Sad: The German Military Is a Disaster

Bundeswehr Soldaten der Fregatte Hessen retten am 06.06.2015 weitere Schiffbrüchige aus dem Mittelmeer. (Alexander Gottschalk/Bundeswehr via AP

The German military may as well not exist, at least not as a credible fighting force. 

Not only could any competent military crush them in an afternoon, but the Houthis could even act with impunity. 


Really, what is the point of having a navy if the weapons on its ships are so badly maintained that missiles can't even stay in the air?

According to the German publication BILD, the frigate Hessen locked onto a US Reaper drone and fired 2 SM2 missiles at it, neither of which hit it because they fell into the sea. They had not seen any maintenance since 2006, or 18 years ago. The Hessen was commissioned in 2006, and has been used as an air defense platform for NATO. 

One has to wonder how useful it would have been if called on to perform that task. 

SM2 missiles are no longer manufactured and the Hessen is designed to use them exclusively and cannot restock them at sea, so each missile fired is one less that can be used, ensuring that the ship will have to return to Germany when its missiles are exhausted, or nearly so. 

We have been told that Hessen has successfully shot down 2 Houthi drones, which may be the case, although an American Reaper drone is about as easy a target as possible for an air defense system, so there is some skepticism about the German claims. 

The SM2 is a $2 million missile. 

The embarrassment of the Hessen is hardly the only indication of Germany's declining military. And, for that matter, the sorry state of most European militaries, which combined spend about 1/2 as much as the US does on its military. 


I wrote about this in a VIP column in December. European countries barely have any ammunition, are understrength on soldiers, and have let their equipment deteriorate to an alarming extent. 

Der Spiegel wrote about just how disastrous Germany's military capabilities are, and it is genuinely frightening if you think the country will ever have to defend itself. Trump's pressure on Europe to step up its game was not based on some imagined sense of getting screwed in a deal, but on the simple fact that none of these militaries could actually help the US defend Europe if called to do so. 

One example: The commander of the 10th Tank Division reported to his superiors that during an exercise with 18 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, all 18 of them broke down. It was a worrisome incident given that the ultra-modern weapons systems are a key component of the NATO rapid-reaction force. There is a lack of munitions and equipment – and arms deliveries to Ukraine have only worsened the situation. “The cupboards are almost bare,” said Alfons Mais, inspector general of the German army, at the beginning of the war. André Wüstner, head of the German Bundeswehr Association, seconds him: “We continue to be in free fall.”


They might as well stay in their bunkers, which apparently is their plan. 

The Wall Street Journal had a similar investigation, which revealed the dire state of both the militaries themselves and the industries needed to back them up. With hardly any weapons or ammunition, Europe is also incapable of producing the necessary equipment to supply the military. Germany doesn't even have enough helmets for their soldiers. 

Perhaps, though, Germany and Europe have a secret weapon we don't know about. Diversity may be their strength. 

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