Germans have nothing to fight with – they want to build ‘an army’ in some future

11:24 26.07.2023 •


At the moment, Berlin does not have a single combat-ready division, a military unit comprising more than 20,000 troops. It aims to have the first of three divisions operational by 2025, with the second to follow in 2027, informs Reuters.

Germany is confident it will have the best equipped army division amongst European NATO allies in 2025, Army Chief Alfons Mais told Reuters, as countries are scrambling to gear up their troops in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The lieutenant general said Germany would provide two mechanized brigades first, a – more lightly armed – medium brigade later, and be reinforced by a Dutch brigade. A brigade has some 5,000 troops.

"This will be good enough," the lieutenant general said. "It will be sufficient, in any case, to contribute the best equipped division of all European NATO partners in 2025. At least, this is our joint goal with our Dutch partners."

Western nations are scrambling to rebuild and re-equip their divisions after decades spent fighting smaller wars in Iraq or Afghanistan saw them neglected, taken apart and stripped of weapons and ammunitions.

"If we rush ammunition to Ukraine, we don't have it available ourselves until the new orders come in," he said. "You can't buy munitions at the DIY store, production capabilities have shrunk over the past 30 years."

The army chief said this was a problem all NATO partners were facing. "But supporting Ukraine is more important right now than establishing a division, as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has stressed," he underlined.

As for the second German division which is meant to be combat-ready in 2027, Mais said equipping it fully was massively hinging on the arrival of purchases from the 100 billion euro special fund materialising at troop level.


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