German Federal Armed Forces

German Federal Armed Forces
of armed services (TSK)
Air Force
of organisation areas
armed forces basis
central Sanitätsdienst
Rekruten beim Gelöbnis
recruit with the vow
leopard I
Kampfflugzeug Tornado
combat aircraft Tornado
frigate Cologne

German Federal Armed Forces are the name for the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany and its administration.

Table of contents


the German Federal Armed Forces consists of armed forces and the civilian German Federal Armed Forces administration. At its point the Federal Minister of the defense stands as an owner of the command and authority in peacetime. In the case of defense the command and authority go on the Federal Chancellor over (kind. 115b GG). Highest soldier of the German Federal Armed Forces is struggle moderate the general inspector of the German Federal Armed Forces, a four-star general, who is however not military commander in chief of the German Federal Armed Forces. The command structure of the German Federal Armed Forces does not know such. The responsibility for the readiness of applicationtheir ranges have the inspectors of the armed services (army, Air Force, navy) and the military organisation areas (armed forces basis, central Sanitätsdienst).

Until 2010 are to take the German Federal Armed Forces a new structure with a peacetime strength of approximately 250,000 soldiers and 75,000 civilian coworkers. During of the Cold war had the German Federal Armed Forces a desired strength of approximately 495,000 soldiers. It concerns around people liable for military service (at present nine months obligation service), over career soldiers and soldiers on time.

The German Federal Armed Forces took after the reunification approximately20,000 soldiers of the former NVA of the GDR up. In addition a small part of the material of the NVA was taken over and continued to use partially until today. Large quantities of the armament and the equipment were however scrapped, sold or given away, as tanksto Turkey and recently the last six MiG-29 of the NVA Air Force at Poland. Indonesia bought 39 warships of the People's Navy.

Since 2001 the German Federal Armed Forces are without reservation opened for women. Before they were allowed only in the Sanitätsdienst of the German Federal Armed Forces (since 1975as an officer, since 1991 also in the NCO and crew career) as well as in the military music service (likewise since 1991) to be employed. With the appointment as the surgeon general (w) became Verena of Weymarn 1994 a first female general in German history. At present carry outover 12.000 female soldiers their service in the German Federal Armed Forces. Of it about half is in the Sanitätsdienst. Altogether they place thereby a portion of 6,2% of the occupation and time soldiers. Their portion lies in the navy with 8,4%, in the armywith 6,3% and in the Air Force with 4,9%. (Conditions January 2005).

The reservists of the German Federal Armed Forces are among other things in preservation of regional tradition battalions planned, which are set up in the case of defense (or in other emergencies). Reservists are used also strengthened in international missions. In the course thatUmstrukterierung are dissolved however also these inactive troop units and the reservists increasingly on so-called reflected service posts within the active troop units are used, if they will appoint in the context of active duty trainings again into the soldier relationship.

internal guidance

major item: Internal guidance

the term internal guidance describes the complex guidance conception of the German Federal Armed Forces, it is connected with the example of the citizen in uniform. That means that the fundamental rights of the soldier are to be only so far limited, like it the militaryOrder requires. Like that the fundamental right is reduced to free expression of opinion by the principle of instruction and obedience (see: Superior regulation). Differently than soldiers in many countries the German Federal Armed Forces soldiers possess the active and the passive right to vote.

The internal guidanceso the integration of the German Federal Armed Forces is to ensure into the society. It was developed among other things by the later general count Baudissin and marks an important difference to all former German armies. Responsibly for the teachings, communication outward and thoseAdvancement is the center internal guidance.

A characteristic of the internal guidance is the complaint right of the soldiers going very far. Each soldier can weight in all official and administrative questions on the official routine (in all rule with the next Disziplinarvorgesetzten),without it grown-up from it may do disadvantages. This refers both to instructions, the behavior of superiors and on an equal footing ones as well as acts of administration. Beyond that each soldier has the right, without adherence to the official routine an input at the militaryassigned of the GermanTo arrange federal daily.

