Portal:Military of Germany


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Introduction

Insignia of the Bundeswehr (the Iron Cross)

The Bundeswehr (German: [ˈbʊndəsˌveːɐ̯] (About this sound listen), Federal Defence) is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government.

The Bundeswehr is divided into a military part (armed forces or Streitkräfte) and a civil part with the armed forces administration (Wehrverwaltung). The military part of the federal defense force consists of the German Army, the German Navy, the German Air Force, the Joint Support Service, the Joint Medical Service, and the Cyber and Information Space Command.

As of 28 February 2018, the Bundeswehr has a strength of 179,753 active soldiers, placing it among the 30 largest military forces in the world and making it the second largest in the European Union behind France in terms of personnel. In addition the Bundeswehr has approximately 27,900 reserve personnel (2017). With German military expenditures at €38.93 billion, the Bundeswehr is among the top ten best-funded forces in the world, even if in terms of share of German GDP, military expenditures remain average at 1.13% and below the NATO target of 2%. Germany aims to expand the Bundeswehr to around 198,000 soldiers by 2024 to better cope with increasing responsibilities.

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Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-218-0504-36, Russland-Süd, Panzer III, Schützenpanzer, 23.Pz.Div..jpg

Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war"About this sound listen ) is a method of warfare whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorised or mechanised infantry formations with close air support, breaks through the opponent's line of defence by short, fast, powerful attacks and then dislocates the defenders, using speed and surprise to encircle them, assisted by Pervitin, a form of Amphetamine, given to drivers to keep them awake. Through the employment of combined arms in manoeuvre warfare, blitzkrieg attempts to unbalance the enemy by making it difficult for it to respond to the continuously changing front and defeating it in a decisive [Vernichtungsschlacht] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help) ("battle of annihilation").

During the interwar period, aircraft and tank technologies matured and were combined with systematic application of the traditional German tactic of [Bewegungskrieg] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help) ("maneuver warfare"), deep penetrations and the bypassing of enemy strong points to encircle and destroy enemy forces in a [Kesselschlacht] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help) ("cauldron battle"). During the Invasion of Poland, Western journalists adopted the term blitzkrieg to describe this form of armoured warfare. The term had appeared in 1935, in a German military periodical [Deutsche Wehr] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help) ("German Defense"), in connection to quick or lightning warfare. German manoeuvre operations were successful in the campaigns of 1939–1941 and by 1940 the term blitzkrieg was extensively used in Western media. Blitzkrieg operations capitalized on surprise penetrations (e.g., the penetration of the Ardennes forest region), general enemy unreadiness and their inability to match the pace of the German attack. During the Battle of France, the French made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers but were frustrated when German forces arrived first and pressed on.

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Selected biography

Vizeadmiral Hipper

Franz Ritter von Hipper (13 September 1863 – 25 May 1932) was an admiral in the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Franz von Hipper joined the German Navy in 1881 as an officer cadet. He commanded several torpedo boat units and served as watch officer aboard several warships, as well as Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht SMY Hohenzollern. Hipper commanded several cruisers in the reconnaissance forces before being appointed commander of the I Scouting Group in October 1913. He held this position until 1918, when he succeeded Admiral Reinhard Scheer as commander of the High Seas Fleet.

He is most famous for commanding the German battlecruisers of the I Scouting Group during World War I, particularly at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916. During the war, Hipper led the German battlecruisers on several raids of the English coast, for which he was vilified in the English press as a "baby killer." His squadron clashed with the British battlecruiser squadron at the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915, where the armored cruiser Blücher was lost. At the Battle of Jutland, Hipper's flagship Lützow was sunk, though his ships succeeded in sinking three British battlecruisers.

After the end of the war in 1918, Franz von Hipper retired from the Imperial Navy with a full pension. He initially lived under an alias and moved frequently to avoid radical revolutionaries during the German Revolution of 1918–1919. After the revolution settled, he moved to Altona outside Hamburg. Unlike his superior, Reinhard Scheer, he never published a memoir of his service during the war. Hipper died on 25 May 1932. The Kriegsmarine commemorated Hipper with the launching of the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in 1938.

