Army (Bundeswehr)

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Army logo
Lineup November 12, 1955
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Armed forces emblem armed forces
Type Armed forces
( land forces )
structure Association badge Army command

Association badge 1st Panzer Division 10th Panzer Division Rapid Forces Division 1st Ger.-Nl. Corps (German part) Eurocorps (German part) MNK NO (German part) Office for Army Development Training Command
Association badge
Association badge
Association badge
Association badge
Association badge
Combat Simulation Center for the Army (Bundeswehr) .svg
Association badge

Strength Active soldiers : 63,353
including women:
4,423 (June 2020)

Reinforcement and personnel reserves :
approx. 16,000

Insinuation Badge of the Armed Forces Command Staff General Inspector of the Bundeswehr
Headquarters Army Command DEU Strausberg COA.svg Strausberg , Von Hardenberg barracks
Web presence Website Army
Army inspector Lieutenant General Alfons Mais

In addition to the navy and the air force, the army is one of the three armed forces of the Bundeswehr . The army is the core of the land forces and the carrier of land operations as well as operations of airmobile (until December 17, 2013 also air mechanized ) forces. With around 63,000 soldiers in peacetime , the army is the largest part of the armed forces. Around 115,000 soldiers in army uniform serve in all areas of the Bundeswehr .

In the context of multinational missions such as B. KFOR and Resolute Support are constantly army contingents on foreign missions.

Mission and tasks

Main battle tank Leopard 2

As part of the armed forces of the armed forces, the mandate of the armed forces is basically congruent with the mandate and tasks of the armed forces , as they are drawn up or are responsible for by the inspector general of the armed forces and the federal minister of defense . Relevant publications on this are the Defense Policy Guidelines , the Bundeswehr Concept and the White Book .

After the end of the Cold War, the army has changed from a pure land force for national defense to an army with an expanded range of tasks. The Defense Policy Guidelines define the following tasks for the Bundeswehr:

In the White Paper, the army is assigned the following role: "The army is the core of the land forces and the carrier of land operations as well as operations of airmobile and air mechanized forces."



The supreme superior of the army is the inspector of the army . The inspector of the army has the rank of lieutenant general and reports directly to the inspector general of the Bundeswehr . The inspector is commander in command army . Via the Army Command he ensures the operational readiness of the armed forces and leads the subordinate units. The Inspector or the Army Command are directly subordinate to the Training Command , the Army Development Office, as well as the divisions and the German units of the multinational units.

Position in the Bundeswehr

The army is

Since the Bundeswehr was founded, the army has been the largest armed force in terms of numbers. During the Cold War, this resulted from the tasks assigned to the Bundeswehr in NATO's defense concept for Europe, today above all from the multitude of tasks that the Bundeswehr has to cope with in the context of its foreign missions and which - compared to all branches of the armed forces - still require large army contingents .


Structure of the Army in March 2020

The Army Command (KdoH) is the army's only higher command authority . These are the three divisions, the German shares in the multinational units, the training command with the training facilities of the Army and the Office for Army Development with a focus on conception and further development. For the duration of their deployment, troops deployed abroad are subordinate to the operational command of the Bundeswehr (EinsFüKdoBw). After taking the structure ARMY2011 , the structure of the Army was subjected to further changes. The following overview shows the basic current structure:

Participation in multinational associations

German, Danish and Polish officers of the Multinational Corps North-East at a memorial service

Within the framework of NATO and the EU's Common Security and Defense Policy , Army troops are constantly integrated into multinational staff and units. From 1955 to 1990 the army was firmly integrated into the now loosened NATO command structure. However, the army remains involved in NATO's force planning process. Today the corps are the bearers of multinationality. If necessary, the army provides forces for EU battlegroups , for the rapid reaction force of NATO and for missions of the United Nations . For this purpose, however, the army troops are not permanently integrated into these multinational units, but are usually only deployed when necessary. The German-French Brigade , which is constantly present, is an exception . The Army also participates in multinational units:

The army also provides the German share of the staff in these units and, to a limited extent, command support staff. The Telecommunications Battalion 610, for example, is permanently integrated into the Multinational Corps North-East. In the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps , the German army is only permanently involved with a few general staff officers, but has provided the 1st Panzer Division as a unit to be detached if necessary. In a special way, the Multinational Command Operational Command of the Armed Forces Base is also qualified to manage multinational units, for example the EU or NATO. The Netherlands have incorporated a significant part of their army into the German army. For training purposes, the 11th Air Mobility Brigade and the 43rd Mechanized Brigade of the Dutch Armed Forces are permanently integrated into German divisions.

Force categories

The concept of three categories of forces ( intervention forces , stabilization forces and support forces ) was discontinued in the course of the realignment of the Bundeswehr .

Military branches

KSK demonstration at the ILA  2000

By the commander of the Army Inspector letter of the official division was on 17 October 2005 branches of service of the army announced. Each type of service groups units together according to their capabilities and equipment. Externally, the affiliation can be recognized, for example, by the weapon color (color of the collar tabs or the braids, etc.) or the beret badge . The division into types of service does not correspond to the service organization of the army. Rather, the purpose of the division into military branches is primarily the uniform training, armament and further development of functionally similar sub-areas of the army. For this purpose, schools or centers have been set up for the military branches , at the head of which an officer (usually a brigadier general) in the positions of general of the infantry , general of the armored forces, etc. is particularly responsible for the further development and training of a military branch . The following table summarizes the division of the troops according to the commander's letter.