German Federal Armed Forces reform and transformation

the German Federal Armed Forces had themselves to adapt in its history changed conditions again and again. During the east west conflict was intending the Bedrohungspotenzial Warsaw Pact for the structure of the German Federal Armed Forces. After its endtherefore a basic reform of the German Federal Armed Forces had become necessary. First only vaguely drawing new tasks had to bring itself with one another in agreement at the beginning of the possible remainder threat from the Eastern European area and. Also the discussion relating to domestic affairs in Germany, itself underother one between 1990 and 1994 in the out OF AREA debate in such a way specified struck down, stood to a fast and thorough reform in the way. Only after the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court of 12. The conditions were given July 1994 over the international missions to the German Federal Armed Forces, the German Federal Armed Forcesto align aimed to such tasks. It remained however primarily for reasons relating to domestic affairs first with a change in small steps.

After the change of government 1998 and the recommendations of the Weizsäcker commission in such a way specified the change under Federal Minister Scharping was substantially accelerated. Not allReform beginnings proved meanwhile as practicable and eligible for financing. The military fight beginning against the terror as reaction to the notices of the 11. Septembers 2001 led to further revisions of the reforms.

In the meantime the realization arose that it notis more possible to define a durable specified condition which can be aimed at at the end of the reform how it was typical for earlier German Federal Armed Forces reforms under the nearly static conditions of the cold war. One of some expected thorough reform, the all problems of the German Federal Armed Forces uponce, it repairs any longer cannot give. The fast changing situation requires it rather that the German Federal Armed Forces develop to a learning organization, which analyzes its environment continuously and to the change adapts. This process carries the designation „for transformation “. In order to direct the transformation, the past center for analyses and studies was converted into a center for transformation.

The change process continuing since 1990 brings substantial personal loads to the German Federal Armed Forces for many soldiers and civilian coworkers with itself. ThoseHumans had to master partly several times except completely new tasks also location locking, Beschwernisse by removal and re-education or the change of personal and family planning. Due to this uncertainty the number of inputs of the soldiers rose clearly to the militaryassigned of the German federal dailyon, an indication for the present disconcertion of many humans in the German Federal Armed Forces. Additionally to shoulders were shortening the Christmas benefit, omission of the holiday pay, and a continuous sinking of the pension, in the case of rising order load by international missions with substantial danger potential for example mines, oftenunpredictable transfer-conditioned (location locking) removals with all from it for the families developing loads.


major item: History of the German Federal Armed Forces

the former tank general Gerhard count von Schwerin became to 24. May 1950 Konrad Adenauer's advisor in technical questions of securityto the secret preparation of the structure of West German armed forces. To 26. October 1950 appointed Konrad Adenauer Theodor blank as the assigned one of the Federal Chancellor for the questions which are connected with the Vermehrung of the allied troops. This office blank became the germ cell of the later Federal Ministrythe defense.

The establishment of the German Federal Armed Forces and the rearmament of the Federal Republic to 5. May 1955 led to substantial arguments relating to domestic affairs, particularly between SPD and CDU across the question whether it was to be answered for morally that Germany after that Hitler - dictatorship again armed forces to ever have should. To 7. June 1955 was created the military administration, to 12. November 1955 the first 101 Freiwilligen swears in.

The name “German Federal Armed Forces” became on suggestion FDP - of the Member of the Bundestag Hasso von Manteuffel, earlier Armed forces general of the armor branch, selected.

The first soldiers of the German Federal Armed Forces were officers and NCOs, who had served in the armed forces. In the year 1958 12,900 officers originated from the armed forces. All officers of the Colonel upward were examined by the personnel panel of experts, a committeefrom 38 personalities of the public life, that had been appointed by the Federal President on suggestion of the Federal Government and after confirmation by the Bundestag. On the reproach, all high officers would have served Adenauer in the armed forces, answered corresponding Federal Chancellor, who takes NATOit no 18-jährigen of generals off.