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150910-D-VO565-037 German honor guard members stand in formation at the Defense Ministry in Berlin 2015.JPG
German honor guard members stand in formation at the Defense Ministry in Berlin (September 2015)

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Battlecruisers of Germany

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Albert KesselringAlbert SpeerAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of AusterlitzBattle of BicoccaBattle of BlenheimBattle of CeresoleBattle of DürensteinBattle of GreeceBattle of MoscowBattle of RamilliesBattle of SchellenbergBattle of Verrières RidgeBattle of Villers-BocageBattle of Vimy RidgeBayern-class battleshipBert TrautmannBlack Friday (1945)Cologne WarDerfflinger-class battlecruiserErnest Augustus I of HanoverErnst LindemannFalaise pocketFinnish Civil WarFrederick III, German EmperorHeinrich BärHelgoland-class battleshipHelmut LentHermann DetznerIG Farben BuildingInner German borderItalian War of 1521-1526Italian War of 1542-1546Johann von KlenauKaiser-class battleshipKönig-class battleshipMauthausen-Gusen concentration campMoltke-class battlecruiserNassau-class battleshipOmaha BeachOperation BrevityOperation CharnwoodOperation CobraOperation EpsomOperation PerchOperation TeardropOperation TractableOperation UranusOperation VarsityPanzer IPigeon photographyRheinmetall 120 mm gunSMS Baden (1915)SMS Bayern (1915)SMS BlücherSMS DerfflingerSMS Friedrich der Grosse (1911)SMS GoebenSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1913)SMS HelgolandSMS HindenburgSMS KönigSMS Kronprinz (1914)SMS LützowSMS MarkgrafSMS Moltke (1910)SMS RheinlandSMS SeydlitzSMS Von der TannSMS WestfalenSM U-66Second Ostend RaidTAM (tank)Ulm CampaignUnification of GermanyWalter ModelWar of the Bavarian SuccessionWar of the Fifth CoalitionWar of the League of CambraiWerner Mölders

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List of Commando raids on the Atlantic wallList of German World War II jet acesList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipientsList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the KriegsmarineList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the Schnellboot serviceList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the U-boat serviceList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the Waffen-SSList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1940-1941)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1942)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1943)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1944)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1945)List of armored cruisers of GermanyList of battlecruisers of GermanyList of battleships of GermanyList of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

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Action of 28 January 1945Arado E.381Design A-150 battleshipBattle of AachenBattle of Bita PakaBombardment of PapeeteCold WarDeutschland-class battleshipEgmont Prinz zur Lippe-WeißenfeldErich HartmannGerman battleship TirpitzHans-Joachim MarseilleHeinrich Prinz zu Sayn-WittgensteinHeuschrecke 10Jagdgeschwader 1 (World War II)Juno BeachKaunas FortressLe Paradis massacreMax-Hellmuth OstermannMoro River CampaignOperation FreshmanOperation LüttichOperation PostmasterOperation TotalizeOperation WindsorOperation Winter StormOrder of Saint HubertOrganization of the Luftwaffe (1933-1945)SMS Deutschland (1904)SMS HannoverSMS Kaiser (1911)SMS KaiserinSMS Kurfürst Friedrich WilhelmSMS NassauSMS OstfrieslandSMS PosenSM U-68Sd.Kfz. 10Second Battle of KharkovWalter NowotnyWehrmacht forces for the Ardennes OffensiveWolfgang Lüth

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Armored cruisers of GermanyBattleships of Austria-HungaryBattleships of GermanyGerman Type IXA submarinesGerman Type U 66 submarinesGerman Type UB I submarinesPrinz Adalbert-class armored cruisersRoon-class armored cruisersScharnhorst-class armored cruisersU-1-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)U-3-class submarinesU-5-class submarinesU-20-class submarinesU-27-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)U-43-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)

