German defence woes (latest from The Times)

It probably compensates for the extremely pro-USA stance of the Luftwaffe establishment. Subtract the anti USA views of the German politicians from the hyper-pro USA views of the German airmen and you probably have a balanced view....
Pray tell which "extremly pro-USA stance "would that be? They have like all professional soldiers an extremly or better rabid pro working equipment stance and there we are back to US build planes. The Super Hornet/Growler combination simply does the job.
Our french friends would like to see an extremely pro-French stance, maybe with some German funding of France's pseudo Superpower ambitions like the Force de frappe. But that will not happen. Macron already made the "proposal" to let Germany "participate" in France's nuclear capabillities but what he really meant where some shiny Euros given to the French to relieve their already stretched budget.
 
Which part of the French armed forces are pro USA? As the government certainly isn’t.
You would be greatly surprised at the level of ongoing cooperation between the French and the US forces on various ongoing theaters of operations. It is not a matter for an open Internet forum but suffice to say it is both very active and very deep.
 
Pray tell which "extremly pro-USA stance "would that be? They have like all professional soldiers an extremly or better rabid pro working equipment stance and there we are back to US build planes. The Super Hornet/Growler combination simply does the job.
Our french friends would like to see an extremely pro-French stance, maybe with some German funding of France's pseudo Superpower ambitions like the Force de frappe. But that will not happen. Macron already made the "proposal" to let Germany "participate" in France's nuclear capabillities but what he really meant where some shiny Euros given to the French to relieve their already stretched budget.
What an offensive tone ! What nerve have I touched ?

All I mean is that since 1955 all German LW officers of some importance have gone through, as some point in their careers, USAF programs. The LW father figure is the USAF. The dream posting of most LW officer is a job in the USA. They cannot even imagine a professional life outside the USAF's influence.
 
What an offensive tone ! What nerve have I touched ?

All I mean is that since 1955 all German LW officers of some importance have gone through, as some point in their careers, USAF programs. The LW father figure is the USAF. The dream posting of most LW officer is a job in the USA. They cannot even imagine a professional life outside the USAF's influence.
I'm German, so blunt and "offensive" is in my pedigree. As I understand your reply, you don't have hard facts about the "extremly pro-USA stance" but much hearsay and humbug. It is relatively simple, the Luftwaffe, the whole Bundeswehr lost many of it's cabillities in the last 30 years and that is partially the fault of politicians which favoured "European" projects like the Eurofighter or the A400M.

What is the European or French alternative for the F/A/EA-18 combination? Ist there something working with the same capabillities on the market?
 
Pray tell which "extremly pro-USA stance "would that be? They have like all professional soldiers an extremly or better rabid pro working equipment stance and there we are back to US build planes. The Super Hornet/Growler combination simply does the job.
Our french friends would like to see an extremely pro-French stance, maybe with some German funding of France's pseudo Superpower ambitions like the Force de frappe. But that will not happen. Macron already made the "proposal" to let Germany "participate" in France's nuclear capabillities but what he really meant where some shiny Euros given to the French to relieve their already stretched budget.
France have always believed they were the ones who controlled Europe and were a much stronger Nation than Germany and must be mightily depressed, and embarrassed, that Germany proved to be much better than France economically. They use their armed forces and nuclear armoury to willy wave which is what this is all about.

I firmly believe the reason France veto'd our original attempt to join the fledgling EEC was because of the strength, size and recent combat experience of our AF and the fact we had a nuclear armoury, they would not have been able to wave their willies as freely with us sat at la table.
 
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I'm German, so blunt and "offensive" is in my pedigree. As I understand your reply, you don't have hard facts about the "extremly pro-USA stance" but much hearsay and humbug. It is relatively simple, the Luftwaffe, the whole Bundeswehr lost many of it's cabillities in the last 30 years and that is partially the fault of politicians which favoured "European" projects like the Eurofighter or the A400M.

