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

KSK unit badge

KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command, KSK) is an elite special forces military unit composed of special operations soldiers handpicked from the ranks of Germany's Bundeswehr and organized under the Rapid Forces Division. KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the USA and its affiliates and KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East.

From 1973, until the KSK’s formation in 1996, the West German (and later German) government assigned all counter-terrorist and special operations activities to the GSG 9, a highly trained police force created shortly after the hostage-taking that transpired during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Prior to 1973, the army’s Fernspäher (Long-Distance Reconnaissance), the navy’s Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmers/"Frogmen"), and (until 1989) the Special Weapons Escort Companies—Sonderwaffenbegleitkompanien were the only military units comparable to anything that other nations may have seen as dedicated special forces units. Following the KSK’s activation on April 1, 1997, all but one of the Fernspähkompanie have been either disbanded or merged into the newly constituted unit.

Like those of all German military units, KSK deployments require authorization from the German Bundestag (Federal Assembly). The unit has engaged in numerous anti-terror campaigns both in Europe and abroad; known engagements include operations inside Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and most recently in Afghanistan. As is to be expected with such units, specific operational details such as success and casualty rates are considered to be top secret and withheld even from the highest-ranking members of the Bundestag. This practice has elicited some serious concerns, resulting in agreement to increase both transparency and accountability, by disclosing mission details to selected members of the Bundestag, in relation to the future deployments of KSK forces. (Read more)

Selected biography

Albert Speer at the Nuremberg trials, 1946.

Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, (pronounced [ˈʃpeːɐ̯] (About this sound listen); March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981) was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry", he accepted responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of involvement in the persecution of the Jews and his level of knowledge of the Holocaust remain matters of dispute.

Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching him on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years. His architectural skills made him increasingly prominent within the Party and he became a member of Hitler's inner circle. Hitler commissioned him to design and construct a number of structures, including the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in Nuremberg where Party rallies were held. Speer also made plans to reconstruct Berlin on a grand scale, with huge buildings, wide boulevards, and a reorganized transportation system.

As Hitler's Minister of Armaments and War Production, Speer was so successful that Germany's war production continued to increase despite massive and devastating Allied bombing. After the war, he was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime, principally for the use of forced labor. He served his full sentence, most of it at Spandau Prison in West Berlin.

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Historical german navy flags in the flag hall of the Navy Memorial in Laboe

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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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Battlecruisers of Germany

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Albert KesselringAlbert SpeerAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of AusterlitzBattle of BicoccaBattle of BlenheimBattle of CeresoleBattle of DürensteinBattle of GreeceBattle of MoscowBattle of RamilliesBattle of SchellenbergBattle of Verrières RidgeBattle of Villers-BocageBattle of Vimy RidgeBayern-class battleshipBert TrautmannBlack Friday (1945)Cologne WarDerfflinger-class battlecruiserErnest Augustus I of HanoverErnst LindemannFalaise pocketFinnish Civil WarFrederick III, German EmperorHeinrich BärHelgoland-class battleshipHelmut LentHermann DetznerIG Farben BuildingInner German borderItalian War of 1521-1526Italian War of 1542-1546Johann von KlenauKaiser-class battleshipKönig-class battleshipMauthausen-Gusen concentration campMoltke-class battlecruiserNassau-class battleshipOmaha BeachOperation BrevityOperation CharnwoodOperation CobraOperation EpsomOperation PerchOperation TeardropOperation TractableOperation UranusOperation VarsityPanzer IPigeon photographyRheinmetall 120 mm gunSMS Baden (1915)SMS Bayern (1915)SMS BlücherSMS DerfflingerSMS Friedrich der Grosse (1911)SMS GoebenSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1913)SMS HelgolandSMS HindenburgSMS KönigSMS Kronprinz (1914)SMS LützowSMS MarkgrafSMS Moltke (1910)SMS RheinlandSMS SeydlitzSMS Von der TannSMS WestfalenSM U-66Second Ostend RaidTAM (tank)Ulm CampaignUnification of GermanyWalter ModelWar of the Bavarian SuccessionWar of the Fifth CoalitionWar of the League of CambraiWerner Mölders

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List of Commando raids on the Atlantic wallList of German World War II jet acesList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipientsList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the KriegsmarineList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the Schnellboot serviceList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the U-boat serviceList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the Waffen-SSList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1940-1941)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1942)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1943)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1944)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1945)List of armored cruisers of GermanyList of battlecruisers of GermanyList of battleships of GermanyList of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

