German navy

German Federal Armed Forces
of armed services (TSK)
Air Force
of organisation areas
armed forces basis
central Sanitätsdienst
service flag of naval forces
(flag and Gösch (nose flag) of the warships)
federal service flag
(flag of all federal agencies and the auxiliary ships of the navy)
federal flag
(flag of the trading vessels)

German navy is the officialDesignation of naval forces of the German German Federal Armed Forces since 1990. The navy is the smallest armed service of the German Federal Armed Forces.

Table of contents


(see for this own article: History of the German navy)

earlier one German marine

Germany undertook few attempts in its history only to arise than sea power. The most well-knownProject was the structure of the deep-sea fleet among emperors Wilhelm II. before the First World War. There was however a number of smaller fleets, which served German sea-interests, and which today hardly still well-known for different times and on different kindare. The correct names for earlier German marine ones loud:

German marine one during the east west conflict

the today's navy developed after the Second World War in the context of the rearmament of Germany as part of the German Federal Armed Forces.Until 1990 the designation Federal Navy was usually, nevertheless never official for it. During the east west conflict it had essentially three tasks, which it together with NATO - allied and particularly with the Danish navy to fulfill had. It should the Baltic Sea entrances from occupation by Warsaw Pact protect and by it in the Baltic Sea naval forces Warsaw Pact include. In the North Sea and in the North Atlantic it should protect allied reinforcement transportation to Europe.

Existed at the same time in the GDR the People's Navy as part of the NVA. The People's Navy was merged in Warsaw Pact as part of the united Baltic Sea fleets, their area of operations was likewise the Baltic Sea and the Baltic Sea exits. It had the tasks, the sea route over the Baltic Sea for SovietTo keep free reinforcement and take part in offensive operations against the coasts of opposing states in the Baltic Sea. In addition the extensive clearing-up activity came opposite the NATO navies in the Baltic Sea. A special role came the 6. Border brigade coast (GBK) with the prevention ofRepublic escape too.

The German unit in the year 1990 was carried out not by the combination of two states to separate by the entry of the five new countries to the Federal Republic of Germany. With the GDR its institutions went down, while those continue the Federal Republic. Thatapplies also to the armed forces. The navy of the Federal Republic of Germany was continued 1990 - like all German Federal Armed Forces - breakless. The guidance of the navy decided however, past, always unofficial, to use designation Federal Navy no more but from now onto use the term German navy in all official texts. Generally linguistic usage is to be still found the designation Federal Navy.

development since 1990

1990 had essentially maintained the navy first their past structure, was however, howall German Federal Armed Forces, gradually made smaller. Only a small part of the personnel and the material of the People's Navy was taken over. The regulations of the 2+4-Vertrages did not permit it to at the end of 1994 , NATO which can be assigned armed forces on the territory to the former GDR toostation. Therefore the parts of the former People's Navy, which should be held first still further in service, in their own naval command east with seat in Rostock were summarized, which was subordinate first to the German Federal Armed Forces command east in Strausberg.

Starting from 1995 one could uniform naval structure to be created and the forces of NATO stationed in the entry area be assigniert. The naval command east was dissolved, shifted instead some new agencies in the entry area set up (naval section command east, naval technique school), others by the west there (speedboat flotilla, board of admiralty).

Only alsothe 2000 German Federal Armed Forces reform introduced by Secretary of Defense Rudolf Scharping began itself to change the organization of the navy in principle. In the meantime to the place of the usual gradual German Federal Armed Forces reforms a continuous process stepped, which is described with the term transformation.

The numbersmaller, 1990 ago particularly ships and boats intended for Baltic Sea warfare one continues to reduce. But a smaller number of larger vehicles of different types is procured. At the same time the number of naval soldiers is reduced to approximately 25,000. In relation to the other armed servicesthe portion of the naval soldiers has however grown in the German Federal Armed Forces from approximately 7.7% 1990 ago on in the future about 10%.

tasks of the navy

the navy carries out a contribution to their tasks, like it in the valid in each case defense policy ones Guidelines of the Federal Minister of the defense are fixed.

Since 1990 the tasks of the German Federal Armed Forces changed themselves ever more away of the national defense to peace-supporting employments at the edge and outside of Europe (see below). Their current order leads itself from that Conception of the German Federal Armed Forces off:

  • International conflict prevention and crisis management, including the fight against the international terrorism,
  • support of allies,
  • protection of Germany and its citizens and citizen,
  • rescue and evacuation,
  • partnership and co-operation,
  • assistance (legal assistance, natural catastrophes, particularly heavy accidents).