Armed Forces Association Branch of service Collar Tabs beret Military symbol Strength
Combat troops
infantry Paratroopers
HD W collar tab Inf.svg
BW beret badge Fallschirmjäger.png
MilSymb FschJg.svg
2 paratrooper regiments with:
12 paratrooper companies of them
02 heavy companies
04 paratrooper ETUC (command) companies
Mountain troop
BW Berettabzeichen Gebirgstruppe.png
MilSymb GebJg.svg
3 mountain infantry battalions with:
12 mountain troop companies of them
03 heavy companies
Hunter troop
BW beret badge Jäger.png
MilSymb Jg.svg
5 hunter battalions with:
18 hunter companies of them
04 heavy companies
Armored troops Panzergrenadier troop
BW beret badge Panzergrenadiertruppe.png
MilSymb PzGren.svg
9 armored infantry battalions with:
27 armored infantry companies
Armored force
HD W collar tab Pz.svg
BW Berettabzeichen Panzertruppe.png
MilSymb Pz.svg
6 tank battalions (1 partially active) with:
16 tank companies
Special forces
HD W collar tab Inf.svg
BW beret badge Command Special Forces.png
MilSymb SpezKr.svg
Rescue workers with:
5 command companies thereof
1 special command company
Combat support troops
Artillery force
HD W collar tab Art.svg
BW beret badge Artillerie.png
MilSymb Art.svg
4 artillery battalions with:
4 rocket artillery batteries
9 tank artillery batteries
4 observation / reconnaissance batteries
Army Air Force
HD W collar tab HFlg.svg
BW beret badge Heeresflieger.png
MilSymb rotary wing aircraft H.svg
2 transport
helicopter regiments, 1 combat helicopter regiment
Pioneer troop
HD W collar tab Pi.svg
BW beret badge pioneer troop.png
MilSymb Pi.svg
6 battalions
+ 3 independent companies
Task Force and Command Support Forces
Telecommunications force
HD W collar tab Fm.svg
BW beret badge Fernmeldetruppe.png
MilSymb FüUstg.svg
1 battalion
+ 3 companies
Army Reconnaissance Force
HD W collar tab H Aufkl.svg
BW beret badge Heeresaufklerungstruppe.png
MilSymb Aufkl.svg
6 battalions
+ 1 company
+ 2 airborne reconnaissance companies
Army logistics troops Repair troop
HD W collar tab HLog.svg
BW beret badge repair troop.png
MilSymb Inst.svg
7 supply battalions, 3 each in the 1st
and 10th Panzer Divisions
and one Btl. In the Franco-German Brigade
+ 2 airborne support companies
(organically in the paratrooper regiments )
Supply force
BW beret badge supply troop.png
MilSymb Nsch.svg
Army medical service
HD W collar tab San.svg
BW Berettabzeichen Sanitätsdienst.png
MilSymb San.svg
2 airborne medical companies
(organically in the paratrooper regiments)

Medical center KSK

In mid-2013, the military music service in the army switched to the armed forces base . On April 23, 2013, the NBC defense force was subordinated to the NBC defense command, which was put into service on the same day, and thus to the armed forces base. As early as 2012, the Army Air Defense Force was completely disbanded as an Army Force and a large part of its tasks were transferred to the Air Force . In 2001, the newly established armed forces base had already taken over some of the military branches that were most recently part of the army. These include the military police , the operational information troops , the EloKa telecommunications troops and the topography troop , which was disbanded in 2003 .

Army locations Oct. 2012


The army is stationed in barracks almost all over Germany. There are no major units in the states of Bremen , Hamburg and Berlin . The only major locations of the army abroad are in Strasbourg in France and in Illkirch-Graffenstaden . The military installations, i.e. H. However, barracks , depots and military training areas themselves are largely not under the administration of the Army, but are operated by the Federal Office for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services of the Bundeswehr through its Bundeswehr service centers or by military training area commanderships of the armed forces base .

The site concept has changed fundamentally since the end of the Cold War and at the latest when the site concept was presented in 2011 under Federal Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière . Numerous locations that until 1990 were close to the assigned defense rooms of the troops were closed due to the downsizing of the army for cost reasons and the troops were concentrated in a few rooms that are often close to suitable training facilities (e.g. military training areas). Troop concentration is now, for example, in the Lüneburg Heath around the military training areas Munster and Bergen , in East Westphalia-Lippe (including Generalfeldmarschall-Rommel barracks ), in Franconia , on the Saar , in western Thuringia , in the Alpine region and in the Bavarian Forest .

Recruitment and training


The Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr (BAPersBw) is a higher federal authority which, as part of the realignment of the Bundeswehr, is responsible for the personnel management of soldiers and civil servants up to and including grade A 16 as well as collective bargaining staff from pay group 9 as well as military and civilian personnel recruitment . In order to ensure comprehensive information for interested parties about all civil and military occupational profiles of the Bundeswehr, 110 permanent and up to 200 mobile career advice offices are set up. In addition to these elements in the area, 16 career centers of the Bundeswehr will be created with a comprehensive range of advice and information for politics, authorities and business.


German soldiers with G36 in front of Luchs reconnaissance tank in Bosnia, 2002

The army has been significantly reduced in size since the end of the Cold War. The army currently has a strength of 63,353 soldiers. All career paths in the Army have been open to women without restriction since 2001. 4,423 female soldiers serve in the army. This corresponds to a share of around 7% of all soldiers in the army. The basic military service to be performed by conscripts called up last lasted six months. The conscription was suspended from 1 July 2011; the last conscripts were drafted in January 2011. Since July 1, 2011, the army has been made up of volunteers for the first time in its history - apart from the short period between 1955 and 1957.

Compared to the total or army strength of other European armies (e.g. France, Great Britain or Italy), the German army has a relatively low strength. This is explained by the German peculiarity of the organizational areas of the armed forces base and the central medical service , in which army soldiers (official name: "Army uniform bearers") serve on a large scale. Around 115,000 military uniforms are currently serving in all areas of the Bundeswehr.

According to the employment relationship, soldiers can be differentiated into professional soldiers , temporary soldiers , and voluntary military service .


Classic ZMZ operations include, for example, flood control together with civil organizations such as the THW

The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany provides for compulsory military service for the armed forces , which was suspended in mid-2011. Conscription men have so far been trained in their last at least six months of military service for a task in the armed forces and were then, as is still today, volunteers after their service as a rule part of the reserve . In the event of a defense or other crises, the army could therefore grow significantly with reservists . Reservists are an important core element of civil-military cooperation in disaster management . While in the Cold War soldiers were usually included in units of the territorial army after their active military service in order to support the field army in the event of a defense , many tasks of the territorial army that were formerly part of the army have been transferred to the area of ​​responsibility of the armed forces base . Many of the supplementary troops in the army, such as the homeland security units , were disbanded and their material stored for defense purposes was destroyed. Served soldiers are still reservists after their service , but are much less frequently assigned to an inactive unit than in the Cold War. Defense exercises are now rare and mostly voluntary. Nevertheless, reserve positions are still planned in the army and there are still supplementary troops in the army. In the future, these include a. two partially active tank battalions, two non-active tank grenadier battalions and two engineer battalions. As a rule, however, these associations do not have their own heavy equipment, but are designed as training associations that use the equipment of active associations for training. The number of these structurally bound dispatch service posts for reservists ( reinforcement reserve ) in the army is 8,000 soldiers. Other reservists are planned as “substitutes” or to reinforce (“mirror service posts”) regular service posts in active units in the army. These reservists form the personnel reserve, which comprises around 8,000 posts. All other reservists who are not permanently scheduled for post form the general reserve , which comprises several hundred thousand army soldiers . The use of specially qualified reservists to cover special needs on missions abroad is of particular importance. Reservists can be promoted through military exercises and participation in courses within their career and, if necessary, advance to the next career, but at most up to the rank of colonel .