What is the European or French alternative for the F/A/EA-18 combination? Ist there something working with the same capabillities on the market?
Have I questioned the possible German F/A-18 purchase at any moment ?

Your knee-jerk reaction of immediately criticizing France and its nuclear deterrence is actually reinforcing my point and very telling. For fear of distanciation from the USA you discount any other option as unworkable. The mere idea that a life outside the USA's influence is anathema in many German circles, especially airmen.

But they are not alone, I have had discussions with Belgians, Dutch and many other NATO airmen who would want to have nothing to do with any European weapon system but were happy to pay through their noses for US systems (look at what the Dutch paid for the modernisation of their Apache compared to the US). For them it's the price to pay for the US "life insurance" and autonomy is a word they have forgotten in 1945 with their liberation.

FYI, my limited experience of German officers involves 8 years of multinational work in both NATO and EU. I have shared the office of a German officer for several years. He was a good guy BTW.
 
France have always believed they were the ones who controlled Europe and were a much stronger Nation than Germany and must be mightily depressed, and embarrassed, that Germany proved to be much better than France economically. They use their armed forces and nuclear armoury to willy wave which is what this is all about.

I firmly believe the reason France veto'd our originally attempt to join the fledgling EEC was because of the strength, size and recent combat experience of our AF and the fact we had a nuclear armoury, they would not have been able to wave their willies as freely with us sat at la table.
Feeling better ?
 
Have I questioned the possible German F/A-18 purchase at any moment ?
No you didn't you were just mumbling about:
It probably compensates for the extremely pro-USA stance of the Luftwaffe establishment. Subtract the anti USA views of the German politicians from the hyper-pro USA views of the German airmen and you probably have a balanced view....
In a discussion about the possible purchase of US build planes and some leftie politcians menstrual pains, that in my book counts as questioning.

Your knee-jerk reaction of immediately criticizing France and its nuclear deterrence is actually reinforcing my point and very telling. For fear of distanciation from the USA you discount any other option as unworkable. The mere idea that a life outside the USA's influence is anathema in many German circles, especially airmen.

But they are not alone, I have had discussions with Belgians, Dutch and many other NATO airmen who would want to have nothing to do with any European weapon system but were happy to pay through their noses for US systems (look at what the Dutch paid for the modernisation of their Apache compared to the US). For them it's the price to pay for the US "life insurance" and autonomy is a word they have forgotten in 1945 with their liberation.
My "knee-jerk" reaction is a deep mistrust in "La Grande Nations" motives or reliability and an even deeper mistrust of one french nationals explanations over how US-fixated we all are, giving the Americans all that good money, while we could give it away to french dominated Airbus .

Autonomy with todays really complex aircrafts isn't feasible any more and the last multinational projects like Tiger, A400M, Eurofighter or NH90 were an disaster for the Bundeswehr, much of it homemade I admit. So better buy working examples of the shelf.
There we are back to my question, you so profoundly ignored, is there any working European competitor to the F/A/EA-18?
 
No you didn't you were just mumbling about:


In a discussion about the possible purchase of US build planes and some leftie politcians menstrual pains, that in my book counts as questioning.


My "knee-jerk" reaction is a deep mistrust in "La Grande Nations" motives or reliability and an even deeper mistrust of one french nationals explanations over how US-fixated we all are, giving the Americans all that good money, while we could give it away to french dominated Airbus .

Autonomy with todays really complex aircrafts isn't feasible any more and the last multinational projects like Tiger, A400M, Eurofighter or NH90 were an disaster for the Bundeswehr, much of it homemade I admit. So better buy working examples of the shelf.
There we are back to my question, you so profoundly ignored, is there any working European competitor to the F/A/EA-18?
Thank you for proving all my points right.

You have illustrated in depth why the Franco-German military cooperation is going nowhere.

On the one hand, an operationally experienced nation with a President who can launch an operation on a phone call, has a "can-do" attitude, does not fear to have soldiers put in harm's way and has the willingness to save as much autonomy as possible in a world dominated by much more powerful actor than her.

