious objection increased significantly.

With the first White Paper in 1970 , the social-liberal government under Willy Brandt initiated a fundamental reform of the Bundeswehr. In the same year, the Ministry of Defense was reclassified and with the "Salutation Decree" stipulated that superior soldiers also had to address their subordinates with "Mr." and their rank. On February 3, 1971, the duration of the basic military service was reduced to 15 months. Another temporary liberalization was the hairnet decree in early 1971 . The officer training was developed more scientifically, for which on September 1, 1973 the two universities of the Bundeswehr in Hamburg and Munich began their work.

The Harmel report and the new NATO strategy "Flexible Response"

At the suggestion of the then Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel , the governments of the NATO member states agreed in December 1966 to “carry out a comprehensive analysis of international developments since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949”. On 13./14. In December 1967 the NATO Council then adopted the "Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance". In the paper that became known as the “Harmel Report” it was said: “Military security and a policy of detente are not a contradiction, but complement one another.” So NATO should not only fulfill its defense task as a military alliance - especially through deterrence - perceive, but also work as a political alliance to ease the situation.

In addition to the Bundeswehr, 409,200 soldiers from the NATO armed forces were stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany in June 1966, including 221,000 from the US armed forces.

REFORGER major maneuvers in Germany

An M60A3 during the REFORGER 1985 maneuver in Langgöns / Hessen

From 1969, major defensive readiness maneuvers were held in West Germany. The REFORGER exercises ( Return of Forces to Germany , in German: Return of the armed forces to Germany ) aimed to review and improve the planned processes, train the troops involved and demonstrate their power against the potential opponent of the Warsaw Pact. Since neither the USA nor the Federal Republic of Germany wanted to permanently station the US armed forces required for a conventional war in Europe in Germany, these exercises became necessary. The material (combat and transport vehicles, weapons, supplies, etc.) from several major American associations was stored in Germany. By quickly bringing in the personnel from overseas, who then only had to take over and activate the material, a rapid reinforcement of the conventional armed forces in Europe should be made possible as cheaply as possible. The exercises were part of the Rapid Reinforcement Concept (RRC) of NATO. In addition to the US troops brought in, the German WHNS (WHNS = Wartime Host Nation Support = support from the host nation in times of war) exercised . In addition, the US Army, the German Armed Forces, the British Army, the French armed forces and the Canadian armed forces were usually involved in the exercise on a large scale, which followed the actual REFORGER part as a free-running exercise.


Bundeswehr logo from the early 1970s to the 1990s
A German Armed Forces Pershing missile during a NATO parade in 1969
RF-4E Phantom reconnaissance aircraft in June 1984
Luchs reconnaissance vehicle 1986

On July 9, 1972, the Bundestag passed a reservist concept and the Association of Reservists of the German Federal Armed Forces (VdRBw), founded in 1960, was commissioned to carry out general reservist work in the Federal Armed Forces.

From November 14th to 25th, 1972 around 4800 soldiers with 600 vehicles helped clear storm damage in Lower Saxony.

On January 24, 1975, the federal government decided on a readiness to dispose after completing the basic military service of a soldier or after the termination of a service relationship as a temporary soldier (SaZ) .

On August 12, 1975, 8,000 soldiers were deployed to fight forest fires in Lower Saxony.

In August 1976, the Bundeswehr provided disaster relief in the earthquake area of ​​Friuli in northern Italy. The mission, in which 800 soldiers with 223 vehicles, 30 pioneer machines and four helicopters were deployed, lasted until January 31, 1981.

On September 18, 1978, four major NATO autumn maneuvers (“Blue Danube”, “Certain Shield”, “Saxon Drive”, “ Bold Guard ”) with a total of around 200,000 NATO soldiers began almost simultaneously in northern Germany, Hesse and northern Bavaria . These are the most extensive military maneuvers in Germany since the end of the war in 1945.

On October 31, 1978, the Federal Cabinet approved the acquisition of the aircraft-based radar system AWACS . The Federal Republic contributes 1.16 of a total of 3.9 billion DM to the procurement costs.

On November 7, 1978, the new Army Structure IV was introduced, according to which the number of brigades should be increased from 33 to 36 by 1984.