The inspector thatNavy specified 2006 in its annual instruction, how these orders in the navy are converted.

Afterwards the navy is to participate in the context of international missions with emphasis in armed forces-common operations. It is with its means from lake different armed forcessupport, so that the high sea as basis for military operations be used can. So for example the new air-defense frigates of the Saxonia class can protect assigned land federations also near the coast from air raids.

In addition the navy is in the context of the task “protectionGermany and its citizens and citizens " from asymmetrical threats protect and to the security of the German maritime trade contribute the sea routes in such a way.

As contribution to the task “the navy takes part assistance” in the SAR service within the German coastal range.

organization andGuidance

at the point of the navy is located the inspector of the navy in the Federal Ministry of the defense. As troop-official superiors of its armed service it is subordinate directly to the Federal Minister of the defense. The inspector supported by the operations staff of the navy, a departmentthe Ministry in Bonn. The armed service navy consists of two command areas, the fleet and the board of admiralty.

As 1990 ago the navy remains merged into the structure of the NATO, which adapted for their part to the changes after end of the east west conflict.Ships and boats take part in the constant employment federations of NATO, which are led in the change with other nations also by German naval officers.

the fleet

frigate Cologne

the fleet becomes from the commander of the fleet in the fleet command in Luck castle operationally and administratively led. Larger employments are led since 2002 by the employment guidance command in potsdam. To the fleet belong the ships and airplanes of the navy and other task forces. The fleet is divided at present still into five flotillas, in the future becomesit only two employment flotillas and two naval pilot squadrons its.

The German fleet 2006:

To the fleet also some land units belong, under it

  • the naval pilot squadrons 3 and 5 in north wood and Kiel with SAR support points on Helgoland and in Rostock Warnemünde. The naval pilot squadrons are to be combined until approximately 2010 into a squadron in north wood.
  • the command specialized task forces of the navy (including the combat floats) and the naval protection forces in Eckernförde
  • navigation-medical Institut of the navy, Kiel

see also: List of aircraft of the German Federal Armed Forces

present structure goal structure

the board of admiralty

the board of admiralty in Rostock is responsible for the training and the logistics of the navy. Its own department of advancement navy (WHOM) works on the naval aspects of the transformation process of the German Federal Armed Forces. To the board of admiralty schools, bases and offices are subordinate.

Schools of the navy:

of naval bases:

frigates, unit train ships
of submarines, fleet service boats, unit train ships, specialized task forces navy,Naval protection forces
of unit train ships, mine countermeasures units, sail school ship Gorch Fock
speedboats, unit train ships

the naval base commands Eckernförde, Kiel and warn-flow are troop-officially subordinate starting from center 2006 the naval base command Wilhelmshaven. By the naval base Kiel become starting from 2006/07 the remaining 22 Sea King helicopters naval pilot squadron 5 after north woodshifted.

The most important, the board of admiralty subordinate specialized commands are:

present structure goal structure

the navy arsenal with enterprises in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel is subordinate not to the navy but the Federal Office for military technology andProcurement BWB.


of that 26,000 naval soldiers serve about 20,000 in the navy, the others in the remaining parts of the German Federal Armed Forces, particularly in the armed forces basis, centers at present the Sanitätsdienst and in the Ministry. In thatNavy gives it beside occupation and time soldier also person liable for military service, this however in very much smaller number than within other ranges to the German Federal Armed Forces. Only about 6,000 soldiers are on sea-going units.

Except the soldiers work in the navy a number civilianCoworker. Some auxiliary ships of the navy are civilian occupied, among them also the fleet tankers.

The care of tradition and customs of the navy arrange a special affiliation feeling for the members to its armed service.

Most important combinations of naval members and former ones are

of employments of the navy since already

1990 for the first Gulf War the 1987 operated the Federal Navy regularly in the Mediterranean, in order to support the allied ones in this politically more importantly becoming region. Immediately after the reunification one began in Germanyintensive debate over the employment of the German Federal Armed Forces outside of the NATO contract area (“out OF AREA debate”). It accelerated by the employment of German armed forces during the gulf conflict, that the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait to 2. August 1990 followed. At these operations was the navy alsosubstantial forces involved (see below.).

