German Army

German Army
German Army
Deutsches Heer
Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg
Logo of the German Army
Active 1955–present
Country Federal Republic of Germany
Role Land force
Size 76,500 professionals and conscripts[1]
Motto To protect, help, moderate, and fight
Schützen, helfen, vermitteln, kämpfen
Colors Blue, Grey and White
Anniversaries November 12, 1955
Engagements United Nations Operations in Somalia

Aftermath of the Balkan Wars 1995-1999
Kosovo War
War in Afghanistan

Decorations Badge of Honour of the Bundeswehr
Military Proficiency Badge
Badge of Marksmanship
Service Medal
Flood Service Medal
Lieutenant General Werner Freers
General Ulrich de Maizière
General Ernst Ferber, COMAFCENT 1973–1975

Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm, later Undersecretary of Defense

The German Army (German: Deutsches Heer, Heer pronounced [ˈheːɐ̯] ( listen)) is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force. In the aftermath of the German reunification of 1990, the National People's Army of the former German Democratic Republic was integrated into the (West) German Army.




German Army infantry in formal uniform, 1898

Since Germany first became a modern unified state in 1871, previous names of German unified ground forces have included:

  • 1871–1919 Kaiserlich Deutsches Heer or Imperial German Army, part of Imperial Forces (Reichsheer was also used)
  • 1921–1935 Reichsheer or National[2] Army, part of the Reichswehr
  • 1935–1945 Heer or Army, part of the Wehrmacht
  • 1956–1990 Landstreitkräfte, ground forces of East German Nationale Volksarmee
  • 1955–present Deutsches Heer or German Army, part of the Bundeswehr


After the reform movement of the Prussian Army following a series of disastrous defeats at the hands of her enemies in the 18th century, internal analysis of the lessons learned had informed Prussian civilian and military leadership that, while individual soldiers were first rate, command structures, staff organisation and generalship was a hit-and-miss affair, more dependent on the martial skills of the King and the individual members of the German nobility who dominated the military profession. Too often, military talent was brought together only after the Nation faced a crisis. There was little effective organizational work in between wars. The rise of the German General Staff, an institution that sought to institutionalize military excellence, brought the German Army back from years of atrophy and the humiliation of Napoleon's capture of Berlin. With membership in the officer corps extended to all qualified German-speaking men via national examinations, the improved education of the military schools, and selection from the top 1% graduates of the Kriegsakademie, a new class of top-notch leaders arose, and the German Army was set on a course for near-total dominance in Europe.

Following the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo the Prussian Kingdom had years of military successes in the 19th and 20th centuries. Every able bodied man between the ages of 17 and 45 was liable for military service. There were 4 classes of service - Active (Aktiv), Reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm. The Landwehr and Landsturm were only called up at times of war. The basic unit of the army at this time was the Regiment. Regiments were typically raised and supported by a specific city or region. Each regiment was then stationed near its home city. The Reserve regiment was often made up of past members of the local regiment. The Landwehr and Landsturm units were also organized the same way. An individual could spend all 22 years of military service surrounded by friends and family. While this system created close ties within regiments, it also meant that the entire population of young men from a city or region could be wiped out in one battle.

World War I 1914–1918

German infantry (wearing characteristic, early-war pickelhaube helmets with cloth covers) during the 1914 Battle of the Marne.

The German Army that fought in World War I was not a truly single, unified army. Before unification, each monarchy (for example, the Great Dukedoms of Hesse and Baden) had its own army. The unification of Germany in January 1871 and the formation of the German Empire brought most of them under the command of the Prussian army, which became the nucleus of the Armies of the German Empire (Deutsches Reichsheer), though each continued to wear its own uniforms and insignias. Furthermore, the four German kingdoms that existed after the Napoleonic era - Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony and Württemberg - kept their own armies until the end of WWI. The peacetime commander-in-chief of each army was its king. After the declaration of war, the emperor (Kaiser) became the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces.

In 1914 the German army fielded 50 active divisions and 48 in reserve. By 1918, the number of divisions had risen to a total of 251.

