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Thread: Germany (catch all, incl. terrorism)

  1. #141
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    First of all...

    RIP to the German soldier killed here via IED today.

    I have nothing but respect and good things to say about the German troopers. They volunteer to come here.

    The Bundeswehr is downsizing. You have to serve 35 years to get retirement. Political survival is a strong instinct in staff officers and commanders, especially when you've invested so much time.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-28-2011 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Edited at author's request

  2. #142
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    Default Wimpy ROE

    From my desk thousands of kilometres from Afghanistan, my impression is that the Germans have been crippled by particularly strict Rules of Engagement. I think this is criminal. I have come to believe, mainly from the little I have read of the Germans' experience in Afghanistan, that limp-wristed ROE kill soldiers faster than a gung-ho mentality - not directly, as one might think, but through the crippling effect on morale. I am curious to know how the German soldiers over there feel about this.

    As far as I know, this is the Germans' first excursion since WWII, so I don't think anyone should be too judgemental. But just as the Dutch seem to have used this opportunity to rebuild their mojo after the embarrassment of Bosnia, so too I think the Germans should have been given the opportunity to do the same. I feel that you have been let down by your politicians. However, from your post, Leopard, I gather that you have been building up your institutional confidence over there.

  3. #143
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default German military abroad

    Markus,

    You stated:
    As far as I know, this is the Germans' first excursion since WWII
    No, they have been active of late and is well documented:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundeswehr Note this cites seventy deaths up to February 2011.

    I particularly remember their role in Kosovo, due to one news clip with a very assertive Bundeswehr officer telling a Serbian officer he had to leave. they were also the first military to acknowledge that the Bosnia-Herzegovina commitment would last a long time and started to build proper barracks.
    davidbfpo

  4. #144
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The previous missions weren't fighting missions despite some checkpoint shootout, though.

    IIRC the Eastern Germans sent advisers to Angola and North Vietnam.
    It's an almost completely unpublished chapter of German military history, and I have no details.

  5. #145
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    Hello @all...

    no, I am not in kunduz right now. I am in good old germany!

    The Beer Story: I had to smile while reading it. itīs true that we germans are allowed to drink two beer a day. Therefor we get so called ration cards. And two beers are not much. I think itīs ok! But believe me, you can find ways to get much more beer a day. You give the guys in the suply-chain some bugs and you get as much beer as you want to. An can remenmber at least five nights when I was drunk during my last tour. And there were a lot of americans drinking with us. As they recognized that the germans have beer they came everey evening and asked for some bottles. And on a few nights we sat togehther an had a lot o fun in unfunny environment...

    The HQ-Story: In germany now, after the fuel-truck-strike by Col. Klein nearly every Officer in the HQ is affraid of ordering high intensively fire. They are afraid of killing civilians and getting fired or judged. So the troops outside the camp are often not enough secured in the background. Itīs bad.
    The german army has the so called "orders-tactic". That means you get an order to achieve a goal. And you can decide what is to do to achieve it. So the leaders in the field often decide to attack the enemy, while the career-type of officer in the HQ whants them to withdrawl. Just to avoid colateral casualties.

    In germany, tactical dicisions are made by lawyers and not by military men...

    RIP to the Cpt. who was killed by an IED on Wednesday...

  6. #146
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default GDR military in Angola

    Fuchs,

    I've spent sometime with an ex-SADF soldier who fought in Angola and he has vivid memories of attacking a camp (SWAPO?) where their usual sweep tactic failed when hitting an entrenched, well defended position and lost several dead in minutes. After a full attack, with support (K-Cars), they found it was a platoon of East German paratroopers, who had been acting as "hands on" trainers and not one survived.

    I have a vague recollection of a presence in Ethiopia during the Ogaden conflict and will check around one day.
    davidbfpo

  7. #147
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    Default Bundeswehr in the field

    I spent some time with a German senior NCO last night comparing war stories. He is been in Kosovo, Macedonia, Congo and now here. He is tuned in and street smart.

