German defence woes (latest from The Times)

I think the majority of Europeans would be hugely reassured by a large and competent, defensively-focused Bundeswehr+ as the guarantors of territorial integrity in Eastern Europe. As @Krautman notes, expeditionary warfare is very hard to sell to the GE electorate and politically toxic, so why ask them to do it?

I've worked with the post-Cold War Bundeswehr and they are very, very competent in certain areas e.g. CIMIC, PSYOPS, STRATCOM, RESILIENCE, CBRN etc. These enabling functions, which avoid the direct use of kinetic ops beyond self-defence, should be where Germany concentrates it's efforts outside of the forces required for the direct defence of German territory.
 
I've worked with the post-Cold War Bundeswehr and they are very, very competent in certain areas e.g. CIMIC, PSYOPS, STRATCOM, RESILIENCE, CBRN etc. These enabling functions, which avoid the direct use of kinetic ops beyond self-defence, should be where Germany concentrates it's efforts outside of the forces required for the direct defence of German territory.
There SF are decent also, Id work with the Estonians, Norgies, Dutch and danish any day of the week.
 
The Germans get no free pass for whataboutery when it comes to discussion of atrocity and industrialised murder between 1933 and 1945.

Seriously, step back a bit from this argument and ruminate for a moment on where you're headed with the logic.

I didn't start this argument and I'm only too aware of what Germans have done.
But the small problem is that I simply didn't commit any of these crimes and I'll be damned if I'm going to let have this pinned on me.

My logic is quite simple, all nations have skeletons in their closets and when you get stuck you call the German a Nazi.

Enough of a step back?
 
It would take the political equivalent of a meteor strike for Macron to turn his back on whatever the European Commission says is the correct course of action.

Si vous insistez . . . . .

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Yeah it was the Germans and only the Germans. No Division "Charlemagne" (here's a hint) in the SS and so on.
What I keep asking myself is, after all the crimes and atrocities committed by the Germans, of which the French also knew very well in later times, why do you go to Algeria and French Indochina after the Second World War and behave like the Wehrmacht or the SS?

Not to mention the atrocities that took place in French Indochina between the 1930s.
Yes the French did do quite a few nasty things in their colonial wars (as did all colonising nations), and these are the subject of much ongoing soul-searching in France. But you are taking a leaf out of the Kremlin's playbook in equating them with the pre-planned and executed racial extermination and ethnic cleansing carried out with the full might of the whole German military and civil apparatus.

I understand that you bear an antipathy to the French and such is your prerogative. But you have no right to warp history.

Germany embarked on a program of mass extermination of not only the Jews, but of the populations of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia (all ideologically deemed to be unworthy of anything but slave labour leading to death) in order to provide Lebensraum for an initially (until the tide of the war changed) enthusiastically supportive Herrenvolk. It embarked on a program of forced assimilation of various other European nations and populations which it deemed suitable and a program of using other nations for its own purposes until they outlived their usefulness and could be disposed of as above. There is no equivalent in history to this program of international mass-murder and subjugation. The closest that we come to it is the 20th century actions of the Communist Parties of Russian and China, mainly against their own peoples, but also to an extent neighbouring nations.

So please stop these cowardly comparisons.
 
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Here's an appeal to all hands to tune down slightly from patriotic fervour and close their pencil boxes before the crayons come out. This has been a hugely interesting and informative thread and it'd be a shame to ruin it.
Sorry, I was writing my response while you wrote this and posted it already.
 
As a Brit, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to see a Frenchman and a German at each others throats once again, even if it is handbags at keyboard o'clock.
 

Goatman

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ahh, European unity - marvellous
 
Here's an appeal to all hands to tune down slightly from patriotic fervour and close their pencil boxes before the crayons come out. This has been a hugely interesting and informative thread and it'd be a shame to ruin it.
It's a sort of Godwin's law (SWIDT), every informative or entertaining forum discussion eventually descends into two mimsies swinging virtual handbags each other. Generally ends with either a flounce or the banhammer.
 

Glad_its_all_over

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I didn't start this argument and I'm only too aware of what Germans have done.
But the small problem is that I simply didn't commit any of these crimes and I'll be damned if I'm going to let have this pinned on me.

My logic is quite simple, all nations have skeletons in their closets and when you get stuck you call the German a Nazi.

Enough of a step back?
I don't think anyone's accusing you of being an Alter Kaempfer or any sort of sympathiser. Your postings here over the years have been balanced, informative and insightful and I've always valued them.

To the extent that German military history 1933-45 is the elephant in the room, it does definitively explain why the German Armed Forces are as they are, why German popular and political opinion does not support expeditionary warfare by Germany - and, oddly, why German military technology is so damn good, for land systems at least.
 
I didn't start this argument and I'm only too aware of what Germans have done.
But the small problem is that I simply didn't commit any of these crimes and I'll be damned if I'm going to let have this pinned on me.

My logic is quite simple, all nations have skeletons in their closets and when you get stuck you call the German a Nazi.

Enough of a step back?