Reichswehr 1918–1935

Following the end of World War I and the collapse of the German Empire, most of the German Army (Heer) was demobilized or simply dissolved. Many former soldiers drifted into small paramilitary groups known as Free Corps (Freikorps). The Free Corps were generally groups of 100 men or fewer that protected a neighbourhood or town.

On 6 March 1919 an army known as the Provisional German Defence Force (Vorläufige Reichswehr) was formed with about 400,000 men, many drawn from the Free Corps. On 30 September that same year, the Transitional Army (Übergangsheer) was created from the Defence Force and the Free Corps.

Finally, on 1 January 1921 the 100,000 man Army of the Weimar Republic (Reichswehr) was formed with seven Infantry Divisions and three Cavalry Divisions. It was troops from the Army of the Weimar Republic who crushed Adolf Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923.

Heer 1935–1945

German infantry in Luxembourg, December 1944

Under the Treaty of Versailles, the Reichswehr was only allowed 100,000 men split between the Army and the Navy. Following the 1932 German elections the Nazi Party came to power and began to abrogate the treaty. The Army was made part of the Wehrmacht in May 1935 with the passing of the "Law for the Reconstruction of the National Defence Forces". The Wehrmacht included not just the Army and Navy but also a third branch known as the Luftwaffe. Initially, the Army was expanded to 21 divisional-sized units and smaller formations. Between 1935 and 1945 this force grew to consist of hundreds of divisions and thousands of smaller supporting units. Between 1939 and 1945 close to 16 million served in the Army. Over 3 million were killed and over 4.1 million were wounded. Of the 7,361 men awarded the initial grade of the highest German combat honor of World War II, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, 4,777 were from the Army, making up 65% of the total awarded. The Allies dissolved the German Army on 20 August 1946.

Recreation of an army in West Germany

Bundeswehr soldiers with MG1 and HK G3 during a 1960s maneuver. In the background is a Schützenpanzer Kurz.

Just one year after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany and its increasing links with the West under the policy-making of Konrad Adenauer, the Consultative Assembly of Europe began to consider the formation of a European Defence Community with German participation on 11 August 1950. Formerly high-ranking German Wehrmacht soldiers outlined in the Himmeroder memorandum for the first time an outline of a new "German contingent in an international force for the defense of Western Europe." For the German land forces the memorandum saw prior to 1952 the formation of a 250,000 strong army. The military saw the need for the formation of twelve Panzer divisions and six corps staffs with accompanying Corps troops, as only armored divisions could muster a fighting force to throw back the numerically far superior forces of the Warsaw Pact.[3]

On 26 October 1950 Theodor Blank was appointed "officer of the Federal Chancellor for the Strengthening of Allied Troops questions". This Defence Ministry forerunner was known somewhat euphemistically as the Blank Office (Amt Blank), but explicitly used to prepare for the rearmament of West Germany (Wiederbewaffnung).[4] By March 1954 the Blank Office had laid plans for the new German army. Plans foresaw the formation of six infantry, four armoured, and two mechanised infantry divisions, as a German contribution to the defense of Western Europe in the framework of a European Defence Community.[3] Following a decision of the London Nine Power Conference of 28 September to 3 October 1954, Germany's entry into NATO with effect from 9 May 1955 was accepted as a replacement for the failed European Defence Community plan. Only after accession to NATO in 1955 was the Blank Office was converted to the Defence Ministry after the Bundestag on 8 February 1952 had approved a German contribution to the defense of Western Europe. Also necessary for the creation of a Defence Ministry was the amendment of the Basic Law, since 26 February 1954, with the insertion of an article regarding defence of the sovereignty of the federal government.[5] Theodor Blank became the first Defence Minister. The army formed the nucleus of the V Branch of the Department of Defence. Subdivisions included were VA Leadership and Training, VB Organisation and VC Logistics.

The actual history of the army began in 1955. The first soldiers of the army began their service on 12 November 1955 in Andernach.[6] In April 1957, the first conscripts were called up. The army saw itself explicitly not succeeding the defeated Wehrmacht, but as following the Prussian military reforms and military resistance against National Socialism, such as the Wehrmacht group which mounted the failed 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944. Nevertheless, the officer corps was made up especially of Wehrmacht officers for lack of alternatives for a long time. The first Chief of the Army was the former General der Panzertruppe Hans Rottiger, who had been involved in the drafting of the Himmeroder memorandum.