    I am a grad of US Army Infantry school at Benning and spent 5 years in US Mechanized Infantry during my younger years.

    I have participated in platoon level tactical patrols with the German infantry protection company here. I have been very impressed and am well satisified with their force posture and ability to react effectively to contact. I would go out with them anywhere.

  8. #148
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    I got to spend time at the Fuhrengsakademie on exchange for two weeks this past year as well as working closely with quite a few German General Staff officers. I am impressed by their attention to detail, their ability to undertand the problem quickly, and their near-mathematical ability to construct and deconstruct all phases of the operation to understand shortcomings and provide recommendations. I'd be happy with them on my flank.
    Example is better than precept.

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    I am impressed by their attention to detail, their ability to undertand the problem quickly, and their near-mathematical ability to construct and deconstruct all phases of the operation to understand shortcomings and provide recommendations.
    Nice to know some things don't change. Beck would have been proud. It's a good thing so many Wehrmacht era officers were enrolled into the Bundeswehr so that traditions could find new bearers.

  10. #150
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    Default Terror Plot or Homesickness? Austria Detains Alleged Islamic Extremist

    A fascinating article and summarised as:
    Austrian authorities have detained an alleged Islamist extremist from Berlin as he was traveling back from Afghanistan, where he had undergone terror training. The 26-year-old had boasted about attacking "infidels," but it is unclear whether he was embarking on a terror plot or simply heading home after becoming disillusioned with his cause.
    Link:http://www.spiegel.de/international/...769405,00.html

    Curious the potential / actual role of Austria, a small country at the "crossroads of Europe" and IIRC with little experience of terrorist attacks for a long time (OPEC ministers seized way back in the 1970's).
    davidbfpo

  11. #151
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    Default Crossroads

    Yeah, Carlos did his thing, but there were later attacks by the RAF and a guest appearance by PFLP-GC (as I recall) at the El Al counter at the aprt. In fact, last time I lived there, the Austrian police ended up killing a RAF alumnus and wounding another. The former terror pair tried to knock over a store or bank and ended up in a shoot out.

    Been following this issue in various Austrian sources. It is absolutely unclear exactly what is going on. Guess we'll have to let it play itself out a little further.

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The previous missions weren't fighting missions despite some checkpoint shootout, though.

    IIRC the Eastern Germans sent advisers to Angola and North Vietnam.
    It's an almost completely unpublished chapter of German military history, and I have no details.
    Fuchs, found reference to this article in Der Spiegel circa 1980 - Honeckers Afrika-Korps



    If there is no free download available from there you can get it here.

    Seems to me that at that time there were 1,000 East Germans in Angola and 600 in Mozambique.

    Perhaps you can give a short summary of the article as the translation I have seen is poor.

  13. #153
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    East Germany, 1980:

    # 2700 German advisors and trainers in Africa (2 Arabian and 5 sub-Saharan countries)
    # effective, disciplined in comparison to Cubans, direct training instead of leadership positions as Soviet trainers
    # planned Ethiopian offensive against Eritrean rebels
    # training army, air forces, domestic intelligence services
    # some KIA
    # also training Africans in East Germany, including police
    # up to 200 million Mark annual military equipment exports, especially infantry equipment
    # 60's: Focus on upcoming powers (rebels) who might recognise East Germany as a state when in power
    # 70's more geostrategic (supposedly); countries with useful location and neighbourhood
    # some payments of East German supplies in form of raw materials (the East Germans had difficulties to import world market goods because of their currency and because the Warsaw Pact/COMECON absorbed most exports)

    Plus the usual childish who's-got-more-friends competition.


    I looked a bit and found this statement of the German military history research agency;
    http://www.mgfa-potsdam.de/html/eins...estorkmann.pdf
    They stress that the East Germans had no combat missions, try to downplay the missions after confirming them.


    West Germany did afaik also train non-allied foreigners in German language and in military skills before 1990 (100% in West Germany itself).