On December 3, 1978, a Bundeswehr transport plane flies 163 Vietnamese refugees to Hanover. By December 9, 1978, up to 1,000 Vietnamese were brought to Lower Saxony on the Hai Hong cargo ship . On November 25, 1978, the first of the roughly 2,500 refugees on board were able to leave the ship and were flown to Canada. The Hai Hong left Vietnam on October 25, 1978 and was off the coast of Malaysia for several weeks without an anchor permit.

On June 25, 1979, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported on reports from Bundeswehr physicians who registered around 700 alcoholics and 1000 suicide attempts each year.

On July 12, 1979, the International Remote Spying School was opened in Neuhausen ob Eck to train remote spies .

Bundeswehr universities

On June 29, 1972, the Federal Cabinet approved the establishment of universities for the Bundeswehr . On October 16, 1972 and January 2, 1973 the founding committees for the universities of the Bundeswehr Hamburg and Munich were issued . On February 14 and April 4, 1973, the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag approved the establishment of two universities. On October 1, 1973, teaching and research began at both universities.

Affairs and the NATO double resolution

Under Georg Leber , Minister of Defense from 1972, the Bundeswehr also underwent a comprehensive technical modernization program and was equipped with modern weapons. The “Innereführung” also enjoyed greater acceptance and the number of applications for conscientious objection only rose slightly. In 1975 it even went back. 1977 was an exception, when it was possible to refuse at short notice by postcard.

After several "smaller" affairs ( Rudel affair and wiretapping affair with Lebers resigning), defense policy and the Bundeswehr returned to public interest at the end of the 1970s when there were broad protests against nuclear armament as part of NATO's double decision .

Strength and size of the armed forces in 1973

  • As of October 1, 1973, the Bundeswehr had a total of 486,000 men, 340,000 of whom belonged to the army, divided into 12 divisions: 4 armored divisions, 4 armored infantry divisions, 2 fighter divisions, a mountain division and an airborne division as well as other army troops and the territorial army .
  • The air force comprised 108,000 men, equipped with 465 fighter-bombers and light fighter-bombers, 90 fighters, 80 reconnaissance aircraft and 90 transporters, as well as 733 other aircraft as well as anti-aircraft missiles and other missiles.
  • The German Navy had 38,000 men and was equipped with 176 ships, including: 11 destroyers, 6 frigates, 8 submarines, 37 speedboats and 55 minesweepers as well as 196 aircraft.

Procurement of equipment for the Bundeswehr 1971–1979

On January 20, 1971, the Air Force took over the first tactical reconnaissance aircraft of the type RF-4E Phantom II produced in the USA .

The Marder infantry fighting vehicle was delivered to the army on May 7, 1971 .

From August 31, 1971, 175 F-4F Phantom II combat aircraft were acquired to partially replace the F-104 Starfighter and the G.91 .

From October 1972 to August 1975, 20 high-speed missile craft of the Tiger class (class 148) were put into service.

On August 26, 1975, the first eight-wheel reconnaissance tank Luchs was handed over to the army.

From November 1976 to July 1977 ten missile speedboats of the Albatros class (class 143) were put into service.

From October 19, 1977 the new anti-tank missile systems HOT and MILAN were introduced to the army.

On October 13, 1978, the army received the first multinationally developed field howitzer FH155-1 . With the introduction of this weapon in Germany, Great Britain and Italy, a major step towards standardization within NATO was taken.

On November 29, 1978, the Defense Committee approved the procurement of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) .

On October 24, 1979, the first of 1,800 Leopard 2 battle tanks in Munich was handed over to Panzerlehrbrigade 9 in Munster.


Leopard-1 main battle tank and Gepard anti-aircraft tank during exercise REFORGER '85

On June 30, 1981, the 3rd destroyer squadron in Kiel was disbanded.

On March 15, 1982 the Bundestag strengthened the office of the Armed Forces Commissioner, who from now on can request information and inspection of files from the Defense Minister and all departments and persons subordinate to him and can visit Bundeswehr facilities at any time without prior notification.

Manfred Wörner , who succeeded Defense Minister Hans Apel on October 4, 1982 , was badly damaged by the Kießling affair as early as 1984 and was only able to stay in office with great difficulty. After his resignation, Wörner took up the post of NATO Secretary General on July 1, 1988.

On October 4, 1983, there was a shooting accident at the Münsingen military training area . A grenade launcher fired at a position that had not yet been cleared by a truck with observers. Two officers were killed and 25 other soldiers and civilians were injured, some seriously.