From the beginning, the new army was firmly embedded in the NATO structure and was planned to field in 1959, as part of Army Structure I, twelve army divisions. To 1966 saw the NATO strategy of massive nuclear retaliation in the event of an attack on conventional forces in Europe against superior Soviet forces. In 1956 the first troops of the Army set up seven training companies in Andernach and began the building of schools and army troops. On 1 April 1957, the first conscripts arrived for service in the army. The first military organisations created were instructional battalions, officer schools, and the Army Academy, the forerunner to the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr in Hamburg.[5] The total of twelve planned armoured and infantry divisions now began to be established, the existing units were split approximately every six months in two groups. However the creation of all the planned twelve divisions did not take place until 1965. At the end of 1958 the strength of the army was about 100,000 men. The army was equipped first with American material, such as the M-47 Patton main battle tank. Three corps were formed from 1957 - the I Corps, II Corps, and the III Corps.

The land forces of the Bundeswehr were first, the German Army, and secondly, the Territorial Army. The army was firmly situated within the NATO command structure. Later in 1957, the "Office for territorial defense" was established as the highest Territorial Army authority. The Territorial Defence was under the command directly of the Federal Ministry of Defence. In a narrower sense, the territorial defence was a separate organisation equal to the army, navy and air force. The units of the Territorial Defence was under national command and were not integrated into the NATO command structure. The main function of the Territorial Army was maintaining the operational freedom of NATO forces through providing rear area defence against saboteurs, enemy special forces, and the like.

M47 Patton tank in service with the Bundeswehr, 1960

The development of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons required the development of a new Army structure even before Army Structure I was fully achieved. To minimize the effects of attacks with battlefield nuclear weapons on the armed forces, 28,000 strong and semi-immobile classical Divisions were broken down into smaller and more mobile Brigades. These smaller units were also to be capable of self-sustainment on the atomic battlefield for several days, to be capable of to move out of defense and quick counter attacks. The new armored and infantry brigade were also to be capable of combined arms combat. Each division was to be composed of three brigades. The armoured brigades were to consist of an armoured infantry battalion, two tank battalions, a tank battalion and an artillery battalion supply. The Brigade consisted of a motorized infantry battalion, two mechanized infantry battalions, an armored battalion, a field artillery battalion and a supply battalion. The infantry divisions were designated "Panzer Grenadier Division". By the end of 1959, a total of 11 divisions and 27 brigades had been set up.

Post Cold War

Helicopter of the German Army Aviation Corps in Northern Iraq in 1991

After 1990, the Heer absorbed the army of socialist East Germany, a part of the Nationale Volksarmee. The former East German forces were initially commanded by the Bunderwehr Command East under command of Lieutenant General Jörg Schönbohm and disbanded on 30 June 1991.[7] In the aftermath of the merger, the German Army consisted of four Corps (including IV Corps at Potsdam in the former DDR) with a manpower of 360,000 men. It was continuously downsized from this point. In 1994 III Corps was reorganised as the German Army Forces Command. In 1996, the 25th Airborne Brigade was converted into a new command leading the Army's special forces, known as the Kommando Spezialkräfte.

The 2001 onwards restructuring of the German Army saw it move to a seven division structure – 5 mechanized (each with two mechanized brigades), 1 special forces, and one airmobile.

In 2003, three Corps still existed, each including various combat formations and a maintenance brigade. I. German/Dutch Corps, a joint German-Netherlands organization, used to control in peacetime the 1st Panzer and 7th Panzer Divisions as well as Dutch formations. The 1st Panzer would have reported to the corps in wartime while the 7th would be posted to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. II Corps was German in peacetime but would have exchanged a division with the V U.S. Corps in time of war (the 5th Panzer). 5th Panzer Division disbanded as of 30 June 2001. In peacetime it also commanded the 10th Panzer Division, which was allocated to Eurocorps and which parents the German half of the Franco-German Brigade. The 1st Mountain Division at Munich was also under this headquarters.