All soldiers in the army first go through the three-month basic training (GA). The contents of the basic training are identical in all organizational areas of the armed forces. The battalions usually form special training companies to carry out basic training. Most of the soldiers are transferred to their main units only after the basic training . Further training for most soldiers in active service usually takes place in regular companies. Exceptions are the officer candidate battalions , which are initially the place of training for officer candidates , regardless of the type of service. Special courses specific to a career or a type of service are carried out primarily at the Army training facilities. In addition, there are also special training units which, for example, train prospective motor vehicle mechanics , gunmen and drivers and are now part of the armed forces base . Every successful training phase is evidenced by the training and activity number (ATN). Attendance of the Army Sergeant's School is compulsory for non-commissioned officers , while prospective officers have to attend the Army Officers 'School to acquire their officers' letters. However, many courses are now also to be completed at training facilities of the armed forces base. In the vast majority of cases, officers of all branches of the armed forces complete a civilian degree at the universities of the Bundeswehr , which does not have to be directly related to their military employment. In addition to those responsible in the training command and in the Office for Army Development , the commanders of some training institutions have special responsibility for the training and further development of the military branches . These occupy the positions of general of the infantry , general of the armored troops , general of the army reconnaissance troops, etc. Almost every type of troop has a training battalion or at least one training company, which, in addition to its tasks as a regular association, is involved in the training and further development of the type of service and therefore depends on the cooperation with the relevant schools. These associations and units are used to test new technologies, service regulations and procedures, as well as to demonstrate the capabilities of the military branch. Most of these associations are part of Panzerlehrbrigade 9 .


The career paths of soldiers are divided into the three career paths of men , NCOs and officers . The careers of NCOs and officers are divided into rank groups. The lowest rank in the army is the soldier with the rank designation of his troop type such as hunter, tank gunner, tank grenadier, gunner, etc. The highest rank in the army is the rank of a general . Only soldiers who held a position above the command structure of the army are appointed to this position; the inspector of the army is a lieutenant general . The salutation of an officer from Brigadier General is independent of the rank of "Herr General". The names of the ranks are identical in the armed forces of the army and air force.


Vehicles and main weapon systems

The Eurocopter Tiger , along with the Puma and the NH90, is one of the Army's largest armaments projects

The main weapon systems are the Leopard 2 main battle tank , the Marder armored personnel carrier and the Puma armored personnel carrier , which has been the successor to the Marder since 2015.

Weapon systems of the infantry are primarily the Wiesel weapon carrier and the GTK Boxer armored transport vehicle . The artillery force uses the artillery systems MARS and self-propelled howitzer 2000 . Other unarmored and armored wheeled and tracked vehicles as well as the transport and combat helicopters of the army aviators complement the army's equipment.

In December 2017, according to the "Report on the material readiness of the main weapon systems", the army had the following main weapon systems:

vehicle image number Distribution and annotations
Total stock of the Bundeswehr Available stock of the army
Active systems
Main battle tank
Leopard 2
Kpz Leopard 2 244
PLAN: 328 (tapering from 2020)
Marder armored
personnel carrier
Spz marten 382 319 The decommissioning of the marten is only planned when the Puma infantry fighting vehicle is ready for use (around 2024).
MARS missile artillery system
MARS 41 15th currently 8 per rocket artillery battery
Self-propelled howitzer 2000 Self-propelled howitzer 2000 121 75
Wiesel 1 TOW and MK
Wiesel 1 with a 20 mm automatic cannon 272 120 (TOW & MK) Variants TOW and MK for u. a. Infantry units.
In the heavy companies : 60 pieces in the TOW variant and 60 pieces in the MK variant
Transport tank Fuchs Transport tank Fuchs (TPz Fuchs) of the Bundeswehr (10579660405) .jpg 907 684
Transport tank GTK Boxer Infantry group vehicle 274 (incl. 72 of the Central Medical Service)
Plan: 404 (a second lot for 131 vehicles will run out from 2017)
Fennek scout car Fennek scout car (4x4) .JPG 220 180
Systems in the inflow
personnel carrier Puma
Spz Puma 176
plan: 350
Eurocopter Tiger attack
UH Tiger 53
plan: 48 (a total of 68 systems were procured)
Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) NH90 NH90 the Army Aviator 74
plan: 82
H145 LUH SAR 7 (ordered) Will be added from 2020 - For the transport helicopter regiment 30

Hand weapons

As armament, the soldier has numerous hand weapons, depending on the purpose, mostly the HK G36 assault rifle . Some soldiers continue to use the G3 as an orderly weapon , which has the advantage over the G36 of a higher penetration power. Vehicle crews are often still equipped with the MP2 (Uzi) as a handgun in the secondary armament. This has already been partially replaced by the HK MP7 . The standard pistol of the Bundeswehr, especially in secondary armament, is the P8 - the previous P1 pistol is only rarely in use. Infantry groups carry an MG3 or HK MG4 machine gun . The snipers in the infantry and armored infantry companies are equipped with the G 22 or the G82 , the telescopic shooters in an infantry group are usually equipped with a modified version of the G3. In addition to the Panzerfaust 3 , the anti-tank guided missile MILAN is also available for anti-tank defense . The latter is preferred when mounted. The infantry equipment also includes the GMW 40 grenade machine gun and the 120 mm mortar . Due to their high weight, the MILAN, the HK GMW and the 120 mm mortar are mostly loaded onto weapon carriers.

Battlefield nuclear weapons

The use of battlefield nuclear weapons by the artillery corps of the army was in the Cold War a tactical option for the defense case , if the corresponding shells and rockets only by the American forces in the framework of agreements on nuclear sharing had to be provided. Resolutions of the NATO nuclear planning group in 1991 led to the abandonment of such deployment scenarios.


Service suit

Paratrooper in large service suit with a burgundy beret and green weapon color. In front the flag delegation with troop flags of the Bundeswehr .

