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LostCosmonaut

Remember When Germany Had Weapons?

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/02/19/germanys-army-is-so-under-equipped-that-it-used-broomsticks-instead-of-machine-guns/

 

In all seriousness, there could be a conversation to be had about the state of various militaries in the Eurozone. However, I'm mainly posting this because I find it somewhat amusing.

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Seriously though there should be a talk about either funding your military to NATO treaty standards or buying time-shares in the US military.

 

Problem is, it doesn't appear that there's a whole lot of interest in the German political sphere in increasing military funding, and we (the US) can't really put a gun to their head and make them spend money to fix their Eurofighters on pain of death.

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Problem is, it doesn't appear that there's a whole lot of interest in the German political sphere in increasing military funding, and we (the US) can't really put a gun to their head and make them spend money to fix their Eurofighters on pain of death.

We could trick them into buy F-35s. 

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With only 5 strong maneuver brigades, Germany has in essence checked out of NATO and tacitly accepted a US nuclear umbrella.  

 

France and Germany about twenty years back signed that white paper that assured each of mutual home defense.  At the time NATO planned for Germany to provide for 15 brigades out front - the core of the European footprint.  The US it was believed would have another 15 brigades in Europe, and smaller NATO allies would undertake an individual brigade or team up to do combined brigades.  France was out of this picture but it was assumed they would provide crucial strategic reserves.

 

The problem with the Franco German plan is they both planned to take advantage of it to reduce forces.  15 Brigades?  Germany saw a chance and said, well France can provide the 10, and we will provide the 5.  Money saved (and so much for strategic reserve).  To make things look good we will do a combined brigade on the cheap with wheels.

 

France also said the same thing.  NATO wants 15 brigades in the shop window?  Well Germany can do the 10 and we will do the 5, and yeah, we can throw some effort into the wheeled brigade - the French army is nothing but filled with wheels.  Although back in NATO informally they like to be independent.

 

So they ended up with 10 brigades and no strategic reserve.  As for the idea that the US would put 15 brigades in the window - they went south with the US believing Europe could handle its own policing while they concentrated on the WOT.  The 170th and 172nd went home and no more US heavy brigades.

 

That leaves Poland (9 heavy brigades), the Czechs (2 heavy brigades), the Slovaks (2 heavy brigades), Belgium (1 brigade), Hungary (2 brigades), Romania (6 brigades, plus some strong leg units) and Bulgaria (2 brigades) guarding the front door.  Poland is a scary customer and very able.  The Czechs and Slovaks could be good but there are indications that they are having issues.  Romania is surprisingly good.  However all of these countries are in need of modernization.

 

A group of friends and I have been agitated for congress to donate about 2000 M1 Abrams to Poland and Romania.  About 210 A10 and 250 F16 are also boneyard ready for return to service.  

 

As for Germany and France - that ship has sailed.  They won't ever again have a heavy land army sufficient to counterbalance Russia, and both plan on initial use of nuclear weapons to occur on first invasion, thus allowing them to feel justified in their draw down.

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With only 5 strong maneuver brigades, Germany has in essence checked out of NATO and tacitly accepted a US nuclear umbrella.  

 

France and Germany about twenty years back signed that white paper that assured each of mutual home defense.  At the time NATO planned for Germany to provide for 15 brigades out front - the core of the European footprint.  The US it was believed would have another 15 brigades in Europe, and smaller NATO allies would undertake an individual brigade or team up to do combined brigades.  France was out of this picture but it was assumed they would provide crucial strategic reserves.

 

The problem with the Franco German plan is they both planned to take advantage of it to reduce forces.  15 Brigades?  Germany saw a chance and said, well France can provide the 10, and we will provide the 5.  Money saved (and so much for strategic reserve).  To make things look good we will do a combined brigade on the cheap with wheels.

 

France also said the same thing.  NATO wants 15 brigades in the shop window?  Well Germany can do the 10 and we will do the 5, and yeah, we can throw some effort into the wheeled brigade - the French army is nothing but filled with wheels.  Although back in NATO informally they like to be independent.

 

So they ended up with 10 brigades and no strategic reserve.  As for the idea that the US would put 15 brigades in the window - they went south with the US believing Europe could handle its own policing while they concentrated on the WOT.  The 170th and 172nd went home and no more US heavy brigades.

