DGermany has been providing NATO’s rapid deployment forces since Sunday, highly trained and ready to confront any enemy in the shortest possible time. The Panzergrenadierbrigade 37 “Freistaat Sachsen” is the core force of the 12,000-strong combat unit. He will defend the alliance should Russian fantasies of annihilation eventually be followed by an attack on Poland or the Baltics, similar to what happened in Ukraine in February. NATO’s message to Moscow is: don’t even think about trying, because we are ready!
Contrary to what was planned, Germany’s army cannot present itself in the best condition. Because recently, a large part of the associated Puma armored personnel carriers failed. Now they are improvising with older martens, tracked vehicles that have been in service with the grenadier troop for half a century, but which have at least been continuously partially renewed. The defective Pumas are to be repaired quickly, but the embarrassment for the army, the armaments industry and Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht from the SPD remains.
Lambrecht’s bad record
For Lambrecht, her first year in office ends as she began: badly. She was reluctant to get used to it, only slowly understood what the Russian attack meant, helped Ukraine half-heartedly, and has avoided Kyiv to this day. Unambitious, she attends the realignment of the Bundeswehr. In desperation, on a trip to Slovakia before Christmas, she insulted the Puma industry and fundamentally questioned the continued operation of the tanks instead of first finding out what had happened.
The army, parliament and the public have been waiting for days for a damage report that was announced for the end of the year. The Ministry spends time interpreting the term “end of the week” in such a way that it can also mean “a week next year”.
The report is important for the future of the army, which will ultimately be decided by parliament. Members of all parliamentary groups had asked for submission before the turn of the year. They are also waiting for Lambrecht’s analysis of the state of the Bundeswehr, their opening balance, so to speak, which has been in the works for 13 months and has been postponed several times. Shortly before the end of the year, a report finally arrived – there it is, the Puma report, one thought at first. But it was the Ministry of Defense’s sustainability report, which dealt with environmental protection and resource conservation on 65 pages. Certainly also an important work, just not what was hoped for.
At least one learns there that the annual consumption of forms and writing paper has been reduced to 1,200 pages per capita. One also reads that there is no ammunition in the Bundeswehr, but instead there are eight woodchip heaters, no anti-aircraft defense, but six service bicycles in the Bendler block. In the area of mobility, a third has been saved in recent years, they say. Probably also because half of the Puma fleet was broken, as were Tiger helicopters and submarines. In this way, Lambrecht and her predecessors have come closer to the goal of zero emissions. On the other hand, there was unfortunately hardly any progress this year in terms of the readiness of the armed forces.