The German Federal Armed Forces see themselves expressly not in the tradition of the armed forces, but as a democratic army from citizens of age. There before this background the few still existing designations of barracks and roads within barracksafter armed forces personalities cause for criticism, arranged Secretaries of Defense Franz Josef young (CDU) gave again and again to at the beginning of of 2006, all names, which have a historical purchase to replace by neutral names.

parliamentary control

the German Federal Armed Forces is subordinate to that Federal Minister of the defense, a civilian member of the Federal Government carried by the Bundestag. The Secretary of Defense is the only civilian, who can give soldiers of instructions. Thus the Primat of the policy, i.e. the priority of the policy are guaranteed in relation to the military.This political Primat requires that also in the German Federal Armed Forces the principle of instruction and obedience applies.

Although the German Federal Armed Forces are part of the executive, the Bundestag has important auditing rights, and the German Federal Armed Forces are considered as „a parliament army “. The parliament has controllers alsoin relation to the German Federal Armed Forces of substantially far going rights, when there are it for other ranges of the executive as for instance to the federal police, the financial administration or the messages. It acts thereby around the special rights of the defence committee as a committee of inquiry, overthe militaryassigned of the German federal daily and around the special arrangements in the budgetary law.

the defence committee

during the Bundestag in all other affairs a committee of inquiry to begin can (kind. ) , The defence committee can explain itself 44 GG as the committee of inquiry (Kind. 45a GG). It permits the delegates to examine each German Federal Armed Forces-internal thing, to which the committee attaches political meaning, with all means of a committee of inquiry, i.e. similarly a staatsanwaltlichen determination, without the Bundestag plenum must be switched on. Thus can the responsible parliamentarians the German Federal Armed Forces more easily supervise, without the if necessary necessary secrecy is lost.

the militaryassigned of the German federal daily

kind. 45b GG determines that to the protection of the fundamental rights and as an auxiliary body of the federal daily with the practicethe parliamentary control a military representative of the German federal daily one appoints. The militaryassigned is thus an organ of the federal daily, not the German Federal Armed Forces or the Federal Government. It examines possible injuries of the fundamental rights of the soldiers and offences against the principles of the internal guidanceand reports to the Bundestag. In addition it is Petitionsinstanz for all soldiers, who may contact without adherence to the official routine directly it.

The militaryassigned of the German federal daily

special arrangements in the budgetary law

kind. 87a exp. 1 GG determines: “ThatFederation sets up armed forces for defense. Their numerical strength and the fundamentals of their organization must result from the budget.” That means that the strength and organization of the armed forces are specified each year again by the Bundestag in the budgetary law.A similar regulation gives it for no other range to the executive. It prevents that the Secretary of Defense reorganizes the armed forces increased or her too not from the parliament approved of purposes.


the German Federal Armed Forces has in accordance with kind. 87a exp. 1Sentence 1 GG the order to defend Germany and its allied ones („the federation sets up armed forces for defense. “). To protect Germany and its citizens from political extortion and outside danger to help with disasters to save from states of distress andhumanitarian actions to support to promote military stability and the integration of Europe as well as serve the world peace and international security in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations are basiclegally Nebenaufgaben, even if them in the last yearsthe principal activity of the German Federal Armed Forces form. The defense of the Federal Republic takes place thereby „no longer only in Hindelang, but also at the Hindukusch (quotation of Federal Ministers of Defense at that time Peter Struck, 2003).

case of alliance

with the case of alliance regulates the NATO contractin the article 5 in connection with kind. 115a GG a further application type of the German Federal Armed Forces. The German Federal Armed Forces can be also used, if a NATO ally is attacked. The case of alliance became since its definition for the first time after that 11. September 2001 explains.