 

That leaves Poland (9 heavy brigades), the Czechs (2 heavy brigades), the Slovaks (2 heavy brigades), Belgium (1 brigade), Hungary (2 brigades), Romania (6 brigades, plus some strong leg units) and Bulgaria (2 brigades) guarding the front door.  Poland is a scary customer and very able.  The Czechs and Slovaks could be good but there are indications that they are having issues.  Romania is surprisingly good.  However all of these countries are in need of modernization.

 

A group of friends and I have been agitated for congress to donate about 2000 M1 Abrams to Poland and Romania.  About 210 A10 and 250 F16 are also boneyard ready for return to service.  

 

As for Germany and France - that ship has sailed.  They won't ever again have a heavy land army sufficient to counterbalance Russia, and both plan on initial use of nuclear weapons to occur on first invasion, thus allowing them to feel justified in their draw down.

 

 

Pffft, Who needs the Abrams when poland will soon have the greatest mbt of all time, THE INVINCIBLE PL-01?

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With only 5 strong maneuver brigades, Germany has in essence checked out of NATO and tacitly accepted a US nuclear umbrella.  

 

France and Germany about twenty years back signed that white paper that assured each of mutual home defense.  At the time NATO planned for Germany to provide for 15 brigades out front - the core of the European footprint.  The US it was believed would have another 15 brigades in Europe, and smaller NATO allies would undertake an individual brigade or team up to do combined brigades.  France was out of this picture but it was assumed they would provide crucial strategic reserves.

 

The problem with the Franco German plan is they both planned to take advantage of it to reduce forces.  15 Brigades?  Germany saw a chance and said, well France can provide the 10, and we will provide the 5.  Money saved (and so much for strategic reserve).  To make things look good we will do a combined brigade on the cheap with wheels.

 

France also said the same thing.  NATO wants 15 brigades in the shop window?  Well Germany can do the 10 and we will do the 5, and yeah, we can throw some effort into the wheeled brigade - the French army is nothing but filled with wheels.  Although back in NATO informally they like to be independent.

 

So they ended up with 10 brigades and no strategic reserve.  As for the idea that the US would put 15 brigades in the window - they went south with the US believing Europe could handle its own policing while they concentrated on the WOT.  The 170th and 172nd went home and no more US heavy brigades.

 

That leaves Poland (9 heavy brigades), the Czechs (2 heavy brigades), the Slovaks (2 heavy brigades), Belgium (1 brigade), Hungary (2 brigades), Romania (6 brigades, plus some strong leg units) and Bulgaria (2 brigades) guarding the front door.  Poland is a scary customer and very able.  The Czechs and Slovaks could be good but there are indications that they are having issues.  Romania is surprisingly good.  However all of these countries are in need of modernization.

 

A group of friends and I have been agitated for congress to donate about 2000 M1 Abrams to Poland and Romania.  About 210 A10 and 250 F16 are also boneyard ready for return to service.  

 

As for Germany and France - that ship has sailed.  They won't ever again have a heavy land army sufficient to counterbalance Russia, and both plan on initial use of nuclear weapons to occur on first invasion, thus allowing them to feel justified in their draw down.

This is stupidly interesting to me. I love the political ends of this sort of thing. Do you have any books or materials you can recommend about this subject?

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The best reading bar none is to keep up with the Janes series of publication.  Defense weekly is a boring read for many, because it has lots of gossipy sounding tittle in the form of articles about this or that contract being cancelled or defunded, but it is the weathervane that everyone in the world literally picks at,

 

Defense News is another one, and it has Gannet backing it up.  It is on my weekly reading list and along with Janes I keep them both in my tracking files.  You would be surprised at how a few sentence summary of a seemingly boring article on a new logistics data project offering to change software capabilities for a minor NATO country can mean big information when compared with other stories rather than trying to digest the information alone.

 

Breaking Defense is one I have just in the past year started reading.  This one seems to get a LOT of information from horny congressional aids - or so I think, because otherwise I have no idea how they get some of the committee insider stuff.  I do know that a majority of leaks on military capabilities come from young congressional staffers who wander into bars in DC looking to impress everyone at how much in the loop they are.  As someone who is so far out of the loop as to require Hubble telescope to see the edges of known space where the loop exists, I cannot possibly know what it is like to be a hugely knowledgeable congressional staffer working for a guy whose primary skill set that got him elected was hair that stays reasonable in place, but this sort of data is priceless in understanding the modern defense world.  