On the other, an economic power house which despises its military, has no stomach for a fight, for which "caveat" and "Grundgesetz" are Alpha and Omega, which is happy to see other countries to the dangerous work so it can then reap the reconstruction markets and which considers that if it's not German or American, it's bad.

So no, it just cannot work.

Please do not mention reliability; I have spent enough hours on staff work aimed at circumventing German vetoes, caveats, remarks etc. aimed at derailing operations to know exactly how reliable DE forces are. Suffice to say that not having Germans forces with you is much better than having them or trying to convince them to work outside office hours.

Your sentence such as "Autonomy with todays really complex aircrafts isn't feasible any more" illustrates more than a 1,000 words how many in Germany have a client-state state of mind towards the USA. So basically, if it's complicated, let's not do it ? Let's give in and be the happy customers of US companies ?
Sorry, this is not the French approach. de Gaulle said it before; "I prefer to drink in my own small glass and toast everybody around than drink in the big communal pint".

You are so defensive that you even accuse me of being against the Hornet purchase for Germany while I have never ever expressed this view. Why ? Because with the B-61 card the USA has the trump card; they played the same trick in Belgium too. The LW has not dropped a conventional bomb for years and they are supposed to be ready to drop a Tac nuke ? How comical is that ?

Regarding Tigre, NH90 and Atlas, I don't know what you do with them but they work very well with us even though the maintenance costs are of course much higher than the previous generation, something the FRA defense budget has not always accounted for. They all have performed operational missions (I mean real one, where people shoot in both direction, not just overflying the Balkans) and they have not been found lacking.

Regarding Airbus being dominated by France, I remind you that France and Germany have the exact same level of shares and that if the current Pdt is French the previous one was German.
 
Allies are sometimes a question of mass.
Pragmatically, who do you feel it's best to align with ? Your neighbour or the big guy across the road who is several times bigger than both of you combined ?
If the threat is another big guy 3 doors away who has been causing trouble , where do you go ?
 
Allies are sometimes a question of mass.
Pragmatically, who do you feel it's best to align with ? Your neighbour or the big guy across the road who is several times bigger than both of you combined ?
If the threat is another big guy 3 doors away who has been causing trouble , where do you go ?
I fully agree and never suggested that Germany should align with any specific nation of its neighborhood.

What I find fascinating is how a developed country of the strength of Germany has decided to be and remain a military weakling. As for rowdy neighbors, considering their relative GDPs, its Russia which should be afraid, not Germany...but no, the Germans prefer to defer to US power.

Like several other NATO countries they seem to have decided once and for all that the USA would be calling the shots for them and the German military, for the most part, really resent when another nation hints that maybe there could be another way of conducting your own military affairs.
 
The German nuclear role is a controversy which has been bubbling along for a considerable time!

Völlig in den Sternen steht auch die Zukunft der Nuklearrolle des Verbandes in Büchel. Das Jagdbombergeschwader 33, stellt den Anteil an nuklearer Teilhabe der Bundesrepublik Deutschland innerhalb der NATO sicher und beschert der Bundesregierung dadurch ein Mitspracherecht in strategischen Entscheidungen, ver allem in der Nuclear Planning Group, im Defence Planning Committee und im North Atlantic Council. Um den EUROFIGHTER weiter in dieser Einsatzrolle zu halten, müsste mindestens ein Flugzeug für einen längeren Zeitraum der US-Seite für Zertifizierungstest zur Verfügung gestellt werden; dies bedarf der Zustimmung der anderen EUROFlGHTER-Partner, eine Zustimmung, die man nicht einfach voraussetzen sollte. Der Ausweg wäre der Ausstieg aus der Nuklearrolle auch für die Luftwaffe - das Heer ist in dieser Rolle schon seit Jahren nicht mehr vertreten, die Marine war nie daran beteiligt. Solch ein Ausstieg aus der nuklearen Mitentscheidung und Mitverantwortung bringt erfahrungsgemäß die Verringerung des Einflusses in der NATO-Führung mit sich, Erfahrungen, die Länder wie Belgien und die Niederlande nach ihrem Ausstieg ebenfalls gemacht haben.