In November 1983, Able Archer 83 was a Europe-wide ten-day NATO maneuver that simulated a nuclear war.

As a result of the change in Soviet foreign policy under CPSU General Secretary Mikhail Sergejewitsch Gorbachev and the reforms introduced ( glasnost and perestroika ), there were controversial discussions within the NATO states about how to react to this policy.

In March 1987, two Bundeswehr officers took part as observers in a Warsaw Pact maneuver in the GDR for the first time.

On June 15, 1987, the Neckar tender (A 66) was shot at by a Polish corvette in international waters off the Kaliningrad Oblast in the Baltic Sea . The Neckar , which had seen practice shooting by the Warsaw Pact navies , was hit by eight ship artillery projectiles when a Polish ship opened fire on a target drone flying from the Neckar . The Neckar was in the line of fire of the Polish missile corvettes ORP Górnik (434) and ORP Hutnik (435) of the Tarantul class, which were commissioned in 1983 . Three soldiers were injured by splinters; There was property damage in the amount of 560,000  DM . The German federal government protested on June 16, 1987 against this behavior.

On October 23, 1987, Fighter Bomber Wing 34 was the last unit to be converted from the F-104G Starfighter to the Tornado multi -role fighter .

On February 2, 1989, the MBFR negotiations were broken off after almost 16 years and were replaced by the negotiations on a Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) that began on March 9, 1989 . In May 1989, a NATO communique on the modernization of short-range nuclear missiles (SRBM) was made dependent on further developments within the Warsaw Pact.

From October 12th to 16th, a fleet of the German Navy visits the naval base in Leningrad with the destroyer Rommel (D 187) , the frigate Lower Saxony (F 208) and the supply ship Coburg (A 1412) .

On November 9, 1989, the German Democratic Republic opened the border crossings to the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, and from December 21, 1989 soldiers and civilian employees of the Bundeswehr can travel to the Warsaw Pact countries without a formal approval process.

Second traditional decree 1982

With the second traditional decree of September 20, 1982, Defense Minister Hans Apel emphasized the distancing of the Bundeswehr from the Wehrmacht. The traditional decree “Bundeswehr and Tradition” of July 1965 was thereby repealed at the same time.

In November 1995, Federal Defense Minister Volker Rühe stated: The Wehrmacht, as an organization of the Third Reich, at its head, with units and soldiers, was involved in crimes of National Socialism. As an institution, it cannot establish any tradition .

Personnel strength 1985

In 1985 the Bundeswehr comprised around 495,000 soldiers, including 230,000 conscripts:

  • including 335,500 soldiers in the army,
  • 105,900 soldiers in the Air Force
  • 36,400 soldiers in the Navy
  • as civilian personnel 180,000 employees.

The mobilization strength of the Bundeswehr was 1,300,000 men. Defense expenditures amounted to DM 49.31 billion (€ 25.2 billion).

Equipment procurement for the Bundeswehr 1980–1990

Anti-tank helicopter PAH 1 in September 1986

From August 28, 1980, the Air Force and Navy were equipped with the multi- role fighter Tornado . Initially, 322 aircraft were planned for six squadrons.

On December 4, 1980, the first PAH 1 anti-tank helicopter was handed over to the army in Celle .

On June 15, 1981, the handover of the first anti-aircraft missile tank Roland . By the end of 1983, 140 tanks were to be procured.

On June 30, 1982, the NATO early warning system AWACS was stationed in Geilenkirchen-Tevern.

From the end of 1983 the army also received the Jaguar 2 tank destroyer .

From May 1982 to March 1990 eight Bremen-class frigates (F122) were put into service.

On June 3, 1986, the first Skorpion mine throwing system was handed over to the pioneer troops. The procurement of 300 pieces was planned by the end of 1988.

From December 1986, the first ground-based medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems MIM-104 Patriot from the USA were taken over by the Air Force.

From June 1, 1987, the army took over the first rocket launchers of the medium artillery rocket system (MARS) .

On February 18, 1988, the first of 140 Fuchs type tracer tanks intended for the army was handed over to the NBC Abwehr Battalion 210 in Sonthofen.

On August 2, 1990, the airborne force received the first armored weapon carrier Wiesel .

The Bundeswehr after the end of the Cold War

Bundeswehr logo from 1996 to 2019

In April 1990, NCO schools for the army were opened in Münster, Lahnstein and Weiden.