The service suit of the army soldier differs from the service suit of all other branches of the armed forces and is predominantly kept in field gray. Army uniforms also serve in the armed forces base . Compared to the Navy, the service suit is worn less often in normal troop service . To dress uniform belonging beret (in Gebirgstruppe the mountain cap ). With the color of the beret and badge, it is usually possible to identify the troop type. There are numerous exceptions to this. For example, most members of an airborne unit wear the burgundy beret. Officer cadets wear a navy blue beret with the badge of the type of service for which they are intended. Navy blue berets, for example, are also worn by members of the multinational Franco-German brigade and some multinational corps headquarters. The latter soldiers also wear uniform beret badges, so that it is not possible to identify the type of troop based on their headgear. The army uniform wearers of the guard battalion at the Federal Ministry of Defense wear a special beret badge - they already have numerous special features with regard to their uniforms. Mountain troops and other current or former mountain troops wear a modified form of the service suit. For Berg suit with Skibluse and wedge pants shall bear the balaclava and mountain boots. The raceways and also limited the rank groups can be in addition to the insignia also on the different running piping on the shoulder straps and collar and the Doppellitzen the Krangenspiegel recognize (for generals, for example golden cord as piping or wire, for other officers silver, for NCOs with Portepee old gold etc.). A further identification of the troop type can be made via the weapon color on the collar tab and the colored underlay or borders of the rank insignia or epaulets. The rank badges themselves no longer consist of a simple print or embroidery, but are made of metal and are attached to the epaulets. The embroidered association badge of the major association is worn on the left sleeve, i.e. that of the brigade, the division, the corresponding staff (e.g. association badge of the Army Command or the military school), the military area command , etc. (see also the list of association badges of the Bundeswehr ). An internal association badge may also be worn on the right breast pocket , which demonstrates belonging to a unit, battalion or other association. In addition, there are a number of other badges that go back to the service position, training or merits of the individual wearers. Company sergeants , for example, wear a golden cord over their shoulder. NCOs and crews may have acquired a rifle cord . Awards, e.g. B. the Cross of Honor of the Bundeswehr for bravery, other decorations of the Bundeswehr or for participation in missions, are usually worn over the left breast pocket as a strap buckle . Arm bands are only worn by a few army uniforms in the army. In the area of ​​the Army Command, these are only the Army Aviators and the soldiers of the Armored Training Brigade 9 . In the area of ​​the training command, for example, the members (not course participants) of the army officers' school . Some badges awarded for courses passed or acquired through certain qualifications, e.g. B. the parachute jumper badge , the army mountain guide badge or other badges are usually attached above the right breast pocket and are made of metal. Uniform buttons, embroidery on the cuffs and badges made of metal are silver, only gold for the generals.

For particularly solemn occasions ( big tattoo , funeral ceremonies) the big service suit can be ordered. The soldiers then often wear helmets instead of berets , combat boots instead of loafers, robbery trousers and leather belts over their service jacket or coat. The military police, most members of the music corps or flag commandos, also have special uniform modifications , because they wear white belts with their uniforms .

Field suit

The most common type of suit in the army is the field suit in its basic form. Combat boots (or mountain boots), field trousers and field blouses in camouflage pattern (for tank crews and army aviators also one-piece tank combinations in olive or camouflage) are usually worn in combat and guard duty with a field cap or a combat helmet . So that is widely flak jacket or field coupling (carrying aid for folding shovel , canteen , combat knives, etc.) combined. Outside of the security and combat duty, berets or mountain hats are often worn with field suits. The rank badges are simpler than on the service suit and consist only of printed or embroidered rank loops that are pushed onto the epaulets. The troop type does not have piping, but simple strands that are also pushed onto the epaulettes. In contrast to the navy, the embroidery for teams and non-commissioned officers is never gold in color. The rank badges of the officers of the navy and army differ in their shape anyway, although the embroidery for army generals is also gold-colored. Only in the camouflage version (black embroidery) do the badges of the crew and NCO ranks of the army and navy are the same. A distinction is then only possible - in addition to the headgear, if necessary - via the missing braid of the naval uniform carrier. The difference to the field suit of the Air Force results clearly from the wings embroidered on the Air Force rank loops. Association badges are not worn on field suits; the internal association badge as a tag only outside the combat service, otherwise sometimes also as a (not permanently attached) sleeve badge. Badges related to activities and courses (e.g. passed lone warrior course ) are, in contrast to the version for the service suit, only embroidered and sewn on the field suit. Special awards, which are usually worn as a strap buckle on the service suit, are not worn on the field suit.


short version

The first soldiers of the army became effective on November 12, 1955 in service and in April 1957, the first were conscripts called up . The army expressly does not see itself in the tradition of the Wehrmacht . During the Cold War , the main task of the Bundeswehr was national defense . With the dissolution of the Territorial Defense Command in 1969, its tasks were transferred to the Army, which was organizationally divided into the field army, which was integrated into the NATO command structure, and the territorial army under national command . After the reunification of the states of the German Democratic Republic and all of Berlin joined the Federal Republic of Germany , parts of the land forces of the National People's Army were integrated into the army. The field army grew to 42 combat brigades and 360,000 active soldiers and thus reached its historical maximum size. The territorial army was dissolved as a separate sub-area in the army in 2001 and the remaining territorial structures and tasks were integrated into the newly created organizational area of ​​the armed forces base . Conscription was suspended in 2011. Since then, the army has been part of a volunteer army . Since April 2012 the General Inspector of the Bundeswehr has been the superior superior of all soldiers in the Army.


High employees of the Office Blank, u. a. Theodor Blank himself, in 1955. Since the Bundeswehr had not yet been established, the later Army General and Inspector General Adolf Heusinger also wore civilian clothes.

After the collapse of the National Socialist dictatorship , the almost complete destruction of the Wehrmacht and the subsequent occupation of the territories of the German Reich by the Allied victorious powers, the creation of new German armed forces was out of the question for a few years. The beginning of the Cold War between East and West was to change this. Just one year after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Advisory Assembly of the Council of Europe, under the influence of the Korean War , approved the formation of a European army with German participation on August 11, 1950. Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer endeavored to strengthen the Federal Republic's ties to the West . In 1951 the militarily structured Federal Border Guard (BGS), equipped with light weapons, was set up with a strength of 10,000 men; Service groups to support the Western Allied occupation troops had existed for a long time. The BGS units often formed a basis for the later army units. In the Himmeroder memorandum , former high-ranking German armed forces of the Wehrmacht outlined the main features of a new "German contingent within the framework of an international armed force for the defense of Western Europe". For the German land forces, the memorandum provided for the formation of an army of 250,000 men by 1952. The military provided for the formation of twelve armored divisions and six corps staffs with associated corps troops, since only the armored divisions could muster the combat strength to repel the numerically far superior troops of the later Warsaw Pact . On October 26, 1950, Theodor Blank was appointed "Commissioner of the Federal Chancellor for questions connected with the increase in the number of Allied troops". This forerunner of the Ministry of Defense was somewhat euphemistically dubbed “ Amt Blank ”, but it was used explicitly to prepare for the rearmament of West Germany. The Blank Office submitted plans for the organization of the new German land forces as early as March 1954. These envisaged the formation of six infantry , four armored and two armored infantry divisions as the German contribution to the defense of Western Europe within the framework of a European defense community (see also Pleven plan ). After a decision by the London Nine Powers Conference from September 28 to October 3, 1954, Germany's entry into NATO was decided with effect from May 9, 1955 - i.e. before the formation of its own troops - as a replacement for the politically failed European Defense Community. It was only after joining NATO in 1955 that the office was converted into the Federal Ministry of Defense after the Bundestag had already approved a German contribution to the defense of Western Europe on February 8, 1952 and the Basic Law had been supplemented accordingly by the articles on the military sovereignty of the federal government on February 26, 1954 was. Theodor Blank became the first defense minister. Department V Heer in the Ministry of Defense was the nucleus of the army . Sub-departments were the areas of management and training, organization and logistics.

