History Really Does Repeat Itself

The German navy does this regularly, I guess. Commit suicide, I mean.

Suicide

So I suppose you could call the one going on presently a ritual suicide, albeit slower than those of the past (look what’s been going on with the Bundeswehr for the past thirty or forty years or so and you’ll get my drift).

One hundred years ago, the German High Seas Fleet committed suicide. On June 21, 1919, the crews of seventy-four German warships attempted to scuttle their vessels in order to prevent the Allies from taking them. Over the course of a few hours, fifty-two modern warships sank. In the modern history of naval combat, there has never been an event as devastating as the self-destruction of the German fleet at Scapa Flow. The scuttling immediately became legendary, closing one chapter of German naval history and opening another…

Indeed, the Germans had prepped the ships for scuttling over the previous several months, removing doors and taking other steps to reduce watertight integrity. They waited for motive and opportunity. As the Paris Peace Conference dragged on, both the French and the Italians had made claims upon the fleet. As the deadline for signing the treaty approached, both the Germans and the British made their preparations, the latter to seize the ships and the former to scuttle them.

On June 21, a comedy of errors ensued. The signing of the treaty was postponed two days, although it is unclear how aware the German sailors were made of this fact. The British commander decided that the fabulous early summer weather offered a great opportunity for practice, and the bulk of the Grand Fleet left Scapa Flow for maneuvers on the morning of June 21. Only a few patrol and utility ships remained.

Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order for scuttling, and every German ship obeyed. The British didn’t notice until around noon, when the battleship Friederich der Grosse began to list noticeably. At this point, the rest of the fleet raised the Imperial German Naval ensign, which the British had officially forbidden. At that point, the scuttling became a race between the water and the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet, notified by radio of the sinking, began to return immediately. The few Royal Navy ships in attendance picked up survivors, but were unable to save very many of the sinking ships.

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Why Did The German Warship Cross The Taiwan Straight?

To get to the other side? To get repaired?

Taiwan

No. To 1) show the world that it actually has a warship, 2) demonstrate that it can actually travel this far without sinking or being towed and 3) demonstrate Germany’s formidable military power. No, all three are true. You don’t have to pick just one. But remember folks, this is all a purely hypothetical construct.

Why a German Warship Would Head To the Taiwan Strait – A naval mission to the region would be a low-risk way for Germany to show that it’s committed to alliances – and that it still has a navy.

No low-risk, no fun.

Germany Is NATO’s Biggest Freeloader

That was a Washington Post headline, not mine.

NATO

There’s a German word for freeloader, by the way. Sounds worse in German, too.

As Nato commemorates its 70th anniversary in Washington this week, Germany seems to be labouring mightily to reassure the 29-member alliance that it will never threaten anyone militarily again — because it is in fact its own worst enemy.

How else can you qualify an ally that has announced it won’t be meeting its own pledge to increase defence spending to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024, even when it has formally committed to a target of 2 per cent, like everybody else?

Eines kann man Donald Trump nicht vorwerfen: Dass er mit seiner Meinung hinter dem Berg halten würde.

This Is A Bad Hair Day

For hair everywhere. Especially in the Bundeswehr. German court rules goth soldier must get a hair cut.

Goth

Sorry, pal. But a man’s goth to do what he’s goth to do. At least those cute Bundeswehr chicks goth off the hook…

The soldier, a member of Germany’s Gothic scene who wants to wear his hair long, considered the armed services law discriminatory because it allows women to wear long hair, but not men.

Men in previous ages wore their hair long, argued the 51-year-old who works in the defense ministry in Bonn. He said ancient, long-haired warriors were thought to have a particular masculinity, so he did not understand why only women were currently allowed to wear their hair long.

“Fashionable hairstyles are allowed, provided they are not particularly conspicuous in cut or shape, such as mohawk, ornamental or sidecuts.”

Poland Gets It

The U.S. doesn’t stand to lose anything by accepting Poland’s generous proposal and gradually relocating troops there from Germany. A move of this kind would be consistent with stated U.S. goals, such as deterring Russia. It would also allow the U.S. to support an ally eager for closer military ties.

Poland

It might also force Germany to give more thought to its position. Would it feel unprotected with a smaller U.S. presence? Would it, perhaps, be motivated to enhance its own defense? Or would it still be secure in its apparent conviction that no one is interested in attacking it?