The IV Corps was headquartered at Potsdam in eastern Germany and controlled two Panzer-Grenadier Divisions, the 13th and 14th. The 14th Panzer-Grenadier Division also took control of units in Western Germany re-subordinated from the 6th Division when it lost its command function. It would have made up the German contribution to the Multinational Corps Northeast in time of war. IV Corps also used to have under its command the Military District Command I, the 1st Air Mechanised Brigade, and the Berlin Command (de:Standortkommando Berlin).

Current army

All corps have now been disbanded or transferred to a multinational level such as Multinational Corps North East. IV Corps was reorganized and on 31 March 2002 became an overseas deployment command, the Einsatzführungskommando der Bundeswehr, like the British Permanent Joint Headquarters.

A total of 76,000 soldiers are currently on active service in the German Army.[1] Of these, approximately 15,000 - 20,000 are conscripts.

A planned army reorganisation/reduction in 2012 will see the disbandment of the 13th Mechanized Infantry Division headquarters, a merge of the Airmobile Operations Division and Special Operations Division headquarters, the disbandment of the 1st Airmobile Brigade, and reshuffling of units between divisions.[citation needed] No heavy brigades will be disbanded, but the two remaining heavy divisions will command three rather than two brigades.

Current structure of the German Army

Structure of the German Army until 2012 (click to enlarge)
Structure of the German Army after 2012 (click to enlarge)
German Army - major combat units - 2011
large pin - division, small pin - brigade

The German Army is commanded by the Chief of Staff, Army (Inspekteur des Heeres) based at the Federal Ministry of Defence in Berlin and Bonn. The major commands are the German Army Office in Cologne and the German Army Forces Command in Koblenz. In 2002 a number of army units and their personnel were transferred to the newly formed Joint Support Service (Streitkräftebasis) and Joint Medical Service branches.[8]

German Army Office

The German Army Office in Cologne (Heeresamt) is the superior authority for all supporting elements of the Army, such as schools and education centres. It is commanded by a Major General, currently MajGen Joachim Clauß.

  • NBC Defence and Self-Protection School in Sonthofen
  • Military Police and Headquarters Services School in Sonthofen
  • Artillery School in Idar-Oberstein
  • Three Officer Candidate Battalions in Idar-Oberstein, Munster and Hammelburg
  • Special Operations Training Centre (formerly International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School) in Pfullendorf
  • Army Warfighting Simulation Centre in Wildflecken
  • Army Combat Training Centre in Letzlingen
  • School of Army Aviation in Bückeburg
  • Training Centre Munster for
    • Army Air Defence
    • Armour
    • Reconnaissance
  • Mountain and Winter Combat School in Mittenwald
  • Infantry School in Hammelburg
  • Airborne Operations and Air Transport School in Altenstadt
  • Army Officers' Academy in Dresden with Army Tactics Centre
  • Army NCO Academies (three at different locations)
  • Engineer School and Army School of Structural Engineering in Ingolstadt (formerly in Munich)
  • Army Maintenance School and Army School of Engineering in Aachen

German Army Forces Command

Bundeswehr Kreuz.svg
Teilstreitkräfte or TSK
Bundeswehr Heer.jpg Heer
Bundeswehr Luftwaffe.jpg Luftwaffe
Bundeswehr Marine.jpg Marine
(Organisational areas)
German Army soldiers from Paratrooper Battalion 261 on board an armoured personnel carrier in Somalia in 1993
German ISAF soldiers involved in combat in Northern Afghanistan in 2009
A German Army soldier demonstrates the equipment of the IdZ program.

The German Army Forces Command in Koblenz (Heeresführungskommando) exercises command and control over all combat units. It is commanded by a Lieutenant General. These units include two armour divisions, two mechanized infantry divisions, the Division for Specialized Operations and the Airmobile Division. Depending on their size and role, brigades can be commanded either by a Brigadier General alike or a Colonel. Unlike other European armies such of neighbouring Netherlands and France, regiments are not a common form of organization and are thus rare in the German army. Battalions are directly subordinate to brigades or to divisions as divisional troops.