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The German Federal Armed Forces in international mission

increasingly are inserted the German Federal Armed Forces also to peace-receiving and - securing measures outside of the Federal Republic of Germany. Already immediately after the reunification a violent debate began over the employment of the German Federal Armed Forces outside of the NATO contract area (out OF AREA debate).The first such employments were 1991 a mine clearing action of the navy after that 2. The Gulf War in Persian Gulf and 1993 the delegation of a field hospital after Phnom Penh in the context of a UN-mission. Employments followed in the Adria (SHARP GUARD 1992- 1996), in Somalia and on the Balkans in the context of the employments IFOR and SFOR. The constitutional validity of the employments in accordance with condition kind. 24 exp. Has 2 GG the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court of 12. July 1994 clarified.Beyond that this judgement contains foundation for the parliament reservation for the employment of armed German armed forces abroad. In the bibliography it is disputed whether this reservation by the judgement only explicitly gotten straight or in extensive interpretation of the condition only by thatCourt became “imported”.

1999 have the German Federal Armed Forces with the Air Force in the context of NATO - operation ALLIED FORCE with approximately 500 employments for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany at one constitutionally and according to international law disputed war - the waragainst Yugoslavia - participated. The international-law basis for the employment was strongly disputed in the shoptalk. The intervention of the answering for politicians was called “humanitarian intervention “predominantly and regarded in the regard as justified. The authentication thatParticipation particularly relied on secretofficial information, which applied with war entrance as doubtful. The participation of German armed forces at the operation could be regarded with acceptance of the Rechtfertigungskonstruktes as constitutionally permissible: It was not appropriate a war of aggression in the sense kind. 26GG forwards and the participation took place in the context of a system of mutual and collective security, like kind. 24 exp. 2 GG requires. If the reason of the “humanitarian intervention” is not divided, the NATO intervention represented according to international law a war of aggression, whereby the participationthe FRG was constitutionally inadmissible. Closed this employment a participation to the KFOR - mission for the protection of the population and the relief organizations active in the country on. The employment of the international safety operational readiness level KFOR was based from the outset on a resolutionthe security council (1244 (1999)).

Since 2001 the German Federal Armed Forces are assigned also in the context of the anti-terror coalition. A naval contingent supervises, supported on Djibouti, the sea-area at the horn of Africa; in addition the navy is involved in appropriate NATO operations in the Mediterranean. An army contingentKunduz and Demilitarisierungsprogramme are active such as GDR in Afghanistan in the context of ISAF and protect since November 2003 in the context of the education of a regional structure team the trade of the city (Disarmament, Demobilization and restoration). Also the remaining parts of the German Federal Armed Forces are in these operations supporting takes part. In the Iraq at present no soldiers of the German Federal Armed Forces are assigned, train however in Kuwait and the united Arab emirates police and Milizkräfte of the new Iraqi security forceses.

In order to think of the pleasures of these employments, exist inthe user countries of honour marks of the German Federal Armed Forces. Also there are suggestions to establish a central monument in Berlin.