Army Structure 1 1955–1959

Lieutenant General Adolf Heusinger , General Hans Speidel with Federal Minister of Defense Theodor Blank handing over the certificates of appointment for the first 101 volunteers of the Bundeswehr in Bonn

The real history of the Army and the Bundeswehr begins in 1955. The first soldiers in the Army began their service in Andernach on November 12, 1955 . In April 1957, the first were conscripts called up . When it was founded, the army did not see itself as a successor to the Wehrmacht , which had been defeated ten years earlier , but rather to that of the Prussian military reforms and the military resistance against National Socialism around the group of freedom fighters of July 20, 1944 . Nonetheless, for a long time, the officer corps was mainly shaped by former army officers due to the lack of alternatives . The former armored troop general Hans Röttiger , who was already involved in drafting the Himmeroder memorandum, became the first inspector of the army . Until the end of the Cold War in 1989, the confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact determined the history of the Army.

The army was firmly integrated into the NATO structure from the beginning and was to provide a total of twelve army divisions in Army Structure 1 by 1959 . Until 1966, the NATO strategy envisaged a massive atomic retaliation in the event of an attack by Soviet armed forces, which were superior to conventional forces in Europe. In 1956, seven training companies were set up in Andernach as the first units of the army , and the development of the army schools began. On April 1, 1957, the first conscripts were drafted into the army. In order to set up the twelve armored and grenadier divisions now planned, the existing units were divided into two units approximately every six months. Nevertheless, not all of the twelve planned divisions could be subordinated to NATO by 1959 . At the end of 1958 the strength of the army was around 100,000 men. The army initially relied on American equipment such as the M47 main battle tank .

The land forces of the Bundeswehr were initially divided into the army and the territorial defense . The army was firmly integrated into the NATO command structure. The Office for Territorial Defense - later renamed the Territorial Defense Command - was set up as the top management level of the territorial armed forces . The Territorial Defense Command was directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense. In a narrower sense, territorial defense therefore formed a separate area alongside the armed forces, army, navy and air force . The units for territorial defense were under national command and were not fully integrated into the NATO command structure.

Army Structure 2 1959–1970

Bundeswehr soldiers with MG1 and G3 during a maneuver in 1960. In the background an armored personnel
carrier for short "Hotchkiss", type reconnaissance tank.
Bundeswehr tank of the type M47 Patton , 1960
Handover of army flags in 1965

The development of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons made a new army structure necessary before the target structure of Army Structure 2 was finally adopted. The impact of attacks to minimize nuclear battlefield weapons to the armed forces were up to 28,000 soldiers comprehensive and classified as immovable divisions into smaller, more mobile units - the brigades - divided. These smaller units should be able to hold out for several days on the atomic battlefield, be capable of flexible guided defense and capable of rapid counter-attacks. The new tank and tank grenadier brigades were also capable of combined arms combat . Each division should consist of three brigades. The tank brigade consisted of one tank grenadier battalion, two tank battalions, one tank artillery battalion and one supply battalion. The Panzergrenadierbrigade consisted of a motorized grenadier battalion, two tank battalions, a tank battalion, a field artillery battalion and a supply battalion. The grenadier divisions were given the designation "Panzergrenadierdivision". At the end of 1959 a total of 11 divisions and 27 brigades could be set up. The field army had a strength of 148,000 men in 1959. The territorial army set up the first (mostly inactive) hunter battalions and security companies in the early 1960s. In 1965, 34 of the planned 36 brigades were deployed and the 12th Panzer Division was reported as the last of the planned NATO divisions. In 1969 the army had grown to 305,000 men. The doctrine of massive retaliation was replaced in 1967 by the Flexible Response Strategy , which still provided for the use of nuclear weapons and brought with it the strategy of forward defense . For this purpose, the army was already set up in 1969 with three nuclear-capable rocket artillery battalions and two nuclear-capable field artillery battalions within the framework of nuclear participation - further units were planned. The army received 2 further new weapon systems in the army structure. The tank units initially received the American M 48 main battle tank , later the Leopard main battle tank . The tank grenadiers initially received the scandalous and poorly performing armored personnel carrier HS 30 , later the German armored personnel carrier Marder . The Federal Republic of Germany also procured tank destroyers and rocket tank destroyers, M113 armored personnel carriers and Bell UH-1 D transport helicopters .

From 1961 the planned territorial defense units were replenished by reservists . The central command authority for territorial defense, the Territorial Defense Command , was dissolved in 1969 in favor of three new territorial commands North , South and Schleswig-Holstein . From then on, the army was organizationally divided into the "field army " (subordinate to NATO) and the " territorial army " (under German command).

Army Structure 3 1970–1979

The reclassification of the 2nd and 4th Panzer Grenadier Divisions into Jäger Divisions should enable the units to be more adaptable to changing terrain. The corps received tank regiments and their own airborne forces as reserves . At the end of 1971 the divisions of the field army were subordinate to 13 tank, 11 tank grenadier, 4 jäger, 3 paratrooper and 2 mountain rifle brigades. In 1975 the army raised the missing third brigades of the 7th , 10th and 12th Panzer Divisions . Thus the target of 36 brigades was fulfilled. The new brigades were initially designed as model brigades in testing Army Structure 4.

Army (Bundeswehr) (Germany)
Munster I. Corps
I. Corps
Ulm II Corps
II Corps
Koblenz III.  corps
III. corps
Hanover 1st PzDiv
1st PzDiv
Kassel 2nd PzGrenDiv
2nd PzGrenDiv
Buxtehude 3rd PzDiv
3rd PzDiv
Regensburg 4th PzGrenDiv
4th PzGrenDiv
Diez 5th PzDiv
5th PzDiv
Neumünster 6th PzGrenDiv
6th PzGrenDiv
Unna 7th PzDiv
7th PzDiv
Garmisch-Part.  1st GebDiv
Garmisch-Part .
1st GebDiv
Bruchsal 1st LLDiv
1st LLDiv
Sigmaringen 10th PzDiv
10th PzDiv
Oldenburg 11th PzGrenDiv
11th PzGrenDiv
Veitshoechheim 12th PzDiv
12th PzDiv
Locations of the corps and divisions of the field army (Army Structure 4)

Army Structure 4 1980–1990

From 1980 to 1981 the army was reorganized into Army Structure 4. The aim was again to break down into smaller, more flexible combat units. The number of combat troop battalions per brigade was increased from three to four. The first battalion of each brigade was set up as a mixed tank or tank grenadier battalion . The twelve divisions were further combined in three German corps and the binational LANDJUT corps . The 2nd and 4th Jägerdivisions were reclassified into Panzergrenadierdivisions. The 1st and 7th Panzer Grenadier Divisions became Panzer Divisions. The field army consisted of 38 active brigades (17 armored, 15 armored infantry, 3 airborne, 1 mountain troop brigade and 2 homeland security brigades assigned to the field army) of 38 active brigades (6 armored, 4 armored infantry , the 1st airborne) - as well as the 1st Mountain Division ). At the corps level, the missile artillery battalions were equipped with MGM-52 Lance and the inactive field artillery battalions with the M110 weapon system and were able to fire nuclear warheads. On the levels below, the division troops were also able to fire nuclear warheads with the M110 and, from 1977 onwards, the artillery units of the brigades with their M109 self-propelled howitzers . The anti-aircraft forces were divided into regiments at division level and received the Gepard anti-aircraft gun .