On April 27, 1990, the Defense Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany Gerhard Stoltenberg and the Disarmament and Defense Minister of the GDR Rainer Eppelmann agreed in Cologne on the membership of the united Germany in NATO.

On July 15 and 16, 1990, the modalities of the reunification of Germany were discussed by the President of the Soviet Union , Michail Gorbatschow and Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In the two-plus-four contract , the reduction of the Bundeswehr to a maximum of 370,000 soldiers by the end of 1994 is agreed.

Dissolution of the National People's Army of the GDR

On August 30, 1990, Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm became the commander of the new Bundeswehr Command East with its headquarters in Strausberg . The command served as the central command facility for all units, staffs and facilities in the area of ​​the acceding part of Germany for a transition period of at least six months and initiated the dissolution of the GDR's National People's Army (NVA).

On October 4, 1990 in Leipzig, Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm took over the command of the parts of the former NVA that were transferred to the Bundeswehr

On October 3, 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic was dissolved and the sites, facilities and equipment were handed over to the Bundeswehr. Federal Minister of Defense Gerhard Stoltenberg (CDU) took over command and command of the all-German armed forces .

Most of the existing military locations in the GDR were closed and the extensive equipment either continued to be used by the Bundeswehr or scrapped under the terms of the CFE treaty , and to a small extent also sold to other countries or given away, such as armored personnel carriers to Turkey, pioneer vehicles to Sweden, air defense systems to Greece or ships to Indonesia. A selection of all weapon systems was transferred to the USA for testing and as an internal maneuver opponent. A large part of the corps of NCOs and almost the entire officer corps were dismissed, only 3,200 of these cadres, which last had 36,000 people, were hired. The former NVA members were often taken on with one or two ranks lower in the Bundeswehr, as the promotions in the NVA took place earlier than in the Bundeswehr and therefore the transfer rank was calculated as if the former NVA member was from the start would have served in the Bundeswehr.

The Bundeswehr took over large quantities of equipment, spare parts and consumables from active and non-active units. A material handover with corresponding documentation in accordance with the federal budget regulation and military regulations was not carried out, rather a takeover took place on site as found. The MiG-29 fighter aircraft and the Mi-8 helicopter were taken over.

The following were left behind:

  • 767 aircraft (helicopters, planes)
  • 208 ships and boats
  • 2,761 main battle tanks
  • 9,467 armored (combat) vehicles
  • 133,900 wheeled vehicles (cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, etc.)
  • 2,199 artillery weapons
  • 1,376,650 small arms
  • 303,690 tons of ammunition
  • 62,535 tons of liquid critical substances (rocket propellants, cleaning agents, hazardous substances)

Bundeswehr reform and transformation

The range of tasks of the Bundeswehr has changed since the end of the Cold War . The focus is now no longer on classic national defense , but on crisis management and conflict prevention. That places different demands on the soldiers and their material.

On October 17, 1990, after two years of development, the Franco-German Brigade was put into service.

During the Second Gulf War , from January 5, 1991, 212 soldiers from Fighter Bomber Wing 43 from Oldenburg with 18 Alpha Jet fighter planes were relocated to Erhac in Turkey as part of the NATO Allied Command Europe Mobile Force . Germany thus symbolically fulfilled its obligation to regard a possible attack on Turkey as an attack on all NATO states within the framework of the NATO doctrine and to react accordingly. The Turkish government was disappointed that the powerful Tornado formations were not made available and did not consider the Alpha Jets to be sufficient protection.

On March 6, 1991, at the request of the USA, a German anti-mine association was also relocated to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation South Flank . Sea mines are cleared off the coast of Kuwait by the anti-mine defense system Troika (anti-mine drones).

On May 22, 1992, Germany and France decide to set up a European army corps. Other WEU states are invited to participate. The Eurocorps is intended to become the core of a European defense identity.

On July 14, 1994, the French national holiday, German Panzergrenadiers of the Panzergrenadierbataillon 294 Stetten akM paraded with armored personnel carriers Marder together with Belgian, Spanish and French units of the Eurocorps on the avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

From September 8th to 13th, 1996, for the first time in Germany at the Munster military training area, the “Cooperative Lantern 96”, a staff framework exercise of the NATO program Partnership for Peace, with multinational participation from 18 countries.