overview of international missions of the German Federal Armed Forces

  • since 1960 at more than 130 humanitarian relief work. Among them assistance of Air Force and Sanitätsdienst forby an earthquake in February 1960 destroyed city the Agadir in Morocco.
  • January 1965 - For the first time participation in a large international relief work in Algeria. For this two air transport squadrons with 12 airplanes of the type “Noratlas” form an air lift.
  • August 1976- Disaster relief in the northItalian seismic zone Friaul.
  • November 1984 - Airplanes of the type “Transall “of the Air Force fly supplies to the hunger areas to Ethiopia.
  • 1988 - 1989 - transportation flights in the context of the UNTAG mission in Namibia.
  • June 1990- Earthquake assistance in Iran - one field hospital and 40 medical officers and medical soldier of the medical training battalion 851 from Munich are shifted into the seismic zone.
  • 6. January 1991 - Transfer of 18 combat aircraft of the type “Alpha-Jet “on the air base Erhac inTurkey. Altogether 212 soldiers of the Air Force are to make a contribution for the protection of Turkey from attacks from the Iraq.
  • starting from March 1991 in the context of the US-led “operation south flank” delegation of minesweepers in the Mediterranean and later to the mine sweeping inPersian Gulf (approx. 350 Germans, 7 ships).
  • April 1991 - In the context of the “operation Kurd assistance” medical forces and army aviators supply Kurdish refugees in Iran and in Anatolien with transport helicopter of the type CH-53.
  • 1991 - 1996 - transport of UN-Waffeninspekteurenwith Transallflugzeugen and helicopters in the Iraq in the context of the UNSCOM - mission.
  • November 1991 - Six, later 18 German medical soldiers are sent for the medical support by members of the UN Advanced mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC) in Kambodscha.
  • 1992 - 1996 SHARP GUARD, Embargo against former Yugoslavia in the Adria by naval federations, always two German frigates or destroyers, in addition airplanes.
  • April 1992 - 1993 under UN-command: Delegation of 140 further soldiers, under it 30 physicians, for the medical support of membersthe United nation Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in Kambodscha
  • 1993 - 1994 under UN-command: Participation in UNOSOM, a stabilization mission of the UN in Somalia (approx. 1,700 army soldiers among other things stations in Belet Huen, later in addition four ships of the navy for thoseFeedback from Mogadischu). In Mombasa in Kenya two transport aircrafts were stationed.
  • 1994 - Observer mission in Georgien for the monitoring of the armistice in Abchasien within the framework of UNOMIG.
  • 1995 - 1996 (UNPF) within Croatia with first measures to Bosnia Herzegovina, replaced throughIFOR
  • 1995 - 1996 under NATO command: IFOR (implementation Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina), replaced by SFOR
  • 1996 - 2004 under NATO command: SFOR (Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina), 1,700 Germans, replaced by EUFOR
  • 1999 under NATO command: Participation in air raids inWar against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Kosovo war, Belgrade)
  • 1999 under NATO command: KFOR (Kosovo Force), to 4,700 Germans
  • 1999 - 2000 - transportation flights and medical supply in Osttimor.
  • 2001 operation „Essential Harvest “in Macedonia, disarmament of Albanian extremists,600 Germans
  • since 2001 operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in the Mediterranean for the protection of the maritime traffic against threats of terror, German frigates and speedboats
  • since January 2002 under US command: Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the fight against the terrorism with up to 4.900 GermansSoldier
  • since January 2002 ISAF - employment in Afghanistan to the peacekeaping measures under GBR (ISAF 1), DOOR (ISAF 2) and GE/NL command (ISAF 3. Since ISAF 4 2003 under NATO command.
  • since December 2004 under European Union command: EUFOR (European union Force in Bosnia andHerzegovina) about 1100 German
  • Decembers 2004 REVISION MODIFICATIONS (African union mission in the Sudan) - supply of air transport capacities for the transfer of peacekeeping forces of the African union into the Sudanese crisis region Darfur.
  • since January 2005 humanitarian assistance in Indonesia - employment ofMedical forces, MEDEVAC - airplanes and the servicer of group of employmentsBerlin “after the Flutwelle in the Indian ocean (approx. 385 soldiers).
  • since April 2005 UNMIS (United nation mission in the Sudan) - delegation of up to 75 unarmed military observers in the south and the eastsouthto for the monitoring of the peace agreement.

Map of the momentary German Federal Armed Forces external employments

organization of the German Federal Armed Forces

Organisationsbereiche im Geschäftsbereich des BMVg
of organisation areas in the division of the BMVg


the national emblem of the German Federal Armed Forces and its armed services is the iron cross.

of armed services (TSK)

military organisation areas (TSK spreading)

military administration

the administration thatGerman Federal Armed Forces are a Federal and federaldirect administration with own administrative underbody and take over in accordance with. Kind. 87b of the Basic Law the German Federal Armed Forces administration, which subdivided itself into the arms range and the territorial military administration (organisation areas). The German Federal Armed Forces administration is thereby assigns the material and personnel needto cover the armed forces. In particular the territorial military administration tasks of the military spare nature (Kreiwehrersatzämter) are transferred.

offices and agencies of the German Federal Armed Forces

(this list contains beside the higher command authorities and federal upper authorities of the German Federal Armed Forces some important further agencies. Further agencies finditself in the articles over the different organisation areas of the German Federal Armed Forces)

vehicle park

Leopard 2 A5
leopard 2 A5

the vehicle park is not homogeneous, however relatively uniformly arranged, if it does not concern special vehicles, for exampleLifting cranes. Also bicycles, motorcycles and trailers rank among the vehicle park, even if these are present only in small number. Substantial elements are however armoured vehicles, cross-country vehicles and transport vehicles of all kinds.