  14. #154
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    Default Twisted mind of a killer

    An update on the attack at Frankfurt airport, March 2010:
    A Kosovo man has told a German court he shot dead two American servicemen at Frankfurt airport but said he did not understand why he had acted as he did....

    "What I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did," Uka told the court in Frankfurt at the opening of his trial. Uka said he carried out the attack after watching a video purporting to show US servicemen raping a Muslim girl in Iraq.

    In fact, the video was a scene from Brian De Palma's anti-war film, Redacted.

    "I thought what I saw in that video, these people would do in Afghanistan," Uka said.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14727975

    A strange case of a 'Lone Wolf' attacker, although maybe not so unexpected given all the propaganda in the public domain.
    davidbfpo

  15. #155
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    Perception is reality in the mind.

  16. #156
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    Auf den Punkt gebracht,

    Exellent post, right on. It is a cultural think. If you grew up in Germany you were looked down if you were interested in guns or military. Military insterlations are named after deserters. What you expect? At school we had flyers providing information how do avoid being drafted. The guild indoctrination for the lost war was part of your school curiculum. You only got a good "Abi" if you wrote the right esseay about Anne Frank.
    It will probably take a while untill Gemany realizes the situation. Samual Hunnington was right when he wrote about cultural falt lines.

  17. #157
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    Default Public transit bombs planted

    Caught this low-key item on the BBC:
    German police have discovered an explosive device on a train line in the Berlin area - the fourth day in a row that devices have been found in and around the German capital. So far, there have been eight incidents of explosive devices being found. Police suspect a left-wing group of planting the firebombs, some of them on high-speed railway lines.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15287806

    The BBC links this other story:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14585600

    This appears to be the first, possible violent campaign in Western Europe by those opposed to a role in Afghanistan. From this armchair it could be one person or a very small group.
    davidbfpo

  18. #158
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Incendiary devices, not explosive devices.

    Some people (allegedly young left-wing radicals, but more likely just terribly bored people) have been playing arsonists on upper class cars in Berlin and elsewhere for years (highly publicised and thus fuelled by public attention only in Berlin).

    These dozens of incendiary devices were probably just a variation of that vandalism.

  19. #159
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    Default Berlin police arrest man for torching 100 luxury cars

    A BBC report which explains:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15429744

    Which cites:
    "He wasn't motivated by politics but rather social envy," said senior police official Oliver Stepien. "He said in essence: 'I've got debts, my life stinks and others with fancy cars are better off and they deserve this'."

    Earlier this month, the Berlin railway system was hit by arson attacks. Explosive devices were placed in a number of locations, including at least one on a high-speed rail track. A previously unknown left-wing group, calling itself the Hekla Reception Committee, said it had planted the devices.
    davidbfpo

  20. #160
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    Default Germany: Neo-Nazi terror discovered

    There is a separate thread 'Germany - terrorism/military operations/America' which provides some background, but on a quick scan the focus is on the Islamic threat, so today's news deserves a new thread. Old thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5483

    BBC News:
    New arrest as Germany links neo-Nazis to 10 murders...Police in Germany have made a second arrest after the dramatic discovery of evidence linking a self-styled Nazi group to the murder of nine foreigners...The murders were committed in several German cities ...between 2000 and 2007.

    The group only came to light this week after one alleged member surrendered and two others killed themselves....She handed herself in on Tuesday after allegedly blowing up the flat she had rented in the eastern town of Zwickau.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15714084

    The murky world of intelligence gathering appears:
    Allegations surfaced Sunday that one or more members of the group, which called itself the National Socialist Underground, may have worked as confidential informants for Germany’s domestic intelligence service.
    The NYT story has other details:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/wo..._r=1&ref=world

    Neo-Nazi activities in Germany are a controversial subject, some press coverage has referred to a lack of political will in responding and this evening's BBC Radio 4 News the Bundestag made this the first item and listened to the Chancellor's report. See:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15727841

    No doubt some will describe the undetected crime series as an example of "failing to join the dots".

    We shall to watch what happens.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-14-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Add link
    davidbfpo

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