On October 15, 1996 the German Armed Forces ended the use of the Welsh military training area Castlemartin in the county of Pembrokeshire . Since May 1961, armored and armored reconnaissance units of the army practiced the sharp shot with their battle tanks. A total of 336 units with over 95,000 soldiers took part in the combat shooting.

At the end of 1997 the nominal strength of the Bundeswehr was around 338,000 soldiers.

The defense budget in 1999 was DM 47.52 billion (EUR 24.30 billion), of which:

  • 50.24 percent or 23.84 billion DM (12.19 billion euros) on personnel expenses
  • 15.61 percent or 7.42 billion DM (3.79 billion euros) on military procurement
  • 15.19 percent or 7.22 billion DM (3.69 billion euros) on other operating expenses
  • 8.79 percent or 4.18 billion DM (2.14 billion euros) for material maintenance and operation
  • 5.30 percent or 2.52 billion DM (1.29 billion euros) for research, development and testing
  • 3.94 percent or 1.87 billion DM (0.96 billion euros) for the military installations
  • 0.93 percent or 0.44 billion DM (0.23 billion euros) for other investments.

This corresponded to a share of 74.22 percent or 35.27 billion DM (18.03 billion euros) for operating costs and 25.78 percent or 12.25 billion DM (6.26 billion euros) for defense-related expenditure (development and procurement of new equipment).

Equipment procurement for the Bundeswehr 1991–2000

The frigate Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle

The Navy put the four F123 class frigates ( Brandenburg , Schleswig-Holstein , Bavaria , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ) into service from 1992 to 1995 and six tender class 404 supply ships from 1993 to 1994 .

From 1989 to 2003 the armored howitzers M109 were replaced by the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and from 1989 to 1998 a total of 2097 Marder armored personnel carriers were upgraded to the A3 version with better protection.

From 1996 to 1998 the tank engineer companies received 24 Keiler mine-clearing tanks . From 1996 the delivery of the amphibious bridge and transfer vehicle M3 for the pioneer troops as well as the first deliveries of the protected wheeled vehicle ATF Dingo for the missions in Kosovo (KFOR) and Macedonia began.

The Bundeswehr on an international basis

Main article : Bundeswehr missions abroad and deaths during Bundeswehr missions abroad

Bundeswehr soldiers during the KFOR Sharp Griffin maneuver in Kosovo in May 2016
Bundeswehr soldiers with G36 assault rifle in Bosnia-Herzegovina 2002
SFOR Bundeswehr soldiers with Fuchs armored personnel carriers in Pale in Bosnia as part of Operation Joint Forge in January 2004

Women in the Bundeswehr

→ Main article: Section Germany in the article Women in the military

On February 19, 1975, the Federal Cabinet of the Helmut Schmidt government approved the proposal of the then Defense Minister Georg Leber to employ licensed doctors, dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists as medical officers in the Bundeswehr. After changing the Soldiers Act and the Military Disciplinary Code, the first five female medical officers began their service on October 1, 1975.

On June 1, 1989, 50 female medical officer candidates began their service in the armed forces with the drafted recruits .

All career paths in the Bundeswehr have been open to women without restriction since 2001 .

Fight against international terrorism since 2001

Frigate Karlsruhe rescues shipwrecked people off the Somali coast during a mission in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, April 2005

Since 2001, the Bundeswehr has also been deployed in the fight against international terrorism . A naval contingent has been monitoring the sea area in the Horn of Africa from a base in Djibouti since the beginning of 2002 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 has since been reduced considerably. The naval contingent consists of a frigate, temporarily a supply ship and a small base in Djibouti.

In addition, the Navy has been involved in NATO's Active Endeavor operation in the Mediterranean since the end of 2001 .

As a result of the air strike near Kunduz in Afghanistan on September 4, 2009, the Federal Minister of Labor and former Federal Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung resigned on November 30, 2009. The Bundeswehr was in charge of ISAF operations in the Kunduz area (2009–2014) .

Bigger exercises

In the summer of 2004, the Alaska Air Force took part in Cooperative Cope Thunder , a 15-day large multinational exercise in the Pacific, with tornado fighter jets .

In June and July 2006, the German Armed Forces took part in the Steadfast Jaguar exercise on Cape Verde , the first NATO maneuver on African soil. The exercise with 6,500 NATO soldiers served to demonstrate the operational readiness of the NATO Response Force (NRF). The German participation consisted of the Franco-German Brigade and naval units.