Die hiermit verbundene Minderung politischen Einflusses widerspräche aber den Grundzügen der deutschen Außenpolitik, die ein stärkeres internationales Engagement bei gleichzeitiger Übernahme von mehr Verantwortung anstrebt.
Pöppelmann, Jürgen. "Fachkommentar: Die Luftwaffe unter Druck" in Wehrtechnik I/2004, page 10 **Paras 4-5**

[TRANSLATION]
The future of the nuclear role of the unit in Büchel is also completely in the stars. Jagdbombergeschwader 33 secures the position of the Federal Republic in the nuclear partnership of NATO and allows the Government a voice in strategic discussions, particularly in the Nuclear Planning Group, the Defence Planning Committee and in the North Atlantic Council. In order to maintain this role with the EUROFIGHTER, at least one aircraft must be loaned to the US for long term certification tests. This requires the agreement of the other EUROFIGHTER partners, which cannot simply be assumed. The way out would be for the Luftwaffe also to withdraw from the nuclear role - the Army has not had this role for years and the Navy was never involved. Such a withdrawal from the nuclear decision making and responsibility, however, brings about a decrease in influence in the NATO leadership; something which countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands have already experienced.

This reduction in political influence, however, is counter to the basis of German foreign policy which is attempting
to increase it's international engagement while at the same time taking on more responsibility.
 
Thank you for proving all my points right.
You have illustrated in depth why the Franco-German military cooperation is going nowhere.
I smell there some delusional jealousy. You proved exactly nothing. Hopefully this "cooperation"goes nowhere.

On the one hand, an operationally experienced nation with a President who can launch an operation on a phone call, has a "can-do" attitude, does not fear to have soldiers put in harm's way and has the willingness to save as much autonomy as possible in a world dominated by much more powerful actor than her.
Not can, but would like to. Why do you need cooperations with the UK or Germany if France is such a big, mean and ugly dog?

Want to go pissing with the big dogs, but can't lift the leg comes to mind, looking at the French.
Why does the Grande Nation "an operationally experienced nation with a President who can launch an operation on a phone call, has a "can-do" attitude, does not fear to have soldiers put in harm's way and has the willingness to save as much autonomy as possible in a world dominated by much more powerful actor than her." has to rely on RAF Chinooks and C-17? Why it has to rely on one nations forces that is:

On the other, an economic power house which despises its military, has no stomach for a fight, for which "caveat" and "Grundgesetz" are Alpha and Omega, which is happy to see other countries to the dangerous work so it can then reap the reconstruction markets and which considers that if it's not German or American, it's bad.
So no, it just cannot work.
Well yeah a constituiton would possibly be important as would it's caveats. You should feel lucky that the powers that won WWII and in the process liberated your collaborating country, created a free and democratic Western Germany, the British and Americans, guided us to this constitution and caveats.
Otherwise your countrys seamstresses would do overtime sewing white flags.
As I mentioned before, hopefully this cooperation won't work.

There are some minor discrepancies betweeen your countrys self-deception and the reality.

Your sentence such as "Autonomy with todays really complex aircrafts isn't feasible any more" illustrates more than a 1,000 words how many in Germany have a client-state state of mind towards the USA. So basically, if it's complicated, let's not do it ? Let's give in and be the happy customers of US companies ?
Sorry, this is not the French approach. de Gaulle said it before; "I prefer to drink in my own small glass and toast everybody around than drink in the big communal pint".
And Johnson tasked Rusk:
"Ask him about the cemeteries Dean!"