 

The major way to understand defense is to realize that no one sums things up, they provide very close analysis of the type of bark in the trees nearest them, but few people truly synthesize - so the articles that seem boring, like a contract moving 6 RoRo ships from one part of the civilian fleet to another, may actually be a piece of evidence that indicates a return of significant REFORGER capability to the US infrastructure.  You then need to see an article on the US military spending millions on constant humidity warehouses, and another about the movement of some obscure logistics units before you have multiple opposing evidence chains that lets you say - years before any announces it to the press, that the US is coming back to Europe.

 

And be careful of general and open discussion sites on the web.  This group in this little haven are pretty smart and knowledgeable, but in the general Internet you have lot of, "I heard the post office is buying 7.5 billion rounds of hollow points, that means mailmen are coming to take our guns!!!" political nonsense.  For example purchase of halal rations by the Army, which was touted in many chat groups as proof that Obama was going to require the Army to adopt sharia law, was actually a bit of evidence of something much more mundane, but in the light of day, something much more important about Army planning.  There are articles here and there about those halal rations that never mention why they are being bought, but do give us hints of why they are needed (and the real answer is not a conspiracy, just common sense.)

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Yeah, regulars here from the WoT forums suggested I come here for a nice haven. I've been reading FW for a while but never even thought to look at the forums.

 

I'm usually lost in the technical and mechanical discussions, but I try to read up on what people say to get a basic understanding of machinery. I'm more interested in the political side of defense, and not in the "political debate" sense. I'm powering through some of David E. Griffith's books right now if that gives you an idea. This stuff with Germany's forces right now is especially interesting because it could be reaching into other EU countries and cause some problems in the EU's soft power structure.

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And be careful of general and open discussion sites on the web.  This group in this little haven are pretty smart and knowledgeable, but in the general Internet you have lot of, "I heard the post office is buying 7.5 billion rounds of hollow points, that means mailmen are coming to take our guns!!!" political nonsense.  For example purchase of halal rations by the Army, which was touted in many chat groups as proof that Obama was going to require the Army to adopt sharia law, was actually a bit of evidence of something much more mundane, but in the light of day, something much more important about Army planning.  There are articles here and there about those halal rations that never mention why they are being bought, but do give us hints of why they are needed (and the real answer is not a conspiracy, just common sense.)

 

Would it have something to do with ongoing military commitment in regions where halal food is a big deal?

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Xthetenth ninja'd my post just as I was about to click.

 

Shocking, that the United States would want to make sure it has rations that don't contain pork and whatnot when supplying and cooperating with potential Middle East and/or Muslim allies. It's like they have learned from past military blunders, like the Sepoy Mutiny or something!

 

On the other hand, having worked as a Rural Route carrier for all of one week once upon a time in the past and with all the general stereotypes about the Post Office including Gyro-Captain guy crashing on the White House lawn, the idea of the Post Office needing several billion rounds of ammunition to overthrow the Constitution of the United States and Freedom Loving Americans is totally believable...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MXp9qzewXU

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Holy crap, people looked at halal rations and thought Obama was going to make the Army adopt Sharia law? A.) Are they unaware of our Muslim allies that may need a little help fighting, I dunno, Da'Ish? B.) Do they think he wants a military coup?

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Or that there might actually be a nontrivial number of Muslim servicemen in the US military? (I knew of 2 or 3 when I was at USAFA, and there's probably an even bigger proportion in the military as a whole.)

 

Nontrivial, yes, but probably not that many eating rations.

It's much more likely to be for allied forces.

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The best reading bar none is to keep up with the Janes series of publication.  Defense weekly is a boring read for many, because it has lots of gossipy sounding tittle in the form of articles about this or that contract being cancelled or defunded, but it is the weathervane that everyone in the world literally picks at,

 

Defense News is another one, and it has Gannet backing it up.  It is on my weekly reading list and along with Janes I keep them both in my tracking files.  You would be surprised at how a few sentence summary of a seemingly boring article on a new logistics data project offering to change software capabilities for a minor NATO country can mean big information when compared with other stories rather than trying to digest the information alone.