Equipment procurement for the German Armed Forces 2001–2010

Bundeswehr Eurofighter at the start
U 31 of submarine class 212 A

At the beginning of 2003, the Air Force received the Eurofighter Typhoon multipurpose fighter . The arrival of the 33 Eurofighters ordered in the 1st tranche took place until mid-2008, the influx of 79 aircraft in tranche 2 began in December 2008 and was completed in 2015.

The frigates Saxony , Hamburg and Hesse of Saxony-Class are made from 2004 to 2006 in service. The class 130 corvettes , the Braunschweig and the Magdeburg will enter service in 2008.

The 1st submarine squadron put the four conventional hunting submarines U 31 , U 32 , U 33 , U 34 of class 212 A into service from 2005 to 2007 . The supply squadron put the two task force supply companies in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main into service in 2001 and 2002 .

From 2003 to 2009 the delivery and conversion takes place of the army from Spähpanzer Lynx to fennek and from October 2010 delivery of the first transport helicopter follows the type NH90 to the Bundeswehr.

From 2005 to 2011 over 400 air-loading and air-transporting multi-purpose vehicles of the ESK Mungo type were procured for the Special Operations Division (DSO). For the Special Forces Command (KSK), 21 serval air-transportable multi-purpose vehicles were procured

From 2009 the delivery of the armored wheeled vehicle Eagle IV begins, among other things for military use in Afghanistan.

Realignment of the Bundeswehr from 2010

The realignment of the Bundeswehr is the most comprehensive reform of the Bundeswehr since its inception. It covers almost all areas of the Bundeswehr.

Suspension of compulsory military service from July 2011

On December 15, 2010, the Federal Cabinet resolved to suspend compulsory military service from July 1, 2011. On January 1, 2011, conscripts were called up for the last time; since March 1, 2011, conscripts were no longer required to serve. Since then, it has been possible to do voluntary military service as a type of military service for teams with a duration of 6 to 23 months according to Section 7 of the Compulsory Military Service Act .

Further key points

Major NATO military maneuvers and greater presence in the Baltic States

The German Armed Forces have been participating in Operation Atlantic Resolve since 2014 , an operation carried out by the United States to support and strengthen NATO allies in Europe as part of the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). It is intended to respond to the conflict in Ukraine and the intervention by Russia .

Since 2016, the Bundeswehr has been represented as part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence to secure the eastern flank of the allied states and to deter Russia. In Lithuania , Germany leads the multinational NATO Battlegroup Lithuania with rotating troops from the NATO member states.

From October 23 to November 23, 2018, the Bundeswehr took part in the NATO maneuver Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway with around 10,000 soldiers and with the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) under German leadership under Brigadier General Ullrich Spannuth .

Equipment procurement for the Bundeswehr since 2011

Armored personnel carrier Puma (2015)
The corvette Ludwigshafen am Rhein (2016)

From December 2010, the delivery of 154 ordered Multi 2 armored trucks began . The delivery of the first Puma armored personnel carriers on December 6, 2010 , the delivery of the series models to the troops began on April 17, 2015. From 2011 the armored transport vehicle, the GTK Boxer armored vehicle, will be delivered to the Bundeswehr. A total of 27 Tiger combat helicopters (KHT) had been delivered by February 2013 and a total of 68 by July 2018.

As of 2012, the Bundeswehr has procured a total of 110 protected transport vehicles (GTF) of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros (ZLK) type. By June 2013, a total of 1000 armored wheeled vehicles of the ATF Dingo type (Dingo 1 and Dingo 2) were procured .

In 2013 the corvettes of the class K130 , the Erfurt , the Oldenburg and the Ludwigshafen am Rhein will be put into service.

In May 2013, two systems of the MANTIS air defense system (formerly C-RAM close-range protection system ) were put into operation at the Air Force. The first Airbus A400M transport aircraft will be delivered on December 18, 2014 and a total of 21 aircraft will be procured by 2018.

By 2017, 15 H145M multipurpose helicopters had been delivered to the Air Force's special forces.

The commissioning of the first frigate Baden-Württemberg (F 222) of the class F125 and the handover to the 4th frigate squadron was planned for 2017; In December 2017, however, it became known that the frigate would be returned to the manufacturer from January 19, 2018 to remedy defects with a longer lay-in period.