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1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania1st Parachute Brigade (United Kingdom)28 cm SK L/40 gun30.5 cm SK L/50 gunAction off LofotenAdlertagAdmiral Hipper-class cruiserAdolf GallandAgnes von Mansfeld-EislebenBattle of Amiens (1918)Battle of ArnhemBattle of Bautzen (1945)Battle of BelgiumBattle of Dover Strait (1916)Battle of Fort Eben-EmaelBattle of GrunwaldBattle of Hill 70Battle of Lanzerath RidgeBattle of Merville Gun BatteryBattle of MessinesBattle of Mont SorrelBattle of NgomanoBattle of RomaniBattle of San MarinoBattle of SchliengenBattle of Sedan (1940)Battle of VauchampsBattle of WaterlooBattle of the Heligoland Bight (1939)Battle of the NetherlandsBattle of the Strait of Otranto (1917)Battle off TexelBismarck-class battleshipBlack BrunswickersBrandenburg-class battleshipBraunschweig-class battleshipBrummer-class cruiserCharles FryattChristmas truceConvoy FaithCöln-class cruiserDornier Do 17Emil Lang (fighter ace)Ersatz Yorck-class battlecruiserÉtienne Marie Antoine Champion de NansoutyFirst Ostend RaidFranz von HipperFriedrich FoertschFriedrich GeißhardtFriedrich Wilhelm, Fürst zu Hohenlohe-KirchbergGebhard Truchsess von WaldburgGerman Type IXA submarineGerman Type UB I submarineGerman Type U 66 submarineGerman U-boat bases in occupied NorwayGerman aircraft carrier I (1915)German aircraft carrier I (1942)German attacks on NauruGerman battleship BismarckGerman battleship GneisenauGerman battleship ScharnhorstGerman cruiser Admiral Graf SpeeGerman cruiser Admiral HipperGerman cruiser Admiral ScheerGerman cruiser BlücherGerman cruiser DeutschlandGerman cruiser Lützow (1939)German cruiser Prinz EugenGerman cruiser SeydlitzGeman destroyer Z8 Bruno HeinemannGeman destroyer Z9 Wolfgang ZenkerGeman destroyer Z11 Bernd von ArnimGerman involvement in the Spanish Civil WarGerman submarine U-27 (1936)German submarine U-28 (1936)German submarine U-30 (1936)German submarine U-36 (1936)German submarine U-37 (1938)German submarine U-38 (1938)German submarine U-39 (1938)German submarine U-40 (1938)German submarine U-41 (1939)German submarine U-42 (1939)German submarine U-43 (1939)German submarine U-44 (1939)German submarine U-47 (1938)German submarine U-64 (1939)German submarine U-104 (1940)German submarine U-105 (1940)German submarine U-111 (1940)German submarine U-162 (1941)German submarine U-255German submarine U-853German submarine U-2336Greater Germanic ReichGünther SpechtH-class battleship proposalsHeinkel He 111High Seas FleetHindu-German ConspiracyJRM ZmajJade-class aircraft carrierJoachim HelbigJohann Jakob von WunschJoseph GoebbelsJunkers Ju 87Kaiser Friedrich III-class battleshipKristallnachtKurt WelterL 20 α-class battleshipLiberation of ArnhemMackensen-class battlecruiserOdin-class coastal defense shipOperation AquatintOperation BodenplatteOperation DeadstickOperation DonnerkeilOperation DoomsdayOperation IskraOperation PaulaOperation SlapstickOtto KittelPanzer 35(t)Preussen-class ironcladPrinz Adalbert-class cruiserPrussian uprisingsReinhard ScheerReinhold von WernerRommelspargelRudyard Kipling (ship)SMS ArminiusSMS BrandenburgSMS BraunschweigSMS BremseSMS BrummerSMS Deutschland (1874)SMS Dresden (1917)SMS ElsassSMS Friedrich CarlSMS Friedrich Carl (1867)SMS Friedrich der Grosse (1874)SMS Fürst Bismarck (1897)SMS GneisenauSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1875)SMS Hansa (1872)SMS HelaSMS HessenSMS Kaiser (1874)SMS Kaiser BarbarossaSMS Kaiser Friedrich IIISMS Kaiser Karl der GrosseSMS Kaiser Wilhelm IISMS Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseSMS Kronprinz (1867)SMS König AlbertSMS König WilhelmSMS LothringenSMS MecklenburgSMS PommernSMS Preussen (1873)SMS Preussen (1903)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1865)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1901)SMS Prinz HeinrichSMS Prinzregent LuitpoldSMS RadetzkySMS RoonSMS SchlesienSMS Schleswig-HolsteinSMS SchwabenSMS ThüringenSMS WeissenburgSMS WettinSMS WittelsbachSMS WörthSMS YorckSMS ZähringenSM U-1 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-3 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-4 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-10 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-11 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-67SM U-69SM U-70SM UB-2SM UB-3SM UB-4SM UB-5SM UB-6SM UB-7SM UB-8SM UB-9SM UB-11SM UB-12SM UB-13SM UB-17SM UB-42SM UB-44SM UB-46SM UB-47SM UB-50Sachsen-class ironcladScharnhorst-class battleshipScharnhorst-class cruiserScuttling of the German fleet in Scapa FlowSd.Kfz. 8Sd.Kfz. 9Second Battle of PasschendaeleSiegfried-class coastal defense shipSt Nazaire RaidSwabian WarTallinn OffensiveTartu OffensiveThe Hardest DayTiger IIU-43-class submarine (Austria-Hungary)U-52-class submarineWalter OesauWalter OhmsenWittelsbach-class battleshipWorld War II

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