Even you should understand, it is quite expensive to develop one of the newer generation Aircraft and Systems and every company that does that wants to recoup its development cost. The classic way would be to sell the system to other nations, if you are French you even don't give a damn if it ist some obscure dictator or totalitarian state.
Germany sadly has export restrictions on weapons, we simply can't sell to everybody.

You are so defensive that you even accuse me of being against the Hornet purchase for Germany while I have never ever expressed this view. Why ? Because with the B-61 card the USA has the trump card; they played the same trick in Belgium too. The LW has not dropped a conventional bomb for years and they are supposed to be ready to drop a Tac nuke ? How comical is that ?
You don't get it, do you? The B-61 card isn't played by the USA. They really don't give a **** if German can use this weapons or not. It is Germany that wants to participate on NATOs nuclear sharing and have a seat on this specific table.
What we don't want to do is funding a broken nations delusional dreams of being a Superpower.

And still the unanswered question, where ist the European competitor?
 
I fully agree and never suggested that Germany should align with any specific nation of its neighborhood.

What I find fascinating is how a developed country of the strength of Germany has decided to be and remain a military weakling. As for rowdy neighbors, considering their relative GDPs, its Russia which should be afraid, not Germany...but no, the Germans prefer to defer to US power.

Like several other NATO countries they seem to have decided once and for all that the USA would be calling the shots for them and the German military, for the most part, really resent when another nation hints that maybe there could be another way of conducting your own military affairs.
So what brought your country back under NATO's wings back in 2009?
 
So what brought your country back under NATO's wings back in 2009?
Since France was paying to the common budget and contributing in troops it made sense to also take part in the decision making process. The USA were well chuffed, they even offered more stars than France could hope for in spite of many maneuvers from allied nations who were less than pleased at that return.
 
I smell there some delusional jealousy. You proved exactly nothing. Hopefully this "cooperation"goes nowhere.


Not can, but would like to. Why do you need cooperations with the UK or Germany if France is such a big, mean and ugly dog?

Want to go pissing with the big dogs, but can't lift the leg comes to mind, looking at the French.
Why does the Grande Nation "an operationally experienced nation with a President who can launch an operation on a phone call, has a "can-do" attitude, does not fear to have soldiers put in harm's way and has the willingness to save as much autonomy as possible in a world dominated by much more powerful actor than her." has to rely on RAF Chinooks and C-17? Why it has to rely on one nations forces that is:



Well yeah a constituiton would possibly be important as would it's caveats. You should feel lucky that the powers that won WWII and in the process liberated your collaborating country, created a free and democratic Western Germany, the British and Americans, guided us to this constitution and caveats.
Otherwise your countrys seamstresses would do overtime sewing white flags.
As I mentioned before, hopefully this cooperation won't work.

There are some minor discrepancies betweeen your countrys self-deception and the reality.


And Johnson tasked Rusk:
"Ask him about the cemeteries Dean!"

Even you should understand, it is quite expensive to develop one of the newer generation Aircraft and Systems and every company that does that wants to recoup its development cost. The classic way would be to sell the system to other nations, if you are French you even don't give a damn if it ist some obscure dictator or totalitarian state.
Germany sadly has export restrictions on weapons, we simply can't sell to everybody.


You don't get it, do you? The B-61 card isn't played by the USA. They really don't give a **** if German can use this weapons or not. It is Germany that wants to participate on NATOs nuclear sharing and have a seat on this specific table.
What we don't want to do is funding a broken nations delusional dreams of being a Superpower.

And still the unanswered question, where ist the European competitor?
Yes they know Germany will never use it. They just want you to buy US planes that can deliver it. What's so difficult to understand ?

As for the rest, it's so 2003 I won't even grace it with an answer.

As I type, I have this image of German soldiers going to visit the Bamako market with flak jacket, helmet, G-36 and comms to the QRF. Meanwhile, a British officer wearing a beret and sporting no weapons waits for them to be ready so they can go and buy souvenirs....
 