The legal questions of the armed international missions became by a judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court of 12. July 1994 to a large extent clarified, the out OF AREA debate thereby terminates. However further a regulation for the employment of the navy is missing toFight of the pro running ration against means of mass destruction, the drug trade, the slave trade and the Piraterie on the high sea. In appropriate operations of allied states the German navy can take part due to the domestic legal situation only with restrictions.

With armed employmentsin the sense of the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court the navy was assigned however from the beginning. In the context of the constant employment federations of NATO the navy takes those in important sea-areas monitoring and tasks of operational readiness level beyond that was, not under the formal term of thearmed employment fall. In addition naval soldiers are involved in nearly all other employments of the German Federal Armed Forces, who serve centers in the Sanitätsdienst of the German Federal Armed Forces and the armed forces basis or are turned off by the navy for special tasks.

The employments have the navy, like other partsthe German Federal Armed Forces also, with many new challenges confronts. That was among other things because of the fact that the existing ships for the tasks of the cold war were conceived. The new tasks required new equipment (e.g. small-caliber automatic weapons on frigates) and new procedures. Thatbe called climate at the horn of Africa led also to technical problems, e.g. during the cooling of the dwellings and the marine diesel. To that extent the employments are connected also with high physical loads for the crews. To the new procedures also, small belongedVehicles to transport in this case of speedboats, not on own Kiel but on board a Dockschiffs into the operational area in order to preserve the material. The employment experiences flow into the drafts for new ships.

employments in the connectionwith the Gulf War 1990-1991

after the occupation of Kuwait by the Iraq to 2. August 1990 forces of the German Federal Armed Forces were shifted for the reinforcement of the south flank of NATO in the Mediterranean and into Turkey. The navy took part in it with a mine countermeasures federation(Operation south flank), with destroyers, frigates, auxiliary ships and unite airplanes. Occasionally ships and boats were in the Mediterranean up to 20. After end of the fighting in the spring 1991 the mine countermeasures federation took part in the mine clearing operation in Persian Gulf, which as the first out OF AREA employment of the German Federal Armed Forces is considered.

employments in the Adria since 1992

with outbreak of the first armed arguments in former Yugoslavia 1992 NATO began with monitoring operations in the Adria. To italso ships and airplanes of the German navy were involved. The first ship of the German navy in the Adria was the destroyer “Bavaria”. On basis of different resolutions of the United Nations the embargo employment became operation Sharp Guard from the monitoring operation. ThoseGerman participation in it was one of the thes subject of the mentioned procedure before the Federal Constitutional Court. Only after its conclusion 1994 the German navy could take part in its entirety in the Adriaoperationen. The operation served on the one hand for it, weapon supplies into the entireformer Yugoslavia to prevent, and should implement on the other hand a commercial embargo against remainder Yugoslavia, in order to force it to peaceful conflict management in Bosnia and Herzegowina.

Also after conclusion of the operation SHARP GUARD 1996 the navy remained - usually as partof NATO federations - with ships and airplanes in the Adria present. Thus she took part in March 1997 in the German operation spirit level for the evacuation of German citizens from Albania. Also during the Kosovokrieges the ship patrols lasted in the Adriaon, and after conclusion of the conflict 1999 the German navy took part in the removal of in the Adria sunk ammunition.

Somalia 1994

in December 1993 decided the Federal Cabinet, since July the running support employment of the German army to terminate in Somalia to at the end of March 1994. Because of the briskly worsening security situation was done to lead the army contingent by air transport back. The navy evacuated about 1,700 soldiers with frigates and supply ships in several until February 1994 thoseTransportation from Mogadischu to Mombasa and Djibouti.

fight against the international terrorism since 2001

frigate “Karlsruhe” saves shipwrecked ones from the coast of Somalia during an employment in the operation ENDURING to FREEDOM, April 2005

since 2001 is thoseGerman Federal Armed Forces also used in the framework of the fight against the international terrorism. A naval contingent supervises the sea-area at the horn of Africa since at the beginning of of 2002 supported on Djibouti as part of the international operation Enduring Freedom. In the initial phase to it three were Frigates, five speedboats, several auxiliary ships, sea-long-range reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters with approximately 1,500 soldiers takes part. That was the largest employment of the navy since 1990. In the meantime the extent was substantially reduced. The naval contingent consists of a frigate, temporarily a supply ship anda small basis in Djibouti.

In addition the navy is already involved since at the end of of 2001 in the NATO operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean.


Web on the left of



  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)