  • Coat of arms of Eurocorps.svg Eurocorps (Straßburg)
    • Command Support Brigade
    • German elements in two permanent battalions and one staff company
  • D-N-Corps tb.jpg 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps (Münster)
    • German elements in two permanent battalions and one staff company
  • ZMobStp Brück-Neuseddin.jpg Central Mobilisation Base in Brück


The German Army has eleven different branches of troops, designated as Truppengattungen. Each Truppengattung is responsible for training and readiness of its units and disposes of its own schools and centres of excellence for doing so. Optically this distinction can be made by the branch colour, called Waffenfarbe which is displayed by a cord attached to the rank insignia, and the colour of their beret with a specific badge attached to it.

Beret Colour (Army only and Security Units of Navy and Air Force)

  • Black: Armoured Corps, Reconnaissance Corps
  • Green: Mechanized Infantry and Rifles Corps
  • Dark Red: Aviation Corps, Airborne Corps, Special Forces, formations assigned to airborne division
  • Light Red: Combat Support Corps and Military Police
  • Dark Blue: Medical Corps
  • Navy Blue: Multinational Units, Officer Cadet Battalions, Navy and Air Force Security Units
  • Bright Blue: Troops with United Nations Missions

Grey mountain cap (Bergmütze): Mountain Troops Gebirgsjäger

Waffenfarbe (Army and army support branch only)

  • Bright Red:General ranks (only "Kragenspiegel", not "Litze"),
  • Crimson: General Staff

Rank structure

The rank structure of the German army is adjusted to the rank structure of the NATO. Unlike its predecessors, the modern German Army does not use the rank of Colonel General. The highest rank for an army officer is Lieutenant General, as the rank of Full General is reserved for the Armed Forces chief of staff or officers serving as NATO officers. Officer cadets do not pass through all enlisted ranks, but are directly promoted to Lieutenant after 36 months of service.
Equivalent US Army ranks are shown below according to "STANAG 2116 NSA MC LO (EDITION 6) – NATO CODES FOR GRADES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL":

Officers of the German ArmySchirmmütze heer.jpg
Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant)
Major General (Generalmajor)
Brigadier General (Brigadegeneral)
Lieutenant Colonel
OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4
Bundeswehr-OF-9-Gen.png Bundeswehr-OF-8-GL.png Bundeswehr-OF-7-GM.png Bundeswehr-OF-6-BG.png Bundeswehr-OF-5-O.png Bundeswehr-OF-4-OTL.png
Officers of the German ArmySchirmmütze heer.jpg
Staff Captain
1st Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
OF-3 OF-2 OF-2 OF-1 OF-1
Bundeswehr-OF-3-M.png Bundeswehr-OF-2-SH.png Bundeswehr-OF-2-H.png Bundeswehr-OF-1-OL.png Bundeswehr-OF-1-L.png
Non-Commissioned Officers of the German Army Schirmmütze heer.jpg
Sergeant Major (Oberstabsfeldwebel)
First Sergeant
Master Sergeant (officer cadet) (Oberfähnrich)
Master Sergeant
Sergeant 1st Class (Oberfeldwebel)
OR-9 OR-8 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6
Bundeswehr-OR-9-OSF.png Bundeswehr-OR-8-SF.png Bundeswehr-OR-7-OFR.png Bundeswehr-OR-7-HF.png Bundeswehr-OR-6-OF.png
Non-Commissioned Officers of the German Army Schirmmütze heer.jpg
Staff Sergeant (officer cadet)
Staff Sergeant
Corporal (officer cadet)
OR-6 OR-6 OR-5 OR-5 OR-5
Bundeswehr-OR-6-FR.png Bundeswehr-OR-6-F.png Bundeswehr-OR-5-SU.png Bundeswehr-OR-5-FJ.png Bundeswehr-OR-5-U.png
Enlisted Ranks of the German ArmySchirmmütze heer.jpg
Corporal Specialist (Oberstabsgefreiter)
Lance Corporal
Private 1st Class (NCO cadet)
(Obergefreiter UA)
Private First Class
OR-4 OR-4 OR-3 OR-3 OR-3
Bundeswehr-OR-4-OSG.png Bundeswehr-OR-4-SG.png Bundeswehr-OR-3-HG.png Bundeswehr-OR-3-OGUA.png Bundeswehr-OR-3-OG.png
Enlisted Ranks of the German ArmySchirmmütze heer.jpg
Private 1st Class (officer cadet)
(Gefreiter OA)
Private 1st Class (Sergeant cadet) (Gefreiter FA)
Private 1st Class (NCO cadet)
(Gefreiter UA)
Private 1st Class
OR-2 OR-2 OR-2 OR-2 OR-1
Bundeswehr-OR-2-GOA.png Bundeswehr-OR-2-GFA.png Bundeswehr-OR-2-GUA.png Bundeswehr-OR-2-G.png Bundeswehr-OR-1-S.png