The Defense Commissioner of the German Bundestag , Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), presented the 60th annual report on January 29, 2019. The system of deficiency management in the Bundeswehr continues in all areas. Many soldiers experience the overorganization of everything and everyone as the main obstacle to necessary improvements. They say: “We manage ourselves to death” and speak of the “Bundeswehr bureaucratic monster”, so Bartels. When the Bundeswehr is deployed abroad in Afghanistan ( Resolute Support ), around 80 percent of military transports have to be carried out with civilian helicopters. There is a lack of material in all areas. The Leopard 2 battle tank that is barely ready for use , expensive retrofitting programs for the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle, no tankers in the Navy in the second half of 2018, a large proportion of the submarines defective, less than half of the Eurofighter and Tornado multi-purpose combat aircraft are airworthy and their ammunition stocks are reduced to a minimum Not only does it affect commitment and commitment, it also suffers from training and practice. The number of soldiers newly enrolled in the Bundeswehr dropped to just 20,000 in 2018, the lowest level in the history of the Bundeswehr.


See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Jürgen Schmidt: We carry the eagle of the federal government on the rock - Chronicle of the Federal Border Guard 1951–1971 Fiedler-Verlag, Coburg 1995 ISBN 3-923434-17-0 , p. 72
  2. a b Norbert M. Arnoldi: Chronology of the Bundeswehr (Part 1) ( Memento from March 21, 2005 in the Internet Archive ), access date: September 6, 2014
  3. http://www.marine.de/portal/a/marine/start/ueberuns/geschichte/neuanfang/bundes/!ut/p/z1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zinSx8QnyMLI2MfNwMHA08XV39PExNPQ09Qwz1wwkpiAJKG-AAjgb6wSmp-pFAM8xxmmFsoh-sH6UflZVYllihV5BfVJKTWqKXmAxyoX5kRmJeSk5qQH6yI0SgIDei3KDcUREAHHe48A!!/dz/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/ # Z7_B8LTL2922LF0A0IEENH55I1I34
  4. Daniel Friedrich Gottlob Teichert: Supplement II. To the minutes of the 181st public meeting of March 5, 1849: Report on a proposal submitted to the Defense Committee of the National Assembly for the formation of a vigilante association in the Lahnthale . In: Konrad Dietrich Haßler (Hrsg.): Negotiations of the German constituent assembly of the Reich in Frankfurt am Main . Second volume, C. Krebs-Schmidt, Frankfurt am Main 1848/49, p. 9 ( online at Google Books )
  5. ^ Frank Nägler (ed.): The Bundeswehr 1955 to 2005. Flashbacks - Insights - Perspectives , Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-57958-1 , p. 122
  6. ^ Henry Leide: Nazi Criminals and State Security , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-525-35018-8 , p. 50
  7. ^ Frank Pauli: Wehrmacht officers in the Bundeswehr - the military officer corps of the Bundeswehr and the interior leadership 1955 to 1970 , Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76750-9 , p. 145
  8. Wolfram Wette : Militarism in Germany. History of a warlike culture . Fischer paperback, Frankfurt a. M. 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-18149-0 , p. 221.
  9. Hans-Jürgen Schmidt: We carry the eagle of the federal government on the skirt - Chronicle of the Federal Border Guard 1951–1971 Fiedler-Verlag, Coburg 1995 ISBN 3-923434-17-0 , p. 97.
  10. Hans-Jürgen Schmidt: We carry the eagle of the federal government on the rock - Chronicle of the Federal Border Guard 1951–1971 Fiedler-Verlag, Coburg 1995 ISBN 3-923434-17-0 , p. 98.
  11. ^ Helmut R. Hammerich, Michael Poppe, Dieter H. Kollmer, Martin Rink, Rudolf Schlaffer: Das Heer 1950 to 1970 , Verlag Oldenbourg, 2006 ISBN 3-486-57974-6 , p. 256.
  12. Article by “Agence France-Presse” on 123recht.net: Supreme Court negotiates the drafting of the Bundeswehr , January 18, 2005, page 4. Accessed on December 19, 2005, 4 p.m.
  13. www.bundeswehr.de Conscription
  14. Tagesschau: Guttenberg wants to suspend conscription ( memento from August 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on August 23, 2010)
  15. Instruction of the Defense Minister for structural reform v. March 22, 2011  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.bmvg.de  
