Portal:Military of Germany

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Insignia of the Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government.

The Bundeswehr is divided into a military part (armed forces or Streitkräfte) and a civil part with the armed forces administration (Wehrverwaltung). The military part of the federal defense force consists of the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Joint Medical Service) branches. Read more...

Selected article

Armed Freikorps paramilitaries in Weimar Germany in 1919

Freikorps (pronounced [ˈfʀaɪ̯ˌkoːɐ̯], "Free Corps") were German volunteer units that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, the members of which effectively fought as mercenaries, regardless of their own nationality. In German-speaking countries the first so-called Freikorps "free regiments" (German: Freie Regimenter) were formed in the 18th century from native volunteers, enemy renegades and deserters, and criminals. These sometimes exotically equipped units served as infantry and cavalry or, more rarely, as artillery. Sometimes in just company strength, sometimes in formations up to several thousand strong, there were also various mixed formations or legions. The Prussian von Kleist Freikorps included infantry, jäger, dragoons and hussars. The French Volontaires de Saxe combined uhlans and dragoons.

In the early 20th century, Freikorps were raised to fight against the newly formed Weimar Republic, as well as their left-wing counterparts, through the early 1920s. These paramilitary organizations "roamed the countryside, killing with impunity." "They engaged in bloody confrontations with republican loyalists and engineered some of the more notorious assassinations" of the Weimar period, and are widely seen as a "precursor to Nazism". An entire series of Freikorps awards also existed, mostly replaced in 1933 by the Honor Cross for World War I veterans.

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Selected biography

Werner Mölders

Werner Mölders (18 March 1913 – 22 November 1941) was a World War II German Luftwaffe pilot and the leading German fighter ace in the Spanish Civil War. Mölders became the first pilot in aviation history to claim 100 aerial victories—that is, 100 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, and was highly decorated for his achievements. He was instrumental in the development of new fighter tactics which led to the finger-four formation. He died in an air crash in which he was a passenger.

Mölders joined the Luftwaffe in 1934 at age 21. In 1938, he volunteered for service in the Condor Legion, which supported General Francisco Franco's Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and shot down 15 aircraft. In World War II, he lost two wingmen in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, but shot down 53 enemy aircraft. With his tally standing at 68 victories, Mölders and his unit, the Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51), were transferred to the Eastern Front in June 1941 for the opening of Operation Barbarossa. By the end of 22 June 1941, the first day of Barbarossa, he had added another four victories to his tally and a week later, Mölders surpassed Manfred von Richthofen's 1918 record of 80 victories. By mid-July, he had 100.

Prevented from flying further combat missions for propaganda reasons, at the age of 28 Mölders was promoted to Oberst, and appointed Inspector General of Fighters. He was inspecting the Luftwaffe units in the Crimea when he was ordered to Berlin to attend the state funeral of Ernst Udet, the World War I flying ace. On the flight to Berlin, the Heinkel He 111 in which he was travelling as a passenger encountered a heavy thunderstorm during which one of the aircraft's engines failed. While attempting to land, the Heinkel crashed at Breslau, killing Mölders and two others. The German Wehrmacht of the Third Reich and the Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany both honoured him by naming two fighter wings, a destroyer and barracks after him.

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

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A G36KV as delivered to the Latvian Army. It is configured with a telescopic stock and a Picatinny sight rail

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

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

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