 

Breaking Defense is one I have just in the past year started reading.  This one seems to get a LOT of information from horny congressional aids - or so I think, because otherwise I have no idea how they get some of the committee insider stuff.  I do know that a majority of leaks on military capabilities come from young congressional staffers who wander into bars in DC looking to impress everyone at how much in the loop they are.  As someone who is so far out of the loop as to require Hubble telescope to see the edges of known space where the loop exists, I cannot possibly know what it is like to be a hugely knowledgeable congressional staffer working for a guy whose primary skill set that got him elected was hair that stays reasonable in place, but this sort of data is priceless in understanding the modern defense world.  

 

The major way to understand defense is to realize that no one sums things up, they provide very close analysis of the type of bark in the trees nearest them, but few people truly synthesize - so the articles that seem boring, like a contract moving 6 RoRo ships from one part of the civilian fleet to another, may actually be a piece of evidence that indicates a return of significant REFORGER capability to the US infrastructure.  You then need to see an article on the US military spending millions on constant humidity warehouses, and another about the movement of some obscure logistics units before you have multiple opposing evidence chains that lets you say - years before any announces it to the press, that the US is coming back to Europe.

 

And be careful of general and open discussion sites on the web.  This group in this little haven are pretty smart and knowledgeable, but in the general Internet you have lot of, "I heard the post office is buying 7.5 billion rounds of hollow points, that means mailmen are coming to take our guns!!!" political nonsense.  For example purchase of halal rations by the Army, which was touted in many chat groups as proof that Obama was going to require the Army to adopt sharia law, was actually a bit of evidence of something much more mundane, but in the light of day, something much more important about Army planning.  There are articles here and there about those halal rations that never mention why they are being bought, but do give us hints of why they are needed (and the real answer is not a conspiracy, just common sense.)

 

 

Going to have to make a slight disagreement on Janes, at least in the context that, while their western related topics may be more accurate, they're often atrociously wrong on anything to do with the East Asian region in particular, which makes my "job" (not really a job, just something I do) more difficult when some of their errors or flat out wrong articles get passed as truth.

 

But, Since you seem to be more in the lines of the French military in particular, I could see them as a better source in that regard as they'd be likely to make mistakes there.

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Would it have something to do with ongoing military commitment in regions where halal food is a big deal?

 

It has everything to do with this, and because US units will be having to feed more special ops people from Muslim nations - there had been a considerable thaw in the past five years between the US and nearly every military force in the world, and US operators are having to work with a LOT of very capable people that just a decade ago they were giving the middle finger.  Halal rations are part of this.  

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Going to have to make a slight disagreement on Janes, at least in the context that, while their western related topics may be more accurate, they're often atrociously wrong on anything to do with the East Asian region in particular, which makes my "job" (not really a job, just something I do) more difficult when some of their errors or flat out wrong articles get passed as truth.

 

But, Since you seem to be more in the lines of the French military in particular, I could see them as a better source in that regard as they'd be likely to make mistakes there.

 

 

You are probably right, since I do not do Asia except on some side lines such as tracking Chinese operational capabilities.  And you knowledge of China eclipses mine by a great extent.

 

Yes - specialization is France, US, Italy, and Great Britain from 1945 on, plus of course the rest of NATO with less certain knowledge.

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That leaves Poland (9 heavy brigades), the Czechs (2 heavy brigades), the Slovaks (2 heavy brigades), Belgium (1 brigade), Hungary (2 brigades), Romania (6 brigades, plus some strong leg units) and Bulgaria (2 brigades) guarding the front door.  Poland is a scary customer and very able.  The Czechs and Slovaks could be good but there are indications that they are having issues.  Romania is surprisingly good.  However all of these countries are in need of modernization.

 

A group of friends and I have been agitated for congress to donate about 2000 M1 Abrams to Poland and Romania.  About 210 A10 and 250 F16 are also boneyard ready for return to service.  

 

Eh, Romania it is OK but much of its equipment is outdated and not much is usable except what was upgraded in 90s and 2000s. The good news is that pilots fly, infantrymen and tankers are training on regular basis and generally there's a feel of preparing the army. Defense budget was raised and will stay constantly at 2% from GDP and there might be acquisitions over this amount, especially for big programs.