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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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1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania1st Parachute Brigade (United Kingdom)28 cm SK L/40 gun30.5 cm SK L/50 gunAction off LofotenAdlertagAdmiral Hipper-class cruiserAdolf GallandAgnes von Mansfeld-EislebenBattle of Amiens (1918)Battle of ArnhemBattle of Bautzen (1945)Battle of BelgiumBattle of Dover Strait (1916)Battle of Fort Eben-EmaelBattle of GrunwaldBattle of Hill 70Battle of Lanzerath RidgeBattle of Merville Gun BatteryBattle of MessinesBattle of Mont SorrelBattle of NgomanoBattle of RomaniBattle of San MarinoBattle of SchliengenBattle of Sedan (1940)Battle of VauchampsBattle of WaterlooBattle of the Heligoland Bight (1939)Battle of the NetherlandsBattle of the Strait of Otranto (1917)Battle off TexelBismarck-class battleshipBlack BrunswickersBrandenburg-class battleshipBraunschweig-class battleshipBrummer-class cruiserCharles FryattChristmas truceConvoy FaithCöln-class cruiserDornier Do 17Emil Lang (fighter ace)Ersatz Yorck-class battlecruiserÉtienne Marie Antoine Champion de NansoutyFirst Ostend RaidFranz von HipperFriedrich FoertschFriedrich GeißhardtFriedrich Wilhelm, Fürst zu Hohenlohe-KirchbergGebhard Truchsess von WaldburgGerman Type IXA submarineGerman Type UB I submarineGerman Type U 66 submarineGerman U-boat bases in occupied NorwayGerman aircraft carrier I (1915)German aircraft carrier I (1942)German attacks on NauruGerman battleship BismarckGerman battleship GneisenauGerman battleship ScharnhorstGerman cruiser Admiral Graf SpeeGerman cruiser Admiral HipperGerman cruiser Admiral ScheerGerman cruiser BlücherGerman cruiser DeutschlandGerman cruiser Lützow (1939)German cruiser Prinz EugenGerman cruiser SeydlitzGeman destroyer Z8 Bruno HeinemannGeman destroyer Z9 Wolfgang ZenkerGeman destroyer Z11 Bernd von ArnimGerman involvement in the Spanish Civil WarGerman submarine U-27 (1936)German submarine U-28 (1936)German submarine U-30 (1936)German submarine U-36 (1936)German submarine U-37 (1938)German submarine U-38 (1938)German submarine U-39 (1938)German submarine U-40 (1938)German submarine U-41 (1939)German submarine U-42 (1939)German submarine U-43 (1939)German submarine U-44 (1939)German submarine U-47 (1938)German submarine U-64 (1939)German submarine U-104 (1940)German submarine U-105 (1940)German submarine U-111 (1940)German submarine U-162 (1941)German submarine U-255German submarine U-853German submarine U-2336Greater Germanic ReichGünther SpechtH-class battleship proposalsHeinkel He 111High Seas FleetHindu-German ConspiracyJRM ZmajJade-class aircraft carrierJoachim HelbigJohann Jakob von WunschJoseph GoebbelsJunkers Ju 87Kaiser Friedrich III-class battleshipKristallnachtKurt WelterL 20 α-class battleshipLiberation of ArnhemMackensen-class battlecruiserOdin-class coastal defense shipOperation AquatintOperation BodenplatteOperation DeadstickOperation DonnerkeilOperation DoomsdayOperation IskraOperation PaulaOperation SlapstickOtto KittelPanzer 35(t)Preussen-class ironcladPrinz Adalbert-class cruiserPrussian uprisingsReinhard ScheerReinhold von WernerRommelspargelRudyard Kipling (ship)SMS ArminiusSMS BrandenburgSMS BraunschweigSMS BremseSMS BrummerSMS Deutschland (1874)SMS Dresden (1917)SMS ElsassSMS Friedrich CarlSMS Friedrich Carl (1867)SMS Friedrich der Grosse (1874)SMS Fürst Bismarck (1897)SMS GneisenauSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1875)SMS Hansa (1872)SMS HelaSMS HessenSMS Kaiser (1874)SMS Kaiser BarbarossaSMS Kaiser Friedrich IIISMS Kaiser Karl der GrosseSMS Kaiser Wilhelm IISMS Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseSMS Kronprinz (1867)SMS König AlbertSMS König WilhelmSMS LothringenSMS MecklenburgSMS PommernSMS Preussen (1873)SMS Preussen (1903)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1865)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1901)SMS Prinz HeinrichSMS Prinzregent LuitpoldSMS RadetzkySMS RoonSMS SchlesienSMS Schleswig-HolsteinSMS SchwabenSMS ThüringenSMS WeissenburgSMS WettinSMS WittelsbachSMS WörthSMS YorckSMS ZähringenSM U-1 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-3 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-4 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-10 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-11 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-67SM U-69SM U-70SM UB-2SM UB-3SM UB-4SM UB-5SM UB-6SM UB-7SM UB-8SM UB-9SM UB-11SM UB-12SM UB-13SM UB-17SM UB-42SM UB-44SM UB-46SM UB-47SM UB-50Sachsen-class ironcladScharnhorst-class battleshipScharnhorst-class cruiserScuttling of the German fleet in Scapa FlowSd.Kfz. 8Sd.Kfz. 9Second Battle of PasschendaeleSiegfried-class coastal defense shipSt Nazaire RaidSwabian WarTallinn OffensiveTartu OffensiveThe Hardest DayTiger IIU-43-class submarine (Austria-Hungary)U-52-class submarineWalter OesauWalter OhmsenWittelsbach-class battleshipWorld War II

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