  16. Tagesschau: These locations will be closed ( Memento from October 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Almut Lüder interviews Wolfgang Schneiderhan: "The time of mass operations is over" ( Memento of May 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) , "The Parliament" 21/2005 of May 23, 2005.
  18. ^ Film by Heinrich Billstein: The Nagold case ( Memento of the original from September 15, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. “GeschichtsZeit” (WDR) 21/2005 of September 28, 2001. Access date December 19, 2005, 6 pm  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.wdr.de
  19. For the “Nash List” see: Dieter H. Kollmer: “Klotzen, nicht mess!” The material armament of the army from the beginning to the end of the sixties , in: Helmut R. Hammerich, Dieter H. Kollmer, Martin Rink, Rudolf J. Schlaffer: The Army 1950 to 1970. Conception, organization and installation . Munich: Oldenbourg, 2006, pp. 523-534.
  20. Dieter H. Kollmer: The material armament of the Bundeswehr from the beginning to today . In: Klaus-Jürgen Bremm, Hans-Hubertus Mack , Martin Rink (eds.): Decided for Peace: 50 Years of the Bundeswehr 1955 to 2005 . Freiburg: Rombach 2005, pp. 216-219.
  21. ^ Ecumenical Institute of the Comenius Faculty in Prague (ed.): Task and testimony. Christian Peace Conference Prague 1.-4. June 1958, Praha 1958, p. 21
  22. Wolfgang Radau in the Westdeutsche Zeitung: 50 Years of the Bundeswehr: "Diamonds must be cut" ( Memento from December 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Bentler leaves - Bühler comes (Suedkurier.de, July 30, 2009)
  24. New general and new flag  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Suedkurier.de of July 30, 2009)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.suedkurier.de  
  25. Weltpolitik.net: “History of NATO 1949–1990”, accessed on March 3, 2007, 7 pm
  26. Ryan C. Hendrickson for www.nato.int on Manlio Brosio's tenure. Access time: March 3, 2007, 7 p.m.
  27. Bundeswehr: "Saufschule the nation"? In: Der Spiegel . No. 26 , 1979 ( online - June 25, 1979 ).
  28. Haut an Haut , Spiegel Online, June 22, 1987
  29. Sheet metal damage and other conflicts , Spiegel Online , May 16, 1988
  30. Volker Rühe, on the occasion of the 35th commanders' meeting of the Bundeswehr on November 17, 1995 in Munich in: Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Republic (1995) 97, pp. 944-949, here p. 945
  31. Knaur Weltspiegel ISBN 3-426-07693-4
  32. Helge Bandow, Sylvester von Rudzinski-Rudno: Almost lost orientation in new territory. In: Truppenpraxis 1/1993, pp. 86ff.
  33. ^ Report of the Federal Government on the completion of the recycling of the surplus material of the former NVA of July 30, 1997
  34. ^ Hans Walden: As lubricated - arms production and arms trade in the Hamburg area . KOMZI Vlg., 1997, ISBN 3-929522-49-7 , pp. 58 .
  35. Federal Ministry of Defense: Federal government lays down the cornerstones of the restructuring of the Bundeswehr. marine.de, December 15, 2010, accessed on May 19, 2013 .
  36. The SPz PUMA in the troops. In: http://psm-spz.de/ . April 17, 2015, accessed April 18, 2015 .
  37. Mercedes-Benz delivers 110 Zetros trucks to the Bundeswehr . www.daimler.de. June 6, 2012. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 22, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / media.daimler.com
  38. Bayern2: The Bundeswehr gets its 1000th dingo. (No longer available online.) June 20, 2013, formerly in the original ; Retrieved June 20, 2013 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.br.de  
  39. ^ Karl Schwarz: Air Force A400M landed in Germany. In: Flugrevue.de. Flug Revue , December 19, 2014, accessed May 11, 2015.
  40. https://augengeradeaus.net/2017/06/alle-h145m-hubschrauber/
  41. ^ NDR: Bundeswehr returns brand new frigate. Retrieved December 22, 2017 .
  42. ^ Information from the Armed Forces Commissioner - Annual Report 2018 (60th report). In: dip21.bundestag.de . January 29, 2019, accessed January 29, 2019 .


  1. Up to and including January 1, 2010, a total of 8,353,000 conscripts were drafted (source: sum from various Bundeswehr publications.)
  2. Since January 1st, 1981 Inner Guidance Center .