Standard light weapons

Reconnaissance systems

  • Fennek (wheeled armoured reconnaissance vehicle), replacing the Spähpanzer Luchs
  • Luna X 2000 (reconnaissance drone system)
  • KZO (reconnaissance drone system)
  • Aladin (reconnaissance drone system)
  • Camcopter S-100 (VTOL reconnaissance drone system, procurement planned)[9]
  • MIKADO (mini reconnaissance drone system)
  • Fancopter (mini reconnaissance drone system)
  • RASIT (radar system), being phased out
  • BÜR (ground surveillance radar system, based on Dingo 2)

Combat vehicles

Armoured vehicles

Puma (IFV) demonstrator for mobility-VS2 with weight simulators
GTK Boxer
  • Leopard 2 (Main Battle Tank)
    • A4, being phased out
    • A5
    • A6
  • Marder 1 A3/A5 (infantry fighting vehicle)
  • Spz Puma (infantry fighting vehicle), replaces the Marder in the Mechanized Infantry, being delivered
  • Wiesel 1/2 (armoured weapons carrier)
    • as a reconnaissance vehicle for the airborne troops
    • with autocannon 20 mm
    • with TOW anti-tank guided missile
    • with mortar 120 mm
    • as a radar vehicle for the light air defence system (LeFlaSys)
    • as a command vehicle for the LeFlaSys
    • as an engineer reconnaissance vehicle
    • with Stinger equipped for the LeFlaSys
    • as a medical vehicle for the airborne troops
  • M113 A2 (multirole armoured vehicle) being phased out (594)
  • GTK Boxer (multirole armoured fighting vehicle) to replace M113 and TPz Fuchs (planned)
  • IAI Harop (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), loitering munition in combination with Rheinmetall KZO, ordered
  • Dingo 1/2 (armoured wheeled vehicle)
  • Eagle IV (armoured wheeled vehicle)
  • LAPV Enok (light armoured patrol vehicle)
  • Grizzly (armoured wheeled vehicle)
  • AGF Serval (reconnaissance and combat vehicle)
  • DURO III (armoured wheeled vehicle)
  • YAK (armoured wheeled vehicle), based on DURO III
  • Mungo ESK (armoured transport vehicle)
  • TPz Fuchs (multirole armoured vehicle)
  • BV 206 S (tracked armoured transport vehicle)


Wiesel 2 lePzMrs (Lightweight Armoured Mortar of Advanced Mortar System)
  • M270 MLRS (227 mm multiple rocket launcher)
  • PzH 2000 (155 mm self-propelled howitzer)
  • Wiesel 2 lePzMrs, advanced mortar system
  • ABRA (artillery radar system), being phased out
  • Mortar TAMPELLA (120 mm)
  • Mortar "R" (120 mm)
  • COBRA (counter artillery radar system)
  • ATMAS (artillery weather measure system)
  • SMA (artillery sound measure system)

Air defence systems

A Gepard of the German Army
Wiesel 2 – in the Ozelot anti-air version of LeFlaSys
  • Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard 1 A2 (self-propelled anti air gun), will be formally phased out in late 2010 and then replaced by SysFla in the upcoming years.
  • LeFlaSys (light anti-aircraft missile system), based on Wiesel 2
  • MANTIS (stationary counter rocket, artillery, and mortar system for base protection), to be delivered in 2011
  • SysFla (system air defence – mobile and stationary platforms using the LFK NG and MANTIS), under development
  • LÜR (radar system), being phased out