The territorial army was divided into three territorial commands with a total of five military area commands . To this end, the support commands supported the American armed forces in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1982 onwards as part of the Wartime Host Nation Support program. The partially active homeland security commandos , which had existed since 1970, were reclassified to homeland security brigades. The territorial army comprised a total of ten homeland security brigades, four of which were (partially) active combat units. Overall, the territorial army could grow to 450,000 men in the event of a defense. In 1985 the territorial army already comprised 85,000 men.

Army Structure 5 1990–1992

On October 4, 1990, Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm , Commander Bundeswehrkommando Ost , took over Military District
Command VII of the Bundeswehr, formerly Military District III of the National People's Army

With the increasing relaxation between East and West, a downsizing of the Bundeswehr by up to 95,000 soldiers has already been considered. With reunification in 1990 at the latest , the end of the Cold War and nuclear disarmament, a phase of downsizing the army began, which continues to this day. In 1990, in the two-plus-four treaty, the Bundeswehr had a maximum peace-keeping strength of 370,000 men by 1994. For the army, which after the incorporation of the National People's Army in October 1990 had a strength of 360,000 soldiers (including the former NVA: 58,000), this meant a reduction of around 105,000 soldiers to a peace force of 255,000 soldiers. After integrating the National People's Army (especially the land forces of the NVA ) into the army, the all-German army initially led 14 divisions and 43 combat brigades (plus the newly established Franco-German brigade ) as well as 6 active and 6 inactive homeland security brigades in the territorial army, some of which had 26 only partially active brigades were reduced. The territorial army was organizationally combined with the field army and its remaining units incorporated into the field army. The planned merger of the previous three corps headquarters with the three territorial commands was not or only partially realized. The only merged association was merely the "East German" Corps / Territorial Command East with its correspondingly subordinate merged division staffs and military area commands. The previous eight military area commands were to be merged with the division headquarters, but this was only partially fully realized. Only the East German divisions and military area commands were fully merged. With the command air mobile forces / 4. Division , a tactical / operational divisional staff was created, which was primarily capable of responding to crises abroad. The East German army units were not immediately assigned to NATO until the group of Soviet armed forces withdrew from Germany , but were initially subordinate to the East Army Command and its successor commands or the aforementioned Corps / Territorial Command East.

In 1991, NATO decided on a differentiated new strategy that replaced Flexible Response . The resolutions of the NATO Nuclear Planning Group in 1991 led u. a. to a renunciation of nuclear-capable battlefield weapons of the army. The material adopted by the NVA was largely made in subsequent years or destroyed. Especially with regard to the special requirements of the paratrooper troops , the weapon carrier Wiesel was introduced to the troops, who replaced the Kraka . With the 1992 paratrooper companies B1 (command) , the army began building units for command operations for the first time.

Army structure 5 (N) 1993–1997

A readjustment (N) of Army Structure 5 soon followed. The increasing foreign deployments in the expanded range of tasks of the Army led to the abandonment of the Territorial Commandos and their merger with the Corps Commandos or led to the fusion of the IV Corps and the Territorial Command East.

Some corps have been rededicated to multinational headquarters. The 1st Corps was dissolved in 1995 and replaced by the 1st German-Dutch Corps . The II. Corps was converted into the II. German-American Corps in 1993 . The LANDJUT corps , which was already set up on a multinational basis, remained in place. The brigades were uniformly structured until 1994. Tank and tank grenadier brigades were divided into two tank and two tank grenadier battalions and one tank artillery battalion. In 1992, as a forerunner of today's force categories, parts of the army were designated for crisis response and prepared accordingly. The size of the crisis reaction forces was 50,000 soldiers. In contrast to the other two original corps of the Army, the III. Corps was not converted into a multinational corps, but was disbanded on April 1, 1994. Parts of the corps staff were used to set up the Army Command . The Army Command was set up in response to the loosening of the NATO command structure in Western Europe. Until the 1990s, the German army would have been commanded by NATO . The change in the security situation in Europe due to the collapse of the Soviet Union , however, made a German command command necessary. At about the same time, the army was reorganized and in addition to the Army Office and the Army Command, the Army Support Command was reorganized, which, among other things, centralized logistical and medical services in the Army. The newly formed merged Corps and Territorial Command Corps / Territorial Command East , which until the withdrawal of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany from West Germany included the East German troops and was not previously NATO assigniert was from 1995 as IV. Corps continued and was the only remaining purely national corps in the army. With the special forces command set up in 1996 , the army began to set up a unit for command operations for the first time.

New army for new tasks 1997–2001

Dingo 1 (Version ATF 2 ) : The Dingo stands for a whole class of specially armored light vehicles in the army, which were procured against the background of missions abroad.

After 1997, the new army structure New Army was adopted for new tasks . After the corps were discontinued as a purely national large unit, the army aviators formerly subordinated there were combined in the Air Mechanized Brigade 1 . Under the aspect of the army's expanded range of tasks, the differentiation into main defense forces (HVK) and crisis reaction forces (KRK) was advanced.

The crisis reaction forces numbered 37,000 men and comprised the German shares in the NATO reaction forces, the Staff Command Air Mobile Forces , the staffs of the 7th and 10th Armored Divisions, the operational support command of Logistics Brigade 1 , Armored Brigades 12 and 21 , Air Mechanized Brigade 1 , the Luftlandebrigade 31 , the Jägerbrigade 37 and the German part of the Franco-German Brigade . The CRC forces also included the special forces command and other support forces . The HVK forces consisted of a total of 20 active, partially active and in peacetime inactive brigades. Four active HVK brigades were able to relieve the crisis reaction forces and how they were structured. Four active HVK brigades, structured like the KRK brigades, were able to set up another four brigades that were not active during peacetime at short notice. Eight other partially active HVK brigades remained structured in a similar way to Army Structure 5 (N).

The army is still involved in the 1st German-Dutch Corps, 2nd (German-American) Corps , Eurocorps , 5th American-German Corps , ACE Rapid Reaction Corps and Multinational Corps North-East and subordinates these forces for exercises and operations. The Multinational Corps North-East emerged from the German-Danish LANDJUT through the incorporation of Polish army units. The IV Corps initially remained.

For the army it was decided to supply the new self-propelled howitzers 2000 , the Dingo and the new helicopter types Eurocopter Tiger and NH90 and the establishment of the Air Mechanized Brigade 1 .