To a large extent with the civilian vehicles comparable vehicle models of the everyday life need for troopand administration meanwhile by the BwFuhrparkService GmbH are administered.

The German Federal Armed Forces still maintain at a whole set of locations automobile workshops, in which partially also one trains. The vehicles are equipped except for few exceptions with Diesel engines. For thoseassigned models by the respective manufacturer several decades a long spare part warranty is called in. Likewise KFZ industry is obligated in Germany the residents to reproach in times of peace a certain Prozentzahl at KFZ which can be claimed in a tension or a case of defense.

For informationover vehicle characteristics of the German Federal Armed Forces see Kfz characteristic (Germany).

real estate properties

the German Federal Armed Forces has numerous properties and buildings. In the course of the repeated location locking of the modern times however numerous real estate properties for another, usually civilian use were made free (Conversion) or simply quietly put.



for the soldiers of the German Federal Armed Forces gives it a large number of different uniforms. Beside the dress uniforms of the armed services there are different to work and engagements suit and special clothing fordetermined climatic conditions like for example insulation for cold clothing. See in addition the scientific paper uniform (German Federal Armed Forces). The regulations for the uniforms of the German Federal Armed Forces are in detail in the joint service regulation 37/10 “suit order fixed for the soldiers of the German Federal Armed Forces”.



duringthe basic training most recruits are trained both at Feuerwaffen and at weapons with explosive effect. The standard device ape of the German Federal Armed Forces is the storm rifle rifle 36 (G36), which replaced the old rifle 3 (G3) as far as possible. In addition the pistol 8 comes(P8), the successor of the pistol 1. Vehicle crews are partly equipped with the submachine gun 2 (MP2), those by the submachine gun 7 (also: PDW) to be replaced is. The German Federal Armed Forces have also two machine guns, the heavy machine gun 3 (MG3) and thatnewer and easier MG4, which will supplement the MG3 in the dismounted combat. As vehicle armament and on course level however the MG3 remains. Weapons with explosive effect are for example the hand grenade DM51, DM41 or the hand flaming cartridge, as well as those Garnet pistol 40mm, or antitank weapons like the Panzerfaust 3 and the guided weapon MILAN. In addition the German Federal Armed Forces have the shining can (Carl Gustav), which fires the shining cartridge 84mm, in order to light up the battlefield. Explosive shells become with CarlGustav however any longer did not fire. Additionally the snipers of the German Federal Armed Forces use the rifle G22 of the British company Accuracy international, the G82, which descends M82 American of that US, and a modified variant of the G3, the G3A3 ZF.

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New acquisitions 2006

the German Federal Armed Forces plans for 2006 new acquisitions in the total value of approximately six billion euro. The most important expenditures are these for new communication networks and satellites.

see also


  • Detlef soon: The German Federal Armed Forces. A critical history 1955-2005, C.H. Beck publishing house, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52792-2
  • Heinz Karst: The German Federal Armed Forces in the crisis, 1997, ISBN 3-8004-1350-7
  • Paul Kleinand. Dieter roll (Hrsg.):The German Federal Armed Forces at the threshold to 21. Century, 2000, ISBN 3-7890-7013-0
  • that friction ore - the manual for the German soldier ISBN 3-8132-0755-2
  • Heinz Karst/Karlhelmut fast/Hans Dieter Seidel: Paperback for military training Walhalla and Praetoria publishing house, Regensburg andMunich, 1966 FF.

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