Engineer equipment

  • Dachs (tracked engineer tank)
  • Büffel (tracked salvage tank)
  • Biber (bridge layer)
  • Panzerschnellbrücke 2 (bridge layer), replacing the Biber
  • Mine Skorpion (mine layer)
  • Keiler (mine breaker)
  • M3 Amphibious Rig (amphibious vehicle)
  • Motorboot 3 (motorboat)
  • Medium Girder Bridge (bridge system)
  • Faltfestbrücke (solid bridge system)
  • Faltschwimmbrücke (swimming bridge system)
  • Pontoon bridge
  • Faltstraßensystem (mobile roadway system)

Aircraft inventory

German NH90
EC 135 of the German Army
Heavy tractor trailer Elefant whilst loading a Leopard 2A4
MAN HX/SX Series Mobility Elite Series HX: High Mobility Truck SX: Extreme Mobility Truck since 2010

The German Army operates more than 320 helicopters. Nearly all were built in Germany while nearly 40% are indigenous designs. 80 Eurocopter Tiger and 80 NH90 helicopters have been ordered.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[10] Notes
Attack Helicopter
Eurocopter Tiger  Europe Attack helicopter 11 80 (planned), entered service
Transport/Utility Helicopter
UH-1 Iroquois  Germany Utility helicopter UH-1D 82 Being withdrawn; built by Dornier
Bölkow Bo 105  Germany Utility/attack helicopter 105P 104
Eurocopter EC 135  Europe Utility helicopter EC135 15
NHI NH90  Europe Transport helicopter NH90 TTH 3 80 (planned)
Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion  Germany Transport helicopter CH-53G/CH-53GS 101 110 built by VFW

Logistic equipment

  • SLT 50-3 Elefant (heavy tractor trailer, tank transporter)
  • Berge- und Kranfahrzeug, BKF 30.40 (salvage vehicle)

Non-combat vehicles

  • Mercedes-Benz 250 GD "Wolf"
  • KTM LC4 Military 27 PS, motorcycle
  • ATV Yamaha Kodiak 400, Quad
  • LKW 2t mil gl, 4x4 (Unimog)
  • LKW 5t mil gl, 4x4
  • LKW 5t mil, 4x4
  • LKW 7t mil gl, 6x6
  • LKW 7t mil, 6x6
  • LKW 10t mil gl, 8x8
  • LKW 15t mil gl, 8x8
  • LKW 15t mil gl MULTI, 8x8
  • Volkswagen T platform (T3/T4)
  • Snowmobile Ski-Doo

See also


  1. ^ a b!ut/p/c4/DcmxDYAwDATAWVgg7unYAugc8kSWI4OMIesTXXm002D8SeWQy7jRStshc-4p94L0hENCnXEGUvXXSuMKG8FwBd26TD9uIZiT/
  2. ^ Reich is commonly translated as "empire," but this can be misleading; its actual connotation is closer to "realm", as in Frankreich, France, "realm of the Franks", or Österreich, Austria, "eastern realm".
  3. ^ a b For a discussion on German defence planning in the context of the EDC, see Abenheim, Reforging the Iron Cross, Chap. 5 (Zilian, p.41)
  4. ^ See Frederick Zilian Jr., 'From Confrontation to Cooperation: The Takeover of the National People's (East German) Army by the Bundeswehr,' Praeger, Westport, Conn., 1999, ISBN 0-275-96546-5, p.40-41, for a discussion of this period
  5. ^ a b Zilian, p.41
  6. ^
  7. ^ See Jorg Schonbohm, 'Two Armies and One Fatherland', Berghahn Books, Providence & Oxford, 1996
  8. ^ "Die Streitkräftebasis" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-02-26. [dead link]
  9. ^
  10. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology 2009, . (2009): n. pag. Web. 13 September 2009.

Further reading

  • Hubatscheck, Gerhard (2006), 50 Jahre Heer. Der Soldat und seine Ausrüstung, Sulzvach: Report-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-932385-21-6 
  • Wheeler-Bennet, Sir John (2005), The Nemesis of Power: German Army in Politics, 1918-1945 (2nd ed.), New York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1-4039-1812-3 

External links

Historical links

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