Transformation 2002–2009

Since 2001, extensive and continuous structural reforms have been carried out in the army under the heading of transformation . At the same time, intermediate steps are still being defined: Future Army (2001-2006) and New Army or Army 2010 (from 2006). From around 2008 until today, the strength of the army was around 105,000 to 100,000 soldiers. The further development of the army included the further categorization of the army into intervention , stabilization and support forces . The core of the intervention forces is the 1st Panzer Division (also: the intervention forces division ), which in terms of size, number of division troops and its ability to conduct combat between combined arms and its own troops is the only remaining division, which is the division of the cold War is roughly comparable. In addition, parts of the army were outsourced to the newly created armed forces base and the central medical service of the Bundeswehr . The armed forces base was also given the bulk of the tasks of the territorial army and this was dissolved as a sub-area within the army alongside the field army. After setting up these two military organizational areas, the Army Support Command , which was now partially stripped of its function, was dissolved. The Army Command and the Airmobile Operations Division , which were reorganized in 2002 , made a further contribution to combining important support functions . These and other support units provided the remaining divisions and units of the army with “modular” individual units that they needed to carry out their more diverse tasks in the “extended area of ​​responsibility of the armed forces”. In 2002 the last remaining corps was disbanded and the armed forces joint operations command of the Bundeswehr was set up from parts of the staff , which from then on was to lead troops abroad. The Air Force Command / 4, which is partly entrusted with this task . At about the same time, the division was reclassified into the more traditional Luftlandverband special operations division, which was now explicitly enabled to carry out special operations. The Air Mechanized Brigade 1 developed into a powerful brigade with combat helicopters and airmobile infantry forces , which was consequently renamed Airmobile Brigade 1 in 2007 and represented an important element of the army's ability to react to crises. In 2005, the reorganization was branch has initiated the army. What was particularly noticeable was the outsourcing of entire branches of the armed forces to the armed forces base, the final dissolution of the already heavily decimated tank destroyer troops and the formation of the army reconnaissance troops, which centralized the reconnaissance capabilities of several branches of the army. The 291 Jäger Battalion of the Franco-German Brigade, set up in Strasbourg at the end of 2009, is the first major task force in the history of the Army to be permanently stationed in a foreign garrison.

The increasing number of foreign deployments in particular led to the procurement of a whole range of new, partly armored and / or partly air-transportable vehicles. These include the GTK Boxer , the Dingo 2 and the Mungo . For the newly established army reconnaissance troop is fennek newly procured. In 2010 the Gepard anti-aircraft tank is decommissioned. In return, training on the mobile close-range protection system MANTIS begins in 2010 .

Realignment of the Bundeswehr (from 2011)

Army locations according to the 2011 stationing concept
Structure of the army according to the 2011 stationing concept

In 2011, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière presented his concept for realigning the Bundeswehr . The size of the army is significantly reduced; but the army remains the largest part of the armed forces. The plan is to reduce the number of active soldiers in the army to a maximum of 61,320. Of these, 55,320 are said to be professional and temporary soldiers and between 2,250 to 6,000 voluntary military service (FWDL) . In the future, there will be around 100,000 army uniform wearers in all areas of the Bundeswehr, including around 25,000 in the armed forces and 15,000 in training positions. Since July 2011, the army has only included soldiers serving voluntarily; the military service is suspended. In March 2012, the Army Air Defense Force was decommissioned.

As of April 1, 2012, the Army Inspector was subordinated to the Bundeswehr Inspector General ( Dresden Decree ). Up until now, the Army Inspector was directly subordinate to the Federal Minister of Defense. Therefore, the army formed a completely separate area within the Bundeswehr and was responsible for ensuring its operational readiness "within the framework of the forces and resources allocated to it and approved structures" (§ 2.2.2 Berlin Decree ). The Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (see also Military Leadership Council ), who was responsible for the overall conception and certain other issues such as the internal leadership of the Bundeswehr and was not authorized to give orders to the inspectors of the armed forces, was already coordinating. He already had a decisive effect on the “allocated forces and resources and approved structures” cited above. As a first step towards adopting the new structure, the command staff of the Army and the Army Command were merged to form the new Army Command in Strausberg on October 1, 2012 and relocated outside the Ministry. The NBC defense force switched to the armed forces base in the first half of 2013 . The duties of the Army Office were transferred to the new Army Development Office in Cologne and the Training Command in Leipzig in mid-2013 ; the Army Office was dissolved. In mid-2013 the 13th Panzer Grenadier Division was decommissioned. The military music service in the army switched to the armed forces base in mid-2013. The CH-53 transport helicopters were handed over to the Air Force in mid-2013. At the beginning of 2014, the Rapid Forces division was reorganized, which was formed from the units of the previous Special Operations Division and parts of the Airmobile Operations Division, which is in the process of being dissolved . The 11th airmobile brigade of the Dutch armed forces was integrated into the Rapid Forces division in mid-2014 , so that a second permanent binational unit was created below the corps level in addition to the Franco-German brigade. Already at the turn of the millennium, the 11th airmobile brigade in the Multinational Division Central, which was dissolved in 2002, was intended to work with the German armed forces.

The army now comprises three divisions with a total of 10 subordinate brigades (including 2 Dutch brigades and the German part of the Franco-German Brigade ) and the Special Forces Command (KSK) as a brigade equivalent. The mechanized 1st and 10th Panzer Divisions form the core of the Bundeswehr army. These two divisions, each with four brigades, are basically structured in the same way and can provide contingents for the entire range of tasks and intensity. The categorization of the army in intervention, stabilization and support forces was discontinued. The Rapid Forces division is divided into Airborne Brigade 1 with the two paratrooper regiments 26 and 31, the Dutch 11th Luchtmobiele Brigade , the special forces command and units of the Army Aviation (one combat helicopter regiment with the Eurocopter Tiger and two transport helicopter regiments with multi-purpose helicopters NH90 ). From April 2015, the first batch of the air-transportable armored personnel carrier Puma will be delivered as a replacement for the armored personnel carrier Marder . On July 1, 2016 the 7./TrspHubschrRgt 30 was set up, which has been performing the SAR Land assignment with the UH-1D since January 1, 2017.


Army soldiers on SFOR deployment with
Fuchs armored personnel carriers
Bundeswehr soldiers during the KFOR Sharp Griffin maneuver in Kosovo in May 2016

Since 1990 and after the end of the Cold War , the army has participated in humanitarian, peace enforcement and peacekeeping measures outside of Germany. These missions were mostly controversial in parts of the public and politicians. The first missions had the character of humanitarian relief operations, with the army mainly providing logistical or medical assistance. Until 1994, these armies were mostly carried out as UN missions . The largest blue helmet mission of the Army at that time was the German Support Association in Somalia . From 1995 the army also took part in NATO or EU operations in the Balkans. These included IFOR and SFOR , and later also KFOR and EUFOR . Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , the army has also participated in operations in the fight against terrorism . This was primarily which is Operation Enduring Freedom counted. The ISAF mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, which represents the Army's largest mission to date, should also be seen in this context . From 2015 the army will be involved in the ISAF successor mission Resolute Support . In 2006, army units were also used in the Bundeswehr mission in the Congo .

