Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Bundeswehr wants to have the best equipped NATO division in Europe in 2025

There are declarations which, in themselves, are enough to show the extent of the strategic disconnect which is hitting Western Europe today. That made on July 17 by the Chief of Staff of the Heer, the Land Army of the Bundeswehr, General Alfons Mais, to the Reuters agency , is certainly one of them. Indeed, according to the officer, Germany will have, in 2025, "the best-equipped NATO division in Europe"...

As with insurance contracts, the important points often lie beyond the catchy headlines. Thus, the German Chief of Staff recognizes, at the same time, that the Bundeswehr, the armed force of the leading economic and demographic power in Europe, does not have, today, a functional mechanized division.

On the other hand, this new division will only be effectively equipped in 2025 at 80%, perhaps 90%, while the Bundeswehr will only provide two mechanized brigades and one motorized brigade, the 4th brigade, for its part, being Dutch. A second German mechanized division could, for its part, be made operational in 2027, according to General Maïs.

Above all, this declaration, which is nevertheless intended to be reassuring, highlights the more than limited means in terms of mass available to the countries of Western Europe, while at the same time, hundreds of thousands of men, armed with tens of thousands of armored vehicles and thousands of artillery systems, face each other in Ukraine.

The Bundeswehr will only have one operational mechanized division in 2025
The Bundeswehr will only have one operational mechanized division in 2025

In other words, being proud to hope to have, in 2025, a single operational division, for a country of 83 million inhabitants with a GDP of $4.300 billion, would be pathetic if the consequences were not at this critical point for the security of the old continent.

Let us recall that at the same time, Russia, with its 143 million inhabitants and its GDP of $1,800 billion, is aiming for an armed force of 2 million men by 2025, forming several dozen mechanized divisions, each armed with around a hundred heavy tanks, two hundred artillery pieces and 250 to 400 armored vehicles (Russian divisions only have an average of 10,000 men, and not 20,000 as in NATO).

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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