Considered among the most technologically advanced militaries
in the world today, Germany's armed forces
have gone through many dramatic changes since the end of
the World War II. To a provide a collective defense within NATO
To perform humanitarian relief and peacekeeping
Like Japan, Germany was completely demilitarized after 1945.
Plans for any kind of German
military, including a national defensive force, were
forbidden by the Allied forces. Instead the United States,
the U.K., France and Russia took on the responsibility of
In the early 1990s, following German reunification,
the National People's Army of the former East Germany
was integrated into the West German Army. The unified Federal
Defence Force of Germany (also called Bundeswehr) marked
the first time the country had its own armed forces in 50
Mainly a domestic security force, the German federal courts
expanded on its role to include the protection of German
security anywhere in the world. This allowed the Bundeswehr
to take part in military operations beyond German borders
as part of NATO
or the European Union.
Traditionally, German military forces have included an Army,
Navy, and Air Force. All three branches are commanded by
the Minister of Defense, who is supported
by the Chief of Defense.
The German Army consists of three corps
and eight divisions commanded by the Army Forces Command.
International cooperation has always been the primary mission
for the Army. In fact, six of the divisions are part of
NATO's main defense force.
As of 2000, the German Army experienced a number of cutbacks
to its troop numbers. From this re-organization, future
ground missions will be two-fold:
The German Navy operates mostly around the Baltic
and North Seas. In addition to patrolling Germany's
territorial waters, they help protect NATO sea routes.
They are well equipped to handle intelligence and recon operations,
minesweeping, and anti-submarine/anti-warship warfare despite
lacking a large surface fleet. Germany does not have any land-based
The German Air Force has also undergone changes in structure
and strategy resulting from the end of the Cold War. It's
had to adjust its primary missions, as well as ponder deployment
to conflicts within Europe's more unstable regions and
beyond its borders.
Since then, the Air Force has been purchasing new
and modernizing its air fleet to reflect current and future
Unfortunately, this renewed international focus and a lack
of sufficient funding has produced a sad state of affairs
for German armed forces. More foreign missions imposed on
overworked soldiers; dilapidated barracks with inadequate
equipment and TA-50
Military Lockers. These have forced the government
to finally start addressing the issue.