A fair comment. One of my German Bundeswehr friends phoned up at Christmas to wish us all a 'Frohe Wienachten!' Mrs H_M was less than gracious in response, which was horribly embarrassing. As I pointed out to her afterwards, 'What has L****** got to do with the Germans on the Eastern Front in the Second World War?'
 

Glad_its_all_over

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Book Reviewer
I'm still very much plugged in to my old Bw mates' networks, to the extent of being a full member, with voting rights, of two old comrades' associations of units with which we had partnerships - and have been grandfathered into the OCA of the successor unit as well.

This gives me, not just the chance to go on the piss with some dreadful old men, but also keep a bit of a finger on the pulse of what is now Kommando Strategische Aufklaerung. I can truthfully state that, while the Bw still has some first-rate people, they're miserably poorly treated and resourced. UvdL's legacy lives on.
 
I've worked with the post-Cold War Bundeswehr and they are very, very competent in certain areas e.g. CIMIC, PSYOPS, STRATCOM, RESILIENCE, CBRN etc. These enabling functions, which avoid the direct use of kinetic ops beyond self-defence, should be where Germany concentrates it's efforts outside of the forces required for the direct defence of German territory.
As the then Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said in 2011: "I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity".

ETA: Unfortunately the current Polish government is far keener to stoke up Polish-German tensions.
 
Yes the French did do quite a few nasty things in their colonial wars (as did all colonising nations), and these are the subject of much ongoing soul-searching in France. But you are taking a leaf out of the Kremlin's playbook in equating them with the pre-planned and executed racial extermination and ethnic cleansing carried out with the full might of the whole German military and civil apparatus.

I understand that you bear an antipathy to the French and such is your prerogative. But you have no right to warp history.

Germany embarked on a program of mass extermination of not only the Jews, but of the populations of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia (all ideologically deemed to be unworthy of anything but slave labour leading to death) in order to provide Lebensraum for an initially (until the tide of the war changed) enthusiastically supportive Herrenvolk. It embarked on a program of forced assimilation of various other European nations and populations which it deemed suitable and a program of using other nations for its own purposes until they outlived their usefulness and could be disposed of as above. There is no equivalent in history to this program of international mass-murder and subjugation. The closest that we come to it is the 20th century actions of the Communist Parties of Russian and China, mainly against their own peoples, but also to an extent neighbouring nations.

So please stop these cowardly comparisons.
To hopefully close the subject, it was not my intention to compare the actions of the French with the industrialised mass murder perpetrated by the Nazis, Germany.
If that is how you understood it, I am sorry and I certainly have no intention of " warping " history as you put it.
I am not trying to excuse what the Germans did, but I am also not blind to what other nations did.

I have no problem with "the French", just as I have no problem with the Dutch, Danes, Poles or Czechs or anyone else near or far. Well except Putin and his cronies, the Mullahs, Kim Yong Un, the ChiComs, you get the drift?
Most of them are great to have a drink with once you've warmed up to them.

I have a problem with French politics and, it's obvious, with fantassin.
I'm sure that's partly my fault, and at this point, mea culpa for the unrest that my behaviour has indeed brought into the thread.
 
As a Brit, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to see a Frenchman and a German at each others throats once again, even if it is handbags at keyboard o'clock.
Wait until we have our US of Europe, that warm and fuzzy feeling will dwindle. :cool:
 

Glad_its_all_over

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Wait until we have our US of Europe, that warm and fuzzy feeling will dwindle. :cool:
Quite seriously, I think there's a great than non-trivial chance that the EU, as currently constituted, will crash and burn inside a decade.
 
As the then Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said in 2011: "I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity".

ETA: Unfortunately the current Polish government is far keener to stoke up Polish-German tensions.
He must have been very far-sighted. The Bundeswehr has not been in good shape since the end of the Cold War anyway, but the 16 years of Merkel's government have, I fear, almost finished it off.

The relationship between Poland and Germany has to be able to withstand tensions, governments come and go, as long as you can still talk to each other and don't smash everything, it can be patched up.
 
Quite seriously, I think there's a great than non-trivial chance that the EU, as currently constituted, will crash and burn inside a decade.
I fear the EU will do anything, at any price, to remain in the form it is. That will end in tears, in my estimation.
Instead of going in and reforming - the one thing Cameron got right, by the way - they are just trying to paper over the cracks.
The next few years will definitely be "interesting", with an increasingly aggressive Russia, the Iranians and their drive for the bomb, the tensions between China and the US and the eternal bad boy North Korea.

To come back to the actual topic:
Which country and which army in Europe are not prepared for this?
 
I fear the EU will do anything, at any price, to remain in the form it is. That will end in tears, in my estimation.
Instead of going in and reforming - the one thing Cameron got right, by the way - they are just trying to paper over the cracks.
The next few years will definitely be "interesting", with an increasingly aggressive Russia, the Iranians and their drive for the bomb, the tensions between China and the US and the eternal bad boy North Korea.

To come back to the actual topic:
Which country and which army in Europe are not prepared for this?
You'd probably be quicker asking which of them are prepared. Short answer would probably be France.
 

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