What I find fascinating is how a developed country of the strength of Germany has decided to be and remain a military weakling. As for rowdy neighbors, considering their relative GDPs, its Russia which should be afraid, not Germany...but no, the Germans prefer to defer to US power.
Europe has less than fond memories of the last time Germany was a significant military power - particularly by those to the East . How much does this factor into limiting German capabilities or at least how they will be perceived by the extremely paranoid 300lb Gorrilla
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
However enlightening this rerun of 1870-71, 1914-19, 1939-40 and 1940-45 might be, there are a couple of utterly irrefutable facts, based on my own observations as an independent observer and occasional participant in European military life.

France, whatever else you can say about it, as a nation, is not gun-shy and is prepared to use hard power in support of its own national interests where that's thought to be the right answer, particularly in the French Empire Francophone Africa.

France has, for many years, pursued a French national/EU military industrial strategy, with the aim of at least aspiring to autarky in key systems - with particular reference, here, to developing and maintaining its own sovereign nuclear deterrent.

The French have good, effective armed forces, equipped and trained for a specific mission set which isn't, necessarily, either general war or peer- or near-peer conflict. This has meant a certain exposure in terms of, for example, strategic mobility, where the RAF, notably, has been helpful, recently. That said, French officers are extremely well-trained, savvy and combat-experienced and the professional troops also of a high standard.

Germany has been notably gun-shy in terms of using hard power since 1945, for good and understandable reasons. It formerly disposed of a formidable defence establishment in the pre-1991 Bundeswehr, which has since been systematically castrated, in terms of capability, preparedness and scope and there appears no particular reason to suppose that's going to change.

Germany has run its own national military industrial strategy, focused on land and sea platforms. There has been some work done locally on air platforms, but the employing Service is psychologically and emotionally disposed to look over the Atlantic for example.

The Bundeswehr generally remains in decline, with an ageing and increasingly disengaged cadre of Berufssoldaten, many of whom are ROAD (Retired on Active Duty), having been frustrated and worn down by witnessing a generation's neglect and contempt from successive administrations. Their officers are highly trained Beamten and the troops coping with low morale and eroding returns on their service.

On a wider note, the French Armed Forces are heavily engaged in close cooperation, as @fantassin notes, with the USA (which has interests in Africa which are seen as wholly complementary to those of France) and the UK.
 
Europe has less than fond memories of the last time Germany was a significant military power - particularly by those to the East . How much does this factor into limiting German capabilities or at least how they will be perceived by the extremely paranoid 300lb Gorrilla
Europe had less qualms in 1955 when the BW was recreated.

Today, this is mostly a convenient way to do very little in the military domain. "You have wanted us to be like that so it's your fault"....how many times have I heard that sentence from German officers.

Surely, there must be a middle way between the Das Reich and today's BW of civilians in uniforms where Germany would grow a set and accept to play a role in global security matters commensurate to its economical weight.
 
Yes they know Germany will never use it. They just want you to buy US planes that can deliver it. What's so difficult to understand ?

As for the rest, it's so 2003 I won't even grace it with an answer.

As I type, I have this image of German soldiers going to visit the Bamako market with flak jacket, helmet, G-36 and comms to the QRF. Meanwhile, a British officer wearing a beret and sporting no weapons waits for them to be ready so they can go and buy souvenirs....
I really hope we don't have to use it. Even you should understand that if it comes to the deployment of nuclear weapons that something went terribly wrong.
The gallic shrug obviously means I hit some nerves badly.
I know that your imagination is somewhat exuberant, but with all it's faults the Bundeswehr ist still an Army and not a french whorehouse.
In an Army there are orders and rules that have to be obeyed. If, and im a pretty sure that is the case, the operational rules say they have to go all dolled up they go all dolled up. Back in the good old days I wore my Bristol when the rules said it and not when i wanted to, and this thing was with it's 18kg and somewhat questionable ergonomics a pain in the arse.
 

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