Germany’s army is so under-equipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns

Gabriel92

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Nobody posted that ? :D
(By then,they announced an increase of their defence budget by €8 billions over 4 years.)

The German army has faced a shortage of equipment for years, but the situation has recently become so precarious that some soldiers took matters into their own hands.

On Tuesday, German broadcaster ARD revealed that German soldiers tried to hide the lack of arms by replacing heavy machine guns with broomsticks during a NATO exercise last year. After painting the wooden sticks black, the German soldiers swiftly attached them to the top of armored vehicles, according to a confidential army report which was leaked to ARD.

[Related: The German military faces a major challenge from disrepair]

A defense ministry spokesperson said the use of broomsticks was not a common practice, and that the decision of the involved soldiers was "hard to comprehend." According to the ministry, the armored vehicles were furthermore not supposed to be armed. It remains unclear how many broomsticks were substituted for machine guns.

The awkward revelation on Tuesday came at the worst possible moment for Germany's defense ministry. The same day, Ukraine's army was about to suffer a defeat in the town of Debaltseve, putting a renewed focus on the question whether Europe's NATO allies would be able to manage the crisis militarily – without an American intervention, if necessary.

To make matters worse, the broom-equipped German soldiers belong to a crucial, joint NATO task force and would be the first to be deployed in case of an attack. Opposition politicians have expressed concerns about Germany's ability to defend itself and other European allies, given that even some of the most elite forces lack basic equipment.

The central European country was the world's third-largest arms exporter in 2013, but when it comes to Germany's own defense politicians have been unwilling to invest. In 2013, Germany spent only 1.3 percent of its GDP on defense -- a ratio which was below the average spending of the European members of NATO.

In an interview with local German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, the head of the country's green party Cem Özdemir argued that it was not only the lack of funding that posed a problem. "The financial resources are not being used efficiently," Özdemir said last September. According to him, Europe's armies only have one tenth of the strength of the U.S. Army, although they cost half of the defense budget of the United States.

The lack of equipment does not come as a surprise to close observers of the German army. Last year, the parliamentary defense committee was informed that out of 89 German fighter jets, only 38 were ready for use. The list of damaged items also included helicopters, as well as a variety of weapons.

40 percent of the task force's soldiers would have to do without P8 pistols, and more than 30 percent lacked general-purpose machine guns, known as MG3. Operating at night would be particularly difficult for Germany's armed task force, given a lack of 76 percent of necessary night viewers.

Germany's continuous equipment problems hardly match von der Leyen's public rhetoric. On Tuesday, she announced that Germany would overhaul its security strategy and become more active internationally and in eastern Europe in the coming years.

According to Reuters, von der Leyen said that Germany's new policy had to take into account the Kremlin's attempt "to establish geo-strategic power politics and military force as a form of asserting their interests." Critics, however, say that such statements remain pure rhetoric, as long as the financial resources dedicated to the German army are insufficient.

Germany&[HASHTAG]#8217[/HASHTAG];s army is so under-equipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns - The Washington Post
 

Gasoline

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That's normal.They gift their weapons to Israel and Kurds in Iraq ! |O|
 

heavyinfantry

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It might be a consequence of the WWII agreement where Germany signed to give up on his army and thus reducing the weaponry that he is able to put on the field. This is a kind of my supposition , dont really take it as a fact.
 

Waynefire

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Last time I read, it was part of the treaty that ended World War II to keep Germany from rising up into a war mongering super power like it was with Hitler. It is also part of the Cold War where Germany was basically stripped of everything it could be to prepare for the war with Russia.
 

kana_marie

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Someone should just give them some guns, already. Grown men playing with broomsticks is just silly.
 

orangesunset

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Rommel and the other great German WW2 Generals trained using cars with tank painted on the side. Then when they eventually got real tanks they where top notch generals. Training and discipline are what make an army, when an army trains with unlimited supplies like the US army does, it makes the soldiers lazy.

By contrast Rommel and most German generals where used to working with nothing, so when it came to actual war they could win battles with nothing.
 
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Once again things being blown way out of proportion. As it said in the article, these vehicles weren't supposed to be armed anyway. So the soldiers just had a bit of fun.

You people also have to realise that while it might seem like there is very little weapons and ammo, it's because a large part of the gear is in storage and for war time use only. This only applies to smaller weapons and all types of ammunition though, I doubt they have fighter jets and hundreds of armored vehicles stacked up for war time use only.
 

DancingLady

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Maybe now someone will put in a rush order for the machine guns they actually need. Talk about embarrassing, but at least something might get done is that the public is aware they have such a serious problem.
 

pcgamer

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That's worse than India's situation. Atleast they have fighting materials for more than 20 days. I am glad that they don't have to play with broomsticks.
 

Rowe992

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I don't believe this report one bit! Germany can put together an army of the magnitude of ww2 if they so desire but they have been smart by learning from history and rather focusing on their economic development. Germany doesn't need a massive army at this moment and I am sure that if the need arises in the future then they will.
 

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Did we not lift the restrictions on Germany's and Japan's restriction a whole ago?
 
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