In 2017, the army was involved in the following Bundeswehr missions abroad:

For the duration of their deployment, the units provided by the army are subordinated to the operational command of the Bundeswehr . In the usually multinational missions abroad, the contingents are operationally and tactically managed by the appropriate headquarters or commands of NATO , the EU or the United Nations .

In addition to the foreign missions described above, the army provided support in the event of natural disasters in Germany, such as the Elbe flood in 2002 .

The Army Memorial

The memorial of the German Army is located on the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz . It was originally built in memory of those who fell in the First and Second World War and was ceremonially handed over to the German Army on October 29, 1972. Today it also commemorates the soldiers of the Bundeswehr who died in the course of their service.


Web links

Commons : Heer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Federal Ministry of Defense: Bundeswehr personnel figures . July 2020, accessed on July 30, 2020 (as of June 2020).
  2. a b Press and Information Center Heer: Die Reserve im Heer2011. (No longer available online.) July 14, 2014, archived from the original on January 26, 2016 ; accessed on September 22, 2014 .
  3. a b German Bundestag. 18th electoral term (ed.): Briefing by the federal government. Federal government report on the status of efforts to control arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as the development of the armed forces potential (2013 annual disarmament report) . Printed matter 18/933. Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Berlin March 27, 2014, V. Development of the armed forces potential in selected countries, p. 63 ( [PDF; accessed on May 22, 2014] Soldiers in army uniforms are also referred to as army uniforms. In the table on p. 63 they correspond to soldiers in the army uniform area).
  4. ^ Defense Policy Guidelines. (PDF; 57.4 kB) Protecting national interests - assuming international responsibility - shaping security together. Federal Ministry of Defense, May 18, 2011, accessed on January 30, 2015 .
  5. ^ Conception of the Bundeswehr. (PDF; 333 kB) Federal Ministry of Defense, July 1, 2013, accessed on January 30, 2015 .
  6. a b White Paper 2016. (PDF; 5.9 MB) on Germany's security policy and the future of the Bundeswehr. Federal Ministry of Defense, July 15, 2016, accessed on August 19, 2019 .
  7. ^ Christian Kahl: Unique in the world: New ways of the German-Dutch army cooperation. PIZ Heer, March 18, 2016, accessed on March 20, 2016 .
  8. ^ Thomas Wiegold: On the way to Bergen: German-Dutch-German-Dutch subordination., March 17, 2016, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  9. ^ Report on the status of the realignment of the Bundeswehr. (PDF) Federal Ministry of Defense , May 6, 2013, accessed on June 23, 2014 (page 28: The two mechanized divisions will lead a total of six releasable and sustainable brigades. These are basically structured in the same way and form the core of the army Capable of training and exercise and able to provide contingents for the entire range of tasks and intensity. ).
  10. Bernd Schwendel: "Nebel - Ahoy!" NBC defense now task of the armed forces base. Federal Ministry of Defense, head of the press and information staff, April 23, 2013, accessed on April 29, 2013 .
  11. ^ The stationing of the Bundeswehr in Germany. (PDF; 1.5 MB) In: . Federal Ministry of Defense , Thomas de Maizière , October 26, 2011, accessed on August 5, 2019 .
  12. ^ Federal Ministry of Defense: Bundeswehr personnel figures . July 2020, accessed on July 30, 2020 (as of June 2020).
  13. ^ Johannes Leithäuser: Bundeswehr. The Puma infantry fighting vehicle has "serious defects". In: . October 18, 2013, accessed October 19, 2013 .
  14. ^ Report of the Federal Ministry of Defense on the material readiness for use of the main weapon systems of the Bundeswehr. (PDF) Federal Ministry of Defense, February 2018, accessed on March 6, 2018 .
  15. 8. Report of the Federal Ministry of Defense on Armaments Matters. (PDF) Federal Ministry of Defense, December 7, 2018, pp. 88ff , accessed on December 8, 2018 .
  16. ^ Karl Schwarz: NH90 maintenance at Airbus Helicopters and Elbe Flugzeugwerke. Flug Revue, August 28, 2019, accessed on September 26, 2019 .
  17. Bundeswehr orders H145 for SAR service. In: Flight Revue . December 13, 2018, accessed December 13, 2018 .
  18. ^ Volker Jung: Farewell to the Army Air Defense Force. Federal Ministry of Defense, the head of the press and information staff, May 5, 2012, accessed on May 7, 2012 .


  1. Collar tabs service suit. For all ranks except generals and officers in the general staff. These have special embroidery on a red base. The illustration shown is based on the simplest version of the collar tabs with gray braids for teams. Further deviations are possible due to the assumption. For details see → "Bundeswehr collar tabs"
  2. beret badge. Background color is beret color. For the mountain hunters, the color and pin of the mountain cap are shown. A common combination of beret color and beret badge is shown, cf. the remarks in Berett (Bundeswehr) .
  3. The tactical symbol shown stands for the troop type as a whole (and therefore does not have a symbol for the size of the troop indicated). Certain associations, units and sub-units that can be assigned to the type of service, as well as individual vehicles, may have different tactical signs. Often these are modified forms of the basic form shown here.
  4. Only active units of the army. These include the active companies of partially active supplementary troops . In particular, this includes non-inactive parts of the supplementary troop units or cadre units or units of the armed forces base. No training, staff, deployment, support and supply companies, etc.
  5. The military music service was not explicitly mentioned in the commanding letter of the inspector of the army of October 17, 2005, but was de facto a separate branch of service in peacetime (with its own weapon color and beret badge). In the event of a defense , the military musicians were intended for duties in the medical service and are trained accordingly.
  6. A distinction is made between the following stocks:
    • The entire Bundeswehr inventory also includes equipment that is not available to the armed forces or organizational areas, for example because it is still being tested in a military technical department.
    • The Army is available for training, exercise and deployment of the Army. It forms the basis for recording the respective operational readiness.
    70% of the inventory should be usable for the troops in daily service. Heeresinstandsetzunglogistik (HIL) GmbH guarantees this level of operational readiness for the operational land systems .
  7. 13th and 14th Panzer Grenadier Divisions in the new federal states
  8. WBK I with 6th PzGrenDiv
    WBK II with 1st PzDiv
    WBK III with 7th PzDiv
    WBK IV with 5th PzDiv
    WBK V with 10th PzDiv
    WBK VI with 1st GebDiv
  9. 13. PzGrenDiv / WBK VII
    14. PzGrenDiv / WBK VIII .

Coordinates: 52 ° 35 ′ 26.8 "  N , 13 ° 55 ′ 10.6"  E