The U.S. should offer protection to the countries that want it most, and reduce its involvement with nations that benefited in the mid-20th century. The American military presence should be aligned with its allies’ sense of being threatened. This anxiety gets stronger the closer a country is to Russia’s borders. Ignoring that makes little military or political sense.

4 Out Of 128 Ain’t Bad

It’s past bad. It’s hilarious.

Four

Only 4 of the Bundeswehr’s 128 Tornadoes are operational.

Maybe that’s why Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen wants 12 billion euros “more for the German army than current budget plans foresee.” That won’t do it even if she gets it, of course. And to get anywhere near the 2 percent of GDP spending Germany has committed itself to spend you’d need more along the lines of 30 to 40 billion euros. But who’s counting?

Nur 4 von 128 Eurofightern kampfbereit: „Im Ernstfall kann man nur beten.”

German Of The Day: Biodiesel

That means biodiesel. And it’s dangerous stuff. Just go ask the German Air Force.

Biodiesel

An entire squadron of Luftwaffe Tornadoes was out of action for a week because there was too much biodiesel in their kerosene. But at least the air quality around that airbase was exceptionally good for a few days, you know?

Meanwhile… The Bundeswehr is running out of tents and clothing now. Well, to be fair, it’s not the entire Budneswehr. It’s just their special rapid deployment forces.

Die Luftwaffen-Tornados auf dem Fliegerhorst Jagel in Schleswig-Holstein dürfen seit einer Woche nicht fliegen, weil dem Kerosin zu viel Biodiesel zugemischt war.

PS: I think this guy may have been given too much biodiesel, too.

Somalia Now Finally At Peace

So it’s time for the German Bundeswehr troops stationed there to leave. All five (5) of them.

Somalia

They couldn’t have done it without you five guy, guys. Whatever it was they done did with you. I’d skip the parade, though, if I were you.

Derzeit sind in einem schwer gesicherten Camp am Flughafen von Mogadischu fünf deutsche Soldaten im Einsatz. Mit ihrer Mission will die EU den Aufbau einer regulären Armee für Somalia fördern. Kampfeinsätze oder die Begleitung von somalischen Einheiten im Land waren stets ausgeschlossen.

“Not Deployable For Collective Defense”

Three years ago, Germany’s military made headlines when it used broomsticks instead of machine guns during a NATO exercise because of a shortage of equipment. The lack of real weapons in the European Union’s most populous nation was seen as symptomatic of how underfunded its military has long been.

Germany

One Russian annexation later, if anything, the state of affairs has only gotten worse, according to the parliamentary commissioner for the country’s armed forces.

He has now reached the conclusion that the German military is virtually “not deployable for collective defense,” at the moment. Independent commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels also indicated in a recent interview that Germany was unprepared for the possibility of a larger conflict even though smaller operations abroad may still be possible.

Meanwhile… Rising exports, Turkish tanks fuel German arms sales debate.

Again: Germany’s army is an alibi army that will never be used for anything other than to make Germans feel better (less worse?) about being 1) pacifists while being at the same time 2) the world’s third largest weapons exporter. Remember this when the next demand for them to spend 2 percent GDP on their defense comes up and they start to fidget – and get away with not spending it again.

The Few, The Proud, The Ones Who Weep When Asked To Remove Their Piercings…

The German Marines.

Marines

“Perhaps these will be the hardest three months of their lives,” says a deep-voiced commentator during the opening credits of the show, against a dramatic backdrop of silhouettes of the recruits, who have attracted a strong following on social media.

Financed by the German army at a cost of €7.9m (£7m), the show, consisting of daily episodes of four to seven minutes, is an attempt by the German military, the Bundeswehr, to attract new soldiers at a time when their numbers, following the abolition of conscription six years ago, are at a historic low.

Gleich an Tag eins in der Kaserne bekommen die Rekruten dem Titel der ersten Doku-Folge gemäß einen „Kulturschock“. Sie müssen sich an die strengen Umgangsformen und typischen Gepflogenheiten bei der Bundeswehr gewöhnen.

PS: As seen on Twitter… The hyperbolthalamus is responsible https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/759327 for the progressive brain’s steady production of liberal hype, alarmist rhetoric and hysterical doomsday forecasting.
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