 

So far, the following acquisition programs are scheduled for next years: 

  • Second F-16 squadron (probably MLU) with a perspective to buy the latest variants (24 planned)
  • 273 mm MLRS with 300 km range
  • upgrade of KUB, OSA-AKM and HAWK 
  • new APC: curentely the participants are PATRIA AMV, SUPER IVECO AV, PIRANHA V and BOXER; to be noted that Romanian terrain required an amphibious APC. Initially here we thought that only PATRIA and IVECO are seriously qualify for the requirements, however it is a rumor that Germany made a very good offer in developing a local APC, based on BOXER, with amphibious capability; given the lessons of Ukraine, there is however an interest for a better protected  and customizable APC; All offers except Piranha suppose transfer of technology, development of local designs like wheeled IFV, AA (possible with Crotale for SHORAD) and AT vehicles (probably SPIKE), self propelled mortar etc. Personally I prefered PATRIA and IVECO.
  • upgrade of two frigates, allegedly a Kilo submarine refurbish 
  • Upgrade of fluvial fleet - better MLRS on the vessels, drones, close AA defense systems.
  • Long range AA (probably Patriot, unclear what version)
  • new MANPAD ( possible Mistral although I would prefer a shoulder 
  • light attack/recon helo (some Kiowas would be nice :D, Croatia did a good move) but probably will be an Eurocopter product. 
  • New Super Puma helos built in Romania 
  • SPG howitzer 
  • new 120 mm mortar with enhanced and guided ammo
  • drones, lots of drones...  :D we even build some

From old equipment, the following are still decent:

  • TR-85M1A - upgraded MBT, but more a medium with 100 mm gun with Israeli APFSDS ; otherwise, basically a Leclerec (stabilizier, FCS etc.) but smaller
  • PUMA SOCAT - support helicopter (not a real attack one)
  • SPIKEs ATGMs
  • upgraded CA-94M manpads (likely, not sure here)
  • MLI-84M upgraded IFV
  • AA artillery with GEPARD SPAAG and towed 30 mm local design, 35 mm Oerlikon GDF with modern upgrades, FCS  etc.
  • LAROM 122/160 mm MLRS with Israeli technology and local built ammo of various sorts (HE, thermobaric, clusters) 
  • M85 towed howitzers (performance similar with Msta-B
  • TABC-79 recon vehicle 
  • BM-33 Zimbru (BTR-80 local enhanced copy)
  • Piranha III C was a big flop; did bad in Iraq and Afghanistan were mostly local designs were used (TAB-77, BM-33, TABC-79); still, can do a better work than 70s designs (TAB71) which were phased out. 
  • Local built mortars (82 mm, 120 mm)
  • Some replacement for PG-7 and SPG-9 although for the first one Romanian builds some nice thermobaric warheads)

As OOB, Romanian has one Spec Op Brigade (4 battalions, para included), one artillery independent Brigade, one Engineers brigade, one Information brigade and 3 Divisions each with 3 fighting brigades ( 5 Mechanized, 2 Infantry, 2 Mountain Rangers ) along with their respective independent smaller units (recon/SF battalions, arty regiments, CRBN, AA defense, engineers). There is also one Marine battalion trained more like a raiding /recon (with some ISTAR capabilities) for Danube Delta (a resembling unit would be Italian Lagunari). 

 

Not all these units are first line but there are efforts to keep this OOB and also add a core of reservists with regular training of around 3000 people which will be raised in the next years. 

 

Some US old equipment handed to Romania would be good albeit not all of it would be very useful. I mentioned earlier Kiowas but from logistical point of view an Eurocopter similar design would make more sense due to the fact that it can be repaired, maintained etc. at local Eurocopter factory.

 

F-16s would be great if they'd be upgraded.

 

I am in two minds regarding M1 Abrams; won't work with turbine, needs Diesel engine and at least some river crossing limited capability; 

 

A really good SPG and generally artillery with modern ammo would be really useful as well. 

 

There is also old equipment that it could be used such as TR-77 and T-55 chassis which could be well maintained and developed in many ways like SPGs, SPAAGs or even IFV or APCs. There are tons of it still usable, would be a pity to just cut them. 

 

Well, this is in few words Romania's situation, not great but not as bad as our neighbours and most important thing is that soldiers are constantly in training and shooting range and there is a sizeable contingent of reservists which was in Iraq, Afghanistan or in UN missions (Kosovo, Angola, Albania etc.) 

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